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Listen, Love, Repeat – Week 3 – Chapter 5 – My Bible Study Notes

26 May

CHAPTER 5 – THE SICK AT HEART – What To Say or Do When You Don’t Know What to Say Or Do

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Do you rejoice with those who rejoice or weep with those who weep?  I know I do.  I think sometimes in this modern society of ours we want to keep up with the neighbors.  We can be envious of what others have.  I can honestly say that, for me personally, God has stripped all that.  I don’t have to have the best shoes, the best purses, the best clothes, house, or car.  I have learned that to be the best that I can be that can only be obtained by spending time in His Word and learning to be more like Him.

Jesus shared in others sorrow.  He weeped with those who weeped.  Karen shared how a german lady at church had often said to her, “A sorrow shared is but half a trouble, but joy that’s shared is a joy made double.”  My husband quotes something similar out of the Bible that I love.

My husband uses a similar phrase in weddings.  He says something like, “When a joy is shared it is doubled, but when a sorrow is shared it is halved.”  I see how true that is in life just watching our grandchildren together and all the joy, and when we lose a family member or friend how that sorrow is halved comforting each other.

Karen shared how it is sometimes hard to know what to say or do so she had reached out to blog readers to share what had helped them.  Here are a few:

  • Miscarriage – Good friends called and took them out to dinner.  It was the last thing they wanted to do, but they were picked up by their friends and when they laughed the friends laughed, when they cried the friends gently and lovingly held the and cried with them.
  • Grief – A friend shared Bible verses.

I went to a memorial last week and heard several times words that Karen reminded us not to say and that is, “If there is anything I can do, please let me know.”  A reader named Aimee wrote that during difficult times the last thing we have energy for is figuring out what we need.  Ever been there?  Sometimes we just feel helpless and we do not know what we need at that moment.  Karen says to “show up, take over a task, and allow the person to concentrate on what they need to.”

Just show up.  Do whatever.  I remember the night a nephew died.  We went.  My husband and I got in the kitchen and just washed dishes at my sister-in-laws house.  When my Mom would be in the hospital or after long days at work and then visits to the nursing home I would come home and my husband would have dinner fixed and waiting for me, and usually he had washed a load of clothes.  I remember driving one of my sisters to her first cancer treatment.  She didn’t need me to.  She said she was okay, but something inside me urged me to go and be with her.

Karen reminds us of a good friend, Tammy who says during different stages of grief and loss she didn’t need friends to throw out Bible verses, but rather friends who stopped by with compassion and grace with coffee or food or who sent a text message or card.  She even had friends who stopped by and decorated her Christmas tree.  Can you remember a time you didn’t want to decorate a tree?  I sure can, and how so very hard it was to make myself do it.

One other thing shared in this book was that sometimes we do not need to say anything at all, but just sit there and listen.

One scenario Karen shares that could so be me, and where I find myself sometimes thinking about ME.  “You would love nothing more this weekend than a quiet Saturday morning all to yourself.  But you know that a friend across town is living with the fallout of a recent divorce – and for her, the Saturday morning quiet is deafening.  Could you kidnap her for the morning, take her out for coffee and a muffin and engage in some heartfelt conversation?  It will not only encourage her, but you will be blessed as well.”  OUCH!  Not just a recently divorced, but how about someone who has recently lost a loved one?

Here are some things I’ve done recently:

  • Cooked a meal for Mom’s with a new baby.
  • Babysit while a new Mommy took a nap.
  • Picked up at toddler at Mother’s Day Out for that Mom didn’t have to load up her new babies.
  • Mowed the yard for a neighbor who was in the hospital.
  • Took a meal to a grieving family.
  • Sent a card to our pastor’s wife with a little money for coffee, and invited her to coffee.
  • Painted an older ladies fingernails and toenails.
  • Kept children for couples could have date nights (mainly our son and daughter), but do you know someone locally or in your church who does not have family here.  Perhaps they need a night out.
  • Offered to do laundry for someone with a new baby
  • Picked up groceries for a neighbor while I was grocery shopping and I knew they could not get out.
  • Visited a friend who lost his wife.  My hubby and I walk down and just sit on the porch with him and visit.  Several times I’ve baked a favorite casserole or dessert and took it over and we invited him and his daughter over for a New Year’s meal and recently homemade ice cream.

Here are some great ideas Karen shared to use when we interact with the sick at heart:

  • Give them space
  • Remember their loved one out loud
  • Invite them along
  • Etch important dates on your calendar.  Make plans to reach out during the holidays and other special dates.
  • Frame a favorite picture or put it on a Christmas ornament.

Show up, look for something to do, and do whatever you can.  Do what matters TODAY!

I’m joining Kate Matoung and the “FMF girls today and the word is visit.  Love how it goes along with this study.

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Listen, Love, Repeat – Week 2 – Chapters 3 and 4 – My Bible Study Notes

18 May

CHAPTER 3 – IT’S ABOUT TIME – Giving of Yourself    

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“Because our day planners are full of activity, our lives are often void of time spent loving other people so when someone does clear his or her schedule in order to make time for a loving gesture, the impact of the gift is magnified.”   Karen Ehman

It’s all about time.  It truly is as I look over my planner, and see how I  rush about doing things – some of them things that don’t really matter in the Kingdom.  I do see that most of those days on my calendar are full of keeping grandkids helping to mold them, to love them, to show them Jesus, and spending quality time with them.  Other things that fill up my calendar are housework, volunteer Bible study work, blogging and things I know matter in the Kingdom.

Joy is not found in accumulating stuff.  Joy is found loving others and giving of yourself.

We are a nation striving/working our rear ends off  to have it all – a big house or houses, a nice car or cars or trucks, a job that pays well, closest full of clothes (yes, I have three of my own), our kids involved in everything at school, and just on and on and on.   How do we put on or clothe ourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, meekness (gentleness) and long-suffering (patience)?  How do we change that mindset to echo the heart of our Lord?

Karen shared this quote by Charles Spurgeon:

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 But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.”  Psalm 31:14-15 (KJV)

Our time is truly in His hands.  What we do with our time here on earth is what matters.  Giving of ourself matters.

Karen shared how a friend drove several hours to her father-in-laws funeral.  Why did that matter?  Karen says because “it cost her something that is very dear to all of us these days time.  Have you stopped what you were doing to bless a life, touch a heart?

It’s hard sometimes with our schedules to stop and amend them, but amend we must if we are giving of ourselves.

Just this week I had kept my two-month old granddaughter and her 2 year old brother, and then picked up my 3 year old grandson.  I learned that day of a former supervisor who lost his 23-year old son, and well the memorial was that evening.  I pondered over going up there in the rush hour traffic – about an hour away and rushing to get dressed after the kids left leaving me only an hour and a half to shower, dress, and drive in whatever the traffic might send.

I decided to go, and my husband called and he was going to the hospital to visit a guy who worked for him who is dying – only 53 years old.  So rather than our normal doing things that matter as a couple, we parted in two different directions.

What a blessing to hear my former boss speak!  All though years I worked for him, I had not really known him and his love of God.   I sit there and listened to young men speak about not staying in touch and I sit there a little guilty because I am so busy and I have lost touch with some wonderful people I used to work with.  I am retired and as all my retired friends said that evening their calendars are full.  Mine is packed full of “good stuff” and some days there is not any wiggle room.

As I was leaving that evening and hugged Mr. Flowers goodbye, he said, “you will never know how much it means to me for you to come.”  I pray it truly was a gift to him to see so many of us there stopping our lives to touch his families hearts.

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Here are some ways that Karen shares how we can carry one another’s burden or just share our busy lives with others:

  • Check off something on their to-do list.  For me here are some simple things I’ve done. Right  now I pick up my toddler grandson from Mother’s Day Out, while my daughter-in-law is at home not having to load up twins to go pick him up, and sometimes the five grandkids might stay over for my daughter or daughter-in-law can pick up some groceries or take a nap.  It can be something like painting an older woman’s toenails/fingernails – yes my mother-in-law asked me last week, mowing a yard for a neighbor – especially one that is in the hospital or who has had surgery
  • Lighten a domestic load.  Show up with a few laundry baskets and kidnap laundry.  Do some housecleaning.  For me, I have gone over and allowed my daughter to work or clean while I watch the baby and toddler.
  • Spend a little of your time helping someone else save some of theirs.  Running errands can help a shut-in.  I use my shopping time to sometimes pick up things for my mother-in-law or the kids like trips to Costco.
  • Think in multiples of two.  Cook once.  Eat twice.  Karen suggests making a habit of doubling and freezing.  I am not good about that.  I did recently cook three meals at once to take my daughter and daughter-in-law when they both had three new babies in March a week apart.
  • Speak the powerful words of “me too”.   Karen quoted C. S. Lewis “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too?  I thought I was the only one.'”
  • Listen For Those Heart Drops and Respond.  Take inventory.  Live alert listening for heart drops.  Who is the Lord calling you to bless today?

Last year on my birthday I wrote about being a gift, and some random acts of kindness that I did on that day.  You can read about those ideas here.

In this chapter, Karen shares a story about a neighbor nine doors down.  It is sad.  She had seen a lady during her morning walks who would be out watering.  Karen would smile and say hi, and pop her headphones back  on, and keep walking.  One day she was driving home and saw flashing lights.  Her neighbor had died – no more waves and no more smiles.

That story resonated with me because I walk, but unless it is neighbors I know it’s hard for me to say anything much less hi, but my next walk I am going to see what happens.  Karen reminds us to give a “how are you” rather than a “hurried hi.”

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  Mark 12:31 (KJV)

“When God knocks on our hearts, we can knock on their doors.”  Karen Ehman

CHAPTER 4 – WHO MAKES YOUR DAY – Noticing The Necessary People   

This chapter teaches us how to show people we love them, and reminds us to love the necessary people – our mailman, school teachers, garbage men, hail stylist, grocery checker and sacker, etc..

One of my favorite paragraphs in this chapter reminds us who they are in God.  Karen said, “every day and every week, our lives naturally intersect with many people, all of whom bear the image of God.  When we look beyond ourselves-and beyond the flaws and quirks of others-we see God.  We have an opportunity not only to greet these necessary people face-to-face but to witness God’s very image in them.

WOW!  How often have I forgotten that when looking at others.  When I look at others do I see Jesus.  When others look at me, do they see Jesus.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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Listen, Love, Repeat – Week 1 – Chapters 1 and 2 – My Bible Study Notes

21 Apr

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CHAPTER 1 – LIVING ALERT – How To Hear A Heart Drop

What is a heart drop?  Have you ever heard that phrase?  I had not until Karen Ehman introduced it to us in her book, Listen, Love, Repeat.  She is introducing this girl to a whole lot of stuff in ways I have failed to see in the past.  A small group leader shared that phrase with Karen and her husband.

A heart drop is “when a person either directly, or in a cryptic way, gives you a peek into his or hers heart.  It may be through actual words, or you may pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness.”

Karen began Chapter 1 telling us about how she had listened to a heart drop of a friend.   Karen picked up during a conversation about a time in her friend’s life when she had felt significant and safe.  Her friend had a reading disability.  When she was at her grandmother’s house there was a book she could read well cover to cover.  Karen listened and was excited for her friend’s birthday.  She went on to E-Bay and bid on that antique book and got it for her friend.  That’s a heart drop.  It is an art Karen tells us in listening and loving others.

Karen never had a slumber party.  Her mother was single, working and she never had a friend spend the night.  Her hubby told her to get ready to go out and her hubby had invited her 3 best friends. They kidnapped her and her husband had pulled off a party for 30 friends.  He had heard that heart drop.

Have you noticed how obsessed our culture is with me, me, me?  Karen Ehman reminded us this week that we have forgotten the joy that comes when we put others before ourselves.  Do you find yourself doing that whether it be on-line, in your to-do list, in your phone conversations, at work, at home with your loved ones, with your neighbors (do you even know them) and even at church and other areas of your life?  Shouldn’t it be more about Him, less of me?  Shouldn’t it be more of Jesus, then others, then me?  

Think about this one.  Karen says we are seduced by “selfie-centered living”.  It’s all about pictures we post on-line, what we are doing, what we are wearing, what we are eating, where we are going, and on and on and on.   She says “at every turn we seem to care about only one thing:  “What’s in it for me.”

We were reminded how many “old-fashioned virtues” have disappeared.  I was reminded what a sweet man I am married to who always opens the door not only for me but others too.  I don’t take for granted how he opens the car door for me, and how he opens doors wherever we go.  It used to bother me seeing him stand and let a dozen people in behind me while I stand waiting.  Now he opens, I go in and if there are two doors I let those folks go ahead.  Do you “give a helping hand”?  Do you “look out for others?”  Do you say thank you?  We do.

What would Jesus do (WWJD)?  “Jesus was never too busy to notice.  He lived alert.  He could be among a crowd of thousands and yet focus in on one weary soul who needed a look, a word, or a touch from him.”  “Jesus wasn’t about doing big things.  He was about doing the right thing.  And often for him, the right thing was noticing one simple soul.”  Have you, my friend, stopped to notice one simple soul today?  Do you live alert?

Karen shared with us her “magnetic kitchen island” and how when they were looking for a house that was her desire.  Her island is a magnet for others and pulls so many duties during celebrations and holidays.  She reminded us to open our lives so that we can sacrificially celebrate holidays, holy days, and the everyday because it gives us opportunities to serve.

Jesus noticed.  He took time to heal a common woman who had been bleeding.  Just a simple touch from her and immediately it stopped.  Jesus took the time to meet her need even in a big crowd.

As Karen talked about “ordinary holiness”, I not only reflected on my savior, but my husband.  Karen talked about a friend “who loved his friends, his community, his family, and his God.  A man who knew how to hear a heart drop.  And not just hear it, but respond.”  Also, “but he gave quietly” , and “quietly serving the person standing in front of him.  With an audience of only One.”   That’s my man.

We are here to have a relationship with our Father who created us, and we should take every opportunity to point others to Him.  Everything we do should point others to Him, not me, me, me.

Five ways that Karen reminds us to live alert:

  1.  Pray each day
  2. Take notes: mental ones and sticky ones.  Keep a small notebook in your purse, notes app on your phone, sticky notes, etc..  When you hear someone talk about an interest, write it down – birthday, favorite childhood toy, sports team they root for, a deceased’s birthday.  Plan to do something for them when the days rolls around.
  3. Pay attention to special dates.  Surgery, sports tryouts, offer on a new house.  Pray for those situations.
  4. Start stalking.  Check out their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. Look for patterns – likes and obsessions and find ways to encourage and surprise them.
  5. Be a smart shopper.  Stock an arsenal of affection, stock-piling items that will be useful as you share love with others.

CHAPTER 2 – FIND YOUR WHY

Karen started this chapter with a new term for me – summum bonum.  It’s meaning is the highest good.  She was writing a paper in college and decided that she would write about relationships.  She decided that nothing was more important in life than people.  How about you?  Is it really people or are things more important to you than people?  One thing I’ve learned myself the older I get is it truly is people.  Things will rot, things will be blown away by tornadoes, things will burn, things end – memories with people do not.

Her mentor, Pat led her to the Lord  and shared the two  reasons why we are on earth – have a relationship with our creator who offers us a place in heaven and to tell other people about Him so they can go to Heaven.  Relationships with our family members, friends, co-workers even those we meet only a few moments and even relationships our enemies.

Jesus performed miracles – He healed the bleeding woman, He healed a demon possessed man.  Immediately the bleeding stopped.  He healed, He was alert, and as Karen said, “he didn’t Instagram it.”  Even when peopled crowded around He noticed, and we are reminded that when people and projects bid our attention that we Jesus is calling us to stop and notice and give a special touch to that one person who might need some cheering up.

