Tag Archives: Women’s Ministry

Join Us For a Ministry Wives Retreat at The Cove

By Joy Allmond

Ministry wives, do you find it hard to confide in anyone? Or, maybe you constantly feel defensive of your husband’s critics. No matter what issue you face, Gail MacDonald has walked in your shoes.  

Gail and her husband have been through the ups and downs of ministry life for more than 50 years. Over this period of time, God has equipped her to speak into the lives of other ministry wives. During April 4-5, she will lead a Ministry Wives Retreat at The Cove. 


“We have all these people in church, yet it is difficult for younger ministry wives to find older women take the time to mentor them. They feel like they’ve done their thing, instead of coming alongside them,” she explained.

So, how can you best serve the ministry wife in your life?

Gail’s first piece of advice centers around conversation.

“If you take a ministry wife to lunch, talk about how God is growing each of you rather than church issues. The conversation is bound to head toward church critique. She doesn’t need that. If she finds that people who take her to lunch have an axe to grind, she will use greater caution as to who she lets in her life.”  

The most important thing you can discuss with a ministry wife is what are you learning from Scripture. “Relationships should be based on what God is doing in our lives.” 

Today’s ministry wife also deals with much criticism—that of her, and that of her husband. Furthermore, she often has a harder time dealing with criticism of her husband than even he does.

“We are people pleasers. The good news is, we love people. The bad news is… we love people,” said Gail. “If opinions become too important, this can set us in a bad place where we’re never satisfied. I always encourage everyone on staff to be themselves.”

Another way lay people can help ministry wives is to help her with practical things.

“Pastors’ wives are aware that both they and their husbands wear entirely too many hats. A pastor is hired to be a pastor but often fired for not being a good manager. Church life can be very complex, especially if a pastor and his wife are in a smaller church. There is not a staff to delegate things to, so they end up with most of the work.

“This is especially true of the last couple of decades, since more women in the church have gone into the workplace. There are not as many people to volunteer to do things.”

A ministry wife should be encouraged to know her limits, and to say no when necessary.

The most important thing you can do for a ministry wife, Gail says, is to pray for her.

“If she ask you to pray about something, get back to her and check on it. She needs to know you are genuinely interested in her prayer needs. Prayer and affirmation are the biggest needs of anyone in ministry.”

If there are things you see in her life that you can’t talk about, pray those thoughts into her. “Sometimes we can move people only by prayer. They are not ready; they can’t bear our words,” she explained.

When she is at The Cove with this group of ministry wives, she wants to show them that you can be in ministry for over 50 years—and still love it.

 

 

“I want them to see that Christ and His availability to us and the power He gives us will sustain us. Often times, we try to make God into our image. We need to ask how we can fall into step with Him instead of Him falling into step with us. “

 

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 for more information and to register for The Ministry Wive’s Retreat at The Cove on April 4-5, 2013. 

Gwen Smith will be leading worship for this retreat!    

Financial assistance is available.  Click here for an application.

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 9:16-21

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their 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 suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 9:16-21 

FACTS, What Does it Say?

16: At the end of 3 days after they made a covenant with them, they heard they were neighbors, living within their land.

17: Israel came to their cities on the third day.

18:  Israel did not strike them b/c the leaders swore an oath by the LORD God of Israel.  The congregation grumbled

19: The leaders said, “ We swore by the LORD the God of Israel, we can’t touch them.”

20: We will let them live, lest wrath be upon us for the oath we swore.”

21:  They became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation.

LESSONS, What does it mean?

16-17:  The deceit of Gibeon towards Israel is discovered.  People will set out to deceive me in this world, unfortunately it is a cold hard fact.

18-19:  Hold fast to your word, your word needs to be your bond, it reflects upon the God I say I serve, especially when it is difficult.   Popular opinion may try to sway and pressure me to break my word, after all, the oath was made upon a lie… so doesn’t that make a nice loophole for me to get out of it?  The right thing to do is never the easy thing.

20:  Don’t sin on top of a sin.  Perspective is everything… Don’t be so quick to complain about someone else’s integrity that I degrade my integrity in the process, maybe I am currently being tested in the exact same way…  “In your anger do not sin” Psalm 4:4, Eph 4:26

21:  Better is one day in Your courts as a wood chopper, water carrier, door holder or bathroom cleaner…. than a thousand elsewhere! Perhaps my reaction to the situation will bring that person into contact with their Saviour! PRAISE that God kept His Word to me in spite of my poor behavior!

Application, What Does it Mean to me?

16-17: When have I been purposely deceived by someone and what was my reaction when I found out? Have I ever purposefully deceived someone to get my way or to get ahead, and what was the other person’s reaction when they found out? Anger? Hurt? disappointment? What was my reaction in both situations?  Godly or ungodly?  Did I attempt to make things right, or is it always right so long as I come out ahead? 

18-19: Even strong godly leaders will make mistakes, am I quick to point the finger, or do I realize I am just one decision away from making the exact same mistake?  Am I swayed by the convincing arguments of friends to break my word to someone?

20: Will I give people what I think they deserve? Or will I be careful that I don’t find myself in the same exact sin?  Will I hold fast to my oath for the sake of God’s name even when it’s difficult?  Will I hold fast to my oath for the sake of God’s name when people both godly and ungodly would understand if I didn’t?

21:  Will I keep an eternal focus when I am currently suffering and taking a loss? When has my reaction to a situation been a good example of Christ for someone else and when has my reaction to a situation been a not so good example of Christ? Have I thanked God for His faithfulness to me regardless of my deceitful actions?

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications from a verse or two and what they mean to you.  Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.   

HOMEWORK: Joshua 9:22-27

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 9:7-15

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their 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 suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 9:7-15 

What does it Say? FACTS:

7: Israel said to the Hivites: Perhaps you are living within our land how shall we make a covenant with you?

8: a. BUT they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.”

     b. Joshua said to them: “Who are you and where do you come from?”

9-10: They said, “Your servants have come from a far country because of the fame of your God; we heard the report of all He did in Egypt, and to the kings beyond the Jordan.

11: So our elders and inhabitants spoke: Take provisions  for the journey and go and meet them and say, we are your servants, make a covenant with us.”

12: This our bread was warm when we took it for provisions on the day we left to come to you, but now is dry and crumbled

13: These wineskins were new behold they are torn, our clothes, our sandals worn out because of the very long journey

14: SO the men of Israel took some of their provisions and did not ask for the counsel of the LORD. 

15: And Joshua made peace with w/ them, a covenant, to let them live, and the leaders swore an oath to them. 

What does it mean? Lessons:

7. The Israelites, I think had a feeling, had questions in their gut, who these guys really were…..  they pressed them for an answer…. who are you… really?  Israel knew that God said not to make a covenant with anyone within the land, they knew the rules, but their eyes were seeing something very believable, their ears were hearing something very believable.  Discernment is something given by God and must be sought out from God. Our senses and emotions will betray us.

8. a. BUT they said to Joshua…. notice they did not answer the question…. where is Gibbs from NCIS on this one? Or “The Closer” right?  Flattery and compliments from the enemy.  Notice the enemy answers Joshua, not the leaders who asked the question, looking for who the softy is perhaps?  I wouldn’t think it would be Joshua.  They are trying to divide the leader from his counsel.  The enemy loves to divide and conquer, be alert.  Often times the enemy will tell you exactly what you want to hear.

b. Joshua presses for an answer to the leaders’ question, who are you?  Stand your ground.  Be firm.  Don’t be deceived.  Seek discernment from the One who gives wisdom upon request.

9-10:  There is STILL no answer to the question.  A far country is not WHAT country.  Notice now they brought up Egypt and the kings beyond the Jordan, but cleverly left out the most recent victories, so again as to “verify” their story.  They were sure to comment on how “far” the fame of the LORD had reached.  People are clever… the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9  Be careful of the flattery of others.

11:  The Gibeonites had no wish to fight Israel, they were just wanting a promise that they would not be destroyed, and they would be more than happy to be their servants, their slaves.  Be careful what you promise and to whom. Your word is your bond.  Your word reflects on the God you serve.  Be careful. Be careful. Be careful.

12-13. Be careful, what things appear to be, are not always what they are in reality.  Only God can give insight, so ask Him who gives wisdom liberally!  When someone is pushing me to believe something…. especially when they want me to believe it NOW and ACT NOW, and SIGN NOW, be wary.

14:  They believed their eyes, ears and touch.  Things are not always what they seem.  Times when we don’t think we need to seek counsel of the LORD are probably the very times we most need to seek the counsel of the LORD.

15:  Be careful of the promises I make.  Covenants should not be taken lightly.  My word is my bond, so be careful what situations and  people I bond myself to.

What does it mean to me?

7: Am I quick to believe all I see and hear, or am I seeking God on all things, even when the answer seems obvious to me, right in front of my eyes?

8: a. Am I quick to believe flattery and words that tickle my ears and ego?  Am I alert to the tactics of the enemy?  When has the enemy used the tactic “divide and conquer” in my life?  Was it successful?  Did I learn from that?  Was I bamboozled or wise?

8: b. Am I in prayer for discernment?  Am I quick to believe what I hear so I won’t have to press in any longer?  I hate confrontation, but am I willing to hold strong and face up or am I quick to crumble and just believe what I hear because it is easier?

9-10:  When have I been moved by the flattery of someone else to do something I normally would not do?  Have I used flattery to get my way?  Is that right?

11: Do I flippantly make promises with people or am I careful and prayerfully consider the covenants I make?  Is my word my bond, or an avenue to get what I want?

12-13: Am I quick to believe what I see?  Do I rely on my own senses to make decisions or do I prayerfully consider all things?

14: In whom do I trust? Myself? Circumstances?  Or am I constantly seeking God’s counsel?  Am I quickly making decisions, or patiently seeking and waiting for God’s answers? 

15: Have I impatiently made promises to do things, and be places that I never consulted God about?  Everything seemed right on the surface, but after I was committed I knew it wasn’t right?  Am I impulsive in my decisions?

LIVE IT OUT:

Take everything to God in prayer.  Wait for God to clearly reveal His wisdom on the matter then have the guts to follow through with His leading.

Homework for next week: Joshua 9: 16-21

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you. 
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 8:30-35

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their 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 suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8:30-35

FACTS from verses 30-35:

30.  Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD

31. a. Just as Moses commanded Israel, as it is written in the book of the Law,

      b. an altar of uncut stones which no man has wielded a tool. 

32. He wrote on the stones the Law of Moses in the presence of Israel.

33. ALL Israel, elders, officers, judges, priests, stranger, native standing on both sides of the ark, half in front of Mt Gerizim and 1/2 in front of Mt Ebal just as Moses commanded to bless the people.

34. Then he read the words of the law, according to ALL that is written.

35. There was not a work of all Moses commanded which Joshua did not read.

LESSONS from verses 30-35: 

30.  Here Joshua and Israel have this huge win!  Israel has just faced the very people who had beaten them back a short time ago and they take back their honor! The people honor their promise to God to obey and then in their obedience they enjoy sweet victory.  So, Joshua, you have just beaten Ai, what a turnaround from your previous engagement! You not only beat them, you annihilated them! So, tell me, what are you and the Israelites going to do?  Are you going to Disneyland?  Where is the BIG celebration?  Instead of reveling in victory the way most people would, doing interviews and party hopping, Joshua leads the children of Israel on a march about 20 miles away.  In Deuteronomy chapters 27-28, when they reached the Promised Land, they were to build an altar to God in this very place.  Joshua knew God’s Word and knew the importance of immediate obedience.  Joshua led the people in obedient victory but also to immediate worship…. Joshua did not even take a day to whoop it up… they were focused on living lives focused on the One True God.

MY LESSON:  Keep your focus!  FOCUS Before the battle laying down my own plans for a great victory…. FOCUS during the battle on being careful to OBEY ALL… FOCUS after the battle (HARDEST OF ALL) giving ALL the glory and Worship back to God!  FOCUS off ME ON HIM! Sometimes we are most vulnerable right after a big win! (Joshua chapters 6-7)

31a. Joshua knew chapter and verse of where he was to go and what he was to do.  Joshua did not concern himself with having to know the why aspect.  God said it, so he did it.

