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What Pastors Talk About in Bed

(Note: At the risk of revealing our deep, inner dorkiness AND getting spammed with one million terrible emails, I still chose that title. So brave!)

Me: I know you want to go to sleep, but I need to ask you a really important question. It’s really, really important.

Steve: Okay, hit me.

Me: If you could only have – for the rest of your life with no exceptions whatsoever – three books of the Bible, which three would you choose?

Steve: That’s a terrible question.

Me: No, it’s a great one because it will make you prioritize!

Steve: Okay. Psalms. A gospel – probably John. And Revelations.


Me: Um…Revelations? (Pause) Really? Are you sure you don’t want to re-visit that choice?

Steve: No. It’s the perfect choice because if I only had three books I’d want to know what’s coming.

Me: Hmmm…I don’t know that Revelations ever makes “what’s coming” much clearer for me.

Steve: Yes it does, you just don’t like it. Also, it tells us so much about worship. And also, these are my choices, Bo. Leave them alone. What are yours?

Me: Definitely Psalms. A gospel – probably Luke.

Steve: Luke? Why not John?

Me: Because Luke has the Christmas story! I couldn’t live all the rest of the Christmases of my lifetime without the Christmas story.

Steve: But John has “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” and that’s like your favorite scripture.

Me: I know. Sad. Really sad. I’m going to miss John so much. Maybe I could borrow YOUR copy of John?

Steve: No way, sister! You said THREE books only. You said NO exceptions. Borrowing would violate the whole arrangement.

Me: ARGH! This is a terrible question.

Steve: You still have one book left.

Me: (Sigh) I know . Let’s see. I guess Galatians, because I’m reading it right now and it’s changing my life.

Steve: Yeah, but you said it’s changing your life because you’re also reading Deuteronomy. Are you keeping Deuteronomy?

Me: NO! I don’t want Deuteronomy!

Steve: But it’s all about the generations.

Me: Shoot. It is. I want Deuteronomy!

Steve: How about we go a different way here? How about you tell me which books you COULD live without.

Me: Well, I guess maybe 1 & 2 Chronicles because it’s a lot of repeat from Kings…but then we have no “If My people which are called by My name…” We need that verse in America to survive!

Steve: Okaaaaay. Well, how about the Samuels?

Me: (sitting up, aghast and appalled) Are you kidding me right now (tm: Lindsay Parnell)? The story of Israel’s transition from judges to kings? It’s a stage-setting story. Foundational. Essential in every way!

Steve: (Yawn) Okay, Bo, we’ll keep the Samuels.

Me: I suppose – if push came to shove – I could let go of Esther, because it’s kind of isolated and not essential to the rest of the Old Testament.


Steve: “For such a time as this…”

Me: Blast! This is a terrible, terrible question!

Steve: I think I have a fever and I have to speak in Oneighty tomorrow.

Me: I’ll be quiet now. But I’m keeping Esther.

So…it was an enlightening discussion and when I opened my Bible the next morning I wanted to kiss every single page. I also decided to memorize more.

Now, Steve and I wish to pass our misery along to you. Three books. Three books only. For the rest of your life. What will they be? (It’s way harder than you think. Or maybe not. Maybe you’re very decisive or unmarried so you don’t have someone else messing up your choices.)

Happy choosing,


P.S. Today is Steve’s 46th birthday and I think this post just proves what a terrifically patient and amazing guy he is. Happy birthday, wonderful husband…I love you more than words can say!

April 22, 2008 - 11:08 pm

Katie - Because I have nobody to throw out reasons why not…

John (even if just for chapters 13-21)
Psalms (for sure!)

Hey, it’s a book!

April 23, 2008 - 12:19 am

cass-a-rooh - worst question ever.

i feel like that’s asking a soldier, gone off to war, falling more in more in love with his pretty fair maiden by her letters, to pic only three that explain why he loves her.

so with that in mind i will just say that i LOVE that you and Steve had this conversation…and someday when i have someone to argue the point with PERHAPS i will. =)

April 23, 2008 - 3:41 am

Kristin Bryan - 1st of all – I laughed really hard, mostly because this is something equally ridiculous as most of Luke and I’s conversations.
2nd of all – I am TRULY appalled that you even CONSIDERED taking out the Samuels.. I would have to have 1st Samuel..
1- 1Samuel, God spoke to me about being a teacher through these books, and you can’t throw out a book that provides vision.

2- Hosea, couldn’t live without “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,and bring her into the wilderness,and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyardsand make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me My Husband, and no longer will you call me My Baal. For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.”

3- Psalms – because really, where would be all be without the Psalms?

4- a sharp knife to hold other people hostage until they fork over THEIR 3 books

April 23, 2008 - 3:43 am

Kristin Bryan - I would also like to add that I have discovered from this post why Luke and I are not pastors.. most of the time our “bedroom conversation” consists of one of us saying something and then going back and forth saying ridiculous things that rhyme with it.. and this can go on for hours.
We clearly don’t have spiritual enough bedroom conversations 😉

April 23, 2008 - 9:57 am

keri schulz - First – The Gospel of John. Mainly, because it contains my favorite verse: “(21:12), Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ what’s better than breakfast with Jesus??

Second – Acts, because, the cool thing about Acts is, that in Peter’s sermon (ch 2) and Stephen’s speech (ch.7), you basically get a synopsis of the entire bible. It’s like cheating…
and, this book shows me in real-life-flesh-and-blood-style what a crazy abandoned life consumed by the Holy Spirit can look like. Even death seems meaningful for these disciples.

Third – psalms seems to be the common denominator, but for me, it merely comes down to the fact that I can’t really even open my bible without ending up reading at least one.

(since I have no husband to discuss these things with…the questioning voices in my head will have to suffice – “are you kidding? you didn’t pick ephesians? it’s hands-down the most marked up part of your bible.”
– good point, but if I’m getting only 3 books, at least john, acts, and psalms have lots of chapters…
“what about Galatians? It wars against the huge part of you that tries to earn everything.”
– definately…still…refer to previous answer – only 5 chapters in galatians.

“obviously, you care about quantity more than quality!”

-it’s the inspired word of God! It’s ALL quality. how bout more quantity of the quality??

“you win.”

enough of my schizophrenic bible arguments…now the world wide web has a window into the crazy mind of Keri Schulz…

it’s been fun.
miss you all from California. but..I did get a pretty sweet tan this weekend, and enjoyed disneyland last tuesday…just saying…in case anyone wants to visit!!! ha.

April 24, 2008 - 4:38 am

Jessica Carpenter - First of all… Keri, you bum! It’s been raining in a biblical sort of way here. Dumb. But green.

Here it is…

Luke-(7:37-38- “Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”… and I’m just saying, at the end of 17:9 Jesus says “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.” which sounds totally sass and awesome.)
Romans-Practical Christianity
Isaiah-God’s character
I picked 5, because I don’t have a husband to keep me accountable yet! Don’t worry, when I start dating I’ll have him give 2 books the ax… but till then, I’m enjoying all 5!

April 24, 2008 - 5:34 am

Kristin Bryan - Jessica,
When you start dating you hold on to all 5 of those books! When you get married you might have to compromise a little, but don’t give up your books for a measly boyfriend 😉

April 24, 2008 - 8:33 am

The Amazing Tara - 1. Psalms. How could I LIVE w/out all of those amazing promises!? Faith grows by hearing, and hearing by the word of God! It just wouldn’t be the same to read Exodus out loud to build faith. Pshahhh!
2. A gospel. For sure Luke! Because of Zach and Elizabeth, and Anna, and Simeon, and this great little verse…” Because of God’s tender mercy, the light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”
3. I can get my books in every single stinkin translation right?
4. 1 and 2 Kings. The books are basically one! And I love to see how God worked in the lives or ordinary people and some got it right and some didn’t

April 24, 2008 - 9:36 am

bolovesjoe - Oh my goodness you guys are great thinkers! Katie and Jess get called for violations for being over the book limit (loud, obnoxious buzzer noise here.) Cassie – aw…that’s such a nice analogy. I want to know which letters he picked!

Kristin – if this is evidence why you and Luke aren’t pastors, it’s also evidence of why Steve and I should work at Starbucks or Home Depot or something.

Keri – It totally loved getting to view the debate in your head. But I hope you won’t have to argue with yourself for TOO long.:)

Tara – it’s a lot of fun for me to picture you reading Exodus out loud. And did you know that 1 & 2 Kings used to be a continuation of 1 & 2 Samuel and they were all known as “the book of the Kings” so I think that you could actually get 4 for the price of 1 there, depending on who’s keeping score and whether or not you’re using a Hebrew Bible.

April 25, 2008 - 3:24 am

Helen - Impossible question…impossible answer…

Could I just choose two? The Old book and the New Book…ha!

But if I had to pick three…definitely Psalms…Philippians because I would have to learn about joy since I was without the other 63 books…and finally…hmmmm…for this week it would be John…

Aren’t we blessed…I can’t imagine not having His Word as close as an arm’s length…makes me want to weep and pray more for those that don’t have access to the Living Word.

I think you could have the title of a bestseller…for sure!

April 26, 2008 - 7:21 am

becky sipe - blog updated and ready to read!!

April 28, 2008 - 10:56 pm

Tori - Wow, I see my future as exactly that.:) As for the books Psalms cause what else am I supposed to read when I’m scared at night? Deuteronomy because of 10:10-11 “‘Go,’ said the Lord to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.” This means to me Tori you’re a pastor in the making. And-uh-oh…Acts has Stephen possibly my favorite person for many reasons, but John has Jesus calling all his disciples and knowing who they are even when they don’t. Oh dear.

April 28, 2008 - 10:57 pm

Tori - This is a terrible, terrible question.

April 28, 2008 - 11:25 pm

bolovesjoe - Yeah, not only is it hard to choose, now you’re also going to have to figure out how to pastor a bunch of people using only three books! That’s even less than Joshua had! Still, I believe in you, Tor. 🙂