These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.    Deuteronomy 6:6-9

With the start of a fresh new year our thoughts turn to how we can improve our life. Christians normally consider how to draw closer in their walk with the Lord. Do you have plans for that this year? Phyllis mentioned in a recent blog post that writing down a plan will increase the likelihood that you will follow through with it. I offer you the chance to do that here in comments.

I admit that I have allowed myself to be sidetracked in my Bible study times. I move often. Disruptions in routine are common for me as well as leaving good study buddies, small groups and Sunday School classes behind to start anew. I moved last summer and since then I've failed to re-establish a study routine. Before the move I spent 2 1/2 years leading my small group through the entire Bible. We completed it just before we moved and I should have started something else and didn't.

But I have a plan and I'm writing it down. Here.

A few years ago I read the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I really enjoyed it as it gave me much food for thought. I'm going to start my year re-reading the book (since I have a faulty memory) in the mornings after I walk my son to school. I'm going to place the book beside my comfy rocking chair in my front room that has a mountain view and which I enjoy spending time in. I think it's important to set up a pleasant and comfortable place to study if you can. I have my coaster ready for my cup of healthy green tea. I admit that I'm not a music person (gasp). It's true. I probably won't put on any music. I'll enjoy the rare peace and quiet. And I like incense so I may light an incense cone (frequent moves aren't kind to candles so I don't buy them anymore).

After I finish reading the book I will look for another study--perhaps one that will require me to move to my desk (I like my computer Bible for looking things up on and reviewing maps). I'm fascinated by Biblical geography and archaeology so I may choose something along those lines to study.

What will you be studying this year? Will you study while your kids nap or after work while soaking your tired feet? Will you have a special place in your home set up to study in or will you fill a basket or tote bag with the resources you need so it's portable? Will you listen to the Bible on CD while driving to work or on your ipod while walking the dog? Will you read the Bible on your laptop during your lunch break? Will you sign up for a Bible reading course on-line and have your chapters e-mailed to you daily? Will you use a devotional book or study guide or go it alone? Will you listen to contemporary Christian music, Gregorian chants or the birds in your garden while you study? Will you light your favorite jasmine candle or use a handmade room scent spray from one of your favorite Etsy shops to make your time with God's Word that much more special?

Leave a message in comments about how you will study this year.

The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
Following are some CAST Team items that could help you arrange a special study space. And don't forget to check the CAST blog throughout the week for the Monday Devotions written by our members, great inspiration that comes with reading about the life of members in Wednesday Featured Artists and wonderful thoughtful commentary with Friday Finds and Sunday Scripture posts.



Comments (9)

On January 1, 2011 at 11:49 AM , Lizzi said...

I'm planning to read my bible more this year too...I like reading Psalm and proverbs in the morning (we used to do it every day before school-I was homeschooled), but as for the in-depth bible studies I prefer in the evening before bed.

On January 1, 2011 at 12:00 PM , Art and Sew Forth said...

A great way to start the cast blog this year. Wow...I too have struggled over the years with this. I MUST have my devotions first thing in the morning before anyone is up or it will not get done. I will use Moody Bible Institute's devotional along with a book my daughter gave to me. The devotional allows for a minimum to be accomplished with thoughts to ponder, but I can always delve more into scripture if I have time.

On January 1, 2011 at 12:54 PM , MYSAVIOR said...

This will requre a lot of thought for me. I spend my day, from waking until sleeping, trying to be closer to the Lord and doing what He wants me to do.


On January 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM , Angels and Everlastings said...

I have been giving thought to my spiritual goals as I realized I blogged about my business goals but didn't include any personal goals. I too want to be more consistent with daily Bible time and prayer. I find that it's best if I do it first thing.

On January 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM , TC Cunningham said...

The New Year is here and I still haven't set a routine for my quiet time and Bible study. Since my special needs son, Taylor, has graduated from high school, my routine has changed immensely. I'm used to him being at school and having as much quiet time as I need since I work at home. Now he's almost always around. In my mind I can't have a quiet time if I think he is going to interrupt it. He does work part-time, but it varies on time, no set schedule. And it seems when he is at work, I have so much to get accomplished before he gets home. Well, I've made this excuse long enough. I am thankful for Sue's post. Now that the Christmas rush is over, it's a good time to find a study and make my quiet time a priority.

On January 1, 2011 at 10:07 PM , Angelic Emypress said...

I try to read and pray three times a day. Its hard but at least i know i'll get one good one in if i shoot for three. Once in the morning when i first get home, once as soon as I get home from work (or when I switch tasks on the weekend) and then before I go to bed.
I want to see God move so much this year that I know I have to do this and do my very best to stick to it. :)

On January 2, 2011 at 3:02 PM , pfd said...

I read the Bible before I go to sleep at night. Writing for the blog this past year kept me doing studies on a regular basis but this year I am unsure of what direction I will go in. My DD and myself are considering starting a blog this year.

On January 4, 2011 at 5:37 PM , Deb (Two Cheeky Monkeys) said...

I try to study God's word when my kids are having a "rest time", although it works best when I'm the only one home!
I have been reading through a devotional series called "The Daily Reading Bible", a handy series of studies one can take anywhere with them and contains the relevant Bible passages for each day's readings as well as questions to help you think about what the passage is saying, how to apply it to your personal situation and some ideas for prayer.
I am also currently reviewing a daily devotions book, so am looking forward to using that this year in my studies too.

On January 9, 2011 at 5:12 PM , Butler Pottery said...

I have been a stay at home mom and now have my pottery business at home. I have had the luxury of taking some time in the morning to read my bible and journal what God puts on my heart. The kids are married and on their own but my husband is now retired. He has a habit of talking to me just because he sees me sitting in the chair staring out the window with my bible on my lap. I had to tell that is my way of praying. Now he is respecting my quiet time. You don't have if you don't ask.