The Batcave (My Study)

I have a separate, very private and quiet room where I do most of my study for preaching and teaching the Bible.  It’s located in the lower level of our Administration Building, away from the busyness of the church offices.  I spend most Tuesday-Friday mornings here, studying the Word and preparing messages and Bible studies.  I do some planning and audio recording here as well.  I’d like to give you a tour.

This is the entrance.  When I turned this room into my study, someone started calling it The Batcave, and it stuck.  My wife had this sign made and gave it to me for Christmas.


Here you can see most of the room, with my study desk in the center, and the bookshelves, filing cabinets, whiteboard, and reading corner.


This is my study desk.  Here’s what it looks like on Friday morning.

photo1 (11)

It’s actually an old conference table that was brought to the church by teens on a Bigger and Better activity a few years ago.  It served as a game table for the youth group for a while, and now I use it.  It’s perfect for spreading out my study materials.  The window open on my computer desktop is Logos Bible study software, which contains my primary tools for exegeting the Word.  I keep a few hard copy books within arm’s reach.

The area behind my desk is custom-built for visualizing and organizing my message preparation.  I put the schedule for upcoming messages on the whiteboard, and keep files, books, and notes related to those messages on the shelves underneath.


I use this stand up area when I want to be on my feet instead of being sedentary all day.  There’s an additional computer monitor I can use, and it’s also where I record audio, which I did when we had a radio broadcast and am about to begin using it to try podcasting.

photo1 (9)

On another wall is my “Vision and Plans” whiteboard.  I use this to keep ministry plans and goals in front of me, and sometimes for visionary brainstorming.


I have some books in my upstairs office, but most of the hard copy books I use for studying the Scriptures are on these shelves.  Many of my study resources are in electronic form.


This reading and praying corner is almost too comfortable, especially since the chair is a recliner.  Who doesn’t need a power nap now and then?


A few times I’ve joked that “The only thing my study is missing is a window.”  Well, our very thoughtful staff members gave me one!  For my birthday, they gave me this window with a “view.”  The picture is actually one that I took on our recent trip to Israel.  They even gave me more pictures so I can change them out when I want.  Perfect!!!


I keep hard copies of all my sermons as well as some of my study notes in these file drawers.


I can look up sermons by title, text, date, occasion, or topic on an Excel spreadsheet on my computer, and then either pull sermons out of the hard copy file, or access pdf files of them on my computer.  I love this capability.

On this tour you’ll notice a few other things, such as the poster on the inside of the door, which is left over from the promotion of a sermon series last year; the fuel station, aka refrigerator and Keurig coffee maker; the Bible stand on my desk (another gift); and of course a place to hang my coat and hat.

I realize that I have something special here, and not every pastor can dedicate an entire room to being a place for study, meditation, and prayer.  In fact, my “Batcave” has only been in use for about two years. Before that I used my regular office (hard because I had to clear my desk for administrative work or appointments), or tried to study at home (lots of distractions), or spent a morning at Panera (which I still do sometimes).   But if it’s possible to have at least some space used solely for study, it can make a preacher of the Word more productive, I think.

Doing what I love
doing what I love 😉


This Helps Me Pray

One of the most encouraging devotional resources I use is The Valley of Vision.  The subtitle describes what it is:  A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions.  This little volume is edited by Arthur Bennett and published by The Banner of Truth Trust.

The prayers it contains are rich in content, and some contain beautiful prose.  But the most encouraging element for me is that many of them express praise and petition with thoughts that I have but words that I often don’t have.  I am especially blessed and helped by the section on Service and Ministry.  Many times I have used these prayers to cry out to the Lord in preparation for my own preaching.

I have often wondered about the compiler of these prayers and the background of them.  Today I came across an article that fills in some of the details, here.  If you use V of V, this article might interest you.  If you’ve never enjoyed the blessing this little book brings to Christian devotion, I recommend your getting it.

Fishin’ and Prayin’

Rain spattered the surface of the river and dripped from the brim of my hat.  Dogwood petals, loosened by the raindrops, floated through the air and landed on a quiet pool just below the rapids.

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank You.

Was that…yes!  A fish stirred the water, looking for lunch.  I cast my sweet little spinner, right there.  Took it!

Really?! Thank You!!!

A nice Rainbow Trout!

Hiking downstream to the next likely spot. 

Lord, been studying Romans 6-8. Think I understand that “body of sin” in 6:6 means my physical body that is the vehicle, or instrument, of sin. “Done away with” means rendered powerless.  So what does that mean for me?  Will you help me know?  I’d really like to know. 

Pine needle path beneath my feet.  Spring leaves, green with new growth, made even brighter by the wetness of the rain, all around me.

Perfect place.  Perfect day. Fish don’t mind rain, do they? 

Climbed down the bank, stood on the sand at the edge of the water, checked for branches beside and above me where I might get tangled up.  A little tight, but if I get one, I’ll be ok if I pull to the left.  A few casts. . . there it is!  Feels strong!  Let it tire, then reel in.  Don’t want to lose this one.  Got it close, lifted my rod high and swung it behind me, remembering to go left, landing him on top of the bank. Scrambled up to grab him – another Rainbow, bigger than the last! Wow. 

Thank You!! 

Working my way back up river.

Lord, how does Romans 8 relate to Romans 6?  Specifically 8:11,”He will give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  Help me understand?

Along the path – tall plants I don’t know with hundreds of pink blossoms; forest floor sprinkled with Violets; a patch of white-petaled, pink-trimmed calf-high Trillium on the right.  Rocky rapids hallelujahing.  Tree frogs praise the Lord-ing.

Beautiful, Creator. Just beautiful. Love it!!! 

Few more stops.  Lots more casts.  Couple more fish.

So,Your Spirit in me helps me live out physically in life who I am positionally in Christ?  Please keep showing me this, please do this for me.  Oh God, how I need this, want this . . .

Home.  Trout in the pan.  Sitting down to eat with the fam.

Thank You.

Perfect day.

%d bloggers like this: