Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bible in 90 Days: thoughts on Day 31

I have come to the conclusion that following someone else's Bible reading schedule is not my preferred method of study. Reading the Bible in 90 Days is too rushed, and keeping up with it keeps me from following cross references and checking commentaries...the things that bring me joy and nourishment while studying. I think I will stick with this...Psalms and the Prophets aren't too far ahead, but I won't repeat it next year. It is too easy to just read to check off the little box on the schedule rather than reading to hear God's voice. I had the same feeling when I read through the Bible in a year several times. I miss my usual routine of reading just one chapter and meditating on it perhaps coming across an interesting subject and following it across the Scriptures.

I think this 90 Day plan is a great Bible reading plan for a person who lives in a quiet house and has three hours every day to look up cross references and read commentaries. I can easily read the daily reading in half an hour, but I need more time than that to meditate and seek connections in other parts of Scriptures.

It would also be a good plan for someone who isn't seeking nourishment from the Scriptures but just wants to get a quick overview of the whole Bible--perhaps someone who is studying the Bible as a textbook.

Or maybe I am a fast reader and a slow thinker.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Praising through the Bible: Light in the Darkness

As I continue reading the Bible in 90 Days, I am especially noticing the dark periods in the history of Israel. First there was the time of the Judges, then of course the brighter times of David and Solomon, and now I'm reading about the wicked kings like Ahab. Yet what encourages me are the Judges and the Prophets--those servants of God who carried His light and proclaimed His word. How good God is, to continually send those messengers to point the way to Himself.

I praise You, Lord, for those who shine Your light into my life on dark days!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Praising through the Bible

I'm keeping up with my scheduled reading to get through the whole Bible in 90 Days. The last week has been difficult reading--I felt as if I were just reading so I could put a little check mark on my chart, rather than meeting with God. It didn't help that I was taking a lot of Advil to cope with back pain, and feeling very foggy. I think part of what's missing is my prayer before reading, asking God to speak to me. Today I read Samuel's prayer: "Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening." That is the way I need to approach God's Word every day!

Thank You, Lord, that Your Word is living and powerful, full of comfort and encouragement.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Praising through the Bible: Encouragement in Deuteronomy

Today's reading (Deut. 23:12-34:12) was full of comfort and encouragement.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified...for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deut. 31:6)

Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him for He shields Him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders. (Deut. 33:12)

The eternal God is Your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deut. 33:27)

I praise You today, Lord, my strength, my rest, my refuge, my support.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Praising through the Bible in the Desert

This verse jumped out at me in today's reading (Deuteronomy 8:1-23:11):
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. (Deut. 8:2)

I'm not exactly wandering the desert and living in tents like the Israelites, but I do live in a desert, and I praise God for bringing me and my family here seven years ago. Here, away from the landscape we love, away from our friends and family, we have had to depend on God and grow ever closer to Him. And through surrendering to the Lord's plan for us, we have found a deep contentment and joy here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This week Praising through the Bible

Back pain interrupted my week and I haven't blogged since last Thursday. I've kept up with my Bible in 90 Days readings, though, and I'm now reading Deuteronomy. The readings this last week haven't been the sections of the Bible in which I find the most encouragement for my daily life. But over and over again I saw a Holy God making it possible for humans to have a relationship with Him. I also saw God's people experiencing great victories and then complaining when they run into more difficulties. I asked God to give me a long memory when it comes to His blessings! And I praised God for this age of grace.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Praising through the Bible Exodus 29-40

As I read today, I thought of the Israelites tramping through the wilderness, and I found it very interesting that they didn't just march straight from Egypt to the Promised Land. I thought they'd be in a rush. But they stopped for quite awhile while Moses went up the mountain and met God, and then they built the tabernacle, which must have taken a bit of time. Worship and obedience were first on God's travel plan.

Thank You, Lord for Your guidance. Thank You for Your wisdom. I can trust Your long-term planning.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Praising through the Bible Exodus 15:19-28:43

Lord, I was so tired when I was reading this morning. I kept falling asleep in the middle of Your commands to Moses. This afternoon I read in Hebrews:

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. (Hebrews 10:16)

Oh Lord, as You put Your word in my heart, help me to be constantly awake to You! And thank You Lord, for Your Spirit, whispering Your commands to me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Praising through the Bible Exodus 1-15:18

Lord, as I read today I remembered reading that You told Jacob his family would be in Egypt for a long time, but that You would eventually bring them out. All through the story of the plagues I could see that You already knew how it would end. The reading closed with Miriam's triumphant song--a song we sang often as teenagers at Bible Camp: "I will sing unto the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously, the horse and rider thrown into the sea!"

I thought of the two decades since those fun times at Bible Camp, and all the adventures You have brought me through, and even now the contentment and joy You are giving me in the desert.

As a New Year begins, and my prayer list is long, I can trust You. You see. You know.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Praising through the Bible Genesis 41-50

I cannot do it...but God will. (Joseph, to Pharoah, in Genesis 41:16)

Today I must return to non-holiday routine.
So many tasks on my to-do list
and I began today exhausted.
I trust You, Lord
to empower and encourage me today.
You are great
You are strong
You are able.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Praising through the Bible Genesis 28:20-40:11

When I was little I went to Sunday School
and I heard Bible stories at home
and I learned about those great heroes in Genesis:
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Jacob's 12 sons.
Eventually I read Genesis for myself
and I was shocked to find it was more like a soap opera
than a heroic history.
Yet You loved these flawed people, Lord!
You talked with them and guided them and cared for them.
This encourages me today
when I don't feel heroic.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Praising through the Bible Genesis 1-16

Creator of stars and sunrise,
You are my light
my guide through the coming year.
Thank You that
as in Eden
on my darkest day
Your promise of salvation
gleams brightly.
Thank You for the Scriptures
showing me that You
choose and illuminate
bumbling doubting humans.

This is the first in a series of daily posts as I praise through the Bible in 90 Days.