Archive | February, 2017

Finding I AM Study – Week 3 Notes -“I AM” The Good Shepherd AND THE GATE

22 Feb

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you..png


That little fellow in the picture up  and another sheep live across the road from me.  When I go walking, they are usually at the fence looking at me.

I did not know that sheep are mentioned over 300 times in the Bible, and more than any other animal until this week.

Some other things I learned about sheep are that they are defenseless, prone to go astray, their eyesight is poor, they tend to follow other sheep, and they are stubborn.

We sound a bit like those sheep don’t we?   We are prone to go astray, we are stubborn, and well sometimes we follow the wrong people.  We can start to slide away from our Shepherd.  We miss church a week or two or three.  We don’t really go to church to worship.  We go to get what we can get.  It’s not about me or we – it’s all about Him and worship and being prepared to worship when we get there.

We listen to Satan’s lies how we aren’t good enough, what others might think about us, we pull away from others, become depressed, and Satan loves us alone and lonely.  Lysa says that “the enemy knows if he can isolate us, he can intimidate us.  Confuse us.  Deceive us.  And ultimately, make us believe that the safer paths in life are ones apart from God and our friends who serve God.”

We can’t do life alone.  Really, we need our Savior and we need others.  Lysa reminds us that “in the midst of our wilderness the Good Shepherd is pursuing us, calling out to us, bringing us back to the fold, and willing to take back the lead in the journey.”

James 4:8 reminds us to “draw nigh to God and he will draw near to you.”


I humming that song on day 2 as we learn about how sheep are prone to wonder.  Yes, now I understand that old hymn.

On day 2 I learned all about the sheep gate.  It is an enclosure to keep them in so that predators don’t get them, and they don’t wander away.

Sheep know their shepherd’s voice.  They would not listen to any other.  Do you know your Shepherd’s voice or do you listen to the voices of the world – to others that will pull you away?  The only way we will find Him is to spend time in His Word and prayer.  We have to trust Him just like a sheep trusts their shepherd.


I learned that shepherds will lay down their life for their sheep.  In fact, we learned how a shepherd would lay down at the entrance to the sheep gate at night to protect anything from getting in and harming the sheep.  Just like the shepherd, the Good Shepherd laid down His life for you and me.

Lysa talked about sheep as offerings, and a reminder to us how important it is to bring our offering to the Good Shepherd with our first thoughts of the day.  I wake up most mornings and thank the Lord that He awakened me for another beautiful day.

The shepherds were the very first people to be told about the arrival of Jesus.  Ponder on that one a moment.  I sure did.  That tells us how important shepherds are.  It should remind us how important our Shepherd is.

Something else I learned this week was Bethlehem means house of bread.

We studied Peter, the fisherman and how Jesus chose Him to be a caring shepherd to people and the differences in the two.  He chooses the most likely to shepherd and do His work.  I’m so glad He chose me.


Who is the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd?  He laid down His life willingly for each one of us.  Oh, ow we should cherish Him and seek Him each day.

John 10:14 says that he Shepherd knows His sheep.   Did you know that He knows the number of hairs on our heads?  Oh my, I would like to know what that number used to be compared to what it is today.  HA!  I see so many hairs falling out in my brush each day.

He also knows my heart.  He knows my thoughts.  He knows every moment of my life.  He wants us to KNOW Him too.

He not just any Shepherd.  He is our GOOD SHEPHERD


A few things I want to remember.  The videos are awesome and taped in Israel and this one was from the Judean hills.  You can purchase them here.

Lysa talks about Psalm 23:1 how the Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want.  That makes me remember that I lack nothing.  In fact, I sit here and realized how blessed I am.  Are you satisfied with what you have?  We need to be thankful for what we have, and not being unappreciative of what we don’t have.

She explains in this video about the valleys, mountains, gorges of water – the topographies in Jerusalem.  It’s beautiful in these videos to watch her and listen to these stories.

We learned how the shepherd could feel impending storms and how he kept the sheep up high so they would not drown.

It’s in the valleys we find the beautiful water.  I’ve learned in the valleys that I can only be restored by my Shepherd.

