Monday, September 30, 2013

Are you ready??

Hello friends!! I’m excited about this new challenge to improve my walk with God. .
but I am SUPER excited that you are joining me!!
 I’d like to explain to you how this challenge came about. .
On accident this past summer. .
while reading through the book of Acts. .
I found a scripture reference that very specifically addressed a question that I had pondered in the past. .
as I continued reading. .
I found a second reference in the next chapter. .
sooo. .
I got a little notebook and wrote both references out under the heading of the topic I was interested in. .
Several chapters later. .
I found a reference dealing with another topic I had been wrestling with. .
so I started a SECOND notebook paper. .
Long story short. .
as I continued to move through the New Testament. .
each time I would note scripture that addressed those two topics. .
I would list them out on their respective study sheets. .
I was a little surprised to see how often those topics were addressed thru the New Testament. .
I had never engaged in the Bible in a manner like this. .
a study of particular topics to where I could look back at my own notes and make sense. .
It was exhilarating (REALLY)! Fast forward to mid August. .
I went with a few friends to a women’s day conference in Hutchinson. The main speaker was the wife of one of the pastors at a community church there. .
she ALSO does ladies’ bible studies. .
and had several of her studies for sale in the back corner. .
I really had no intent on purchasing any. .
I was engaged in a lot of other learning activities and wasn’t really needing anything extra. .
BUT. .
after lunch, she just did a quick synopsis of each study she had available. .
and I found myself drawn to the one called Between Our Earrings. .
She was recommending this for anyone who found themselves in a position where they were frequently counseling others in matters such as depression, marital issues, moral issues etc. .
That automatically caught my attention. .
since it seems to be how I spend a majority of my days!! The study is based on how to counsel ourselves (and ultimately others) from the basis of God’s word. .
How does GOD tell us to handle situations. .
what does God tell me my personality should look like, and how I should get through struggles. .etc. 
As I listened to her CD during my morning commute to work. .
She was talking about her goal of reading a different book each month for the whole year. .
and studying the book  in more depth than just reading through. .
How exciting, I thought!! Often as I read, I think. .
hmmm I wonder about that. .
or I wonder what that word really means. .etc. .
This will be a great opportunity to be able to do a little deeper digging!!
So. .
I put some things into motion. .
and September 1. .
a group of ladies starting studying the scripture together. .
We started with 1 John. .
which is where our online study will begin as well.
We just finished studying 1 John. .
and are starting the book of Galatians in October.
But THIS blog study. .
Will start October 1 (or today would be great)
Read through the whole book of 1 John (all 5 chapters) as many times as you can during the week. .
I think that a realistic goal would be to spend 70 minutes of time per week reading through this book. .
Of course, the more you put in. .
the more YOU get out!! You should easily be able to read through the book 2-3 times per week even if you put off the whole reading time until one setting (which I would discourage you from doing!) The first week of each month, I would have you read through the book. .
underlining or marking which verses speak to you. .
in your life. .
that week. .
for example. .
For a long time, I struggled with the aspect of how you are sure of your salvation. .
1 John chapter 5 nails it TO. THE. WALL. .
I write these things to you so you will KNOW that you have eternal life. .
Bang. .
that spoke VERY personally to me. .
at that time!
 I also remember some difficult days of my life and reading through Psalms. .
some of those feelings that David had. .
and some of the promises that God was giving through his inspiration to David. .
really hit home to me. .
And you can find them underlined in my bible today. .
That’s the idea here. .
not asking you to be a scholar or a theologian. .
just wanting you to be personal.
As the weeks go on. .
I will be posting some questions and information to consider as you read 1 John. .
for instance. .
What can we learn about WHO God is in this book. .
what advice is He giving us. .
what can I change in my own life to become more like Christ? 
Each week, I'll post suggestions for the next week of reading. I will be adding some reading on what the culture was like back then. .
and things that might help understand what the authors were saying to the recipients of the letters being written and why. .
I will also suggest reading the book in different translations a time or two. Those can easily be found online in places like bible gateway. Since the book is relatively short. .
it would be simple to print off several versions and put them near your bible.
If you would like to participate on line. .
I would encourage you to post a comment at least once per week. .
with your thoughts. .
or an answer to one of the questions. .
or any insight that you have gleaned. .
or just to encourage everyone else.
If you are going through the study by yourself or challenging another person you know to do it with you. .
I would encourage you to use a notebook to make comments to yourself. .
email back and forth with your friend. .
If you plan to do the study online with my blog. .
I would love to have you give a short introduction of yourself. .
You know. .
Name, a sentence or two about you. .
and what you hope to get out of this study!
Just so you know. .
If you hang in there with me. .
God willing. .
This study will go for the next 4 months. .
At this time. .
the other books planned are Galatians, Romans (which will be a longer book, but still easily read 1-2 times per week) and finally James. .
I’m excited to get started!!
I hope you are too. .
whether you are participating by yourself, or with us. .
or if you are just showing up to see what I have to say. .
So for this week. .
your goal is to see what God has to say to you through His words in 1 John. .
We will plan to post what is most pertinent to our lives next weekend. .
So take some notes, or do some highlighting.
My prayer for our study over the next 4 months was well written by the apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter 1. .
Ephesians 1:17  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
God knows all about US. .
down to how many hairs are on our heads RIGHT now, even if we pull one out!!
He WANTS us to know HIM as well. .
and He has blessed us with EXACTLY what we need to know Him better. .
if we simply slow down in our lives, breathe deeply, and LOOK!!
We lead busy lives. .
each of us. .
but if we are skimping on our time with God, and settling for something less with Him because we are. .
busy. .
tired. .
over committed. .
out of time. .
insert your personal excuse. .
we are CHEATING ourselves out of something PHENOMENAL!!
Make this study a priority in your life the next 4 months. .
and I think. .
no, I KNOW. .
you will see some INCREDIBLE changes in your life!!
Trust in that!!
Blessings in your first week of study!!


  1. Here we name is Robin Allen, wife, mom, Grandma....introvert. so this is a perfect study for faith is deep, personal and strong...but I always question just how deep, how strong,...I just want young families to know HOW important faith is when it comes to raising a family in this world....can't wait to see what I gain from this...4 months is a huge commitment for me....I tend to be lazy when it comes to homework...tee hee...ANXIOUS to do this....

  2. Hi, my name is Cindy Offield. I am wife, mom, step-mom(of several), grandmother, business owner/operator, church pianist, beginning guitarist, & several other "jobs" that I enjoy. I am what could be termed an inadequately prepared Christian. I was raised in a "soft" Christian home. I mean that I attended faithfully Sunday School & Church, my parents did as well, each taught Sunday School classes, sponsored youth groups. But, I don't remember many Christian-based discussions at home. I learned to help others, to volunteer, but I don't know the Bible the way I wish I did. I've never entered into any Bible study group because I feel so inadequately prepared & fear the "put-downs", so I just keep postponing my learning. I am hoping that I will be able to use this "non-face-to-face" study to learn more about the Bible without feeling so inferior. I have read my first chapter one time. I have decided I need a new Bible, too. A treat for me! Thank you for doing this.

  3. GO Mel!! This will be so refreshing to re-read some of this material AND have a place to reference back to instead of clogging up my email, lol! I'm excited for you and the study group!!

  4. Welcome ladies!! Glad you are here. .Though only a few posted comments. .I have received word from several other women, that they are doing the study with us. .I am sure that they will be checking your replies to see how/what others are learning. .and hopefully, will feel confident sharing at some time!! Thanks for bravely signing up for this new adventure!!