Saturday, January 29, 2022

7. Tacos for Two

Tacos for Two. Betsy St. Amant. 2021. [October] 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: If Rory Perez could find a way to wad all the cilantro in the entire world into a ball and hurl it into outer space, it still wouldn't be far enough removed for her preference.

If You've Got Mail is your all-time favorite, favorite movie AND you live for Taco Tuesday, then Betsy St. Amant's newest book, Tacos for Two, was written just for you. (Probably). 

ColorMeTurquoise and StrongerMan99 are falling hard and fast for one another. These two have been chatting via Direct Messages on a dating app, "Love at First Chat." They've never met, but, they share a few things in common. One of which is they both love the movie You've Got Mail. 

Rory Perez and Jude Strong are thrown together a little too often for her liking. Rory inherited a food truck, a taco truck, from her aunt. It isn't that she doesn't love tacos, she does, but she doesn't love cooking. (She doesn't even like cooking, not even a little bit). Jude Strong HATES his family business--a law firm. His big dream is to own his own food truck--and tacos, well, tacos would be his first choice. To him, owning his own food truck would mean some freedom and independence... These two food trucks are about to be in direct competition with each other. And, well, conflicts are bound to happen. Can this small Texas town be big enough for two thriving taco trucks?

This romance is 1000% predictable. That isn't necessarily problematic. Again, if you love the movie If You've Got Mail (or one of the earlier films from which it derives--In the Good Old Summertime OR Shop Around The Corner), I think that predictability wouldn't be a deal breaker. This book does seem more derivative than many other Christian romances. 

I didn't have trouble suspending my disbelief for most of the book. However, when it came to Rory's party planning/designing, well, she lost me a bit. I had a hard time imagining a sophisticated, elegant, beautiful party where the guests are wearing formal wear when tacos and nachos are on the menu and the decorations include balloons. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

2022 Bible Reading #4

Bible reading week of 22 - 28 January 2022

I finished the LSB translation. I was using it for my Daily Offices. My review of that Bible is here

  • Psalm 107-150
  • Proverbs 22-31
  • Isaiah 44-66
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Daniel
  • Hosea
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
  • Mark
  • Luke

My new translation I'll be using for the Daily Offices is the NIV 84. I started it yesterday (Friday).

  • Genesis 1-5
  • Hebrews 1-5
  • Psalms 132-138
  • Proverbs 28

The Bible I am using for my morning tea devotional time is the Berean Study Bible. I am using the Five Day Bible Reading Plan

  • 1 Samuel
  • 2 Samuel 1-14
  • 1 Chronicles 1-20
  • Psalm 23, 32, 38, 39, 51, 52, 54 56, 57, 59, 60,  89, 96, 106, 120, 122, 124, 132, 142
  • Acts 5-28

The Bible I am using for my afternoon tea devotional time is the Wycliffe Modern Spelling Bible on YouVersion. I started the Bible in 90 Day Plan in late November. 

  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
  • Matthew
  • Mark 1-9

I have TWO ongoing year-long 30 Day MacArthur plans going.

  • In January, I will be reading Isaiah 1-5 thirty times. ESV, BSB, NASB 95, ESV, BSB, NASB 95, NIV 2011
  • In January I will be reading James thirty times. ESV, BSB, NASB 95, ESV, BSB, NASB 95, NIV 2011

My miscellaneous Bibles:

Great Bible 1539 
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy 1-9

NASB 1977
  • Exodus 32-40

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Friday, January 28, 2022

1. Legacy Standard Bible

Legacy Standard Bible (Handy Size Edition) Steadfast Bibles (Publisher) 2021. 1665 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 

The Legacy Standard Bible (LSB) was released last year. I read some in the New Testament when it was first released. But I was holding out for the whole Bible--both testaments. I got my copy in December 2021, and I began it a few days after Christmas. (December 28, 2021 was my start date.)

I read this one as part of the Daily Offices for the Book of Common Prayer. To clarify, I do the Daily Offices my own way. Traditionally, there are two lessons--one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament--at each lesson. Each "lesson" consisting of one chapter. That is not how I do it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the traditional method. By almost all standards, covering FOUR chapters a day plus the psalms readings, would be significant, substantive, meaty. But I'm a glutton. I am. I "overeat" if you will on the Scriptures. Taking literally, the "taste and see" and "delight yourself" of scripture, I read multiple chapters per lesson. And I add in (most days) a midday office. (Though I'm considering making that one optional.)

This Bible is "handy" indeed. It is very lightweight. It is not at all bulky. The print is also a little too small for my liking. I found that I could read without strain earlier in the morning. Sometimes at night--by the time my eyes were tired--the print was just frustrating. 

Interior preview of the LSB Handy Bible
Interior of the now out of stock Handy Size Edition

I do LOVE the quality of this one. The paper was great. The line-matching worked for me. Together there was very little ghosting. It is BLACK LETTER. It is single column. I do think that having all those blank pages to take notes will make some readers very happy indeed! 

Psalm 23

Yahweh is my shepherd,
I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will pursue me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of Yahweh forever.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thursday, January 27, 2022

6. Walking As He Walked

Walking As He Walked. Joel R. Beeke. 2002/2007. 133 pages. [Source: Bought]

Walking As He Walked is a collection of four sermons preached by Joel R. Beeke all inspired by 1 John 2:6. In the book he argues that walking like Christ walked is not an optional "extra" for Christians; being a Christian by definition means walking like Christ walked. His point is not to expect perfection and instant victory. No, his point is that believers should want--should desire--to grow in Christlikeness, to aspire to a closer walk, a holier walk. We should strive to run the race, in other words. So what does it mean to walk like Christ? Here is how Beeke describes it:
Walking as Christ walked means making Jesus’ priorities my own by faith (John 6:38). It means delighting in and keeping God’s law as Jesus did (Ps. 40:8). It means having compassion for others, repaying evil with good, and acting in love (John 13:151 Pet. 2:23Luke 23:34). It means despising the same pleasures and vanities of this world that He despised, speaking and living the same truths that He spoke and lived, and being led by the same Spirit that led Him (Rom. 8:14).
The first chapter is on cross-bearing (Mark 15:21Luke 23:26). The second is on office-bearing (prophet, priest, king). The third is on tears (John 11:35Luke 19:41Hebrews 5:7). The fourth is on endurance. Each chapter focuses first on Jesus: how he lived, how he "walked" before moving onto what it means for us, how it applies to how we live our lives, how we walk in this world. 

I would have to say that I found his sermons thought-provoking. For example, 
When we have an encounter with Jesus Christ, our lives are changed once and for all. Every time we hear the gospel, our path crosses the path of a crucified Jesus, who is now exalted and walks among us in the garments of the gospel. Each encounter will be either for our salvation or our damnation. It will soften or harden us—never leaving us exactly the same.
Too often we Christians expect too little of Jesus and too much of each other.
If you think that God does not care about your sorrows and that Jesus is insensitive to your suffering, your concept of God needs correction. Perhaps dullness, blindness, or unbelief makes you feel this way. We are told that “Jesus wept.” The message of those two words is that God cares for us.
If you will not think of Him or of yourself, then consider the tears of Jesus. He wept for those who would not weep for themselves, who did not think that they had anything to weep about. He mourned for those who were going down the broad road that leads to destruction; He wept for the perishing! Jesus wept because God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He wept for hell-worthy, perishing sinners. The fault for your unbelief is yours; there is no one else in the entire world you can blame it on. But note this: though Jesus wept because of your willful unbelief, He did not excuse you from punishment.
What do we weep over? If we each had two bottles, and into one we put all the tears we shed for ourselves in the past ten years and, into the other, all the tears we have shed over lost souls, which bottle would be fuller? Do most of our tears spring from selfish, earthly concerns, or do they spring from concerns for the eternal souls of those around us? Have we shed any tears we could claim before the Lord, as David did: “Put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Ps. 56:8).
And I loved how full of quotes this one was!
Samuel Rutherford; he learned so much in the school of Christ that when he saw another affliction coming, he’d say, “Here comes my Jesus!”
And as Martin Luther used to say, “Letting God be God is half of all true religion.”
Dear friends, as we listen to the claims of the devil, we must say with Luther, “We tremble, for so much of what the devil says is true. The devil has enough strength in his tail to knock my conversion out of me.”
Daniel Smart, a nineteenth century Baptist preacher, once remarked, “The sweetest tears a believer sheds are always in relation to the precious blood of Jesus Christ.”
“Sin,” as John Owen put it, “is always at our elbow.”
Bunyan once said that if sin knocks on your door and you open the door, you have not sinned as long as you shut the door as soon as you recognize sin for what it is. We fall into sin when we welcome sin into the home of our minds and dwell upon it.
Luther was so encouraged by the Psalms when he was going through his own trials that he said, “I can scarcely see how you can be a Christian without David being one of your best friends.”
Luther quipped: “Some of my best friends are dead ones.”
I loved this one. I just loved, loved, loved it. This would be a great introduction to Joel Beeke. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

