Read the New Testament in 90 Days

Have you ever read through the entire New Testament? The Bible has really shaped who we are as a society and especially shaped my life as a Christian. I enjoy reading through the whole Bible each year, but this year I want to invite you to spend 90 days reading through the New Testament with me! That’s right I am issuing a 90 day reading challenge! 

Several years ago I organized a simple effort to read the New Testament in 90 days and I thought it was worth picking it up again this years.  We will be reading about three chapters of Scripture a day and I’ll try and share a few of my thoughts as a blog post each day. I’ll be limiting my posts to 300 500 words or less to ensure that each day’s posting is brief. For those of you taking the challenge, I encourage you to briefly write your thoughts as well. Feel free to jump in, comment about the scripture passage here, ask questions, etc. 

The challenge will begging January 1st, 2020. 

Here is the new-in-90-sheet I organized back in 2011 and I will be using again this year. I’ve listed the days here without a date so that some of you can start later, or hop back on the bus easily if you miss a day. I’ll try and link back to the list below once I’ve shared my thoughts so you can see where we are in the process.

  • Day 1 – John 1 – 3
  • Day 2 – John 4 – 6
  • Day 3 – John 7 – 9
  • Day 4 – John 10 – 12
  • Day 5 – John 13 – 15
  • Day 6 – John 16 – 18
  • Day 7 – John 19 – 21
  • Day 8 – Matthew 1 – 4
  • Day 9 – Matthew 5 -7
  • Day 10 – Matthew 8 – 10
  • Day 11 – Matthew 11 – 12
  • Day 12 – Matthew 13 – 15
  • Day 13 – Matthew 16 – 18
  • Day 14 – Matthew 19 – 21
  • Day 15 – Matthew 22 – 24
  • Day 16 – Matthew 25 – 27
  • Day 17 – Matthew 28
  • Day 18 – Mark 1 – 3
  • Day 19 – Mark 4 – 6
  • Day 20 – Mark 7 – 9
  • Day 21 – Mark 10 – 12
  • Day 22 – Mark 13 – 15
  • Day 23 – Mark 16
  • Day 24 – Luke 1 – 3
  • Day 25 – Luke 4 – 6
  • Day 26 – Luke 7 – 9
  • Day 27 – Luke 10 – 12
  • Day 28 – Luke 13 – 15
  • Day 29 – Luke 16 – 18
  • Day 30 – Luke 19 – 21
  • Day 31 – Luke 22 – 24
  • Day 32 – Acts 1 – 3
  • Day 33 – Acts 4 – 6
  • Day 34 – Acts 7 – 9
  • Day 35 – Acts 10 – 12
  • Day 36 – Acts 13 – 15
  • Day 37 – Acts 16 – 19
  • Day 38 – Acts 20 – 22
  • Day 39 – Acts 23 – 25
  • Day 40 – Acts 26 – 28
  • Day 41 – Romans 1 – 3
  • Day 42 – Romans 4 – 6
  • Day 43 – Romans 7 – 9
  • Day 44 – Romans 10 – 12
  • Day 45 – Romans 13 – 15
  • Day 46 – Romans 16
  • Day 47 – I Corinthians 1 – 3
  • Day 48 – I Corinthians 4 – 6
  • Day 49 – I Corinthians 7 – 9
  • Day 50 – I Corinthians 10 – 12
  • Day 51 – I Corinthians 13 -15
  • Day 52 – I Corinthians 16
  • Day 53 – 2 Corinthians 1 – 3
  • Day 54 – 2 Corinthians 4 – 6
  • Day 55 – 2 Corinthians 7 – 9
  • Day 56 – 2 Corinthians 10 – 12
  • Day 57 – 2 Corinthians 13
  • Day 58 – Galatians 1 – 3
  • Day 59 – Galatians 4 – 6
  • Day 60 – Ephesians 1 – 3
  • Day 61 – Ephesians 4 – 6
  • Day 62 – Philippians
  • Day 63 – Colossians
  • Day 64 – 1 Thessalonians 1 – 3
  • Day 65 – 1 Thessalonians 4 – 5
  • Day 66 – 2 Thessalonians
  • Day 67 –  1 Timothy 1 – 3
  • Day 68 – 1 Timothy 4 – 6
  • Day 69 – 2 Timothy
  • Day 70 – Titus
  • Day 71 – Philemon
  • Day 72 – Hebrews 1 – 2
  • Day 73 – Hebrews 3 – 5
  • Day 74 – Hebrews 6 – 8
  • Day 75 – Hebrews 9 – 10
  • Day 76 – Hebrews 11 – 13
  • Day 77 – James
  • Day 78 – 1 Peter 1-3
  • Day 79 – 1 Peter 4-5
  • Day 80 – 2 Peter
  • Day 81 – 1 John 1 – 3
  • Day 82 – 1 John 4 – 5
  • Day 83 – 2 John, 3 John, Jude
  • Day 84 – Revelation 1 – 3
  • Day 85 – Revelation 4 – 6
  • Day 86 – Revelation 7 – 9
  • Day 87 – Revelation 10 – 12
  • Day 88 – Revelation 13 – 15
  • Day 89 – Revelation 16 – 18
  • Day 90 – Revelation 19 – 22

