Growing in Love–a 1 Timothy Bible study

Follow the fruit–I read that statement during a time when my life seemed to contradict it. Or at least, when my circumstances left me confused and uncertain. I knew God was up to something, I could sense it deep within, but I hadn’t a clue what that was.

Lots of opportunities seemed to come my way, and many of them quite good, if they were from God. But if they weren’t, I knew they’d merely be noisy, time-sapping distractions. My heart mirrored Moses’s words in Exodus 33:15: “Then he said to [God], ‘If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.'”

In other words, if God wasn’t in it, I wanted nothing to do with it. I refused to waste my time pushing against a wall that would never move or leave no lasting impact. The converse was also true–I wasn’t moving unless I sensed God’s nudge.

At first, I got nothing. No divine word. No clarity or confirmation. Zilch.

After a while, I figured He didn’t plan on speaking, which was His prerogative. He’s God, after all, and I’m not arrogant enough to think He owes me anything.

So, I went about my way, vacillating in indecision while fulfilling the responsibilities I’d already accepted, because I knew this much–God wants us to be a people who honor their commitments. One of these responsibilities included completing a class I was taking at Grace University, one that felt almost identical to classes–three, in fact–that I’d taken previously.

My attitude stunk. This again, Lord? But I already know all this!

If the fruit God was referring to was the fruit of the Spirit, mine had shriveled to raisons. And it turned out, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did, as is often the case.

But, regardless how I felt, regardless how vague the road ahead, I kept walking, and two weeks into this class, I became obsessed with 1 Timothy. Each morning, I’d camp out in the corner of my couch, Bible and journal opened, reference books within reach. This was a special, intimate time between me and my Savior.

So often, we discover the blessing through obedience.

So this is the fruit, Lord–spending time with You.

“This isn’t for you.”

I stopped and simply sat there. Glanced at my notebook full of notes, thought again of those Bible study classes I’d taken, and that simple statement encountered one day in the assigned reading:

“Follow the Fruit.”

That same day, I received numerous messages from Christians who’d read articles I wrote for Crosswalk–those with broken marriages desperate for a do-over, those wanting to know how they could grow in Christ, those who simply wrote to tell me how much a particular piece had meant to them. And suddenly, simultaneously, my blog seemed to be blowing up. As if, over night, God had sent people my way.

But what did all this mean?

I knew He was showing me something, but I still wasn’t certain what that was. So I prayed for guidance. I can’t say I’ve received it, as of yet, other than my next step, which is usually about as far as God allows me to see.

And this, my friends, is what this post is all about. That obsession for 1 Timothy–it wasn’t for me. Oh, it was, and it is. There’s so much God wants to do in my life through that book, so much growth He wants to bring about, so much truth He longs to implant within my heart, but I believe there’s also a lot He wants to do in yours.

Will you join me and a friend as we dig deep into this practical book written during a time of incredible opposition and persecution to a man known for being timid and insecure? Together, may we pursue lives of love that come from pure hearts and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Those of you who’ve participated in my online Bible studies in the past know the format. This 10-week online discussion will be incredibly informal as Maria Morgan launches each week with some basic information on each lesson’s verse/passage. Then I’ll follow on Thursday with a testimonial devotion pointing toward real-life application.

We’ll also have weekly memory verses, because there’s power in Scripture, and I believe living empowered includes making the Bible part of us. You can join the discussion as your schedule allows here, on Maria’s blog, or on Facebook. (If you haven’t connected with Maria, I suggest you do. She’s a wonderful sister in Christ who loves Jesus with everything in her and loves to walk alongside other women as they grow in faith and love.)

We’re excited to travel on this journey with you!

Start date: July 11th.

Posting dates and topics:

On Tuesday July 11th, Maria will open the study with a look at 1 Timothy 1:5, which is our theme verse and the main point of our study, discussing this verse in detail. Then on Thursday July 13th, I’ll share a testimonial thought and life-application.

July 18th and 20th, we’ll focus on 1 Tim 1:12-17, discussing what it means to live as testimonies to God’s grace.

July 25th and 27th, we’ll discuss 1 Timothy 2:9-10, focusing on the dangers and destructive nature of pride.

August 1st and 3rd, we’ll focus on 1 Timothy 3:11 and the importance of guarding our tongue, taking an honest look at slander, venting, gossip, and why these types of conversations are so harmful.

August 8th and 10th, we’ll discuss one of my favorite verses in 1 Timothy–4:7-8, dialoguing on spiritual disciplines and our responsibility, as believers, to be intentional about our growth. (Spoiler alert: If we belong to Christ, growth isn’t an option; it’s an expectation.)

August 15th and 17th, we’ll discuss 1 Timothy 4:12, talking about what it means to live with integrity, love, and faith–showing others what it looks like and means to walk with Christ.

August 22nd and 24th, we’ll take a look at 1 Timothy 4:13, discussing ways (and the importance of) limiting our focus in order to maximize our effectiveness for Christ.

August 29th and 31st, we’ll discuss 1 Timothy 6:6-8, talking about the necessity and blessings of learning and practicing contentment–choosing contentment! 😉

Then we’ll close on September 5th and 7th with 1 Timothy 6:11-12 with a discussion on staying engaged in the battle.

Discussion days/times: Ongoing; participate when it’s convenient for you.

We’re really excited to get to know each of you better, grow closer to Christ, did deeper into His word, and to grow in love, faith, and purity. I hope you’ll join us!

Pride isn’t Pretty

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Pride is something that everyone struggles with. In today’s guest blog post, author Mariah Morgan discusses how pride affects our relationship with Christ, and how we can combat it. As you read, be thinking about how you can fight your prideful nature.

Pride isn’t Pretty by Maria Morgan

Pride isn’t pretty. It takes on many forms – thinking we’re superior to others, making decisions without counsel, even putting ourselves down. Whether we want to admit it or not, all forms of pride are rebellion against God.

Pride has been around since the beginning of time. Once an angel, Lucifer (Satan) was cast out of heaven because of pride:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High,” (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Where it begins  

Notice where pride began: in Lucifer’s heart. He held a prestigious position. He was the anointed cherub according to Ezekiel. Maybe his position caused him to get puffed up. Maybe it was his good looks (Ezekiel 28:17). Whatever the case, he desired to be God – serving God was no longer enough.

Satan used pride to get Eve to question God’s goodness in the Garden, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1b). Basically, Satan wanted Eve to think God was withholding something from her and Adam. Wasn’t it possible God just didn’t want them to be “gods, knowing good and evil”? (Genesis 3:5).

Wayward steps

Photo by tiverylucky taken from freedigitalphotos.net

Photo by tiverylucky taken from freedigitalphotos.net

Eve looked at the fruit of the tree. It did look beautiful and ripe. What harm could come of taking just one bite? Without seeking Adam’s input, Eve plucked the fruit and gave some to her husband.

Before we’re too hard on Adam and Eve, don’t we do the same thing? Instead of living within the parameters of His will, we want to be the ones calling the shots. Our will seems to make more sense. One wayward step becomes two and pretty soon we’ve established our own little kingdom where we’re on the throne.

God is good

Fortunately, the Lord is well-acquainted with our weaknesses. With every temptation to give in to pride, He gives us a way of escape, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Because of the payment Christ made for our sins on the cross and God’s goodness, we can be victorious. When we’re careful to submit to God’s will, and resist the devil, pride won’t have a foothold in our lives. Walk in victory today!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for reminding me that there is a very real battle going on in my life between pride and humility. Help me fortify myself with Your Truth so I can stand against the enemy’s schemes. Today I submit to Your will knowing that You must increase and I must decrease. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

V4 - Louie and the Leafpile cover3Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. She is the award-winning author of Louie’s BIG day! Her newest release, Louie & the Leaf Pile, shares the truth about pride in a child-friendly way. Regardless of the age of her audience, her goal is the same: to share God’s truth and make an eternal difference. She lives in the muggy South with her husband, two retrievers, and two Maine coon kitties ~ the perfect mix to fuel her creativity for years to come!

