Archives for April 2012

Apr 23

An Untroubled Heart~Week 5

Dear Online Bible Studies Leader,

Hello and thank you for inviting me to join your Bible Study group!  I’m so excited to be doing Chapters 8 & 9 with you this week.

I noticed that Chapter 8 is titled Overcoming the Fear of the Unknown and Chapter 9 is The Right Kind of Fear.  I’ll be happy to learn the difference of fear in these two chapters. I mean, how can fear ever be right?  I’m so thankful to be in your group and have so many wonderful ladies to study with.  Thank you for leading this group.

I know I need to read Chapters 8 & 9 and answer the questions at the end of each chapter. I will do those this week, beginning today. That’s all I know though.  Don’t you also have a Word of the Week and a Memory Verse?  Could you please send me the Word of the Week and Memory Verse for this week?

Many Thanks!

 

No, you are not reading a note that someone emailed to me about the study. This note is to you, our leader, from me, your Bible study participant.  I want you to lead this week. Well at least partly.  Besides reading both chapters and answering the questions, I want you to come up with the Word of the Week and a Memory Verse and post them in the comment section.  Use your Word of the Week and your Memory Verse for you, for these two chapters. Take a few minutes to skim the chapters and come up with them. This week, make them your focus.  Please please please share with us in the comment section! Tell us what you selected and why. I know everyone’s will be different, but it will be so fun and interesting to see the what and why of what you picked. We will be posting these on the Online Bible Studies Facebook page throughout the week and on this blog.

I know you can do this. I’ve already noticed the way many of you encourage each other and pray for one another. That’s one sign of a great leader! Keep it up, I love that about you!

Thank you for leading this week! I can’t wait to learn from you :)

Happy Leading!

Melissa
Apr 20

Character Flaw: Validation

I woke up this morning and knew something in my  heart was not right. I had a typical morning…shower, kissing kids good-bye, pulling something clean to wear out of the dryer, cup of coffee…you know the stuff you do to get ready. I had a few extra things to do like pack my suitcase. You see, I’m speaking at this fabulous YMCA event in the beautiful North Carolina mountains this weekend, so I was making sure I had all I needed…notes, Bible, exercise clothes, hair accessories, a car to drive (long story there, I’ll spare ya the details!).  Anyway, nothing unusual, but I could tell something in me was off.

Right after I cranked the car, the music began playing on the car CD player, and I began to cry. Music has that ability to trigger emotions doesn’t it?  There’s something magical about that. And it’s something I love about music. I was primed and ready for tears before the music began, so it didn’t take much. Strange, but I knew I was crying for myself. It’s been a while since I cried for me. I cry for others often (my family makes fun of me for this because it doesn’t take much for me!), but today I knew these tears were for me.

I talked to God as I drove to work.  “What’s wrong with me Lord?  I don’t have anything to be sad about today. I have a great weekend ahead and I’m traveling with one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, my friend, Holly. I get to spend the weekend with her and a lot of awesome people, including the staff at Camp Harrison, the beautiful ladies from the Siskey Y, plus my good friends Denise and LaGena. What’s up? Why the tears?  Why am I crying for myself today?”

I realized something not so pretty about my tears today. They were self-pity tears, selfish tears, tears that stemmed from one of my biggest character flaws, the desire for validation.

There are a couple of recent tasks and relationships that I’ve poured my heart and soul into. I worked hard. I invested a lot. I gave. I tried. I provided.  I sacrificed. I helped. I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into them. I thought I did a good job in each of these situations, oh I made mistakes, but at least I did my best. For the most part, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. One situation ended in rejection. The other just completely unrecognized and unappreciated.  Both leaving me hurt, feeling neglected and invisible. I deserve some credit here. I made a difference. Good things came of what I started, so where is my validation? My pat on the back? My thank you?

In all the work you are given, do the best you can. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly master.  Colossians 3:23  (ERV)

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.  Psalm 37:5  (NLT) 

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  Proverbs 16:3  (NIV)

I know, right?

“Oh Lord, let me pull this car over and fall flat on my face. I sit at the foot of the cross right now. I give this to you. I’m so sorry. You see all that I do and that is enough. Please forgive me for being so shallow. Yes I would still like to be noticed, I can’t lie to You, but it’s ok if I’m not.  Keep me as the apple of your eye; 
hide me in the shadow of your wings  Psalm 17:8 (NIV)  because You are all I need, You are my validation.”

And guess what?  He forgave me. He told me that He came to this world to save me not condemn me. (John 3:17…our memory verse this week)

After the exchange of words with my Heavenly Father, another set of words came back to me, and that’s what I’ll end with today. It was the words from that sweet child, Alexa Rohrbach, who I wrote about earlier this week.

“Never give up.  Always find things to be thankful for. Have a positive attitude.”~ Alexa Rohrbach

Don’t you just love how God, His Word, and wise words from a child can turn your day around? Thank you Jesus!  (Did all my Jesus friends just shout an “Amen” to that? If not, go ahead, it’s “amen” worthy!)

Have a fantastic weekend sisters!  Your assignments will not be posted until Monday, but if you’d like to get a head start, go ahead and begin reading Chapter 8.

Love and Prayers to each of you <3

 

Melissa
Apr 19

Dirty Bad Girl

On the conference call Tuesday night, I made a comment that I hoped didn’t offend anyone.

Lelia Chealey had just shared her incredible testimony about how she had an affair, got pregnant, had an abortion, and didn’t tell her husband for years because of fear. She did finally tell her husband and today they are a part of a marriage ministry and she is using her life for Christ in amazing ways. Not many women share secrets like that. I call them secrets, because most who have done what she did (and there are MANY), will carry those offenses to their grave. And I can understand why. But not Lelia. She and her husband both agreed that it’s a story worth telling. It demonstrates the healing, cleansing, redeeming, and restoring power of Jesus Christ and if we are still alive and breathing, God ain’t finished with us yet!  I love it!  In fact I love it so much, I said on the call,

“I love dirty bad girls who get wiped clean by the Lord! I LOVE THEM!”

 

I so hope no one thought I was calling anyone a dirty bad girl, I didn’t mean it offensively. In fact I think the reason I felt free in saying it is because I’m a dirty bad girl. I’m not gonna share all  my “secrets” with you, but I am!

When you think about it, aren’t we all?  Who doesn’t need the love and forgiveness of Jesus?  There’s not a one of us who doesn’t need to be wiped clean by the Lord!  So therefore there’s not a one of us who is justified in judging another or looking down on someone because their sin is worse than ours. We all need Jesus and He died for dirty bad girls just like us!  I pray that message alone gives you hope, freedom, and a little less trouble in your heart.  Sweet sister and friend, you are loved by Jesus.  And I love you too. Might sound corny, but I do!

I seem to be a magnet for dirty bad girls, and I think it’s because God knows where I’ve been and that I see potential in every created being. I’ve seen victory stories like Lelia’s and so I can see a victory story for everyone. Sometimes they happen and sometimes they don’t, but I still choose to see the potential and let God do the rest. That’s not as easy as it sounds, but I’ve learned that a lot of times, we have to get out of the way so God has the chance to do His work. It’s hard to step aside, especially when you love someone, but it really comes back to trusting God. Trusting that not only is He enough for us, but He’s also enough for anyone we might be trying to help.

Lelia had no problem with me referring to her as a dirty bad girl, do you?  Are you a dirty bad girl?  Have you experienced the wiping clean that Jesus can give you?  Or do you need to experience it, but something is holding you back?  Dish it sista, let’s hear from you.

This week in our study, we are “Learning to Trust Again” and contemplating the question “What’s the Worst That Can Happen?”  Great week for us dirty bad girls. There is hope for us all.

Dirty bad girls unite!  There is a clean life for you and you can find it in One Place…the loving and forgiving arms of Jesus!  Join me there okay?

 

You can read more from Lelia by visiting her blog.

***Thank you again to Lelia Chealey and Robin Rohrbach for sharing their difficult stories with us this week on the conference call. If you would like to sign up for our conference call series, it’s not too late. Each call is recorded for later listening or download. You can sign up here. These calls are fabulous. I don’t say that as a pat on my own back, because I have very little to do with them. It’s God and the guests and messages He provides. It’s like attending an event without leaving your home.

Melissa