My Story: The Most I Have Read the Bible in My Life

Tyndale House Publishers

We love hearing how God is using our Bibles to draw people closer to him. Recently, we heard from a pastor friend who had shared a Life Application Study Bible with a member of his congregation who was overwhelmed by the circumstances. We are so thankful that this Bible is bringing truth and hope!

“I have almost finished reading Romans. This is the most I have ever read the Bible in my life. The Bible you gave me has been life-changing. Much of what I’ve been told is truth is not what is in this Word. It has helped me through depression, some pent up past bad emotions. When my loved one died on Christmas morning I didn’t feel sad because I knew he was a true follower of Christ. I was overjoyed that he finally gets to be where we truly belong. It’s been a pretty awful year (actually a pretty awful few years) but I know Jesus is pulling me through the storm.” – Life Application Study Bible reader.

Learn more about the Life Application Study Bible 

 

 

 

20 Years. 20 Bibles. Eternal Legacy

Tyndale House Publishers

Every year for 20 years, Hank has read through a One Year Bible. But reading these Bibles goes beyond personal edification or completing a resolution. They are his legacy to spur others on in their Bible reading and inspire them to grow in their relationship with Christ.

“I love the Bible. It’s such a joy to read it, and I just want everyone to have that joy and understand what it can give you,” said Hank.

“For 20 years I have read through a One Year Bible, and each year I dedicated it to a family member. The notes in the margin were personal, such as ‘This is my prayer for you.’ I’ve underlined, circled, and highlighted many passages, letting them know what inspires me. It is my legacy to them,” said Hank.

Through these Bibles, Hank has encouraged a love for God’s Word in others. Sharing his struggles, joys, failures, and triumphs as he moves closer to God has been a comfort and a catalyst for his family members to grow deeper in their understanding of God through his Word.

“When I give it to them and they read it, they always come back saying, ‘I didn’t know you were going through that’ or ‘when you wrote this it helped me to better understand what I was facing.’ The Bible gives me joy whenever I read it, and I get joy by sharing it with others. The more you get into it, the more your joy will grow,” said Hank.

In 2020, Hank read through The One Year Pray for America Bible.

“I especially love the prayers that have to do with that day’s reading. . . . I also love the prayers you’ve inserted throughout the Bible, such as a prayer by Dr. Pridgeon for the anniversary of 9/11,

or the prayer by the Rev. Samuel Smith spoken July 4, 1831, or the broadcast by FDR on D-Day on radio, June 6, 1944. What a wonderful Bible!” said Hank.

We are excited to hear what Bible he will be using in 2021!

What Bible will you be reading through this year? Still not sure which one is right for you? Check out all our One Year Bible options.

Readers All Over the World

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We are so thankful that the NLT resonates with Bible readers all over the world. Here is what one reader shared with us:

thank you so much I always enjoy this Bible Translation new living translation that I went and bought the hard copy though it was hard to see and the cost wasn’t a problem I enjoyed it enjoyed reading it and enjoying the audio part of it as in I can read my Bible with the audio or all with the audio in the software in the Bible app software I used and shared it with my family and friends and everybody, this translation is wonderful I used to save important things and lessons in the bookmark section, and is helping me a lot am very very happy thank you for getting work done, this is a blessing and may God bless u all in the name of our Lord Jesus amen.

Finding and Living a New Life

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT

Raised in a home of drug addicts, Tim Nickels saw getting high as just part of the daily routine. He remembers the first time he realized his homelife was different from that of other families.

“When I was in first grade, my dad got high with my teacher. When I told my friends, my teacher was fired. My dad told me that I couldn’t talk about it and that our lifestyle was a secret. Even at that young age, I started to realize that something was wrong.”

But Tim didn’t heed that warning in his heart. He followed in his dad’s footsteps and started living in addiction. But although he was chained to drugs and alcohol, he had the desire to break free, and he tried numerous times on his own to get clean and start over.

