Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 2012 Bible Reading Records

Written by Moses

1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus (ESV)
4. Numbers (ESV)
5. Deuteronomy (ESV)

OT Narratives

6. Joshua 
7. Judges (ESV)
8. Ruth (ESV)
9. 1 Samuel (ESV)
10. 2 Samuel (ESV)
11. 1 Kings
12. 2 Kings
13. 1 Chronicles (ESV)
14. 2 Chronicles (ESV)
15. Ezra
16. Nehemiah
17. Esther (ESV)

Wisdom Literature

18. Job
19. Psalms (ESV)
20. Proverbs (ESV)
21. Ecclesiastes
22. Song of Songs

Major Prophets

23. Isaiah
24. Jeremiah
25. Lamentations
26. Ezekiel (ESV)
27. Daniel (ESV)

Minor Prophets

28. Hosea
29. Joel
30. Amos
31. Obadiah
32. Jonah
33. Micah
34. Nahum
35. Habakkuk
36. Zephaniah
37. Haggai
38. Zechariah (ESV)
39. Malachi (ESV)

NT Narratives

40. Matthew (ESV)
41. Mark (ESV)
42. Luke (ESV)
43. John (ESV)
44. Acts (ESV)

Epistles by Paul

45. Romans (ESV)
46. 1 Corinthians (ESV)
47. 2 Corinthians (ESV)
48. Galatians (ESV)
49. Ephesians (ESV)
50. Philippians (ESV)
51. Colossians (ESV)
52. 1 Thessalonians (ESV)
53. 2 Thessalonians (ESV)
54. 1 Timothy (ESV)
55. 2 Timothy (ESV)
56. Titus (ESV)
57. Philemon (ESV)

General Epistles

58. Hebrews (ESV)
59. James (ESV)
60. 1 Peter (ESV)
61. 2 Peter (ESV)
62. 1 John (ESV)
63. 2 John (ESV)
64. 3 John (ESV)
65. Jude (ESV)

Apocalyptic Epistle by John

66. Revelation (ESV)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Week in Review: October 21-26

This week I read:


  • Deuteronomy 20-34
  • 2 Samuel
  • 1 Kings 1-4
  • Proverbs 22-31
  • John 5-21
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon
  • Hebrews
  • James
  • 1 Peter
  • 2 Peter
  • 1 John
  • 2 John
  • 3 John
  • Jude
  • Revelation

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book Review: A Promise to Love

A Promise to Love. Serena B. Miller. 2012. Revell. 332 pages.

A Promise to Love is a book that made me giddy. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. Within a chapter or so, I knew it would be a gush-worthy book. I have loved plenty of books through the years, been happy to recommend even more books. But it's rare for me to get this excited about a book, this book just makes me super-happy. I just LOVE it so completely. (I already want to reread it!) The good news is that I LOVED it. The not-so-good news? Well, with books I love this intensely, it's difficult for me to focus on writing a (good) review.

If you enjoy historical fiction, or, historical romance, then this is a MUST read. It is set in Michigan in the early 1870s. (1870 and 1871 to be exact.)

Ingrid Larsen, our heroine, is in a difficult position when the novel opens. She's been working as a maid, but, her employer is proving impossible. Not just from her perspective, but from other people's perspectives too. There are even a few in town who pity Ingrid because they know she's working for such a woman. Soon after the novel opens, she leaves her job and is taken in by a compassionate woman who sympathizes with her, Hazel. (I just LOVE Hazel and her dog). While staying with Hazel, she learns about Joshua Hunter, a widower with five children. His former in-laws are accusing him of murder, blaming him completely for their daughter's death. He's a complete mess and Ingrid sees this first hand at the court, which is perhaps one of the reasons why she impulsively volunteers to be his wife when the custody of his children becomes threatened. The children need a mother, well, she'll be that mother. Joshua doesn't know what to think about Ingrid, he's truly puzzled by her. But. He trusts Hazel who urges him to take a chance. And so the two are married that very day...

I loved just about everything in this one. I loved the characters, the story, the writing and dialogue; I loved the sweet intensity of it. And I LOVED the author's note. This is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Week in Review: October 14-20

This week I read


  • Deuteronomy 1-19
  • 1 Samuel
  • Psalm 90-150
  • Proverbs 15-21
  • Luke 2-24
  • John 1-4
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • 2 Thessalonians

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review: Twice Promised

Twice Promised. Maggie Brendan. 2012. Revell. 332 pages.

Love gets a little messy in Maggie Brendan's new historical romance, Twice Promised. Greta Olsen is mourning the loss of her fiance, Bryan Gifford. Her heart far from mended, still, she can't help but respond to an ad for a mail-order bride. After some correspondence, she decides to take a chance on Jess Gifford. On the way to Central City, Colorado, she meets another woman, Cora Johnson, who is running away from her disapproving family. (They can't accept her faith and her new calling.) The two become friendly only to learn that they've both been lied to by the same man. Zach Gifford thinks his brother, Jess, should get married. So he places an ad in his brother's name and corresponds with two women arranging for both to come. An arrangement is reached that they will both meet Jess, and that they will both work in Jess' store until a decision has been made. (He'll either like one of them and want to marry or won't. There are plenty of other single men in town OR they can go back home.) So what happens when a hasty suggestion from Granny interferes with the natural progression of true love?

The relationships in this book are messy, in my opinion. Deciding on a whim based on who picks up what pattern of tea cup and letting that be the sole factor in who officially courts one another is silly. Within a few days, Zach clearly prefers Cora to Greta and Jess clearly prefers Greta to Cora, yet no one is honest because they don't want to break hearts or engagements. That doesn't stop Cora and Zach from kissing each other, or Jess and Greta either. Messy, messy, messy. It's predictable in that you know all will be righted by the end, but, in my opinion, it doesn't get cleared up quick enough.

But while I may think it's a little too messy, I did enjoy it to some extent. I definitely liked Greta and enjoyed getting to know her better.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week in Review: October 7-13

This week I read:

  • Numbers 4-36
  • 1 Chronicles 17-29
  • 2 Chronicles
  • Psalm 42-89
  • Proverbs 9-15
  • Daniel
  • Matthew 10-28
  • Mark
  • Luke 1
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Book Review: Wondrous Works of God

Wondrous Works of God. Starr Meade. 2012. Crossway. 288 pages.

I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Starr Meade's first family Bible Story Book, Mighty Acts of God. It's a story book that I am always happy to recommend to readers, to families, to anyone who wants the 'big picture' of the Bible. So I was so excited when I learned there was a new book with even more Bible stories (90 to be exact). These are Old Testament and New Testament stories that display and/or reveal redemption.

Each story is around three pages in length. Each story in addition features an illustration, scripture reference, and an "as for me and my house..." feature which challenges you to take it deeper.

This book when used with MIGHTY ACTS OF GOD would serve as an excellent introduction to the Word of God.     Each book is arranged chronologically, but, with a little effort you could probably read from both books to get a full(er) picture of the Bible. Of course, each book can stand alone.)

Fifty-five stories are from the Old Testament; thirty-five stories are from the New Testament. Readers really get a chance to experience the Old Testament, not just the familiar stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, etc. But a fuller picture taken from the history books and the prophets. I love, love, love reading about Israel and Judah's kings and the prophets who served the Lord through the centuries. The New Testament stories may prove more familiar to readers. The focus is on Jesus and his ministry, readers get a chance to see Jesus connect with people, with his followers. Readers will still get a complete gospel from these stories alone, this book is not dependent on the first book.

Here's a sampling from the Old Testament:

  • God Creates Eve
  • Cain Kills Abel
  • Job Suffers and Trusts God
  • The First Passover
  • Serpent on a Pole
  • The Sun Stands Still
  • David and Abigail
  • David Flees From Absalom
  • Naboth's Vineyard
  • Jehoshaphat Sends a Choir Into Battle
  • Elijah and King Ahaziah
  • Elisha Replaces Elijah
  • Elisha Helps a Widow
  • Elisha Raises a Boy from the Dead
  • Joash Escapes Athaliah
  • Hosea and His Wife
  • Hezekiah and Manasseh
  • Habakkuk's Complaint
  • Ezekiel's Vision of Dry Bones
  • Nehemiah Rebuilds Jerusalem's Walls

Here's a sampling from the New Testament:

  • The Angel Appears to Mary
  • The Boy Jesus in the Temple
  • Jesus Turns Water into Wine
  • Jesus Calls Matthew
  • Jesus Raises a Widow's Son
  • Jesus Heals Ten Lepers
  • The Rich Young Man
  • Jesus Washes the Feet of His Disciples
  • Peter's Sermon at Pentecost
  • The Church Sends Missionaries

I am still loving the theology of this bible story book. I still enjoy the complexity of it: instead of simplifying the text, it teaches doctrines and theological terms. I think it would be a great book for families, a great book for families with kids of all ages. I do think it's a book that a child could grow into and appreciate more and more as he/she grows and learns.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Book Review: Whispers in the Wind

Whispers in the Wind. (Wild West Wind #2) Lauraine Snelling. 2012. Bethany House. 352 pages.

Cassie Lockwood has arrived at her destination, but her future remains uncertain. Her father's "dream" valley exists, but, she only owns half of the property. Her father's former mining partner, Mr. Engstrom, owned half-share of the valley. Readers have met the remaining members of the Engstrom family (Mavis, Lucas, Ransom, Gretchen, etc) in the first novel, Valley of Dreams, now Cassie herself gets the chance to meet this faith-filled family. But how will Cassie and her "family" (Chief, Micah, Runs Like A Deer) fit in with this family and the community? Will her Indian friends be welcome? And just how will she make enough money to support herself now that the Wild West Show is no more? Will she have to be dependent on the Engstrom family forever?

I liked this one. I didn't quite love it. I still feel the book has barely progressed, which I was fine with in the first book since I thought the second and third books in the series would improve. Now it all depends on the third book in this trilogy.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: All Things New

All Things New. Lynn Austin. 2012. Bethany House. 416 pages.

Historical fiction set in Virginia in the weeks and months following the end of the Civil War. All Things New is told from multiple perspectives. Lizzie and Otis are slaves who have just learned of their freedom, they are the only former-slaves to choose to stay at White Oak Plantation. Lizzie wants what is best for her family, since the Freedmen's Bureau has opened up a school she has decided it is best they stay there so her children can attend school and learn to read and write. Josephine Weatherly is the oldest daughter. She is mourning the death of her father and brother and struggling to make peace with her brother who returned from the war a very different man. She misses the luxuries of the old life, in a way, but she's a practical no-nonsense woman who'd rather survive and learn to change to fit the new times. Eugenia (Josephine's mother) is so unlike her daughter. She's lost her husband and one son, all her wealth, and she wants things to go back to the way they were before, she wants things to go back to normal right now, she's had enough change, enough loss. Why should she change in order to make sense of this crazy world? All Things New is all about conflict and tension. Will the white families allow the former slaves their freedom, their independence, their right to make decisions for themselves...or will they do whatever it takes to keep them in their "rightful" place? Will these months lead to peace or strife? Is more violence around the corner? Or can a community start to heal?

All Things New is also a romance between a Southern woman, Josephine, and a Yankee, Alexander Chandler...

I liked it. I didn't love it or hate it. I'm not as interested in the Civil War and Reconstruction period as I am in other historical periods. (I just love Lynn Austin novels set during World War II). This wasn't a novel I could feel comfortable with.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week In Review: September 30 - October 6

This week I read:


  • Leviticus 
  • Numbers 1-3
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • 1 Chronicles 1-16
  • Esther
  • Psalms 1-41
  • Proverbs 1-8
  • Ezekiel 
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
  • Matthew 1-9
  • Acts
  • Romans
  • 1 Corinthians

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Goals for October 2012

My goal this month is to focus on the Old Testament. In particular, I'd like to finish the books of Moses (Numbers and Deuteronomy) and the history books (1 Samuel through 2 Chronicles). I also lack the book of Daniel in the major prophets. I'd also like to keep up with my New Testament reading. I like *trying* to finish the New Testament each month. But I know that it isn't always possible each and every month, and it's important to accomplish other goals too.

I've got several books I hope to read:

  • All Things New by Lynn Austin
  • Twice Promised by Maggie Brendan
  • A Promise to Love by Serena B. Miller
  • Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling
  • Wondrous Works of God by Starr Meade
  • Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones
  • Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review: My First Handy Bible

My First Handy Bible: Timeless Bible Stories for Toddlers. Cecilie Olesen. Illustrated by Gustavo Mazali. Scandinavia Publishing House. 64 pages.

My First Handy Bible is a board book bible story collection for young children. It offers thirty stories: nineteen from the Old Testament, eleven from the New Testament. Each story is told in a two-page spread in just a short paragraph.

For example, "God Makes Samson Strong"
When Samson was born, God blessed him and made him very strong. Samson helped to rescue the Israelites from their enemies. Judges 13:1 - 16:31.) 
And "David the Shepherd Boy"
David was a shepherd. He took well care of his sheep. God wanted David to be King one day and take care of his people. 1 Samuel 16:1-13
And, "Jesus is Born"
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Three wise men wanted to visit Jesus. They followed a star to find him and they gave him gifts. Luke 2:1-20
Note: I'm not sure exactly why they reference the Luke narrative when the Wise Men narrative is in Matthew 2:1-12.

The text itself is simple, uncomplicated. Most of the details from each story are simplified greatly and the complexity and richness is lost a little. But it is a board book of bible stories, and the pages are sturdy enough for little hands, and most bible story books are "gentle books." So there's a definite need for more board books.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible