Updated: Dec 6, 2021
How are those January reading goals going for you, friends? Are you MARCHing right along or need some encouragement ?
I thought I'd share a couple of resources that are new to me and might help you tweak your Bible reading plans if you need a little boost.
Sometimes simply finding a good highlighter to try a new coloring system is all you need if you've already got a routine in place. My sis-in-law recently gave me a set of these Mr Pen highlighters* and I like how smooth they are. (They are a bit waxy, so it will limit additional layers of pen/colored pencil on them.)
I also like the Mr Pen fineliners for underlining or jotting notes in the margin. They don't bleed through but do shadow a bit on the back of the page.
Mix it up a little
Grab an accountability partner! Some churches have a reading challenge for the whole congregation...or maybe your Bible study group is doing one where you'll have more face-to-face accountability. One year I did a "Read the Bible in One Year" challenge with my 13-year-old. Even though we weren't reading it at the same time, it was nice knowing that we were reading the same part of the Bible each day.
Read a different translation of the Bible. A change in the flow of word cadence and phrasing can provide you with a unique flavor to draw you into the Word in a new way.
Try a new reading plan strategy. I've read the Bible cover to cover, slugging my way through the Old Testament then the "lighter" New Testament. This year is my first time to read through the Bible chronologically. Have you done this? What do you think about this reading strategy?
Are you an auditory learner? Find a Bible reading app you like and listen to the Word being read to you. You can follow along in your Bible or Bible Quilt as you listen.
Or maybe you want an auditory summary?
I chose the Bible Recap app for my chronological reading plan. They have a variety of reading plans available, so just pick which one suits your current season of life the best. After I read the daily 2-3 chapters, I listen to that day's podcast summary. Adding the sensory element of listening to my routine really helps solidify what I've just read. I get some different insights and feel like I've had an external "check-in" to stay on track since it loads a new summary daily and my phone tells me "all caught up!" Simple, but somehow it works! Who needs Netflix when there's so much murder, mayhem, and plagues in the Old Testament???
Auditory + Video Overview of Each Book of the Bible:
Check out The Bible Project if you'd like to see an illustration explaining the layout of each book and the main themes. I'm fascinated by how much info they pack into these brief video segments. I typically watch the overview of the book of the Bible I'm about to start as a "primer" to provide me with context. This can be a great way to engage the whole family or pique kids' interest. I noticed there's a series on "How to Read the Bible" that might also be helpful.
Maybe a new Bible would spark your interest?
She Reads Truth Bible - I'm exploring this as an option. There's a featured verse that is nicely calligraphied before each book as well as a snapshot of the timeline, message & purpose as a great prep before you read. It has a reading checklist built-in for each book, too.
CSB Chronological Bible This version has the books put in chronological story order. The author has divided up the readings so that you can read select chapters each day and complete the entire Bible in a year by reading six days per week. The seventh day has a very brief review of the week and helps keep one on schedule if you miss a day.
Use a Visual checklist to track your progress
Whether you use a checklist or write the date in your Bible that you've read a certain passage, it helps to reinforce this as a routine and provides you with a visual way to track your progress.
I added a coloring element this year with the Bible Reading Tracker template. One of my local friends is adding the date to her page as she finishes each book.
I've formatted the design into a standard template size for the original BQJ and also an 8.5 x 11 printable that can be used a variety of ways, including as a coloring sheet if you've got children/grandchildren that are learning the books of the Bible.
Then I got a request from a sweet Bible Quilter in Michigan for a smaller version. This 5 x 7 size of the Bible Reading Tracker can be tucked into your Bible:
If you aren't able to meet in person at your church where you'd have regular fellowship, maybe this is a season to try an online community? Sojo Academy* is one that I've tried personally and enjoyed the monthly studies as well as the virtual fellowship/accountability. You can try a one-hour study they offer.
My friend, don't be discouraged. We're all going to have different rhythms and unique approaches to this. You can start and re-start Bible reading anytime. The Lord will meet us wherever we are, however we choose to get into His Word. His immeasurable grace awaits us. He has a plan for each of us and will equip us whatever that may be. Our part is showing up to receive what He has in store for us.
"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8
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