Sep 12

It’s My First Time

I don’t even know how to prepare. How do you prepare for your first time doing something that you know will be really special? But it’s something you really don’t even know what to expect?

I’m going to Israel tomorrow. “Melissa, let that sink in.”

I don’t know if it has. In fact, it hasn’t.

 

I’ve done what I can.

I have my adapter/converters for electrical appliances.

I have my Apple converter for my computer.

I got my U.S. dollars traded in for shekels.

I’ve packed my suitcase.

But I know there’s more waiting for me.

I have a new journal that I’m going to record my thoughts, insights, and teachings in.

I’m bringing an old Bible from the 90’s that has special meaning to me.

I’m going to be studying the Book of John on this trip.

I’m going with 12 other women who are ready to study God’s Word in the Holy Land expecting big things. And they are all smarter than me. Really they are!

I’ll be walking where Jesus walked.

I have no idea what to expect, but I know it’s big.

And I’ll be blogging my journey.

On a personal note, while I’m super excited to be going on this trip, my family lost someone who we dearly love this weekend. My husband’s dear grandmother, Big Granny, passed away on Friday. Jeff will be heading down to Mississippi for the the funeral and celebration of life on the same day I’ll be leaving for Israel. I want so badly to be with my family during this difficult time, but I also know that Big Granny would want me to go on my trip. It’s still hard and I would treasure your prayers for Jeff and his family.

We leave today. And “Just Melissa” is excited to meet with Jesus. I’ll keep y’all posted along the way.

And did I say that I can’t sit still for very long? 11-12 hour flight? Small price to pay I know, just being honest.

Have you had a “first time” experience recently?  How did you approach it?

***Follow me on Twitter & Instagram, @MelissaRTaylor for updates and Periscopes during my Holy Land Trip. As long as I have service, I’ll be logging my trip.

 

Melissa
Sep 10

I Became Unconfident As Just Me

MelissaTaylorOBS

Is anyone still here? If so, what a good friend you are! I’ve been away for a while, in fact I haven’t blogged in a year! This week though, I decided to come back. Why? Because I’m about to go to Israel. (More on that)

So what happened to me? Where have I been? Why haven’t I been writing on my personal blog the way I used to?

I lost my mo-jo. Seriously I did. I don’t even know the real meaning of mo-jo, but for me, that means my confidence. My confidence in being just me, Melissa.

Let me explain.  I am the Director of Online Bible Studies at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Oh, don’t let the big title fool you. Basically it means I lead Bible study online. And at first it really was that simple. But then it grew. And grew. And grew. Before I knew it, a one-woman shop became a 200+ woman team. We lead studies for thousands and thousands each year. Simple became complex. And while I’m confident as a leader, I became unconfident as just me.

Recently I was asked why I wasn’t taking part in the latest trend of  “Periscoping.” I was also asked why I wasn’t blogging anymore? I thought about it and had to confess that it was because I didn’t feel like I had anything to say. At least not anything that anyone would want to hear. Wait a minute … did I just say that? Since when do I not have anything to say?

I was able to obtain a dream job at Proverbs 31 Ministries because I believe in the value of others and what they have to say. I spend my time encouraging others that they matter. When I speak it’s usually because I see the potential in someone or I’m encouraging someone to believe that God is for them, they have what it takes, and they shouldn’t ever give up. But yet, I gave up. I gave up on me.

I’m going to Israel in 3 days. I will be walking where Jesus walked. I’ll be seeing things I’ve only read about. I realize this doesn’t make me more special than anyone else, but it is an opportunity I never dreamed I’d have. I won’t only be seeing sights, but I’ll be on a study trip, studying God’s Word in the Holy Land. “God, will you ignite a fire in me? Please bring your Word alive in my heart in a new exciting way. Will you meet with me as just Melissa? Can you show me that I have what it takes again?”

While that may sound selfish, I promise it’s not. Melissa needs to know that she is enough … just as Melissa.  Maybe you need to know that about yourself too.

Unconfident me is taking a step of faith and believing that she has confidence again. Israel is my turning point.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13 NLT

I’m going to blog my journey in the Holy Land next week and I’ll be doing that here on my personal blog. Maybe a few will be interested and read it or maybe it’s just for me. Confident Melissa is fine either way. haha

I never intended to hide behind a title in my life. But I realize I have been. Mom. Wife. Friend. Daughter. Online Bible Studies Director.

It’s time for the return of just Melissa. And just Melissa is enough.

See you in the Holy Land.

 

Melissa
Sep 12

I Want You in My Bible Study Group!

Hey Sweet Friends!  I hope y’all are doing so great today!  Just wanted to invite you again to join the next Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study of The Best Yes with me!  It will take place on the P31 OBS Study Blog and it begins September 22nd. The study is free, you just need The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst, which you can order through Proverbs 31 Ministries or pick up a copy almost anywhere (even Wal-Mart and Target!)

