Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Ever since I was young, I seem to have been nobbled to do readings.

At school, at college, at church, I guess it was really my own fault for volunteering.

Even at my dad's funeral, I was the one doing both Bible readings, something that I felt very nervous about. I hadn't rehearsed, and I was scared I might accidentally read the wrong passage. The worry that I might have stood up in front of 100 mourners and boomed "Here are the instructions for the cleaning of lepers" is one that remains with me today.

A little over three years ago I bought a book from the Christian Resources Centre on Queen Street appealingly entitled You Can Predict Your Future.

It was principally about how words shape the future, and how we should therefore discipline ourselves to both speak and think positively.

I can't remember why now, but I read the book a second time, usually in Myers Park, out loud.

Ultimately this led onto reading other books out loud too, such as The Prayer Of Jabez, and doing my daily Bible reading out loud too.

Reading the Bible out loud many days could be a problem though, eg. if I were on the bus. I'd sit there at the back muttering quietly away to myself, in a low tone that I hoped was drowned-out by the engine noise. And obviously, if anyone sat next to me without headphones on, then I just plain didn't.

Ignoring the arguable spiritual benefits, I'd say that I've noticed three tangible effects of this over the past three years.

1. It's become harder to read in my head.

2. I've been asked to read at church more.

3. I think it's helped me to teach English.

A while back I started to keep track of which books of the Bible I knew I had read out loud. With Jude, I've now finished it. It's also helped motivate me to have read the Bible twice. (which I also got to tick-off today)

Now when I read the Bible in my head, three things seem to happen:

1. I whisper it.

2. I put a lot more inflection in, as I imagine how I would read it out loud, if I were reading it to other people.

3. Point 2 requires me to try to get inside the head of the Bible's writers, by which I mean God, the people who wrote it down, and the individuals who are being quoted.

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