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Updated Feb 7, 2013 - 7:05 am

Do 'distractions' in Phoenix interfere with reading Bible?

PEORIA -- A recent survey ranked Phoenix near the bottom when it comes to reading the Bible in America.

A survey by the Barna Group researchers said only 17 percent of people in Phoenix read Scripture.

Rob and Lisa Lazure of Connect the Dots Ministries hold a weekly Bible study every Wednesday morning at a movie theater in Peoria. A recent gathering drew about 100 people.

Lisa said that most Arizonans choose other things over reading the Bible.

"Instead of going to church, and hearing ‘Hey! Reading your Bible's probably a good thing,'" said Lisa, "they would rather go boating or fishing, or go to Flagstaff or somewhere where it's cooler and they can get out of the heat."

Rob couldn't agree more. He belives that the city's numerous distractions are a major cause for the lack of people reading the Bible.

People in other parts of the world say "other things" are interfering with Americans reading the Bible. Lisa said she recently talked with a woman from Belize, who told her Americans are distracted.

"People in other countries that don't have anything have the time to just just sit and listen to ‘OK, God: How do I know you? What do I do? They just spend more time reading (their bible)," Lisa said.

Another factor is that many people only live in Phoenix part of the year and don't get involved in a church where they would be encouraged to read God's word.

Rob and Lisa acknowledged that someone can read the Bible without going to church, but they said that many people are more likely to be motivated to read it if they did attend church.

Lisa also thinks that, even though they say they're religious, many people just don't want to read the Bible.

"There's a big difference between religion and a true relationship with God," she said. "Those that have a true relationship want to read their Bibles because they want to know God. There's a big difference."

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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