Book Club & Bible Study

Studying the Bible can seem daunting and overwhelming and amazing and invigorating. Yet despite becoming a believer at a young age, I still feel like I don’t really know how to do it let alone where to start. I have always used Bible studies or commentaries or sermons to tell me what to think about a particular passage and how to apply it to my life. And while this isn’t wrong, it isn’t completely necessary–the Holy Spirit is in me just as it is in those authors and speakers meaning I have the ability to comprehend what God is saying just like they do.

Thankfully I found this book:

WotW

I devoured it in just a few hours and filled it with arrows, underlines, and exclamation marks. I  took notes and am creating a work book/journal outline to go along with Jen’s method. She makes studying God’s Word seem a little less intimidating and a lot more do-able with her 5 P’s:

Purpose

Perspective

Patience

Process

Prayer

 The Cliff Notes version: When we are to study God’s Word, we must study with the “big picture” in mind–from the first page to the last the Bible speaks of creation, the fall, redemption, and restoration {Purpose}. And as we read we need to consider the historical context of the passage {Perspective} while allowing the Spirit to work in us {Patience}. To ensure we are fully understanding what is being read and how to apply it, we need to be methodical {Process}. And finally, our study should begin, end, and be intermixed with conversations with the Author {Prayer}.

Still seem impossible?

Don’t forget we are commanded to

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”  (Mark 12:30, emphasis mine).

Love Jesus with my heart & soul?…check & check.

Love Jesus with my mind?….ummm…not as easy. In order to love Him with my mind and in turn love Him more deeply with my heart, I have to know Him. And the only way to do that, is to study the Word.

As Jen says, “…the Holy Spirit opens the Word to us, but not without some effort on our part” (pg. 23).

Book Club: The Best Yes

Words have power. Power to convey our emotions. Power to break our hearts. Power to motivate us. Power to take us into another world. This power is one of the many reasons I love books. I can escape the everyday and enter another time and place. I can imagine a life totally different than my own. I get motivated to make better choices, to live more boldly, to be more real. And I love sharing the wisdom and imaginary worlds found in books with my friends.

Today {and hopefully every month} I am sharing with you, my friend.

It took me six short days to devour the wisdom written by Lysa Terkeurst in her latest book, “The Best Yes“. Throughout her stories of life as a wife, mom, entrepreneur, ministry leader, and all around funny lady, Lysa discusses not only how to make good decisions, but how to make sure we make the BEST decisions.

At first I wasn’t sure if this was a “must read” for me in my current season of life. My calendar isn’t crazy busy {maybe because I already have that saying no part down} and I don’t have any major decisions to make before me. But it is always better to be prepared, right? I have no idea what the Lord has planned for me and it could be soon I will have a season full of crazy decision making. And the bottom line is this–“…a Best Yes is (me) playing (my) part”, (page 5, substitutions mine)–my life, my decisions are part of the story God has planned for me so I better figure out how to do it right and make it awesome!

Lysa fills the 231 pages with wisdom from her life, the experiences of others, and most importantly, God’s Word. Seriously though I underlined, starred, drew arrows, and Amens! all over the place. I’m talking like half the book. These are some of my favorites:

The one who obeys God’s instruction for today will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow.        (p 11)

It’s giving a voice to what otherwise just stays a quiet whisper locked inside. It’s about letting out that cry of passion God entrusted to you (p. 29)

How we spend our soul matters (p. 32)

Intuition and discernment are two very different things (p. 37)

We will steer where we stare. So stare mightily at God and His plan (p. 91)

The only way to diminish our regret is by making decisions that lead to peace (p. 99)

…Being present with a heart bent toward love and daring to look at what’s been placed right in front of you is honestly the best place to start. (p. 176)

Like whoa! Good stuff, huh?

Some decisions are easy to make…Do you want fried chicken for dinner? {No.} Do you want ice cream? {Yes!} But others are not…Do I go on a date night with my love even though we just got in a fight? Is it okay to see that movie? Should I add another activity/responsibility/meeting to my already filled calendar? Will letting that young woman live with me be beneficial or a burden? Do I quit my job or work to make it better? Decisions are part of our life. With the guidance of Scripture, godly people, and Lysa’s wise words, I am confident that with each decision, small or big, I will be able to find and live out my Best Yes. Are you ready?

 

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