 

 

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Let’s talk about this! How would you describe pride? How do our small prideful acts take us farther from God’s will? When you are focused on your own wants and goals, what brings you back to God, and what can we do to avoid falling into temptation? What steps will you take to walk in humility today?

Share your thoughts in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.

For those of you who are local, this month on the 7th, I will be having a book signing at Divine Truth. For those of you who aren’t local but would still like autographed copies of any of my novels, either for yourself or as Christmas gifts, contact Rodney, the store manager at 402-592-4866 and he’ll make that happen!

For those of you who enjoy following my blog tours, here’s where I’ve been this week:

Today I’m visiting Ally Carter’s blog, talking to moms about making the most important thing most important. You can read this post HERE.

Yesterday I visited Ralene Burke’s blog to talk about finding confidence in the uncertainty, and the part unhindered, unconditional obedience plays in that. You can read that post HERE.

At Faith, Friends, and Chocolate, we celebrated our subscriber give-away winner and released our latest newsletter edition. You can check that out HERE.

On Friday, I visited Sharon Scrock’s to participate in a “Wild Card” interview. You can read the interview, along with an excerpt from Intertwined, HERE.

 

Parents, Are You Making Your Influence Count?

Throw back Thursday--I took this picture of our princess on a special family day. Memories matter, and time passes quickly. Make it count.

Throw back Thursday–I took this picture of our princess on a special family day. Memories matter, and time passes quickly. Make it count.

Oh, my, does today’s post hit me smack in my momma-heart. With our princess so near launch age, everything in our home has become more… intentional. Because we know our time is short, and we want every moment to count. It’s like we’re trying to cram all these memories into her already exploding brain. I’m not sure if these memories are for her or us. 😉 I suspect both.

I often say, parenting is the hardest, most important, most rewarding, heart-wrenching and heart-lifting job a person can have. And there aren’t any do-overs.

Okay, so that thought sent a jolt of adrenaline shooting through my gut. Let’s just say, there are numerous moments I’d like to do-over. But praise God He’s in the restoring, healing, transforming business and can turn my biggest parenting mistake into something beautiful. (If anything, I’ve helped our daughter see plenty of things she doesn’t want to do when she becomes a parent. ha!)

Maria headshot LLBDToday my sweet friend and fellow Living by Grace hostess, Maria Morgan, shares her thoughts on influential parenting. If you haven’t read her book to your kiddos yes, you absolutely must. I’ve heard it’s becoming many children’s favorite.

As an added bonus, she’s giving away a copy (I believe e-version) of her children’s book, Louie’s Big Day! The winner will be chosen randomly from the comments left on today’s post. 

Making Your Influence Count

By

Maria I. Morgan

What kind of influence are you having on your kids? Our only child will be getting married in less than a month, and over the course of her engagement I’ve had ample time to reflect on that very question.

Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. It comes with both wonderful experiences and some difficult challenges. In spite of all of our parenting blunders, I’m confident the Lord will continue to work in our daughter’s life. God’s Word is reassuring:

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

No guarantees

To the best of our ability we’ve pointed our girl to the Savior and tried to live out what God’s Word teaches. I’m so thankful for His grace where we’ve fallen short.

As parents, we have a big responsibility to teach and counsel our kids based on the truths of the Bible. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for families that began with a godly heritage to walk away from the Lord a generation or two later.

A sad commentary

Remember Ahaziah? His grandfather was Jehoshaphat. God’s Word describes Jehoshaphat as a man who,

“…sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 17:4

But Ahaziah’s father, Jehoram, decided to follow a different path. He married Athaliah, a woman who worshipped idols, and he chose to follow in the footsteps of the previous kings of Israel. In the space of one generation, the true God had been denied.

The advice of a mother

By the time Ahaziah began ruling Israel after his father died, he was already entrenched in evil practices. His mother had left a lasting impression on him:

“…for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly. Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab: for they were his counselors after the death of his father to his destruction.” 2 Chronicles 22:3b-4

I’m thankful for the examples of others who chose to follow God in spite of parents who were unbelievers. Godly parenting doesn’t guarantee godly children. Each person must decide who to follow: God or Satan.

