Lisa at The Preacher's Wife has started leading an awesome Bible Study via her blog. I got a late start, since I was on holiday. I originally thought that I would just print it and do it later. But the comments and the posts regarding it have been so great, I found that I couldn't wait. So here is a very long catch-up post to do the three lessons that have been posted so far. It's (obviously) not to late to start. If you'd like to join in go here for the intro or click the button above.
Lesson One: I AM your Beauty
Are there circumstances or relationships in your life where you can see God has intentionally placed you to be a light for them?
The simple answer is yes. There are women He has given me to mentor. There is a lady who I spend time with who is in a difficult place of decision making. The decisions are similar to ones we made a year ago and I know it is a God-incidence that we are together.
Can you honestly describe yourself as a woman with a "yes" in her spirit?
I am a woman who desires to have a "yes-Spirit." I do not always follow through with the desire, but I am growing in that area. Sometimes I still ask for details or confirmation before saying yes, and I know that is an area where I need work. I need to trust enough to say yes and allow Him to confirm the details in His timing.
Are you in an emotionally and spiritually healthy place today? yes
If so, what will you do with your series of unrecurring events? Will you continue to ask for Spiritual eyes to see opportunities to defend a weaker sister?
I'll continue to mentor, to teach ladies Bible Study, to stand in the gap with my accountability partner and for a friend who struggles with her faith, and I'll continue to seek His face regarding a friend who has fallen away as a prodigal, praying that I can be light to her again someday.
Lesson Two: Beautiful to God
What is your initial response when anyone suggests you are beautiful?
I was always the "smart" cousin not the "beautiful" one (I had two who competed for that role). So my initial response is disbelief. Told enough times as a child that you are plain, you begin to believe it. Although I am coming to a recognition of beauty in Christ, I'm still uncomfortable if a tangible person says it.
Do you find you engage in a lot of negative self-talk? How much of your thought life does this form of thinking consume?
I don't do much negative self-talk anymore. Once upon a time my life was consumed with it. Now I would say it would be way less than 10% of my thoughts, and most of those would be fleeting negative thoughts not dwell-upon-them thoughts.
Has it ever occurred to you that you are a City Girl? How do you plan to use this knowledge?
I love this thought. My whole life, this farm-girl knew I belonged in the City. My mother would say I was a city girl trapped on the farm from the time I was little. There was a need for me to interact with people differently than I could "in the middle of nowhere". As I've grown I have realized that it was not a geographical need, it was spiritual. I started seeking a community of accountability and believers at a young age. This illustration just brings my inner feelings into articulation! How do I plan to use the knowledge? First to realize that I am not out of step with everyone else, I'm in step with God. Second, to trust that He will lead me to be with the people who need to see "something different." And third, to constantly and deliberately allow God to make me someone who will attract others to Him.
In what ways has your views of Godly beauty changed as a result of these Scriptures?
Reinforces my need to look on the inner and not the outer package.
Lesson Three: When Life Doesn't Work Out Like You Planned, part 1
It was stated in the lesson that God has made you "once, twice, three times a lady." Where are you in this progression? Obviously we have all been physically born, but are you 'twice a lady'? Have you been born again spiritually? This may be a private matter you'd like to discuss confidentially...If you have already received this gift, write a brief prayer of thanksgiving or testimony.
When I was seven I knew that I wanted to go to heaven with Jesus and because of the bad things I had done, the only way I could go was through Him. I made a decision based on the best I could understand at that age. As a young teen, I surrendered more to Jesus as Lord and not just Savior. I believe that decision at a young age protected me from so much that friends struggled with as well as prepared me for the ministries that were to come. (If you would like to know more, email me through my profile, I'm trying to keep it brief.)
Are you three times a lady? Has God given you a stirring deep within your Spirit to be a 'deliverer'? Do you have a desire or are you already meeting a need in the life of the church, a particular ministry (such as jail ministry, food ministry, etc.) or perhaps individuals who share common issues?
I have a strong desire to see people discipled, drawing people to the depths of God's word and to not be content with just "milk." I do lead a weekly Bible Study to that end, plus have a couple of people in my life that I mentor in that area.
Do you ever get tired of waiting for that opportunity to do something worthwhile for God? do you ever feel God is using someone else instead of you?
No. I don't get tired waiting for opportunity to come. I do have moments where I wish I could do more, and I believe the day will come when I am able to do more in terms of teaching and writing. However right now, my main calling is to grow Godly daughters and I am content to wait on the other while they are little. I am learning to treasure the time that I do have.
What do you consider 'worthwhile ministry'? Are you like me and sometimes find yourself thinking it has to be Big to be Important?
Worthwhile ministry is whatever God calls and enables. I've never equated big with important. When I was a little girl I remember my grandmother taking Sunday afternoons to write notes to those who missed church that day. She would tell us, "it's not much but it shows them they are important." At her funeral, more than one person commented on how much those notes meant to them. I think she instilled in me that God's calling makes the job important, no matter how small.
Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts test? If yes, what are yours?
I've done several spiritual gift inventories over the years. The results consistently indicate teaching, pastor/shepherd, wisdom, and knowledge. Those are consistent with the passions God has given me as well.