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Jan 7, 2016

Welcome to the Encountering God Bible Reading Plan!

The Great Adventure

The Bible is rich with life lessons, and proof of God’s love for us. It is the story of salvation, the hope for humanity, and a sure way to make dialogue with God central to your life, when it is read correctly. So how do we find a way to motivate ourselves to read the Bible, while also finding a way to make sense of its mysteries?


Perhaps you had these same concerns when you signed up for the Encountering God Bible reading plan, formerly known as the 90-day Bible challenge. For the following year, you will receive a blogpost in your email giving you just the direction you need to make reading your Bible a more enriching experience for your spiritual life. The Great Adventure Bible Timeline’s Executive Editor Sarah Christmyer will take you through the 14 narrative books of the Bible, and share with you what she has learned. At the end of this journey, you will not only have a better understanding of the Bible. You’ll also more clearly see your role in the great story of salvation Christ invites us to enter.

This post was updated 1/11/2016 to convey that the 90-Day Bible Challenge is now the Encountering God Bible reading plan, which offers the same readings and reflections as the 90-day Bible Challenge over the course of a year. You can sign up for Encountering God here

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  • I am looking forward to the opportunity to going through this study a second time, especially to reading the great observations and insights that I know will be forthcoming from my fellow travelers. Last year was a delightful mixture of prayerful reading, thinking, sharing, learning and fun. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

    • Welcome back…I am with you. I feel like a child waiting for this exciting and challenging opportunity. God bless!

      • like you I can’t wait to get started, I am from England so I love hearing all your points of view, we are all journeying together, how exciting!

    • Has it only been a year. To me it has seemed more like a decade. I began this study last year because I was not expected to live out the year, and I had a Bible Bucket List, Instead this year I have seen so many miracles that it has seemed like an eternity. Last year I was able to participate in Lent as I have never participated in Lent before, This study prepared me for this spiritual growth. Then in July, my Dr. declared me Cancer Free and said it was a miracle. He also said he now believed in God. Lastly I was able to participate in the bible study “Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother” . I shall spend this evening thanking God for all the Blessings of this year beginning with this study.

      • Hello again, I am glad that we are journeying together again. This time round, instead of doing the 90 day at the same time as the Quick Great Adventure Study, it will be alongside the 24 week course (we are half way). I hope we get the “Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother”in the future.

  • I’ve been getting Bible in a Year this past year and will start getting them again starting on New Years day. And getting this in addition will be great as well. I have taken The Great Adventure class at my Parish where we went through the whole Bible in a matter of several weeks. We had the book and study guide as well. Looking forward to this 90 day challenge.

    • The bible study you receive during the year, is it online? I want this type of a study all year too. Would you mind sharing other studies you are a part of online?

      I am glad we are on this journey together! Welcome.

        • Thank you, Richard. This one is similar to the hard copy I order from The Word Amongst Us. Your way to reach out is greatly appreciated! God Bless!

      • Here is one that sends a little bit to your email each morning with a bit of the New Catholic Study Bible to explain it. Want to sign up for Gospels in a Year (or help my friends do so)? If you want to invite others to join in, simply share this link with them:

  • Sarah, I cannot thank you and The Great Adventure for another opportunity of scripture reading for depth of understanding and knowledge of the Old Testament. My first experience with this same challenge occurred last year. It was one of the most touching, soul searching, hunger for really getting closer to Jesus and the opening of a closer journey with Jesus. Oh how I learned how to embrace my Christianity life so so much more.

    I know we are just starting, but I want to know if another type of bible study is available after this. This is something I want every single day within a year. I read scripture daily, have completed the Letivio Divino Study, but want this type of scripture reading daily. Therefore, if someone can direct me to this I so appreciate it.

    I cannot wait to begin this challenge with Sarah and all of you! Jesus, I ask that Sarah be blessed for her continued position in this 90day journey. I also ask that everyone of us in this challenge be blessed to a closer journey with you, receive a more meditating experience and that this journey lead us closer to you and hope for an eternal life with you and God our Father. Amen.

    • Hi. Have a look around the site as they do offer other online courses and reflections. Plus there are the courses that can be run in the parish. I am half way through the 24 week History of Salvation at our Cathedral and Barbara has completed the “Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother”. I wanted to do the online “Walk through the Mass, but missed it due to technical problems.

      • Avila, you’ll love both studies. I recently finished the Walk with the Blessed Mother; and the Walk through the Mass is probabbly one of my all-time favorites. It’s a must for every Catholic, fallen away Catholic, and anyone who wants to understand “why Catholics do what they do” through each aspect of the Mass.

  • I am looking forward to the lessons / sharings that will certainly bring
    a greater awareness of God and his love for us and a better
    understanding of my role in his plan. MY understanding is that BIBLE is
    an acronym for Basic Instructions for Better Living Everyday and if we
    understand and live with his instructions (…thy kingdom come and thy
    will be done on earth as it is in heaven.) I am looking forward to
    the next 90 days.

