I just fulfilled a personal goal of mine that I’ve been working diligently towards for two whole years.

I just finished reading the Bible.  Yep, the ENTIRE thing, for the first time ever.  And yes, I started it on January 1, 2008, so that means it took me 2 YEARS to get through it.  I read it every night before bed, one or sometimes more chapters a night.  I had planned to read it in a year, but I was following my own schedule and not one of those printable ones and around October of 2008 I realized that I wasn’t even close to getting through the whole thing, so I reset my goal at 2 years, and now it’s done.  And I am proud (which I shouldn’t be, as the Bible warns against being proud) and happy.

As a life-long Christian (I was saved as a small child), I really should have read it before.  I am ashamed that I hadn’t.  I had read parts of it before, large chunks, and I’d set out to read the whole thing before, but I had always gotten distracted and moved on to other things.  Some of the Bible was really interesting (the Gospels, Genesis, Acts, the Psalms…) and some of it was really dry and hard to get through (Numbers, some of the old prophets).  Some of it was scary, some of it was really hard to understand, and some of it was beautiful.

As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the best things I’ve ever accomplished in my life.

Through it all I felt God right alongside of me.  Over and over again I would read something and the next day it would be the sermon in church, or it would be relevent to my life right then.  I felt like God had set those moments up and I loved it, especially because there was no rhyme or reason to how many chapters I read a night, and yet it just kept happening.  (Because God sees the whole picture at once and knew, even if I didn’t, where I’d be in the Bible each day).  It was really neat.

One time, I was reading a chapter in Isaiah that I didn’t understand at all.  I finished it and it was like I’d read gobbledegook.  I rolled my eyes and closed it and scoffed and said as an aside, “Well God, I didn’t understand THAT at all!  If you want me to get it you’re just gonna have to explain it to me because it was over my head!”  And then I went to sleep.  The next day, we went to a seminar on prayer at our church.  I wasn’t interested in going, really, but I went (more out of obligation than interest) anyway.  When we got there, the visiting preacher started preaching out of Isaiah.  I went, “Hey.  I recognize that!  I just read it last night!  That’s the chapter I didn’t understand and I challenged God to explain it to me…”  This preacher went on to explain the entire chapter thoroughly and I got it.  I almost cried because I knew that this lesson was specifically for me.  As an answer to my off-the-cuff prayer.

These last two years have been FULL of moments like that.  Just for me.  He loves ME, THAT much.

He loves YOU that much too.  He loves EVERYONE that much.

Tomorrow, I am starting all over again.  But this time, I’m going to be reading a study Bible and the Message so I can understand things better.  I’m not a scheduley kind of gal, so it might take me three years this time, but I’m going to perservere.  I’d love it if others wanted to start reading it tomorrow (new year, new decade, new YOU!) right along side of me.  If you’ve never read it before, it’s sooo worth it, and if you have, why not read it again and refresh yourself?  Hear that sound?  It’s God calling your name.  This message is for YOU.

As I’ve stated before, this has not been an easy year, but it has been a blessed one, and I look forward to the brand new year with joy.

I love a clean slate…

I’ll close with one of the neatest images I read in the Bible.  They’re probably my favorite verses just because I love the imagery.  It’s from Job.  Job 38:12 and 13, NIV version, to be specific.  The Lord is speaking to Job after his whole plight.

“Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?”

Shake the wicked out of it?  How cool is that?!

New toons start back up tomorrow morning.  One a day on weekdays.  I’m going to really try.  Or to paraphrase Yoda, “There is no try, only DO.”

Happy 2010 to your and yours from me and mine!