God has blessed me tremendously throughout my life – I will update this page with thoughts about faith, God, how God has answered prayers or blessed me, and possibly about the things we’re discussing in our bible study….
My ladies bible study is currently studying the book of James – using Beth Moore’s Mercy Triumphs. So far – I am loving this bible study and feel that it is definitely touching our hearts and moving our spirits in positive ways. This week – it made me take a closer look at how quickly I become angry or upset over trivial things, and how quick I am to speak when I should be listening. I love Beth Moore’s bible studies because they are exactly that – we are studying the book of James, but we’re constantly referring back to other books in the bible and I feel like I am digging even deeper into this amazing gift and realizing how much more time I need to spend reading the Book of Life. I hope to go a little deeper into how this study is impacting me personally – but I want to do so when I’ve given the lessons some time to “percolate” and change me permanently. Rather than simply sharing the parts of the study that have touched my heart, because it takes more than that for a study to be truly effective and for a person to fully surrender to the lessons God is teaching him/her.
Since quitting our TTC (trying to conceive) endeavors, I have found a new strength in my faith and the trust I have in God. Sure, it’s not easy… especially since we have not made the choice to live child-free…we’re just putting that on hold for right now. So, in the future, we will pick up that challenge again… the only way that I am getting through during this break, is by trusting in God and trusting that His plan for our lives (for MY life) is even better than my wildest dreams. I know this, because God has already surprised me — I would never in a million years have prayed for or thought that I would be happily married, living in the USA, and a home owner by the time I turned 23. But here I am. I also know that God is faithful and He will always provide exactly what I need…maybe not what I want, but always what I need…when I need it.
Take my current job, for example. When I applied for the job, I wanted a full time job — but, this job was for a maximum of 45 hours a week… so – I get every Thursday off of work (unpaid). At the time I was a little disappointed… a little more income would have been welcomed. But, I was grateful to have found a job only a month after I finished with my host family. Now – I realize what a huge blessing having Thursdays off is — it has meant that I have been able to get my observation hours (for my teaching degree) completed without having to take time off of work!
Now, come August, I face the unknown…. My last day at this job will come, I may or may not have a student teaching placement, I will be without an income, and will be unable to get a full time job due to the requirements of student teaching (where I will not be financially compensated for my time or work). I have been praying prayers of thankfulness for God’s provisions and for the fact that I do not need to be concerned about the future – because God already has it all figured out.
Case and point:
Yesterday I found out that I will be getting a small increase in my hourly rate. (Huge surprise which I am very thankful for!)
Today, hubby found out that he was promoted!! (Which will make his salary almost enough for us to get by on while I student teach… so we will not need to rely so heavily on our savings.)
God is good, and faithful, all the time!
And I am so very grateful for His provisions and grace in my life!
November 2 2011
My ladies bible study group finished ‘Erasing Hell’ a little while ago. I enjoyed it, although it was rather different to Rob Bell’s ‘Love Wins’. I feel more at peace with the fact that we are not really meant to fully understand Heaven or Hell. I accept that they are real, and I accept that it is not my responsibility to decide who gets to go where… that’s up to God, and He doesn’t think the way we do — so although I may not be fully comfortable with the thought of people being punished… I do believe that God’s ways are good and true – therefore I trust Him. What ‘Erasing Hell’ did do – is it gave me a sense of urgency with regard to how I live my life – and how I share my faith. It is so important that we do whatever we can to bring people to God… and I don’t feel like I’ve taken that very seriously in the past. But now I have a better sense of why it is so important to be an example, to be comfortable enough in one’s faith to share it, and to take the time to really get to know people – the way Christ did, so we can share our faith in a way that makes it real to each person.
So – we are now reading ‘The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask: (With Answers)’ by Mark Mittelberg. And so far, I am loving it!! As we read this book, not only do I feel better prepared to discuss my faith, but it is renewing and strengthening my faith. It’s an awesome book, you should check it out! 🙂
September 2 2011
We finished up Rob Bell’s ‘Love Wins’ and although I really enjoyed reading it, and liked the ideas Rob Bell discussed…the ladies in my bible study decided that we need to dig deeper. So, we are now reading Francis Chan’s ‘Erasing Hell’. Whenever one reads something, whether it be a forwarded email, a political book, or a religious book it is important to determine what is fact and what is opinion. Rob Bell writes in a very poetic and emotional manner… he makes you feel what he’s saying (if that makes any sense)… and although I really liked what he was saying – he did not back many things up with scripture. The references he did make to scripture were brief and did not actually give the whole picture. ‘Erasing Hell’ is based more on scripture and it seems that Francis Chan simply wants to share the facts and let his readers decide for themselves what they believe. Whereas, I feel that Rob Bell clearly had his interpretation and his book was quite persuasive as opposed to just giving the facts. Although I am excited to read ‘Erasing Hell’… I just pray that we can come to a place where we feel at peace with the ideas of heaven and hell. And, of course, I pray that God will reveal the truth to us, and help us understand his plans for eternity.
July 13 2011
We are still making our way through ‘Love Wins’ and enjoying the discussions we’re having. It is a great book for Christians and non-Christians alike. I am really enjoying it because it is confirming my personal beliefs with regard to what the real message is – with regard to being “Christian” and what that means for the present moment and for “eternity”. I think this book has been released at the perfect time – because I really feel that so many “Christians” have lost the plot so to say. If I were a non-believer and looked at some Christians and Christian organizations as examples of what the religion means, I would probably be very turned off and want nothing to do with it. This book helps clarify some of the misconceptions many non-believers (and believers) may have of what Christ’s message really is, and what is important to God. I encourage all of you to read this book – whether you’re a firm believer, an atheist, an agnostic, or just not sure about any of it… read it, consider the message, and come to your own conclusions about “salvation” and “eternity”.
On a side note – right now my prayer request is for direction and guidance in my married life and with regard to finishing my degree and student teaching, etc.
July 11 2011
This morning I felt God’s presence and protection… I was stopped at the traffic light and suddenly heard the screeching of tires and a loud crash… A man had apparently tried to take the corner way too fast and had jumped the curb and hit the pedestrian light to the left of me… he then proceeded to drive off the curb and attempt to take the turn wide… I was convinced he was going to hit my car… and still do not know how he didn’t. If this man had misjudged the turn later, rather than too soon, he would have hit me head on…
There were lots of things that happened that allowed me to come away from that with only a rapidly beating heart – and I thank God for His protection.
June 20 2011
At the moment, we are discussing Rob Bell’s book ‘Love Wins’… it is a very interesting reading, and so far, I am really enjoying it. The theories and ideas he writes about, make sense to me.
My prayer request at the moment is for healing for a member of my family (I am sure he does not want to post his business on the interwebs, hence the ambiguous mention – but I want to document it, so that I can refer back…). Also – our pastors are leaving our church and we are trying to figure out what that means for us exactly…as they were a very big reason why we joined the church…and otherwise we are not sure if it is the right fit for us.