Recipe From The Cove Kitchen: Linguini with Fire-Roasted Cream Sauce and Tiger Shrimp

Recipes from The Cove kitchen logo

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This dish is sure to bring smiles to your table! We guarantee that you will LOVE this Linguini with Fire-Roasted Cream Sauce and Tiger Shrimp recipe prepared by Executive Chef Douglas Walls here at The Cove.  

Watch here as Chef Walls expertly shows you how to prepare this delicious meal for your entire family to enjoy!

Linguini with Fire-Roasted Cream Sauce and Tiger Shrimp
(Serving Size: 2)

Ingredients:

3-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 garlic clove- finely chopped
1 shallot-finely chopped
1/4 of red bell pepper- diced small
8 tiger shrimp
1 Tbsp. paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tomato- roasted and roughed chopped
3 fresh basil leaves- chopped
12 oz. cooked linguine
1-2 Tbsp. scallions
1\2 cup heavy cream
Parmesan cheese

Directions: Prepare linguini pasta beforehand, and cook to al-dente. Heat shallow pan on high heat and add butter to melt. Add shallots, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté about 1 minute to soften. Add tiger shrimp to pan and add paprika. Heat shrimp through. Add roasted tomato and chopped fresh basil. Once shrimp is fully cooked, add cooked linguini and scallions. Toss to heat through. Once heated, add heavy cream to pan. Reduce cream and finish with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil and bell pepper.
Serve and enjoy!

For Roasted Tomato: Cut tomato in half and grill on both sides until roasted. Roughly chop.

Click here for PDF of recipe.

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Kendra’s Bible Study…John 18:1-12

Online(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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 18:1-12

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:

Verse 1: When Jesus had spoken these words, He went where there was a garden into which He & His disciples entered.

Verse 2: Judas was betraying Him, knew the place

Verse 3: Judas, the Roman cohort, and officers from the chief priests & Pharisees came with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

Verse 4: Jesus, knowing ALL things coming, went forth and said, “Whom do you seek?”

Verse 5: Jesus the Nazarene. He said to them, “I AM He.” Judas standing with them

 Verse 6: When He said… they drew back and fell to the ground.

Verse 7: Again, He asked “Whom do you seek?” They said, “Jesus, the Nazarene”

Verse 8: Jesus answered, “I told you, I AM He, if you seek Me, let these go.”

Verse 9: that the word be fulfilled, “Of those whom Thou hast given Me, I lost no one.”

Verse 10: Simon Peter having a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, cut off his right ear.

Verse 11: a.) Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword in the sheath; b.) the cup My father has given Me, shall I not drink?”

Verse 12: The Roman cohort, the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him.

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:

Verse 1: Be driven to your knees to gain courage to stand.

Verse 2: God’s plan is not always what we want it to be. The devastating hurt of betrayal was part of God’s perfect will. God’s will is just that…. God’s will. God is Trustworthy. These are the challenging times that force choices out of us—believe Him! Even in this…even in this.

Verse 3: What others mean for evil… God turns around for good. This world will show its power against Jesus; however, “These things I have spoken to you so that IN ME you may have peace. In the world you WILL have tribulation, BUT TAKE COURAGE I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus overcomes the world HERE…REDEMPTION will prevail.

Verse 4: Jesus—knowing EVERYTHING that was coming—didn’t run from God’s will, even when it was going to be overwhelming suffering. He ran to it…. Jesus went FORTH, compelled with compassion, “splagchizoma,” deep in His soul for you.

Verse 5: Jesus doesn’t run away. The decision was made before the beginning of time. Compelled to stand His ground, proclaim His name. No need for the traitor to beat the bushes and drag out the Rabbi by His tunic. No need even for Judas to kiss Jesus to show who He was. Jesus, compelled for the sake of His name to step up and proclaim who He is! He is I AM.

Verse 6: Bowled backward at the name of Jesus and the power of His Word. This would give them room for pause and space for repentance. “At the NAME OF JESUS every knee will bow” (Philippians 2:10). Jesus is a confrontation that we all must face.

Verse 7: “Whom do you seek?” The crowd has been given grace here, another pause to reconsider the action they are about to take. Jesus, still relentless for His handmade creation, gives us a choice.   All authority is under the feet of Jesus, period.

Verse 8: Jesus is not overwhelmed by the mob, He is in charge! Commands them to let disciples go.

Verse 9: The Word of Jesus is strong, powerful, and faithful! Jesus’s Word WILL be done. AS He speaks it, it is so, it is done, it is completed! We can take the Word of Jesus to the bank. It is valid, true and will always be proven. Why do we not live our lives believing and trusting God’s Word as if it is already done?

Verse 10: Your compassion to “help” Jesus and protect Jesus can often collide with His plan.

Verse 11: a.) We often do things because the heart behind it is right; we want to help because we love Jesus, so we try to “fix” things, to bring justice to the situation, and what we end up doing is making a bigger mess. Don’t try to shield the people you love from the pain and suffering they must endure. God is at work. Now is where belief becomes real. b.) Jesus shows total submission to the Father—trust—there is no pro/con list to be made. If the Father hands me this cup, I will drink all of it, even if it is sour; I trust Him that much.

Verse 12: Jesus could have walked away unscathed… all He would have had to do was keep saying His name, “I AM,” thus keeping the mob on the ground. BUT God… compelled His own love toward us in that while we were STILL ENEMIES (in the mob), Christ DIED FOR US. (Romans 5:8) Jesus allowed Himself to be bound, for you and for me. Sometimes it is the will of God for you and me to be bound.

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?

Verse 1: Where has God called you to stand? What has God put before you that may go against all your logic, will and desire? When have you been strengthened by prayer? If you are not praying, why is that? What is keeping you from the throne of God? Fear? Unbelief?

Verse 2: What challenging situations have you experienced in your life—or are experiencing this very minute— that put your belief or lack of belief to the test? What will you do? What do you really believe? What do your actions say you believe?

Verse 3: Have the hard things in this world, and the cruelty in this world driven you to Jesus or away from Him?

Verse 4: Are you willing to be blessed and broken for the glory of God? Are you willing to do great things for God, even if they involve suffering?

Verse 5: Do you believe Jesus is who He said He is?

Verse 6: What happens in your heart and life when you hear the name of Jesus? Do you stand defiant with fists raised? Or in awe with knees bent? Who do you say Jesus is?

Verse 7: What will you do with Jesus? What is your choice?

Verse 8: When things feel like they are spiraling out of control in your life and the world, isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus is in charge?

Verse 9: Do you know the Word of God? What is God’s Word for you? Do you care? What is the evidence that you care one way or the other?

Verse 10: When have you thought you knew better, and you went ahead with your instincts instead of waiting to see what Jesus had for you? How did that work out?

Verse 11: When has suffering in your life or in the life of someone you know produced a closeness with God in the end; but during the dark time, it was so hard to let them go and allow God to work through it? Did you ever think that suffering is something God would want to use in your life for His glory? “The suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 b). Am I just wanting Jesus for the good and easy times, or am I willing to be poured out like a drink offering for His name’s sake?

Verse 12: Have you ever thought about the possibility that God’s will is for you to be bound…. in a bad marriage, in a disease, in a job, in a house with little kids, in a city you don’t like….? We naturally try to get out of everything that hurts, but have we ever considered that God needs us to trust Him—even through the suffering, so that He can show us Himself in a greater way?

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.

God with skin on, Jesus, is relentless for me… oh that God would instill that same relentless drive in me for Him.

Homework: John 11:38-45

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…Matthew 14:13-21

Online(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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Matthew 14:13-21

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:

Verse 13: When Jesus heard it, He withdrew to a lonely place.

Verse 14: When He went ashore, He saw a GREAT multitude, felt compassion, healed their sick.

Verse 15: Evening, the disciples came to Him. “This place is desolate, send the multitude away that they may go and buy food for themselves.”

Verse 16: They do not need to go away, you give them something.

Verse 17: They said, “we have only….”

Verse 18: He said, “Bring to me”

Verse 19: He took 5 loaves & 2 fish; Looking to heaven, He blessed the food, breaking the loaves, gave to disciples, and disciples gave to multitude.

Verse 20: They ate and were satisfied; they picked up left-over pieces, 12 baskets full.

Verse 21: There were 5000 men who ate aside women & children.

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:

Verse 13: Jesus hears of the death of His first cousin, John, and He is broken over it and wants to get away. Issues and situations in your life are real, your pain is real, your brokenness is real… none of that is theoretical, it’s raw, it’s life. Jesus understands the pain that life deals us. God, with skin on, felt the searing pain of loss.

Verse 14: (Jesus’s actions) These hurting people had no idea of the current pain and brokenness of the One they sought out. Jesus’ heart was heavy with sorrow, depression and pain, YET GOD….was compelled for HIS HANDMADE CREATION. GOD does NOT hide His face from the very people He came to save!!!! AMEN AMEN AMEN. Jesus, still is compelled to fight for, seek after and plead for you!!!!

(The multitude’s actions) IN the middle of THEIR hurt condition, in the middle of THEIR pain, in the middle of their own brokenness… THEY went couch to 5K to seek the presence of Jesus. THEY went to that desolate place too! If that is where Jesus is… then boy howdy, we need to be there too! Perhaps Jesus is just trying to get you alone without distraction to a lonely place which is not so lonely if He is there…..

Verse 15: Often we like to inform and remind God that where we are is just really not meeting our needs in the way we think we deserve or need at the moment. We never like to stay in the wilderness… it’s uncomfortable physically, emotionally and mentally. Cool thing here, though: don’t miss the fact that we can bring our questions, hopes and desires to Jesus. He totally gets us…. be driven by grace… just let your heart show… these are moments that God can really begin to mold that God-shaped soul into His image. Don’t pretend you are all down with and happy that you are in the middle of nowhere and starving to death. Be willing to stay in that desolate place as long as Jesus is there, and speak up… let Him know you are hungry, then see what He does FOR YOU! He won’t be shocked. He knows you need food…. FYI.

Verse 16: When you bring your honest questions to Jesus like He pleads for us to do, listen and wait for His response to the problem… not what you think His response should be.

Verse 17: #Blessedarethepoorinspirit It is OK to remind Jesus of your poverty. This is more for the disciples here than Jesus. It is ok to state the facts the way you see them. Be confident of this very thing… we will always see our lack and need, this is why we must stay close to Jesus, He has a different perspective. He is Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace… HE HAS GOT this! He’s got you, in those same hands that hand crafted you!

Verse 18: What I have is NOTHING (call it what it is!) and severely deficient, but in the hands of Jesus, that changes drastically! We don’t like to show our emptiness… we fight against it.

Verse 19: The #blessed by Jesus are the #broken.

Verse 20: The world will break you… broken and repurposed though… now that is HOPE my friend!!! Just think! It was the pieces that fed the crowd. The bread could not stay in “loaf” form and satisfy such a crowd. Jesus’s body was broken for us so that we could come into His presence in our brokenness, in our desolate place, and we can be satisfied. Oh that we would be willing to be broken. We need to change our lens… we have been looking at it wrong all this time! #broken&blessed #satisfactioninChrist #BlessedAreThoseWhoHunger&Thirst #relentless&compelled

Verse 21: Perhaps that testimony of brokenness that you have worked so hard to hide, in God’s hands would bring multitudes to Him, if the pieces were just allowed to be in His hands, instead of yours. Think of how many more were fed from those leftovers (if you think about it… we are still feeding on those leftovers from that day!) Oh! That your testimony of emptiness and brokenness will feed generations to come! You have NO IDEA what God will do. What do you have? A handful of brokenness can go an awfully long way. #broken&blessed

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?

Verse 13: Do you realize that you can pour out the hurt of life to Jesus and He understands not because He is God, but because He walked it and lived it out? Do you see how you were created to need Him? Who better to be driven with to a lonely place than Jesus?

Verse 14: Where or to whom do you take your brokenness first? Church? Pastor? Spouse? Friend? Counselor? Or the Savior who died for it to redeem it? Do you fight against going to “that” desolate place with Jesus?

Verse 15: Are you willing to stay in that desolate place until Jesus either moves Himself or moves you personally?

Verse 16: Do you badger and question Jesus almost daily with the same thing, refusing to let it go until He answers it in the way you think He should? Perhaps Jesus has answered your prayer and questions, but the answer makes no sense, so you have disregarded it.

Verse 17: Are you ok with telling Jesus, “I don’t get it”? Or do you think you always have to pretend you completely understand and know everything?

Verse 18: Are you willing to let go of what you do have and place it in the hands of Jesus, or do you give what you have with rules and regulations on what can be used and what cannot? Often it’s the “stuff” on the “cannot” list that feeds the multitudes… Are you really wanting to see Jesus work, or would you rather see you work?

Verse 19: Why do you fight against your brokenness all the time? Why do you try to look so “together” constantly when it is really the brokenness that ministers and shows the compassion of God on such a greater scale than you could ever imagine?

Verse 20: Are you willing to be broken and repurposed in the hands of God? Or are you going to hold on to those pieces, continuing to break them off into tinier shards that hurt instead of heal?

Verse 21: What do you have? Do you realize in the hands of God, satisfaction and contentment is continuous, overwhelming, and fulfilling? Are you missing everything you were created for (Created to walk with God, know God because you are created to need God) because you hold the pieces of your life?

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.

Little is much in the hands of God. What you have is SAFE in the hands of God. Give him what he wants in your life today…. then tomorrow….

Homework: John 18:1-12

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

What’s Happening at The Cove – March 2015

COMING TO
One of the many hiking trails at The Cove

“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Come experience the Lord’s Majesty at The Cove as spring begins to make its appearance. Join us for the month of March and find rest and grow closer to our Almighty God!

Check out our schedule for March below.  Click one that interests you for more details and to register.

We look forward to serving you soon!

PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS(3)

Click on the links below for March dates or call 1-800-950-2092.

March Personal Spiritual Retreats

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat
with John Parrish, March 27-29, 2015

PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS (2)

Click on each of the links below for more information and to register.  You may also call 1-800-950-2092.

An Evening at The Cove – Dinner, Concert & Meet and Greet
with Selah, March 12, 2015

SOLD OUT- Biblical Prophecy Seminar: Blowing the Trumpet
 with Anne Graham Lotz and Joel C Rosenberg, March 13-15, 2015

Believing Big: God’s Blueprint for Supernatural Outcomes
(*Free lodging seminar-pay program fee only- meals included!)

 with Ron Hutchcraft, March 16-18, 2015

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing
with Ron Whittemore & David Gaines, March 23 2015

Pastors’ Institute- Faithful Preaching in a Post-Christian Age
 with R. Albert Mohler, Jr., March 24, 2015

Faithful Living in a Post-Christian Age
 with R. Albert Mohler, Jr., March 25-27, 2015

Women’s Spring Luncheon
 with Cissie Graham Lynch, March 29, 2015

Living the Christ Life
 with Herb Reavis, Jr., March 31-April 2, 2015

Dogwood near four-way stop_Apr_2012 Wild Dogwoods growing on Cove property.

Want to get away with God, but can't(2)
Click image for more information.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Luke 15:11-32

Online(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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Luke 15:11-32

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.

Verses 11 & 12: A man had two sons; the younger said, “Father give me the share that falls to me.” He divided his wealth between them.

 Verse 13: The younger gathered everything, went into a distant country, and squandered his estate with loose living.

 Verse 14: When he spent everything, a severe famine hit and he began to be in need.

 Verse 15: He attached himself to a citizen of that country, he sent him to feed swine.

 Verse 16: He was longing to fill his stomach; no one was giving anything to him.

 Verses 17-19: He came to his senses and he said, “My father’s men have more than enough; I will get up, go to my father and say, ‘I have sinned; I am no longer worthy to be called your son, make me as one of your hired men.’ ”

 Verse 20: He came to his father. While he was a long way off, his father saw him, felt compassion for him, ran, embraced him, and kissed him,

Verse 21: The son said, “I have sinned, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

Verses 22 & 23: The father said, “Bring out the best robe, put it on him, put a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet. Bring the fatted calf, let us eat and be merry.”

Verse 24: “This son of MINE was dead, and has come to life AGAIN. He was LOST and has been found.”

Verses 25 & 26: His older son came, approached the house, heard music and dancing, summoned a servant and began inquiring.

Verse 27 & 28a: Your brother has come, your father has killed the fattened calf, and he has received him back safe and sound. He became angry, not willing to go in.

Verse 28b: His father came out and began entreating him.

Verses 29 & 30: He answered, “LOOK! For years I have been serving YOU, I NEVER neglected a command, YET YOU NEVER GAVE ME…. BUT WHEN this son of YOURS came…. YOU…. for HIM!

Verse 31: He said, “My child, you have always been with Me, all that is mine is yours.”

Verse 32: We had to rejoice this brother of YOURS was dead and has begun to live, was lost and has been found.”

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?

Verses 11 & 12: This story is for church people, given by Jesus. Jesus uses words and stories that we as church people can understand and relate to. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) “The words of the reckless pierce like swords.” Proverbs 12:18. It matters to God what my heart proclaims to Him in His presence.

Verse13: The younger son grew up in His presence; having head knowledge of His Father’s Word, and His character. The son desired all the presents of the Father, but none of His presence. The son was intentional about leaving; thus despising and hurting the Father on purpose.

Verse 14: Often God allows you to have exactly what you beg and manipulate for.

Verse 15: We will never come to God so long as we are trying to fix the situation or clean ourselves up first. We will end up dirtier in the end.

Verse 16: People will always fail you, even people from a far country. You will always fail you. You were not created with the ability to save yourself. You are created to need your Heavenly Father. The wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23).

Verses 17-19: You never come to Jesus until all other options are off the table; even then, the personal schemes to be accepted back continue (He came to HIS senses, still depending on himself! Don’t miss that). You cannot earn forgiveness, even with self-deprecation for the rest of your life. It will never be enough.

Verse 20: You come to God in humility, only to look up and see the reckless love of a compassionate God running full force towards you already, embracing you, not because of what you have done, where you have been, or what you are going to promise to do in return to make up for all of it…The Father embraces you because of who you are, and you are His handmade creation and you mean everything to Him! (While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8) At this point you realize you know that YOU know His arms stretch further than your soul could ever fall. #compellingcompassion

Verse 21: BECAUSE of the reckless love of the Father… your great plan to redeem yourself through self-imposed slavery, falls off, realizing your great plan fell so short, that all you can do is repent at His feet…. satisfied, complete, and overwhelmed in His arms which never let you go in the first place. #compellingcompassion #recklesslove

Verses 22 & 23: The Father FREELY gives you: His forgiveness, His robe, His ring, His shoes, His food, His personal status in society at the EXPENSE of His life. His compassion cost me nothing, but took everything from Him, and He did it without regret or hesitation.

Verse 24: You are claimed by God! He knows you better than you know yourself, and still He purchases you AND CLAIMS you with pride and joy!

Verses 25 & 26: We are intrigued by what brings joy to the Father.

 Verses 27 & 28a: It is easy to get mad when underserving people receive forgiveness and renewed status. If you live a good life, you deserve a good life, right? If you live a bad life, you deserve punishment, or at the very least a penance to work off. Often it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking… GOD owes me. EVEN All of our good works, cannot pay off the debt we owe. (ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23) Even the SUPER GOOD rule followers who have never messed up!

Verse 28b: The Father pleads for the soul of the self-righteous. Challenges force choices… even for a saint of saints.

Verse 29: Extreme “goodness” can keep me from the presence of God just as much as extreme “badness.” (All our righteous acts are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6)

Verse 30: The older brother is just as resentful of the Father’s presence as the younger son was. OFTEN saints “stay close” and “Follow ALL the rules,” careful to never disobey (or if they do, blame another for it), NOT for the joy of God’s presence, but to prove they are more deserving than anyone of God’s presents. To prove we deserve the position of honor, the high commanding status, the robe, the ring and the sandals of the King. All the while this way of thinking proves the wickedness of their hearts. (The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9)

Verse 31: Often we miss what we have right in front of our face. Don’t miss the fact that joy, fullness and contentment are found in the Presence of God, not in His presents.

Verse 32: Don’t miss everything you were created for! You were created to know God and walk with God because you were created to need God. Life begins when you realize this and thus walk accordingly. Jesus, compelled by a relentless love for you.

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?

Verses 11 & 12: What are you looking for out of God? (Might as well be honest here… God already knows.)

Verse 13: Did you grow up in the church, know better, but you still left God anyway, for no other reason but that you wanted to and there were things you felt you deserved to experience and have, with or without Him? Have you been satisfied knowing all about God (Oh God) but never really wanting to know Him on a personal level (My God)?

Verse 14: When has God allowed you to have exactly what you wanted only to end up wishing He hadn’t in the end?

Verse 15: What are you desperately trying to fix or clean up before coming to God?

Verse 16: Has there ever been a time when you tried everything in your power to change and yet you ended up worse in the end, but still refused to go back to God? (A marriage, an addiction, anger…)

Verses 17-19: How have you tried to earn forgiveness? By making yourself feel bad for the rest of your life? By carrying around guilt for everyone to see? By beating yourself up at every opportunity to make yourself feel better? When will you give up the notion that you can feel bad enough or hate yourself enough to deserve the acceptance of the Father?

Verse 20: Will you allow the arms of a relentlessly compassionate Father to love you in spite of you?

Verse 21: Will you accept the gift of undeserved, unearned grace and let your notion of paying your own debt go? What can you do to make yourself worthy of it anyway?

Verses 22 & 23: Will you allow the Father to extend to you the forgiveness which He has rightfully purchased on your behalf with His blood and lavish all that is His on you, or will you choose to grip your guilt, rejecting all the Father died to give you?

Verse 24: Are you constantly allowing yourself to be defined by your sin, or by your Savior? Will you allow your Savior to take His joy in claiming you?

Verses 25 & 26: Are you intrigued or frustrated by what brings joy and a festive spirit to God?

Verses 27 & 28a: Have you ever been perturbed by the fact that the returning sinner, an irresponsible saint, gets all the attention and credit, when you have rightfully earned and worked for recognition your entire life? Have you never been recognized for your faithfulness to the church, to Bible studies, to the rules, to your job, and that really angers you? (Again, might as well be honest here… God already knows.)

Verse 28b: When have you been lost as lost can be in your own self-righteousness? Have you missed the fact that the Father is pleading even for the “good” ones to put down their good morals and good works, to “Come, Follow Me.”? Did you ever realize that even the best saint of saints is in desperate need of a Savior?

Verse 29: Have you been separated from God trying to prove your worth by your perfection?

Verse 30: Did you realize your good works are soiled with false, self-serving motives just as much as the one who has committed nothing but bad works?

Verse 31: Have you been satisfied knowing all about God (Oh God), being right next to Him, His Word, His church, your entire life, but never really wanting to know Him on a personal level (My God)? Have you been struggling to live up to a theoretical concept of God instead of enjoying the reality of a relationship with God?

Verse 32: What will you choose? Don’t you want to know this God you were created to walk with and need?

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.

Whether good or bad, I am in need of a Savior full of Grace and love. Look for the love of a relentless God on my behalf today. Identify if and when I have been the younger brother, and if and when I have been the older brother. Then, bask in the grace of a loving God. Oh that He will strengthen my grip on His grace and mercy to me.

Homework: Matthew 14:13-21

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

Kendra’s Bible Study…John 4:3-10

Online(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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 4:3-10

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.

Verses 3 & 4: He left Judea, and HE HAD to pass through Samaria.

Verse 5: He came to a city in Samaria, Sychar.

Verse 6: Jacob’s well was there, Jesus was wearied & sitting, it was about the 6th hour.

Verse 7: There came a woman of Samaria to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink”.

Verse 8: The disciples had gone to buy food.

Verse 9: The Samaritan woman said, “How is it that you being a Jew ask me for a drink, I am Samaritan woman.”

Verse 10: Jesus: “If you knew the Gift who says, “Give Me drink” you would ask, you would ask Him & He would give living water.

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?

Verses 3 & 4: God with skin on, Jesus, who had eternity to plan out His steps, stops everything that He had to do, and specifically, on purpose, is compelled to go to a scandalous place with one person in mind. Jesus goes to extremes personally for me and for you.   Grace is personal. God meets us where we are.

Verse 5: “Sychar”means purchased. This place was purchased by Jacob, re-purchased by blood through Joshua’s conquest, and now, personally purchased by the scandalous grace of a Savior. Jesus- compelled to purchase YOU, His handmade creation with His own blood. (Romans 5:8-9)

Verses 6, 7a: Jacob’s well was there: A place can “look”religious, it is not by association that we gain eternal life, but by a personal relationship with Jesus. A personal decision must be made. Wearied & sitting, it was the 6th hour: It was noon. Not a time for anyone to be coming to meet any need, yet, there came a woman. There was something very wrong with this picture. Only a shunned woman would come at noon to the well. Someone avoiding all others at all costs. This would be a clue to anyone else…stay away from this one, yet Jesus, came specifically for this shunned woman, compelled for her to the point of His bone weariness. Jesus goes to all lengths to chase us and meet us right in the middle of it all. We can avoid others, but not Jesus. AMEN!

Verse 7b: To draw water: This woman came with an empty water bucket. This woman was a picture of a scarred, empty person. Coming in the cloak of daylight, to avoid being seen, avoid being reminded of who she is. Often it’s when we are completely empty and needy that we find ourselves in the presence of Jesus. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who thirst …

Verse 7c: Jesus said to her, “give Me…”: It’s not about what you do, have done, or where you have been…it’s about who you are.  You are God’s handmade creation and you mean everything to Him. Your messy life, bad choices, and even your self righteousness cannot keep Jesus from coming, calling and pleading with you to trust Him with your wounded story. Jesus is not afraid of the baggage we bring to the table. He came for it, oh that you and I would give Him that which He came to take!

Verse 8: Jesus will go to any lengths to get us alone with Him, without distraction.

Verse 9: We are often surprised by the grace of a loving God toward us. Other people, we expect to receive God’s grace and favor…just not me.

Verse 10: One shunned, scarred, shamed, solitary, scandalous person is not too small a multitude for Jesus to be compelled to seek out. We are bid to ask Jesus for His gift just as we are. No cleaning up, no changing life first. Often we are more comfortable holding on to our guilt than His grace. Jesus bidding us to ask Him to change everything! God wants to meet your needs. He died to do it!

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?

Verses 3 & 4: Have you thought that you are too incidental a person to grab the attention of God? When has God extended personal grace to you? Are you in need of personal grace at this moment?

Verse 5: Do you realize how dear a personal price God Himself paid for your soul? Have you forgotten that you are precious enough to have been personally purchased by God?

Verses 6 & 7: Have you been religious in your faith, but not personal? Have you been content with knowing about God, “Oh God”, yet haven’t spent the time to know “My God?” Who do you say Jesus is?

Verse 7b: What is in your water pot? Is it full of the world? Empty and wanting? Full of Jesus? Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Jesus… what/who are you thirsty for? Where has your emptiness led you?

Verse 7c: What baggage do you bring to the well? What baggage are you not quite ready to trust a relentless, compassionate, compelled Savior with?

Verse 8: When has Jesus gone out of His way to get you alone with Him? Why do we tend to avoid being alone with God? Is it is easier to go to church or Bible study with others than it is to be alone, just you and God?

Verse 9: When have you been surprised by the personal gift of God’s grace to you? How is He stirring your heart even now? Have you forgotten the depths of God’s grace that you have received?

Verse 10: Are you willing to ask God for the gift of grace that He extends to you, personally, in the state you are in? Do you realize there is nothing you can ever do to make your scars, wounds and shame more pretty or clean? Are you so thankful for your bruised story and personal scars, because it shows your desperate need for a Savior? Will you hold on to personal guilt or God’s exceptional grace?

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.

Allow the Word of God to fill you. Allow God’s exceptional grace to cover you today. Give that piece of baggage that you have kept hidden in the closet for years, if He wants it.

Homework: Luke 15:11-32

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

 

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove