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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Over

In a few minutes 2014 will be over.  Looking back on the year, how was it?  Can you point to specific areas where you grew in your faith?  Can you measure that your trust in Christ increased?

How did it go with your family?  How was the time with your wife?  Your kids?

I do not usually share other’s stuff but this one is worth you taking a look at.

How will you apply that?

How do you evaluate your year with Him?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Authority

Still working through the overview of Mark.  Something I noticed this time through is the word “authority”.  It is repeated 9 times.
Authority
People are astounded at Christ’s teaching and the result of that teaching.  Both validated His authority.

The Pharisees challenged His authority.  He did not respond.  That is interesting.

Jesus claimed authority and gave authority to the twelve, which is listed in 3:15 as one of the reasons He chose them.

This is a relatively big deal.  Christ claims authority to forgive sins.  He gives authority over unclean spirits.

He validates what He claims by miracles.

The Pharisees got it right in 3:7, only God can forgive sins.  What does that say about Christ?  Interesting that they missed the lesson.

It makes me wonder what I am missing about Christ’s authority over my life.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Disciples

You may remember that several times in this blog I have suggested that words or terms that are repeated are good clues as to what is important to the author.  Mark uses the word “disciple” 44 times (I don’t count the one after 16:8).
Disciples
Mark uses the word “crowd” 20 times.

The interesting thing is that many times the two words are in contrast.  Jesus teaches the crowd with a parable and then takes the disciples aside and explains the parable to them.

I am still working through the implications of this but one is clear.  Jesus was more interested in His disciples understanding what He was teaching than He was the crowd.

What, if anything, should that tell us about ministry in our churches?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Astonished

Mark is the subject of a couple of studies in which I participate weekly.  I am behind on one of them.  I have been working on the overview today.  One of the things I look for in an overview is repetition of words or concepts.
Astonished
This time through the concept of amazed, astonished, overwhelmed, got my attention.  The word group appears 19 times in Mark; most of the time as a reaction to Christ and His teaching.

That seems appropriate.

We just celebrated Christ’s first coming.  As we read the gospels about what He did with His life, and we discover the impact of His death, resurrection, and ascension, we should be amazed.  Amazed, astonished, overwhelmed with the lengths that God went to, to call us to Himself.

Astonished is appropriate.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Family

We spent Christmas with my dad.  He has been battling cancer for nearly 2 years now.  My daughter and her family joined us so we have the oldest and youngest member of the family here.  My dad is 92, my granddaughter is 2 months.
Family
Not my dad or granddaughter
That is what this holiday is about, is it not?  We pass on what is important from generation to generation.  In Psalm 78:5 – 8, Asaph outlines for us what we should be passing on.  The core of the message is that we are to have confidence in God.

That would be a great legacy, tradition to pass on to our kids

Friday, December 26, 2014

Aftermath

It is the day after Christmas.  The day after unwrapping all of the presents, eating all of the food.  For the first time that I remember there wasn't football.  That changed today.
Was there a let down?  Was there some sort of Christmas aftermath doldrums?  There has been for me in the past.  I think for me, the reason I was focused on the wrong things.  I was focused on pleasing my family not the Lord.

This whole Christmas thing is meant for us to remember the intervention of God into our lives to bring us to Himself.  We have, or I have, at times used the presents we give to remind us of that gift.  But we forget that.

So after all of the emotions spent yesterday, on perhaps the wrong things, it would be reasonable to expect an aftermath of down emotions.

If that is the case, one way to adjust is to remember why we are doing all of this in the first place.  Use the time from now to the end of the month to invest some extended time in the Word and prayer asking Him what He wants you to do differently next year.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

More than a Birth

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

This morning as you open presents with your kids, or this afternoon as you are playing with them, remind them that we are celebrating more than just the birth of a child.  It is the birth of a savior.
More than a Birth
Luke 2:25 - 32 reminds us that He was born for the cross.  Without the cross, there is no celebration.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Summoned

Have you ever been drawn to a passage of Scripture over and over?  That has been happening with me with Psalm 50 for the past several months.  I was there again this morning.
Summoned
I use the first phrase of verse 1 in most of my workshops.  Asaph uses three names of God to emphasize the importance of the Word of God.

