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Why “Mountain Tops” are Brief Moments in Life

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North Carolina’s Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains offer an attractive area with waterfalls and streams of water flowing all around. I am intrigued by the mountain tops and even more so by the view they offer. The breathtaking perspective at its peak makes me appreciate the climb.

I recently partnered with a couple of other leaders to deliver a women’s retreat weekend in the quaint area of Burnsville, NC. It was an opportunity filled with personal discovery for each woman to encounter who GOD IS…for them. The location was lush, green, and nestled amongst tall trees.

One of my favorite views each day was a mountain top glimpse-a place high above the rest. Oh, to live at that uppermost area-on top of the world. The brief thought of living at the top sounded peaceful, relaxing, and charming. What a captivating dream until realistic thinking kicked into gear.

Being on a “mountain top” broadcasts the perfect life when people mention it. However, it took on a different angle the minute I heard someone say, “You can’t survive at the pinnacle of a mountain-if you do you will wither away.” (Talk about bursting my bubble even though I consider myself a beach bum!)

There is great truth to the statement I heard. Although the crest of a mountain offers amazement and an amazing viewpoint of things below, it is not meant for everyday living.

Let me share 3 reasons why:

1. First, what is the purpose of a “Mountain Top” in life? To celebrate the struggle and hardship to get to the summit, right?

It is not easy graduating from college, there is major work in overcoming addictions, it takes sweat equity to break generational strongholds, the battle of a nagging ever present temptation takes skills beyond a solider, the years of facing cancer face-to-face, and the list goes on and on.

But oh, the glory once it is conquered-a mountain top of life-a moment worth celebrating. It is here where we take the time to express gratitude and sincere love for the LORD. A commemoration for what God has brought us through and reflecting on the valley of hardship survived.

Much like a birthday party or anniversary, it is an observance, a remembrance and it is a great treasure forever in our hearts. Nevertheless, the celebration is brief and daily tasks await.  

The “Mountain Top” is a salute to survival and a glimpse of God’s training in life’s trials.

2. Next, the conditions atop the mountain doesn’t sustain life.

Yep, the air is thin. It is not meant to be a place where one should abide. The higher altitude places a restriction on the oxygen level-sometimes the point of unhealthiness. Also, let me add the fact that the climate conditions can be extremely harsh.

Therefore, maintaining this “mountain top” lifestyle becomes harder than the struggle that got us there.

Think of it in vacation terms. Boy, what joy to go relax and take a break from day-to- day pressures of life. Kick back and enjoy while someone else cleans, cooks, drives, etc. But, at some point if I want to stay at this level of “resort” I will need to put in all the work myself. This level of luxury isn’t free and money can only stretch so far.

I think I would quickly see it is impossible for me to provide for myself at this level. It would begin to choke the life right out of me. There wouldn’t be time to even sleep let alone rest. At some point I would be begging to go back down the mountain.

The mountain top has boundaries and restrictions that are meant to be experienced as brief moments in life. It cannot provide a healthy daily supply of what we need.

3. Finally, there is very little growth at the mountain top.

Water is scarce and the soil is usually lacking the proper nutrients. Take a good look around. What happened to that lush forest and streams of water? It somehow disappeared.

Why? Because a mountain peak wasn’t designed for growth. It only provides a view of how far you have come and what lies ahead. It is a mere pinnacle of life to celebrate and encourage. But in order to continue to mature, grow, and truly live you have to enter back into a valley.

It is in the valley where you will find life-sustaining air, streams of refreshing water, comfort in the vegetation, perseverance in the trials of life, and true growth in your faith. The LORD is able to refine us to become more and more like Jesus in these oxygen rich conditions.

THOUGHTS:

Enjoy the Mountain Tops in life. Celebrate them for what they are worth! Yet, always remember the ascension, descension, and valley is where trust, faith, and endurance abide.

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

Regardless of the amount of Mountain Tops you encounter in life’s pathway—cling to the true Living Water, feast on His great substance, and live fully in the valley.    

Happy Salvation Birthday!

A gracious gift from God
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What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (Message)

Salvation. What is it to you?

For me, it was definitely a new life! A birth into a new family and a new identity where I am loved and treasured. It is a regeneration I took for granted for years. I precious gift freely given that took decades for me to really appreciate and fully understand.

His grace choose me and I didn’t deserve it by any means.

The LORD really captured my attention through the mountain of trials. Dates began to unfold-new births in our family, more anniversary dates to remember, and many dates of death. A moment in time and I could quote them one-by-one. Why? Because I deemed them important.

Yet, you could have asked me my salvation birthdate and I would have had to ponder and ponder and ponder. The date in my life where I received a magnificent gift from God and I couldn’t remember. When I realized this, it broke my heart. Why had I let this become a fading memory?

This beautiful salvation Christ brought you and I is often forgotten. It seems “life” gets in the way and clouds our memory of a treasured date-the day we trust in the LORD and join God’s family. How this must break the heart of the father!

Today I choose to remember. I celebrate the beautiful gift and give thanks to all who will listen. Jesus is in charge of my life for eternity. I trust in His words and rely on Him to live my life. He is the only reliable source of hope and joy. I rely on Him to change my heart and keep me ever grateful for August 8th.

I pray God will fill me with the desire to always say YES to His calling and purpose. May I never forget this date and the price paid for it.

Thank you LORD for my beautiful gift. HAPPY SALVATION BIRTHDAY!

Do you know yours?

COME MEET MY FATHER

I am grateful for your life!

When I was learning to walk and talk, my birth father was enticed by other women, sex, and money. They were more appealing than his wife and child. After receiving divorce papers, he accepted a large sum of money from his own family to walk away from me.

I craved a father. For years every man in my life was selfish, abusive, and untrustworthy. They took what they wanted and discarded me as an irrelevant misfit with a different last name. After all, I was fatherless and my mother was working long hours because the financial support rested on her shoulders..

I always dreamed of the sound of my father’s voice, a glimpse of his smile, and the touch of his love. If only I could meet him face-to-face! And then it happened. His own father died. At the age of 16, I pedaled over to his parents’ house and knocked on the door.

There he stood-the father I longed to meet. “Hi! Are you one of the neighborhood kids here to see my mom?”, he greeted. “Yes and no, I am your daughter and I came to meet you as well.”, I replied. After the surface level conversation, my expressed condolences, and his unfulfilled promises, I left unknowingly that it would be the last time I heard his voice.

I can’t tell you the numerous times I wrote him. I tried filling my life with lots of “stuff” to satisfy the hole he had created. I became a workaholic and prided myself in my own efforts. I fought anyone and everything in my way. I was determined to leave a life of poverty, go to college, move away, and never look back.

I later got married, moved to Europe, and had twin boys. I just knew grandkids would entice him, especially boys. NOPE! I continued to send Christmas cards and letters. Then one particular letter struck a chord with my stepmom and half-sister. They reached out and became part of my family circle from that day forward.

For decades I heard about my biological father. His sex addiction lingered. My stepmom and sister went to church every Sunday. As they drove off, he would leave, choose a “lady”, bring her home, and return her before church dismissed. My stepmom and sister spent endless hours on their knees on his behalf.

I choose to spend my time differently.

I didn’t care about him anymore. He was nothing to me, but a mere form of a human. I quit asking about him and they stopped talking about him as well.

You see-I found a father! I discovered my Daddy and His name is GOD. He is truly the one who formed me in my mother’s womb and protected me above any earthly father. He extended grace, mercy, and everlasting love that will never run dry. He made a way for me to become whole. I know the sound of His voice, the warmth of His smile, and the embrace of His saving love. He calls me His own and He will never leave me nor forsake me.

Cancer took my stepmom home in 2013 on January 21st. Eight years later to the day, my birth father died from heart issues. Less than seven months later, my sister went to be with Jesus.

I buried my dad and sister’s ashes beside my stepmom. I even performed the graveside service.

As I uttered my finally goodbye, I said, “I love you dad.”

You see my heart had changed towards him. I cried big grateful tears after saying goodbye because his life had meaning for me—his absence drove me to the arms of Jesus. For once, I was glad my dad never invested in my life.

Christ changed my heart. He taught me to love when others could not. He healed my bitterness and imparted a forgiving spirit.

This is only the beginning of what God can do for you. Accepting Jesus can bring radical change for your heart, thoughts, actions, words, perspective, and on and on. Christ can fill your life with much more than anything or anyone can! If He can save me, He will and can save you.

If you have never accepted the LORD as your personal Savior, today is the perfect day. Come find the comfort in His voice, the warmth of His smile, and the embrace of His love.

Your Father awaits. Come meet Him today.

JEREMIAH-Bible Study online

Sign Up Today!

Our latest Bible study is HERE! We start on Monday, September 12th. Join us?

We are so excited about our upcoming online Bible study! We’ll be walking through the first half of the book of Jeremiah.

This study is FILLED with numerous opportunities to experience the power of God’s WORD.

This study is designed to be FLEXIBLE so you can tailor it to the time you have available each day.

  • WHAT: A seven-week Bible study Jeremiah (Chapters 1-28)
  • WHEN: September 12th-October 24th (Reading plan starts Sept. 6th)
  • WHO: Anyone ready to dive deep into God’s Word through Bible study
  • WHERE: Online via zoom, Monday nights 6:00-7:00 p.m. (CST)
  • HOW TO JOIN: Contact us via email to get started. The study packet (pdf) is $10. We will send the Zoom link and study packet after receiving your completed registration. Deadline is September 5th.

THROUGH THIS ONLINE CHAPER-BY-CHAPTER STUDY YOU WILL

  • Gain a better understand of the book of Jeremiah
  • Get a deeper look at God’s character and patience
  • Receive discernment and direction for your own spiritual life
  • Enjoy a committed community of women sharing like desires to walk with God and dive deeper into Scripture

If you are interested, email us at refiningjourney@gmail.com prior to September 5th.

We hope you can join us!

GOD IS…

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Have you ever wondered how many names are associated with the LORD? I’m sure there is research out there to solidify a certain number. However, I choose to believe GOD IS…beyond human description. The LORD is so much more than what the human mind cannot comprehend.

One thing I have found is GOD IS…personal for everyone. Although, we all would agree on the “token” names such as Wonderful, All-knowing, LORD Almighty, etc., the LORD wants to be known individually by each person. Our pathways are different and unique no matter the similarities and therefore, GOD IS…defined uniquely for each of us according to His plans and will for our lives.

Many years ago, I was craving to know the LORD beyond what a list could provide. I read book after book written by amazing Christian authors which defined God and His attributes by leaps and bonds. I loved hearing their experiences and life stories BUT, many of these characteristics of the LORD seemed foreign to me. I wanted background, personal understanding, and true encounter with these attributes. I needed God to be real within me and my familiarity to be on a deeper personal level.

So, I stopped reading a lot of those close associations to God’s Word and went straight to the source of truth, the Bible. Let me just say—I found myself crying out to the Holy Spirit over and over for wisdom and discernment. Why? Because I had become very reliant on others to interpret Scripture for me and tell me who GOD IS… I had to learn how to comprehend the Bible on my own and I quickly discovered one deficiency hindering my personal discovery of who GOD IS…

Since 2018, my study habits have immensely evolved. The LORD answered my cry with a simple method to digest His Word and document my discovery of Him. Chapter by chapter, verse by verse, word by word, I am uncovering attributes of the LORD so personal and intimate to me. GOD IS…revealing Himself on such an intense plane. The breakthrough for me is beyond my wildest imagination and my humble plea.

Through intentional study, a true desire to know God more, and a unique note booking discipline, my spiritual life and relationship with the LORD has deepened.

Today, I would like to share with you one small aspect of my approach to discovering who God is. As a work through the Bible book by book, I document my journey by using Scripture Notebooking. (It goes beyond Bible or Scripture journaling) Although I am continually searching for promises, commands, keywords, etc., my focus is discovering who GOD IS… to me within the verses.

This approach is not always direct and many times I find myself pondering a chapter for days. However, God proves faithful in every encounter with His Word. The Holy Spirit guides my thoughts and reveals the LORD to me on a personal level. (some times I have to wait for it longer than I want)

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

I would encourage you to define GOD IS…on a personal basis for you by approaching Scripture differently. Let your journey through the Bible bring you closer to the LORD and give you a description of Himself beyond the token answers. Grab your Bible and simply start. God is waiting for you.

Are you Intense-Red Hot-Ever Present?

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Hello friends. For all of those out there experiencing true summer heat, fall should be here in about 65 days. Yes, that does seem so far away when the average temperature is around 105 or higher! Global warming has become front and center for many this year.

Intense-red hot-ever present

Refining ministry just completed the series entitled “Major Wisdom through Minor Prophets” this past Monday night. We have been on a journey studying each minor prophet for quite some time and would like to thank every person who joined us throughout this timeframe. The depth of understanding, sharing, and growth has been outstanding on many levels. (And to think we only meet online for one hour each Monday night!)

Our last study was over the book of Zechariah. The Read Scripture overview describes it as a roller coaster ride. It is filled with visions, prophecy, harsh judgment, and direct commands to name a few. Yet, Zechariah is intense-red hot-ever present in all that he delivers. He is known as the most apocalyptic and messianic of all minor prophets.

For me, Zechariah was a book which had to be digested one bite at a time. Symbolism, terminology, customs, prophetic aspects of the second coming of Christ, interpretations of visions, rituals, and the list goes on. There were times when even the commentaries and study resources were overwhelming. However, I am so thankful for Zechariah on many levels. It made me reflect on my life with the main question:

Are you intense-red hot-ever present for the LORD?

Zechariah presented his audience with hope, encouragement, warning, instructions, and the glimpse of a future King. Over the past seven weeks, I went chapter by chapter looking for direct instructions of how I could increase my spiritual walk and intensify my relationship with God. Zechariah allowed me to reevaluate my spiritual priorities and take a closer look at my daily habits.

Today, I would like to share the list with you. As you read over each item, let it wash over you and encourage you in your personal walk. Allow the Holy Spirit to highlight a couple of areas where you can crank up the heat for the LORD then take it to God in prayer. Enjoy!

  • Exercise the listening muscle
  • Be still to hear God’s voice
  • Watch out for worldliness (externally & internally)
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Return to God quickly when you stray
  • Embrace the fire (life trials)
  • Rely on the Holy Spirit
  • Stay in God’s Word
  • Encourage others to invest in Scripture
  • Recognize sinning religion (a state of spiritual disobedience)
  • Only God is holy to judge
  • Have diligent obedience
  • Worship is more important than performing a religious ritual
  • Have a sincere desire to know God
  • Fully surrender your heart to the LORD
  • Carry out His commands with a joyful spirit
  • Speak truth
  • Live peacefully
  • Exercise justice
  • Love God’s ways
  • Seek only the approval of the LORD
  • Do not be afraid because God is your defender
  • Deal with sin barriers
  • Stay under the LORD’s authority
  • Intentional spend time with the father
  • Find your identity in God
  • Connect with like-minded Christians
  • Carry out God’s work at all costs
  • Stay dependent upon the LORD

Thank you, Zechariah! I loved the summer message:

God is intense-red hot-ever present for each of us!

Rejection Hurts, God!

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Have you ever been rejected? Maybe you have been told you aren’t the perfect fit for something. How does it feel when you put your best foot forward to obtain something and the door closes quickly? Have you ever been replaced by someone else? Maybe you are truly needing a window of opportunity because everything else has come to a close. It hurts!

The LORD knows our struggles and He definitely comprehends rejection-to the point of death! Our worldly trials are nothing compared to what He faced. Yet, somehow rejection pain stings like the strike of a scorpion. Why? Possibly because of fear of the future and the mental unknown—maybe caused from us planning our own future and seeing our life the way we want it to go. (Guilty. I often want some kind of input in the equation and I truly dislike doing things I don’t enjoy. ME! ME! ME!)

God has an answer for every rejection we face. However, there are times we don’t understand it nor do we love the situation. It is very easy to go down the pity party pathway and feel like everyone else in the world experiences success except you. That is a lie from the enemy. He is a jerk!

Recently, I have had to face rejection. I truly went to the LORD and asked for His perspective. (He knew I couldn’t rely on my own!) As I sat reading the first chapter of Jeremiah, I found myself captivated by what the LORD was revealing to me.

God laid out His plans for Jeremiah but Jeremiah was afraid of his future. Fear of the unknown. He knew rejection would be his and the world would claim “good reasons” not to listen to him as he claimed God’s prophecy. He went to the LORD with his concerns. Jeremiah noted his weaknesses. He felt unqualified and too unexperienced for the task God had directed. Doubt and fear began to rise.

As I read through chapter one, I found myself in the Scripture. Rejected by the world and feeling as though I can’t meet set standards. Feeling as though the next decade is a career path I don’t want to travel, yet I can’t wait to see where God takes the Refining ministry.

So, I pause…laid my heart open to the Father and said, “Rejection Hurts, God!”. And He gently responded through Scripture in chapter one of Jeremiah:

  1. I have your back! verse 8: “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
  2. My plans will happen! verse 12: The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
  3. I will provide & protect you! Verse 19: They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

If you are dealing with rejection, go to God. Dig deep into His Word and ask for His discernment to shine through Scripture. Give yourself a chance to see your story through biblical characters and read several chapters of their experience.

Remember, Psalm 23 and 91 are great starting points to reject the lies of the enemy and to help you see your circumstance through the LORD’s eyes.

Rejection hurts but GOD IS. . .

(May you find the rest of this statement through God’s Word in the days ahead.)

Until we meet again my friend.

YIKES! Change Found Me

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Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Happy HOT summer my friends. Boy, the change in weather occurred recently-it was 109 degrees this past weekend. I wasn’t ready for it nor the fact that it came with 20-30 mph wind gusts. It made me want to skip over the next three months and go straight to fall.

But this isn’t the only change that found me over the past week. I went from a headache to a full-blown sinus infection in less than 24 hours. Having a fever during the intensive heat was draining and once again I found myself wanting to skip over the next few days and go straight to feeling better!

And then…a change I knew would come sooner or later yet, for some reason I didn’t think it would heavily impact me. In less than a week, I have a new direction in my employment along with several others in my department. Change-I normally like it! Can I just skip to September 1st and know the end results of all of this?

Yes, I like change and I am an advocate for change. I find freshness and excitement in learning and experiencing new things. However, I want to be the agent of change and I would prefer it be on my terms! My first reaction when change finds me—well, let’s just say over time it seems to get better.

As I sit here mentally preparing for a job interview, God’s wisdom washes over me. He reminds me that none of this surprises Him. He allowed some overnight changes for a reason. The LORD gently reminds me that He is in control and my future is secure in His hands. No change on earth will alter His great love for me nor the overwhelming attributes of His character. I have a steadfast Father who has my back!

What about you? How do you handle change? When you journey from mountain top to valley low to long straight plains and repeat again and again, do you ever want to skip over the waiting, healing, unknowns, transitioning, etc.? Do you have a hope outlook or a doom and gloom perspective when unwanted change comes?

God really shared His perspective for me in all of this.

Change found Jesus Christ. He went from a perfect man to a shredded form of life in a matter of a few days. The weight of the world was placed on His shoulders. His earthly life was taken in the most painful manner and given a resting place in a tomb. Life on earth was turned upside down and a new covenant was established. Yet, it came with brokenness and blood. A change that made a way for all of humanity to be saved if they would only believe. Change found him because God loved us.

Through it all, God stayed steadfast. The LORD kept His promises, and He gave the world a Savior, the Messiah, a fulfillment of prophesy and full depth of love. Where would we all be if it wasn’t for the change? And Christ submitted to the call of change.

Romans 8:6: The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Perspective of God towards me – Relax! Change has found you for a reason. Don’t skip the experience and take each step in full confidence that I have worked out your pathway. You don’t need to be afraid, upset, or nervous in the days ahead. Live each moment with hope in ME. I will not change, and I will be beside you always. Now, go face that interview!

Dots and Dashes by: Robin Gonzales

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Hello friends. Mine is a voice you don’t hear too often unless you join us weekly for Refining’s bible studies online.

I have recently retired from the job I had for what I like to call the second act of life. The first act was my childhood, young adult life, and motherhood. As I begin the third act, I have had a chance to sit back, relax, think, and adjust to the new normal. It is a bit strange, but also very exciting as God moves me in a new direction.

I have realized all of the things prior to now have been my training ground for things to come. . .

Have you ever identified with a Bible character? Refining recently finished the book of Amos. He was an ordinary person who loved God and wanted to share what he had learned. I really identified with him. He was an ordinary guy (farmer of fig trees and goat herder). God called him to go and speak to his people.

Amos was much like people we know: our pastor and his wife, a great prayer warrior, the spiritually gifted song leader or friend. Some of them even fortunate enough to receive specialized training; yet all of them, including you and me, are in the school of the Holy Ghost. A specialized training for God.

As we each receive our training under the Holy Spirit’s authority, He has been given several tasks to ensure our instruction. His job is to purify, consecrate, and set us apart to bring honor to Christ and empower us to witness to others.

You may be asking-so exactly how does He go about this? The Holy Spirit works within you and changes you by the dots and dashes of ordinary life-every situation, circumstance, and relationship.

__ __ * ___ ___ ___ __ ** ** *** * ___ ** ___ ___ ___ ***_ *

The small dots are everyday life. How you react to people and circumstances: putting the grocery cart back where it belongs, stopping when the light turns yellow instead of running it, not interrupting people when they are talking. And maybe changing the things you like to listen to, read, watch, who you hang out with, or the places you want to go.

The larger dashes are challenges in life. Maybe not enough money to pay the rent this month so you have to lean into faith that God will direct and make a way. Or it could be life has gotten really busy, you are feeling stretched, and you are having to lean into God’s peace to help you sort out, prioritize and eliminate what is not essential. Maybe you are wanting a spouse, family, new car, house, or job and God is making you sit in the waiting room because He has not released you to move forward.

Those dashes even include times when we have flat line seasons filled with suffering. You know, those times when it is hard to see more than a few inches in front of you and usually filled with loss and hardship. Death of a loved one, divorce, loss of job, or serious illness. These are the times when we seem to recognize God really showing up and even seeing ourselves grow in faith by leaps and bounds.

Yes, the dots and dashes of life. The training ground for the Holy Spirit. It is these areas in life where we learn to listen, be still, discover perseverance, and grow in relationship with the LORD. But, why does it seem as though the most growth occurs during times of struggle and hardship?

God would love for us to lean into him and grow without the hurt and pain. So, what keeps us from doing so? Maybe the problem is we become “too busy” living life when things are good. We don’t look for God or spend time in His Word. We forget to pray or thank him for all of the blessings we are enjoying. We become complacent and prideful thinking we have everything under control.  

But when God pulls away just a little, and allows us go our own way, we fall very short and things go wrong. It is then we begin to look around and realize we have forgotten our first love, the one who cares for us, and our need for him in all things. THEN…we look up and call out!

And being the good Father that he is, God steps in…

now we are back on the pathway of learning and growing in faith.

As we continue to walk with the LORD and follow God’s leading, our relationship begins to mature. We learn to be good students of a master teacher, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works within us (and does it quite well I might add) and over time we become people the Holy Spirit can use to draw others to Christ.

When we become aligned with God’s will, we become plugged into the Holy Spirit’s mighty power to turn our dots and dashes into a glorious testimony for God’s kingdom.

Yes, we are all enrolled in the Spirit’s training when we accept Jesus Christ as our savior. There is no doubt, the Holy Spirit is working! When we tap into His power there are NO LIMITS to where God can take us and who we can reach for His kingdom. Every dot and dash along with all the gifts and abilities we have been gifted and the Holy Spirit within us, we can truly do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).

So, during this Pentecost season, let us remember God sent His Spirit to empower us to do even greater things than He himself did while he was in human form on the earth (John 14:12).

Just imagine the possibilities because of our dots and dashes!

__ __ * ___ ___ ___ __ ** ** *** * ___ ** ___ ___ ___ ***_ *

Wisdom when you hear yourself say, “OH NO! I have Bible study tonight!”

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Have you ever attended a Bible study feeling unprepared? Have you skipped out because you were not able to get everything read? How about those Bible study groups where you just quit showing up because the workbook was never cracked open or a big life crisis reared its ugly head? Or maybe you had to miss one, so you used this as an excuse to miss the rest. “Sorry, I’m Busy!” (This is probably only the beginning to the ones I have used over the years!)

Whatever the case, let’s be honest, the enemy wants you to NOT participate! Did you hear me? He doesn’t even want you thinking about it nor remembering you were even a part of a Bible study. Why else would you have all these outs or excuses?

If you want to be very intentional about seeking the LORD, there will be roadblocks. AND, some good wisdom must be coming from the discussions in your Bible study group or the enemy would not try so hard to keep you from attending. God is there and He desires for you to be there too!

Relax-we all have excuses & outs. However, we must address the source. SO, when you feel behind or less of a participant STOP YOURSELF and claim these five truths over your situation:

  • God loves me PERIOD!
  • God sees my efforts when I just show up to class
  • My pace of learning and reading is my own
  • Every step I take in seeking the LORD is valuable
  • The LORD is always with me regardless of where I find myself in the progression of a Bible study

Then take ownership of you:

  • Keep showing up to class
  • Read at your pace
  • Ask God to help you stay committed & moving forward in His Word

Remember, those excuses and roadblocks are not from God.

If you are in a Bible study currently or beginning one, pray! Pray for focused, intentional time. Ask the LORD to clear your calendar for those meeting times (even if you didn’t finish the weekly work or readings). Pray for a hedge of protection over your entire participation in the study. If you can, call someone else in the study group and ask them to be your accountability partner. Prepare ahead of time for the obstacles because they will come!

Then-commit. Pray for the leaders of your Bible study. Make an action plan and get started. Remember, you can succeed, and you are never behind if you are showing up and making small steps every day by staying in His Word and building relationship with HIM!

Change it & Claim it-

“OH YES! I have Bible study tonight. I cannot wait for the wisdom God will reveal.”

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