The Joy of Meditating on His Word


Meditation is where God’s Word meets our hearts. Perhaps the reason so few people meditate on God’s Word, is because it means we must slow down and be attentive to it. Let’s admit it, our society today is going in the opposite direction. Most of us would describe our lives as busy and distracted, with a huge deficit of still time and attention to people and God’s Word. So how do we do it? What does it look like in a practical sense to meditate on the Scriptures?

Meditation is a continual action; it’s a bit like breathing. Breathing out our cares and selfish concerns and breathing in the truth of His Word. In both the Joshua and the Psalms passages, we see the implication of meditating day and night. Even the passage from James speaks of the continual action of looking intently into His Word. Think about it this way, when we go for a swim, we are actively swimming and breathing. But when we stop swimming, we are still breathing (hopefully), and we continue to breathe day and night. As we read and contemplate passages from the Bible during our daily swim, we can meditate on the passage by continuing to think and ponder it throughout our day.

Let’s experience what I’m talking about right now. Stop for a moment and be still. Breathe out your cares and worries that you are possibly carrying around in your mind and heart right now. Give them over to the Lord in prayer and thank Him for His care and His presence. Now let’s breathe in a truth from His Word. Thoughtfully read the following passage several times. You may even want to say it aloud if you are by yourself.


I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with loving-kindness

(Jeremiah 31:3).


Think about each word. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and speak into your heart. Ask Him to show you something fresh and new from this passage. Write down the thoughts that come to you on the lines below.


What simple truth can you take with you throughout your day today?


How does this truth change you personally?


Simply put, meditation is being attentive to what the Scripture is saying and breathing it into your daily life. I encourage you to consider and ponder on a thought or phrase from your daily swim (your daily Bible reading). You may want to write a verse or phrase on an index card and carry it with you during the day. The thing that sets Christian meditation apart from all the other types of meditation is that our meditation is centered on God’s truth, the Bible.


This is an exerpt from Becoming a Woman of the Word.

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Anything but Boring





Where are you with the Bible? Perhaps you’ve tried to read it and just haven’t connected with it. Or maybe you simply didn’t know where to start. On the other hand, you could be that person who has gone to Bible studies for years, and yet your interest in it has grown a little stale. Perhaps you’ve never had any interest in the Bible at all. When it comes to the Bible, we are all at different places. No matter where you are, my hope is that this book will bring you to a place of connection – connecting your life with the greatest book that has ever been written.

I was first introduced to the Bible when I was a little girl living in Detroit, Michigan. Yes, it was very cold (I mean the weather, not the Bible). We went to a church in downtown Detroit where our car was broken into more than once while we were attending services. The thing I remember most about the church was not the break-ins, but rather the kindness of our Sunday School teacher who gave us Bibles and taught us how to look up passages in the Holy Scriptures. She led me to memorize Psalm 23, even though the Bible was completely new to me. This teacher sparked a love in me for the Bible and ignited a desire to get to know this sacred book.

As I grew through my teenage years, I found great comfort in the scriptures to help me weather the storms of life. As I went to college, the Bible gave me hearty doses of wisdom and direction in daily living. When I got married the Bible became my companion in working through relationship and communication issues. It taught me that God understood my feelings even when my husband didn’t! As a young mom, the scriptures reminded me that God was my strength and would give me everything I needed. It taught me to not worry, but rather in a very real way to cast my cares on the Lord. There were also times when I felt distant from God’s Word as the busyness of life choked out my interest. Yet, as I look back over my life as a whole, the Bible has been my steady guide, teaching me about God’s unfailing love for me.

There are some people who may think the Bible is irrelevant or doesn’t pertain to our lives today, but I’m pretty sure those people haven’t read it! What could be more relevant than a book filled with stories of people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, all reflecting the human condition and the desperate need inside each of us for love and redemption? The beautiful theme throughout the entire book is not how bad we are, but how good God is. Every page is infused with God’s grace.

The Bible is a book about messed-up lives and God’s unmerited favor. There is no other book on earth that conveys the abiding love of Almighty God toward His people. Why wouldn’t you want to read a book like that? Throughout the centuries it has given strength and inspiration to artists, businesspeople, authors, musicians, athletes, and world leaders. It has offered hope to the ailing in hospitals to the suffering on the battlefields, and to the starving in poverty. Yet, to be honest, true poverty is the “poverty of the soul.”