MY LESSON: Be quick to obey because it is written. 

 31b.  Uncut stones.  The altar built is not about Joshua’s ego… that he can build a “rocking” altar.  The altar is not about the talents that any one has to bring to the dance… look what kind of intricate design I can build on this altar, it will be amazing and gorgeous and I will leave a sign at the base, so people know my abilities to make an altar of such magnificence and maybe I can have a little start up business here… NO… the altar is of uncut un wielded stones… ALL the focus, ALL the glory, ALL the honor goes to God. 

My Lesson: God is jealous for HIS GLORY… I need to stay out of it, but be careful to give it in the way He commands.  God uses the rough uncut things in the world to bring glory unto Himself and Himself alone.

32.  I need constant reminders of what God has said.  I need to go out of my way to remind myself, then remind myself and remind myself again of what God has said.  We are sheep, easily distracted and quick to forget.

33. Be careful to obey ALL…. again… no detail was overlooked or put aside, we tend to say things like:  “Well, who cares, so long as we are all there and I read such and such… it doesn’t matter who stands where, who is present and who isn’t”.  IT ALL MATTERS.  EVERYONE MATTERED to God.  Our presence in His presence according to His Word matters.  If one stranger or Levite stayed back in their tent, it would have mattered.  God’s Word is for everyone.  God has something to say to Everyone.  If we don’t show up, it’s noticed by God and it matters to God.

34-35.  Nothing taken out of context, nothing left out…. God’s Word is not a buffet, we can’t pick and choose what we want to hear and discard the rest… all is for our good and God’s glory.  I also like this, because this allows God to just have the platform, lets God speak for Himself!  God’s Word is convicting, exhorting, encouraging, reproving, rebuking, restoring, redeeming and loving all on its own without any added personal commentary. 

APPLICATIONS from verses 30-35:

30.   Am I quick to focus on God before the battle and during, but then after the victory is God a first thought or after thought?

31a.  Am I quick to obey or do I refuse to move until God graces me with the “why” of the situation?  Am I in God’s Word so that I have clarity of what He has called me to do?

31b.  Am I careful to obey God just as He said, or do I think maybe I should add some “needed flare” on my part to get the message across?  Do I try to tell God what parts of my life He can use and what parts He can’t use? (He can use the pretty parts…. not the rough uncut parts…)

32.  Am I reminding myself daily of what the Word of God says?

33. Have I ever fallen into the trap where I tell myself, “Well, if I’m not there it really won’t matter? No one will miss me?”  If God has laid on my heart to do something or be somewhere… He has something for me, to show me, share with me etc… so how many things have I missed because I discounted my presence at a certain place?

34-35.  When do I want to leave out the hard stuff and just focus on the blessings want or think I deserve?  How many times do I leave important things out because I don’t want to “offend” people? Or turn them “off” to the Gospel?  Do I realize that it is not my job to turn anyone “on” or “off” to the Gospel, but it is my responsibility to be obedient in ALL things?

Homework for next week: Joshua 9: 1-6

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you. 
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.

Women’s Day Away at The Cove…

By Joy Allmond

On April 19, women from all over the region will descend on the quiet, peaceful grounds of The Cove, in Asheville, NC.

During this one-day seminar, they will hear from Bible teacher and author Lisa Harper, who will bring truth from the gospels and lessons from recent life experiences to convey the liberating power of a relationship with Jesus.

“I love that kind of intensive Bible study. I’m excited to go pretty deep in short amount of time. Plus, I’m pretty biased about The Cove,” she said with a grin.

Stumbling Into Grace is the title of Harper’s most recent book. Over the past few years, she has gone through a series of challenges and disappointments—including the death of a parent, the loss of a friendship and a health scare. She explained that this book (and this Cove seminar) is the result of a hybrid of her journals and what the Lord was showing her through her study of Scripture through those times.

“We tend to not talk about certain things in ‘sanitized’ church settings. I’ve experienced a ton of loss over years. And, there are so many things, like what I’ve faced and what others face that can’t be tied up with a neat application bow,” she said.

“It is so cool that the emotions that every woman faces runs parallel with what Jesus said in the gospels. So, during my own healing time, it was a natural for me to write this message because of what Jesus was teaching me.”

Harper is passionate about helping other women discover that they don’t need to “have it all together” for Jesus to love them. As she quoted Brennan Manning,  “Jesus loves us as we are, not as we should be.”

She wants them to see that Jesus is more accessible though failures, disappointments and hurts. As she puts it, “There is sanctity in scars.”

She wants others to understand that Jesus is the hero of the Bible, not us. She wants women not to glory in sin, but glory in the redemption of Jesus.

During her day at The Cove, one of the passages she will explore with the guests is the story of the man at Bethesda—a paralytic who had been visiting for 38 years, in hope of healing.

“Jesus asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ Well, he’s a paralytic, so of course he wants to get well. He acknowledges that he can’t drag himself to the water. Then, Jesus tells him get up and walk, she recalled. “Like this man, I want us to recognize that life is hard, but we were made for more than this. Jesus came to restore.”

As for her day at The Cove with the women who join her, she wants to see them begin to understand God’s delight in them, and for healing to take place.

“There are woman bound by shame and by a lack of real intimacy with Jesus. I pray that this day will be a turning point in a new direction for them.”

Ladies, there is still time to plan on joining Lisa!  Click here for more details!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 8: 23-29

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their 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 suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8:23-29

FACTS from verses 23 & 29:

23. The king was taken alive
29. He hanged the king of Ai.

The king of Ai had to watch what was being done to his people, and then was hanged and died himself.  (It is recorded that he was a wicked king full of arrogance and hatred against God, and especially the people of God.) 

LESSON from verses 23 & 29:

To whom much is given, much is expected.  We are accountable to God for the way we lead His creation, the people or things He has given under our command whether we like it or not, whether we personally believe it or not.  Nothing escapes God’s eye, and He is passionate about people, especially His people.

APPLICATION from verses 23 & 29: 

What or whom has God placed under my authority?  A family? A classroom?  Employees?  A soccer team?  If Jesus physically walked through my day with me, how would He see me treating His people He has entrusted to me? 

FACTS from verses 24-27:

24. Israel finished killing ALL the inhabitants of Ai. 
25. All who fell that day were 12,000, all the people of Ai.
26. Joshua did not withdraw his hand until he destroyed ALL the inhabitants of Ai.
27. Israel took only cattle and spoil as plunder according to the work of the LORD which He had commanded Joshua.

LESSONS from verses 24-27:

God demands my complete and total obedience to all that He has commanded me to do.  God will provide the complete victory, all in His power, in His plan and for His purpose, I need to obey what He has asked.  Obey. Obey. Obey All….  KNOW God’s Word so that I may obey all….

Am I in God’s Word to know what He is asking of me?  Have I been completely obedient to all He has asked me to do, or mostly obedient?  I expect God to grant the complete victory all the time, but I tend not to be as excited about the complete obedience… why is that?  

FACT from verse 28:

So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever. 

LESSONS from verse 28:

No reminders of their wayward sin anymore.  Gone forever.  God takes our failures, gives us a testimony of victory to shout from them! No longer does the word “Ai” bring shame and embarrassment, but when brought up, it brings a personal testimony of complete and total victory!  Wanna talk about Ai?  Yah, let’s talk about Ai!  See in that direction over there? Yah, that was the general vicinity of our TOTAL HISTORIC VICTORY!  Oh, let me tell you what God did at Ai! BRING IT!  WOOT!  Raise the roof! A story of defeat turned upside down to a testimony of COMPLETE and total Redemption! “Our Savior who gave Himself for us that He might REDEEM us from EVERY lawless act!” Titus 2:14! AWESOME!

APPLICATION from verse 28:

What story did the enemy previously beat me down with, but NOW it is a testimony of redemption that I can shout about instead of run and hide from!?

Homework for next week: Joshua 8: 30-35

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you. 
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.   

 

Kendra’s Bible Study: Joshua 8: 9-17

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their 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 suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8:9-17

FACTS from verses 11-13
11. All the people of war came before the city and camped. 
12. He took 5,000 men and set them in ambush.
13. Joshua spent the night in the valley.

LESSONS from verses 11:13: 
Sometimes God’s plan leads to an offensive attack at the doorstep of our enemies.

God’s plan involves my active obedience and it will probably take an insane amount of   courage that will strengthen my faith in the end.  It is never easy.  There is always a gap between what I can do and what God must do…. that gap will demand courage and will produce faith in my life.  

APPLICATION from verses 11:13:
Would I rather live in a defensive mode or offensive?  Am I willing to go on the offensive against the enemy?  Are there places and things if God calls me to do them that I just won’t do? “I’ll go there, but I won’t go there”?

Do I trust God if He asks me to place myself in a position of vulnerability in front of friend or foe? Or do I demand from God a place to play it safe and a constant “comfort zone”?

Will I press in to what God is asking of me, or get out?  Was I thinking this would be easier than it really is?

FACTS from verses 14-17
14.The king saw it, rose and went to meet Israel in battle. 15. Israel pretended to be beaten and fled. 16.All the people pursued and were drawn away from the city. 17. They left the city unguarded

LESSONS from verses 14-17
14. Often the ENEMY will use the EXACT SAME strategy against me until it doesn’t work anymore.
15. GOD uses a NEW strategy with His people, Trust God with His plan and the results.
16- 17. The enemy is often times bold in their pride and arrogance, James 4:6 “God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.” The enemy will over-reach due to their arrogance.

APPLICATION from verses 14-17:
What strategy for defeat has the enemy used on me time and time again and has found victory in my defeat?

Have I asked God what His plan is, His new strategy for the enemies defeat and His victory in my past or present circumstances?  Am I willing to “do all”  according to God’s plan even if I don’t like it, or it’s not easy, or it doesn’t make any sense?

When do I think the arrogant enemy just prospers and prospers thinking that God does not see it?  Do I take God at His Word and trust that He is in control?

Homework for next week: Joshua 8: 18-23, 29

Share with us your lesson(s) and what it means to you. 
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.    

Kendra’s Bible Study: Joshua 8:2-9

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their 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 suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8:2:

FACTS from verse 2:

a.  Do to Ai & it’s king like Jericho, take only its spoil and cattle.
b.  Set an ambush for the city

LESSONS from verse 2:

a.  God commands Ai to be burned like Jericho…. BUT…. Israel gets to keep the booty!  Again, God does not point His finger and hold their past sin that occured in Jericho against them… God does not say, “Lets try this again… everything to MY treasury, can you handle it this time?”  GOD BLESSES HIS PEOPLE as they walk in obedience.  God not only restores their standing and calling before Him, but restores their BLESSING as well.  See how good it is to be near the shepherd, obeying and following Him… life will still have challenges and battles and tough stuff…. BUT will be FULL of HIS BLESSING!!!  God will not with-hold His present blessing because of our past mistakes! PRAISE GOD! Not only are we victorious, we are blessed! ACCEPT IT!

b.  God gives Joshua a plan, now he must follow it.  The quickest way to re-gain victory in my life, is to listen to God’s plan, and “Be careful to do all” (Joshua 1:8).

APPLICATIONS from verse 2:

a.  Do I think God will with-hold a calling or blessing in my life because of my past mistakes?  Do I KNOW God wants to bless me?  When and How have I been undeservedly blessed by the awesome hand of God?  Will I accept God’s blessing, or walk away from it b/c I don’t deserve it?

b.  What has God laid on my heart to do today in obedience?  Start something? Stop something?  Wait for something? Encourage someone? Share something? Testify to someone?  Will I be careful to do all He has asked? No more no less?

 Homework for next week: Joshua 8: 10-17

Share with us your lesson(s) and what they mean to you.    

Kendra’s Bible Study: Joshua 8:1

 Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. This is a place where women can come together and share their 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 meansand What it means to you!  Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture. We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1: Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the FACTS)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the LESSONS)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice, find the APPLICATIONS for your life)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8:1:

FACTS from verse 1:  

a.The LORD said to Joshua do not fear.  b.Take all the people of war with you.  c.Arise and go to Ai.  d.I have given you the king, people, city & land.

