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How to Read Through the Bible in 2014

Yesterday I suggested that we approach our Bible reading as a means of growing our relationship with God, rather than looking at it as something we’re supposed to do like eating our veggies and flossing daily. Yesterday, we looked at the right “why” of reading the Bible

Today, I want to look at the “how” of reading the Bible in 2014.

Assuming you have the right approach, knowing that you are eager to hear from your loving Father, how can you go about reading through the Bible in a year? Given the fact that there are about 775,000 words in the Bible and most people read about 200-250 words per minute, you can read the whole Bible in about ten minutes a day. Just saying, “I’m going to read the Bible for ten minutes a day.” may not be enough planning for everybody. So what is one to do?

Which Bible Reading Plan?

There are many ways to read through the Bible and none is the “best”. It comes down to asking what do you want to accomplish? Do you want to read through the Bible straight through from Genesis to Revelation? Do you want to read the Old and New Testaments together each day? Do you want to read the Bible in a more chronological way? Do you want to just read the New Testament? If you want to read just the New Testament, do you want to include readings from Psalms and Proverbs?

A few years ago, our church read through the Bible using a plan developed by the 19th Century pastor, Robert Murray M’Cheyne. The plan had four readings from roughly two chapters from the Old Testament and two chapters from the New Testament. M’Cheyne’s plan is tried-and-true, but many of us found it to be a bit disconnected and lacked continuity as we read a little bit from four different Bible books each day. You may want to try this plan; if you do, you might want to check out Donald Carson’s “For the Love of God” blog which adds a devotional commentary to the daily readings.

The next year, I chose the Blue Letter Bible’s reading plan that covered readings from the Old and New Testaments. We found it to be much easier to follow.

Last year, I thought it might be better to get a chronological view of the Bible, so we went with Dr. George Guthrie’s plan based on his book, Read The Bible For Life. I used YouVersion’s free Bible App (works with iOS, Android and web) because it keeps track of where I am in my readings. I found the plan to be ideal and will use it again next year, however the Bible Eater Plan looks interesting.

For other thoughts about Bible reading plans, I highly recommend you take a look at Justin Taylor’s very helpful blog post. and you can find even more Bible reading plans at your favorite online Bible resources.

Though I think most people underestimate what they’re capable of, there’s always The Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers.

Once you have chosen a plan, you need to choose a Bible. Some Bibles come with their own reading plans built in, such as the hugely-popular One Year Bible.

 

Which Bible Translation?

People used to be able to say that they couldn’t understand the Bible because they don’t understand all the thee’s and thou’s. Through its 400-year history, many believers have benefited from the King James translation of the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. I don’t know about you, but I don’t speak Elizabethan English like William Shakespeare did, and I have as many issues trying to understand the King James Bible as the next guy! I have briefly discussed modern Bible translations elsewhere on this blog.

Since you’re reading this on a computer connected to the Internet, you have access to many Bible translations in your native language on numerous websites, including YouVersion, Biblia, and BibleGateway to name a few.

So how do you know which one to use?

That depends on what do you want to get out of it. If you want to get the general “feel” of the message from the Scriptures, you may want to use the New Living Translation or the New International Version. If you want to get more specific about the words used to convey the message, you may want to use the English Standard Version.

 

Now what?

You know that the reason to read the Bible is to grow in a relationship with God. You know that there are many plans and translations to choose from. But please don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with all the choices. And don’t run out and spend a bunch of money on a fancy Bible. Ask God to guide you and then “get after it!”

This time next year, you’ll be glad you did; you’ll have a better understanding of who God is and how He works to bring people into a relationship with Him.

 

(Note: Some of the links on this page will take you to Amazon where you can purchase products. If you use these affiliate links, I will receive receive a small  commission for the referral.)

 

 

Millions of Accounts Compromised: Change Your Passwords!

OK, boys and girls. It’s time to change your passwords because hackers have compromised 2 MILLION accounts.

I know, I know…. it’s too hard to keep up with all your passwords, so you chose to use the same one for all of your websites. I know… I’ve done that, too.

According to news reports, accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Gmail (perhaps others?) have been compromised and the hackers may use the passwords to access your accounts.

You may ask, “So what if my Facebook password is compromised? I don’t have any important info there anyway.” If you’re using the same password across multiple accounts, a hacker could use your Facebook or Gmail username and password to access your bank account or other sensitive accounts.

What that means is that if you have an account with any of these services, you need to run (not walk) to your accounts’ settings and change your passwords  — change the passwords on *ALL* of these accounts. And don’t change them all to the same password (the most popular are “password1”, “1234567”, etc.). Even if you don’t have an account with any of these services, it’s important that you regularly change your passwords on your other accounts, as well.

 

So how do you come up with (and manage) different passwords?

I’m glad you asked!

I have recently begun using a platform-independent (PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android) and browser-independent (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, etc.) password manager that encrypts the information, and keeps it securely in the “cloud”. It’s called LastPass and it may be the last password you will ever need to remember, as it is capable of generating impossible-to-remember passwords for each of your accounts. It’s called LastPass. There are free and paid versions, but I doubt you’ll need the $1 per month version.

Before signing up for an account and installing it, head over to Steve Dotto’s video and and Steve Gibson’s audio get independent reviews about it.

After you install LastPass, remember to change your passwords periodically. Even an impossible-to-remember password can be compromised by a highly-determined hacker.

Again, log into your accounts and change your passwords. Do it now. You have been warned.

 

I’ve Never Seen that Before!

I have read through the Bible several times. Normally, when I get to all of the genealogies in 1Chronicles, I tend to wince and trudge my way through all the names. Perhaps it wouldn’t seem so hard to get through them if they had just named their kids normal names like Scott, Terry, Amy, or Sharon!

However, as I began to read today’s verses, I stumbled upon something I don’t remember ever seeing before:

Two sons were born to Eber. One of them was named Peleg because the earth was divided during his lifetime, and the name of his brother was Joktan. (1Chron 1:19 HCSB)

Tucked into all those names is a comment that almost sounds like a parenthetical remark. “Oh, by the way, the continents separated while during this guy’s lifetime.” WHAT???

Modern science tells us that Abraham Ortelius postulated the theory of continental drift in AD 1596. So how could the author of 1Chronicles(Ezra?) have known about continental drift some 1000 years before Ortelius? And then, as I looked into it, I discovered that Moses says the same thing in Genesis 10:25 when he wrote his account about 1000 years before Ezra!

Yet again, we see that God gently guided the authors of the Bible to record historical facts that wouldn’t be discovered until many years later (1Peter 1:21).

 

Application:

Do you believe the Bible is an outdated book? Do you have reservations about taking the Bible at face value? Only a Divine Hand could guide Moses and Ezra to write such profound statements so many years before they were “discovered” by modern science! Take up the Bible and eat! Psalm 34:8.

 

Mozy

I decided to go ahead and install Mozy. It looks like I should be able to benefit from its “set it and forget it” abilities.

If you’re interested in a free 2GB of backup, check them out. (affiliate link)

 

More Backup Problems

You would think that someone who’s worked with computers since the IBM compatible XT days (1990) would know something about backups … and would actually have a backup plan. Well, I have learned to practice what I preach.

A couple of weeks ago, I began to have problems with my laptop; it just happened to have “everything” on it. My backup plan was to occasionally copy my most important files to a backup directory on my D: partition (same hard drive). Even more occasionally, I would backup my backup directory to an external hard drive. My plan worked well until my hard drive decided to go belly up. Over the course of several hours and multiple reboots and automatic runs of chkdsk, my computer asked me for my Vista license key (not good!), which I entered. After many more reboots and automatic runs of chkdsk, I was finally brought to a Vista desktop. I maniacally began dumping data to my external drive and saved my backside (actually, it was a huge answer to prayer!).

A couple of weeks later, Best Buy finally returned my laptop to me. The laptop was under warranty, so at no cost to me, they had replaced a defective hard drive and motherboard. It took me over a half a day to get all my apps reloaded and my data restored. Now it was time to readdress my backup plan.

I installed Cobian Backup and scheduled a daily backup of my user directory (which I have learned contains all the data I need, if I use the default settings in my programs) onto a Backup directory on C:. Once a week or so, I’m going to backup my Backup directory onto my external drive. I will probably utilize several USB flash drives to facilitate “offsite” backups of my most important files. My hosting account includes “unlimited” storage and bandwidth, but they spell out in the Terms of Service that they don’t offer the “unlimited” storage so you can backup your hard drive. I’m still praying about the ethics of using Cobian to backup my most important documents and “working” copies of the websites I’m working on; that sure would be easier than keeping up with the flash drives.

Anyway, I generated quite a buzz on my FaceBook account asking my FB peeps what their backup plan was. I was referred to Mozy, which includes 2GB free storage. My only question at this point is, if I use Mozy, will I be able to access my files from an older desktop if my laptop crashes again. No answer yet from my friends.

All this to say, “So what’s your backup plan?”