And anyway, I made my New Years resolutions back in August this year. (I'm still almost-daily asking God for the grace to accomplish them, by the way!)
So there's just one thing I really want to resolve to do in 2011, and that's read the Bible all the way through in a year. It's been years since I did it, and I just want to be really intentional about being in the Word this year.
At certain times in my life, I've felt so...addicted to Scripture--during the summer I worked at Poplar Springs Baptist outside of Richmond, in particular. I had shared with my students that I felt like a different person when I wasn't in the Word. One morning at a youth event, I was a little out of sorts. One of my high schoolers, a really special kid named Buddy, asked me, "Chelsea, did you read your Bible this morning?" I confessed that I had not. "I didn't think so," he replied, shaking his head. "You'd better go read it."
Since moving to Connecticut, I've lost some momentum. (It happens in full-time ministry, I'm afraid. Sad, but true.) Anyway, I don't want Bible reading to be a legalistic thing, but something that I depend on to be who I am. During Advent, I always feel like that--like I just can't get by without the Word morning and night. It's the sweetest time, and I guess I'm inspired to build on that.
It's Day 11, and I'm happy to report that I'm on schedule. And what I love about disciplined Bible-reading is that it always yields such fruit in my life. Like on Day 2, when I uncovered a little nugget of truth in Genesis that fit oh-so-perfectly into a two-part Bible study I'm writing for myMISSIONfulfilled on forced labor in Exodus and Matthew. Or on Day 10, when I read something in Proverbs that jumped off the page and hollered "apply me!!!!" I'm always amazed at the connections in Scripture, and how the Word shapes us to be who we're becoming in Christ. It's a beautiful thing.
I encourage you to read along with me this year! It's only January 11, after all, and if you start today, it will only take you an hour or so to catch up! If you don't want to purchase the One Year Bible (because really, you have 16 Bibles at your house already, and couldn't you use the $10 to buy a Bible for someone else?) you can use the reading guide I found at bibleonline.com:
One Year Bible
One last thought: Even though I'm not naive enough to believe that I'll become a whole new person in 2011, I do believe that we Christians are being transformed and made new every day. My favorite Advent passage this year--and just one of my favorite Scriptures in general--was Revelation 21:1-5 (I had my dad read this aloud to us on Christmas Eve, and we wept, thinking about Grandma and Grandpa Russell who are now living in the fullness of this reality!):
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”