  • It is amazing how much more you can absorb from these Bible passages a second time around. I await this outstanding challenge with such excitement!

    • I totally agree with you and I look forward to all your comments. I think this is our 3rd or maybe 4th year of doing this study together.

      • Barb, You are so right! The more I read the Bible through these discussions, the more I understand God’s plan for us and how much I learn from reading all the comments made by fine people like yourself. What a enjoyable, enlightening, and exciting way to learn!

    • or third or fouth or fifth… each time I read the Scriptures it’s as if something new is revealed. I look forward to sharing this journey with my online friends.

      • Marianne, I can’t believe this is the third or fourth time we have done this! You are right. Isn’t it glorious when something new is revealed through the Scriptures, even though you have read the same passage over and over before? May the Holy Spirit guide us through this outstanding program and enfold us with His love and knowledge so that we may learn a bit more about how deep God’s love is for us.

        • Hi Kevin. You can sign up for the new Bible challenge here and you’ll receive an email once every four days with the same readings as the 90 Day challenge, and you’ll read the Bible over the course of a year. Thanks for asking.

  • I’m looking forward to doing this again. I like the structure it gives my mornings, and it helps me to think more deeply about the Bible verses I read.

  • Hoping to stay faithful and complete this bible study. What a great way to travel to the Easter Season. Blessings to all!

  • Hi All,

    This is my first 90 day challenge. I hope I can be as disciplined as the rest of you to keep up. I am looking forward to the study.

  • my sister sent me the challange I hope to do it please pray for me I have ADHD and keeping focused is verry hard for me. the last 90 day challange I did was with

    wwme and that was with my husband. iam a widow now so I have to go this one alone with the help of the father son and holy spirit i will make .
    lucy z

  • One of my resolutions for 2015 is to read the Bible every day. I did it before, I can do it again, right? Looking forward to this study.

  • I tried it the last time and failed to complete the 90 day challenge. Please pray for me that with your prayers and the help of God I can fulfill this resolution.

  • Yes, I need to read the bible everyday as the Word is a lamp in my life.first time I am joining such a discussion on the Bible.Really looking forward for these sessions

    Wishing you all a Blessed,Peaceful and a Joyful New Year .May the spirit of CHRIST mas remains with all of us every day of the new year – SHALOM

  • Since the Bible is the “Living Word” of God, it is always going to be new and exciting each time we read it. I am a Dir. of Catechetical Ministries and thought this would be a wonderful way of making time for myself to study God’s Word and to gain insight from others. God bless.

  • I am looking forward to the lessons / sharings that will certainly bring
    a greater awareness of God and his love for us and a better
    understanding of my role in his plan. MY understanding is that BIBLE is
    an acronym for Basic Instructions for Better Living Everyday and if we
    understand and live with his instructions (…thy kingdom come and thy
    will be done on earth as it is in heaven.) I am looking forward to
    the next 90 days.

  • I am currently listening to the Great Adventure tapes for about the fourth time. I am sure that sharing this journey with others will make the experience even better. My first exposure to the Great Adventure was while I was journeying with my father through his hospice time. It was a great comfort to me at that time. I have come to love the Scripures even more through this training.

  • Hello. My name is Chris from Arvada, Colorado. I’m looking forward to taking on the 90 Day Bible Challenge again this year. I will hold myself accountable to knowing and applying the WORD to my life.

  • I will rely on my favorite scripture to accomplish this endeavor:
    2 Timothy 1:7. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of love, of power, and of self-discipline. It will take a great deal of self-discipline to complete this study. I will rely of our Lord to guide me. Come on 2015!! It will be a great year!!

  • Praise God for his faithfulness! I pray the the Holy Spirit will accompany all of us as we embark on this challenge. Particularly, I offer this study up for my dear friend, Mary, who is praying to conceive.

  • So happy to be back here! See many familiar names. Like any good learning, a second or third time around will yield so much more. I am also interested in this similar method for other studies throughout the year so please pass any ideas this way too!

  • I am looking forward to the reading plan having lust done the ‘Quick journey through the Bible’ course

  • Has anyone started the first reading? I did and when I followed the link, it took me to last years discussion on Genesis 1-4. So I don’t know whether it was to encourage us to share or whether I went to the wrong place. Any help would be welcome. Thanks.

    • Hi Avila! Yes it looks like we’re all in the same place. It’s interesting to re-read last year’s discussions, as well as read the new comments being posted.
      It’s a little like a trip down memory lane, reading previous comments. It can also make us pause to think, has this past year been what I’ve expected, did I fulfill my hopes and plans that I expressed on January 1 of last year?
      I wonder if God re-reads Genesis from time to time. I wonder if He thinks about it and says, “yes, it’s still all very good…”
      Wishing all of you a very blessed, joyful, and fruitful New Year!

    • avila, look under the # comments… click the down arrow and select ‘best’, ‘newest’, or ‘oldest’… 🙂

    • Hi Suzanne. You were signed up for general Great Adventure weekly blog updates. You are now also signed up for the 90-day Bible Challenge. If you don’t receive the daily emails by tomorrow, please let us know. Thanks.

  • look under the # comments… click the down arrow and select ‘best’, ‘newest’, or ‘oldest’… 🙂

  • I would love to do this, maintaining daily has always been an issue with me,,,this time with the help of the Holy Spirit, I can do this….

  • I can do it! I have a head start. Just started Nehemiah. May God bless us, the Holy Spirit help with understanding, and Jesus hold our hand and walk with us through the pages of Holy Scripture.

  • I joined Jeff Cavins’ seminar on his Bible Timeline in 2014 and did the 90 Day study in 2015. I am joining in again this year to review and revisit. Can’t get enough.

  • Gee it’s great to be back on this journey with some of my friends! With the older comments mixed in with the new, those of us repeating the challenge can see where we were before… and where we’re at now. It’s been a heck of a year for me, and I look forward to walking toward and through Lent with all of you. Blessings, Mar

    • I’m looking forward to trying the challenge again. Almost made it through the first time, and have high hopes of making it to the end this time, but as you said in another post whatever we are able to do is a blessing. Speaking of earlier posts, I find the mixing of the old and new posts very confusing. I am also confused about when we are supposed to start. Today is already the 7th, and I just signed up this evening. I’ve already started reading, but don’t know if I am ahead or behind 🙂

      • Hi Dee, it looks like this is the first post for 2016, so you are exactly where you need to be! If you look at the top of the posts, just above where you can add your own comments, you will see “Sort By… Newest, Best or Oldest”. You can alternate depending on your personal preference. I like to sort by newest to see the latest comments. Sort by Best or oldest to see previous content. I think it’s interesting to read what others have said before, or even what I’ve said before. It’s a measure of spiritual growth…
        Blessings to you as you continue the journey!

        • Hi Marianne, thank you so much for your response. Your tip on “Sort by” was extremely helpful. I do see how reading older comments would give one a measure of spiritual growth. I am such a linear thinker though that because I was just trying to get started that seeing the older comments mixed in with new ones seemed odd and confusing. The first time I did the challenge there was a ‘daily’ reading assignment, so the comments were always specific to that day’s readings. Will there be a daily reading assignment we’ll all follow together? The most recent comments all seem to be about being excited about starting, so I am confused about when the official reading begins. I did print out the schedule just in case daily reminders are not sent out, and I just finished Gen. 11, so I am on a roll and very excited. Looking forward to listening to the Lord speak to me and through the comments of my fellow travelers.

          • Thanks again. You’ve reassured me that ‘all is well’. Now I can just appreciate this time to get a little ahead and hopefully stay caught up. Marianne, can’t tell you how much I appreciate the help you have been.

        • Hi David, although in your response to ‘mg’ you said, – the new Bible reading plan replaces the
          90-Day Challenge and that it has EVERYTHING the 90-Day Challenge had – but I don’t see how the participants can share thoughts and insights like we could in the old program. That component allowed us to encourage and help each other. Perhaps I have missed something? Have you heard other complaints, and is there something you can do to fix this missing piece?

      • Thanks for the update. I actually forwarded the original email to several friends. I presume you will contact anyone else who signed up for the Challenge…

  • Yeah, I am ready to join the team in this 90 Day Bible Study journey. This will make three consecutive years I’ve joined, and I cannot wait to get started. I’ve been waiting for this in thought for easily over a month now.

    Sarah, you are a great inspiration leader to our Chrisitian faith.



  • This looks interesting. Will we be following the guidelines provided by Dei Verbum, Divine Constitution on Divine Revelation, to make sure we have a Catholic understanding of what we read? Thanks and God Bless! 🙂

    • Hi Steve, welcome! This Challenge is a synopsis of salvation history based on the Bible Timeline, a study by Ascension Press. The Bible Timeline has been granted the Imprimatur and adheres to Catholic teachings. We look forward to your participation!
      Blessings, Mar

      • Hello David, thanks, but all this is quite confusing and seriously disheartening… I tried to sign up with the link you provided, but received the error message that I have “already” signed up, but I do not think I have received any emails with instructions of how to begin… As unimaginable as it is, this new program may indeed be better than this one has been but we have no indication of it, as of yet… Sincerely, -kevin-

        • We will work on resolving this. We do want to keep all of the good qualities of the 90-Day Bible Challenge in place. If you are already signed up for Encountering God, you should receive an email every 4 days with a reflection and readings. If you’re certain you’re not receiving the emails, you can email me directly at and I can make sure you’re all set up.

