The Bible changed my life
Photographs by Rob Purbrick, Miles Giljam, Steph Glinski and Tom Godec
The request was simple: write down on a card your answer to the question, "How has the Bible changed your world?" A selection of the resulting photos are being collected the Biblefresh website to mark the launch of the Biblefresh initiative, which is challenging Christians to read the Bible in 2011, to learn how to understand it, to help others experience it in new ways and to support the translation of the Bible into another language.
More than 100 Christian organisations and churches have already signed up to this challenge, and many more individuals have responded by posting their own photos, which will be featured over the next year in print, online and in exhibitions to mark the Biblefresh movement.
So what would you write on your sign?
Rachel Gardner (left) works for Romance Academy, helping teenagers deal with one of the most complex issues they face: sex. "As a follower of Christ, I want to let young people explore how God made them," she says. "We need to help them build self-esteem and provide alternatives to promiscuity. At Romance Academy, we try to create a positive community for the young people so that everything is done with them feeling valued and unique. They are in a sexualised environment that says that in order to be a true man or woman you have to be sexually active and a successful person. Drugs, drink and peer pressure affect sexual choices. We need to be dealing with being sexual creatures and having our first identity in that we are made in God's image."
Steve Clifford (right) is the Alliance's general director. "Over the years, the call of Abraham in Genesis 12 has been a source of real encouragement and focus for my own life and ministry," he says. "When I was considering whether to apply for the role of general director at the Alliance, I was really unsure about it all. One weekend I devoted myself to the question, asking God to make Himself clear to me. I prayed, read, meditated, but no great flash of revelation came. On the Sunday evening I was helping to lead a live celebration, interviewed the speaker and sat down to listen. He started his talk by announcing that he was going to speak from Hebrews 11.8 (the call of Abraham). He talked about how Abraham had obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went 'without knowing where he was going'. It felt to me at that point that God was specifically making His will for my life clear. Whether I got the job or not, my response of obedience had to be a step of faith like Abraham's."
Les Isaac (left) works for Street Pastors. "I would describe the Scriptures as a powerful tool to measure whether we are doing God's work," he says. "Every day we're supposed to measure: 'Am I living the way Jesus wants me to live? Am I doing the things that Jesus wants me to do? Am I saying the things that Jesus wants me to say? Am I defending the weak, the poor, the marginalised? Am I doing that? Am I being a voice for the kingdom?' Scriptures teach us those things. So as far back as I could remember, I knew that Christianity wasn't for church, for Sunday mornings, getting woodworm in my posterior; it's for actually doing the salting and the lighting. So the relevancy, the application - that's what Scripture is like, challenging us to be like Jesus."
To see all the other photos go to biblefresh.com/get-involved/your-photos
Biblefresh will run through 2011, the 400th anniversary of the King James Version. There are already a variety of resources available for churches and groups to get involved. Biblefresh asks the Church to make four pledges during 2011:
- To read the Bible together
- To help people experience the Bible in new and creative ways.
- To invest in training the whole church to understand and apply the Bible
- To raise money to translate the Bible for Burkina Faso
To get involved, find resources, link with other partners and post your own photo, visit: biblefresh.com