Bible Study Update

For the past month (roughly) I’ve been dedicating my mornings to Bible study.  I became very negligent about spending time in God’s Word over the past school year—and, really, over the past few years—so I have been doing my part to mend my relationship with Him and to immerse myself in His Word.

I’m pleased to report that, so far, I have largely stuck with it, only rarely missing a day’s reading.  I started simply:  reading through Proverbs.  A very common Bible study tactic is to read one chapter of Proverbs a day; in thirty-one days, or one month, you’ll have read the entire book.  I adapted that slightly, sometimes reading a couple of chapters a day.  As June has only thirty days, and I started late, I managed to end the month with Proverbs 31.

After finishing Proverbs, I realized I needed to expand my reading further.  To that end, here is my current reading schedule each morning:

  • Three chapters of Psalms (with 150 chapters, it should take fifty days to get through Psalms, although Psalms 119 might be its own day)
  • One chapter of Proverbs, corresponding with the date (for example, this morning I will read Proverbs 12)
  • One chapter of Isaiah, also corresponding with the date until I get to Isaiah 32 on 1 August 2022, at which point I’ll keep reading one chapter a day until I have completed the book (again, this morning I’ll read Isaiah 12)
  • A New Testament passage from a little “read-the-New-Testament-in-one-year” Bible someone gave me years ago (today’s passage will be Romans 1:1-17)
  • Some days, I do a reading from a little devotional, Our Daily Bread

In total, it takes me anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour to complete this reading, as I try to read slowly and take notes in the margins (I also start readings with thorough prayer time with God, praying prayers of thanksgivings to Him; praying specific prayer requests; and praying for His Hand in my life and my budding relationship) and if I see connections to other Scriptures—which is happening more and more frequently lately—I will take time to note the parallels and tie them back.

In addition to these daily reading goals, I also try to read whatever passages the girl I have been seeing is reading.  We try to talk about passages we read together, and I will sometimes transcribe the key verses and mail them to her for her enjoyment and edification.  I’ve gotten into the habit, too, of transcribing verses into a little black notebook, so I can quickly pull them up later.

The major gap in my reading at the moment is that I don’t have anything from the Gospels.  That’s something I’ll look to incorporate soon, but I’m enjoying digging into the meat of the Old Testament.  As a musician, Psalms has been particularly enjoyable, and going back through Proverbs has been a treat.  As I’m reading both books together, I’m seeing parallels between the two.  It’s also interesting that David wrote (most of) Psalms and his son and successor Solomon wrote (most of) Proverbs, and there are times when it seems like I can see a similar authorial voice between father and son.

My only concern is that, once the school year resumes, I will have to scale back the pace, breadth, and depth of reading.  Taking a leisurely hour every morning simply isn’t feasible during the school year, unless I get up at 5 AM (a possibility, but tough when I’m often working on grades or writing or what not sometimes up until 10:30 or 11 PM).  My tentative plan is to get up at 6 AM, take out my dog, brew my coffee, and try to get at it by 6:15 AM, reading through at least one of the above passages until around 6:45 AM.  If possible, I’ll try to do some short readings and prayer around lunchtime, or in the evenings when I get home.

Regardless, I find I am hungry for the Word.  Sunday evening I was sitting on the couch watching a flick, and I kept eyeing my Bible.  Usually, it’s the other way around!

Thanks to everyone who chimed in three weeks ago on my initial “Bible Study” post with your recommendations.  A few people referenced some online resources, like the Blue Letter Bible, which are useful.  I find, however, that I vastly prefer reading Scripture in print (the way I prefer to read most everything, besides short blog posts and essays)—it holds my attention and focus better, and I can takes notes far more easily.  Reading for extended periods of time on a screen, while doable, has never worked well for me.  I’m a pen-and-paper kind of guy.

All that said, thanks to everyone who has been encouraging me in my reading, and thanks be to God for His Wonderful Mercies!  I’m praying that He Will continue to Order my steps and to seek after His Will.

Happy Reading!

—TPP

43 thoughts on “Bible Study Update

  1. I’ve been meaning to do Bible studies with Tina but, to my absolute shame, I haven’t touched the King James Bible she bought me a few years ago. One day…

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s no time like the present, my friend. I will admit, it is HARD. Even as hungry as I have been lately to read the Bible, there are days where I get up and think, “Well, I really want to do *this* instead of reading.” I think I’ve only really missed a handful of days—one while out of town, a couple while in the mountains for my great-aunt’s memorial service in early June; and maybe some on the Fourth of July (and even then I did *some* reading before heading out of town).

      There was one morning last week I was feeling discouraged about something, and the LAST thing I wanted to do was read the Bible—but that is precisely when we need God’s Word the most! I made myself sit down and do it, and I’m glad I did.

      Like Audre said, start with a small bit and go from there. I really recommend doing the Proverbs thing. For example, tomorrow, just read Proverbs 13. Easy, quick, good. Proverbs is great, too, because many of the later chapters are just compilations of bite-sized (usually two-line) aphorisms and bits of wisdom—and it’s all useful and applicable!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s good advice but I’m a stickler with books, preferring to go through it in order. Since Tina knows a lot more about it than I do, I’ll leave it to her good judgement but I’ll pass on your advice and see what she says.

