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HIGHER GROUND IN 2012

ONLY CHRISTIANITY GIVES US THE POWER TO TRULY CHANGE

SO IN 2012, WE ARE HEADED TO HIGHER GROUND!

Many of us have made New Year’s Resolutions in the past: to lose weight, to read through the Bible, to read good books and watch less television, to be the kind of woman who is never unkind or sharp, but has a gentle spirit that is precious in the sight of God. Many of you reading this may think: Yes, I have made resolutions — but I’ve always failed to keep them, so what’s the point?

Those of you who have traveled here on this Bible study blog are likely to have more hope — for you have seen change happen right before your eyes — in the lives of your sisters and perhaps in your own life. To name a few, we’ve seen women:

  • Lifted from the pit of depression
  • Rescued from gluttony
  • Delivered from the icy shawl of bitterness, truly released to forgive
  • Freed from a habit that we destroying them and their relationships (in my case, manipulation)
  • Transformed from discontentment to contentment
  • And so much more…

It isn’t a quick fix, it is a long obedience in the same direction, but it really is happening. This week is a prelude, as many are still returning from the Christmas break. We will officially begin next week — so please pray for God to bring those who are ready to move to higher ground and who will be faithful to the journey. Please pray for yourself and for those you feel led to invite.

We’re going to be looking at some key passages that show us how to change, passages that godly people who have changed point to as pivotal.  Every other religion tells you to rely on yourself — but that is like struggling with all your might when you are in quicksand — you will only sink deeper. We need a hand from outside of ourselves to pull us out and take us to higher ground.

We have a God who is as near as our very breath, but because He is Spirit, we may forget He is right there. We will also be studying the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. There has been so much false teaching about Him that sometimes we are hesitant to study Him — yet then we are missing so much power. He is right here with us, even though we cannot see Him. The psalmist says, “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people.”(Psalm 125:2) Sensing His presence will help you have peace and confidence — you really are not alone.

I often thought of Psalm 125:2 when we lived in Seattle, where mountains practically surround the city. The Olympic mountains line the Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier, in all her glory, looms over the city from the south. Most of the time, however, you can’t see any of them! Whenever my parents visited my dad teased me that there were no mountains, that it was just a grand publicity stunt to lure tourists, for this is how the Seattle skyline often looks, and did every time my parents visited!


But oh, hidden behind those clouds was beauty. Sometimes the sky would be the bluest blue, and you’d look out, and there she was — a mountain so big she looked unreal — taking your breath away. She was there all the time, just hidden from sight.

Mount Rainier

Our God is like that, only so much more so. We may move about our day oblivious to His presence when suddenly we are aware of Him, of His GLORY.

Glory. Tim Keller says that whenever you see the word “glory” in Scripture, think “beautiful and important.” He also says the Holy Spirit’s job is to make Jesus real in our eyes, to make Him “beautiful and important.” As you see how real God is, you will be changed. Instead of focusing on ourselves, if we focus on Him, we will be lifted up.

But before you climb a mountain you should count the cost. Are you committed? Are you willing to persevere, realizing that there will be some hard times to push through? Jesus always told people to count the cost, and so I do too, realizing many of you will turn back.

But oh, how I encourage you to seek the things that are above, to press on toward the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. It’s the only life worth living.

This week we’ll have a short study, and I’d also like you to pray for some specific things, using Scripture to help you pray. You who have been with me are such a gift, you have been strong mentors to others, and I’m counting on you to help us start right, by praying, as God tells us to, for Him to guide and uphold us before we begin officially next week.

For those of you with an I-Phone, and I-Pod Touch, or an I-Pad, (must be able to connect to the internet) I have exciting news. Redeemer Presbyterian Church has a much improved and free ap you can get through I-Tunes. There are so many free Keller sermons on it as well as testimonies. Many if not all of those sermons are also available for free on the internet for those of you who don’t have any of those devices, but this is a very easy way to get them and there are also some additional great testimonies.If you have such a device, go to I-tunes and type in Redeemer Presbyterian Church and then download it, for I’ll be referring to resources found on it in future weeks as optional material.

Sunday-Monday   Icebreaker and Reflections

1. Find two things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do. (Don’t go too fast.)

2.  Meditate on this verse and share your reflections:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

A. Tim Keller says that when you see the word glory, think “beautiful and important.” How does that put new light on this verse?

B. Though we have not seen Jesus in the flesh, for most of you, there was a time when He changed from being in the backdrop of your life to emerging as One who was glorious, beautiful, and huge. Share at least one, and preferably two, times when that happened.

Tuesday

3. Will you join us and be committed to the journey? If so, tell us, and pray that God will become more real and more important to you — that you will see His glory!

4. Ask the Lord if there is someone you should invite to join us. If you are on my e-mail list you will be getting an e-mail invitation you could forward. Pray here.

Wednesday – Friday: Scripture and Prayer

Psalm 125: A Psalm of Ascent

There were fifteen steps to ascend to the temple in Jerusalem, and there are fifteen psalms of ascent (Psalms 120-134) that were prayer songs that the pilgrims sang both as they traveled up the mountains to Jerusalem and then as they ascended each step. Their literal ascent paralleled the ascent we are going to make spiritually. They sang as they went, and so will we, for we have learned the power of praise to rescue us.

Psalm 125 is one of these fifteen Psalms of Ascent. Here is a sample from one song-writer of Psalm 125. Listen by clicking

      here
.  If you have another version you like of this psalm song, please share it.

5. Contemplate

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,

which cannot be moved but abides forever.

Psalm 125:1

A. Christianity offers the hope of change because the object of our faith is not ourselves. To what does the psalmist compare the one who trusts instead in the Lord?

B. What is the word picture meant to communicate?

C. Take verse 1 and pray it for yourself and for those who will travel with us in this journey. Paraphrase it and write it here.

6. Contemplate:

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people.

Psalm 125:2

A. Why is it that we tend to forget this truth, and how would our lives be different if we remembered it?

Charles Spurgeon comments that the “mountains around the holy city, though they do not make a circular wall, are, nevertheless, set like sentinels to guard her gates. God doth not enclose his people within ramparts and bulwarks, making their city to be a prison; but yet he so orders the arrangements of his providence that his saints are as safe as if they dwelt behind the strongest fortifications.”

B. Trouble will come to the believer, as the rest of this psalm testifies, yet God will either remove the trouble or give us the strength to face it and become stronger. How has this happened for you in the last year?

C. Take this verse and pray it for our study, paraphrasing it in your own words. Pray it as well for yourself and your family, perhaps with another paraphrase. Memorize it.

If paraphrasing the prayers of the Bible is new to you — click here to see how one brother did Psalm 125 beautifully: Link

Saturday:

7. What’s your take-a-way for the week?

 

See you tomorrow, January 7th, for the official start of our journey to Higher Ground!

 

 


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400 comments

  1. 1. Find two things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do. (Don’t go too fast.) The two pictures of the mountains jumped out to me right off.. they remind me of the mountains here in Vermont when they are snow covered God majesty is so beautiful! It reminds me of the verse that says he will make your feet like higns feet i cant remember where it is in the bible i tried looking but couldnt find it.

    1. Is it this one Meg? “He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, And sets me upon my high places” (NASB) Psalm 18:33

      Great connection wise girl 😉

      1. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to “blog” spiritually for the very 1st time! This blog study is my magestic and glorious mountain! The lessons to learn loom in the near distance– grand and glorious–yet hidden from sight at this moment. I can hardly wait to see the “mountain” appear right before my eyes! God is ever so present, even living.g right inside me, yet so many times in my life, I can’t “see” my destination, but I know it is set before me. I walk blinded but in faith, knowing God is leading me right to that giant mountain that so cleverly hid itself; camofloughed in the cloak of daily life until it desires to reveal itself once again in a clear sunny sky! So many times I get discouraged when the path is foggy because I want to see where I am headed and keep my eye on the destination. I am slowly learning there is joy aand excitement in walking by blind faith(meaning walking with confidence and without worry) because I know the mountain is still there, even though it cannot be seen. The thrill comes in anticipation of its clearing; appearing at just the right moment! GOD moves mountains to make our paths straight, yet when they disappear out of sight, we take the long way by fighting the fog with a man made compass instead of taking God’s shortcut by walking through the parted seas in faith. I pray as I journey through this path I am now on, I walk by faith and NOT by sight. This is the experience your mountain picture has revealed to me. God is Majestic; He is “unseen”, yet omnipresent; many times invisible, yet as big and ever present as that mountain!

      2. Yes Elizabeth! Thank you!!!

  2. Looking forward to this study! From Al, we have hills, not mtns! Last year, my husband and I went to Colorado, his first time. He was overwhelmed by the majestic glory of those mtns, and I was blown away all over again. I need that same thing in my walk with Christ.

    1. Tamela, Love your heart! You are in the right place. I have really seen God’s hand moving here among us. So good to see you pursuing Jesus. 🙂

  3. 1. Find two things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do. (Don’t go too fast.)

    “Every other religion tells you to rely on yourself — but that is like struggling with all your might when you are in quicksand — you will only sink deeper. We need a hand from outside of ourselves to pull us out and take us to higher ground.”
    The key in escaping quicksand is keeping calm and being still. Fast, frantic, panicked movement defeats you. This made me think of Psalms 37 & 46, both encouraging patience and calmness and trust in God. I always want to fall back to my natural self, that ‘fight or flight’ reaction that demands I do something right away instead of being still.

    “As you see how real God is, you will be changed. Instead of focusing on ourselves, if we focus on Him, we will be lifted up.”
    I am an introvert and sometimes I think that makes it easier to fall into the ‘poor me’ mindset. I don’t seek the company of others, aside from my family, and my focus can easily be shifted to me instead of God.

  4. “We have a God who is as near as our very breath, but because He is Spirit, we may forget He is right there.”
    The illustration of Mt. Rainier hiding in the clouds, then revealed on a sunny day really took my breath away! That mountain is so spectacular! How can anyone look at it and now acknowledge the power of God! It makes me realize how big God is! I don’t always acknowledge that in my daily routine.

    “But before you climb a mountain you should count the cost. Are you committed? Are you willing to persevere, realizing that there will be some hard times to push through?”
    I have turned back too many times in my walk with Christ! I don’t want to do this again! Also, the Lord has convicted me about my weight. I’ve been “thinking about”, and “planning” to lose weight for a long time. This past month it’s been in the front of my mind daily…sometimes all day! I joined an online weight loss program for the third time just a few days ago. I know I will need God’s help to change my way of life.

    “But oh, how I encourage you to seek the things that are above, to press on toward the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. It’s the only life worth living.”
    By God’s grace and mercy I WILL press on toward the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. To do this, I will need his help daily. I need to refine what I read to only that which is encouraging and keeps my mind focused on those things that are pure.

    “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)”
    Beautiful and important is the fact that God loved us enough to send Jesus into the world first to minister and then to be our salvation!
    Christ became huge in my life when I accepted him as my Savior when I was 11 years old. Another time when I was touched by His love for me was when ovarian cancer was detected early enough that I needed only surgery and no chemotherapy! Recently, He reaches down and reminds me that I am His: even when I distance myself out the busy-ness of life. I can’t continue to do this while I finish my degree. It frightens me to think where I will be two years from now if I continue in this way! We have a chance to start again, which is exciting. Dee’s e-mail was very timely for me…it’s amazing how God works!

      1. Thank you, Dee, for the warm personal welcome! I’m excited to be here!

        Mary W.

