Saturday, September 29, 2012

What Happens When I Finish my Reading Goals for This Year?


 The campaign to help Jonah & Little Linet continues. Please read here.


Yippee, I am ever closer to completing my reading goals early. I had a goal of reading 24 books throughout the year and being ill this past week gave me a chance to read 4 complete and finish two others that were "in progress".  I just have to read one and half more books (several in progress) and when I complete my 24th book, I am going to use the rest of the year to read the Bible from cover to cover.

In fact, I've started already. It is something I've wanted to do for a long while but for some reason felt it was too big of a challenge.  Of course I often read the Bible in different studies, but reading it from cover to cover is something different.

I recently came across a post on Fred Alton's blog about reading the Bible from cover to cover and decided to give it a try. He encouraged me to use audio bibles and to read along as I listen.  I think this is going to work out great for me. I just love to hear the Bible read out loud by a rich, strong voice, like Max McLean on Bible Gateway.  (If interested, you can google Max McLean on youtube and listen to him narrate the Gospel of Mark on video).  I hope to read the Bible from cover to cover over the course of the year, but may actually finish much sooner.  One thing I'm doing differently with the Bible reading is giving myself permission to do my reading and study late at night. I am a night owl so this will work better for me.  Despite spending years trying to change my habits to study in the morning, I acknowledge that so far my efforts have not worked. It is better for me to find a way to work with the kind of person God made me.

I've also put a Bible App on my smartphone but seldom use it for more than reading a daily Bible verse because the phone uses so much battery before it needs charging. I try to save the battery for actual phone calls.  I guess I really should use my Blackberry Playbook more often as I have the same app on there too. I tend to use the Playbook as a backup to my camera to take videos and photos and for downloading several books for back up reading material. I really should get some headphones to use with the Playbook and then I can sit in my living room and listen to and read the Bible.

In addition to reading the Bible, one of my goals is to study the Bible more consistently and systematically.  I have many Bible studies and different books but I've been looking for just the "right ones".  I think I've finally gathered together a few tools that will really help me and more importantly, tools that I will actually use.

One book is this, What the Bible Is All About, by Dr. Henrietta Mears.  What I like about this book is that it has an overview of each book of the Bible to help you understand what you are going to read and to set it into context for you.  It's a great Bible reference at just over 400 pages which is an average of 6 pages of information about each book of the Bible.


I also bought The Essential Bible Companion published by Zondervan. It has beautifully coloured maps and photos that help bring the Bible alive. It summarizes each book of the Bible in two short pages for those that want a concise description of each book. It was developed by two world-class Bible scholars and the creator of The Bible in 90 Days curriculum.



 I also picked up this book at a used bookstore.



Ancient Israel, 2nd edition, was published in 1960.  It is a concise, simply written account of the society that produced the Bible. The author traces the fluctuating fortunes of the Hebrews and Israelites between about 2000 and 300 B.C.E., so the reader can see how Jewish religious concepts developed in the context of actual historical situations.

These three books now form the core of my daily study and along with my daily readings, I am hoping to get deeper into what God has in store for me.

If you have particular Bible resources that really helped you, feel free to share them here.

14 comments:

Terra said...

I admire your reading plan for the rest of the year; brilliant to buy the companion books to give you a rich background and also to listen as you read. I might do that.
I have a gorgeous Chronological Study Bible that has lots of color maps and illustrations and extra historical info.

KT said...

Oh, I might have a job change in the near future...which would potentially make my commute time from 1.75 hours to about 15 minutes...so "audio books" would go away. But, this job would have an hour lunch everyday...so I could again find time for my books on a picnic bench under a tree :). Hoping things work themselves out next week...

EG CameraGirl said...

I hope you reach your goals of finishing 24 books and also the Bible. :))

Denise said...

Nice reading plan.

Vores have said...

Hello Joyful
Inside to wish you a good Sunday.
You are doing a great work to help others.
Hugs Hanne Bente

Pat said...

Good for you, Penny! I am impressed with your reading, and especially with your desire to read through the Bible in the following months! I have read through the Bible 3 times, though it takes me a really long time because I tend to be sporadic and also I read very slowly. My husband and I are in the Gideons International...the people who place Bibles in hotel & motel rooms, doctors' and dentists' offices, and a myriad of other places. We also hand out little pocket New Testaments with Psalms and Proverbs in the back. People send in their testimonies (to the Gideons International headquarters) of how a Gideon-placed Bible led them to salvation. One of those people who sent in his testimony is the man who developed the Bible ap for cell phones. He decided to let people have it for free, since he received a New Testament for free from a Gideon. So far, that ap has been downloaded 50 million times.

Joyful said...

Thank you Terra. I do hope you get to try out the audio bible. It's free at biblegatey.com
Your study Bible sounds very nice.

Joyful said...

Hi KT, your commute will be much shorter than it used to be. How nice for you. You might think about listening to 10-15 minutes of audio Bible at home each day or at your lunch hour as you say. I used to take my small Gideon's Bible and read according to the reading plan set they set out. I would do this on my way to work on the bus or at my lunch hour. It made a big difference in my days when I did the readings. Best wishes with the readings ;-)

Joyful said...

Thank you Camera girl :-)

Joyful said...

Thank you, Denise. Hugs. xx

Joyful said...

Thank you, Hanne. Please continue to pray for the Missions of Hope, for donors and helpers. God bless and hugs, xx

Joyful said...

Thank you, Pat. How great that you have read through the Bible 3 times even if it takes you longer. I have a lot of respect for the Gideons International. I love their dedication to putting bibles in public places and I often read the Bibles left in hotel rooms. I noticed that they are starting to disappear from some of the hotels, whereas they used to be in every single room, no matter where I was. I'm wondering whether this change is due to funding or the wishes of the hotel. Whatever the reason, it really is too bad because I think the Gideon service is fantastic. Awesome testimony of the Bible app developer. It is a hugely popular app.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Penny! And happy reading, and glad that it provided the silver lining to the cloud of illness. God bless.

clairz said...

When I lived in Vancouver many years ago, I spent lunch times volunteering at the Crane Library for the Blind at UBC, reading books onto tape for students at the university. It was my introduction to the idea of audio books.

What a fine idea to listen to the Bible being read. I have attempted to read it from beginning to end without much success. You wouldn't think that would be hard, given the amount of time I spend reading. But your idea of reading it, combined with listening to audio recordings, might just help me reach my goal. Thank you!

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