An eager commenter on my original “Bible Study” post prompted me to give a second brief update on my daily Bible reading (I wrote the first update back in July 2022). Apparently, my humble daily regimen inspired the reader to establish a schedule of her own. To that, all I can say is, “To God Be the Glory!”
That said, it’s satisfying to know that the words I scribble down on this self-indulgent blog do, indeed, reach people. There are probably fewer things more pleasurable to a writer than to find that his words have made some impact on his readers, and the pleasure is enhanced when it’s a stranger. We all understand that we influence those close to us, for good or for ill, because we can see the effects more clearly. But the idea that a stranger might be reading our words is a small sign that we’re expanding beyond our immediate familial and social circles to wider audiences. It feels good.
But I digress. This post is about studying the Bible, not tooting my own saxophone; pride, after all, is a sin.
There is something appealing about possessing some bit of secret knowledge or trivia that is unknown to everyone, save a select few “initiates” fortunate enough to partake in the mysteries. The seductive allure of secret knowledge—or of just being “in-the-know” about some microniche subculture—seems to be a part of human nature.
We’d like to think in our modern age that we’re not superstitious sorts, but we are haunted everywhere. Scientists have elevated themselves to the level of priests in a cult of scientism, worshipping the emptiness of nihilistic materialism just as the pagans worshipped lifeless idols. Both are made of stuff—hard, material, unfeeling, insensate stuff—and both are equally empty.
But we here on the Right can fall prey to Gnostic fantasies as well. The Libertarian dreams of a utopia in which everyone engages in frictionless free exchanges and all uncomfortable disputes are settled with cash and self-interest. He’s as materialist and deluded as the mask-wearing mandatory vaxxer preaching loudly from the Church of Scientism. The hyper-nationalist dreams of some impossible ethnostate that never really existed in the first place. And so on.
Still, it’s seductive, the idea that we can possess the knowledge of good and evil, of true Reality. After all, that’s the original sin, isn’t, it? Eve, then Adam, could not resist the allure of being—so they were told, dishonestly—like God. But even—perhaps, especially–Christians can fall into this trap.
By this time next Friday, I’ll be back at the grind, starting with some teacher meetings. The public schools in my area have shifted to a semi-year-round schedule, so those unfortunates will start classes on Monday, 1 August 2022. Yikes! That means teachers in the public schools have already been back, which doesn’t seem right. No one besides an administrator or grounds crew should be darkening the door of a schoolhouse in July.
Of course, heading back on 5 August 2022 seems pretty dang early in my book. I notice that my school keeps inching up the return time for faculty a bit more each year. I’m still a tad baffled as to why they want us to start back on a Friday. Classes won’t resume until Wednesday, 17 August 2022, though, so I still have a little time before I really hit the ground running.
The news cycle remains slow, it seems—just more of the usual bad news. As I am writing this post, I’ve spent nearly $400 in gasoline (petrol, for my British readers) this month in a car that gets around 32 miles per gallon. Granted, I’ve been keeping the road hot with lessons and seeing my new lady friend, but, goodness, something has got to give.
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)
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.
Now that summertime is here, I’m using the bit of extra, unstructured time to try to develop some good habits. This past school year was pretty brutal, between a heavy load of classes and up to twenty lessons a week. I was thankful for the income from lessons and for the security of work, but it really took its toll as the academic year wore on.
Unfortunately, one of the first things I let go was daily Bible study. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve always been spotty about reading the Bible daily. I’m often more interested in listening to someone else’s commentary on God’s Word than reading it for myself, as if I’m a medieval Catholic.
But there’s no substitute for the real thing—daily Bible reading and study. So I’ve established a routine now that summer is here, and it’s really helped me keep on track.
I’m running into a bit of a problem here with Supporting Friends Friday—I’m running out of friends to support! Fortunately, my friends are quite prolific creators, so I can always recycle some old ones, and I’m always encountering new bloggers. That said, I’m having to get creative to keep this series going.
That’s probably not the most flattering introduction for this Friday’s feature, but I assure you, he’s a great writer, and worth your time. I know him simply as Nicholas, and he is a semi-regular contributor to Nebraska Energy Observer, Neo‘s excellent, long-running blog.
This past Monday, it was my responsibility to lead men’s Bible study for the monthly fellowship I attend. I would love to say I prayed fervently for The Lord to deliver a message to my heart, but instead I do what bloggers and teachers do frequently: recycle and reuse.
Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Today it’s all about church and after-Christmas sales.
Technically, we’re still in the glorious Christmas season. That whole “twelve days of Christmas” isn’t just to flesh out a tedious novelty song; Christians used to (and many still do) celebrate Christmas for twelve days, marking the major events of Christ’s young life. Really, Christmas ends on Epiphany, on 6 January. It commemorates the Wise Men’s’ visit to the Christ Child, which represents Christ’s manifestation to the Gentiles.
Granted, I probably won’t be writing about Christmas on 6 January 2022 (we’ll see!), but I’m not opposed to squeezing in some more Christmas fun.
To that end, here are some three recent Christmas classics: