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J.R. Bucklew

Follower of Christ - Husband of Feven - Father of Maraki - Non-profit Leader - Deaf Ministry Strategist - Visionary - Innovator

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Holy Habits in 2021

In 2020 I began a journey to do something that I had never done before. That was to read through the Bible completely! It was far from perfect and there were certainly gaps here and there because well... 2020. Still, it was something that was extremely impactful. If you follow me on Instagram you might recall that the format I shared for this was the "Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan" developed by The Navigators.

Outside of that goal I also was able to read the book of Proverbs each month in 2020 aligning each day of the month with the corresponding chapter in the book. Then had the fortunate opportunity to read the Book of Psalms twice. During the year I happened to watch a film on the life of Luis Palau the evangelist. There was a line mentioned in the film where his father had told him that he read the Psalms to learn how to better relate with God and read Proverbs to better learn how to relate with people.

This really jumped out at me because in my own journey of reading Proverbs last year I found myself in many a situation where something I read helped me in conversation with people or even to know how to navigate difficult and sometimes sticky scenarios. There really is wisdom in that book. ;-)

So that brings me to 2021. While I'm not following a strong "read through in a year" type plan this year I have brought some habits forward that I felt were instrumental to me. That is the daily reading of Psalms and Proverbs along with working more slowly through another piece of scripture.

Proverbs has a fairly straight forward format if you want to read through the book each month. There are obviously some chapters at the end that won't get read each month if you stay rigid to the date type format but you're welcome to read more at the end of the month. For the Psalms, I have designed my own reading plan that will allow me to go through the book 4 times this year. I was amazed when I finished putting the format together because it is possible to do this by only having to read under 30 verses a day.

The big thing I have been experiencing with this is not merely a plan, format, or structure. It has been seeing how God has been intentionally doing work in me through the structure. I will read a proverb and think, "gee so just do this for wisdom.. gosh but how?" Then immediately when I read the Psalms I see David or another psalmist praying and speaking the truth about how God in fact grants that very thing and the means by which He does it.

God is molding my heart each morning one conversation with Him at a time. I'm excited about what we will get to talk about in 2021. I'm eager to see what He plans to teach me.

Again, imperfection, gaps, excuses will come into the picture. There will be plenty of reasons presented to my flesh for why I should not engage with the God of the universe on a particular morning. My prayer is that the Lord help me. Because in of myself it is an impossible attempt. But by His Spirit, it can be done. The same is true for you!

So, in 2021, once again, I'm working to be disciplined to take my daily dozen spiritual vitamins. I'd invite you on this journey too. Think less about what your goal is to have done by December 2021 and more about what you want to have done this morning. Wake each day, seek His face at that moment, and worry not about what tomorrow holds.

Peace to you my friends! I know many are going through difficult confusing times, but I remain joyful. I have seen what God has done in my own life over the last year and a half and what He is continuing to do. Because of this, I remain joyful and hopeful that even in your darkest days that God is in fact working in your life too. I just pray that you allow Him to do the work He needs to do!


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