I had hoped to post more on this blog in 2018. After subbing, I had particularly wanted to share a lot of my frustrations for my fellow teachers with some constructive ideas for improving what subs are set up with, but as life stayed hectic, I no longer feel that it’s quite as valuable now that I’m in the trenches.
The start of my first year teaching has been an absolute adventure. I truly enjoy where I’m at, working with a staff that is flexible and always ready to help, and an administrative team that’s very supportive. My students are enjoyable to work with (and some read my blog!), and I look forward to growing through some of the challenges. Out of concerns for privacy, I probably won’t get too much more into detail about my school.
I wanted to write a few retrospectives on 2018, and the first of those I wanted to be on reading the Bible in a year.
One of my major resolutions for 2018 for a number of reasons was improving the balance of faith and the rest of my life. While I don’t want to sound as if I think I’m ‘done working on my faith,’ as it’s a lifelong journey, I do think I have gotten back to the place I need to be right now in life.
A lot of individuals in my church, and things beyond my control are responsible for this progress, but doing a Bible-in-a-year reading plan has allowed me to reaffirm everything I believe and receive the Holy Spirit, as well as growing in understanding of God. I’m inspired to write about it in no small part because of a post Craig McClellan wrote about his own faith on The Class Nerd (both the blog and podcast I recommend).
I highly recommend such a plan as a truly reasonable way to accomplish the task of reading the entire Bible. I felt that it was by and large clear enough to get through without any additional resources, though I appreciated some additional context reading many of the Epistles and books of the prophets. I was afraid that some books I would get bogged down in, but with a couple exceptions, I got the clarity out of this that I wanted.
Before I get in to some of the technical considerations of the plan I used, it’s worth talking about why this was so worth doing. There were all sorts of pieces of Scripture I couldn’t link together before reading it as a whole work. There are all sorts of messages that I can now pull, and so much context behind verses used as justification for things that I previously could not. I feel that the ability to piece together one’s whole faith is best done by reading the Bible in its entirety. While it was easy enough to get caught back up after a busy week got me behind, I can’t imagine trying to take on something of this size without a good plan for breaking it down.
The plan I used was “Eat This Bread” on YouVersion Bible. I wanted a plan that took the Bible from cover to cover, and this was the closest I was able to find. It mostly accomplishes this (while oddly putting Chronicles at the end of the Old Testament, and less oddly swapping John and Luke in the gospels.) It also breaks Psalms up into one per day on top of the rest of the reading rather than having you take the whole book through. While I like the idea of interspersing Psalms, it just paired the whole book down the line rather than picking readings that connected (e.g. day one was Psalm 1, day two was Psalm 2, starting over at Psalm 1 on day 151). The end result was that after I finished Psalms, I skipped the remaining Psalm per day. Doing the Bible in a year again, I’d love a plan that broke up Proverbs and perhaps other books in a similar way (though I preferred reading Ecclesiastes and most other Books of Wisdom straight through).
I liked the reminders and syncing between devices that YouVersion provided, and there were some times I liked the ability to have a few chapters read aloud. I wished I had a better app for reading the Bible though in a lot of ways though. YouVersion lacks the footnotes I’m used to (at least for the ESV), though I’m not sure what the best Bible app I could get for the ESV might be. I’ve seen several recommendations, but most of them are a bit of an investment, and I’m not sure which one fits all of my needs the best. Though YouVersion provided a lot of great features specific to this goal, I hope I’m using something else the next time I try to take the whole Bible in a year.
Just like reading an eBook, I found myself making highlights here and there, but my most meaningful notes found their way into Bear to be more easily referenced and combined with other notes.
I’m planning on covering a bit more for the end of 2018, and hoping that I can get to some of the other topics I’ve previously mentioned on here. Christmas break is a good time to just sit down and write, and when my renewal receipts came up for my site, I felt a bit bad that I wasn’t posting more.