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We’re starting our new series this week on how to study the bible for abuse survivors! This is such an important part of our healing, especially with spiritual abuse. I have invited trusted bible teachers to come on the podcast and give their best tips and advice on studying the bible for yourself. Paul Granger is our first honored guest, who will inspire you and encourage you to get started in God’s Word. Please join us for this life changing series and share this episode!
When asked who he is, Paul likes to say “a child of God and ambassador of Christ”, because he’s learned that these elements of his identity supersede and shape the rest. One of the ways God has invited him to live out the call to “love God and love others” is through the “shepherding gift”: providing pastoral support, creating space for conversation and community, and advocating for those that may go unseen.
Functionally, he has spent the last two decades serving with various ministries, and now serves full time alongside YWAM in loving his neighbors in authentic ways. He also loves to create, whether it is his podcast “Where did you see God”, writings, or videos. He loves spending time with his wife and kids, and they see their home — which God gave them in a crazy way — as an important piece of how they love their neighbors as a lifestyle.
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Transcript:[00:00:00] Diana Winkler: Hi, everyone. Welcome. Come on in. Get a favorite beverage, come and sit a while. [00:00:13] Thank you so much for your support of the podcast, of me, of my husband, Brian. [00:00:24] We are so grateful for you guys. We couldn’t do it without you. Just a very brief update of my situation. With the job situation. Anyway, [00:00:42] I am starting a temporary contract position next week, so that will at least bring in some funds. I am waiting on two offers for a permanent job [00:01:00] coming up. So I appreciate prayers for that. [00:01:05] So the Lord has been providing greatly up to this point. [00:01:12] And I am still here for you! Still here doing the podcast. And we have a really great series that I’m starting today. And I’ve told you about it before, but until now I haven’t been able to get the gears in motion. Takes a lot of work to get a series organized. And so the series we’re gonna start within the next few weeks is how to study the Bible. [00:01:51] And this is probably going to be my most important podcast series so far. Because [00:02:00] when we, as abuse survivors go through spiritual abuse and we don’t know why we went through those horrible things, and we’re angry at God, and we think: I’m gonna throw out the baby with the bath water and I’m not gonna read the Bible anymore. [00:02:26] I’m not going to pray anymore. I’m not gonna seek God because fill in the blank. You let this happen to me, [00:02:38] Or maybe your situation right now is not very good. And you’re confused and upset. Now this podcast [00:02:49] is for Christians who have gone through abuse, who are still seeking the Lord. It doesn’t mean that we have [00:03:00] arrived. It doesn’t mean that we have all the answers. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have bad days. It doesn’t mean that we understand the things that we’re going through, but we are seeking God. [00:03:21] We are in his Word. We are trying to pray, communicate with God. A lot of people don’t know how to do a Bible study. How do you study God’s Word for yourself? Not listening to a preacher or teacher for everything. They’re helpful. They come alongside of us and help us, but that should not be your bread and butter. [00:03:56] You should be in the Word every day. [00:04:00] If possible. I know there are some days that you can’t. You need to [00:04:05] study the scripture yourself. How are we to know that what some cult is saying or what some crazy preacher is saying is true, unless we are studying it ourselves? And I know that the Bible can look complicated to somebody that’s untrained. I understand. Even someone like myself who has been through Bible college, I have a bachelor’s degree. [00:04:39] I’ve been a Christian since I was 13. I’ve been in my Bible, most of the time, every day. There have been periods in my life where I was not in God’s Word, but I came back. Even for me, there are definitely places in [00:05:00] the Bible where it is hard to understand. I don’t know everything. It’s a life long study. And I think that it’s important that we get the tools that we need to study the Bible. I’ve learned so much this year, just from our church, going through the Bible together, our Sunday school class, the Sunday preaching all the small groups. We’re all reading through the Bible [00:05:36] as a church. I have discovered so many things I didn’t see before and talking with other people that are doing it with me, they’re showing me things. Look here. Did you know, in the book of Daniel, God sends an angel to tell Daniel, You are greatly [00:06:00] loved. I’ve never seen that before. So those kind of fun discoveries. But I’ve learned that, Hey, all this stuff that I have been taught by some of my pastors, some of my Sunday school teachers [00:06:19] was wrong. Not everything. Well there are definitely some things that have been unscriptural. So I hope that you’ll join me on this journey. Take notes. You’ll be able to re-watch it again. But I have my first guest today that is a Bible teacher. And I’ve been inviting former guests and I’ve been inviting people that maybe have more qualifications than I do. [00:06:59] Maybe [00:07:00] more letters after their name than I do, to come in and give you some tips and tools, and things that you can use for your Bible study. And so today our first guest for this series is Paul Granger. I’ve been on his podcast a few months ago and we had a great time and he is a a wonderful podcaster. [00:07:29] He has people on his podcast and he talks about getting through suffering. And he is very kind and empathetic and he is a very good communicator. So here’s a few words about Paul. [00:07:50] Paul has been serving in inner city ministry since 2005, with a focus on shepherding others, as they [00:08:00] seek to love God and love others. He currently serves with Youth With A Mission in Richmond, is president of New Vision Civic League, facilitates a community Bible study and hosts the Where Did You See God? Podcast. [00:08:21] The Granger family has been living and serving in the east end of Richmond, Virginia since 2007. And as they have learned to more fully how to seek God as a family, they have found God inviting them into increasingly crazier situations. [00:08:42] Paul has the shepherding gift providing pastoral support, creating space for conversation and community and advocating for those that may go unseen. So that’s just a little bit about Paul, [00:09:00] so hope you’ll enjoy my conversation with Paul Granger. [00:09:06] Please. Welcome Paul Granger to the show! Thanks so much for coming on today. [00:09:12] Paul Granger: My pleasure. I’m excited to talk again. I enjoyed our conversation on my podcast and now I get to be on yours. [00:09:19] Diana Winkler: Yeah. Now you’re in the hot seat. Haha. [00:09:22] Paul Granger: Yeah, but it means I don’t have to do the editing. So I’m game. I just have to talk. [00:09:28] Diana Winkler: Now for the folks that don’t know you, can you tell them a little bit about yourself? [00:09:36] Paul Granger: Yeah. So the way I like to introduce myself is as an ambassador of Christ. And that’s a phrase we use often in the church, but don’t always think about what it really means. I had to think about it very intensely when I unexpectedly lost my job four years ago yesterday. [00:09:53] And and I’ve been working for a ministry and I had to process, what does it mean to serve God if I’m unemployed? And [00:10:00] being an ambassador of Christ. Like that’s your job, actually, if you are a Christ follower, that’s your job. Your functional job? That’s secondary. And so I’ve discovered that