Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year Reading

Leslie would like to look like this when she reads, but alas, she doesn't. She wears a lime green bathrobe, wild frizzy hair goes in all directions, purple reading classes caught in tangles on her head, leopard print slippers, and a cup of coffee close by as she sits in a gray blue recliner with what her orthopedist would call very bad posture. 

The only reading challenge I am taking on this year is one of my own.  My goal is to work through Dr. Horner's Bible reading system and The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie

Dr. Horner's Bible reading system really appeals to me.  You are supposed to read 10 different chapters of the Bible from both the Old Testament and the New Testament every day.  As you do this for a while Dr. Horner says that Scripture will begin to interpret itself.  There are book marks you can print out and move along as you read.

Each list is a different length so when you get to the end of it you are supposed to go back to the beginning and start it again.  This means that you will never be reading the same 10 chapters together, and you will have read through the Bible in less than a year because the longest list is 250 chapters/readings. 

These are the 10 lists:

List 1 (89 days)
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John 
List 2 (187 days)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy 
List 3 (78 days)
Romans, I&II Cor, Gal, Eph, Phil, Col, Hebrews 
List 4 (65 days)
I&II Thess, I&II Tim, Titus, Philemon, James, I&II Peter, I,II&III John, Jude, Revelation
List 5 (62 days)
Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon 
List 6 (150 days)
List 7 (31 days)
List 8 (249 days)
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I&II Samuel, I&II Kings, I&IIChronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther 
List 9 (250 days)
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
List 10 (28 days)

I really like this because it is a very flexible way of reading the Bible and it isn't going to allow me to bog down in Leviticus or Numbers. Of course, I have to do this my own way.  Some days I am only reading 5 lists and some days 10.  One particularly slow day I read 2 chapters from all the lists.  Really, I am just in it for the reading and not so much finishing in 250 days. I want to focus on the process, the short term daily goal of reading something and not worry so much about the end goal.  

 I wrestled with this decision because I am very close to finishing reading the Bible all the way through and I toyed with making that my goal for this year.  But when I really thought about it I would rather read in a more consistent daily way than a final end goal driven sort of way. And if you think about it, I will accomplish both anyway, right?

Along with the Bible I am reading The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie.  This book is designed as a devotional for someone who is walking through grief.  I am drawn to it not because I am grieving, but more because I have a grieving sort of personality. It doesn't mean I am always depressed, though sometimes I do struggle with that, but it means I really take things to heart longer and deeper than is often healthy.  Grief is inevitable in this life, but as a believer it should not leave me quite as undone as I sometimes find myself and it is something I feel compelled to work on. I need a good dose of HOPE.  

I really appreciate the gentle way Nancy Guthrie speaks to her reader. You can read her own story at her website.  She is acquainted with suffering.  I know this might sound strange to some who might find this type of reading depressing, but this is the sort of reading that really encourages me. 

What is encouraging you today? 


  1. Leslie, I find what you wrote under the Hope book interesting. "I have a grieving sort of personality...I really take things to heart longer and deeper than is often healthy." Through those words, I just discovered me. I will look for this book.

  2. Robin, I was very hesitant to post this about myself so I really appreciate your sharing. Thank you.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your reading goals! I have a feeling that this particular combination of books will provide insights and answers to questions you didn't know you had. Best wishes on this new journey of exploration!

  4. I too love what you shared. I have been troubled by recent world news which has sent me into grief mode as my heart aches for all those who are suffering.
    I will also look for that book.
    A book you might like that I would highly recommend is by Randy Alcorn entitled:
    If God is good, why do we hurt?
    It is the best book I have read on suffering and pain.
    Thanks for sharing Leslie!
    Blessings, my friend!
    Joanne in snowy Ontario

  5. I'm doing that Bible reading system too!

  6. I like the sound of the Nancy Guthrie book. Thank you!
    Encouraging me today? Hmmmm. Knowing Bill and Jeff are almost to India and will be sharing encouragement with many Indian school workers. A small thing: they improved my hot classroom and now I'm not melting! Yay!

  7. Your reading goals sound wonderful.I like the organizational breakdown of the Bible study. And the Nancy Guthrie book sounds very interesting.

    I am encouraged by the sun shining after some gloomy winter weather. Spring is coming!


  8. That reading plan sounds really interesting. I read through the Bible last year and you're so right about getting bogged down in certain books. I was looking for some joy after being in some of the prophets for weeks!

  9. Leslie, I sound a lot like you -- or is it you like me? Well, regardless, thank you for sharing your heart. I like that Bible reading system. It's sounds like something I could do too. I will have to look at (and read) Nancy Guthrie's book.

    Your comment under the photo made me literally laugh out loud. I could so picture it. Only my bathrobe is hot pink :oD.

    You, my friend, are an encouragement!


  10. It was during my reading of When People are Big and God is Small that I realized I'm a people pleaser (especially to my family), and that was causing much of the grief I was feeling. That book was a real eye opener for me. I never would have guessed that about myself. But it all started making sense. I don't know if that's something you experience but thought it couldn't hurt to tell you what happened to me.

    I'm reading the Bible this year chronologically. I think it'll make more sense that way. Good providence in your reading using your system. Whatever we use, at least we're reading Scripture!