This doesn’t negate our parental responsibility to teach our children the truth of God’s Word. Each day as we submit to the Lord and clothe ourselves with His armor, He will equip us with the ability to do so.

Your turn

Are you leaning on the Lord as you parent your children? What step will you take today to teach your kids God’s truth?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for working in my life and the lives of my kids even when I fail. I know I’m not 100% responsible for how my children turn out, because each of them was created with a free will. But I also know I am responsible for teaching them Ad for December issue Book Fun Magazine-page-001Your truth. Help me to do so today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

*It’s so important to teach our kids godly truths. And just in time for Christmas, I’ve released a children’s book that can serve as a tool to help accomplish that goal. Louie’s BIG day! features timeless characters who learn about purpose and friendship. The book concludes with questions to stimulate conversation and help re-emphasize biblical concepts. It’s fun for the whole family! Available in print and Kindle editions on Amazon.

Maria Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker who has a passion for sharing God’s love and truth with others. Visit her online at MariaMorgan.com

***

Let’s talk about this! Life can get so busy, and there are so many issues we as parents or grandparents must deal with *now*. And yet, I’ve found I can get so busy chasing fires, it’s easy to lose sight of my longterm plan. How am I preparing our princess for adulthood? Am I pointing her to Scripture? In our discussions, am I speaking love, grace, and truth?

livingbygracepic.jpI encourage you to ask yourself those same questions. Are you parenting with intentionality? What can you do, starting today, to build spiritual truths into your children? Make a realistic and attainable plan, then start today. I encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas with us. Then we can all learn from one another. What makes intentional parenting challenging for you? What have you found to work? How do you free up time in your crazy-busy week to train up your children and build lasting and meaningful memories? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Living by Grace.

 

Overcoming Insecurity

Maria Looking UpI am becoming increasingly aware of how incredibly prideful I am,  and how isolating pride can be. I doubt I’m alone in this. We live in a culture where strength and independence are valued and weakness disdained. And I suspect, we often assume expectations and perceive judgement when none exists. Or maybe when it does, because we live in a fallen world filled with sinful, broken humans. That’s why our worth must never be tied to other’s opinion of us, and yes, I’m speaking to myself. 🙂 As my guest, Maria Morgan, author of God Speaking, reminds us, there’s only one opinion that matters.

The Only Opinion that Matters by Maria Morgan

Are you easily swayed by popular opinion? It can be traced back to a strong desire to be accepted. I have to admit it’s easy for me to fall into the acceptance trap.

If I had to identify its root cause, I’d say: insecurity. The dictionary defines ‘insecurity’ as: “A state of mind characterized by self-doubt and vulnerability,” (Encarta Dictionary).

I’ve noticed insecurity rising to the surface when I begin focusing on myself and what others think of me. Maybe you’ve noticed it in yourself, too. Fortunately, we don’t have to be controlled by the need for approval.

A mission

I’m reminded of twelve men who were sent on an important mission. Moses had commissioned one man from each of the tribes of Israel to scope out the land of Canaan. Imagine the excitement of these men as they stood poised to enter the Promised Land, following years of wandering in the wilderness.

Their job was to get a good look at the land and the people who lived there. It was no small task – in fact they were gone for forty days. The children of Israel must have gasped in amazement when the men returned with a cluster of grapes so big it had to be carried on a pole between 2 men.

Different viewpoints

The land was everything God had said it would be: a land flowing with milk and honey. But 10 of the spies focused on Mariasimagethe current occupants of the land. They were giants that were very strong. They lived in cities surrounded by impenetrable walls. How would the Israelites be able to take the land when they were mere grasshoppers in comparison?

Popular opinion was having an effect on the people. But instead of going along with the 10 men from their group who had voiced their concerns, Joshua and Caleb expressed faith in a God bigger than their fears. Caleb stilled the people and spoke: “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it,” (Numbers 13:30).

Overcoming insecurity

Just like Joshua and Caleb, we can avoid being swayed by popular opinion when we focus on God instead of ourselves or what others think of us. In the big scheme of things, it’s what He thinks of us that really matters. His approval breaks the chains of insecurity. Be free today.

