Thursday, December 31, 2009

One Year Down, Operation Actually Progress

It's been one year since the official start of Operation Actually Read Bible. How have you done in your Bible reading? Are you where you want to be? I am going to BOLD the books I've read this past year. The un-bolded books mean I didn't get to them. The parentheses show which specific-bible (or translation) I've read that book in. I've read 43/66. I lack all math skills. I can't get my numbers to match. I *think* I read 53/66???

Genesis (ESV Study Bible) (KJV Bible)
Exodus (ESV Study Bible) (KJV Bible)
Leviticus (ESV Study Bible)
Numbers (ESV Study Bible)
Deuteronomy (ESV Study Bible)
Joshua (ESV Study Bible)
Judges (ESV Study Bible)
Ruth (ESV Study Bible) (RSV Bible)
1 Samuel (ESV Study Bible)
2 Samuel (ESV Study Bible)
1 Kings (ESV Study Bible)
2 Kings (ESV Study Bible)
1 Chronicles (ESV Study Bible)
2 Chronicles (ESV Study Bible)
Ezra (KJV Bible)
Nehemiah (KJV Bible)

Job (ESV Study Bible) (1599 Geneva Bible)
Psalms (1599 Geneva Bible)
Proverbs (NASB Bible)
Ecclesiastes (NASB Bible)
Song of Solomon (NASB Bible)
Isaiah (1599 Geneva Bible)
Jeremiah (RSV Bible)
Lamentations (RSV Bible)
Ezekiel (ESV Study Bible)
Daniel (Nelson Study Bible: NKJV)

Matthew (Tyndale) (NASB)
Mark (Tyndale)
Luke (Tyndale) (KJV) (NASB)
John (Wycliffe) (Tyndale) (ESV Study Bible)
Acts (Wycliffe) (Tyndale) (RSV)
Romans (Wycliffe) (Tyndale) (RSV)
1 Corinthians (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
2 Corinthians (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
Galatians (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
Ephesians (Wycliffe) (Tyndale) (RSV) (NASB)
Philippians (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
Colossians (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
1 Thessalonians (Wycliffe) (Tyndale) (NASB)
2 Thessalonians (Wycliffe) (Tyndale) (NASB)
1 Timothy (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
2 Timothy (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
Titus (Wycliffe) (Tyndale) (NASB)
Philemon (Wycliffe) (Tyndale) (NASB)
Hebrews (Wycliffe) (Tyndale) (NASB)
James (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
1 Peter (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
2 Peter (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
1 John (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
2 John (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
3 John (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
Jude (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)
Revelation (Wycliffe) (Tyndale)

So it looks like these books need to get some attention in 2010!


That's good to know, else I might end up repeat-repeating myself! I noticed that I *only* lack Mark from finishing up the NT twice in 2009. Oh well. If I'd known that a couple of weeks ago, I might have managed.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Salon: Week In Review (December 20-26)

This week I...

finished John in the ESV Study Bible
read Genesis 12-16 in the 1599 Geneva Bible
read Matthew 1-19 in the NASB Bible

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Question of the Week (On A Sunday, Too!)

The Christmas season seems to go by so quickly. There are so many great songs--great albums--how can anyone ever make enough time to hear it all, to appreciate it all. My question this week is which albums take priority in your house! Which ones are must-have for the season. Which ones are no-matter-what albums?

Behold The Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson would definitely top my list. That shouldn't really come as a surprise to anybody. I can't stop talking about this one. And truth be told, winter, spring, summer, fall, never too much time goes by without me listening to this one.

Christmas with The Rat Pack would be my second choice. Again, not a surprise for anyone who knows how much I love, love, love Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. This one is such a fun, fun album. It just makes you feel all nice and happy inside.

The Music of Christmas by Steven Curtis Chapman. I have been enjoying this one over a decade--it released in 1995--but it's such a good, good album. Though I must admit I can't handle "Going Home for Christmas."

Bing Crosby's White Christmas. Yes, I love the song "White Christmas." But I love the others as well. His Santa Claus is Coming To Town, Jingle Bells, It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Mele Kalikimaka, even his Christmas In Killarney.

Michael W. Smith. Especially his "Christmastime". He has three Christmas albums now. And all are good in their own way. His first album, "Christmas," I've enjoyed for many decades. One of the few Christmas albums I had when I was a child. I haven't had that much of a connection with his newest one. But that may be expecting too much.

I don't know about you, but I love instrumental albums. There are times when they just really fit what you need. Chris Rice's "Living Room Sessions: Christmas" is a great example of a really wonderful instrumental album. I also enjoy Kenny G's three holiday albums. Another really fun instrumental album--one I can't live without--is Old Time Country Christmas. Their Jolly Old St. Nicholas is awesome!!! Because it mixes in Canon in D.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday Salon: Week in Review (December 13-19)

This week I...

finished Isaiah in the 1599 Geneva Bible.
read Genesis 1-11 in the 1599 Geneva Bible.
read John 2-13 in the ESV Study Bible.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, December 13, 2009

2010 Reading Resolutions Challenge

Jenny of Jenny Loves To Read is hosting the 2010 Reading Resolutions Challenge. She is asking bloggers (and readers) to create a list of reading resolutions for the new year. "They can be anything you would like to accomplish in the coming year in the realm of reading, book blogging, or perhaps personal growth."

My resolutions:

1) To read the Bible every day. Right now, I'm fairly consistent at reading it every day--every night to be precise. But I'd like to try to discipline myself to reading it twice a day. If that's possible. Right now, I can't imagine finding time in the morning to squeeze that in. But then again, if you'd asked me last December if I'd find time to read every evening, I wouldn't have believed you. So we'll see.

2) To read and review more Christian nonfiction. It would be so completely awesome if I could fit in one or two Christian nonfiction books per month. Just think--24 a year. I joined Twiga's Christian Nonfiction challenge, so I'm hoping to get to at least ten.

3) To read and review more Christian fiction. All sorts of Christian fiction. I'd like to read one or two a week. Maybe one is more realistic. Maybe two would be pushing it too far. But still, the idea of two a week just appeals to me. Anyway, we'll see. I'm hoping to read books from my own collection--I've got a few boxes to catch up on--and to read from my local library. This year, I was never able to settle into this routine. I reviewed more this year than any other year. But I still didn't get to as much as I wanted.

4) To read and review more children's books with christian content/appeal. It would be great to be familiar with more of these.

My overall goal is to reach 100 (christian nonfiction, christian fiction, christian children's books, etc).

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday Salon: Week in Review (December 6-12)

This week I...

finished Ezekiel in the ESV Study Bible
read John 1 in the ESV Study Bible
read Isaiah 35-56 in the 1599 Geneva Bible

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A New Beginning Mini Challenge

A new mini-challenge is coming for January 2010. I hope you can join us in reading the book of Genesis and/or the book of Matthew.

The challenge will run from January 1, 2010 through February 6, 2010.
Choose any bible translation.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Question of the Week: Christmas Songs

It's been a while since I last posted a question of the week. But with Christmas fast approaching, I thought I would try to blog a little more. So this week's question is simple:

Which traditional christmas songs (think carols/hymns) are your favorites? Do you have one song that is 'more' special than another?

My answer: My favorite, favorite Christmas song is Hark The Harold Angels Sing.

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

I love the "born that man no more may die/born to raise the sons of earth/born to give them second birth" bit. I think this hymn is just so theologically sound, so complete in its message of who God is and why we should be celebrating Christmas in the first place.

I really started appreciating this hymn after I heard a sermon series on it by Charles Betters. Part A. Part B. Part C. Since then, I've tried to make a point of listening each year to this sermon series.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Salon: Week In Review (November 29 - December 5)

This week I...

finished 2 Chronicles in the ESV Study Bible
read Ezekiel 1-24 in the ESV Study Bible
read Isaiah 21-34 in the 1599 Geneva Bible

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Faith 'n' Fiction Saturday: Holiday Shopping

Today's topic is simple. What is on your recommended holiday gift buying list? A particular book you think everyone should read? A translation of the Bible you've found helpful? Even a new Christian CD is appropriate. Just let us know what you think is worth putting down your hard earned cash for this Christmas. This is not your best of list, we'll do that in a couple of weeks!

I'll start out with a handful of CDs.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Andrew Peterson has rereleased his BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD. Since this one has been out of print, I just have to encourage people to pick it up and give it a listen. Though it is a "Christmas" CD in a way, this one is so good, you'll want to listen to it ALL YEAR LONG! (You can buy it as a 2 Disc Set or a Digital Download at Andrew's store.) That's probably the best way to support this amazing Christian artist, but you can download the album on Amazon as well.

If you want to buy everyone on your list this CD, he does offer discounts if you buy 5 or 10 copies. While browsing, I discovered that you can buy an Andrew Peterson boxed set. With six of his albums: Carried Along, Clear To Venus, Love & Thunder, Behold the Lamb of God, The Far Country, and Resurrection Letters Volume II. It doesn't include Appendix A. (Now just available as a digital download.) I think this is a little gem of an album, by the way. I just love, love, love Alien Conspiracy (The Cheese Song). Really, so many of these are great songs. A lot of personality. I love it.

Steven Curtis Chapman's Beauty Will Rise. Wow. Wow. Wow. I really think this one is a must have. (Because this one is easier come by than Andrew Peterson, I'll refrain from linking to all the places you can buy it!) These twelve songs are so amazing. You really have to experience this album all for yourself. The songs are so raw, so honest, so pure, so scriptural, yet so human. IF you take the time to read the lyrics, you will cry. But oh how these songs have blessed me...

Here's an audio book, I'd definitely recommend The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

As for fiction books, these are the ones I'd recommend:

Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent
Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin
Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen
A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman
A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman
A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Behold The Lamb of God Turns 10!

Behold The Lamb Of God: The True Tall Tale of The Coming of Christ is one of the MOST amazing albums I've ever experienced. How many Christmas albums can you honestly say that you'd want to listen to all year round? As in 365 days a year?! I know only of one. This wonderful little album by Andrew Peterson.

What makes this album so wonderful, so awesome? Simple, heart-felt lyrics that are God-centered. This isn't an album for decking the halls and jingling those bells on a sleigh ride. You can tell by listening to this one what celebrating Christmas is supposed to be like. A true worship experience. A chance for you to encounter God right where you are.

You should definitely read his post "A Question I Cannot Answer" in which he talks about working on this album.

At its core, it was to present the story of Christmas in a new way. I wanted to reach deep into the Old Testament and sing about the Passover, and King David, and Isaiah’s prophecies. I wanted to capture with song the same thrill that captured me in Bible college when the epic scope of the Gospel story first bowled me over. But I didn’t just want to dwell on what came before Jesus’ birth. I wanted to sing about what came after. His crucifixion and resurrection were the reasons he was born in the first place. You can’t have Christmas without Easter. So there was a lot of ground to cover with a handful of songs, and I had my doubts.

In celebration of its tenth anniversary, Andrew Peterson has released a new 2-disc edition of this one. I haven't listened to this anniversary edition. (Well, unless you count the song samples!) But I'm sure it will be just as amazing as the original. You can purchase the CD through his website or as an mp3 album download on Amazon.

Gather 'Round, Ye Children, Come
Passover Us
So Long, Moses
Deliver Us
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Matthew's Begats
It Came To Pass
Labor of Love
The Holly and The Ivy
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
Behold The Lamb of God
The Theme Of My Song/ Reprise

Opening Reading
Gather 'Round, Ye Children, Come (Live)
Passover Us (Live)
So Long, Moses (Live)
Deliver Us (Live)
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Live)
Matthew's Begats (Live)
It Came To Pass (Live)
Labor of Love (Live)
The Holly and the Ivy (Live)
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (Live)
Behold the Lamb of God (Live)
The Theme Of My Song / Reprise (Live)
O Come All Ye Faithful (Live)

You can hear "So Long Moses" in the video below:

And Behold the Lamb of God

Matthew's Begats

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book Review: Treasured

Treasured: Knowing God By The Things He Keeps. Leigh McLeroy. 2009. Waterbrook Press.

I enjoyed reading Treasured: Knowing God by The Things He Keeps by Leigh McLeroy. I found it perfect for reading devotionally right after reading my Bible each night. A chapter or two at a time was just the right amount to lift my spirits. The premise of this one is simple, the author frames this one by using a 'treasure box' symbol. She received a "treasure box" after her grandfather died. Little items--everyday things mostly--that communicated the type of person her grandfather was. She uses this to share with readers what kind of God God is. How do we know who God is? How can we know? What kinds of things would be in his treasure box? Each of the items in God's treasure box come from Bible stories. Old Testament Bible stories.

A Fig Leaf
A Fresh Olive Sprig
A Dry Waterskin
Abraham's Knife
A Strip of Bloodied Cloth
A Bloodstained Piece of Wood
A Golden Bell
A Scarlet Cord
Balaam's Riding Crop
A Head of Barley
A Shepherd's Harp String
One Smooth Stone

What I enjoyed about this one is how accessible it is. I think any reader--whether a new believer or an older one--can appreciate this book. The book shows that these Bible stories are very relevant to our lives. They still show us who God is. Each chapter illustrates how God relates to us. McLeroy shares stories from her own life and weaves Bible stories and passages within each chapter. I liked how much Scripture she used. I often find devotional books too weak in this area. Too watered down. But this one has a good balance--I think--of using modern contemporary (I can relate to that) stories and Scripture.

So I'd definitely recommend this one.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Book Review: God Gave Us Love

God Gave Us Love. Lisa Tawn Bergren. Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant. Waterbrook Press.

Little Cub struggles with loving in this family-friendly picture book. It's not always easy to love. Your family. Your friends. Your neighbors. There are many different kinds of love, Little Cub discovers through her questions, but God gave us love. And he wants us to show HIS love to others. Grampa Bear is doing the honors in this one of teaching Little Cub all about God and God's love and how we're supposed to love others because God first showed His love to us.

"Anytime we show love, Little Cub, we're sharing a bit of his love."

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Book Review: God Gave Us Christmas

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Illustrated by David Hohn. 2006. Waterbrook Press.

Mama and Little Cub are back for another adventure in God Gave Us Christmas. (They also star in God Gave Us You, God Gave Us Two, God Gave Us Heaven, and God Gave Us Love.) In this holiday picture book, Little Cub, inquisitive as ever, asks who invented Christmas. At first, Little Cub is convinced that Santa had to be the one who invented Christmas. After all, he is the one who brings all the toys. But Mama Bear lets Little Bear know that Christmas is all about God. The two, in fact, set off on a journey to see how God gave us Christmas. By looking at His creation, Little Bear soon accepts that God's gift is amazing. This is enthusiastic Christmas tale starring a lovable bear family.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible