Tag Archives: Bible

Get Through the Bible Today! (Video: John Bergsma, “Bible Basics for Catholics”)

Are you a member of the Perpetual Bible in a Year Club? I am. I know several people who have read through the entire Bible. Some have even managed it in a year. About ten years ago now, I set out to join them… and like many others, I fell behind. I promised I wouldn’t give up, though, and I didn’t restart, so I am technically still trying to read the Bible in a year.

Along the way to Revelation, however, I realized that I could learn about the whole Bible without necessarily reading cover-to-cover. Thanks to a variety of excellent Bible teachers and writers, I discovered that salvation history is laid out in the Bible quite nicely, and you can get through it much more quickly than you might think. If you’re ambitious, you can do it in an hour.

Thus, I present for your edification a recording of an Ave Maria Press webinar presented by Dr. John Bergsma, author of Bible Basics for Catholics. You can read my review of Bible Basics very quickly, or take some time to read the whole book, but if you’re aiming for the middle ground and short on time, give this video a try:

And if you don’t even have that much time, my highlights follow.

Read the rest at ATX Catholic.

Your Weapons Are Scripture and Tradition (Review: “Dual Wielding”)

I’ve discovered a new kind of Catholic nerdery! I like books and learning and grammar and trivia, so I’ve long considered myself a nerd with personality. When I came back to the Church just over a decade ago, I found it only natural to become a Catholic nerd, too.

There are, however, limits to my nerdery. I don’t play Settlers of Catan, I don’t dress up in character costumes, and I don’t play video games. Nevertheless, when I heard Mike “Gomer” Gormley and Luke Who-Shall-Not-Be-Last-Named on the Catching Foxes podcast mention a book by a college friend of theirs, it piqued my interest. I watch enough fantasy movie battles to know that using two weapons at once is super cool and also super difficult. It turns out there’s a word for that: dual wielding. So when Luke and Gomer talked about “dual wielding” the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I knew I had to investigate. Edmund Mitchell explains the steps and importance of this style of prayer in his e-book Dual Wielding: A Guide to Praying with the Catechism and Scripture.

A review of "Dual Wielding," at ATX Catholic.com

As a book, Dual Wielding does more than simply teach the method. It begins with a compelling explanation of how dual wielding can be useful for evangelization. Mitchell has the experience that so many evangelization trainers preach about—a chance encounter that leads to a discussion of life’s deeper questions, when he can share the story of Jesus—and he has it twice. That’s rare.

At the same time, you might be wondering what the Catechism is really good for….

Read the rest at ATX Catholic.

The Bible Is a Story About Jesus (Review: “Walking with God”)

I love to read. I also love Jesus. I must confess, however, that I do not always love to read about Jesus. I would wager that most Christians (and many non-Christians) know that the Bible is a book about Jesus. I would also wager that many of those same people might struggle to explain how a long list of “begats,” hundreds of detailed Levitical laws, and Joshua fighting the Battle of Jericho are about Jesus. It’s not their fault, though; they have never been taught that the Bible has a story. Just one. It is a story about Jesus. But it’s not easy to read.

Thank God for Jeff Cavins and Tim Gray. Along with several other gifted writers, they have developed The Great Adventure: a series of books and Bible studies that reveal the narrative story of Scripture. I had the opportunity to participate in a summertime study of the short version of the Bible Timeline at Emmaus Catholic Parish a number of years ago. Those eight weeks changed the way I read the Bible. It makes sense now! If you’re thinking, “But I don’t have time for eight straight weeks of homework and driving to meetings,” then I know Walking with God: A Journey Through the Bible is for you. It’s a book. You can read it at your own pace. You don’t even need to read the referenced verses in order to understand (although that will help). No more excuses.

The Bible is a story about Jesus! A review of "Walking with God," by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins, at ATX Catholic

Read the rest at ATX Catholic.

Where Culture and Scripture Meet (Review: The African American Catholic Youth Bible)

Czestochowska

Image of Our Lady of Czestochowska, a.k.a. the Black Madonna. Public domain.

If I’m going to be honest as a reviewer, I have to say that I didn’t want to like this book. That’s a terrible thing. First of all, I generally prefer not to review books I don’t think I’ll like. I made an exception for Wild at Heart. It seemed like the natural follow-up to Captivating, even though I didn’t like that one very much either, and I felt as though my opinion as a Catholic reviewer would be useful.

So, continuing in honesty, I wasn’t sure I would like the newly-published African American Catholic Youth Bible, from St. Mary’s Press (AACYB). Yet I’m a black Catholic book reviewer. I have years of experience working with youth and young adults (in addition to my own experience being one). Although I do not observe it for reasons much too complex for this blog, it is Black History Month. How could I pass up the opportunity?

Now, having reviewed this particular edition of the Bible, I’m glad I gave it a chance.

Read the rest at Austin CNM.

Breaking Open Revelation (Review: “The Lamb’s Supper”)

Photo courtesy of Goodreads.

Photo courtesy of Goodreads.

I love learning. That sounds so cheesy, but I really do! My favorite learning experiences are always connected to finding out earth-shattering new information about something I thought I already knew well. I used to think that car turn signals were activated by the car (not the driver; in-car navigation systems seemed unremarkable at first!), and I used to know that the “Holy, Holy, Holy” at Mass came from Scripture, but not how. Thanks to a long-term book loan from a friend and the Catholic 20-Somethings summer book club, I have now read The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth, by Scott Hahn, and I have learned so much.

You may remember my review of Rome Sweet Home, also by Scott Hahn, from the beginning of the year. Hahn is a former Presbyterian who reasoned his way to Catholicism based on his understanding of covenant theology and his deep knowledge of Scripture. I expected more of the same in this book, and I was proven correct. In The Lamb’s Supper, Hahn tackles the Book of Revelation (which is singular—no “S”) and reveals that the fullest understanding of the book must be united with our understanding of the Mass.


Read the rest at Austin CNM
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7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 185

— 1 —

This week was another huge meme/blogging fail. At least I knew last week that this week would be busy instead of being surprised halfway through. I started off with a full day of meetings, continued into an all-day off-site staff retreat, had a lunch meeting after Mass for the Assumption on Wednesday, and then had a meeting in the morning on Thursday before working until 9. Work-wise, I feel like I’m still on last week!

— 2 —

In addition to being on the staff retreat on Tuesday, I was on a personal retreat over the weekend with my non-work-related Catholic friends. It wasn’t quite what I’d expected, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I got to use up one of the many vacation days that pile up because I work a lot, and I got to spend some quality time with old friends and make some new ones. And it’s always nice to realize how much you value privacy when you go from living alone to sharing a roomful of bunk beds and two showers with a dozen other women. I was humbled.

— 3 —

I greatly enjoyed the Assumption this week. I was able to lead a “Bible study” on the readings on Monday night, so I was extra prepared for Mass. I was, however, supremely disappointed at our low attendance. We did have our only Mass in the middle of the day, when most people are at work or school and can’t necessarily get away (although work should be wary of not letting them off for religious reasons), but that never seems to stop the Ash Wednesday procession of penitents. Granted, the Assumption was also not a Holy Day of Obligation last year since it was on a Monday, but it breaks my heart to think of how many people might not realize that missing Wednesday was as serious as missing a Sunday. If they were aware; so be it. Either way, there’s always forgiveness for those who seek it.

— 4 —

Last night, I stumbled across one of the best ads I’ve ever seen. As the bloggers note, it’s so great because it creates an intense emotional response, it is effective, and it uses the technological capabilities of the iPad to great effect. Please be warned that the ad concerns domestic violence and may be especially disturbing if you or someone you love has experienced domestic violence.

— 5 —

My summer Bible study is almost over! We finished the Old Testament this week, which leads up to our final session, the sole one on the New Testament. I make it a point when I teach RCIA that most of “the Bible” is the Old Testament, but somehow it sneaked up on me in this study. It’s salvation history; of course it’s going to end right after we get to Jesus. I’m already experiencing the positive effects of doing this study, but that deserves its own blog post after we finish.

— 6 —

Also this week was Fr. Bob Scott‘s memorial Mass at work. His official Mass of Christian Burial was back in July just after he died, but since he spent so many of his last years in Texas (more than I’ve been alive!) and had so many friends and admirers here, we decided to hold a joint Mass with St. Austin in his memory and for his soul. We had a packed house, a special guest in Bishop McCarthy (who I’d never actually seen before in person), and a lovely time honoring Fr. Bob. May the Best Stop treat him well.

— 7 —

That’s all I’ve got this week. School is starting soon, and my summer is slipping away. I have to relish these last few days, but will probably do so by just sitting around.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 180

— 1 —

It is amazing the difference half an hour makes! I’ve been using my Fridays off from work as a lazy day, leading me to not really get moving until well after noon. Today, I made an effort to get moving just before noon, and it made my whole day run more smoothly. Sure, I had to take out my first load of laundry just as it started to rain, but it could have been worse.

— 2 —

I found myself involved in two arguments online today. Thankfully, both of them were conducted via private messages as opposed to my friend’s Facebook wall and a LinkedIn group’s discussion board. I appreciated the change of venue because it kept the focus on just the two of us (in each conversation), without the contributions of other people prolonging or derailing our discussion. In both cases, we didn’t come to an agreement, but we ended amicably and definitively. We didn’t have to call names, drop that ridiculous “agree to disagree” line, or “give up.” I tried to keep my social media manners in mind, and it turned out well.

— 3 —

I’m so proud of the CSC being featured in the National Catholic Register! I’ll confess to being envious that other universities get featured in “what’s going right with the Church/the world/campus ministry” stories (some multiple times, like Franciscan University of Steubenville), but now I can rest easy. It’s a good time to be a Catholic Terp!

— 4 —

Smart, Pretty, and Awkward had a coupon for Shabby Apple today, which was delightful because now someone other than Hallie recommends them. I still can’t afford any of those dresses, but they have some great ones. If you like pink, this would be a fantastic bridesmaid dress, and I wish I could afford this for my friend’s black-and-white themed wedding. I also discovered that Shabby Apple is on Instagram. So much fantastic modest fashion!

— 5 —

At my Monday night holy hour, I got to give a talk about the Liturgy of the Hours and lead Evening Prayer. I suggested that we might pray the LOTH during the summer, and the leaders asked if I would give the talk. See, kids, that’s what happens when you have an idea. I loved it, though! I said at least one thing I later realized was definitely inaccurate, but I had a great time sharing and hearing from other people. Most of all, I have missed praying in community. It’s the way the LOTH was meant to be.

— 6 —

I am still loving my summer Bible study. I remembered to review before this week’s session (just barely, but before is before), so I was ready for the review prizes, and I won one!

It’s a wind-up walking Earth. I would have gone for the stuffed lambs in the second round of prizes, too, but I didn’t want to be greedy.

— 7 —

I got to take a tour of the John Paul II Life Center and the Vitae Clinic this week. I’m not sure how much we’ll be able to be connected with them at work, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have any personal time left, but it’s a great organization. I was really pleased with what I saw. If you’re in the Austin area, you should consider reaching out and getting involved. We even got to chat with Dr. Kalamarides and have him show us a 3-D ultrasound himself. Good times.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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