Monday, January 03, 2011


If you're like me, you've started and stopped more Bible reading plans than you care to admit.  I'll probably get fired for that sentence.  But the truth is, I read my Bible, just not very faithfully to any plan.  However, I also know that without a plan, my reading can be more recreational than devotional and more haphazard than directed.

So, that said, I have tried starting one this year that I'm a whole 3 days into.  Wow, I know, my consistency is impressive.  

Anyway, if you're interested in joining me in a Bible reading plan, then here's my advice.


Good news, there's a bazillion out there.  Without trying to make any kind of summary of this vast list, I've narrowed it down to 2 free options well worth your time. 
  • OLD SCHOOL:  If you want to print a reading plan and tuck it in your Bible and just check off the readings as you go, then Discipleship Journal (which is an awesome devotional magazine by the way) has 3 options that just might be perfect.  You can download one or all 3 of them here for free.  
  • TECH SAVVY: If you are interested in a little more high tech option, but still free, then I'd highly recommend  It's pretty stinkin' awesome. You can get apps for the ipad, iphone, android, your computer, pretty much anything for free.  I have my reading plan set up in my free online account and I can read the days readings on my iphone, ipad, or online for free and check off my progress on any of them.  It then records it and keeps me up to date, no matter what format I'm using.  You can customize your reading plan from a HUGE list of options and in tons of translations to choose from to read it in too.  And NO, you don't have to pick a plan that will have you reading the whole Bible in a year if you don't want to.  In addition, if you like the community piece, you can share your thoughts with others who are reading your plan or even post a favorite verse to your facebook profile or twitter or whatever in one click if you want.

Like anything, if you start going gang busters without warming up, you're probably setting yourself up for failure.  If you pick a plan that takes you an hour a day, you might be up a creek fast. Maybe try reading a plan that takes you through the New Testament instead of the whole Bible. I also have enjoyed reading Proverbs for a season from time to time.  There are 31 chapters, so you can just read it one chapter at a time. Don't let anyone tell you what "a good christian would do".  Those people have issues you don't want to know about anyway.  


Find a new spot to read.  Maybe pick a version you are less familiar with.  Try journaling.  Highlight stuff.  Write stuff down that inspires you, even stuff that confuses you that you need to ask some questions about. Draw a picture.  Memorize some of it.  You name it.... just feel the freedom to experiment a little.


Say it with me... "I will fall behind and I won't stress out about it."  Seriously, you should have said that out loud.  Not if, but when you fall behind in your reading plan, just give yourself a break.  Skip some parts and pick up the plan on the day you're on if the date thing stresses you out.  Or ditch the plan and find one that's more realistic for you or... whatever.   On you can actually go into the settings on your reading plan and change the dates so you're no longer behind too... awesome.

Bottom line, Relax! Reading and wrestling with your Bible is waaaay more important than the plan you picked anyway.  Don't let your plan be your God.   In the end, spend less time reading to finish the task and more time actually wrestling with what you're reading. It'd be better to take 5 years to read the Bible than 3 months if at the end, you actually have experienced something in the process. 



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San Diego, CA
Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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