Bad Start, Strong Finish: What Matters Most When It Comes to Goals & Resolutions

I remember seeing this movie once where a man is running in a heat to make the olympic team. Somewhere along the way he gets tripped up and falls down. As a viewer you take in the agony of the moment. All of the hopes he had for winning or even placing in the race are dashed to pieces. Even if he gets up, everyone is so far ahead that he will never make it. His dream for thy olympics is over… Or so you think.

You see it’s not how you start or even how you run that determines success in a race. It’s how you finish.  Races are peculiar that way. You can have a great start, great form and finish last.  You can also have a rough start, even fall down along the way, but still finish well.

I guess that is the point of this post. You made some New Year’s resolutions and right about now you have already fallen off the wagon or at least your feeling the temptation to quit.  Breaking into a new routine is harder than you thought is would be.  You’ve tasted failure and now you’re ready to give up.

Don’t believe that you must be a failure.  You had a bad start.  Get over it, get up and finish. Nobody cares that you’ve fallen except that little voice in your head and people who have already given up themselves. Finish the race.  The year isn’t over, It’s really just started, you have plenty of time to make up lost ground.

Oh yeah… and that guy who fell down. He got back up and won the heat.  Check out the clip below from the movie “Chariots of Fire.”

My Goals for 2012

Last week I wrote a blog post sharing 5 keys to Making and Keeping your New Year Resolutions. This week it’s time to go public with my own resolutions.  I was inspired to really make progress towards getting physically fit this year by The Show Me Cajun. I don’t know that I’ll be posting my progress as much as he is, but I will be checking in on his blog every week for inspiration and encouragement.  So without further ado, here are my goals for 2012:

Targus Stylus and Pen (Amazon Affiliate Link)

1. Lose 75 Pounds (That’s about 1.5 lbs a week). I’ll be keeping up with my eating habits by tracking all of my calories through the lose it app on my iphone and working out at the gym 3 days a week and of course goal number two won’t hurt either. Of course I’m checking in with my Doctor and already have a check up scheduled for early January.

2. Walk/ Run 500 miles (that’s about 10 miles a week). Just four laps around my neighborhood is a 5k (3.2 miles). I plan on walking the neighborhood at least three times a week and plan to walk on the treadmill at the gym on the days that the weather prohibits me from walking outside. I also plan on using the from the couch to the 5k to get into running shape and be running the 5k each morning by May.

3. Write 200 pages on a book manuscript (that’s about than 4 pages a week.) I’ll be sharing my progress here in a similar fashion to what I did with my goal to read 100 books last year.  Though I won’t share the full manuscript initially, I will share excerpts and let you know where I am in the process.

4. Write 3 blog posts or more a week. My blogging has come in spurts. Some weeks I post every day, other times I’ve gone almost a full month between posts. I hope by setting a minimum number per week that I’ll have a goal and be more faithful.

How about you? What are your goals? Any advice on mine?

5 Keys to Making and Keeping Your New Year Resolutions.

So the new year is almost here and it is time to think about your resolutions. Your goals may be to finally give up a bad habit, lose a little weight, broaden your intellectual horizon, or even commit to be more generous.  Whatever your resolutions for a new year are, here are a few keys that will help you be successful in making and keeping them.

1. Define the Win. Many people make mistakes of making very general goals and never end up keeping them.  It’s one thing to say, “I want to lose weight” and entirely another thing to say, “I want to lose 50 pounds by Thanksgiving.” Fifty pounds is a defined win.  When you state, “I want to lose weight.” you have defined a direction, but you haven’t defined a measurable goal line. How will you know when you have lost enough? You can always make another goal later.

Here are some abstract goals that have been better defined to understand a win.

I want to read more – I will read 12 books this year (1 book a month)

I want to eat better – I will eat a minimum of 2 vegetables a day

I want to exercise more – I will run 500 miles this year.

I want to be more generous – I will give 15% of my income away this year.

2. Make smaller goals along the way. In football there are two lines that really matter. The official goal-line where all the points are scored and the first-down line where a team advances ten yards and gets 4 more shots at the goal-line.  The smaller goal of the first-down marker is often what really advances the ball and helps teams make it across the bigger goal-line that counts.  Create for yourself smaller goals that you can achieve on a weekly or monthly basis that will help you achieve your bigger goal.  If your goal is to read twelve books a year, that translates into one book a month.  If you want to lose 50 pounds, that’s roughly one pound a week.  Make smaller goals and celebrate when you’ve reached them. celebrating small successes along the way will give you the momentum you need to reach your bigger goal.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Your goal may be something huge like to quit smoking. Do some research and consult some people or products that are geared to help you. If you want to lose weight, don’t be afraid to consult your doctor and even sign up to meet a trainer at the gym. If you want to read more, ask someone you know who reads a lot and ask them for strategy and tips.

