Testimonials by Participants in The Bible Challenge

“My own bible reading has been nothing short of profound.  I am humbled and amazed at just how much this is speaking to me.  Each day if I accomplish nothing else, I manage to get my reading done.  It has become as vital to me as drinking water.  And I am continually amazed at the grace that intercedes each and every time.  Alright, I confess that parts of the Old Testament have been wrought with sacrifice that does not resonate with me!  But still the word speaks in to my living day and the glory is everywhere!  If my enthusiasm continues (which I hope and pray it will) I cannot wait to get to the end and do it again.  Why oh why did I not do this earlier!” – Jan

“While I spent eight months to finish reading the Bible from creation to revelation. It is only a start!  It was a difficult, enjoyable and challenging experience…. I did most of my reading and listening in the still of the night and often wondered at the genius of the authors of the King James Version and how they were inspired.  While I had frequent contact with the Bible in the past, particularly during the time of my service as Rector’s Warden at St. Thomas’ and as a lay reader of the Episcopal Church in Haiti, my absorption was in fits and starts.  Now, in a sense, I have put it all together.  Yet there is no such thing as finishing with the Bible.  It is a trip through eternity.  Is it also a reminder of ourselves.”   – Henry

“I wanted to let you know that as of Friday, December 9, I have finished reading my Bible! I was in Logan Airport when I finished and I wanted to jump up and down as if I were crossing the finish line of a marathon, but decided that that was probably not the appropriate place to share my joy and excitement.” – Tricia

“I have been reading it on my nook, the NIV Study Bible version.  That makes it easier to travel with and find myself able to read it on the train and even the subway up in NYC….  It also forces me to read it more like a story – and while you can skim paragraphs when it was getting a bit tedious with the “rules” and family lineages, you can’t skim whole pages at a time and you really can’t “look ahead.”  I have found reading the Bible interesting and clearly I had never seen many of the passages in the normal Sunday readings, so I have found it worthwhile.  I appreciate your support.” – Steve

“The Bible Challenge is going really well. I haven’t been able to read as much per day now that school has started, but I make sure that I always read at least a little bit every day. More importantly, though, it’s become something that keeps faith on my mind pretty much all the time…. Also, I can tell that it’s something I want to continue. Not only am I sure that I’ll finish it, but I’m also sure that once I do, I’ll go back and study individual parts again.  I am confident that daily reading will definitely remain a part of my schedule.  Thank you for introducing me to this challenge; it’s been a wonderful thing in my life.” – Allie – age 17

“I am reading away—and using what I’m reading.  Just last night, at the Junior Youth Group Meeting, I was able to insert a Bible quote from Matthew at just the right moment; and for a few minutes we had 14 6th-8th graders focus on the question at hand.   “So the last shall be first, and the first last.”  It was quiet as they considered the meaning of the quote and how it applied to their lives. We had a focused discussion where no one interrupted the speaker for about ten minutes (which is a Junior Youth Group record)” – Jim

“In my opinion, The Bible Challenge points to a vitally important topic related to the social value and future of the Episcopal Church and that is accountability among membership.  Think about it.  What successful and sustainable organization, such as Apple Computer, the Boy Scouts of America, the Mormon Church or an excellent school or university does not have “accountability” deeply woven into its corporate values and vision statement.  Even if it is painful at times, I think the leadership of the Episcopal Church must promote and demand accountability throughout the Church as if our very existence depends upon it.” – Fred

“I have appreciated the opportunity to read the entire Bible through, once again, this past year. The discipline involved in daily Bible reading has been an anchor and a strength in my life for many years. I appreciate the comfort of reading the many familiar passages that have been so important to me, especially in times of difficulty. I continue to seek God’s direction and guidance for my life and my Bible reading is an essential tool as I seek to connect with God’s purpose for me.” – Elisa

“I am coming along with my reading of the Bible very well. I think it adds a little spark to my life each day when I am doing my readings….  Your idea of reading a different copy of the Bible every year is very interesting and also very intriguing.  Thank you for your encouragement.” – Pat

“I did it!!!! I just finished reading the Bible. I am so glad you got me involved. It was a wonderful and very enlightening experience. As I mentioned to you, I am now going to start the NIV version. Thank you so very much.” – Gretta

“So far so good, I’m listening to the Bible on CD’s every morning while exercising. I’ll finish Numbers this weekend, and I’ve lost 5 lbs! Go Bible Challenge!” – Dave