This morning the second phrase in verse 1 demanded my attention.  Asaph reminds us that the Lord summoned the earth from the morning to the evening.  Spend some time chasing that word "summoned".  It shows up several times in the creation account in Genesis.  The sense there is that the Lord named the different elements of the creation as He made them.  The sense here in Psalm 50 is that the Lord is in charge, He is sovereign.  He commands, summons the earth, He is in control of it.  Throughout the Scripture we are reminded of God's control over nature, over all aspects of this world.

That raised several questions for me.  Why is it when the reality of God's control over the world is so clear in Scripture, do we go to great lengths to establish that He does not have control over us?

I think the answer may be in Psalm 50:21, we think that He is just like us.  We create Him, in our minds in our own image.  We think He should do things the way we would do them.  Rather than allow the Word to tell us who He is, we form Him to be like us.  He is not.

He reminds us of that in Isaiah 55:8 - 9.  It is our assignment to seek Him for who He is not who we want Him to be.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Last Minute

Part time, I work at an outdoor equipment store.  I do that primarily for three reasons.  First, we need the income.  Second, I love backpacking; it is how I relax.  Third, it gives me access to people I would normally not ever see.
Last Minute
It is interesting to me that in the last several days the store has done a lot of business.  Today was no different.  Several people came in looking for a number of presents for friends and relatives.  Several said they were shopping at the last minute.  Technically that would be tomorrow when the store is open from 10 to 5.  After we closed tonight we had a call asking what our hours were tomorrow.  Someone is planning on coming in at the last minute.

As people we tend to procrastinate.  We do that with a lot of things in our lives.  Some of those things are fairly important.  More so than some last minute shopping.  We focus on our careers so we can provide for our families.  Then we realize that we have not spent much time with our kids and they do not know us.  So at the last minute we try to squeeze in some time.

At some point we figure out that we have spent half of our lives building a business or a career only to discover that we have neglected developing our knowledge of Christ.  So we decide to switch gears at the last minute.  Books have been written on how to do that.

These next weeks can be a special time.  It can be a time to reflect on what is really important.  To what should we be giving our time?  A new year is a few days away.  Before it gets here we will celebrate the birth of the One who came to redeem us.  His closest disciple reminded us in 1 John 2:15 – 16, that we are not to love this world.  It seems to me we need to heed that command more closely than we do.

Think and pray through how the Lord wants you to invest your time this next year.  Don’t wait till the last minute.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Vegged Out

You ever have a day where you just did not do anything?  Today for me.  I was out of the country most of the last six weeks.  There are a few shows that I watch and I had my DVR set to record them for the past six weeks.
Vegged Out
I spent most of the day on the couch emulating a potato working on getting caught up.

Additionally I am hooked on Christmas movies.  My wife has recorded about 20 none of which I have watched.

Pretty much a wasted day.  I think sometimes we need that…

Or maybe I am justifying my sloth…

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Listening with Different Ears

When we are in town we will go to our church for both the early morning service and Sunday school.  Because of the holidays there was no Sunday school.  Because we are at the end of the current pastor’s tenure and we have not found a new pastor the pulpit is being filled by a sister church.
Listening with Different Ears
The pastor has had some physical challenges in recent years.  I do not know him.  I do not know how the challenges he has been facing has impacted him or his approach to ministry.  He speaks with a reality and a familiarity with the Scripture that I find attractive.

He does not always finish his thoughts.  By that I mean he may refer to a passage of scripture in content, even mentioning the book, without giving the reference.  Other times he paraphrases something in the Scripture without referring to the book or the content explicitly.  I found myself filling in the gaps.  In doing so, I found myself thinking about more than what he was sharing.

I spend a fair amount of time in the Bible.  I have for a long time.  I have studied, at some level, all of the books.  Some of the books I have studied multiple times.  When I listen to a message, any message, what is being said is filtered through the studies I have done.  I find myself either agreeing or else in dialog with the speaker.  Long way of saying I do not take what he may share uncritically.

That should be all of our experience.  Acts 17:11 reminds us that the Bereans checked everything Paul said against the Scripture.  The Holy Spirit through Luke calls this noble minded.

We are, according to Christ, to have His Word abiding in us.  Joshua 1:8 tells us that we are to not allow the book to depart from our mouths.  It is to be our night and day meditation.  If that is the case, all of us should be listening through the grid of what we have studied in the Word of God.  We should be continually evaluating what we hear against what we know.

