Friday, January 11, 2013

Progress and Expectations for 2013

"I have treasured the words of His mouth
more than my daily bread." 
~ Job 23:12

We are only eleven days into this new year, yet it seems like the freshness of a new year is already disappearing. Before any more days flip over on my desk calendar, I want to let you know what I will be up to this year. It has become my commitment at the beginning of every new year to decide what I will be doing to make progress in my Christian walk that year. So I often share my goals here at Joy In The Truth for the purpose of accountability. If I put it out there for friends to see, it helps me stay authentically on track.

Recently I read this in "Dear Sister" by Gisela Yohannan, and I wholeheartedly agree!

Do you have any specific prayer requests and expectations
for this year? I am not talking about a “wish list” of material
things or ambitions you might have for your life, family and ministry.

What I want you to consider is your spiritual life: the depth of
your personal walk with the Lord, your growth as a Christian, the
progress you have made toward developing a Christlike character
and, most of all, how real your relationship is with Jesus—if the
things you proclaim can be seen in your life.

Our time here on earth is so limited, and the years we have to
serve our God are so few, that it would be tragic if we let them pass
by carelessly and simply live each day without being conscious of
our purpose.

It takes God many years to train us and make us useful. The
quality and depth of work we will be able to accomplish largely
depends on the quality and depth God is able to work into our
personal life and character. Our steadfastness, genuine love and
trust in God’s Word—and conversely, our shallowness, lack of
faith and worldly mind-set—will all be reproduced in our disciples.
May God give us grace to realize the seriousness of submitting to 
His hand when He works on our hearts.
~Gisela Yohannan

So here is my commitment for 2013. Feel free to stop by unexpectedly and see how I am doing! I welcome your loving, gentle, steady accountability.  

I will be reading the New Testament through in 2013. I have read the entire Bible through in one year twice. With other studies I am doing this year, I knew just doing the New Testament was best for this year. Here is a great link for Bible reading plans. It is never too late to start!!

My boss gave me this devotional by Charles Spurgeon, which I actually began in October 2012. So I will be finishing it January - September 2013.
You can read it here also:

I am reading a wonderful book "Dear Sister" by Gisela Yohannan (wife of K.P. Yohannan, President of Gospel For Asia). Gisela's honest and loving encouragement to Christian women is amazing!

For the next 6 weeks I am doing the "Faithful, Abundant, True" Bible study by Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer and Beth Moore (what a line-up!). I am very excited to dig deep into God's Word through this study.

Last, but certainly not least, I will be reading this challenging and encouraging Unglued 60-Day Devotional by my friend Lysa. Lysa's honest and consistent pursuit of holiness is shared in her down-to-earth girlfriend style in this call-to-action devotional. 
Lysa wrote this recently about daily quiet time, and I feel like she was writing my heart. This sums up how God has ordained my morning quiet time for quite a while. 
*Read God's Word every day
*Read something by someone you admire
*Read something by someone you trust

As I read Lysa's word and looked around at my dining room table, that is exactly how I spend my quiet/listening time each morning. I am excited for 2013 and how God will grow His character in me.

What are your Bible study plans for 2013? Do share! 


Blessings to you and yours!

Happy, Blessed New Year from our family to you!


Vanessa Manz said...

I am so excited that I found this site! My husband and I are reading through the bible together in 90 days and it is making not only our faith stronger but our marriage stronger as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting a study of the book of Nehemiah at church next week. I just finished my first Bible study ever last fall, and I'm really looking forward to getting back to it :) :) :)

Amanda Steingiesser said...

I'm really glad I found this. I have been quite the passive believer, never disbelieving, but not actively living it either. I hope to regain that relationship with Christ. These pages are of such encouragement and inspiration! Thank you!

leeleeisblessed said...

One of my goals begins on Monday, doing the GMG's Study in Luke. After that, I have Lisa Harper's study in Malachi. I also want to get Kelly Minter's study on Nehemiah. Thanks for your encouragment. :)

Windleg said...

I am working to memorize and study one verse every week during 2013.

Janice said...

Love the verse at the beginning of this post--Job 23:12. 2013 is the "year of Words" in my life...I purpose in my heart to "take God at His Word" and to "speak blessings and not curses." I am seeing verses about "words" everywhere I turn. Thanks for another reminder!

Morgan Ross said...

After we finish our 22:6 Bible study we're going to do a Beth Moore, Bo Stern, or Unglued study. It's going to be great! :)

Anonymous said...

I am so excited to grow more this new year. New hope in the new year. After having cancer twice, I am cancer free and can focus on other things. God is good!

Kristin said...

My initial goal needs to be spending more time in the Word...honestly it is intimidating to me...and then I do nothing. THAT has to change!!

Joyce said...

Studying on various women in the Bible right now. Have never read the Bible through in its entirety so am trying this year.

Kerrie said...

I am a single mom to two small children...I work full time and take college classes online after the kiddos are in bed. God knows I don't have hours to spend with Him, he just desires my heart. My goal this year is to be consistent to put him first for each day before things get hectic--even if its only 10-15 minutes. I have subscribed to a mobile reading plan at and open that before I jump out of bed.

I also check in with him in prayer all through the day :)

Natalie Curp said...

My plan is to actually read through the Bible this year! I am also going to memorize 2 verses a month. Our women's ministry has 3 Bible studies a year that I will participate in and then I plan on doing studies on my own during the in between times. We are beginning Priscilla Shirer's Discerning the Voice of God later this month.

Shannon Alexander said...

I always try to read through the Bible in a year but usually fail. This year my goal is to make sure I at least read a little each day!
shannonsweep at gmail dot com

Rachel said...

I am working on reading through the Bible. I'm also currently reading Unglued...would love to do the devotional too!

BussStopCreations said...

My Bible study plans for 2013 are to follow the Bible reading plan outlined in Life: Beautiful (Christian magazine). I also would like to start a Book study at church with Lysa's book, Unglued; followed by Renee Swopes book, A Confident Heart. I feel the two will pair well together.

Happy New Year and thanks for the push to make a Bible study plan for 2013.

Veronica Troup said...

I am wanting to find a devotional that will really motivate me to study. This truly has me interested. I would love to win this - if it be God's will for me. Bless you in all you do.
Veronica Troup

Warmspringday said...

Your goals are refreshing to me. I am in the process of setting my 2013 goals. I find that when I read the Bible through in a year, I focus on quantity read and don't take the time for in depth study. Struggling on how to balance this. I am planning some Scripture memorization for this year, using One Thousand Gifts Romans project. I'm going to be checking out some of the resources you shared and would love to have a copy of Unglued.

jada.smith94 said...

Working through Luke and doing Scripture memorization (tough for me for some reason) with Beth Moore. Just finished the study "Greater" and looking forward to the next one! :)