    1. Mary Wiley,

      I loved what you said here: “I have turned back too many times in my walk with Christ! I don’t want to do this again!” -Oh how all of us can relate-I know I sure can! I found this is the first step in growing closer in intimacy with Jesus. Keep that focus-when he becomes your ultimate, food won’t be-that is what I have found to be true, yet it has been quite the process-and i have stumbled too. As Dee said, there are times we stumble, but again He comes. Love having you here! 🙂

      1. Thank you, Rebecca! I’m looking forward to this study!

  5. My struggle is compulsive overeating. I am 100 pounds overweight. I know I can’t do this alone and the way to do is to change my thinking and rely on God. Just like the mountains we can’t always see Him, but He’s always there just waiting to hear from us and ask for his help. My hope, trust and faith need to be on God and God alone. Only He can help me through temptation.

  6. God is so amazing to me. If we would only submit to his ways, knowing that he will lead us through we would be so much better off. He created all whether we see it or not, and we believe it’s there so way is it so hard for us to believe in the only One we need to help us in our life that was given by Him?

    1. Welcome Julie, great to have you with us too.

      1. Thank you. I am going to try this instead of a bible study that is going to start at church. With winter here and working a full time job and being mother and wife, I hope to make more me time doing this from my home but still allowing me to go work out for a healthier me. Looking forward to getting to know how it works and to know the ladies involved.

        1. Yeah, Julie! That is exactly what I am doing as well. Best of luck in your healthier you attempt and time set aside for a healthier spirit! Let’s encourage one another in this attempt for good things to come!

        2. Sounds like a plan Stacy!

        3. I also want greater spiritual and physical health! I pray that we all can learn to lean harder on the one who really is our strength!

  7. Thank you for this opportunity to be a part of a Bible Study such as this. I am looking forward to it!

  8. 1. Find two things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do. (Don’t go too fast.)

    The often invisible Mount Rainier and Seattle as a symbol of how God’s glory is often invisible to us is so apt that it catches my breath. Sometimes when I am in pain, emotionally or physically, I find it so hard to believe that God really cares and is working, because I can’t see what he is doing. But I need to remember he IS there. He Is Always Working. He most certainly cares and one day He will show Himself in ALL HIS GLORY. Praise God! We can always hope in Him. God’s glory is way more breath-taking than the most glorious scenery in the world. But those pictures of Mt. Rainier are breath-taking.

    Also, I love Keller’s definition the word “glory” in Scripture, means “beautiful and important.” He also says the Holy Spirit’s job is to make Jesus real in our eyes, to make Him “beautiful and important.” For many years I have wondered how best to define glory. I think Keller’s definition encapsulates it beautifully.

    1. love this Diane “Sometimes when I am in pain, emotionally or physically, I find it so hard to believe that God really cares and is working, because I can’t see what he is doing. But I need to remember he IS there. He Is Always Working.”

  9. Where did you upload your pictures? I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find it.

  10. I would like to sign up for the Bible Study.

  11. testing with picture

  12. Happy New Year dear friends! It was a blessing to start the day at church and remember the many blessings we’ve had this past year, looking forward to the journey ahead.

    1. Find two things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do. (Don’t go too fast.)

    This from Dee: “Every other religion tells you to rely on yourself — but that is like struggling with all your might when you are in quicksand — you will only sink deeper.” Even knowing the truth, it is so easy for me to get on the internet and try to find a ‘fix” for whatever current issue I am facing—from health concerns, parenting issues, anything that seems to interfere with my comfortable world. But I can spend hours searching, buy a new book, a new supplement…and not that God doesn’t provide through the wisdom of others, but all my efforts are futile without Him as the source of my strength. I’m not really big on resolutions, but usually make a few in my head. This year, I give those to Him, lay them on the altar and ask that He enable me to meet these goals if it please Him and only by Hus grace and strength.

    I also love the connection to Mount Rainer. It is absolutely amazing, and I believe there is such a spiritual lesson there. Our eyes so often do not see the whole picture, we are so easily clouded by our own thoughts, ideas, and wills. Yet His truth remains. He is faithful to His Word, He is unchangeable. Oh Lord, grant me eyes to see my life, and those around me, as You do.

