Friday, December 30, 2011

Tips for using the Bookmarks Bible Reading Plan


It's been really fun to hear from people who are getting excited about Bible reading! For those who are going to use my no-dates, you're never behind,  Bookmarks Bible Reading Plan (my five bookmark lists can also be found at the very bottom of this post), I thought I'd copy in Grant Horner's Secrets to Success from his original Professor Grant Horner's Bible Reading System. I do recommend his original Ten Bookmarks plan though I'm not able to do that much reading during this season of my life. And his entire original article is worth reading for inspiration and understanding how I am using my bookmarks.

And now... The Secrets to Success
  • Read one chapter from each list each day; in one sitting or two. At the end of a book; go to the next book. At the end of the list; start it again. Do it in the order of the numbers on the bookmarks...1...2...3, etc. (Sara's note: He has stated other places that the order of the bookmarks is the least important aspect. I do like the order as it starts and ends in the New Testament and has poetry in the middle.)
  • Read quickly (without “speed-reading”) in order to get the overall sense. Read as fast as you comfortably can with moderate retention. You’re not studying deeply or memorizing; shoot for 5–6 minutes per chapter. At the end of a chapter, move immediately to the next list.
  • Get through the text— no dawdling, back reading, looking up cross-references!
  • There are different ‘kinds’ of reading: super-quick skimming, careful moderate-paced, studying the text, deep meditation. You should be between the first and second kind.
  • Most people decrease their time spent and increase their retention after just two-three weeks! I now read and retain the entire text of Matthew in 35 minutes, Romans in 20, Genesis in one hour!
  • Don’t look up anything you ‘don’t get’ — real understanding will come through contextualizing by reading a lot of scripture over time. Get through the text!
  • If you miss a day or two — ok, get over it, then keep going. Don’t cover yourself in sackcloth and ashes and quit! Move the bookmarks along, to find your place(s) quickly next day.
  • The goal of this system is simple, and twofold: To know scripture, and to love and obey God more!
SOLI DEO GLORIA
Professor Grant Horner

My favorite line is "no dawdling, back reading, looking up cross-references!" I've found my retention actually increases when I take that drastic advice. :)

And remember, my personal rule of "No catching up... and no guilt!" Just find the bookmark, read, and dwell in the Word right there where the Lord has led you for this particular day. Abide with Him and enjoy His unmerited grace!  Many times in the past few months, I've only headed for my "favorite" bookmark or whichever one sounds most interesting, and just read one chapter right before total exhaustion hits at bedtime (or I'm interrupted mid-afternoon as the case may be). I think that is fine! The Lord is speaking to us through all of His inspired Word–one verse, one chapter, or five chapters at a time. The Bible wasn't written with a calendar and schedule attached. The bookmarks are designed to be ongoing and rotating no matter the pace of reading.  I started this plan originally in July. . . no dates and no pressure. I just love that part.

Again ~ anyone who'd like my five bookmarks (see the bottom of this post), just please email me at sara.junkdrawer@gmail.com and I'll be happy to send you a pdf to print, cut out, and use (including instructions).

By the grace of our Lord Jesus, may we all be eager to enjoy the privilege of reading and dwelling in the Word, for our joy and His glory.

Blessings!

                                       ~Sara~


Sara's Five Bookmark lists, and the no-dates, you're-never-behind Bookmarks Bible Reading Plan can be found here . . .  Bookmarks Bible Reading Plan.

My original post on why FIVE Bookmarks, where the idea came from, and my thinking on it... can be found here.

(Sara's Five Bookmark Lists can also be found right below this picture of the bookmarks!)



Sara’s Five Bookmarks • 

Read one chapter per day, per bookmark. At the end of a book, start the next book on the bookmark. At the end of the bookmark list, go back to the beginning.  Use one bookmark, two bookmarks, or five - just keep moving the bookmarks a chapter at a time. If you miss a day or more… no catching up! Just find your bookmarks and dwell in the Word right where He has led you.

1. Gospels and Acts •  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts ( 117 chapters) 

2. Books of Moses and Psalms • Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Psalms • (337 chapters)  
Note: I recommend starting with Psalms if you are beginning this in January and you've tried many plans over the years - just to avoid reading Genesis again first, in the dead of winter.

3. Poetry and Prophets • Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi  • (312 chapters) 

4. Wisdom and History • Proverbs, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther • (280 chapters) 

5. New Testament Epistles • Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2 & 3 John, Jude, Revelation • (145 chapters) 

Email me at sara.junkdrawer@gmail.com if you'd like the Five Bookmarks .pdf  to print and cut out at home (plus instructions).

Bookmarks adapted from:
Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System – Ten Lists Plan
(Which I highly recommend if you can read ten chapters a day!) His system is fully explained in this document…. He encourages the sharing of his system and his bookmark lists :
 

Romans 15:5 ~
 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  



Thursday, December 29, 2011

'Tis the Season...for Bible reading plans?

'Tis the the season for me to try to figure out what plan to use for Bible reading in 2012.

