Living the Reclaimed Life

Reading Your Bible; Moving from "Should" to "Want.” ~ Keith Ferrin Ep. 129

June 10, 2024
Reading Your Bible; Moving from "Should" to "Want.” ~ Keith Ferrin Ep. 129
Living the Reclaimed Life
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Living the Reclaimed Life
Reading Your Bible; Moving from "Should" to "Want.” ~ Keith Ferrin Ep. 129
Jun 10, 2024

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Do you struggle to read, understand, or enjoy the Bible? Many people do. We often feel like we “should” read it more or know it better. Our guest today, Keith Ferrin, is committed to helping you move from should to want. I can hardly wait for you to get to know your bible coach, Keith Ferrin… Let’s dive in.

Stay Connected with Keith and grab one of his courses. 
He is offering our listeners two courses for the price of one! 

Follow Keith for more great tools! 

Here are two FREE Ebooks for you!
1. Shame Off You: 10 steps to shattering shame in your life,
2. ABC's:
CLICK HERE for a FREE E-book to help you combat lies and replace them with God's truth. For more encouragement, check out some of our offerings at

Did you know we have a jewelry line that speaks to your identity in Jesus?
CLICK HERE to shop. Every purchase helps support our mission to provide healing and hope to women worldwide.

Would you partner with us to spread the message of hope and healing? You can
DONATE HERE. Living the Reclaimed Life is a Reclaimed Story, Inc. podcast, An Arizona non-profit corporation.

If you would like to connect with a safe group of women doing real-life together, join our private Facebook page,
“Living the Reclaimed Life” or on Facebook or Instagram

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Do you struggle to read, understand, or enjoy the Bible? Many people do. We often feel like we “should” read it more or know it better. Our guest today, Keith Ferrin, is committed to helping you move from should to want. I can hardly wait for you to get to know your bible coach, Keith Ferrin… Let’s dive in.

Stay Connected with Keith and grab one of his courses. 
He is offering our listeners two courses for the price of one! 

Follow Keith for more great tools! 

Here are two FREE Ebooks for you!
1. Shame Off You: 10 steps to shattering shame in your life,
2. ABC's:
CLICK HERE for a FREE E-book to help you combat lies and replace them with God's truth. For more encouragement, check out some of our offerings at

Did you know we have a jewelry line that speaks to your identity in Jesus?
CLICK HERE to shop. Every purchase helps support our mission to provide healing and hope to women worldwide.

Would you partner with us to spread the message of hope and healing? You can
DONATE HERE. Living the Reclaimed Life is a Reclaimed Story, Inc. podcast, An Arizona non-profit corporation.

If you would like to connect with a safe group of women doing real-life together, join our private Facebook page,
“Living the Reclaimed Life” or on Facebook or Instagram

 Transcript is auto-generated

[00:00:00] Denisha: Do you struggle to read, understand, or enjoy the Bible? Many [00:00:05] people do. Oftentimes we feel like we should read it more or know it better. [00:00:10] Our guest today Keith Barron is committed to helping you move from [00:00:15] should to want when it comes to reading your bible. I can hardly wait for you to get to [00:00:20] know your bible coach Keith Barron.

Welcome [00:00:25] to Living the Reclaim Life Podcast. I'm Denisha. We're glad you're here for [00:00:30] conversations that revive hope, inspire healing, and encourage you to live a vibrant [00:00:35] life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest.[00:00:40] [00:00:45]

Keith, this is such a blessing to have you on the [00:00:50] podcast. You describe your wife as the coolest woman on the planet. [00:00:55]

[00:00:55] Keith: Pretty much. She is. I'm married up for sure. 

[00:00:57] Denisha: You are also a dad to the three [00:01:00] coolest kids on the planet, right? 

[00:01:01] Keith: Well, I get it from my wife, so that's where they get it. But yes, [00:01:05] have one that just graduated from college, one that's in college, one that's still in high school.

So the days of having them [00:01:10] all at home are fading away. It goes quickly, as you know. 

[00:01:14] Denisha: [00:01:15] It sure does. Well, Keith, I'm so excited for our listeners to get to know you [00:01:20] just as a person and also as someone in my life who, when I think [00:01:25]about studying the Bible, there's a lot of times I think I need to get up in the morning.

I need to read my [00:01:30] Bible. I need to do this. And one of the things I love is how relationally you [00:01:35] teach us how to read our Bible, how to engage with the word that is alive and active in [00:01:40] our lives. I feel like I'm kind of letting out a little bit of a secret in my life. Like y'all need to know [00:01:45] Keith because there's some pretty amazing things that you put out that just helps us to just grow in [00:01:50] our faith and understanding of the word.

So here's my little secret guys meet [00:01:55] Keith here. Here 

[00:01:56] Keith: I am secrets out. 

[00:01:58] Denisha: We connected a couple of years [00:02:00] ago at a conference in Phoenix. I think that we were both speaking at, and after I met [00:02:05] you, I continued to hear people bring up, oh yeah, the guy that does the devotions at the [00:02:10] conference each year. And after that, I'm like, Hey, I got to hang out with that guy for a little bit.

So [00:02:15] it kind of went from there. And I started following you and you're an author, a [00:02:20] speaker, there are just so much value that you provide. Keith, I know you had a time, I [00:02:25] believe you said you were 25 years as being a Christian and feeling [00:02:30] like the Bible maybe was something you should do before you realized how [00:02:35] awesome it was, and you really wanted to do that.

Tell us a little bit about your story. 

