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Resources for the 3650 Challenge
December 27, 2011
Last week I asked if some of you would like to take The 3650 Challenge with me (reading 3650 chapters of the Bible in 2012). I expected that 50 or 100 of you might like to join me. I was more than a little surprised to see well over 800 join up, with more joining every day. This is going to be fun!
If you’d like to join us, the best place to go is the Facebook group.
To do these readings we will follow Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan. Lots of people have been asking for some guidance or direction, so here goes. Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan has you reading ten chapters of the Bible every day. You will read one chapter per day from ten different lists. On January 1, you will read Matthew 1, Genesis 1, Romans 1, and so forth. On January 2, you will read Matthew 2, Genesis 2, etc. On day twenty-nine, you will have just finished Matthew, so you will go to Mark 1 on the Gospel list; you’ll also be almost to the end of 2nd Corinthians and Proverbs, you’ll be reading Psalm 29 and Genesis 29, and so forth. When you reach the last chapter of the last book in a list, you start over again. It’s that simple.
What you will need to do is download this document that explains the plan in more detail and tells you which books of the Bible each of the ten lists contains. So go ahead and download it and print yourself a copy. It will tell you the lists and will also give you some handy bookmarks to mark off your progress.
Before I get to specific resources, I want to say this: One key to the program is to stick with it for at least 30 days. You will need to make that commitment right from the beginning or you may find yourself quickly running out of steam. Ten chapters per day is demanding, but once you commit to it and do it for a while, you will begin to find it more of a joy than a burden.
In the meantime, as you plan for a January 1 start, here are some useful resources.
If you are doing the reading plan using your Bible, you will probably want to use a series of bookmarks to mark off your daily readings. You can download the document I linked to above and get bookmarks there. There are also four color variations available here.
YouVersion is a web site and mobile app that combines a couple of great features: many translations of the Bible and many reading plans. You can go to YouVersion and create an account; once you have done that, you can sign up to do a reading plan. I have been using their version of Professor Horner’s plan for several months now and intend to begin fresh on January 1. Why? Because they make it easy for me to listen to the 10 chapters per day on my iPhone while I am out for a walk or commuting to the church office. At least for the time being I enjoy listening to the Bible, so intend to do the plan that way.
On the plus side, their app makes it easy to engage with Scripture while in the car or out walking. On the downside you need a data plan to do this. Also in the negatives column is the fact that the app can be a little bit flaky, especially with the newest version; often the readings do not get properly “checked off” and a week later you’ll receive a reminder telling you that you haven’t done it. But overall, it’s a solid app and serves its purpose well.
There are lots of apps that can help you on your way.
YouVersion - I’ve already mentioned YouVersion. It is an all-in-one solution that will allow you to listen to or read the program day-by-day.
The Ten Lists - This site can help you day-by-day.
Bible Bookmarks - Bible Bookmarks is an easy-to-use iOS application that will allow you to keep track of where you are at in Bible reading systems.
Olive Tree - Here is a tutorial on using Olive Tree for your readings.
In the end, though, whether you listen or read, whether you use a printed Bible or electronic Bible, the most important thing is just to do it. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted from the main thing, which is to meet God in his Word.