Earlier this year I wrote about discovering, using, and enjoying Professor Grant Horner's Ten Lists system.  He has Ten Lists which can be turned into ten bookmarks that have you reading one chapter from ten different places in the Bible each day.  It's sounds chaotic and overwhelming at first, but there were many things I liked about his system.

A few favorites...

•No dates, so no feeling behind. No guilt for missed days! Just find your place, read, and keep going.  
         I repeat...no guilt!
•Variety of Bible book genres each day. (Gospels, Poetry, History, Prophets, Epistles, etc.)
•The "lists" are all different lengths so the Bible readings line up differently with each other over time, speaking to me in new ways and showing new (and exciting) things about God and His redemptive plan that is revealed and woven all the way through all the books.
•The lists put books in different seasons over time, again because the lists are of varying lengths. 
     If, like me, you have tried many reading plans over the years 
        and are quite tired of reading Genesis in January, 
             it is a real treat to have a plan that varies seasonally! 
•Plus, I really did enjoy reading in ten places.  It captured my attention and, surprisingly, I didn't have any trouble following the flow of things even in so many places.

BUT... I totally failed at finding (making) the time to read ten chapters a day once Summer ended.  And that was even before I discovered I was pregnant and had extra fatigue and (all day) morning sickness for the first time in many years.  Every time I did pick up my Bible, I was very happy to find the faithful bookmarks sitting there waiting for me so my fuzzy brain knew where to read, but I hardly ever got through all ten bookmarks in one day. 

Often, though, I could manage half the lists and finish up the next day.

So that gave me an idea.  What if I made my own book marks, my own lists, and I was only reading five chapters a day and still no pressure if I miss a day from time to time (or more often)?  Something that takes 20-30 minutes a day?

Just. Keep. Moving. Instead of giving up and thinking I need to wait and start all over again with Genesis and Matthew in January!

So, 'tis the season for me to make a plan to be in the Word in some systematic way this upcoming year and I've decided to stick with the bookmark type plan. I'm quite a ways in and will keep my place where I've been reading, but I've modified it to Five Lists which I've made into Five Bookmarks.  I'm giving all credit to Professor Grant Horner, because all I've done is combine his lists in a way that seems good to me, and possible during this upcoming season of my life.

For those who might be interested, I'm going to share my lists here - along with my no-dates, you're-never-behind, Bookmarks Bible Reading Plan.

Sara’s Five Bookmarks Read one chapter per day, per bookmark. (Or whatever you can manage - just keep moving the bookmarks at your own pace - one bookmark, two bookmarks, or five)

1. Gospels and Acts •  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts ( 117 chapters) 

2. Books of Moses and Psalms • Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Psalms • (337 chapters)  (I recommend starting with Psalms if you are beginning this in January and you've tried many plans over the years - just to avoid reading Genesis again first, in the dead of winter)

3. Poetry and Prophets • Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi  • (312 chapters) 

4. Wisdom and History • Proverbs, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther • (280 chapters) 

5. New Testament Epistles • Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter 1, 2 & 3 John, Jude, Revelation • (145 chapters) 

Email me at sara.junkdrawer@gmail.com if you'd like the actual Sara's Five Bookmarks .pdf  to print and cut out at home (with these instructions).



Note: One thing I have done this past year in using the bookmark system is make a tiny dot (.) at the end of each chapter when I finish it, so that if the bookmarks fall out (or are taken out, chewed, and ripped by a baby–as happened more than once to mine) or if I miss several days of reading, I can easily find my place and get going again. One of Professor Horner's strong suggestions is using the same Bible for reading all the time, and I like to read a paper (rather than digital) Bible so this (the tiny dot markings) works well for me.

My goal is NOT to get through these lists in one year, but just to read widely and consistently this year (and always) in the Bible.  Although if one did read these five bookmark lists consistently, one would get through all the Bible at least once, and the New Testament books at least twice ~ even skipping 28 days entirely. But, one of my own personal rules is "never try to catch up" just pick up and read where the bookmarks are, and abide in the Word that day by His grace.

I thought this a wise comment on Bible reading...

"I don’t want to master God’s Word. I want God, through his Word, to master me. And I’ve got a long way to go." ~Bob Kauflin, in his excellent and encouraging explanation of why and how he is using the Ten Lists plan. 


Most important to remember is that our Lord has called us to abide with Him, and yet nowhere in the Bible is there any requirement that anyone read through the Bible in one year or with any particular plan.  I do believe being in the Word brings joy, and allows us to abide in Him, and for this reason (among others) I desire a great hunger for the Word so that I may pursue it for love and joy, and not for duty.  


(For more tips on using the bookmark system...click here)

Lord, 
...In Your presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11. 
         Please, grant us that gift. 

                                                                 ~Sara~

*Professor Grant Horner's Original Bible Reading System, and his thoughts on it can be found here.

For a "just the plan, please" explanation my no-dates, you're-never-behind Bookmarks Bible Reading Plan (Basically, Sara's Five Bookmarks plus Instructions) go here.

Email me at sara.junkdrawer@gmail.com for a pdf of Sara's Five Bookmarks with instructions.

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