Often it seems like Jesus was going to be these big grand things, but for Jesus  ministry usually  was the person standing right in front of Him.Not the big thing he was going to do but the person standing right in front of them

Who is in front of you longing for you to notice them.  We have to start making relationships our big why.  We value possessions over people or maybe it’s a position or popularity among our circle of friends.  About a year ago she spent 3 weeks in a hospice with her SIL after a battle with breast cancer and bone cancer.  She never talked about the things they accumulated, the big house, the cars.  Her sister-in-law asked her to tell her about the time we were kids and the boat turned over, her son in a Christian rock band.  It was about people, not things.

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Matthew 5:14-16 you are the light of the world.

“If you want to find your big why you have to lose it.  In order to bring joy to yourself first you need to be concerned with bringing joy to others.  The reason God brought us to earth in the first place was to have a relationship with him so we will enjoy him forever in heaven and take other people with us.  We want to be a mirror that lets his light shine so that he gets all the glory.”

Karen shared with us when she got away to write in the quiet at a friend’s home without distractions, and how a neighbor working in the yard kept coming over and interrupting.   She reminded us that “often interruptions,  especially of the people sort,  are God’s agenda for our day.  Sometimes we get caught up in what we think is big ministry like writing a Bible study but most often for Jesus true ministry was the person standing right in front of him.”

Is someone standing in front of you today?  Would you even notice if they were?

Our Bible verse this week reminded us why we should let our lights shine.  I’ve done it using the KJV.

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Heart Drop photo designed using Pixelscrapper and Canva.

Max Lucado quote photo used free Canva photo.

Matthew 5:16 – Personal photo taken at Billy Graham Rooms

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FINDING I AM STUDY – WEEK 5 NOTES – I AM THE TRUE VINE

15 Apr

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Monday Video Notes

How to get rid of Distractions – Lysa reminded us to make sure no matter what roles we are  in that we do not get distracted, or better yet, her suggestion was when we are studying to put our phones on airplane mode .  She says to set the scene for our study.  Don’t go from busy life to Bible study.  She may for the first five minutes light a candle and turn on a praise song, and make that slow  transition from busy life to Bible study.  If using First 5 App to look at the phone, make sure no matter what roles in (for me it’s an email or Facebook post) don’t pay attention to it.  It’s so tempting out of reflex to go there.   So lately I have been ignoring all those pop ups on my computer and my phone when I’m trying to study or even write or blog.

We get a picture this week – 2 pictures – Jesus is the true vine and he references his father is the husbandman or gardener in other translations.  A connection of us and Jesus and the gardener.  God makes a decision where the vine will go and maybe what branches need to be cut off.  The gardener always has the best interests of the vine, and the fruit and the branches and everything.  WOW!  I know that.  I know when times are tough in my family He’s pruning one of us or all of us, but through all the pruning we must remain faithful and trust in His perfect plan.  It is tough sometimes.  Sometimes it is gut wrenching, but He knows what we need always.

We can trust God.  We may not understand some of the things that God does, we may not understand some of the moves that He makes, but we don’t have to because we are connected to the life-giving reality of Jesus and Jesus is connected to the Father.  That was such a beautiful picture for me. So many times I have not understood, but I’ve tried to stay positive and trust God.  There have been things in our lives like miscarriages, disease, death of two nephews, loss of twin grandchildren as well as another grandchild in the womb, and other things.  We don’t understand, but we do know who is in control and His plan is always, always perfect.

DAY 1 – I’m Not Good Enough

Lysa started Day 1 sharing how she was not invited to a party.  Ever been there?  I can’t remember not being invited to a party, but I do remember being hurt at times about not being invited to  maybe a lunch by someone.  One thing I know for sure even in those times when I feel uninvited my Savior is here with me waiting and yearning to spend moments with me.  You and I are always invited to sit down and spend moments with Him.  He’s waiting 24/7.

Lysa asked us in what ways do we feel not good enough.  For me yep I answered this one.  I don’t feel good enough in my eating or exercising always, in fact, most days.  I start a day trying to do my best at both, but then life happens and I get in a hurry and BAM!  Sometimes I feel like I am not as good a leader as many of my other sisters in the ministry, but you know what – I am the leader God has made me to be.  He called me here and He is equipping and changing me daily, and putting me with sisters that I am learning from every single day.  Lastly, I can feel “not enough” as a mother, wife, Nana, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law and sister.  I fail daily in this ministry God has given me, but I also shine daily with the light He has given me.

