Monday, June 30, 2008

Women's Bible Study: Discover Your True Purpose in God

I found this study here!

Here are some things that struck me while reading:

When you slow down, it allows God to use His Word to show you who you were really created to be. Not only as a woman, but as His woman.

Lesson One: The Creation of Woman: Why Did God Bother?

It is amazing to think that, in the entire story of creation, this is the only time that God says "It is not good."
(Genesis 2:18)

1. How does it feel to know that you were God's answer to His problem?
I had never looked at it in such a light! It DOES feel good to think that we women were created to solve a problem! And funnily enough to me, it was a problem that MAN couldn't solve alone!

2. Are there times in your life when you have felt like being a woman was more of a problem than an answer? Why or why not?
Yes, there have been times. Sometimes it feels as though my husband could run this household just as efficiently without me.

Lesson 2: The Helpmeet Dilemma

I am not sure if you can relate, but in the past, whenever I have heard the words help meet, I always felt so secondary.

Like God’s afterthought.

"Is that all I am," I wondered, "Someone's help meet? And what in the world is a help meet anyways?"

But, to an all knowing God, there is no such thing as an afterthought.

God has called you so much more than just a helper. Just like Eve, God created you because there was a serious problem. And, He uniquely designed you to fix it.

1. Has the term 'help meet" ever bothered you? Why or why not?

Not really. I like the idea of helping, so it wasn't ever something derogatory in my mind.

2. What changes about the way you see yourself when you meditate on the idea of being an ezer?
I really like that...that we women were needed to help in a time of great danger!

3. God has made each of us for a very specific reason. Have you given any thought to your God ordained destiny?
Yes, I sure have! I really feel as though I was called to be a teacher, so I am doing what God ordained me to do!

4. Did you read something in the Creation of Woman Bible Study Lessons that touched you? Write it down and reflect on it throughout the course.
I really like thinking that God created us not as an afterthought but as something to be a great help to man. I like that he saw that we would be the solution to the problem!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

'I AM' study: Who am I?

1. How would you answer the questions, "Who Am I?"
Hmmm, I would answer probably with who I am related to more than what this body and soul contains. I'd answer Bob's daughter, Brenda and Suzy's sister, Chris's wife, Paul Darnis's daughter in law, Isaac and/or Adam's mom....I guess by saying that, I base my worth quite a bit by my relationships. Who am I? I'm a wife, a mom, a teacher, a Christian, someone who is loyal and loves deeply, I'm a reader, a writer, a dancer, a singer....

2. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt inadequate because of your lack of a 'tagline'?
Sure! I feel that way quite a bit. I can't think of a specific time right off hand, but yes...I totally get that!!

3. Do you have skills or position that you believe God could use mightily if only He would?
Yes, I think so. I have organizational and leadership skills, and I most certainly have the ability to teach children to read. I can relate well to children and youth. I can sing, and I have been told that I have skills at leading studies.

4. Have you ever lost a position or station in life you believe could have 'helped God out' with something He has asked you to do? If you haven't lost out, do you perhaps feel you have to gain this in order to be useful to the Kingdom?

Oh certainly! And though it was difficult at the time, it has helped me become who I am today. If I had continued down the path I was going, I do not think I would have been heading into the vocation that God really called me to be in!

5. How are you with your dialogue vs. doubt conversations with God? Which does God hear most from you?

More doubt than He should! The time that comes to mind is when God was telling me that I needed to step back from working with our church youth. I fought him on it. I argued that my sister and fellow youth leader, needed me! I argued about no one being there to step up and help. But when I finally did it, I felt such peace! And I know it was God's will. It was not easy, but it was the right thing to do.

6. Do you believe God's Wonders become more wonderful if they originate in the ordinary? Any Scripture references come to mind?

Oh, yes! Seeing the wonder in things that we see and overlook each day is like turning on a lightbulb, or seeing things in color for the first time! I can't think of any scripture reference right off hand, but if I do, I'll add it later!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Girlfriends in God

Yep, 2 in one day! This is to powerful not to share! Please go read here, cause friends, it is powerful and SO, SO true!!

Here are just some snippets that really struck me as true:

Many of us feel worthless. Why? We’ve felt ignored, invisible, insignificant, useless, undesired, ugly, unloved, or forgotten. We girls are emotional, broken in many ways. Great portions of our identity and of our personal value are wrapped into combustible packages of emotion…how we feel about this or that. The truth is, our worth has nothing to do with our feelings.

What I do know is this: because of Jesus Christ, I’m a woman of highest worth. Not because of anything else.

Hear this, friend: feelings of worthlessness are from Satan himself. It burns me up that the enemy has such a strong grip on God’s daughters in this area. We need to associate the word worthless with the word lie. That’s exactly what it is, a big, fat lie!

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

You are precious and highly valuable in the eyes of the One who sees. And you never, never, never have to worry about being on anyone's bargain rack again.

Are you held captive by feelings of worthlessness? Spend a few moments in prayer and ask God to reveal truth to your heart about how He sees you.

Praise the Lord, I am not currently!! The times that I feel worthless are when I am struggling with depression. Thankfully, that is not the case currently!

Print or write out this verse: “I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16, NASB). Set it to memory and allow it to serve as a reminder that you are precious to God.

HomeWord Devotional

The devotional is posted here if you wish to read!

1. Think about your day yesterday. What can you give God thanks for?

Oh, lots of things! I can give God thanks for a beautiful day and a tad bit of rain. For the swimming party we had to end up a great week of Vacation Bible School. For a nap and for leftover vegetable beef soup. For not having to show everyone myself in my bathing suit, in other words, for Chris getting into the pool with Adam instead of me! For Chris finding his wallet. For not losing our bathing suits when they fell out of our bags. For the fact that even though we DID leave bathing suits in the hotel in Alabama, it was only bathing suits that can be replaced. For a good nights' sleep. For friends who I often don't get time to chat with, and good conversation.

2. What situations or tasks will you face in your life today? Pray and ask God for help in these things.
Honestly, the day is mostly over, and it has been a good one. For the rest of the day, I will face bath time and lots of laundry I need to do, and picking up the house. I need to also find something for children's church--but I just had an inspiration of how to extend what we've discussed at VBS!

Further reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:18; James 1:17

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (The Message)
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

James 1:16-18 (The Message)
So, my dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes from Heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

Monday, June 23, 2008

CWO's Internet Cafe is hosting an awesome giveaway!

All this pictured above is put together to enhance your quiet time with the Lord! And who doesn't need this? I really would like to have this, but I'll be glad for it to go to anyone who puts it to good use!

I'll tell ya, I didn't get my 'quiet time' with the Lord in while on the cruise. And I really missed it! So I'm trying to get back on track now. Join me in my attempt to spend more time with God this summer!

Here is the giveaway! Go check it out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I AM so you don't have to be--Lesson Six

1. How current is your God? Is he up to date on all your issues or do you have old hurts you still hold behind your back?

God is up to date on my issues. There are some things that I still can't say out loud, but He understands my groanings even when I cannot verbalize the fears and concerns that are on my heart.

2. Has the enemy ever told you there are situations that are 'old news' that are better left stuffed down? Or perhaps because they were so long ago they can't possibly be affecting you now?

Yes, there have been times that I have listened to him when he tried to tell me that it was NOT my depression cropping back up, or when my self esteem issues came back to haunt me, especially in the middle of the night. The enemy will use my insomniac tendencies to root in and bother me, so I am thankful that I now have a perscription to take to combat this!

3. In the matter of established authority, does God truly reign in your life? Where are you when He calls your name?
YES, He does reign in my life! There have been times though, that I wasn't ready to answer Him when He called, or tried to give Him reasons that I couldn't do what He was asking. Sometimes His call to just TRUST was hard to do, but when I did, I was so glad that I did!!

4. Do you ever feel God has forgotten you in your 'west side of the wilderness'?
There are two times in particular that come to mind. I mentioned in our last lesson that I had a hard time over hurts related to a job in a church. That was a very lonely time when I felt very much as though I was left alone in the west side of the wilderness. Another time was when I was struggling to decide whether or not to step down as a youth worker in our church. I was feeling as though I was doing the job alone, and didn't see a way out of the situation. But when I trusted God and was still and quiet enough to hear Him, His message was clear and rung true!

5. Have you ever experienced a time of cleansing where God has illuminated and rejuvenated you? If not, do you find you are in need of this now?

Yes, I have had experiences like that! Most recently, I was rejuvenated when I went to a spiritual enrichment experience with my mom after a difficult week at school. God spoke to me in many ways!

Monday, June 2, 2008

I AM So You Don't Have to Be--Lesson Five

1. Have you ever found yourself 'in faith' yet bewildered or demoralized?
Oh yes! There was a time when I had worked as a summer youth intern at a church where Dad served when I was a child. I made some not-so-wise decisions that summer. But I was also very hurt when some people who I thought knew me made assumptions about me and my morality. It hurt tremendously, and was a contributing factor to a depressive episode. I tried to resolve within myself the pain that I was feeling, but in the end, simply clinging to the Lord was the only thing to get me through!

2. Do you consider yourself content? Would you describe it as Decidedly Content or Dreamily Content?
Yes, I consider myself content. I think I lean toward dreamily content, but with a touch of decidedly content thrown in. The decidedly content part is how I feel in relation to my health--I will be content with the body God has given me, and will do my best to BE more healthy, but not let frustrations with my body bring me down!

3. If you are not content, are there circumstances that keep you from this feeling?

I think I covered that! ;)

4. Have you ever found yourself in a place where you looked back on a period of your Christian walk and believed a great opportunity passed you by?
No, I can honestly say I haven't. I'm sure that there are people that I could have influenced better or more, but I think that the circumstances that I have come through have led me to become a better follower of Christ today.

5. Do you ever believe your faith was stronger in an earlier time in your Christianity and find yourself floundering now?

I think my faith is being challenged in a different way now than ever before, but I do not believe it has ever been stronger. Could I spend more time in study and prayer? Sure! And I'm working on that. But my faith, and the knowledge of God's presence in my life, is sure and true.

6. Can you recognize that this season may be one of great preparation instead of a period of "I Was"?
Looking back on the situation to which I refer in #1--yes, I can see that now. And though I hate the way that things 'went down' then, I know that if I had been walking closer with God at the time, circumstances would have been much different. Yes, the experience has made me stronger and showed me how I need to be focused on pleasing HIM instead of other men/women.

Please visit my friend Lisa's site to get started on your own journey through this study!