Category Archives: Bible Study Community with Kendra Graham

Scripture, Bible study, God’s Word, Kendra Graham

PRAYER NOTE: FEBRUARY

We hope that you will enjoy our “prayer note” — an internal communication, here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray.  We will share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that, you too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)

By Donna Riesen

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NKJV)

We made it through! Although much of the snow has melted, images remain frozen in our memories…we, the survivors of “The Blizzard of 2016.”

The huge winter storm affected the entire eastern third of our nation and disrupted the lives of more than 100 million people. Aside from the usual snow-day inconveniences of school closings and grocery stores emptied of milk and bread, there were serious and deadly consequences resulting from this massive weather system. At present, the total number of deaths attributed to the storm stands at 55. At any given moment during the storm or in its immediate aftermath, a look at online news feeds and TV newscasts revealed a study in contrasts.

One minute we viewed pics of adorable snow-suit clad children sledding with dad; next, we heard accounts of horrific traffic fatalities as semi-trucks lost control on icy highways. We grinned as we watched a Giant Panda delightedly frolicking in the powdery snow…but grins faded as we heard the tragic report of a mother and toddler who perished in their idling car—deaths blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of the vehicle’s clogged tailpipe. Our hearts broke as we learned the child’s father had been just outside, shoveling to free the car of snow.

In an odd confluence of events, we saw simultaneously the breathtaking beauty of a world covered in glistening white…”Yaaay, God!”…and the heartrending tragedy of death and destruction…”Why, God?” The varied images of the blizzard brought it into focus again: The human condition exists in a kaleidoscopic jumble of joy and pain, laughter and tears, hope and despair. At any moment, you may have a relative suffering from cancer and another celebrating the birth of their first child. On any given Sunday, your pastor may be preaching to a business professional who just received a promotion, and another who never found work after last year’s layoff.

The Old Testament records the account of Job, who after learning of the loss of his cattle, servants and even his own sons, held tight to his faith as he issued this challenge to his wife, Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? (Job 2:10, NKJV).

As the account of this faithful man’s suffering continues, we see him begin to question God. Yet among the many lessons the book of Job teaches us, one of the most important is this: God is big enough to handle our questions. In Job chapter 38, God lays out some questions of His own, all designed to lift Job’s eyes away from his current dire situation and up to the omnipotent, sovereign God who created and sustained him. Among the many revealing questionsGod asked Job is this: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?” (Job 38:22, NIV).

Rather than providing a detailed meteorological map and a lesson on low pressure systems and atmospheric phenomena, God gave Job a vivid mental image of the true Source of blizzard conditions. When we’re hit with a storm of trouble and “Yaay, God!” changes to “Why, God?”, we’re tempted to ask, “Who’s minding the storehouse?” The God who’s big enough to handle our questions answers, “I AM.” There are other biblical references to God’s storehouses. The psalmist David reminds us, “He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; He sends lightning with the rain and bring out the wind from His storehouses.” (Psalm 135:7, NIV).

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us this reassurance: “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?” (Luke 12:24, NIV)

After confronting the Israelites with their sins of apathy, unfaithfulness and corruption, the prophet Malachi delivers God’s message of hope, promising blessing to His children if they will turn back to Him in repentance and obedience:

“’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty,’and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” (Malachi 3:10).

On any given day in 2016, we will minister to a wide range of people at The Cove. When this year’s seminar season begins on February 12 with the Chip Ingram Military Marriage Retreat, some of the military personnel who attend will have just returned home from a long deployment. No doubt there will be couples whose marriage is near breaking from the strain of long periods of separation and stress. Others may be visiting The Cove simply as a relaxing getaway and a means of celebrating and strengthening an already strong marital bond. Newlyweds and seasoned marriage partners will be in attendance—each person as individual as a snowflake. How can we adequately minister to the heart of each participant? We can’t, but God can! Pray that He will throw open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on these men and women. Pray that God will open their hearts to each other and to Him.

The February 24-26 Leadership Renewal Retreat with Jim Henry will bring pastors from various denominations and varied situations. One pastor and spouse may arrive with joy and excitement, happy to be attending the retreat and anticipating some well-deserved downtime. Another pastoral couple may come with heavy hearts, seeking respite from a troubled ministry that is strained to the breaking point. Each retreat participant will arrive with a different set of needs and expectations, but all will be knocking at the door of the same Storehouse. Pray that the blessings of refreshment, renewal and encouragement will be poured out upon these faithful servants. Praise God, He hears our prayers, and His storehouse is never empty.

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Join us in praying for the following events in February:

FEBRUARY 2016 EVENTS
(For more information or to register, click on the links below.)

Women’s Bible Study with Jane Derrick — Morning:
January 12-February 23
Love that Makes A Difference

Women’s Bible Study with Kendra Graham — Evening:
January 12-February 23
Portrait of a Disciple

Military Marriage Retreat:
Experiencing God’s Best for Your Marriage
with Chip Ingram — February 12-14

An Evening at The Cove (dinner, concert, and meet & greet) with Brandon Heath — February 14 (lodging also available)

Leadership Renewal RetreatFree to Lead: Encouraging the Shepherd with Jim Henry — February 24-26
NOTE: This retreat is free to qualifying pastors and their spouses.

We appreciate your prayers.  God bless you!

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Ephesians 6 and Mark 5

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Ephesians 6:14b + Mark 5:27-29

Ephesians 6:14b …having put on the breastplate of righteousness.

Mark 5:27-29  After hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. (28) For she thought “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.”  Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Step 1

THE FACTS:
Ephesians 6:14b: Put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Mark 27: After hearing about Jesus, she came, in the crowd behind Him, touched His cloak.
Mark 28: “If I touch His garments I will be well.”
Mark 29: Immediately the flow of her blood dried.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:

Having “put on” the breastplate of righteousness… there is an action verb here… the word “put on” in the Greek is the word, “endyo” which means: to reach to put on, to sink into. When I read this verse and the definition of endyo, I immediately thought of the woman who was covered in issues in Mark 5:25-34.  This woman had an issue of blood for 12 years that she could not fix.  This woman tried everything she could to fix her issue, every doctor, every remedy and instead of getting better, she got worse.  In the society of the day, this woman would have been isolated from family, deemed unclean and uninvited to attend church, functions, parties or fellowships.   The issue this woman had would have left her ashamed, destitute, desperate, and deserted.

Then… she hears about Jesus! Jesus is said to be the Messiah! God with skin on!  He was within her reach.

Jesus within reach! Hmmmm so…. would you have run out to find Him?  We love to say the Sunday School answer… “Of course! Jesus is there!! Lucky her!”  Really?  Often times my reaction when things are bad… when my life is covered with issues that continue to get worse no matter how hard I try, is to be kind of mad at God… fold my arms, sigh, and say, “Oh, Jesus is here is He?  Well, do I have a bone to pick with Him!” We don’t run out to find Him, nope, we sit, arms folded in our pride, and demand He comes to us and give us an explanation for all the mess.  If we are being honest…

This woman… low on iron… exhausted… hurting… desperate… decides to fight the crowd, she is determined to go in spite of have very valid reasons to stay home. The customs of the day were such that every person she touched or that touched her, would become unclean, so going out into a mob… probably could have gotten her stoned to death… if people knew her issues.  This woman being weak and tired could be trampled to death, not having the strength to fight to get to Jesus… I mean that is what it would take.  To get to Jesus would take everything she had.

See this here… don’t miss it… determined and driven against a physical crowd and an emotional crowd keeping her down, telling her she is filthy and unclean and undeserving, yet she fights. This woman will reach for that righteousness, that cleanliness of Jesus if it is the last thing she does.  This woman is on the ground crawling… how do I know that?  She reaches for the hem of His garment, not the lapel.

This woman is very aware of her status, she comes in absolute humility. No demands, no fist flying in the face of Jesus, no anger or bitterness, just desperation.  Feel this here, press into this crowd, feel the feet stepping on her hands as the crowd is electric with anticipation of Jesus being there… feel her garments being stepped on, dirt being kicked in her face, maybe even an unsuspecting sandal in the face.  This woman coming to Jesus, invisible in a crowd of people, no one knowing what she is going through… can you relate?  This woman refuses to give up until she sees it! There it is!  The tip of the tassel on the hem of His garment! It’s Jesus!

Jesus knew she was there… she was the one lost sheep in the crowd of sheep that day. That crowd could have been created just for her… would  she be desperate enough to press in here? Against the odds?  Jesus was pleading, seeking, calling, stirring… desperate to save… she was the reason He came.

This woman…think about it… was willing to make Jesus unclean! Jesus unclean!  What do you think about that?  That is what it takes to be healed.  That which has covered our hands and made us unclean, we must give to Jesus.  This is the reason Jesus came.  Jesus would choose to hemorrhage Himself, blood flowing from His veins even to death, since that is what it would cost Him to make her clean… yet He stays within reach!  I love this!  Did Jesus kick the hem of His garment her direction?  Can you see it?  Can you see the love in His eyes he has for this woman, scraped, battered and bruised…. by more than just the crowd… to see how intent she is on getting to His presence?  Can you hear in His heart, Jesus pleading, “REACH!  Come on woman…. R-E-A-C-H! You can make it!  Reach, and I will put on my righteousness all over you!  Covered… CLEAN!”

The woman reached as far as her fingertips could go and she held on to Jesus, and immediately let go of all the issues that plagued her.

Healing is found in the presence of Jesus. If you are willing to fight the crowd of emotions like anger, bitterness, judgment, unforgiveness, and misery… if you can reach with all that is in you to make Jesus unclean with all your issues, He will cover you in His grace, mercy and righteousness.

The breastplate covers your vitals… your issues will kill you, unless they are covered with the very righteousness of God. No one can reach for you, you must reach with your own hand.

Come… do not delay. Get into the Word of God today because you were created to walk with Him, know Him and you desperately need Him whether you see it or not.  Jesus died to give you victory through this valley, but you will have to reach for it.

4

APPLY IT: 

Are you desperate enough to come to Jesus… or do you prefer to coddle your pride and the million reasons you should stay away?   Will you reach for your therapist, a friend to pander to your way of thinking, continue to try to atone for your own issues–to no avail–or will you reach for Jesus?  Will you stay in His presence holding on to the hem of His garment as long as it takes to be well even if being well doesn’t look like you have demanded?

3

LIVE IT OUT:

Today, I will reach for His presence, fighting the sleep I would rather have. I will choose God’s Word and His presence before the busyness of life awaiting me this day demands my attention.

HOMEWORK: John 15:1-8

NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove  in person (January 12 – February 16, 2016), we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  You can catch the replays here.

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

You don’t have to have Periscope to watch the replays.  You can just click on the links below.

Click here to watch Week One’s study with a special performance by artist Jared Emerson.

Watch Week Two’s message on TRUTH here.

Watch Week Three Message here.  Kendra shines a Light on the woman with issues.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study: Ephesians 6:14b

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Ephesians 6:14b
“Having girded your loins with Truth.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  “Having girded your loins with Truth.”

Step 2

THE LESSONS:

“My name is Katniss Everdeen… I am from district 12… I participated in the Hunger Games… twice… and survived. I was rescued.  Peeta… Peeta has been captured with the other victors and is being held in the Capitol under the power of President Snow.”

This is how the movie Mockingjay 1 starts out.  Katniss is hiding in a dark place with her hands over her hears whispering to herself, reminding herself of what is true and what is not.  Katniss and Peeta, for the rest of their lives will, every day, ask each other if what they are believing is true or false.

Oswald Chambers said, “Believing the Truth is a sheer act of the will, because nothing in us craves the Truth.”

Frederich Nietzche said regarding the truth, “People don’t want to hear the Truth, because they do not want their illusions destroyed.”

The Truth, when spoken in society, often does not receive the welcome ooohs and awes of the crowd.  The Truth… the Truth is something we work to suppress, whether it be a truth about us we don’t want surfacing, or a Truth about the company we work for, or anyone else that is dear to us.

In this verse in Ephesians 6, Paul tells us that we need to have our loins girded with Truth of God’s Word.  Paul is saying that before we do anything, we need to set ourselves to wrap Truth around our most inward parts.  The word “gird” here in the Greek is the word “perizonnymi” which means to “hem in,” to tuck in firmly around.  I like that visual.  Hem ourselves in so that everywhere we look, everywhere we go, we are faced with the Truth of God’s Word first and foremost.

If we hem ourselves in with the Truth, then the lies and deceptions society tries to feed us will become really clear.  We don’t like to be hemmed in though right!?  We are Americans!  WE have a right to be free!  We need space to roam and chase the American dream!  The Truth is… all of us are hemmed in.  What are we hemmed in by… now that is a question that each of us need to ask.

We were created by God to follow someone or something…. the Truth is… we were created by God with a God shaped soul to walk with Him, know Him, because we are created to need Him: Truth.

The Truth is…  God loves us so much that He came Himself, not trusting us to another, so that we could know the Truth, and the Truth, though hemmed in by it, would set us free (John 8:32).  The Truth is: we are set free by the Truth when we set ourselves to believe it!

In John 8, Jesus said He is the Light of the world.  Jesus came to be the Light, to show us He is the Way, the Truth and LIFE (John 14:6).  I love this!  What is the purpose of light?  The purpose of light is to show us the TRUTH of what is there, in the dark.  The light doesn’t lie about what it shows, it just shows the fact of what is.  Jesus came to show us that we don’t have it all together like we wish we did.  The light shows us that we have been living a rat race in the dark chained up to everything on the canvas of our lives that we don’t want anyone to see… so God, came personally, not trusting you to another, to set you free by the Truth of His Word.

The world has set itself to discard, extinguish, hide and kill the Truth of who Jesus is, and the Truth of what you mean to Him.  The interesting thing about the Truth is this… it will always surface.  The Truth is, you are loved more than anything by the God who knit you together in your mother’s womb.  The Truth is:  IF you seek God with you whole heart, He promises you WILL find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).  The Truth is, you will never be more satisfied, more content, more fulfilled than when you are doing that which you were created to do, which is: Walk with God on a daily basis through this thing called life…TRUTH.

HOLD on to the TRUTH.  Jesus said, I AM the way, the TRUTH and the Life NO ONE comes to the Father BUT through Me.” John 14:6. Wrap yourself in Truth today.

4

APPLY IT:  Who or what am I following? Have I set myself to believing the TRUTH?  Who do I say jesus is?

3

LIVE IT OUT:  Today…. I will set myself to believing the Truth of God’s Word, and begin the process of hemming myself in by the Truth. Today, I will walk with God.

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JOIN US FOR KENDRA’S FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.  (Also available LIVE on Periscope…see below.)

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you.  To register for her Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), call 1-800-950-2092.

NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  You can catch the replays here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study: Ezekiel 37: 1,9

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Ezekial 37: 1,9
“The hand of the LORD was upon me and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley and it was full of bones. (9b) breathe on these slain, that they may come to life.” 

Step 1

THE FACTS:  The Spirit of the LORD set me down in the middle of the valley full of bones… breathe on these slain that they may come to life.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  Have you ever felt used up, unimportant, un-repairable, empty, dry, ignored, forgotten, not unique, your prime is past–never to be recovered–undesirable, broken, scattered, ruined unattractive, dead. or at least deserving desertion because you are good for nothing?  So often it is not weapons of war, machine guns, grenades, or bayonets that snatch our victory in life, but it’s past situations, past decisions, words of people-especially people we trusted-that leave us feeling mortally wounded and believing that God can’t possibly use us anymore.  This is the reality of the situation here in Ezekiel 37.

The bones in this valley are dry, scattered, torn apart, and…. precious to God…. why?  Does God not have anything better to do than hang out in a graveyard of empty lives and dreams?

God refuses to leave the bones here in Ezekiel 37, and loves these bones more than anything! God has a plan for these bones since the beginning of time and their current situation has not changed that one-iota!  God loves these bones so much so that He sent His Spirit off to fetch Ezekiel, so that Ezekiel could tell them that they matter, and that God has a plan and a purpose for them!  How crazy does that sound?  How much hope does that give me!

We were created to walk with God,  and to know God because we desperately need God, so God comes and breathes life where there was emptiness and death to make that purpose happen.  In verse 3 God asks Ezekiel if these bones can LIVE!?!  God is not focusing on that which rendered these bones in their current condition, God is seeing LIFE, but does Ezekiel?  Do you?  Is seeing believing or is believing seeing?  God is asking Ezekiel and the bones here in this valley to believe He is the God who gives life!  In verse 9, God says that these bones were “slain”… the Hebrew word is “Harag” which means murdered.  The life of these bones snuffed out by unforeseeable, unstoppable events!

We walk in a fallen world where there is pain, hurt, regret, shame, and we can’t change that.  So often we allow our lives to be defined by the elements that have hung us out to dry, but this should not be!  We are created to walk with God in victory and life, right in the middle of it!  How?

We find life and victory in the middle of those circumstances that want to break us down by daily burying ourselves in the Word of God.  When these dry bones allowed the Word of God to saturate their current state, God brought them to life!  Life!  Using the same canvas they started with, the same set of bones, not throwing them out and starting with another more suitable candidate!  The Word of God and the very breath of God brings life in the middle of darkness!  There is hope and that hope is found in the fact that God came Himself, for your bones and mine in the form of a man with skin on, and His name is Jesus.  Jesus came, lived a holy and righteous life and because of that, the bones in this valley could claim life, as can you and I.  In this world there is an opposition that desires to knock us down and devour us.  The enemy has a personal plan for you and your individual destruction, but God came Himself came to break the chain of death that is fastened tight, so that you can live!

Allow the Word of God and the breath of His Spirit to revive you and enable you to stand, and to do all you can to stand in a dark world seeking to put you out of commission!  The power of God will stabilize your feet upon the rock of His Word (I Peter 1:25).

Jesus has come to give us life and life abundantly! (John 10:10). Believe it and see the personal transformation of your bones!!  Oh to hear your story of how God has given you victory and life! #PressIn.  #Holdon.  #Stand.

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APPLY IT:  Are you living a life of victory?  Will you choose to be victimized by your circumstances thus becoming another statistic of the enemy or will you allow the Word of God to saturate you and give you life?  #stand #holdon Will you share your story of the transforming power of God and give others hope in a dark hurting place?

3

LIVE IT OUT:  Today I will seek God in His Word and ask Him to give me victory over my circumstances. I will STAND and be defined by who God says I am instead of falling for what the world thinks I should be.

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If you’re in the Asheville, NC area, we hope to see you at our annual Women’s Bible study which begins tonight (Jan. 12, 2016) at 6:30 pm.

Special announcement from Kendra about tonight:

JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.

If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), call 1-800-950-2092.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.

 

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Philippians 3:13b-14

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Philippians 3:13b-14

Step 1

THE FACTS:
Forgetting what is behind, straining toward what is ahead, PRESS ON toward the goal which God has called me.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:
Happy New Year! The beginning of the new year is a new beginning, a clean slate. Some people are sad to see 2015 go, and some are thrilled, leaving behind heartache and disappointment they shake the dust off of 2015 and are hoping for a brighter year. The year 2016 is unknown territory and for some of us, it’s daunting and unsure with all the world chaos going on.

Here, in these verses, the Apostle Paul is urging his readers to not be brought down by the past. Each day is a new day, a new opportunity to press in to what God has called you to do. We were all created by God, knit together in our mother’s womb for a unique purpose from the beginning of time, to know God, to walk with God and to need God. Many of us have things in our past that haunt us, things we have done perhaps decades ago that strive to chain us down and keep us from that God-given purpose. We tend to beat ourselves up for past indiscretions and then year after year strive to atone for them by living our lives in misery, enslaved and defined by these epic fails.

What if… in 2016… we decided to forget what is behind and strive toward what is ahead? Learn from the past for sure. Know we never want to repeat some things, but accept the fact we can never change the past, it’s done…the brick was laid… we hate it, we wish it was different, but what can we do? We can do nothing… so that is why God, not trusting you to another, came Himself with skin on, His name, Jesus! Jesus lived a perfect holy life, in order to pay the bounty on that indiscretion of mine and yours. We are unable to pay off, work off or talk off the mistakes of the past, but oh that we would press in to Jesus this year and allow Him to pay that debt He bought outright from us. Let it go at the foot of the cross once and for all. Jesus paid it all on the cross so that we could grab a hold of that purpose He has set aside for us. We have to let go of our past to press on today to His call.

Aunt Anne Graham Lotz tells a story of a monkey that I found appropriate to start this new year with. The question: How do you catch a monkey? The answer: you place a banana in a jar that is wider at the bottom, and smaller at the top, then bury the jar at ground level, leaving the top of the jar open for easy access to that banana. A monkey comes by, with his sniffer, he smells the banana, sticks his hand in the jar, grabs the banana and then makes a fist around that banana… you have now caught yourself a monkey. That monkey will scream and holler and throw his hand around, but that fist won’t fit through the neck of that jar. The monkey is caught, ensnared, and unless he drops the banana, he won’t ever be free.

Whatever your “banana” is, the answer is found in setting our eyes today in the Word of God. Intentionally setting our sights on Jesus (Hebrews 12), and when we see who Jesus is, and His incredible love for us, that banana will pale in comparison. When we see what it cost God Himself to forgive us of our past, and present us with a future we will be constrained by the love of God to look no where else.

May this year be the year of healing for your heart. It cost God the agony of Calvary to provide us with the freedom and joy that is present and in Him, may we reach out this year and obtain Him. As we hold on to Jesus, we will forget all about that banana in the past that held us down for so long; this year may we have the strength to let it go. Let’s start this year, this day and the next and the one after that, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our days (Hebrews 12:1-3). This year, let’s daily seek God in His Word, starting now!

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What is your “banana” from last year(s) to this year? What do you just need to let go of so that you can press on toward all God has set aside for you to do? Do you need to let go of a ungodly relationship? Step away from an immoral practice? Let go of an unforgiving spirit, anger or bitterness from the past that continues to define you, enslave you and keep you down? Do you need to let Calvary pay once and for all that debt you seem to think is too great for the blood of Jesus to cover? This year will you be defined by the grace of Jesus or will you work yourself to death trying to make it right on your own? You will press on toward someone or something… so what will it be?

3

Today I will press in to God’s Word and seek out what He has to say to me. I will ask God what I need to let go of, and what I need to grab hold of and do it.

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Special announcement from Kendra:

JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.

If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), click here.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by
calling 1-800-950-2092.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Luke 2:20

Christmas Week Online Bible Study image(1)

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Luke 2:20

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE. In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS“The Shepherds went back, praising God , all they heard and seen was just as had been told them.” – Luke 2:20

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.  Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

I love the story of the shepherds so much.  Every Christmas these shepherds settle into my heart and I am once again reminded of a faithful God who loves me and came for me. The life of a shepherd was more of a curse than a blessing.  A terrible job, a stinky job (they were living in the fields).  These shepherds were off the grid and far from most people’s minds, living away from their families outside of town.  These shepherds drew the short straw having to work the night shift, risking their lives for a bunch a sheep against thieves and predators for a menial salary.  Shepherds were outcasts of society, one step above the leper who was completely exiled from society.  If you were a shepherd, someone working the worst job, with the worst pay and high danger, away from your family: what would your view of God be?

God hates me?  God loves everyone else, but my life is obviously expendable and hey, God probably wants to hide me somewhere so I don’t nauseate others with my presence?  The night would give someone like a shepherd a lot of time to think, not that I am a shepherd, but I have had many a conversation like that with God in the wee hours of the night when not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.  You don’t have to be a shepherd to feel unimportant, forgotten and hated by God.