5. A Dozen Things God Did With Your Sin

A Dozen Things God Did With Your Sin (And Three Things He'll Never Do). Sam Storms. 2022. [January] Crossway. 225 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Sometimes profound truths are tucked away in obscure and neglected places.

A Dozen Things God Did with Your Sin is a great little book for believers of all ages and stages. It is beneficial if you're a brand new believer. It is beneficial if you have been a believer for decades. It's been said many times that believers need to preach the gospel to themselves daily. Though that certainly isn't the only purpose of A Dozen Things God Did With Your Sin, it's one of the consequences. For of reminding us what God has done with our sin, it points us again and again and again to Jesus Christ. 

So the premise of this one is straightforward enough. It shares TWELVE things God has done with our sins. Those twelve can be seen in the table of contents:

He Laid Your Sin upon His Son
He Has Forgiven You of Your Sins
He Has Cleansed You of Your Sin
He Has Covered Your Sin
He Has Cast All Your Sin Behind His Back
He Has Removed Your Sin as Far as the East is from the West
He Has Passed Over Your Sin
He Has Trampled Your Sin Underfoot
He Has Cast Your Sin Into the Sea
He Has Blotted Out Your Sin
He Has Turned His Face Away From Your Sin
He Has Forgotten Your Sin and Refuses to Remember It

Each chapter has scriptural supports and a bit of expository teaching. (Perhaps not as much as you'd find in a commentary or from the pulpit of a good expositor. But more than you'd find in 99% of devotional books.) 

The book also includes three things He doesn't and never will do with our sins. (Those are not mentioned in the table of contents.) 

The book also includes a chapter on the gospel. (Though readers will have been exposed at least twelve times previously to the heart of the gospel). And a LOVELY concluding chapter on the "uttermost" and "always" of Hebrews 7:25. 

The book is great for teaching believers about assurance, reconciliation, and the gospel itself. Why does it matter? Because our theology informs--or should inform--HOW we live out our lives day by day, hour by hour. Our spiritual health is vital, and these truths are medicine for the soul. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, January 22, 2022

2022 Bible Reading #3

Bible Reading Week of 15-21 January

The Bible I am using for my Daily Offices (from the Book of Common Prayer) is the Legacy Standard Bible.

  • 1 Chronicles 10-29
  • 2 Chronicles
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Esther
  • Job
  • Psalm 75-106
  • Proverbs 15-21
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Isaiah 1-43
  • Matthew
  • John 6-21
  • 1 John 
  • 2 John
  • 3 John
  • Revelation

The Bible I am using for my morning tea devotional time is the Berean Study Bible. I am using the Five Day Bible Reading Plan

  • Deuteronomy
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • Psalm 5, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 36, 37, 115,  116, 143, 146
  • Luke 5-24
  • Acts 1-4

The Bible I am using for my afternoon tea devotional time is the Wycliffe Modern Spelling Bible on YouVersion. I started the Bible in 90 Day Plan in late November. 

  • Jeremiah 34-52
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Daniel
  • Hosea
  • Joel

I have TWO ongoing year-long 30 Day MacArthur plans going.