During one fitful night, he had a dream about hell that shook him to his core. He woke up sweating and crying. A new craving started to overtake him—a craving for a relationship with Christ. He desperately wanted to know about him, so he turned to a King James Version Bible that was sitting on a shelf in his house.

“I got so frustrated that I couldn’t understand it,” remembers Tim. “But then a woman gave me a Life Application Study Bible, and it blew me away. It was like a whole new world had been opened up to me. A Bible translation I could understand, and then notes, books introductions, commentary—I just devoured it! I couldn’t get enough.”

After pouring over the Bible, he knew that he needed to get involved in a church. He found a local congregation and attended a service where an evangelist was preaching.

Tim’s son was dedicated by the pastor who helped him find new life in Christ

“I surrendered right there to Jesus, and he took away my desire for drugs and alcohol. I had tried over and over again on my own, but it was only in Jesus that I found true freedom. Twenty-five years later, I’m still free.”

Tim continued to read his Life Application Study Bible and was drawn to 1 Samuel 16:7: “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

“This spoke to me,” Tim recalls. “God can use anyone if they are willing.”

God was about to make his plan very clear to Tim.

“My pastor told me that he thought God was calling me to be a pastor. Me? I was so scared. I thought, I can’t do this! But I followed his will for my life, and I am so thankful!” Now Tim has been a pastor for over twenty years, and he currently leads a church in Kentucky.

Tim’s love of the Bible has continued to grow. He even has a YouTube channel where he reviews Bibles. Though he reads lots of translations, he has a special place in his heart for the New Living Translation.

“It is definitely one of my top recommendations for anyone who is struggling to understand the Bible,” says Tim. “And yes, I recommend the Life Application Study Bible to many who are trying to understand how to live out what the Bible says. I am an example of how God can use any of us if we submit to him and keep our eyes focused on him.”

Learn more about the Life Application Study Bible

Inspire Prayer Bible Ambassador Spotlight: Lynn

Over the course of the next several months we are going to shine the spotlight on some of our Inspire Prayer Bible Ambassadors as a way to encourage all of us to keep living boldly for Jesus and to shine his light brightly wherever God has us!

Meet Lynn. She is one of our Inspire Prayer Bible Ambassadors. We asked her to tell us a little bit about herself in the interview below. She and so many other Bible journalers are using their gifts and passions as ambassadors for Christ. God has called all of us to draw others into greater awareness of his abounding love and grace and truth.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Lynn: I am a wife, mother and a follower of Christ. I live in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Alberta Canada in a little farmhouse along the river. I have two amazing grown children, and three furbabies who keep me company in my studio. I love to Bible journal and participate in Bible studies with my family and friends.

What are some of your favorite hobbies? (Besides Bible journaling in your Inspire Bible, of course!)

Lynn: I love to read, bake, cook, take hikes in the mountains, spend time with my family and walks with the pups along the river.

Tell us when you first encountered God and how your choice to follow him has impacted your life.

Lynn: Since I was small, my family attended church and I went to a Christian school. When I got married, we continued our faith by raising our family in the church. God has always been part of my life. In following Christ, my life and faith have been enriched in so many ways. Prayer being a big part of my daily life. My motto is “Let Go and Let God”. When I’m stressed or overwhelmed, I turn to Him for guidance, comfort and strength. I know that I am never alone as He walks along side of me each and every day.

Who (or what) has had the biggest influence on helping you grow in your faith?

Lynn: Where I live there are only eight houses in the valley, and all of our neighbors are Christians. We started a weekly Bible study together which really helps me stay focused on His word and His message as we gather together to read and study. We have even nicknamed ourselves The River Sisters. We encourage, support and pray for each other, taking time to talk, walk and have coffee dates. We are truly a community of faith right here in this little river valley.

How has Bible journaling impacted your faith?

Lynn: I grew up reading the Bible, but I will honestly say my faith took a gigantic leap when I started Bible Journaling. I find that as I journal or create in my Bible, I reflect on the Scripture. It’s not just reading; it’s immersing myself in His word for longer periods of time and bringing His word to life through art.

When did you first start Bible journaling?

Lynn: My sister got me started Bible Journaling. I had been scrapbooking for years, and when I saw her Bible, I immediately went home, ordered a journaling Bible and sharpened up my pencil crayons. After about six months, I started creating elements for journaling which lead me to create a Facebook group and a little Etsy shop. The community of women that I have met has been such a blessing in my life and I love spending my days learning and growing with the community through studies and art.

Do you have any tips to share about how to stay close to God each day?

Lynn: Before I open my eyes, I say a morning prayer and then I feel ready to take on the day. Whether it’s reading, studying or creating, it’s the first thing I try to do each day. It keeps me focused on Him. Even if it’s five minutes, it warms my soul. In the evening before bed, I pray a prayer of thanks for my blessings and lessons I’ve learned that day. In creative worship, always remember it’s not what you do, or how you do it, just do it for Him. He loves you and created you to be unique.

Who is your favorite person in the Bible and why?

Lynn: I love many people in the Bible, but Jeremiah is one of my favorites. He was a prophet that had such an important message from God. He was such a faithful servant whose life was not an easy one, and he has such depth and dimension in his messages. He was not always well received when spreading Gods message, but he was determined and His faith was unwavering.  To me he was such a shining light in a dark time.

What Bible verse would you like to encourage others with today?

Lynn: This Bible verse from Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse. It has brought me such comfort throughout my journey of faith.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

Would you like to say a prayer for the person reading this right now?

Lynn: Dear Lord, shine your light on your faithful servant today. Bring them comfort in trying times, strength to endure and hope for the future. Guide them in their journey of faith, walk alongside them today so they can feel your presence. Gather them into your loving arms. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Connect with us and Lynn on Instagram:

Be inspired! @theinspirebible

Lynn: @lynn.shoko

Want to meet another Inspire Prayer ambassador? Check out our interview with Riley.

My Story: Filament Bible

“When I saw the Filament Bible and the lady at the Carpenter Shop Christian Bookstore, in Sanford, NC. explained it to me I got so excited because I knew it would help me study the Bible. My husband is a new Christian and if I can’t answer a question for him I can find the answer in this new Bible. I really enjoy reading it and have told all my friends about it.” Judy D., North Carolina

Inspire Prayer Bible Ambassador Spotlight: Riley

: Ri

We all are influencers. Every single one of us. If we follow Jesus, we have been given a platform—whether it is in our homes, at the office, at school, or even in the dentist’s office! Recently, a lady on social media brought her over-stuffed, beautiful journaling Bible to the dentist’s waiting room to Bible journal before her appointment. To her surprise, her Bible gave her the opportunity to talk about her faith when she normally wouldn’t have been bold enough to initiate a conversation about God. Her Bible naturally opened up the opportunity to share about him.

Tyndale author Emma Mae Jenkins invites young girls to step into God’s calling and live in ALL CAPS in her amazing book, ALL-CAPS YOU:

“To live in ALL CAPS is to give attention and to tune in to the words that God has spoken, even when the words of the world sound loud. In the Lord we lack no good thing. We are fully loved, fully chosen, and fully known by God, therefore we can fully be who he has called us to be—we can truly live our lives in ALL CAPS.”

Riley is one of our Inspire Prayer Bible Ambassadors. We asked her to tell us a little bit about herself in the interview below. She and so many other Bible journalers know how to live the ALL CAPS life. We are ambassadors for Christ (VERSE) and God has chosen people of all ages to draw others into greater awareness of his abounding love and grace and truth.

Over the course of the next several months we are going to shine the spotlight on some of our Inspire Prayer Bible Ambassadors as a way to encourage all of us to keep living boldly for Jesus and to shine his light brightly wherever God has us!

RILEY: Raised on Sweet Tea and Four Wheelers (and Jesus, of course!)

What are some of your favorite hobbies? (Besides Bible journaling in your Inspire Bible, of course!)

I enjoy mud riding and laughing with my family.

Tell us when you first encountered God and how your choice to follow him has impacted your life.

I first encountered God by growing up in a Christian household, and my choice to follow him has changed my life because I’ve become a better person.

Who (or what) has had the biggest influence on helping you grow in your faith?

My parents and my Inspire Bible.

How has Bible journaling impacted your faith?

Bible Journaling has impacted and improved my life by bringing me closer to the Lord’s Word in a fun and creative way.

When did you first start Bible journaling?

April 14, 2020

Do you have any tips to share about how to stay close to God each day?

• Read your Bible

• Pray

• Worship God

Who is your favorite person in the Bible and why?

Jesus, because he died on the cross for our sins.

What Bible verse would you like to encourage others with today?

Philippians 4:13: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Would you like to say a prayer for the person reading this right now?

Dear Lord, I pray for the person who is reading this right now. I hope with my words and encouragement that they will become closer to your Word, their faith will grow strong, and they will become a Christian who rejoices in your Word. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Be inspired! @theinspirebible

Connect with Riley! @biblejournaling.faith

May Riley’s story be an encouragement to stay in the Word, on our knees, and eager to share the hope for which God has planted in our hearts as we trust in him.

“This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.” Colossians 1:6

Learn more about the Inspire Bible line.

TYNDALE, Tyndale’s quill logo, New Living Translation, NLT, the New Living Translation logo, Inspire, and LeatherLike are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Ministries. Extrabiblical artwork, cover design, and product design of Inspire copyright © 2017 by Three Streams Publishers, Ltd.

Video Story: What the NLT Means to Me

Jay is the pastor at Life House Church in Harlingen, Texas. As a bilingual pastor, Pastor Jay has a passion for both the NLT and NTV. He is excited to share his story of how these translations have helped him grow in his love for God and others.

Learn more about the New Living Translation

Video Story: Immersed in God’s Word in Community

When Elizabeth first heard about her church’s initiative to read the whole Bible together in community, she was hesitant. But she discovered in the process how amazing the love of Jesus truly is for the outcast, and it changed everything for her. Watch Elizabeth’s story here.

All across America, Bible book clubs are forming to read and discuss the Bible together. They’re using Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience as the tool to facilitate reading at length. Each book in the Immerse collection is designed to be read in community over either an 8- or 16-week time frame. Immerse: Messiah covers the entire New Testament and is a great place to start.

Learn more about Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience

An Ezra Moment: Returning to Our Story during COVID-19

By Paul Caminiti, Institute for Bible Reading

Around 538 BC, the nation of Israel limped home. After seventy years of Babylonian captivity, they returned to Judah to find Jerusalem in ruins. The wall was torn down, the gates were destroyed, and the Temple was little more than a pile of rubble. Nehemiah weeps when he learns of the condition of the city.

The people are disoriented. The glory days of David and Solomon are long gone, and their once world-class city is a shell of its former self. They rebuild the Temple, and those old enough to remember the glory of the first Temple weep tears of mourning. Nehemiah rebuilds the walls and gates surrounding the city, but reality bites. The once-proud superpower has been reduced to a third-rate nation with no king, no army, and no treasury.

Then something amazing happens. Once the basic infrastructure is set up, the people come to Ezra, their chief priest, with a request.

“In October, when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given for Israel to obey” (Nehemiah 7:73–8:1).

Although the walls and the Temple were standing again, the people sensed that something was still broken: themselves. They believed that healing would come through re-immersion in their Story. Ezra responded immediately by organizing a corporate day of Scripture reading.

“He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law” (Nehemiah 8:3).

Church in the Age of Coronavirus

The COVID-19 virus hardly needs an introduction. Over the past few months our lives and habits have been upended. Words like “crisis” and “pandemic” flood our thoughts and our imaginations. We’ve been isolated, cut off from our friends and loved ones, and even spent many weeks unable to even gather for worship on Sundays.

During this time, pastors scrambled to create infrastructures with which to “do church” during these strange and unsettling times. And though slowly we are coming out of isolation, what has been discovered is that returning to “normal” will look different.

During those lonely days, technology helped us to piece together a vague sense of community; it was and continues to be a difficult season of change. Infectious disease specialist Michael Osterholm said while many view the crisis as a “blizzard” that must be waited out with extreme measures for a short period of time, the more appropriate response is to view it as the “beginning of winter.” While the ultimate severity and longevity are unknown, many indicators point toward a likely scenario: things are going to be different for a while.

In their moment of uncertainty and disorientation, the nation of Israel turned to their Scriptures to remember their identity, to recount God’s promises and his rescue, and to be reminded of the kind of people they were called to be. During the winter of coronavirus, could the Body of Christ do something similar?

Returning to Our Story

Shaken from our usual routines and frenetic pace, the virus has given the church an opportunity to evaluate. What can “church” look like in an ever-changing world? Like Israel, we’re faced with a bit of a blank slate. Like Israel, we can choose to return and re-focus on our founding Story told in the Scriptures. A modern-day Ezra Moment, if you will.

To help, we’ve created “Immerse from Home”—a completely free downloadable resource that includes everything you need to (virtually) gather in community for a two-week book club reading of Luke-Acts.

Originally intended as Volumes 1 and 2 of the same combined story, Luke-Acts comprises a quarter of the New Testament. In a period of uncertainty and anxiety, what could be more orienting and grounding than the story of Jesus and the story of the early church?

If you and your group enjoy the Luke-Acts experience, you can continue reading the New Testament together using Immerse: Messiah. If you live in the U.S. there is a 20% off discount on ImmerseBible.com

The Beginning of Something New

In his wisdom, Ezra understood that an emotional one-off event wasn’t sufficient and that he needed to create a comprehensive plan for sustainable rhythms of immersion in the sacred texts. The Scripture Reading Marathon became a turning point for the nation, but only because it was a starting point.

Nehemiah goes on to tell us:

“On October 9 the family leaders of all the people, together with the priests and Levites, met with Ezra the scribe to go over the law in greater detail” (Nehemiah 8:13).

In the same month, during the Festival of Trumpets, “Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God on each of the seven days of the festival” (Nehemiah 8:18).

“On October 31, the people assembled again. . . . They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them” (Nehemiah 9:1, 3).

For the first time in their history, the Scriptures became central to Israel’s way of life. Synagogues, created expressly for the public reading of Scripture, sprang up throughout Israel. Scattered song lyrics from David, Moses, Asaph, and others were compiled for the first time into the Psalms. By the first century AD, young boys between the ages of 6 and 10 were expected to memorize the Torah.

So we ask: could the COVID-19 virus instigate an Ezra Moment? Could we take this opportunity to re-immerse ourselves in our Story?

We invite you to take action. To try something new—and ancient. Pastors, call your congregations into this experience. Small group and Bible study leaders, challenge your groups to a two-week commitment. Regular “Joes” and “Janes,” try this with your spouse or your kids (use the Family Guide for younger kids) or invite some family and friends to weekly Zoom calls. Invite that one coworker or neighbor whom you’ve never felt comfortable inviting to a Bible Study.

As the Scriptures washed over the nation on that first day of reading, the people began to weep. It’s unclear why—perhaps because they hadn’t heard the Word in so long, or perhaps because they’d never heard it at all. Perhaps because they were overwhelmed by guilt as they realized just how far they had strayed from their calling. Regardless, guilt and shame would not have the final say. Nehemiah jumps up and addresses the people:

“Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God. . . . Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:9-10).

“So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them” (Nehemiah 8:12).

Learn more at Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience

Learn more about the Institute for Bible Reading