Has God called you to do something?  Lysa reminds us that “we cannot do what God has called us to do without Him.”  He has called me to do a lot of things, and a few of them I failed over and over and over – like dieting and exercise.  I am the vine and my Lord is the gardener and He is not finished with me yet.

Day 2 – Pruning, Abiding, and Bearing Fruit

John 15:1-11 reminds us Jesus is the true vine, and the gardener (husbandman) is Jesus, and you and I are the branches.

Lysa talks about the three key parts to that passage are pruning, abiding, and bearing fruit.

God prunes us.  When I sit here and think about pruning our fruit trees, and years they have not borne fruit, it brings action to this verse for me.  We don’t cut enough, and probably don’t even prune enough.  John 15:2 says that He prunes those branches that bear fruit, and He cuts off the branches that do not bear fruit.  Lysa was funny on pg 142 when she said, “Where is the verse that says, “Way to go, branch that bears fruit, I will leave you alone because clearly you are doing something right.  Keep up the good work!  Carry on with all the wonderful things you are doing right!”?

Why does God prune you?  Why does He prune me?  He loves us and wants us to bear more fruit.

Lysa reminds us of John 15:6 where our Lord gives us a reminder to abide in Him so that we can bear fruit.   Do you abide in Jesus or rest or remain in Him in your everyday life?  For me, it’s kneeling in prayer, sitting on my patio listening to a waterfall or birds, watching butterflies, dragonflies, and birds, or sometimes just taking a walk and seeing beautiful clouds, a sunset, a sunrise or things along the way.  Sometimes it’s sitting here and writing like this morning as the sun rises.

Lysa said “But there are three words that stir me.  Move me.  Show me.  Propel me.  Three words I hear Jesus saying over and over.  “Abide in Me.”  Tucked within these three words, four syllables, nine letters is the wild secret of deep connection with God.  If we want to know God, we have to abide in Him.”

Abide in Him.  When I do that very thing, I know Him more, and I love Him more.

Lysa ends this day with John 15:8.  Here it is in the KJV.  “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples”.  He prunes you and I to be more fruitful because, after all, that is how our wonderful Father is glorified.

That verse.  When I am fruitful, my Father is glorified.  Does that touch your heart like it did mine?

Day 3 – Final Words

Some of our precious Lord’s final words on this earth.

John 15:12-27King James Version (KJV)

 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.   Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  These things I command you, that ye love one another.If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

  So many of us feel a love deficit.  Lysa says that “we get so busy going and going and doing and doing and start to feel that grind of keeping up and checking off every item on our to-do lists that we forget that we are deeply and wholeheartedly loved.”

Oh sweet people you are loved.  Lysa said that “if my only view of love is what it will give me, love from others will fail me every time.  It’s not that love fails.  It’s that other people were never meant to be my god.  God’s love never fails.”   She says, “I can choose to lay the cup of my heart at Jesus’ feet and stop twirling, twirling, twirling, hoping – no, demanding – that those around me do thins for me they were never meant to do.”  Ouch, ouch, ouch!

She talks a little about 1 Corinthians 13 which is a passage my husband shares anytime he does a wedding.  I sit there as he does and silently quote it in the NIV.    I invite you to do that and see what an impact it can have on you.  It reads a little different in this King James Version.  That version uses charity instead of love.

1 Corinthians 13King James Version (KJV)13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and.png

1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that faith, hope, and charity or love abideth, but the greatest of these is love.

There is so much more on this day, but I will end with this.  “Love isn’t what I have the opportunity to get from this world.  Love is what I have the opportunity to give.”  Pg 149

Day 4 – Seven I AMS

This was the last day of the study.  Lysa asked us to go back and look at what we had underlined, starred, and highlighted during each week of the study.  My book is so starred, underlined, and highlighted that is impossible thus is why I try to blog about it so it will be here and won’t be tossed out someday in notebooks all over the place.  Perhaps a loved one will stop by years from now and see how my heart was blessed, or a stranger who may see something that turns his or her eyes back to Jesus.  I don’t know what impact it may have, but I do know it has had an impact on my life, my heart, and how I feel about my Savior.