For me that means that I am in constant dialog with the speaker.  This morning that dialog resulted in a new take on a passage and topic I have studied in some depth.  The experience was like hearing what he said and then thinking through the topic and several passages that he did not reference but aligned with what he said.  It gave me a fresh perspective on something I share quite a bit.

So his message drew and built on my personal study.  His input was only part of what the Lord showed me this morning.

I would encourage you to follow that same path.  Do not allow the pastor’s message to be the primary input in your Christian life.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Complete Excitement

This afternoon we exchanged Christmas presents with my kids and their families.  For the past… well for as long as I can remember, we start this process with coffee cake.  My wife hides a full pecan in the coffee cake and whoever gets that piece, goes to the tree and picks out the first present to give.
Complete Excitement
The person that receives the present opens it and then picks out the next present to give.  We do that until all of the presents are gone.

This year three of the grandkids “helped” open each present.  They are four and nearly a half, two and a couple of months, and one and a half.  They were into opening the presents.

The one and a half boy was really into it.  He could not decide whether ripping the paper or jumping on the package was most effective.  Regardless his face was lit up and he was completely engaged in “helping”.

It occurs to me that we should have that level of committed excitement about the gift we got.  The reason we celebrate this holiday.  We cannot wait.  We are overcome with the joy of discovering what the gift means to us.  Diving in with complete joy and excitement to open our hearts to that gift.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Missed Opportunity

In 1974 I graduated from UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) in the US Air Force.  I went directly from there to PIT (Pilot Instructor Training).  Just before I left for Randolph I said goodbye to about four of my classmates, two from Denmark and three from Norway.
Missed Opportunity
One of the Norwegians was my partner for my formation check ride in T-38s.  As we were saying goodbye, at some point in the conversation something about my relationship with Christ came up.  One of the guys said to me, “I see we have left some things unsaid.”

One of the members of my class was also a graduate of Texas A&M, we were both Aggies.  He washed out and ended up in the back seat of an F-4 as a EWO (Electronics Warfare Officer).

When I got back to Craig as an instructor.  One of the students in my BOQ came by my room several times to talk.
What ties these men together?

I was on a cross country in San Antonio and ran into the commander of the Norwegian.  He took an F-104 into the North Sea chasing a Soviet sub.

The Aggie was in the back seat of his F-4 when his pilot, with target fixation, flew the plane into the ground.
Same thing happened to the student in my BOQ, except he was the pilot.

I did not share my faith with any of those men.

I work part time at a high end outdoor store.  One of the men for whom I have been concerned quit today.  He will return to his home state tomorrow.  I have been working at getting closer to him.  I have not shared my faith with him either.
Men who were in my sphere of influence with whom I failed to share.

There are those around us daily who need to know the Lord.  While we are working out how to approach them, they can be fatally injured.  I have hesitated.  With the result that with these four men I lost the opportunity.  The first three permanently.  There still may be a chance with the fourth, small, but a chance.

Do not hesitate.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Full Contact Nativity

We have a wooden nativity that was handmade probably 30 years ago.  Our kids played with it each Christmas.  Some of the pieces are broken and glued back together.  Some have been written on with pen or pencil.
Full Contact Nativity
This morning I was playing with it with my two year old granddaughter.  My intention was to tell the story of Jesus’ birth to her with it.  She had other ideas.

The camel, the shepherd, baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, just about all of the pieces at one time or another went flying down from the coffee table to the floor.  We talked about the kings and baby Jesus, but none of the shepherds or kings really were engaged like it says in Luke 2.

It was ok.  She had fun.  We got the words in; some of the story.

We will have more opportunities on this.  It was fun for her.  It was a piece of the puzzle for her on which we will build later.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Time Zones/Jet Lag

Going on record that I am not a fan of either.  I got back from my trip last night.  I got up, Tulsa time, at 8 PM Monday evening and got home at about 11 PM last night.
Time Zones/Jet Lag
I get why we have to have time zones.  Life would not work well without them, but crossing 9 of them is hard on me, and getting harder.  It was easier than crossing 13 though.

