Tag: Bible Study

24 Hours Only — One Step Closer

one_step_closer_1Hi!
I know that in this season of busyness, many of us LONG FOR GOD. We are working hard to celebrate Jesus’ birth and yet…and yet. We’re lonely.

We miss Him.

We feel disconnected. Even all the contact with people as we work/shop/order/phone does not fulfill that basic need.

So for the next 24 or so hours, you can purchase my One Step Closer workbook for the amount of “Pay What You Like.” Normally $20, this is a book and workbook in one that will guide you through 7 steps to get closer to God — right now.

 

Order HERE, without leaving this site. The sale link is through Sellfy, a very safe and popular ordering site (safer than the P one, that is why I chose it.)

If you don’t do anything else for yourself this Christmas season, do this one thing.

xoxo

Tanya

Invitation to Study Scripture

An Invitation to Study Scripture

Hi there!

I feel like I haven’t talked with anyone here in a coon’s age. A lot has been happening…. anyway just this week my uncle Lloyd passed away rather unexpectedly, and at the exact same time I got a new parrot from the local rescue. Actually an old parrot. Actually a really old parrot.

Which meant there was no way to leave and fly up to the funeral.

Which my Aunt Betty said is fine because “the preacher is 82 and the funeral won’t last 30 minutes.”

Go ahead and laugh. I did.

So I stayed home and worked on a new idea for my readers. 🙂

I have decided to utilize the different Bible study methods to see if I can view Scripture in a new light. Some of those methods are:
Word Study
Book Background
Book Synthesis
Biographical
Topical

…. and there are more. I am going to use the Devotional Method for my first one. Here is a video outlining how you can join me for this adventure.
http://youtu.be/owlV9yDMDUk

If you’d like to join, please sign up by commenting below, commenting on Facebook, or sending me an email. Also, please share the link. Thanks!

Bible Study – End of Week 5

End of week 5
Bible study plan: Come Back to Jesus — and Don’t Bring your Blackberry
I know that by now we should be nearing the end of week 6, but those whom I spoke with have said they are on week 5. So today’s lesson is going to be on pages 65-78. In the video, we will go over 1 Peter 1 so you might want to have your Bible ready.

James 1: 12 says, “blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” It is a good reminder because, as we begin to worship God better, we often experience Satan kicking back at us. Please try to see this for what it is, and don’t let him win!

Remember that:
• True holiness is, both internal and external.
• There needs to be a continuum between who we say we are and how we act.
• We are chosen, just as Jesus is chosen, so…
• We must walk in holiness.

On day 3, we touched again on drifting-this time since we have actively removed a false god. People who have done this can easily begin to drift because of the emotions involved. Remember that the Lord said, “they are my people.” You are his. He is always there for you.

Because of this, he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5). Trust him into your deepest, darkest secrets. Trust your entire self to his care. He will always bring you to victory.

If you haven’t read day 5 of the Bible study, please read it now and answer the questions.

Lord, I thank you so much for those who have joined me here for this study. We have removed false gods, Lord, and we know that you will lovingly continue to show us where our mistakes are and lead us on the right path. Thank you for your care. Thank you for your patience with us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Bible Study – End of Week 3

Did you pray for 5 days for someone? Do they help? In other words, I’m wondering if they are still drifting or if you can see some positive motion. Sometimes positive only means that we had a chance to plant a small seed, or perhaps water one that someone else had already set in motion. We don’t always get to see the fruit of our labor.

By now you should have read chapter 3, and you have identified something you are going to give up. This is the hardest week in the entire study. You read some of the things in the book that I myself have given up. The one and keeps coming back for me. All has to do with the computer: spending too much time checking e-mails, too much time on Facebook, and too much time writing in general!

I tend to feel like I didn’t write (because I was busy on Facebook, of course) so I go back to the computer in the evening. Last night I was on it until about 11:15. This has at least 2 negative effects:

  • it keeps me from spending any cuddle time with my husband
  • it leaves me feeling very tired the next day, and like skipping the morning writing-which is the most productive time for me.

I’m just giving you this as an example, I know it’s a small one, but perhaps it will help you in determining what and why your false god is a bad thing.

Please read:

Romans 12:1-2

2 Corinthians 3:18

Jesus did not run around from place to place – remember in Matthew when the disciples tried to rush him past the children and he refused to be hurried? He was not performance based.

We need to learn to serve the Lord without distraction. Satan will try to prevent this by redirecting our focus.

So I’m dying to know-what are you giving up this week? Have you decided?