  • Hi All! Happy New Year! Is it going to be this or the other one that is 4 readings per week?
    Im confused by the discrepant emails.

  • I would like to start this again this year. But, I have missed the first 9 days already. How do I access the study guide for those days?

    • I am guessing that because people can start the program at anytime, participants will not all be reading the same passages, so it’s hard to see how the message board could actually work in the new program. That’s very disappointing.

      • I agree. That was one reason I liked this one. I can read and reflect on my own anytime but to add this piece of asynchronous collaboration and discussion was what kept it a beautiful experience.

        • I agree with you completely. The depth of the comments always gave me something more to think about and they somehow encouraged me to want to read more and learn more. I was also touched by the care shown between the responders.

  • HI!
    When does this start? I’m pretty sure I signed up, but there’s no start date/end date and I haven’t received any emails other than this one…. Thank you!

  • David, thanks for the e-mail, but from the start of trying to sign up for the 90-Day Reading Plan it has been very confusing, and it could be discouraging to those trying this for the first time. I thought I had signed up for the “90 Day Challenge” and expected that to read/hear something about when it was going to start. I now received your e-mail saying the program is now being called “The Encountering God Bible Reading Plan”. When I signed up for “TEGBRP”, I was directed to a website where I watched a very, very inspiring introduction by Jeff Cavin’s, but it appeared to be an intro to “The Great Adventure Bible Study”. That website directed me to an “Ascension Press Website” and it looked like I had to purchase the program. I have now received your e-mail explaining a bit more about the “Encountering God Bible Reading Plan”. I will give it a try and hope it works as well as “The 90-Day Bible Challenge” which I did two years ago. Since I am a very slow reader, at times the program was a bit too compressed for me, but at the same time the challenge was good for me, and I really enjoyed reading the insightful comments by the other participants. There was also many words of encouragement and support among the participants. In this new program, if I understand it correctly, people could be starting at any time during the year, so I wonder how much support we will be able to get from each other if we are all in different places in our reading?

  • David, Thank you for your email. As with Dee, I watched the introductory video, which was very good, by the way. After that, there was no indication of starting the program. The 3 fields underneath the video did not help me at all. This has become a bit frustrating because I have signed up for the course and am “itching” to get started! I have gone though this course before and so enjoy the insight from all the participants. Am I correct that I will be receiving an email each morning with the day’s course study? Has the course started already? If that is the case, will I be able to comment on the missed courses?

  • So I recieved day one through the Encountering with God invite, but I did not see a page for us to comment. I’d like to comment on the readings and would truly appreciate someone walking me through the steps. Thank you and God bless!

  • I also received the invitation for Encountering God Bible Reading but have no access to discuss the readings. Can someone assist me on this? Many thanks.

  • Reading the title over again I’m understanding it s little different because it states, Welcome to the God Encounters “Reading Plan”. So now I’m just wondering if they’ve cut the discussion out. Anyone know or hear anything different? Thank you for your guidance. God Bless! Carla

  • Carla, I don’t know if you can see all the statements from everyone but I am having the same problem. Let’s hope it can be fixed soon!

    • It does seem that the ‘Encountering God’ program has eliminated the ability for participants to discuss what we’ve read and to discuss the reflection questions. What a shame? This evening I did the reading for Day 2 and then looked at ‘Today’s Question’. I felt a little lost and unsure of my answers. I have two Bibles with similar commentary and they were not particularly helpful. I really missed being able to see what my fellow travelers were thinking. I was looking at the words ‘Today’s Reading Genesis 5’ on my computer screen, and I wanted to copy them, but when I clicked on them, I found myself in Chapter 5 in the online Bible for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. What a happy mistake. I am so impressed with the commentary for the readings. It was similar to the commentary in the two Bibles I have, but the commentary on the USCCB website was much more thorough and complete, AND it helped me to discover the answer to ‘Today’s Question’ Yeah!

  • How wonderful that you found the commentary on the USCCB website! I do hope they will allow comments to appear on the discussion page, as you probably do, too. It is so enlightening to read other thoughts and inspirations each day!

    • Sorry for not responding sooner. I just found your response today. Are you sticking with the ‘Encountering God’ program? So far I am doing it because you can never go wrong reading Scripture, but I do really miss all the insightful comments.

      • Dee, I agree with you about missing all the comments. The people that participate have such incredible minds! I sent an email to Ascension Press regarding this situation. As of this date I haven’t heard from them.

        • The lack of response by Ascension Press to our concerns and to our questions is more than a little disappointing. David had no trouble getting in touch with each of us individually when he had information he wanted us to have, but he never responded to our follow-up questions. I am doing the reading, but really miss the dialogue.

  • Did this study end on June 19? I was receiving the emails, then I realized there were no more. I have enjoyed this study. Thank youu.

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