Nina Atcheson works as the Adventist Identity Officer for Adventist Schools Australia. But she is also a writer and now published author. She talked about her new book and how spending time with the Bible can change our lives.
Tell us about your day job.
I’ve spent the past 10 years writing and training teachers in the secondary Encounter Bible Curriculum. This role is focused on supporting leaders and teachers in the areas of spirituality, curriculum and culture.
What was the spark that triggered your new book As Light Lingers?
Through conversations with people of all ages in different countries, I was struck with how apathy and life’s busyness too often rob us of meaningful time in God’s Word. I’ve felt it myself, and I believe this breaks God’s heart because He wants to connect with us.
How can spending time in the Bible change us?
Jesus says, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me!” (John 5:39, NLT). Basking in God’s word changes us because when we come in prayerful humility, we can know Jesus personally. Truly abiding in Him can change everything about our lives—our attitude, conversations, dreams and plans for the future.
How is your approach to Bible study influenced by your understanding of how we learn?
As an educator, I know that we are more likely to be impacted by something when we reflect, write, discuss and share our discoveries with others. Writing slows down our thinking and allows us to better process what God’s Word is speaking into our lives. We are also more likely to recall something we’ve written down.
What does your daily Bible reading and study look like?
Every evening before I fall asleep, I ask for God to wake me up the following morning, because He knows how much time I need to spend with Him. I always journal the message I find, along with my response back to God. It’s truly incredible to look over past journals and re-read how God has spoken so clearly through His Word!
What suggestions can you give for getting into a good Bible-reading habit?
It’s easy to feel spiritually empty and a bit powerless when it comes to meaningful Bible study. While commitment and variety are key, finding time is probably the greatest challenge many of us face. I regularly covenant with God and ask Him to grow my desire to deepen my walk with Him, and to remove that barrier of busyness.
What is your number-one tip for a healthy devotional life?
To personally take time to respond to Scripture, since God’s word is truly alive and active. It’s sharp, in that is cuts to the point and speaks to our souls (see Hebrews 4:12). If I don’t allow this living word to speak into my life, it won’t. Intentionally giving God my time and coming with a humble, open heart, ready to listen and respond, is essential.
How has the message in this book impacted your family?
Not only has sharing what we study deepened my marriage, but modelling simple strategies to my children is visibly growing their relationships with Jesus. In addition to personal Bible study, we also dig deeply into God’s Word together as a family, which has added richer conversations to our home.
What has been the initial reactions to As Light Lingers?
People of different ages and stages in life have been sharing how this book is challenging and equipping them to grow in their relationship with God. I’m in awe at how and where He is taking this book, and continue to pray that it will bless anyone who needs to hear this message.
As Light Lingers is available from Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand.