TRANSCRIPT Episode 1: The Bible – hearing God speak

Delight Podcast Transcript Accessibility Delight Podcast for new Christians and encouragement for others with Adam Curtis and Leah sax

Adam Curtis:
Hello and welcome to Delight Podcast. My name is Adam Curtis.

Leah Sax:
And I’m Leah Sax.

Adam Curtis:
This is our first episode of Season one, where

Leah Sax:
We’re going to have a Season two, then Adam,

Adam Curtis:
Anyway first episode of Season one, where we’re looking at Christian habits which help Christians live for Jesus. And in this episode, we’re interviewing our friend Adam Thrift on the Bible.

Leah Sax:
So as Adam just said, our guest today is, in fact, Adam Thrift. Now, I have known both Adam for an eon. I’m going to give myself permission today to call our host, Adam, Adam Curtis. So Curtis and our guest, Thrifty, now Thrifty. Right now, you are the minister for Children, Youth and Families at All Saints Church in Crowborough. And now you work there alongside your wife, Sarah, who sneak preview you will hear from in episode three. Thrifty, how did you get to where you are today

Adam Thrift:
That is a difficult questions, I have not thought about that.So I became a Christian when I was 15 and it became pretty clear pretty quickly that I, I was I was interested in youth and children’s ministry and wonderfully that that’s given us opportunities to study at theological college, but also to be involved in ministry, in churches and all sorts of different places, actually. So we were in central London doing ministry on a council estate. Then we moved down to the lovely Cornwall and enjoyed the seaside lifestyle. And now we find ourselves in leafy East Sussex. So it’s been kind of a journey around the south of the country.

Leah Sax:
Amazing. So you became a believer at 15. How did that happen?

Adam Thrift:
Well, actually, partly through the summer camp that the three of us know each other from. We went along to a church in the centre of the town we grew up in the gospel for the first time, realised I was a sinner. They realised that I needed the Lord Jesus Christ became a Christian, and then just a couple of months later went along to Sparkford 2 the summer camp we know each other from. And that was a kind of a massively formative time just in terms of kind of understanding the gospel with more clarity, beginning to have people explain to me what it means to live as a Christian, to live for Jesus, but also just being exposed to other Christians from around the country and on the thing. So it’s really it sounds really stupid, but just how normal they all seem, normal people from around the country who also knew and loved Jesus. I think before I became a Christian, I had a really strange kind of perception of what a Christian was or did. But yeah.

Leah Sax:
What was that perspective? I really want to know?

Adam Thrift:
Well, possibly not just the kind of nerdy or slightly out of touch with normality. I think that’s partly because I grew up none of my friends were Christian. So I went to a local comprehensive school where after I became a Christian, I was the only Christian in my school year of 200 kids. So kind of I think I just created two categories in my head, right. Christians and normality and everyone i knew, my normal world didn’t contain any Christians. So without maybe having a concrete understanding of what Christians were like, just the sense that they were other or they were different in some imperceptible way

Leah Sax:
As part of those life changing truth that you learn about the gospel, what do you think switched that perspective? What was it about the gospel when seeing Christians live that way that made you go, oh, it isn’t this and other.y.

Adam Thrift:
It’s funny, There’s kind of two answers out there. So on one level, I completely realise they are completely other because these people had something about them that was different to the world. I had up to that point known they had a kind of joy. One of the things that massively struck me from going on camp that first year was that there were people who were willing to go and give up their summer in order to spend time with a bunch of teenagers and share the gospel with them. It was it was an amazing witness in that sense. There was a kind of a joy and a hope that really was other that was different to what I was used to. But then on a on another level, they were also really regular people. You could have conversations with them. They were interested in things that I was also interested in. They did normal jobs. They weren’t all vicars. They were in so many ways, not other, but in so many ways other.

Leah Sax:
That’s brilliant.

Adam Curtis:
You spoken about how you became a Christian at 15. You’re the only Christian in your year two and your kids. That sounds like quite a difficult, quite alien sort of experience. How did you keep going with Jesus during that time?

