Where is the Man?

Hi Ladies, Does it feel like we missed more than one session in the week we were away ? Missing this study is like missing an episode of your favorite show… We have some catching up to do ! Speaking of getting caught up, if you haven’t looked at the study, take some time to do so– it’s by far the most dramatic part of the story with much application to our lives.

On Day One, Beth poses the question, “Why can’t we be truthful? ” She remarks, “I started thinking how imprisoned we are by our unwillingness to tell the truth about ourselves. To just be honest. Authentic. I’m talking about simply being truthful about where we’ve come from…and where we hope we’re going.”

Most recently, I have realized that I am imprisoned by what others may say or how I will be judged for my story. I am learning, however, that my authenticity is directly linked to God’s power to touch others through my story. As Beth writes, ” Sometimes you simply decide that people are worth telling on yourself.” Further, our truthfulness also allows God to  confirm His sovereign purpose as well as lead us to “where we are going”.

What struggles do you face with authenticity ? How will you rely on God this week to cultivate your authenticity in order to better reach others ?

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What Goes Around

Hi Ladies, As promised here is part two of our “double-header” to catch up on the blog this week.

In this week’s lesson Beth writes, “Let’s pursue a walk with God so close that the spotlights of this world—be they for us or against us—are eclipsed by His enormous shadow cast on our path. There in the shelter of the Most High we find our signifigance and the only satisfaction of our insatiable need to be noticed.”

When I first realized that God was calling me to the spotlight capital of the world, I was angry and fearful. The absolute last place I wanted to be was “in the spotlight.” I have since begun to learn that when I am in the spotlight, I can re-direct that light to Him, giving Him the credit for my story and for who I am. With that perspective, I am better able to embrace the spotlight, rather than run away from it.

Now it’s your turn. How do you react to attention ? How can you use that stage as an opportunity to give God the glory ?

A Table Set for Providence

Hello Ladies, I am a little behind on the blog due to my trip, so thought I would give you a “double-dose” before our time Thursday evening.

In week 5, Beth writes, “The most critical breakthrough of faith you and I could ever experience is to let God bring us to a place where we trust Him–period. We don’t just trust Him to let us avoid what we fear most. We determine to trust Him no matter what, even if our worst nightmare befalls us.”

I have employed this three-step process when facing any fear: 1) Ask yourself, “What is my worst-case scenario ?”  2) Force yourself to imagine that worst-case scenario happening  3) Realize that even if the worst-case scenario were to happen, God would still be God and He would still be with you. I cannot tell you how many times this has worked to free me from fear. My prayer is that this process will also help break your chains and set you free.

What about you ? What is your worst-case scenario ? How can facing that fear set you free this week ?

If You Remain Silent

Happy Saturday !
What a wonderful time of fellowship we enjoyed Thursday evening sharing our ‘giant-sized weight’ stories. I know that your perseverance in our study is already reaping eternal blessings.

In our lesson this week, Beth writes, “Esther’s superficial life was about to be shattered, and a woman much deeper than her skin was about to be unearthed. If we’re blessed, the same will happen to each of us.”

I have found personally that this ’shattering’ of different spheres of my life is what God has used the most to transform my ‘broken pieces’ into a masterpiece that truly reflects His glory. Only when we allow the ’shattering’ to occur is when God can begin the deeper work of healing, restoration and transformation.

Where in your life is God ’shattering’ you ? How will you surrender to Him this week and allow His process to bring divine transformation ?

A Contest for a Queen

Hi Ladies, I was encouraged by your willingness to “dig deep” in our session last week and fearlessly reveal your struggles in this “mean world”.

In this week’s lesson, I was both strengthened and empowered by Beth’s challenge in Day 1 when she writes, “We can’t just depend on a good mood to get us through…we need more than a mood. We need a mindset.”

This truth challenged me as I was tempted to give into the “mood” that accompanies dreary weather. Likewise, with a “storm” in my life this week, I was faced with the decision to choose “mindset over mood.”

In what ways do you battle “mood vs. mindset ?”  What strategies can you implement this week to ensure that mindset wins ?

 

I echo Beth’s prayer for all of you this week-
May God be allowed to work such steadfastness of mind in you that ‘the bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days’ ” ~Deut. 33:25


A Royal Mess

Hi Ladies, I hope that all of you are enjoying the beginning of our journey through the book of Esther. I pray that all of us will hang in there for this ride with its many twists and turns.

As we delve into week 2, I was struck by Beth’s statement in Day 3: ”One of God’s purposes in this journey is to help us recapture both our identity and identification as His children-not so we can be obnoxious but so we can be influential.”

Personally, I have struggled with finding the balance between being an “in-your-face Christian” and “a secret-agent for Christ.” Without a balance between the two, I have felt ”obnoxious instead of influential”.
What’s your view on being influential for Christ ? Do you side towards being a “CIA Christian” or a “Bumper-sticker Believer” ? How do you find the balance ?

Introductory Session

Hello Ladies, I cannot tell you how encouraged I was by our Thursday meeting–I was impressed by your puncuality,  your preparation (every one of you brought me exact change for your books !),  and most of all by your sincere desire to study God’s word with other like-minded women. How amazing is our God that He knew we would be gathering “for such a time as this.”
And so for our first blog discussion, I wanted to share a principle that jumped out to me in the very first lesson. HINT: if you haven’t started your lesson yet, dive into it ! Beth writes, “When we trust our lives to the unseen ever-present God, He will write our lives into His story and every last one of [our stories] will turn out to be a great read. With a grand ending.”

I know for myself I have struggled to believe and trust that portions of my story will be used for His glory and purpose. I sometimes feel as though I want to tell only parts of the story–or only parts to certain people. But as Beth writes, if we let God, He allows our stories to be “a great read with a grand ending”. Let’s take great hope in this truth not just to “wait and see” but as Beth says,”Live and see.”

How about you ? Do you fully embrace the story of your life, even the unfinished chapters ?  In what practical ways this week can you begin to embrace your story more fully ?