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!!) 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. 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! 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.