Thursday, December 30, 2010


We’re coming up on the end of the year.

That wonderful time of year when we give ourselves permission to have a

That diet for 2010? Start again…

That exercise program? Do-over…

Clean out the garage (hey, this is mine…)? No better time than the present.

Give away those old clothes you haven’t worn in 5 years (and if we’re being honest, should NEVER wear again)? Goodwill, here I come.

Make a budget, fix the plumbing, get that physical – whatever it is, here’s the time to make those “New Year’s Resolutions.”

You’ve got your own list – we all do.

I don’t know about you, but I approach this time of year with the same feelings, every year – a little (sometimes a lot) of chagrin, regret, embarrassment, guilt “just didn’t get “x-y-z” accomplished…”

And yet, it’s a NEW year!

I feel excited, invigorated, motivated, disciplinedit’s a chance to start over again – and this time “I really mean it!”

Are you with me?!

So, here’s the thing.

As you’re thinking over the things you did and didn’t get done in 2010 – and making a list of the things you want to get done in 2011 – I’m throwing another suggestion into your pretty little heads…

I’m issuing what I’m calling, “The Great Bible Reading Challenge of 2011!”

Yup, I’m exhorting all of you to take this year and commit to reading through the Bible. I’m doing it again – we can do it together!

It’s a wondrous thing.

You’ll learn things you’ve never known. You’ll see the whole story of God’s love unfold through history. You’ll hear God talking to you.

Does it require discipline? Sure.

ALL good habits require discipline.

Does it have rewards? You bet.

And that’s why I’m challenging you to join me. Because I truly believe that time is beginning to wind down on this old planet of ours. Wickedness is growing, the enemy is afoot. We believers are being called to take our stand against evil.

And we cannot fight without our greatest weapon – the Word of God.

So, does this seem like a daunting task?

Don’t be fooled. That’s just what Satan wants you to think.

It’s like looking at the scale, and thinking you want to lose 25, or 35, or 45, or more pounds. It’s a HUGE undertaking! But, those pounds don’t come off all at once. They peel away, one pound at a time, as we dedicate ourselves to a goal.

It’s the same with reading the Bible.

A lot of people start the year all “gung-ho” about this. And then…they get behind. And then…they get really behind. And then…they give up.


It’s just like losing those pounds. If you have a bad day, or even a bad week or two, don’t give up. Just start where you left off – and KEEP ON GOING!

Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…”

Ask God for discipline – ask God for strength. He’ll help you.

He’s SO eager for you to meet Him in His Word. He’s so excited to tell you His WHOLE story. He will reveal Himself in NEW ways.

There are plenty of one-year plans out there. Some are even two or three-year plans. Pick one. Start reading. Keep at it. Don’t give up – even if you get behind.


It’s time to pick up our “swords” and do battle it’s time to go on the offensive. It’s time to use the weapon that Jesus Himself used in His battle “against all the strategies of the devil.”

Satan isn’t going to like this one single bit…that in itself just makes me smile!

Are you with me?!

Look at it this way…What could it hurt?

What could it HELP?!

(And to help you along, at the bottom of my blog I will have the Scripture passages for a one-year reading plan, updated each Sunday!)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. I will try to read through the Bible in 2011. Thanks for sharing the challenge.

  2. My hubs has a bible with daily assignments and by the end of the year one can read through it.

    I'll take this challenge.

  3. I'm not going to take the challenge to read through the Bible in a year but I will take the challenge of reading the Bible daily like I've been doing pretty consistently for at least the last 7-8 years. It usually takes me about 13-14 months to read through it if I read straight through but lately I've been hopping around doing different studies of different books, but stil reading daily. I think sometimes some people do get bogged down following a plan and then if they fall behind they despair and stop reading. So I would challenge people to just read the book consistently daily and meditate upon it and if it takes longer than a year, that's okay too. Just READ IT!!

    Here's a link to a post I wrote in January 2009 about reading the Bible :)

    Happy New Year Sharon and Family!


  4. I'm doing it! But I'm not going to call it a "resolution"...those never last. I am so very guilty of starting and not finishing...even something so important as reading the Bible cover to cover. I just finished my annual reading-for-pleasure book (sad but true). It was called "Radical" by David Platt (highly recommend it). He challenged the readers to a year-long commitment. It was multi-fold, but two of the challenges were to read the Bible through and pray daily for the entire world. If nothing else, I want to accomplish *those*. And hey - thanks always for your fun comments.

    Don't think I ever responded (I'm sorry!), but the interview seemed to go well. I haven't heard back, but I'm not stressing given the holidays and how busy they were while I was there. It seemed like a great place to work...just depends on if they want *me*! Hope you had an absolutely fabulous Christmas and wishing you a very blessed 2011!

    P.S. - I promise to be a better blog friend.! :)

  5. I think it takes 28 times to change a bad habit! sandie

  6. Hi Sharon - I've rea through the Bible in a year a couple of times and plan to do so again in 2011. Our church has challenged us to do this and has provided a journal along with the Bible reading plan.

    Wishing you a blessed New Year!


  7. Great challenge Sharon. Around June of this year, I was lead to read through the Bible so I purchased a One Year Bible. I can't tell you how much I've gleaned from it and it's my aim to begin the year reading God's Word and actually read through the entire year.

