Sunday, June 13, 2021

5. NRSV Simple Faith Bible


Simple Faith Bible (NRSV) Edited by Jimmy Carter. God. 1989/2020. Zondervan. 1568 pages. [Source: Gift from friend]

First sentence: In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

Though the NRSV has been around since 1989, I am only now getting around to reading it cover to cover. 

This one does have some devotional-like side-bars. I did not read any of them. I treated this bible like a text-only Bible. So if you're looking for details about the quality of Jimmy Carter's contribution, well, you'll have to look elsewhere. The truth is that I almost exclusively read text-only Bibles and just don't seek out any extras most of the time.

This Bible is BLACK LETTER. I love that. That was definitely a plus for me.

The font-size is 9.5. I found it a comfortable size to read. It wasn't a strain on the eyes. Perhaps Zondervan's Comfort Print had a little something to do with how easy it was on the eyes? I've not read another NRSV to compare it to. 

My method for reading through the Simple Faith Bible was the Bible in 90 Days reading plan. I really do love this plan overall. I love knowing EXACTLY what to read and how much to read to stay on track.

I wouldn't say the NRSV is my new favorite translation. Some books I liked more than others. 

Psalm 1:3 NRSV

They are like trees
    planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
    and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.

Psalm 1:3 NASB 95

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.



© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

33. Chasing Shadows


Chasing Shadows. Lynn Austin. 2021. [June] 432 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Every sound in the coal-black night seemed magnified as Lena lay awake in bed, waiting. She heard the quiet rustlings of the shadow people as they crept through the darkness downstairs in her farmhouse.

Chasing Shadows is historical fiction set in the Netherlands during the Second World War. It features multiple narrators whose stories alternate throughout. Lena de Vries is a wife and mother (and daughter). Ans de Vries is a young woman who CANNOT wait to leave the rural farm life far, far, far behind. She's off to the 'big' city. But will it hold all the thrills that she feels she's been missing out?

Both narrators are tested by the experiences of the war--not only the initial Nazi invasion but the continued occupation of their country. Each faces a choice--as all residents did--do I comply with the Nazis? Do I play it safe and just wait and hope that it will all work itself out OR do I risk it all to follow my conscience? Does doing nothing mean that you support the Nazis and what they are doing? Can you oppose the Nazis AND sit idle? 

There IS a third narrator--a Jewish one--that also enters into the story, a young woman named Miriam. 

Chasing Shadows is an engaging, character-driven historical novel with substance. It is beautiful and haunting. There are a few scenes that stand out as being truly wonderful. I do think it would make a good film.

Quotes: 
“Jesus said the most important commandments are to love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. And so, whenever we face a dilemma, we can ask, What is the best way to show our love for God and for our neighbor?”

Then, unbidden, the words Ans had been made to memorize in catechism class swirled softly through her mind: “I am not my own, but I belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. . . .”

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thirteen Years of Operation Actually Read Bible


Today my baby, my blog baby, is turning thirteen! My first post was called THE MISSION.

My goal--obvious as it may be--is to actually read the Bible. You might think that I've not read it. But that wouldn't be the case. I've read it a dozen or so times over the past twenty years. However, I've not been in the habit of reading it lately. For the past three or four years, my reading of the Bible has been pitiful to nil. I know--rationally speaking--that I NEED to read the Bible...that I NEED to study and read and pray. But it's not a part of my daily routine. Hence why I'm challenging myself to ACTUALLY read the Bible instead of just talking about how I need to start one day soon.

Each year I celebrate by sharing my favorite posts from the past year. 

Here are my favorite posts from June 9, 2020 to June 8, 2021.


© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, May 31, 2021

May Reflections


May 2021 Bible Reading
  • In May I read Matthew 9-12 thirty times
  • In May I read Psalm 42-72 thirty times. (If I *ever* do this again, I will never break it up like this again)
  • In May I continued using the ESV Bible app to read the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan.
  • In May I finished the NIV Reader's Bible mainly using the revised Horner reading plan (greatly modified)
  • In May I used the Bible in 90 Days plan to read the NRSV. I have read Genesis through Ezekiel. (I started this plan in April.)
  • I have continued to do a little here and there reading in several other Bibles including the KJV, the NASB Schuyler, and the LSB.
  • I made a second revision (or is it the third??) of the Horner system. I have ten mostly new categories. (The only thing I really kept the same were the bookmarks for Psalms AND the books of the law (Genesis - Deuteronomy). I am starting the Horner system again for the NASB 2020 BIBLE. I am using the Large Print Thinline edition of the NASB 2020.
  • In May the Facebook group, Psalms: Life From God's Heart, began reading Psalms. (3 a week). I am a moderator. 

