It’s been a while since I have touched my Bible lessons, and I was anxious to get back! This week’s questions were as follows:
1. We talked of the importance of encouragement when God has called us to task. Has a lack of encouragement or even ridicule ever taken you back to a place of insufficiency you thought you had conquered?
2. Is there someone you know right now who is attempting a new ministry that could use a world of encouragement from you? Why do you think this thing may be scary for her? Will you commit to write a note, make a call, or send an email with a dose of courage inside?
3. Read Moses’ song in Exodus 15:3-18. What line speaks to you most? Why does it touch you?
4. Based on the applications of living either inside or outside the Promise, where would you now say you currently reside? (As I read your answers, if this one point seems to have been confusing, I’ll elaborate in a separate post. Again remember I am asking this question in terms of abundant living and not in determining salvation.;))
5. If you are ‘Somewhere in the Middle’ between the girl you were and the one you want to be, how do you plan on changing that? Is there a barrier you feel you can’t climb? Knowing God is for you and this study group is for you, is there a way we can help?
I am no longer a New Year’s Resolution type of person, but over the last few days, I have really focused on me. Well, not really on me, but on some tasks where the product would benefit the household, but the process was very Belinda-specific. Whether it was the all too infrequent workout, the cleaning for a clutter-free start to school (we’ll begin on tomorrow), or just picking up toys, etc., that lost their homes over the extended break/ vacation, I worked on the issues that gave me a feeling of accomplishment. Then I began to spend time dreading those things that I didn’t pay attention to, and settling into the reality that my break is quickly coming to a serious halt. I chose to stop short of the pity party, but reflecting over my movement and my musings is where I found myself as I read this edition of the I Am Bible study.
I was sharing with a blogger friend recently that one of the few downsides of homeschooling, at least for me, is the isolation of me as a mom. Don’t get me wrong; I love to spend time alone. Yet, it is so very easy for me to get focused in on my kids, my plans, my schedule, my needs, my wants, my, my, my…If I’m not careful, all the needs that come my way, all the prayer requests that come to my e-mail, and all the opportunities to bless someone else somehow get subjected to what is going on for me at the time.
God so loved that He gave. I have heard this paraphrase of John 3:16 repeated often as part of a sermonette on the importance of tithes and offerings. However, as I read through this lesson, the words hit me in a brand new way.
This year, as I’ve alluded to before, I am embracing servant-leadership, and the idea of increasingly ministering to someone else as a part of my own spiritual growth. So I’m making a special effort to remember people as I pray, and to step outside of my agenda and be sure that I check on people, that I smile at people, and that I give hugs and encouragement, especially to my Sunday-school class of young teenagers—one of the areas that I did not pay as much attention to.
I won’t answer all of the questions (as usual, the rebel), but in the spirit of encouraging others, I am sending to mysticangel and eclecticeducation an article about home-based businesses as thmysticangeley are both starting businesses this year. I am sure that they have all the trepidation I had (and sometimes still have) as relatively new business owners: am I really producing something that people can use? Will anyone like what I have to market enough to pay for it, and if not, what does that say about me (if anything)?
Regarding Exodus 15, I love the scripture that finalizes this passage, ‘The Lord shall reign for ever and ever (Exodus 15:18).’ In terms of this entry, it speaks to the idea of keeping perspective on what is truly important, the way Martha did. When this life is over, each of us will be asked how we used what God gave us to bless someone else. All other pursuits might bring earthly rewards, but they don’t get at the heart of purpose.
Finally, I found this section of the Bible study fascinating as a new way of thinking about living in the Promised Land for me:
… many of you believe you are not living in your Promise simply because you are still fighting. I want to remind you the Israelites did not enter the Promised Land, pull up a recliner, and watch HGTV the moment they arrived. No, ma’am! They fought for many years to drive out the idolatrous nations that would surely be a snare to them.
Reflecting on that a bit, I would say that I am in the Promised Land, though it doesn’t always seem that way. My issues are not about unbelief or even a lack of faith, but instead about fighting. Moreover, most of my fights are within me (an entry for another time, perhaps?). So, this year I’m striving to focus my attention on those around me, and modeling servant-leadership. Pray for me and I will pray for you. God bless.