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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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I’m Going To Give You A Bear Hug – Giveaway and Book Review

20 Apr

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I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug  is a wonderful book written by best-selling author, Caroline B. Cooney

This book is based off of a verse Caroline wrote for her now grown children many years ago.  It’s a beautiful book to read for a bedtime story, and so beautifully illustrated.

A Mommy transforms into different animals to give hugs.

Here are a couple of lines out of the book:

“I’m going to give you a dog hug.
A knock over chairs,
Chase up the stairs,
And sleep like a log hug.”  

“I’m going to give you a duck hug.
A webbed feet,
Feathered seat,
Waddle through the muck hug.”

Aren’t they cute?  You can have a really playful interaction with your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew or just a friend’s child.

So many kinds of hugs,  From the Inside Cover:  “Whether it’s a big bear, gasp for air, knock over a chair hug or a wet and drippy, slimy fish hug—children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples of how to hug. Cooney’s engaging rhymes encourage playful interaction between parent and child and ultimately help them wind down before they snuggle into bed and drift off to sleep. ”

Pop open this giggly, charming book and enjoy!

I’m giving away a copy of this book.  All you have to do is comment below by Monday, April 23.  U.S. participants only.

I received this book from the Blythe Daniel Agency for an honest review.

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Bible Basics, A Baby Believer – Counting Primer – Giveaway and Review

19 Apr

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I just finished enjoying and reading the Bible Basics Book – A Baby Believer – Counting Primer  by Danielle Hitchen.  This is a board book designed for babies and toddlers, but as I looked over it I see it could even be for any new believers no matter what age.

It’s so easy to read and understand.  It begins with God – I AM, explains the natures of Jesus, the trinity, gospels, Pentateuch, the days of creation, the I Ams of Jesus, the beatitudes, fruits of the Spirit, and the ten commandments.   I am not sure a toddler could understand all of this – but a small child just becoming a believer probably could, and it is a book that can grow with a toddler, and probably many adults reading this to them.

It’s a simple, beautiful book.   I loved the illustrations.  Loved the sturdiness of the book.  Love how it grows with a child from the simple things like numbers beginning with the number 1 and God and then it advances from there.

8 Beatitudes

You will enjoy how the babies in your life will learn to count and also Bible basics at the same time.  You’ll love how it includes scriptures,  words from hymns, and even some writings from the early church.

I can’t wait to read this book to my toddler grandsons, and new grand babies that were born this month.

I have one to giveaway.  Just comment below who in your life you would love to sit down with and read this book.  Giveaway is for U.S. only, and closes on Monday, April 23.

I received this book to give an honest review by the Blythe Daniel Agency.

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MARCH GOALS AND FEBRUARY UPDATE

29 Mar

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I  thought January zoomed by fast, but February zoomed faster and well today is March 29. The first day of Spring has past.  We’ve had our first hail storm.  Many in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area had golf ball and baseball hail, including our niece so it has been a rough start to Spring,  last night  some horrible wind damage to some homes north of Dallas.  I love Spring, but this is the one thing that makes Spring in Texas rough.

Here I am today just now talking about March goals, reviewing February and yes behind.  Hoping I get April planned out just a little bit earlier.  I have not even taken the time to evaluate how March was going so today may be a shocker.

Since my last post I’ve become a Nana three more times.  I have three week old twin grandsons and a new granddaughter who is two weeks old, and this week I am sitting in a hotel with the pleasure of watching her while he mommy had to go to work to help with an evaluation at the college where she works with a team that was coming in to review them.  Now that’s my kind of life!  Cuddling and not worrying about housework or cooking or even substitute teaching.  A nice break from it all and who cares about goals?  Hmmmmm well I do, but not more than babies and family.

FAITH GOALS

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul..png

FEBRUARY

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

Continue First Five App.  Done.

MARCH

Begin Listen, Love, Repeat Bible Study by Karen Ehman.  It’s not to late to join us.  The study starts on Monday, April 3.  Sign-ups are here  You can do the study right there on the blog 24/7, but we also have small groups.  They fill up fast so if you are interested click here and see if that is still an option.

First 5 App Daily Devotionals  – Stay caught up on my First 5 daily devotionals.  I highly recommend the Proverbs 31 First 5 App for a daily devotional.  They have a book for each Bible  study, but it is not required – takes the devotional into a little more depth and so inspiring.  I do both, but if you aren’t in to really digging in then I would suggest you download the app for your first five minutes of the day to spend some alone time with Him.  You can check it out here and see a sample of today’s devotional.

FAMILY GOALS

Is that not a house-full of love?  These are truly grandchildren that the Lord has given to us, His servants.  Miscarriages, infertility and years of waiting BUT see what the Lord can do as we stay faithful and pray.  Four boys and one girl all three and under.  JOY unspeakable!!

 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.-2.png

FEBRUARY

Special Day with grandson, Colt.  Not sure what it will be, and will depend on the weather.  Done – we went to a new wooden park as he calls it.  Stopped at McDonald’s first and picked up lunch.

Lunch with my daughter.  Done.  We had a great lunch together as always with my two-year old grandson climbing under the table.  So much fun having burgers, and doing a little shopping.

MARCH

I am going to say March is DONE because there has been a whole lot of family time with three new grand babies.   I have been running my daughter places until she could drive.  Kept the toddler while my son took my DIL for her post delivery check, and then went with my DIL to have the twins PKU test, and their post birth check with their pediatrician and then we had lunch together.  Ran my daughter to Sprouts last week and then drove the new baby and toddler around while she shopped for shoes and then we had another lunch together with the toddler dancing in the booth.  On Saturday a week ago we kept the twins while the kids took the 3 year old to Disney on Ice, and then the other kids came over and well I forgot to snap a picture of all five grand babies here for the first time, but I do have a great one the kids took.  March is not over and this last week I am here at the hotel being treated by the kids for staying here keeping our only grand daughter.  FUN, FUN, month and it isn’t over.

HEALTH GOALS

Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak_ for your work shall be rewarded.-2.png

FEBRUARY

Walking – Treadmill and in our neighborhood at least 1 hour a week.  Still some catching up but doing well.  Been on two walks with one of my grandsons, two by myself and tonight on the treadmill.   Small steps are good.    I made several new recipes.  One of them was called Philly Cheese Steak Casserole.  YUM!   I’ve had a protein shake almost every morning during the month of January and now into February.  DONE

MARCH

My March goals have not been so good mainly because I fell and could not exercise.  For two weeks there was so much pain in my leg, my shoulder, my breast area, neck and head.  Yep it was a very hard fall but nothing broken and today I am a lot better.  I put the baby in a stroller yesterday and we went walking to a shopping area.  May try that again today or take her down to the gym here while she is sleeping and get on one of those fancy machines.  Still doing well on our diet making small changes like more yogurt, salads, healthy muffins, etc..

FRIEND GOALS

FEBRUARY

Lunch with a new friend – one of my group members on my team.  Met up with Donna.  DONE

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

Met up with both of the ladies on the same day.  Was a very enjoyable day.

MARCH (ALREADY DONE)

Met a couple of my girlfriends (Cheryl and Mary Margaret) that  I used to work with before retirement for lunch.  Mary had to leave and Cheryl and I stayed and visited for hours over dessert and coffee.  DONE 

HOME GOALS

FEBRUARY

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

Clean out two bottom drawers on one of my dressers.  DONE

Clean out some cups in my kitchen. DONE

MARCH

I’ve done a lot this month trying to clean out more and donate and get things ready for a resale shop.  Making slow progress this month with so much that has been happening.

BLOGGING GOALS

FEBRUARY  

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

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

Linky Page – Continue cleaning  DONE

MARCH

Lesson 2 – Blogging Course – Continue cleaning up 500 blog posts.  Averaging about two a day.  My date is May and hope I don’t have to slip it.

Review and clean up 15 more blog posts plus 65 already done or 80 total.

Linky Page – Continue cleaning

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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

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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