05 October 2013

Professor Horner's Bible Reading System Tutorial

Dear Lissy,

Nothing compares to immersing yourself in the Word of God when you are seeking to keep God's power and presence at the forefront of your mind. I've written half a dozen letters (filed under the Devotions tab) detailing various Bible study and reading methods that I've used in different seasons of life. My "default" mode for the past several years has been Grant Horner's Bible Reading System.  I've mentioned Professor Horner's system several times before, but I recently had a fellow blogger from France asked me how I kept on track. Professor Horner's system is a bit overwhelming, especially the first time a few of the bookmarks fall out of your Bible.  I used a checksheet for several months, but found it awkward.  Post-it notes ripped my super-thin india paper pages, but Bookdarts were a perfect fit.  I'll warn you:  Bookdarts are highly addictive.  You may want to buy a tin instead of a sleeve.

A good quality cover on your Bible is a must.  Professor Horner's system involves reading 10 chapters a day.  I rarely have time for all 10 at a single sitting, so my Bible moves around the house and into my tote bag.  Right now it's on my laundry folding counter up in the classroom. 
My daily driver is a Cambridge Pitt Minion.  The letter I wrote on how to pick a Bible is here.
I keep my current plan written in pencil in the front flyleaf of my Bible and slide a Bookdart down as I read each List for the day.  Notice, no paper to fall out of the Bible! If you're just starting, go through at least one full cycle of Professor Horner's original plan before you start changing it up.

Next, I've gone through each book in each list indicating at the end of that book which book should be read next.  In this case, List 5 skips from Job to Ecclesiastes.  I also make a notation at the beginning of the first book in each list.  List 6 begins in Psalm 1.  The annotations were time consuming, but they allow me to read instead of spend time wondering where to read next.
The page I'm reading from in each list is marked with a Bookdart.  Notice that nothing protrudes from the side of the pages -- the bookdarts are flush with the edge of the page.  My system isn't marked 1-10.  I'm used to the reading order after several years of this system, but I can also peek back at the flyleaf if I forget.
Unlike a bookmark, a Bookdart shows you exactly where you left off your reading.  I know at a glance that Psalm 127 is the portion of Psalms I'll read today.  I read one chapter from each list, moving the Bookdart to tomorrow's portion as I go.

Here's a closeup.  Even though Psalm 127 and 130 start just a few lines apart on the same page, I can see that Psalm 127 is the passage for today.
The backs of Bookdarts are rounded, so there's no chance of confusion.  These thin, light metal markers are secure even on my india paper pages but slide on and off easily without leaving marks.
Don't underestimate the power of having a basket with all of your quiet time tools together waiting for you.  I like this particular spot because the morning sun comes in through one window, and the afternoon sun through another.  Being as solar powered as a cat, I know a sunny spot will draw me like a magnet.
Meinheld, the fellow blogger I mentioned at the beginning of this letter, created a different method for keeping her place using simple Post-it flags.   Her post is auf Deutsch, but she offered this simple English explanation:
"Yes, the system is easy. I always put the green tab with the list number on the right side that way I only move it every other page. The red one always goes on the next chapter to read. No more writing things down. When I am done, I put the ribbon bookmark of the Bible to the next list to be read since I not always do the 10 lists."
Here's a peek at her French Bible. . .
Visit Meinheld's trilingual blog, God's Fingerprints In My Life for more pictures and her in-depth explanation of how she uses Post-its.
Wishing you many happy hours with the Lord in His Word!


Linked up at Titus 2 Tuesdays

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post, Mrs P! I love the pictures of your Bible and quiet time basket. I am all the more excited to read my Bible :)
    Praying for you and your family,
    Annie W.