Category Archives: Bible Reading

Join Adam Wainwright in Reading through the Bible in 2020

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St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright (aka “Waino”) is inviting people to join him in reading through the Bible in 2020. He is using a chronological Bible reading plan and the plan begins tomorrow, January 12th.

To join Wainwright on this journey through God’s Word, sign up HERE. If our family wasn’t already 12 days into the Tabletalk plan, we would be joining Waino as well.

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*For some tips on reading through the Bible, click HERE.

Eight Tips for Reading the Bible in 2020 (PLUS… A Secret Extra Tip for Success!)

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Several years ago I established the habit of reading through the Bible in a year. It is one of the greatest habits I’ve ever acquired. In 2018, my 16-year-old son and I read through the Bible together. In 2019, the other four family members joined in and we all read through the whole Bible together.

Have you read the whole Bible?

Why not commit to read the Bible in 2020?

In this post, I’d like to share some tips on reading the Bible more in 2020, especially for those of you who are interested in reading the whole Bible in a year’s time.

First, choose a plan. There are several plans out there which are good. We really like the Tabletalk magazine plan. It is calendar-based and takes you through an Old Testament reading and a New Testament reading, six days a week. This allows you a day for catch up, which is very helpful because even the most disciplined of us will have a few days each year where we just cannot make it work.

For those who are reading this after January 1st and need something with a slightly later start in the new year, join Major League Baseball pitcher Adam Wainwright in reading through the Bible chronologically in 2020, starting on January 12th. You can join him on his Bible reading journey HERE.

Second, pick a time and a place to do your daily Bible reading. For our family it is right after breakfast (time) in our living room (place). For a friend of mine it is at lunchtime (time) at his office desk (place). Few people succeed if they just “wing it” each day. Determine where and when you will do your Bible reading each day. As far as time required, you will need to set aside a twenty minute time block, although most days it will only take you about fifteen minutes.

Third, track your reading. One of the reasons why we like the Tabletalk reading plan is because you can print out a handy half-sheet list of all the readings with little check boxes beside each day (see photos below), applying the wisdom of what some are now calling the Jerry Seinfeld method of success, also known as “Don’t Break the Chain!” The bottom line is that the more consecutive days you check off, the more it motivates you to stay with it. Each morning when our family would complete the assigned reading, it felt great to check off the appropriate box.

Fourth, pray before and after you read. Start with a simple prayer like this, from the Psalmist… Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. (Psalm 119.18)

After your readings are complete, pray about what you just read.

Continue reading Eight Tips for Reading the Bible in 2020 (PLUS… A Secret Extra Tip for Success!)

Challenge: READ through the WHOLE BIBLE in 2019…

I’m passionate about helping YOU read through God’s Word in 2019. I promise you that if you will take on this challenge… and persevere… YOU WON’T REGRET IT! I guarantee it!

Here’s a list of recent videos I’ve made on the subject:

> If you haven’t read through the Bible why not?…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO6Kh6HCycs&t=69s

> It only takes 15 minutes a day!…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUlAFjp9Fdw

> Tips for reading through the Bible in a year…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IDAQeVJpjY&t=3s

> Pastor Brett’s preferred plan for reading through the Bible in one year…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7lwGLv-iMc&t=4s

Mid-Summer Update (2017)

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I have slowed down the blogging this year, and significantly cut down on Twitter. Facebook is where I spend most of my social media time. That said, I thought it would be good for me to give a mid-year update here on my blog.

First, I am using a new Bible reading plan this year. It is a simple read through the Bible in one year schedule from Ligonier Ministries. This particular plan divides the Bible into six Old Testament and six New Testament readings per week (M-F and one Weekend reading assignment). I like how this approach gives you one day per week for catch up, because no matter how disciplined a person is, life has a way of causing you to miss a day here and there. The one weekend reading is a little longer than those during the weekdays, especially in the Old Testament.

Second, I wrote earlier this year about how 2016 was the first year in which I reached my goal of reading an average of one book per week. This year I’m a little behind schedule in accomplishing that, but I am not so far behind as to make the goal unreachable. The genre in which I have been reading the most is fiction, and more specifically, westerns. I have been reading an excellent series by Elmer Kelton on the Texas Rangers. His fictional stories are considered to be very accurate when it comes to the history of the western frontier.

One ministry book that I am currently reading that is outstanding is Daniel Henderson’s Old Paths, New Power. Henderson believes that more than anything, churches need to have pastors and leaders who spend much time in the Word and in prayer, based on Acts 6:4. I agree. The challenge is keeping this priority front and center.

Third, I have been doing more traveling than I have done in years. This April my mother was diagnosed with cancer for the third time in her life. I’m basically visiting her (both driving up and flying up) about once every four to six weeks. Add to that our summer vacation with my in-laws at the beach in South Carolina in June and this has turned into the summer of travel!

Returning from one of our visits to Nonna in May, we were able to take a little side trip to Stone Mountain where we made the 40 minute hike to the top. Above is a picture from the summit.

 

 

What Will Bring Revival? It’s Really Quite Simple…

Now that I’ve been a Christian for 29 years as well as a pastor for 21 years, I have seen a lot of trends in American Christianity over the past few decades. One of the more disappointing trends has been the amount of hype surrounding certain books, movies, conferences, movements, Bible studies, and, even, “revivals.” I cannot recall how many times a of these various mediums were going to possibly usher in a revival which would transform our nation.

Let me mention a few examples. From each of these examples, God has certainly done a whole lot. People have been saved. Lives have been changed. I do not want to minimize that fact. Praise the Lord for how He used these tools to reach people!

In each of these cases I can recall Christian people enthusiastically suggesting, or hoping, that this particular “thing” would be the catalyst for national revival or spiritual awakening.

(1) 1990… A Bible Study… “Experiencing God” featured the teaching of Henry Blackaby, and consisted of a VHS video series matched with a workbook. The premise of the study is to find out where God is at work and to join Him there. Excellent counsel! But national revival from the study itself? Twenty-five years and counting… not yet.

Continue reading What Will Bring Revival? It’s Really Quite Simple…

Mark Bertrand on “Reference Bibles” vs. “Reading Bibles”

My friend Mark Bertrand has penned a column about a new niche of Bibles designed specifically for reading sessions. Perhaps you have given this subject little thought in the past. If you are serious about engaging with God’s Word I highly recommend you take the time to read, and think through, his points.

For those of you who are not sure what a “Reference Bible” is, I’ll explain. A reference Bible is one that has other Bible verses listed on the page so that you can easily “cross reference” other Scriptures which are related in subject matter to the verses you are reading. For example, here is a photograph taken of the TBS Westminster Reference Bible (can be purchased HERE):

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As you can see in the picture above, to the left and right of the Bible text itself, there are lists of other Bible verses that relate to the subjects presented in what you are reading. Many Bible readers love to pause and search out these other references to see what else the Bible says on this subject. It is an excellent tool for deeper Bible study.

However, aesthetically, when it comes to design layout, a reference Bible seems to have more in common with a dictionary or encyclopedia than a traditional book that you would read cover-to-cover. Hence, the recent trend toward producing “reading Bibles.”

Compare the image above with the new ESV Reader’s Bible from Crossway (available for purchase HERE):

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It makes for a dramatic difference in your reading experience. I encourage you to read Mark’s take on the impact of the design of the Bible you choose to read.