4. Make the goal with a friend or group of friends. If you are trying to lose weight,  get your spouse on board to exercise with you or to make a similar commitment to eat healthier. If you are trying to read a book a month, start a book club. Have a friend meet you at the gym 3 times a week. If you want to write more, start a blog and ask your friends to follow.

5. Evaluate your results. Set an end date and set aside time to evaluate how you did throughout the year towards your goal.  Every goal achieved and not achieved is a chance to learn.  Maybe you only read ten books instead of twelve (odds are that’s about nine more than you might have otherwise). Maybe you only lost 35 pounds (that’s still 35 pounds!).  Maybe you quit working out in February because you got a cold and never went back. Figure out what went wrong and what went right. Take the time to measure how far you have come and challenge yourself with something new for the next year.

What kind of resolutions are you making this year?

The 100 Book Reading Challenge and How it Has Changed Me

For those of you following along, you know that I took up the challenge to read 100 books this past year.  I made my page number goal and then some but missed my book goal by 18.  Never-the-less I’m confident that I have read more in the past year than I have in any single year prior.

It’s difficult to asses all the changes that attempting such a goal has had on me.  Yet as I reflect on the past year and dream about the future I cannot help but notice that I have changed as a result of becoming a more disciplined reader. I am different than I was a year ago and here is how:

1. I don’t waste as much time (though I still have the ability).  I thought I was busy before and didn’t have enough time to read more, but I found out that by eliminating or reducing a few small pleasures (like late night TV, facebook stalking,  spending time with my wife and children… Ok! I was kidding on that last one.) that I have more time than I thought I did and can spend it in more productive ways like reading.

2. I’m a faster reader now. I didn’t set out to increase the rate at which I read or even comprehend what I read, but as a result of reading more often it just happened. I read faster now and comprehend better than I ever have (but I’m still not a speed reader by any stretch of the imagination).

3. I’m a more discerning reader.  I’ve learned that the quality of the books you read is more important than the quantity of books you read. My goal next year is not to read more books, but to read better books.

4. My Daughter is a better reader. She’s five and she’s advanced from just knowing the sounds that letters make to reading on a first grade level in the past year. (Technically if you count all the books I’ve read to her I’m well over double my 100 book goal.)

5. I’m actively and intentionally encouraging others to read. This past year I volunteered to mentor a couple of kids at our local junior high and have been impressed to see them start reading at and above their grade level. I’m also involved at my daughters elementary school helping her peers learn their sight words.

I’m sure I’ve changed in other ways as well. These are just the 5 that jumped out at me.  I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks about my goals for next year! And I’ve got some big ones.  How about you? What are you thinking about challenging yourself to next year?


Resolutions for a New Year

I have 3 main resolutions for this next year.  I actually have a LIFE plan with a lot more detail, but that’s for another blog post.  After having a brief conversation today with a stranger who is dreaming about one thing and doing another I decided that I should set in stone some serious goals for the next year.  Here are mine… What are yours?

1. Relate better as Husband and Father

Not that I think I’m doing a terrible job, but I’ve seen too many husbands and fathers drift from their duties over time.  It is really easy to imagine a loving relationship with my wife 5, 10, and 20 years from now, but the truth is that dreams don’t always create reality.  Having a good relationship with my wife and children will take time, intention, and discipline.  I have a strategy in my Life Plan, but its a little personal to share here.

2. Get into God’s word more (both personally and as a family)

Our pastor keeps a blog and comments on a chapter of scripture each day.  I usually keep up with that and read a few other passages each day.  I am also looking at creative ways to be in God’s word more as a family.  My wife and I used to read a chapter of scripture each day together.  When our daughter came along it was a little more difficult to keep her involved and so we shortened it to a few versus during family devotion time.  Now that she is almost 4 we are going to pick up something similar using a new tool for devotions.  My daughter is also old enough to start each day spending some time in God’s word.  Though she isn’t able to read yet I was thinking of moving her nightly Bible reading with me to the morning time (we have been working our way through a picture bible of the New Testament).

3. Live Healthier

This involves changing eating habits and making physical exercise a priority.  It also involves creating a better schedule and sticking too it.  I’ve learned that with planning and intention I can do more in my life with the time I have (this also involves planning for interruption).  We’ll see how it goes.  In my LIFE plan I check up weekly to see how I am living.  I’ll share more about that later… but how about you?  What resolutions do you have for this next year?