  • In January, I will be reading Isaiah 1-5 thirty times. ESV, RSV, KJV, NASB 95, ESV, NASB 95, NASB 95, KJV,
  • In January I will be reading James thirty times. ESV,RSV, KJV, NASB 95, ESV, NASB 95, NASB 95, KJV

My miscellaneous Bibles:

Great Bible 1539 
  • Exodus 11-40
  • Leviticus

NASB 1977
  • Exodus 25-31

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

4. The Healing of Natalie Curtis

The Healing of Natalie Curtis. Jane Kirkpatrick. 2021. [September] 368 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: She followed the blind boy up through the crevice, up through the warm rocks the colors of weeping rainbows, up to a life beyond any she had known.

Jane Kirkpatrick's newest novel is based on a true story. Her heroine, Natalie Curtis, was a real person (1875-1921). The novel focuses on Curtis' work as an ethnomusicologist. When she went west with her brother, she wasn't particularly looking for a monumental life-change; she was in need of a change, and desperately needed a change. But still. She couldn't have predicted the direction her life would take. Curtis found meaning--if meaning is the right word--in visiting Native American tribes across the country and recording their music, transcribing and describing their songs and traditions. At the time, it was illegal--in many places for Native Americans to sing and dance and speak their own language. The push was to get the tribes--all tribes--"civilized" and speaking English. The quicker all tribes could assimilate, the better. (Not that they'd ever be seen as "equal" mind you.) She saw that the loss of this American folk music--this ethnic music--would be devastating and crushing. Within a generation or two, all would be irrevocably lost. She traveled the country, lived on and visited many reservations, recorded the music, took notes on the traditions, wanted to share the vastness, the richness of these cultures. She needed patrons to help support her financially and she needed support politically. It was controversial to say the least--going against "the code" of what was legal at the time. 

Her biography is interesting. I think the book seeks to capture her work. But at times it felt a bit draggy. (Not all the time, mind you.) It's just that these 368 pages felt more like 450 pages. 

It is based on a true story. The focus is always on her and her work. It never becomes a fluff piece trying to make it into a more traditional "Christian romance" title. 

But is it Christian fiction??? I would say it could easily pass as NOT. For better or worse. Curtis was not a missionary. It was never her goal, her mission, to proclaim the gospel, to spread Christianity, to instruct or teach the Christian faith. There is nothing remotely evangelical or "Christian" in the novel. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, January 15, 2022

3. The Dangers of a Shallow Faith

The Dangers of a Shallow Faith. A.W. Tozer. Edited by James L. Snyder. 2012. 219 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: The evangelical church in America is facing some serious hazards that threaten to bring it to the brink of apostasy.

Although A.W. Tozer died in 1963, his words for the church (and for the world) seem to be written for this  generation. Perhaps because to some extent truth is truth is truth is truth. Perhaps because the church seemed to be heading towards danger then if you had eyes to discern it, and has plunged further in with each passing generation so that now very little discernment is needed to see what is obvious. 

Tozer argues that the church--much of it, some of it--is spiritually (and somewhat morally) lethargic and is in need of awakening. To what degree and extent the church or "the church" needs awakening, believers may always quibble. 

One observation I have is that things that did concern Tozer greatly now seem so ordinary, so casual, so "normal" that they no longer concern us. Or rather they rarely concern us, and to "major" in these "minors" make us the weird, strange, out-of-touch ones. For example, Tozer's thoughts on television and movies. There are still some believers who ponder and reflect on the rights and wrongs of specific titles. Should I watch this movie? Is this series okay for me to watch? But those that object to EVERYTHING are few and far between. We see that as too extreme. One could easily dismiss Tozer as being irrelevant...if you wanted to throw the baby out with the bath water. 

Here's the thing, Tozer IS relevant. You don't have to read very far to realize this. Tozer has a very God-centered, Jesus-centered, Word-centered way to see the world. Not just bits and pieces, but the world at large. Because of this, his writing is hard to ignore or dismiss. 

His works are thought-provoking. I may not agree 100% with every single sentence in every single book. But I will be sure be thinking deeply about what I'm reading.


The Bible has no compromise whatsoever with the world. The Bible has a message for the evangelical church, calling it back home. The Bible always sends us out into the world, but never to compromise with the world; and never to walk in the way of the world, but only to save as many as we can. That is the one direction.

