CCOG Newsletter

Weekly Updates

Reflections from Pastor Jennifer

Rivalry is never God's plan. It disrupts God's goal of unity, it keeps our eyes on people instead of purpose, and it ignores all the great gifts that God has given us. When you feel those emotions of jealousy, rivalry and (unhealthy) competition rise up in your heart, I encourage you to pray for the person you feel those ways about. Do not become yoked to them by your feelings. I also encourage you to read more about the relationship between Jacob and Esau. Did they eventually reconcile? Find out in the latter half of Genesis.

Bible study is easier with good tools

Some of you may know the story of mine and Shane's first date. To make a long story short, he did not have a Bible, so it was suggested that I go with him to the bookstore to help find one. 14 years later, the one he purchased is the one I use to prepare for Wednesday night Bible study!

Just as in any project we undertake, getting the most out of the Bible requires certain tools. I suggest getting a good study Bible. His (mine now!) is a Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Remember that all Bible translations have been put into English from ancient texts. Some attempt to give the translation word-for-word (e.g. LSV, NASB), while other translations are in more modern language and context (e.g. NIV, NKJV, NLT). If you are wary of certain versions, check your favorite verse - does it make sense? Go familiar passages, such as John 3:16. Is the meaning the same as what you know?

An introduction at the beginning of each book is something to look for in a study Bible. That will tell about the author, the date of writing, to whom they were writing, and should give an outline of the book. A study Bible will also have good comments and explanations for many of the verses. Check for plenty of maps and a large concordance. A concordance is the section in the back of the Bible much like an index. It will list the references for the major times that a particular word is used.

The YouVersion Bible app is also a great tool to have. They provide countless translations, search tools and devotionals. They also include a "read to me" feature that is very helpful when you are in a book of the Bible which gives lists of names and places!

How I study the Bible (A hands-on tutorial)