See my Week 2 notes for Chapters  here.

See my Week 1 notes here.








15 Feb

January zoomed by so fast.  The year is moving quickly.  In just a couple of weeks I am about to be a Nana to three new grand babies.


Psalm 138:3  On the day I called you answered me.


Begin Finding I Am Bible Study by Lysa TerKeurst – When I retired I wanted to do an on-line Bible study.  God led me here to Proverbs 31.  You can do these studies 24/7 and meet women all over the World.  There are even Facebook Groups which fill up fast.  Here is the registration form.

Begin 1 Peter A Living Hope In Christ by Jen Wilkin Bible Study at Church

First 5 App Daily Devotionals  – I highly recommend the Proverbs 31 First 5 App for a daily devotional.  They have a book for each Bible book we study.  I do both, but if you aren’t in to really digging in then I would suggest you download the app for your first five minutes of the day to spend some alone time with Him.  You can check it out here and see a sample to today’s devotional.


Continue my Bibles Studies from January – Finding I AM and 1 Peter – A Living Hope.
Continue First Five App



Baby Shower for the TWINS my daughter-in-law is carrying.

Have Christmas with our daughter and her family.

Special Day with our grandson, Colt. I think we are going to a movie like Sing or Monster Trucks.  I’m sure he will choose Monster Trucks.

Still need to have all the family over to play the games we missed on Christmas Eve with our daughter and family being sick.


Special Day with grandson, Colt.  Not sure what it will be, and will depend on the weather.

Lunch with my daughter



 JANUARY – ALL DONE and doing well.

Walking on treadmill at least 1 hour a week.  Starting small and trying to work up.  Being REAL here.  Keeping a running tally on the refrigerator and I’m behind already.  Yes I’m catching up.  Learning to be intentional – my One Word for the year.

Reading Trim Healthy Mama Book and trying some of her recipes

Adding lots of protein and shakes.


Walking – Treadmill and in our neighborhood at least 1 hour a week.  Still some catching up but doing well.  Been on two walks with one of my grandsons, two by myself and tonight on the treadmill.   Well, it is the 10th already but feeling good about the accomplishments – small steps are good steps.

Continue healthy menus.  We ate a simple, great meal tonight called Philly Cheese Steak Casserole with a salad.  So good.

I’ve had a protein shake almost every morning during the month of January and now into February.


JANUARY – All Done

This month I am meeting up with several church friends for a dinner at church to kick off our ladies ministry for the year.  I can’t wait!

Hope to meet up with one of my new Bible study friends for lunch. Actually this happened February 3.  Planned it in January though.


Lunch with a new friend – one of my group members on my team.

Visit our Sunday school teacher’s wife who had knee surgery.


JANUARY (DONE, DONE, DONE) Have a bag of clothes and purses for donation and a box for resale.

Finish cleaning and organizing master bedroom closet.  I wonder if this will really happen.  Like it’s already January 20th and well I’ve been subbing at school, busy with Bible study, and keeping my awesome grandsons.

Catch up on filing in office.  Same as above, but I’m sure going to try if I can get one day at home.


Clean out under my bathroom sink and my bathroom drawers again.   Not touching my hubbies area.

Clean out two bottom drawers on one of my dressers.

Clean out some cups in my kitchen.



Photo:  Canva

I pray you are exhorted (encouraged, prompted) by my blog each and every time I write.  I am exhorted as you read and comment.


Lesson 2 – Blogging Course.  Continue working on Lesson 2 cleaning up 500 blog posts.  It’s going well but the new babies are due soon and seeing all the work designing new pictures on many of the blogs and re-writing some I am going to make this date May.

Review and clean-up 15 more blog posts plus 50 I already completed so it will be 65.

Linky Page – Continue cleaning


Lesson 2 – Blogging Course. Continue working on Lesson 2 cleaning up 500 blog posts. It’s going well but the new babies are due soon and seeing all the work designing new pictures on many of the blogs and re-writing some I am going to make this date May.

Review and clean-up 15 more blog posts plus 50 I already completed so it will be 65.

