Thursday, April 29, 2021

April Reflections

2021 Bible Reading

  • In April I read Ruth thirty times
  • In April I read Psalms 27-41 thirty times
  • In April I finished the NASB Giant Print Reference Bible
  • In April I continued to use the ESV app to read the M'Cheyne reading plan
  • In April I completely redid how I organized the Horner bookmarks and switched from NASB (which I finished) to the NIV Readers Bible.
  • In April I received three new Bibles. (see below)
  • In April I was totally overwhelmed by the number of translations I had going at once: KJV, 1611 KJV (I finished 1 Samuel), NRSV, NIV, NASB Schuyler, LSB. I am reading a little here and there in all these translations. Because my reading is more scattered than not--although I am keeping lists--it's not easy to recall off the top of my head what books I've read in what translation. So I won't be sharing detailed lists in this post. 
  • In April I did start the Bible in 90 days plan (with modifications) using the NRSV translation. 

Books Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible

22. Court of Swans (The Dericott Tales #1)Melanie Dickerson. 2021. [January] 328 pages. [Source: Review copy]
23. Castle of Refuge (The Dericott Tales #2)Melanie Dickerson. 2021. [June] 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]
24. My Dear Miss Dupré. Grace Hitchcock. 2021. [March] 364 pages. [Source: Review copy]
25. Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice: An Urgent Appeal to Fellow Christians in a Time of Social Crisis. Scott David Allen. 2020. [September] 205 pages. [Source: Bought]
26. The Gold In These Hills. Joanne Bischof. 2021. [August] 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]
27. A Piece of the Moon. Chris Fabry. 2021. [April] 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]
28. A Lady in Attendance. Rachel Fordham. 2021. [June] 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Bibles Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible 

3. New American Standard Bible: Giant Print Reference Bible. God. 2004/1995. Foundation Publications. 2000 pages. [Best guess on page numbers] Source: Gift.  

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

28. A Lady in Attendance

A Lady in Attendance. Rachel Fordham. 2021. [June] 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The coarse gray fabric of Hazel’s newly donned uniform felt uncomfortable and foreign against her skin. She scratched her neck, trying in vain to force the itch away, but it was no use. These drab clothes would likely never feel comfortable, nor would these dark walls and tall fences ever feel like home.

Hazel McDowell hasn't had the easiest time finding a job--at least under her real name--but her luck is about to change. With just a few little white lies, she starts a new job as a lady in attendance. What is a lady in attendance--you may be wondering?!?! She acts as both assistant AND chaperone to her dentist employer, Dr. Gilbert Watts. (In particular, when his clients are female--she is acting chaperone.)

So. Hazel, our heroine, has a past, and she spends her spare time doing two things: a) hanging out with her new best friend, Ina, an old maid teacher and b) trying to find someone to help her clear her name and salvage her reputation. 

Though neither Hazel nor Gilbert (not Giblet) are looking for love, that may just be what they find.

It is set in New York in the 1890s. (1898 to be precise). 

I enjoyed this one. I did. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Ina. I did. I loved this side story so very much. I am so pleased it got so much time in the novel. I did like the main story--Gilbert and Hazel--but what I really enjoyed was the whole atmosphere of it--all the characters, all the little things. It was just an enjoyable story.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thursday, April 22, 2021

27. A Piece of the Moon

A Piece of the Moon. Chris Fabry. 2021. [April] 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: LOVE, LIKE TREASURE, stays buried until somebody decides to dig. That’s what this story is about, along with life and death and a stammering tongue and a little radio station. It’s also about the power of an old country song.

A Piece of the Moon is set in the summer/autumn of 1981 in a small town in West Virginia. Many of the characters--though not all--work at an AM country station, Country 16. 

I loved, loved, loved, LOVED, LOVED, crazy loved this novel. It is a compelling, heart-warming, charming, thoroughly satisfying read. And quirky. Don't forget the quirky. 

