Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reflecting on 2012

In January, I tried reading the Bible with Professor Horner's reading system. I didn't end up loving it, but, it gave me a few good ideas to try. One reason why I'm so thankful I did give it a try is because of the daily planner I bought because of it. I wanted a planner/calendar with at least ten lines per day. This has been the BEST thing ever!!! I LOVE keeping up with my reading day-by-day. It makes the week-in-review posts so easy! I read four fiction novels, one children's bible story book, and two nonfiction titles. My favorite book of the month was Christless Christianity by Michael Horton.

Favorite quotes:
I am a Christian not because I think that I can walk in Jesus's footsteps but because he is the only one who can carry me. I am not the gospel; Jesus Christ alone is the gospel. His story saves me, not only by bringing me justification but by baptizing me into his resurrection life. (Michael Horton, Christless Christianity, 117)
Original sin, as G.K. Chesterton observes, is 'the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved'. (Michael Horton, Christless Christianity, 63)
Isn't it amazing that, according to Jesus, the whole Bible is about him and Peter says that the angels long to understand the Good News that is (or should be) brought weekly by heralds, but we decide that someone or something else should be the focus of our sermon and worship this week? (Michael Horton, Christless Christianity, 143)
In February, I tried the MacArthur system of reading the Bible. I chose 1 John for my first experiment. The goal was to read 1 John thirty times, but, I managed to read 34 times!!! I discovered that I REALLY enjoyed this method of reading the Bible. But it is a little TOO intense to do every single month. I read one fiction title, one children's bible storybook, and six nonfiction titles. This is the month that I discovered CHARLES SPURGEON!!!  I read four Spurgeon books in February!!! I also read another Michael Horton book, and a MARVELOUS book by Phil Ryken. I loved sharing these Dorothy Sayers quotes.

Favorite quotes:
The gospel is not a general belief in heaven and hell or hope for a better life beyond; it is not even confidence in a resurrection at the end of the age. It is the announcement that Jesus Christ himself is our life, for he is our peace with God. He does not merely show us the way; he is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). (Michael Horton, Gospel-Driven Life, 80)
I have often said that prayer and praise are like the breathing in and out of air and make up that spiritual respiration by which the inner life is instrumentally supported. We take in an inspiration of heavenly air as we pray; we breathe it out again in praise unto God from whom it came. If, then, we would be healthy in spirit, let us be abundant in thanksgiving. Prayer, like the root of a tree, seeks for and finds nutriment; praise, like the fruit, renders a revenue to the owner of the vineyard. Prayer is for ourselves; praise is for God. Let us never be so selfish as to abound in the one and fail in the other. (Charles Spurgeon, The Practice of Praise, 93)
I pray that God will always preserve us from a unity in which truth is considered valueless, in which principle gives place to policy, in which the masculine virtues of the Christian hero are supplemented by an effeminate, fake love. May the Lord deliver us from indifference to His Word  and will, for this creates a cold unity--like masses of ice frozen into an iceberg, chilling the air for miles around; or like the unity of the dead as they sleep in their graves, contending for nothing because they no longer have a part in the land of the living. (Charles Spurgeon, Power in the Blood, 138)
In March, I decided to try the Woodrow Krull reading method. This is also the month that I discovered A.W. Tozer. And THAT changed the course of the whole year. I HAD to have more and more and more Tozer!!! I read ten nonfiction titles and two fiction. I read two books on Bible translation, two books by A.W. Tozer, and one Spurgeon book.

Favorite quotes:
There is nothing in which we need to take so many lessons as in prayer. There is nothing of which we are so utterly ignorant when we first begin; there is nothing in which we are so helpless. And there is nothing else that we are so bad at all our days. We have an inborn, a constitutional, a habitual, and, indeed, an hereditary dislike of prayer, and of everything of the nature of prayer. We are not only ignorant here, and incapable: we are incorrigibly and unconquerably unwilling to learn. And when we begin to learn we need a lesson every day, almost every hour. (Alexander Whyte, Lord Teach Us To Pray, 257)
Wherever in all the world there is a human heart, God also is there. And He is there in order to have that heart poured out before Him. (Alexander Whyte, Lord Teach Us To Pray, 29)
None of us can ever be fully pleasing to God if we are not willing to be well taught in His Word. (A. W. Tozer, Jesus, Our Man in Glory, 104)
There is not a man or woman anywhere who can hold an adequate view of our human nature until he or she accepts the fact that we came from God and that we shall return to God again. (A.W. Tozer, Jesus, Our Man in Glory, 24)
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. (A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy, 1)
In April, I bought two great Bibles! I bought the ESV Grow Bible which I love and adore, and I bought the KJV A.W. Tozer Bible!!! I love both of these so much! Though the ESV has the better font! I also shared my new reading system. I read six nonfiction books this month: two Tozer, one Pink, one Sayers, and two Easter-related books. 

Favorite quotes: 
To many Christians Christ is little more than an idea, or at best an ideal; He is not a fact. Millions of professed believers talk as if He were real and act as if He were not. And always our actual position is to be discovered by the way we act, not by the way we talk. We can prove our faith by our committal to it and in no other way. Any belief that does not command the one who holds it is not a real belief. (A.W. Tozer, Root of the Righteous, 51)
Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the Triune God in personal experience. And such experience requires a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating God. God can be known satisfactorily only as we devote time to Him. (A.W. Tozer, Root of the Righteous, 9)
In May, my focus was still on the A.W. Tozer Bible. My reading was still largely nonfiction: six nonfiction and two fiction. I really LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Kisses From Katie and The Explicit Gospel

Favorite Quotes:
Regarding God's Word, let us love it and live in it and eat it and drink it and lie down on it and walk on it and stand on it and swear by it and live by it and rest in it. (A.W. Tozer, Experiencing the Presence of God, 105)
There is not a Christian alive but has to die, and die daily, to thoughts of self-importance. (A.W. Tozer, Experiencing the Presence of God, 209)
In June, I read Revelation using the MacArthur was intense and wonderful and I highly recommend it!!! Because so much of my time was spent reading Revelation, I only read five books. Two Tozer books and three novels. This was the month I started reading J.C. Ryle's HOLINESS. Oh how I came to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Ryle!!! 

Favorite quotes: 
The question is this: What are we allowing the Word of God to say to us, and what is our reaction to that Word? Have we consumed and digested the book? Have we absorbed the Word of God into our lives? Or are we among those content to be a part of a Christian congregation where there are no extreme demands, where fellowship will be consistently pleasant and without responsibility? When we, as Christians, love our Lord Jesus Christ with heart and soul and mind, the Word of God is on our side! If we could only grasp the fact that God's Word is more than a book! It is the revelation of divine truth from the person of God Himself. It has come as a divine communication in the sacred Scriptures. It has come to us in the guidance and conviction imparted by the divine Spirit of God within our beings. It has been modeled for us in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word and the eternal Son. (A.W. Tozer, Jesus is Victor, 165)
In July, I was LOVING J.C. Ryle and struggling through my first-ever Jonathan Edwards book. 

Favorite quotes: 
Let us be quick to see grace — and more slow to see imperfections! Let us know that, if we cannot allow that there is grace where there is corruption — we shall find no grace in the world. ~ J.C. Ryle, Holiness
I have often heard of "narrow-minded views," and "old-fashioned notions," and "fire-and-brimstone theology," and the like. I have often been told that "broad" views are needed in the present day. I wish to be as broad as the Bible — neither less nor more. I say that he is the narrow-minded theologian who pares down such parts of the Bible as the natural heart dislikes, and rejects any portion of the counsel of God. ~ J.C. Ryle, Holiness 
In August, September, and October I began reading more fiction. I still read some nonfiction, however. My new 'discovery' was Sarah Sundin! And A Promise to Love was my favorite, favorite book!!!

Favorite quotes:
God is with us now as much as He will be with us in eternity. (John MacArthur, Worship, 98)
When we see God as holy, our instant and only reaction is to see ourselves as unholy. Between God's holiness and humanity's unholiness is a gulf. And until a person understands the holiness of God, that person can never know the depth of his or her own sin. We ought to be shaken to our roots when we see ourselves against the backdrop of God's holiness. If we are not deeply pained about our sin, we do not understand God's holiness at all. Without such a vision of God's holiness, true worship is not possible. Real worship is not giddy. It does not rush into God's presence unprepared and insensitive to His majesty. It is not shallow, superficial, or flippant. Worship is life lived in the presence of an infinitely righteous and omnipresent God by one utterly aware of His holiness and consequently overwhelmed with a sense of his or her own unholiness. (John MacArthur, Worship, 114)
Though planted in a specific time and place in our history, the cross was in God's heart before the world began. His love has always been sacrificial, liberal, and costly. (Michael Horton, Putting the Amazing Back into Grace, 69)
 In November, I read Philippians using the MacArthur system!!! It was LOVE. This is a great little book and I highly recommend it for reading thirty days in a row! I also read another J.C. Ryle book, Practical Religion. I also read TWO A.W. Tozer books! I loved sharing: resolution tips, bible reading tips, and prayer tips.  

Favorite quotes:
The greatest encouragement throughout the Bible is God's love for His lost race and the willingness of Christ, the eternal Son, to show forth that love in God's plan of redemption. The love of Jesus is so inclusive that it knows no boundaries. At the point where we stop caring and loving, Jesus is still there loving and caring. (A.W. Tozer, Jesus, Author of Our Faith, 144)
Worship pleasing to God saturates our whole being. There is no worship pleasing to God until there is nothing in me displeasing to God. (A.W. Tozer, The Purpose of Man, 128)
Expect little from self — but much from Christ. Look more to Jesus — and less to self. ~ J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion
Praying and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer. ~ J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion
The way to do a thing--is to do it; and the way to read the Bible--is actually to read it! It is not merely meaning, or wishing, or resolving, or intending, or thinking about it--which will advance you one step. You must positively read. ~ J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion
In December, I focused on finishing the Bible for the year. I was able to read around 100 books this year--fiction and nonfiction. 

Favorite quotes:
The Christian life is a life of being carried from beginning to end. (John Piper, Pierced by the Word, 50)
The most satisfying reality we could ever know is Jesus. So to give us this reality, He must give us Himself. The love of Jesus drives Him to pray for us, and then die for us, not that our value may be central, but that His glory may be central, and we may see it and savor it for all eternity. (John Piper, Pierced by the Word, 16)
He that hung upon the cross was the Maker of all worlds. He that came as an infant, for our sake, was the Infinite. How low he stooped! How high he must have been that he could stoop so low! ~ Charles Spurgeon, "The Simplicity and Sublimity of Salvation." 
The whole of Christ's life was a continual passion; others die martyrs, but Christ was born a martyr. He found a Golgotha, where he was crucified, even in Bethlehem, where he was born; for to his tenderness then the straws were almost as sharp as the thorns after, and the manger as uneasy at first as the cross at last. His birth and his death were but one continual act, and his Christmas Day and his Good Friday are but the evening and the morning of one and the same day. From the creche to the cross is an inseparable line. Christmas only points forward to Good Friday and Easter. It can have no meaning apart from that, where the Son of God displayed his glory by his death. ~ John Donne

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: