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)Psalms
List 7 (31 days)Proverbs
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)Acts
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?