It is one of those rare books that is both CHARACTER-DRIVEN and PLOT-DRIVEN. The plot starts off with a little melodrama to hook you. (It worked.) But soon even though the plot hadn't really slowed down--offering a mystery or two, plus a light romance--I found out that it was really ALL about the characters. 

It had the opportunity to be many things: a mystery, a comedy, a tragedy, a romance, a coming of age novel. But really it is more than any of those things. 

It is a Christian book. But don't let that put you off. Don't turn your nose up and say, well, then there's no way I could enjoy that. It is a layered read. One of those books that capture the many, many, many, many layers of being human. And, yes, one of those layers is faith-based--do I believe in God???--but it is not a flat, one-note story. 

I thought it was wonderfully written. Plenty of depth and substance. An abundance of heart. But this isn't one of those precious stories that is too sickly sweet. This novel is more a potluck--a good one--where every single dish adds something special and just right. It ends with a dessert table. But it isn't a cupcake of a novel from start to finish.

I think the characters will stay with me a long time. Yes, I know I just finished it. But already I'm thinking about how I will need to revisit this one again and again. Thinking about how this one NEEDS TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE. Or maybe even a limited series. It needs a SOUNDTRACK or at the very least a Spotify playlist. ETA: There is a PLAYLIST!  

I could gush about this one for hours--or days--mom may get tired of hearing about how awesome this one is!

  • A voice was like a good song. One could take you far, but it couldn’t keep you there.
  • Funny how grooves in an old record could bring back the pain. Words and chords and memories.
  • Sometimes love is less about what you say and more about what you don’t. He’d learned that lesson the hard way.
  • After the news at seven, TD asked Waite to play Bill Anderson’s “Double S,” a B side song used by DJs to take bathroom breaks because it lasted five minutes. Everybody had their favorite long tune, but Waite knew something was up.
  • He’d heard of stations that had countdown timers for song intros and that seemed like cheating. A timer could help you get out of the way of the first vocal, but it couldn’t bring the magic. And it seemed like the world was becoming less about magic and more about timers every day. 
  • There was a crossover controversy with the Oak Ridge Boys. They’d gone from gospel to country and paid a price with some. Waite had received the same criticism with his drive-time program. One letter, written in scrawled pencil, said, How can you play all those drinking and cheating songs and think a few gospel tunes on Sunday will wash away your sin? You’re a plastic Christian, Waite. The writer had signed her name and given a return address but he didn’t answer. All who wrestled in the mud got dirty. He’d learned that the hard way. He’d also learned that some people had the spiritual gift of discouragement. Wisdom said it was best not to indulge them. Next, he played Grandpa Jones singing “I’ll Meet You in the Morning,” and he thought of his wife.
  • Waite turned the pot down on the finished record and hit the voice-over that said, “The best country in the country, this is Country 16.” Dolly Parton sang, “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene . . .” The Kid’s face said it all. It was like he had uncovered the secrets of the universe. Waite lifted the needle from George Jones and put the 45 back in the sleeve.
  • “Why are you treating me this way?” “I used to want to go out and save the world. God cured me of that.” “How?” “He showed me he could bring everybody I needed to help right here. And today that’s you.”
  • “I appreciate it, Pastor. I know Possum does, too.” “Do you know if he’s a believer?” “I asked about that when I hired him. He wasn’t ashamed to say he knew Jesus. Because of his weight, he stopped going to church. He broke a pew once and offered to pay for it as his tithe, but the church said they’d use insurance. He never went back.” “A lot of people feel self-conscious about one thing or another.”
  • After the Farm Report, Waite played two Statler Brothers’ songs back-to-back. That was another group that had started out gospel and veered toward mainstream country. Maybe it was the harmonies the men used that reminded Waite of four-part hymns. They counted flowers on the wall and watched Captain Kangaroo, then sang about the dreams and disappointments of the class of ’57. The line that always got him was about Janet who taught grade school “. . . and probably always will.” He thought about his life and his own “probably always will.”

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Two Ribbon Bible in 90 Days Plan

Earlier today I posted a Bible in 90 days reading plan inspired by having a Bible with three ribbons. This is the two-ribbon version. The first ribbon remains the same. But I've included Psalms and Proverbs in with the New Testament readings for the second ribbon.

Ribbon OneRibbon Two
Day 1Genesis 1-8Matthew 1-4
Day 2Genesis 9-11Matthew 5-7
Day 3Genesis 12-26Matthew 8-11
Day 4Genesis 27-36Matthew 12-16
Day 5Genesis 37-50Matthew 17-20
Day 6Exodus 1-11Matthew 21-25
Day 7Exodus 12-19Matthew 26-28
Day 8Exodus 20-31Psalm 1-5
Day 9Exodus 32-40Psalm 6-11
Day 10Leviticus 1-15Psalm 12-18
Day 11Leviticus 16-27Psalm 19-23
Day 12Numbers 1-8Psalm 24-36
Day 13Numbers 9-21Psalm 37-41
Day 14Numbers 22-36Mark 1-4
Day 15Deuteronomy 1-8Mark 5-8
Day 16Deuteronomy 9-24Mark 9-12
Day 17Deuteronomy 25-34Mark 13-16
Day 18Joshua 1-12Mark 1-8
Day 19Joshua 13-24Mark 9-16
Day 20Judges 1-3Psalm 42-50
Day 21Judges 4-10Psalm 51-59
Day 22Judges 11-17Psalm 60-68
Day 23Judges 18-21Psalm 69-72
Day 24RuthLuke 1-9
Day 251 Samuel 1-8Luke 10-15
Day 261 Samuel 9-15Luke 16-19
Day 271 Samuel 16-31Luke 20-24
Day 282 Samuel 1-10Psalm 73-80
Day 292 Samuel 11-24Psalm 81-89
Day 301 Kings 1-11Acts 1-5
Day 311 Kings 12-22Acts 6-7
Day 322 Kings 1-13Acts 9-11
Day 332 Kings 14-25Acts 12-16
Day 341 Chronicles 1-12Acts 17-20
Day 351 Chronicles 13-29Acts 21-28
Day 362 Chronicles 1-9Proverbs 1-10
Day 372 Chronicles 10-23Proverbs 11-21
Day 382 Chronicles 24-36Proverbs 22-31
Day 39Ezra 1-10Romans 1-4
Day 40Nehemiah 1-13Romans 5-8
Day 41Esther 1-10Romans 9-11
Day 42Job 1-7Romans 12-16
Day 43Job 8-221 Corinthians 1-7
Day 44Job 23-421 Corinthians 8-11
Day 45Ecclesiastes 1-61 Corinthians 12-16
Day 46Ecclesiastes 7-122 Corinthians 1-7
Day 47Song of Songs 1-82 Corinthians 8-13
Day 48Isaiah 1-12John 1-4
Day 49Isaiah 13-24John 5-10
Day 50Isaiah 25-39John 11-13
Day 51Isaiah 40-53John 14-17
Day 52Isaiah 54-66John 18-21
Day 53Jeremiah 1-10Psalm 90-95
Day 54Jeremiah 11-23Psalm 96-100
Day 55Jeremiah 24-37Psalm 101-106
Day 56Jeremiah 28-36Psalm 107-118
Day 57Jeremiah 37-42Psalm 119
Day 58Jeremiah 43-52Psalm 120-126
Day 59LamentationsPsalm 127-136
Day 60Ezekiel 1-5Psalm 137-142
Day 61Ezekiel 6-10Psalm 143-150
Day 62Ezekiel 11-15Galatians
Day 63Ezekiel 16-23Ephesians
Day 64Ezekiel 24-28Philippians
Day 65Ezekiel 29-32Colossians
Day 66Ezekiel 33-341 Thessalonians
Day 67Ezekiel 35-372 Thessalonians
Day 68Ezekiel 38-391 Timothy
Day 69Ezekiel 40-422 Timothy
Day 70Ezekiel 43-44Titus
Day 71Ezekiel 45-46Philemon
Day 72Ezekiel 47-48Hebrews 1-3
Day 73Daniel 1-6Hebrew 4-6
Day 74Daniel 7-12Hebrews 7-9
Day 75Hosea 1-7Hebrews 10-11
Day 76Hosea 8-14Hebrews 12-13
Day 77JoelJames
Day 78Amos1 Peter
Day 79Obadiah2 Peter
Day 80Jonah1 John
Day 81Micah2 John, 3 John, Jude
Day 82NahumRevelation 1
Day 83HabakkukRevelation 2-3
Day 84ZephaniahRevelation 4-5
Day 85HaggaiRevelation 5-8
Day 86Zechariah 1-7Revelation 9-12
Day 87Zechariah 8-14Revelation 13-18
Day 88MalachiRevelation 19-22
Day 89Grace DayGrace Day
Day 90Grace DayGrace Day

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Bible in 90 Days: Three Ribbon Plan

The traditional Bible in 90 Days plan has you read cover to cover, Genesis through Revelation. It's a good plan. I've done it more than a couple of times. But I also like to mix around the plan. This particular mix has three readings per day. It is inspired by my new Bible guessed it...three ribbons. 

One ribbon will be Old Testament. One ribbon will be New Testament. One ribbon will be Psalms and Proverbs. 

Ribbon OneRibbon TwoRibbon Three
Day 1Genesis 1-8Matthew 1-4Psalm 1
Day 2Genesis 9-11Matthew 5-7Psalm 2
Day 3Genesis 12-26Matthew 8-11Psalm 3-4
Day 4Genesis 27-36Matthew 12-16Psalm 5
Day 5Genesis 37-50Matthew 17-20Psalm 6-7
Day 6Exodus 1-11Matthew 21-25Psalm 8
Day 7Exodus 12-19Matthew 26-28Psalm 9-10
Day 8Exodus 20-31Mark 1-4Psalm 11
Day 9Exodus 32-40Mark 5-8Psalm 12-13
Day 10Leviticus 1-15Mark 9-12Psalm 14-15
Day 11Leviticus 16-27Mark 13-16Psalm 16
Day 12Numbers 1-8Luke 1-3Psalm 17
Day 13Numbers 9-21Luke 4-6Psalm 18
Day 14Numbers 22-36Luke 7-9Psalm 19
Day 15Deuteronomy 1-8Luke 10-12Psalm 20-21
Day 16Deuteronomy 9-24Luke 13-14Psalm 22
Day 17Deuteronomy 25-34Luke 15Psalm 23
Day 18Joshua 1-12Luke 16-17Psalm 24-25
Day 19Joshua 13-24Luke 18-19Psalm 26-27
Day 20Judges 1-3Luke 20-21Psalm 28-29
Day 21Judges 4-10Luke 22-23Psalm 30-33
Day 22Judges 11-17Luke 24Psalm 34
Day 23Judges 18-21Acts 1-2Psalm 35-36
Day 24RuthActs 3-4Psalm 37
Day 251 Samuel 1-8Acts 5-7Psalm 38-39
Day 261 Samuel 9-15Acts 8-9Psalm 40-41
Day 271 Samuel 16-31Acts 10-11Psalm 42-43
Day 282 Samuel 1-10Acts 12-14Psalm 44-45
Day 292 Samuel 11-24Acts 15Psalm 46-47
Day 301 Kings 1-11Acts 16-17Psalm 48-49
Day 311 Kings 12-22Acts 18-19Psalm 50-51
Day 322 Kings 1-13Acts 20-22Psalm 52-53
Day 332 Kings 14-25Acts 23-24Psalm 54-55
Day 341 Chronicles 1-12Acts 25-26Psalm 56-57
Day 351 Chronicles 13-29Acts 27-28Psalm 58-59
Day 362 Chronicles 1-9Romans 1Psalm 60-63
Day 372 Chronicles 10-23Romans 2Psalm 64-66
Day 382 Chronicles 24-36Romans 3-4Psalm 67-68
Day 39Ezra 1-10Romans 5-6Psalm 69-70
Day 40Nehemiah 1-13Romans 7-8Psalm 71-72
Day 41Esther 1-10Romans 9-10Psalm 73-74
Day 42Job 1-7Romans 11Psalm 75-76
Day 43Job 8-22Romans 12Psalm 77-78
Day 44Job 23-42Romans 13-14Psalm 80-81
Day 45Ecclesiastes 1-6Romans 15-16Psalm 82-85
Day 46Ecclesiastes 7-121 Corinthians 1-2Psalm 86-87
Day 47Song of Songs 1-81 Corinthians 3-4Psalm 88-89
Day 48Isaiah 1-121 Corinthians 5Psalm 90
Day 49Isaiah 13-241 Corinthians 6-7Psalm 91-93
Day 50Isaiah 25-391 Corinthians 8-9Psalm 94-95
Day 51Isaiah 40-531 Corinthians 10-11Psalm 96-97
Day 52Isaiah 54-661 Corinthians 12Psalm 98-99
Day 53Jeremiah 1-101 Corinthians 13Psalm 100
Day 54Jeremiah 11-231 Corinthians 14-16Psalm 101-102
Day 55Jeremiah 24-372 Corinthians 1-3Psalm 103
Day 56Jeremiah 28-362 Corinthians 4-5Psalm 104-105
Day 57Jeremiah 37-422 Corinthians 6-7Psalm 106
Day 58Jeremiah 43-522 Corinthians 8-9Psalm 107-108
Day 59Lamentations2 Corinthians 10-11Psalm 109-110
Day 60Ezekiel 1-52 Corinthians 12-13Psalm 111-113
Day 61Ezekiel 6-10GalatiansPsalm 114-115
Day 62Ezekiel 11-15EphesiansPsalm 116-118
Day 63Ezekiel 16-23PhilippiansPsalm 119
Day 64Ezekiel 24-28ColossiansPsalm 120-122
Day 65Ezekiel 29-321 ThessaloniansPsalm 123-124
Day 66Ezekiel 33-342 ThessaloniansPsalm 125-126
Day 67Ezekiel 35-371 TimothyPsalm 127-130
Day 68Ezekiel 38-392 TimothyPsalm 131-136
Day 69Ezekiel 40-42TitusPsalm 137-140
Day 70Ezekiel 43-44PhilemonPsalm 141-145
Day 71Ezekiel 45-46Hebrews 1-4Psalm 146-150
Day 72Ezekiel 47-48Hebrews 5-8Proverbs 1-3
Day 73Daniel 1-6Hebrews 9-11Proverbs 4-5
Day 74Daniel 7-12Hebrews 12-13Proverbs 6-7
Day 75Hosea 1-7James 1-5Proverbs 8
Day 76Hosea 8-141 PeterProverbs 9-10
Day 77Joel2 PeterProverbs 11-12
Day 78Amos1 JohnProverbs 13-14
Day 79Obadiah2 JohnProverbs 15-16
Day 80Jonah3 JohnProverbs 17-18
Day 81MicahJudeProverbs 19-20
Day 82NahumRevelation 1Proverbs 21-22
Day 83HabakkukRevelation 2-3Proverbs 23-24
Day 84ZephaniahRevelation 4-5Proverbs 25-26
Day 85HaggaiRevelation 5-8Proverbs 27
Day 86Zechariah 1-7Revelation 9-12Proverbs 28-29
Day 87Zechariah 8-14Revelation 13-18Proverbs 30
Day 88MalachiRevelation 19-22Proverbs 31
Day 89Grace DayGrace DayGrace Day 
Day 90Grace DayGrace DayGrace Day 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible