Archives for January 2012

Jan 31

Just Checkin’ In…

Hey Y’all!  Hope your week has gotten off to a great start.

Are you believing that you were MADE FOR MORE?  I happen to know that some of you are and there are many of you who are struggling also.  Let me speak to the strugglers.

I know some of you are feeling a little discouraged. If this is you, let me tell you what I told the ladies on the conference call last night.

~“Anytime God starts a movement, the enemy starts opposition.” ~Steven Furtick, Sun Stand Still

~“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.~ Jesus,  John 10:10

So basically, find some comfort in your struggles. We have an enemy who does not want you to succeed and will use your weaknesses and thoughts to bring you down. That is not the voice of God. Because you are striving to find your identity in Christ alone, to meet your needs with God and not __________, you will encounter opposition. I want to encourage you to hang on, don’t quit, don’t give up. We got this! Why? Because we have God Almighty on our side. Do not allow a setback, a relapse, a person, your health, failure, your past, being behind in this study, doubt, discouragement, or any other obstacle keep you from believing that this time is different. Talk to Jesus often. Go to the Verses by Chapter on p. 195 and the Healthy Eating Go-To Scripts on p. 215 of MTC.  Pray. Ask someone to pray for you, with you. Comment here on this blog. There has been so much encouragement here, I love that.

How are you doing?

If you are down, just don’t stay there. No pity parties! “Turn your pity into purpose.” ~ Lysa TerKeurst

If you are feeling amazing, share the love sistas! Encourage the rest of us.

One more thing. I have a devotion running on Proverbs31.org tomorrow and right here on this blog I’ll be introducing our next study, An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell and giving away a copy of the book. The message in our next study is replacing our fear with faith. Sign ups for An Untroubled Heart will begin soon.

Ok, that’s it for now! Thank you for doing Bible study with me! I love our “group”….all 8900 of us!

Melissa
Jan 29

Made to Crave, 2012~Week 3

***Winner of the P31 Woman Magazine give away from Friday’s blog post is:  Amber who posted January 28th at 1:22 pm! Amber, contact me Melissa@MelissaTaylor.org so I can get your information. Congratulations and thank you Heather for your awesome post and the magazine give away!

*Now on to Week 3 of MTC*

Made to Crave is the first of 4 or 5 Online Bible Studies I’ll be leading this year.

If you are interested in learning more about the Online Bible Studies, click here.  All online Bible studies info can be found on that page.

If you’d like to read all the Made to Crave posts so far, look in the right side of this blog.  Just below the Bible Study Sign Up, you will see the word “Categories”. Click the Made to Crave 2012 link below that. You can catch up on what we’ve been doing during the Made to Crave Online Bible Study.

Below you can see an example of how the study works online.

Nearly 9000 of us are growing closer to God each day through sharing life and doing Bible Study together! That is very exciting to me!

___________________________________________________________________

Sunday, January 29, 2011

Well, here we are at the beginning of Week 3 of our Made to Crave study.  I hope that so far you have put a lot more thought and action into your relationship with the Lord. I know I keep saying it, but please don’t lose sight of this one thing: The #1 purpose of this study is to satisfy your deepest desire with God. This study isn’t magical. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not about how much you exercise or lose weight. Just take a quick glance at the chapter titles of this book. Go ahead. Do it now. Don’t you see by the names of the chapters alone that this journey isn’t an easy one. Obedience and discipline take hard work and commitment. I don’t say this to discourage you. I say this to affirm that you will have hard days and even weeks maybe. But in the end you will gain. And this time it won’t be pounds, it will be freedom, victory, courage, and a greater closeness with God. Nothing tastes as good at all that!

My friend Danita shared a song by Mercy Me with me last year during the study. Read these lyrics:

‘You were made for more than this…

You’re beautiful.

You are treasured.

You are loved.

You are His. ‘

Now listen to the song and watch this video. Prepare to be touched by God.


Visit the Made to Crave website to download and print the Fridge sign for week 3. This week’s word is:

PEACE

What a word. Seems I strive so hard for peace. Doesn’t that seem like a oxymoron? Striving for peace?  Why is it that it’s so hard for us to obtain peace? Here’s what I think. It’s there for us, but we refuse it. We choose chaos over peace. We choose not to trust God with the details of our lives and therefore peace does not reign in us. I can say this, because I’ve been guilty of it many times. Too many times. God doesn’t want us to be in turmoil, no matter what our circumstances.

Memory Verse for Week 3

Philippians 4:6-8 says,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Look what peace does. It guards your heart and mind!!!  Hello? That’s what we need to survive, protection over our hearts and minds. So, ladies, let’s accept the peace we are offered through Christ Jesus,  okay?

You May Want to Copy and Print the Rest of This Post

Reading and Homework Assignments for Week 3:

Sunday-Spend some time in prayer for yourself and your study sisters about Week 3.  Share in the comment section of this blog or on the new Online Bible Studies Facebook Page where discussions and prayer requests about Made to Crave are ongoing 24/7.

Monday-Read Chapter 7.  Highlight and take notes as you read. When you get to a Bible verse that Lysa mentions, take our your Bible.  Look up the verse for yourself. Underline it and write “MTC” beside it. Think on the verse or passage a moment. Journal or make a few index cards with Scripture or quotes that will keep you grounded and give you peace******Begin sending Melissa questions for the Friday (or Saturday) Vlog. Email them to Melissa@MelissaTaylor.org. *******I’m so sorry I haven’t vlogged yet! I’ve issues in the vlogging department. I will TRY to get it up this week. Please forgive the absence of the vlog so far!  Life interrupts my plans, I know you understand that.

Monday– *January 30th, 8:00 pm EST, Real, fun, and fabulous, my good friend, DeAnnah Baker. DeAnnah joined us last year on the conference call series and we all fell in love with her. She has been my partner in crime in this journey we call weight loss…and gain….and loss….and gain….etc for years!  We will be blessed by her honesty and her commitment to never give up on healthy living  AND Stephanie Clayton! Stephanie is a professional counselor and also my partner in Online Bible Studies here at P31. Her insight and wisdom are just what we need! Plus she’s doing this with us, she gets it, but also has the psychological twist that may help us understand why we are the way we are. AND Associate Director of YMCA Camp Harrison, Founder of the Women’s Wellness Weekend, Denise Hammond. Denise was caught up for 14 years with an eating disorder that controlled her life. Her story of how God used her mess to bring life to her ministry will amaze and inspire you.

Tuesday-Complete Chapter 7 Reflection Questions.  Read the questions and record your answers in a journal or notebook. Be honest. These are just for your eyes or whoever you choose to share them with. Share as much or as little as you like in the comments section of my blog or on the Online Bible Studies Facebook page.

Wednesday-Read Chapter 8.  Follow the same directions as on Monday.  Check Melissa’s blog for an encouraging mid-week message!  Post a comment to encourage others.

Thursday-Complete Chapter 8 Reflection Questions. Follow the same directions as on Tuesday. Share as much or as little as you like in the comments section of my blog or on the Online Bible Studies Facebook page.

Friday-Read Chapter 9.  Follow the same instructions as Monday and Wednesday.

Friday Vlog!!! Log on to this blog, www.MelissaTaylor.org.  Watch a short video of me answering some of your questions from the week. (Sometimes this post may be on Saturday) ****Hopefully.

Friday Option: If you want to have all your work done before the weekend, go ahead and complete the Chapter 9 Reflection Questions.  Follow the same instructions as Monday and Wednesday.

Saturday Option-If you didn’t do the Chapter 9 Reflection Questions on Friday, do them today.

Okay, that’s it!  Print or “favorite” this page so you can keep up with this week’s study. I won’t be posting the schedule daily, so hold on to this!

EMPOWERED~DETERMINATION~PEACE

 

Remember, you have access to all three. You got da POWAHHH!  Be DETERMINED to stay committed. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. And discover your PEACE in God, because I guarantee you won’t find it anywhere else.

Have a great week!  Keep believing this time will be different!

 

Melissa
Jan 27

Growing Closer to God and Giveaway

Hey y’all!  My name is Heather Bleier, I’m taking over for Melissa today, and I’m thrilled to be here!  In our pursuit of nourishing our hearts with God instead of food, today I want us to focus on Chapter Six, “Growing Closer to God.”  Just as Lysa TerKeurst encouraged us to come up with a healthy eating plan to help feed our bodies with good things; I would like to encourage you to come up with a healthy eating plan to feed your heart with God’s Word.  I call this plan TAPP and it’s pretty simple, with a few no brainer ideas that I hope will help get you going on some fine dining with the Lord each day.

Time

God’s Word gives us direction on spending time with Him, both in the Old and New Testaments.  King David records in Psalm 5:3, that He meets with God early in the morning as does Jesus according to Mark 1:35.  The quiet of morning seems to be the prime time for God time.  It’s in this quiet before the storm, we are able to receive strength, focus, and direction for the day and give God our first fruits.  Now for me, morning makes the most sense…then again I don’t have any children and I can only imagine the dynamic children must add to a person’s morning routine.  I also know that the morning wasn’t the only time Christ set out to meet with His Father; though it seems to be His first choice.  Christ was often found ministering to God’s people, teaching and healing them.  I wonder at the complete physical exhaustion Jesus must have felt as people were brought to Him at all hours of the day…and night.   It would make sense then that there were times Jesus couldn’t meet with God in the morning and instead, He would take time later in the day {see: Mark 6:45-46, Mark 14:32-34, Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12}.  This must be my first step, I must set a Time to spend with God each day and dedicate it to Him.

For me, that is 6:00-8:00am each morning.  When will your Time be?  Will it need to change each day because of work, school, or family?  Whenever it is, put it on your daily calendar either on your phone or the one hanging in the kitchen, let your family know when this time will be and ask them to honor it by letting you be alone.

Accountability

Satan would have us believe that we can’t do this and he’s right.  On our own…we will falter every time, but “{We} can do all this through Him who gives {us} strength,” Philippians 4:13.  God is the one who will give us strength to do this and in Proverbs 27:17 He reminds us that “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  What we need is some tangible Accountability.  We need someone who will ask us each day, “How have you spent one on one time with God today?” or “What did you learn and how does it affect your faith?”  Some of us may even need someone who will make us feel a little guilty if we skip our Quiet Time; though for others, that may be counterproductive.  Let that person know when you plan on setting aside your Quiet Time and send them a text, email or call them when you’re done, or have them call you, but find what works.

For me, it’s my husband, but whether our Accountability partner is our spouse, dear friend, sibling, co-worker, mom, dad, or whomever, we need to know someone is going to help us stay on track.

Place

We all have those places where we can focus and those places that keep us hopelessly distracted.  Our Quiet Time space needs to be set up so that when we sit down with the Lord, nothing will get in our way.  One thing I know, I cannot have my iPhone within reach of my Quiet Time area!  I have no internet at home, so my laptop posses no problem, but that little 4.9oz phone might as well be dipped in glitter…or chocolate!  When I get myself up for my Quiet Time, I have to set my phone in the kitchen or some other space in the house where it cannot disturb me.  I have also set up my little Quiet Time space with everything I need; my Bible, journal, a light, a delicious smelling candle, extra pens, pencils and highlighters, note cards, a few devotion books, and of course whatever Bible study I’m doing at the time.  {My hubby is up and about by 7:00am, so a good pair of noise reducing ear buds and an iPod are also essential for my Quiet Time space.}  If you have a little wall space, you can put up some corkboard and pin up Bible verses, questions, prayer requests, pictures, or whatever else draws your heart to God.

My space is a desk in my living room my hubby bought me for Christmas and it’s set aside for one purpose, a Place for God and I to meet.  What Place will you set aside for your Quiet Time?  It could be your kitchen table, a desk in a spare room, a nook in the laundry room or garage; I tried using my couch for a while…but found myself falling back asleep.  You could add an empty chair, a picture, or light a candle to remind you of God’s presence there with you.

Plan

What will you do during your Quiet Time?  Will it be the same each day or will you change it up each time?  Here are a few ideas…

  1. Begin with a prayer.  It doesn’t have to be long; after all, the Lord’s Prayer only takes 30 seconds to say {I know, I timed it}.  Simply ask God to join you and help you understand whatever He reveals to you in His Word.
  2. Spend a little time each day memorizing Scripture.  Need tips on how?  This post just might do the trick: Memorizing God’s Word.
  3. Start a Bible reading plan or create one of your own.  There are TONs of reading plans out there, from reading the Bible in a year to the top 100 passages of the Bible.  Choose one and stick with it: YouVersion Bible Reading Plans
  4. Purchase a devotion book or subscribe to a daily email devotional.  I recommend the Proverbs 31 Devotions which include application steps, additional resources, and extra Bible verses.
  5. Use those pencils and highlighters!  God isn’t going to be upset if you mark in His book; after all, it’s His gift to us!
  6. Jot down your thoughts on whatever you read.  Whether you read a devotion, passage of the Bible or answered a few questions from a Bible study, write down what it means to you and how it will affect your faith.  Write down if it made you happy, sad, mad, confused, or whatever, but simply write your reaction to what you have read.
  7. Close with prayer.  Perhaps you have people who have asked you to pray for them, this would be a great time to lift them up to the Lord.  Have a long list of requests?  Divide them up throughout the week.  Wendy Blight has a great example how in week four of her study called Cultivating a Heart of Prayer.  You could also dedicate one day a week just to praying; believe me you will be able to fill that time up quickly and wish you had more time!

Whatever your Quiet Time looks like, make it your own, the above are just a few ideas and suggestions to help get you started.  As Lysa reminds us in Chapter Six, “God can’t be reduced to a checklist,” {pg 59} let Him help you decide what your TAPP should look like!

Father, You know when we sit and when we rise, You know when we hunger and thirst.  We ask You to help us crave Your Word above everything.  Whether it’s in the quiet of morning or in the cool of the evening, draw our hearts closer to You as we dive into Your Word.  When we set aside time to be with You, help us to guard that time, making it a precious part of our day, let nothing else get in our way.  Meet with us there, open our hungry hearts to receive nourishment from the bread of heaven, Your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.  Thank You.  Thank You for the gift of Your Word, that You, the Living God, our creator, actually desires to be with us!  Who are we Lord that You would crave being with us?  We are Your creation, made from the dust of the earth and yet…here You are…living in us!  Lord my heart is so humbled by that simple fact.  You have set our bodies apart to be Your dwelling place, Your temple, holy and precious.  There is no place we can go where we are not in Your presence, no place on earth can hide us from Your sight.  What comfort that brings!  We are never out of Your sight and never out of Your care.  Draw us closer to You each day as we draw near Your Son through the precious Word You have given.  We ask this in Your Son’s name, Amen!

Leave a comment sharing what your TAPP looks like to be entered to win a year’s subscription to the Proverbs 31 Magazine.  The winner will be announced in Sunday’s post.

 

Yours in Christ,

Heather Bleier

 

Melissa