BUT…. this night of Luke 2…. THIS NIGHT WAS DIFFERENT!  Out of everyone in the world God Almighty could have told and invited to His birthday party, it was the shepherds…those shepherds, living in the field!  The outcasts… the ones not even allowed to go to the Temple to worship because of their filth!  This very first Christmas, God was not asking them to get cleaned up and go to church, He was asking them to come to His bedside just as they were, immediately, right away!  Heaven scrolled back the night sky, and gave those shepherds a Christmas cantata that they would not soon forget.

The Shepherds each for themselves had to decide what to do, would they go or stay?  They had every reason in the world not to come to Jesus…. I mean, they cold lose their jobs, then what?  Shepherding was the lowest job around, who would hire them?  What about their family and their well being?  What if it was a lie?  Some cruel joke God was playing?  What about their stench, they had some things to fix before they came to Jesus…. some habits to break…. some things to make right, they may have been only on step 6 out of 12…. but if they waited to clean up their lives and character, or waited to “Yelp” out a shepherd sitter at that time of night, they would have missed Jesus.  SO… they went in haste.

The Shepherds found Jesus…. just like the angels said, in Bethlehem, in a manger, wrapped in rags.  Everything was just as heaven proclaimed to them earlier.  God had not lied.  God truly did invite them!  God had eternity to decide who to invite when He was born, and He chose them!  #sobering #overwhelming #Godseesme

These shepherds went back praising God.  Why?  What did that baby do for them?  They went back to their bad job, with bad pay, with bad hours…. they were still away from their families, they were still the lowest common denominator of society… it’s not like they got a new car, a new job, a new house, all their debts paid…. why the difference?

We cannot come to Jesus and leave the same.

Those Shepherds knew that night, that God did not hate them, they were not forgotten, they had not fallen through the cracks, they were not an embarrassment to God, they knew that they knew, because of that job, that night shift, that God Himself moved heaven and earth to tell them personally that He saw them, and loved them.

God’s Word was true even to them. God doesn’t demand behavior modification before you come to Him, or a New Years Resolution, He just asks and pleads that YOU come, in haste so you too can know that you know that you are loved by God.

Don’t miss Christmas.

I know you have every excuse in the world not to come. School systems are shutting down Christmas plays of “Charlie Brown Christmas” so that Linus will just keep his monologue under “wraps”…. so we just see trees and gifts but miss the true “Reason for the Season.”

Why would a world work so hard to keep you from knowing how loved you are by God?  God loved you so much that He refused to trust you to another, so He came personally with skin on, to bring “Peace, goodwill towards men.”  Peace…. the angels proclaiming what the death of Jesus would do on the night of His birth.  Is it not time for true peace between you and the God who loves you and gave Himself for you?  Ask Him this year to give you the song of the Shepherds, so that you too may know that you know that YOU are loved by God.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY. Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Now, in haste will you come for a moment and praise God for His love for you?  Will you ask God now to bring peace between you and Him?  Your sin and my sin cost Jesus His life, will we now proclaim that story this Christmas since the lips of Linus have been sealed?

LIVE IT OUT:

This Christmas, recite Luke 2 as often as you can, sharing your own shepherd story with those you love.  As the shepherds proclaimed in Luke 2:17, will you take up their mantle this Christmas and continue to make known the statement which was told them about this Child, Jesus?

#GodSeesMe #LetLinusspeak #TrueMeaningofChristmas #ComeInhaste #God’sWordIsTrue

Would you like to begin your journey to peace with God today?  Click here to learn more and to pray to receive Christ in your heart.

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JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.

If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), click here.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092..

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Joshua 3:15-16a

ONLINE BIBLE STUDY-1

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Joshua 3:15 – 16a

 

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE. In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS:  Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest.  Yet as soon as the priests who carried the arc reached the Jordan, and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. Joshua 3:15 – 16a

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS. Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

LESSONS: ​

Faith is hard. 

Crawford Lorrits out of Fellowship Bible Church in Alpharetta Georgia always says this, “Faith is verb even when it’s a noun.”

Faith is always moving, doing, or waiting… not just talking about it, being academic in your Bible studies, and answering all the right questions in your workbook.  Faith is the 18” journey down from your head to your heart.  Faith is every day, living according to those beliefs you’ve said you believed for years.

Faith is never easy.

Sure, I have miracles in my life where God called me to do something, and I did it with my knees shaking and heart beating rapidly out of control, only to look back and see the awesome hand of God…. but each and every time it is always a conscious decision that I have to make.  I wish having faith was easier.  God always calls us to impossible things, where we show up and bring what we have, but if God doesn’t come through then we will be sunk.

My usual prayer in times like this is, “God DO SOMETHING!  If You change my situation, I WILL BELIEVE I PROMISE!”  God’s usual answer in times like this: “Kendra! YOU BELIEVE in ME FIRST and see how I change your situation.”   I ALWAYS want God to act first.  Well… God has acted first!  God has come to live among us, not trusting us to another, and His name is Jesus.  Jesus lived a perfect life, then took the penalty for my sin and your sin, upon the cross, and then 3 days later rose from the grave, so that we could walk with Him, and know Him because we were created to need Him, especially in impossible situations!

God has acted first.  I want God, however, to act in a certain way for ME NOW.  If God doesn’t do what I want Him to, then all of a sudden He hates me and He is being the stubborn one!  We always want God to do more, or do different–I know I do!  I want God to put the tangible in my hand now, so I know I have it, then I will do what He asks, however, if you think about it, there is absolutely no faith in that!  Give it to me, then I will have faith?  Have faith in what?  It’s already received, no faith needed!

Waiting for God to act FIRST is UNBELIEF.  Ouch.

Belief is holding on, when everyone and everything else around us says to let go and run the other way!  Belief is this: “Fine, I will step into that Jordan River at flood stage because YOU, God, have asked me to, and if I die, I die, but trust You!”

Then the priests STEPPED…. The water did not part until they STEPPED… verb…  (If I was one of those priests I totally would  have thought God hated me for sure, and what did I ever do to make Him so angry! Forget woman’s lib in this case!  Men, you can carry that ark!) God delivered the priests.  God calls us to do those impossible things that only He can do.

We love to preach, “Believe in God!” to so many people throughout our lives, yet when it comes down to having to hold on and step into an impossible situation in our own lives, God’s Word is all of a sudden a lie, and God owes me first.

I taught Bible studies and went to Bible studies for years before I literally had to set my heart to believe all those promises, and hold on to the character of God I knew about so well in my head.  I would preach to people, “God can put the broken pieces of your life back together! Praise Him in it!”  It was not until I wanted to curse God in the pieces of my life did I see how hard that really is.  It wasn’t until my life was the one in pieces did I know the Master Artist, Jesus, really will create beauty from ashes.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY. Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

​Where is God calling us to have faith?  In our jobs, marriages, homes, schools, churches?  IS faith a verb for us, or a noun?  Would  we rather wait for God to work, then we will believe, or will we believe what God has said and who God is and walk in that faith?


LIVE IT OUT!
Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Today, live this day praising the God of the impossible!  Step out onto the waters that He has called you to with confidence.  Stop shaking our fists at who we wish or think God to be, and START getting in His Word to see who God says He really is!

Homework: Pick a verse or a few verses and use the three-question method to see what the lessons are, how they apply to your life, and how you can live it out.

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.

If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), click here.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092..

If you’d like to register for Jane Derrick’s Tuesday morning study (January 12 – February 23, 2016), click here.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Mark 5:28

ONLINE BIBLE STUDY-1

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Mark 5:28

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE. In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTS: If I just touch HIS garments I WILL get well.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS. Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

LESSONS: ​I was recently asked a question which has kind of stuck in my mind, and I’ve thought on it for the past few days.  I have been to Kenya, Paupa New Guinea, and countless stateside places to be with Wil as he ministers; so what do the women have in common from West Virginia to Paupa New Guinea?  The one thing that stuck in my my heart immediately is “brokenness.” Not to be a sapper of joy this Thanksgiving, focused on the worst things of life, but brokenness is a fact of life.  I am NOT thankful for brokenness…. but then on the same hand, I am.  It is in my brokenness and my desperateness that I saw my incredible need for a loving and gracious Savior.  It is also in my brokenness that in my pride and my anger… oh, and bitterness too, that I refused to come to a Savior.

We have all been there…some of us are there right now… desperate and in need.  What we do with that desperateness is of utmost importance.  This verse here, states it all… if this woman who has been in great need, extreme issues for 12 years, would just come to Jesus… she would be healed, she would be whole.  Isn’t that great… and not great at the same time?  If we go to Jesus to get healed… well, then, we will be healed! That means we will not have anything to hold over anyone anymore… that means that those rotten people who did this stuff to me won’t be reminded every time they see me, because I won’t be suffering anymore.

I will be healed, and better… Then… those people won’t know how badly they hurt me… So we stay away, willing to bleed out, because that will show them.  Truly, this is hard, because I know for me, I stayed in my situation, bleeding out, hurting, because I liked the excuses my situation afforded me.  I really didn’t want to be healed.

But then… the day came, when my pride no longer mattered more than my pain, and I went to Jesus–head low, hurting, and messy… and I was healed.  The worst/ best time of my life that I talk about constantly, because the grace of God was freely given to me.  I wasn’t judged or condemned.  I wasn’t scolded for taking so long.  It was as if Jesus would have waited a lifetime, just for me to come.  I am so thankful for the relentless love of a gracious Savior who just wants you to come as you are, and be healed.  What you choose matters.  Jesus takes broken things and makes them beautiful, oh that you would let Him.

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY. Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

​What is a testimony of brokenness that you are thankful for since it drove you to Jesus?  Are you currently broken, knowing if you just come to Jesus you will be healed, and instead of this being great news, that is the problem?  Do you really want to be well?  Will you grab the testimony that is just in your grasp or will you hold on to the misery of brokenness?


LIVE IT OUT!
Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Come to Jesus today.  Lay your burdens down, speak them out, yell them out, cry them out, write them out… to Jesus… He has waited for you and loves you more than anything!  Today, I am thanking God for healing me and taking my broken mess and painting a portrait I can’t not share.

Homework: Pick a verse or a few verses and use the three-question method to see what the lessons are, how they apply to your life, and how you can live it out.

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.

If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), click here.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092..

If you’d like to register for Jane Derrick’s Tuesday morning study (January 12 – February 23, 2016), click here.

2016 Women’s Bible Study Registration is Open

Womens Bible Study 2016

Ladies, we are excited to share with you what Jane and Kendra have planned for their Bible studies this winter!

They have both filmed videos to give you an idea of what you can expect for their Winter 2016 Women’s Bible studies.

Click here to view Jane’s video if it doesn’t show up in your browser.

Register for Jane’s Tuesday morning study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092.

Click here to view Kendra’s video if it doesn’t show up in your browser.

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092..

Please share this post with your church and your circle of women friends and family.

See you in January!

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Mark 8:34

 

ONLINE BIBLE STUDY-1

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from Mark 8:34

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.  In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

FACTSAnd He summoned the crowd with His disciples and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.” Mark 8:34

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.  Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

LESSONS:  “Let me explain…. listen to me on this…. it’s really hard for me, but…”

OK… so this may seem a bit random to you as you just read those words, but it’s where I am.  I’m currently in the throes of preparing for the upcoming Winter Cove Bible Study–on discipleship of all things, and God’s sweet way of bringing home a particular piece of Scripture, is for me to experience it.  I hate that my learning style is so kinesthetic!  If only I could be more auditory… perhaps things would be easier to learn.

So…God recently called me somewhere.  Somewhere new.   I spent the last eight years coaching a middle-school girls’ soccer team at one school, and have now taken a coaching position at a new school.  Was this new school always on my radar screen?  Ummm…no.  I actually thought I would never leave where I was.  God loves to keep things interesting for all parties involved!

In Mark 8:34, Jesus says, anyone who wishes to come after me… So that means I’m invited to live that life, walking with God–the life that I was meant to live before the beginning of time.   The “anyone” in the verse includes me, it includes you, and in the words that follow, it includes a choice.

IF I want to follow Jesus… then… I will deny myself.  UGH.  That is a hard one… I have so many great ideas of where I could be most profitable for the Kingdom of God–my list may or may not be alphabetized!

Deny myself… let go of my ideas and aspirations of where and when I want to serve Him, and just daily… follow Jesus.

I find myself making excuses to people that I hang out with–explaining why the change in location of my service, and that it’s not that I’m mad, or have a point to make… it’s just that I am called.

I find myself, day after day, making justifications and validating to everyone the reasons, the verses, the days in prayer behind this change of venue.  Have you ever been there?

Maybe you have taught Sunday School, led VBS or sang in the choir year after year, you are like the stable person everyone can count on to show up and then…. God calls you out?   Were there rumors started on why you stopped, and you feel like you need to constantly  expound, illustrate, spell out, and clarify why you are doing or not doing something?

Perhaps you have felt God tugging at your heart for a while now, to leave a place, go to a place or a person, or that He is calling you to just STOP it all, and not go anywhere, but just to rest.  Well friends… that is where I am.  I wish I could say it’s easy, and I don’t care about what people think, but alas…. that would not be true.  SO, I must decide daily to cling to the One who matters, the One I have decided so long ago to go after, and His name is Jesus.

Know this: your purpose in life, and my purpose in life belongs to God.  God wants to use us from HIS perspective, in HIS way, down HIS path.  If it is truly HIM we want, then we must trust that God will not lead us wrong, neither will He lead us to anywhere that He isn’t. God leads us to where He is!!!  He says, FOLLOW ME, that means He goes first!  He calls you and me to a prepared place!!!  Isn’t that comforting?!

The last thing we need to do is make an excuse for following hard after Jesus–the One who was found worthy to be slain for my sin. Knees knocking, heart hurting, questions blasting… Lord, strengthen me to follow.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.  Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Am I willing to follow Jesus, or would I prefer for Him to follow me? Where is Jesus bidding me come?  What fears do I have?  What excuses have I made for where Jesus is calling me to go?  Is it time to let the excuses subside, and my feet start following?  Do I believe He leads me to where He is?

LIVE IT OUT!  Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

LORD, today, help me trust where YOU lead me… whether you crush me, exalt me, bless me, or simply just love me in a personal way that I know You are near.  Help my unbelief.  Silence my need to make excuses for running to Your presence.

Homework: Pick a verse or a few verses and use the three-question method to see what the lessons are, how they apply to your life, and how you can live it out.

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE,  BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.  

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you.  Click on one of the links below to register.

If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), click here.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.

If you’d like to register for Jane Derrick’s Tuesday morning study (January 12 – February 23, 2016), click here.