Posts Tagged ‘Bible study’

Beth Moore Bible Study

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

beth-moore-bible-studyI finally found a women’s Bible study book that isn’t shallow, irritating drivel! This Beth Moore Bible study on the book of James is wonderful. Beth Moore approaches God the same way I do, plunging into the Word of God and living it. Yes, there is homework five days a week, but it’s interesting, deep, and exciting. I actually had a breakthrough this week. We’re studying the book of James, and one of the homework assignments was to write down what our present trial was, and then three ways to respond to that trial. “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials…” is what James says, so that needs to be one of the three responses to choose from.

For my present trial, I wrote: (1) despair, (2) work harder, to no avail, and remain burned out, or (3) count it all joy, trusting that God is in control of my circumstance.

Then we were told to look at the five-year ramifications of each of those responses. That was a real eye-opener. I realized that the despair I’ve been feeling over the past few months over my business is from the enemy, who is trying to incapacitate me and render me ineffective for God’s kingdom.

I will not let this happen. I’ve forgotten how to rest, but I must do so. And as long as I continue to look to God as my source, the glory of God is the only thing that ought to matter. I don’t want resentment to set in. Every time I see it, I get rid of it, but it’s something I have to fight.

The five-year ramification of leaning on God as my source of strength is wonderful.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9)

And then something else happened at the Bible study. I’ve been trying (not very hard, because I don’t need them, dang it, and I’m sick of getting hurt) to connect to the women from my church. God prompted me to sign up for this 8-week Bible study, one of the reasons being that God commands me to connect to His church. It’s a command that I’m disobeying. I know what it’s like to connect so much with a church body that I can feel the pulse of the church. It’s incredible, and once you’ve had it, you can’t go back.

The first week when I made a comment in the Bible study, the women visibly recoiled from me. I’m a very intense person, and people who know me enjoy me very much. But strangers don’t know what to do with me. I felt sad. I was sharing my heart, and I felt rejected.

Well, today I confessed to the group how I felt. The women said they were glad I was there. And afterwards a woman came up to me and said, “I recoiled from you when you spoke last week because I was convicted. You used Scripture. What you were saying was so powerful and deep.”

I said, “Really?” with tears in my eyes.

She said, “Yes,” and gave me a hug.

Feed My Sheep

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


Many years ago I took an Old Testament class given by my pastor. We studied one book of the Old Testament per week, and it took a year to get through the Old Testament. I turned in Charlotte Mason summaries for each book of the Bible as it was presented. (Right before I took this class, I had read the six Charlotte Mason books and was enthralled with the idea of written narrations for personal Bible study.) I tried to think of every detail I could remember from each book, and I wrote it down in tiny print in pencil on blank sheets of paper.

Well, study for the class took between 2 to 10 hours a day. (Ten hours only happened once, the day I did Genesis.) I loved splashing into the Word of God and surrounding myself with it. It was my food and my breath. I felt like I was inside the stories.

When the class was over, I asked my pastor to please hand back my papers, because those were my only copies. He said the reason he kept them was so that his secretary would type them up for him, because the summaries gave him a fresh perspective on Scripture. I was honored that a pastor could actually learn anything from me.

After that last class was over, I heard a sermon on prayer. I realized that my prayer life was almost non-existent, and I committed to God that I would learn how to pray. Since I already had at least 2 hours for studying the Bible (usually during nap time for my tiny kids, or during an hour of outdoor play time where I would study my Bible outside on a swing or blanket), I decided that I would set aside one hour to pray before I would be allowed to read the Bible. (You can see how hard that was by reading “The Beginning of a Prayer Warrior.”)

After the month was over, I had no obligations, but I had built a new spiritual discipline into my life, and I considered it highly valuable. Well, my godly mentor rebuked me one day for spending too much time in the Word of God. I needed to spend more time being “present” with my children. She was right.

As I drove alone in the car one day to run an errand, I asked God, “So how much time do You want me to spend in Bible study?” I opened my heart to God and expected an answer. I heard (it was not audible, but an impression on my mind), “Do you love Me?” I said, “What the heck. That’s not an answer.” Then I heard it again, “Do you love Me?” “Of course I love You, Lord. What a ridiculous question.” Again I heard, “Do you love Me?” By this time I was nearly in tears. I was hurt. How on earth could He ask me if I loved Him? And then the words came, “Feed My sheep.” I sat there stunned. The Holy Spirit had confirmed what my godly mentor had said. What I needed to do was abide, and spend more time imparting to the children what I already knew. Yes, I would spend time in the Word, but that was no longer my focus. My focus was to pour the Word of God into my children.

At that point, when I studied the Word of God, it was to prepare to teach my children. (God taught me personally from what I was preparing for my children.) Many years passed this way before God gave me permission to study the Word of God for myself again.

Encouragement Cards

Thursday, February 10th, 2011


A wonderful activity that will help build each other up in the body of Christ is to write easy encouragement cards. We did this once in a women’s Bible study at our church. We each had a large card (more than double the size of a 3 by 5 card). Write your name in the middle of the card. Now pass the card to the right. Write down one good character quality you enjoy about that person. After about two minutes, everybody passes their cards to the right. You do this until you have the card with your name on it, with lots of happy, wonderful comments about you on it. I was so overjoyed, I had tears in my eyes. These were some of the comments people said about me:

“Honesty and passion for truth.”

“Your face is the face I look for when I need encouragement. You are such a blessing.”

“Your love and concern for others.”

“My prayer warrior. What a blessing you are.”

“Your faithfulness to pray for people at our church and your zeal to know God’s Word and apply it as His Spirit unveils its relevance to issues in your life.”

“I love your love of truth and your deep conviction.”

“Your prayers for me! Thank you!”

“Loves God’s Word.”

“Love having you and your insights in our group (and love your hair).”

“You’re courageous and strong.”