Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Simple Summer Plan ~ O

One key for me to spending time in God's Word in the summer is: Keep it simple. Today we'll do 2 things:

1. Pick a small book to study. I've found these to work well in this format: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Timothy, I Peter, I John.
2. Part "O" of the OMAP.

Ever wish God would speak directly to you? Be encouraged! He has. In fact, 2 Peter 1:3 tells us “you have everything you need for life and godliness.” Everything. That means “completely adequate, not lacking, full.”

His Word is living and active, helping in our time of need. You only need a Bible and one piece of paper to begin. You will not be disappointed. “You will seek Him and find Him when you search for Him with all Your heart,” Jeremiah 29:11-13. He said we can find Him, and that’s encouraging!

Part 1 - "O" Observation

When you begin, if you aren't in this habit, always begin with prayer. Read a limited passage of scripture for the first time. Keep it short and “doable,” maybe 10 verses. You will read them four times and understand them more each day. Choosing a small book to study helps me to feel like I've made progress and completed a study, instead of doing the "vacation fizzle."

First, focus on Observation by noting the obvious: Who is at the pool, what the people at that picnic table are doing, when you can leave work, where you'll go on vacation, how you will fit the suitcases in the car ... you get the idea. :) Answer questions about the passage like:

Who … is the author, and who is the passage/book addressed to? Characters.
What … is the subject matter? You are looking at the context(all around) of the passage.List any words that are repeated, any lists of items, or any descriptions.
When … do the events take place, or what time does the passage refer? Time phrases.
Where … do the events take place or to where does the passage refer?
Why … Is there an explanation given for why the content is being written? Don’t try to make any guesses about the “why” yet.
How … Do you see any obvious information about “how” to do what the passage says or how something is done?

In Part 1 Observation, just make notes about obvious things the passage says. Don’t read into it or make conclusions. Just write down the obvious. Ask God to bring the key words to mind during the rest of the day; expect the Lord to show you more in Part 2.

Now, for a fantastic summer recipe:

Grilled Marinated Chicken
4 chicken breasts or comparable amount
1/2 c. oil (I use canola)
1 1/2 c. herbal vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 T. pepper (yes, it looks like a lot)
1 1/2 T. poultry seasoning
1 1/2 T. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
Mix all of the marinade ingredients and pour over chicken to marinade overnight or all day in a plastic container with a tight lid. Give it a "shake" a time or two to cover all the meat well. Drain before you grill. I love to grow herbs, and so I will also sometimes toss in some fresh rosemary or oregano. A sprig of rosemary is really pretty as a garnish.

Do you have a favorite summer recipe you'd like to share? Tomorrow, a very simple recipe AND the "M" in our simple summer plan for refreshment in God's Word.

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