Adam Thrift:
The honest answer is for a lot of that time I kind of led a double life living no differently to my friends during the week and then on Sunday, living for Jesus. There was a real inconsistency, I think, in the way I was living. And actually it was only kind of hitting 18 and life changing, taking on more responsibilities and realising that actually if I believe this, it should change the way I live. I can’t just believe it and then live like the world around me. If I believe it, then something’s got to change.

Adam Curtis:
Can we push into that? So hitting 18, your mindset sort of like changed what sort of changed your mindset when you then suddenly realised, like, this is this is about all of life.

Adam Thrift:
It was at that point that my life started to look different to my friends right in a really concrete way, whether it’s things like not getting drunk or not having sex before marriage, those things became really stark in lots of ways. And it just felt that as this group of friends were starting to go that way, there was like a fork in the road. Right. As my mates are going down this road and I say, I believe this stuff, this is kind of the point where I’ve got to make a decision, not just like I was definitely a Christian from the age of 15. I need Jesus. I understood that he died. My sin. I believe that I trusted him. But there was just this fork in the road where I had to either follow him or step back, I think. And I couldn’t tell you other than God’s grace to me, what made me start living distinctively and living for him. I was blessed to be part of a loving church family. And by that point I had good Christian friends as well as this other group of friends. So there’s a there was kind of peer support and fellowship as well. I am a weak and inconsistent man. Without his help, I would have happily gone down that other fall.

Leah Sax:
How have you seen him holding you close over the years since?

Adam Thrift:
Particularly over the last few years? We’ve had different experiences where where life has got hard. But as a me and my wife and as an individual, one of the things that kind of jumps out, particularly as I struggle quite a lot with my mental health, there are points when I’m struggling with anxiety or depression that you feel cast quite low. But actually, God has sustained us through that, sustained me in the midst of depression, sustained my wife as she’s cared for someone with depression. There’s a quote by a guy called Charles Spurgeon, who was a preacher during the Victorian era, and he says he said, no matter how far you fall, the everlasting arms are deeper still. And actually just learning, letting the truth of that through, like the crucible of depression has been kind of hideous, but wonderful at the same time.

Leah Sax:
Yeah, it’s really humbling to hear that. What do you think you learned of God’s character during that time? Was it difficult to talk to God, speak to him? Know him? Know he was there?

Adam Thrift:
It’s funny. Is that like one of the things not just depression, but difficult times do is they kind of rob you of your support structures. So as human beings, when we feel weak or we feel like we’re going through a hard patch or or our mental health is suffering, one of the first things that goes is our communication with friends and family who might support us or that gets disrupted and often our ability to pray. Very easy to pray when things are good really hard, to pray when things are hard. And that was certainly true for this period of depression. I couldn’t bring myself to pray, felt like God had abandoned me, felt like he left me alone. Two things were just wonderful. One is knowing that he is utterly faithful to me and actually his care for me doesn’t depend on my zeal for him. His support for me isn’t dependent on my mental well-being or my ability to to serve him well at church or to do my job of being a minister Well, like he has support for me is unconditional. He loves me enough to send his son to die for me. So he will support me and look after me as he would his child. So there was that. But also knowing that God is good enough to also have given me a church family, in particular, a wife who prayed for me when I couldn’t pray and friends at church, my boss Steve, who were who was faithful in prayer for me, even though I couldn’t bring myself to pray. This kind of the type of thing of God’s unconditional care for his children, but also his goodness and giving us church family as well.

Leah Sax:
And so Thrifty, I personally haven’t experienced depression, but I’ve got a lot of close friends you have. I’ve experienced that frequently depression and anxiety and mental health isn’t kind of something that’s done and dusted. It’s an ongoing process. How do you feel what you’ve learned in the past about your relationship with God will help you going forward?

