Sunday, January 31, 2010

Reading the Bible in a Year

So, as a little background, I grew up Catholic, with a Charismatic Catholic mom. And while my mother is quite a captivating lady and can spin quite a yarn, that's not the sort of charismatic I mean. According to Wikipedia the Charismatic Catholic movement is like so:

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a movement within the Catholic Church. Worship is characterized by vibrant Masses, as well as prayer meetings featuring prophecy and sometimes glossolalia, or "speaking in tongues." This movement is based on the belief that certain charisms (a Greek word for gifts), bestowed by the Holy Spirit, such as the abilities to speak in tongues and to heal (which Christians generally believe existed in the early Church as described in the Bible) should still be practiced today.
A dove, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, who is believed by Christians to confer various gifts.

A Catholic church in Ann Arbor, Michigan describes charismatic prayer:

"A charismatic style of prayer is common at Christ the King. People are free to raise their hands in prayer and during songs, many pray their own prayers audibly, some pray in tongues, etc.... They pray with expressive or charismatic prayer at monthly parish prayer meetings, at the beginning of parish meetings, and most especially during certain moments in the Holy Mass. These are some of the external markers of a charismatic parish. Internal markers include a radical surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all parts of life, a strong adherence to the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the pursuit of strong friendships centered on Christ."[1]

So the Catholic I grew up with, and the Catholic you may know are a little different. There are stories told about my youth where I thought sea gulls were the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and I thought Jimmy Swaggert was the President since I saw him in front of a podium wearing a suit a lot on TV. And while I definitely felt a strong connection to Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, it was a childlike connection. I didn't reach a point in my walk with Jesus where I felt strongly compelled to engage in the charismatic activities my mother was involved in. I didn't read my Bible with joy, but rather in this fashion of "I need to read this thing all the way through." I did not know the Catholic Bible was different than the Bible non-Catholics read.

So even though I have been a baptized believer since I was about four, I knew very little about the Bible. In fact, what I did know about the Bible came from one book, and it wasn't the Catholic Bible. It was this Jehovah's Witness children's book of bible stories my grandmother had been given.

As far as Bible stories go, some of my favorite grand slams are in there. but flipping through today, I got a big giggle of "Dinah Gets into Trouble" hehe

Anyhoo, back on track. I could tell people a bit about the Bible, but not oodles. I am now at the point in my walk where I want to know more. I've taken several very good Bible studies and feel as if I have a few tools in the tool kit before I set of on this Bible reading on my own. But starting off at the beginning and just reading through didn't work so well. What do I know about reading the Bible? Should I read straight through and get stuck at the begat-o-thon? Jump around by whim? No, I needed a plan. A plan with checklists. A plan with places to read through the Bible, but which isn't sporadic.

I needed(and Elizabeth Garn had recommended it ):
The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan
*raise the roof* blogistsas, because it keeps me organized AND competitive. Because I need a little competition to get me through Leviticus.

I am just behind by Acts for right now. I find it very repetitive at this point with Saul and Barnabas roaming throughout the ancient world. I know I should thoughtfully pray and try to glean information from it, but I figure reading the Bible at all is better than giving up because I'm not doing it right. So speed reading through Acts it is.

Ruby Rating 3/5
Bible progress 23/300 or 7% done.

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