How sad to have all the comforts that life can offer, yet be empty or starved spiritually. The Bible is food to feed our hungry hearts, bringing fulfillment and nourishment to our soul. This is why we read the Bible—because like food—we need it for our very existence. It is filled with life-giving sustenance for those who hunger to know God’s grace and love. Cultural blogger Jim Denison wrote, “This hunger for the God of grace is universal. How could it not be? We were designed to need food, and will hunger for it until the day we die. In the same way, we were designed to need our Designer.” Yes, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3).


My hope is that you will explore the truths of the Bible and get to know what it has to say about God and about you. I know you will find strength, courage and hope as you read and meditate on the inspired words on every page. Thomas Manton wrote, “We can never exhaust all the treasure and worth that is in the Word.”


Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Matthew 24:3



This is an excerpt from Karol’s book, Becoming a Woman of the Word. To learn more about reading the Bible and getting to know God’s Word order your copy today. For more info click here.

How Did we Get the Bible?   



Throughout the centuries there have been skeptics and mockers of the Bible, and none so vehement as the French philosopher Voltaire. He applied his gift of writing in an attempt to demolish Christianity, believing that when people became enlightened they would no longer believe in God, or the Bible or their need for salvation through Jesus Christ. He is quoted as saying of Christ, “Curse the wretch!” Obviously Voltaire had some serious anger issues, not to mention a tad bit of arrogance. He boasted, “In twenty years, Christ will be no more. My single hand shall destroy the edifice it took twelve apostles to rear.”

Voltaire died in 1778, and since his death, millions upon millions of Bibles have been printed and sold throughout the entire world. This man who said that he would expose the Bible and that it would be buried in obscurity is dead and gone, but the Word of God stands forever. Ironically, sometime after his death, Voltaire’s house was purchased by the Geneva Bible Society and was used as a warehouse for Bibles. The Holy Scriptures survived Voltaire, and they will continue to survive despite modern-day critics and outspoken atheists.

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Peter described the Bible as “living and enduring” (1 Peter 1:23). Isaiah penned, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8). The Bible is an indestructible book. Many besides Voltaire have attempted to do away with it. In AD 303, the Roman emperor Diocletian issued an imperial decree that every Bible should be destroyed. Many Bibles were burned and Christians were put to death for having them in their possession, yet this holy book endured! Even in the Middle Ages, when the Bible was kept from the common people, men such as John Wycliffe and William Tyndale risked their lives to translate the Scriptures so that all could have access to reading it.

Modern-day critics of the Bible question its accuracy, and claim that it couldn’t possibly be the same document as the original manuscripts. Perhaps you have wondered how we can know that the Bible is true, accurate, and infallible. In this blog we will investigate the process of how we got what we know today as the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. We will also look at the questions some people have about errors or contradictions. Why is it important for us to investigate the veracity of the Bible? Because it claims to be the very words of God, and if it is, then we must lean our whole life into it. It is our foundation, and we must be able to stand on it with confidence.

How Did the Bible Come Together?

The Bible has over 40 authors who were divinely inspired to write the Scriptures. Not only are the Scriptures themselves God-breathed, but we can see that God led the process by which the books were chosen. Knowing how the Bible came together offers beautiful evidence that God wants His people to know about His love, and He communicated His message of love through the Holy Scriptures.

Of course volumes could be written on the history of this amazing book, but in this section we will deal specifically with the accuracy of the manuscripts. One word we need to understand before we begin is the word canon which comes from a Greek word meaning “measuring stick” or “reed.” In other words, a canon was a measuring rod. The word eventually came to refer to those books that were “measured” and hence recognized as being God’s Word and part of the Holy Scriptures.

The Hebrew Scriptures (which we know as the Old Testament), were written from approximately 1400 BC to 400 BC. Most of the Old Testament was recorded in the Hebrew language (with several passages in Aramaic) and was passed down by the Jewish people from generation to generation. From the time of their writing, the Jewish people accepted them as the authentic, inspired Word of God. From 400 BC to Christ’s birth, several other books made their way into the popular culture of the Jewish people. These are known as the Apocrypha.[i] While most of the Jewish scholars did not accept the Apocrypha as Holy Scriptures, they valued them as good literature and as sources of history and spiritual insight. Some Roman Catholic Bibles still contain the writings of the Apocrypha.

Moses, the prophets, and the other Old Testament writers were recognized by the Jews as God’s messengers and accepted their work as inspired of God. The Old Testament canon was essentially established by the time of Jesus’ birth. Around 90 AD, Jewish elders met together at what is known as the council at Jamnia, and confirmed the Hebrew canon while rejecting the books of the Apocrypha. Several years later, a Jewish historian and priest named Flavius Josephus recognized the Hebrew canon as the books that we now have in the Old Testament. Jesus quoted passages from the Old Testament, including Psalms, Deuteronomy, and Isaiah, knowing His listeners recognized these books as Scripture. By the mid-third century, the church was in almost complete agreement about the Hebrew canon of Scripture.

Old Testament Accuracy

Skeptics often criticize the Bible, saying that a book claiming to be thousands of years old certainly has inaccuracies or errors, but recent archaeological evidence again and again supports that what we have today is reliable and accurate. Looking back at the Old Testament we know that the Israelites kept the copy of the Book of the Law (the first five books of the Old Testament written by Moses) inside the ark of the covenant, stored in the temple. Despite the fact that the Babylonians destroyed the temple, the Scriptures were preserved. While in Babylonian captivity certain Levites (members of the priestly tribe of Levi) began copying the Scriptures and circulating them to other Israelites in captivity.

These Levites became known as scribes, and were respected for their attention to the Scripture and their accuracy in copying them. The scribes painstakingly transcribed each copy of the Law and developed a meticulous process to copying the manuscripts by hand, in order to prevent any errors. The scribes recognized that they were handling the very Word of God and wanted to handle each word, each letter with the utmost care. Some of the rules they followed were:

  • Parchments and all materials had to be made according to strict specifications and could only come from the skins of clean (kosher) animals.
  • The quills had to come from clean birds and the black ink had to be prepared to scribal specifications.
  • Even if the scribe had memorized it, no word or letter could be written from memory. The scribe was required to copy every word from an authentic copy of Scripture.
  • Before writing the name of God, a scribe was required to reverently wipe his pen and say, “I am writing the name of God for the holiness of His name.”
  • Each letter had to have space around it. If one letter even touched another or if a letter was not written correctly or defective due to a hole, a tear, or a smudge causing it not to be read easily, the scroll was invalidated.
  • Within 30 days of completion, the manuscript would be reviewed by an editor who counted every letter and every word as a way of checking. The editor even made sure that the middle word of the copy matched the middle word of the original.
  • Up to three mistakes on any page could be corrected within 30 days, but if more mistakes were found or if they were not fixed in 30 days, the entire manuscript had to be buried (manuscripts containing the name of God could not be destroyed). If a single letter was added or left off, the manuscript had to be fixed or buried.[ii]

This careful and detailed process of copying the Hebrew Scriptures in ancient times is what has led to the accuracy of our Old Testament today. Probably one of the most significant discoveries confirming the reliability of our Old Testament Scriptures is known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. In 1947, while throwing rocks into a cave, a herdsman in Qumran near the Dead Sea accidentally discovered hidden writings of the Essene community (an ancient Jewish sect). Since that time, thousands of fragments, which belonged to more than 800 manuscripts, have been discovered.

Before these scrolls were found, the earliest known manuscript of the Old Testament was dated at around AD 980, but The Dead Sea scrolls were estimated to date back to 150 BC! A thousand years earlier! Yet, the two sets of manuscripts are essentially the same with only a few minor variations. The scrolls include a well-preserved copy of the whole book of Isaiah and have proved to be word-for-word identical with our Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The remaining 5 percent is almost entirely due to spelling variations or slips of the pen. Larry Stone, author of The Story of the Bible (a fascinating book by the way—a must-have), writes, “The Dead Sea Scrolls provide astonishing confirmation that the Old Testament Scripture we have today is virtually the same as that being read a few centuries before Christ. The accuracy of the transmission is remarkable!”[iii]

The New Testament Canon

What about the New Testament? The process of canonizing the New Testament started during the early years of the church, as the apostles’ writings were recognized as inspired and were continually read at church gatherings. Believers knew that the apostles were divinely appointed by God and gifted to communicate His message to the church. Each manuscript was handwritten (the literal meaning of manuscript) and very precious to the early believers. There were several reasons that a New Testament canon needed to be established. One reason was the persecution of the church. As believers faced torture, imprisonment or death for possessing the Scriptures, they needed to establish which books were sacred and worth risking their lives in order to preserve.

Also, there were spurious writings attributed to the apostles in widespread circulation throughout the first few centuries, so it was important for the early church leaders to determine which ones were divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit and should be recognized as Holy Scriptures. Although most of the books we now know as our New Testament were already being revered as Scripture, there were a few books that still needed to be examined. All along, we can see God’s hand in leading the divine process of revealing Himself through the written word of the New Testament. In AD 393 at the Synod of Hippo and in AD 397 at the Synod of Carthage, Christian leaders came together to confirm the 27 books of the New Testament. The word synod refers to a council or meeting of church leaders. The confirmation was not taken lightly. There were at least four general tests which were carefully used and applied to help determine the books to be canonized. They were:

  1. Apostolicity: Was the book’s author a true apostle or closely connected to one or more of the apostles?
  2. Universality: Does the body of Christ at large accept the book as inspired and authoritative? Was the book universally received by the church and not just by a faction?
  3. Consistency: Does the book tell the truth about God as it is already known by previous revelation? Is the book consistent with accepted Christian doctrine?
  4. Inspiration: Does the book’s content reflect the high moral and spiritual principles that would reflect a work of the Holy Spirit? Does the book give evidence of being divinely inspired? This was the ultimate test.


The Synod at Carthage only confirmed what the church had already recognized—that these 27 books were the divinely inspired Word of God. Biblical scholar F.F. Bruce wrote,


One thing must be emphatically stated. The New Testament books did not become authoritative for the Church because they were formally included in a canonical list; on the contrary, the Church included them in her canon because she already regarded them as divinely inspired recognizing their innate worth and generally apostolic authority, direct or indirect…What the synods of Hippo and Carthage did, was not to impose something new upon the Christian communities, but to codify what was already the general practice of those communities.[iv]

This blog is an excerpt from my book, Becoming a Woman of the Word.

[i] The books in the Apocrypha include 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Manasseh, 1 Maccabees, and 2 Maccabees.

[ii] Larry Stone, The Story of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2010), p. 21.

[iii] Stone, p. 27.

[iv] F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Books: Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981) p. 22.



Holy Week – Your Personal Journey

the crown of thorns of Jesus Christ and a nail on the Holy Cross

This week is the most significant week of the Christian faith, so I want us to examine the Biblical account of what happened each day and consider what it means to us personally. I hope you will walk with me through this week and explore the profound impact of Christ’s death and resurrection on your own life.

Sunday – Palm Sunday – Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy from hundreds of years earlier by Zechariah. The crowds shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!” Each of the gospels records this significant event. Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 1:1-11, Luke 19:28 – 44, John 12:12-19

Personal Reflection: Who is Jesus to me? Will I join in praising Jesus as the Son of God, Ruler of all? Am I only willing to praise Him when things are good and my expectations are met? Do I still praise Him for who He is and trust Him for what He can do when things don’t go the way I want or expect? Pray to for eyes to see who Jesus is and the salvation and peace that He brings.

Monday – Jesus returns to Jerusalem and cleanses the temple of the money changers saying, “My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers.” Read about it in Mathew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19.

Personal Reflection: What areas of my life need a little cleaning out? Am I willing to invite the Lord to reveal those areas of sin? Am I willing to repent and turn back to Him? Pray for God to gently convict you of areas of sin in your life.

Tuesday – Jesus returns to Jerusalem and is confronted by the leaders in the Temple who question Jesus’ authority. Jesus responds and then goes on to teach the people using parables. He also teaches about the coming destruction of Jerusalem and final judgement. Read about Jesus interactions, his parables and teachings in Matthew 21:23 – 25 Luke 20 – 21, Mark 11:27 – 13, John 12:20-49

Personal Reflection: Am I a student of God’s word, or do I simply listen to what others say? Am I willing to pay attention to His teachings? Pray for a heart of understanding and ears to hear what He is teaching you through His Word.

Wednesday – The religious leaders assemble in order to plot how they can arrest Jesus. Some call this “Spy Wednesday” because it is the day that Judas conspired with the religious authorities to turn Jesus over to them for 30 pieces of silver. Also, while Jesus was in Bethany, Mary anointed Jesus with the expensive perfume from her alabaster jar. Interesting to think that one takes money for turning Jesus into the authorities, while another spends her precious possession on Jesus to prepare Him for His burial. Matthew 26:1-15, Mark 14:1-11 Luke 22:1-6 John 12:1-11

Personal Reflection: How valuable is Jesus in my life? Is He someone I use, hoping to get what I want? Or is He someone I adore, willing to give my very best for Him? Pray for a deeper and more sincere love for Jesus.

Thursday – Considered “Holy Thursday,” this day marks the beginning of the sacred Triduum (three days). On this day Jesus instructs his disciples to prepare the Passover. This is night of the Last Supper in which Jesus breaks the bread and passes the cup symbolizing the new covenant, His body and blood sacrificed for our sins. This evening He takes a short walk with His disciples across the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prays in agony that this cup may be taken from Him. Yet he prays, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” The disciples are not able to stay awake in Jesus darkest hour. Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. Matthew 26:17 -56, Mark 14:12 – 52, Luke 22:7 – 53, John13:21 – 18:11

Personal Reflection: Do I recognize the love Jesus has for me to face terrible suffering on my behalf? Am I filled with gratitude and love as I take the Lord’s Supper or has it just become ritual? Take the Lord’s Supper tonight and humbly pray with a grateful heart, thanking Him for all He has done for you.

Friday – This is Good Friday. On this day Jesus faced trials before both the high priest and Pilate. In less than a week, the people changed from an adoring crowd to an angry mob shouting “Crucify Him!” He was beaten and ridiculed as the guards placed a crown of thorns on His head. He was nailed to a cross on the hillside of Galgotha, and hung in agony for 3 hours. Here He cries, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus is laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, and guards are posted at the tomb. This is often a day when Christians join together for prayer and worship and fasting, recognizing the significance of what Jesus did on the cross. It is called Good Friday because on this day Jesus fulfilled His purpose – to offer His life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Matthew 26:57 – 27:66, Mark 14:53 – 15:47, Luke 22:66 – 23:56, John 18:28 – 19:42.

Personal Reflection: Do I understand why Jesus went to the cross? Do I fully grasp the fact that He died and shed His blood as a full and complete payment for my sin? Have I put my trust in the work He did on the cross, or am I trusting my own works to save me? If you have never placed your faith in Jesus and what He did for you on the cross, I encourage you to trust Him today. Here’s an example of a prayer you may pray:

Father, thank you for your love for me. I know that I am a sinner and cannot make it to heaven based on my own works. Thank you for the work Jesus did on the cross to give me forgiveness and a new life in Him. I place my faith in Jesus, and surrender my heart to You. Thank you that I no longer bear the burden of my own sin. Thank you for forgiving me and giving me the strength to live each day.

Saturday –  Jesus was in the tomb, and the disciples were distraught, confused and heartbroken. Although Jesus told them He would be raised from the dead in three days, they forgot His promises.

Personal Reflection: What are the heartbreaks and disappointments in my life? What promises of God do I need to go back to and hold on to? When I experience dark times, am I willing to trust with hope that God can bring something good through it? Pray for His hope to permeate your mind and heart.

Sunday – Resurrection Day! Jesus rose from the dead! The tomb is empty! This is a day of celebration, a day that we rejoice in Jesus’ victory over death. We also rejoice in the fact that as believers in Christ, He has given us His Spirit to live in us (Romans 8). The resurrection not only means that as believers in Christ we will experience eternal life, but also that we live in victory because we have the Spirit of Christ living in us, giving us strength and hope and direction. Matthew 28,  Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20.

Personal Reflection: Am I walking in victory, recognizing that the very same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, lives in me? Am I looking to Him for direction and strength and triumph over sin? Am I living with a joy and peace that only His Spirit can give, as I keep my eyes on eternity? Pray for victory and joy as you reflect on all that the resurrection means in your life. Rejoice!!

Join us on Tuesday for a Special Positive Woman Connection lesson. Click here for more details