Adam Thrift:
I think the big thing and it is kind of the point where depression but also just struggles in general and the gospel meet each othee. So one of the things I’ve I have learned through this is that it’s okay to be needy. And we have a kind of phobia of being weak and needy in our culture, we want to achieve stuff. We want to be in positions where we are not needy, where we are secure. We go to church on a Sunday and we present our best selves, don’t we? And if someone asks how we are, we say, yeah, fine. But actually, the gospel is about neediness, isn’t it? We need a saviour. Yeah, we are in desperate need of a saviour by ourselves. There is nothing we can do to deal with our sin problem. To accept the Gospel is to accept that I am a needy person. And actually so it’s funny I say one of the things that was hardest when I started to seek help for the Depression was taking anti-depressants. Right. So I felt utterly embarrassed that I had to and still have to take a tablet every day in order just to feel normal. I was hideously embarrassed by it, but actually just learning that it’s OK, it’s okay. I need this to help me feel normal. And that’s okay that’s also perfectly consistent with the gospel. I am a needy person and knowing that that is okay to be needy and to feel needy and to share my neediness with other people like appropriate people. Yeah, our vicar, close friends at church. My wife has been nice. It’s been freeing actually. It’s been a blessing that’s flowed from the gospel.

Leah Sax:
Amazing.

Adam Curtis:
And that’s really helpful to hear thrift because often we can see older Christians around us and see see people at their Sunday best and they in sort of can create within us the impression that that Sunday best is like a normal life for them, but actually to be grounded in in that truth, the broken people. We need people, we need each other and we need God. And that is a natural, normal state for a Christian to be. It reminds me that a lot of the scriptures, is filled with lament filled with sadness. The question is, where do we take that sadness? Do we just dwell on it or do we take it to the Lord and ask for help and ask for guidance? Do we lead in on good Christian friends he’s given us to support us and to hold us.

Leah Sax:
Thanks so much Thrifty for your time in telling us your story. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you have to share with us about scriptures, about the Bible.

Adam Curtis:
Well, thank you Thrift for sharing your story and for your openness and honesty. We’re now going to turn to our topic of today our Christian habit. The Bible. The Bible was written thousands of years ago in a different culture. We now live in our modern world. Is a Bible really still relevant for us today?

Adam Thrift:
First, the question of like, relevancy and trust is is quite layered, isn’t it? Like I’m just conscious that when I talk to people about this, I found myself recently using a Lonely Planet travel guides to kind of explain. Right. Which sounds it sounds odd, but let me like. My wife, Sarah and I went to Moldova recently and we bought a Lonely Planet travel guide to Romania and Moldova. The guy kind of works on two levels, doesn’t it? Like one, I’m trusting it. The places it describes are real places. So when it says that the capital city of Moldova is Chișinău, I’m trusting it that Chișinău is a real place, right? Like objectively that I could wander down that the centre of Chișinău and turn right and find the cathedral because it’s a real place. But I’m also trusting that its judgments are correct. So not just that somewhere exists, but that it’s worth visiting. Not just that a certain hotel in the centre of town exists, but that it’s a good hotel to stay in with like clean pillows and comfy, comfy mattresses. And so the kind of question of trust and relevance, it’s kind of works on that those two planes, doesn’t it? Often when people discuss the Bible, they end up talking about how it’s trustworthy, that it’s describing real people, real places, real historical events.

Adam Thrift:
But that doesn’t quite deal with the the underlying issue of trusting the content of scriptures, because so often the content just gets dismissed as as irrelevant, doesn’t it, because it was written so long ago. How could I trust something written so long ago? How can I build my life on something that was written by people who are so different from me as well? We’re super aware, aren’t we, of bias and abuses of power and cases of injustice at the moment. And so there’s lots of skepticism and mistrust, isn’t there? Particularly we can easily become skeptical of anyone who we we see is as occupying a place of power or privilege. And so I look at this this book, and it would be so easy to dismiss it as a book which is just written by a bunch of dead heterosexual men. You know, we think heterosexual men occupy a place of power. It would be very easy to dismiss as bias. Right. It’s irrelevant and biased. They’re dead. It’s irrelevant. They occupy positions of power in the modern psyche. So it’s bias and can’t be trusted. I think one of the problems with that, they. It’s that word, surely, surely because it was written by dead people. It’s irrelevant, surely, because it was written by people who we think of as occupying places of power.

Adam Thrift:
It’s biased and can’t be trusted. But if you stick at just surely and never, never engage with the Bible itself. Then you’re you’re just dismissing something as irrelevant without ever having, like, traverse through the pages of scripture without opening it up for ourselves. So I think sometimes we’re quick to dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, and that’s partly because we haven’t given it a chance and certainly the Bible doesn’t present itself as being irrelevant or biased. 2 Timothy 3:16, says all scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training. But the idea of it being breathed out of the mouth of God, when you open up the Bible, you’re hearing God’s word, you’re hearing God speak to you. And so that changes everything, doesn’t it? Because if God is who he says he is, if he is the eternal God, then he’s speaking timeless truth, not something that we can dismiss as irrelevant because it was written by men long dead. And if God is who he says he is and he is good and sent his son into the world to give us life or to see us flourish, well, then we can’t dismiss his words as being biased and therefore in some ways harmful or not worth trusting.

Adam Curtis:
That’s really that’s really helpful what you say there Thrift. The Bible has layers, there’s levels and in another way it s authorship has layers as it has levels. And if we just sort of stick with the people who write it in that time zone, I’m not going to trust this , this could just be an abuse of power. If we just sort of stick on that level, then we sort of not actually seeing the reality of what the Bible is like if we drive through those human authors to the deeper reality, the deeper truth that it is God and his spirit speaking through these human authors, then suddenly we’re we’re opening the door to to the one who makes sense of reality. It really rang true. We talked about this is the eternal God who’s speaking. What he said 2000 years ago is equally true for today. And actually in 20 years time, it will encourage you then as well. When we come to scripture, we need to be grounded in reality of who who it is that we’re actually hearing from.

Adam Thrift:
I think that is helpful. You know, I come to the Bible and I open it up and it in no way feels irrelevant. Right. Particularly if I come to a book like, yeah, the Psalms and I have all these different kinds of emotions and situations on display. And I think one of the things that is so helpful or that makes it feel so relevant is that kind of layered authorship thing you’ve just mentioned. Right. So God is the divine author as our creator. He knows what’s best for us and he’s able to communicate to us that timeless truth, that he speaks through his word. But it is also has human authors and God so inspired those human authors that their their writing doesn’t lose any of their own tone and timbre. It just means that every word they write down is also from God. And so I read it. I’m like a pick up a psalm and I say Psalm 16 and I read of real human suffering. Right. Real human agony and and sadness. And that feels so relatable. But I also hear the voice of the eternal God who’s speaking to me in those very human, real and relatable terms. That dual authorship makes scripture incredibly relevant. When I read it.

Adam Curtis:
Scripture speaks and makes sense of like a human reality of human existence, I think back at the time, especially at university, where I was really doubting faith and really wrestling with the Lord and wasn’t I wasn’t, I didn’t really want to be a Christian anymore. There was many, many things which brought me back to Jesus. But one of these things was how scripture described human experience, how described who we really were. It rang so true. No one else in our culture, no one else in our society could actually speak so powerfully into my experiences of life that God could, for his word, Jesus as a Mark seven. It is from within the evil comes, that sin comes. And I hear that. And that makes perfect sense. I realise that there are different situations, some good, some bad. And actually sometimes I can be in a really horrible situation and react really, really well. And sometimes that can be a really fine situation and act really badly. And it is not the situation which has caused me to react like that. It is actually what’s bubbling away in my heart. Is it pride? Is there anger? Am I letting these things consume me in these moments? Yes. Or actually knowing that the scripture speaks and it makes sense of our lived experiences, which makes sense. If it’s the grace of God he’s speaking to us, it makes sense that he actually understands what we’re like and that’s what we need. OK, Thrift so you’ve painted for me and a picture of what the Bible is and what it might be relevant for today. Can we push a little bit further into this? Why would I actually want to read it each day?

Adam Thrift:
Yeah, again, you can answer that in a number of ways couldn’t we. On one level, why would it be like if you have the chance to hear the creator of the universe talk to you in your bedroom each morning? Yeah. Why on earth wouldn’t you? And I know in lots of ways that’s an unsatisfactory answer, because we do need to dig a bit deeper into it. But like, there is a level in which oh, particularly in those those times when I, I have not read my Bible for a while, that happens to all of us. Right. I’m not pretending like I read my Bible every day and have never, never had a slip up and not done it. But like those times when you haven’t for why you just can’t. What am I thinking? I could have heard the voice of the creator of the universe and I didn’t find time to do that. OK, it’s bonkers. It’s bonkers on one level. But why wouldn’t you? But I think also, just like going back to the stuff we were talking about before, if God is the divine author of the Bible and if God is our creator, then he knows what’s best for us. He’s good and he has a longing to see us flourish and live life to the full. Often when I’m talking to young people, go to John’s Gospel for this. Right, So John’s Gospel. John says that he wrote he wrote down the accounts of Jesus’s life that you wrote down so that we could believe in Jesus and have life in his name.

Adam Thrift:
That’s a big word, right? Life. He’s written that down so that we can have life. And you just kind of read that you go. So this is no text that’s designed to oppress or maintain status quo or to to keep power in the hands of the privileged. This is this is meant to be a Life-Giving text. And then in that same gospel, Jesus declares of himself, I’ve come so that those who follow him may have life and have it to the full. The full. And so I just I often come back to thinking, well, look, I’ve got God as my creator who longs to see me flourish and to have life to the full through Jesus and that that fullness of life, that information about Jesus, the voice of my creator is there in the pages of scripture. So it sounds selfish, but it’s for my good to read the Bible. On one level, I benefit from it. I flourish in life as I read about a king who loved me enough to die for me, like I flourish as I learn how how God wants me to live life and how he says as my creator, as he gives me the maker’s instructions on how to live that life to the full.

Adam Curtis:
That’s so true, so helpful. It Says in Psalms. Your word is a light onto my path, a lamp onto my feet. And actually this is for our good then, because that means if I haven’t got his word, It means, I’m stumbling around in the dark. I’m not going to know what way to go. I’m not going to know the way forward and not know how to live. I’m not going to know who he is. But if I have is his word, then I have this light. And actually, yeah, that’s taking me somewhere.

Leah Sax:
And it’s so exciting to hear both of you speak of that gift of God’s word, wisdom, guidance. But yet part of me still comes back to the original question is when I realise that the Bible is such a light to my to my feet, why do you think we still struggle to read it and get down to that? What do you think stops us from opening the Bible more frequently?

Adam Thrift:
Well, oin lots of ways. I think we have a strange expectation that when we become Christians, things will sort themselves out and life will get easy for life. The Bible talks about how we are, we’re made holy right through Jesus’s death, but we are also in a process of becoming holy. We are in a process of the spirit working in us to make us like Christ. And so I live in this kind of strange state where I have I’ve been rescued, but I’m still sin. I still struggle. I’m still a fickle and forgetful man. I still believe lies that 15 minutes in bed are better than hearing the voice of the creator. I’m still weak and needy, as we talked about earlier. There’s a reality check to it as well, right? We’re not perfect. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make you perfect. Not yet. It puts you on a process towards that. And in God’s eyes, your perfect Hebrew 10 says Hebrew 20 is amazing. This is going off times, but it says that God sees you as perfect, and yet you are being perfected. It’s incredible. And so I think this that’s just the reality there as well. There are two things as well, there’s discipline, so I we’re kind of wholistic people, aren’t we, in that when I start to get disciplined in one area of my life, I get disciplined in other areas of our life. So the reality is as well like this, this takes some effort on your part. You’ve got to get up and read your Bible.

Adam Thrift:
It won’t just happen like without you putting in some effort that will probably require going to bed slightly earlier than you do. You know, we’ve got friends. They stay up to 12 at night, one in the morning each night, and then they don’t get up and they can’t read the Bible and they wonder why they’re not reading that Bible. I think there’s also like a sense of seriousness to it as well. I have a friend who, when I was in my early 20s, told me that he doesn’t know a single Christian who was reading their Bible daily and he still fell away, who abandoned the faith. And actually, we’ve got in our office these two identical Bibles that used to belong to some sisters we knew. One of them is perfect, like it’s in perfect condition. The other one is like dog-eared and beaten up and used. And the sister whose Bible was perfect and like untouched, she’s nowhere with Jesus, she’s nowhere she doesn’t believe anymore than the sister who gave us this dog eared, beaten up like raggedy old Bible. It’s going well. She’s faithful. She loves Jesus. She’s involved in ministry. She’s she’s flourishing in life. And I just every now that I look at my Bible was like, I actually this is this is serious as well. And there is a sense and of course, we are loved by God and saved by grace, but there is a sensible attitude to keeping myself in that love.

Adam Curtis:
And Scripture is part of the way that God does keep us in his love. Yeah, reading about it reminded me of my sin when I’m reading scriptures and reminding myself of his salvation. It’s grounding me in eternal truths, which without scripture I wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t be able to understand. I could feel them, but I wouldn’t be able to understand them. We need scripture today so that we can be rooted in Jesus. You painted a really powerful, important vision for why we want to be reading our Bibles. Now, let’s maybe like get into the nitty gritty of the how. Give me some practical tips

Adam Thrift:
There are practicalities, right. Of like we just talked about it, like you want to read your Bible in the morning, get up, you want to read the Bible, we want to go to bed. And actually, I tell them they’re not silly things like little things help me. I get up, I go to the same spot, the same chair in my house each day with a cup of coffee. Like I have a little routine around that in the morning. Like sitting in a comfortable chair helps me to focus because I get that I start going around and read my Bible. I’m I’m snuggly and I need you to keep me awake because I’ve gone up to do it. And they seem they seem like such inconsequential things. Right. Going to bed, getting up 50 minutes earlier, making coffee and finding a comfortable chair. And they’re not super spiritual. They but they make such a big difference to my ability to read my Bible. So that’s kind of the practical side of things on the other side of things. So often the Bible feels overwhelming, doesn’t it? Like it’s huge, 66 books, 40 odd authors, different genres, different styles. Some of the language feels confusing, but where on earth do I start? And so I think, like, genuinely just picking up some helpful devotional notes or some Bible study guides.

Adam Curtis:
Hmmm. Can you could you give us some examples?

Adam Thrift:
There’s a company called 10 of Those and they produce a little devotional books of undated daily devotionals that go through a book of the Bible or through a subject like prayer. I find those really helpful because they’re manageable. You get the text of scripture and then you get a page of explanation and then a suggestion of how to pray in light of that. And it means in a month I’ve gone through a book of the Bible, which especially if you’re new to Bible reading, it feels like a massive thing. So like in a month, get a book of the Bible read and understood. I think the other thing people in our church find helpful are the Good Book company produce, Explore notes. And again, they take you through sections of scripture and they give you a couple of questions to answer or to think about and ways to pray at the end. Both those resources are kind of accessible, but they also help me to pray. Sometimes I think that’s a really hard thing. I get to the end of reading a passage of scripture and I’m like, So how should I pray about that? What should the prayer be applied to my life and how can I talk to God about it? And both of those resources kind of help me apply the Bible to your life and then pray about it afterwards.

Adam Curtis:
Oh, indeed, indeed. I found with resources over the years, it’s sometimes you try a resource and it works and sometimes you try resource and it doesn’t actually. Yeah, if it doesn’t sometimes it’s just give me a go. And then after a week and still no good, I just move on and I try, I do something else.

Leah Sax:
Yeah. I was really helpfully once told by one of our pastors at church, like you can change up your sources in the way that you do things that can be really helpful. And I love learning how different people do things differently because like, oh, it’s Not the way I process, but I’m going to try that out every now and again, I’ll sit a piano and sing through some of the Psalms.

Adam Curtis:
Only you Leah

Leah Sax:
It’s not going to be only me. There will be other people who do it as well.

Adam Thrift:
Yeah, I do that. I do that.

Adam Curtis:
I don’t believe you

Leah Sax:
I really hope you doI had singing lessons about 18 months ago. Yeah. This is this is a realisation our our music director essentially went to me or other associate minister and our curate, you guys can’t sing. I will be singing lessons in. On a Thursday morning at nine o’clock,

Leah Sax:
The music educator is obviously dying to ask masses of questions. Did you actually end up singing through some of the Psalms

Adam Thrift:
No

Leah Sax:
And did it help in any way Oh, Adam. OK, sorry. Back over to you Curtis.

Adam Curtis:
Ok, a refocus, refocus, refocus my mind as well. Any other tips you give us?

Adam Thrift:
One of the other things that we do my wife and I do sometimes is on a Friday we read the Bible together. And that’s been helpful for us if we use some of those devotionals from 10 of those that we talked about earlier. We do that together in the morning. And that’s been a joy and a blessing, actually, just carving out some time where we’ve used them as a guy called Tim Keller, he’s gone through like the Psalms in a year and Proverbs in a year. And we’ve done some of that together as a couple.

Adam Curtis:
Thank you for what you’ve really painted, a beautiful vision of reading God’s word for ourselves each morning. And could you maybe push in a little bit more about the benefits of reading God’s word with other people?

Adam Thrift:
We have the privilege of being part of a home group, a small group. And the main thing we do in that small group is study the Bible together. Right. There’s a number of small groups of churches. I suspect if you’re listening, you also a church that has small groups. And there is such a joy actually in sitting under God’s word together and learning from God’s word together. Two things that jump out at me from why that’s a blessing is actually people have insight that I don’t. And so there’s so often that I sit in these Bible studies and I and someone says something and they’ve picked up something in the past I’ve never seen before or I wouldn’t have seen if I was left to my own devices. Right. It’s a massive blessing, the shared wisdom that comes from studying the Bible together. But then also the other joy is we then pray in and because this is the same group of people we’re meeting each week, seeing the way they’ve applied God’s word to their lives, seeing the difference that it’s made to them as the weeks go on is really, really encouraging to see people who are week by week being transformed by God’s words. Hey, what a motivation to keep on reading the Bible, both on my own and as part of that group, is seeing transformed lives

Leah Sax:
When we are at church on a Sunday morning or for the night owls among us Sunday evening. Have you got any advice for us as to how we can be good listeners to when the word is preached? Because we are still looking at God’s word, but we’re coming at it with a slightly different angle.

Adam Thrift:
Yeah, I think it’s different for lots of people. For me, I find it helpful to pray before going to church. I know I’m going to hear God’s words right out and then talk in the sermon and say as part of like preparing myself, preparing my heart to do that, it’s helpful to pray before going over to the service. I think the other thing I say, it’s different for different people. I find it really helpful to make notes. So I take a notebook with me and a pen and I, I make notes. So I have a very kind of logical brain. I like I like to draw boxes and arrows and that kind of stuff and understand the essence, the logic sequence. And so I make lots of notes and I find that helpful actually for retention. Yeah, it helps me retain stuff from the sermon. I know some people who find that very unhelpful, but would still take a notebook and a pen and would doodle whilst they’re listening.

Leah Sax:
That’s me. That’s me all over doodle graphic design all over. And I frequently have one big point I take home because it would have hit me and frequently won’t be the main point of the sermon. But God’s been teaching me that thing. And because I’m such a visual person, I will remember that image and it’ll come back to me

Adam Thrift:
I’m in no way a visual learner, so drawing a picture would be awful for me. But there are Leahs in this world

Leah Sax:
There are a few of us

Adam Curtis:
Are and we thank God for them.

Adam Thrift:
Yeah, I think it’s well, the other thing that does help encouraging conversations about the sermon over coffee coffee is a good time to catch up with people. I’m not downplaying it to the importance of like friendships, but it is also really helpful to then take the opportunity talking to another Christian who has listened to the same sermon just to go, hey, what we struck by or encouraged you from that sermon? Because, again, this is just another way of encouraging one another with what you’ve just heard from God’s work is a corporate hearing. But it’s also really good for attention because you’ve had a conversation about that thing. And again, maybe they’ve spotted something you did and maybe they are encouraged by something you weren’t. And that helps the kind of process, the sermon more so pray before the service, take notes on the way they try to bring it into the conversation I have for someone over coffee.

Adam Curtis:
And it’s interesting because in these conversations over coffee, when you’re talking about the sermon thas allowing the spirit to continue to work in our hearts that’s just meditating upon God’s word and letting it shape us.

Leah Sax:
I was really struck when thinking about how to go about reading the Bible, the biggest thing was just do it. That well-known sports brand, that theme is what just came up. Just opening your Bible is such a massive step. But as soon as I think the biggest step is just opening the pages and then getting there and going, OK, wow, this is the supernatural word of God that we’re hearing from our creator God, our loving father.

Adam Curtis:
Yeah Nike are going to call him up and be like you’ve taken you’ve taken a phrase, your man. You can’t use that.

Leah Sax:
What’s interesting, I didn’t actually use it, but that’s what just kept coming to my mind, which is just do it. Just open up God’s word. Really helpful to also hear that very habitual. I find my coffee, I find my comfy chair. I like to snuggle and getting into that habitual time, just getting it part of a routine helps break that barrier of lethargy, procrastination, apathy.

Adam Curtis:
Yeah. Once it’s a part of just. What we do and who we are just flows into all of life, life and so helpful just to think through what I think about the relevance of the Bible. I can sort of go through my my mind the checklist of historical arguments, why historically we can we can trust God’s word. And there’s a there’s a good and I’m glad there is so much evidence there. But actually, the real reason why this is relevant is that we have a beautiful, liberating, wonderful and good God who is actually speaking to us.

Leah Sax:
Yes, I know. Right. Why would you not want to open your Bible?

Adam Curtis:
Yeah, I get to hear from my heavenly father when I open my Bible. I want to get to hear from the lover of my soul. I want to open my Bible. I get to hear from my for the one who’s always with me will never abandon me. I want to open my Bible.

Leah Sax:
Yeah. So I want to open my Bible. How do you do it. You just do it.

Leah Sax:
Thrifty Thanks so much for your wisdom today. Our first episode, you’re going to be the first person to answer our bonus question, which is what is the one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?

Adam Thrift:
I’m not saying this just off the back of what we’re talking about, but it’s get in the habit of reading the Bible. I did not get into that habit for a number of years after I became a Christian. And the longer you leave it for, the harder it is to develop a habit, get in the habit early read in the Bible.

Leah Sax:
A big thanks to Adam Thrift for his time in talking to us in the Bible, if you want to learn more about those 10 of those daily devotionals, the good book, Explore Notes and those Tim Keller at Psalms devotionals, you’ll find that all in the show notes. We’d love to hear from you. You can find us on Instagram @Delightpodcast. And our email is Hello et podcast dot com. If you fancy Twitter and or Facebook, just search delight podcast. If you think what you’ve heard today might be of interest to others, please do like share and subscribe. This is Leah and Adam. Delightfully exciting. Bye bye.

Bye.

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