[00:02:39] Keith: I [00:02:40] can truly point to the night. It was April 18th of 93. So that's not the day I met [00:02:45] Jesus. I had been a Christian. It wasn't quite 25. I say it's 25, but it was 24. I [00:02:50] guess just about my 24th birthday at that point. I was a full time youth and worship pastor. I [00:02:55] love Jesus.

I love students. I love teaching the word. I loved speaking. [00:03:00] And loved hanging out with kids. I didn't feel like growing up. So after college, I just became a youth pastor and was always into [00:03:05] music. So I was in front of people a lot, that whole world that I'm still in and speaking and [00:03:10] all that. That was very kind of normal for me to do, but my daily [00:03:15] regular as just a follower of Jesus who felt like I should read [00:03:20] my Bible more, I should know it better, I should remember it better when I [00:03:25] study it, that was the one part of my life with Jesus that was more.

Marked by the word should [00:03:30] than want, right? I wanted to sing and worship and I wanted to hang out with kids and I wanted to [00:03:35] preach well and hear good preaching. And I wanted to sit under older Christians. I mean, I [00:03:40] wanted all that. And then the Bible was just, yeah, and I should do that more consistently.

Little did I [00:03:45] know at a ripe old age of almost 24 that pretty much every [00:03:50] Christian I've met ever since. struggles with the same thing, that there's so much that we [00:03:55] want to do in our relationship with Jesus and the Bible for so many is a [00:04:00] should. And April 18th of 93 was the day that not the whole [00:04:05] thing changed, but the day that I can mark took the first step.

And it was a few days [00:04:10] prior to that, that I was having lunch with a buddy of mine named Mark, who was a youth [00:04:15] pastor at another church in town and was one of the guys ended up standing with up with me at my wedding. [00:04:20] And I, one of my super good friends, and he and I were having lunch and he just said, Hey, Keith, I don't know what to make [00:04:25] of this.

There's this guy Who used to be in the Broadway cast of lame [00:04:30] is Who's memorized the whole gospel of Luke and he's coming to our [00:04:35] church Sunday night And he just gets up on stage with no sets or [00:04:40] props or costumes or actresses or actors nobody just alone on stage [00:04:45] in jeans and a t shirt and he just Quotes the entire gospel of Luke [00:04:50] and he kind of acts it out while he does it and I'm like Dude, are people really [00:04:55] going to listen to that for two hours?

When I thought of memorized quoted scripture, [00:05:00] my brain went back to being a frightened eight year old when I was in [00:05:05] elementary school in central Kansas, where they stood the second grade Sunday school class up in front of big [00:05:10] church once a year and had them quote John three 16 in front of the whole congregation.

And so [00:05:15] each kid was just saying it as Fast as they can and half of them were stopping to wave to their mother [00:05:20] and you know, I mean all and so there was this total disconnect for me between [00:05:25] memorized quoted scripture and Good drama or [00:05:30] something engaging. I thought it would be fascinating for about 10 minutes.

I didn't think it would be Awesome. [00:05:35] And so I went and that was April 18th. And I tell you, that's the [00:05:40] day that the living word of God went from being a phrase to a reality. And that's the [00:05:45] issue I find as I travel around the world for most people, the living word of God is a phrase that they [00:05:50] wish was a reality.

They believe it's true. But believing something's true and believing something's [00:05:55] alive are two very different things. And so I ended up going up, the actor's name was [00:06:00] Bruce Kuhn, K U H N, if you want to look it up. I ended up going up to him afterwards and I just [00:06:05] said, Hey man, that was truly, that was amazing.

Can I take you to lunch the next day? Because I [00:06:10] mentioned he was going to be in Seattle from New York for the whole week. And I asked him to lunch and he said, yes. [00:06:15] And I picked him up at noon and dropped him back off at his hotel at 9 PM. And we just spent the whole [00:06:20] entire day together and didn't sit at the restaurant the whole time, but we spent the whole entire day together.

[00:06:25] And he just started talking about the Bible differently. He started saying some things like, well, what if instead [00:06:30] of Studying this piece and then this piece and then this piece and memorizing this verse and then this [00:06:35] verse over here and then this Verse over here. He said what if you just took a book of the Bible and you just soaked in [00:06:40] it until you knew it You just hung out there until you know it and when you know it you move on [00:06:45] I'm just thinking wait a minute my whole life.

I've heard about studying the Bible and memorizing [00:06:50] verses I've never heard anybody talk about soaking in it or hanging out with [00:06:55] it or whatever. And so You That summer of 93, you know, cause it was end [00:07:00] of spring. So that summer of 93, I just said, okay, every day, I'm just going to read the [00:07:05] book of Philippians.

I'm just going to take Philippians, which is about a, I don't know, 15, 16, [00:07:10] 17 minutes or something like that if you're just reading it. And so over the course of two to three [00:07:15] months, I read Philippians 60 to 90 times. And I just found [00:07:20] myself, A, more consistent than I'd ever been. B, enjoying it more than I ever had [00:07:25] before.

See understanding it better than I'd ever understood any book because I was now making [00:07:30]connections to pieces that I had never seen before and Oh, that's in [00:07:35] chapter 1 and in chapter 4 and oh this idea. Oh this theme Oh, you know and [00:07:40] what they you just miss when you're taking a look at a paragraph at a time And I found [00:07:45] myself thinking about it at times other than when I was reading my Bible [00:07:50] partly because I It was fascinating and engaging and I enjoyed [00:07:55] it reading it in the morning, so I wanted to think about it later on, just like if you see a movie that you [00:08:00] love.

You're talking about it with people the next day because it was awesome, right? And I found that that was [00:08:05] happening. It was coming up in conversations. I was thinking about it. And because I had read it 60 to 90 [00:08:10] times, I pretty much had the whole book down word for word without ever trying. Because I [00:08:15] knew it.

I mean, think of the songs that you can sing that you never tried to memorize. Think of the movie [00:08:20] lines that you can quote without ever trying because you watched the movie a bunch of times. And [00:08:25] for me, that's what was happening with Philippians is I realized that I [00:08:30]hadn't just memorized it. I had internalized it.

And that was one of the things you've heard me say a [00:08:35] million times is it was that summer of 93. But I actually stopped [00:08:40] using the word memorization and started using the word internalization [00:08:45] because I believe the goal should be to know the word, not just know the words. And so [00:08:50] frequently when I have conversations like this one, not on podcasts, because typically when people invite me onto a [00:08:55] podcast, they've already kind of seen kind of my approach to things.

But when I have a conversation with somebody and they [00:09:00] find out what I do, because now I actually. Do the same thing I with the gospel of John and [00:09:05] with several other books of the Bible, I'm a word for word biblical storyteller. And so I weave that [00:09:10] into the speaking that I do. And a lot of times when people hear about that and they haven't ever seen it, [00:09:15] they've never heard me teach on it.

And they start talking about, how do you memorize the book of the Bible? [00:09:20] Find that the conversation very quickly gets to, how do I get the words in the right order and [00:09:25] get it to stick? And I just say to me, that's just not a very interesting [00:09:30] conversation. But if you want to talk about. How do you hide God's word in your [00:09:35] head and your heart so deeply that the Holy Spirit can use that word That's hidden in your head in [00:09:40] your heart to transform you to be more like Jesus.

I'll have that conversation all day every day [00:09:45] Which is the conversation I have been having all day every day for 28 years. And so for [00:09:50] me That was the shift is that started with Philippians. [00:09:55] Then in 94, I made one New Year's resolution and that was to internalize the gospel of John. I wanted to know the [00:10:00] life of Jesus, the way that I knew Philippians.

And so I just soaked in the gospel of John for a year. [00:10:05] And little did I know that God was going to shift my whole course of ministry because unlike Bruce, who had a theater [00:10:10] degree and had been in plays his whole life, I had never done anything but youth group skits. [00:10:15] So I went into this. From a personal growth standpoint, [00:10:20] not from a performance standpoint.

It just never even crossed my [00:10:25] mind until a year later when I had learned Philippians, never shared it with anybody [00:10:30] and was learning John and. Bruce came back into town the next [00:10:35] spring to do some presentations in the Seattle area where I live. And he and I got together [00:10:40] again, cause we'd kept in touch.

And I went to pick him up at the place where he was rehearsing. [00:10:45] And I said, Hey, guess what I'm doing? He said, what? I said, I'm learning the gospel of John. And [00:10:50] he said, really, we'll do a couple of chapters for me. And I went, what, what are [00:10:55] you talking about? Cause remember I was a youth pastor. He was a Broadway actor, Sam.

He's [00:11:00] asking me to act for him. And so I did the first chapter or two of the [00:11:05] gospel of John. And he just said, you know, I really think that you could do this. And [00:11:10] that led to a whole lot of practice and him putting me in touch with some theater people that he knew and [00:11:15] hiring a director to work with me.

Cause I, again, had no, when it comes to being on [00:11:20] stage. My first ever acting performance [00:11:25] of my life was March 3rd of 96, when I was two [00:11:30] hours alone on stage presenting the entire gospel of John. That was my [00:11:35] baptism into the theater world. 

[00:11:37] Denisha: That is [00:11:40] amazing. 

[00:11:40] Keith: Completely insane. Yeah. Yeah. So, so people are like, you're doing [00:11:45]what?

Aren't you a youth pastor who also sings a little? You know, it's like, [00:11:50] yeah, I don't know, but now doing the word for word biblical storytelling. That's what that's, [00:11:55] I still have never been in a play, never been in a play, never been in a movie. Never. It's just the one man storytelling is [00:12:00] what I've been called to do.

Letting people know that the word of God is plenty. So 

[00:12:04] Denisha: yes, [00:12:05] boy, there are so many things that come up as you're saying that. First of all, I have [00:12:10] to ask, why did you choose Philippians? 

[00:12:12] Keith: Two reasons. One, quite honestly, it's short. [00:12:15] I wanted to pick something that I knew that I could easily [00:12:20] read in one sitting.

Because like, in 94, when I was internalizing the Gospel of John, [00:12:25] I would read it about every three to six days. Like if I had [00:12:30] 45 minutes or so, it would take me a few days. If I had 20 to 30 minutes, it would take me five, six [00:12:35] days. Cause it takes just under two hours to read the gospel of John. And so it [00:12:40] was really rare in the whole year.

I probably only had. Four or five days when I sat down for two [00:12:45] hours and read the whole Gospel of John. But Philippians is less than 20 minutes. [00:12:50] So I wanted to pick something that was short enough that I [00:12:55] could commit to reading the whole thing every day and it wasn't going to be overwhelming [00:13:00] and Philippians was at that point probably my favorite short book of the [00:13:05] Bible.


[00:13:06] Denisha: That's so neat. There are several 

[00:13:08] Keith: that are vying for first place now, but, [00:13:10] but at the time, I just love the message of Philippians. There are a lot of [00:13:15] the out of context verses that we use all the time that are from Philippians. [00:13:20] And so when you read Philippians, it feels like you're kind of putting flesh on a skeleton.

You already [00:13:25] know if you've been around the church at all, I could quote two or three verses. from each [00:13:30] of the four chapters and you've heard them out of contact. You've heard them. So, uh, so it's [00:13:35] a very familiar letter. So those are the main reasons it was short and it was [00:13:40] a letter I liked already kind of a thing.

[00:13:42] Denisha: So you memorized my brain kind of [00:13:45] goes Wait, is this possible? Right? I've never tried to memorize a book of the Bible. It doesn't sound [00:13:50] like you really tried either. You just absorbed and enjoyed it, right? And [00:13:55] internalized it. Yeah. 

[00:13:55] Keith: And now for me, the internalization process is woven right into the way that I study the Bible.

[00:14:00] Whatever I'm studying, I'm internalizing at the same time. And so, and I mean, you and I talk about, [00:14:05] we're both speakers for pregnancy banquets and, and, I use the book of [00:14:10] Philippians. I mean, of the 45 minutes that I speak on stage, 15 minutes of it is [00:14:15]me presenting the entire book of Philippians. And then we talk about the themes of partnership and prayer [00:14:20] and participation that are woven throughout Philippians because that letter isn't a letter entirely [00:14:25] about the joy of partnership and ministry.

So it's perfect for a fundraising banquet. So I bring the scripture storytelling right [00:14:30] into a fundraising banquet, even when everyone's wearing suit and ties and, you know, eating [00:14:35]fancy food. So I love it. I love it. Super fun. 

[00:14:38] Denisha: So do I even [00:14:40] want to ask? Between 95 and 2024, [00:14:45] how many books do you know now?

[00:14:47] Keith: Well, at some point, I have [00:14:50] presented 12 different books of the Bible. Oh 

[00:14:52] Denisha: my 

[00:14:53] Keith: word. So the two long ones are [00:14:55] John and Romans, but I also tell people it's different internalizing it [00:15:00] and having it presentation ready are two different things, right? [00:15:05] It's kind of like from the time that an actor is off script where they know their [00:15:10]lines and they're ready to actually have the opening night.

That's oftentimes [00:15:15] months, right, of practice. And so, if you were to ask me right now, [00:15:20] I could do most of the Gospel of John, because I've just presented that so many times over the last 30 years, [00:15:25] and Philippians, probably Ephesians, 2 [00:15:30] Timothy, Jonah, And then if I had a couple months warning, then I could probably [00:15:35] refresh and get like 1st Peter, Galatians, [00:15:40] Colossians, Sermon on the Mount.

So that's not a whole book, but that's about the same [00:15:45] length as some of those other shorter ones like 2nd Timothy or Philippians. It's about a 15 minute deal. So, [00:15:50] and we'll talk as you and I mentioned about what this episode is going to be about. Kind of, you'll see as I [00:15:55] talk through how I approach Bible study that a lot of it is lining [00:16:00] up.

How we're reading and studying and internalizing scripture with [00:16:05] how God's wired our brains to work. Because my background is actually, I don't have a Bible degree. Not only do I not have a theater [00:16:10] degree, I don't have a Bible degree. My degree is in psychology. My master's is in counseling. I've always been fascinated with the [00:16:15] brain and how the brain works and how learning happens.

And realize that most of us study the [00:16:20] Bible, not just slightly off from how God's wired our brains, but actually 180 degrees different from [00:16:25] how God's wired our brains to naturally and enjoyably learn anything, which is why we don't understand it and [00:16:30] we don't remember it. And when we line that up, we understand it better.

We enjoy it more and [00:16:35] we remember it more and internalization just becomes significantly easier [00:16:40] when you try to do it. You know, Oh, well, I wrote one verse on a note card and I repeated it [00:16:45] a bunch of times and then I added a second verse and then I added a third verse. It's completely 180 degrees [00:16:50] opposite from how God's wired your brain to learn.

[00:16:52] Denisha: That's amazing. And hearing your story, it kind [00:16:55] of blows up my I'm going to remember one scripture on an index card of like, [00:17:00] you increase the potential and what's possible and just how you engage in this. So [00:17:05] if you were to talk to key, In the first few years of being a youth pastor, [00:17:10] what would you tell him?

How do you read your Bible to enjoy it? How do you [00:17:15] make that shift? 

[00:17:16] Keith: Yeah, I would say it's both mindset and it's process. [00:17:20] So there's, what I say is you've got your purpose and you've got your process. And [00:17:25] the number one, you've already even kind of mentioned it in my intro is [00:17:30] I think the most important shift.

That's going to help you enjoy it [00:17:35] is shifting your purpose, shifting your mindset [00:17:40]from reading the Bible informationally to reading it relationally, that I found that [00:17:45] a vast majority of what I was taught about Bible study. [00:17:50] I wouldn't say is wrong, it was just incomplete. And I think it had an incorrect starting [00:17:55] point.

Almost every Bible study methodology I've learned or was taught over the [00:18:00] years is some version of read the passage and ask what it says, ask [00:18:05] what it means, and ask how it applies. That's kind of the basic premise, and it's [00:18:10] just different pieces of that. You know, the observe and application and you've [00:18:15] got different versions of it, but it's this idea of, well, what does it say and what does it mean?

[00:18:20] And how does it apply to my life is really what people have packaged [00:18:25] together Bible study. And I say, those are important questions to ask. Go ahead and [00:18:30] ask those questions. But I think our first purpose for asking the question, for [00:18:35] asking any questions, for reading Scripture in general, is to hang out with Jesus.[00:18:40]

That the purpose of being in the Word is relational, not informational. [00:18:45] We're not going to the Bible to learn what God wants us to know, so that we can do what He wants us [00:18:50] to do, and somehow live a life that pleases Him. Is understanding what [00:18:55] God wants us to know and doing what he wants us to do and living a life that pleases him.

Is that important? Yes. But [00:19:00] it's important because he has created us for and called us into relationship with him. And [00:19:05] I tell people all the time, think of the people in your life. You know, taking God out of the equation for a second. [00:19:10] Think of the people in your life that you've learned the most from the people who can correct [00:19:15] your thinking, the quickest, the people who can comfort you when you're struggling, the people [00:19:20] who have whatever inspired you, challenged you, equipped you [00:19:25] all, aren't those also the people that you've like had a movie night with or gone to a ball game with, [00:19:30] or had over for dinner and just shared recipes with whatever it [00:19:35] is.

The people that we are in deepest relationship with are the people who [00:19:40] teach us the most, who challenge us the most, who encourage us and comfort us and all of those things. [00:19:45] And yet, somehow, we believe that every time we go to the [00:19:50] Bible, We're supposed to learn something. I remember growing up and not even [00:19:55] necessarily as much from my parents, as much as from Sunday school teachers and from [00:20:00] pastors, and I just always remember different voices in my head and in my world [00:20:05] saying, we're always remember God has something to teach you every day.

You ever heard [00:20:10] that God has something to teach you every day? Well, I'm here to tell you, it's not true. [00:20:15] God does not have something to teach you every day. Now, again, [00:20:20]listeners, before you turn this off, do not hear what I'm not saying. [00:20:25] Does God have something for you every day? Absolutely. But as somebody who's a parent [00:20:30] talking to somebody who's a parent, and I'm assuming some of the people listening to this are parents, are there some days [00:20:35] when you teach your kids something?

Absolutely. Are there some days when you discipline them? Yep. [00:20:40] Are there some days when you challenge them or comfort them or encourage them or inspire [00:20:45] them to be more than they would be on their own? Yes, all of those things happen as a parent. And [00:20:50] I'm guessing there are some days when you just go for a hike.

Or a bike ride or go to the park or have a [00:20:55] Marvel movie marathon or whatever it is. And hey, parents, are those [00:21:00] days less valuable than the days you teach your kids something? I wouldn't say they're not [00:21:05] only not less valuable. How many double negatives was that? But I would say that [00:21:10] those are actually foundational.

For our kids receiving our instruction and receiving our comfort and [00:21:15] receive. And so I believe that there are some days, not every day. There are some [00:21:20] days when God has a lot to teach you. But I also think there are some days when he wants you to read the word [00:21:25] and not learn anything. I think sometimes he wants you to read the word and just enjoy the read.

That's not [00:21:30] wasted time. If you read the Bible for 30 minutes and your main takeaway is, [00:21:35] wow, God's been using people as messy as I am for a long time, that's your only takeaway. You don't have [00:21:40] any kind of application point or nugget of truth to apply to your life. [00:21:45] That's not time poorly spent. And so the main kind of foundational [00:21:50] principle of everything I teach in Bible study is we need to read the Bible [00:21:55] relationally, not informationally.

We need to go to the Bible with the purpose of being with [00:22:00] Jesus, not the purpose of learning about Him. Or even learning about life, or learning about marriage, or [00:22:05] learning about parenting. All of that's going to happen when we spend time with the person who designed [00:22:10]all of those things. The process there's a lot in my book how to enjoy reading your [00:22:15] Bible It lays out kind of my 10 tips that I tell people that's a book if somebody's tell told me I [00:22:20] really struggle with should When it comes to Bible reading that book is the two hour conversation.

We [00:22:25] would have in a coffee shop And then I have other books that are actually like laying out the process [00:22:30] fully But it really boils down to again as I mentioned a few minutes ago [00:22:35] Lining up the way we take in the Bible, the way we study the Bible, the way that we internalize the [00:22:40] Bible, lining it up with how God's wired our brains to work.

And here's what I mean by [00:22:45] that. If you want to understand, remember, and enjoy the Bible more, [00:22:50] we need to read more of it at the beginning. We need to read [00:22:55] bigger chunks of it. And I learned that on accident, that summer that I was reading Philippians, [00:23:00]that anything that you have ever learned naturally and [00:23:05] enjoyably.

You've learned from the general to the specific, not from the specific to the [00:23:10] specific to the specific to the specific, right? I mean, so I'm going to take a risk here. Denisha, what's one [00:23:15]of your hobbies? Are you really into sports or cooking or music or what do you like to do? 

[00:23:19] Denisha: I love to [00:23:20] read. Love to read.

[00:23:21] Keith: Okay, so if somebody was trying to ask you about [00:23:25] the last book that you read, Or your favorite author or something like that. [00:23:30] Let's say the last book that you read, would you dive into the central teaching of [00:23:35] chapter seven? Nope, probably not. You'd probably go, Oh yeah, [00:23:40] this is a book about running a nonprofit ministry aimed at women, or [00:23:45] this is a book that's all about how to record and edit a podcast or whatever.[00:23:50]

You give this high level overview, and it's not that chapter seven isn't [00:23:55] important. It's massively important. My guess. If it's included in a book, just [00:24:00] knowing what it takes to write a book and how much gets left on the cutting room floor. If it ended up in there, it's [00:24:05]important. But, it's just not the place to start.

And so, [00:24:10] the analogy that I frequently use that helps people kind of make sense of my process [00:24:15] is the analogy of watching a movie. That if you and I started [00:24:20] watching a movie, and we got done with scene one, and I pushed [00:24:25] pause and said, Let's discuss this. You'd be like What? [00:24:30] And then I, especially if I then pause it after scene two and then [00:24:35] pause it after scene three.

And said, let's discuss you wouldn't think that was an in [00:24:40] depth, really fun way to watch a movie. You'd be like, put the remote down. Can we just watch the movie? [00:24:45] And after we've watched the movie, we can talk about one scene or one plot twist or one character or the [00:24:50]musical score, the cinematography or one aspect of the movie.

We can have that conversation. And [00:24:55] those are important conversations to have, but they're way more fun. If we've watched the [00:25:00] movie first. And I think that for a lot of people, the reason that they don't enjoy, [00:25:05] understand, or remember what they read in the Bible is we study the Bible. Like we're studying the scenes of a movie [00:25:10] we've never watched.

And so you take something like Philippians. There are lots and lots of [00:25:15] people who could tell you what Philippians 4. 13 is about. I can do everything through [00:25:20] Christ who gives me strength, or I thank my God every time I remember you in chapter one, [00:25:25] right? Or I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in [00:25:30] Christ Jesus at chapter three.

I can tell you what that's about. And I've heard sermons about it and I've read blog posts [00:25:35]about it. I've seen YouTube videos about it. And, but if somebody says, what's Philippians about, [00:25:40] uh, and if you say something like [00:25:45] I have fought the good fight. I finished the race. I've kept the faith. Well, we've all heard tons of sermons on that.

[00:25:50] We've heard that quoted in so many different things, but how many people listening to this podcast can tell you what [00:25:55] book it's in? Well, it's just so you know, it's the second Timothy. And second [00:26:00] Timothy is shorter than Philippians. I mean, second Timothy would take you about 12 minutes to read. If you read [00:26:05] second Timothy every day for the next 30 days, And then after those 30 [00:26:10] days, you studied it, you looked at a verse or two or a paragraph each day for another [00:26:15] month.

You took two months, and the first month was big picture, and the second month [00:26:20] was scene by scene. You'll never read, I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith the same [00:26:25] ever again. Because you will always hear it in context of the whole movie. And [00:26:30]so, that idea of reading more of it, that for me, if it's a short book, [00:26:35] which, of the 66 books of the Bible, about [00:26:40] 37, 38, 39 of them, somewhere in there, a little more than half, can be read, like, out loud, at [00:26:45] a normal rate of speed, can be read in less than 30 minutes.

So [00:26:50] more books of the Bible are short than long. So for shorter books, I say, read the whole book in one sitting. [00:26:55] And if it's a longer book, if you're reading Genesis or you're reading one of the gospels or acts or [00:27:00] Romans or something like that, it's going to take an hour, two hours, three hours, then set an amount of [00:27:05] time instead of an amount of content.

Just like say, I'm going to read for 20 minutes or, you know, because [00:27:10] most people, I say, how long can you give? They either give me three answers, 15, 20 or [00:27:15] 30 minutes. That's typically what people say. So taking the middle of that, you know, if you and [00:27:20] I are reading the Gospel of John and we're getting together once a week to talk about it, that I was [00:27:25] raised, you're supposed to read a chapter a day.

I was told somewhere along the line from a youth pastor or from somebody, I was told you're supposed to [00:27:30] read a chapter a day. So if I read the Gospel of John, which is 21 chapters, it's going to [00:27:35] take me three weeks if I never, ever miss a day. Which I know none of us ever struggle with that. [00:27:40] So, uh, So if I never ever miss a day, it's going to take me three [00:27:45] weeks to read the Gospel of John.

If you just say, you know what, I'm going to take kind of that middle [00:27:50] number, 20 minutes. Not even the long one of 30 minutes. I'm just going to take 20 minutes a day and I'm going to read it. [00:27:55] Well, you're going to read, the entire Gospel of John, takes a little bit less than two hours. [00:28:00] So even rounding up, you're going to read it every six days, which means in the same time that it [00:28:05] took me to read it once, you're going to read it three and a half times.

Just by shifting your mindset [00:28:10] from I'm going to read a chapter a day to I'm just going to set a timer for 20 minutes and wherever I'm at, I'm going to put a bookmark in [00:28:15] it. And so for longer ones, I say read for an amount of time instead of an amount of content and everything will change. [00:28:20] And so that process of reading more of it and you've heard me [00:28:25] reference reading out loud.

I've pretty much become such a huge fan of reading out loud because we naturally [00:28:30] read with more emotion when we read out loud. Tell people read the Bible like you're reading Curious George to a five year [00:28:35] old and watch what happens. I love it. That put emotion and everything in it, because when we read, [00:28:40] when we see it and we hear it, even if it's our own voice that we're hearing.

We [00:28:45] understand it better and we remember it better, what we see and hear at the same time. If we take it in with two [00:28:50] senses, and if we've added that third, it's not really a sense, but if you add emotion, that [00:28:55] emotion triggers memory. And so if you read with emotion rather than reading it monotone, [00:29:00] then you'll remember more of it.

So the understanding, the [00:29:05] remembering, Adding the fact when I'm in that first early stages, [00:29:10] and I'm not studying every verse and scene and doing word studies when I'm [00:29:15]just reading it. I read a physical Bible all the time. One, it's less distracting. [00:29:20] And to part of again, I weave the process of internalization [00:29:25] into my Bible study.

And when you see it in the same place, our brains [00:29:30] love what I call what I call in my internalization course, the power of location. Our brains love [00:29:35] it when they see the same thing in the same place. And if you're reading on a phone or a [00:29:40] tablet and you're scrolling, then there is no power of location because you saw that verse at the bottom of your [00:29:45] screen and then in the middle of your screen and then at the top of your screen.

But if you open up a physical Bible. [00:29:50] Chapter three of Mark will always start in the exact same place. It'll [00:29:55] always be at the, you know, two thirds of the way down column two, whatever it is, [00:30:00] and every time you pick it up, it's in the same place, which reinforces memory. And [00:30:05] so without, you know, and the fact that you're reading something that you're not [00:30:10] tempted to be distracted.

Right. I mean, I don't know about you, but when I'm reading my [00:30:15] physical Bible, I've never gotten a notification from the page, you know, it's just like, it's [00:30:20] never happened. And so I've never thought about, oh, I need to copy this and paste it into a text [00:30:25] to a friend who's going through a hard time. I've done all that, even good things.

We're distracted by good things [00:30:30] when we're on our phones, because when we're on our phones, we're holding something that can do a thousand things. [00:30:35] So reading more of it. In a physical Bible out [00:30:40] loud and doing it again and again, if you do that for a month and there, there's more that [00:30:45] you could do some things with background studies on like the author and stuff that gives that foundation.

[00:30:50] But in my book, falling in love with God's word that lays out my how to study a book [00:30:55] process. I use not just the movie analogy, the whole book is built on the analogy of building a [00:31:00] house. I equate Bible study, studying a book of the Bible, like building a house where there's [00:31:05] foundation, and then there's framing and then there's finished work.

All three of those phases to [00:31:10] getting a house built or having a house built or building a house. All three of those phases are important and [00:31:15] so is the order. I'm really glad there's paint on this wall right behind me. , I like paint and I like [00:31:20] trim, and I like windows and stuff like that, but if the painter or the window guy [00:31:25] or the person I'm talking to about carpet, if they show up the same day as the foundation [00:31:30] guy, I'm not gonna say you're unimportant.

I'm just gonna say you're early. 

[00:31:33] Denisha: Right? 

[00:31:33] Keith: So for me, [00:31:35] that big picture. Get understanding what a book is about, understanding the tone of it, the [00:31:40] feel of it, the main themes of it, getting those big picture, spending a month doing that [00:31:45] really tees up. That deeper conversation of the next [00:31:50]month. So I typically take two months to study a book of the Bible, a short book, and then I'll take those [00:31:55] that second month, and then I'll go through the paragraph by paragraph, because man, if you love [00:32:00] reading and I love cooking and I love sports and you take either one of those things, I mean like [00:32:05] cooking, if I love talking kind of about the big picture process [00:32:10] of cooking, but then I also like.

Hey, what's your recipe for red sauce? And what's your recipe for [00:32:15] red sauce? What's your, and Oh, that, well, I didn't, what's that ingredient I'm tasting? The detailed [00:32:20] conversation is fun because I know the big picture. Right. Just like if somebody [00:32:25] doesn't like football, then talking about the statistics of a certain [00:32:30] football team is boring and tedious and uninteresting at all.[00:32:35]

But if you've watched a football team and you've enjoyed it and you root for the same team [00:32:40]and you're watching it with friends and then somebody starts talking about, do you realize that he hasn't missed a [00:32:45] completed pass the whole day, blah, blah. I mean, all the detail stuff becomes a more interesting [00:32:50] conversation.

Yeah. Where if you have a conversation with somebody who could care less about football and [00:32:55] you start talking about completion percentage of a quarterback, they don't even know what you're talking about because they [00:33:00] don't understand the game yet. I think a lot of times we try to look at a verse of the [00:33:05] Bible like the statistic of a sport.

And we're like, we just need to analyze it and figure it [00:33:10] out on all that. Obviously I could go on for hours about all of this, but that basic [00:33:15] principle of foundation and framing and finished work of watching the movie before you study the scenes [00:33:20] that really tease you up. And if you do that whole thing under the [00:33:25] umbrella of a relational mindset and a purpose of relationship, you'll be well on your [00:33:30] way to not just believing and trusting the Bible, but understanding and enjoying it [00:33:35] and remembering it too.

[00:33:36] Denisha: Oh, good. Keith, thank you so much for all of those [00:33:40] tips. And I love the analogies. When you talk about the should versus the want, [00:33:45] boy, I know should comes out of like an obligation, a duty. I get up in the morning. I [00:33:50] have my quiet time, right? You know, I do this because it's a duty or an obligation. I should do it.[00:33:55]

But as you're describing this. The want comes when the word comes alive. The [00:34:00] want comes when you just say, Hey, I've got 20 minutes. This is my constraint. I'm going to read because I [00:34:05] want to. And then everything coming alive and it not being more about knowing more and [00:34:10] behaving better, but being about that relationship.

And I just, I love the way that [00:34:15] you Dive into this and you have a book called how to enjoy [00:34:20] reading the Bible. How can we find that and how can we find you for a lot more [00:34:25]resources on how to read our Bible and love it. 

[00:34:28] Keith: All of my books you'll find on [00:34:30] Amazon. So you can just go to Amazon or wherever you'll find how to enjoy reading your Bible.

[00:34:35] A lot of my books are Bible studies. So I have a whole series, the 10th one, [00:34:40]which is actually on Philippians that we were talking about. It comes out later, depending on when people are listening to this comes [00:34:45] out. Like in August, September of 24, but those scripture journey [00:34:50] books are all 40 day book studies because I look at 40 days.

If [00:34:55] you do it five days a week, then you've got an eight week study. So for two months [00:35:00] built on that whole process that I just talked through. So studies on Ephesians and [00:35:05] this was Philippians is coming out and Hebrews and the gospel of John and acts and a bunch. And then I [00:35:10] have two seasonal ones, one for Lent and one for Advent.

And those ones, if you go to my [00:35:15] website, if you're going to buy them, because a lot of people will buy those like for a Bible study to do together for the staff at the [00:35:20] church to have as their devotional. So they want, Amazon has not figured out a way yet to offer bulk [00:35:25]discounts. For whatever reason, they're missing an opportunity.

But if you're ordering more than one, then go [00:35:30] to my website and I'll, I give discounts on bulk orders of those. Ben, as far [00:35:35] as resources, if you're a video course person, I have one called relational Bible study [00:35:40] and one called the simplest way to internalize the Bible. And it's on my process. So [00:35:45] my Bible study methodology, as well as internalization that goes deep dive into all that with [00:35:50] downloads.

And I mean, typical online course stuff. So if somebody, I can give you a [00:35:55] special link that they can get both courses for the price of one, because they're listening to your deal. So I'll create a [00:36:00] special link for you, Danesha, and put it in there. Or somebody can reach out to me [00:36:05] and say, Hey, I heard you on.

The one and only Denisha's podcast and what's the coupon [00:36:10] code. So I'll do that. But then everything else is on YouTube. I've found that's a great way to [00:36:15] reach people that I'll never be able to be on live stages around the world. So I do a lot with that. It's [00:36:20] kind of a funny thing. As of a couple months ago, if you go on to YouTube and you just type in Keith [00:36:25] and Bible, I'll be the first thing that comes up.

So that's pretty fun. So [00:36:30] that channel is called your Bible coach. So if you remember your Bible coach, you can search that, or you can search Keith [00:36:35] Farren, or you can just search Keith Bible and it'll show up. It'll be me and kind of a [00:36:40] funny purple shirt. So. 

[00:36:42] Denisha: That's so great. I know one of the comments that I [00:36:45] noticed on one of the YouTube videos that I watched said, I heard you speak and I [00:36:50] ran and he capitalized ran to go subscribe to your channel.

So I really want to encourage [00:36:55] you guys. Keith has just as great way as you can hear of just making things so [00:37:00] simple to understand. And so go and subscribe to his YouTube channel. And I know that [00:37:05] you will be blessed as I have been to just receive all of the things that you have and how many. [00:37:10] you written?

I know two years ago when we first connected at the conference, I was [00:37:15] blown away at how many books you had written in. How many are you at now? 

[00:37:18] Keith: Philippians will be my [00:37:20] 16th. 

[00:37:20] Denisha: 16 books. That's amazing. 

[00:37:24] Keith: 10 of [00:37:25] those are those scripture journey, Bible studies. So those are different. Those have a [00:37:30] shorter chapter, you know, different things.

Cause they're not for somebody to read, sit down for 20 minutes and [00:37:35] read my words. I want them to just give enough guidance to get into the word. The other fun thing, if you're [00:37:40]listening to this are, have the U version Bible app. On your phone or tablet, just in the [00:37:45] last few months, they've released the ability for you to connect with people and follow them.

So you're [00:37:50] notified when they do a new plan or whatever. And they've just asked me to do some more different things [00:37:55] like the verse of the day, things I've done a couple of times. They've just asked me to do another one of those. And I just released a video [00:38:00] series on that as well as some plans and that.

So if you're, if you're on the YouVersion Bible app and you want to [00:38:05] connect, connect there, that's super fun. And I'll be doing a lot more partnering with them in the years to [00:38:10] come for sure. So. 

[00:38:11] Denisha: So much value that you give out, Keith. Thank you so much. Well, we'll [00:38:15] make sure in the show notes to put links to the courses, to put links to your website.

[00:38:20] And I am just looking forward to you are officially reclaimed stories, Bible coach. [00:38:25]

[00:38:25] Keith: I'm happy to do it. 

[00:38:26] Denisha: Yes. Thank you for being our Bible coach. And we look forward to diving [00:38:30] into more of your great content in the next episode, which is going to launch in two [00:38:35] weeks. You want to definitely check in because we're going to talk to Keith about seven simple [00:38:40] questions to help you study your Bible.

So I'm looking forward to that one as well. Keith. Thank you. [00:38:45]

[00:38:45] Keith: My pleasure. We'll see in two weeks. 

[00:38:46] Denisha: You got it. Thanks for listening. I [00:38:50] pray you found hope in today's conversation and maybe even feel a little less [00:38:55] alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at [00:39:00] Reclaimed Story. Want to learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a [00:39:05] part of our growing community of reclaimers?

Check out our website at [00:39:10] reclaimedstory. com. All of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you [00:39:15] enjoyed this inspirational podcast, be sure to subscribe, rate, and review. [00:39:20] Not only will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge [00:39:25] help in helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed [00:39:30] life.