I was inspired by my cousin to write more of what God is showing me in my spiritual life. Not to boast or preach, but to 'think out loud', and for myself to see my growth more clearly.
I came to the realization about 7 year ago that no matter what else I did with my life, my foundation MUST be firm, and that foundation had to be the Bible. Now, I'd read through the Bible and memorized lots of verses and knew all the stories. But I didn't really KNOW the Bible. There is a difference you know.
I was blessed to have a woman's Bible study that was doing Kay Arthur's Precepts studies. I did 4 or 5 of them over the course of 5 years and was amazed at how much more the Bible had to say, once you scratched the surface. After learning the general principles of Bible study, I decided to implement them on my own. So after reading through the Scripture over the course of a year and praying and reading, I decided to take the next 4 years to study it again, using the John MacArthur method. I don't like methods as a rule, but they are great for hints and tips. I can't seem to find it on-line anywhere.
But, his method, based on his own study (my FIL also used it and highly recommended it), is basically this:
Every day, I read 3-5 chapters of the OT. Reading it straight through, with normal life interruptions, I should have read it through approximately 3 times in 4 years. During that same time, I also read from the NT. For that, he has you pick a shorter book, or a portion of a longer book, and read that daily for a month. And he suggests switching between long books and short books, just for the change. And doing that, I should read through the NT entirely (30 times each section) in the 4 years. I love that idea.
I find I spend approximately 30-45 minutes in the Word daily. And I am a morning person, so I enjoy doing it when I first wake up, while doing static exercises on my exercise ball.
I feel it will give me a good overview of the Bible, which is where I really feel I need to be right now. And then I hope to dive into each book/section more thoroughly. But my brain needs the big picture first.
So, while I have not been as faithful as I wish I was, I am happy with how I am progressing. Rather then worrying about getting it all done in a certain time, I just want to see myself being disciplined and growing spiritually and heading towards my goal. Progress is good! I started in November of 2009. I love that I read the NT and OT daily, while getting more acquainted with the NT and it's theology. The OT tends to be more stories (tons of theology, don't get me wrong), so it's an ideal study format for beginning Bible studiers like myself. Yes, I consider myself a beginner.
I also have as resources, these two books and I read about each book before I start to read the actual Bible. I find it helpful.
The MacArthur Bible Handbook
Talk through the Bible (mine is an older version)
I look forward to getting to know the God of the universe better, as I read and study His book to all mankind. As a friend said, his love letter to me. :) What woman in love does not read and reread a love letter from her lover and best friend?