It’s Personal. Real Personal.

MyBlogThursday I spent the day with my sister-in-law talking about “Keep It Shut”. She decided she wanted to do an Online Bible Study, so of course I had to recommend P31OBS. 🙂
We decided to watch the “Keep It Shut DVD”. I actually purchased the DVD and Study Guide, something I’ve never done before. Originally I thought it would help me stay focused and dig deep. Then when she told me she was going to do the study, I realized it was meant to be for us to watch together!

Which leads to today’s post.

Chapter 4’s sub title says it perfectly: “How to Talk to God Before You Talk to Others.”

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First, a confession.Read More »

Did You Meet Judah in Genesis?

MyBlogI had this fantastic idea in 2015 I would “blog through” the P31OBS I am doing with Proverbs 31 Ministries. I love great ideas. I have A LOT of them. A LOT. And as we are preparing to jump into Week 5 of the 6 Week study, I realized I haven’t posted a single blog. *tee-hee*

 

Better late than never! 

Even though the study is near the end, I have a few things the Lord has laid on my heart I’d like to blog about. One of the things the Lord has really laid on my heart this year is my need to be in His Word. The Bible.

 photo Chapter1b_zpsbzjsx6on.pngI love reading. Always have. As I’ve grown older I’ve moved away from fictional reading and have been hungry for “teaching” reading. I’ve read a lot of books in the last few years and the Lord has used these books to help my growth. He has also convicted me that these books are to be a helpful addition to His Word, not a replacement.

So when I started Chapter 2 of Keep It Shut during week one, and Karen began to walk us through Chapters 37-50 of Genesis, I laid the book down and picked up my Bible. Before reading Karen’s words I decided to read The Word. So I took the time to read Genesis Chapter 37-50 myself. I am so thankful I did.

 photo HCSB BIBLE_zpsbeflvmqz.jpgThe Lord showed me something in those chapters I’ve never picked up on before. Last year I invested in a Women’s Study Bible, as I was reading through Genesis I took the time to read all the study notes in the side margins. Did you know in Joseph’s story there is a whole chapter that takes a short detour to talk all about Judah? My study Bible helped me slow down and really think about Judah’s life.

Remember Judah was the one who suggested they sell Joesph in the first place (Gen 37:26-27), and then lied along with his brothers to their father about what really happened. In Chapter 38 we watch Judah continue to make bad choices, continue to do dishonest things. He keeps bending and breaking the truth to serve himself and he keeps trying to hide what he’s actually done. Isn’t that usually the slippery slope we tumble down when we allow a dishonest thought to form in our mind and exit from our lips?

What really grabbed my attention were the notes in my study Bible.

“Seeing his possessions, Judah understood that he was the father of the child. Judah declared Tamar more in the right (Hb tsedaqah, ‘just’) than he because she was trying to fulfill levirate marriage, while he sought to dissuade the union of his youngest son to Tamar. With Judah’s admission of guilt also comes a sign of repentance since he did not have sexual relations with his daughter-in-law again.”

Let me be honest with you. I believe to understand the Old Testament is extremely difficult because we often read it with no understanding of the culture, the laws they lived under, and their customs. We read it with the lenses of our own culture and it just makes it weird and irrelevant. That’s one of the reasons I like a good study Bible, because it helps me to read with a better set of lenses.

My take away as I went through my study Bible notes and the chapters: Judah was in sin with how he treated Joseph and lying to their father about it. Then he continued a life of lies and sin with how he treated his own daughter in law. The key is the sign of repentance, or in my mind, confessing his sin. As the Bible turns back to focus on Joseph’s life after Chapter 38, we see a different Judah also emerge. A Judah who by the end of Genesis receives a blessing of highest praise from their father before he dies. Even higher than his older brothers, which in their culture, is a BIG deal.

To me, it’s a story of Redemption. 

We can come from a place of bad choices. A place where our lips have spoken evil thoughts, maybe even evil thoughts we’ve acted on and then lied about. Praise Jesus that we can use these same lips to confess, repent, and be redeemed and restored and live a changed life!

 photo chapter2c_zpsn6lsimey.jpgWeek one of #KeepItShutBook was fantastic for me. Not only did the Lord speak to me through His Word, Karen had some great insights into Joseph’s life as well.

Let me be honest friends, I am a stupid sheep.  I need to be reminded of what my Shepherd says so I can stay focused on listening for His voice to guide me. One big thing I’ve found myself thinking about (and being convicted about, and having to repent about, and hopefully grow in) was the following after being reminded of Luke 6:45:

You see, my words don’t just tumble out of my mouth randomly or by mistake. They are purposeful and intentional, having originated first in my heart. So if we have a mouth problem, in actuality what we really have is a mind and heart issue. ~Karen Ehman {Keep It Shut}

A great week one of #P31OBS #KeepItShutBook

May I encourage you with any study book you may be reading, to pause where scripture is mentioned and first read that scripture for yourself, prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit to teach you through it?

And if you are looking for a bible study to join online, might I invite you to check out P31OBS?
Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies

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Moody Mornings and Gifts Collide

I got up this morning “moody”, I’ll confess it. I wanted to sleep in. I felt dog dead tired for no reason whatsoever. I made my hubs and son eggs for breakfast, and I can’t say I did it with a servant’s heart. I “did it” and did it “moodily”. When my poor hubs asked if he had made me mad, I told him “I’m moody, just ignore it and love me” because I knew if I attempted to talk about my moodiness right then, it wouldn’t be in truth. I was too tempted to want to put the blame on him or someone else, really, ANYONE but me. (Cause isn’t it just easier to blame someone else for OUR issues?)

I “get through” my moody morning and watch them both leave the house. Then it hits me. It’s day one of  #P31OBS #KeepItShutBook study. (And guess what, I’m still a little moody).

I volunteer with Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies, and with my church’s Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry. I realize both will need my attention today to get some things done.
Now I’m thinking of the to-do list.
I pour a cup of coffee and sit down to “get through” the to-do.Read More »