“I am moving along, slightly ahead of plan….This is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I have let go of trying to remember and understand all the different facts and thoughts.  There is no final exam upon completion.  Rather, I try to be in the moment and appreciate the words as I move forward.  It may sound trite, but I am feeling like a much more complete human being, I truly appreciate the fulfilling feeling that reading the Bible is providing me.  My favorite time is getting up first on Saturday and Sunday and sitting with my cup of coffee and Bible.  I almost get disappointed when my family starts to stir and it is time to put my reading down and begin the day’s activities.  This is a summer I will always cherish, for many reasons.” – Tricia

“I have been in church for the last several months listening to Marek’s appeal to join the Read the Bible challenge.  We’ve also received several written requests in the mail, email, etc…  I have been very reluctant to accept the challenge, thinking ‘I will read the Bible when and how I want to!!’   Then, Hillary sent out an invitation to me along with several other parents asking us to come and participate in a discussion about how we can read the Bible within our community – our family.  Now this piqued my interest!  I am always looking for ways to do more things together as a family.  Sports, piano lessons, chorister rehearsals and school board meetings seem to consume so much of our family time.  So, I attended her first Family Bible challenge meeting along with two other parents.  I was still a doubting Thomas.  But, after seeing all the different versions of the Bible that Hillary presented and examining the ‘Sparks Story Bible’ I saw a unique opportunity.  My son, Trey, is required to read 20 minutes every night.  Sometimes this is a real struggle for him.  He loves picture books and I knew he would love this one.  Additionally, this Bible has a character Squiggles that appears in every picture – something else to capture his attention and interest.  Here was an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – 1) join the Bible Challenge 2) satisfy Trey’s reading requirements.  I went home that night with great anticipation.  I announced that we would be reading the Sparks Story Bible for 20 minutes every night (actually, the deal was only Monday – Friday nights for 8 weeks).  Trey and I are well past the half-way mark and we’re only 2 weeks into the challenge.  We often exceed the 20 minute timeline depending on how late we get started. At this rate we will have finished the whole Bible before our 8 weeks are up.  Trey eagerly gets out his reading progress report after we finish each night and records the number of minutes and the number of pages he read.  An amusing note is that the report also asks him to classify the type of book he is reading…. NF for Non-Fiction, F for Fiction, etc..  We created a new classification for this one:  TW  for The Word !!!” – Karen

“We were in Russia earlier this month and of course went to the Hermitage in St Petersburg. (breathtaking!!!).  I was in awe of Rembrandt’s painting The Return of the Prodigal Son….it was so calm and peaceful. Could have stood there for hours I think.  We had a young Russian guide with us explaining some of the paintings.  She wasn’t  too familiar with the stories or characters in the paintings depicting Biblical scenes especially from the Old testament, but having just finished reading the Old Testament (on the train from Moscow) as part of The Bible Challenge, I was able to help her out !!!  I loved taking my Bible to Russia and reading it there.” – Margot

“I am about to begin Samuel 2 – Samuel 1 was hair-raising and poignant. I am beginning to see the Bible in long arcs of human history, rather than isolated smidges. First there was creation, then the great patriarchs, and now the kings. All along the way, listening to God and obeying His will is the hardest thing for us. Over and over again, we think we can do it all by ourselves. I am especially intrigued by how much New Testament, and especially Jesus, I hear in the Old Testament now.” – Anne

“….watching ospreys, eagles soar, examining the gorgeous sea urchin, mussel shells, feeling the warmth of the stones from the beach on my face, lying on the spongy mosses, lichen with my grandchildren asking what cloud creatures they see.  Showing them that God is EVERYWHERE!  Because of reading the Bible, I am now so much more aware of HIS gifts to ALL of us and how much fun is it to teach my family to “observe.” – Cynthia

“A couple of weeks ago on a Thursday morning, I was reading in 1 Chronicles 19 a story about 2 brothers, Joab and Abishau, who were leading two armies into battle.  The one brother says, (I’m loosely paraphrasing) “ You go fight those guys and I’ll go fight the others.  If you need help, I’ll come to your aid and if I need help you come to my aid.  We’ll leave the outcome up to G-d”.  That afternoon, I got a call from my brother that two tumors were back and test show that they were “hot”.  I left the office, went home and packed my bag and went to Lexington, KY, drove through the night so I could be with him the next morning for a 9 am appointment where they prepared him for his radiation treatment that began last week.  I told him about this story of Joab and Abishau, along with another story about Moses holding his arms up in prayer as Joshua fought a battle, as Moses grew tired and his arms began to descend, Joshua started losing the battle, so two men went to help Moses keep his arms up in prayer until the battle was finished.  I like that story, because it touches on action (doing the things we need to do) coupled with prayer and then is topped off with people helping people when they become spiritually tired.  It seems to me we all at times become spiritually tired and it’s great to have someone step in and help us keep our arms up.” – Stroud