Linky Page – Continue cleaning

Photos:  Free Canva photos


Finding I AM Study – Week 2 Notes -“I AM” The Light of the World

15 Feb


Week 2 – I AM The Light of the World

Day 1 – The Festival of Tabernacles And The Living Water

Do you sometimes look for signs from God?  Are you wondering what He wants you to do?  Sometimes we aren’t even paying attention to what is in front of us.  Lysa shared about a neighbor who lost his wife to cancer and his loneliness.  With his words how he was not doing so well, Lysa invited him to dinner. She knew it was an assignment from God.  A tradition started at her house on Monday nights.  Her family has continued this tradition of Monday night dinners where they invite others.

I know in my heart God has been telling me to invite my neighbor women over for a tea/coffee.  He has placed my neighbors right in front of me.  I know that and yes, I do things for them.  We have ice cream, have had a widower over for a New Year’s meal, other neighbors over for meals and ice cream,  and so many other things.  God’s stirring my heart.  Somehow I have to find the time, and I think that God wants me to write that on my calendar for Spring break and start it as a monthly thing.  I let busyness get so in the way of ministering right here where I live.

How about you?  Has God spoken to you about an assignment and you are missing what is right is in front of you?

A story that Lysa has shared before is when Ken walked out of her house that evening and he picked one of her flowers and told her, “Don’t miss this.  Don’t rush through your life, Lysa.  Make time to stop and breathe it all in.”

I am reminded of that story so many times – when I walk out my door and see all the beautiful plants, the trees, the clouds, birds, fruit growing on our trees, bird eggs,  a sunrise this morning from my den, or sunsets in the evening from my kitchen,   and just so many other things.  I looked out a bit ago when I was getting another cup of coffee this morning and saw six doves sitting outside my kitchen window – six big doves – a family of them that have been here a very long time.  Actually, the first dove we ever saw showed up the day we pulled in the driveway from one of our nephew’s funerals.  He was sitting right on top of the eave where we enter our home.  It was like a sign of love from God, and I guess he/she has been here ever since and now we have a family of six.

Eventually  Lysa’s friend Ken remarried, but Lysa says they still invite friends, family and co-workers over on Monday nights.  They pay attention to breathe it in even with to-do lists and schedules that are tugging at them.  They “don’t allow anything to take priority over these moments. They refuse to let people that have been entrusted  get their “less” instead of their”best” because of distractions.

Don’t be distracted.   Be engaged.  Breathe it ALL in.  It can change your life, and others.

Now on to the Feast of the Tabernacles.  It was a joyous and the longest festival celebrated by the Jews.  Can you imagine an eight day festival?

Lysa shared the three major events of the feast:

  • Participating in a procession of psalms;
  • Observing as the priests daily poured water from the fountain of Siloam onto the altar;
  • Illuminating four large menorahs each night int he temple courts.

There would be a sacrifice, pouring of water on the altar, and a torch at night – thus water and light.

It was at this time that Jesus, it says in John 7:37-38  that Jesus stood, cried and said “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

Last week we studied how Jesus Christ was The Bread of Life, and this week how He is The Living Water.  What are you filling up your bucket with?  Let Him be the one that quenches your thirst.  Keep your eyes on The Bread of Life, the Living Water.


Day 2 – I AM The Light Of The World

Today we learned about the end of the Feast of the Tabernacles where they have a torch dance.  Women stand on a roof and men below, and there are four large menorahs with seven lights each, and they light up the whole area.  Lysa said they would light up all of Jerusalem.

She said this happens every night of the feast and that the light “symbolized not only what God had done in the past (pillar of fire/light that led the Israelites through the wilderness) but also pointed forward to what God was going to do, specifically through the coming Messiah.”

During the feast, Jesus told the people that He was the light and that once we have that light He would take away the darkness.

We were reminded that each one of us have dark places in our lives where we refuse to let Jesus shine in.  Had a little soul searching time during this week.  What darkness do I have?  The only thing I can think of is food and I am finally realizing what an addiction food can be.  It’s got to be almost as bad as drinking, but God isn’t finished with me yet.  He keeps talking, and I haven’t been obeying – listening yes, but not obeying.

Day 3 – Light Word Study

We started day 3 going back to Genesis when God created light – He separated the light from the darkness.

We took some time to think about light and it’s functions of illumination, sustaining life, causes things to grow, provides warmth, and dispels darkness.  I can associate with everyone of those and really all of them today.  I love sitting here in the morning in my Bible when the sun rises and how beautiful it illuminates the earth, how in the Spring it causes things to grow and even right now the days have been close to the eighties and buds are starting to come out on the trees,  one of my plants already has flowers on it and my bulbs are blooming.  The warmth felt so good today at the park last week.  I took my grandson and when we sit down for our picnic lunch he said he was cold.  I was too.  The wind was blowing hard and clouds covered the sun.  I said let’s pray God sends us son and soon He did,   and we had a wonderful time playing in the wooden park as he calls it.  I was home alone two  weekends ago, and well I don’t sleep well when my hubby is gone so I dispelled some of the darkness by leaving a couple of lights on in other rooms.

God is always there to shed light during our dark times.  We just need to remember to call out to Him.  Stop and look for glimpses from Him during those times.  He’s right there every moment of light and darkness in our lives.

Day 4 – Healing The Man Born Blind

This chapter spoke a lot about the dark places, discouragement , the light, and a blind man.

The disciples thought the blind man was blind because of sin.  Jesus responded the man was born blind so that the work of God would be seen in Him.

Our first grandson was born with a disease called EB.  It’s horrible, but God has performed miracles on him – toes grew, feet straightened up and sores disappeared.  When I read Jesus’ response I guess this is the first time I’ve really let that sink in, and probably because of what we’ve been through wondering, worrying and asking why.

Only Jesus can illuminate our dark places.  Only Jesus can perform miracles.

Lysa ended this day saying, “And because of Him even my darkest of nights aren’t so daunting and confusing.”

Day 5 – Optional

We read John 5-9.  You should too.  These are the things that I wrote down that spoke to me.

  • That I need to always put my trust in Him, and that I need to bow down and worship Him.  (I do that prayerfully some days, but need to do it so much more.)
  • We know the Word but are blind to it.   (Really I know so much of the Word, but there are new truths every single morning as I open my Bible.)

Video 2 Notes

Lysa’s videos are filled with so much truth that I can’t share here on my blog.  You can purchase them here.

Just a couple of notes I want to remember:

She shared the Samaritan woman in this video and how many times have I read and heard sermons on the Samaritan woman.  You would think I would be tired of that woman, but the story never grows old and always has some new truths for me.

I loved today’s video where Lysa took us to Shechem where the well is that the Samaritan woman visited.  It was such a blessing to watch Lysa at that well.

She talked about how we are all broken cisterns like the Samaritan in some way.

She reminded us that fifteen minutes with the Living Water can change our lives.

See my Week 1 post here.



Finding I AM Study – Week 1 Notes -“I AM” The Bread of Life

2 Feb


I am so, so loving the study of Finding I AM How Jesus Fully Satisfies The Cry of Your Heart by Lysa Terkeurst.

This is  my week 1 thoughts.  We are now in week 2.   It seems every study I am going to blog so I don’t have so much to keep up with like all those notebooks sitting around,  but this sweet, beautiful life gets in the way, and I get behind and I quit.  This study is so good I want to hold on to these nuggets of truth for the next few weeks.

Do you have some kind of desperate cry – something that you’ve prayed and prayed about and longed for over many years – something that keeps you up at night?  I think most of us have, or at least I have had those times just laying there and finally getting out of bed, and before I know it morning has arrived with no sleep.

Last week  as I was starting this post it was only day 3 of the study, but between the videos of Lysa teaching in Israel, the conference call, and the Proverbs 31 Blog well I am full, and I have learned so much.  You can find the first week’s chapters right here for free.  Read them and see what I am talking about.  Go to the blog to capture the free videos available only for about a month of Lysa in Israel.  Yes, it’s the next best thing to being there.

Week 1 – I AM The Bread of Life


Lysa’s teaching videos share so much and are free only during this study.  One of the things I learned from this first one was that “first came His name, and then His promises.”  His name is the most important.  She shared the first place in scripture where His name was used  in Exodus 3:14 where He calls himself “I AM who I AM”.

I love how Lysa shared  how He doesn’t just want to be “what we need, but all we want.”

I want MORE – I want Him to be all I WANT, but I’m not there yet, but He is never finished with us as long as we are in the Word and on our knees.  Like Lysa, I have side stepped God’s opportunities with my lists of excuses.

You can purchase her videos here.

Chapter 1

Day 1 – Bios and Zoe Life

I learned about two words used for life in the Bible.  Lysa shared the words, bios and zoe.  I’ve never heard either of them.  I’m sure my husband has.  Here is what she shared in the book about the meanings of these words.

  1. Bios – “breath in your lungs or physical life”.
  2. Zoe – “possess with vitality looking to the fullness of life.”

Zoe is used 125 times and bios 10 times in the Bible.  I think that’s because He wants us to have more than breath in our lungs.  He wants us to experience Him – not things, not others.  He wants us to experience the fullness that only He can provide.  But, Lysa also reminded us that we need both – a little bios and a whole lot of zoe.

We were reminded about the broken world we live in.  I don’t enjoy watching the news anymore, but we do.  I am not sure our world is as bad as the news would want us to believe.

Are there things you have been praying about a very long time?  I’m raising my hand because I have several.  We were reminded that those hurts, those aches are not the source of our satisfaction, and even if they were solved today, Satan is always lurking to hit us with another thing.  Even The Bread of Life was tempted.

Day 2 – Feeding The 5,000

I call this my thankfulness chapter.  Yes, yes I am so thankful most of  the time, but read on.

We spent some time in John 6 and reading back over the feeding of the 5,000, where Jesus performed the miracle of taking 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and fed 5,000 people.  This was also where His first “I AM” statement is found in the Bible.

What I learned this day was about how to really pray about thankfulness and more about the Passover and that it was a springtime festival.  I already knew that the Israelites  celebrated their escape from bondage.  Lysa reminded us not to miss the point of God’s provision of manna (nourishment – food) from heaven during their wandering.

Jesus asked Philip and Andrew  where they were going to buy bread to feed all the people.  They thought it was a hopeless situation, but Jesus performed a miracle after He gave thanks to God who causes bread to come forth.

That spoke to me as Lysa shared how a simple blessing opened up this miracle. How differently I should be praying.  I thank the Lord as I enter into prayer, but I need to pray more like Jesus did that day.  He is the Lord that causes miracles and oh He has so many times in my life.  We were asked to share how God has shown up in our lives in impossible situations.  I wrote down:

  1. The miracles of my children and grandchildren.
  2. The miracle He has performed on Colt.
  3. The miracle of 46 wonderful years of marriage, and the man I know He gave me.


This day was also a little lesson on humility.  We all need that, don’t we?  I love that word.  It was our word of the year with Proverbs 31 studies in 2016.  Lysa reminded us that “the hushing of humility will be the rushing in of pride.”  The disciples had been doing ministry successful and Lysa said, “would they still serve Jesus in the quiet places that weren’t so glamorous”?

Those were words to prick a heart.  Is our service about pleasing Him or serving our egos?

We took a look at Mark and saw all the things that disciples were telling Jesus about all they had done and taught.  They were telling Jesus to send the people away to surrounding areas to buy themselves food.

And then we visited Jesus walking on the water.  This is an old story I’ve heard so, so many times, but this time I heard and saw how the disciples didn’t know Him.  They didn’t know who was walking on the water.  This truth pricked my heart once again to realize how I have MISSED Him so many times with my busyness.  He was right there, He is right there waiting on us to fellowship with Him, to see Him, to know Him.

Right after that event, our Lord revealed himself to the disciples as the Bread of Life.  Right after reading that story again He’s revealed to me the bread I need each and every day.

Day 3 – Bread

Bread was first mentioned in Genesis.  After the sin of Adam and Eve,  bread became a part of the consequences.  At this point it would be by the sweat of their brows that they were able to get food.

Lysa went deeper and shares with us how  bread was a staple and how hard it was to have bread.  The Israelites had to gather the grain,  sift and clean it, ground it into flour and then knead it into cakes to bake.  Can you imagine?  We have it so simple today.  I crave bread.  It’s a staple especially to my man, but lately I’ve been trying to be a little gluten and sugar-free.

After the end of their 400 years of slavery they journeyed for a very long time, and well they began to panic because they had no grain.  They grumbled and complained rather than cry out to God.  God did hear their grumbling and He graciously rained down manna.  God provides!  He provided for the Israelites and He provides for you and me.  Lysa said that this helps her to “lift my eyes when my heart aches over my not-yet-answered prayer.  Looking at His faithfulness to provide helps me see if He did it before, He will do it again.”

There is so much more in this day’s reading – too much to share and I cannot really give justice to how beautiful this book is but I have to share one more thing that Lysa shared so as not to forget, and to be able to come back here and be blessed:

“We’ve only just scratched the surface of the fascinating references to the word bread in the Bible, but this will be our last exercise on the subject today.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  The word Bethlehem means, “house of bread.”  Don’t lose the significance here:  The house of bread was where the Bread of life was born.  God knew Jesus would be the Bread of life, and He chose for Him to be born in the city bearing that same name.

Day 4 – The Bread of Life Walks On Water

Lysa takes us back to John 6 and walking on the water.  She reminds us that before Jesus “said any I AM statements He first performed five miracles.”  On day 4 we studied the fifth miracle.

Remember some of the disciples were fishermen.  My son and husband love to fish so I can really associate with these guys, and yes my son would love to do it for a living.  If you remember the disciples were fishing when a big storm came.  The winds were rough.  Don’t you get afraid when the winds rise and the weather is on talking about 70 mph winds?  I can’t imagine being out there on a boat.  It’s scary here in the house in those storms.  Jesus had left long before that after feeding the 5,000.  Well here comes Jesus walking on the water and He climbed into the boat.

 “He became the answer to their need.”

He climbed into the boat and Lysa reminded us in verse 21 which states that  at once they got to the other side.

She asks us why we are following Jesus.  Ponder on that a moment.  Why are you following Jesus? She asked, “is it so that I can get something from Him?  Am I like the crowds who simply want their bellies filled? Or am I coming to Him because He is Bread to me?  There is a difference in coming to Jesus for bread and because He is Bread.”

Day 5 – Optional

Day 5 was an optional lesson where we were to read John 1-4 and record thoughts, prayer, or things to remember from that reading.  Here are a few I wrote down:

In Him is life

In Him is light.

He made all things.

The Word is flesh, is God.

Through Him all might believe.

Those who believe in His name have the right to be called children of God.

He is glorious.

He gives grace.

He has never been seen.

He changed water into wine.

He stopped buying and selling the house of God.

He gave his only begotten son for the world

Video 2 Notes

Lysa takes us to Capernaum.  I didn’t know it was not mentioned in the old testament, nor that it means city of comfort.  Jesus was known as the Comforter.

I learned the Sea of Galilee is not salt, but more of a fresh water lake, and that Jesus traveled about 85 miles south of Capernaum and it would have taken Him four days.

Capernaum is where He revealed His first I AM statement in John 6:35 – I AM the Bread of Life.

Lysa said if the sounds of millstones were not heard grinding wheat it would have meant no more bread and desolation.

Oh sweet sisters as I heard her say that “when we no longer hear that grinding, that daily bread, we NEED Him everyday.  Are you hearing that grinding today?  Are you seeking that daily bread?


I love the Proverbs 31 OBS Conference Calls.  They are available here.

These are a few of the things I want to remember:

John 6:35

  •  Come to Him with my hunger
  • Believe in Him – bring Him my thirst.
  • Align with Him – bring my desires


Seek means to crave

If I am thirsty, if I am hungry .

Sometimes that secret sorrow causes our greatest faith.

A point to ponder Lysa shared was “God is everything we need.  But is He everything we want?”



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