Tools for 2007

Every year it amuses me when the day after Christmas, Walmart clears out their row of chocolate and candy to make way for the treadmills and magic diet pills. In some ways it annoys me that apparently we are such predictable beings.

Resisting the urge to be a lemming, I swear to myself that I will not make new years’ resolutions. Yet I look at the calendar, and the new year starts on a Monday. We all know any respectable diet starts on a Monday. Maybe I should go after those 5 (or 10) pounds starting today.

Maybe it was meant to be – a Monday, a new year, a fresh start. At least for a few days I could tell myself, I’ve exercised every day this year, or I haven’t eaten any refined foods this year.

I’m not big on fad diets or exercise plans, but I do believe in lifestyle changes. Every lifestyle change has to start somewhere with a decision to begin doing things differently. The only difference between success and failure then is whether one continues in those decisions every day.

For those of you implementing health and exercise goals, I’d like to share an online tool, Fitday.com, that I’ve found helpful. This is a great tool for those who like to set and track fitness goals in detail.

The other thing that I see at this time of year, almost as much as the surge in exercise equipment, is people making plans to read through the Bible in a year. I have always found this a little odd, no offense, if that is your plan.

What other book do we ever make one-year plans for reading? Those of you who read a lot know that it wouldn’t be unusual to knock off a 1500 page book in a week or less. Yet we don’t even consider just sitting down and reading the Bible. Why have we trained ourselves that this is a huge undertaking?

I’m being a little extreme here, and I know that besides just reading the whole Bible, we should settle in and soak in different areas of Scripture, allowing the words and meanings to soak into us also.

I think one of the reasons for approaching the Bible this way is because we have always chopped it up. Because of that, we only see small pieces at a time, never the big picture. If you have not ever read the Bible chronologically, I highly recommend that approach for this year.

I tried several chronological plans, but my favorite Bible for this method is The Daily Bible by F. LaGard Smith. This is not to be confused with other one-year or daily devotional bibles. This is a complete chronological arrangement of the Bible. It is well-worth the $15 to have it already arranged and ready to read chronologically.

The customer reviews of this Bible are all 5 stars. It reads like literature. I believe that understanding the overall story of God helps us in our understanding and approach to Scripture. Read a few of the customer reviews if you’d like a better feel of what this Bible is like. It isn’t a study Bible, but it is a favorite of mine for personal reading.

I know that a few perfectionists might be upset that you don’t have it in your hands to start on January 1, but I promise that you can catch up. The daily numberings are there for if you want to use them, but really you could just pick this up and read it like a book, only stopping when you have to quit.

Honestly, New Years Day is one of my favorite holidays. It signals the end of the month of holiday madness between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It holds potential and opportunity, a chance to pause and rethink our choices.

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8 thoughts on “Tools for 2007

  1. thanks for the fit day lead. i just surfed there and went ahead and opened an account. i need to firm up so i’ll be able to fit back into my wetsuit by spring….:-)

  2. I agree about the Bible. It really isn’t a big deal to read it through, but we often make it sound that way. I once read it through in 10 days (good for getting the big picture). I find it scary that a book we call holy and that can be read aloud from cover to cover in 72 hours, still many christians never read it through in a lifetime. I am currently writing a book on different ways of reading the Bible and feel I have to really have used all 21 of them. When it goes to the presses in March I will have read the whole Bible 6 times since June.

  3. I’ve become a fan of http://www.calorie-count.com/. A great way to track what you eat everyday and what you should eat everyday. It also allows for exercise information. I used it for about a month, then my eating and exercising patterns became pretty regular so I did not really need to use it. I highly recommend it for the beginner.

    Lew

  4. Pam,
    Good luck. Like a million other people, I joined the gym yesterday. I usually join in October, but didn’t get to it this year.
    Wetsuit? ;)

    pastor astor,
    21 ways huh? I’m usually kind of random in my approach, but the chronological reading was amazing.

    lew,
    Thanks for adding the link. Hopefully my good habits will be established in a month, and the bad habits will be a distant memory. :)

  5. Thanks for the fitday link. I checked it out and it’s really a cool thing they have going. I will probably use their food journal feature this year.

    Hope all is well…

  6. Have you checked out the new Bible that International Bible Society just published? It’s called The Books of the Bible http://thebooksofthebible.info It’s amazing. They got rid of chapters and verses, something that really distracts a lot of people from reading the Bible as a whole, and put it in chronological and logical order. I’ve read through more whole books using it than ever before on another version. I definitely recommend it.

  7. Wow!

    Joseph, that sounds like a “must have”.

    It’ll mess up having Bible Drills in Wednesday night Bible study class… ;o)

    Grace, Did you know that F. LaGard Smith’s religious heritage is of the Stone/Campbell tribe? He put out a book in the late 80’s or early 90’s–The Cultural Church which in certain sections dealing with gender roles and issues would piss-off many of us.

    I met and spoke with Smith about 15 years ago. He teaches (or taught at that time) at Pepperdine in Malibu, CA, but spends about half the year ensconced in a cottage in the UK writing. I asked him if British culture was less violent given the relative un-availability of firearms. His response was that the Brits have been very imaginative in ways to commit homocide.

    T

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