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WHY WE SHOULDN’T FEAR THE STONECUTTER’S KNIFE

http://www.pbase.com/es839145/animated_water
http://www.pbase.com/es839145/animated_water

Last week was an amazing week with you, my sisters who are in this journey of having the stone idols removed from our hearts. We have WONDERFUL new sisters joining us — each a treasure in her own unique way.  God is on the move and I have a sense of the holy happening in our hearts. I want to recap what happened to Cyndi last week, because it fits perfectly into where the Lord is taking us this week in Jeremiah 2. In the beginning of Jeremiah 2, which we looked at last week, God describes how once Israel was a devoted bride who would follow her husband anywhere. I asked you to recall if you had ever been that kind of bride to your earthly or to your spiritual husband. Cyndi lamented she had never been that kind of a bride, but had always wanted to be in control. (I have found that the people who are most responsive to criticism are the people who have stopped lying to themselves — therefore when the Spirit points something out, they are already realizing it is true.) Cyndi saw the blackness in her heart and was willing to undergo surgery. She put it like this, referring to Lewis’s picture of Aslan taking the scales off of Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

aslan-snow35I have to share with you friends that God is breaking my heart for my pride and self-reliance. I have always known is was wrong but never FELT in my HEART its blackness the way I am feeling it right now. I am sure it is your sweet prayers that have opened my heart to feel this for what it is. A very strong layer is being ripped off by our dear aslan, but his claws are so sharp and it hurts so much to know how much i have hurt my dear husbands heart!

Aslan’s claws are painful, but oh, we can trust Him. To prepare for our icebreaker, read this account from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

“Then the lion said… “You will have to let me undress you.” I was afraid of his claws, but I can tell you, I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it…. That very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’d ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.”

Icebreaker:

1. Where, like Eustace, are you “pretty near desperate now” to have your scales removed?

2. In what ways has it hurt to have your scales removed?

3. Where, like Eustace, have you “felt the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off?”

I wrote to one of our dear friends who is a cardiologist. Steve had led Vince to the Lord, so Vince was one who spoke at Steve’s funeral. He said:”I could fix other peoples’ hearts, but not my own.” I asked Vince if my metaphor was true to cardiovascular surgery — is there such a thing as stones that cause trouble in our hearts and must be surgically removed? He wrote that there was and sent this wonderful link to a 22 second video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQJv-vuJ7os&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Vince said the above portrays an”endarterectomy,”  a procedure when the CV surgeon opens up an artery that is partially blocked with cholesteral plaque and removes it.  A person with blocked arteries should welcome an endarterectomy so he might live — and we should welcome the stonecutter’s knife so that we might live! The pain is temporary and then new and abundant life will flow, like streams of living water.

This Week’s Bible Study: Jeremiah 2:4-14

3. What question does God ask His people in Jeremiah 2:5a (a means the first part of the verse)?

4. What happens to people who go after worthless idols according to Jeremiah 2:5b?

5. In Jeremiah 2:6-7

A. What miracles and blessings have the Israelites forgotten, according to verses 6-7?

B. Name one way God is working in your life that you do not want to forget.

6. Again and again in Scripture, God recounts his pain at being forgotten. Underline or mark the phrases in the following that show not being remembered or being forgotten:

How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the desert!
They tested God again and again

and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power
or the day when he redeemed them from the foe…

Psalm 78:40-42

She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers;
but Me she forgot,” says the LORD.

Hosea 2:13 (NKJV)

Can a virgin forget her ornaments

Or a bride her attire?

Yet my people have forgotten me

Days without number.

Jeremiah 2:32

7. What did the priests and the shepherds of the people forget according to Jeremiah 2:8?

8. What truth about idols does God repeat in Jeremiah 2:11b?

9. Meditate (and memorize) Jeremiah 2:13-14 and explain the two evils God’s people have committed:

W. H. Thomson, the 19th century classical Cambridge scholar comments:

The best cisterns, even those in solid rock, are strangely liable to crack…the water collected from clay roofs or from marly soil has the colour of weak soapsuds, the taste of the earth or the stable, is full of worms, and in the hour of greatest need it utterly fails.[1]

We forsake the Living Water and turn to wormy dirty water. We may be turning from God to destructive things to soothe our soul, such as drugs or immoral sex – but often what we do as believers is to turn from God to a good thing, making it an ultimate thing, a counterfeit god. We make food, family, friends, ministry, or another gift the source of comfort, security, and identity – and in so doing, we destroy the gift and our own lives.

10  Reflect on how we turn good gifts into “broken cisterns” when we substitute them for God, the fountain of living waters. Consider these two examples:

A. FOOD

  • Why is food a good gift and for what purposes did God give it to us?
  • If we abuse it and run to it instead of to God when we are sad or stressed, how can it become harmful, like a broken cistern?
  • In moments of temptation, what truth can you speak to your soul?

B. CHILDREN

  • What would be some red flags that you might be making your children idols in your life?
  • When you are tempted to cling too tightly, to despair over their lack of perfection, what truth might you speak to your soul?

Pastor Kevin Cawley of Redeemer Fellowship in Kansas City says:

God is the only being who can satisfy the human soul. If you do not find your satisfaction in the God of the Bible, you will not find it anywhere. But if you find your satisfaction in the person and presence of the God of the Bible, you find your appropriate and proportional satisfaction everywhere.

11. If The Stonecutter is whittling away at an idol, at a good thing you made an ultimate thing, share a way you are beginning to enjoy that gift (food, family, facebook) in a way you had not before.

MEETING OUR BLOGGERS (During this study we’re meeting those who have been regulars for several months or more.)

tracyTracy is often one of the first to do her lesson, and often does it from beginning to end thoroughly. I didn’t realize until recently that Tracy attended my church in Nebraska for a short time after we joined. She remembers the day we joined. My daughter Sally then told me she knew Tracy — and that when Sally was going through one of the most painful times in her life that she met Tracy, found they shared a love of God, music, and art. Tracy made her some special music CD’s  to bring comfort. Tracy is one of our quieter members. She would be the one in a Bible study who would listen carefully to others, would seldom speak, but when she did, you would listen!

This is beautiful Tracy!

About herself:

I came to Christ when I started attending Trinity Presbyterian in Kearney, NE when I was in high school.  Before then I had not heard Scripture-based teaching and it opened my mind and heart to Christ’s love and sacrifice for me. My passions include singing, writing and fellowship with other believers.  I am currently on hiatus from college, but plan on majoring in journalism/mass media when I return. Whatever I do, I pray that God will use my life for His glory.

About idolatry:

Realizing that Christ is helping me replace my heart of stone with one of flesh has changed the way I deal with idols.  This may seem like a simple truth; however, it is often the small, perhaps overlooked truths that can impact our hearts the most!  I can sense Christ’s presence in new and exciting ways.

12. Could you bless Tracy in some way this week? Repeat something she has shared — or tell how you see Jesus in her — or a way she has blessed you.

[1] W. H. Thomson, The Land and The Book, (Harper, 1886) p. 287.


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243 comments

  1. Sorry to be going back to the last post, but I listened to Keller’s sermon early this morning and was pondering the question about (after the verse in Jeremiah describing Israel as a newlywed bride devoted to her new husband, going with him wherever he goes) “so why do we run to other lovers – why do we turn away?”
    One example Keller gave in the sermon about the 16 year old girl who said she never got a date, and he reminded her gently of all she had in Christ, and she answered, “Yeah, but what good is all that if you’re not popular?” I see myself in that statement, too. If I really stop to think about the blessings God has lavished upon me, it’s more than enough; yet, I begin to feel discontent and in effect say the same – okay, BUT what good does that do me when I don’t have _______?

    Here the Israelites were this treasured bride; they had seen the lengths God was willing to go to in order to protect them and cherish them, yet their hearts longed for something more….
    I’m going to speculate that it was perhaps a taking for granted, a sense of entitlement that crept into their hearts; a sense of deserving all this from God instead of undeserved gratitude; a “yeah, but what have you done for me lately?” attitude. I know because it’s a picture of my own heart, too.

    This brings me to what Joyce posted about her first two marriages and being passionately in love/lust; then with Maurice she described a more mature, abiding love and also she made the same parallels between her marriages and her spiritual growth and love for the Lord. If anyone else feels this way, too – maybe the “on fire for Jesus” is something we can’t sustain just like we can’t sustain the “honeymoon phase” in our marriages; I thought the more steady, slow-burning fire mature love that Joyce described she has now for the Lord may be the better goal. Does this make sense?! That the starry-eyed bride love is a love that can become fickle and dissatisfied; goodness knows my husband and I would be divorced by now because we’ve been in a dry season for a long time but there is a committment to keep. If the only love I have for God is a superficial, hot one day and cold the next kind of love then I’ll turn away from Him, too. I’ll grow bored and need Him to continue to do great, “Red Sea” type of things in my life to keep my attention and love – maybe that’s why the Israelites turned away; they lacked a maturity in their love.

    My take-away from last week is still pondering this whole picture of my relationship with the Lord being like a marriage.

    And Rebecca, I agree with everyone about you having the gift of encouragement – in musical terms you are our melody, always harmonizing and blending; sometimes the lead and sometimes the background accompaniment – can’t wait to hear you sing for us!

      1. Dee, in 1000 Gifts Ann V. spoke of the same fear in the last chapter. She also experienced desire to back away into the known rather than into the unknown of God’s wild and ravishing love. That is a good point and something that we should consider now as we move deeper into relationship with Him.

      2. I liked that line from John Donne too…I remember that lesson we did. Being ravished definitely doesn’t sound lukewarm.

    1. Thanks, please go bad and read my last comment on how Dee helped us then.

      Tracy, you are beautiful!

      1. Don’t go Bad..go back!!!

        1. hehe, we knew what you meant 😉

        2. I did go back and read, Joyce! That’s so neat that you and Dee were connected that way!

        3. That is so neat!

  2. I let my husband read this. We got to talking and he made an observation that as soon as I am feeling insecure my wall of protection (pride and control) comes up. I just saw it as my pridefulness, but my sweet husband saw behind it to my insecurity which leads me to put the wall up. He doesn’t speak much but when he does, it us usually something wise:) Thank you sisters for being so kind and so accepting that this wall can come down a bit, I do not feel I must impress you and that is so very freeing to me!

    1. I relate to this cyndi–I have always had a tendency to share a lot when I feel like I can trust the company. Here, that’s been wonderful. But so many times with friends, I’ve ended up wishing I hadn’t shared so much–I feel insecure and my wall comes up and I want to retreat back to my safe shell.
      That’s where I’ve been this past week–I’ve always been a bit introverted at heart, but lately I just want to be alone or with my husband.
      I’ve been thinking about that–my husband and I have been married 17 years now and he is the one person who feels like he’s not there, but I’m not alone–does that make sense? He is there when I want that, but when I just want to be alone but not really alone, I can be with him because there is finally this sense of being known, understood, and not expected to perform or be different than whatever I am at the moment.
      Geez, I don’t think this is making any sense!

      Anyway, I want that with Jesus again–to feel so at home, so accepted, just as rest and not trying to be or do, just resting in the assurance of being loved.

      1. It makes sense to me. Sometimes it can be hard to share!

  3. I just started reading Dee’s book Falling in Love With Jesus and am amazed at how well it corresponds with where we are in this study, where I am in this journey.
    Dee writes:
    “Do you know the secret of overcoming a hundred sins in your life? Of having an inextinguishable joy–no matter the circumstances? It is a secret most believers have missed. The secret is not found in 10 steps and not in approaching the Bible as a self-improvement guide, but in being deeply in love with Jesus, so that your desire is to be completely abandoned to Him and receive whatever He has for you.”

    I want that, oh I really do. I have felt glimpses, but need more breaking. Two things happened with friends last week that hurt and I felt my guard go up again, not wanting to trust…I wonder the ways I do that with Him. Oh Lord, break me, I want to be completely abandoned.

  4. 1. Where, like Eustace, are you “pretty near desperate now” to have your scales removed?
    My idol of control competes with my idol of affirmation. I think the harder one, in some ways more painful one is the the idol of approval. Some recent things have put me in the position of near desperate now to have my scales removed.

    2. In what ways has it hurt?

    –Do you mean to have it removed, or the idol?
    I can see the ways my idol of approval has hurt my relationships. I have backed away when I feel unappreciated, unnoticed. I put the wall back up and distance myself. I’ve been doing it for a while now with my mom and certain friends.

    In my marriage, even with my kids, I have felt moments where the scales have started to be removed. I have felt less of a need for their approval. The ways that has hurt is just the exposed, vulnerable feeling. The risk of being bare-skinned, the possibility of it being taken advantage of.

    3. Where, like Eustace, have you “felt the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off?”
    In my marriage, mostly I have felt the pleasure by feeling assured of his love for me despite seeing my ugliness, or my more relaxed, imperfect performance. That has brought freedom.

    In other relationships, I’m not quite there yet with this one. I have felt some relief in getting a healthy distance from certain friends and family members, but I don’t think I’ve let Him fully remove my need for their approval.

    3. What question does God ask His people in Jeremiah 2:5a :

    “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me”

    This verse really hit my heart hard. How have I treated God in this way/ As if there was any fault to be found in Him/ I know in my mind that He is perfect, holy, just…but my actions have acted as if there is fault to be found and so I have chosen to be in charge of my own plans, my own schedule. Forgive me, Lord.

    4. What happens to people who go after worthless idols according to Jeremiah 2:5b?

    They become worthless themselves! we are of no use to God, we are without purpose, when we seek after idols. We are unable to bring Him glory when we are seeking to glorify ourselves.

    5.
    A. What miracles and blessings have the Israelites forgotten, according to verses 6-7?

    How He had brought them out of Egypt and through the barren wilderness to a land of rich fruit and produce.

    B. Name one way God is working in your life that you do not want to forget.

    He has reminded me through this study how deeply, richly, intimately He loves me. It scares me sometimes—maybe that’s not the word, it just overwhelms a bit. I know I don’t fully get it yet. But His love is beyond anything I have ever experienced in an earthly relationship. He knows me, really knows me, and passionately loves me, He chose me. Why is it so hard to take in? To really feel it on the deepest level and let it change me?

    1. I really like the last paragraph. Because His love is so much deeper than anything else, it can overwhelm. It’s even scary, like you said, in a good way like how Aslan is good but not safe. Personally, I wouldn’t want a “safe” God. Must be MIGHTY like how the lion is king of the jungle! I so LOVE Lewis’ Aslan metaphor. I read the books before I gave my life to Christ, how they spoke to me even then. I see that God used Lewis and his writings to prepare my heart for Himself.

      1. Thank you Tracy–you have such insight and wisdom.
        I still remember back in April a quote of yours that so resonated with me (and all of us I think!), you said:
        “Every time I take my eyes from Jesus and let self and idols back on the throne of my soul, I am re-enslaved. When I start something without thinking about what God wants of me, I’ll easily give into comfort/security and be drawn into it like quicksand.”

        I think sometimes it is that overwhelmed-ness that causes me to take my eyes off of Him–the disbelief that He truly wants ME.

        Oh, and your picture is beautiful Tracy!
        I am so happy to have found you all a few months back when I first found this blog–the wisdom and encouragement is such a gift.

        1. Thanks, Elizabeth!

  5. Before I begin I want to thank Dee for the heartwarming words above. you make me smile.

    1. Where, like Eustace, are you “pretty near desperate now” to have your scales removed?

    My area of desperation has been on trying to change the wrong places in me by myself. He scales prevented me from seeking God and seeing how big He is!

    2. In what ways has it hurt?

    Human pride stings when it sees it’s futility.

    3. Where, like Eustace, have you “felt the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off?”

    I know I am no longer alone and this is all joy!

    1. Tracy,
      I have felt this too;
      “Human pride stings when it sees it’s futility.”
      It seems so crazy to me that it hurts so much to let go of futlity.
      Somehow though, bringing this stuff into the light, seeing it in print does make it easier to correct wrong thinking and see the lies for what they are.

      I can relate to your tendency toward isolation, that is my defense too. I once spoke about self pity and how when I am focused om me, I am useless (there is that word again!) to Him & His purposes.
      I am afraid of being unappreciated, afraid of failing, afraid of being critized. If I stay home, alone, or only with my husband who loves me inspite of myself I am safe…but useless.

  6. This Week’s Bible Study: Jeremiah 2:4-14

    3. What question does God ask His people in Jeremiah 2:5a (a means the first part of the verse)?

       “What fault did your ancestors find in me,
       that they strayed so far from me?”

    4. What happens to people who go after worthless idols according to Jeremiah 2:5b?

    They become worthless themselves. What we put on the throne of our heart affects us.

  7. 5. In Jeremiah 2:6-7

    A. What miracles and blessings have the Israelites forgotten, according to verses 6-7?

    He brought them out of Egypt, cared for them in the wilderness, gave good land, supplied needs.

    B. Name one way God is working in your life that you do not want to forget.

    He is on my side, my Aslan, so very BIG.

  8. 7. What did the priests and the shepherds of the people forget according to Jeremiah 2:8?

    They didn’t ask where God was after the blessings they were given.

    8. What truth about idols does God repeat in Jeremiah 2:11b?

    They are worthless!!

    9. Meditate (and memorize) Jeremiah 2:13-14 and explain the two evils God’s people have committed:

    They gave up God’s Living Water (sin#1) exchange for broken cisterns.(sin 2)

  9. 10a Food is a gift bc we need it to survive. God meets our needs.

    But If we abuse food it becomes an idol. We insult God and also risk he bodies He gave us. Weight issues and bad nutrition aren’t goof ways to take care of the temple He gave us.

    The truth for the soul is HE IS ENOUGH!!

    11. God is giving me more enjoyment of time, as He whittles down the idol of squandering it infavor of my own so-called comfort. I see that time is a gift and so is heboeqce I receive from knowing I have met my obligations. Then I can fairly take some time out! I see that “comfort” as an idol is only perceived comfort bc He is the real one.

  10. 1. Where, like Eustace, are you “pretty near desperate now” to have your scales removed? Now that I see my idols it is like having a tick on me. I can’t do anything else until I get that thing off of me. When I don’t know it’s there I go on with life as usual. There are things about myself that I want to change especially in relation to my family. I JUST DON’T WANT TO BE THE WAY I AM. I am hard and self focused and now that I know it is possible I want those layers off of me. It will be hard I know, those layers have protected a vulnerable heart.

    2. In what ways has it hurt? I dealt with the approval idol first and as I let go of the approval that I had so depended on I can’t describe how I felt. I think I loathed myself and of course things kept happening to push me deeper. I talked to my soul a lot. I remembered that I am precious to Jesus and held onto Him. Marie told me to write down my negative thoughts which I did and the Lord answered every one of them with scripture. Those I held onto. I had them in writing.

    3. Where, like Eustace, have you “felt the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off?” When I had tangible victories, like confronting someone about an issue that needed to be brought up, it was pleasant to find good fruit in that. When I came to the place where I knew that I did not need my idol anymore it was a pleasure to kick it to the curb. It is glorious to realize that this thing has no power over me anymore. While I know there will still be battles the victory is the Lord’s. He will win.

    1. Sorry, I just hate ticks and we have so many of them.

    2. Idols are very much like ticks! That is so true.

  11. Wow..Got up at 5 and spent most of the time reading the posts!! Such sweet water passing back and forth gals!

    Tracy, My you are so beautiful girl! It doesn’t shock me that you are a writer and that you are wanting to go into journalism..God has gifted you and I am thrilled you are pursuing this! I have been blessed by your encouragement and wisdom as well. When you encourage it is thoughtful-I can tell you are REALLY listening, and God has used it so often to lift me up!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging message!

  12. Icebreaker:

    1. Where, like Eustace, are you “pretty near desperate now” to have your scales removed?

    * I wonder, if this is never ending? 🙂 It seems like God has descaled me in one area and also in another but the scales in this other area of fear are not quite all the way off yet. There is still one area I am running from. It stems from one of my idols. I am not sure which one it is though. The near sin is fear.

    * I will lay it out ladies…Here it is..I am TIRED of being fearful of singing on stage. I want this gone..My motto is, if I could just go behind a curtain and sing in the back of the room that would be wonderful. I have walked in this since my before Christ days when I was show casing for record labels in my late teens early 20’s. 😉 So there you have it.. I am 46 now and even though I know Jesus I still have this fear and especially now that we are in a VERY large church. I have slowly lost my desire, not to sing, but to sing on stage and thought perhaps that loss of desire came from God and when I was ready to move on thinking God was moving me on, I received an e-mail from our Worship Team leader who asked me to sing again and has encouraged me to continue to use this gift for God’s glory and to edify others. I think he knows I am struggling. 🙂

    2. In what ways has it hurt to have your scales removed?

    * It has been painful, I had to let go of control fall into Jesus’ arms and be vulnerable..It reminds me of a scab being peeled off and the wound is open, tender and vulnerable. Since I have done this study..I am raw, vulnerable like that wound, but in His arms in pain from time to time but knowing Aslan is ripping the cause of this deep pain out and when God does it, I know that while it is painful and most times a long process I know it will be truly dealt with and out of it will spring true freedom and a deep, indescribable joy.

    3. Where, like Eustace, have you “felt the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off?”

    * I have felt the pleasure of a huge load being lifted off my back. I feel clean in so many ways and He is forging a deeper intimacy with me.

    I love Elizabeth’s quote from Dee..It IS IS IS IS IS TRUE!! When I fall deeper and deeper in love with Jesus, my desire is to be completely abandoned to Him and I will be able to receive whatever He has for me.

      1. Dee,

        There are two words among many others I have learned from you and have grown to love-their meaning. One is ‘quickening’ and ‘balm’..This is truly a balm to my soul.

        Thank you for your encouragement/counsel and for praying..I haven’t asked for deep prayer for this because it seems so petty compared to the deeper issues of life. I SO covet your prayers and the prayers of my sweet sisters here.

        This would be HUGE to overcome this. I am thinking it is indeed most likely an approval god issue that Satan is having a field day with, yet GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN ME THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD! Thanks for that encouragement Dee!

        I am expecting God to work..Though I am fearful yet I am excited and longing to see how He will free me.. I am going to step out in faith and keep working on the song I have chosen. The next step of faith is e-mailing our w.t. leader and setting a date to sing it, so pray! 🙂

        1. Rebecca, I will definitely be praying for you!

        2. Praying for you, Rebecca

      2. Praying for you also Rebecca. I know you will be free because He is able. How you will bless Him by using the gift He has given you. Please let us know every time you move on this. When you make the call, when you sing and when you just feel scared. We will be knocking on heaven’s door for you.

  13. 1. Where, like Eustace, are you “pretty near desperate now” to have your scales removed?

    In the area of self reliance and the fear of failure

    2. In what ways has it hurt to have your scales removed?
    Realizing what little control I ultimately have has been so hard, I feel despair

    My self assurance is gone; I know that ought to be a good thing, but it feels terrible.

    3. Where, like Eustace, have you “felt the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off?”

    I cannot say that I am there yet; it feels good I guess that I am still seeking after Him.
    I am glad of His mercy & patience with me

    1. Chris, It does feel really terrible at first. The good part does not come yet. Cling to the Lord and know that you feel terrible because you are denying this idol. It is good pain(like labor). You will make it through. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Lord, thank You for what You are doing in Chris’ life right now. Please be ever so near to her. Thank You for opening her eyes and inspiring her to follow hard after You. What joy she must bring to Your heart as she leaves all others to pursue You.

      1. Thank you Anne.

      2. Chris, I had you mixed up with Jessica. I think my advice to you would be quite different given your circumstances. I’m sorry.

        1. Anne,
          No need to apologize,seems pretty easy to get mixed up on here, thank you for your tenderness.

  14. The conversation here has reminded me of this CS Lewis quote;

    “Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

    1. Wow, what a neat quote. I just love Lewis.

    2. Great quote – we do often assume God is not able to do what we really desire; so we trifle about on the stuff that doesn’t really matter.

  15. I’m coming to take this study.

    This Week’s Bible Study-Jeremiah 2:4-14 (question 6):
    I was thinking, Dee, about the fact of God feel pain and sorrow… (because of our sin). Difficult to understand… Would be antropopatia (anthropopathisms)? I know the Bible talks about it. It’s just that I was meditating .. How would God’s sorrow? His love is perfect!

    Dee, my sisters liked much of last week’s study. You are blessing many sisters, even from a distance. Thank you!
    tracy, I’ll include you in my prayers this week.
    “I pray that God will use my life for His glory”. Amem, sister!
    thanks for sharing! love, Polly

      1. But it is not feeling?

    1. Anthropomorphism is a new word to me. Is this what the metaphors are for? So that we can understand His feelings?

  16. Dee,I didn’t find the book The God of all comfort to buy. It is available for the Portuguese? thanks

      1. of course! You’re so sweet and kind!
        My address – so you can try (Rua Marechal Floriano Peixoto, 847, bairro- Alvorada,cidade- Anchieta, Estado- Espirito Santo. cep. 29230-000)

        About the amazon.com I don’t know… I’ll try now.
        and About my english.. I read in english, but my dictionary is my ooold friend! 🙂 !

        I thought this book was available in Portuguese because it is easier (of course). 😉
        think to make available in Portuguese? I’m also thinking of other brazilians… 😉

        love, polly

  17. 7. What did the priests and the shepherds of the people forget according to Jeremiah 2:8?
    To call upon the Lord for wisdom and to know and follow His laws.

    8. What truth about idols does God repeat in Jeremiah 2:11b?
    His people have exchanged the glorious God for worthless idols.

    9. Meditate (and memorize) Jeremiah 2:13-14 and explain the two evils God’s people have committed:

    They are God’s people and they have left Him. Like a woman married to the One perfect Lover, they have run away and forgotten Him. Secondly, they have taken the effort to try to build up for themselves a substitute. Convincing themselves they know a better way to be filled, to find joy. But their efforts are futile and their idols are not capable of fulfilling their needs. Even more, these cisterns not only cannot satisfy, but they provide them with dirty water, which deteriorates their souls.

  18. 3 In Jeramiah 2:5 He asks them why they turned from Him to follow worthless idols. What fault did they find in Him, matchless God of the universe, that they preferred worthless, meaningless names. I wonder if this is not just the attraction. They are worthless and dead, therefore controllable. Is this the fault they find with God? He is not controlled by them. I feel sure it is at the root of my problem also. I am ashamed and yet sense freedom. I don’t have to control Him because He will do good for me always. Lord, help me to remember this always.

    1. Incomparable. That is is the word I am looking for. They traded the incomparable God of the universe for mute idols that have to be nailed down so they won’t fall over.

  19. 1. Where, like Eustace, are you “pretty near desperate now” to have your scales removed?

    I, too, want to be broken of self-reliance. My thinking has always been if I control my universe than nothing bad can harm me. The truth is I can’t control what other people do to me. I can only control my response.

    2. In what ways has it hurt?

    The pain has come from traveling down memory lane and revisiting the emotional trauma which turned my childhood universe upside down. Through prayer, I have come to realize that event marked the beginning of my building a house of stone around my heart.

    3. Where, like Eustace, have you “felt the pleasure of feeling the stuff peeled off?”

    My pleasure comes from knowing I live in a palace of forgiveness instead of a prison of bitterness.

    1. I love What you said about a palace of forgiveness!!

    2. I think we all have some “event” that starts the building process of that house of stone around our hearts.
      That’s really insightful, Tammy.

  20. 3-4 what did i do wrong??? why did you stray so far from me? now you are worthless!

    5a freeing them from slavery, keeping them alive in a land that should have killed them.

    b. God is taking me from a barren land of self reliance and self-protection to the promised land of unconditional love where He can strip that thick skin off to reveal a tenderness that allows me to live in freedom. freedom from always needing to “get credit”, to be noticed to be praised. freedom to just do what HE wants me to and have HIS eyes be enough!

  21. 1. Where, like Eustace, are you pretty near desperate now to have your scales removed?

    I resonate with what Anne said, “I just don’t want to be the way I am”. This is in relationship to my family, my husband, primarily. I have a wall built of pride and self-reliance. I think, too, there is an unforgiving spirit mixed in, too. There is no intimacy in my marriage anymore, my two boys one is mostly away from home at college and the other I know will be, too, in another year. When my oldest comes home from school he’s grown and changed and I feel like I have to get to know him again! I feel isolated and alone even at my church, which is large and when I walk through it I see a sea of faces of people I don’t know at all. Yet I feel stuck and unsure of whether to visit other churches; because my husband doesn’t go I have to try to decide on my own.
    I think I try to pretend I have everything together when on the inside I know I don’t. On the inside I feel alone and insecure and the scales are a way to try to protect myself.

    2. In what ways has it hurt to have your scales removed?

    I can’t say that they have been removed yet, but it hurts to be exposed and for others to see my weaknesses, or to face possible rejection or to not be taken seriously.

    3. Where, like Eustace, have you felt the pleasure of having the stuff peel off?

    I think it would be only with someone who is safe, like Jesus, or with my closest friend. The ones who really know me inside and out and love me anyway. With them I don’t need my idol of approval.

    1. Oh God, you hear Susan’s loneliness and pain right now and you are right there with her. God thank you that we can be here for her, but I pray Lord that in your great mercy and grace that you would seek out and find a godly woman and or women..a friend for Susan at her church or at a bible study-whatever you bring Lord..Help Susan to keep her eyes open for this woman-for opportunities..Lord we know this is in your will for you don’t want us to walk this journey alone. I think of Sara Groves’ song..”Twice as Good”..Our sisters make our lives half as hard and twice as good..So true..what a gift from You Lord..We pray for Susan that she could bathe in this gift soon. Lord quicken a woman’s soul at church for Susan. We trust Lord that you will provide your person in your time to encourage Susan. We love you Jesus and thank you for how you rescue us over and over again for we are yours.

    2. Dear Susan, I can’t believe what I read here this morning. I mean that in a scary but good way. I think we are looking into Aslan’s face. Last night in that place between awake and asleep I found myself tormented by fears so similar to yours. They came from every part of my life, all of my failures. Finally, I realized that the Lord was bringing them to me so that I could give them all up to Him. That is what I did. Then as I read your post I know where my next and possibly greatest battle lies. That is in opening myself up to intimacy, starting with my husband. I have no idea why I am so afraid. It goes back way before my marriage but I can’t pinpoint an event like Tammy has. I know the Lord will lead and I pray for the strength to follow. He is leading us to the fears old and deep as He has for Rebecca.

      1. Will pray, Anne.

  22. This Week’s Bible Study: Jeremiah 2:4-14

    3. What question does God ask His people in Jeremiah 2:5a (a means the first part of the verse)?

    * “What fault did your ancestors find in me,
    that they strayed so far from me?” – Oh MY..I haven’t seen this before! Wow..

    I think they had many near sins from their idolatry worship and they didn’t want a Holy God lighting up their dark places because that would mean they would have to let go of their idols and their quick fixes to cover over pain. They would have to abandon themselves to God and that would be too painful of a process. Our idols cause us to hide from God.

    4. What happens to people who go after worthless idols according to Jeremiah 2:5b?

    They became worthless. I think it is a slow, deceptive process aided and abetted by Satan who whispers these lies into our head. Our idols deceive us into thinking they can provide what only Jesus can, when we listen to that lie and get in bed with our idols we become inward, focused on our self and eventually eaten up from the inside out and our hearts get stonier and stonier..Depression can easily set in. Unless we flee from our idol and replace it with Jesus our idol will slowly destroy us from the inside out and we won’t be bringing God glory with our life. (Of course when we flee and run to Jesus..then He takes this and turns it around for His glory!!)

      1. Dee, Thanks for the sweet encouragement! 🙂

  23. Read through Jeremiah 2 this morning and praying, pondering Tammy’s post again about “my building a house of stone around my heart.” Was thinking of how the Lord said He would remove our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh ( I think that verse is also in Jeremiah?) and He did that when we trusted in Jesus; so then we have this new heart of flesh and WE build a stone wall around it. Thinking back to the picture Dee posted of the stone being chipped away and underneath we begin to see the heart of flesh that has been imprisoned in the stone (by our own doing, not God’s). This journey we’re on is becoming clearer to me.

    Prayed for all of you also – and I did pray for you, Anne, about your anxiety and fear, and for you, Rebecca, about your fear of singing before others.

    1. Susan
      Just want to let you know I was thinking about you as I drove out to the home of a client this morning. I have been where you are and Dee so beautifully stated what I had pondered telling you myself. I will keep you lifted up.

  24. Crumbling ice. I feel it–FINALLY. Since reading Anne’s words Sunday “I JUST DON’T WANT TO BE THE WAY I AM” and then chewing on Dee’s words from Leslie Vernick above, “how fear is a way of identifying our idols — just as looking at what we desire (more than God) identifies them, so does fearing what we might lose identify them”, I have felt the cutting of the stone–finally! I have read you all for weeks since finding this blog in January, and there has been this one lurking issue with me that I knew was my biggest area of struggle, but I just really did not see how it related to my idols–so I have talked around it.
    You all have helped me see, finally!
    My near sin is the way I relate to my 7 year old–it’s too long a story, but since she was born I felt rejected by her. She was colic and unconsolable by me, never preferred me–a sweet, obedient child, but still headstrong, very different personality than mine, and basically our relationship mirrors the way my mom and I relate. I am self-protective, distant, guarded.
    It is so shameful to admit to you all. I am nearly 40, she’s 7. I should really grow up! I do all the loving “actions”, and I do love her, but I am very guarded. And worse, I struggle at times with how close she is to my husband. We have good days, but I can feel how Satan uses this to remind me of the rejection in my childhood and to tell me lies that she will never love me.

    Sorry this got so long! But I can see now how my idol has been security/self-protection, fear of rejection like I felt with my dad and mom and to quote Ann, I JUST DON’T WANT TO BE THE WAY I AM!

    So now, it’s out there, my ugliest sin. Thanks for being a safe place and Dee–thank you, thank you for this study. I have hope, finally, that He will melt this icy part of my heart and help me love my daughter freely–needing nothing in return!

    1. Elizabeth, I am praying for you. Your confession brings your healing. I can’t help but to look beyond this present pain to the healing and how your relationship with your daughter will be because of your willingness to be still before the Stonecutter’s knife. She will be so blessed.

      1. Elizabeth, Praise God!! half the battle is won..It is amazing how God is working in your life, it encourages me so. I mean when you just started this study I was already blown away by your maturity in the Lord.. Now I know why..You are teachable and desiring to abandon yourself more and more to Jesus. I don’t sense from you at all that you have ‘arrived’. 😉

    2. OK now im really spooked! my biggest mom struggle is with…wait for it..my 7 year old daughter. Its a different type of struggle, she seems to be mean to everyone and uses such a neg. tone and it just makes me feel like such a failure as a mom that I distent myself from her.
      she is so struggling with having a new sister come in and take her thunder and it just makes me mad when she gets so, i don’t know, unpleasent to be with.
      she also has a bed wetting issue so i am doing laundry EVERY day even with good-nights on…I know in my head that this is not her fault but it just drives me crazy.
      she brings out the worst in me and is my mirror. I know how my heart is with God by the way I treat her….
      hope it helps to know your not alone. Its a really hard thing to know your not being the mom your child needs!
      I am praying for you dear sister

      1. Cyndi and Elizabeth, my heart hurts reading your post. I have two sons and only one daughter and she lives miles away. She was diagnosed bipolar manic depressant about ten yrs ago at the age of 27, when her husband drove her to the ER room because of a mental break down. Long story short I jumped on the first flight and ran down the hall to embrace her in the mental hospital they had admitted her to. She looked puzzled and said, “Mom, I am shocked you came, I was sure you wouldn’t.” I asked why did she feel I wouldn’t and she said because they said you didn’t love me and wouldn’t come. It was the voices in her head from her illness and yet my heart hurt to think she would doubt my love for her. Through her healing days ahead and through all these years living with this mental disorder I have found the most precious thing we can do as a mother for our daughters is to hug them and tell them I love you, even when they are at their worst. Believe me this illness has shown me the ugliest moments when she came to live with us for a few months and she had forgotten to take her meds. Embrace your dear sweet little 7 yr old and tell her you love her even in the times she is her worst. I had a loving relationship with my own mother, yet never heard the words, “I love you”, and was never hugged as a child. God’s arms embrace us when we are at our worst….the warmth of a hug and reassurance of hearing I love you will do more than you could ever know for her and for yourself.

        My prayers are with you, and I am ((((((hugging you now)))))).

      2. You all really are such a gift. After sharing this this morning I felt SO SO much lighter…and then coming back to see the outpouring of understanding, love, prayers–I don’t deserve it but I praise Him for graciously giving me this group. I am just in awe of how He can truly send a hug through cyberspace 😉

  25. This morning I already see the Lord at work. My husband had fasting md appt and came home very hungry and irritable because the doctor had lectured him about his diet. He snapped at me but later came back to apologize (which he never does). All I had to do was forgive and it was easy. It was not a big deal and there will certainly be more trials. But I rejoice because the incision has begun and I survived!

  26. 3. What question does God ask His people in Jeremiah 2:5a (a means the first part of the verse)?
    What fault did the people find with him?
    4. What happens to people who go after worthless idols according to Jeremiah 2:5b?
    They become worthless
    What miracles and blessings have the Israelites forgotten, according to verses 6-7?
    They forgot that God had rescued them, led them in the wilderness, protected them and provided them with a plentiful land.
    B. Name one way God is working in your life that you do not want to forget.

    My grief has lessened the appeal of worldly distractions; I don’t want to be content with lesser things.
    If you had asked me before July 25th 2010, if I as a Christ follower who endeavored to walk uprightly before God, asking to be made aware of and the power to turn from sin and be useful to God, If you had asked me if God owed me anything at all for my obedience, I would have instantly answered ‘of course not.’ I might have said that I deserve nothing from him but judgment, and he has extended to me the invitation of Grace and Heaven & perfect Love.
    When the storm came I admit to real shock, that my family and I were not exempt from such evil touching our lives. I am reminded that he owes me nothing I owe him everything, and like Job, if he were to speak to me I would know that I have uttered what I don’t understand.

  27. Question #1 and 2:
    Before falling asleep I asked God to clarify the idol(s) He wants to cut off in this study. I love that God answers my questions in the way I learn the best-visually. I awoke on a theater stage, wearing a white diamond Elvis outfit, in a karate stance, singing the last stanza of “I did it my way”. God’s voice boomed to me…in Dr. Phil’s voice and said, “How’s that workin’ for ya, Kim?” (Don’t you love God’s sense of humor?) I crumbled in a heap and God’s hand scooped me up and whispered, “Let’s do it my way from now on.”
    A year ago I had asked God to give me a customized plan for eating and losing weight that suited me perfectly. One that would help me please Him. He did and the plan worked. I lost about 20 pounds in 5 months. Then I got busy, frustrated at the slowness of God’s plan and tried other methods to lose weight, and began going to food for comfort (circling the mountain again!)
    It sickens me to think how many times I have left the great love of my life for lesser gods who don’t satisfy and who steal, kill and destroy me!
    Today the scales are falling off and once again I will feel the pain and joy of Aslan’s sharp claws. I am ready to get back to God and His plan but hate myself for the pain that I cause Him when I do it my way.
    My prayer for this study is that this time I would see the blackness of my heart like never before, like dear Cyndi, and do whatever God requires to stop circling the mountain once and for all.

      1. Kim, lol! I did love that dream! 🙂 Will pray for you.

        Lord, You know Kim’s heart..we ask that you would help her to identify who she is running to and empower her to turn and flee. Lord as she looks into your face in this study and sees how you love Lord quicken her heart to listen as you speak to her through your word..
        Lord thank you for how you are breaking us and in the process setting us free..Thank you for how you have rescued Kim and opened her eyes to this idol issue..Lord this is the beginning of a new and incredible journey of freedom for her and a closer intimacy with You, but it is because of you. We praise you jesus..Holy is your name above all the Earth..Thank you Jesus…

        1. Thank you for the prayer!

      2. Yes, I feel the joy returning. Thanks!

    1. Oh my heavens I am laughing out loud, yet astounded how God gave you this visual in a dream. Kim I am a big fan of Dr. Phil and I love it when he says, “So hows that workin for ya”? I also love when he askes us to ask ourselves, What’s the payoff we are getting for repeating the behavior. Can you only imagine God looking down on us and wondering what is our pay off for allowing stones to block our path to a relationship with him? Your colorful dream and characters had me cracking up,and I love how you point out that God has a sense of humor. Thank heavens he does because I suppose He could get pretty fed up with us at times. lol So did you see Frank Sinatra in the background when you heard God say, “Now let’s do it MY WAY?” Just kidding….

      God made us in the likeness of him, but knowing we would fall short of being perfect like him. You did a great job in acknowledging your stone idols, and the desire to clear them away. As Dr. Phil always says, “You can not change what you don’t acknowledge.” I’m going to post your dream on my fridge to remind me God does have a sense of humor, and to not take life so seriously. If I may say, please don’t be so hard on yourself, God is a patient God, he will wait for us to get it right.

      1. Marie, are you the one who lost 65 pounds and shared a picture of you with your husband while pregnant? If so I want to tell you that your testimony gave me a glimmer of hope when I felt hopeless and wanted to give up on my dream of losing weight. Dee is right, You are beautiful and your story is even more beautiful. Thank you!

        1. No that is not me. I have struggled with weight for some years. I began WW and reached my goal, worked for them for 9 yrs. Then I had a hysterectomy at 49 and gained my weight back. I joined JC and lost 25 lbs. I put most of it back on yet again. I think I will always struggle with this, although as I age, I am becoming more accepting of my imperfect body. I know everything I should do and have NO motivation to follow through. One of my stone idols, I’m working on chipping away. One thing I do know is God loves me no matter what the scale says. 🙂

        2. Okay, well I too am chipping away at this idol and trust God to reveal a soft fleshly heart underneath. I will pray for you now.

  28. Sweet Tracy I LOVE seeing your picture. Your sweet face matches your sweet self here. Love seeing you all in pics.

    1-Like Eustice I so want control stuff to be gone. God is peeling the layers off little by little but I feel a constant struggle yet free. When things go the wrong way from what I think in my home I get frustrated and am doing much better in giving this to God but then times I blow it with my attitude and tone…So wish it was just gone completely.

    2-the hurt is deepest watching helplessly. I want to help people change things but I cannot make them change (specifically my special needs child). I just have to trust God. Trust Him to make the difference as I faithfully teach. It hurts so deep sometimes standing there feeling helpless.

    3-Through this I feel lighter and felt Him peel it away. Also, that need for approval. He has stripped it and I feel lighter and free.

    LOVE what that heart doc said. So amazing how the scientific discoveries line up with what God has already said in His word!!

    Hoping to get to read the rest of your comments. We are on vacation now. Hoping to get back to finish study soon. We are reading aloud together the silver chair and Oh how I so see God in it already. So good and we are only on Chapter 2. 🙂

  29. Hello, sisters!
    This morning, I woke up feeling overwhelmed with my to-do list, but then came to study and instead felt overwhelmed with God!

    Your exchanges and encouragement for one another are inspiring! I see what Dee meant when she said “for God is working here.” What a joy to be in such a community!
    Yours in Christ,
    Dawn

  30. “6. Again and again in Scripture, God recounts his pain at being forgotten. Underline or mark the phrases in the following that show not being remembered or being forgotten:”

    Rebelled, grieved, tested, provoked, did not remember, my people have forgotten me, Me she forgot.

    Words are standing out to me this week; from the ones expressing God’s grief listed above, to our own in this process. Overwhelmed was a word I saw repeated several times in your posts. Jeremiah 2:5b rings in my ears, specifically the word worthless.

    Anne, you mentioned “cling to the Lord” which made me think of Psalm 63:8. “I cling to you; Your right hand upholds me.” What a powerful use of a word, when typically used has a negative connotation!

    Rebecca, when I read your comment that “Our idols cause us to hide from God” I pictured a child, hiding in a closet, cradling their forbidden treasure. Again, turning to His Word, we have Psalm 143:9 that says “Rescue me from my enemies, LORD, for I hide myself in you.” What a dichotomy; from the child who is hiding in shame, to the children we are hiding confidently in Him!

    I echo your sentiments about clinging – how I long to hide in Him, those ugly sins we are ashamed of and just wishing they were gone! My son looked at me earlier and sighed dramatically, stating “This is a long journey!” Although he was referring to a maze he was solving, I concurred thinking of this journey and idol removing process!

    I also come with gratitude for this community and study, that is provoking thought and moving me to dig into His Word!

    1. Rock Of Ages came to mind as I read your words Dawn;

      1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
      let me hide myself in thee;
      let the water and the blood,
      from thy wounded side which flowed,
      be of sin the double cure;
      save from wrath and make me pure.

      2. Not the labors of my hands
      can fulfill thy law’s commands;
      could my zeal no respite know,
      could my tears forever flow,
      all for sin could not atone;
      thou must save, and thou alone.

      3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
      simply to the cross I cling;
      naked, come to thee for dress;
      helpless, look to thee for grace;
      foul, I to the fountain fly;
      wash me, Savior, or I die.

      4. While I draw this fleeting breath,
      when mine eyes shall close in death,
      when I soar to worlds unknown,
      see thee on thy judgment throne,
      Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
      let me hide myself in thee.

      1. Oh Chris–thank you for these words! This is one of my favorite hymns–such a timely reminder. I too loved how you talked of hiding in Him–I’ve got “you are my hiding place…” in my head now!

      2. Yes, yes!

        Thank you, Chris!

        Hiding, clinging and those wondrous dichotomies, all in one 🙂

        Here is a beautiful version of this hymn that I found on YouTube:
        http://youtu.be/UH9RJQnQPuQ

      1. Thank you, Dee!

  31. “Name one way God is working in your life that you do not want to forget.”

    One way I see God working in my life is through the love of my family. Another stone idol I have is a tendency to build walls around me to protect me from emotional pain. God breaks those walls down by showing me I can not keep my loved ones out. I woke up Saturday morning all ready to celebrate my 40th wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband. I went searching for a few pictures to put up on his facebook page to surprise him and got so overwhelemed for the love I have been blessed with over forty years that I found myself sitting and crying tears of joy. God knows my heart, body, soul, mind and spirit belongs to him, yet he is so gracious to give back to me that love through my family. How can I even begin to explain my gratitude? I wanted to put a song video up along with the pictures and God guided me to one on youtube called “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion. As I watched the video and listened to the words I felt this was also how I felt because God has loved me. There is a line in the song that says, “You saw the best there was in me.” and I just thought, WOW that is it!!! God sees the best part in all of us and loves us so unconditionally. He gives us back that love through our family….the romantic love you have with your spouse, the pure love you feel when you give birth to your child, the sweet love when a grandchild looks into your eyes, and the love you feel as you age and your spouse still looks at you as if its the beginning of your relationship forty years ago. I do not want to ever forget that God is working in me every day through my family as a testament to others we come in contact with because they see that our family is so filled with love for one another, yet they know I give all praise and credit to our Lord.

  32. study section
    Yeah I got a few minutes so I will see how far I get. 🙂

    3. What question does God ask His people in Jeremiah 2:5a (a means the first part of the verse)?What injustice did your father’s find in me? Or what did they find wrong with God that caused them to stray?(NLT)

    4. What happens to people who go after worthless idols according to Jeremiah 2:5b?Became empty – SO INTERESTING so true of us as well when we find ourselves empty we must search our hearts to see why? Why is God not given this place of filling our emptiness? NLT Says only to become worthless themselves

    5. In Jeremiah 2:6-7

    A. What miracles and blessings have the Israelites forgotten, according to verses 6-7? 6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord
    who brought us safely out of Egypt
    and led us through the barren wilderness—
    a land of deserts and pits,
    a land of drought and death,
    where no one lives or even travels?’

    7 “And when I brought you into a fruitful land
    to enjoy its bounty and goodness,
    you defiled my land and
    corrupted the possession I had promised you.

    B. Name one way God is working in your life that you do not want to forget.
    I do not want to forget that HE is my security, He is my comfort, He is my approval. Period. He is the only one no one else. Trusting Him in all those areas is what I do not want to forget. Who I am as His. Who He is. And that He is in me. He has healed me over and over again and He will do it again, anything hardship He allows to remain is for His good purpose in me. He is all powerful and knows best for me.

    6-LOVE this next session about underlining. Would be great in a book. Love the precept study method which does this. Good adding this! It makes me so sad to think about grieving God’s heart.

    7-They forgot God even though they were teaching, leading, and prophesying.

    8-Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God
    for worthless idols! NLT

    9- 1-abandoned God/Built own cisterns that are cracked. They turned from God the true living water to their own idols that cannot hold the true living water. They are going to inadequate substitutes that will not permanently satisfy.

    Love this cistern Script and what you wrote because one sign of not going to God alone is feeling like a cracked cistern. Once at a dry time in life I kept saying I felt like a vessel that could not hold water. My eyes must not have been fully on HIM.

    A. FOOD

    * Why is food a good gift and for what purposes did God give it to us? Food is great because it nourishes us. However it can also be enjoyed in faith too in celebrations. We just must not run to it for comfort or make it an item we fixate on all day long.

    * If we abuse it and run to it instead of to God when we are sad or stressed, how can it become harmful, like a broken cistern? It will not solve any problem period. It will make you feel worse about yourself. It will never fill us in the right way.

    * In moments of temptation, what truth can you speak to your soul? That this will not fill me only God can. What is my heart longing for that I am trying to get out of food instead of God?

    B. CHILDREN

    * What would be some red flags that you might be making your children idols in your life? For me it is when I lose my joy of having them. I desire them to act a certain way, etc. When they do not I lose joy. It is some sort of twisted thing in my heart. Their behavior should not effect me in a way that it ruins my day. That is not right. I need to love them for who God made them and depend on Him in raising them. I need to not let it change my mood or steal my joy when things do not got the way I planned.
    * When you are tempted to cling too tightly, to despair over their lack of perfection, what truth might you speak to your soul? That God is faithful and outward conformity is not the goal the real goal is heart change and making disciples of Christ. All relationships can be messy and families are the worst for this because we see 24/7 of a person. God gave me these children and I am the steward. The point is raising godly offspring. I am to be faithful in doing my part and watch in faith clinging to all of God’s promises in His word. He has perfectly chosen them for me to raise and they are part of my sanctification process. I cling desperately to Him in needing His direction in raising them.

    11. If The Stonecutter is whittling away at an idol, at a good thing you made an ultimate thing, share a way you are beginning to enjoy that gift (food, family, facebook) in a way you had not before. I am finding that I can enjoy facebook as a ministry outlet and not worry about others and what they think. I can eat with faith and thanksgiving. I am learning to trust Him in my family. I am letting Him whittle away the bad parts of stone in my heart regarding family. Love this study what I started out with as an idol turned into other things as He reveals bit by bit but I am growing and yes I feel so much lighter and free in Him. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I am learning to take that yoke upon me.

    Love you all! Still hoping to come back and glean all your wisdom this week. I am lifting your names before the Lord are I scan quickly though and you regulars I continually lift you up and praise Him for this discipleship group. I have grown so much because of all of you. I praise God for that and the internet use in this wonderful way.

  33. Such great sharing going on here! Elizabeth, so glad to hear that your ice is crumbling and you are gaining insight that will help you relate to your daughter. I think those of us who have children can understand your struggles; out of my 3 children, there is one who is much like me in personality and the other two are different; it is challenging for me to relate at times to the two who are so different in temperment and even energy levels while the one like me, we are like two peas in a pod!

    This is truly a safe place to share your burdens – we’re all praying for you!

    1. Thank you so much Susan–it so helpful to hear from wise godly women who can relate. It is much like you said. Things were so so hard with my daughter since birth, magnified by adoption, I was sure I wasn’t cut out to be a mom. Then God sent my “pea pod mate” a few years later who at 3 wanted to marry me–I began to realize the personality aspect that plays into it all. My daughter does love me, and I’ve seen it, and I definitely show her love, it’s just such a different expression of it than mine. But I’m seeing that when I run to Him with the pain, He will remind me truth, and I can see..I just get so impatient!
      Thank you again for showing me such grace–this group is such a gift.

  34. This Week’s Bible Study Jeremiah 2:4-14

    3. What question does God ask His people in Jeremiah 2:5a?

    “What injustice did your fathers find in Me?”
    Was I unfair? Did I mistreat them?

    4. What happens to people who go after worthless idols according to Jeremiah 2:5b?

    They become empty, they find they have gained nothing.

    5. In Jeremiah 2:6-7

    A. What miracles and blessings have the Israelites forgotten according to verses 6-7?

    They forgot the miracles God performed in freeing them from the Egyptians and providing for them in the desert wilderness; and His blessings in giving them the land He had promised to their ancestors.

    B. Name one way God is working in your life that you do not want to forget.

    I never want to forget the events of last summer when God allowed me to be a part of His saving my dad. God has let me share some precious times with my dad and to share experiences and to talk about the Lord together; He took our relationship to a whole new depth.

    6. “They did not remember His power nor the day He redeemed them from the foe”
    “But Me she forgot” says the Lord.
    “Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number”

    7. What did the priests and the shepherds of the people forget according to Jeremiah 2:8?

    No one bothered to ask, “Where is the Lord?” They were busy doing their things and didn’t seek God to bring Him into their lives.

    8. What truth about idols does God repeat in Jeremiah 2:11b?

    They profit a man nothing; they cannot fill your emptiness, meet your needs, bring God glory. They are worthless.

    9. Meditate (and memorize) Jeremiah 2:13-14 and explain the two evils God’s people have committed.

    The first evil is forsaking God and the second is to hew for themselves cisterns.
    In forsaking God, we say, in essence,”I don’t need You.” We spurn Him and reject His good intentions toward us and His blessings. We refuse to submit to His authority over our life.

    Secondly, in rejecting God, the source of living waters, we determine to make our own way; we dig our own well and think we have it filled with enough things to quench our thirst and satisfy us.

  35. In pondering Jeremiah 2:4-14 today, it’s so easy to see the sins/idols of the children of Israel. Couldn’t they see all God had done for them? Hmmmm. I may not have a statue of Baal on my coffee table but when I turn to anything but God for comfort I am no better off.
    Verse 11b-12 really drove it home for me. “But my people have exchanged their Glory (of the immortal God, Rom.1:23) for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror, declares the Lord.”
    Oh God, I beg you, make me shudder in horror when I dare exchange your glory for worthless idols in my life!
    I commit to you ladies here and now, I am going to do this study with all my heart! I am going to dig out every nugget! I am going to face the blackness of my sin of gluttony and I will drive this lesson deep into my heart and Lord willing, stop running back to false gods!
    Wow, that felt really good. 🙂

      1. Oh Dee, when I read “…we will be moving in effective ways to overcome our idolatry” I wanted to shout for joy! I realized this was another puzzle piece I have been missing. The first piece was true repentance (facing the blackness of my idolatry) the second piece is having the necessary tools to continue to overcome. And when I read because He loves you, He will quiet you. I see His love is yet another key piece.
        Since the first day of this study I have been fighting to believe, holding on to a glimmer of hope. I knew I could get free (been there) but doubted I would ever stay free. Your words and this study have ministered as if spoken straight from my Father, a sweet scented balm to my wounded doubting soul.
        I wonder why He keeps drawing me back to Himself, never giving up on me and He reminds me of Matt 12:20. “A bruised reed He will not break, a flickering wick He will not put out, till he may put forth judgment to victory! The reed, an emblem of feebleness, as well as of fickleness or want of stability. A bruised, broken reed is an emblem of the oppressed. It is also an expressive emblem of the soul broken and contrite on account of sin; weeping and mourning for transgression. He will not break me; that is, He will not be severe, unforgiving, and cruel. He will heal me, pardon me, and give me strength and bring me to victory!

    1. “I may not have a statue of Baal on my coffee table…” it’s maybe too bad we don’t have a ‘statue’ of our idols that stares us in the face and we can then see clearly that it’s just a worthless thing made by human hands that cannot help us or satisfy us!

      1. Yes, I agree.

  36. It’s taken me a long time to catch up with all the study. I’ve been really busy, but praying for all of you. I feel all your pain and will keep praying.

    My ex-sister-in-law, from my three kids dad, just died from cancer at 63 years of age. We use to be really close when I was married to her brother. After my ex- husband left me, she never spoke to me again and dis-owned her whole family (5 brother’s) for all kinds of reasons, for like 20 years. Their dad died before all this happen, but she didn’t even speak to her mother in the same town. And when her mom died, she didn’t even go to her funeral. There was no mention of her family at all in this ex-sister-in-law’s obituary even. Didn’t even give her maiden name. I guess I’m shocked. My kids said their dad is sending flowers anyway.

    I’ve been thinking about her for two days and praying for her husband and two grown kids. I sent a card and a memorial gift. But, she has her parents and one older sister in heaven. How could she go to heaven with such a grudge against all her family for so many years and then be with your family in heaven? I guess I am worried if she is even in heaven. I just can’t believe what is more important than family here on earth, besides God, of course. Nothing is worth fighting over and not having your family, close to you. I just pray she ask for forgivness from God, before she died and is with Jesus and her family in Heaven. But she must of made her wishes known to her husband to exclude any of her family in the obituary. Does anyone have any thoughts to help me with this?

    1. Dear Joyce, I read your post and it immediately made me think of me and my own family. My mother died in 1990 and since then my 5 sisters and 1 brother have been so very seperated. I have talked to my parish priest, and even confessed my feelings to our Bishop about my struggles of not being more forgiving with a couple of my sisters. As I stated before, I am a big fan of Dr. Phil and I read his book on Family Matters, and did the study book that goes along with it. I can honestly say it helped me come to an acceptance with where I am at with my sisters. My immediate family means the world to me and I could not ever imagine allowing my two sons, dauther, son in law or daughter in laws get to a point of breaking our close relationship. With my sisters I always was the peacemaker in the family. My Mom would always call me to plan the holiday get togethers because she knew I would call them and say let’s do it regardless of who was mad at who. I think they resented me for putting them in the position of having to decide to come or if they chose not to they had to feel left out. After my Mom passed away (we grew up with no father due to a train accident he was killed) I became exhausted with trying to keep us together. Seems some spent more time destroying the family rather than enjoying us sharing time together. So…I listened to Dr. Phil and decided that he is right when he says there are boundaries family members are not allowed to cross, and if they don’t respect those boundaries, and the relationship becomes toxic, then YOU have to distant yourself from them. So…this is what I have done. I still love them all, I pray for them, and have made peace with the fact we are never going to be close. God knows my heart, he knows how much I wanted this but he also knows the pain I had to experience and the heavy burden it was for me to continue trying with them. I am not without blame and I acknowledge my part, but ultimately staying away is so much more healthier for me than constantly trying. Maybe just maybe this ex sister in law of yours made her peace with God years before she died.

      You state, “Nothing is worth fighting over and not having your family, close to you.” My insight from my own experience, is Nothing is worth allowing family from hindering you and your relationship with God, and yes, while family is important, I personally felt I was displeasing God by putting their feelings above HIS, because I contantly struggled with if I was able to be the person God wants me to be when I am with them, because I allow myself to get caught up in the petty, ugly, jealousy behavior that is so unloving. I know I am a Christian person, and they would use that to hurt me and make me doubt my own personal relationship with God. Through prayer and counsel I know that I have to love them from afar. My advice to you is to pray for your ex sister in law and let go of the all the worry. God is a forgiving God, and only HE knew her true heart, and because God wants to accept all of HIS family into HIS kingdom, I trust HE softened her heart. I hope I helped you in some way. God be with you.

  37. 5. In Jeremiah 2:6-7

    A. What miracles and blessings have the Israelites forgotten, according to verses 6-7?

    * They forgot that God took them out of slavery in Egypt and led them into a barren wilderness that no one goes into- He led the way, protected them, gave them sustenance and then brought them to a fertile land with fruit and rich produce for them to feast on.

    B. Name one way God is working in your life that you do not want to forget.

    * God has taken me out of the slavery of my comfort idol which led to being fearful of change, being overweight, depressed and overly inward focused. But it isn’t completely over yet. Each day I must cling to Jesus as He leads me through the temptress’ wilderness and into His painful yet sweet place of true comfort and place stones of remembrance as I go along the way.

    6. Again and again in Scripture, God recounts his pain at being forgotten. Underline or mark the phrases in the following that show not being remembered or being forgotten:

    They grieved him in the desert!
    They provoked the Holy One of Israel.
    They did not remember his power
    or the day when he redeemed them from the foe…

    Psalm 78:40-42

    She went after her lovers;
    but Me she forgot,” says the LORD.

    Hosea 2:13 (NKJV)

    Yet my people have forgotten me
    Days without number.

    * The more and more I see places in scripture of God’s pain at being forgotten and his pain of when we seek comfort in other things..it breaks my heart. I want to be mindful of this before I forget Him, not after. I don’t want to cause God any pain.

  38. Rebecca,
    “But it isn’t completely over yet. Each day I must cling to Jesus as He leads me through the temptress’ wilderness and into His painful yet sweet place of true comfort and place stones of remembrance as I go along the way.”

    Oh I have felt this too, I so wish I could repent and have my turning be so complete that I am finished with that sin.
    It is dicouraging to me when I realize I am once again treading the same ground. It does comfort me that he keeps calling to me. He is so much more patient than I am.

    1. Chris, I KNOW exactly what you mean and I have to encourage you that since you have repented just keep your eyes on Him rather than the sin and let Him take you through and over that mountain..He will free you from circling it and treading the same ground. 🙂

  39. 7. What did the priests and the shepherds of the people forget according to Jeremiah 2:8?

    Forgot God and pursued other things, things that do not profit
    8. What truth about idols does God repeat in Jeremiah 2:11b?
    The Message Jeremiah 2:11b But my people have traded my Glory for empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.

    9. Meditate (and memorize) Jeremiah 2:13-14 and explain the two evils God’s people have committed:

    The Message Jeremiah 2:13-14 “My people have committed a compound sin: they’ve walked out on me, the fountain Of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns– cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves.
    “Isn’t Israel a valued servant, born into a family with place and position? So how did she end up a piece of meat

    I am encouraged as I read this that He keeps pursuing me, I have thought a lot lately about the imagery Dee used in Women of Moderation of the lover trying to get his bride to follow him to a new and higher place, while she hid among the rocks because of her shame.
    I pray that we will answer that call to follow and know that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”

    I went searching for this passage; Psalm 103:13 – 14
    As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
    For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

    But I think the whole Psalm fits well with the study, as I am reminded how fickle my love is I have to remind myself, that His love is not like mine, to keep me from despairing about my failures.

    Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
    Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
    The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
    He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
    The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
    He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
    He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
    For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
    For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
    As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
    But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
    Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
    Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

  40. Oh Chris..LOVED Psalm 103..What great encouragement and so appropriate for where God has us in this study. Wow, I can see that God led you to this Psalm to be a balm to your soul so that you wouldn’t fall into the temptation to condemn yourself. I can so relate..It is so easy for me to fall into condemnation and shame when I mess up..He is so good, such an awesome knight in shining armor. I need to memorize this Psalm.

    1. Rebecca and Chris,
      Love the interaction going on here between you two and gleaning lots from it – you’re encouraging me, too!

      Okay, here’s a question about “stones of remembrance” – what are some good ways to, in a real daily life way – to put up these stones?
      Could journaling about an experience with God that you don’t want to forget be an example? I know Anne mentioned setting up a stone of remembrance after she had her dream.

      1. I would like to know more about stones of rememberance too.

        Thank you Rebecca and Susan for your encouragement.

        I remember our pastor talking about idolatry as a stumbling block, that is it is before our faces so close that we don’t even see it.

        Ezekeil 14:4a Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face

  41. Sisters,
    Could you please say a prayer for me? Ever since I posted my proclamation of victory from idols, the bottom has begun falling out of an important business agreement. Please pray specifically for the Lord to provide 80 feet of industrial shelving at a bargain price by next week. Let me add that my God is greater, my God is stronger, my God is higher than any other! Amen.

    1. Praying now Kim.

      1. Thank you, Anne!

  42. Dear Dee and Marie, you have both helped me to let it go and trust God in this ex-family situation. It’s just so hard to understand, because I am so blessed to be close, in distance and relationships, to my three older brother’s and their families here. That’s why losing Mary Kay is do difficult as she is like a sister to me. But I understand your point, Marie…I would never let anything get in my way of living for God. He is the most important one in my life. I’m blessed to have all of my family christians. Thank you so much.

    Dear Kim, I am praying for you. The enemy is ready to attack us, as we try to get rid of our idols. You are so right…God is greater and more powerful…cling to him. I’m praying for you.

    1. Thank you, Joyce. The Lord answered and we have more shelves than we prayed for! Woohoo!
      I am sorry for the loss of your former sister in law. My sister in laws are very dear to me. Praying for you.

  43. There is another name for the stone of remembrance. It is a neat word but I can’t think of it now for the life of me. Does anyone remember?

    I journaled about my dream so that while I don’t remember the dream, I will be able to go back and know how He loves me and how that made me feel. What I would like to do is place it before my eyes daily in some way. Sometimes God provides such things for me. For instance, I have a teddy bear on my hearth that has become a remembrance for the fact that my mother is in heaven today. It is a long story, but I kept it because it reminded me of her. God turned it into a stone of remembrance.

    I enjoyed catching up on everyone’s posts. Chris thanks for sharing the Psalm. The timing was perfect for me.

    1. Anne, do you mean Ebenezer?

        1. oh I would love to hear that! My book doesn’t have the study guide–but come thou fount is what brought it to mind.

      1. Yes. That’s it! I love it too.

  44. I confess, I have been surfing, but look what I found http://youtu.be/gjAr9e9AzKk Look at the faces in the audience.

    1. Beautiful!

  45. Here is a beautiful rendition of Be Still My Soul by the same man. This is the first time I have heard of him. http://youtu.be/V66kw5QznC0

  46. So beautiful, Anne.

  47. 7. What did the priests and the shepherds of the people forget according to Jeremiah 2:8?
    * God.

    8. What truth about idols does God repeat in Jeremiah 2:11b?
    * They are worthless.

    9. Meditate (and memorize) Jeremiah 2:13-14 and explain the two evils God’s people have committed:

    * They have forsaken God.
    * They have replaced God with worthless things to fill needs they can’t fullfill.

  48. 10 Reflect on how we turn good gifts into “broken cisterns” when we substitute them for God, the fountain of living waters. Consider these two examples:

    A. FOOD

    Why is food a good gift and for what purposes did God give it to us?

    * We need food to survive, and God could have made it somewhat bland, but OH he didn’t. He made varying tastes and types of food to compliment our taste buds and created varying spices and combinations in a way where we can enjoy it as well.

    If we abuse it and run to it instead of to God when we are sad or stressed, how can it become harmful, like a broken cistern?

    * It can lead to being overweight, but more important it can’t truly heal what is going on inside, instead whatever we are running from inside only gets worse and worse and we go further and further away from the true healer, God.

    In moments of temptation, what truth can you speak to your soul?

    * God is my portion, this food isn’t.
    * I don’t have to have this to be fulfilled or happy. This won’t bring me real peace.
    * pray.
    * This excess food will bring destruction, this edifying book will bring encouragement and peace.

    B. CHILDREN

    What would be some red flags that you might be making your children idols in your life?

    * MANY: Anger, thinking about their struggles day and night, guilt, wanting to control them thinking I have the power to make them do everything right and when they stumble blaming myself. Putting them above quiet times with God, basically making them the center over God being the center.

    When you are tempted to cling too tightly, to despair over their lack of perfection, what truth might you speak to your soul?

    * They are God’s, not mine. He is the one who moves in their hearts not me, My job isn’t to produce perfect little Christians based on what I do or don’t do right. That is God’s job. I don’t have that much control over them. They will have holes regardless of how good of a parent I am-Holes only GOD can fill, not me. My job is to lead them to the bread..To be who I am in Christ in front of them showing them I need Jesus every day.

    ( I was really taught how to speak truth to my soul in regard to parenting via that book Anne suggested I read and some of these thoughts are from that book.)

      1. Dee,

        I am excited to go further as I know by His grace I am merely at the edge, but He has shown me this week more that He deeply desires for me to love Him..That is it, and these idols serve as a replacement that causes me to misplace my love for Him onto the idol. HE wants me to love Him more than singing, more than my husband, more than my children, more than food, more than sustenance and even more than healing from the pain my idols have caused me.

        Well, here we go again..He is rescuing once again this stubborn, foolish girl He loves so deeply and is so jealous for. He is rescuing me from this wormy cesspool i put myself in again, rescuing me from being far away from Him. I didn’t hear Him wooing me back for so long until I came here to this blog..There is still some fog on my lenses…I so need to be encouraged to press further into Him as time goes on. I can’t wait for the upcoming weeks in this study!

    1. OK, OK, what is the name of that book!!!! you have talked about in so many times and I can not find where Anne suggested it.

        1. Oh, I probably haven’t given the name of the book. sorry! It is called, “Parenting is your highest calling and 8 other myths that trap us into worry and guilt.”

          Here is the link. If you want to read the reviews I think they are accurate even giving quotes from the book: http://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Your-Highest-Calling-Eight/dp/1400074207

          This book is an excellent side book to read while doing Dee’s study here! It can help you in speaking truth to your soul in this area as a parent.

      1. I think you mean this one–“Parenting is your highest calling and 8 other myths that trap us into worry and guilt.”
        I had written it down and got it from the library when Rebecca first mentioned back in March how Anne had told her about it.
        It IS really good–helped me a lot, and I’ve read a ton of parenting books 😉

        1. Elizabeth, Did you see how it dovetailed into Dee’s study? It was one of the things I used to speak truth to my soul when my control and approval idols reared their ugly heads in my relationship with my boys.

    2. Yes, great!

  49. 7-8.they forgot to LOOK for God, they forgot to keep their hearts in search mode and because HE is harder to so then the idols in our lives, they went to the idols of baal because they were easy to see.

    9. not only have they forgotten HIM they turned to a cheep substitute. they went from a wonderful, life giving spring of living water to a mud puddle of sickness and death.

    10. I have shared before that when I put my children in the place of God I can not enjoy them. I have been enjoying them a lot since I have put them back where they belong and don’t need them to fill me up. I know its my idol of comfort that i didn’t even think i had that gets me with Emma. she is just a lot of work right now and I get irritated when I want to be doing something else! SHAME ON ME! I do feel like I am not placing my WORTH in her actions which has been a huge step on the right direction! They do make great idol finders…these children of mine:O)

    11. Luke got mad last night and ran through a hall punching out his arms and hit the wall, punched a hole right through it! a year ago I would have been mortified, last night I was just able to tell him i loved him and that he would be fixing said wall…….so glad my value does not rest on my kids behavior! this was just after I watched him in a dance production, and shared the scrap-book of him that I have been making for his party and was so very proud of him…..guess I needed taken down a few notches:)

    on a side note please pray for Luke and Sophia(the girl he is courting) her parents have VERY strict rules and they are both pushing the limits. they took a walk in the parking lot at church alone (all they did was walk and hold hands) which is strictly forbidden (they are not to ever be by themselves) its so hard in our culture to follow these kinds of boundaries and they are both really struggling with them but i don’t want to see their relationship be tainted with a lot of sneaking and lying. It is just really hard for this 17 and 18 year old to have to follow rules that are much stricter then most the 14 year olds they know, they need wisdom and patience and self control

    1. Oh my goodness Cyndi, I felt like I was reading my own story when you said Luke punched a hole in your wall. My son Jeremy was 14 yrs old and we were arguing about he was not allowed to go out of the house wearing this bandana because it could be mistaken for a gang sign. He thought I had totally lost my mind and was so frustrated in trying to convince me I was worrying about nothing that he hit the wall and bam! there it was…a hole right through the dry wall. I am not sure who was more shocked at that hole, him or myself. He was mortified. He immediately said, “Oh wow I am sorry, I didn’t know the wall would smash.” I looked at him and in my sternest voice I said, “Well you will be fixing that hole.” I remember the day he and my husband patched the hole. He is now 33 yrs old and I could not be more proud of the Christian man/husband/son and Daddy he is. When that story gets retold, he still gets a bit red in the face……lolol God gave me the patience to not over react to that hole/whole incident. He took the bandana out of his back pocket, handed it to me and said, “If you are that afraid for me, then I won’t wear it.” Now he has his teen daughter and he can appreciate a parent’s fears.

      My prayers are with you, and yes, I do miss those innocent years.

      1. How you bless Marie! Thanks for sharing how God brought your son through these years. These are the things we must remember for He will do these works again. Thank You Lord!

  50. Cyndi,
    You said,,,”because HE is harder to see than the idols in our lives, they went to the idols of Baal because they were easy to see. I am find many key elements in these scriptures to help me stay out of the same trouble. Now I will spend the rest of my day pondering why idols are easier to see. Thanks!