I confess: I am a book lover. My love affair with words and paper goes back to the 1st grade where I learned to read. My mother wisely nurtured my interest with subscriptions to Little Lulu comic books and Jack & Jill magazine. Years later I devoured The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden series.

In the 9th grade my English teacher handed out a Recommended Reading List to those of us who planned to attend college. I tackled the list with a holy fervor, and found great satisfaction in having most of the classics read and crossed off the list by the end of my senior year. I learned to love a good read.

My vacations are typically trips to visit my family and to see my grand-kids. They are also book-buying trips. My family knows my love language – they frequently give me gift cards to my favorite bookstores for birthdays and Christmas.

I have collections of books by my favorite authors, ones that most impacted my life and spiritual journey. If they write it – I will read it. A prized find this Christmas was Ken Gire’s first book in years, Relentless Pursuit. I read it cover-to-cover in a matter of days.

Another purchase with this year’s Christmas gift card was the One Impact Bible (Zondervan). I will read it from cover-to-cover by the end of 2013.  It contains 300 devotions that remind us: “There is One God. You are One Person. You have One Impact.” By the time I read the third devotion, I was encouraged by God’s personal message of hope for me. That’s what happens when we read God’s Word – He shows up!

I have read the Bible from cover-to-cover each year for the past two decades. To keep it fresh, I use different translations. Last year I challenged myself to read the English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible, complete with study notes. I’ve used the One Year Bible and the One Year Chronological Bible. Eugene Peterson’s The Message, The Bible in Contemporary Language, thrilled my heart so, that I gave many copies as gifts one year.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, good for you! I’m lucky if I can read the cereal box without interruption in the morning!” Believe me, I remember the day! My habit of daily Bible reading was blown out of the water when my first baby was born. It wasn’t until two years after the birth of my second child that I was able to re-establish anything like a regular time in God’s Word.

I don’t know how much time you spend reading His Word, but I do know God will honor whatever time you give to Him. It is my conviction that God allows us to be more productive with the time we have left in our day, after we’ve taken time with Him. Just think: The Author of the Book promises to show up if we take just one step toward drawing closer to Him: Say a quiet ‘yes’ to God and he’ll be there in no time (James 4:8 The Message).

Happy reading in 2013!

Today’s challenge: Say a quiet ‘yes’ to God by committing to read His Word on a regular basis. Be realistic re: your goal. Start small. I guarantee you will want to take more time with Him as your hear Him speak words of love and hope to your heart.



  1. Barb Wenberg
    Jan 5, 2013

    Kathy, I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts through your blog. You bless my heart so many times. Lately I’ve been thinking I’d like to try the chronological bible. Perhaps on my birthday this year I’ll receive one.

  2. Katie
    Jan 5, 2013

    It seems like most days all I can grab is one verse jotted down on a piece of paper. I have 4 little ones and the time for reading has become scarce. But I see God honor even that one verse I take the time to read and meditate on, and use it in a big way throughout my day. Thank you for your encouraging words!

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