Categories
Peter DeHaan News

Read the Bible in 2021: Daily Guides Available Now

Form a Habit of Daily Bible Reading to Guide You through the Year

Each year I have the goal to read through the Bible. And each year I invite you to read along with me. To help with this, my 2021 Bible reading guides are now available.

New this year is a chronological Bible reading plan.

Chronological Bible Reading Guide

Each year I get requests for a chronological plan. And each year I try to make one, but I give up. It’s a complicated task.

The problem is a comprehensive chronological reading of the Bible requires a lot of details that won’t fit on a two-page sheet. Because of overlapping passages from different books, some days you would find yourself reading from multiple sections of different passages.

Along with being a lot of information to present, that’s too much page flipping and the potential for confusion. For a truly chronological reading of the Bible, get one of the many one-year chronological Bibles. These provide the best and easiest approach.

It is possible, however, to make an approximate chronological reading guide by putting the books of the Bible in order. This plan is my inaugural attempt to do so. I’ll use it for my 2021 Bible reading guide.

I encourage you to do so as well. It only takes 12 to 15 minutes a day. And each Tuesday throughout 2021, I’ll blog about a passage from that day’s reading.

Download your own chronological 2021 Bible reading guide.

Download your own chronological 2021 Bible reading guide. Click To Tweet

Other Reading Options

If reading the entire Bible in a year seems too daunting, scale back to a more manageable goal. I have a series of other Bible reading plans to guide you. Pick the one that works for you:

Form a habit to read the Bible. Download your preferred Bible reading plan today and be ready to start reading on January 1, 2021.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Visiting Churches

The New Church in Town (Visiting Church #7)

Sunday we visited a newer church. Their website says “multi-generational contemporary worship service”—and it is. They’re also non-denominational “because God has called all believers to unity.” I like that.

We walk in and people are informally mingling; several introduce themselves. Of all the churches we’ve visited so far, this is the most effective at pre-service interaction.

52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common Faith

The sanctuary is a simple rectangular room that seats 55, but I only count 24 present. I forget it’s Memorial Day weekend. There are no pews but comfortable chairs instead. They say attendance is often near capacity and on Easter they maxed out.

Soon they’ll move to a different facility, much nicer and more inviting; it’ll seat 160 and they’re confident they’ll soon fill it.

Three ladies lead us in singing modern praise songs. Instead of instrumentation, they use accompaniment tracks. They don’t have songbooks but display the words on a flat-screen monitor.

The pastor is in week two of a series. Last Sunday was about God’s sovereignty; today is about God’s providence. He boldly delves into some tough questions about these subjects.

Afterwards, he tells me most members are younger in their faith; they’ve come without any church baggage and are eager to learn. Since they don’t know how they’re “supposed” to behave in church, there aren’t any bad habits to overcome.

This explains the informal nature of the service, the socializing beforehand, and their arriving without Bibles. Their eagerness to learn is why he goes deep in his teaching.

Although the church is expanding numerically, their leader is more pleased with their deep spiritual growth. As is often the case, it’s new churches, and not the established ones, where people discover God and grow into a vibrant faith. Newer is often better.

[Read about Church #6 and Church #8, start at the beginning of our journey, or learn more about Church #7.]

Get your copy of 52 Churches and The 52 Churches Workbook today, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

Leave the Lights On

Good and Bad Habits

My wife and I have our house for sale. Our realtor advised us to turn on all the lights throughout the house prior to a showing. The theory is this makes the house more inviting and keeps potential buyers from searching for light switches, possibly in the dark.

Though this makes sense, it so goes against my nature.

As we prepared for our first showing, I dutifully went through the house turning on lights. Then I subconsciously turned half of them off. Even after a second pass, I still turned one off as I walked by the switch.

Realizing I could not be trusted with such an important task, my wife told me to not move as she retraced my route and checked my work.

After multiple showings, I’m finally able to fully accomplish this task, but my wife still feels she should verify my work. In this case it’s probably a good idea.

After spending decades turning off lights to save money and conserve energy, I’ve developed a firm habit of turning off lights—call it a compulsion, a good habit.

I have other good habits, too: exercising, saving money, living in moderation, preparing for the future, maintaining our home and cars, going to bed at a decent time, and so forth. I’m grateful to have these good habits ingrained in me.

Let us celebrate and preserve our good habits, just as we seek to discover and correct our bad ones. Click To Tweet

I also have a few bad habits, too, but I’m not so aware of them. When I do uncover one, I try to retrain myself. One such area is my tendency to turn on the TV, not to watch a specific show, but to fill time. Sometimes I do well avoiding this habit and other times, not so much. A

nother is eating because there’s food in front of me, not because I’m hungry. I’m sure there are more.

We all have habits, some good and some not so good.

Let us celebrate and preserve our good habits, just as we seek to discover and correct our bad ones.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Bible Insights

How Far Do We Go To Protect Tradition?

Whether or not we realize it, all aspects of our lives include traditions: unexamined habits and mindless rituals. But perhaps traditions most often exist in our approach to God and our worship of him. While some traditions had a positive origin, others were misguided from the start.

With little thought we pass our traditions from one person to the next, one generation to another.

Churches often protect their traditions with adamant, unyielding passion— sometimes at the expense of obeying God and doing what the Bible says. This is not a new problem. Jesus addressed this two thousand years ago.

The religious leaders of the day (the Pharisees) were quick to point out that Jesus’ followers (disciples) broke from tradition. They didn’t bring this up to provide correction but to pronounce condemnation. They thought they could discredit Jesus and embarrass him in front of the people.

Their plan didn’t work. Jesus foiled them. He declared that what the Bible said took precedence over their traditions. Jesus put his detractors and their ideas of what was important in their place.

What are some traditions or rituals that you have jettisoned? What are some traditions that might warrant reconsideration?

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Matthew 14-16, and today’s post is on Matthew 15:1-6.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

Welcome to a New Year!

The new year is a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions. Common ones include losing weight, saving money, going back to school, finding a better job, improving a relationship—or getting out of one, being kinder, giving more, drinking less, and so on.

All too often, these well-intentioned resolutions are short-lived. I think the problem is timing.

Let’s assume that in September I step on the scale and decide I’ll make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Since I don’t need to worry about it now, I can eat as much as I want. In four months, I’ll get serious about weight loss, but for now, there are no worries.

This gives me sixteen weeks to further instill bad eating habits. Additionally, knowing that in the future I’ll lose weight, I become emboldened to eat poorly now—while I still have the chance. This only serves to exacerbate the problem and means more weight to lose later.

A much better approach would be to start exercising more and eating less as soon as I sensed the need, in this case, September, not January one.

This is why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Rather, as soon as I determine a need for change, I set about to make it happen. That’s when I have the best chance for success, not later after things get worse.

Effectively, I tweak my life year round and skip making annual vows for self-improvement.

When you fall short, forgive yourself and start over. Click To Tweet

If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions, I wish you the best in keeping them. However, if you fall short, don’t give up and wait until next year to make another attempt. Just forgive yourself and start over—and have a Happy New Year!

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.