*We’re Reading Come Back to Jesus–and Don’t Bring your Blackberry

**To print any post, click its title, then click the printer in the upper left-hand corner.

Bible Study – End of Week 1

This is the end of week 1/Beginning of week 2 discussion for Come Back to Jesus–and Don’t Bring your Blackberry.

Good morning! How is the study going — any questions? Please post a reply even if you do not have questions, so I know you’re there.

What did you learn from Chapter 1? Did something sneak up on you, something you didn’t consider a time-stealer or time waster before? I hope you had the chance to clear some time this past week and spend time sitting in front of the Lord.

Please remember the following points, all found in chapter 1:

* It isn’t the ‘thing’ that is bad — it’s our attitude toward it

* When we allow false gods to take over, the honor due to God and God only is given away to a person, place or thing in His creation.

* When these things block us and cause chaos, Satan wins through the use of our favorite toys.

Chapter 2 is about drifting. This isn’t an idol, of course, but drifting away from God/ your Christian walk can lead to false gods, and that’s why I’ve included it right up front. Our walk is never stagnant, we are either moving toward God or away from Him.

Please memorize Hebrews 2:1 (choose your version). Please be sure to do the homework.

Love you much! I will make a video, it will be up by Monday.

Father God, I ask you to bless each of these lovely people. Bring them to see with your eyes the whole of their lives; not to hurt them, Father, but to help them come closer to you. Please wrap your arms around each of them this week.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Pre-study Comments and Questions

Welcome to the 6-week Bible study, Come Back to Jesus–and Don’t Bring your Blackberry! Have you started reading the book yet? You can get an ebook or the paperback here. I will  work from the perspective that you haven’t started reading yet. It’s really important before we start the deep work on our hearts that we realize what idols/time-stealers are. Basically they are wants that become misshapen. They can be good things to start, but they get distorted and that’s when they become bad things. Example: you start going online to look for friends because you feel lonely in the evenings. Six months later you are on there non-stop. A year into it you’ve started an online emotional affair, and your spouse is complaining that he never gets to spend time with you any more. Now it’s an idol. The worst part about idols is we don’t realize we have them. Because of that, many people who need this study won’t bother with it.

My working definition is: “Anything that repeatedly gets between you and your worship of God.” Notice repeatedly! Sometimes people ask if they can do an activity one time, say, miss church to visit family out of town. That’s not an idol – it doesn’t repeat. So of course you can. 🙂

Please begin reading Chapter 1. There are 5 days in each chapter; that gives you Sunday off plus one other day, perhaps you are here on Thursdays so you use that as your other no-homework day. The most difficult homework you’ll have in the entire 6 weeks is at the end of Chapter 1, so be sure to allow extra time for that one.

Here’s your video link.The password to watch it is seven.

I’ll be here every Thursday at this time beginning today, but you read/comment as you have time.

Prayer: Father God, I pray that you will use this study as it is intended, to soften and clean each heart so that we can love and represent you better. Help us to hear what it is you are saying throughout the study. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

To print any post in this blog, click its title. You will then see a printer icon with the printer friendly version.

Bible Study Starts This Week

It’s official — I’ll be leading Bible study both here on my blog and on Goodreads.com.

If I told you it would help you communicate with God better, would you come?

If you knew you’d be better for it afterward, would you commit?

If your feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness and shame changed to radiant hope, peace, confidence and even joy… would you want that?

The Bible Study is Come Back to Jesus–and Don’t Bring your Blackberry. It’s 6 weeks in length, although we may choose, as a group, to add a 7th week.

There are several reasons for moving over from Facebook… mostly, though, people weren’t seeing the posts. Here I feel like I have more control. Please watch the video intro.

Thanks for joining me in this adventure!

A Big Announcement

Come Back to Jesus and Don't Bring your Blackberry

To all my faithful readers:

I’m happy to announce I’ll be leading my Bible Study, Come Back to Jesus–and Don’t Bring your Blackberry online. I’ll do this at GoodReads (goodreads.com) on my author page. If you don’t have a GoodReads account, sign-up is quick and easy, I used my Google account and it simply connected. There’s a link in the right column if you are reading this on my blog page. Here is a direct link to the Book Club page.

“I find that the people who say they don’t need it turn out to be the ones who need it most“

I’ll also present it here on the blog as a duplication if you prefer; just let me know! I’m really excited because this will be my first time leading it online, except for the focus group that helped me correct it prior to publication; that group had several online participants.

The book is about how to clear out the unnecessary bits of your life so you have time to worship God better. I find that the people who say they don’t need it turn out to be the ones who need it most; they come up and thank me later. So, if you’re saying you don’t have time for it– perhaps this is exactly where you need to be?

You can get a copy of the book at Amazon or at your local bookstore. There are 2 versions: paperback and Kindle.

Also~ Another announcement. Some  readers subscribed through the RSS feed. Some subscribed another way and I’ve been inputting your emails manually. Just today I submitted them all to Feedburner so you can still get the posts via email, but you’ve received a subscription notice in your email. You need to click that to confirm the subscription. Trust me — Feedburner is a lot more reliable than me!

Til next time,

T.

Disagreements in the Church

I’m reading in 1 Corinthians this week.

Actually, it’s more than that. I am leading a group in a very brave Read The New Testament in 90 Days project—and I am behind.

I. Am. The Leader.

I’m behind.

Anyway. I can’t help it; I’m already there. So let’s move over to 1 Corinthians.

When this letter was written (somewhere around 56 BC) the city of Corinth was full of every sort of shameless, flagrant behavior. It was so horrid in fact that the phrase ‘to act the Corinthian’ – in Greek – meant “to practice fornication.”

Corinth was on a narrow isthmus between two seas; it served as a wealthy port center. Therefore, it had plenty of taverns. And a tiny, newly saved fledgling group of Christians had little say over what went on. Much like now.

So in the midst of all this, Paul visited Corinth and ended up staying 18 months. After that some mail was exchanged between him and the new church at Corinth, and he wrote the letter we call 1 Corinthians as a response to some of their questions.

Right up front, Paul addressed divisions within the church. Apparently the people were arguing. Perhaps some wanted to be led by a disciple who had actually been with Jesus. Perhaps some preferred Apollos’ way of preaching. Perhaps a new Tea Party had formed within the ranks.

Paul wasted no ink before diving into the fray. “Has Christ been divided?” He demanded (1 Cor. 1:13).

I love his in-your-face method. Nowadays in the church we see it, but don’t name it. We know it, but turn a blind eye. We live with it, like living with a favorite shoe that rubs the foot but is, nonetheless, a favorite so we put up with it.

Paul is not putting up with it.

Paul is having none of it. No division, no arguing, no classes, no I’m-better-because-I-was-baptized-by-(Cephas/Apollos/Paul/Christ).

“I thank God that I baptized none of you…that no man should say you were baptized in my name. For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel.”

Paul knows his purpose. He has a clear, laser-sharp focus on what he was sent to do. Some might say baptism was a part of it; he says no. He knows his job is only to preach.

Today, the divisions are about carpet color, music style, who should be a deacon, etc. Yet a division is a division, and by focusing on those we are losing our laser focus. We forget what we were called for, to whom we were called, and give those up in favor of … well, let’s read on.

Then he went on to lecture them about the base, worldly things that they probably…held dear. Whoops.

One of the things esteemed in Corinth was knowledge. The learned man, the one who was clever and smart; not that their group was full of this sort of man, but they would have admired them. This, Paul says, is the very antithesis of God’s wisdom:

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe…
“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. God has chosen the foolish thing of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that he might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God.” * 1 Corinthians, parts of 1:17-31. Read in its entirety here.

Lest we get lost in that message, let’s just say that God uses those who we would normally consider weak, unimportant or even foolish to deliver his message. Paul then summarizes it beautifully in 2:2 :

”For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

As we think of all the things we do and are and want, I wonder if we could say the same? Could I say “I know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

Could you…

What if we…

Here’s another version:

“ I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.” *The Message

What if I took this as my mantra, and all I said or did to another – especially someone with whom I am apt to disagree, or argue—what if all was based on that one statement.

Jesus.

Jesus crucified.

Jesus and who he is.

Not:

whoyouare / whoIam

I’m better

I’m smarter

I’m more important.

Not: doggone it let me talk! I have something to say.

Not even: look at me.

Just this:

Look at Jesus.

Look at him.

See his crucifixion?

See his love?

What was I going to argue about, again? I seem to have forgotten.

Through the New Testament in 90 Days

Hi there! I’ve been leading a rather ambitious Bible reading plan…through the New Testament only…..by the end of March! Today is Jan. 6, we have read 6 days. I’ve just posted a new video touching on a couple points about the readings so far:

Also, if you’d like a copy of the entire reading schedule at once, click here

I’m so enjoying this reading together! I hope you will, too. I don’t know how many times most people have read the Bible through. I don’t even know how many times I’ve read it. At least 20, but not more than 30 times I’ve actually read it start to finish. Plus there’s all that other time that we’re focused on a book or a few verses. Still…it’s a living word. So every time you read it, it’s fresh.

How many times have you read the Bible all the way through? Please take a sec to participate in my survey:
Click here to take survey

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