Counting Down to Our Study

So soon to launch day!

July 11th! 

I’m excited! I learn so much dialoguing with other women! Not to mention, I cherish the relationships I develop when I “sit” (online or in person) and study God’s Word, the Bible. There’s something unifying, something incredibly nourishing and fulfilling, some peace-ensuing, about soaking in God’s timeless truths.

I hope you’ll join us!

We’ve created our Facebook page and working hard, studying, praying, in preparation. We can’t wait to take this journey with you as we journey together with Christ, learning how to live lives of love.

I have a tendency to make things entirely too complicated. To get myself fixated on, to worry about, and obsess over things that simply don’t matter. If I’m not careful, I can be swayed by other people’s opinions, sucked into mindless chatter, enthralled by sensationalized news broadcasts.

Unless I intentionally fight against this, my life can be characterized by whatever is going on around me rather than what God is trying to do in and through me. I can easily allow all the gunk to rob me of my focus, my passion … and my purpose.

Life without purpose is empty, and that is not the kind of life God has called us to! God has called us to a live lives of impact characterized by a deep love for Him and His children. Regardless of what is going on around us. And I believe He’s given us the tools to live that out in a letter written by a man to his young, insecure mentee some 2,000 years ago.

Over the next ten weeks, join Maria Morgan and I as we dig deep into this ancient yet incredibly relevant book to learn how we can live filled with the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith.

Here’s what to expect:

Tuesday –
*an in depth look at the week’s verse/passage (on Maria’s site)
*suggested Bible reading & discussion questions (on Maria’s site)
*discuss what God has shown you (right here on Facebook)

Wednesday –
*relevant Bible reading & additional questions for you to consider (right here on Facebook)

Thursday –
*a short testimonial with personal application and a brief discussion (on Jennifer’s site)

Friday –
*final Bible reading with discussion questions to wrap up the week (right here on Facebook)

 

Seeking Wisdom–An Intimate Affair

jude-urbanski-headshot-smallHebrews 4:12 tells us God’s Word is alive and active, penetrating deep to our soul. It has the capacity to speak to our very depths in an intimate and miraculously personal way, becoming a two-way conversation between the Holy Spirit and us. In the following devotion, multi-published author, Jude Urbanski, encourages us to attune our ears to God’s wisdom, to God’s heart, as we seek to learn and grow from His Word.

As a fun treat, Jude is giving away one of her books (winner’s choice) to a reader randomly selected from the blog comments.

The Babbling Brook of Wisdom by Jude Urbanski

Today’s focal verse: Proverbs 18:4

         The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a

         babbling brook.

Focus:

“Discernment versus foolishness”

        

The whole chapter of Proverbs 18 is one of contrasts. A chapter depicting wise versus contrasting, foolish actions. Yea, even a chapter pitting our purpose to choose our own follies against desiring a wise and discerning heart.

I related verse four, in which it speaks of the words of a man’s heart being deep waters and the fountain of wisdom being a babbling brook, to the words of my pen. Left to our own devices, our words may plunge to the deep and profound, which isn’t always bad, unless we drift to the obscure. When our writing muse (Spirit?) is at work, or words feel like the free flowing fountain of a babbling brook.

There are times I feel God’s word to be deep and obscure and I don’t understand. There are times God’s answer to my prayers is silence and I readingBiblewonder if He even heard. This is when I work, as verse 15 says, to persuade my heart to listen, to be discerning and to have wise ears seeking to acquire God’s knowledge.

I often wonder why God works this way, but the chapter ends by telling me there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). I’ve always equated God as this friend, which brings great comfort.

Proverbs 18 leaves a lot to ponder. Some of it is hard to understand. Some of it becomes special memory verses, but all of it admonishes me to let the words of my page be joyful explosions for God.

 

 

Jude Urbanski loves to be a wordsmith woman and to weave stories where strong characters, with God’s help, spin tragedy into triumph. While writing has been a passion all her life (and also for many others in her family), she is delighted to have been able to write seriously for the past seven years. She wears many hats in her family, church and community and is wife, mother and grandmother. She is published in both fiction and nonfiction by Desert Breeze and LangMarc Publishers.

