"Alexa, play the B-I-B-L-E, Yes That's The Book For Me." Our granddaughter was just 3 years old, but it was her favorite song. My hope and prayer, as her tiny voice commanded Amazon's digital device called "Alexa," was that the Bible would continue to be the most important book in her life for the rest of her life. As her grandmother, I've personally experienced the wisdom and guidance of the Bible in my life. But will it remain my granddaughters' favorite book throughout her life?
The statistics are stacked against it right now. Citizens of our culture chooses to read the latest trending internet site, check their social media, view popular videos on YouTube or buy the next self-help book as their go-to sources on how to solve their problems and find peace and contentment.
In a recent study by the Center for Bible Engagement, 93 percent of Americans have access to the Bible and average nearly five in their homes—but only half of American Christians will admit they have actually read the Bible cover to cover. The two biggest reasons Americans say they don't read the Bible are because 1) they are too busy and too distracted, and 2) they don't believe that it's relevant and don't know where to begin. Yet research also revealed that when people read the Bible four or more times a week, their lives changed; they statistically made better and more positive choices. Pornography and substance abuse fall 59 percent, and emotional issues such as anger, depression, loneliness and fear decline as much as 32 percent. Even overeating declines by 20 percent.
That's the reason I've written a new devotional called Hope 4 Today: Staying Connected to God in a Distracted Culture, designed in a four-day format to fit into busy lives. If you don't know where to begin in the Bible, try starting with the book of John and then move to the other Gospels that begin the New Testament. Read the poetry of Psalms and the wisdom of Proverbs. Even reading a little each day, like it is laid out in my new devotional, will change your life.
The two greatest fears that Americans possess, cited in 2016 in a USA report by research done at Chapman University, were the fear of government corruption and the fear of terrorism. These two issues are both uncontrollable and unpredictable, and there isn't a way to protect ourselves from their potential threat. But there is a way to be mentally and spiritually prepared. The Bible offers hope, knowledge and wisdom to navigate in a world of uncertainties. The Bible introduces us to our Creator, instructs us how to live in a broken and chaotic world with peace and contentment, and tells us how to prepare ourselves to meet our Maker.
Do you believe the Bible is the greatest book ever written and divinely inspired by God? Are you able to trust God that the Bible can provide you with guidance and contentment in a world that's constantly unpredictable?
For the past four years, our production company, Cooke Pictures, has been honored to have produced most of the media programming and presentations documenting the creation and construction of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. We've been privileged to have been behind the scenes interviewing curators and scholars. We also had the opportunity to watch masterful architects and craftsmen assemble and launch this unprecedented museum. The collection is so vast that if a visitor were to read and see everything in the museum, it would take nine, eight-hour days.
The Museum of the Bible has no agenda but to present the most significant book of all time to the public. They believe the Bible's history, story and impact stands alone and has the power to influence a reader. The museum challenges visitors to keep an open mind and heart as they view and read for themselves the most controversial and banned book in the history of the world.
Each remarkable level of the Museum of the Bible is visually stunning. Each floor was designed by a different design firm so visitors can experience a unique approach to the Bible's history, story and impact. Each of the six floors adds excitement and interest as you rise to the building's final height with powerful immersive experiences.
The History floor is stunning with its wealth of documents, and the Impact floor demonstrates how the Bible has changed the world. And just when you think you've seen it all, the museum immerses visitors back into the time of Christ with its Nazareth Village experience. Also, there is a virtual reality ride that will truly astound you. Designed by a Hollywood theme-park company, DyMoRides, visitors are virtually flown around the city of Washington, D.C., showing them the many monuments and statutes in which Scripture has been imbedded.
From the moment you step into the grand entrance with its impressive 140-foot video ceiling, visitors will know they are in a truly special place unlike any other museum in the world. But the final sixth floor is truly stunning with its views of the Capitol. Plan your trip so you can observe the sunset and enjoy some of the best Middle-Eastern food by the museum's award-winning chef, Todd Gray.
As a media producer who has worked in Hollywood both in front and behind the camera for over twenty-five years, I've had the opportunity to meet and work with plenty of celebrities and powerful people in Hollywood. In my opinion, Cary Summers, the president of Museum of the Bible, is a genius. His leadership is beyond compare, and I am always in awe of his humility. His passion for his work is unending, and he has overseen each detail of this new museum from the moment a visitor enters the building to their final exit.
The MOTB is a must-see and an experience of a lifetime that you will never forget—just as the Bible is a must-read for a significant life. I challenge you to read it four or more times a week and see your life positively change.
Check out a free sample of my devotional, Hope 4 Today: Staying Connected to God in a Distracted Culture, on the YouVersion App or purchase one at your favorite book site or store. It's designed for busy schedules and can help you see how the Bible is relevant even today. You too will be singing "The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that's the book for me."
Kathleen Cooke's new devotional, Hope 4 Today, encourages readers to engage with God. As co-founder of Cooke Pictures (cookepictures.com) and The Influence Lab, she publishes a monthly newsletter (influencelab.com/women). Find out more at kathleencooke.com, or reach her on Twitter @KathleenRCooke.
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