"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7


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Encore staff pass on a life-changing insight from their life or ministry.


Read It One More Time
John Hamilton

Have you ever gazed into a stereogram? You know, one of those geometric designs that looks like only a colorful pattern—but after many seconds of staring at it you see a dolphin or a butterfly or another image “hidden” inside?

Studying the Bible is like that. The greatest error in Bible study I see among Christians is not reading the text one more time. “Hey, I already know that passage.” Maybe, but have you seen God deep in the text—today? Proverbs 2:4-5 says we will find “the knowledge of God” if we “search for it as for hidden treasures.” The treasures of Scripture are revealed to those who gaze deeply and long.

It’s usually after I’m convinced that I understand the theme and the application of a passage—but choose to read it one more time, anyway—that it “breaks open” and I see God. One of my colleagues says that when he begins to study a passage, “I’m still peering into the mist, but nothing has emerged yet.” He means, “I need to stay in this chapter awhile longer.”

Just a few weeks ago I began a weekly study of 1 Peter with three Navigators who are lifelong friends. For years, we have met on Skype once a week to share Bible study highlights. I’ve studied 1 Peter at least 25 times in my 40-year Navigator career.  But it wasn’t until the eighth or tenth reading of chapter one, a month ago, that I realized God had appointed (1:1-7) the audience to the adverse circumstances of their lives (He foreknew and chose them for those experiences). And He was not apologizing, not allowing the audience to gripe and complain or to act out. He wanted them to understand their true identity, their future glory, and to live responsibly in the present.

I had to read the passage one more time before it “broke open” and I saw God. May we all go beyond skimming the surface of Scripture and make the effort necessary to discover the treasures that lie within.

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Cliff Fenlason

Like a Child Again

I wrote the following poem while in the throes of language study during my first year in our appointed country. My wife, teenage daughter, and

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