On some days, my brain struggles to read my Bible. That’s when I open my Mr. Mac Bible!
Watch my story here:
Or read my story here:
Here’s the bottom line: When I read illustrated Bibles, I read more, and I comprehend more.
Here’s my story: I work hard, I do a lot of analytical design and corporate training development, and work almost every day. My health has been a challenge, and I feel rather tired much of the time. I’ve had too much on my plate for quite some time. And on some days, my brain struggles to open my Bible and read through just a handful of verses from the text.
Am I the only one who is struggling with feeling too tired to dig into the text of my Bible? Is anyone else finding it hard to concentrate for more than a minute or two before their minds wander away from reading through the little lines of text, or with reading through more than a few sentences in a day?
I’m not happy to say that my brain seems to prefer watching re-runs of “Monk”, “Psych”, or “Perry Mason” on Amazon Prime instead of opening the text of the scriptures during my work breaks, or during a meal. It seems the more tired I feel, and the more pressure on my brain I feel, the less I want to pour over lines of text.
But then, I started reading the Mr. Mac Bible “illustrated Bibles” for myself, instead of starting with my “text-only” Bibles. And now I’m reading these illustrated Bibles while eating my breakfast, lunch, dinner, or the occasional snack time. But here’s the remarkable thing, by keeping an illustrated Bible or two on the kitchen table, where I know that I’m going to sit down multiple times a day to enjoy some food and drink, I find that I “naturally” want to glance through the illustrated Bibles verse by verse, which is page by page, in a way that is allowing my brain to relax and enjoy the reading while I “look at the pictures” that illustrate each of the verses, one page at a time.
Reading the illustrated Bibles don’t feel overly stressful for me as I’m reading verse-by-verse, as I’m reading, (let’s say) the Book of Acts, the Gospel Of John, or the Book of Genesis. And you know what? To my surprise, I’m reading entire chapters verse-by-verse in one sitting again, and sometimes even more than a few chapters. And I feel like I’m identifying with the characters and the situations being illustrated behind each verse, which is helping me to absorb what’s happening in the text. For example, when I got to the end of the Book of Acts, I broke down and cried when I realized that Paul was about to suffer and die in prison at the hand of Caesar Nero. I felt like I knew Paul, having spent so much time with him in the Book of Acts. Does that sound strange?
In a way, the illustrated Bible helps me “slow down my reading”, not feeling like I’m trying to “rush through” to get to the end of a chapter; Instead, slowing down to think about the characters that are experiencing their problems, and experiencing God in these unusual ways, which compels me to read more, and retain more; not always realizing how much of the text I’m reading in each sitting.
There are 33 Mr. Mack Bible illustrated Bible books, which covers over 150 chapters (which adds up to about 20% of the entire Holy Bible). So, in my daily Bible devotions, I’m just going from illustrated book to book, and getting through lots of material, and yet I find that I have the mental, spiritual, and emotional energy to engage with the illustrated text of the scriptures deeply. Maybe it’s because the right side of my brain – which is the creative imagination side that likes to engage with colors, shapes, and characters, which engages with the left-side of my brain that loves the text, the logic, and the word studies behind each of the verses. It’s like both sides of my brain are working together to bring God’s word to my attention, and to get me past that tired feeling and fatigue.
The Mr. Mack Bibles are illustrated so that the text of the verses combines with the illustrations and characterizations of the pictures assigned to each verse, which help bring me deeper and farther into God’s story of the Bible. And I notice that sometimes while reading the verses and thinking about the situations being illustrated, I stop reading and find myself pondering the meaning of the verses, or the way the illustrations are drawing my attention into the meaning in the text, which is all wonderful! This engagement between the two-sides of my brain is improving my Bible comprehension and keeping me moving forward in the Bible text. And the pictures help me slow down while reading, so I find myself often pausing to “talk to the Lord” in prayer as we move through His story together. Which is marvelous!
It’s so nice to be back to reading the Bible a verse at a time, a chapter at a time, to truly be thinking about “what is happening here”, and what is God bringing to me through the telling of “His Story”.
So, I encourage others to read the illustrated Bibles as part of their daily devotions. And also, to be diligent to pass-around your copies of the illustrated Bibles to your friends and say, “Hey, this book really blessed me! Try it for yourself while you eat breakfast with your kids and bring Bible study devotions back to the table with your family!” And so… the next thing you know, you’ve got your friends and family reading the illustrated Bible and having that same “multi-dimensional and multi-media” experience with both the pictures and the verses working together.
That’s my story.