Do you struggle to understand your Bible? Or are you one who simply waits for someone else — like your Pastor or a friend in seminary — to explain to you what it means?
My friend and writing client, Rachel Baker, has a heart for women who want to understand and go deeper in the truths of God’s Word. So she just released her first book Deconstructed: A Bible Study Guide that helps you deconstruct or take apart the Word so it can more effectively put you back together.
Here’s Rachel’s heart on the matter (and keep reading for how you can win a free copy of her book or order with a discount).
“Three years of ministry in Salt Lake City introduced me to a whole group of people who had a deep mistrust for the Bible. In their experience the Bible had been used as a tool to manipulate, control, and confuse. As a small-group facilitator and women’s ministry leader, I met so many women who had a deep desire to grow in their relationship with Jesus and yet struggled with engaging in the Word of God.
How can you grow in your faith if you have a mistrust for the Bible?
That question applies to most Christ-followers, whether you’re brand new to the faith or decades in and finding yourself stagnant. Growing in faith and time in the Word are synonymous; and yet why is it that we often find ourselves doing anything and everything but diving into our Bibles?
Perhaps it’s for the exact same reason that we depend on our own human ability to control rather than allowing the Spirit to lead and guide us. How guilty am I of wanting to control outcomes and even the day-in and day-out of my life? How many times I have actually said, “I’ve done everything I can do, now I’ll just pray.” Yet, what if I started with prayer and then did whatever needed to be done? What if I started with the Word and followed with action?
I’m convinced there’s an intrinsic need for all people to be able to approach their Bibles with confidence and capability. Gaining confidence in reading the Bible is something that often needs to be learned. This learning takes time and patience, but is so worthwhile.
A couple summers ago a friend of mine approached me in a coffee shop and suggested that we create a Bible study that would help build women’s confidence in reading their Bibles. Our desire was that they could open their Bibles to any book and begin deconstructing what they were reading. Out of that desire our Bible study on the Book of Esther, called For Such a Time as This was born. After running through the study with our small group the greatest feedback was “I wish there were a study guide that had these materials in it, but that could be used as a companion tool with any book of the Bible and any Bible study.
Out of that concept the Deconstructed: Bible Study Guide was born. Deconstructed strips away additional commentary and provides a path to growing in confidence and understanding of the Bible. It helps break down what exactly the Bible is, who wrote its 66 books, what type of literature they are, and why it is important to understand them.
When I embarked on the hefty task of writing the content for Deconstructed I became overwhelmed and uneasy. Who on earth was I to think that I could carry out such a sacred task? My sweet husband, who is a Pastor and just finished his master’s degree in Systematic and Philosophical Theology (say that three times fast), tried to help me get started. He gave me one of his theology books, setting it on my desk with a heavy thud. I cried, “I’m not a theologian!” I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer mass of the book he gave me; it was 4-inches thick!
The overwhelming size of that book reminded me why I was writing Deconstructed and for whom. It’s not a guide for the theologian or seminary grad; I was writing it for myself and for my friends, who just like me can struggle with knowing and understanding the Bible. We need something simple and easy to digest over a cup of coffee. Deconstructed is for you if you’ve found yourself stuck or hung up on something in Scripture. It is an incredibly simple tool that even a child could use. (My 9-year-old has read a lot of it and approves!)
Everything about Deconstructed is simple, from the terminology to the tools. My hope is that you will read this little guide and walk away with a newfound confidence to discover the Word of God on your own. The Bible is not supposed to be some mystical book only for the hands of priests and pastors; this sacred book is for all of us. With that in mind, you and I all should have the ability to understand what is in those sacred pages. Through understanding comes confidence, through confidence comes trust, and through trust, you and I can develop a deeper and richer faith in God.”
Why would you like a copy of Deconstructed? Let me and Rachel know in the comment below (along with the U.S. state where you live) and we will choose two winners to each receive a free copy in the mail. (U.S. mailing residents only please.) You can also use the discount code CindiM to save $2 on two copies of Deconstructed at Rachel’s website. To order five or more copies for your small group or as gifts, email Rachel at Rachelcheriebaker@gmail.com for a special bulk discount.)
