So daily life is full and prayer is taking on a much greater importance and dedicated time slot in my life. (Thank God!!)
There's also the dairy-goat life and staying in touch with good friends. This week a neighbor asked me if I'd like to join her weekly for prayer and Bible study. We got together Monday morning and prayed together for an hour. It was the most wonderful morning I've had in... years.
I've been studying first Peter on an inconsistent basis. The 12 hour shift days I work pretty much knock out everything except, eat, shower and sleep. But when I have been engaged in the study I'm amazed.
One of the things this study by Jen Wilkin is having me do is re-write the one or two verses in focus for the week in my own words. Have you ever done this? You should. I'm sure there are studies that show that comprehension is increased when we regurgitate something we've read in own words.
(As a side note, I have a screaming goat outside. It's very distracting. Keeping a buck goat during the rutting season is truly a challenge. I don't suggest you try it. Okay, back to what I was saying.)
1 Peter 1:1-25 in my own words:
From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. To the people God chose as his own who have been kicked out of their homeland and are living in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bythneia, just as God the Father intended ahead of time would be the case to set you apart by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ.
God is so wonderful! Because he is so extremely merciful he has caused us to be born again through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. And our new birth through Christ is a real, live guarantee that one day we will receive all that God has for us in Christ- an inheritance that can never loose value, breakdown or die. It's kept in heaven for us by God who's power through faith is keeping us saved until the day we get to fully see all that that salvation is!
In this amazing salvation God has worked for you through faith in the risen Christ, you rejoice. Even though for now you are suffering and are saddened by all kinds of trials. It will only be a little while though. These trials are testing and proving the genuineness of your faith which is worth much more than gold that perishes. And the genuineness of your faith is going to result in glory and honor and praise when you see Jesus fact to face... when he is revealed to the whole world. Though you have never seen him you love him and believe in him, and this is evidence of your true faith which saves you!
The Old Testament prophets prophecied about our salvation. They longed to know what time and who they were prophesying about, searching and asking for answers. Christ's Spirit was in them prophesying about the time when he would come, but they only knew that this was for a people to come, not for themselves. They were prophesying the good news that we get to know and understand. Angels don't even know what we know! They would love to understand what we understand!
Since then you have been so mercifully saved, prepare your minds for action! Be sober-minded! Let your only hope be all the grace and good that will be yours the day you see Jesus face to face. As children of God, be obedient, not letting yourself be molded by the passions that intoxicated you before you knew Christ! But just like God is holy- be holy in the way you live.
If you call God Father, who is the judge of all and who doesn't play favorites in his judging, live your life in reverent awe, knowing that you were bought out of a life of meaningless living; not with money, or material treasures, but with blood- the blood of the Son of God, who is the only perfect sacrifice for your sin.
Christ has always been known in heaven. He is eternal but in these last days he has been made known to us who believe in him through God who raised him from the dead. So our belief in Christ is really belief in God.
So, since you have been totally re-born by God's living and indwelling word and have purified your soul by believing and submitting to that word (which is the good news about Christ) so that you can genuinely love these other people in God's family who have become your eternal brothers and sisters- love one another earnestly from a pure heart! For it is written: All flesh is like grass and all the glory of flesh is like a flower- it all dies and fades away. But the word of God never dies and never fades away! It remains healthy and perfect and vibrant and living forever! And this is why you will live forever! This is what you have been born again by!
You should really try this! Take in a few verses of God's word. Read and re-read it over and over again. Then pray it. The re-write it in your own words as though you were trying to speak it to someone who'd never heard it before.