May 3

SLL Week, 4, Day 5~Take Away for the Week

Many times in our lives, we realize that we need a change. We live in a run, go, do world. We become frazzled, broken and often ineffective in our homes, our jobs, and our spiritual life. However, it is interesting to me that when you study the life of Jesus in the Gospels, He wasn’t always all about running, was He? He knew when to rest, when to get alone to pray, and when to serve. Have you heard the infamous story of Mary and Martha? (see Luke 10:38-42 ) Our days frequently scream for our attention to DO something–just as Martha told Jesus to tell Mary to DO something. What a picture. Martha only wanted to ‘serve’ her Savior, yet Mary had chosen what was ‘good’-to sit at His feet while He was present. May we all learn to sit at His feet. May we give up whatever stress it is that is preventing us from living the abundant life that Jesus said He came to give us, (see John 10:10).

Your Take Away this Week

  1. Before you do anything else, I would like you to step away from the computer, away from the noise, and away from the world. Get alone with Jesus. Talk to Him. You can do this in many ways. One thing that I like to do is ‘write Him letters.’ I keep a journal with prayers and ‘letters’ to Him in it. Wait for Him to respond. It may not be today–I once wrote Him a four page letter that He did in fact answer, but it took some time–I just kept referring back to it. Later on, I write when/how the prayer was answered. This is so amazing to go back and remember the goodness and faithfulness of God. It is also a good reminder to go back and see how He has come through for you, in times that you feel your faith is weak. (if you look up the word remember in a Concordance, you will be amazed at the number of verses that come up!)
  2. After you have spent time alone with Him and away from the noise, come back to the blog and share with us. What has He taught you this week? What is He whispering into your weary, burdened heart? Consider starting your own prayer journal/dialogue with God and use it to ‘remember’ His faithfulness.
  3. Return back to the Scriptures from Monday. Is He teaching you something different through them today than He did Monday? If so, please share. 

The WINNER of this week’s giveaway is: Aubrey, who commented on 4/30 @ 6:29 am on day 2!

I have been extremely honored to come alongside you and learn with you this week! Thank you for trusting me to journey along with you. I am praying that He gives each of you His peace that passes all understanding. I am praying that He will lead us onto the road less traveled-a life filled with His peace, His guidance, and His protection-a life free of the busyness of our everyday lives. May He help us find that much needed time alone with Him each day. may He whisper words of love, comfort, peace and encouragement over each one of you. God bless you and love you!!

Melissa

Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    God is truly so good! Looking back, I have learned a lot from this very challenging week, and I celebrate that I have never been alone!

    I celebrate that God has changed my heart toward a difficult co-worker, and I have, with His help, been able to forgive this person, let go of the pain and anger and frustration he has caused in the past, and truly start fresh. I know this person is still not perfect, and there will continue to be challenges, but letting go of the past with God’s help has created a huge lightness and freedom within me that definitely creates more room and energy to deal with the next challenge.

    I celebrate that within the last week God has shown me clearly three of the main areas I struggle with eating well for my body and what to do in those moments:
    – when I feel deprived – be as proactive as possible to eliminate that feeling, but also to take it to Him and ask Him to satisfy me
    – when I’m a major stressball – I’ve got to take it to Him – I know I can’t make the right choices on my own.
    – when I’m exhausted – see above! :)
    I’m praying that when I’m at the end of my rope, I can see it’s not time to give up – it’s time to look up! For peace, for hope that it will not always be this way, and for love to give to those around me when I simply feel that I don’t have anything left to give.

    In returning to the Scripture, where before I was focused on my actions – to not conform, to be transformed, to prove His will – this morning was more about looking at the gift of His will to me:
    His good will – It is useful, beneficial, and profitable to me to follow His will.
    His acceptable will – It is the most acceptable and pleasing way for me to go to follow His will.
    His perfect will – There is no more complete or perfect way to go – His way is lacking nothing and is the perfect state of all things.
    Looking at the Scripture this way has provided a fresh insight into why I can trust Him completely – because His way is good for me, is pleasing to me, and is the perfect way for me.

    Much love,
    Jennifer

    • Thank for sharing, Jennifer! I loved hearing how the Lord is speaking to you! And how he changed your heart about your co-worker! So good!

      Love, Sue

      • I can relate so well with you ! Thanks for your wisdom, and validating for many who will read this, how real our God is, and how we can come to him for our needs.

    • Thank you so much for sharing Jennifer! So thankful to hear all of the ways He has taught you this week….and what a wonderful new lesson in the verse from Monday. Praying you continue in this patter of peace!!

  2. I don’t usually comment here, but share my thoughts with my amazing OBS Facebook group :). After reading through chapter 4 early (completed last Saturday and the questions!!), I feel like God constantly worked through my week to call me away from the chaos, sit me on His lap, look me in the eyes and say, “I love you. You are mine.” I am a wife of soon-to-be 8 years, a mom of three very young boys and passionate for children’s and women’s ministry. Three days before my last was born 8 weeks ago, I lost my full-time ministry position due to financial cut backs (we knew it may be coming…but the timing was horrible!). I coincidently was in your last OBS at the time…my first OBS experience. God had me right where He wanted me to be. Now, at a time where truly we should be stressed-out (both parents out of work with 3 kids, a house and no family in the area)…I’ve found comfort to have my faith renewed.

    Ever since Saturday, I have been re-reading through my past “letters to God”…something I’ve done when I needed the encouragement…kinda like what a quick energy bar does in the morning. But this ENTIRE week, I’ve spent digging through my writings, through the tear drops and pen drops, through the beginning doubts and fears, reading questions, reading pleads for help, reading through my journey of accepting Him in my life, my call to ministry…I even noticed how my pen strokes changed pending on my circumstances!

    At the end of my notebook, I wrote a prayer request/praise chart with the dates as references to my letters. This part alone was AMAZING to go through and just see how God just orchestrated so many circumstances to create an amazing faith in my life. I really needed this time, walking through my life journey this week trying to remember who God called from the beginning is a much different person than who I am today.

    The best part of my week? I noticed a huge change right in the middle of one of my early notebooks. At the beginning, I was so angry at God (look up my blog hop post “Bethany Not Boring” for more info there), I didn’t write to Him…more just journals about my frustrations. No prayer/praise charts. No real emotions. Then one day, per request of a professor, I started writing “letters to God.” Many were filled again, with anger, frustration and confusion…yet, I saw hope. I was constantly asking God for Him to show Himself to me in real ways. He was…but I didn’t quite see it then. Soon these letters started “Dear Daddy” and ultimately continued “I need You.”

    I have older friends that have told me that their parents left behind an amazing legacy of faith. I want to do the same in the lives of my kids…but just in case they miss the point, I know they will find my heaping stash of notebooks, filled with my chase after God.

    Im saving up funds to purchase wide-margined Bibles for each of my boys. My new goal is to write verse notes to them in these Bibles during my time with God. It’s something they can read after God takes me Home, yet a way to remind me to retreat to Him on a daily basis and simply find rest for my soul that sometimes chases after other loose ends.

    Thank you SO much for the ministry this OBS has brought to my life. This should be one of the most stress-filled times in my life…but it has not become a retreat of renewal, refreshment and energizing trust in Him. I just can’t thank you enough!

    In Him,
    Bethany

    • Jennifer says:

      Bethany, I just read your comment here and clicked thru and found your blog your most recent blog post ( I tried to comment there but my device wouldn’t let me). I have no words to say it was like they were both written for me. Thank you for writing and being courageous enough to share your thoughts with us.

      • Bethany,

        I just read your blog and commented there. I am so thankful for how the Lord has spoke to you. I am in a similar situation as you now. Both me and my husband found our we were losing our jobs ON THE SAME DAY. But, you know what, I actually find it quite funny. I know people must think that reaction is CRAZY, but I really do. I know God is up to something and I know it will be good! I liken it to Christmas. He has a gift for us, an amazing gift, but I have to wait to open it, to find out what it is! But, I know it is good. I want to encourage you. God has something amazing in store for you and your husband and for you in ministry! Continue to trust.

        Much love to you,
        Sue

        • Sue, I love your illustration of Christmas with your situation. As my husband and I wait on God about retirement, moving, etc., that’s how I feel. I needed you to put it into words for me. Thank you!
          Bethany, your post was beautiful. I hope you will comment on this page more often!

    • Oh Bethany, what an amazing story! How even though you are going so much, you were able to go back and be refreshed by your previous time with the Lord too. Praying for Him to provide for you family in this time. Thank you for sharing!

    • Bethany,

      I am so enjoying your blog posts and hearing your heart through your words. It reminds me of the time when my boys were little and I worried if I was leaving them a legacy of faith. I, too, have stashes of notebooks that they will find one day when I’m gone where I’ve prayed for them, over them and around them. Our God is faithful to those who are faithful to him. He’s got you!

      Lynn

      PS – This is one of my favorite verses and I feel like I should share it with you. I hope that’s okay.

      God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! Ephesians 3:20

      • Elaine Ledlow says:

        Wow what an awesome conversation we have just had! Bethany I love your idea of the wide margin bibles and the notes. What a wonderful way to share your legacy and faith with your sons. I wish I had done more when I was younger but did not. I have written in a journal off and on for many years and I too found a wonderful praise report for all that God has done in my life! God Bless You!

  3. Paige Ward says:

    The one thing that I have come to understand this week is that God loves me! The enemy has been putting lies in my head for so long. This week I realized for the first time completely that they are lies from the enemy and not truth about God. God is truth, the Bible says that again and again. I have to believe and hold on to that truth over what my head and emotions tell me because they are not truth.

    Thank you for helping me get to this point in my walk with God.

    • Oh Paige!

      I am so thankful for that revelation for you! He loves you so much more than you could even know. Father, I thank you for how much you love Paige. Continue to reveal Your love to her, surround her with your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

      I want to encourage you to look up scripture about God’s love using the concordance in your Bible and write them on notecards. So when the enemy tries to lie to you again, you can get out your notecards and say, “No! this is what God says.” Eventually, it will take time, but it will happen, the enemy won’t be able to lie to you anymore because you WILL KNOW the truth and the truth that we know sets us free. Here is a scripture to get to you started:
      Ephesians 3:16-19

      Much love,
      Sue

    • God loves you so, so much Paige. His mercies are new everyday. Praying for you as you journey toward continuing to renew your mind with the thoughts of God’s love and peace.

  4. TJ Conner says:

    Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world but let God TRANSFORM you into a new person by CHANGING the way you THINK. THEN you will LEARN to know God’s WILL for you which is good and pleasing and perfect. Ahhh ha. This verse spoke to me differently that it has when previously read. Of course we’re not supposed to care what the world thinks over what God thinks ( a lesson in itself). But the verses says more than that. It continues by promising us we’ll be taught about God’s will. That which we strive for and look for and pray for. . . Perhaps I’ve been searching too hard. Maybe I need to just relax and continue in trusting God and be content with where He has placed me.

    Something else that stuck with me this week was part of a study question – What is your God sized dream?
    I’ve thought about that for several days and journaled because I was having trouble putting my thoughts together. I think I need to work on this one more. I’d like the idea of journaling more and more as you talk about it and I would like to be able to look back to see the prayers that were answered and how they were answered.

    • Amen! Sometimes we seek His will so hard, that we get lost seeking Him. I have done that myself this week and then wondered where my peace went. Journaling, writing letters and prayers, help me to stay focused. Then, in times of serious trouble, I can go back and remember His faithfulness. Even an unanswered prayer-maybe He spoke a Scripture into my heart. Bless you!

  5. I started my day writing my letter to God, not as an assignment, but because I need to. I am in a frustrated and confused place right now. My husband and I have been married for 27 years, have six kids, and serve in the children’s ministries at church. But, our marriage is very frustrating. My husband is a believer but is a difficult person to live with. I know I’m not the easiest person either, but I do feel that I am constantly trying to please him and smooth things over with the kids when he can be so demanding and sometimes unkind with his words.

    Anyway, my prayer to God was to give me wisdom to know how and when to respond. I tend to write up my plan of action and I’ve determined to throw that out (it never works anyway!) and to just cry out to my Father. In the midst of a conflict or stressful moment, I want to have the presence of mind to cry out to Jesus for wisdom and to be merciful, forgiving, and peaceable.

    I am claiming God’s promise that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. It is so hard and I want to quit, but I KNOW that God holds the answers, not me. I just need to be quiet, be with Him, and be faithful to obey Him.

    Thank you for this encouragement to write out my heart’s cry.

    • Praying that He would lead you and guide you. I read this last night, and wanted to share it with you.

      Isaiah 41:13~
      For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (NIV 84)

      Praying He takes hold of your hand and softens your husband’s heart. Bless you.

      • Elaine Ledlow says:

        Jennifer I love that verse! It has gotten me through some tough times!

  6. God has taught me so much this week! Do not be afraid of change and to trust him with everything. Two major changes have happened in my life recently (and I am one who does not like major changes!) Due to financial difficulties at the company I have worked at for many years, last Friday my hours were cut in half and I have 90 days before termination. (They eliminated 3 other position completely on Friday, I was the fortunate one)

    About 6 weeks ago, God so graciously placed it upon our hearts to sell our home that we built ourselves and have worked so hard on. We did not have to sell, but there was this strong sense that we both felt. I was resistant and now I see that I was not trusting him, but he knew the change that I would be facing last Friday. If we had not decided to sell, the stress would have been huge on both of us!

    I was also having a problem with leaving our neighborhood where I have developed close friendships some awesome christian ladies. But, my husband is still having issues with his back since back surgery 2 years ago and 3 acres is alot to keep up with. We also made the decision to sell to get closer to his work to cut his 1.25 hour drive one way in half.

    Looking back now, I can clearly see now how God was at work. I cannot express the peace that God has covered me with this week since I have began part-time, know that he is in control. I am so thankful that He lead me to this study with all of you awesome ladies. Reading the book, scriptures and all of your stories and so changed my life and the way that I think. I was working so hard to help pay for this house (things of this world) and not having time for the things that really matter the most in this life (my relationship with our Heavenly Father) . I definitely was not spending time with Him.

    The good news is that we are expecting to receive an offer (contract) today. Please pray that we do and that it will be a good offer that will result in a final sale. How amazing is the way our God works, one week from the day that I receive the news about my job!

    I thank God for making room in my life to slow down, be still, stop worrying, trust and listen to Him.

    I am also so thankful for peace that this study has brought into my life and pray that you all will be able to eventually see God working in your lives for your good as well.

    Blessing,
    Pam

    • Thank you so much for sharing that Pam–what an amazing way of working things out ahead of time–He is so good! Reminds me of Romans 8:28~He works ALL things together for our good–it may not feel like it at the time but I am so thankful that you are able to look back and ‘see’ the why now. Praying that the contract comes through on your house. We are in a very similar situation with trying to sell a house so I completely understand.

  7. Kelli Landsness says:

    I know that Mary chose the “good” thing but who was going to feed all those people if Martha didn’t do it? I am totally a Martha! Things need to get done and if I don’t do them, they will never get done. I know that God only wants a relationship with me and not all the things I do. But it is very hard to lay all the other stuff down!

    • Amen girl!! To me, Mary knew when to serve and when to sit. I so identify with Mary because Jesus is the King of Kings-I would want the VERY best for Him, too. Spotless house, my best cooking, the best dishes out, etc. However, when I think upon this, I am reminded of something Jesus Himself said:

      Mark 10:45~
      For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (NKJV)

      He was speaking this to them when they were arguing over who would be the greatest in the kingdom. Jesus was actually telling them that whoever desires to be the greatest, would be the servant of all. I find it interesting that He Himself said HE came to serve. That is what He was doing with Mary–He was serving HER.
      It’s what He did when He wrapped the towel around Himself and washed the disciple’s feet. Amazing to think of our Lord serving US, huh? Rather humbling.

    • Kelli, I’m more like Martha too but have to remember that Jesus feed the 5,000 and would not have let this gathering of friends go hungry either. So many of us are “doing things” to show that we love others. This language of love is just as important as any other especially when things need to get done. We just need to be sure that our needs to be loved and fed are met as well as everyone else’s. It is a hard thing to sit still while so much is dancing around in our heads!

    • Michelle says:

      Glad to know I am not alone. Being a woman in this world makes it difficult enough, but add wife, mother, and working woman (teacher in my case), just to name a few hats we dawn, and you’ve got a recipe for an unstoppable Martha. I love that Jesus came to serve. It makes me feel like he understands the Martha in me. Remember that God knows your heart, so even if you act more like Martha, He knows when your heart truly longs to be Mary.

  8. Stephanie W. says:

    One of the big take away this week is when Tracie says, “You truly become less stressed when you discover the God of peace.” (pg. 82). It is only when I take the time to rest and be still that I can find that peace.

    God spoke to me very clearly in the verse Romans 12:2. The importance of not accepting the behavior and customs of this world but always turn to God for what is truly acceptable. This was not only for my actions, but also for what I am teaching my son.

    Reading this verse from the NLT version, I found that God was clearly saying to me that I had to allow him to change me if I wanted to know his will for my life. I never thought of this before, but in order to really hear God, he has to be active in my life and I have to be in-tune to his voice.

    The pausing of time during the day helps in realizing that my conversation with God is on-going all day long. If I am always running then I’ll never be able to hear what God is saying to me.

    So, learning how to be still more often!

    • Amen!! I love the NLT version too–that He will transform us. We know that we do all things through Him who strengthens us. We know that the butterfly doesn’t ‘think’ itself into a butterfly, rather it is a natural process. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us, and we can also focus on the things Paul tells us to focus on: what is good, pure and lovely to ‘renew’ our minds. Thank you for sharing!

  9. There is so much going on in our life right now. So many changes at once. I know God has been preparing me for change, but it really is a lot. God led me to Ps 16:11 this morning…

    “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy.”

    I know I can trust Him to show me the path that is best for us, the one that will bring me and my family life (and fullness of His blessing) and I just need to keep my eyes on Him, in His presence is fullness of joy trusting Him to lead us.

    This study has been perfect for me at this time in my life with all the changes and uncertainty. I have continued to meditate on last week’s refection verse “In quietness and trust is your strength.” It has helped me stay centered on Him and trust rather than worry. So thankful for what the lord is doing here at OBS.

  10. I have been astounded the past few weeks how God is molding my heart and shaping my soul…. Each day I get a homeschool devotional to my inbox… and will you believe today is like the 5th time in our 4 weeks of study that the same verses we are studying in our bible study have been the main focus verses in the morning! It has helped me to HEAR the Lord … and hear his words in my heart and my mind each day! 😀

  11. linnea says:

    I need to let go of my stress and let God take over.He will do things in His time.

  12. Vanessa says:

    I am so excited that you mentioned the book of John where Jesus is teaching. This week as I was alone with God and my bible I seen in Chapter 17 where Jesus was praying (right before being betrayed) for all believers to know of God’s love through Jesus. He wasn’t praying for us to know of our work, our busyness, or so we’ll know what to do next, He was praying that all His children will know His Father’s love.

    Lately trying to slow down and not be so crazy running here and there, I had been feeling like I was wasting my days because in my career we’re taught to not waste any time to go go go! Well as I sat at this scripture this week asking God what to do with this, He showed me that all I have to do is let them know I love them. (Speaking of people that are lost; that are in our lives and all around us) Oh wow all this week instead of praying about the issues I’m facing, I take that issue and pray for someone who is struggling. God led me to take breakfast to a friend who is struggling in her marriage,(that I didn’t even know about before taking the breakfast.) I just let her know that I love her. God led me to reach out to a group of ladies that had pushed me to the side when I made the decision to step down in my business and scale back a little. They just cut me off (it’s a Christian business) my heart was broken, but this week God ask me to show these ladies His love. Oh wow how amazing the stress in my heart has turned into His amazing peace!!!

    Love
    Vanessa

    • Praise the Lord that is amazing! So thankful that you were able to bless someone. John chapter 17 is my FAVORITE chapter of the WHOLE Bible. We get to ‘hear’ Jesus pray…..for US!! How humbling and amazing is that. In His time of need, He loved us enough to pray for us.

    • Vanessa, sometimes people push us aside because they don’t understand or are hurt by our decisions. As important as it is to help and back up others at work there are simply more important things out here for us. I retired last year and my coworker is still hurting from that. I realized that I had protected her for years and covered for her during times that were difficult in her life. I saw another former coworker last week who told me that they miss me a great deal but reminded me of how caught up we all get with work. Our first responsibility is to ourselves and being there for our families. It breaks my heart to see my friend still hurting but my home is a much happier place because I am at peace.

  13. TABITHA JONES says:

    I was unable to access my email this morning before I got to work but I did exactly what you were asking us to do during my quiet time this morning. I have just recently started writing letters to God and it has really been amazing at how much closer I feel his presence while doing this. My week started out very stressful but today I feel free from stress and it is a wonderful feeling. My coworkers don’t know how to take my bubbly attitude this morning. God has been so good to me and I want my life to shine for him. He has reassured me this morning that with him all things are possible. I may not have the best this world has to offer but with Jesus I need nothing more.
    I hope you ladies have a beautiful day in the Lord. Remember when you are in the valley God is on the mountain wanting to help you, just reach out to him.

    • Thank you for sharing Tabitha, that is amazing! I agree. We have to get to a point and ask ourselves, as Melissa did on the call Monday night, “Is Jesus enough?”. AMEN sister!!

      • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

        Tabitha,
        Amazing post. So beautiful and encouraging. Thank you for sharing and I agree with Jennifer. It is amazing to say YES JESUS IS ENOUGH!

  14. Aubrey says:

    Me! I never win anything!! Ohh!! Today is my daughters birthday but I feel like it is mine! Lol..
    Thank you!
    This ministry and this study have been life changing for me.
    I had never written a letter from God, to me, until I started this study. Nor had I ever heard of, or done, verse mapping. Now I regularly do both, and am finding myself excited about Gods word, needing more of it, wanting to look up and pray about, write about everything!
    I joked with my OBS FB group ( a HUGE blessing please know how wonderful these are for our spiritual growth and encouraging one another!;), that I found a new stressor I was depending too long in the mornings praying, doing my study, etc..I get up at 6, and need to get the kids up by 715. Well lately we have been late a lot I get on a roll, journaling, reading and feel like I have to think it through, write it out,while it is fresh on my mind and heart.looks like I will have to either get up earlier or find a second time in my day to do these things, so I have more time:)
    I’m off to do this assignment ( while my lil ones nap) and will come back to comment more later.:)

    • Yay Aubrey!! So glad you are finding so much hope in the small group! I went through a very similar phase as you many years ago. Hungry for the word and digging in. What I did was pray and ask God to find time for me to spend alone with Him. Many times it is in the evening when everyone else is asleep. He is so faithful even in what we consider the ‘little’ things’. ((hugs to you sweet girl))

    • I am so very happy with my OBS group. Sometimes they are quieter than other times, but they are always there to pray and encourage each other. I keep reading because I don’t want to lose them. Coincidentally the books seem more and more applicable in my life:)

  15. I need prayer to hear him. I pray and pray but I must not be following his ways. I think I am looking for earthly answers. I keep looking up.

    • Keep looking up Deb, He is nearer than any of us could possibly imagine. His Spirit lives within us. Praying He speaks to your heart today.

      • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

        Hi Deb,
        Lifting you up to our Father right now. I am praying for discernment and guidance. I am praying that you dwell in His Presence like never before.

        • Elaine Ledlow says:

          Deb I am lifting you up to our heavenly Father and asking that you never give up on hearing Him. He is always with you and it is often something in the world that may point you to Him. When looking at the earthly answers dont forget to ask Him what these have to do with his Will. I used to have difficulty hearing and discovered it was more of my not understanding that his answers are not always what I wanted or expected! Always look up! Never give up for He is always with you!

  16. I hear the Lord telling me to rest in Him this weekend. The Whirlwind of my life may blow around me, but He gave me a picture of me standing with arms open wide and twirling in the wind. I was laughing. I was smiling. I was dancing. I have not done that with all my heart in a long time. This weekend I will do that when the winds blow. Thank you Lord for helping me to let go and let you guide me. I love you!

  17. Linda Leighton says:

    I haven’t done my assignment yet, but my Pastor’s sermon this past Sunday was on this very subject and he used Mary & Martha as his example. The series is on managing our time as Jesus would have. It is so amazing to me how our OBS studies seem to overlap with our church’s sermon series’ more often than not. This is so encouraging to me because it shows that God is speaking to His people through our leaders regardless of geography. I can’t wait to check back after I’ve finished my assignment today.