in the last four years, God’s invited me to serve him and love others in some beautiful ways. [00:10:15] And it’s included serving alongside Youth With A Mission, YWAM, doing a lot of community things, particularly alongside my church, Eastern Fellowship. But I’ve been also doing a lot of constant creation writing, doing the podcast. Where did you see God? And really just learning how to step into each day saying, all right, God, here I am. [00:10:33] What do you have for me? And I tell you what every day is different, every month, every year. I don’t know what this fall looks like, but I know that God is ahead. And so I’m just gonna step towards him. [00:10:43] Diana Winkler: You describe yourself as you have a shepherding gift. [00:10:48] Paul Granger: Yeah. I should remember this: Ephesians four, maybe it talks about the fivefold gifts, the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, shepherd and teacher. [00:10:59] And the way I [00:11:00] like to think about that is when we think about something like a teacher, we think, oh, that is a person who knows a lot of stuff that teaches stuff. But the way I like to think about it is when God’s talking about giving these gifts to us, it’s actually ways of being able to perceive and see the world and ways of being able to engage with the world. [00:11:19] So when God gives some to be teachers, what it means is he’s equipped them to be able to see information in a unique way, to be able to gather that information and then to be able to convey it out to others in a very unique way. And we’ve experienced that, somebody who’s definitely got a gift from God for teaching, [00:11:34] somehow they can take stuff, we couldn’t have comprehended and make it palatable. Yes. For the shepherd is one who could see people in a unique way, understand people in a unique way and engage with people in a unique way. And that’s something that I can look back in my life and see that God has placed it in me, but for a lot of my life, I couldn’t put words to it, but now I can. [00:11:56] And so the shepherding gift allows me to walk alongside others, [00:12:00] whether it’s in a podcast format, whether it’s sitting on my front porch, whether it’s running into somebody, I don’t know in the street and be able to see them in a way that in my humanity, I might not have to be able to see people as made in the image of God and then to engage with them accordingly. [00:12:15] And so that’s something that in everything I do, I know that God’s invited me to live into that gift of, he’s invited me to see people as he sees them, to love them as he loves them, to engage with them as Jesus engaged with people, and to see how God can work through that. Not because of me, but because God through me. [00:12:34] Diana Winkler: Amen. I told you before, I really enjoy your podcast because you have a really great gift for communicating. [00:12:44] Yeah, and the Wounds of the Faithful, we’re talking about abuse, how to heal from abuse. You’re no stranger to suffering. [00:12:53] And that’s one of the series that you’ve had is sitting in suffering and getting through [00:13:00] that. And that’s what a lot of our viewers have done is suffer through abuse and trauma. [00:13:07] We have questions. Why did God let us go through this? [00:13:11] Yeah. I know the Bible, but I wasn’t regularly studying it for myself or fact checking the pastor or the teacher in front of me. So I would just come to church, absorb whatever they were teaching and go on with my week. [00:13:27] So that’s the reason for the series. And I think that you would have a lot to say about some of these questions I’m gonna ask you. [00:13:40] Let’s start with why should we study the Bible for ourselves? [00:13:43] And instead of trusting a preach or a teacher? What are your thoughts on that? [00:13:48] Paul Granger: Yeah what’s interesting about spiritual truths and spiritual wisdom is it is different from human wisdom and human truths in the sense that, when I was [00:14:00] young, I didn’t know math. [00:14:02] I didn’t know how to add subtract. And it took somebody who knew that to teach me how that worked. And it’s true for a lot of things in life. There are things that we don’t know. And the only way we learn it is that somebody that knows it has to teach us that. And so it makes sense that we would think that, oh, it’s the pastors, it’s the spiritual leaders who are the keepers of this spiritual information. [00:14:27] And that’s the way that I get it. And to a level, God has equipped certain people to be in a position of communicating. We talked earlier about some were given to be teachers and God has equipped certain people to do that. But the unique thing about spiritual wisdom and spiritual truths is it doesn’t come from people. [00:14:46] It comes from God. God can give it to a pastor, give it to a teacher and that’s how we receive it. But ultimately God is the source, which means that God can also give it to us from other spaces. [00:15:00] I think of, I think it’s Acts 3 where Peter has healed a guy and the Pharisees, teachers of the law. the Saducees, they’re not having it. [00:15:11] And they pull ’em in, they’re like, explain yourself. And it gives this beautiful picture of Peter, this fisherman, this uneducated guy, who might not even have known how to read, speaking with such authority with such knowledge, with such depth of insight, that they are flabbergasted. They’re like, how are these common men, these uneducated men able to talk like this? [00:15:39] And they were able to do it because the Spirit had given them those words. Peter wasn’t like the Pharisees who had learned and trained all their lives. Peter didn’t have that information because some person had given it to him. God had given it to him. And so if God can do that for Peter, he can also do that for us. [00:15:58] And so there is this [00:16:00] invitation that God’s giving us to seek him, not to seek knowledge. Not to seek getting all the information so that we can control our lives. He’s inviting us to seek him. And so it is great to listen to sermons. It’s great to learn from teachers and to learn from others, but also God is inviting us to seek him outside of those spaces as well. [00:16:24] Because in that, we’re able to discover Him, not just information, and that’s the kicker. And I wanna really emphasize that. Is as people, we desire control so much, that’s often why we pursue learning. That’s why we often pursue to be educated about things in particular about the Bible. We feel like the more we know, the more we control. But again, God’s not inviting us to have control. [00:16:51] He’s inviting us to be his . And yeah, I, I think that’s one piece of it, man, scripture talks often about false teachers. [00:17:00] Jesus has some really intense words about false teachers. He says something to the effect of, if any of you leads any of these little ones astray, it would be better off for a millstone to be tied to your legs and you need to be thrown into the sea. [00:17:16] Like, this is coming from the Prince of Peace! Like, this is how intensely, how seriously he felt about God honoring teaching and false teaching. And so the reality is, there are false teachers, there is false teaching. What’s hard about this though, is we wanna think of false teachers as these villains, that it’s very clear that they are false teachers and bad. [00:17:40] So of course, we’re gonna be able to tell the good ones from the bad ones. And, but the reason that false teachers are talked about so often in Scripture is because it isn’t always clear, right? It isn’t always easy. And sometimes the reason it’s not easy is because the false teachers are speaking the things that we want to hear. It’s saying we, we [00:18:00] desire control. [00:18:02] And so sometimes the false teaching taps into that and tells us here’s how you can have a little more control. This is what we see in Genesis, right? When the serpent comes to Eve and says, If you eat this fruit, you’re gonna be like, God. He was tapping into this desire in to not be controlled. [00:18:18] Now God wasn’t controlling them. He had given them free will, but the deceiver deceived tapped into that, and that’s what false teaching does, or comfort. How much of American Christianity taps into our desire for comfort and security. So if somebody’s preaching these things, subconsciously will latch onto that. [00:18:37] So false teaching can be hard to catch in and of ourselves, but this is why as you noted, it’s so valuable for us to spend time in the word ourselves, because as we read things, we may read things that aren’t being preached. I was actually, it’s hilarious. I was facilitating a community Bible study today, and this is basically what one of the [00:19:00] guys there was talking about. [00:19:01] He’s like, there’s a lot of things you won’t hear talked about from the pulpit, right? Because if it’s talked about from the pulpit, that preacher might not look as good as they wanna look, because people don’t wanna hear that. Or that church might lose members, but the point of the church is not to have a whole bunch of members, it’s to see God. Jesus, we see the same thing with him. [00:19:24] Human logic would say the more disciples he has the better. So because Jesus isn’t ruled by that, what does he do? In John 6, he starts preaching something they didn’t wanna hear. Hey, you’re gonna eat my flesh and drink my blood. And then John 6:66 says, And at that moment, a lot of his disciples left and didn’t follow him anymore. [00:19:42] You may come across this foolishness of God, that seems counter to what you’ve always been told, what human logic says. And then you could take that and say, how do I balance this with what I’m hearing on Sunday? How do I balance this from with what I’m hearing on this podcast or on this talk show, or how do we take this thing that I’m [00:20:00] seeing in Scripture and balance it with what this person is saying is scriptural. [00:20:04] And then you can start to, to balance that with conversation with others, with small groups. But I think it starts with knowing that, like I said, at the start, if the Holy Spirit was able to work through Peter, then the Holy Spirit can work through you as well. It’s not conditioned on, are you spiritual enough? [00:20:22] Are you good enough? Are you this, that or the other it’s are you willing enough to be used by God? So don’t ever think that you have to be a spiritual leader in order to be used or spoken to by God. You just have to be willing to be God’s, to be God’s child and God can work through you, no matter who you are. [00:20:39] Diana Winkler: That’s a great transition into what I was going to ask you. Do we have to have an advanced degree in the Bible to study the Bible ourselves or do we have to be a Hebrew and Greek scholar? [00:20:53] Paul Granger: When I think this is the beautiful thing too, about this apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, teachers is, [00:21:00] I think that there is a place for this advanced study. There is a value to it. I think of one of my former pastors guy named Doug, and he definitely was equipped to be a teacher. And in his studies, he has been able to discern things that bring a depth to Scripture, to bring a life to Scripture. [00:21:21] I went to a Christian college and majored in religion and Christian Ministries and I actually considered, should I go to seminary? [00:21:31] And I considered it because I thought you had to, in order to be a legitimate pastor, you had to go to seminary. In fact, in a lot of spaces in order to be in that level of spiritual leadership, that there is that prequalification: Do you have a seminary degree? Are you ordained? And I felt this pressure, and I felt this pressure to do with it. And I remember when I was getting to the juncture of having to make that choice, I just, I didn’t feel like that was what God was inviting me to. In fact, what I felt like God was inviting me to was, Paul just [00:22:00] go and serve, and that’s where you’re gonna learn. And so I finished four years and went right into nonprofit ministry. And I’ve learned so much from that space, but I still wrestled because I would engage with others who did have seminary degrees that did have all these years and knew all these languages and all these things. [00:22:21] And I felt lesser for a while, but I kept coming back to that passage with Peter, where he was just this unschooled, untrained fisherman who had walked with this guy. And yet he was speaking with this authority and with this knowledge and this depth of insight, not because of him because of the Spirit in him. [00:22:42] . And I came to learn that it’s not about me being better or me being more educated. It’s about me growing to be more and more willing for the spirit to work through me. And so the short answer to your question is, no. We don’t need all that. [00:22:55] There’s a passage that says, That your love may abound and knowledge and depth of [00:23:00] insight. All of us are called to that because the people that was initially written for didn’t have seminaries. Couldn’t get an MDiv, right? Most of them, if not all of them, couldn’t. What does that look like then for a body of people that can’t read, that don’t have higher education, to deepen their love and knowledge, and depth of insight. It must mean that there is another way of doing that. [00:23:21] So there’s hope. There is opportunity for those of us out there that are like, I’m not as good as this person. I’m not as strong spiritually cuz I don’t know Greek. I don’t know Hebrew. I don’t even know all the books of the Bible. I don’t even know half the books of the Bible. In fact, I don’t even know if I know much of the Bible, right? [00:23:37] Like there is hope because it’s not about you and your brain. it’s about your willingness for the Spirit to work through you. So that’s the prequalification right there: for being used by God is willingness. [00:23:51] Diana Winkler: Yeah. That’s very encouraging. Oh, I will admit to those listening that I went to Bible college and I thought I knew it [00:24:00] all. [00:24:00] You get the arrogance. I admit that I thought I was super Christian. I knew it all. And God took me down a peg or two because through some of my trials in my life, I realized, I don’t know it all, and I need to approach the Bible as someone that’s humble and seeking to, to know God. [00:24:23] Yeah, truly. Instead of, that verse, was it first Corinthians? The love chapter. Knowledge puffs up. That’s what it did to me. Oh, look, I know all this. And then like, now I can argue with people yeah. [00:24:35] Paul Granger: And that was one of the things too, that really pressed against me when I was in college. Is. I was getting the degree I was getting, because I wanted to learn more about God. And then suddenly I found a lot of people that when they would argue, I was like they’re not actually trying to grow close to God. [00:24:52] They just wanna win the argument. And I was like, I don’t like this! And the truth is, there’s so much that we can’t grasp. And so if [00:25:00] your pursuit is to know everything, whew, that’s an endless pursuit! Yeah. So, it’s fine if someone wants to continue to learn and grow, but if you think that in pride, you are capable of grasping, then that pride is gonna have a lot of negative ramifications, not just on you, but on those around you. [00:25:19] And we’ve, we both experienced that. We’ve seen what arrogance can do. We’ve experienced what pride can do. And yet that’s, God’s inviting us to humility. And so much of Scripture like Job, you get this, we’re talking about suffering, right? We’re talking about hardship, and Job had people who had spiritual understanding come to him and say, You’re suffering because of you. [00:25:37] It’s your fault, or curse God and die! Like all these really bad theologies. And Job’s longing for God to explain himself. He’s longing. God, just tell me why! Just tell me why! And at the end, basically God says to him, you wouldn’t understand it. Did you create this? Can you grasp that? No! I’m God. There’s