May 30, 2010

A Note for the Discouraged Among Ye

Here we are. The end of May. Anybody have a grand scheme to do one of those read the Bible in a year plans? I would just like to share my thoughts on those plans and just hope it blesses someone.
How wonderful it is to have a daily time in the Bible. Simply to learn more about God and reflect on what you already knew; and, of course, to worship the King of Glory.
I think that daily time in the Bible is so good that it is one of the chief offenders of the evil one. If you have plans to (or had plans to) read the Bible every day for a year, beware of the attacks that will surely be coming your way. In the eyes of the evil one, I think those Bible in a year plans are the best. People just stop the whole business if they miss more than a few days. Something about reading the Scriptures laid out for Feb 8 on Feb 14 (and all the Scriptures in between) is just not as appealing. Let me propose a new plan. Skip the dates. Start in May if you like. January isn't a whit better. Try to forget the day you started once you do commence.
Generally the B-I-A-Y plans have you reading a couple of chapters from the OT (in order!), a Psalm, a Proverb, and then a couple of chapters of the NT (in order as well!). So I propose that you simply get one of those sticky tabs and put on in Genesis, one at Psalm 1, one at Proverbs 1, and one at Matthew 1. Proceed at your own pace. No discouragement from missing a day, though I doubt you will miss much in this new risk free investment of time and heart! This will have you reading through the entire OT in one year, twice through the Psalter and the NT, and a monthly run-through of the Proverbs.
Encouraged? I am!
Get on it. -- Oh, and please don't feel like you have to go out and buy those sticky tabs (another plot of the evil one to get you to delay). I just tore a post-it note to make something like looked like those tabs (long and thin). Scotch tape, however, may tear the pages of your Bible. Test it out on the concordance pages before you loose any words of God to the Scotch.

In addition to reading the Word daily, one should spend time in prayer. Arguably, prayer is more important than reading the word; but let us not put two at odds which go so well hand in hand; just agree to do both with gladness! This, certainly, is one of the other chief offenders of the evil one. RE: prayer ... If you are new at this, I would spend time pouring over every word of the Lords prayer; quite a lofty prayer kindergarten but just trust that the Lord sustains the simple. From there, you will be soaring on into prayer elementary school in no time adding your own praises, thanksgivings and petitions like a pro.
For my quiet time I use a book of prayers (to which I add my own) called The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime
This book helped me cultivate the discipline of prayer in this season of life (which is so much different from the pre-children season). At first it was a crutch for my tired and brainless head right after Margaret was born. Now it has become a starting point for a very rich personal prayer time. When I travel, I use The Divine Hours, Pocket Edition, which is what Jeff and I went through together on our honeymoon.
To keep you from making any unnecessary purchases, I am willing to PDF a day's worth of prayers from the Pocket Edition if anyone is interested to see what it is like. Just ask!

p.s. Margaret is actually reading the Bible in the above photo -- just a single story; David and Goliath (heretofore mentioned). She does have a slight obsession with the picture with Goliath stretched out on the grass. "Did he fall, mama?" a thousand times a day isn't as cute as it is just once.
"Yes, Margaret, he fell. For the battle was the ...."


Courtney June 4, 2010 at 7:54 PM  

Love this. Thank you for the encouragement - I am one of those who need it. :)

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