During the winter months, many people tend to stay indoors especially when the winter has been as cold as ours has been so far. Staying indoors can mean a change in focus for some. Some will watch a lot more television. Some do more puzzles, play games, read, or surf the web even more. As I say this, I would challenge you to also consider the indoor time as an excellent time to pursue some spiritual disciplines like prayer and bible reading.
Now having encouraged you about this, sometimes I hear that people are not sure where to start especially with bible reading and study. So let me share about a technique I have used over the years and was introduced to me as SOAP. The original writing I got on this said, one would not start a day out without soap. Soap is a cleansing agent for the body and SOAP can be vital to helping cleanse our spiritual lives as well. SOAP is an acronym that stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. To use SOAP do the following:
First read a passage of Scripture. It is fairly simple as most bibles have passages broken up with heading on them. Pick a scripture and read it.
Next, Observation, that is observe any insight you may gain from reading that passage. Write down any note or question you might have or phrase that jumps out at you.
Then, Application which means Apply any insights you observed to your life and situation. This could be simply remembering the phrase through the day or it can be something to explore later.
Finally, Prayer. Pray about things you thought about in the first three portions. Pray about the circumstances of your life. Basically pray and share with God about your journey as a way of closing the study time. Be sure to thank God for the many ways He cleanses our lives.