19 November 2008

Reading Plan

I listened to 'The Pastor and His Reading', a recent episode of the Sovereign Grace Ministries podcast featuring an interview with C.J. Mahaney and Jeff Purswell by Josh Harris.  It was highly recommended by my friend Debra, (she's been pushing me - in a nice, this is good for me sort of way - to listen to the whole series) and I finally got started this week.  Even though it sounds as if it would be specifically for pastors, there is much there that applies to any Christian and especially any Christian homeschooling mom.  (Debra said the whole series thus far is quite apropos.)

Along with Scripture, I've been reading C.J.'s Humility, True Greatness, Jerry Bridges' The Discipline of Grace, and Thomas Watson's The Godly Man's Picture - all personally challenging.  But C.J. mentioned in the interview that we should be spreading our reading around.  He said that, in addition to these types of books, we should be reading technical commentaries as we study a book of Scripture, biographies (which I read occasionally), and the Christian classics (I try to fit the classics into our study of Christendom every four  years, but I may need to change my approach as I don't usually get through them - I can't count how many times I've started  Confessions and never finished it!).

With that in mind, I'm going to adjust my reading diet.  I'll cut The Godly Man's Picture down to a few times each week (Debra and I are discussing our way through it over coffee or tea or lunch each week, but we're moving slowly enough that I can more than stay ahead with that schedule).  I'll probably gulp down Humility pretty quickly, with the intention to re-read more slowly it at some point in the future.  I'd like to add in David McCullough's biography of Truman or Marsden's biography of  Jonathan Edwards and either my abridged Calvin's Institutes or a commentary on Philippians, which our pastor is currently preaching through (I'll ask for a recommendation if our church bookstore doesn't carry one).

C.J. and Jeff recommended reading at least an hour a day.  I love this idea and already come close during my quiet time, but I'm inconsistent.  I'm going to work on that in my life and I'm beginning to insist on that for the kids.  I also want to add in a re-read of Shopping for Time, by Carolyn Mahaney and will work on a tighter routine this week which I'll institute next week when we start school again.



  1. Lynne,
    I have been using audiobooks as a way to read books I have struggled with in the past. It worked great for Paradise Lost and The Divine Comedy and now I am going to try Boswell's Johnson.

  2. Cindy,

    Audio books sounds great, but I have trouble following anything but a story that's read aloud to me (and I have to sit and do mindless handwork or give the story my full attention or my mind wanders).

    I was able to follow the interview because of the interaction among the men (and probably because of the topic). I tried to listen to the second yesterday while working on a sewing pattern and just couldn't do it.

    I catch more when I read aloud to someone than if I'm read to, but even then I only catch half and need to re-read to find out what really happened.

    I don't chew gum, but I bet I couldn't walk and chew at the same time if I did. 8-D