Rachel Cherie Baker is a director of women’s ministries, pastor’s wife, retreat speaker, writer and mother whose passion is to inspire those around her to become fully alive in their identity in Christ. Rachel loves sharing from her own life experiences and teaching the Bible. She serves in ministry alongside her husband, Kile, at LifePoint Church in Northern Nevada. Together they have two crazy cool kiddos and three dogs. Rachel is fueled by coffee, tacos, and copious amounts of cheese. You can learn more about her at www.RachelCherieBaker.com.
I would like a copy of Deconstructed to help me understand more as I read the Bible through this year. I feel so close to saying “God I almost have this.” Draw me nearer.
Linda, Oh to be able to say “God, I almost have this.” 🙂 He loves our honesty in that way. Thanks for leaving your comment. Blessings.
I love this Linda! The more we are in the word the more we understand and the closer we draw to God! I hope Deconstructed will bless your time as you pursue God.
This is a wonderful thing! I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I google search for deeper content, this would be lovely to receive. Illinois.
Thanks, Jayne, for leaving your comment and getting in the running for the free copy.
Google no further Jayne! Deconstructed is an incredibly simple tool to help spark the imagination and inspire you as you read, it’s simple and small (so you don’t have to lug a textbook around!). I wanted to remove any complicated barriers that keep us out of our Bibles.
I work with youth and foster children and while I was raised in the Word it’s often hard to have answers to all their questions! This seems like a fabulous tool!
Kelly! I hope this is a great resource for youth and foster children. My 9-year-old started reading it! I created the guide to be as simple as possible but to also spur on deep thinking. I hope you love it.
Thank you for this information. Being a mother, working full-time, and taking care of my huband who is a heart patient and my elderly mother, I’ve struggled with time for myself. My Bible, along with several of Cindi’s books lay on my nightstand. I try to read a bit each night and pray for strength to get through the next day. I do find myself frustrated when reading my Bible because I do not understand a lot of it. I’m longing for the comfort and guidance of Jesus, but I just don’t know how to get there. Your study guide sounds like the guidance I’ve been looking for, to help me better understand my Bible and receive the comfort of Jesus. I live in Illinois and would greatly appreciate being considered for a copy of your study guide. As always, thank you for your encouragement.
Thank you, Marilyn, for taking the time to let us know your situation there in Illinois. You are in the running for the giveaway.
Oh Marilyn! I just said a prayer for you. It sounds like your plate is incredibly full right now. Just know God sees you in all of it! He is with you. I’ve walked the path of caregiver and know just how hard it can be to find a moment for yourself. Be gentle with yourself during this season, even 5 minutes in the Word before bed may bring rest to your soul and give you the spiritual nourishment you need for the next day.
I would love to read this book. I have read the Bible for many of my 59 years. Yet, each time I read, I glean something new. 🙂
Thank you, Melissa. I always appreciate you reading and commenting.
Isn’t that the most amazing thing! The word of God is truly alive!
Having read the Bible through several times, I am always looking for ways to understand the mysteries it bestows. I love the history of the Israelites, but there is so many things still a mystery. I live in Oregon.
Thank you, Linda. And thanks for letting us know you’re in Oregon.
Linda, I pray for the Holy Spirit to illuminate God’s words to you. I hope Deconstructed helps inspire and equip you as you read.
I have waited so long for a book just like this!!!! I have had a very hard time reading my Bible and since having a stroke seem to have even a harder time. A book like this is just what I have been waiting for!!!! I would love a copy!!!!
Thanks, Maryann. I know Rachel will be so encouraged by your comment. 🙂
Maryann, thank you so much for your comment. I just prayed for God’s continued healing for you and for clarity as you read His Word. I hope this little guide inspires you and brings to life God’s word in new and beautiful ways.
I’m always looking for helps for my Bible study. Understanding God’s Word is crucial especially in these days we are going through. Our Sunday morning Bible Study class are meeting via Zoom each week and I’m going to mention this book to them.
I’m from Alabama!
Thanks, Gail. I’m sure Rachel would appreciate the recommendation to your Bible study gals there in Tuscaloosa.Thanks for always including the state where you live. Roll tide!