your answer. [00:25:57] I AM. And Job [00:26:00] was at such a space of spiritual maturity that he accepted that answer. He wanted God to explain himself and he accepted the answer. It’s kinda like when you’re a kid and you ask your parents, but why? And they say, because I said, so we hated that! Oh, then when you become a parent and you find yourself saying the same thing, you’re like, oh man, I never thought I would say that, but I get it now. [00:26:20] God is able to say, because I AM, right? And this is the thing when we read Scripture, when we pursue spiritual truth and we gotta keep on coming about the reality that it’s about seeking God. That’s the invitation. And the good news about that is Scripture says ,Seeking, you will find. [00:26:35] And so the goal then isn’t to have the highest degree or to learn all the languages or to know all of Scripture and have it all memorized. It’s great. If you can do all those things. But it means that the person who barely grasps Scripture, but is faithfully seeking God, in that they’re gonna discover God, just as deeply as the person who spends 12 years in seminary and [00:27:00] higher education. [00:27:00] Right? Because it’s about that seeking, it’s about understanding. It’s about finding God. And that means that all of us have this opportunity and this invitation and this hope to know God deeply. [00:27:12] Diana Winkler: I’m glad you mentioned Job, because for years I thought, when I read Job, and this is how it was presented to me was: you don’t ask God questions. [00:27:24] You don’t doubt your salvation or your beliefs. You do what you’re told kind of thing. And I’ve been reading Job recently. And it’s more like, God can handle our questions and our, I don’t know what’s going on. You can tell God, Hey, I’ve been faithful. I’ve done everything you asked and why am I going through this? [00:27:50] He can handle that. But Job was still faithful. He still didn’t curse God. And so I was very appreciative of Job’s [00:28:00] story more so now than I used to be. [00:28:03] Paul Granger: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s funny that for anyone that has that theology, that you can’t ask God questions. I would wanna ask them, have you read the rest of Scripture? [00:28:12] Because yeah, it’s full of people. I mean, the Psalms themselves are full of people asking God, why God, what is going on? Can you explain yourself? Even Jesus! My God, why have you forsaken me? If even Jesus, yeah, felt like he had an invitation to ask God the hard questions then we can too. [00:28:34] So yeah. I, and in fact, that’s something that I’ve come across often in this current season of sitting and suffering on the podcast in the last season and in, throughout the podcast over the last four years, is people sharing moments where they, one, didn’t feel like they were allowed to ask God questions. [00:28:53] Two, they got to a place where they just, they were just at the end of themselves. And so they finally did ask God questions [00:29:00] and then, three, God was still with them. God still loved them. And sometimes God answered them. Sometimes God didn’t answer them. And in that lack of an answer was an answer. [00:29:09] But so many people grew closer to God because they embraced that vulnerability and humility. Cuz that’s ultimately what it is. The times we don’t ask questions is often when we’re operating outta pride and arrogance. I don’t wanna look bad. I don’t wanna look like, I don’t know something. When we ask questions, we have to accept some vulnerability and humility. [00:29:29] When you raise your hand in class, you’re acknowledging to everyone watching that you don’t know the answer, that you don’t know something. And we don’t want to look like that, but God is trying to show us, Hey, you don’t know though. There’s so much you don’t know. So stop trying to look good and just look like who I made you to be. [00:29:49] And I’m going to love you cuz I already do! [00:29:51] Diana Winkler: Amen. Love that. So let’s get to the nitty gritty of, okay. I’m gonna get my Bible. I’m gonna sit [00:30:00] down and I’m gonna try and do a Bible study. Let’s start with the dizzying array of Bible translations. I mean the regular Christian going to a bookstore or Christian Book Distributors online, and to pick out a Bible. [00:30:17] Which one should I pick? And, are they all the same? Or does it matter which one I pick? [00:30:23] Paul Granger: Yeah. And it’s tough, right? Because depending on what denomination or tradition somebody comes from, depending on how they grew up and what they experienced, there could be a lot of weight to that. [00:30:33] I mean, there are some spaces that will say there is only one legitimate option. There are other spaces that say, they’re all good. There are others that are saying don’t even bother that. Just interpret it, how you wanna interpret it. I think though what’s really unique about our time is, if you were asking this question 30 plus years ago, it would be a much harder question cuz it’s like I only have enough money to buy one Bible.[00:31:00] [00:31:00] And so I gotta pick the right one. And so which one do I pick? Today, you could still buy that physical Bible, but you still have access on your phone or on the computer. If you don’t have either, go to the public library. We have access to all the translations, right? I think it’s Bible hub.com. [00:31:19] That’s one that I love to go to when I’m looking up a verse because you click in the reference of the verse or whatever, and then it’ll show you all the translations. And you can look through because here’s the beautiful thing is most of the standard translations that we run into, there are valuable things about them, right? [00:31:38] Some of ’em are valuable because they try to stick as close as possible to the literal translation of what was written. And there’s something valuable to that. You’re getting as close to the actual words as possible, right? Others have value because they’re recognizing that there may be words or phrases that meant one thing in one culture and did in [00:32:00] another. [00:32:00] And so they’re taking that and saying here’s what this actually meant. And it’s not the literal same words, but this is the heart of what’s being said. And what I love is when you have access to all these translations, You’re able to prayerfully go through and say what can I pull from these things? [00:32:19] Personally, I’ve been a part of different churches throughout the course of my life, different denominations for different reasons. Whether it’s because of where I lived or where I was serving. And so I’ve been I’ve been introduced to different translations. And so now I’m at a place where I don’t have one specific one that I think is the one true, only option translation. [00:32:41] And I also know that there’s limitations. So pretty much all of the translations, because none of them is the actual original scroll, right? And it allows me to come towards these things with an openness, but a mindfulness. And I think that’s the key. Is my answer to your question is not, here is [00:33:00] the specific translation you need to buy. It’s to say, how can you come to any translation with an openness and a mindfulness? [00:33:07] And for those that really wanna press in, there is information out there. You can study the different translations. Why they were created? How they created? What is it that they focus on? What is it that they don’t focus on? And then you can use that to determine, okay, how much weight am I gonna put on this? [00:33:25] But at the end of the day, what I see a lot of pastors doing what I see a lot of people doing, is they may have one that they lean towards more. I find myself for no particular reason, often landing on ESV. But the first part of my life, it was in NIV. That was just the one that I always had around me. But what I see most people doing is they may have their core one, but then they’re connecting and tapping into these others. [00:33:49] And at the end of the day, If you’re looking