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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.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven..png

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

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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

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

15 Feb

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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.

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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.

 

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

2 Feb

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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

Video

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?

CONFERENCE CALL

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

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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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