Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 5 comments

Here she put her shoes on "all by my self!"
Isn't it funny how our memory works? Most thoughts of day-to-day happenings fall by the wayside, but then there's that arbitrary memory that we can recall in great detail. One of those random, vivid memories for me dates back to when my daughter was two. We went with my mother to a craft show at the country church she attended growing up. Evidently it was quite a happening because we had to park some distance away. As we walked my daughter displayed her self-sufficiency as only a two-year-old can. Refusing to hold our hands as we made our way to the entrance, arms folded across her chest, she defiantly (and repeatedly) chanted "All by my self! I'll do it all by my self!"


Unfortunately some of us never grow out of that attitude of independence, which is sad because the truth is, we were created for community. So why is it that we so often try to go it alone? Could it be the "Lone Ranger" mentality of our society has become ingrained in us? Or perhaps we think asking for help is a sign of weakness. Maybe pride is what is keeping us from showing others than we're anything less than perfect.

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm?  And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

For most of us, we are far more influenced by those around us than we'd care to admit. We generally think of this in a negative way, but we can also surround ourselves with people that will influence us in a positive way. In fact, studies show that we're most likely to succeed when we have support from others.* As we continue to search for ways to set ourselves up for success when it comes to spending time in God's Word, we can't overlook the power of a group.

Over the years I've followed different Bible reading plans, and while I have finished them all eventually, I've never finished one on schedule. I'm wondering if one of the reasons for this is because I've always attempted to do it on my own. It's easy to get sidetracked when there's no one to hold you accountable.



Thanks to the internet, I've discovered a new Bible reading plan. It's called "From Garden to City" and comes from National Community Church where Mark Batterson is the pastor. There are several reasons why I'd like to try it.

  - I'm much more consistent reading the Bible when I'm following a plan.

  - This plan is in a different order than others I've done previously.
    (It follows the church calendar.)

  - The plan spans 13 months rather than just a year.
    (Maybe I'll be more successful with a little less to read each day.)

  - I've found sermons to go along with each week's readings.

  - This time I'm not attempting to go it alone!

And that's where you come in! Will you join me in reading through the Bible in the next 13 months? Friends, I have to tell you I'm putting myself out on a limb here because I honestly don't know if I'll succeed in this undertaking, but I know I have a better chance at sticking with it if I'm not going it alone. 

The plan actually starts on February 17, giving you time to wrap up loose ends before we get started. I have a Facebook group set up so we can "chat" about what we're reading, and if you live around Grand Rapids I'm hoping to have some opportunities to meet and discuss it person as well. If you're interested in joining us, please let me know so we can support one another. 

I absolutely love God's timing! I just read this this morning and would like to close with this thought from Cynthia Heald, taken from A Woman's Journey to the Heart of God: "God created us all be be a part of His body. We function together. Fellowship is a precious gift the Lord gives His children. To neglect fellowship or refuse to draw near those who can make our journey all that it should be is to make ourselves vulnerable to compromise...If we are committed to travel toward the heart of God, then we need to move toward the wise friend, of any age, who can help us stay on the journey."

Father, I am so humbled to think that you look forward to our time together even more than I do. Thank you for developing in me a great desire to spend time with you and help me to encourage those who have not reached this place to know that it is within their grasp. Thank you for community, and for those you've already chosen to travel this path with me.

Lisa

*This comes from a book called "Influencer" by Grenny, Patterson, Maxfield, McMillan and Switzler,  which I'm reading because there's one person in particular I want to influence - ME!

This post is the sixth of a series dedicated to help you establish setting aside time with the Lord every day.  Prior posts are:

     1.  Getting on the Right Track - Motivation

     2.  Make Way for Jesus - Preparation

     3.  Overcoming Obstacles - Press on!  

     4.  Defeating Distractions - Small Change = Big Difference  

     5.  Set Up for Success - Construct a Conducive Environment

     6.  Positive Peer Pressure - Growth in Groups     You are here!

    
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5 Responses so far.

  1. I would love to do this Bible in a year with you. I am finishing up last year's Bible in a year which I am doing chronologically. It's the end of Jan so you can tell I didn't finish on time either. I am halfway through Revelation now so I could finish up by Feb. 17 and be ready to go again. Grand Rapids is not that close to me (I'm in Toronto) but not so far as Cincinnati where I drive to see friends twice a year. So meeting is possible, too.

  2. I love this! I am doing a reading plan with a small group already - but I will look into this! I love that it has sermons too! I'm visiting from Jennifer Dukes Lee's place! So glad I stopped by!

  3. Hy, your blog is fantastic and you are a beautiful and very good person, congratulations and kisses from Spain.
    See you: http://redecoratelg.blogspot.com.es/

  4. Thanks for sharing about this resource. I already have a reading plan, but you've provided a great reminder about the importance of having accountability and fellowship as we read.

  5. I like the idea of sermons to go with the week of Bible reading and the group following together. Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

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