  18. This week was amazing for me! I felt God all around me. I just kept hearing Him whisper to me, ‘You’re safe. It’s time to leap. It’s time to change.’

    So I did what He asked of me, and already I’m am reaping the reward of my faithfulness. He called. I trusted. He provided.

    When I was doing my verse mapping earlier in the week, I came across Isaiah 40:31 when looking for reference on ‘renew’.

    “but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”

    It really spoke to my heart then, and now I can attest to it’s truth. I am so grateful to this ministry for helping me become stressed-less and drawing me closer to God.

    God Bless you all!!

  19. He has been showing me that Alabaster jar, to come sit and enjoy his peaceful presence. Blessing him with the most precious of oils, my spirit, mind body and soul. Soaking in His love, as I gaze into his eyes of pure peace.

    2 Samuel 7:18
    David sat before the Lord. Quietly. Like Mary. Seeking Him. His word that soothes the soul. Calms fears. Offers perfect wisdom.His vision for my life. Fellowship with the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, I call him Daddy. He waits for me to sit with him, every day. I long to hear his voice in that most peaceful place.
    He is speaking to me today. This assignment was much needed. Been feeling anxious like never before. I must be getting very near my breakthrough, and answers to my fervent prayers that I have been longing for, for quite some time.
    Praising my King, my Daddy. I worship him, and love him most of all. Grateful for the day.
    As I sat in Him for a few HOURS today, he gave me quite a few confirming verses, links and His Word, to show me He IS in the midst of my circumstance. Seems to be taking so long for an answer, but I know his timing is perfect. I was incredibly anxious the last few days, but I have a calmness now, that only He brings to me. Praises to His Holy Name! ♥♥♥

    http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-joshua-24-15.htm

  20. This has been a week where I feel that God is really trying to teach me to trust in Him and not be afraid. Each day, a verse that speaks so loudly seems to come my way!
    I have been struggling with a very difficult and personal aspect of my career and just can’t seem to figure out which way to turn – I am afraid! Deeply and completely terrified. Yesterday, 1Chronicles 28:20 literally jumped in my path – ” Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.” I have work to do. Part of this work that God has called me to do is to be strong, courageous and give any of the fear and discouragement up to Him. God can handle these things – I can’t!
    I have been reading, studying and carrying around the card on which I wrote this week’s reflection verse, Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
    At the beginning of the week, I put an x through the word “conform” to symbolize “do not conform” and I circled and highlighted the words “transformed” and “renew”. I could feel that God wanted me to be exhilarated by the idea of transforming my life and feeling renewed…refreshed…changed. I have prayed about how God wants me to do this. I now am also looking at the first 3 words of this verse in a whole new light, “Do not conform”…do not continue on this path of fear, do not continue with this “pity party”, do something else, move past this to be transformed and have your mind renewed! Trust, have faith, go on and enjoy the will of God. It will be good. It will be pleasing. It will be perfect.

  21. MARISA says:

    If the last few days were a test on how well I was doing with not stressing and leaving it to God, well I just blew it! I am down to my last $10 in my checking account, my rent is due and my workers comp check that is normally in my mailbox by thursday is not here and to top it all off we came home last night to my kids pet hamster dead…The serenity that was there is gone, I am now in full on panic, stick to my stomach mode. The one thing that stood out to me this week was trust God like a child, with blind faith. I am ashamed to say that I am really having a hard time doing that at this moment. I need to renew my mind and my pessimistic mentality, Lord forgive me and give me the strength to get thru this.

  22. Lee Roberts says:

    My family and close friends here in TN do not want me to go back to TX where my husband is. They want me to stay here where I am loved and have support here. They feel like I am going to be used by my husband again. I know they love me and want what is best for me. But God revealed to me that in this instance they are the world. For the last few weeks God have been transforming me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. He has changed the way I think and look at things in my life. I know what is God’s will for me to do is to return to Texas and work on my marriage. My whole famaily disagrees. But I am trusting God in this and I am asking him for the guidance I need in dealing with my husband. I know I am doing the right next thing for me. This Verse didn’t hit me that this was what i was almost living out this week until today when I reread it. But I have been able today to see that I will be taking a leap of faith by returning. So thanks so much for Romans 12:12.

    • Michelle says:

      Lee, I pray that God will bless you and renew and strengthen your marriage as you take the courage to head back to Texas!

  23. I have so much trouble being still and listening. It is a huge obstacle, but I do want to obey. 1Samuel 15:22 stands out to me as I have been reading another book this week and obedience came up. I want to do God’s will and don’t want to be disobedient, but apart from following scripture, I don’t have a clue what His specifics are for my life. I have never had an inkling. I am trying to allow Him to change me, de-stress me so I can be more still, but I don’t even have a handle on what I can change except to focus and cry out to Him for help in my stress. I suppose for now that is all I can do.

  24. Melanie says:

    This weeks verse is a verse that I remember memorizing in Sunday school and/or Bible school. I have never really thought much about the real meaning of the verse. I looked up the meanings to the words that stood out to me and it helped me to really focus and understand the meaning of this verse.. I know that I need to rely on God more and that I need to set my mind on Godly things. Keeping the world out.
    Please pray for me as I try hard each day to live for Godmand with less stress.

  25. It has been such a long day, that I’m not sure if I’ve even commented yet or not. How’s that? Ha. God is a gracious and patient God. As I looked up some cross references to our Romans 12:2 verse this morning, I came across a commentary, John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, that said the following:

    “by such who are daily renewed in the spirit of their minds, more and more proved, tried, discerned, and approved of, even by all such who have their spiritual senses exercised to discern things that differ.”

    And after I decoded that in modern language, here’s what I took away – I must daily commit to allowing God to renew my mind by Spending More Time With Him. Only then will I know what His will really is. And then be able to apply it to my life or situation.

    I am changed by that. Thoroughly. I don’t know how I’ve missed studying God’s Word the way that I have been for this particular study, over the last 20 years, but OH MY STARS! I am feeling His spirit move mightily in this sinners heart!

  26. amy black says:

    I started my own prayer journal tonite… in beginning, I just began writing praise and thanks… and told Him I loved Him… almost immediately, the phrase , in quietness and rest is your strength.. I wasn’t sure if it was Him or not.. but im thinking maybe so… then the word. RENEW. came to mind… now this is while it was quiet… when that word came up, I instantly started to analyze what I think it means,.. to be new AGAIN … REnew…. lol… anyways , then the passage about Martha and her sister mary came to mind ,, and how we let things , people, chores, running, whatever come before and more important than taking the time to be at the feet of Jesus… what we forfit {sp?} what precious things our Savior has for us… and we miss most of it.. I know I do… I found myself,,, AT THE FEET OF JESUS!!!!! and what a wonderful time I had… I then went over the scriptures for this week and much to my surprise, I even found new in those… I think that’s what Hebrews 4 is talking about when it says His word is alive, and full of power.. dividing to even bone and marrow… nothing in His word ever gets old… my prayer is now childlike faith.. the kind mary had… when she was at His feet, glued to His every sound,, even if it wasn’t words.. just complete awe … hanging on His very breath.. and when he told Martha… I don’t even think mary probably even heard,, she was so mesmerized by where she was at the moment… wow,,, then I relooked up the 3 main words from our reference verse… conformed, transformed and renew.. got 3 , yes 3 pages in my journal , from the greek, to cross references… wonderful study.. I loved this… and I loved having you this week….love and hugs… God bless….

  27. Ashley Couturier says:

    As I sit here and reflect on the last few weeks, I feel so very blessed. God holds true to His promises and has answered every prayer I’ve made in one way or another. Sometimes His words are loud and clear and other times I have to pay close attention to get what He expects and wants me to hear. My day is closing out (yes at this ridiculous hour, I have an inability to sleep at normal hours LOL) my heart is full and I have so much to be grateful for. Tomorrow I am doing our local Cancer Climb for a dear friend of mine who is battling yet again. I pray for her strength and the strength of her sweet little girl and her boyfriend. It takes a special person to battle cancer. Struggling with health issues of my own this climb is sure to be physically exhausting but I know with the help of the Lord I will make it. I am also putting together an auction on my crochet business facebook page for a local family who is trying to adopt. My husband works with the father looking to add to his family and as soon as he told me about the expenses they were going to face in an effort to make this dream a reality I felt an immediate pull from God to help in any way I could. But I also know that this help I am to provide is supposed to be secret and not a way for me to gain praise…so I am doing it without their knowledge and intend on the delivery to be conducted in a way that it won’t be known where it came from. There is something far more pleasing about doing things for people without their knowing. I am so very excited to help this family even if it is only with a small amount. Adoption is such a special blessing to both the child and the family who adopts. I hope you are all approaching the weekend with full hearts and warm blessings. God is Good. Many blessings to you and yours <3

  28. Mary T says:

    As I sat with Jesus tonight in Eucharistic Adoration, I read the rest of chapter 4…Called to Change…brought back the moment that Jesus truly touched my heart…a moment of darkness and despair…tears were flowing…my heart was soooo broken that the physical pain was becoming too much to bear…in that moment a peace I had never experienced before…a joy beyond anything I could ever imagine…especially in my anguish…and a feeling of peace and love that I knew could only come from God! Throughout my journey there have been mountains and valleys and all that lies between but He has never left me alone! His love is endless! In repentence and rest I have been saved! In quietness and trust I have found strength! I said “yes, Lord!” I no longer refused!

  29. Rebekah says:

    “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” is the scripture that keeps going through my mind. I work in a very secular environment, where the very mention of God is frowned upon because I feel that people see religion instead of God Himself and are turned away by human error instead of seeing God. With that being said, my husband and I are separated and have been for nearly a year. Many of my co-workers tell me that I should walk away and not wait for my husband to come home. That I shouldn’t put up with his hesitation in our relationship. It’s hard not to listen to these comments and wonder if I am making the right choice to wait for my husband, to work through our issues, and to build a better marriage than we had in the past. I am waiting on God to answer my prayers, and every time I read a scripture about marriage, all I can do is wait on God because I feel that our marriage is worth all this waiting because I feel it’s God’s will to persevere despite what others think I should do. The world says I should walk away because there is always somebody else out there for me, but I believe God wants me to wait on HIM, to trust HIM and ignore the advice of others. “Do not be conformed to this world…” and trust God. He has a perfect plan for me and my husband and although it seems to be baby steps towards a marriage reunion; I will wait on God! Thank you Jesus, for speaking to my heart!!

  30. Elaine Ledlow says:

    This week I have been listening to the still small voice more often and realize that I am finding peace even in the whirlwind of life! Isaiah 40:31 has been a special verse for me for many years. I have always been one who need extra assurance. As I read the chapter I realized that God is talking to me every day! Question 7 asks if I have ever followed Gods Plan and how did it turn out. I can say absolutely even though at the time I was not sure what would happen. In 1998-99 I started my career as a teacher and by January had really began to question if I had misunderstood what God wanted me to do. I had decided at the end of the year I would be leaving education and trying something else. I had not told anyone about my thoughts except God! My pastor called me out in the middle of Sunday morning service and looked me in the eyes and said: “Elaine, you know that God called you to teach but the place you are in is the wrong place. You need to write a letter of resignation effective for the end of the year and know that God will provide.” Needless to say my jaw dropped and the tears began to roll! I went home and did what I was told. I had a very pleasant rest of the school term and the following year began substitute teaching in the district I currently work in. One of those jobs was at my current school and I was hired for the following school year and have been there since. God has placed me in a place where I am able to continually serve Him! Talk about a praise report! I am by no means saying there have not been many bumps along the way but God has always provided me with the tools to get through! This bible study comes at a time when I was once again truly questioning if this is where I am to be and in Gods wonderful way he always shows me something to make me realize why I am here. In our verses this week we talk about renewing and transforming and boy has that changed today! When I first read it I thought that God might be telling me to move. By the end of the week I realized that he wanted me to stop and listen and get back to that closeness I had with Him. It is about finding the peace He provides when I give the issues to him and quit trying to fix the things that only He can fix. Oh I still have stress but each day when I started to feel it building I stopped and asked him to come along side and help me to see what I can do! He was always there. I found my self less stressed and with more peace even though I still have the same students with the same issues that I can’t fix! Whew this has been a week! I can’t wait for the next chapter! Thank you all for being such wonderful sisters in Christ!

  31. Stephanie L says:

    God has challenged me to let go of some of my fears I have been struggling with and receive His peace. I don’t want to be “so afraid of change that I suffer instead of obey” and “All God has ever wanted for me is His normal.” From SLL

  32. linnea says:

    This week I have been concentrating on knowing God has a plan for me!I am releasing stress I felt from trying to find a new apartment.I give the situation to God HE HAS A PLAN

  33. Katrina says:

    The Lord has brought to mind a memory from five years ago and used it to open my heart, eyes, and mind to how that applies to my current doubts and fears. At my home church of that time, there was a monthly woman’s gathering they held called Desserts and Testimony, in which we’d worship, one woman would speak giving her testimony, and then we’d eat some yummy desserts :). When it was announced at the end of Feb that there was yet anyone to volunteer to speak in March, the Lord spoke to me in that moment and said, “You’re it.” For a couple weeks I battled with Him in this, not feeling worthy or ready. How could I, who’s just starting to establish a real relationship with Him and who’d definately not worked through all the things of my past, give my testimony to other’s about what the he’d done in my life? To make a long story shorter, I did give my testimony that March and was amazed at how many women came up to me afterwards to tell me how they now felt led to start writing there’s in preparation for sharing in the future months and how they’d always thought they had to wait until they’d completely worked through everything and grew more in the Lord before they could share. Since then, I’ve forgotten that very important lesson. Many times the Lord has said to me “write” and yet I’ve listened to my fears and doubts instead, which tell me that, “I’m not polished enough or biblically knowledgeable enough,” or that, “I haven’t yet reached the point in my life where I’ve overcome my struggles enough. I need to wait until all of this changes. I can’t write. I must wait.” What the Lord said to me today is to remember what He can do through anyone who’s willing to step out in faith and obediance – look at what He accomplished all those years ago when I wanted to say, “No Lord. I’m not worthy.” If I continue to wait to write until I feel I’m enough, I will spend my whole life waiting. He is enough. All I have to do is take that next step of faith.

  34. This study has been great. As I was going over to this weeks bible verses, this one just struck me and my heart. It has caused me to look at what is inside my heart and thank God for his love and mercy.
    Proverbs 10:12
    New International Version (NIV)
    12 Hatred stirs up conflict,
    but love covers over all wrong