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Friday, January 9, 2009

Bible in a Year Track #4 Reading Response

The system I cooked up with this push pins is really confusing, which I thought I saw with clarity while I was creating it. I wonder if something is in that statement or observation. 

While we were reading I felt convicted that we should be getting to know more about God through this reading, but I felt so compelled, so self-forced to do it, that I felt like I might be sinning. I think apart of it was that in the run up to reading the Scriptures, I 'had' to get this post online to let others know. But I guess the issue could have been, for whom was I reading to not be lying to my web followers, or was it to glorify God by reading and listening to his word. Aaron continues to have doubts while he is reading which is strange. Just last night we read in Genesis that Hebrew circumcision ritual was to be performed on the eight day after birth, and Aaron was perplexed. He said to me that he had heard that it was seven days, then the most perplexing thing happened, I think he was doubting the Word of God in front of him, not the random stranger that told him differently. I wanted to launch into this entire 'sermon' on having a proper grid for authority, and while developing that the Word of God is placed at the highest point. I refrained, or was too lazy to pursue him, but I feel that is first time through Scripture, he is having a lot of doubts about it which are troubling him. This first time through, I wanted just to cover a lot of ground initially, a lot of questions about Scripture are answered within itself, so I felt like reading things straight through would give him a proper basis for even trying to investigate the claims.

Let me know what you think and be in prayer for this endeavor.

Christ's love,
joshua

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bible in a Year Track #4

Genesis 16 - 18 / Mark 6 - 11 

No Psalm for this evening

we are a little behind in the NT, but hey whatever, read at your pace, we will do this together

Christ's love


Bible in a year Track #3 Reading Response

Yesterday, Aaron, Corey and I sat down and did our Bible reading. We got into an awesome conversation about the inerrancy of Scripture. We started to read Mark and several things got us asking about the differences in the translations we were reading out of. 

Aaron is currently using the ESV version.
I use the NASB.
We loaned Corey a NLT.

Though the ESV and NASB are very similar, there are a few different situations of style situation, but where it differs, there were concerns amongst us. In the ESV, they very conservatively make any pronouncements texts that they are not sure of. There are several places where even insignificant words are set apart and let known that the translators aren't entirely sure what word is correct. Aaron pointed out a situation where there was a confusion over an [of] or an [and]. This level of present the evidence fairly and leave it up to the reader is a very encouraging level of commitment to the truth. 

The Gospel of Mark was the first gospel Aaron and I read together, and going back through this time, and Aaron is much more attentive and teachable than the first circumstance. I praise God every single day for Aaron's change of heart and mystified by God's timing and majesty. Reading the Gospel of Mark, I think has a special place in Aaron's heart, which I am awe-struck by. 

Psalm 4 rocks by the way. It is a wonderful representation of the Gospel, where early in the poem there is a call for repentance, and then the end is an awesome encouragement and healing passage. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bible in a Year Track #3

Beginning again afresh the new outlook looks like this.

Genesis 13 - 15

Mark 1 - 8

Christ's love for an easy day,

joshua

Bible in a Year Track #2 Reading Response

fter a small trial, not an all and out set back, but definitely through the Holy Spirit, and a God that brings His people through trials. Catching up on the reading schedule Genesis 4 - 12 Psalms 2 & 3 Matthew 10 - 28 Aaron and I sat down and caught up on our reading. We had an awesome time with Scripture and the Lord's presence. Genesis 4 - Cain's sin stains us all with pride and jealous. Genesis 5 - Watching God's plan to redeem mankind through His Son's death come through Adam's line. Genesis 6 - God watches as his creation is corrupted by man's sin and God's plan through grace to save everyone through one person, sound familiar. Genesis 7 - God's Word revealed to humanity through archaeology and strict obedience to God's provisions and plans. Genesis 8 - God delivers on his promise. Some thing that occurred to me during the reading of this chapter is what did Noah's wife think about this time, it has been 5 months since they have seen land, and she has to believe her husband that everything is going to return back to normal. I wander how many times his people asked him to send out the raven. Genesis 9 - God's first covenant with man is awesome. Genesis 10 - Again syncing this geneology with the one in Luke chp. 1 is amazing to see even through out the Old Testament lines of people that were cursed stayed pretty well cursed, and those that were blessed flourished at times. Genesis 11 - The story of the Tower of Babel is hilarious, read it for yourself and focus on the phrasing of certain things. Genesis 12 - Abram's obedience to a 'foreign god' truly shows God's power and majesty and specific plan for the redemption of humanity. A small but specific observation from the readings of the Psalms 2 & 3. Aaron was struck by God's wrathful axiom in Psalm 3:7 'I will shatter the teeth of the wicked.' Usually we read the Psalms reading before we read the OT reading, and obviously the NT reading is last. So, at least for this first time through the Psalm we are seeing a lot of correlation between our selected reading schedule. In this passage, we are introduced to God's wrath and David's call for God's wrath on his pursuant. We saw God's wrath poured out onto mankind in The Great Deluge, but also God's deliverance plan for all mankind represented in Jesus. Another small but specific observation from the reading in Matthew was the curses that were still in place that were ultimately and finally for all time lifted by Jesus, the one man savior for all time for all peoples everywhere who like Adam was created perfect and though unlike Adam kept sinless and overcame the enemy's temptations. The curse I am specifically thinking of was that of the Canaanite woman who approached Jesus in Mt 15:22-28. I had just reminded Aaron as we were reading through some of the 'dry' genealogies in Genesis to keep an eye out for some of these names that reoccur, and what their connotations. We see that this woman was so aware of her station as separate from Israel that she openly accepted the fact that jesus would consider her people dogs, and she was humble enough to pursue healing for her daughter in the face of degradations. Jesus was aware of the curses set forth from Ham all the way up to their present reality, and tested her pride. She could have been offended, and flailed back and jesus out of anger, but she humbled herself to these abuses, turning the other cheek practicing what Jesus set forth in the Sermon on the Mount. I love God's cleverness and plan worked out in Scripture.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bible in a Year Track #2

