Hello, My Name is Whimzie….And I’m a Chronic Read-the-Bible-Through-Program Dropout

I asked Jesus into my heart in 1975. For those of you who don’t do math in blogs, that was thirty-five years ago. I would venture to guess that over those years I’ve probably started at least two dozen “Read-the Bible-Through” plans. I’ve tried reading book-by-book, I’ve attempted to read the Bible chronologically, and I guess I’ve used a half dozen different programs and just as many Bible translations. Last year I told my friend Lori I’d join her on her quest to read the Bible in 90 days (which, by the way, our friend Deena saw through to completion. Way to go, Deena!!)ย Want to know how many of these programs I’ve completed? None. I’ve quit every single time.

I know that I’m capable of reading a series of books. I read all of the Little House books when I was a little girl. I read the entire series of Harry Potter books. I just finished Jan Karon’s Mitford series last week and I just started her Father Tim series last night. And I’ve probably at some point in my life read at least most of every book in the Bible, but it bothers me that I fall short in my commitment to finish just one Bible reading program.

So when John Piper tweeted this a few days ago:

“The Bible reading plan I have used for years, & will again. It gives 5 days to catch up every month. Print”,

I was intrigued but unsure. I didn’t click on the link he provided in the Tweet because although the ideas of 5 grace days a month sounded like a good idea, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to start another Bible reading plan, only to fail when we hit Leviticus.

Then one of my Tweeps, Tanya Dennis mentioned that she’d read John Piper’s Tweet about the Bible reading plan and our friend Kellie (LaVidaCoffeeGal) mentioned that she’d be interested in trying the plan and asked Tanya if she’d be interested in starting an accountability group. Tanya thought that was a great plan, wrote a post, made a button, and formed a group.

A. This is a goal that I really want to make a priority.

B. I hate to miss a good party with my friends.

So, here I am. Again.

Why am I trying yet another plan? Several reasons. I am bothered by my lack of follow-through in the important things. I want to demand more of myself. This has been a goal of mine for probably as many years as I’ve been a Christian. If it’s as important to me as I say it is, I will prove it with my actions. I’m not trying to earn my Bible reading badge so that I’ll be one step closer to earning my Super Christian cape…although, how cool would that be? I don’t want to fall back into living out my faith as a series of “haveto-should-oughtas.” But the truth of the matter is…

I desperately need this. I don’t particularly want to pray right now. I don’t particularly want to read my Bible. I don’t like to go to church. I am not particularly interested in what anyone has to say about spiritual things right now. I’ve moved from mostly mad to mostly numb. I am sure that this is part of the grieving process and I’m not going to punish myself for feeling what I feel. I feel like I have a lot of empty spaces inside and I’m not going to rush to fill them with whatever I have lying around. I am, however, going to spend time each day reading God’s letters to me. ย He has been faithful to me when I have been unfaithful to Him. I want to be faithful in this one thing even when I don’t feel like it. It’s the least I can do and I have to start somewhere.

So that’s my plan to start this plan. I read the first day’s assignment last night. This plan is a little different than others I’ve tried. You read very small chunks from several places in the Bible each day. On the one hand, it’s a little unsettling to only get bits and pieces at one time. On the other hand, the small bite-sized portions from different places in the Bible may be just the variety I need to keep my attention. It isn’t too late to join us. We just started yesterday, plus you get 5 free days a month. Rather than put all the links on this post, I’m just going to direct you to the post Tanya wrote about it on her blog. She links you to a an overview of the plan and bookmarks you can print to keep you organized. Click this sentence to get all the information you need. Tanya, Kellie, Gretchen, and I would love it if you’d join us! ย And girls who I just mentioned, I desperately need this accountability. I know me. I will find plenty of excuses to quit. I will have a bad week and get behind and decide I can’t catch up. I need you, with all the love in your heart, to hold my feet to the fire and to demand more of me than I sometimes demand of myself. I’m leaning on you!!

As I close this first post of 2010 I would be remiss if I didn’t thank you for being my friends this past year. I was looking through my Christmas card basket and was surprised and blessed by the number of cards from “friends who live in my computer” intermingled with cards from “friends who live outside my computer.” I’ve needed all of you this past year and you’ve come through for me in ways I could never have imagined. Thank you. I’m looking forward to what 2010 has in store for all of us and I hope to keep coming right back here to do life with you all.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Hello, My Name is Whimzie….And I’m a Chronic Read-the-Bible-Through-Program Dropout

  1. YEAH!!!!! We can do it. YOU can do it! I know it. ๐Ÿ™‚ And we’re all going to go through this together.

    I also want to say I understand where you are: not wanting to hear, see or smell anything spiritual. I’ve been there — for different reasons, but there just the same. God will pull you through it in His perfect timing. Like you said, He’s faithful even when we’re not. He’s good even when we don’t care. He’s tangible even when we’re numb.

    Love and hugs to you.

  2. I don’t know about you, but I need practice at being obedient. Just because He says. That’s what pushes me over the edge of the, “but I’m really not in the mood, today” thoughts.

    That said…I’ll be rooting for us all, and am encouraged that He uses even the struggles.

    Love you, Whimz.

    • whimzie

      You’re exactly right, Gretchen. I expect my kids to obey even when they don’t feel like it. Why should I expect less of myself than I do of them?

  3. I’ve seen ya’ll tweeting about this and I thought “no thanks” for exactly the same reasons you listed. But your reasons for saying yes are convicting. Thanks for sharing this…and I’m thinkin’ about joining you. If I start today I won’t be too far behind, huh?

    Love you, Amy.

    • whimzie

      Love you, too, Mer.

      Nope you’re not too far behind. The party’s always more fun when you’re there. I’ll be sure there’s plenty of stuff besides chocolate for snacks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. This post could be me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m aiming for a read-through plan this year as well … sounds about like what you are doing. I put it together in this Bible software my husband has and gave myself Sunday’s off (or for a catch-up day). ๐Ÿ™‚

    All that to say, I’m right there with you. Numbness and all. (((hugs)))

  5. Marie

    Oh… Leviticus! Yah, it bogged me down every time until I learned the art of skimming/speed reading. (Is that bad?!) Anyways, have fun with your new program for the year…sounds like you are setting yourself up for success! By the way, have you ever read the book…something like Living Biblically for a Year…written by a secular author? It is a good read!

  6. You are certainly not alone. Reading the Bible through in a year has been on my resolution list for years now…haven’t completed it yet.

    But this sounds like fun.

    Prayers and blessings, friend.

  7. I’ve already joined the 90 days party. ๐Ÿ™‚ But, I’m excited to have others reading — whether its on the same plan or not. I love the scriptures, but haven’t read them through. I’m hoping the 90 day plan will get me through quick and I won’t have time to get bogged down. You know, it’s kind of like taking the hard classes during summer school, so the suffering is fast. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Day 2 and I’m already learning new things!

  8. I’m heading on over (by clicking on sentence) to check it out right now….I’ll let you know what I decide. For if I decide “yes”, I’ll need all the accountability I can get.:)

  9. Good luck with your reading plan. I too am a regular dropout of various plans. I’ve started a chronological reading plan this week. Our whole church is doing this plan together and the sermons each week will be based upon that week’s reading. I’m hoping to finally be able to do it this time.

  10. I am just about to add a new bible study at church to my schedule, and I seriously considered adding this too, but I think I will take on one thing at a time. I would love to do this program though…I like the 5 days of grace! I hope you make it through this time! Keep everyone posted on your progress! Maybe I will start it in 2011! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. carpoolqueen

    I’m not sure what I’m doing this year. The 90 day thing is intriguing (I think I mispelled that) to me because it fits my git ‘er done personality.

    Glad you’re back in front of your computer. We should catch up this week ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I just can’t do the ‘program’ thing, but think it’s a fantastic endeavor! I can’t seem to do it without reading just to ‘check it off.’ Instead, I’ve been reading a chapter a day (with commentary) and have been plodding through for YEARS! I am just about done with the OT, but wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

    all of that to say this- you go, girl! stick to it! Love that you’re choosing obedience over your own will. very, very impressed and looking forward to seeing what God grows out of this whole thing!

  13. Well, I’m all gung ho considering I signed up for Daniel, over at Amber’s blog and now this!!

    Can’t have too much Jesus though right!!? ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Pingback: Why Iโ€™m Not Jumping on the Read-the-Bible-in-a-Year Bandwagon « Average: More or Less

  15. Thank you for this post … I can relate to much of what you wrote. While I am doing the “90 Days” plan this year, it took much prayer before I determined it was what the Lord was leading me to do. I tend to prefer that savoring of Scripture … taking days or even weeks to devour the meaning of a few (or even one) verse. Plus, I’m not even convince there’s any compelling reason that we NEED to read the Bible straight through at all.

    I’m going to look at Piper’s plan … I’d love to know what it entails and be able to share it with others.

    Thank you, also, for linking up with us at Fresh Year, Fresh Start! We all hope the series thus far has been encouraging to you!

  16. Isn’t it amazing His mercies are new every morning! I do a read through the Bible in a year plan and never make it all the way through either. I like your practical and funny take on your next attempt!

  17. Reading the BIble through is definitely a difficult task. I have read the entire Old Testament for school once in college, I took a Bible class, but the entire thing. no. Certainly something admirable to do though. Got here through Fresh Start! Blessings!

  18. Pingback: Lies, S3x, Murder, and Love Triangles….Also Known as the Book of Genesis « Snoodlings

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