Treasure For Spiritually Investing In Children!

To know me is to know I love books!  Especially old books!

It’s not the yellowed pages or musty smell that thrills me – but the ideas often contained.  Now that’s not true for every old book, but I love to pray as I head into a used bookstore, “Lord, would you lead me to treasure?”  And it seems He often does in the midst of faded volumes.

This past Saturday I was just about to leave the antiquated book room at a nearby Goodwill when I saw the book Kenneth Forbes lying on the religion shelf.

An author’s name where the title goes? On the religion shelf?!

In truth, that’s what first caught my attention.  But then, when I opened the cover and read the subtitle, my curiosity was really piqued, “Fourteen ways of studying the Bible.”

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Each chapter in this book lets you sit in while a mother is teaching her children about the Bible using a different inductive Bible study technique.  So it’s written like a story, but wow!  Can that mother teach!  As she ties each lesson in with circumstances transpiring in her children’s lives, we are privileged to observe a master teacher in action.  And this was written back in 1854!!!

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I have been studying the Bible for 34 years and have read it through each year for the past twenty.  Still I found myself gleaning all sorts of new treasures from this mother’s teaching!  You better believe as I’m reading this I am being spurred on to dive even deeper in my own Bible Study!  I only wish I’d found this book when my son was younger and still at home.

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But even if you don’t have children to teach, this book is pure gold for learning new ways to study the Scriptures ~ and for motivating you to do so even more!

And here’s the best news of all – you can read this treasure online at the Internet Archive:

Just click on the pages at the top to turn them.

Or you can buy a facsimile at

Truly there is no greater gift a mom can give her children (and herself!) than to invest time helping them not only read the Scriptures but teaching them how to dig deep, to understand, ponder and worship The One revealed through them, then practically live them out for life!

And can reading this book ever help equip moms to do this in a number of enlightening and engaging ways!  I highly recommend it!



First Hand Joy!

Have you ever found anything?  If so, how did that make you feel?!

We use to live in Venice, Florida ~ the shark tooth capitol of the world!  Every time we walked the beach we would search and find shark teeth!  And you know, it never got old!  One time I took my son to a playground right beside the intercostal waterway and I’ll never forget looking down and discovering a two inch shark tooth!  I was so excited!!!

Now since Venice is a tourist town, you could go into any number of stores downtown and purchase shark teeth in bulk – but that was never the same as finding your own!

It’s the same with Bible study.  There is something special about discovering things first hand, rather than just being told outright.

Most Bible studies are like having someone walk along the beach with you and say, “Right there!  Look! See the shark’s tooth?”  And that is of some value, especially when you are starting out.  But there is such a deeper joy when you are completely discovering those shark teeth on your own!

And remember, when discipling women we are seeking to liberate them so they aren’t dependent upon us but equipped to be lifetime learners.

Inductive Bible study is key for people learning how to discover treasure in God’s Word on their own.  Basically there are three parts to this:  Observe, Interpret and Apply.  And there are specific tools that can help you grow in doing each.  These are simple tools.  You don’t have to go to seminary to learn how to do this.

For example, it is amazing how much more you observe just by slowing down and asking questions of the text.  But most people don’t do this, or realize what an incredible tool this is, unless specifically taught.

Howard Hendricks, who use to teach at Dallas Theological Seminary would start the semester giving his students one verse and challenging them to write as many questions regarding that verse as they could.  This is a simple exercise you can do with those you meet and if you do, be prepared to be amazed at all they discover!

In Gladys Hunt’s book Honey for a Child’s Heart she shares how she taught her children to do this.  Together they would read a short passage from the Bible and then one at a time each person in her family came up with a question about the text.  They would discuss each question before moving onto the next person and the next question.

Last year at Christmas we did this with my sister’s family.  My husband read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke and then we went around and everyone took turns asking a question.  It made for the neatest discussion!

If you’ve never done inductive Bible study before, here are three great resources that can really help you learn:

1. First Hand Joy by Rick Yohn

Shortly after Barb started discipling me, she gave me a small book entitled First Hand Joy by Rick Yohn.  Each chapter features a short exercise that helps you start learning how to study the Bible for yourself.  I tell you working through that little book not only enhanced my Bible study but every single time I read my Bible!  Through doing this I learned new tools for digging even deeper.  And did this ever yield even more treasure!  And Joy!

Sadly this book is out of print – though I just checked and there are still five copies at

2.  Another favorite – much more extensive is Howard Hendricks’ Living By The Book.  This is hands down my favorite resource for learning inductive Bible study.

3.  Another good book is Hans Finzel’s Unlocking the Scriptures.

I cannot recommend these books highly enough!  You can work through any of them with someone you are meeting with – but I’ve also found just working through them myself, enabled me to incorporate teaching these tools informally as I’m meeting one on one with someone.

Not only will these tools help those you meet with learn how to discover even more treasure in God’s Word for themselves, but when you are discipling for generations you want to equip them to know how to mine God’s Word for the answers to questions they’ll encounter.  These tools free them so they don’t have to run to a Christian bookstore and find a Bible study on x, y or z but when questions come up they know how to go directly to God’s Word for the answers.  And help others learn to do so too!

But it’s not just about getting answers – it’s also about joy!  For me, that’s the best motivation of all!


NOTE:  If you would like to learn how to do inductive Bible study while studying a book of the Bible, feel free to email me at and I’ll be glad to email you a copy of a study on Genesis that week by week helps you learn how to use numerous Bible study tools.  Just be forewarned, it was written to be used at a summer training program so each chapter provides enough material for anywhere from five to twelve hours of Bible study!