3650 project

bibleAs I recently mentioned, I’ll be following the 3650 plan for my Bible-reading this year. (That’s what I used in 2012, and it was essential to my surviving that most terrible of years.) Basically, the plan is to read 10 chapters of Scripture a day.

This year I’ll be using the ESV Journaling Bible that my sister gave me for Christmas. I’ve printed out my bookmarks and put them in their places. I did change 2 of them, however. I changed the Acts bookmark to Romans and added Acts to another bookmark. I read the passages from front to back in my Bible, and not in the order that they’re labelled.

I can usually get the readings done in less than thirty minutes. In the past, on some days I’ve read some of the chapters in the morning and some in the evening. If I get behind, I read extra to catch up. The readings aren’t tied to a date, so you can start any time, and if you miss a day, you’re not really off a schedule.

In 2012, I found that reading in ten different places allowed me to see connections that I hadn’t seen before. And you don’t get bogged down in those tough books like Leviticus and Numbers.

Here’s an old post from Bob Kauflin on why he likes the plan:

I’m encountering God in his Word more often.

You might think that reading so much of the Bible at one time doesn’t allow time for reflection and engaging with God. That hasn’t been my experience. It usually takes me between 30-45 minutes to read 14 [He’s doubling up on some of the readings.] chapters. I read at a normal pace, but still have time to meditate on, cross-reference, or memorize a passage. And frequently I’m aware of God’s Spirit speaking to me, working on my heart, molding my will to his own.

Obviously, Prof. Horner’s plan isn’t for everyone. Meditating on smaller portions of Scripture has great value as well. But if you’ve been wanting to experience more of God in his Word and to grow in your knowledge of Scripture as a whole, I’d encourage you to try it for a month.

Here are some more resources.

If you decide to read your Bible this way in 2014, will you let me know?

But whether you use this method or not, I encourage you to read your Bible. So does John Piper:

Don’t rest on past reading. Read your Bible more and more every year. Read it whether you feel like reading it or not. And pray without ceasing that the joy return and pleasures increase.

Anyone with me?

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happy new year

I was eager to close the door on 2012, but –thanks be to God!– I don’t feel that way at all as 2013 ends. It’s easy to see God’s grace in my life this year, but honestly, I can see it in the pain of 2012, too. I think that’s been the biggest lesson for me this year: God is good ALL the time. His grace really is sufficient for me, in good times and in bad, and it teaches me contentment. He is here. That’s really all I need.

As 2014 begins, as is my yearly habit, I wonder what’s in store. And that brings me to something else I’ve learned these past couple of years: I have no idea! I’m a planner and I like to know what’s coming, but life doesn’t cooperate with those preferences. Instead, God constantly surprises me. Sometimes the surprises are seemingly devastating, and sometimes they’re pretty wonderful. My times are in His hands (Psalm 31:15), and that means I can be confident and hopeful about the future instead of fearing it. Oh, I still deal with anxiety and fear for the future, but –thank God!– there is progress in that area.

Now as I greet 2014, I am grateful for 2013.  Some of the notable events of the year: Will got engaged. I moved once again. Caroline got a car. I started my CAbi business. I began a new job. I finished my first 365 photo project and learned a lot along the way…

So far the big events on my calendar for this new year are my son’s graduation from college and his wedding.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not big on official New Year’s resolutions, but I do try to set a few goals. I hope to read many of the books I already own instead of buying new ones. That’s a goal nearly every year, and I never make it. But a girl can keep trying! I also plan to read the Bible this year using the 3650 plan I used in 2012. It’s quite a challenge but was most definitely worth it. I’ll share some more resources on that one later. And I’ll be starting a new 365 photography project today. This year I want to learn more about my camera and about editing.

How about you? Do you have goals or resolutions? Here’s a thought-provoking article from Paul Tripp, and his teaching on how life is lived and changes made in the mundane has really influenced me. Here’s just a bit of it:

The fact of the matter is that the transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process than it is a series of a few dramatic events. Personal heart and life change is always a process. And where does that process take place? It takes place where you and I live everyday. And where do we live? We all have the same address – the utterly mundane.

Most of us won’t be written up in history books. Most of us only make three or four momentous decisions in our lives, and several decades after we die, the people we leave behind will struggle to remember the events of our lives. You and I live in little moments, and if God doesn’t rule our little moments and doesn’t work to re-create us in the middle of them, then there’s no hope for us, because that’s where you and I live.

This is where I think “Big Drama Christianity” gets us into trouble. It can cause us to devalue the significance of the little moments of life and the “small change” grace that meets us there. Because we devalue the little moments where we live, we don’t tend to notice the sin that gets exposed there and we fail to seek the grace that’s offered to us.

Wishing you a happy and hopeful 2014, filled with thousands of moments of  grace-fueled “small change”!

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