 

JoyRestoredCoverArt72dpi_(1)Joy Restored:

Kate Davidson purrs along in her remodeled life, but inwardly wages war with God, whom she thinks snuffed out her husband’s life on that mountain curve. Not acceptable. Clayton may as well have died in the jungles of Vietnam as in a car accident on Wolf’s River Bridge.

Buy it here.

***

Let’s talk about this. This past fall, I went through a difficult time and felt the lowest I have felt in quite some time, if ever. But looking back, that was also a precious time as each morning when I curled into the corner of the couch with my Bible, God met me. He told me He loved me. He promised to care for me. He asked me to trust Him. And each morning built on the previous, as if He was revealing yet another layer of His loving character, as if He was peeling back yet another layer of my fear and covering it in His soothing love. Honestly, I can’t quite explain how incredibly beautiful that period was, how real God felt to me, and how deeply I felt His love.

I suspect we all have God moments to share–times when, when we needed it most, God showed up and spoke words of love to our very core. Regardless of how He answered our prayer. And in that moment, encountering God in our very being, we suddenly know, the peripheral no longer matters, because we have God Himself, and that is enough.

We’d love to hear from you. I know some of you are going through some very difficult times. You’re pouring your heart out to God, asking for aid, for a miracle. For comfort. In your deepest sorrow, how is God making Himself real to you?

And for those of you on the hilltop or perhaps strolling through the meadow, I know you’ve had trials and sorrow. Can you think back to a time when God met you during a time of difficulty? Let us gain comfort from your experience.

It’s important for us to share our God stories. When we do so, not only are we reminded of God’s faithfulness, but we invite others to rejoice with us as well–not in our circumstances which are often mired by a sinful world, but in the unchanging, never-failing, always loving nature of God.

You can share your “God-moments” in the comments below or join our online Bible study group:

 

Click to join ProverbsStudy

Click to join ProverbsStudy

Nando’s Bible by Yvonne Blake

In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus equates the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed, a tiny seed which, when sown, grows into a large tree–a tree that produces perhaps a million seeds. Although I’ve never seen a mustard tree, our yard has plenty of  dandelions. Christians, like those tiny tufts carried by the wind, are meant to multiply, exponentially. Today’s story by Yvonne Blake gives us a glimmer of “grace-ematics.” It also reminds me how privileged we are to have easy access to God’s Word. With privilege comes responsibility for to him who much is given, much is required. May we never take this privilege for granted and may we surrender each gift, each privilege, to the hands of our Father, to be multiplied according to His sovereign grace.

***

Five years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Fernando Angeles, a man who grew up in a small village in the eastern mountains of Mexico. As a child, Nando spoke Tenek (an oral language at that time) and only heard about God in Latin or Spanish.

After he had gone away to school and learned to read Spanish, he was given a New Testament. He read the entire book in ten months and learned that salvation didn’t come from being good and following rules, but by believing in Jesus’ gift of eternal life.

He went to Bible school and later to the United States to learn more. Now, he and his wife, Christy, minister to his own people. They are also translating the Bible into Tenek so others can hear Christ speaking in their own language.

I have written about Nando’s Bible, and I had the privilege of teaching it to our VBS this summer. I am hoping to publish it soon so that young people will see the need to reach out to those around the world who have never heard the Gospel in their own language.

(See an excerpt from Nando’s Bible HERE.)

Pray for Fernando and Christy Angeles, facing the darkness of sin while they strive to reach the Tenek people of Mexico.

***

God has blessed Yvonne Blake with an interesting childhood. She has lived in the deserts of Arizona, the tropic islands of the Bahamas, the rugged hills of New York, the farmlands of mid-Maine. Her husband is her steady rock, loving his Lord and family. Raising a family of eight children, in Searsport, Maine, has been her focus over the last thirty years,which gives her storerooms of material to draw from. Striving to do their best regardless of the opinions of others, they have often lived out of step with the rest of the world. Now that her children have grown, she has chosen to stay home and write, releasing all the stories bottled in her mind. Her prayer is to be used of the Lord, to encourage and bless others with her writing.

Her Blog – My Back Door

The World of Children’s Books – Polliwog Pages

Her Webpage – About Me

My Facebook Page