By Heather Parshley
Jordan Standridge jump-started our week by showing us from James and various other passages in the Bible that it is important to be not only hearers of the Word, but also doers. “The counsel to be quick to hear what God has to say and slow to complain has lingered in my mind the whole week,” says Melinda. This was a useful warning and exhortation since we are on our second week of reading through the Bible, having finished the book of Deuteronomy by Friday this week. On Tuesday, Ryan Francis reminded us that Jesus completely fulfills the law for us; He is our substitute. It was a timely reminder because reading the Pentateuch can make the unreachable standard of the law feel overwhelming. In Numbers 14, Moses pled to the Lord on behalf of the Israelites, which was hard for all of us to understand because of how wicked the Israelites were when they disregarded the gracious hand of the Lord. That God would show them mercy when they flouted His law time after time was nothing short of mind-boggling. However, God forgave them because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses’ plea appealed to God’s character, as He never is unfaithful to His promises. This is an encouraging thought because we know that Jesus has completely forgiven us, and the promises made Jesus Christ are surer than the blood of bulls and goats. And Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, making intercession for the saints, as Hebrews says. Please pray that our view of Jesus increases and we grow in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
Monday – Jordan Standridge led our devotions first thing in the morning. We continued reading through the Pentateuch the rest of the morning. After lunch, Pastor Hartman blessed us with our first lesson in “Bibliology.” It was very edifying, then and for the rest of the week as well. In Abby’s words, “it’s very crucial in understanding the Bible.” That evening, we went to the campus of George Mason to share the gospel and witness to several students with various religious backgrounds. Immediately following this time of evangelism, we attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meeting on campus. There we played a couple of games, ate pizza, and listened to a message about Nicodemus’ encounter with Jesus and the truth about being born again.
Tuesday – Our devotions were led by Ryan Francis. After Bible reading, Pastor Hartman taught us about the accuracy of the Bible. In the afternoon, we had some free time. We went to the famous Chik-fil-a for dinner and then to Baskin Robbins for a sweet treat.
Wednesday – Alex Hairgrove taught us about God’s character from Numbers, chapter 14. During class, Pastor Hartman began to train us how to observe, interpret, and apply the Bible. In addition, he taught us the Left Hand Technique for studying the Bible, which includes: emphasized words, repeated words, related words, alike words, unalike words, and true to life lessons. These have been useful as we continued to study the Bible in future lessons. The Hairgroves hosted us for dinner, and we played several fun games with them, including Twister and a lengthy Taboo tournament. We have been blessed by their kindness and hospitality.
Thursday – Steve Procopio continued to lead us through the Word of God in our devotions, showing us who Christ claimed to be. Pastor Hartman, in his class, explained to us the process of observing and asking questions about a passage so that we would be able to dig deeply into Alexandria for evangelism, and we were able to speak with a numerous people. That evening, at Immanuel Bible Church’s Foundry Bible Study, we shared a special meal to celebrate the Barea family, who will be moving
to moving to Hawaii in just a few short days. Daniel and Esther Barea have been a great influence on the college ministry at Immanuel. Daniel Barea was the speaker for the night and gave a powerful message about the need for prayer in a Christian’s life. Then, the group spent the rest of the emotionally charged evening taking pictures, eating cake and wishing the family farewell.
Friday – Dan Crabtree expounded Psalm 19 at the beginning of the day. Pastor Hartman concluded his class with another analysis of a passage. In the afternoon, we enjoyed free time at the Pinkston’s house. Dinner was at my home, and we had a great time sharing stories, dancing, playing games and just having fun together.
Saturday – I returned to the group, meeting the girls at the women’s brunch at the Hairgroves’ place. We had fun time of food and fellowship. That afternoon, we went to the Barea’s house to help them clean their house for their move. After a bit of downtime, we went
to the Park’s home for dinner. The Parks shared with us their stories and excellent Korean food!
Sunday – We rose early and drove to Baltimore, Maryland, to hear Jordan speak at Baltimore Bible Church. He preached on Ephesians 2:4-7, giving a
message about God’s salvation. Then we went to evangelize with the local church at a bus stop across the street from the place where the Baltimore riots were started. We were able to pass out many tracts and had conversations with multiple people. Then, we went to the home of a member of Baltimore Bible Church for lunch. We heard the testimonies of him and his wife. Afterward, we drove back to Immanuel for the evening service, followed by dinner at the Standridge home.
Overall, this week has been busy, yet exciting. We have completed reading the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and plunged into the book of Joshua. Through Pastor Hartman’s class, our reading and study have been enriched. The families that have hosted us for dinner have been so generous, giving us advice and encouragement along with the food. We are grateful for the insight God has given us into His Word this week. He has shown us more of His character and His promises, which have bolstered our faith and increased our joy.
For me (Heather) personally, this week has shown me that God’s Word is far more of a treasure trove than I had ever imagined. I am exhilarated by the depth that can be found in just a handful of verses. This coming week I look forward to reading more of the letter He has written to all believers.