LESSONS from verse 1:

“Do not fear or be dismayed”
- God RENEWS Joshua’s confidence w/ the same familiar words as Joshua 1.  We have a tendency to “live” in the fear of past mistakes & not go forward even after God has dealt with them.  God is so tender and gentle here, not reminding, or chiding Joshua, “Don’t mess it all up again!”, but God sweetly renews Joshua’s confidence reminding him of His Word.  God’s Word did not change b/c Joshua and Israel messed up last chapter, Joshua didn’t lose his spot, his favor or his calling, it was all just re-enforced.  God renews His people through His never changing Word and promises.

Take all the people of war with you
- God kindly RESTORES the entire nation of Israel to Himself.  In Joshua 6, again, God used all the men of war to march around that wall, and here, for the small city of Ai, God is going to use them all.  God is interested not just in restoring Joshua, God not only just cares about Joshua, but cares about His entire nation.  God did not say, “Since you messed up in chapter 6, now I’m not giving you Ai, you will have to settle for less.”  NO! Our past sin does not disqualify us for present service. 

 Arise and go to Ai:  God REDEEMS the previous failure at Ai. God forgave Israel for their sin back in Joshua 7, but NOW He wants to REDEEM  it!  Go back and face that which formally defeated you and beat you down, this time with Me in the lead, in My power in MY plan! God does not leave people in the state of their failure to remind them of it time and time again… He leads them out…. He calls them to ARISE and GO in His victory as He redeems that exact failure and replaces it with His conquering victory.  Notice they did not “try again” with a different city, in a different place, with a different challenge…. no, they had to conquer Ai before they moved on to another challenge.

I have given you the king, people & land of Ai.  God REMINDS His people of His promise.  The land He promised is still theirs, and is clear, it is “this” land, this city of Ai.  My promise hasn’t been altered or changed because of any of your actions.  My promises stand, now go and claim them in confidence!  Again, it is this city, don’t go looking anywhere else, it is this one which has held you in such a grip of fear for the past bit here.  God has given us the victory over things which in the past have been a source of fear to beat us down with…. go and claim the VICTORY, stop living in DEFEAT! Know what God promises in His Word! Those promises do not change!

APPLICATIONS from verse 1:

a.  Am I allowing the failures of the past to discourage me instead of God’s present Word to encourage me?  What lies of discouragement do I listen to?  You are a failure?   God’s Word renews His people, so whose word am I listening to?  Am I allowing God to build strength and courage, or allowing the world to tear me down with fear and discouragement?

b. Have I believed the lie that since I have messed up here and there I have disqualified myself for God’s service?  Where in my life do I need restoration back to a place of honor in the presence of God?  Will I allow God to restore me or will I stay in the fact of my failure?

c. Will I allow God to redeem that past failure (the one I don’t want to talk about) through my present obedience?

d. What victories has God given to me that I am too afraid to claim?  What present victories do I have over past failures that I have claimed and live in victory over?

QUESTION:  What has God given you the victory over?  What past pain or failure has He redeemed and turned into victory?  You fill in the blank!  depression…self pity…bitterness…eating disorders…legalism…bigotry…

Watch this beautiful music video, When Love Sees You, by Mac Powell (Third Day).
HE came for YOUR story…Yes, you–reading this now.

  

Homework for next week: Joshua 8: 2-9
Thank you for sharing!  Thank you for being a part of this community!  We thank God for each of you.

Ladies, Join Us for Bible Study

Beginning next week, there are two weekly opportunities to participate in a free women’s Bible study at The Cove in Asheville, NC. On Tuesday mornings at 9:45 a.m., join Jane Derrick for a study through the book of Acts. On Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., Kendra Graham will guide participants in a Bible study on the life of Joshua.

If you are able to participant, we are sure you will sense God’s presence in the majestic setting of The Cove and during meaningful times of worship and Bible teaching. There will be small group opportunities to connect with new and old friends.

At the morning study each week(starting Jan. 10), an optional ($10) lunch will be available by reservation.  Reservations for lunch must be made by noon on the Friday prior to the Bible Study. Please note meal tickets are non-refundable.

For more information, or to register, call (800) 950-2092 or visit www.thecove.org. We hope to see you there!