Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The One Year Plan

As I've mentioned in a couple of previous posts, Thursday morning will start another annual Bible reading plan. I'm not telling you this to make myself look all holy or something. It's just something I've found to be extremely beneficial to me, and, if hearing about how I do it encourages you to try it, then so much the better.

There are a lot of ways to do this. If you google "one year Bible reading plans" you'll find quite a few you can choose from. The online ones are nice because they let you plug in any start date, so if you don't start on January 1, you'll still be fine, you'll just go for a full year from your start date. If you attend FBC, there are little bookmark sized brochures down by the reception desk that you can have to keep with you that have a plan in them. I like to use those because then I don't have to use the computer (say, on vacation) to find out what I should read for the day. It's just stuck in my Bible.

Usually these break the readings up into chunks that take me about 15-20 minutes to read each day. I have a routine of reading them right after I come home from my crossing guard post in the morning, while I warm up with a cup of coffee. I'm alone in the house then, and not distracted. You can probably think of a time that's best for you. My husband does this in a building on campus. His bus gets him there about a half hour before he needs to be at work. He goes into a building that has a quiet, out 0f the way lounge area, and he reads there before he goes into the building where he works.

Each year that I do this I go out and buy a cheap Bible that I don't mind marking up with a pencil. Paperback is fine. I get a modern translation, what ever is on sale. I like to get one that is relatively small so I can stuff it in my purse or backpack when I need to. This year I was fortunate enough to find one deeply discounted that actually has a decent cover, and better yet, larger print! I get a new one each time because I want to be able to mark the passages that really pop out at me during this particular reading. If I use an old one, it can become a kind of walk down memory lane- "Oh, I remember this cool verse! That was meaningful last year when I was going through such and such." But this year I may need to learn something new, so it's best not to have those old notations getting in the way of that. I do save the old ones, though, to refer to sometimes for other things. No one else would want them once I have them all marked up.

And that's pretty much it. I don't get panicked if I forget to read for a day or two. When that happens (inevitably!) I just double up for a few days until I'm caught up. This is most likely to happen when we are out of our routine; company comes, or we travel, etc. As I say, I do stuff this Bible in my purse, with the reading plan in it, and that way I can keep up by reading while waiting somewhere, if necessary. But I really do best if I can do it at home where it's quiet. The goal, of course, is to actually absorb what I'm reading. Underlining passages that I find meaningful is the best way for me to know that I'm focusing. Think of it somewhat like studying a textbook, where you're looking for the important thing to remember each day.

This is my main New Year's resolution. Oh sure, I want to exercise more and lose weight; doesn't everybody? I'll work on that, too. But mostly, I want complete the one year Bible reading plan.


Everydaywoman said...

Joyce--what a great resolution--and you've outlined a plan to accomplish it! Good luck. I know you'll enjoy it, daily, all along the way! Keep us "posted!"

Rose said...

Joyce, You have provided some great tips for anyone to follow this plan. This is one resolution I'm sure you will keep! Happy New Year!

DramaMama said...

I like the idea of a cheap Bible to mark up. I never thought of that =) You inspire me to be more disciplined!