Do you struggle with insecurity? What step will you take to live for the Lord’s approval, instead of the approval of others?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for loving me even when I wrestle with insecurity. You are bigger than my fears. Help me live for Your approval instead of the approval of others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

*Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker and is passionate about sharing the truths of God’s Word with today’s generation. She lives in sunny Georgia with her husband and daughter, two dogs and two cats. Visit her on the web and download a free copy of her eBook, God Speaking.  Connect with  her on Facebook and Twitter!

LivingbyGracepicLet’s talk about this! What areas have you allowed popular opinion to creep in, bringing insecurity with it? How can you center your mind on the truth in God’s Word instead? How might spending time with Him help?

 

 

 

 

 

The Nasty C Word

Maria Looking UpChange is inevitable. Sometimes it’s exciting, like when one embarks on a new career or welcomes home an infant. Other times, well … Today my dear friend and fellow Living by Grace Hostess, Maria Morgan, encourages us to grab hold of God as we follow Him toward where ever He leads, change and all.

3 Steps to Overcoming the Fear of Change

The days are getting longer. The breeze has lost its chill. Change is in the air. I love the transition from winter to spring. The promise of new growth and warmer temperatures encourages me to embrace a new season.

But all change isn’t as easy to welcome. Some changes bring pain, while others create fear. So how can I prepare myself for the change that is sure to come? God’s Word gives me real insight.Bible

I’m challenged by the Israelites. As they stood poised on the banks of the Jordan River, ready to enter the Promised Land, they had to make some decisions. No doubt they were ready to leave the wilderness far behind – but there was work to be done in this new land if they were to possess it. Hard work and plenty of unknowns.

How did they respond? What did they do to overcome their uneasiness about the new land they were about to enter?

1 – They trusted God.

Joshua encouraged the people with a promise from God. As soon as the priests stepped into the Jordan River, the waters would part and the people would be able to cross the river on dry ground. Instead of questioning God, the people chose to take Him at His word. (Joshua 3:13)

2 – They moved forward one step at a time.

Because the people chose faith over fear, they were able to concentrate on the task that lay ahead of them that day: “And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” (Joshua 3:17; KJV)

They didn’t have to worry about what they would face the next day. They chose to do what God expected them to do that day.

3 – They chose to remember God’s goodness.

God instructed the people to set up a memorial of 12 stones taken from the middle of the Jordan River, as a reminder of how He had provided a miraculous path for them to cross into the Promised Land. The people obeyed. The memorial served as a reminder to future generations of God’s strength and goodness. (Joshua 4:20-24)

The next time you’re faced with change, you have the opportunity to respond like the Israelites did: trust God, move forward one step at a time, and remember God’s goodness.

What step will you take today to address your uneasiness with change?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the clear direction You give in Your Word. Help me to trust You in the face of change, and to be willing to move forward step by step. Give me the grace to remember Your goodness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

*Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. She’s passionate about sharing the truths of God’s Word with today’s generation. She lives in Georgia with her husband and daughter. Visit her on the web and download a free copy of her eBook God Speaking @ www.mariaimorgan.com.

I love grace–God’s continual, unmerited favor. I love the truth of 2 Corinthian 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” We all face fears, weaknesses–emotions, events, and encounters that threaten to hold us back. But God is bigger than all of these. He is victorious, and through Him, we can be victorious as well. Victorious over fear, discouragement, stagnation, whatever.

Let’s talk about this. Are you facing a time of change? If so, what are some tangible things you can do *today* to draw near to God?

Share your thoughts and stories in the comments before or on Facebook at Living by Grace.

 

 

 

Have you ever felt God nudge you to do something so out of the norm, so unexpected, you frantically searched for a “unless” clause? There have been countless times when God’s dropped me in something I felt ill-equipped or ill-prepared for, but looking back, those have been the times when I’ve felt closest to God and when I’ve learned the most. And each time, standing on the other side having seen God moved, I’ve been so grateful I said yes. Because God never called us to a stagnant life. Rather, He calls us to full surrender, unhindered obedience. Today my sweet friend and Maria Looking Upfellow Living by Grace hostess Maria Morgan shares a time when God thrust her out of her comfort zone and what she learned from it.

Stepping Out of the Zone by Maria Morgan

 

My comfort zone. It’s aptly named, because it’s where I feel comfortable. I’m familiar with the people and places within this zone.  I know what to expect. I can be myself and not risk rejection. It’s a safe place.

Recently, my husband, Steve, and I travelled to North Carolina for a charity golf tournament. The event was sponsored by Steve’s company, and was attended by over a hundred people. People I didn’t know.

I was definitely outside my comfort zone. And to add to my discomfort, my lack of expertise in the area of golf left me wondering what to discuss with them. Would we have anything in common?

golf

Be a friend

I wouldn’t classify myself as shy. But I don’t normally go out of my way to meet strangers either.

As the first dinner party got under way, I remembered some words of wisdom from Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly…” (Proverbs 18:24; KJV).  That was something I could do – be pleasant and welcoming, and show a genuine interest in those to whom I was introduced.  I stepped outside my ‘zone.’

 

 

Focus on others

Over the next couple days, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people, and realized an advantage of leaving my comfort zone. I was focused on others, and no longer concentrating on what was convenient for me.

On our drive back to Georgia, Steve and I talked about the importance of getting together with others. As Christians, we’re instructed to be “…given to hospitality,” (Romans 12:13b).

Make time for what’s important

We were conscious of the fact that we had allowed our schedules to prevent us from following through on this directive. When we realized what we’d been missing, it wasn’t difficult to get out the calendar and begin planning to invite friends and acquaintances over for a time of fun and fellowship.

Are you stuck in your comfort zone? What step are you willing to take today to move beyond what’s comfortable?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for challenging me to step out in faith beyond my comfort zone. Your Word provides wisdom for every situation. Help me to practice hospitality with those you bring across my path. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

*Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. She’s passionate about sharing the truths of God’s Word with today’s generation. She lives in Georgia with her husband and daughter. Visit her on the web and download a free copy of her eBook God Speaking @ www.mariaimorgan.com.

Let’s talk about this!

When has God asked you to step outside your comfort zone, and what were the results? Share your thoughts and God-moments with us in the comments below or join the Facebook discussion at Living by Grace.

 

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

When Facebook first launched, articles saturated the web warning us of the dangers of internet relationships. Would society become more isolated? More selfish? Shallower? Would having a computer to hide behind teach us to create barriers or could the safe and constant access to others actually have a positive effect? Like most tools, the values of social networking depends on the user, but for me, a writer who spends countless hours each day shut inside my office, Facebook has provided a much needed window to the outside world. It’s allowed me to stay in contact with distant friends and has deepened many relationships I hold dear. Facebook has become a wonderful, vibrant, interactive community. What better place to launch a Christ-centered devo-group?

Living by Grace is a Facebook faith community where believers, seekers, and inquiring minds can pop in and out for a snippet of truth and a friendly chat. Each week, five other authors and I will post links to inspiring, challenging, or thought provoking articles which will serve as discussion launchers. It’s a time to connect and be renewed and we invite you to join us.

Living by Grace (LBG) co-host and inspirational fiction writer, Patty Wysong is excited to see how God will use our faith-based community. “For over a year I’ve had the idea of an online Bible study group in my mind and heart,” Patty says, “and Living by Grace is better than I’d hoped. Isn’t that just like God?! FB is a bit like the modern day well. It’s where people worldwide go to hang out and visit with friends.”

 

LBG co-host and inspy author Jessica R. Patch is looking forward to increased relationship building.  “I’d love to see it become a place of sisterhood,” Jessica says. “A place, like Cheers, when you walk in you’re welcome and everyone knows your name. You’re important. You matter and you feel that way when you settle in. Okay, not the best analogy, but hey, you should feel more welcome at a devotional online community than a bar!”

 

LBG co-host, isnpy and devo author Maria Morgan expects our new faith community to create an atmosphere conducive to personal growth. “What an opportunity to see my own faith grow as I study God’s Word and rely on the still, small voice of the Lord to guide my writing,” Maria says. “And I look forward to being challenged by the posts of the other devotional writers. It’s a true honor to be part of a team of godly women who are seeking to make 2 Peter 3:18 a reality: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”

Co-host, faith and fiction writer, Joanne Sher, is a people-addict (in a good way). She’s looking forward to the faith-based interaction. “It’s easy to connect with folks on Facebook,” Joanne says. “You can have real conversations, and get to know others: their gifts, their needs. I’d love LBG to be a go-to place for folks looking to draw the Lord more into their lives—where we can examine our lives in connection to His Word, and learn from one another.”

Co-host, former missionary, and Bible-study-teacher extraordinaire, Lynda Schultz is looking forward to the opportunity to be stimulated challenged. “I want to meet new people who share my passion and rejoice in the journey they have taken to get to this “sweet spot” in their lives.”

 

Personally, I’m looking forward to getting to know some of my readers on a more personal level. I believe God’s love is exponential—the more you give it, the more you receive it. And I believe He never intended for us to go it alone. In fact, like a great grandparent who takes pleasure in seeing his children come together at family reunions, I believe God receives great joy when His children unite. And if God’s doing it, I want to be in it.

We hope you’ll join us Monday through Saturday for some great, Christ-centered posts and relationship building chats. Stop by today to meet me and my co-hosts, share your thoughts with us, maybe ask a question or two.

Who we are:

Patty Wysong is an ordinary girl living the good life, the life God gave her. A home executive with over 20 years of experience, she homeschools three of her five children, but don’t let that fool you. Much of her time is spent working on what God has placed in her hand: her keyboard. From the corner of her living room she writes inspirational fiction, devotionals, blog posts, and teaches online blogging workshops. You’ll also find her drinking kool aid from her china cup, preparing for the ladies Bible study she leads, and helping at their church. Through her writing, Patty has found the extraordinary God in her ordinary life. http://www.pattywysong.com/

Joanne Sher is a Jew by birth, a Christian by rebirth, and a writer by gift. A native Southern Californian, she now lives happily in West Michigan with her husband and two school-aged children. She is a blogger and writer, of both true-life stories and fiction, attempting to ride God’s grace over rough roads. http://www.joannesher.com

Jessica R. Patch grew up in southern Illinois before attending Central Bible College, where she majored in Missions and Bible. She is devoted to her local church, having served as a Biblical Studies teacher, Women’s Ministry leader, Regional Women’s Representative, and volunteer co-pastor with her husband of the Young Adult Ministry. She’s taught workshops and frequently spoken to Women’s ministry groups. Her heart is to help women step out into deeper waters of intimacy with Jesus Christ. http://jessicarpatch.blogspot.com/

Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational/devotional writer, whose passion is to share the truths of God’s Word with today’s generation. She is a regular contributor to Around About Cumming, and Cumming Patch. You can visit her on the web Mondays and Wednesdays for a life lesson you can relate to. Maria resides in Georgia with her husband, Steve, daughter, Riley, their 2 dogs and 1 cat. http://www.mariaimorgan.blogspot.com

 

Lynda Schultz is a “never-married.” She has served in church ministry as Director of Christian Education in several Canadian churches. For the past thirty years or so, she has been a missionary with a Canadian Baptist mission and has served in Colombia and Venezuela, as well as on home staff. She is currently Director of Christian Education/Spiritual Formation in Timmins, Ontario and still works part-time with the mission in the area of communications. Lou Lou Belle and Abby are her Venezuelan cats who have returned to Canada with her. She likes reading, writing, but definitely not arithmetic, as well as cooking and plants. http://web.mac.com/lyndalee1,
http://lyndasgrainsofsand.blogspot.com and http://web.me.com/lyndalee1/Northern_Breezes

Although you already know me…

I write for Christ to the World Ministries, the Christian Pulse, and Samie Sisters. I love seeing people experience the life-changing love of Christ. I believes no sin is too sinful for forgiveness, no heart to dark to be cleansed, no wound too deep for healing, when placed in pierced hands of Christ and I pray daily that my writing provides a glimpse of God’s all-consuming love.