Here are just a few things I wrote with the little room I had in my book for this day:

Week 1 – Bread of Life

“God doesn’t just want to be all we need, but all we want.”

Apart from Him there is no true satisfaction

Week 2 – Light of the World

I refuse to let the people I’ve been entrusted with get my “less” instead of “my best” because I’m distracted. Pg 43

Jesus isn’t trying to expose you to put shame on you.  He’s trying to expose the sin that has its chains on you.  Pg 53

Jesus is the Light and He wants to bring healing to us, but sometimes that means a step of obedience on our part.  Pg 61

I will never doubt the power of one woman reaching into the life of another woman with some written whisper of love.  Pg 93

Week 3 – Good Shepherd and Sheep Gate

I’m so thankful God chooses the least likely people to do His work because I am certainly one of them.  Bless His holy name.  Pg 91

Week 4 – Resurrection and the Life and the Way, the Truth, and the Life

Gripping my Bible as the sweetest love note anyone has ever dared to write to me.  Pg 107

John 11:4 The purpose was for the glory of God……………….

Chapter 5 – Abiding, Delighting, Dwelling

Love isn’t what I have the opportunity to get from the world.  Love is the opportunity I hae to give.  Pg 149

Gallery

FINDING I AM STUDY – WEEK 4 NOTES – I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE – I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE

10 Mar

I AM the Resurrection and the Life.-2.png

DAY 1 – RESURRECTION LIFE

I loved how Lysa shared how she bought a $5 painting at an estate sale.  She rescued it, and thought about how it would be to find the owner, be invited in for coffee, and let that person share how she had lost it all during a hard season, and how that painter had gone on and became a famous painter.

She commented how “life is not that epic”.   I could not agree more after going through an estate sale for Mom and seeing so many beautiful things sold for “nothing”.  I loved how that painting is hanging on Lysa’s walls.  I love remembering how we gave away and gave away when Mom died.  We gave so many wonderful things to the less fortunate, to friends and family.  The last day we were hauling stuff out and were proud to see neighbors wanting all of it.

Lysa reminded us  how we like complete outlines -not the fill-in-the-blank kind -we like gaps closed, details disclosed and questions answered.  For this detail-oriented girl – well that just resonated.  I love details.  I love facts.  But you know what – life is not that way, it’s not that easy, some things will never have answers this side of Heaven.  Lysa reminds us that “our all knowing God not only allows this but actually designed life to be this way.”

I highlighted this:

“And there are some questions for which there are no apparent answers.  I believe that’s the way God wants it.  Our all knowing God not only allows this but actually designed life to be this way.”

So if you are in one of those blank spaces just remember that our God allows them.  It may be a time that He’s designed just for you to grow.  We were reminded of the time that God was told that there was not a room for a baby to be born, but how that space, that “no room” was a time when our glorious Jesus was born.

Are there blanks in your life today?  I would love to hear them.  I have a few blanks of my own, but I can testify He has filled so many of them the older I get.  I had blanks of miscarriages and wanting a baby so badly as I watched friends and family love on theirs.  I had blanks waiting for grandchildren as our children walked through infertility and miscarriages.  I watched God fill in those blanks – His perfect blanks – with my very own precious son and daughter and now four grandsons and a granddaughter.  Yes this past week we were blessed with twin grandsons and a granddaughter.

Two of my favorite  quotes were found in the day 1 lesson.   One of them was when  Lysa said on page 107, “gripping my Bible as the sweetest love note anyone has ever dared write to me.”   That should bring tears to all of us.  Are you gripping your Bible today?  Have you ever thought of the Bible as a love note.  I had not, but I will never forget that quote.

My second favorite quote had already been discussed in another week.  We were reading in John 11:4.  I used the KJV which was a little different than what was in the book.  It reads like this:

“When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This illness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’  John 11:4 (KJV)

BAM!  I could only think of seasons in my life – too many to share and to read something I missed over and over that it was all for His glory and so that His Son could be glorified through it.

One more thing from this day I don’t want to forget because I find Debbie doing that all the time, and that was on Pg 110 where Lysa was talking about Martha when Lazarus died and how “she was looking forward to a future resurrection when Jesus wanted her to focus on what He was going to do in the present.”

Are we so busy focusing on tomorrow instead of what is in front of us today that we are missing Him?  Honestly, I am sometimes worrying about tomorrow and missing all the precious blessings of today.

Day 2 – THE LAST PASSOVER

One of the best things about Day 2 was hearing Lysa share John 12 and how the crowds flocked to see how Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, and she compared to how you and I are just part of the crowd too and how we not only come to see Jesus but also to experience His blessings.  We come for Jesus plus something else.

Why is Jesus not ENOUGH?  “We don’t believe God is who He says He is.  We don’t believe He is sufficient, and because of our lack of trust, we wander and look to other things or our ability to provide what we don’t think God will.”  pg 115

Do you forget He is enough when life is going hard?  Do you only run to Him when life is hard and you are praying/asking for something?  Are you wandering and wandering to the next thing searching for love, searching for fulfillment in things of this world?  He is enough.

She shared how we may be living under God’s promises, but not see yet the fruits of that promise.  It took over five hundred years between God’s promise in Zechariah 9 of the prophecy about a king riding on a donkey.  Promises are something you and I want immediately, but Lysa reminds us that we have to trust God’s timing is perfect.  I have to reminded of that sometimes when I think about how long it took us to have children – how old we were – and now with toddler grandchildren will God grant us the years to see them grow up.  I pray that knowing that people in my family don’t generally live to an old age.  I want to see these grand babies grow up, and praying His promises over them as well as their future mates. YES, I pray for their future mates right now just like I did our kids when they were babies and God bless big with our in-laws and their parents.

Lysa also talked about how God is always at work.  He is at work even when we don’t feel it, we don’t see it, and as Lysa said “even in the silence and the unknown.”  I sit and thought of things I pray about knowing He is at work.  The things on my heart are salvation of all my family – every single one of them that He is at work in each of their lives and will be in future generations.  I also have on my heart every single day our grandson Colt who has a disease called EB – praying always that it continues to get better and better, and will not affect his life span nor ever get any worse.  Like Lysa I continue to pray daily for “total heart transformations” for all my kids and grandkids and their spouses.  Yes, they love and serve God, but we all need “total heart transformations” every single day.

She shared three ways to press through unanswered prayers.  We all have them, don’t we?

  • Know With Confidence God Hears Your Prayers (1 John 5:14 (KJV) “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hear us”)  – How does that encourage me? Just knowing He is ALWAYS listening and I can approach Him with anything
  • Trust That Prayer Makes A Difference, Even When You Do’T See The Difference. (Philippians 4:6-7) – Lysa reminded us to not miss an “in the meantime answer” we receive right away.  That verse reminds us that the peace of God will guard our heart and minds and to pray with thanksgiving.
  • Tell Fear It Has No Place In This Conversation (Isaiah 41:10)  Isaiah reminds us “do not fear” for He is with us and He holds us up.

Last thing on this day was to read John 12:37-41, and for us not to forget all that Jesus has done in our lives.  I sit down and wrote out some precious, precious things He has done in my life and thanked Him for my husband, my kids, my parents, my sisters and my grandchildren (all five of them).

DAY 3 – WAY, TRUTH & LIFE

Jesus’ last two I AM statements were for His disciples.  In John 14:1-4 He told His disciples “Let not your hearts be troubled and to believe in Him”.  This was right before Christ was going to be crucified.  He knew that, and yet He was comforting them.

One thing I loved on Day 3 was how Lysa shared on pg 125 Genesis 3:1 and how Satan twisted God’s command  not to eat.  “The enemy wanted Eve’s focus to be on the one thing she couldn’t have.  And the enemy wants our focus to be there as well.”  What is your focus on today?  Is it on worldly things or one thing you can’t have, or is it on Jesus?

DAY 3 – PROPHECY FULFILLED

We’ve covered all the I AM statements:

He is the Bread of Life

He is the Light of the World

He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

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