Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Bible Reading and other Spiritual Food

I usually read through the Bible each year, but in 2019 I began a Bible reading schedule that will take five years to complete.

The schedule corresponds to Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee.

J. Vernon McGee was an ordained Presbyterian minister, a non-denominational pastor, and Doctor of Divinity – though I never heard him addressed as Doctor. He was also a radio Bible teacher. His Thru the Bible broadcast was a daily study of every chapter of the Bible that took five years to complete (and then, he’d just start again).

If you never heard J. Vernon, well friend, I’m sorry you missed something special. He had a fatherly, mmm…make it grandfatherly, kindly voice full of warmth and wisdom. Fortunately, audio files of the broadcasts are available for free download at the Thru the Bible website.https://www.ttb.org

I think listening to J. Vernon is the best way to experience Thru the Bible, but, I’m old school about reading, and like to – you know – read. So, I’m using the printed version to go through the Bible in five years – that’s reading the Bible, along with J. Vernon’s corresponding commentary. 

Year One – Thru the Bible volume I, covers the Pentateuch, the writings of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

I’ve been reading the Bible for over 40 years, but J. Vernon still manages to enlighten and inform. I’m looking forward to 2020, when he covers Joshua through the Psalms.

I also read The One Year Book of Hymns compiled by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton. It tells the story, and back story, to 365 different hymns and hymn writers – some of them well known, others less so. It was uplifting, not only for the joyful praise, beautiful poetry, and profound theology, but also for the diversity of the hymn writers who came from all branches of Christendom.

Some, well known in Chrisitian vernacular:
Isaac Watts
Fanny Crosby
Charles Wesley
Martin Luther
Thomas Moore
Thomas Aquinas

Others, better known for other achievements:

John Milton
John Greenleaf Whittier
G. K. Chesterton
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Rudyard Kipling

And hundreds I'd never heard of.

And of course, reformed slave trader John Newton, whose hymn Amazing Grace is part of the inspiration for my blog name (I once was lost, but now am found)

One excerpt, from one hymn:

O ‘tis not in grief to harm me;
While Thy love is left to me;
O ‘twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.
     ~ Henry Francis Lyte, from Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken


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