I say all of that to say that sometimes there is a cost to what the Lord asks us to do.  Well, pretty much all the time there is a cost.  Whether it is a long trip or investing time with our kids, it takes time, effort, planning, thinking, and other things that would make good sense if I could think of what they are…

The other half of the equation is something that a group of us talked about at noon.  After we obey, cross the time zones, invest the time in our kids, whatever it is that we are doing to obey Him.  It is pretty much impossible to measure the impact of what we have done.

It may be months, years, or after we are in the presence of our Lord, or never that we know the result of what we have done.  All we are responsible for is to do what He asks, cross the time zones.  Invest the time with our kids or those whom He has called us to serve.  The result is His deal.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kindred Spirit

Yesterday I shared that I spent some time with a pastor in another country.  It was a refreshing six hours.
Kindred Spirit
It was refreshing because his experiences as a missionary pastor in a difficult situation reinforced my understanding of what is necessary both in that country and in mine.

His observations and the lessons he has learned in the years he has invested in the people here and his ministry experience prior to coming here, align exactly with mine.

He has struggled with the same issues.  He has fought the same fights.  He has felt the same frustrations.

Because of that it seemed that we had known one another for many years.  It has to do with being on the same battlefield, just different areas.

It was a rich six hours.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Affirmation

You ever wonder if you are really doing the right thing?  I have worked with a man in another country for about two years.  First helping him in personal Bible study and then helping him help others.
Affirmation
I have often wondered if the efforts are really making a difference.  I am convinced that getting someone into the Word for themselves is all one really needs to do.  I am convinced of that from experience and from what the Word says about itself.

But sometimes I wonder.

Today I met a pastor who knows the man I have been helping for the last two years.  He shared with me that the last two years have been life changing for that man.  The Lord did not need to affirm that.  It was a grace that was kind and encouraging.

I am grateful to Him for the affirmation.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Difficult Questions

You ever get asked tough questions by your kids or someone you are helping in their Christian life?  How do you handle it?
Difficult Questions
Many people I know will begin to share what they think about the issue.  I am not sure that is the best way to proceed.  I really do not want my kids building their faith on what I think, nor do I want people I may be in a study with doing that either.

In a lot of cases the issue is something that I have struggled through.  In that case there will be one or several passages of Scripture that I have identified that help resolve the issue.  That being the case, I will suggest that we look at those passages together and talk about what they say.

If it is the case that it is a topic that I have not considered, then “I don’t know, but I will find out and get back to you.”  Is my go to answer.  I then go struggle through the issue which allows me to do what I said in the previous paragraph.

Bottom line, it does not matter what I know or what I think.  What matters is what God, in the Bible, says.  That is what I want to be the foundation of my kid’s faith.  The foundation of those others whom the Lord may give me the opportunity to encourage.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Can You Convince Someone?

It was a long day.  The conversation was about how to get a new believer started doing personal Bible study.  I am working through a translator and I do not lecture.  It is a conversation, which means translating both directions since I only speak Texan and a smattering of Okie.  Makes the conversation a bit of a challenge…
Can You Convince Someone?
One of the people in the room asked if we would be able to convince everyone we helped to get into the Bible for themselves.  I asked the group to turn to two passages to answer that question, Mark 4:1 – 20 and 2 Timothy 2:24 – 25.

Mark tells us that not everyone will respond.  2 Timothy tells us that no matter how well we encourage, it will be the Lord that draws someone to the Word.

So, no, we cannot convince.  Our job is to pray, share, and trust God to work in a person’s life.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sleepless in...

I could not sleep last night.  The restaurant does not open until 1930 local.  That is too late for me to eat.  I did anyway.  Stayed up until 2200 and then went to bed.  Laid their until 0230 and gave up and got up.
Sleepless in...
Part of the issue is when I am on one of these projects my mind will not shut down.  I am analyzing and thinking through the implications of the interactions.

A couple of days ago Isaiah 9:15 – 17 was part of my reading.  The connection between that passage and Jeremiah 23:16 – 32 has pretty much lodged in my brain.  The Lord is telling the leaders of both Israel and Judah that sharing anything other than the Word of God with the people is foolish and a waste.

What bothers me, partially what kept me awake, is I know men and ministries who have either partially or nearly completely abandoned emphasis on the Word as central to their ministries.  If Isaiah and Jeremiah are right; foolish and wasteful.

