Sunday, May 29, 2011

Planning Ahead

At the beginning of the year--well, technically, at the end of 2010, I made some goals for the year. I wanted to read the bible, read 100 books, listen to a 100 sermons, read more Christian nonfiction, and read a theological chunkster. How am I doing? Well...

Even though I'm not exactly reading in the translations I thought I would be reading, even though I'm not reading the study bibles I thought I would be reading, I must say that this year is going beautifully. I've spent considerable time in the King James Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the English Standard Version. In addition, I've spent some time reading the American Standard Version (1901), the New Living Translation, the Revised Standard Version, and the New English Bible.

While I've been trying to read both the Old Testament and the New Testament, I've been indulgent in my New Testament reading. For example, I've read the gospel of John nine times this year! (It is my favorite book!) And some of the letters, well, I've read Philippians thirteen times! It is my hope to come to know--really know--the Word of God. And spending time in the New Testament, well, it's incredibly wonderful, and incredibly rich!

In the next month, I hope to finish the Bible in the King James Version and the New American Standard Bible. In the KJV, I need to finish Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. In the NASB, I need to finish Job, Psalms, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel. After I finish in those two translations, I suppose I'll need to choose which to focus on next! Will it be the English Standard Version? The Holman Christian Standard Bible? The New English Bible? The New King James? The Revised Standard Version? The American Standard Version? I just haven't decided yet.

I am considering officially-unofficially participating in Mom's Toolbox's next Bible in 90 Days challenge. If I'm reading the page correctly, there's one that begins in July--July 11th to be exact. (I couldn't find a date as to when the page was last edited. And they don't give a year.) Why unofficial? Well. I know that I cannot check back and leave comments on the blog every Monday. And since that is a requirement--I think a strict one--I suppose it's best to keep things unofficial. I'm not quite sure I can say I successfully completed the earlier challenge. I started on January 1st instead of January 3rd. I changed up the schedule a bit so that there wouldn't be odd start/stops. I didn't use the "recommended" NIV translation, or the official Bible in 90 Days Bible. I switched from the NLT to the KJV when I got to Ezekiel. Which may seem like a really crazy thing to do. Since Ezekiel is difficult anyway. And I started reading the New Testament about that same time. So instead of finishing around April 2nd, I finished by March 12th.

If you judge success by how I felt about it? Well, it was a definite success! It took me a little under a year to finish the Bible last year. And to know that I could finish it in ten or eleven weeks? It was a bit of a wow moment. I found it empowering as well. To know that I could spend an hour in the Word almost every day. To come to a place where I WANTED to spend at least that long in the Word each day. To NOT be satisfied with less?! To have finished the Bible and want to start it all over again and experience it again and again and again. That is success! And it definitely inspired me to host my own New-Testament-in-a-Week reading challenge/read-a-long in the Lent season. (I do hope to do this again next year. So if you missed it this time, there will be another opportunity.)

ETA: I just learned that there is a Summer Reading Challenge (June 1 - August 29) to read the Bible in 90 Days.

How am I coming in reading 100 books? Well. I think I am a little behind where I should be. I've read 42 books so far. May was my slowest month. I missed the deadline for signing up for CFBA books--something I hope doesn't happen again!--and without the pressure of reading Christian fiction books by an assigned day, well I just stuck to reading my nonfiction. And I find a book a week about all I can handle when it comes to Christian nonfiction. (But I've definitely met my ten nonfiction books goal.)

How am I coming in listening to 100 sermons? Well. I am pleased with my progress!  I've listened to 67 sermons this year!!! What has worked for me is not stressing about this project--trying to do a certain number per week or per month. I might have a good weekend or a good week and listen to five or ten sermons all at once. And I might go a week or two without listening to any at all. I've started in on the 2003 sermons at Bethlehem Bible Church having completed my 1999-2002 playlist!

As for theological chunksters, I haven't read a one. Let alone one of the three I named in the post! Maybe I'll have time this summer? If I don't get it done in the summer, chances are I won't get this goal met this year.

So what are my plans for the rest of the year? Or should that be plans for the summer?!

  • I want to finish the King James Version (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther)
  • I want to finish the New American Standard Bible (Job, Psalms, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel)
  • I want to choose a translation of the Bible for my semi-official Bible-in-90-Days (give or take a few) project.
  • I want to keep reading Christian fiction.
  • I want to keep reading Christian nonfiction.
  • I want to tackle a theological chunkster.
  • I would *love* to do a buddy read or two with a blogging friend!
  • I want to write more "Taste and See" posts. 

Do you have plans for the summer? plans for the rest of the year? Would you be interested in joining another Bible-based/Bible-focused challenge or mini-challenge this summer if I were to host it? I've got a few ideas of what I'd like to do. But I'm not sure I'm ready to share quite yet.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

twiga92 said...

I might be. I'm trying to finish up the Message this month so I can start through the Bible again in July. I'm not sure I'm quite ready for the 90 Day challenge yet though I hope to do that at some point.