What Is Your Plan?

Written by cycleguy on December 1st, 2010

I would have liked to have posted this earlier today since it is the first day of December but needed to the post on the book discussion of The Hole in Our Gospel.  So this is coming at you just a tad bit late but still hits the magical December 1 date.  What’s all the fuss you say?  Nothing earth-shattering to be honest, but I would like to find out one thing: what is your plan?



If you are anything like me you begin thinking about the new year…some might say a little early.  I simply cannot wait until December 31 to make plans.  Over the past couple of weeks I have been mulling options for my personal Bible reading for 2011.  Not for sermon prep.  Not for counseling.  Not for teaching a class. For myself.  I am of the opinion that I need to be in the Word for more than sermon prep or lessons to teach.  I need it for me.  This past year I used the ESV OneYearBible as my guide.  Except for getting bogged down in some of the OT passages (which I will confess I “sped read”), I read through the Bible.  Using that prop also led me through Psalms twice and Proverbs once.  So…what do I do for 2011 that will enrich me to the core?  I think I may have found my answer.  While looking through a CBD catalog I came across this tool. Several things sold me on it.  First, it includes the ESV, which is my translation of choice.  It also included the NKJV, which I gave away to someone who needed one several years ago.  So this adds that version to my library.  Also included is the NLT updated (which doesn’t really thrill me all that much but will be helpful in comparison).  And finally, the Message.  Of all included, this turns my crank the least, but I had actually decided before seeing this that I would try again to read the NT  using the Message.  The Message is a paraphrase, not a translation, so I know Peterson takes some liberties, but it won’t hurt to read it for comparison, if for nothing else.

My plan?  Well, I am still formulating it.  One is to read one version at a time all the way through and then when I am done start through with another.  Another is to read one chapter a day in each one of the versions so I am getting the feel of the passage as I go and sensing the difference.  But I am afraid that will bog me down and take too long (is that blasphemy to say one can read the Bible too long in one sitting?)  🙂  Another is to read 2 versions each day and then when that is completed begin with the other  two.   I haven’t decided on the approach yet.  One thing is for sure: this is not a Bible to carry around in a portfolio or briefcase.  It is a whopping 2900+ pages…leather or not! (I suspect it was intended for office/home use only) 🙂

So…do you have a plan for your Bible reading in 2011?  If so, do you mind sharing it with me and any who might read this?  If you were in my place, using the Bible that I am going to use, what approach would you personally use?   I reckon the real point though is not so much what approach you are taking, but that you are taking an approach…period. There is nothing more healthy a Christ-follower can do than read the Word if he/she wants to be intimately involved with the Father.  Got something to share?  Let me hear from you.


37 Comments so far ↓

  1. Adam says:

    I want to finish reading the Bible in 2011. I have not completely read it from cover to cover, and that is my goal. It is one of the items on my bucket list.

  2. Michael says:

    For the last year I’ve kinda had a plan and will continue it.

    I read one Psalm and a chapter in Proverbs per day. This goes in addition to whatever else I’ve already read.

    • cycleguy says:

      I also make sure of reading a chapter of Psalms and Proverbs a day. I like that I learn something new each time. Love that you are reading the Word Michael. Thanks.

  3. jasonS says:

    This year, I’ve used the Chronological Bible through the YouVersion app on my iPhone (I also own a printed version). I like it, but I’ve figured out that I prefer ‘skipping’ around like the ones that read a chapter in OT, a Psalm, and then a NT chapter. I’m going to use something like that for next year (still on my iPhone because it worked so great). I just wake up in the morning, open up the app with the reading plan already there, and read. Love it!

    • cycleguy says:

      I have heard about that CB but don’t have one personally. Used to I think but someone wanted to use it. 🙂 The OneyearBible does what you describe. Important thing is reading the Word. Thanks jason.

  4. lindaM says:

    Hi Bill,
    If I was reading the 2900+ page book (I like the pocket book sizes myself) I would choose a particular translation and read that as my main one for 2011. Then while reading my main translation I would use the other translations of the Bible in the 2900+ book to try and bring clarity to sections or verses of scripture that seem confusing. That’s the way I would do it personally.

    If I had been reading the ESV Bible translation already for several years, I might look at trying to read a different translation as my main bible in 2011. The bible translations that I have been using through the years are the KJV and NIV. I spent a year reading the Living Bible translation many years ago too. I like to get quite comfortable and familiar with a particular Bible translation before I feel like I want to switch and read another one. that’s just me.

    Right now I’m a slow reader of the Bible. I read my bible, meditate, and do a devotional booklet at the same time. I used a devotional day planner from The Bible League of Canada as my guide in 2010. I ordered another one for 2011. The whole format of this day planner for 2011 is different so I’m not sure if I will use it for all of the coming year or not.

    While I read the bible and meditate I may think of other scriptures and look those up as well at that time. I usually read whole chapters when I look up these ‘inspired scriptures’ so to speak.

    I’m undisciplined with memorizing scripture. I have to use a concordance most of the time to locate the scriptures that I am thinking about. That’s why I am very glad and thankful that God has people in the Body of Christ who have memorized scripture, or can find scripture without a concordance:) To each one he has given a gift right? 🙂

    • cycleguy says:

      Linda: Thanks for the suggestions. I can say however that since the ESV is my translation of choice it will always be front and center. I will never use the KJV. I am not sure if I stated that my goal was to spend the time in the NT this year so I will read it at least 4 times through this year. It is not for study but just to read. I may have confused the issue also. This is a parallel Bible with the 4 versions side by side. And for the record: the Living bible is a paraphrase. 🙂

      • lindaM says:

        Hi Bill,
        I don’t think you confused anything. I find that I can read something and put my own spin on it without realizing what I’m doing until after. (usually someone has to point that out to me)
        I don’t know if it happens because of my ‘colored glasses’ or my older age or my mind isn’t understanding the whole picture right away when I read.

        However, I want to say that I am functioning in the world and seeming to do just fine 🙂 At least as far as I know! 🙂

        God Bless, talk to you later.

        • cycleguy says:

          Linda: I reckon that is all we can hope you know? To be functioning in the world and seeming to do just fine. 🙂 Thanks for being a good sport.

  5. This is the first year that I have no plan or approach. O=
    Yup, no method, no approach, no schedule, no pressure…when I thirst for Him, I open His word and He speaks truth and life..sometimes I miss a day or two..sometimes I read for hours.
    Sometimes I read a verse and chew on it all day.
    My approach may seem flippant but for me it has opened up a whole new relationship with the Word of God.

    • cycleguy says:

      Julie: it doesn’t seem flippant at all. Each person must spend time in the Word as to how it fits for them. Your theme sounds like the song: “Word of God speak.”

  6. I plan to read the Klingon Bible this year (yes, there is one). Does that count?

    • cycleguy says:

      For you Jay I would say anything works. 😛 Go for it! I can say that because I have never seen a Star Wars movies or show so have no clue what the Klingon Bible is like. 😛

      • techgeek says:

        It is obvious you have never seen Star Wars…. or Star Trek for that matter…. 🙂

        Now perhaps a Wookie Bible … Then Star Wars may work 🙂

        Just giving you a hard time, and thanks for the laugh!

        • cycleguy says:

          So it seems I got my Stars mixed up. Does that mean I am star-crossed? With the kind of week you have had I am glad I was good for a laugh or two or three or…. 😛

  7. The Message? Yikes. You are a brave man, Bill, to even cast your gaze upon that….translation. The few times I have seen it, I get the distinct impression that Jesus is a surfer. Go figure.

    Psalm 119:11 and Hebrews 10:16 spring to mind.

    Love me some Word!

    • cycleguy says:

      Donald: not a translation…a paraphrase. I tried reading it once before and made it through the NT I think but could not handle the Psalms. Seemed to loosey-goosey. 🙂 Good verses. Thanks.

  8. Jim F. says:

    I will do as I have done which is each year I switch versions and read a different version. I am trying to figure out now what version I will be reading from. I have an affinity for obscure versions or off the wall versions/paraphrases that stretch me. So I am looking to see what I can find.

    • cycleguy says:

      Will be interesting to hear what version you do use Jim. I used to read a different one for a whole year also. I am doing that this year…only using 4. 😀 Keep me informed though. Have you read the ESV yet?

      • Jim F. says:

        I have read some of the ESV but have not used it for a year and it is on the “short list”. This Year I used the Natural Equivalent Translation – which is interesting and in doing some comparison it is very similar to ESV.

        Reading 4 per day could make Devotional Reading a huge part of your day 🙂

  9. I love the ESV but have many different translations that I use. I am looking forward to get my hands on the Klingon version soon. (yes there is one). Thanks for the encouragement to study His word bro’!

    • cycleguy says:

      When i study jay I also use many translations, often looking at everyone I have to find a way to say something clearly. Klingon though I will be without. But I will take your word for it!!!! 😛 They key to this post though is your last sentence.

      • For study I like to use my trusty Greek-English Interlinear Translation.

        If there really is a Klingon version , I would be interested in seeing it! Or better yet, an Elvish translation ala Lord of the Rings.

        Yeah, for study I use the big guns, but for daily fellowship and enjoyment, I stick to the NASB or even the NIV.

  10. I have used a parallel Bible for my Bible study for the last couple of years. I like being able to read each translation for the same passage so I can compare them. I usually find if I struggle with an understanding in one translation another helps me. I personally would read 2-4 of the same passage each day. It allows the comparison and many times gives you a new insight on parts of it.

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks for the input Danaye. When i study I do use different translations. When I just read I focus on that one. I try to separate my study from my personal reading time. It is not that I don’t seek inspiration and sometimes something will come that I will have to write down but for the most part I want them to be separate.

      • techgeek says:

        That’s an interesting distinction… reading vs studying… I find it very difficult to separate the two. I find myself reading, coming across something that I have not thought about in a certain way and chasing it as far as I can. Makes sitting and following a reading plan very difficult for me as I never know where the chase may end…

        • cycleguy says:

          you make a good point Ryan. My “view” is that I have to be careful that I don’t allow the need to study for sermons hijack my personal reading. Does that make sense? I have a little different spin that the layperson does in that I have to study to preach. 😮 I do find myself wandering at times and thinking “Oh man this will preach” but I do try to avoid that.

        • Ryan,

          I’m with you. I struggle comstantly with just simply reading. Tony & Kierstyn tell me it’s because I have to analyze everything and I usually do. Just the way I was raised but it has been beneficial in many ways, except trying to watch movies, read or listen to music where analyzing isn’t always appreciated :). That is when I usually get the “it’s just a……, just take it for what it is” line. 🙂

          • cycleguy says:

            See…brighter minds like you and Ryan don’t take things as simply as simple minds like myself. 🙂 I read. I watch. I analyze some. Try to guess some but not too deeply. I can picture “the look” coming from K. 😛

  11. Jason says:

    Well, my plan doesn’t involve reading in a year or anything of that nature (although I do read the Scriptures.) I get a daily podcast of the Bible in a Year reading and the first thing I do each morning is listen to it. I wake up, I cue the podcast on the Blackberry and listen to God’s word before I face the day.

    • cycleguy says:

      Not a bad idea to face the day with the Word already in it. That is part of the weaponry we are told to use. The important thing is to use the Word. Glad you do. Thanks Jason for the input.

  12. jay sauser says:

    I’ve not read the Bible chronologically yet. I’m thinking about trying that.

  13. Jan Frame says:

    Ashamedly I have to say that most days I have a difficult time making time to read the Bible, I know I should, but my mind is tired & I don’t feel I can concentrate, so I just tell myself I shouldn’t read it if I can’t give it my full attention. Those are probably the times when I should be reading it! So I haven’t even thought of my bible reading for 2011, I’m trying to work on the rest of 2010. I need a bible marked by the days, that way I would know what to read each day. And, part of my problem is that I don’t always understand what I’m reading. Any suggestions?

    • cycleguy says:

      Jan: A OneYear Bible is a good thing to use. It divides the Bible up into sections for each day. If you want to read just the NT, for example, it will give you the Scripture to read for that day. I have one you can have if you would like. I can give it to you when you visit again. LOL