        Thanks mate. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • As long as you’re reading _something_ in the Bible, you’re good.

        Cheers, Ponty!

        On a less righteous note, I’m excited to read (and publish) your next movie review. I can’t wait to see you blast another film!

        Liked by 1 person

      • If I may be so bold … I tell anyone who is ‘new’ or an inquirer, to read the New Testament first. Learn Jesus first. Then read the Old Testament and see for yourself how the Old points to the new and the New reminds of the Old. The two together are self-proving and a person doesn’t have to be a genius to understand it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Good advice. Everything makes sense—it all connects—to Jesus, even the Old Testament. The OT makes *way* more sense when you realize almost everything is pointing towards Christ in some subtle way. The New Testament is also much easier to tackle and understand than some of the dense OT stuff.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. From long years of experience, I’ve come to realize that the more rational ‘plan of attack’ (such as reading the Bible) is to make it something you can easily do every day – which means work days, weekends, holidays, etc. It is more a journey of discovery than a sprint or a marathon. Take smaller bites and savor them, relish them. Give more time to the contemplation of what your reading than to ‘goal to achieve today’. When you go out into the country or to a park, you don’t run from the parking lot through the park and applaud that you got to the end quickly. You walk, you look around, you listen to the sounds, you sometimes stop and just let what’s around you sink in and refresh you. That’s what reading the Bible should do – it should refresh your spirit, uplift your heart, and renew your mind. Breathe deeply – the fresh air of the park and the fresh air of the Bible should be pretty much the same.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I anticipated this comment, Audre, haha. I know I am going pretty hard and fast at the moment, but I’m doing so because I have the *time* to really marinate in the verses. I don’t read through all of these as quickly as possible (usually); I really take my time, jotting down notes in the margins, writing down key verses in a little notebook, etc.

      When school resumes, I’m going to shift over to the small-and-deep approach. I should still be in Psalms at that point, and I’ve REALLY been enjoying it. I imagine I will, at minimum, dive into a Psalm each morning before work.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It has taken me almost two years to work my way through the majority of the Bible starting with the New Testament. After that I went back to Genesis and worked my way onwards. I still have about eighty pages of the Authorised Version to go. I must admit that if I never look at Numbers or Deuteronomy again I shan’t be sorry! Some of those OT books are a real slog but I love Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Job, Isaiah but the Gospel of John comes out on top for me, the first five verses of chapter one encapsulate all it means to be a Christian for me with spine tingling lyricism.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kudos to you for slogging through Numbers and Deuteronomy! My Dad has been reading through Leviticus, and he says it’s been challenging with all the priestly laws and regulations.

      I’ve really been loving Psalms, more than I realized. I guess as a musician, all the songs of praise really speak to me, and David’s low points and melancholy track with my own emotions in many cases. Proverbs is great, too, and I’m enjoying all the prophetic verses in Isaiah. I have a soft spot for Ecclesiastes, too; I think Solomon is the biblical figure with whom I identify the most closely.

      Amen re: the first five verses of John! John is my favorite Gospel, and that opening—wow! “[S]pine tingling lyricism,” indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Leviticus, Kings, Chronicles are all really hard work. The recordings by Alexander Scourby of the entire King James Bible helped me tremendously in my journey, he reads with great understanding. Available on YT and recommended by Audre.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for the recommendation, Alys. I think you may have mentioned Scourby’s readings before. The Bible is really meant to be read aloud, I think, and I can see how a good reading based in solid understanding would greatly enhance interpretation, especially of those trickier passages.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Authorised Version was written in such a way that it could be read aloud with maximum effect to a largely illiterate population. The rhythms and cadences of the Early Modern English transform the Word of God into something beyond beauty. No other translation of the greatest book ever written even comes close to the matchless prose of the King James.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve gotsta listen to these recordings. I’m driving down to the coast to see my girl tomorrow afternoon, so maybe I’ll fire up ol’ Scourby and enjoy the dulcet tones of the KJV in glorious stereo sound.

        Like

  4. ‘On a less righteous note, I’m excited to read (and publish) your next movie review. I can’t wait to see you blast another film!’

    I’m having a blast doing number 3. I really hate 3-1, all big budget movies, so I have a lot to say and none of it good! Can’t wait to see your picks, mate, and good to see some real anger in your writing. Remember, there’s every reason to kick these films when they’re down! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      • I’ll send mine over in the next few days. We’ve got a lot if in and outdoor work on the house and Tina wants to get out to the coast while the weather is good.

        We’ve been watching Dexter over the last couple of weeks and we’re really close to the end. Now that would be worth a review; what a brilliant series! I’m going to buy Stranger Things for Tina soon and she’s going to buy The West Wing for me so we should be good until the last Walking Dead is released. I love box sets! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Take your time. If I can get it by Friday so I can schedule it before the weekend, that would be awesome.

        Please feel free to submit a series review of _Dexter_; I would love to publish that! That’s a show I never managed to watch, but really want to see.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Audre. 🙂

    Tina just offered me the same advice. I’ll get around to it at some point. After all, if I can make time to write, I can make time to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Alys! Wow! That was an awesome and awe inspiring description of the King James Bible! My very humble hat off to you, my girl! Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

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