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Practice and Passion

June 22, 2011

I distinctly remember when I started reading the Bible regularly and spending time alone with God. I was about 13 and we were living in my grandparents’ unfinished basement because my dad was switching from a farming career to an insurance career.

Perhaps it was the uncertainty of that time that led me to get out my NIV Bible, journal, and “Our Daily Bread” and sneak away for some quiet in my grandmother’s mauve colored “good room.”

It was then that I began a practice that I’ve stuck with to this day. The daily feeding on God’s Word. The practice has become more of a passion with each year and I’m  thankful that even when I don’t “get much out of it” the practice holds.

It’s what gets me up each morning–desperate to spend time alone with God before the clamor of the day begins. Sometime around 6:00 a.m. it’s what pulls me from the comfort of bed. That and the aroma of percolating coffee.

Once coffee is quietly poured and mixed with sugar and half and half, I head to the deck on these summer mornings. I hope for a half an hour before the boys rise, if I’m lucky an hour. And that’s when I read God’s Word, pray, and work on the passage I’m memorizing. I watch the morning sun creep quietly into the back yard and listen to bird song.

Yesterday, I finished reading Revelation. Not that big of a deal, right? But by finishing Revelation I finished reading the entire Bible using the chronological reading plan. It was organized to be a one year reading plan, but mine was more like a year and a half. Or two years. Something like that.

It doesn’t matter how long it took me. I loved reading the whole Bible and this was the third time I’ve done so in my life. The chronological plan was really interesting because it helped me place everything in the correct timeline. For instance I read Job in the middle of reading Genesis. And the Psalms that correspond to David’s life were mixed in with his story. This method helped me gain an overarching view of the Bible and identify  it’s theme of redemption and grace through out.

I’m looking forward to taking a different approach in the next few months though, with a Bible study by Elizabeth George up next and then I’m considering Nancy Guthrie’s The One Year Book of Hope as my Bible study aids. I’m looking forward to taking more time with a single passage and a specific theme and slowly soaking up all the details and nuances of that particular scripture.

So this is my practice and my passion when it comes to God’s Word.

What’s yours? What are you currently reading in the Bible? How do you read it? When do you set the time aside and do you use devotionals of any sort? I’d love to hear about how you spend time alone with God.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2011 10:03 am

    I loved your description of your devotional life, and look forward to reading others’ responses. This is an area I’ve really fallen short in since my marriage. And the less consistent I am, the more guilty I feel and the less I want to open the Word. Right now I am looking for a good way to be consistent for this season, both a time and a method. I think I could benefit from a guided study, but I don’t want to rely too much on a devotional to the exclusion of focusing on Scripture itself. I may take a look at the chronological reading plan. With a newborn on the way, I’m sure I wouldn’t finish it in a year, but it might be a really good guideline.

    • June 22, 2011 11:46 am

      Anna, by writing this description, I don’t mean that I never miss or anything. I do. Sometimes the baby wakes up early or something. But when I do I MISS it and feel it’s lack all day. It wasn’t always that way for me but it is now, and it’s that feeling of need is what compels me each morning.

      For you, if you’re looking for something, I just started a study on Prov. 31 by Elizabeth George and it’s only 25 days and definitely is scripture focused as opposed to “devotional” (i.e. just reading another’s thoughts). Something by her might be a good guide for you to help yourself become more consistent.

  2. June 22, 2011 10:39 am

    I am really enjoying a Bible study by Kathleen Buswell Nielson on the book of Joshua. Like you, I read and journal. My journals are mostly prayers and insights I believe the Holy Spirit has given me on a passage, or points of application. For anyone who is struggling with consistency, I’d say not to look to have a “perfect record”, but just keep trying to establish the habit. If you miss a week or even a month, just get back on the quiet time wagon and keep going. Also, for me, having a specific time, place, and plan for reading is helpful. Wow, I think I’m passionate about this too, Danielle.

  3. Josh permalink
    June 22, 2011 11:05 am

    Great post lovie! I can attest to your faithful practice as well as the passion that drives it. What would we do without God’s Word?

  4. June 22, 2011 2:35 pm

    I have a similar practice. Unfortunately my passion waxes and wanes, but thank God His passion for me never does! My practice has been pretty steady for a couple of decades–coffee and Bible reading first thing in the morning. I do love to go out on the deck in my nightgown on summer mornings (we have a very private setting) . I can sing if I want and not disturb another soul (lest I be like the landlord we had once who whistled at 6 a.m. –yeh, HE was jolly but he messed it up for the sleeping ones). Anyway, I am in a rut right now, not systematically reading except to pick the day of the month (22nd) and read the 22nd chapter of Psams and Proverbs, plus a chapter from the NT. I’m actually in a dry time right now, so please pray for me. I know the joy of the Lord will return.

    Keep up the faithful practice. One of my children said that seeing me read scripture alone in the morning did more to inspire his passion for God than any other thing. So that’s encouraging considering his zeal for God now!

  5. June 22, 2011 3:29 pm

    I find myself reading Psalms frequently. I just started a Bible study through church, Becoming a Woman of Simplicity so most of my readings are influenced by that for now.

  6. June 23, 2011 6:19 pm

    Clicked over from THC and I enjoyed reading this post. It made me think about the crazy story that goes along with me reading the Bible for the first time. . .one that I’ve never written about! Thanks for the idea.

    I finished the one year Bible last year and now I bounce around a lot. I’m currently in Matthew, but I must read in the mornings otherwise, I don’t read at all!

  7. Bethany permalink
    June 28, 2011 12:19 pm

    Loved this Danielle. I read it the other day when you posted but I was with a bad connection to leave a comment. Loving the Hope devotional this year as I have been through and still dealing with stuff. I also downloaded the youversion ESV bible on my iphone and it will read scripture to you. I love this especially being pregnant with a one year old that wakes up early. Many times I turn it on while washing dishes or in the afternoon as I lay down to rest and feel saturated in a way that has been different from reading it myself. It was what I needed during this time in my life.

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