  8. I'm in! I have already printed my schedule from Discipleship Journal/Nav Press and it's in my Bible. (Were you a cheerleader, Sharon??) You're so good at encouraging:)
    Happy New Year, and may you continue to encourage and edify and bear MUCH fruit in 2011!
    Your friend,

  9. Joyful - First of all, WELCOME! I am so pleased to have you join me on my journey. I look forward to getting to know you better. I'm so glad that you will be considering this challenge. The important thing (as Betty mentions in her comment below) is to be in the Word DAILY. We'll support each other along the way!

    Parsley - Good for you! The hardest step is the first. And we can all do this together. Does your husband read along, too?

    Betty - YES, Betty, well said! The whole point of my challenge is to get people IN the Word on a CONSISTENT basis. I wouldn't want anyone to feel a "have to" or "should" about this. I just know the power of the Word in my life. You do, too. So, yes - let's pray that people will commit to reading God's Word daily - in whatever shape or form that happens! No rules - JUST READ IT!! (Couldn't have said it better myself!)

    Jennie - I love when you stop by. I know you're busy, so no worries. Thanks for the update on your interview. Keeping that in prayer. Glad you're hopping on for the challenge. As Betty said, reading consistently, daily, is the key. It accomplishes amazing things in one's heart. We'll keep encouraging each other. (I look forward to being blog buddies in 2011 - for some reason, your "funny" brings mine out!)

    Sandie - Really? Well, according to that "formula" then, we only have to read our Bibles every day until January 28th, and then we're HOME FREE!! It's like physical therapy, have to keep at it to have the desired healing and strengthening results! (Did you like that analogy?!? :)

    More responses coming right up...

  10. Joan - Oh good! Are you planning to share any of your journal information on your blog? I think that would be a great thing to do. Sharing our insights with one another is part of the excitement of God's Word - how it speaks to each of us individually.

    Wanda - YAY! I couldn't believe the difference in my life while reading through the Bible. What I liked about it the most was this - the Word just sorta seeped into my spirit - quietly and powerfully. I wasn't always aware of it, but it was changing parts of me. That's why I think it's such an important thing to be in the Word. We read the words with our brains, but we listen to them in our hearts.

    Wendy - Welcome aboard the challenge train!! No, I definitely was NOT a cheerleader! I was always the studious little dorky girl - really. But, I think I have inherited a little bit of my precious mom's encouraging spirit. And here's a little secret - most of my encouraging is really directed at myself!! If others are encouraged in the process - that's the Lord's doing!

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone! I am so glad that all of you will be in the Word this year - in one way or the other. THAT'S the important part. To let God's Word sink into you - and take root - and grow.

    We'll hold each other up -

    HAPPY NEW YEAR - and I'm excited about what God is going to do in ALL our lives in 2011!


  11. Continuing to sharpen my sword this year :) We are doing Journey of a Lifetime on Wednesday nights at church for 2011 and walking through the entire bible together :)

    Blessings, Sharon! Thanks for all your encouraging comments on my blog :)

  12. Shelly - Sharpening the sword...I like that! I think it's wonderful that your church is walking through the Bible together. That's so very cool...
    Keep up the good work, my friend. I'm excited to see what God's going to do in both of our lives in 2011!

    Happy New Year and GOD BLESS!

  13. Hi Sharon -

    The Lord just led me this afternoon (EST) to read this post of yours. When I first glanced it about a week ago, I was not inclined to indulge because I have never been a fan of reading the Bible straight through. Other Christians have shared my sentiments for various reasons.

    Well, this week a fellow blogger sent me an e-mail about a unique Bible plan. The Lord urged me to "sign on" to do it. I began it this a.m. I like the style of it. I recommend that it be done in addition to deep study of GOD'S Word. Of course, we are all unique and the Lord will lead us accordingly. But I wanted to share here what I e-mailed to folks on my e-mail listing today about Professor Horner's Bible-Reading System.

    Thank you, Sharon, for your love for our Lord and His Word. We are not one size fit all but we love our Lord!!

    Here is what I e-mailed:

    Hi -

    Have you heard of Professor Grant Horner's Bible-Reading system? This week someone sent me an e-mail about it . If you are so inclined, please view

    I have never been inclined to do a Bible read-through plan that does from Genesis - Revelation. Others share my sentiments there...But this plan mixes up the read-through (more variety that better holds my interest.) It does not do, in order, Genesis - Revelation. Professor Horner mixes up the plan - reading the Old and New Testaments, etc.

    The variety appeals to me and there is less regiment to this plan. On the subject link shown above, Pastor Brett has a link to a Facebook page about the subject plan. I viewed it this a.m. and am impressed. I just started the plan this morning and believe that I will stay with it. Of course, all of us are unique and one plan method does not fit all...

    I know that our Lord led me to this one because my spirit bore witness. Praise our Lord!

    Please, at least view it, and let me know what you think.

    Thank you

    Also, Sharon, if you are inclined, please go to and read the post topic about Professor Horner's Bible plan and comments, mine included.

    I left a comment earlier today under your "FAN THE FLAME FRIDAY" topic (from yesterday).


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)