January 27, 2010

Chapter Two - One Ticket Out of the Wilderness

January 27, 2010
For chapter two to be so short there is definitely a lot of information packed in there! There are a few things that stand out and I will mention those briefly.

Beth mentions, "God calls us to surrender our own agendas on the altar of His will" - in other words, we are to die to self daily! This is super hard and probably even more so for us women! I catch myself going through life making decisions based on what I think is best and what I want the outcome to be - not searching or asking God for wisdom in making those decisions. I want to each morning, surrender my will do His!... this is a daily process - not something we can do once and move on. As Beth says, it is more of a sacrifice for us to forfeit the will of God for our own!

She also explains more in depth that "believing" in an action - and not a one time action, but a continuing action. Its something that we do (or should be doing) and we should be doing it continually.

Our first act of faith was accepting Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. That act of believing, confessing, repenting and accepting is what led us into our relationship with Jesus Christ. Unfortuntaley for some it ends there, but it is not suppose to! To build a healthy life with your husband you do more than just "marry" him and have your wedding day - you are constantly, daily (hopefully) working toward building a greater relationship with him. You build relationships by first communicating - this means listenting as well as talking!... this is why it is so important to communicate with God daily. How can we have a relationship with him and how can we grow in faith with him if we are not communicating with him and finding ourselves in his word daily - please note, I am speaking directly to myself here!

So... I think what would be nice is if we each shared our salvation experiences... some may be exciting and eventful while other may not - either way, it is the greatest decision any of us have ever made and it is so important to share it with others! What do you think?!

I will go first... I warn you, it is so easy for me to ramble, so I will try to keep it short!!

It is so interesting to think about now b/c my Sophomore and Junior (and I guess my Senior) year of high school going to First Priority was the "cool" thing to do. At one point in time we met on Friday afternoons and to a packed house of probably 100 or more. It was full of the popular kids and maybe the not so popular (that sounds yucky to say) - there were football players, cheerleaders, band members, and your everyday teenager. Most of my friends "went" to church in some capacity or had "ties" to church... and I guess they assumed that I did as well... or at least assumed I was a "Christian" (which is such a catchphrase now days). I had been to church, I knew you were suppose to go to church and there was always some sort of desire there for me, but there was never any consistency in my own family and quite frankly it just was not really talked about. To make a long story shorter - one Friday afternoon in a First Priority meeting I received Christ as my personal lord and savior - I did not make a spectacle about it and quite frankly at the time I did not totally understand what I had done - this did not happen until I started going to church regularly which was pretty much immediately. I remember I had such a hunger and desire in me that was like none other - my cup just ran over - church was a getaway for me - it was a place of peace and of redemption and I felt better there than anywhere else. I wanted to be there every time the doors were open and those were the people that I wanted to be around. It was years before I actually told anyone about my salvation experience and b/c of that the devil tried to convince me that I really didn't get saved... I think as a teen I was almost embarrassed b/c I was sure all my friends just "assumed" I was and I didn't want to to think badly of me - knowing now that they would not have... My stepping out moment was when I got baptized. I don't know why it was so hard for me to step out, but it was! I gripped the pew for months when our pastor would make altar calls for people who needed to be baptized... I knew God was pressing on my heart to take this step of obedience.

Shew... I could go on and on, but I will let you take a turn now!



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January 21, 2010

Chapter One - Your Promised Land

January 21, 2010
There are so many statements in this first chapter that jump off the page (for me). Right away what catches me is when Beth repeats what her son in law says, "Curt told us the only way we were going to impact the world and the next generation is to prove that our faith in Christ is real and that is works". It is almost scary to think that I am at the stage in my life where there is actually a "generation" beneath me that is looking at my life as an example - an example of the goodness of Christ. There are so many before us that have laid a foundation and that have shown us that true genuine faith in Christ really works! Not faith in the world, not faith in material things, not faith in people - because people will always in so way fail us... but Christ, never... He will never fail us. I am sure he has already proved that to many of you - do you have any instances of God's faithfulness that you would like to share?

I said before that I have went into 2010 saying to the Lord that I want to be usable! Beth says it so much better "We're getting by but getting by, was never our destiny. We were meant to be profoundly effective" - wow! Profoundly Effective! I like that so much better... I want to be not only effective, but profoundly effective!

Effective, to be adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.

I want to be adequate in accomplishing the purpose that Christ has for my life and in doing so I will produce the intended and/or expected result!

Share what the chapter has said to you...

SJB





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January 14, 2010

Let's Get Started

January 14, 2010
Let me start by saying I feel in no way qualified for "leading" this bible study - so that is not what I will be doing. I have just simply created an open forum for us to discuss what the Lord has revealed to each of us through this, what I consider to be, faith changing book.

I bought this book several years ago for myself as well as a few friends. The book quickly found it's way in my night stand and eventually on my book shelf and did not find it's way off until last year when I found myself in what I like to refer to as a "rut". During this time I found myself distant from the Lord and he eventually revealed to be the reasons why - it was 2 fold. First, I had made an idol out of my child... this is hard for me to even admit now! I had placed the needs and wants of Colton above all other - I knew better, but somehow over time it just happened... I had put him in front of the Lord. I was devastated when I realized what I had done. Secondly, I had a major seed of unbelief - you want to talk about being devastated at ones self!... not only that, I was so ashamed!... this is the first time I have shared this with anyone other than my husband. I choose to not going into detail (right now), but this book found itself in my lap and I could not keep my nose out of it! The Lord used it to change me and for that I am so grateful! I did not know at the time the I was being prepared for a harder season in my life, the loss of my earthly father. I have said many times (to probably many of you) that the Lord had me prepared for this loss for a while, but had I been in that "rut" I do not think I would have been able to handle it as I did.

So with that, lets talk about what our goals! What do you wish to gain from this bible study?? My goal for the year is to be a "usable" vessel for the Lord" and to be a bold woman of Christ.



** please note: I hate to proof read so if there are grammatical errors... please find it in your heart to forgive me! ha!

Lot of Love!
Summer Jo

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