Thursday, October 30, 2008

A little something

I was reading in one of my books last night that I've read over and over again, and thought I'd share a couple of short paragraphs with you that seem to go along with our current bible study lesson.....

(A Divine Confrontation by Graham Cooke)

It is easy to be joyful when things are going well for us. However, real joy does not depend on what is happening in a positive way. Real joy comes from the lord and is a source of great strength to us in time of trial and difficulty. The fruit of joy grows in poor circumstances in which we need to rejoice in the presence of God and His eternal promises.

The fruit of patience grows in troublesome situations in which we want to strive to take shortcuts or avoid difficult things instead of allowing the Lord to teach us to persevere in trust. God uses people and events to develop His character as well as His gifting in us.

We must learn how to enable the oil of the Holy Spirit to come between us and prevent the tension from becoming a friction. We get overheated through lack of oil. lack of grace, and lack of the fruit of God's nature in our hearts. Be challenged about this aspect of our walk with God. Learn to see other people through the eyes of God. When encountering difficult people, practice the grace of God. Develop the fruit of His nature. As you do, opportunities will open up for you in the nature of God.

There is always tangible success for us in these situations. Nothing may change in the circumstances, but something may change in us. Alternatively, our circumstances may change in many ways as the favor of God is poured through our chosen behavior. We must learn to respond to God and not react to circumstances.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Session Two

Holding Onto Hope

It was great to see everyone after skipping a week! We started out with breakfast (as usual!). We had some kolaches, donuts and a yummy fruit and cheese platter (thanks Theresa!). Then on to our 15 minute craft session.....

As you can see, we are a fun group of girlies! ha ha

We made masks of all sorts and personalities :-) Aren't they lovely??!!

Of course mine had bright neon pink feathers and glitter! :-)

After our craft, we talked about our masks and why we wear them, where we wear them, and who we wear them for. And we posed the question, does our mask better represent who we really are, or the person we'd like to be? Sometimes its easier wearing a mask so that we don't have to be honest about our feelings. Sometimes we even prefer others to wear their masks so we don't have to hear about their problems. Larry Crabb warns against this attitude: "Church is too often a place of pretense and therefore a place without hope. When brokenness is disdained, where the real story is never told, the power of God is not felt. Where brokenness is invited and received with grace, the gospel comes alive with hope."

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Life can be a mess sometimes! And things aren't always perfect or the way we planned them. But according to this scripture we don't have to lose heart even in the midst of our difficulities! And there is usually a greater purpose and larger perspective to whatever it is that we are going through that God is trying to show us. Not that He causes our suffering, but for some reason, He allows us to go through it at times.

Two "Principles for Living" found in Session 2 were really good this week!......

~Often in the midst of suffering or struggles, God sets a fork in the road. Your choices at these critical crossroads will set the course for your future.

(Often we try to avoid things that send us reeling into difficulty and stress, but we do get to choose how to respond to them! p.22)

~Your life can send a powerful message of the amazing relationship a person can have with God. Even when you're spiritually and emotionally weak, God can use you to redeem the lives of those around you.

(So your ministry doesn't stop just because you are having some difficulties in your life! We can minister through our pain and hurts to help set others free and receive healing!)

At the end of our meeting, each lady was given a gift to remind her of the harvest waiting for her, just as Naomi, too, will receive a harvest in our story.

This Friday Session 3 is Signs of Hope. Hope to see you there!! :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Fall!

I haven't had time for crafting lately, so I thought I would just repost this card from last year! I made it for a friend as a Happy Fall greeting :-) So once again, Happy Fall my friends!

And hopefully I'll be able to find some time to make something new, especially with the holidays right here upon us! Anyone have any extra time out there to spare? Maybe you could put it in an envelope and send me just a little...... :-)

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Sorry girls! We have to cancel, or actually postpone, Session 2 for this Friday (tomorrow). The kids have been sick and we don't want to spread the germs! :-) So have a great weekend and I'll see you next Friday!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Session One Homework

Just a quick reminder for those of you attending the Famine to Fairytale bible study at my house. Don't forget to set aside some quiet time this week for the Taking it Home section on pages 17-18. The introspective questions as well as the offering questions to take to God will help you make the most of this study. Also, remember, it is important to write down thoughts, feelings, and key insights that God reveals during your quiet time. There will be time for sharing on Friday for those who are interested in doing so.

Our craft for Session Two is going to be really fun! We are going to make a mask! We will have only about 10-15 minutes to create, so be thinking about what you would like your mask to look like. I will have the masks and supplies available for you to decorate with, but if you have something specific you would like to bring to decorate your mask, please feel free to do so! I can't wait to see our different personalities reveal themselves in this activity!

Have a great week! :-)

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together." Ps 34:1-3

Friday, October 3, 2008

Famine to Fairytale - Lesson #1 - When Tragedy Strikes

This morning was our first bible study. We had a great meeting! As we invited the presence of the Lord into our midst, the Holy Spirit took over and became our facilitator! We shared some personal time getting to know one another better, eating, having some coffee, and making a collage of our dream vacation! (See pics below) Then we dove into our lesson and discovered how we each relate to Ruth or Naomi in some way or another. We were reminded of God's faithfulness and His desire for each of us to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

An exerpt from Lesson 1:
The story of redemption is captured well in fairytales. Since girlhood many of us have dreamed of living a fairytale. We long for adventure and the thrill of being claimed as royal brides. That yearning in our hearts is natural because we were created for a real-life fairytale. In fact, we're destined to find freedom from bondage through the King's love - a scenario not entirely unlike Cinderella's story.

Sadly, the original paradise God created for us is now lost for a time. When the Enemy deceived Adam and Eve and they rebelled against God's perfect plan, we became slaves to sin and struggle. But through Jesus we have a way out. Still, even after we come to faith in Jesus, we still must wait for the final "happily ever after" ending that God promises.

Real life is messy, and is at times filled with tragedy. Life's pain and heartaches seldom make sense to us, and can leave us wounded, discouraged, and disillusioned. As we walk the path of tragedy and triumph with Ruth and Naomi, let's consider how their story relates to our own.

One of our favorite scriptures for today was:

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

A few pictures from this morning:

Princess Theresa & Princess Linda :-)
Princess Shelly & Princess Stacey :-)
Our vacation collages!

In celebration of Fall (my favorite time of the year), at the end of the meeting, each lady was given a small pot plant for herself and one to give away. :-)

There is still time for you to join us! If you haven't registered for a bible study yet, and think that this one might be for you, come on over! Call the church, leave a comment here, or send me an email and I'll get your book ordered!

Next Friday, Lesson #2 is HOLDING ON TO HOPE. See you then!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

So I said I would post again before our first meeting....looks like I'm barely sneaking this one in! Our first meeting is tomorrow morning at 10:00 am at my house (and for obvious reasons, I won't post my address or phone # here!). I think everyone knows how to get to my house, if not call the church and ask for my cell phone number. Or just follow the smell of coffee and cinnamon streusel muffins........

See you in the A.M.!