Bible Reading Plans

readbible.jpgWith New Year’s Day quickly approaching, many of us are contemplating our New Year’s resolutions. Hopefully, each of us is considering the importance of reading the Bible daily in 2007. Below are some links to websites that will assist you in your bible reading efforts this year.

Back to the Bible – Offers five unique guides that you can follow as you read through the Bible.

  • Chronological – Read the events of the Bible as they occurred chronologically. For example, the Book of Job is integrated with Genesis because Job lived before Abraham.
  • Historical – Read the books of the Bible as they occurred in the Hebrew and Greek traditions (the order in which they were written). For example, the Old Testament books in the Hebrew bible do not occur in the same order as they do in our English Bible. The New Testament books are arranged according to their dat of writing as well.
  • Old and New Testament Together – Read the Old Testament and New Testament together. Your knowledge of the Old Testament will be enhanced by what you read simultaneously in the New Testament.
  • Beginning to End – With this guide there are no surprises. You simply read through the Bible from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Blended– If you prefer not to read straight through the Bible but want to add variety to your Scripture reading. For example, while you are reading the Old Testament book of Isaiah, you are also reading the New Testament book of Mark to heighten the variety of your Bible reading.

Bible Plans – Offers thirteen Bible reading plans. View each plan on the web and/or be reminded by receiving it each day by email. Each plan is available in several languages and translations. There are no charges or strings attached. You will not be sent any advertisements or have your name added to other lists if you subscribe. You can un-subscribe from any plan any time with one click.

Heartlight has brought together several Bible reading plans to choose from. Find one that suits your tastes, and dig in!

Studylight offers five online reading plans where you choose your plan and Bible version. You can also track your progress online. Each day’s reading also has a link for audio where you can hear that day’s passage read.

Be sure to check out the resources page at our church website.

www.tbconline.org

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Questions for a New Year

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up and get our bearings. For starters, here are 10 questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God:

1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in 10 years? In eternity?

In addition to these questions, here are 21 more to help you “Consider your ways.” Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.

11. What’s the most important decision you need to make this year?

12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?

13. What’s the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?

14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

15. Who do you most want to encourage this year?

16. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?

17. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?

18. What’s one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?

19. What’s one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

20. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

21. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

24. What’s the most important trip you want to take this year?

25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

27. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?

28. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?

29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?

30. What’s the most important new item you want to buy this year?

31. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year, you will be more likely to remember to encourage that person than if you hadn’t considered the question.

If you’ve found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace — in a day planner, PDA, calendar, bulletin board, etc. — where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let’s evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage” (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let’s also remember our dependence on our King who said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Click to download Hi-Res PhotoDon Whitney is associate professor of spiritual formation at MidwesternBaptist Theological Seminary and author of “Simplify Your SpiritualLife” (NavPress, 2003). To register for a free monthly e-publicationfrom Whitney, “The SpiritualDisciplines.org Newsletter,” with new andreprinted articles and more, go to www.SpiritualDisciplines.org/newsletter.html.

 

You can find this and other ministry-related articles in the Baptist Press archives at www.bpnews.net . Baptist Press is an international wire service that provides news with a Christian perspective to inform and equip readers for life, work and
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The Davis Spa

Yesterday (Christmas day) morning, after opening presents I went back to bed. I have some kind of stomach bug that seems to have infected half of Wilson. Last night, I went into the Living Room to play the piano with the girls. I was wondering why there were cucumbers on the chair and then I saw these pictures that Joanna took while I was asleep. Apparently, Bethany, Abigail and Hannah decided to set up the Davis Spa and pamper each other a little bit.

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Meaningful Christmas Tradition

card.jpgSeveral years ago I heard my good friend Rand Hummel relay a tradition that his family practices every Christmas. Since then, each Christmas Joanna and I have tried to incorporate the same tradition into our Christmas celebration.

Yesterday morning (Christmas day), we enjoyed the time with our family opening our Christmas presents. Before the children were allowed to play with their new toys I said, “Now, let’s wait just a minute. We all got some good gifts this year, didn’t we?” “Yes sir,” they all replied. I asked, “But what is the best Christmas gift?” Hannah, our seven-year-old daughter replied, “Jesus.” I asked her why. She said, “Because He came to die for our sins.” Joanna then pulled out a stack of Christmas cards from church members, family, and friends from all around the world. That is what Rand said that he and his family did each Christmas. They would read the cards and pray for their friends. Before our children put their gifts away or played with any of them we took time to remember the true meaning of Christmas and to remember our friends who thought of us this Christmas.

Christmas is Costly

It cost Mary and Joseph the comforts of home during a long period of exile in Egypt to protect the little Babe. It cost mothers in and around Bethlehem the massacre of their babies by the cruel order of Herod. It cost the shepherds the complacency of their shepherds’ life, with the call to the manger and to tell the good news. It cost the wise men a long journey and expensive gifts and changed lives. It cost the early apostles and the early church persecution and sometimes death. It cost missionaries of Christ untold suffering and privation to spread the good news. It cost Christian martyrs in all ages their lives for Christ’s sake. More than all this, it cost God the Father His own Son–He sent Him to the earth to save men. It cost Jesus a life of sacrifice and service, a death cruel and unmatched in history.

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