A Year of Dog

I’m not usually one for new year’s resolutions. It’s not that I think they’re bad, or that some people can’t make good use of them. I do think, though, that they can be a source of discouragement. Well, I guess I’ve failed again this year by not keeping my resolution. Who needs that guilt? In a similar way, these resolutions can actually serve as an excuse to not continue doing something. If I’d made a resolution to work out every day in the new year, I’m actually less likely to keep working out after I miss a week than I would’ve been if I hadn’t made the resolution. I already failed in my resolution, and since starting over would remind me of my failure, I’ll just stop working out altogether. No.

Despite this, the new year is still a great time for starting something new or reminding yourself about a goal you’ve set. For me, this usually involves my own personal devotions and Bible reading. I’ve written about this before (here and here and here), but I like to have a slightly different way each year of reading through the Bible and studying it.

This year, I’m following a Bible reading plan that I’ve mentioned before (in one of the links above), but I’ve also decided to add a new element to my study: reading through the Dogmatics notes from my time at Seminary

Dogmatics — or “Dog” as we called it in school — is the study of Christian doctrine or teaching. It’s basically an orderly presentation of the all the teachings of the Bible, laid out with passages and other supporting writings about each topic. I had electronic notes from my time at seminary (I graduated 8 years ago), but looking through an old Word document was kind of cumbersome, and tough to keep track of where I had left off.

That’s why I was excited to discover that I could read the notes using the Logos Bible Software that I already own. (If you know Logos, check this out!) My seminary’s website, I noticed a couple of weeks ago, offers files that can be used to add my dog notes to my Logos library. You can check it out here.

So now, I can read through my notes right in the same program I use for other Bible work. Here’s a screenshot of it, with the notes being on the left side of the screen.

Once I did this, I easily set up a reading plan in Logos that gives me a schedule to read through these notes through the course of one year. Nice!

It’s all working great so far, now I just need to keep it up for another 360 days or so!

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Through the Bible

Pastors tend to use the Bible a lot. Kind of an occupational hazard. In my work, I use the Bible for sermons, Bible studies, hospital visits, shut-in visits, opening of meeting devotions, newsletter articles, and on and on. That's great, and I'm thankful that my job allows me to be in the Word so much.

But I also know that it can be dangerous to view the Bible in a purely academic, finish-the-next-task kind of way. So, I also do personal devotions where I read through much of the Bible for no other reason than to grow in the Word. I've written in the past about previous Bible reading plans I've used, so I figured I'd mention what I'm doing now.

I've been using my Logos Bible Software divide the entire Bible into a year's worth of readings. I use Logos all the time, and have for years. It can be a bit clunky in the Bible readings, but all in all works well. It's especially nice to be able to use on the go on my phone. It's nice on my iPad (as in the picture above) where I can have a commentary (in this case the Lutheran Study Bible) open at the same time.

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