Originally published Wednesday, 19 March 2014.
Today I have the privilege of sharing with you an interview of my friend and fellow InScribed author, Jenifer Jernigan. Her new book is Dive Deeper: Finding Faith Beyond Shallow Religion. It is so neat to see this book in print as I have come alongside Jenifer in the journey of writing it. Through out the pages, you will see and be encouraged by Jenifer's LOVE for God's Word. Here's a bit about Dive Deeper...
Dive Deeper comes from Jenifer Jernigan’s heart. As a preacher’s daughter, she grew up with some pretty heavy expectations to live up to. Jenifer found herself becoming numb to the things of God because the Bible stories were all too familiar. She longed to break through the serene surface of her safe place and d.i.v.e. deeper into scripture. I asked Jenifer a few questions that will get us thinking and motivated to study the Bible for ourselves. Though Dive Deeper digs into the book of Ephesians, Jenifer's d.i.v.e method is an powerful tool to study other books of the Bible as well! ~I'm excited for readers to learn your D.I.V.E. method for studying the Bible. How does this method translate into a better knowledge of Scripture and therefore a closer relationship to Jesus?
Jenifer: When I made the choice to dive deeper into God’s Word, I needed Jesus—not religion, or tradition, or denominational mandates—I just needed Jesus and His Word. I’m not going to lie to you. Diving deeper into the Scriptures has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m no academic scholar and if you were to ask a number of my childhood teachers they’d tell you I’d never amount to much in life because I was “challenged and had learning disabilities.” So, I needed something simple…that’s where d.i.v.e. comes in. d.i.v.e. stands for: d. (define) i. (investigate) v. (visualize) e. (embrace) The d.i.v.e. method equips the reader to get below the surface into the depths of the passage, connecting to the heart of God through the pages of His Word. Because when we dive deeper into God’s Word, He dives deeper into us.
~What kind of encouragement do you have for those of us who find it challenging to make time for in-depth study of the Bible?
Jenifer: Really diving into the depths of the Bible is hard and challenging and time consuming. But it’s also rewarding and beautiful and time well spent. My encouragement to anyone struggling with in-depth study of the Bible would be simply this: please do NOT give up! In-depth study of the Bible is not beyond you. You can do this!! Here are a few quick tips: **How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you choose to use the d.i.v.e. method, start with one portion of d.i.v.e., gradually adding more each time you go back to the passage you’re studying. **Never d.i.v.e. alone. Ask a friend to join you in diving into the depths of God’s Word with you. Accountability and encouragement are much needed when you’re doing something tough. **Pray and trust that God will teach you and guide you and reveal things to you about His character that you’ve never known before.
~Dive Deeper takes us through the book of Ephesians, what is it that you hope we will take out and LIVE OUT! by reading this book of the Bible?
Jenifer: As the reader dives deeper into the book of Ephesians they’ll come to know deep within their heart that IN Christ is their place of healing, abundant living, and worth. Studying through the words the apostle Paul penned, they’ll see who they truly are before Jesus, a reality we must all face in order to understand the magnitude of God’s love and grace for us. They’ll come to learn that a life of religion will fan the flame to “do” in the Church solely based on a selfish, what-can-I-get-out-of-this mentality, when ultimately what God has called them to is a specific work, created just for them, within His Body in order continue furthering the Gospel message to those who need to move beyond the shallowness of religion into deeper faith in God and abundant relationship with Him.
~Just for fun...what's playing on your iPod/iPhone/Mp3 player right this moment?
Jenifer: My kids are on Spring Break this week. So, this morning, the Disney Station is blaring on Pandora.
I know you will be excited to read Dive Deeper and interact with the Bible in meaningful ways. Here's where you can get a copy of it... DIVE DEEPER on Amazon
More about Jenifer Jernigan:
Jenifer Jernigan is a wife and mom of 3 whose past would spill over into her present if it weren’t for the healing power of God’s Word. As founder of Diving Deeper Ministries, her passion is to equip women to d.i.v.e. deeper into God’s Word, teaching them to study Scriptures for themselves. She is co-owner and regular writer for Internet Café Devotions and is part of a team of writers creating curriculum for Journey Church in North Carolina.