Thursday, October 1, 2009

Can I be honest about something?

I'm gonna bare my soul on something.

I have never read the Bible straight through, cover to cover.

There, I said it.

Ok, now that I've got that off my chest, let me go back a little & explain what I mean. I've been in church my entire life. I've committed Scripture to memory throughout my entire life. I've done years & years worth of Bible studies. I've led people to the Lord with Scripture. I routinely remind my kids of a principle they need to keep in mind using Scripture. I've read most of the Bible in spurts. A lesson from this book, a study on that book, a break down, verse by verse, of another book. I *know* my Bible, but I've never read it from Genesis 1 to the final verse in Revelation.

In 2003, I was convicted that it was time to get started! I was listening to a sermon by our then-pastor, Terry Cadwell and while I don't remember the content of the entire message, the part that stuck out & stomped on my toes was when he was relaying a series of things that God might ask us on the Judgement Day. How many people did you lead to know me? Why did you spend so much time reading those romance novels instead of reading MY book? Did you think I couldn't see you when you looked at that website? His list of questions went on, but the one that struck me was "How many times did you read the Bible cover to cover?" Ouch.

And so, early that February, I began at Genesis 1:1, reading 1 chapter a day. Even if it took me 10 years to get through the Bible, I was determined to do it. I had a day here & there when I would forget, but for a long period of time, I read 1 chapter each day. I got involved in a study of the book of Colossians that took over a year. Then a Beth Moore study that was 16 weeks long. Then another study & another. Then I got turned onto Christian fiction books & read one after another. Then there were seasons of ministry in one form or fashion at the church where Larry worked for 4 1/2 years. And now we're back at our old church. We're ministering still, but in different ways.

And you know what? During the summer, there were no ladies' Bible studies that I could get involved with based on the times they were offered or the lack of childcare. And now that the school year has begun (ok, so it began weeks ago!), the Fall studies have started on Wednesday nights. Week after week we haven't been able to make it. First one thing & then another, then the flu, and now I'm keeping a little boy after school & by the time he leaves & everyone gets their homework done & supper is cooked and served.......well, you get the idea. It's just not happening. Which means I'm not in a Bible study.

I finally realized that Oops....I haven't been reading (at least) my 1 chapter a day in a while. It is so easy to get out of the habit, isn't it? So I'm doing it again. Several weeks ago, I realized that I have a good window of time in the mornings after I take the kids to school. I leave my Bible on the kitchen table so that I can walk in & immediately sit down & read. My aim is to read 1 chapter a day, but sometimes I read more. The ribbon bookmark on my Bible keeps my spot marked and each day I know exactly where to pick back up.

So yes, you have read this right. I started in 2003. And it's now 2009. Could I get any more A.D.D.? :) God is using this season of my not being able to make a Bible study class to remind me that hearing someone else's words & studying their thoughts on the Bible is always a great supplement but should never be a substitute for time in the Word!

Anybody else willing to fess up that they've never read the Bible cover to cover? Anybody else want to join me?


Living the G life! said...

I never have either. I have started to many times, gotten through several of the first books then stop every time. I told Jason a while back that I LOVE to read, I can sit with a good Christian fiction book and finish it in a day or two. I not only love to read but I am a fast reader as well and here I am not reading the most IMPORTANT book on the planet. It is like pulling teeth to get myself to sit and start reading it. I too know alot of the bible, grew up learing about it, I want to live my life by it but I rarely read it. I am embarrassed to say that I often forget. Would I forget to read a love note Jason wrote me? No, so why do I forget to read a book from the one who matters the most? I think alot had to do with understanding the wording so this week I got a bible that I can read easily -(its in our current wording) and I am so excited to once again start my quest and actual follow through to the end. Lets hold each other accountable on this! :)

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Well, I am about to turn 39, professed by faith, in Jesus, at age 7.... and yes I have not read the Bible cover to cover.
However... I AM working on it. At the end of February, I bought The One Year Bible. I was challenged to read it after a woman's conference. I LOVE IT. Each day is broken down to a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, and then Proverbs. It is all in order. The reading for each day should only take about 15-20 minutes. I started end of February and will be starting Jeremiah tomorrow, in Phillipians, and continue in Psalms and Proverbs. It really makes it simple.

I love reading both the Old and New at the same time. It brings both alive with what the Old Testament Jews lived and what the new church lived and how we are taught to live.

If I get behind, by a couple of days, it is not hard to catch back up.

I would encourage you to buy that, if you think the structure and only 15 minutes a day would do it for you. I do believe we are NOT alone and most people would confess they have not read it all either!

SandyL said...

I have never read it all the way through.. I start it then I get to one point and I end up stopping..and then I restart it again. I have seen websites that you can print out a sheet to help you read it through in a year.