I would estimate that no denomination has ever survived its 100-year anniversary without a drastic overhaul from the inside out.

The average Christian today is addicted to exterior pleasures. Can any Christian church survive today without a heavy dose of entertainment? It is the culture of fun, fun and more fun. Performance has replaced worship. We no longer have worshipers but rather observers and spectators who sit in awe of the performance. The demand is for something that will make us feel good about ourselves and make us forget about all of our troubles.

The Church Fathers came into the presence of God with a sense of overwhelming reverence, which captivated them and brought them before God in holy silence. What has happened to reverence today? Where are those who get caught up in the spirit of reverence before their God? Where are those who have experienced the holy hush in the presence of God?

If we do not know where we have been, how in the world are we going to determine where we are going? That is the only reason for looking back. We do not look back in order to go back. Rather, we look back so that we can make sure we are going forward in the right direction.

Every time a new translation is published, I am one of the first to purchase it. However, a new, updated translation of the Scripture is not the answer. It is amazing that in a generation of Christians with more modern translations of the Scriptures than all the other generations put together, it is just about the weakest group of Christians we have ever seen.

It is not by reading the Scriptures in the original languages or in some contemporary version that makes us better Christians. Rather, it is getting on our knees with the Scriptures spread before us, and allowing the Spirit of God to break our hearts. Then, when we have been thoroughly broken before God Almighty, we get up off our knees, go out into the world and proclaim the glorious message of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

The Church was never designed to be piloted by men; rather, the Holy Spirit birthed the Church on the day of Pentecost as a vehicle through which He could do His work in each generation.

Boredom with religion is conceivable, but being bored with God is not. Those who have encountered God and His mighty, awesome presence could never come to the point of boredom.

The true Christian has an insatiable appetite for Christ and the things of Christ, while the world has no such appetite. Christ stands alone, and He does not imitate; neither does He court the world in a lame attempt to win the world.

We swoon over celebrity. Whatever they say, we accept as the important word for the day, even if it goes contrary to plain biblical teaching.

St. Ignatius said, “Apart from Him, let nothing dazzle you.” We are allowing everything but “Him” to dazzle us these days. We have become rather bored with God and the truths of Scripture. We seem to need something to jazz it all up and excite us. This has taken us far down the road to replacing God.

The world lives by overstimulation, one soul-wrenching episode after another. And the Church is right there with the world. It should be that great thoughts stimulate us to the highest passion our mind and feelings can stand!

What we must remember is that only he who takes orders from Jesus Christ belongs to Him. The evangelical church is in the process of compromising this very thing and ignoring “thus saith the Lord.” Yes, we want any benefits that Christ may confer upon us. We want His help, protection and guidance. We even get misty-eyed over His birth, life, death, teaching and example. The problem comes when we will not take orders from Him. Christ cannot save the one He cannot control. To claim to be saved while ignoring His commandments is to live in utter delusion.

When truth has been revealed in the Word of God, our business is to find out what that truth is, and in all of our teaching conform to that truth. We are not to edit or change it, but to let it stand just as it is. Nonconformity to the truth brings disaster. The enormity of the disaster depends upon the high level or the low level of the facts you have before you. No one who holds a right concept of God can go far wrong in anything else. All the mistakes that have been made, all the great fundamental errors, have rested on a wrong concept of God.

Men are not willing to let God be what He says He is. They attempt to change, correct, alter and apologize for God, in an attempt to make Him be other than what He is. God is, and we had better accept Him as He is. God is, and the angels want Him to be what He is. God is, and the elders and the saints and heavenly creatures want Him to be what He is. We had better want Him to be what He is, and conform ourselves to what He is. No lasting structure can be built on a bad foundation.

It would be a great and bitter error for a man or woman to go on for a lifetime believing certain things about God only to learn they were not true. To think they were talking to the God of heaven and earth and find that they were talking to a god fashioned out of their own imagination. It would be a tragic calamity to the human spirit to pray and preach a lifetime about a god who was not the true God but a composite of ideas drawn from philosophy and psychology and other religions and superstitions. God is what He is, and we had better learn what God is and then conform our teachings to that truth. If we take away any of the attributes of God, we weaken our concept of God.

Believe about yourself what God says about you. Believe you are as bad as God says you are, and believe you are as far from Him as God says you are. Then believe in Christ and that you can come as near to Him as He says you can, and accept what He says about you as being true.

Our enemy believes in slavery. There are two kinds of slavery. There is the slavery of the body, which seeks to control conduct by physical force. That slavery was once in the United States, much to our everlasting historical shame. But there is another kind of slavery that seems to me to be so much worse. It is the slavery of the mind that is achieved by means of insidious ideas that are supplied to the mind. Once these ideas get our focus, our obedience is rendered willingly and we are unaware that we have become slaves to the enemy’s propaganda.

But conditioning the mind creates a slave who doesn’t know it. We are constantly being fed harmful ideas that we adopt and learn to believe in, thinking they are all right, and so we ignorantly follow. This is done without our knowing that a keen, sharp, unscrupulous mind is seeking to control us.

How shall my ignorance become wisdom? Through the counsel of the Word of God. How shall my false notions become right notions? By being corrected by the Word of God. How shall my darkness become light? By this Book that is a light unto my pathway.

There is no such thing as automatic pilot in our Christian experience; every step is an operation of faith that will be fiercely contested by the enemy of our soul. This kind of automatic pilot thinking leads to spiritual lethargy. Breaking out from the tyranny of spiritual lethargy—whatever the cost—should be the number-one priority of every Christian.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

2022 Bible Reading #2

Bible Reading Week of 8 - 14 January 2022

The Bible I am using for my Daily Offices (from the Book of Common Prayer) is the Legacy Standard Bible.

  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • 1 Samuel
  • 2 Samuel
  • 1 Kings
  • 2 Kings
  • 1 Chronicles 1-9
  • Psalm 38-77
  • Proverbs 8-14
  • Song of Songs
  • Joel
  • John 1-5
  • Romans
  • 1 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus 
  • Philemon
  • Hebrews 10-13
  • 1 Peter
  • 2 Peter
  • Jude

The Bible I am using for my morning tea devotional time is the Berean Study Bible. I am using the Five Day Bible Reading Plan

  • Exodus 7-40
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Psalm 26, 27, 28, 31, 33, 35, 64, 81, 90, 105, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114
  • Luke 1-4
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Hebrews
  • Colossians

The Bible I am using for my afternoon tea devotional time is the Wycliffe Modern Spelling Bible on YouVersion. I started the Bible in 90 Day Plan in late November. 

  • Isaiah 14-66
  • Jeremiah 1-33

I have TWO ongoing year-long 30 Day MacArthur plans going.

  • In January, I will be reading Isaiah 1-5 thirty times. This week I read: KJV, NASB 95, BSB, ESV, NKJV, ESV, ESV, 
  • In January, I will be reading James 1-5 thirty times. This week I read: KJV, NASB 95, BSB, ESV, NKJV, ESV, ESV

My miscellaneous Bibles

NASB 1977
  • Exodus 7-24

Great Bible 1539 
  • Genesis 31-50
  • Exodus 1-10

ESV Chronological App 
  • Job 12-42

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, January 8, 2022

2022 Bible Reading #1

Bible Reading -- Week of 1 - 7 January 2022

The Bible I am using for my Daily Offices (from the Book of Common Prayer) is the Legacy Standard Bible.

  • [Genesis] started December 28 and finished December 31
  • Exodus 
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy
  • Joshua
  • Psalms 1-37
  • Proverbs 1-7
  • [Matthew] started December 28 and finished December 30
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • Acts
  • [Galatians] read December 31
  • Ephesians
  • Hebrews 1-10
  • [James] read December 31

The Bible I am using for my morning tea devotional time is the Berean Study Bible. I am using the Five Day Bible Reading Plan
  • Genesis 
  • Exodus 1-6
  • Psalms 1, 4, 11, 12, 19, 24, 25, 104, 107, 108, 145, 148, 
  • Mark 
  • Galatians 
The Bible I am using for my afternoon tea devotional time is the Wycliffe Modern Spelling Bible on YouVersion. I started the Bible in 90 Day Plan in late November. 
  • Psalms 90-150
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Songs
  • Isaiah 1-13
I have TWO ongoing year-long 30 Day MacArthur plans going. 