  13. Welcome Tamela, Missy, Mary, Carol, Janice, and Carolyn! It’s so great to have you join us–Dee’s study will challenge and warm you like no other! And welcome to anyone else reading along–this group has been an incredible blessing to me and it is so encouraging to see new faces join us!

  14. Dear Ladies,
    I would so love to be a part of this. I need to keep my mind and heart totally focused on the word that became flesh! As I look at the photo of the mountains with snow, it gives such a fresh and cleanliness quality that I pray my life will reflect for the Master.

  15. Wow, God is on the move! I came on because I can’t wait to see what Dee is posting for the new week-every week it is that way, she never disappoints-always rich, always life changing! Anyway, then I see Tamela, Missy, Carol, Mary, Janice, Carolyn! Wow..Love having you here! So welcome, we are so glad you are here with us! 🙂

  16. Just wanted to say welcome to Tamela, Missy, Carol, Mary, Janice, Carolyn. Glad to have you. May God bless you.

  17. I have been doing the on-line Bible study for almost a year now but haven’t joined in on the blog. Looking forward to the discussion.

    1. It’s nice to meet another Mary! I believe this is going to be a great place to be this year!

      Mary W.

  18. Receive your regular emails. Opened yours tonight about joining your on-line study and thought it might be a good decision to make for the new year. Am a pastor’s wife struggling in several areas. The first thing that stood out to me was this statement…’We have a God who is as near as our very breath, but because He is Spirit, we may forget He is right there.’ I am sorry to say I can personally relate to that statement. And secondly praying this statement becomes real for me in 2012…’As you see how real God is, you will be changed.’ Thank you for the opportunity to join your study.

  19. Two things that stood out to me. I’ve been to Seattle numerous times – and could heartily agree with Dee’s father – I never saw any mountains. And then this last May I was there and for one half of one afternoon, the clouds parted and the mountain burst forth glorious. It was such a mood changer. Our eyes were riveted, we were in awe of it’s majesty and beauty. I think it will like that when we see Jesus. We usually don’t “notice” he’s with us – he says he’s with us always, yet when we do get that glimpse of him, we will be changed. We will not be able to take our eyes off him.

    My friend Dee has been telling me about this great study. Right now I don’t have a bible study group so I’d love to join you in making some real changes this year. I’d like to be more joyful. I tend to work too hard and get too busy to just “be still”. That would be my desire this next year – a busy year yet to be still and savor God more.

    1. Leslie, Wow! So glad you are here! I read your blog on F.B.-so, so good! This is a huge gift to have you here, welcome!

    2. Leslie,
      I can relate to what you said about working too hard and being too busy to just “be still”! I think the enemy wants to keep us too busy, because he knows where our strength is! I pray that I will daily take the time to “be still” before the Lord.
      Mary W.

  20. Welcome, Leslie. Great to have you with us. I’m looking forward to your perspective.

  21. I love mountains, with their awesome power and glory, I love to walk in mountains and savor the smell and feel of nature, and I live at the base of the Koolau Mountains in Kaneohe Hawaii. I’ve been reading Dee’s blog for a while now, and am so grateful for the wisdom and hearts of the women who dialogue with one another, pray for one another, and are on a journey with God and one another. I’d like to join!

    1. Welcome Sandy! So glad to have a sister from Hawaii join! Such beauty you are exposed to daily. I have never been there, but I have heard it is wonderful. 🙂

  22. God has amazing timing. Our pastor was on vacation today and the guest speaker gave a great message about what separates us from God. Then I checked my email with the message from Dee about this Bible Study. My husband and I are both struggling with our weight and health issues caused by the added pounds. It isn’t enough to know about healthy foods and exercise. You have to actually put things into practice. God intends for the two of us to do and be so much more for Him than the people we are right now. In the back of my mind and heart, I have been feeling God tugging, pushing, and anything else to try to get me to let Him lead me. Thank you Dee for following Gods lead so others like myself may also see his GLORY!

    The mountains hidden behind fog and clouds reminds me of times I was on the Mackinaw Bridge and the fog was so thick the only part of the massive bridge that could be seen was the road under the car. God is that close yet unseen!