through these different translations, and if there’s some that it’s hard for you to like really grasp, it’s hard to understand, then maybe in this [00:34:00] season, you spend time in another one. There are some that are written with that in mind. They are written, there are some that are written in such a way that they recognize there are people that don’t have high levels of education. [00:34:13] And so if they’re having big words thrown at them, it’s actually gonna be a distraction or an obstacle to tapping to the Word of God. And, but I said prayerfully earlier, and I think that’s where I’m gonna land is if you’re struggling to know what version to read, then pray about it. Say, Hey God, there’s a lot of options out there. [00:34:34] I don’t want to get it wrong. What should I do? And God won’t likely won’t say the right translation is…. He probably won’t say that to you, but he may give you a peace. And it may be that for a season, that’s the one that you are with. And it could be that next year, suddenly you find yourself being drawn to this other, but pray about it because if you give it to God, then there’s an opportunity to release [00:35:00] yourself from your human fears and your human anxieties of getting it right. [00:35:03] Or getting it wrong. [00:35:04] Diana Winkler: That’s really great advice. When I got saved, I had a living Bible paraphrase. And I loved it. I was highlighting it and I was, new to the Word of God. And I was so excited. And and then I got I got baptized into a Baptist church, and they found out I had that living Bible, and they took it from me. [00:35:27] Yeah. Yeah. And gave me a King James. Now for the next. 20-30 years, I was King James only, and I probably would’ve died on that hill. And it wasn’t until recently, that I got I got a different translation. I got ESV Archeology study Bible. [00:35:48] And I’m not saying that King James is a bad translation. I still think it’s a great translation, but let me tell you, Paul, I have noticed so many [00:36:00] new things, different things. I’ve read the king James for so long. You kind of get used to the language and I’m like, wait a minute, I didn’t notice that passage before! I noticed this little nugget over here. [00:36:14] So I think it was very beneficial for me to look at another translation. My underlying thing is, whatever gets you in the Word of God, pick one. If you can’t understand it or you’re bored or you don’t enjoy it, then you’re not gonna get into the Word of God. [00:36:31] Yeah. That’s my thinking. Yeah. [00:36:34] So let’s let’s talk about what are some like basic rules for Bible interpretation? [00:36:42] I know this is probably a huge question, but can you give some basic rules that would be, very easy to remember, to get started? [00:36:53] Paul Granger: Yeah. When you were saying that, the first thing that made me think of is that I’ve often heard [00:37:00] some of the pastors in my church, they’ll read a scripture and the scripture will start, therefore go, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. [00:37:07] And they’ll say, hold. You see that word, therefore, we gotta find out what the therefore is there for. So what we’re talking about is context. And oftentimes the biggest danger and interpretation is we’re trying to interpret without context. Now this can get very deep. So on a basic level, we are very prone to take singular verses and we’ll read the verse and say, what does this verse mean? [00:37:31] And try to capture from there. And so there may be some verses that you can do that for. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, right? Like we can understand God’s love from that. But there are other verses that if you aren’t reading it in the sense of the whole paragraph, or the whole chapter or the whole book, Then at best, we’re gonna misunderstand it. At worst, [00:37:55] we’re going to misinterpret it. And this happens all the time. And so [00:38:00] this is, again, going back to even your first question of why is it important for us to read Scripture on our own, when you go to a church service and someone’s given a sermon. Just by rights of how much time they have available, they’ll probably only be able to focus on a couple verses, but if you’ve read that passage on your own, if you’ve read that chapter, that book on your own, then you’re gonna have a little more to work with. Okay. They’re pulling from these two verses in Luke, but I actually recently read Luke. So those, I know those things happen after Jesus has fed the 5,000. And so this is, suddenly you have more context, right? [00:38:37] So I think that’s one big thing with interpretation is understanding there is always more context. But I mentioned that it goes deeper because not only do you have scriptural context, but you have cultural and historical context, right? And this is where the teachers can be really valuable. This is where the people who have committed years to studying can be, oh man, so [00:39:00] can bring so much fruit to our learning because they’ll be able to say, yes, this verse means this. [00:39:08] And within the context of scripture means this, but here’s what you need to understand about the Romans in this time. This is what you need to understand about the Samaritans in this time. This is what you need to understand about history in this time. It suddenly brings more weight, more fruit, because everything that was written with an understanding of what was going on in that time. [00:39:27] We see it all the time now, right? Where. Maybe it’s in a song, somebody will reference something. You see it often in rap music. They’re used the lyrics and they’ll reference like maybe they wanna say that they’re being still and then they say Ben Stiller, right? To like bring some cultural context to it. [00:39:46] That’s great now, but what about in 20 years when nobody knows who been still here is right. And so in the same way, things that were written, particularly the epistles, those that were [00:40:00] writing, it were writing it from an understanding of their time and their culture and their context. And so when we’re trying to interpret, the more we know about the passage, the book, the New Testament, the Old Testament, the culture, the context, the history, the more we’re gonna be able to interpret of what that means. And the, what somebody might be thinking at this moment is, oh man, that’s a lot. [00:40:25] I don’t have a degree. So what hope is there for me? This is the beauty of how God’s designed scripture. Scripture isn’t meant to be like a manual for something you just bought, where you read it once, and then you don’t look at it again. Scripture is meant to be something that we return to often, right? [00:40:42] And Scripture is not meant to be something that we engage with on our own. In the time that scripture was written, it was a communal thing. It was read to a community. So ultimately we’re not meant to figure this stuff out by ourselves. We’re meant to come back to it throughout our lives, and we’re meant to engage it in community [00:41:00] alongside those that God has equipped to help us to be able to hone in and see it more deeply. [00:41:05] And so interpretation happens within that space. It’s a continual thing. It’s meant to be interpretation within the midst of a community and with the help of those that God has equipped through his spirit to help us to see things we wouldn’t have on our own. [00:41:19] Diana Winkler: Absolutely. I know that when I went to Israel and geography is a huge part of Bible interpretation. [00:41:32] Yeah. Where you’ve been to those places where Jesus was, where all the miracles were, or even the Old Testament battles and so on and so forth, it really brings things to life and brings things into context. And I’ve read just recently about most of us are not Jewish or Hebrew. I’ve got a couple [00:42:00] very dear friends that that were born in Israel and they’re Israeli Jews. [00:42:04] They read the Scriptures a completely different way than we would. We weren’t raised that way, so we don’t see