Skip to main content

the primary source

did you all know i have a degree in history? i haven't exactly used it for anything, but i did earn it just the same. one of the major requirements for this degree were two huge research papers that spanned an entire semester each.

for the first paper, we were required to choose a topic and then read as many secondary resources as we possibly could on the subject. secondary resources are basically books written by historians who have researched and learned about the topic, and then written a book about it. it's their synthesis and interpretation of their research. 

the second paper required that we choose a topic and research all of the primary sources that we could find. we could throw in some secondary resources too, but the main objective was for us to actually practice being a historian ourselves.

i wrote my paper on the development of the city of Coronado, see that fancy photo below? sounds fascinating, right? i basically lived in the Coronado library and historical society for four months straight as i tediously scoured through census records, personal letters, newspapers, maps, real estate advertisements, all from the 1890's. i was looking at what actually took place, and forming my own synthesis and interpretation of piles and piles of information. and wow, what an incredible experience.

don't you love my catchy title? [kidding]

it was hard, it was tedious, it felt almost impossible at times, but my brain had never been so exercised and i had never felt such a sense of accomplishment. i had looked into the details myself and come out with my own unique conclusions.

primary sources versus secondary sources. when it comes to our faith, i wonder which we prefer? we like to listen to sermons and sing worship music and read books and devotionals. but do we open up God's Word and see for ourselves? or are we being largely influenced by someone else's research and hard work and interpretation? do we get so caught up in the secondary resources that we neglect the luxury of opening up and reading our Bibles ?

there was a time when people had no access to a Bible at all. before the printing press was invented in 1452, regular people like you and me did not own books. they were hand-written and one-of-a-kind and terribly e x p e n s i v e. if someone did own a few books, it was rare that they knew how to read them. people had no other choice than to rely on whatever their local bishop taught them, and even then, masses were rarely taught in their native language.

i don't know if it's the same at your house, but i have quite the collection of Bibles:


and those are just the ones that were right in front of me on the bookshelf. i can think of at least four more that are missing from this photo. what a luxury. both historically, and in our world today where 350 million people still do not have any Scripture translated into their language, and billions do not own one Bible.

we are living in a privileged time and place, friends. this is a priceless gift. let's not take it for granted. let's open it up and read it, believe it, memorize it, do what it says.

there's certainly nothing wrong with books, devotionals, sermons, podcasts, music, church... all of those things are good things. i own, read, use, attend all of the above and benefit greatly from them. 

but...


let's ask God to help us understand His Word, if that's the problem. let's ask Him to help us enjoy reading His Word if that's the issue. and finally, let's ask Him to transform us by the power His Word. He has started a work in your life that He intends to complete. let's get on board and dive in head first.









Comments

  1. well, that kicked my butt. thanks for sharing what's on your heart friend. xo

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

hope spoken 2014 | a little recap

well. it feels weird to be back here in this space. i haven't regularly blogged for over a year. i'm feeling like it's time for a redesign but that's beside the point. i'm really here to tell you about Hope Spoken conference that i attended in dallas 2 weekends ago. everyone has been saying how they need time to process everything. i'm no exception. what i'm about to share is really an email i wrote to casey and danielle a few days after i got home, but i've edited and expanded a little. there is still so much more in my heart and mind that's not quite ready to come out:

i'm finally sitting down to pour out my heart after such an amazing weekend. the first thing that's hitting me is these three girls went with a dream and a mission and a calling from Jesus, and were brave to walk through the door and keep going, as danielle describes it. i'm sure they imagined how beautiful it would be but i don't think they could have imagined just …

the idol self-sufficiency

"O God of mine, I'll have no idols..." played over Pandora. "O God of Mine", an old song by Rita Springer, is a beautiful hymn-like melody with soothing vocals and peaceful piano music. deep in thought, as i always am, i was struggling with feelings of fear and shame that had been pulling me under the last few months. i'm determined to be free from its grip, so i'm digging in to find the roots and i'm arming myself with Truth and with practical tools. as that phrase sang form the speakers, it just flickered across my mind -- the idol of self sufficiency. i had never named it before, but i finally understood it as a huge aspect of my struggle with fear and a huge aspect of the burden of shame that i carry. (i wrote a little bit about that here)

now you're thinking i must be a planner, a doer, and get-things-done kind of gal. you're thinking i must run a pretty tight ship, i must be type-A.

and you'd be wrong. self-sufficiency is a idol f…

because He became a man

recently i had one of those days where my to-do list consisted of six different super-quick errands. seems simple enough to most people. before kids you could knock them all out in less than an hour and go about your day. but with kids, forget about it. you dread the outing for two days and put it off until you have no more food or toothpaste and your husband is wondering about the dry-cleaning and the alterations.

when you have to strap and unstrap three kids into their carseats for six different super-quick errands, it's a whole new kind of monster. it takes longer to get them in and out of the car than the amount of time we actually spend inside the post office, or the dry cleaner, or the bank. multiply that by six and we're all going crazy.

truly, there needs to be a drive-through dry cleaner, drive through full-service post office window, drive through banking (not just ATM but actually denominations-other-than-twenty banking), and a drive-up pre-order Target service woul…