Whatever we do, whether it is with our families, in our service to our churches, or broader efforts in our community and the world, if those efforts do not come from the overflow of our time in the Word of God…

Empty.  Foolish.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How Awesome...

Ever wonder how to pray?
How Awesome...
Psalm 66:3 gives clear guidance.  We are to tell God how awesome we think His works.

That assumes two things.

We are paying attention.

We remember what He has done.

In my experience neither one of those is a given.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hating Discipline and the Word

Psalm 50:1, the first phrase, has become the way I open all of the Dads Teach the Bible workshops.  Asaph uses three different names of God to say that He has spoke, sort of an emphatic way to suggest we pay attention.
Hating Discipline and the Word
Today Psalm 50:17 caught my eye.  The contrast with Psalm 50:1 is stark.  Rather than pay attention, the Word is cast behind.  Note what Asaph says about those who do that.

They hate discipline.

2 Timothy 3:14 – 17 reminds us that the Word teaches, reproves, corrects, and trains us.  Sounds a lot like discipline.

Hebrews 12:7 – 11 tells us that it is God’s purpose to discipline us to share His holiness.

The two, discipline and the Word of God are tightly, inseparably linked.  Should we choose to diminish our time in the Word, we are choosing to resist, hate God’s discipline.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tool

At A&M all of us had nicknames, mine was Zilch, don’t ask.  One of the guys was Crowbar.  He was called that because it was the simplest tool…  That was not a fair representation of who he was or is for that matter…
Tool
When I engage in a trip like the one I am on now, there are a lot of folks who will make comments along the lines of what a spiritual giant I must be, but the reality is I am more of a crowbar, in the truest sense of that term.

I know that folks are sincerely praising what I am trying to do, I appreciate it, but my response is typically something along the lines of Luke 17:9 – 10.

This evening, its evening where I am, Isaiah 10:15 reinforced the way I feel about this privilege.  The axe, read crowbar, does not exalt itself over the one using it.  This is not about me.  It is not about me when I lead a Bible study or Sunday school class.  It is about the one who formed, called, gifted, and sent me.  The one using the crowbar is to be exalted, He is the one to be praised.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Plans

So, on the way out of the country.  Have made plans.  Have vetted them with the people in the country where I am going.  But, Psalm 33:10 – 11…
Plans
Look at the contrast.  The Lord nullifies the counsel of nations, but His counsel stands, forever.  He frustrates plans, but His plans stand for generations…

It occurs to me that it would be better to follow His plan than mine…  So, on all these trips, my code is stay flexible, smile, and eat what is put in front of me…  i.e. follow His plan…

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Off Again

Having not yet recovered from the last trip, I take off for another country tomorrow.  I will be working with a local pastor.  We will be working with some of his key people to help them better follow up new Christians.
Off Again
I was going to tell you where but that would not be a great idea…

If you are inclined so to do, I would covet your prayer for clarity through the language barrier, for clear leading as we brainstorm what a new believer in that culture would need to know, and for health and rest during the next 9 days.

I will have WiFi so I will be continuing to blog, but the times will be way off.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Grandkid Time

This morning my wife planned a time for she and I to spend some time with our three mobile grandkids.
Grandkid Time
We made and decorated cookies.  We read the Christmas story out of one of our favorite kid’s books.  We made a special gift that commemorated Christ’s birth.  We sang songs and made a lot of noise beating on stuff.  Broke some stuff.  Marched around the house.  Played in the playroom.  Ate lunch.

A good time was had by all.  It was loud and messy.  Full of laughter and hugs.

We will do it again.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sneaky Advent

Advent kind of snuck up on me this year.  Probably wasn't looking because of getting ready for these trips.  I just realized we are nearly a week into the season.
Sneaky Advent
Part of my reading today was Psalm 22:31.  It is appropriate that we read that psalm at the beginning of advent.  That verse in particular reminded me of one of the major threads that runs through both the Old and New Testaments.  Those of us who know  Him are to share Him both with those who will come who do not know Him.

The truth of this season is the message that there is a way out of the morass we have created through our self-centeredness.  The rescue has not only been launched, it is completed.  All we have to do is inform those struggling how to tap in.

