Monday, December 22, 2008

Bible Book Club - Year 1 Conclusion

This year I decided to participate in an online Bible Book Club in which readings are arranged in such a way that you completely read through the Bible in a three year time frame. I don't know about you but what I have tried to do in the past is read through the Bible in one year and that typically peters out around May/June. I thought, perhaps, with a lighter reading load I would be able to not only make it through the Bible but spend more time thinking through the passages I'm reading.

For me, this three year method seems to be working. I did tweak the readings so that instead of reading partially through the Psalms this year, I read through 1 & 2 Chronicles (which the BBC is saving for next year). (While they are reading 1 & 2 Chronicles next year, I will read through the Psalms.)

The other reason that I've been able to stick to the task at hand this year is because of Google Reader. Daily I'm reminded which passage I'm supposed to be reading. In the past I lose track of what chapter I'm in and spend a great deal of time trying to refigure out which chapter of Numbers I'm supposed to be reading. Google reader saves me the time (and I did enjoy Numbers this time).

Now why is it that I, who can plough through books like crazy, have such a hard time reading through scripture with any sort of discipline or structure?? I'm not sure I even want to answer the question. I'm a pitiful person and that's the bottom line. However, I have found a method and system that works and so I'm on the road to accomplishing this read through.

As for what I learned in my readings this year - well, it would take a much longer post to share! It can be summed up in the following verses:

In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Gath and its surrounding villages from the control of the Philistines. 1 Chronicles 18:1

Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon: "My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. But this word of the LORD came to me: 'You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, [a] and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.' 1 Chronicles 22: 6-10

In other words - Rome was not built in a day and I shouldn't expect instant successful results out of my deepest and most personal struggles. "In the course of time" David defeated the Philistines. David "had it in his heart" (emphasis mine) to rebuild the temple but God wasn't in a rush. God had someone else in mind and planned on things happening in a different time frame than the one David considered for himself.

I'm a first born go-getter type of personality. I like instant results. I move fast and make snap decisions. That's me and who I am. It is a challenge to sit patiently by and wait for God to do something on behalf of me or my family. Yet waiting seems to be what God does best. In the course of time, He will bring good things to pass. I must learn to wait.

As this year draws to a close I am seeing God start to answer many personal prayer requests. He is restoring peace where none previously existed. He is blossoming and growing my family in ways previously unimaginable. And you know what?!: These answers to prayer are better than I expected! So I will press on and I will trust that "in the course of time" God will bring about successful conclusions to what is really His story.

I am content and happy in that. So bring on 2009! I think I'm ready for it. (But I won't exactly know until I get there.)


Anonymous said...

You're going to do great! I'm reading The Bible Illuminated: The New Testament right now. It makes the reader scoot through much quicker than The Bible and I'm enjoying it. But, it makes me sleepy, whereas other books do not. I wonder if it's the small print.

GumbyandPokey said...

Excellent post! I loved it.

Stephanie Kay said...

I also wonder why I can't be consistent reading the Bible. {sigh} Maybe I'll make it in 2009. I have a Bible specifically designed to be read in a year. Hopefully 2009 will be better than 2008 in that regard.

Ugh. Waiting. I'm a first born. I hate to wait. I'm also hoping one of my big prayer waits is going to be fulfilled in 2009.

B said...

It sounds like you have a great approach, and I think you'll do wonderfully!

Anonymous said...

You know, I've felt the same as you - why can I plow through many, many books so enthusiastically, yet not my Bible? Church yesterday gave out a reading list of a chapter a day, and I'm going to try that. I've read the Bible through in a year often before, but find myself becoming a slave to the schedule and not getting much out of it. Enjoyed this post!

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