Chasing Rabbits – Bible Study Notes

In The Pastor's Blog on May 13, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Quick note: I’ve had to fix a couple of broken links, and hope you weren’t overly bothered by the problem. Sorry.

This is a repost; I’ve changed the title and cleaned up some of the underlying code.

Have you ever chased a rabbit? I’m not thinking about four-footed furry fur balls like Bugs Bunny or Thumper. Now, you need to understand my feelings about famous rabbits – I like most of them. I have laughed more times than can accurately be counted at Bug’s antics and predicaments he’s gotten himself into. It’s not hard to recall the size of Thumper’s enormous feet in Disney’s famous Bambi.

Our daughter has a big heart, and was given a very furry rabbit about a year ago. With the help of our granddaughters, we affectionately named her Funny Bunny. There was a small cage for her while indoors, but she didn’t like it very much, so we built a small pen around a grapefruit tree in our back yard. How many times she climbed out of the pen is anybody’s guess. She wasn’t content to just get out of the pen, she had to get out of the fenced yard, too. We chased that rabbit down so many times, and it was always a big ordeal. That silly rabbit wasn’t very cooperative.

No, I’m referring to an all to common practice in which we wander down trails, ditches, highways and other roads instead of sticking with the topic at hand. Does this ring a bell with any of you? Speaking of bells, did you hear about… Get the idea?

How many times have you been in a conversation and couldn’t keep up because you couldn’t remember what you were talking about? I’m not referring to having a moment we older people have sometimes; you just keep up because of all the rabbit trails you’re going down. Chasing rabbits! I know someone who takes forty-five minutes to answer a simple question that should only a couple of minutes. Please, just get to the point.

Now that the groundwork has been laid, it’s time to give the reason for this post. I began a wonderful journey on my wife’s birthday which is following a daily Bible reading plan. This has been a life-changing experience for me, and I thank God for the time to pursue this needful part of my life.

The Word of God is so rich and full of life, it would be easy to follow reference after reference, never completing my daily reading portion. In case you don’t know, I am a pastor, and love to study God’s eternal Word. I tend to study a subject thoroughly in order to preach the truth of God’s Word. It is not uncommon for me to get so wrapped up in following references that I begin preparing several messages at once.

Determined to follow the reading plan as much as possible, I found myself in a dilemma. Chasing rabbits was certainly out of the question, but there are so many rabbits to chase! What is a studious person to do? One answer, which would please the enemy of our souls to no end, would simply be “don’t read.” Well, that is totally unacceptable. Another idea would be to give in to the temptation and follow those rabbits down the rabbit trails. No, that wouldn’t work, either.

After some consideration and being finely attuned to my environment, the solution to my problem presented itself in a rather simple fashion. The answer was before me all the time, I just didn’t have the foresight to grasp the simple idea. Now, instead of chasing rabbits, I’m corralling them. They go straight to the pen, or in my case, the notes section of my desk calendar. It was one of those “I could have had a V8” moments.

Here’s how it works: while reading a portion of scripture that jumps out at me, instead of following the rabbit trail, I just quickly jot down the scripture and a very brief description on my calendar, then continue reading. Now, instead of spending time chasing the rabbit, I complete my reading portion, then, when time permits, I can go to the calendar to find a starting place, then chase rabbits to my heart’s content.

After months of searching, I finally found a pad folio jr. at a Franklin Covey store in a local mall. It’s a nice leather one, and I got it for about half off. I also found a nice Lamy yellow roller ball pen on sale, which happens to be on my desk at the parsonage. While at an office supply store within the last couple of days, I bought eight spiral-bound notepads that fit the pad folio perfectly (they were $1.01 each). Careful! We don’t want to chase any rabbits.

The point is, I’m now using both the calendar and pad folio jr. to jot my notes in. It’s almost like journaling, but with scriptures and thoughts related to them. This seems to be working as planned, but I will surely use a lot of fountain pen ink this way.

Now, how do you use your journal and Bible together? Please give me some ideas. Do any of you use the journals from R. L. Allan and Sons? What is your favorite method for writing your scripture thoughts down?

Remember, don’t chase the rabbits unless you absolutely have to.

  1. OK, this is probably me chasing a rabbit, but what are you doing writing with a roller ball pen? I thought you only used fountain pens.

    • Fair question. I like German pens, and this one happened to be on a very good clearance at Franklin Covey during their “we’re quitting” sale. The pastor does have several very nice ball point and roller ball pens, but rarely use them. Admittedly, they are better for some things, but not a lot. Do you have any spare fountain pens you’re not using?

  2. The only fountain pens I own are specifically for calligraphy. I have never used one for basic writing needs. Even with my calligraphy pens, I always end up with ink all over my hands.

    • I would love to see some of your work. Would you put some on your blog for all to see? I’ve always been fascinated with calligraphy, but never tried it. I have a 1940 Parker fountain pen with a nib made around 1929 that writes wonderfully, and is quite flexible. You can write fancy letters with it, but I rarely use that pen.

  3. At the moment, my calligraphy materials are somewhere in storage. I will be glad when I finally find a job and we can bring all of our stuff back into one place again.

    The fountain pens you use, do you also use an inkwell or do they have ink cartridges inside? My calligraphy pens take plastic ink cartridges inside that are punctured when installed. I’ve never tried a fountain pen that uses an inkwell.

    • I use the kinds of pens that use both cartridges and converters. I like the convenience of cartridges, but the converters allow me to change ink colors easily.

  4. Wow, I have really taken a bunny trail far away from the point of your post! Sorry!

  5. Converters? I think I need a primer in fountain pen technology!

  6. Hi, I’ve visited your blog a few times the past days to catch up on your recent posts. Interesting article about Ms. Pelosi, the one you call a dangerous woman. I once heard a sermon on what it means to be a dangerous Christian. I think as Christians we should all be dangerous to the kingdom of darkness. However, the world has watered down many so called Christians’ faith, they never pose any threat to the enemy.

    About the rising gas prices, that’s another manifestation of the enemy at work in the hearts of people, greed is a fruit of the spirit of mammon, whom God said we can’t worship side by side the ONE TRUE GOD. Again, it’s obvious that people who go to church and call themselves “believers” are also under this subtle spirit. To come against greed we have to learn godliness with contentment. I have seen this warfare technique work very effectively in my own life — to fight in the opposite spirit.

    I also visited the blog you mentioned. Thanks for sharing the link with us!

    And yes, about chasing rabbits — well, as you have been to my blog a few times, I also have a deep love and respect for God’s word. I do love chasing rabbits as I read the Bible. It never ceases to amaze me how one verse connects to another, when the passages were written by different men, from different cultural backgrounds, generation, and era. That’s what I call really amazing. As I often journal my devotional thoughts for the day, all those related bible references are also written down, often even the very verse itself is written down! I love it! God has spoken to me that way countless times!

    ANd yes, I love beautiful notebooks… and pens, but I usually use a pilot roller ink pen now. My parker and schaeffer fountains pens required by the Belgian nuns from the school I attended for 12 years have sadly all rusted away. I know my mom spent a lot to buy those pens in my younger years (plus or minus 45 years ago!). I would have a bottle of washable blue parker Quink ink, although the ones the nuns required us to use was the permanent blue black ink… Memories, and more rabbits to chase! When I get around to buying one of the beautiful moleskin journals available on the Renaissance Art website, I will definitely invest in a beautiful parker pen again… Thanks to you Pastor Ron, you have revived my desire to own a pen. I know some people may think why we make such a fuss over pens and journals… well, some things just can’t be explained, but can be understood by those who feel the same way about these things.

    I am quite sure that in heaven there will be lots of time to read, journal, and write our thoughts and discoveries down!

    Now enough said! Have a great day ahead of you.

    • Lidia,
      Thanks your insightful comments; you really read and digest what I’ve written, and that says so much about you. I call Speaker Pelosi dangerous because she wields a great deal of power in the political arena and it is unchallenged much of the time.

      You’re absolutely right about finding one verse after another in a flowing rhythm which speaks to us by the power of God. Holy men of old were used by the Spirit of God to write the masterpiece we call the Bible. Oh, how wonderful that book is!

      Here’s a little tip: I’ve bought several finely crafted pens from Oscar Braun Pens after speaking with Pam on the phone. She’s very knowledgeable and her store has a wide variety of instruments. Actually, there’s several links on my blog which will lead you to “Fountain Pen Treasures.”

      I have several Parker and Scheaffer fountain pens; some have been inked and others are still pristine. I have an old Parker made in 1940 that looks like it came off the showroom floor. The nib was made around 1929 and the pen still sees some work occasionally.

      I have a Pelikan 400 in white which is about my favorite to write with. It’s as smooth as silk, too. My ink color of choice is Pelikan brown in that pen.

      I must stop or there’ll be some rabbits to chase!

  7. P.S. Pastor Ron, may I invite you to visit my blog when you have a bit of time and read what I posted about Metro Manila. I love it when my blog friends get to know a little bit more about my country. Thank you!

    • Yes, I’ll visit your blog probably in the morning. I love reading your posts and seeing your pictures. You take beautiful shots and should probably write a book including pictures of some of your favorite places.

  8. Couldn’t resist giving a reply to your reply… so here’s another comment from me.

    Pelikan brown! Wow, this is my first time to hear about it. I love brown ink, I just didn’t know it existed. But come to think of it, why not? For me, I think brown (burnt amber) is one of the best colors in the world. But so is powdery ash blue… now, that’s woman talk.

    I also think there is another woman in the US government but I dare not write her name down in black and white. But she is dangerous because she is not aligning with God’s purposes for Israel, and she is a major proponent of the two state Israel… a definite no-no in God’s scheme of things.

    Think of this: each time there was a major transgression of God’s plan for Israel coming from a US decision, a catastrophic event struck your nation … Katrina, etc. I guess you can guess who this dangerous person is.

    If you visit my blog often enough, you will know that I am a firm believer of aligning with God’s purposes for Israel.

    Bless your new day, even as ours on this side of the world is coming to an end.

    • Yes, Pelikan brown ink is a perfect combination for my Pelikan M400 White Tortoise fountain pen. I’m running out so it’s about time to reorder another bottle.

      A couple of years ago, I order the remaining supply of Sheaffer King’s Gold ink directly from their factory. There were six bottles and I ordered five. King’s Gold ink is about my favorite color, but it isn’t used very often. You’ve inspired me to ink one of my pens with King’s Gold!

      Are we chasing rabbits yet?

  9. Ron, this is a fantastic idea, and I totally relate to your idea of chasing rabbits while studying. There are SO many fantastic things to study and learn – I can spend the whole day there is I’m not judicious. Your idea of corralling rabbits is not only a good visual, but a fantastic idea. I’ll have to try that too. Actually in church just this Sunday the pastor was saying how for awhile he was frustrated with ideas for his business, ministry, family, etc, running through his head when he was trying to pray. He kept thinking they were distractions, and kept rebuking them so that he could have focused time with God. Finally God told him, “Don’t rebuke them. They’re My ideas to help you run the things in your life more successfully.” Light bulb! So then he started just jotting them down when he thought about them – similar idea – and once it was ‘noted’ on paper (where he could come back to it later) he could continue on with peaceful prayer. 🙂 Great ideas!

    • Sometimes it is so very difficult to stay focused on a particular subject; rabbits seem to appear out of nowhere. Once that happens, the natural tendency is to try to chase them down to put them in their place, but that doesn’t always work.

      I love to read about Elijah and Elisha, among so many others. If I’m reading with my Dake’s bible, watch out and rabbits begin to run amok routinely.

      Now, Annie, we’ve got to get you hooked up with a good quality fountain pen, and then you’ll be set.

      • Haha! Me and pens are a cat/mouse relationship. They are everywhere and yet nowhere. I have too many when I don’t need them, and can’t find them when I do. So … when I learn a system with my pens … only then should I get a fountain pen. 🙂

        • Now, Annie, here’s the thing: when you get yourself a good fountain pen, and several ink colors to boot, you’ll want to keep track of where you put that little jewel. BTW, I once saw a fountain pen on e-Bay (which I did not bid on) valued at about $100k. You know, that would look nice in the pastor’s pocket. 😀

          It’s a cinch that would never be out of my sight!

  10. Haha – I don’t know … I don’t know if I could do it. I buy $10 sunglasses because I lose them so easily. Buying $200 sunglasses just doesn’t make sense to me. But then … to each his own. My boss (at a restaurant … imagine the food mess ensuing) likes expensive things, so he wears $100 ties. !!! At a restaurant. And has occasionally blown up about something spilling on them. That doesn’t make sense to me. But oh well. Again. To each his own.

    • Understood; not everybody has to write with a good fountain pen. Thankfully, we are all individuals and have the freedom to make choices. Just keep those rabbits corralled and things will be okay.

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