Bible in 90 Days Spring 2011 (#B90Days): Week Twelve

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Only five days left!  
How are the Epistles going for you?

I’m excited to hear what kinds of new insights you’re gaining. Reading the New Testament so closely on the heels of the Old sheds new light on things, even on familiar passages and books! I’m really looking forward to hearing your concluding thoughts over the next week or two as the challenge wraps up. You might enjoy reading mine from when I first completed the challenge last fall

I know I say it every week, but I’ll say it again: no matter where you are on the schedule, stick with it and keep reading! God will bless your efforts, whether you finish in 90 days or not! And please email me if you’re discouraged or if there’s anything at all I can do to help. 

If you’re in my group (#21), don’t forget to check in on our page over at Mom’s Toolbox. This is how they’re officially tracking who is actually participating. You must comment on our page there to be counted as an active participant. As always, please email me if there’s anything I can do to help or if you have a prayer request. I’m praying for each of you individually, as well as for all who are reading along this time!

A few helpful links:

Bible in 90 Days Spring 2011 (#B90Days): Week Eleven

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So how does it feel to be in the New Testament? Reading the Old Testament in right at 2 months is quite an accomplishment! How did the last week go? If you’re on schedule, you should have finished Daniel and the minor prophets and read most of Matthew.

Daniel and Jonah are two familiar stories, but reading them in just a sitting or two, not to mention in the context of the accounts of the captivity in other Old Testament books, can bring a fresh perspective. I never tire of Daniel, and Jonah has a new light for me after reading Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels by Tullian Tchividjian, which is based on Jonah, several months ago. I highly recommend it!

This week you’ll finish Matthew and read the other three Gospels! I look forward to hearing what jumps out at you in them with the Old Testament so fresh in your mind! I feel certain you’ll have new perspective, even in familiar  stories.

I know I say it every week, but I’ll say it again: no matter where you are on the schedule, stick with it and keep reading! God will bless your efforts, whether you finish in 90 days or not! And please email me if you’re discouraged or if there’s anything at all I can do to help. 

If you’re in my group (#21), don’t forget to check in on our page over at Mom’s Toolbox. This is how they’re officially tracking who is actually participating. You must comment on our page there to be counted as an active participant. Remember, the Home With Purpose Facebook page is a great way to stay connected through the week, between check-ins. Please email me if there’s anything I can do to help or if you have a prayer request. I’m praying for each of you individually, as well as for all who are reading along this time!

A few helpful links:

Bible in 90 Days Spring 2011 (#B90Days): Week Ten

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We’re in the home stretch! By the end of this week, we’ll be in Matthew…the New Testament! What an adventure it’s been so far.

In this week’s reading, I was really struck by the arrogance of the Israelites in the book of Jeremiah. They really seemed to think they could do whatever they wanted to! I also noticed the contrast between God’s repeated warnings that he would severely discipline, but eventually restore them, compared to his promise to utterly destroy other nations. Even when the Israelites had forsaken him, he didn’t forsake them.

I was really blessed by Lamentations, a book I’d never read in it’s entirety before the challenge:

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”  The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him…For if He causes grief then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly, or grieve the sons of men. Lamentations 3: 21-25, 32-33

What are God’s mercies? Probably not what most people think. You can read a wonderful explanation and the rest of my thoughts on this week’s reading here.

Once you hit the New Testament, things are really going to start coming together for you. Because the Old Testament is so fresh in your mind, you’re going to pick up on obscure Old Testament references like never before. Pieces will fall into place and light bulbs will come on for some of those passages that didn’t make much sense when you first read them. Reading at this pace so that the New Testament is read in light of the Old in such close proximity gives a whole new perspective!

But first, this week we focus on reading the minor prophets. If you’re on schedule, you should be finishing Daniel. If you’re like me, you’ll find that reading the minor prophets with all those historical books so fresh in your mind really helps put them in context and adds depth.

I know I say it every week, but I’ll say it again: no matter where you are on the schedule, stick with it and keep reading! God will bless your efforts, whether you finish in 90 days or not! And please email me if you’re discouraged or if there’s anything at all I can do to help. 

If you’re in my group (#21), don’t forget to check in on our page over at Mom’s Toolbox. This is how they’re officially tracking who is actually participating. You must comment on our page there to be counted as an active participant. Remember, the Home With Purpose Facebook page is a great way to stay connected through the week, between check-ins. Please email me if there’s anything I can do to help or if you have a prayer request. I’m praying for each of you individually, as well as for all who are reading along this time!

A few helpful links:

Bible in 90 Days Week Eight Check-In: Isaiah & Jeremiah

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Another week has gone by! We have just a little over 30 days to go. In two weeks, we’ll be in the New Testament!

How did Isaiah and Jeremiah go for everyone? There’s some tough reading there, but some really beautiful things too.
Parts of Isaiah 42 and 43 were particularly meaningful to me during a very difficult time in my life, and I still love to revisit them. I was also struck by Isaiah 58, especially verses 6-12:

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 

I love what John Piper says about these verses:

Isaiah preaches justice to the people of God, and Jesus displays justice to the people of God. And not only does he display the justice he expects, he suffers to cleanse and empower us, so our piety will produce a passion for social justice and practical mercy.

