The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Year's Resolution part 2

For my second read-through, I changed a few things...

1. I used the New International Version of the Bible. The particular one I chose is not one I would use for study- it has very little in the way of cross-references and handwritten sermon notes. It was a gift and I keep it for the same reason I keep all those other Bibles (how did I get so many?) on my shelf- it represents a season in my life and holds dear memories for me. In this particular book, the font is bigger, and the pages are more opaque and less distracting than the first Bible I chose to use back in January. The NIV is very readable and more familiar as well. It was a good choice.

2. Instead of the official B90X reading plan, I made up my own schedule. The Bible I chose has 923 pages. I did the math (923 divided by 90 days- no, wait! 923 divided by 88 days because there are two "grace days" included in B90X...) and discovered that I should read approximately 10.488636 pages per day.

3. Being the incredibly flexible person I am, I decided to read about 12 pages a day for the first month, about 10 pages a day for the second month, and 8 to 10 pages a day for the third month.

4. I didn't stop in the middle of a chapter. I just chose to end at the chapter closest to the page number for the day. This was much better than the B90X plan that cut the daily reading in the middle of chapters and speeches and ideas. It was flexible enough to handle the variations that happen through the books.

5. I made a chart with all the days listed (3 columns on a landscape layout- folded in thirds it fits nicely in the Bible) and then filled in what I read after I read it. I knew the target number of pages, so it was pretty easy to just document my progress as I went along. I put the grace days at the end of each month instead of at the end of the whole 90 days. I thought it would be good to ration them like that and it was.

6. On my schedule, it takes about 68 days to read through the Old Testament, and about 22 for the New. I might tweak that a bit for my next time through because it is a good idea to slow down for the New Testament. You can't blaze through one of Paul's letters like you can with some of those accounts of pesky kings in the O.T. If I do 12 pages a day for 2 months (with no grace days), I will be able to slow to 7 pages a day for the N.T. during the last month. Gives more time to ponder some of the meatier chunks of the Bible.

Again, this was just a read-through, not a detailed study. It was harder to do once school was out for the summer, but with prayer and perseverance, I stayed with the program. I was struck again with the incredible scope of God's love for his creation, and the amazing overview of history (and future!) given in God's Word. I don't always understand why God does what He does, but each time through I get a better idea of the big picture.

I would encourage anyone to try this reading plan. Even if you are not sure you believe there is a God, what harm would it do? The Bible is the best-selling book of all time- certainly you don't want to miss out on a best-seller? 90 days is all it takes.

I'm starting again September 1. Join me?

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