"Zero Fluff Bible Studies"

Prata Potpourri: Books, Books, Books, and Instagram Bible

Bible Reading Plans, Reading Challenges, Reading Resolutions, what's a girl to do? Read!

Memory moment: A constant accusation against me as a kid was "Why do you always have your nose stuck in a book?" I heard that a lot, from parents, relatives, teachers. Though the teachers may have had a point. I'd put the smaller book by Laura Ingalls Wilder inside the larger tome of Algebra 1 and pretended to follow along in the math lesson. The teacher was not fooled, blast her preternatural senses.

Now that I'm saved, I pray that my nose is always stuck in THE Book, the Bible. Beyond that, reading as a pleasurable activity also engages the mind and stirs the imagination.Reading increases vocabulary, provides conversational topics,and are just plain fun. I'd let reading go to the side for a while but I'm resolving to pick it back up. (do you see what I did there?)

I loved this piece by Jen Wilkin: Beware The Instagram Bible. She spoke against "The Instagram Bible" which is to say, the tendency for girls and women to post frilly and sentimental verse posts on Instagram, fluffed by flowers and feathers and filters, but ONLY the "loving"and "kind" verses and none of the tougher verses. Wilkin mused that if all the Bibles of the world disappeared and we only had access to scripture via these posted Instagram verses, the Bible would hardly be properly represented.

I've written about this before, regarding Church Bulletins, which typically do the same thing. Just once I'd like to see a judgment or wrath verse on a church bulletin.

Are you on the fence about starting a Bible Reading Plan? Yes. Yes I am. I am on day three and I'm already chafing under the self-imposed restrictions I've put myself under. On the other hand, diligence and discipline do often chafe. So there's that. I am sticking with it so far. But Jen Oshman has a good take on the whole thing in her article above. BTW, I am tickled I found Jen Oshman and put her on my blogroll before Challies did. There you go, my first boast of 2017. I repent. But it felt so good.

"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them."
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

Victoria Elizabeth Barnes, who is a good and funny writer, shares her latest estate sale find, a mini barrister bookcase. Her photos are gorgeous too. BTW, my former husband had a barrister bookcase, several levels high. It was a cool item, though not as cool as Mrs Barnes' bookcase, because, well, hers is mini and mini means cute and cute is always cool.

Tim Challies is complementarian and he reads books by women. Gasp! LOL, of course men read books by women and unlike the Tower of Siloam, the hierarchy God has instituted for his church does not come unexpectedly toppling down to crush all in its usurping path. Read more to see why.

Here is Solid Food Ministries with a list of Reading Resources. Their Book Review page. And, their GoodReads page. Check them out!!

What does Samuel James believe is the threat to reading?
This is such an important, and liberating, point. You can't read it all, and almost certainly shouldn't try. Indiscriminate buying of books to fill out one’s "personal library" looks great on Instagram, but in practically every circumstance, it undermines the very intellectual pursuit it mimics.
Are your books piled up in stacks around the house? Bookshelves overflowing? 2X4's on milk crates sagging? No mini-barrister bookcase in sight? Here is a Librarian with a website dedicated to organizing your own personal library. BTW I organize my books by genre and size. If you do it any other way, you're doing it wrong. Just kidding. Maybe.

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." 
― Joseph Brodsky

A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books. I have this book. It's on the top left shelf of Bookcase #1. I am too afraid to read it. I have heard that self-diagnosing from the internet isn't a good idea.

A photo I took of a poster at the famous City Lights bookstore in San Francisco
City Lights Books, San Francisco, EPrata photo


  1. Another great post, Elizabeth, and I love Victoria Elizabeth Barnes! She is so funny and has such an eye for design. She must be a fun person to be around :)

  2. Ok, that little barrister is sweet! You're right, mini is cute.

    I'm not sure I need to see verses about judgment/wrath/condemnation in a church bulletin. Church = the community of redeemed saints, i.e., only those who are born from above, and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I personally would appreciate verses on sanctification, because it is so helpful to have constant reminders to walk in alignment with the calling we have received! :)


    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks so much for checking out the barrister case and Victoria Barnes!

      My thoughts on wrathful church bulletins was partly tongue in cheek. I do think that a constant diet of only the "positive" scriptures isn't as helpful as a well-rounded diet. I agree that church is full of the redeemed, but I also believe that since "all scripture is profitable," that in occasionally pondering the wrath, the redeemed can refresh their gratitude at escaping it by grace, and evangelize with renewed vigor to those who are destined for it. :)


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