a lot of the cultural dynamics of the Jewish world. So I found that very interesting that, Hey, if you think, if you read the scriptures, like you were born in Israel during that time, it’s not the same as you’re reading it in 2022 as somebody that lives in the United States, [00:42:33] that has a desk job and drives a car. [00:42:37] Paul Granger: Yeah. Yeah. And that, that’s an important thing, too. What you just mentioned is it’s not just understanding the cultures and so forth. The cultures and the context of when it was written, but actually it’s equally important for us to understand our own culture and our own context. Because whatever we understand and we’ve experienced, is going to influence what [00:43:00] we read and engage with. [00:43:00] So an American culture, for example, individualism is a high value. Self-sufficiency is a high value. And when we bring that into how we understand Scripture subconsciously, it causes us to see it differently. A really practical example is in American Christianity, we read a lot of passages that say, you and I will do this for you, and you should go do this as a singular [00:43:28] you. Like it’s, this passage is for me. This is between God and me, because that individual is in individualism is at play. But when you actually look at what those you’s actually are there, they’re more often than not plural. When God makes promises to a, you, it’s usually a plural, you. And so when we understand what our own context is, what our own values are, we can actually be more aware of how that might influence our interpretation. [00:43:59] So that’s very [00:44:00] important too. We gotta know the culture and context of when it was written and our own culture and context. And then prayerfully go into that saying, I’m going to be very easily influenced cuz I’m a human with a human brain. So God, can you help me to grasp onto this and not grasp too hard onto this so that I can actually discern the heart of what you want me to know about you? [00:44:21] Diana Winkler: Well said. What do you think is a Scripture that is commonly misinterpreted, that if you’re following the basic laws of Bible interpretation, you shouldn’t come to that? [00:44:37] Paul Granger: That’s a good question. Here we go. There’s one. Jeremiah 29:11 is one that I think of often in this context. [00:44:44] Diana Winkler: Aww, man, you’re gonna pick on my favorite verse. Man, I know where you’re going with this. [00:44:48] Paul Granger: Yeah. For, I know the plans that I have for you to prosper you. And this is a great example actually, of how we can take a singular verse and we can take our culture and our context and say, [00:45:00] huh, God has plans for me and it’s to prosper me. And and that’s not to say that’s not what God’s doing here. [00:45:06] If we’re not careful, what can happen is we can take that as well. Prospering in my culture and context is to have a lot of money and to be respected. And so therefore God’s plans are for me to be rich and famous, right? And this is where you can get something like, and this is a broad sweep, but a lot within there’s a lot within prosperity gospel that can veer this direction. [00:45:28] . But if we get into the context of that passage, it’s actually very interesting. One. The You is not singular. It’s plural. God is talking to a body of people. So the prosperity plans to prosper you is not for Joe. It’s for the body of people. For the Israelites, the spiritual chosen people of God. [00:45:55] That’s the prosperity, which means it may look different on individual levels, but as a [00:46:00] whole, that body of people is gonna prosper. So that’s already a little different because it’s hard for us when things aren’t going the way we want them to. Again, we’re talking about suffering, God, why did you allow this hard thing to happen for me? [00:46:12] But for this other person, they’re not going through this. Like we struggle with that. But when we’re thinking as a body, it’s like in a family. When we are more comfortable thinking of it in that sense, because parents are willing to give up of themselves for the sake of their children, right? [00:46:30] Oftentimes, not all the time. But in the healthiest spaces, they’re willing to do that. Whereas as an individual, we might not be willing to give up our time and our money cuz kids cost a lot of time, a lot of money. But when you’re thinking of in family sense, individuals are willing to give up some for the sake of others. [00:46:48] So that’s one piece. But the other piece is this is written to a body of people that had been taken captive and we’re in a place that were not their own. And so the prosperity looked different. And if you really [00:47:00] dive into that verse the invitation there is to seek the welfare of their captors. [00:47:05] Now that’s something else you don’t like. We don’t wanna do good things for the people that are harming us, but this is what that verse is calling us to seek the welfare of those who have enslaved you who have taken you from your home. But if we press a little further, and this is the hardest one, this is the hardest one. [00:47:21] Is that the promise there is a timestamp that God’s given and he says 70 years. You know what this means is that when he gives this promise, anybody that’s hearing it is either gonna be dead or close to it by the time it’s fulfilled. So this promise isn’t even for the individuals who are currently hearing it and living. It’s for something beyond them. [00:47:45] And this is a theme we see throughout Scripture, right? You look at Hebrews 11 where it’s talking about the heroes of the faith, and it says that what they engaged, they didn’t, many of them didn’t even get to see the thing that was promised. But their role was to help shepherd others to that promise. [00:48:00] So Jeremiah 29:11 isn’t for me to have a secure, comfortable, wealthy life. [00:48:06] Jeremiah 29:11 is an invitation for me to seek the welfare of those around me. Even if they harm me and to seek the thriving of those that may come after me. So I think that’s one picture of a verse that can be easily misinterpreted if we’re not careful. [00:48:23] What does God actually want for me in the context of all of this, in the context of the fullness of scripture? It’s not about us. I mean, Jesus summed it up. [00:48:33] The whole of the law is to love God and love others. And that’s the heart of Jeremiah 29:11. To love God and love others. And from that comes to thriving, that we might not see in our lifetime, but on an eternal level, God is going to deliver. [00:48:48] Diana Winkler: So as as long as we understand what that verse really means, we can still like that verse. [00:48:54] Paul Granger: I mean, it’s a, it’s a beautiful verse. It’s like a verse that we should all be holding [00:49:00] tight to. But yes, understanding, what we’re holding onto is very important. [00:49:05] Diana Winkler: Yeah. I didn’t want you to get any hate mail, Paul. [00:49:08] I know you stomped on somebody’s favorite verse. [00:49:10] Paul Granger: I know! That’s my life verse! Paul! Yeah. You ruined everything! [00:49:15] Diana Winkler: So as long as we know, okay. What that verse means in the big picture, then that’s fine. [00:49:23] Give us one red flag. A red flag. I mean, without a doubt that this guy is no good. And maybe you should go somewhere else. [00:49:35] Paul Granger: Yeah. And actually I think that’s, I wanna start at one little piece and it’s, and in that phrase that this guy is no good and this girl’s no good because. [00:49:44] I think there is an important passage in Scripture that says that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces and principalities. And the reason that I wanna mention that is because we tend to villainize people and it’s not our fault. [00:50:00] I mean, we have all been raised on this mentality of good and bad. [00:50:04] All the shows and movies, there is a clear, good guy and a clear bad guy and everything fits into that. And so when we look at people, we subconsciously see them through that lens. Are, is this a good person or a bad person? There’s this passage in Ecclesiastes that basically says, man, whether someone’s righteous, we’re all in the same place. [00:50:25] We’re all broken people struggling. And so when we’re thinking about false teachers, the really heartbreaking thing is so many false teachers didn’t choose to be false teachers. There are some people that know full well what they are doing. I am saying this so that I can get money from people. [00:50:43] I am saying this so that I can get power. Those people exist. There were a lot of people that I think fall into false teaching that didn’t choose to fall in there. Kind of slipped in there because they started to get distracted by things. Oh wow. Like I’ve always wanted to [00:51:00] be appreciated. And now that I’m doing this, people appreciate me more. [00:51:03] And so I’m gonna pull in this. Or, man I’ve got this longing for security, and now this is providing security. Or, man, I grew up poor, and now this is actually becoming lucrative. And sometimes this to protect themselves. There are all these reasons that we can latch onto false teaching as teachers. [00:51:21] That might be good at the start, but if good things that aren’t God things are no longer good things. So I wanted to touch on that because sometimes it’s the issue. Isn’t the person themselves. They may actually be a well-intentioned person. I bet there were a lot of Pharisees that were very well-intentioned when they were killing Jesus. Because in their mind, they really had convinced themselves that this guy was dishonoring God. Because he’s saying he’s the Son of God, but he’s interacting with sinners. [00:51:49] There are probably a lot of well-intentioned Pharisees who did a really awful thing. So I wanted to note that as well. Let’s not get caught on villainizing people because the battle isn’t against flesh and blood. [00:52:00] That being said, whatever is controlling us, is going to control the fruit that comes from us. [00:52:05] And so if the Spirit is controlling you, that’s when you’re gonna see the fruit of the Spirit. So if you see somebody that’s exhibiting those fruits, patient kindness, all these things. That’s a good sign. That’s not a guarantee, but it’s a good sign that. That God’s Spirit may be guiding what they’re doing. On the flip side, there are things that are not fruits of the Spirit. [00:52:30] That can be that at the very least a yellow flag for you. Wow. This, I can sense a lot of selfishness coming from this person. Or this person is really trying to draw attention to themselves. Or this person has got a lot of anger in them. Or this person, right? Like there are some things that are not the fruits of the Spirit. That when you’re seeing them, and especially in higher and higher degrees, can be an opportunity to step back and say, all right, could there be something going on here? [00:52:58] More importantly to say, Hey [00:53:00] God, is there something you want me to see in this? And then there can be those red flags. And so I think the Pharisees, a great example. They committed their lives to seeking God. At least on a level, they learned the Scriptures. They followed laws to a T, but a red flag is, concocting schemes to kill someone. [00:53:20] That’s a red flag, that’s a good indicator using deception to try to trick Jesus. That’s a much lighter one than trying to craft a murder, but like they tried to deceive Jesus. Deception’s not a fruit of the Spirit. And Jesus caught this. Like I says, Jesus could read their hearts and tell they were trying to deceive him. [00:53:37] And that’s one of the ways that he knew that they weren’t operating from the spirit of God. They were operating from another spirit. And so I think maybe a good start is I’ve heard this often where it, it said that when there are people that are being trained up to learn when money is counterfeit. It would be fruitless to try to learn all the ways something could be counterfeit because [00:54:00] there’s millions of ways that it But if you learn what the actual authentic money is, the markers of that, then that’s what you look for. And then you can see when it’s absent in other things. So maybe a good start then is, and stop focusing just on the red flags to learn those green flags to study up and learn the fruits of the spirit. Because then you’ll be able to notice when those things are absent and it doesn’t mean that you shut that person out, but it could mean it’s a moment of pause. [00:54:31] But the more you learn the green flags, the more you can recognize when those are absent and then respond accordingly. [00:54:37] Diana Winkler: That’s really good. I would not have thought of saying it that way. That’s really helpful. Now you probably have some favorite Bible study tools that you love to use. [00:54:51] Can you share with the listeners some of those? [00:54:54] Paul Granger: Yeah. Here’s the direction I’m gonna go because some of what you [00:55:00] shared during this podcast episode, and also before we started recording, is that some of your audience might be those who are really struggling to get into the Word. We’ve already touched on one piece. [00:55:11] Like I just don’t feel like I am smart enough or educated enough or know enough about the Bible. Like this stuff seems way over my head. It’s hard for me to understand. And if you’re in a place like that, It could be hard to even wanna step in because it already feels outta reach. And so one thing I like to encourage people in is, what God’s interested in is not for you to become a theologian in the sense that we understand it. [00:55:38] It’s to take a step towards him. Even a simple toe nudge forward, any little movement forward towards God is a movement towards God. And so everybody’s invitation here is to say what do I have access to? What do I feel comfortable with? What do I have a willingness for that I can, that can step into today? [00:55:57] And so a few really easy [00:56:00] things that I use Is, one, I have an Android phone and you can have widgets on there. And I think iPhones might have caught up to Android. I might get some hate mail now, cuz some people are all about iPhone. But verse of the day widget that pops up, there’s actually apps for that. [00:56:16] There’s emails for that. But what I love about that is you can actually set a really simple rhythm of saying, before I use my phone, the first thing I have to do is read that verse of the day that’s on my home screen, right? That’s boom. Like it’s a really simple step. It’s one verse. Everybody can do it. [00:56:34] And when you have that standard that I can’t touch any other app until I read it, it becomes an easy way to develop a discipline and you’re getting that word. You’re getting that Scripture. Another thing is there’s so many very simple devotionals, devotionals that you could read in just a few minutes. [00:56:49] One that, man, I keep coming back to I mean for decades. My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Yes. Love it. Love it. And [00:57:00] so often I’ll read it and it’s been incredibly relevant for whatever I was going through. What I love. He always has a passage that he is working through, but it’s just, it’s very short. [00:57:08] It’s just very concise thing. You can have a physical book, you can also find it online. There’s also the Moravian text. That’s a daily thing that I know a lot of people have used that give you a few different passages. But the key is there is stuff out there that is easy to access and is simple and quick. [00:57:26] And that is important for so many of us, because many of us don’t feel like we have the time or capacity. I have three young kids. I don’t know what time is anymore. I don’t know what free time is. I don’t know what quiet is. And so actually a long time ago stopped using the phrase quiet time for myself personally, because. [00:57:47] There is this standard that your time with God needs to be 30 to 60 minutes where it’s quiet and it’s just you and God. I lost that when I had kids, I lost quiet. I lost time to