Gail thank you so much for your comment! I hope that this little guide blesses you and anyone who reads it! Thank you for having a heart to share.
Thank you ladies I have been looking for something like this for a while thank you so much
Thanks, Maritza. 🙂
Maritza! I hope this little guide is the right fit for you and your ladies! I can wait to start my next round of leader trainings! Follow @hellorachelbaker on Instagram for more info.
I’ve been in Bible study groups for over 30 years
I still dread leading. I feel totally unequipted and terrified. This book sounds like it would help.
I pray it will!
Thanks, Linda, for your honest response. Are you located in the U.S.?
Great News Linda! I’m going to be doing leader trainings during the month of June! Please follow along on my facebook or instagram for more information! Ps. There is a whole section on how to lead in the back of this little guide.
Why would I like a copy of Deconstructed?
I NEED a copy! This book sounds awesome and can be a best friend to us in understanding and moving on in scripture taking each book in confidence to learn. Thank you for this opportunity. I pray I will get a copy! If not, I will buy one!
Thanks, Nancy, for your enthusiastic response.
I LOVE your response Nancy! I hope you are inspired and blessed by Deconstructed! Ps. Invite a few friends to go through the guide together. I find I learn even more when using the tool in a group.
To me it’s just incredible that we have something so old, so important. So much has gone into preserving it for us. It’s a love letter from God. Knowing how to better understand it would be wonderful. Life can be very hard, but knowing God makes all the difference and the Bible is the best place to start. It sounds like a wonderful tool to use.
I live in Georgia.
Thank you so much, Sandy, for your wonderful words about God’s wonderful Word! Thanks for chiming in from Georgia!
Sandy your response is so beautiful! I am so thankful for God’s word as well, and am so thankful for all the people who have inspired me to continually engage with it!
I’m a male believer who along with Turning Point & Devotions for Men, also subscribe to Cindi’s email posts! Raised Catholic, reading the Bible is relatively new for me and very challenging. Just hearing that others have been skeptical of the Word reduced my “guilt factor” considerably!! I’d love to win a copy of Rachel Cherie Baker’s Deconstructed!! Hopefully you don’t feel “invaded” by a male believer!!
Lol. No problem, Paul. I’m encouraged that you are finding my newsletter and blogs helpful to you. Thanks for subscribing. Rachel’s book is friendly to a male readership as well.
Paul! So awesome you are here. I had a few guys ask me specifically if Deconstructed is okay for “Dudes” and the answer is absolutely! My husband was one of the biggest champions of this little guide, so hopefully, it’s not too girly.
This is the cry of my heart right now. Setting aside the guided studies and trying to learn how to dissect and listen to the Spirit for myself, for what He’s revealing to me right now. What a great tool!
Thanks, Connie, for sharing your heart’s cry. I’m sure the more time you spend with God’s Word the more you can invest in the lives of your two beautiful daughters, as you are doing now. 🙂
Yesss Connie! This has become the cry of my heart as well. I love my Bible Studies and enjoy hearing from other teachers, but lately I’ve been yearning to sit in the Word and hear from the Holy Spirit!
Thank you Cindi for offering this. I recently took an online study that helped me to “deconstruct” 1st & 2nd Kings- what a gift! I have been looking for something to help me dig deeper, especially in the Old Testament; I think it is fraught with gems that I have missed for most of my walk!
I am grateful to find such a help. With gratitude, Ann S.
Thank you, Ann, for taking the time to leave your comments. Yes, Deconstructed will help you search out more of those gems found in God’s Word.
Ann! Funny story, I started with “Deconstructing” 1st & 2nd Kings right before developing this little guide. That precious time learning about Elijah specifically challenged me to do “whatever God was asking of me despite the challenges I was experiencing in ministry and personally. Shortly thereafter my friend Nicole asked me to create this guide. I love how God does stuff like that!
I have a jail ministry for women in a couple small county jails every week. Since the pandemic I’ve not been allowed in I am taking this time to prepare for when I’m able to return. This would be a great bible study for the girls to learn with.
Cindy thank you for commenting. I’ve actually been pondering how to use this little guide as a tool for at-risk youth, foster kids, and young adults. I kept the materials as simple as I could, but if you need anything supplemental please email me. I’d love to connect.
I would love a copy of Deconstructed because I want to live better for God. I want to live my life so others will believe in Him and His goodness, because some very close people to me are non- believers. I want to do everything I can to bring them closer to God. I know He is the only one who can change their hearts, but at least if I do all I can to follow His Word I will set a good example for them. And by reading Deconstructed I hope I will gain the insight I need to live better for God.
Hi Kimberly, great to hear from you. I love your heart for wanting to study the Bible more and understand it enough to share with others. Thanks for sharing your heart and words with us.
Kimberly, what beautiful motives! I too have people who I love who don’t yet know the Lord. We must remain diligent in prayer, open to conversation, and patient as ever. We never know the seeds we’re going to plant. Some additional study in apologetics is also great for those conversations when your friends are ready! God Bless you.
As a book lover, I have several different versions/translations of the Bible. Each offers a different slant/perspective which challenges me to consider. At some point, I would like to be able to understand the Bible well enough so that I feel confident to make personal applications that fit what I’ve been reading. I think that Deconstruct would be most helpful.
Thank you, Cindi, for offering this opportunity.
Hi Regan, I agree and encourage your desire. So often we rely on study notes and scholars’ particular view/interpretation but it would be nice to look at what Scripture is actually saying, in context, and know how to understand and apply it without the bias of another. Thanks for your comment.
I would love a copy of this book! I’m in California.
Hi, Alejandra, I remember you! Hope you’re doing well and thanks for indicating an interest in Rachel’s book. 🙂
Greetings, dear Sisters in Christ!
I would love to get a copy of this book. I have loved, read and studied the Word of God for over 30 years. (The Lord was gracious to save me when I was 36 years old. )
As my retention and comprehension continues to decrease (from dementia) I have a difficult time studying His precious Word without someone to help me.
I am hoping this book will help me to be able to understand His Word in a simpler, deeper way, and to share the Good News effectively to all with whom I interact (including many unsaved adult family members and neighbors, and especially my un-churched young grandchildren). I tend to get off topic or forget what I intended to say. But, God! He is faithful to use even this old lady and people are gracious to me because they “get” that I love them.
Blessings and love to you all from California, AKA The Left Coast. LOL!
Lol. I’ve never heard that saying “The Left Coast” but it applies, doesn’t it? Thanks, Gayle, for your comment. It’s always great to hear from you and better than a sharp mind and an eloquent tongue is a heart of love…which you have and your family knows it. I’m sure that’s what Paul meant when he said “If I speak with the tongues of angels but don’t have love, I’m like a clanging cymbal.” Thank you for your heart of love toward not only those around you, but for the Word of God, too. I have precious memories of studying HIs Word together with you. 🙂
I’ve been a Christian since I was nine years old, I’m now 66. I didn’t start reading through the Bible until I was 63, how sad is that. God has opened my eyes and heart to so much of His Word, but there are still verses I read that say specific, exact things that are so confusing that I doubt my salvation, especially in the book of John, detailing here not feasible. It has been my prayer that God would somehow give me understanding and maybe Deconstructed will be that answer. I’m a southern gal now living in Tennessee, the Bible belt, and still confused at times.
Thanks for your honesty, Marsha. It’s never to late to start reading, studying and understanding God’s Word. I’m sure Deconstructed is just what you need.
I hope I’m not late on jumping in for a free copy of Deconstructed. It would really help me and my granddaughter, better understand the Bible.
The Bible is so complicated to understand especially for today’s generation. You don’t know where to look in the Bible to apply God’s word to what’s happening in today’s world
Congratulations to Alejandra Chavez in California and Gail Hollingsworth in Alabama for winning the two giveaway copies of Rachel Baker’s book, Deconstructed: A Study Guide. A special thank you to all of you who left comments on her guest blog and expressed interest in the book. Don’t forget you can still save $2 on 2 copies of her book when using the discount code: CindiM at her site: https://rachelcheriebaker.com