On January 1st 2018, I posted to Instagram Stories that I was interested in attempting to read the Bible in a year….again.
I’ve attempted this goal many years, but have never been successful for more than a few months. I’ve tried different reading plans, different Bible translations, and study guides. Every attempt has been a failed one because let’s face it: reading the bible in a year is a HUGE goal/task/undertaking/accomplishment! And it ain’t easy!
So when I posted that I wanted to attempt to do this again via the She Reads Truth App and ask if anyone wanted to do it with me and hold each other accountable, I was hopeful to hear from maybe one or two readers/friends. Well, boy was I wrong! I was absolutely blown away and excited about the response to so many of y’all desiring to accomplish the same goal in 2018! Through sifting through so many direct messages about this… I felt a tug that I needed to turn this idea of reading the Bible in a year into not just a personal goal, but a ABC community goal as well!
You’ll read in this blog post that I’m really passionate about making this little space on the internet as community focused as possible, so the interest in reading through the Bible together fits right in!
SO, here’s my thoughts on how this is going to go!
At the end of every week of the year (the goal is every Sunday!), I’m going to make it a goal to recap the week’s bible readings as according to the She Reads Truth The Bible in a Year Plan in a blog post. If you don’t want to download the app, that link takes your right to the plan! You can add it to your bookmarks in your browser, print it out… whatever works for you! I love the SRT plan because it bounces around from the Old Testament to the New Testament and The Psalms. This diversifies reading the Bible SO much and this plan is the most diverse I’ve seen and I’m loving it the most out of those I’ve attempted thus far! Other features I love? You ‘check’ off each reading as you go – so satisfying to see little green check marks each week! I also LOVE that in the App settings you can set a daily alarm/reminder to read! I need that!!!
From the weeks readings, I’ll write my recap and/or a response. I may highlight 1-2 verses that stuck out to me the most. Maybe I’ll propose a response question that I personally came up with. Perhaps I’ll share something I’m loving about the reading that week. Maybe I’ll share something I’m struggling with. Perhaps I’m just going to admit that I read it quick and that’s that. And maybe it’s a prayer to The Lord. I’ll just keep it honest and simple – as if it were an entry from my written journal. Sometimes bullet pointed, sometimes more writing…. whatever works!
Then, I’d love it if you participated in the comments! You’re welcome to share absolutely ANYTHING that struck you in the week’s readings… whether it’s a favorite verse, a way it touched/impacted you, a way you’re applying it, a question that came up for you… or a response to the question that I personally proposed. You could also absolutely copy and paste the exact format I shared that week and fill in your own answers. You’re also welcome (and encouraged!) to comment encouragement on others responses! Think of this as an online weekly Bible study or community group meeting!
I know that commenting on a blog post in this can feel vulnerable and exposed…. but I promise this is a no judgement, no assumptions, no restrictions, no stupid questions, no Bible reading experience required space! ANY comments that don’t fall in line with those guidelines WILL NOT be tolerated and be blocked/deleted immediately.
My hope in doing it in this format allows some of the following things:
- Every post, every week, becomes a safe little community space for anyone to participate in!
- By prioritizing this on my blog, it allows anyone and everyone to read and follow along…. even if they don’t feel comfortable actively participating.
- Groups on Instagram and Facebook can get exclusive do to invitations to be in as well as group limit restrictions. Plus, not everyone has Instagram and not everyone has FB… or vice vera! Some readers only read here via bookmarking my site or the Weekly Newsletter. By doing it here, everyone reading can participate!
- This format is similar to how She Reads Truth does it (you can comment on each reading), but it’s a smaller space within ABC readers/friends!
- It holds ME accountable keep up with it! Each week I post may not be the most in-depth, but it’s a way for me to realistically keep up with the goal as well as leaving the comment section open for anyone and everyone to participate.
A few other important thoughts on this proposed format:
- I’ve looked to try to find a Study Guide to post/pair with this instead, but to be honest… I’ve searched for one and come up empty-handed. She Reads Truth doesn’t pair the reading plan with a study guide and I’m just not finding one I love for it. I have some ideas as to why this is the case:
- Study Guides add more time to the already substantial commitment that is reading the Bible in a year… more reading requirements may deter us all from sticking with the daily reading plan in the long run
- There is a LOT of the Bible that is really hard to put into one clear-cut, easy to read and understand guide! And honestly, I believe that there is a lot in the Bible that is hard for us to understand for purpose. We may not have all the answers to the ins and outs and inner-workings of the Bible on this side of Heaven…. and I think that’s okay. A study guide won’t have or answer all the questions we all face when reading through the Bible!
- I do NOT obtain any form of a formal seminary background. I am TRULY just a sinner in need of a Savior. A sinner that desires to get to know her Savior more intimately, but studying and reading his word on a daily basis. I do not want to write more than a few blurbs every week in response to these readings because I certainly don’t want anyone to assume I have the Bible all figured out. ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE. I’m right there with you in feeling overwhelmed in tackling this goal…. but I’m excited and encouraged about the idea of tackling it together!
- By choosing to create a space that allows just simply getting in the habit of reading the Bible on a daily basis, recapping those readings weekly, and leaving an open forum for response… enables us all to just get into the habit of reading the Bible FIRST and THEN heading to our pastors, friends, family, spouses/significant others, Church communities, and study guides/devotionals. All of those other contributing factors are absolutely critical to keep our faiths thriving, but they can also distract us from reading the WORD first and foremost. I highly encourage us ALL tackling this to be doing this to keep things simple: read the bible in a year. Just read it! Even when we don’t understand it – just keep reading. THEN, I think we can come here to discuss AND go to our other networks to help us all process it further.
I so hope this idea is something that you’re as excited about as I am! I’m certain there are a few kinks to be worked out in launching this, and I’m certainly open to suggestions! I truly consider each and every one of y’all girlfriends…. and as I would with all of my friends, I love it when I get to be with all my friends in one place! I just know y’all will love each other, and if we are courageous to tackle this goal in an online community setting AND be vulnerable while doing it, I truly believe we can all be sisters in this – from all parts of the nation and world! SO exciting to think about, isn’t it?!
[Feel free to comment below in this post to add feedback/suggestions to all this!]
(Below is my Week 1 Recap, so feel free to just go ahead and comment in the way I proposed on Week 1’s reading!)
WEEK ONE RECAP: DAY 1 – 7 // January 1st – January 7th
- “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen. 1:1 / Reading that truth never gets old.
- The first story of the Bible is SO crucial – the fundamental reason why this world is so broken. I’m constantly finding myself going back to that time in the garden where we first turn from God. Reading and seeing how we’ve been so broken ever since. When times feel so hard here in 2018, I go back to the garden.
- Right out of the gates we see people in the Bible messing up – just like we constantly mess up! Cain & Able… even Noah does what God calls him to and then gets naked and weird?! Everyone is broken and in need of forgiveness from God.
- “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exalt in you.” Psalm 5:11 / Love.
- Love Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well. The perfect mix of tough love and grace.
- Sarai making her own plans instead of waiting on God is ME time and time again.
Lord, help me soak in these passages I’ve read before…. but let me see them as new. Let me learn and grow from Your word. Give me the strength to keep up with this reading plan, to be disciplined with sharing this on my blog. Allow each and everyone reading along and participating to feel your strength and courage in working towards this goal and let this reading community be a blessing to all those participating. In your name I pray, AMEN!
Okay ladies, let’s do this!!!