  • In January, I will be reading Isaiah 1-5 thirty times. This week I read: LSB, BSB, ESV, ESV, RSV, BSB, NASB 2020, NRSV
  • In January, I will be reading James 1-5 thirty times. This week I read: LSB, BSB, ESV, ESV, RSV, BSB, NASB 2020, NRSV

My miscellaneous Bibles

  • Genesis 12-50
  • Exodus 1-6
1539 Great Bible
  • Genesis 1-30
ESV (Chronological Plan, ESV app)
  • Genesis 1-11
  • Job 1-9

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thursday, January 6, 2022

2. God Is My Hiding Place

God Is My Hiding Place: 40 Devotions for Refuge and Strength. Corrie ten Boom. 2021. [October] 174 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: In Germany I once met a woman who told me that 42 years prior, she had comitted a terrible sin and since then she had prayed every day for forgiveness.

God Is My Hiding Place is a devotional with collected pieces of Corrie ten Boom's writings. Corrie ten Boom, I believe, wrote quite a few books--including several devotional books. This book gathers together forty entries to serve as a 'new' devotional. I do not have any concern about 'recycled' pieces because there will always be a new audience. 

The devotional book might be a good starting place for those who are unfamiliar with her story, her life, her work. For those that are already familiar with her, this one will be a good fit as well. 

I am not the biggest fan of devotionals in general. I'm not. I always want a bit more SUBSTANCE than fluffy stories. But I'm making a bit of an exception with this one. Her stories are anything but fluffy. The entries are testimonies that point readers to God. 

There's a verse in Psalms that says LET THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD SAY SO. (Psalm 107:2). This book contains vignettes of just that. 

This is not theology. It isn't. It is devotional--one woman testifying in forty different entries--about how God has answered prayers, delivered her, provided for her, etc. 

I would say the overall theme of the book is that GOD HEARS (listens) to our prayers (cries) and that he is always faithful, good, and gracious. God in his grace provides answers to all prayers. (True, the answers are always in his own way, in his own timing, but God in his wisdom knows what is best and good for us.)

The devotional book also reveals her zeal for the Lord. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, January 2, 2022

1. After Emmaus

After Emmaus: How the Church Fulfills the Mission of Christ. Brian J. Tabb. 2021. [November] 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: This is a book about reading the Bible with a focus on Christ and the church's mission in his name. 

Tabb continues, "I seek to show that Jesus's teaching about his suffering, resurrection, and mission in Luke's gospel anticipates his paradigmatic summary of the Scriptures in Luke 24:46-47. I also explain that the apostles and their associates follow the risen Lord's model for reading the Law, Prophets, and Writings with concerted focus on the Messiah and his mission. Finally, I contend that the church today should adopt the same hermeneutical lens in our Bible reading, for it grounds our gospel message and galvanizes us to participate in Christ's global work."

The good news is that the preface tells you EXACTLY what to expect from this book. It also does well in showcasing the narrative style. One gets a sense right away that this will be a scholarly read with big words that add complexity and depth to the subject.

The concept is simple enough: CHRIST IS TO BE FOUND IN ALL OF SCRIPTURE. In the Law, the Prophets, the Writings. All of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Christ is the center of it all. But this book seems to dress up this super simple concept that is essential to the faith (in my opinion) and complicates it with scholarly analysis and precision. 

I do agree with the basics of this one. "We all need the proper lenses when we read God's word so that we do not fail to see what is really there." Jesus is that lens. 

So After Emmaus is a scholarly analysis of LUKE and ACTS (more Luke than Acts perhaps). Tabb argues that a proper understanding of LUKE is the KEY to "getting" the gospel message and mission right. Everything we need to know about the GOSPEL and the MISSION of the church can be found in Luke (and Acts). One can use Luke/Acts to help unpack the rest of Scripture. 

The focus throughout remains on Jesus the Messiah. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible