Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer – Session 7


Our discussion on this final week was rich.  What a wonderful journey this has been.  Even more than before I want to have that “One in a Million” faith that drives me to Promised Land living!  I don’t want to live a life in fear, cowering and unsure of where God is leading.  But there is only one way to remedy that:  I must spend time with Him so I can follow Him where He is going.  I want to listen to, be influenced by, obey God’s voice – not my friends, family or even my Bible study classmates.  I don’t want to make excuses about why I’m lagging behind.  I want to be quick to obey when I hear God speak.  And, I’m happy to say that I’m a bit faster to respond than I used to be.  My most recent step of faith only took me a day and a half to execute!

One thing I’ve learned over the last several weeks:  you cannot enter the Promised Land if you’re standing still.  If you’re not moving with God, you’re going nowhere.  It’s never too late to begin, so do it now!  And the Lord promises to restore the years the locusts have eaten!  Hallelujah!

Another topic we discussed was that not everyone’s ministry takes the same shape.  Some are teachers, others are sound booth guys, a number are custodians, several build websites, others exercise stewardship over money and resources.  There are lots of tasks to be done in the body of Christ and every job is critical for the mission.  The sum of our experiences prepares us to serve.  But remember that God qualifies the called.  He doesn’t call the qualified – why would a qualified person need God?  He will always stretch you.  That’s how He shows up to accomplish through us!

Thank you for joining me for Priscilla Shirer’s study “One in a Million”.  Be sure to come back next week for another great study of God’s Word on prayer.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Homiletics - Deuteronomy 31-32


Contents (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture): 

Not included.

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture):

1
31:1-18
Moses Instructs Israel About Entering the Promised Land
Principle:
The Lord goes before and with His people.
The Lord won’t leave or forsake us, so what is there to fear?
Our bad behavior is no surprise to God.
2
31:19-32:47
The Song of Witness Against the Children of Israel
Principle:
A God-ordained ministry will impact future generations.
3
32:48-52
The Lord Instructs Moses About His Coming Death
Principle:
The Lord prepares His people for His plan.
The Lord desires good things for His people.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure):

Moses encourages, recites a song and receives instructions about death.

 

Aim (Christian and Non-Christian):

TCMATK God goes before and with His people, never leaving, failing or forsaking us.  He has made a way to be restored to Him and He desires that restoration.

 

Application:

1
What guidance have you received from the Lord lately?
How has the Lord cleared a path before you?
What commands of the Lord are you obeying?  What commands will you ask His help to obey?
How does knowing the Lord is with you make you strong and courageous?
How are you encouraging those to whom you minister?
Describe a time when the Lord went before you, was with you and/or didn’t fail or forsake you.
How might your ministry teach future generations to fear the Lord?
Describe how the Lord is raising up a leader in your ministry who may one day take your place.
How has the Lord appeared to you lately?
What do you learn about God’s anger from Deuteronomy 31:16-17?
How is God’s anger different from yours?
2
How have you provoked the Lord and what will you do to restore a right relationship?
How have the books of Moses blessed you?
How might the death of a spiritual leader lead to rebellion against God?
How might hearing a witness against you draw you back to God?
What do you learn about God from the song?
What do you learn about people from the song?
What greatness have you ascribed to God?
What stories from God do you hear from elder generations?
How will God respond to man’s rebellion according to the song?  How should that motivate Israel?  How would it motivate you?
Why are the nations told to rejoice in Deuteronomy 32:43?  How will this motivate your own rejoicing?
3
When have you received instruction from the Lord?
What comfort might Moses have received from the Lord’s words in Deuteronomy 32:48-52?

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Homiletics - Romans 7


Contents (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture):  Where?                                                                Who?

1
1-2
Do you not know – for I speaking to those who know law – law has authority only as long as person lives; p.e. by law, married woman bound to husband, if husband dies, she released.
2
3
If she has relations w/another while husband alive, she adulteress, if husband dies, she released, not adulteress if she marries another.
3
4
You also died to law through Christ that you might belong to another, him raised from dead, that we might bear fruit for God.
4
5-6
When we in realm of flesh, sinful passions aroused by law at work so we bore fruit for death; now dying to what bound us, we released from law so we serve in the new way of the Spirit, not in old way of written code.
5
7-8
Is law sinful? Certainly not.  I wouldn’t have known what sin was if not for law, I wouldn’t know what coveting was if law not said, “You shall not covet”; Sin, seizing opportunity afforded by cmd, produced every kind of coveting, apart from law, sin dead.
6
9
Once I alive apart from law but when cmd came, sin sprang to life & I died.
7
10-11
I found cmd that intended to bring life actually brought death; sin seizing opportunity afforded by cmd, deceived me & thru cmd put me to death.
8
12
So law=holy, cmdmt=holy, righteous, good.
9
13
Did that which is good become death to me? No.  in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used good to bring about my death so thru cmdmt sin might become utterly sinful.
10
14
We know law is spiritual, I am unspiritual, sold as slave to sin.
11
15-17
I not understand what I do, what I want to do, I do not, what I hate I do; if I do what I do not want, I agree law is good; it is no longer I who do it but sin living in me.
12
18-19
I know good does not dwell in my sinful nature; I desire to do good but cannot; I do not do good I want but evil I do not want – this I keep doing.
13
20
If I do what I do not want, it’s no longer I who do it but sin living in me.
14
21
This law at work: tho I want to do good, evil right there w/me.
15
22-23
For in my inner being, I delight in God’s law but I see another law at work waging war against law of my mind & making me prisoner of law of sin within me.
16
24
What a wretched man I am, who will rescue me from body subject to death?
17
25
Thx to God who delivers me thru Christ; I am slave to God’s law, my sinful nature a slave to law of sin.

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture):

1
1-14
The law’s authority and nature
Principle:
Human beings are under the authority of the law until they die.
The law reveals sin.
We die to the law when we belong to Christ.
2
15-25
What I want to do and my sinful nature
Principle:
The sinful nature is powerful and must be actively fought.
The sinful nature in me is responsible for the wrong that I do but don’t want to do.
My sinful nature is always with me.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure):

The law reveals sin and the sinful nature is active.

 

Aim (Christian and Non-Christian):

TCMATK Accepting Christ as our Savior releases us from the authority of the law and enslaves us to God’s law, enabling us to battle the ever-present sinful nature.

 

Application:

1
Describe your relationship to the authority of the law.
How does one die to the law?
To Whom do you belong and why?
What sort of fruit are you bearing? What does this reveal about your relationship to the law and the Christ?
Compare and contrast the way of the Spirit and the way of the written code?
Explain how the law reveals sin.
How has the command that intended to bring life brought death?
How is the law spiritual?
2
Share an example of how you do not do what you want to do and do what you don’t want.
According to these verses, what is responsible for doing what you do not want to do?
Explain the law that is at work according to verses 21-25.
Where is evil according to verse 21 and how should this affect your prayer life?
Who rescues people from the body subject to death?  How does He do this?
How might you express your gratitude to God for delivering you through Christ?
To which are you a slave: God’s law or the law of sin?

 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Every Bride Needs A Groom by Janice Thompson

Every Bride Needs a Groom by Janice Thompson
 

Small-town girl Katie Fisher is planning her wedding. Sure, her boyfriend hasn't managed to pop the question just yet, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't enter a contest in Texas Bride magazine to win the dress of her dreams, right? But when her boyfriend breaks up with her and takes a job in another town--the very same day Katie wins her dream dress--her world is turned upside down. Should she claim her prize? And will the hunky former pro-basketball player who runs the swanky Dallas bridal shop--yeah, you read that right--catch on to her humiliation if she does?

Janice Thompson designs a romance sure to delight, with plenty of fish-out-of-water moments, a hilarious supporting cast, and more of the wedding biz world her readers adore.

 
Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect, The Icing on the Cake, and The Dream Dress. She lives in Texas. Learn more at www.janiceathompson.com.


Here's my review of this Sweet Love Story:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Janice Thompson and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Every Bride Needs A Groom" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Every Bride Needs a Groom” by Janice Thompson is a beautiful love story about a bride-to-be, Katie, who wins a wedding dress by a top-tier designer in a contest.  Brady James is the son of the dress designer who just happens to manage the dress shop while on medical leave from the NBA after a major knee injury.

This novella is humorous and lifelike and thickly slathered in faith as you’ve come to expect from Janice Thompson’s books.  Her characters, even the minor ones, are multi-dimensional and each is a welcome addition to my imagination.  At first, I was a bit put off by one character’s issues with other denominations of Christian churches, but even that topic had a purpose in this work.  This is an enjoyable book that I will recommend.

One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer – Session 6


During our discussion this week, we came to the conclusion that the things keeping us from promised land living is us!  We are afraid.  We are complacent.  We are lazy.  We are bored.  We prioritize incorrectly.  We are our own worst enemy sometimes.  We give up too easily.  But we are God’s children!  We were created for greatness.  Hallelujah!

This was probably my favorite week of study.  During the final five days spending time with Jesus about this topic, I took away a list of characteristics that I want to possess and continue to develop throughout my lifetime.  This gives me a plethora of prayer topics to discuss with the Lord.  Some of those characteristics that I believe personify that one in a million who will actually enter promised land living are:  courage, willingness, immediate obedience, trust in God.

Do you possess the courage to say “yes” to God when He calls you?  Are you willing to do the less glamorous jobs in order to minister?  Do you question God’s direction or jump up, anxious to obey?  Do you trust God to be God?  Do you believe that He will do what’s best for you – even if His best means pain for you?  Take some time to pray about these things with Him.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Serving Up A Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.
Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it's served up on a silver platter?

During one of the biggest weeks of her catering career, Meadow Larson’s kitchen roof caves in after an unrelenting blizzard. She has to accept help from the last person on earth she wants to see: Colin McGrath. The tormentor from her past is now a contractor, her new neighbor—and the only person available to take on a project of this size.

Colin is aware God has given him a second chance to make things right with Meadow after bullying her in high school. After years of regret and guilt, Colin is determined to earn her respect and forgiveness, no matter what it takes.

It’ll take an extreme kitchen renovation, several cooking lessons, a little lace, and a lot of grace, but God is using this renovation project not only to restore Meadow’s heart, but also to restore Colin’s integrity in her eyes. Will Meadow learn to trust the new Colin even as their relationship grows from a business exchange to something more meaningful?


About the Author
Cheryl Wyatt writes romance with virtue. She’s earned RT Top Picks, spots #1 and #4 on her debut publisher’s Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books list, Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence final, and other awards. Cheryl loves readers! Join her newsletter at www.CherylWyatt.com. Facebook: CherylWyattAuthor Twitter: @cherylwyatt


Here is my review of this touching novella:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Cheryl Wyatt and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Serving Up A Sweetheart" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Serving Up A Sweetheart” by Cheryl Wyatt tells the story of Meadow Larson, a busy caterer and Colin McGrath, a bully from Meadow’s past who has become a successful building contractor. Colin is remorseful over their past when he bumps into Meadow while she’s having a meltdown after several tragic happenings in a very short time. But Meadow isn’t willing to forget the past even though Colin doesn’t seem to be the same person he was in high school.

Cheryl Wyatt is a gifted storyteller. This sweet tale made me smile and laugh out loud. It also made me realize that it’s the good and the bad in our lives that makes us the people we are. This is an entertaining and inspiring novella. I highly recommend it.

“Against the Flow” by John Lennox

Against the Flow 

by John C. Lennox    
Christian Theology
Monarch  

A wide-ranging discussion of the place of Christianity in the public square
Daniel's story is one of extraordinary faith in God lived out at the pinnacle of executive power. It tells of four young men, born in the tiny state of Judah around 500 b.c., and captured by Nebuchadnezzar, emperor of Babylon. Daniel describes how they eventually rose to senior positions of administration.
Daniel and his friends did not simply maintain their private devotion to God; they maintained a high-profile witness in a pluralistic society antagonistic to their faith. Their story carries a powerful message for us today. Society tolerates the practice of Christianity in private and in church services, but increasingly it deprecates public witness. If Daniel and his compatriots were with us today they would be in the vanguard of public debate.
This is a lucid and erudite examination of the life of Daniel from a leading expert on faith and science. In his first biblical work, Dr. Lennox provides a unique perspective on both Western society and biblical exegesis that will make Against the Flow an instant classic encouraging Christians to speak out in our modern Babylon.

Praise
"I read everything John Lennox writes because of his amazing blend of rigorous scholarship with practical insights and applications for all of us. You cannot afford to miss this important book! Read it, then pass it on to a friend."
-Rick Warren, pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life

 Meet the Author
John C. Lennox is professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford and fellow in mathematics and philosophy of science at Green Templeton College. He lectures on faith and science for the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and is author of a number of books on the relations of science, religion, and ethics.

Find John online: websiteTwitter  
Here's my review of this incredible study resource:
First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to John Lennox and his publisher for sending me a copy of "Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Against the Flow” by John Lennox is a fascinating analysis of the book of Daniel from one of the most highly acclaimed apologeticists (is that a word?) of our time.  This book analyzes the entire book of Daniel, focusing on thematic aspects of the prophetic work to enlighten the student on the history, culture, structure, and interpretation of the book in addition to life application of Scripture.

This is a heady read and may require lots of review.  It has for me and it’s been worth my time.  In fact, I know I need to re-read this book over and over alongside the Scriptures to even scratch the surface of what Lennox is sharing.  This brilliant author pulls you up to a new level of understanding. 
Lennox also shares great stories about how to share faith.  He is most definitely a new favorite author of mine!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Homiletics Genesis 50

7 May 2013

Contents:            Where?                  Egypt                                   Who?  Joseph, his brothers, Israel, Pharaoh

1
50:1-2
Joseph wept and kissed his father and commanded his servants and the physicians embalmed Israel.
2
50:3-
40 days were fulfilled for him who was embalmed and the Egyptians mourned him 70 days.
3
50:4-6
When the mourning period passed, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh about going to Canaan to bury Israel and Pharoah said go according as he made thee swear.
4
50:7-9
A very great company (Joseph, all Pharaoh’s servants, all the house of Joseph and his brothers) went to bury Israel only leaving the little ones and flocks and herds in Goshen.
5
50:10-11
They came to the threshing floor of Atad and mourned seven days and the Canaanites saw.
6
50:12-14
His sons did as he commanded: buried him in the cave of Machpelah and Joseph returned to Egypt.
7
50:15-18
When Israel died, Joseph’s brothers were afraid and sent a message to Joseph saying their father commanded before he died that Joseph forgive his brothers and Joseph wept.
8
50:19-
Joseph said, Fear not: for am I in place of God?
9
50:20-21
You thought evil against me but God meant it unto good, so fear not I will nourish you and your little ones.
10
50:22-23
Joseph lived 110 years and saw Ephraim’s children to the 3rd generation and the children of Manasseh’s son.
11
50:24-26
Joseph told his brothers: I die, and God will bring you out of this land and ye shall carry my bones and Joseph died and was embalmed and put in a coffin in Egypt.

 


Divisions:

1
50:1-6
Joseph kissed Israel and had him prepared for burial.
Principle:
Grieving a loss is natural.
Leaders experience loss and grieve.
Grieving is a process.
Life goes on.
Keep your promises.
2
50:7-14
Joseph buried Israel in Canaan and returned to Egypt.
Principle:
Everyone should honor their deceased loved ones.
Others are watching how we mourn.
We must get back to living after burying our dead.
3
50:15-21
After Israel’s death, Joseph’s brothers fear him because of the evil done to him but Joseph promises to nourish them.
Principle:
Relationships should exist because of the people in them, not because of outsiders.
No man is in the place of God.
All evil committed against God’s people is meant for good by God.
As God’s people, we should care for those under us regardless of how they treat us.
4
50:22-26
Before dying at 110, Joseph told his brothers to take his bones when they left Egypt then died and was embalmed and put in a coffin.
Principle:
It is a blessing to know your descendants.
It is a blessing to know your ancestors.
You should say the important things before you die.

 

Subject Sentence:

Joseph buried Israel and, dying, gave instructions about his bones.

 

Aim (Christian and Non-Christian):

TCMAT see that every action and word from a believer is on display, and to carefully guard what they do and what they say so that it glorifies and honors God.

 

Application:

1
What are some positive ways of grieving a loss?
How might a leader influence others with how he or she grieves?
What are ways to ensure that you keep your promises?
2
How have you honored deceased loved ones?
What would others see if they watched you mourn?
What do you want others to see about the way you grieve?
How have you gotten back to living after grieving a loss?
3
What has been your experience with having a relationship because of someone else?
How is your relationship with God about just you and Him?
In what way have you kept yourself from putting yourself in God’s place?
How has evil committed against you been used by God for good?
What advice would you give to someone about how to treat people who mistreat them?
How are you able to care for others regardless of how they treat you?
4
What blessings have you received because of knowing your descendants?
How have you been blessed by knowing your ancestors?
What important things do you need to say before you die?