Archives for March 2012

Mar 29

Congratulations! You are facing fear.

I’ve been congratulated for many things over the course of my 45 year  life. A good report card. Getting married. Having a baby. Buying a new home. Getting a new job. A job well done. Winning a game.

Yes, I’ve been congratulated for various accomplishments, but I don’t think I’ve even been congratulated for facing fear . But I kind of think I should. Don’t you?

I want to take a moment and celebrate with you because you have decided to face fear too!  CONGRATULATIONS!  We can’t conquer fear until we actually decide to face our fear.

So here we are, already achieving Step #1, Facing our fear.

How does it feel?

SCARY!  LOL!

I’m joking about the scary part of course, well kind of.

The truth is, facing fear is a little scary. It takes courage. It takes guts. It takes honesty. It takes action. I’m so proud of all of us for taking this action by signing up to do this Bible study.

If you are used to living with fear, don’t expect it to go away automatically. It will take time as you learn to place God’s Truth in your mind and heart to replace the fear/uncertainty/doubt/ you are used to having. It takes practice.

Practice. Football teams must practice if they ever expect to win a game. Artists must practice drawing/painting/sculpting/singing/playing music  if they ever expect to achieve greatness. Students must practice their multiplication facts if they ever expect to win the math game in school. (Hayley Grace told me to put that one in!)  Anyway, you get my point.  Just like with anything, by practicing something we tend to get better at it.

Practice spending daily time in God’s Word. Make time for your Bible study. Don’t allow distractions or busyness to get in your way. And especially don’t let fear block you from moving forward. Fear be gone! We got places to go where you aren’t invited!

Here is a letter from your Father. Listen to what He has to say to you about fighting for your faith and letting go of your fear.

Beloved Princess,

It’s time to surrender your fears, your insecurities, your pain, and even your loved ones completely to Me. I want your whole heart and mind and soul to be worry-free. I want your complete trust so you can focus on your faith and be free of the spirit of fear controlling you. Give up the fight of trying to figure it all out. Don’t let your circumstances hold your heart hostage or cause you to lose your confidence in Me. I am asking you on this day to answer this one question: In whom do you place your trust?

Love,

Your trustworthy King

****from Freedom For His Princess, by Sheri Rose Shepherd

 

So, how are you doing ladies?  How’s the first week going for you?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

And again, let me congratulate you! You are doing a good thing!

Blessings,

Melissa

 

 

Melissa
Mar 25

Not an Easy Start~Chapter 1

I wish this study had an easier beginning. But it doesn’t.

Here is today’s suggested assignment:

Monday– Read the Introduction and Chapter 1 of An Untroubled Heart. Highlight in your book anything that stands out. Share it with the girls on my blog. Write this week’s memory verse in your notebook and also on a few notecards . Place the notecards around your house, in your car, at work, etc.

Words of the Week:

Usually we just have one word of focus for the week, but this week, we have three…all taken from our memory verse of the week (below).

Power~Love~Self-Discipline

Memory Verse:

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7

 

So ladies, it’s time to dive in. It’s not pretty. Micca’s story that she shares in Chapter 1 is messy. Read it and soak it in, but don’t let it bring you down. Let it encourage you. If she can survive that…..you can too.

Begin to memorize this week’s verse to help you. Do you realize how powerful God’s Word is?

 

Yesterday was hard for me. I knew it was coming. I even talked to my family before it got here. I asked them to just leave me alone. Allow me to have my time of reflection and grief.

You see, 2 years ago, I lost my mom to cancer. She was only 63 and I wasn’t ready to let her go. I still need her today. But she’s not here. Still, I’m ok….because God is taking care of me. That’s the only reason why. Read here how God willed me to grieve my loss in “God’s Will For Me to Grieve.”

As life would have it, my grief and reflection was also interrupted by a mouse. Yes, we had a live mouse in our house that sent me screaming with fear up to perch atop a chair in my den….where I remained throughout the day! How ironic that the day we begin a Bible study on fear, that one of my fears confronts me head on.  Yes y’all, I’m afraid of critters in  my house! I know that may sound silly and pales in comparison to some of your fears, but it was big to me.

We haven’t caught the mouse, but my family has sure had fun with my fear:

Just FYI, this is a fake mouse. Not funny.  (if you receive my blogposts via email, you probably can’t see the picture. Visit my blog to see it. Click here.

 

For those who don’t have the book yet, Jennifer Rasor, one of our Bible study sisters, found this link where you can actually get the full introduction and Chapter 1!!!  http://davidccook.com/catalog/resources/samples/105953.pdf  For today, there is no excuse for everyone not to get started :) Thanks Jennifer for sharing this!

I also have a very special treat for you. The author of An Untroubled Heart, Micca Campbell, has a message for all of you on her blog today. Make sure you stop by her place, check it out, and leave her a note. She is ultra sweet and how often do you get the gift of personally hearing from the author of a book you are reading? It’s rare. Thank you Micca <3

And speaking of Micca, she is the first guest on our conference call series that begins tomorrow, March 27th.

 

Ok ladies, I know it’s not easy to face your fears, but it’s time. Today I encourage you to read Chapter 1 of An Untroubled Heart.  Digest it. Soak it in. Pray for the Lord to speak to you where you are…He will.

Y’all, let me know how you are feeling.  How do you feel about what Micca went through?  How are you feeling about your life? Do you think God is speaking to you in this study? What’s He saying?

Share your thoughts with us today in the comment section about all this and our words and verse of the week. We need to hear from you! Your thoughts matter.

Love you so big.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Praying for you big time!

 

Melissa
Mar 24

An Untroubled Heart~Week 1

Welcome to our 6th Online Bible study here on this blog! I am beyond thrilled that you are joining me, the Online Bible Studies Team, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and 2,600 others from all over the world on this journey to find a faith that is stronger than all our fears.

Before we get started, I’d like to encourage you to join me in a challenge. It is my prayer that all of us would begin this study actually believing that God can work powerfully in each of our lives. Change is possible. Living without fear is possible. Being cared for completely by our Heavenly Father is possible. There is only one thing that could keep these things from happening and that would be our own lack of faith and belief. So, let’s take a risk here. Let’s actually begin this study believing big things for our lives through God and this Bible study.  Are you with me?  If so, I want you to shout it to the world. Give a big cyber shout in the comment section of my blog today announcing that you believe and have the faith that God is going to accomplish great things in you during this Bible study. Even if you do it with a shaky voice and a bit of uncertainty make the choice to try. Will you join me? Here’s my shout out:

I BELIEVE THAT GOD IS GOING TO ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS IN MY LIFE THROUGH THIS STUDY! I BELIEVE MY FAITH WILL INCREASE WHILE MY FEARS WILL BE PLACED IN THE MIGHTY HANDS OF THE ONE WHO CAN TAKE CARE OF ME AND ALL MY CIRCUMSTANCES. I’M READY TO LIVE A FULL LIFE OF CONFIDENCE AND FAITH!

I can’t wait to read yours!

Now, on to Week 1 of An Untroubled Heart.

Here’s what you will  need:  (for those of you who receive this through your email and can’t see the picture below, visit my blog here)

Bible; notebook or journal to record your thoughts, verses, and Bible study questions & answers; a copy or digital version of the book An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell; computer with internet access so you can visit my blog daily and visit with our Online Bible Study Community; and a cup of coffee (optional…well maybe for you, necessary for me!).  Go ahead and get these ready today so you’ll be ready for your first assignment tomorrow!

 

Words of the Week:

Usually we just have one word of focus for the week, but this week, we have three…all taken from our memory verse of the week (below).

Power~Love~Self-Discipline

Memory Verse:

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7

 

God gave us a spirit of power.  One of the definitions of power is the ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something. I like that. It implies that we have the ability to do something, but we have to take action in order to accomplish it. But the power is ours. It’s a power that comes from God. Because of God we have this ability to act.

God gave us a spirit of love. According to 1 Corinthians 13, love is patient and kind. It is not envious, boastful, or proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. This is a pretty tall order, don’t you think?  On our own, I don’t think we are capable of such behavior. I know I’m not. Because of God, we have a spirit of love. Because of God, we can love like this. It’s up to us to accept this gift from God. It’s a choice, because I assure you I don’t always feel like this.

God gave us a spirit of self-discipline. Confession time. I’m not good at this one. I have great intentions, but I can give in and often it doesn’t take much. Why? Because usually I rely on myself. But wait, it says “self” discipline. And yes, when I rely on me…self, I am likely to fall short or fail. But our verse says that God gives us self-discipline. That’s so much different. When I rely on Him and what He gives me, that means it’s possible. It’s there for me. And I have to choose it. I can do a all things through Christ who gives me strength, even be self-disciplined.

I love that God gives us what we feel we are not capable of.  These are available to us because the Holy Spirit lives in us. When we follow His leading each day our lives will more fully have these characteristics. God doesn’t want us living with timidity (fear). Through God, we are able to overcome our fear so that we can live full lives.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as well. (comment section of my blog)

 

Suggested Readings and Assignments for Week 1:

Sunday– Pray and ask God to prepare your heart and the hearts of your sisters in this Bible study group. Enjoy today and be ready to go strong tomorrow. Maybe map out a schedule for your week and make sure you have all your materials ready. (pen, notebook, book, Bible, study space and time)

Monday– Read the Introduction and Chapter 1 of An Untroubled Heart. Highlight in your book anything that stands out. Share it with the girls on my blog. Write this week’s memory verse in your notebook and also on a few notecards . Place the notecards around your house, in your car, at work, etc.

Tuesday– Bible Study: Know It–Stow It–Show It~ This is where the study gets hard. It’s time to apply and examine yourself. On p. 22-24 of An Untroubled Heart, take the time to answer the questions and record them in your notebook/journal. Y’all this is where you have to stay strong and be willing to face the fire and conquer what’s holding you back. Go for it. Don’t be scared. Share anything you want to on my blog. I really want to hear from you!

Tuesday Conference Call #1. You must pay $14 and sign up to be a part of the Conference Call Series, but I promise it’s worth it! You can join us live or listen/download the recorded version of the call.  8 pm tonight we will be joined by the author of An Untroubled Heart, Micca Campbell. She will be sharing her testimony, why she wrote this book, and what she hopes you will gain from studying this book. I will be sharing a message, “Power, Love, and Self-Discipline.”  This call will be recorded if you can’t be on live. I hope you will sign up and join me! This is my time to connect personally with you :)  I will be emailing the call information to all participants on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday– Read Chapter 2. Highlight in your book and record in your journal/notebook anything that speaks to you. Share it in the comment section of my blog. If you were a part of the conference call series, check your email for the recording information for the call.

Thursday– Bible Study: Know It–Stow It–Show It~ Chapter 2 contains a lot of thought provoking information about Satan’s lies and God’s truths. Things we really need to examine within ourselves and things we need to make decisions about so we can move forward. Not easy, but so rewarding. On p. 38-40 of An Untroubled Heart, take the time to answer the questions and record them in your notebook/journal. Please share.

Friday– Check in to Melissa’s blog for this week’s CHALLENGE! If you are behind, use today to catch up. Do you know this week’s memory verse yet?  Give it try!  Share this week’s victories, concerns, and prayer requests on my blog today.

I hope you will be enthralled by the love of God this week! Keep believing in His power, His love, and His ability to give you self-discipline. Don’t allow the threats of the enemy to take over the peace that God provides. You are worth fighting for. You have an awesome life waiting for you. Believe it and keep studying God’s Word. Plant His Word in your heart. I promise it will take root and produce fruit in due time.

Love you all and I’m so thankful and excited to start this study with you this week. If you have any questions or need prayer, call me at the Proverbs 31 office, 877-731-4663, ext. 200, M-F, 8:30-5:00 or email me at MelissaTaylorQuestions@gmail.com.

Let’s have a great week and get started on this great life-changing Bible study. I believe it, do you?

Melissa