Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Hate Cancer

I mean, I really, really hate it. Because even though Jesus defeated death for all believers for all time, it still keeps snatching people away...after much pain and suffering.

As you know, I am an interpreter by profession and the majority of my clients are within the Boston-area hospitals. Some of them, unfortunately, are hematology and/or oncology patients. I get to know them over a period of the point where I know all their grandchildren's names and birthdays.

Within the last month, I have learned that two of my long-time patients, both of whom I cared about deeply, lost their battle with cancer. In both cases, I found out about their passing after the funeral, so I couldn't even go and pay my respects to the families.

My only consolation is that I shared the Gospel with both of them. A woman in my Bible study encouraged me to do it, and both times, I was nervous.

I don't know what they did with it. I had noticed that one of the patients read his Bulgarian New Testament during his chemo treatments.

I hope. I just really, really hope God's Word did not return to Him void.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Bible Reading Plan for New Year

Having done the 3-chapters-per-day-and-5-on-Sunday plan for reading through the Bible in a year several times already, I decided to try something new this year to enrich my daily Bible reading. This time through, I am only reading one chapter per day....and immediately following it up by reading a commentary on the same chapter. Blue Letter Bible, which you see over under my blogroll, has several text, audio and video commentaries available for each and every passage of Scripture (ah, the joys of living in the 21st century!).

While there are many fine commentators, I find myself going back to Matthew Henry time and again. He is thorough, precise, distinguishes between doctrine and speculation, and has meticulously exegeted every chapter and book of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. You could certainly do a lot worse in your personal study than Matthew Henry, so I am sticking with his commentary for now.

It's a bit tougher than it sounds. The commentary, with all it's cross-references, takes longer to get through and digest than the chapter of Scripture itself. By my estimate, it will take me 3 1/2 - 4 years to get through the entire Bible this way, although I started nearly two weeks ago. Still, I figure it will be worth it - seems I'll glean a lot more from the text's meaning this way than by another simple straight read-through. I will share interesting insights as God reveals them to me through my study.

I will be 43 by the time I get to Revelation. My daughter will be a junior in high school, looking at colleges.

That seems like a loooong way off. Sheesh!