Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bucket List: Little Progress but 1 Big Step in the Right Direction

The Bucket List
A guest pastor at church focused his sermon around the topic of Bucket Lists.... Lists of things people want to accomplish before they die, made popular in the 2007 movie, The Bucket List.  This reminded me that I haven't thought about mine for awhile, and wasn't even sure if I'd made much progress in checking things off.  (Click here, or on the tab above, if you'd like to see my Bucket List.  Whereas it might be more convenient to read, I don't want to copy it onto this post, because it's so long.)  

When I pulled it up to look at it, I can only find one new thing that I've done.  I made my own Yogurt, but I haven't kept it up at all.  Just that one time.
I've also made steps toward things like exercising and reading more, but I'm not too consistent in those areas, either.  I've done reading about raising chickens, and definitely have that in mind for next spring. 

Other items, like improving my garden and adding more veggies to our family's diet, are on-going, but not anything I'd call accomplished.

Some things I'd completely forgotten writing down.  Adding daily devotions and Bible reading to my life was not one of those.  I've thought of this goal often, and started in several different ways.  I tried reading the Bible from the beginning.  I tried reading in various places.  I've tried searching out verses in books I knew, but hadn't studied thoroughly yet.  
I also tried a more formal approach with a written study of the Gospel of Luke.  That was going fairly well until I lost the study book...

A combination of things led me to my latest attempt, which I think, is actually going to work for me.  As Christians, at least, we go through life hearing certain stories and verses over and over again, until we think we know pretty much all that's in the Bible...  Over time, though, I heard bits and pieces of stories and new verses of which I'd been unaware.  I was realizing that by hearing only the main stories and themes related in sermons and children's Bibles, I've been missing out.

I also realized that I was often struggling with my Bible reading, even with the New International Version, which has more plainly spoken wording than the King James Version I grew up with.  I found myself skimming over the wording, as if I was reading a text book.  This is a time and situation in which my skills and education in speed reading were not serving me well, and even though the wording was plainer, maybe I needed plainer yet to get me started.  The New Living Translation is supposed to offer a more conversational wording style, closer to today's books we are used to.

In researching to add a NLT (New Living Translation) Bible to our library, and hopefully, my daily reading, I found 2 whose descriptions and reviews interested me.  The first was the NLT Life Application Study Bible, which not only offered the easier to understand wording, but study notes and, an additional bonus, suggested ways to apply the information to our daily lives... which is not always easy.  

The other I found highly recommended, including by a non-Christian reviewer who was trying to investigate the Bible and Christianity for himself, was The One Year Bible NLT.  I had previously dismissed the idea of "Bible in a Year" type of books.  I'd had one that was written for kids but it was too abbreviated, and I found it difficult to keep on the date.  These books are always set up for the reader to begin on January 1st.  I missed a whole year by misplacing a book, and unreasonably thinking I had to wait until January 1st of the next year after I'd found it again.   When we did start it, I had trouble always keeping up with the dates.

That particular reviewer pointed out the problem with the reading by date, and recommended ignoring the dates and just reading it from the beginning, and each day you read, moving to the next reading.  Well, duh.  Why hadn't I thought of that?  He wished, and I agree, that they would just number the days and forget labeling by dates.  

I ordered both.  I was completely excited about the Life Application Bible, and dubious about the One Year Bible, but I'd found it used, so for a great price.  

 The One Year Bible arrived first.  I think that with prior Bible reading I had a tendency to read too much at a time; to bite off more than I could chew.  I've been finding these Bible readings to be VERY clear and in daily, digestible chunks.  The fact that every day has a reading from the Old Testament, a reading from the New Testament, a reading from the Psalms, and one from Proverbs is not at all confusing.  I find that it gives me a chance to consider just enough of each to get the point.  I find, also, that I'm reading each and every verse, rather than skimming to get more read.  I have found verses that take me to the computer to do my own research on their meaning or history.  I'm learning a lot, and it's interesting and fun.

The Life Application Bible arrived after I'd been reading the One Year Bible for over a week.  It's OK, and will serve as another reference or study tool when I get to a verse I don't understand or about which I wish to know more.  But now I'm very happy to have been led to the One Year Bible.  I miss a day of reading here and there.  But ignoring the date format, I just pick up where I left off, and read only one day at a time, not feeling any need to rush and catch up.  It's much better that way.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...