myself. And the time that I self my the [00:58:00] time for myself that I did have was when they went to bed and now I’m tired, right? [00:58:04] So what I began to tell ’em is look okay. Maybe you don’t feel like you have 30 to 60 minutes, but what could it look like to give a couple minutes to God let’s start there and you can build from there. So that’s what I encourage people is it’s the way that my, one of my pastors puts it as low hanging fruit. [00:58:22] What is the simple thing that you can just grab. It might not be the fruit that you ultimately wanna get to, but let’s just start, grab, grab the low hanging fruit for some people. Maybe it’s worship song. So the ways that you really connect with God, okay. Then each day, maybe you start your day with the worship song, right? [00:58:38] For some people, maybe it’s prayer. So what could it look like to just pull two minutes out, two minutes out? And let me tell you, scripture says that an hour is like a thousand years to God and a thousand years, like an hour or something to that effect, but God’s what God can do with time. You may be able to give God just two minutes and God can turn that into something much bigger. [00:58:57] Diana Winkler: That’s that is awesome. It’s [00:59:00] been really great to have you on the podcast. I feel that the listeners are going to be encouraged to get started if they’re not already. And you didn’t hit them over the head with a sledge hammer with, all these concordances and commentaries to go buy and stuff .Really usable bite size pieces to get you started. [00:59:24] So yeah. Anything else you wanna say to the listeners before we, we go here? [00:59:32] Paul Granger: Yeah. I just wanna, I wanna emphasize again, two, two big things. One Jesus made it very clear that our invitation is to come as we are. The expectation in that time was unless you’re a Pharisee you’re falling short, right? None of us can, but Jesus interacted with those that the Pharisees thought were sinners. [00:59:56] Those that people thought were hopeless. Those that [01:00:00] people thought were unworthy. The woman caught in adultery, right? Like, come as you are, whether you have a an M div or you didn’t finish elementary school, whether you really believe God exists or you’re questioning his existence, whether you have a lot of time and capacity, or you have none, like whoever you are come, as you are, Jesus is inviting you right now. [01:00:23] as you are come. And then the second part is step as you can, take it. Maybe it’s a giant leap that God’s inviting you to. You feel like God’s inviting you to read the whole Bible in a year. That’s a big ask. It’s a beautiful thing. But for somebody they might be feeling that, then do that. But if that’s not what God’s inviting you to, if you don’t feel like you have that capacity, then take that little step. [01:00:46] Maybe all you’re doing is reading that verse of the day. But like I said earlier, even a little to nudge forward is a movement towards God. Yes. And I’ve already said that the spirit is accessible to all of us. [01:00:58] God, I wanna have the biblical [01:01:00] knowledge to be able to talk about verses [01:01:01] , and memorizes you’re like ask God for it. So it’s not about us. And the other thing is I love like you, I love walking alongside people through this journey. And so if anybody wants a space to be able to process that, and this is gonna sound like self-promotion, which I don’t want it to be. [01:01:18] But www dot, where did you see god.com. The whole reason that exists is because when I lost my job four years ago, I felt like I was inviting me to a space of public transparency and to create a space for others to process. These hard questions. So the podcast has been a space for that. You talked about the season sitting and suffering. [01:01:35] There’s a questioning series with folks who are questioning God, questioning Christianity in the church, but there’s also, I wanted to mention there is a free resource for someone who’s like, I want to get into Scripture. It’s intimidating. I don’t know how to do it. Like any of those questions, if you go to, Where Did You See God.com/Revelation. [01:01:55] I wrote because God prompted me too, and I didn’t wanna do it. But a a [01:02:00] little 30 day devotional called A Journey Through Revelation for the person who doesn’t want to read Revelation, because that was me. I had read Revelation before and I was fine. Not going back to it because it’s controversial. [01:02:11] It’s weird. It’s confusing. Then God invited me a year and a half ago to lead a Bible study on it. And I didn’t want to, but I was like, all right, God, I’m gonna trust you. And God showed up so much that I felt like he was invited me to write. Things down that he was bringing out in that time. And then I felt like I was saying, I want you to put this in a form. [01:02:28] You can give out to others. And then I felt like God was inviting me to give it out for free, put it out into the world. And so you can actually get it for free as a PDF. At that site, it’s also on Amazon. And the only reason it’s there is not to make money. In fact, I’ve like tried to keep the price as low as possible, but for people who like a physical copy, I was like, I want there to be a way to do that. [01:02:47] And so that exists, but if you want it for free, by all means, take the free version. And what it does is it allows you to walk through a book that you might be avoiding in a way that is accessible, that [01:03:00] is encouraging, that is inviting. And it’s not to show you what revelation means, but to explore what revelation might mean for you today. [01:03:10] So I wanted to mention that too, because it really ties into the person who wants to get Scripture. There’s a free resource right there. And you can jump into a book that you would’ve avoided otherwise. And I promise you, you will learn things about God through that, and you will be amazed that you could do so through such a crazy book. [01:03:28] I saw that resource. I love Revelation. So I’m gonna get that study myself and go through it. That’s awesome. I don’t normally have people pray on the podcast, but I feel led to ask you if you would pray for our listeners today. [01:03:49] I’d love to, I’m all about some prayer. So father God, we do just thank you that you are God and you are good. [01:03:54] And we thank you that is true for every single person that’s listen. I thank you for the person that has [01:04:00] made it all the way to this point, because I believe that you want them to know that you are with them. That you are guiding them. And even if they feel alone, even if they feel lost, even if they feel hopeless that in this moment, you want them to know that they aren’t, that they are, that you are with them, that they are seen and that, the plans you have for them, not just for them, but for those around them, for their physical family, their spiritual family, the people that they don’t even know that you are connecting them with. [01:04:30] And so I just pray for those that are struggling right now, to know how to draw closer to you through your word, that you would show them that low hanging fruit that you would show them how accessible you really are, how much you were inviting them to seek you. And you say that if they seek, they will find. [01:04:46] And so I pray that they would have the courage right now, the courage right now to take that little. Or the big step, but at least the little step towards you. And I pray that they would see you a little [01:05:00] more and that would give them the encouragement, the inspiration, the excitement to step again and again. [01:05:06] And I pray that they would recognize that they’re not doing that alone, that we are all doing this together, that Diana and I are stepping right alongside with them, that together we are coming to know God more deeply so that we can make him known more authentically. We pray and was holy precious name. [01:05:22] Amen. Amen. Thanks so much for being on this show. God bless you. My pleasure.