Are you wondering what it’s like to do an online study or if it’s for you?  Read this blog post below that I wrote on the P31 OBS blog today and hopefully you will consider joining us!  Please comment and let me know if you do.  I would REALLY LOVE to have you in my Bible study group!

Thanks friends! Hope you have a great weekend!

Why Online Bible Studies?

September 12, 2014 by 

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Why do I lead online Bible studies?  I get that question a lot. And people have varying opinions about it, that’s for sure.  For example, here are two letters I’ve received with differing opinions about online studies:

First Meet “Not a Fan”~

Dear Melissa,

Why did you start doing online Bible studies on your blog?  Isn’t it much better to be in a real group in your area?  Online is so impersonal.  People can be so fake. I just wanted to let you know that although I think you mean well, I think being in real relationships in person is so much better than sitting behind a computer doing Bible study.

Sincerely,

Monica

And now meet “A Fan”~

Hi Melissa Taylor!

I just wanted to thank you for trusting God when he changed your direction in ministry. The Online Bible Studies have been a huge part in my growth in my relationship with Jesus. My husband and I have grown so much the last 5 years! Relearning what success looks like, how to raise our two boys, loving on God’s people …We make things so much more complicated than it really is. It’s all about relationship, isn’t it?  I’m just so thankful for you and your heart for Jesus. It just shines through in our studies. Not having time to go to a study at church with raising a family and working full time, I wouldn’t give up my 5:15 am Bible study with you girls for anything!  Such a sweet time. Me and my Jesus, my coffee, and P31 OBS. Thank you so much for all of your hard work, sacrifice, and prayer. Please know that what you do makes such a difference in furthering HIS Kingdom!

Paige

The points made in both of these letters are valid. But Paige understands our purpose because she is a woman who needs what we offer.  Monica already has a group close to her that she is a part of. We would never want to replace that!  Our purpose isn’t to replace or provide a face-to-face experience. There are others already doing that. Our purpose is this:

We share Real Hope, for Real Life by providing the finest in online Bible study and community for women all over the world.

Our focus is online Bible study and online community.  We use various tools to help us do this. Our blog on the Proverbs 31 Ministries Website is the main one, but we also utilize social media sites like FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. We use videos, conference calls, webcasts, study books and most importantly God’s Word, the Bible.

I started these online Bible studies because I had to drop out of my wonderful small group.  I loved that group so much, but my work and family schedules just didn’t allow me to be a consistent participant in that group. My Best Yes was to drop out of something I loved.

But I didn’t want to abandon Bible study all together. I needed community. I wanted to continue in my study of godly messages and God’s Word with a group of women. And so almost four years ago, I did just that on my personal blog. As it turned out, there were many women in the same boat as I am. And some in other boats too! For instance:

  • women who don’t have access to a group in their area
  • women who have been hurt by the church and therefore were reluctant to do Bible study
  • women who aren’t even sure they really believe in God
  • women who are intimidated by church or Bible study
  • women who are home-bound
  • women who are busy
  • women who are unable to commit to a certain time each week to be at a Bible study
  • women who want to learn in a safe place how to do Bible study
  • women who desire an authentic community that is safe and welcoming
  • women who are haunted by their past
  • women who need hope today
  • women who simply wanted to try something new, and found they loved our community

Fortunately, I receive many more letters of gratitude than criticism! Here’s the deal. I hope Monica always has that special face-to-face group to be a part of. That’s awesome! But if one day her life changes and that’s no longer an option, we’ll be here. Some ladies join us for a season, and some have been with us since January, 2011.

We want you to join us. You are welcome here no matter who you are, what your life is like, where you live, and what lifestyle you lead. We just want to share the love of God, His life-giving Word and our friendship with you. That. Is. All.

And we hope you’ll participate too!  Our comment section is just for you, so let us hear from you. We will try our best to encourage you, but we need you to encourage us and others too. We want to know your struggles and celebrations throughout the study.

So, why did you join The Best Yes Online Bible Study?  Who can invite TODAY to join?  I promise you that our team will do everything we can to make this the finest online Bible study and community you could ever be a part of!

If you missed the special invite from Lysa TerKeurst, click here to watch the video. It’s short and sweet and will only take 2 minutes of your time :)

If you’d like to share this video with your friends here’s the link to share in email, Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you choose. http://vimeo.com/105868632#t=0s Or you can click it and once you get to the video, scroll to and click the paper airplane icon in the top right. That will give you your sharing options.

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Have a great weekend! Online Bible Study begins in just a little over ONE WEEK!

xoxoxo,
Melissa

– See more at: http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/2014/09/12/why-online-bible-studies/#comment-193788

Melissa