Reading through the Bible - from the Beginning


After reading through the Action Bible two full times, and his favorite stories countless more, my eleven year old son ceremoniously passed down his worn, frayed-edged friend to his nine year old brother.  This morning I found that middle boy embarking on the journey "in the beginning..." as our firstborn read a more mature translation from his Bible App to the seven year old beside him on the couch.  Then I turned down the hall, and painted in my new ESV Journaling Bible with watercolors.  

Non-traditional, wouldn't you say?  A comic strip for a Bible, a phone with God's Words, and Old Testament pages splattered with paint?  Yet it is all alive - every bit of it growing and dividing, convicting and transforming hearts within our home.


action biblekitchen 4


And I'm inviting you to join the journey, however the Spirit prompts, beginning Monday, June 1st, 2015.  We will use this blog page to chronicle our Bible Reading posts.  Don't forget to print up your chronological reading plan here, or download this comprehensive Bible App that will help you check off each day's God-breathed assignment.  If you would like do this as a family at the dinner table, I absolutely adore The Jesus Story Book Bible for young families, and The Children's Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos for Elementary - Jr. High aged kids. Young boys all love The Action Bible or Adventure Bible for Early Readers, and the NIV Faithgirlz Bible is an engaging read for your daughters.  Looking to splatter a little paint into the pages of a Bible by yourself, or with the kids, along the way?  Try the ESV Journaling Bible. Or simply enjoy the ample margin space to communicate with God all you are learning from Eden to Cannon to Egypt to the Wilderness, to your own kitchen table.  What a journey it will be and I hope you are excited to begin!


I keep saying it, and I hope you receive this - I'm not going to be your Bible Study teacher.  I'm a sojourner, another woman, a mom, a wife, a creative personality who is actively pursuing God through the pages of His personal, passionate, and persistent love letter to the world.  I'm simply asking you to come along.  And so today, here we go!  I can't wait to hear what The Lord reveals to your heart, through the faithful guiding friend we call His Holy Spirit.


And so today, take a moment to talk to Him, to ask Him to lead you gently, to speak to you clearly, and to give you the ears to hear His voice, a mind to comprehend, and a heart to respond.


But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of Goda may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:14-17

 Away we go!


Why Summertime is the perfect time to begin reading through the Bible


I can feel the scratchy rub of Sunday school carpet on the bottom of my feet each time I think about reading through the bible again. That first time through, a small group of newly married women met together on Tuesday mornings in one of the empty classrooms at church.  A woman named Ann Bentley, 20 years our senior, had encouraged us to read it all.  "There's no better time than right now, before you have children.  Your lives will never again be as simple as they are today.  Read it together, do it in a year, and don't ask me to lead you.  All you need is a Bible and the Holy Spirit."  

So we read it! And the Bible came alive.


During those Tuesday mornings together, as we took turns sharing all that the Holy Spirit was speaking into our lives individually, I would slip off my sandals, plant my feet firmly on the rough floor, and inhale, thinking, "This is holy ground."


From Eden

to Canaan

to Egypt

through the Wilderness

to Plano, Texas...

all of it holy ground.


By the time we reached the end of that barefoot journey through thin pages, I wanted to go again.  Like a child at the end of a ride, a ride they had been too frighten to go on for years and years, then finally they threw their hands up into the atmosphere and begged to go again. So I decided then and there to read it every other year.  One year on, one year off.  One year on, one year off.  One year on, one year off. That was the plan... and then I had a baby.


A baby changes everything... but God's Word.


We brought him home from the hospital on December 19th, 2003, nearly one year after I had ended my first journey through the Bible.  Swaddled in blue I placed him on my lap in front of the Christmas tree, white lights twinkling, and opened the leather bound Word to Genesis.  Aloud, I read chapter one to my newborn son.


Slowly, ever so slowly, I walked the road a second time.


As I nursed and rested and learned to care for a baby, I'd read another chapter here and there, sometimes out loud, sometimes quietly as he napped. Four years later I completed that second trip from Genesis to Revelation.  Four years it took me!  By the time I was done, I had birthed three sons and moved three times.


I thought of Ann's words, "There's no better time than right now, before you have children. Your lives will never again be as simple as they are today."


One year off stretched into a couple of years.  When the boys were seven, five and three, I began again, determined to make a more consistent go of it this time through.  Three years later I finished that third journey.


Now here I am, and my firstborn is now eleven years old and determined to read it along with me this time, and I'm inviting you to grab your Bible and join us as well.  It doesn't matter to me which translation you use or the pace that you go at, if you read it straight through or follow a chronological reading plan, if you use a commentary or not, a Bible reading app or that old brown Bible your parents gave you on your wedding day... All I care about is that you begin.  Slip off your Summertime sandals and embark on the holy road that always winds us to Jesus.


Wendy Speake


Everyone is posting pictures of their deep stack of summertime reading - showcasing bindings lined up side by side, all the titles they'll be bringing on vacation this summer.  Why? Because there's no time like summertime for reading a good book... No early morning crazies, getting children off to school.  No afternoon hustle to soccer practice, so another chapter poolside is possible with a glass of lemonade.


[Tweet "Summertime is the perfect time to dive into the refreshing Living Water of God's transforming Word."]


It's as juicy as that harlequin romance novel, as engaging as your favorite historical drama, as transforming as... well... the Bible.


There's no better time to begin.