Originally Posted 21 December 2009 at www.plimtuna.com
In 2000 there were few blogs on the internet. In 2008 there was an estimated 112,000,000. So why in the world would I feel the need to create one more? What do I have to share that someone else might be interested in following? What is so important that I would invest time in telling others about it through this blog?
Let me start at the beginning. My first experiences of any religious training must have come when I was maybe seven or eight years old. I know about this not so much from actual memories but more from the evidence I have. I have a 40 year old Bible with my name in it. It is a bible that has a flyleaf filled with about 30 gold stars and some smiley faces. It is a Bible that must have been given to me when I went to a church in my first neighborhood. Some long forgotten Sunday school teacher must have given it to me and I must have attended regularly as indicated by the gold stars on the flyleaf. Later in my early teens I did spend a week each summer at a Unitarian Universalist summer camp with my father. Unfortunately, I have no memories of the Bible being integrated in that program at all.
As I grew into a teen, I still had that first Bible. I actually read some of it. I did not read it to gain great spiritual insights; I read it to read the ridiculous stories and fables. I read it to challenge my religious friends who laughed at my insistence that there was no God. I would challenge them to defend the quirky stories of the Bible. “How can you believe in a religion that says that walls fall down just because an army marched around it for a few days and then blew trumpet?” Or “Do you really believe He walked on water?” I thought I was a budding scientist (Geology) and I was convinced that reading things for myself I could better refute the teachings of man. I had even come to embrace the Marxist idea that religion is the opiate of the people used by the rich and powerful to keep the workers sedated and compliant.
That all changed one Fall one a close friend died and I come to realize that inside of me was a strong desire to believe that there must be a God. A God I did not yet understand, but a God. So, being a budding scientist I thought the best way to learn about this previously unknown God was to study the book about Him. I dived head first into The Bible. I read the Gospel of John and then Mark’s version. I moved in the Acts of the Apostles and onto the letters of Paul. For variety I looked for famous passages like Genesis 1 and Psalm 23. I even attempted a dive into The Book of Revelations. Of course I had to read the two books that carried my name I & II Timothy, while reading them a key verse jumped out at me. II Timothy 3:16:
What I was looking for was knowledge that I could use in my new relationship with God. I did not want my faith to be built on ignorance and blind acceptance of what other’s told me. I wanted to check it out myself. I needed to read it, meditate on it and apply its truths to my life.
That change from reading the Bible for derision to reading the bible for personal growth and edification occurred in less than a month. I was now fully committed to learning all I could. I studied it with pleasure and joy. Soon a friend challenged me in my new found love. He asked me to join him in a goal. Our goal for 1983 was going to be to read through the whole Bible in a year. We were on a joint mission. We were going to challenge and encourage each other to read every book, every chapter, and every verse of the Bible in the time span of one year.
I wish I could tell you that we were successful. We weren’t. I made it to early summer until school let out for the year and then the carefree schedule of summer vacation took its toll and the reading program suffered. Since 1983 I have tried to read through the whole Bible in a year seven times. I have legitimately succeeded only once. I typically got lost in the Major Prophets.
My goal for 2010 is to try again. But this time I want to try and do this with a group of men; men that will agree that they too value The Word of God and value the goal of reading the whole Bible in a year. I want to be the man that challenges others to make their first trip through the entirety of God’s Word. I also want to be the man that has men around him encouraging him to make the complete journey.
As 2010 draws closer, will you join me in this endeavor? Will you invite others to come on our adventure? Will you commit to reading through the entire Word of God in one year? If you can commit please let me know and I will put you on the list of men committed to the journey.
My next entry will give you some tools for the journey.