That is great news.  It is the real thing about which we should be excited and it is the real present that we should be giving those we love.  Not just these next few weeks but all 52.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Quenching

I have had a bad day.  It was my fault.  I did something really stupid yesterday and it cost me a lot of money.  I know better.  The signs were all there.  But I got duped.
Quenching
The thing is the Lord warned me.  There was a check in my spirit, which essentially I ignored.  1 Thessalonians 5:19 tells us not to quench the Spirit.  I think that is exactly what I did.  Isaiah 30:21 tells us that the Lord will direct by telling us which way to turn.  He did, I didn’t.  Costly lesson.

It takes a while to get to know His voice.  Just like it takes a while to get to know the voice of our loved ones.  But, when we hear them we know them.  Jesus said that we will know His voice, John 10:27.

It seems to me that when we hear and do not respond, like I did yesterday, that is quenching God’s Spirit.

Stupid.  Costly.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Time of Useful Consciousness

During water survival we were told about Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC).  They told us that if we ejected into cold water i.e. water that was below about 70 degrees you have a limited time where you will be coherent and able rationally think about what you are doing, TUC.  The lower the water temp, the less TUC you have.
Time of Useful Consciousness
Not sure this guy has any TUC...
For the past several days, I have felt like I had a TUC of about 4.5 hours per day.  I am sick and recovering from a hard overseas trip.  Each day I function longer, but I am at best operating at a significantly reduced capacity.

Thinking through this, it occurs to me that Proverbs 3:9 speaks to this at some level.  In my best TUC I should be engaged at some level with the Lord.  Today that was not the case.  Matter of fact that is the case most days.  I do not put my focus during my best TUC on the Lord.

I am going to work at changing that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Like a Child Again

In Nepal a couple of weeks ago I spoke at a child dedication.  This afternoon my granddaughter and her brother were here for a few hours.  My grandson is one and a half.  He does not talk yet, there is way too much to do to bother with talking.  He is a Tasmanian devil of curiosity, he moves through life with a determination to find out how everything he sees feels, tastes, and whether it comes apart or not.  He does this at full speed.  Unaware of any danger or consequences, in full trust that the big ones around him will take care of all of that.
Like a Child Again
Watching him interact with his environment the way he does was entertaining to say the least.  His sister is 4+.  She is of the same mold.  Insatiable curiosity.  But hers is more focused.  She was able for the first time today to look at and appreciate some books we have had for years that were pop ups.  Her brother would have destroyed them in seconds.  She was fascinated by the construction and how the pieces worked.  She was able to work them gently so to enjoy and not destroy.

Watching them learn reminded me of the points in the talk I gave at the dedication.  Jesus said we are to be like children (Matthew 18:1 - 16).  One aspect of that childlike behavior is an insatiable desire for more of Him.  Just like my grandson, a hunger to experience all of Him as fast as I can.  Like my granddaughter, to observe the detail, to revel in the intricacies of who He is and how He works in my life.

We are to be like children.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Core of Training

In the movie The Pistol: Birth of a Legend, there is a scene in the first part of the movie, Pete’s dads, Press, takes him through a drill in their kitchen to help Pete develop, gunslinger fast hands – this is a great movie by the way.  Press, holds the ball on the back of Pete’s neck and then tells him not to listen to him but to pay attention to the ball.  The instructions are when Press drops the ball, Pete is to clap his hands in front and then catch the ball behind his back.
The Core of Training
That is not something that you would typically do in a basketball game.  It is not shooting or dribbling.  But the training creates skill that impacts multiple aspects of the game.  It is not something that can be used on the court specifically, but it preps a player to be able to do things they otherwise could not.

Personal independent Bible study is much like Press Maravich’s gunslinger drill.  In dealing with your kids on a daily basis, or in helping other people in their walk with God, you will not most of the time, be doing Bible study while you are interacting with them.  You will prepare before you meet, but you do not usually do the nuts and bolts of a study when you are meeting with them.

But the study you do, like the drill, prepares you to do a lot in working with your kids and your friends.  Situations will arise in life and conversations that will remind you of things you have studied.  You will be able to speak to those issues from a foundation of your personal Bible study.

I was asked a couple of years ago if Bible study was training for ministry, it is not all, but it is the core.  Everything else is dependent on study.