Brian Hardin is making sense of the Bible one day at a time.
"People are hungry for the Bible," said Hardin, creator of the DailyAudioBible.com which offers daily podcasts on the website and community gatherings in the real world. "They really don't know how to make time for it or access it. Our podcast has just kind of taken all of the excuses away."
"There is a different experience when you are listening to scripture being read as opposed to reading it," said David Brannen, rector of St. Andrews Anglican Church in Versailles who has invited Hardin to speak to the community on Jan. 4. "It really comes alive in a different way."
Hardin, an audio engineer and record producer from Nashville, began reading the Bible as a personal journey. He had a good life, overall. But he said, "in my spiritual life, frankly, I was starving to death."
He grew up a minister's son but said, "I wasn't living my faith out in a day-to-day way.
"It just got to the point where I needed to get rid of faith all together or get in all the way in," he said.
He made a commitment to read the Bible every day for a year and the podcast grew out of that. When he posted the first podcast on Jan. 1, 2006 "my expectations were five listeners.
"On the first day I got 250 emails from people I had never heard of from places I had never been," said Hardin.
Since then, the podcasts have been downloaded more than 56 million times, according to the website. The project has become a family affair, involving Hardin's wife and three children. Hardin has given up his day job to spend more time at DailyAudioBible.com.
Brannen said Hardin's talk is his congregation's gift to the community, which helped the new church by lending worship space and support over the last 10 years. More than a dozen churches have been invited to attend the talk.
Hardin, who Brannen met on a leadership retreat, has a message "about the importance of the daily intake of scripture and the kind of impact it can have on a person's spirituality." He is hoping that message can inspire the community to take up reading the Bible daily.
Hardin said having a community involved helps people keep up the momentum to keep a year-long commitment. He expects they will find unexpected blessings along the way. His daily readings have helped him discover that the Bible "is really the best friend that you can have."
With daily reflection "some of the chaos that life can be is put in the proper perspective," he said.
IF YOU GO
Faith by Hearing with Brian Hardin
When: 4-6 p.m. Jan. 4,
Where: Woodford County Middle School, 100 School House Road, Versailles.
Info: call (859) 873-3321, visit dailyaudiobible.com or standrewsky.org.
Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: BluegrassMoms.com.