Monday, November 12, 2007

Another Extreme Monday

I am sorry that I have been so delinquent in blogging this week. The kids have been a little sick and we have been loving just hanging out as a family! It is such a blessing to look back on the bible study I have been doing and revisit what was taught. I am truly convicted about how few of these things I have actually applied to my life. I love learning about the practical ways to live out God's Word, but unless I am really studying it, memorizing it and meditating on it day and night it will not be evident in my life!

So last week we talked about the beginning of the study ( A Heart Consumed with God). Kris spent two weeks on this topic and the homework was awesome! It was such a reminder of the Soverignty of our God and how awesome His love is for us. It was also a wake up call to what we are called to as Christians. She goes over verses that explain what a true Christian is and how this affects our daily priorities! One of the key verses in the section on priorities was Mark 8: 34-37. In these verses Christ says to the people and his disciples "Whoever desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." MacArthur says this about this verse "No one who is unwilling to deny himself can legitimately claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ." If we are truly devoted to Christ we will give up the comforts of this world and the acceptance of this world and seek after Christ with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. What does my "to do" list show about my priorities?

On the last day of this section of the study Kris assigned verses that were penned by Paul. In these verses he describes himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, a prisoner of the Lord and he states that he is not on earth to please men but to please God. At the end of these verses she asks "how should I describe myself?" I really thought about this question for awhile. How often do I describe myself to others as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend. These things are all true, but the fact that I am a child of God is more important that all the rest and it defines how I fulfill all of those other roles.
So that is a small summary of the first two weeks. Stay tuned next Monday when I will go over what we learned about "A Heart Prepared to Serve"
love to you all
In His Strength

Monday, November 5, 2007

Extreme Makeover Monday!

This is a picture of Kris Goertzen. She is a pastors wife at a Bible believing church in Kansas. Her husband attended The Master's Seminary and we have a few mutual friends from Grace Community Church. I met Kris in person at The Women Discipling Women conference this past summer and she is a wonderful women who truly lives her life for the glory of God. She has a DVD/Workbook study titled Extreme Makeover: Spiritual Edition. A group of ladies from my wonderful church here in Bakersfield have been doing her study on Wednesday mornings for 8 weeks now and I just wanted to tell you all about a few things I have learned through this study. I am making my Monday posts about this study for the next few weeks. I know it will help me to process what I am learning and I would love to share it with all of you too !(whoever "all" is :)

I first want to say that it is somewhat difficult to find solid biblical women's bible studies and so I wanted to tell you all that this study is awesome. A must have for churches who are looking for a study to do with women (wives and moms especially). Kris is truly seeking to encourage women to live biblically and have right priorities and a right view of God in this study. The byline of the study says: Reflecting the Heart of Christ in My Priorities. While being very serious about what she is teaching she is also fun to listen to and makes us laugh at times!
The study is set up so that we watch the DVD and then have a weeks worth of homework in the workbook to complete before our next meeting. The first few weeks of the study focused on "A Heart Consumed with God". Her first "project" for us to set up a quiet time. She really drives home this point saying in the DVD that we need to put "first things first". She encourages women to "wake up early and be with the Lord". This is the only way that we can lead a "God Saturated" life. We need to be filled with His Word before we can ever pour ourselves out to our husbands, children and church. This was really crucial for me. I love to spend time with the Lord in the morning, but it is hard to wake up, right?? But if I am giving up my time with the Lord so I can have an extra hour of sleep what is that saying about my relationship with Him?! I love this quote from Kris in the workbook.
She says "We assume too easily that we KNOW God or LOVE God. Those words come rolling off our tongues without the slightest awe or reverence. The most strenuous effort of our lives must be to know God. This goal, this lifelong passsion must become increasingly more evident in our lives. Knowing and loving God is our highest endeavor. Often in counseling, women try to assure me that they love God and that He is their priority, but those are vain words unless there is some glimmer of His reflection in their lives. If we chase everything but God we will learn the difficult lesson that there is no happiness apart from Him."
I believe that for many years in my life I really thought that I loved God but my life did not reflect Him. In the last seven years the Lord has taught me so much and has drawn me to Himself. I am truly striving to make Him THE #1 priority in my life and this study is encouraging me on that path.
Oswald Chambers has said
"My goal is God Himself, not joy, nor peace, nor even blessing, but Himself, my God." I pray that this is my goal and yours too!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hoe Down

The Collins Family, a wonderful family at our church, had an amazing hoe down on Wednesday. We had a blast!! Gabe and I competed in the donut eating contest..I won!! Shocker:) Reese wanted to play musical chairs with the rest of the kids but didn't really understand the concept. She just sat in the chair and watched everyone else walk around to the music! She also loved jumping on the trampoline. I was so excited about the cake walk and the square dancing but we had to leave a little early because the kids were ready for bed:) It was a wonderful night of fellowship with our wonderful church family that we love!!