Tag Archives: Asheville Bible Study

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Esther 9:26

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 9:26

“Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur.  And because of the instructions in this letter, both what they had seen in this regard and what had happened to them, (29) these days of Purim were not to fail from among the Jews or their memory fade from their descendants.”

Step 1

#DELIVERED

THE FACTS:
Therefore they called these days Purim after Pur.

Both what they had seen and happened

these days of Purim were not to fail from Jews or memory fade from descendants

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   I can’t help reading this Scripture and remembering the verse in Genesis 50:20: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; BUT GOD meant it for good, in order to bring it about, as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Our current world is on fire… everywhere we look, there is trouble, heartache and uncertainty.  These Jews in Persia  understood these same things, all too well.   On a personal level, in our own lives, when we chunk down the “global-ness” of that statement… we too, understand and experience trouble, heartache and uncertainty.

If there’s one thing we have learned from Esther, it’s that we don’t know we need to be delivered, until we need to be #delivered.  The Jews needed #deliverance in Esther 1:1, but they had no idea until Esther 3:14.  God was already moving on the scene, working in the shadows–it was already done–but His people needed to walk it through.  In the process, they cried out to God, and if they were anything like me, they cried out with questions, fists and hot angry tears.  “Where are YOU?”  “God, you are NOT fixing this!”  “Have you forgotten us?” “Have you just forgotten me?”

It is so much more than just “fixing it” to God.  When God works, He works completely.  God usually doesn’t work in the way my little dust-fist demands, and thank goodness for that, because my insight and my vision are so minimal.  The longer we stay in bondage in a place, in a circumstance, with a particular guilt, to a particular person… we begin to think less– much less of God and His power to show up and break the chains.  SO God… loves us enough to walk us through the fire of refinement, pleads with us to press into His leading, and surrender to our own menial and small ideas of #deliverance.

Bear with me a second here–let’s go back to Haman for a minute…  The evil and pride that Haman committed had a multiplying effect… it reached first to his family (10 sons hung on the same gallows as he was), and then further… more death and destruction… for those who followed him in the Persian empire and led assaults on the Jews (no one can destroy what God has determined to protect and preserve).  Now, lets go back even further… King Saul, refused to surrender to the obedience of God, refused to humble before a holy God, and look: Generations later… Mordecai, his descendant, was pressed in the same way, yet Mordecai humbled himself and put on the sackcloth that his great-great-great grandfather refused.  Sin holds us in a vice and in a place of bondage that Jesus came to destroy (Luke 4:18).   Church! Christian! Let’s stop settling to pass on a legacy of #disobedience and #defeat.

Here, in Esther 9:26, God flips the switch: Pur meaning “lot”… was an appointed time to die, to be annihilated, to be destroyed–BUT GOD–turned around what was meant for #defeat into #deliverance, and we have Purim.  We have Purim because Mordecai surrendered and submitted to what God had called him to… Esther surrendered and submitted to what God had called her to… then the multiplying effect of surrender and obedience to God spread throughout the Persian Empire to the Jews and Gentiles alike (9:3-4).  This legacy of #surrender and #submission to God has spread through the ages and still to this day is not forgotten.  Pass on a legacy of #obedience and #deliverance.

Esther 4:14, God will still do what He has set out to do, God doesn’t need us to get His work done, but oh, how He desires for us to walk along with Him as He does it.  The choice remains with us, each and every one of us.  Does your personal obedience matter to God?  Yes.  And it matters to those who will come after you.  You have a providential purpose. God has placed a high calling on your life, not for harm, but for the glory of God (Jer 29:11). It matters what YOU do.  There’s a difference you can make, but the choice is up to you.  Will you be the one to refuse to live a life defined by your personal fear and #defeat?  Submit and Surrender to God, because God is faithful (Phil 1:6) to completely #deliver you from your guilt, unbelief, bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, pride and even from your insecurity and insignificance.  You had a price on your head and it has been paid for by an Almighty God who loves you more than He loved His own life (John 3:16).

Let God take your story of #defeat in His nail scarred hands and transform it into a life of #deliverance.  From the beginning–from before you even knew you had a need–He knew, so He came to set you #free.  It’s time that we stop hiding in the shadows and start standing on the fact that we are #free…we are #delivered.