Books Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible

29. Board books: Bible Stories for Little Hearts. Sandra Magsamen. 2019. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]
30.Come Back To Me (Waters of Time #1) Jody Hedlund. 2021. [July] 384 pages. [Source: Review copy]
31. Go and Do Likewise: The Parables and Wisdom of Jesus. John Hendrix. 2021. [February] 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
32. Providence. John Piper. 2021. 752 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Bibles Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible

4. NIV Reader's Bible (2011 Translation). God. 2017. 1984 pages. [Source: Won a Contest]





© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Friday, May 28, 2021

Days of the Week Bible Reading Plan

My idea for this reading plan is from several years ago. I made the bookmarks, but had them in a non-current Bible. So I've never really given this plan a proper go. (I may try for my next Bible project). This plan is perfect for those who like FREEDOM in what they read and how much they read per day. It offers some structure, but its not rigid. I've also built in some "catch-up" or "wild card" days.

For the Old Testament I offer two different options

Plan A

Monday: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Tuesday: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
Wednesday: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs
Thursday: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel
Friday: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Plan B

Monday: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Tuesday: Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel
Wednesday: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
Thursday: The book of Psalms
Friday: Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Chronicles, and 2 Chronicles

For Saturday and Sunday I suggest that *if* you choose to read the Old Testament on the weekend, that you might use this time to catch up. Perhaps you're just a couple chapters away from finishing a book of the Bible. Or perhaps you're really excited to get back to a particular section of Scripture--read from any of your bookmarks--as much or as little as you want. Don't feel pressured to read a little from all five. Just read where the Spirit leads you.

For the New Testament, my system is a little different:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Revelation 

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter 

For Sunday, feel free to where ANYWHERE you want in the New Testament. Or perhaps you want to go deeper in a section of Scripture that you've read earlier in the week. 

Essentially, every day (or near every day) you'll be reading in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. 

You could type up bookmarks. OR you could do like I do and just jot them down on (shopping) list paper. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

4. NIV Reader's Bible


NIV Reader's Bible (2011 Translation). God. 2017. 1984 pages. [Source: Won a Contest]

First sentence:  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This was not my first time to read through the "new" NIV (2011) translation. I have read the A.W. Tozer devotional Bible before. 

What I enjoyed about this particular Bible was that it was a Reader's Bible. It has no verse numbers. (It does have chapter numbers.) I also enjoyed the size of the font and that it was single column. Overall, I thought the layout worked great. (It does lay flat!)

It is black letter, not red letter, which is definitely important to me when I'm considering Bibles.

I do recommend that everyone read through the Bible at least once in a reader's Bible. I don't think everyone has to read the NIV translation. Many translations these days have been published in this format. And reading the Bible in an app, you can usually (though not always) make adjustments in the preferences so that you can *make* any translation into a Reader's Bible. 

I did use a modified Professor Horner plan to read this one through. I will say I stuck to it except for the past two days when I essentially read all the books I hadn't already read once. (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Revelation). 


So my modified Horner had these ten groupings:

  1. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
  2. Joshua Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Esther
  3. Psalms
  4. Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
  5. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, REVELATION
  6. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
  7. Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, John
  8. Romans and Hebrews
  9. 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians
  10. 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John, and Jude
I think I will change my Horner bookmarks again when I start over next time. It does get a bit uneven. I think this is mainly my fault. Mainly. I tend to read in chunks that make sense--in terms of narrative--instead of a strict one chapter per group. 

In my Horner accounting, I marked all the NIV in red. The NASB 95 is marked in black. My next color will be blue--I'll be reading the NASB 2020. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Third Impressions of Professor Horner


In January, I wrote my first impressions of this popular (semi-popular?) Bible reading plan. In March, I revised the plan to better suit my needs. As I'm finishing up the NIV using the revised Horner plan, I'm realizing I want another revision. No, I need another revision. 

I'm thinking of breaking the Old Testament down into five groups:

1) The Law -- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
2) The Prophets: Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel
3) The Twelve Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
4) The book of Psalms
5) The writings: Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Chronicles, and 2 Chronicles

Yes, this list is inspired by the order of the Torah...with the exception that I separated out Psalms from The Writings. 

Which leaves me to group the New Testament into five groups as well. The New Testament is trickier than the old in terms of easy grouping.

6) Matthew, Hebrews, James, Jude
7) Mark, Romans, 1 and 2 Peter
8) Luke, Acts, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians
9) Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
10) John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible