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Why I am NOT reading the Bible in a year

We lingered in bed longer than normal yesterday morning
, the first day of the new year. Jeff snoozed off and on, catching up from a sleepless night chaperoning the teens’ lock-in. I read off and on. We chatted in between.

Doing nothing important. But everything important. Just spending time together. Unrushed

Relationships can’t be hurried. They need pauses

That’s why I’m not reading the Bible in a year in 2011. I did in 2010. I’m glad. It was good. But it felt rushed. Hurried. It left little time for pauses.

Why read?
But I am still going to read through my Bible again.
I hope you will, too. However long it takes us. Spending time in God’s book has no substitute.

It’s personal.
It’s about your relationship.
With God. With those you live with. Work with. Play with. Worship with.

That’s why you read the Bible, right? To learn about God and His will and your purpose and destiny. For His honor, for your good. For strength, for wisdom, for love, for direction.

Print your plan
So do you have a plan to do that?
I’m planning on two years this time, maybe three. Time enough to journal and meditate and have conversations with the Author.

Here’s my plan, swapping 2 weeks in the Old Testament with 1 week in the New Testament. I switch versions every time I read through, but I check against the ESV for passages I’m studying. This year I’ve chosen the Holman Christian Standard Bible for the Old Testament, and the Common English Bible for the New Testament.

Plan your time
After you print your plan, prayerfully decide when you’ll read. You don’t have to be rigid about it, but a set time will increase your likelihood of succeeding.

Pause to listen
Then read. Listen to his stories. Grow more in love with the Lord as you do. See how your story fits in to His. Take the time to linger in your relationship, pausing to talk, growing, changing.

The more you let His Word in you, the healthier you’ll be. And the healthier you are, the healthier your relationships will be. Not just with God. With everybody.

So print off your plan, plan your time, then pause to listen.

Your Father will be honored.

* * *


elizabeth said...

I read through the Bible this year and actually finished in a year, unlike past years where I got behind. I was excited to accomplish this, but I did get the feeling many days that I was rushing to get it done and check it off. So this year I've decided to do some topical Bible study and reading, and am beginning my study with the topic HOPE, which is my theme word for this year.
On this New Year's Day I thank God for you!

Barbara H. said...

Great advice here. I read the Bible through in a year for many years, and though I benefited from it, I did feel as you and Elizabeth above did -- a little rushed, more concentration on getting through my assignment than on the passage itself, no time to stop and ponder or study a passage because I "had" to read my allotted chapters. There is much value to reading the Bible through, so I still do, but at my own pace -- usually a couple of chapters a day, but more or less as I see fit, and I take breaks here and there to do other shorter studies.

Sandy said...

Thank you so much for this post! Happy New Year!

Nikki (Sarah) said...

I love this Lisa...'relationships need pauses.' Me too..taking my time...with His word and with the people in my world...building those relationships and not just rushing thorugh them. Happy New Year to you and your family.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

This is such a good idea. I think I will do the same. It does feel rushed to read through it in one year. Many days I feel as if I am just reading to get it done and I don't feel as if I am getting enough out of it. I like the idea of allowing time for it to wallow in me a bit longer.

Kim Shay said...

I'm reading through in two years, but that is not my only bible study. I will be teaching the Psalms for 12 weeks as well as studying Galatians in depth. I find the daily reading is not when I journal, but when I study the other books, but having that regular framework is helpful.

nannykim said...

We read through the Bible in a year in our family devotions using an online audio reader two years ago. But last year and this year we are just doing the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs for family time. I agree that it is advantageous to do it every few years, but for personal devotions I like to go way way slower!

Virginia said...

I really like your outline for reading the Word, I actually find that no matter how I flip through to a page or verse or book…. He’s sent me there for a reason. Many times I will go …. Read…. Reflect…. and then He actually sends someone to me that day that needs me to witness about it or he sends someone that witnesses to me about what I’ve read or need.
God is so perfect!
Happy New Year to you and yours. May your dreams come true, may you discover hidden talents, may you find contentment, and be in good health, and may your spiritual journey unfold the clarity of truth, and greater dimensions of God’s love.

Becky said...

I am with you, Lisa.

Last year it was amazing; I read through almost all the Bible with no rush but more pauses to journal and pray. (I actually took one week to meditate on one chapter!) This year I will do the same.

I like the chart you pointed us to; I will print it. Thanks!

Donnie said...

Sometimes I have to reread scripture over and over to get what I'm supposed to see. I truly enjoy reading His word and I keep trying. The Lord will open my eyes in His time but I have to turn the pages. Have a blessed New Year.

Brenda said...

Good suggestions Lisa. I have a note I wrote on the last time I read through it saying that I was prompted to by hearing Dad say he has twice. I decided to take chapters and do it at my own pace. When I finished I would put a c for complete at that chapter. Can't you imagine if my grandkids inherit my Bible, trying to figure out what the "c" stands for.

Dianna said...

Lisa, you bring out such good points in this post. You have voiced something here that I've felt for a long time but have never really voiced it. Loving the Word...reading it slowly so as to absorb and grow is so much more meaningful to me than hurriedly reading through it in order to say I have read it through in a year.

Charlotte said...

Sounds like you have a wonderful plan for the year. Thank you for sharing with us.
Blessings for a fantastic new year.

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Susan Evans said...

I've read through the Bible many times, and sometimes you end up seeing the forest instead of individual trees. I want to chew on something, mull it over, and make it mine.

Unknown said...

I always get lost in trying to read the bible in a year. it's like I cant absorb the info. and it becomes something I do to check off my list. I love this post. thank you!!!

Kim said...

I appreciate this post. I always tried to do a year. I use to succeed, but now I never do. I think two years is a good goal. When I try to read in a year, I am rushing through to check it off my to do list instead of taking time with the Author.

Lisa notes... said...

I know, Gina. I feel like someone is dumping a barrel of water over my head when I try to rush through it. The Word is so rich that I have to go slower. I know some can absorb it at a quicker pace, but not me...

Lisa notes... said...

I've found that two years is a much more reasonable goal for me now too. Maybe that comes with age? :-) I'm not sure, but I do know that I'd rather get something out of it than just check that "I read it in a year!" box.


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