Blog

Stories from a life in progress.

What I'm doing now (Part 1)

I feel like I need to take stock of where I am, now that the busy spring is over and I can settle into a (hopefully!) calmer summer.  One thing I'm working on right now is reading the entire Bible, every single book.

A new "game."  Plus bonus Boba Fett head courtesy of my niece.

A new "game."  Plus bonus Boba Fett head courtesy of my niece.

I'm not following a particular plan beyond "read the Bible" and "read more of it later."  I'm keeping the historical portions in order, but beyond that I'm picking and choosing as I want to.  There are a lot of plans you can follow for reading the Bible through (here's a good sampling), but I'm using my old friend the game board, a tool I know works really well for me when I've got a goal broken down into discrete steps.

"Let's start at the very beginning ... a very good place to start..."

"Let's start at the very beginning ... a very good place to start..."

Why do this now?  Multiple reasons, but the biggest one is that I'm a biblical studies student, for crying out loud, and it embarrasses me to think about how long it's been since I visited some portions of scripture.  I'm just plain more familiar with some parts than others, even though I've read everything at one point or another.  The class on Prophets I took this past spring reminded me how unfamiliar I am with parts of the Bible, because we read great swathes of the prophetic books and I really didn't know what was in there.

I have a good memory for stories and a good memory for things I read and find interesting, and I can tell you a great deal about the long, connected story of the Bible.  I can tell you some stuff about theology, I can tell you about the gospel, I can talk about people and characters and places and events.  But I don't have a deep enough grounding in the words of the book itself.  It's not good enough to read about the world of the Bible and the teaching of the Bible.  I want to know the Bible.

Nothing else helps me change like the book itself.  Nothing else helps me find Jesus like scripture itself, all of scripture, front to back.

Actually I started in here somewhere.  Nobody tell Julie Andrews.

Actually I started in here somewhere.  Nobody tell Julie Andrews.

The entire collection forms a long story of grace, and it's not always easy to see -- I know it isn't, I know people say they don't understand the Bible, or reject the Old Testament in favor of the New, or claim it's all a bunch of contradictory nonsense.

I get it.  I do.  There are things I don't understand myself yet.  But I see the story, the long story of grace, and I know how life-changing it is.  I want to help other people see it too.  That's the point behind going to school.  That's the point behind wanting to write about what I learn.

So I'm revisiting the book, the whole thing.  When I'm done I'll start over again with a new chart, and read it again.  I'll follow a different plan.  Or I'll use a different translation (I've got dozens; thanks BibleWorks).  Or I'll follow a specific theme.  I'll do something -- but I'll read.  I'll read this book until I know it inside out, until I know the long story of grace from front to back, so I can speak it and sing it and write about it, so I can help other people see it too.