I am reading through “The Voice” version of the Bible. Call me a heretic if you wish. I always choose a fresh new version at the start of each new year. This way things are not as familiar and sometimes the way certain things are worded is so different that the truth being expressed hits me in a fresh, new way. Other times I come to understand a verse more deeply. And, I even come to understand certain verses correctly for the first time. The Truth has not changed – I am just shaking up the words a bit to see what new light can shine on truths and stories that I love.
I sat down yesterday morning and thought through my reading rate for 2014 so I get through The Voice in 11 months… (accounts for days that Bible reading just does not happen and allows the Bible to be read in a year.
And then I sat and thought through what books I am going to study in 2014. Every year I “attempt” to study one Old Testament and one New Testament book in some depth. I say attempt because I don’t always manage to get right through the books I am studying – usually because I am having too much fun in the study and, I admit, maybe digging a bit too deep. But it is fun and I am the only one who knows the plan and whether I accomplish what I set out to do in the year. So, I sometimes carry a book of the Bible I am studying over into the next year. Hey, aim at nothing you get nothing – so, I always aim high and get something.
I also make use of down time waiting for people to arrive for appointments, while stirring supper, eating my sandwich parked on the roadside while driving home after an out-of-town service. I read an electronic Bible. No coloured pencils to mark it up, no notes in the margins, no real plan other than not wasting opportunities to read through the New Testament several times a year. Yup! Instead of wasting time and just retreating into nothingness or texting people I read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John… And it is amazing what a quick “time of refreshing” like this can do for the day.
Add to this an average of a book a week. Some weeks when doing a lot of flying I can read 3 or 4 books – other weeks I don’t even manage to crack the cover. Summers are better than winters for reading. But, over a year I average 52 books. I plan it that way. it is intentional. I do it on purpose. Anyone I mentor knows that reading is what leaders do. If we don’t read we stop leading. Leaders are readers. So, I always have a pile of books I am working through and my mini iPad is always with me – because many of the books I am planning to read are eBooks. Hey, you can carry a library of books in one small tablet. What a day to be alive. And you can color code and make notes in a eBook just like I do in a regular (real) paper book.
So, I have made good use of the lull in my life last Sunday afternoon (I had a complete Sunday off … the first in many years) and did some planning for 2014. Growing and maturing does not happen accidentally. It is intentional.
Hope you have a terrific 2014 and that you will grow and natural spiritually and that your relationship with your God will deepen and mature. Blessings as you begin another year of your journey with Jesus.