Genesis 4 - 6/ Matthew 10 - 18

There is no Psalm today. Post your responses to the readings, or to my responses or whatever, this is totally free reign. If there are any tips on how to spread this blog let me know, I would love to get this reading schedule out to people. I liked the first day. It was challenging but beneficial definitely.

Christ's love
joshua

Reading Response to Track #1

Completed Genesis 1 - 3/ Matthew 1 - 9/ Psalm 1

Aaron and I read Genesis 1-3 and Psalm 1 together earlier this evening, and I was reminded of God's awesome plan for creation. We learn a lot about the basic nature of sin in this interaction between God and man. Man sins due to countless motivations, but I think what God showed me in this situation was Adam's reaction to sin. He hid from God, which is comically ironic, but Adam was ashamed of his actions and hid. Adam, immediately after he ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, knew that what he had just done was wrong - obviously the fruit was labeled correctly and delivered the desired affect. I mean think about it. God designed this scenario. In God's justice, He created a decision for Adam to make. He placed the tree in the middle of the Garden, allowed the serpent to tempt Eve, and Eve pursuades her husband to eat. Everything in the situation pointed toward Adam's ownership of his actions. There was no way out. 

I always come to this situation thinking, maybe I would have handled it differently, or maybe Adam wanted a do-over or something, but he couldn't God set it up to depend on this one decision. I mean think about it. Adam wasn't fooled, he could have rebuked Eve for sinning. Eve might have been tricked or fooled, but Adam could step back and take in the whole situation, and think critically about what had just happened in front of no less, examining the fact that in the NASB it says that Eve handed the fruit to her husband who was there with her. So, when we analyze the situation further we understand God's justice. Think of this, going ahead with the idea that God allowed all of this to happen, you might say - 'hey Adam didn't know what he was getting himself into' - well, as soon as he ate from the tree he did. The evidence for that is Adam's reaction, not about shame of nakedness, but of hiding from God. If Adam was all that confident about what he had just done, he wouldn't have hid it from God. He would have gotten up and said, 'this is awesome, I'm gonna go tell God about this awesome fruit He gave us.' Adam was afraid of God's reaction. Adam knew, at least now, what he did was wrong. God didn't punish anyone for doing something they didn't understand, God is just, and He punish everyone involved because they were all completely responsible for what they did. Adam sinned then he had a secret. He hid his secret, and had to sin some more to keep his secret. 

How many times do we do something we are ashamed of then immediately try to hide the evidence, from whom? God sees everything. Why do we hide it? So we don't get caught, then someone yells at us. Well if we deserve to get yelled at for it, then we should take the yelling, but we don't because it hurts our pride. It takes humility and integrity to take the consequences of our actions. If we don't bow to the consequences of our actions it might be because we find ourselves as some exception to the rule, because we think we are so awesome that the rules should broken for us. Adam hid, and even if I might not have taken from the tree *that is a strong strong maybe* I most definitely would have hidden from God. I hide from God everyday, but everything that is done in secret will be revealed. 

There were some awesome dialogue about Matthew 1 - 9. Corey, Aaron, and I stopped at chapter 9 because we had really had some great conversations about everything up to that point, that reading further wasn't going to get any better, possibly. One common theme that really came up in our dialogue was the reason for Jesus to give the Sermon on the Mount so soon, and why it is so long. One small reason I put forward for the Sermon on the Mount was because Jesus was looking forward to the Cross. Jesus references the Ten Commandments throughout the Sermon, what if Jesus was setting the stage for the importance of the Cross. The Ten Commandments were so important to these people at this time and space, that the Pharisees created the 612 laws to keep the Commandments holy. Jesus knows that people are trying to perfect themselves according to the Law, and like the rich man that came later says that he has kept the commandments. Jesus comes and is astounished by people actually trying to keep this laws and tally themselves up against them. Jesus comes and says that the Ten Commandments were given to you so that you may justify yourselves according to the law, but that the law would show you how sinful we are. What if that is what Jesus is doing here at the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is outlining the most difficult system of rules to follow in all of human history. Jesus knew were trying to conquer the Ten Commandments, so He came to give us a harder yoke, knowing that these commands would sure show people how poor we actually are, and how much we have to depend on God.

I didn't get done reading the Sermon on the Mount and say 'let's get to it,' I got done and said, 'I will never be able to any of this, especially all of it,' - 'i'm gonna need help,'

I hope anyone of this was helpful for anyone to read at all...let me know what you think..

Christ's love,

joshua

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bible In A Year Track #1

Reading for today -
Genesis 1 - 3/ Matthew 1 - 10/ Psalm 1

For anyone who can't do the math, there should be 365 of these, so if I miss one, let me have it, unleash blogger flaming like no body's business. 

Anyways, I want to read the entire Bible, I mean the whole book in one year. I hear this is a common ambition. There are even Bible's in publication that specialize in these things, there are published tracks, there are devotional guides, if anyone knows me - I am too cheap or maybe too lazy to get something like that. So I devised my own plan, and I have a big ol' board to prove it.
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Here is how it breaks down ok...

2.5 Chapters of the Old Testament a day (that is everyday for those who are keeping track at home)
10 Chapters of the New Testament a day

1 Psalm every other day
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More Stats on the Bible

66 books in the whole Bible
-39 in the OT/27 in the NT

1189 Chapters in the whole Bible
-929 in the OT/260 in the NT
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My math breaks down like this

929 (# of Chp. in OT) divided by 365 (# of days in year) = 2.5 - so by that calculation all that one has to do is read 2 to 3 chapters a day, very easy, to read the entire Old Testament (not our plan)

260 (# of chp. in NT) divided by 365 (# of days in year) = well it's not important, the discrepancy is glaringly obvious, you would be reading like a couple of verses a day to complete it in a year.

So I Decided to Mix it up a bit. My brother Aaron is a new believer and is fairly unchurched so to speak. Starting Bible in a Year with him and taking half to 2/3 of the year going through the Old Testament would be profitable, but I wanted to maximize profitability. So I decided to read the Old Testament and New Testament simultaneously, and through in a Psalm every so often.

So My plan is to 

Read the Old Testament slowly ask questions, ask questions of you people here online, chew on these ancient text, and see what we can digest together. 

Read the New Testament hyper fast. If my calculations are correct, we can read the NT - 12 times this year. At 10 chapters a day, it will be very easy to finish the NT in one month, instead of one year. So we can finish the New Testament in a month, have a break to finish up the book we need to in the Old Testament, and start fresh the first day of the new month.

Read a Psalm every other day - the reason being that I would like to through in some encouragement and pace changer every so often. There are 150 psalms that roughly breaks down to skipping a day we are done in early November with Psalms. Which is good because December is heavy on the chapters of OT.
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By Month Books of the Old Testament

January - Genesis/Exodus

February - Exodus/Leviticus/Numbers

March - Numbers/Deuteronomy/Joshua

April - Joshua/Judges/Ruth/1st Samuel

May - 1st Samuel/2nd Samuel/1st Kings

June - 1st Kings/2nd Kings/1st Chronicles

July - 1st Chronicles/2nd Chronicles/Ezra

August - Ezra/Nehemiah/Esther/Job/Proverbs

September - Proverbs/Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs

October - Isaiah/Jeremiah

November - Jeremiah/Ezekial

December - The Rest of the Books - Minor Prophets
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Break down of readings from the New Testament (rough outline for monthly process)

Day 1- Matthew Chp  1-10
Day 2- Matthew Chp 11-21
Day 3- Matthew Chp 21-28
Day 4- Mark       Chp 1-10
Day 5- Mark       Chp 11-16
Day 6- Luke         Chp 1-12
Day 7- Luke         Chp 13-24
Day 8- John         Chp 1-10
Day 9- John         Chp 11-21
Day 10- Acts       Chp 1-10
Day 11- Acts       Chp 11-20
Day 12- Acts       Chp 21-28
Day 13- Romans Chp 1-8
Day 14- Romans Chp 9-16
Day 15- 1st Corinthians Chp 1-8
Day 16- 1st Corinthians Chp 9-16
Day 17- 2nd Corinthians Chp 1-12
Day 18- Galatians/Ephesians
Day 19- Philippians/Colossians
Day 20 - 1st & 2nd Thessalonians
Day 21 - 1st & 2nd Timothy/Titus/Philemon
Day 22 - Hebrews
Day 23 - James/1st & 2nd Peter
Day 24- 1st, 2nd, & 3rd John/Jude
Day 25- Revelations   Chp 1-10
Day 26- Revelations Chp 11-22
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