2 Corinthians 1:9-10:  “Indeed we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril and He will deliver us again.  On Him (Jesus) we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.”

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Will we allow our lives to be defined by the multiplying effect of #defeat or #deliverance?  What is preventing you from surrender and submission to God?  Is the call too painful?  Too embarrassing?  Too hard?  Too scary?  Too overwhelming?  We all have so many good reasons not to… so did Esther, but perhaps you have been placed here for such a time as this, for future generations to see that while it may look like you are at the door of #defeat, in reality, you are at the threshold of #deliverance…

LIVE IT OUT:  Today… surrender… submit to what God wants… help me today to walk through the fire, if You want me to.

#befree #bedelivered

God bless…

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NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

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.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — James 4:8

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” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  James 4:8

“Draw Near to God and He will draw near to you”  - James 4:8.

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Draw near to God,  He WILL draw near to you.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  New Years is upon us this week!  The ending of the year, but most importantly, the beginning of the next!  Some of us are happy to see 2016 come to a close and some of us are sad — wanting to hold on to moments in time that seem to fade away with the seasons.

New Years is a time of hopeful optimism for most of us, hoping the best is yet to come!  Well, the best is here and it is stated so simply in this verse!  This is one of my most favorite, clear verses in all the Bible!  What hope! What anticipation!  What amazement lies ahead! Draw near to God and He WILL draw near to you!

This verse does not say:  “If you draw near, God MAY draw near to you… it’s a gamble”… Nope! Play the Vegas odds on this one baby! IT’S a SURE thing!  You see, we were created by God, with His hands, in the dirt in the Garden of Eden!  All other creation was created with just a word, but man and woman were different!  Man and woman were hand crafted with the very fingertips of God!  Psalm 139: 13 says, “For You created my innermost being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  God created us, each differently, each purposefully, on purpose, with purpose…. so many have heard that, but so few actually believe that!

God created us then to do what?  God created you and I to walk with Him, to know Him and to need Him.  By the way…we HATE the needing part… we hate to need anyone.  Here, in this verse, it says just that.  God is here, pleading, calling, wooing us to spend time with Him, yet often, we turn a deaf ear and refuse to listen.  We don’t like where we have to go to meet God, or we don’t like where He wants to go with us… or we don’t like the way He takes care of things in His time, in His way…. so we prefer to keep our distance.  We have a list of reasons how God is doing it wrong, but we will never spend time seeking out the why’s and the where’s of God’s presence.

The fact is: you are God’s hand-made creation and you mean everything to Him.  Your opinion on that statement will never change the fact of the statement.  So If God wants us to “Draw near” then how do we do it?

1.  Find Time.  Yup.  Start with 5 minutes and go from there.  Hard to do, but essential. (This time is separate from regular church time.)

2.  Open God’s Word and pray, asking God to speak to you.

3.  Do the three question Bible study method that I use in this blog.

  • What does it Say?
  • What Does it Mean?
  • What Does it Mean to me?

Don’t worry about getting through all of these questions on a verse every day if that’s too much.  Tackle one question per day.

4.  Live it out.  As you listen for God to speak in His Word, live out what He nudges your heart to do. Usually God will move your heart to go and do things you would never really think of on your own… or at least nudge you to do things in a way you could not have come up with on your own.  God is alive and active in His Word which never changes.  We need to go to God where He is, not where we think or want Him to be.

This is a process.  This takes time.  This is what it looks like to seek. Seeking takes time, perseverance and fortitude, but God in His Word says that if you do seek Him…. you will find Him!  Jeremiah 29:13: You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all your heart.  It’s the Who we are seeking… not the what we want out of Him.  Many just desire the what… but God…. pleads for you to desire the Who… because He formed you in your mother’s womb, and oh! how He desires to draw near to you!  If we take the steps to draw near to God, I bet we will find that He’s been there the whole time, and we’ll wonder how we missed His presence for so long!

SO THIS YEAR, let’s turn a new leaf!  Let’s BELIEVE God and His Word.  Let’s decide to draw near indeed!  Let’s commit to this for an entire year… then next year at this time… look back and try to count the ways that God Almighty walked with us, spoke to us and #delivered us.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  In the last year, who or what have you been desperate to draw near to?  A better bank account? A certain relationship? A different job?  A family? Status?

In this next year who or what are you looking to draw near to?  What are your ambitions?  What if your ambition was to draw near to God?  What is keeping you from drawing near to God?  Do you have a list?  Have you ever considered laying out your list to God on why you won’t draw near to Him?  Maybe the answers you want from Him are available… but it will require seeking them out?  Are you willing to invest?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today, I will open God’s Word and do the three questions… I intend to hear God speak to me through His Word, then walk as He leads.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove, here in Asheville beginning in January 2017, we’d love to see you.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)

Watch, as Kendra shares what you can expect from her study on the book of Esther:

NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.

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.

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 – Philippians 2:13

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 Philippians 2:13.

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 :
“God is at work, in you, for His pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

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:
God is at work.  I love the C.S. Lewis books about Narnia  that my kids and I are listening to AGAIN for the 100th time in the car.  The phrase that always gets me is when the books states,
“Aslan is on the move!”  The question would be raised, “How do you know such things?” and the reply would be something along the lines of, “Look around, you can’t miss the signs! They are everywhere in everything!” Oh, to be as astute as the characters in those books!  I am so slow to learn, slow to obey, and quick to ask questions.  I wanted to see God on the move after listening to the excitement of how Aslan was working in those books.  Silly, I’m sure.  It was a simple prayer, “Lord, open my eyes, today, to see where you are on the move.”

I gassed-up the car and met the student driver who would be driving to get the rest of her hours required for her license, then jumped in the car with my eldest and her friend who we would be taking on a 2-1/2 hour journey to a soccer game.

We made it to the game, without incident, and then we began to work our way back up the mountain.  The girls weren’t hungry yet, so we decided to drive on for 30 minutes; by then, my eldest was going to to “die of hunger!” I asked where they would like to stop.  “Zaxbys!” was the reply of my child.  My eyes got wide, and my brain began to spin… “Zaxbys?”  This may not sound like a strange request, but my daughter has NEVER had that request!  When she was 5, she had a meal from there and threw up for the next 2 days.  I don’t think the restaurant had anything to do with it, I think the stomach bug that hit the kindergarten class did.  It has been 10 years.  I made sure of her request, because there was a Cookout in the same parking lot.  The final choice was Zaxbys.  I bought the girls dinner, everyone ate like they were famished and then we got up to leave to go to Cookout for milk shakes.

On our way out, a Zaxby employee stopped us and the girl asked a question, “If you were with a friend, and your friend was hungry and all they wanted was a milkshake from Cookout, would you buy them one?”  I was taken back.  My head was spinning; “Is this girl asking me for money?”  I was confused, I am a slow processor. The girl explained again how she and her friend had gone on break; she didn’t have any money with her, but her friend did.  “Don’t friends help each other once in a while?”  I told her she was right–they do. Often friends give to one another when they can.  Satisfied with my explanation, the girl returned to work.

There was a stirring in my heart, “Aslan is on the move, here!” I was taken by surprise.  I spoke up from somewhere–who knows where–and asked, “Excuse me, what kind of shake at Cookout is so delicious that it has strained your friendship?” She replied, “Oreo, of course!” I smiled and walked out with the girls.  Again, my heart stirred.  I was going to buy that exact  milkshake for myself; I had already decided long before that moment, but the Oreo shake was not to be consumed by me, I was to give it to the girl at Zaxbys. I talked it over with the girls in my company, and they all agreed we should do it.

Soon we arrived back at Zaxbys; the girls were so excited to give this shake to this girl they didn’t even know.  It was awesome to watch.  They found the girl, asked her to turn around, and gave her the Oreo shake.  The girl was visibly shaken.  She held the cup with the delicious ice cream and crumbled cookies in absolute disbelief.  The girl said thank you, and that she never would have imagined
someone would do something like that for her, and she didn ’t understand why.

She tried to give it back.  We told her that she was worth it.  The girl then put the cup down, and turned her back to us, wiping the tears that had formed so quickly.  She could not look at us again.

We turned and left. I have thought of that girl often in the last week, and prayed for her.  I don’t know what is really going on in her life, but God is on the move.  He’s on the move in her life, and He works through us, not because He is incapable of making an Oreo shake appear, but because He wants to show us just how much He loves His handmade creation…. individually.  Crazy as you may think I am, that Zaxbys visit was Providential.  God had something to show me, a student driver, two soccer players and a few Zaxbys employees.  I will never know the impact He made in that employee’s life, but it made a difference in mine.

God is indeed on the move, because  we are His pleasure, and He gave everything He had to prove it.  “For God SO LOVED the world (the individuals in it) that He gave His only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him (Jesus), will not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Oh, that we may see the love of God come to life and work right in front of our eyes!

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?

God is always at work. What would happen if we, who claim to be His church, watched where He was at work and joined Him, everyday, not just once in a while?  What testimony of the love of God would we have to share?

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, as I go about my day, Lord God, will you open my eyes to where You are on the move, then give me the strength to join You.

*Please note: Kendra will no longer assign specific homework for this study. She will still use the Three-Question approach and recommends you do the same. Kendra would love to hear what Scripture is speaking to you at this season in your life. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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

 

Kendra’s Bible Study… Video Message Part 3 from John 11

climb every mountain

Thank you for joining us!

Here is part 3 of the 3-part video series on Kendra Graham’s Women’s Bible Study. If you missed the previous lessons, click here for video message part 1 and click here for video message part 2.

We have posted the three-questions below the video to coincide with the video content.

After watching the video, instead of sharing your three-questions, Kendra would like you to comment with a sentence or two on the following question:  When have you been asked to believe in order to see?

Please share this post with your friends and family and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss a post!

Click here to watch the video if it does not show up in your browser.

Please open your Bibles to John 11:41-45.

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 11:41-45

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 41a:   SO they removed the stone.

Verses 41b-42: Jesus raised His eyes and said, “Father I thank Thee, Thou heardest Me, but because of the people standing around, I said it, that they MAY BELIEVE.

Verse 43:     He cried out with a LOUD voice, “Lazarus come forth.”

Verse 45:     Many beheld what He had done, believed 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? Meditate on these. Ask God what lesson it is that He wants you to hear or learn.

LESSONS:

Verse 41a: There is glory in the pain of the present and the past; trust Him that He knows what He is doing, and ask Him to use it.

Verse 41b-42: The words of Jesus are already DONE before they are spoken! Know the words of Jesus… because they are TRUE, they are LIFE and they are DONE.

Verse 43:Jesus breathes us out of death to life… from the beginning to the end. Lord! Breathe on me! All authority belongs to Jesus. The faith of Mary and Martha was not misplaced.

Verse 45:God has entrusted me with a testimony that I may or may not particularly like, for His glory. Don’t hold in those times of suffering and heartache; let the grace of God show in your life, don’t hide 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?

Verse 41a: IF there be glory in the pain of the present and the past, will you trust Him that He knows what He is doing when He asks you to use it? Would you rather look at and and smell the rot you carry around than give the hardship and suffering to Jesus to redeem?

Verse 41b-42: Do you know there is power in the name and words of Jesus? Is your life lacking power and life because it is lacking Jesus?

Verse 43: What, or who, is your faith in?

Verse 45: What testimony of yours—in your suffering, pain, heartache, your past, your frustrations—does God want to use first of all to show YOU the glory of God (in the stinky stuff) and then show others? God wringing redemption and life out of suffering and death!!!! Do you think something has killed your chances of being a testimony for the glory of God? What do you think now??? DO YOU NOW BELIEVE?????

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.

Oh, that you would be compelled to BELIEVE because of the relentless Love of a LIVING, LOVING Savior!!!!

Homework: Acts 1:8
(NOTE: We will begin posting Bible study notes and homework every other week on the blog again until next January.)

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

 

Kendra’s Bible Study… Video Message Part 1 from John 11

BGTC stone wall with snow on Feb 24 2015Greetings from beautiful snowy Asheville!  Wherever you are reading this, we hope you stay dry and warm.

For those of you who have been attending our Bible study here at The Cove, in person for the last several weeks, you know that we were snowed out for Kendra’s last session.

After the snow cleared, Kendra came in and video recorded the message she prepared for that last night and we are rolling it out here in our blog in three segments.  The first video focuses on John 11: 1-32.  Please read this scripture before viewing the video.

We have posted the three-questions below the video to coincide with the video content (yes, it is a repeat from last week, but we want to keep current with what’s in the video).

After watching the video, instead of sharing your three-questions, Kendra would like you to comment with a sentence or two on the following question: When has God decided to wait in your life?

Video 2 will be featured next week (Tues. March 3) and video 3 (Tues. March 10).

Please share this post with your friends and family and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss a post!

Click here to watch the video if it does not show up in your browser.

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 11 (Excerpts)

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 4:       When Jesus heard it (that Lazarus, the one He loved, was sick) He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.

Verse 6:       When He heard it, He stayed two days longer where He was.

Verse 14:     Jesus said plainly, “Lazarus is dead.”

Verse 15:     “I am glad for YOUR sakes I was not there, so YOU may believe.

Verses 25-26a: “I AM the resurrection and LIFE, he who believes in ME shall LIVE, even if he dies, EVERYONE who loves and believes in ME shall NEVER die.

Verse 26b:   DO YOU BELEIVE?

Verse 27:     She said to Him, “YES, Lord. I have believed You are CHRIST the SON of God even He who comes into the world.”

Verse 32:     When Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, fell at His feet, saying, “Lord, if you had, my brother would not have died.”

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? Meditate on these. Ask God what lesson it is that He wants you to hear or learn.

LESSONS:

Verse 4: There is so much more to our suffering in life than “just to kill us,” which is surely what God wants to do, right? How many of us hold this view of God? IF He is good, how can He allow suffering? God allows suffering to show us His goodness. God allowed two sisters to lose a brother, and a brother to lose his life, to show them His love. We have so many misunderstandings about the compassion and love of God. We think God’s love should look like our personal definition of love. God is not bound by our finite thoughts or feelings, and this is a GOOD thing!

Verse 6: Love often waits, not out of hate, evil or power issues, but out oflLove. We do not understand the compassion of a God who loves us with a relentless love. Trust God in the waiting, even if there is excruciating pain associated with that.

Verse 14: We do not serve a God who is unaware of the difficulties and suffering of life. Jesus does not skate over the facts; He sees it how it is, plainly—there is no time to live in denial. The reality of life is hard, and we serve a God who is not ignorant of that.

Verse 15: Our sorrow, suffering and heartache is not in vain. THERE is Purpose in the Pain, which brings hope. Jesus is more concerned with my eternal soul than with my temporary comfort.

Verse 25-26a: Jesus meets you in the middle of the pain and suffering. You never find Jesus hiding out or running from people, did you realize that? Jesus runs to the hard situation here, full of grief, blame, hurt, tension, and feelings of personal abandonment from Mary and Martha… (ever feel that same way about God?) Jesus waited, yes, but now He will weep with His handmade creation. Jesus tells EVERYONE CLEARLY who He is. Everyone WILL have a confrontation with Jesus, what you do with that is your choice. Jesus either is who He said He is and IS the WAY, TRUTH and LIFE, OR Jesus is the worst kind of humanity, a LIAR who has basically played the role of “pied piper” for ages… NOT bringing people to life, but death. There is no in between. If Jesus isn’t the SON OF GOD, then He truly isn’t even a good man or a prophet. Some think that Jesus is being very “exclusive” here… it’s Him or nothing. I see that as very clear. ALL roads DON’T lead to heaven… but the great thing here is that GOD is CLEAR about which One does!

Verse 26b: YOU MUST DECIDE ABOUT JESUS.

Verse 27: The hard times are where our faith turns from being something theoretical to being real. It’s not to stroke the ego of Jesus that Martha needed this moment; this moment is for Martha so that she can see, and know in her heart, what she believes. If you want to know what you truly believe about God, your belief is proven in the challenging and hard moments of life, when challenges force choices out of you. Martha worshipped Jesus IN it. This is what it looks like for faith to travel from being talked about in Sunday school circles to being lived out in your life. Your faith (or lack of it) is forced out, in moments like this.

Verse 32: We all have these statements, don’t we? “Lord, if You had…. then….” In the middle of her questions—her grief—notice Mary does not shake her fist and spew her ideas of justice and the love of God, Mary sees Jesus in it and falls at His feet, worships in the middle of her grief, knowing that just because she lost a brother, it doesn’t change the FACT of who Jesus is. All things are under His feet… even those things that He allows in our lives that we wish He didn’t. Often it is the hard stuff—the stuff for which we have more questions than answers—that brings us to the feet of Jesus.

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 4: What do you believe about God? Is He a God who cares less about your suffering and is the cause for it? OR Do you believe God is good and wants to use the suffering for a greater purpose? Are you willing to let God use your suffering to bring Him glory?

Verse 6: Are you waiting for God to move and fix things how and when you think they need to be fixed?

Verse 14: Are you willing to be raw and real in the presence of Jesus? Did you realize that He knows the pain, He can plainly see it, and you can just lay it out to Him and call it what it is?

Verse 15: Are you willing to ask God what He wants to do with your pain?

Verse 25-26a: What will you do with Jesus? Who do you say that He is?

Verse 26b: DO YOU BELIEVE?

Verse 27: What do your actions say about your belief, in those hard situations, the crossroads of your life when you are hemmed in? Do your words and actions agree?

Verse 32: Are you willing to just fall at the feet of Jesus in the middle of your pain and let it out? Do you feel guilty telling God you don’t get it, or if You had….? Isn’t it great that we can just lay out our realness at the feet of Jesus and it is not held against us? What posture do you have in your pain in the presence of Jesus?

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.

Oh, that you would be compelled to BELIEVE because of the relentless Love of a LIVING, LOVING Savior!!!!

Homework: John 11:35-40

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

Women’s Bible Studies at The Cove

Ladies, it’s time to sign up for the free women’s Bible study at The Cove!

Both Jane and Kendra have been working diligently throughout the year to prepare their lessons and are looking forward to seeing each of you.

Take a look  at their videos below to get an idea of what to expect in January.

Jane Derrick — Is Peace Possible?
Tuesday mornings: January 6 – March 3, 2015
9:45am - 11:45 a.m.
11:45 – 1 p.m. (optional)
Jane’s study will have an optional $10 lunch available, but you must sign up the week prior to each meal by calling 1-800-950-2092.
Note: Class will not meet on February 24th

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 to register for Jane’s morning Bible study.

Click here if you do not see Jane’s video in your browser.

________________________________________________________________

Kendra Graham — Compelled: Christ’s Relentless Love For You
Tuesday evenings: January 6 – February 17, 2015
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 to register for Kendra’s evening Bible study.

Click here if you do not see Kendra’s video in your browser.

Newcomers always welcome!  Bring a friend or two.

Kendra’s Bible Study… Nehemiah 2:1-5

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 Nehemiah 2:1-5 

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. 

Verse 1a: In the month of Nisan 

Verse 1b: I took up the wine and gave it to the king. 

Verse 2a: The king said, “Why is your face sad?” 

Verse 2b: I was very much afraid 

Verse 3: Why should my face not be sad when the place of my fathers’ tombs lies desolate, consumed by fire? 

Verse 4a: The kings said, “What would you request?” 

Verse 4b:  So I prayed 

Verse 5: I said to the king…. 

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? 

Verse 1a: God brings things about in God’s timing.  It is God’s impossible assignment and calling for Nehemiah from the start, so GOD must do it all and I must wait upon the LORD to move.  NO need to manipulate the situation or try to push things through on my own wisdom, power and timing.  Faith is continuing to pray and expect in spite of the time lapse. 

Verse 1b: Here Nehemiah was just doing the job that God had placed before him to do.  No more, no less.  God knows where He has placed me, God knows where to find me, so instead of complaining where I am and that I am not “doing” what I want for God, trust that He has a plan and will bing it about in His time.  In the meantime, work hard where I am for the glory of God.   

Verse 2a:  God opens eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to listen in His time.  GOD OPENS the doors!!!!  Don’t waste a bunch of time and energy trying to pry them open!!  Faith waits with expectation!! 

Verse 2b:  Even GREAT men of faith are very afraid!!!  Just the word “faith” indicated there will be opposition and courage needed. 

Verse 3: Nehemiah laid down the Truth of the matter.  He did not try to paint a softer picture of the Truth or a more “palatable” one.   Faith speaks the Truth even where very afraid. 

Verse 4a:  HERE IT IS! The defining moment.  A small hinge that opens a big door! The king speaks four words because it is God who moves the heart of the king.  Nehemiah’s prayer of faith is becoming sight right before his eyes!  What will he do?  When God opens the door, it is open wide, the way is clear. 

Verse 4b:  Nehemiah STILL NEEDS God.  I love that he doesn’t say, “Great God! I got it from here! Much thanks!”  Even the fact that God is opening the door, still Nehemiah needs the strength to walk through it.  Faith is required the whole way! There is always a GAP between what I can do and what God must do when God calls us to His impossible assignments.  To realize our need is such a gift from God.  Nehemiah knows, “Lord I need You, oh I need You! Every hour I need You!” 

Verse 5:  Faith walks.  Faith is a verb.  Faith is what I DO (chapter 2) because it rests upon what I believe (Chapter 1). 


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 1a: What causes me to lose faith that God can and will do something?  What has God placed in my heart to believe (A calling? A person who will come to the LORD? A certain situation to be resolved?) Has the time lapse made me question God, or will I continue to pray, believing, because God put it in my heart to believe? 

Verse 1b:  Is it easier to complain and question God in where He has placed me day after day?  Or will I choose to seek and honor Him, where He has trusted me to be, as He molds me for His plan and not my own? 

Verse 2a: Am I looking to see how God is going to open doors in my life or am I busy complaining about the fact that He is not opening the ones I want when I want? 

Verse 2b:  It is ok to be afraid, but in the end will I give the power in my life over to the fear I have of men or God?  Will I allow God to stretch my faith in spite of my fear? 

Verse 3: When do I hold back with the Truth because I don’t want it to hurt anyone?  Will I trust God for the timing, tone and words lovingly giving the Truth when it is demanded of me without pride or fear of consequence? 

Verse 4a: When God opens the door and the way IS clear, will I step-to or step-away?  John 6:66 “As a result, many withdrew.” Will I press in? Have I pressed in? When? What was the result?  Have I shrunk in fear?   

Verse 4b:  Am I quick to pray?  Do I realize how desperately dependent I am on Jesus? 

Verse 5:  If my beliefs are evidenced by what I do then how do I prove my beliefs through my actions?  What do I really believe? (If I REALLY believe cereal is the BEST breakfast food, then in my life there will be evidence of eating cereal at breakfast a lot…. does that make sense?)

LIVE IT OUT!
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage. 

Is there a main theme to them?  Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason?? 

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, help my unbelief!  Give me the strength to wait when You say wait, to speak when You say speak and to walk when You say walk.  Open my ears to hear, and my heart to listen and my set my feet to Your path today as I go out.

Homework:  Do the three questions onNehemiah 2:10-20. 
Bonus Challenge:Three questions on any or all of Nehemiah 3.

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

Women’s Bible Studies Begin January 7th

Ladies, it’s that time of year again!  A special time set aside for you to rest in the presence of God and learn more about who He is and who you are in Him.

The Cove’s Annual Women’s Bible Study begins Tuesday, January 7th.

Come away each Tuesday (1 morning and 1 evening study) for the next several weeks and hear God’s voice speaking to you.

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 for more details and to register.  It’s free!  Don’t forget to bring a friend or two.

Womens bible study postcard small

 

See what Kendra Graham has in store for her evening study here.

See what Jane Derrick has planned for her study here.

SAVING A SEAT FOR YOU: Coming up in 2014

THE BGTC shot

We have so much to look forward to in the New Year.  Take a look here to see what’s happening at The Cove in 2014. 

 

Click here for information on the free Women’s Bible studies beginning on January 7th.

Select one of the dates below for more information on the Military Marriage Retreats in 2014:
February 14-16, 2014 with Michael Easley
June 28-30, 2014  with Gary Chapman

And last but not least…

Save the date: An Evening at The Cove with David Phelps on February 13th!