If it doesn’t, our piety is empty.

And if it does—if our devotion to Christ produces a passion for freeing the oppressed and feeding the hungry and housing the homeless and clothing the naked and putting away belittling talk and demeaning gestures—then we will break forth like the dawn.

For the rest of my thoughts on last week’s reading, click here.
This week you’ll be finishing Jeremiah and reading Lamentations and Ezekiel. There’s some reading here that’s likely to be less than familiar to many of you. I’d never actually read the book of Lamentations until my first time through this challenge, and I was really blessed by it! Wherever you are in your reading, just keep at it and God will bless your efforts. Continuing to read His Word WILL change you, whether you’re exactly on schedule or not!

If you missed an update, click on the appropriate week below to catch up:

Bible in 90 Days Week Seven Check-In: Psalms, Proverbs, & More

Reading through the Bible in 90 days is intense, like a sprint rather than a marathon, but so worth it! We're seven weeks in! Here's what caught my attention this week.

Can you believe that you’re now over halfway through the entire Bible?!

This week you should have finished Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs, and started Isaiah.
If you’re not on schedule, just keep reading! The Psalms and Proverbs tend to go pretty quickly and you may gain some ground.
I really enjoyed this week’s reading. Reading through all the Psalms at once, the frequency that the events of the Exodus are referred to really jumped out at me. I’d always known it was a significant period in Israel’s history, but this really made it apparent to me how central to them it really was.

I’ve also skimmed back through parts of a devotional I have on the Psalms called More Precious Than Gold…some wonderful thoughts there! Here’s how the book sums up Psalm 16, which is one of my favorites:

David was unashamed of his longing for the Lord and unafraid to declare his utter dependence on God and God alone for the satisfaction his soul so passionately desired…Everything without God is pathetically inferior to God without everything. Or as C.S. Lewis put it, “He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.”

Proverbs was fun to read back through. It’s pretty familiar to me because I’ve done the “read one Proverb each day of the month” off and on over the years so I’ve read straight through it several times…probably more often than any other single book. We also did a family devotional using Proverbs not too long ago, having the kids illustrate each one and using discussion ideas from Hidden Treasures: Digging Into the Book of Proverbs With Your Family. I really like Proverbs 8 and how it describes wisdom’s origins in verses 22-31.:

The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. 

Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 

Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, before he had made the earth with its fields or the first of the dust of the world. 

When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man. 

I also highly recommend this ten week study on Psalms and the Wisdom books. It’s excellent!
I found Ecclesiastes very interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever read this entire book before…just passages and verses. It’s definitely not an easy book to figure out, but there’s a lot of food for thought about the fallenness of humanity and the creation, fearing God, frustration over the apparent futility of so much of life, and yet joy and enjoyment of God’s gifts.
This week you’ll be reading Isaiah and Jeremiah. There’s some great stuff there! I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of it. As we move into these books, you may want to check out and print this nifty Putting the Prophets in Their Place chart. It’s a great tool to help you keep the various prophets straight.

Onward to Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the rest of the prophets!

If you missed an update, click on the appropriate week below to catch up:

Bible in 90 Days Spring 2011 (#B90Days): Week Seven

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Time for the weekly check-in. We’re just about halfway there! How was this week’s reading?

Esther is one of my very favorite stories from the Bible. The only book in the Bible that never mentions the name of God…yet His fingerprints are everywhere. I love this thought from the Desiring God blog:


The Hebrew Scriptures point to Jesus in a myriad of ways. One way is narrative patterns, like the one in Esther 9:1: 

On the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them.

And so it happened at the cross. At the very moment when the Enemy of the True Jew hoped to gain the mastery over Jesus, the reverse occurred: Jesus gained mastery over the one who hated him.

God has innumerable ways of pointing us to his Son—after all, according to Colossians 1:16-17, all the universe is in Jesus, through Jesus, and for Jesus.

If all the universe, then how much more the Scriptures. 


Truly “every story whispers His name,” as The Jesus Storybook Bible reminds us! Even Esther. God’s sovereignty portrayed in Job is incredibly comforting, and the Psalms are just a joy to read. Beautiful. You can read the rest of my thoughts on this past week here.


This week we’ll continue through Psalms and Proverbs. As I say every week, don’t worry if you’re not on schedule with the reading! God will bless your efforts whether you finish in exactly 90 days or not! I have to say that participating in the challenge this time around as a mentor has been every bit as much of a blessing to me as my first time around was! What an incredible privilege it is to be able to encourage and pray for you! I love hearing how God is speaking to each one of you through your reading.

If you’re in my group (#21), don’t forget to check in on our page over at Mom’s Toolbox. This is how they’re officially tracking who is actually participating. You must comment on our page there to be counted as an active participant. Remember, the Home With Purpose Facebook page is a great way to stay connected through the week, between check-ins. I’m loving getting to know more about everyone in my group and I’m praying for each of you individually, as well as for all who are reading along this time!

A few helpful links: