[guestpost]This is a guest post by Elaine Starner, who participated in BRT2014. In here own words, she “has decided I am hooked on BRT’s for life. I am a freelance writer from Ohio, my second home is Maine, and I blog about hope right here.”[/guestpost]
At the end of April, our small group wrapped up our first ever Bible Read Thru in four months. It’s important to add “in four months,” because – I’ll be honest – when we decided to commit to BRT2014, my biggest concern was whether or not we could manage what seemed a most aggressive timetable. We are, after all, very busy ladies.
[featured-image single_newwindow=”true” alt=”We certainly didn’t expect these five surprises when we decided to read the Bible together – in 4 months!”]
But we all agreed. We wanted to do this. And I’m here to say that it can be done.
Don’t let the in four months deter you. I am guessing that’s probably the number one reason some people have not yet joined Keith in his BRTs. But when you finally do it – and when you’ve finished – you will barely remember any reservations you might have had.
We learned so much. The rewards were beyond our expectations. I’m already looking forward to the next BRT.
Here are five wonderful surprises:
Surprise #1: The aggressive timetable turned into a treasured timetable.
After only a short time, we began to look forward to each day’s reading. We are all morning people, so that’s when we did most of our reading. We found ourselves waking up, eager to see what was in store that day (except for a few books in the Old Testament, where all the destruction, devastation, and annihilation was really difficult to read for an extended time).
Sometimes we even awoke in the wee hours, and got up to read instead of going back to sleep. We all expressed our sorrow when the four months were finished!
Surprise #2: Always, there was a message waiting for us.
Yes, even in Leviticus or Obadiah, the Lord’s words somehow touched our lives today. Our meetings always seemed too short. We never had enough time to discuss all the good stuff we had read!
Surprise #3: I entered the Holy of Holies.
I thought I started with the best of intentions. After all, I wanted to read the Scriptures! A commendable desire, right?
And I had a plan. I would not only read in the morning, but I thought I could squeeze in a few chapters at all those times during the day when I might otherwise just kill time. You know where those spots are in your day: in waiting rooms, at the airport, while the car’s being serviced, a fifteen minutes between appointments. Surely I could make good use of those normally wasted interludes. I even planned to listen to audio as I drove.
The plan to put all those snatches of time to good use didn’t last a week. I soon admitted I could not bring my heart, soul, and mind into the Holy of Holies in just a few quick minutes.
I needed a solid block of time, before my mind became cluttered with the day’s traffic, to enter into the sanctuary of His presence.
And there, in His presence, I realized that my true desire was just to spend time getting as close to Him as I could.
That morning time, just God and me, became the most wonderful part of the last four months. I miss that already. I’m looking for new ways to make this time together part of my ongoing routine.
[endorsement photo=”http://keithferrin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Elaine-Starner-Headshot-e1419285944446.jpg” cite=”Elaine Starner” byline=”Blogger and BRT214 Participant”]And there, in His presence, I realized that my true desire was just to spend time getting as close to Him as I could.”[/endorsement]
Surprise #4: We witnessed one of the Spirit’s wonderful spiritual mysteries play out in our group.
We are three very different people, in different life circumstances, and even reading different translations. Our varying perspectives enriched the BRT experience.
At the same time, reading together the story of who we are and where we stand now in God’s history brought a delight in spiritual family ties and strength in our unity and agreement of purpose. We plan to recommend this to other groups within our church.
Any group, any time, will grow through doing a BRT (in four months!) together.
One Bonus Surprise…
Oh, how do I put this last point into words? Paul says it better than I could:
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (Colossians 3:16).
That’s exactly what happened to us.
His message filled – and continues to fill – our lives with its richness and hope. That’s the reason we plan to do another BRT…and another …
BRT2014 started as an answer to a challenge and a thought that – of course! – there would be benefits to reading through the Bible. It turns out that “challenges” and “benefits” are the least of God’s purposes in this.
No matter where we are in this pilgrimage, as we spend time with our Creator, He will push far beyond our small expectations and continue to fill us up and create us anew.
[reminder]Have you ever done a BRT before? Will you join us this year?[/reminder]