Pressing Onward (and an invitation!)

Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be a loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death; if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:8-14 WEB

2012 was . . . interesting. A lot of really good things happened (we bought a house! I made it into Round 2 of NaNo Virtuosos!), and a lot of really awful things happened (um . . . yeah . . . can’t really tell you a lot of that, because of sensitive family situations. Just keep us in your prayers.), and yet I still don’t understand all of these people I see posting on Facebook saying “good riddance!” to 2012.

I didn’t hate 2012. It was definitely NOT the best year ever, but some of the best things to ever happen in my life happened in 2012. They just also happened to accompanied by some of the worst things.

But if I hadn’t lived through them, I would not be the person I am today. I would not be as strong as I am today. I would not be ready to take 2013 by the . . . okay, I won’t say THAT, because my mother might read this post.

But 2013, I am ready for you. Because this year, I am not going to live my life based on the whims of people or politicians, of political correctness or polite company, or expectations or complications.

This year, I am going to be ME. I’m going to be the best me that I can, and that is a me pursuing God above all else, because God is the One who, when several years ago I laid all of my hopes and dreams before Him on the altar – including my then new-found love of writing – gave writing back to me and said “do this.”

Because even before being an American, a wife/daughter/granddaughter/cousin, or a writer (which is evidently engraved into my very soul), I am a child of God. And God is far higher and far more powerful than politicians, or people, or circumstances.

That is why, even though some terrible things happened in 2012, that I can say it was a good year. Because I have a good God that is still standing with me, and His promises never fail.

Not in the old year, and they will not in the new. Even if I can’t see how something will work out, God does. And He will guide me there.

. . . and that totally went in a tangent I was not expecting, but I think I really needed to say that!

What I really meant to say:

Since one of my New Year’s goals is to read the Bible daily, I want to extend an invitation to you!

Several years ago, my grandmother assembled a Read-The-Bible-Through-In-A-Year plan. It averages out to approximately three chapters per day. (And I have resolved that I will make a PDF version of that plan by the end of the week so that it can be printed out.)

I know of at least a few people who follow this blog that have made “reading the Bible daily” part of their goals for 2013.

So, if you’ve ever wanted to read the Bible from cover-to-cover, whether it was in a year or not, would you like to join me in reading it THIS year?

Ideally, I want to post once a week and give my thoughts, impressions, and opinions on that week’s readings. This is also to motivate myself, though, because even though I’ve read the Bible through three times in my life, I haven’t actively studied it, and that’s what I want (need) to do!

I’ll mostly be reading in the New King James version, but for blog posts I’ll be referring to the World English Bible (WEB) translation, available (completely free and in the public domain!) here.

The WEB does include what is known as the Apocryphal books listed in the books of the Bible (Tobit – 4 Maccabees – these are Jewish books), and those will not be included in this reading-through-the-Bible plan. I do want to read them one day, but since I was raised in Protestant denominations, I haven’t been taught that they were a part of the divinely inspired Word of God (though the Roman Catholic church includes them). (There will be more discussion about this later.)

So, please come along for the ride with me! I promise that I have a very unique perspective on certain things, so this trip through the Bible will not be boring!

Otherwise, I believe you can still sign up through the end of Jan 1 for Health Month, if you want some encouragement for becoming healthy(ier) in the New Year! Don’t forget to join my WriteMeHealthy team!