    I think one of my problems is counting the cost by the minute and day instead of the cost of continuing in my ways instead of God’s ways.

    Thank you for being a blessing to me today!

    1. I find that it usually is more costly to me when I do things my way rather than God’s way…and it takes me a lot farther around the block than I would have had to go if I did it God’s way in the first place! Sometimes it’s a hard lesson, and I’m still learning! Praying that you will find success in your journey toward better health! Mary W.

  23. Happy New Year to my sisters and all the newbies-Tamela, Missy, Mary W., Carol, Julie, Janice, Carolyn, Mildred, Mary, Leslie, Donna, Sandy and Mary from N. Michigan! Whew! Glad to have you!

    1. Find two things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do.
    Dee, I like your advice to count the cost. For those of us who have been here awhile we know the cost and promise it is worth the price. Lord willing we will all be here together at the same time next year rejoicing in what the Lord has done.
    “It isn’t a quick fix, it is a long obedience in the same direction, but it really is happening.” Yes, it really is happening and I for one am in for the long haul!
    Dee, I want to say thank you for all of your work writing this study for us each week. It has been life changing for all of us. I’m not sure why you do it but I’m sure glad you do.

    1. Kim,
      Thank you for the warm welcome! It’s very encouraging to read the posts here and great to be a part of a group who’s heart is for God.
      Mary W.

  24. The first thing that jumped out at me was the enormous size of Mt. Ranier. I remember being in Vegas and waking up and walking outside and looking up to the mountains there behind the clouds, and being truly amazed at the size of them and instantly I thanked God for his gift of glory for those beautiful wonderous mountains. Just like those mountains in Vegas, Mt. Ranier truly is there, yet hidden behind the clouds. Just as God’s love for us is enormous and always there, even though we may not always see it. Dee you never cease to astound me with your spiritual guidance.

    The second thing that jumped out at me was: “But before you climb a mountain you should count the cost. Are you committed? Are you willing to persevere, realizing that there will be some hard times to push through? Jesus always told people to count the cost, and so I do too, realizing many of you will turn back.”

    I have a huge issue with committing and staying with things. I don’t quite know when and why this became a part of my life, I used to say I would do something and follow through and never give up. I need to lose 10 -20 lbs and am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. And just like knowing their program I know scripture and what I am to do, yet I seem to always “turn back” turn away, from what is healthy for my mind, body and soul. I attend a Bible Study group once a week and love the interaction, yet if I feel like missing I don’t give it a second thought. I pray this will give me the strength, courage and conviction to climb this mountain with all of you wonderful ladies.

      1. Dee, No, you must be thinking of someone else. I have lost and found 20 lbs over the past 10 yrs since my hysterectomy. I get really excited and begin a regiment to lose and give up so easily. Its interesting you refer to weight struggle as a “sin”, I guess I never saw it as such. It truly is like that mountain, a tough climb to success. I pray for God’s grace and guidance daily, and I need to be more committed to staying with everything more in my life. I hope this Bible study with all you ladies will help me with that. Have a great day.

    1. Marie,
      I’m a great starter…just like a firecracker….but I sizzle out much too quickly! I need to learn to burn slowly like a candle with a very long wick! I love to watch candles burn, and love the warm light they emit. I need to slow down, be contemplative, and still….this is my prayer for the new year! Mary W.

  25. I would like to join the Bible study.

    Two things from above:
    1) The perspective from the height of a small child. Give them a camera to take pictures from where they stand. Everything looks magical in their eyes as they “hunt” in their world for wonder. As adults, we usually miss what they see. Getting on my knees takes me low, allowing me to see the majestic glory of God from where I belong.
    2) The canopy covering & the amazing sound of quaking aspen trees swaying in the strength of the wind. It leads my eyes, my senses, my heart to look up & see God. Through the strong winds of life I find joy & grace as I give Him thanks in everything, enabling Him to flow through me to others.

    I’m looking forward to the study. Thank you… Terri

    1. Great to have you Terri, love your insight!

    2. Terri,
      I love the visual comparison of giving a camera to a small child. I’ve done that before and can get my brain around “getting on my knees takes me low, allowing me to see the majestic glory of God from where I belong.”

      And then I think of Him coming as a small child and my brain is boggled!

  26. WELCOME EVERYONE!!!!! This is a wonderful New Years gift, to have all of you join us! Leslie, what an honor to have you here with us!

    Dee says..”But before you climb a mountain you should count the cost. Are you committed? Are you willing to persevere, realizing that there will be some hard times to push through? Jesus always told people to count the cost, and so I do too, realizing many of you will turn back”.

    Dee, there is no turning back or cost to count that is more worthy than living for Jesus. I will push on for him, no matter what the cost or how hard it gets. I’m here for the duration. Dee and the other women on here are always encouraging and uplifting and in prayer for all of us. I’d be lost without them. I know I can come on here and learn and pray daily for them and they will pray for me too.

    “Find things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do”.
    It is the Mt. Rainer of course! I’ve never been blessed to see this, but can only imagine how beautiful it is when you are able to see this glorious sight, when the fog lifts! It will be like seeing Jesus’s face for the first time, only a million times greater!!

    “Though we have not seen Jesus in the flesh, for most of you, there was a time when He changed from being in the backdrop of your life to emerging as One who was glorious, beautiful, and huge. Share at least one, and preferably two, times when that happened”.
    1. When I first gave my heart to the Lord in my 20’s (I’m 62 now). I was being asbused and nearly killed by my husband then of 9 years and I had no one but the lord to turn to…too bad it took that to wake me up! I glorified in his name then and was so excited to read the bible everyday and sing praises to him and put him first in my life. Oh how I wish I had not of lost that joy, but I did as life went on and the Lord had to keep putting stumbling blocks in front of me, some that were terribly hard, to get me to come back to him.
    2.A year ago, I had just had my third back surgery and I was alone in the hospital room, during the afternoon, praying for my sister’s here on this blog and for my healing. The Dr. had nicked my spine and had spinal fluid leaking out and I had to lie flat on my back for 48 hours or the surgery would have to be redone. I was in alot of pain, as normally I can’t lie flat, like that anyway, without pain, so it is awful, but the lord got me through it, because of all the prayers and verses I had memorized…it kept Jesus close to me. My eye’s were shut and no one was in the room, but I felt a hand on my left shoulder and immediately opened my eyes to see who it was and no one was there. I felt it, tho. I know it was Jesus, letting me know he was there and everything would be alright. I will NEVER forget that moment, as long as I live.

    “We have a God who is as near as our very breath, but because He is Spirit, we may forget He is right there”. That is exactly how I have felt at times like I told you. I am getting chills just thinking about how close he is! Thank you, Jesus!!!!!!

    1. Wow, Joyce. That’s amazing! It gives me chills too, to realize how close Jesus was to you after that back surgery and also is to each of us right this very moment. Thanks so much for sharing this for those of us who have joined the blog more recently. It is so encouraging to hear stories like yours of God’s persevering love. May God be praised!

    2. Thanks Joyce for sharing this! It blessed me to read 🙂

    3. Joyce, you are wise in learning that just because we cannot see him near, does not keep us from feeling His presence if we will only “Be still and know that I am God!” Sometimes we need to rely upon our other senses besides sight, and take take that opportunity to draw near Him…His arms are always open, just waiting for us to come! Praise you, Father for your Grace and willingness to accept us just as we are through the blood of your precious son, Jesus! A-men

      I have jumped in with both feet already ~ CANNON BALL~ without a proper introduction: Hello everyone! I am Stacy and would LOVE to ]continue to join in your study blog with you. What beautiful comments yoal have had. You are each such a blessing;a beautiful sparkle in a darkened sky for all see and reap pleasure from.

  27. I, too, have been to Seatlle…but my experience was a bit different. I was there on 2 gloriously sunny days and those mountains were in full view. I know God is right there with me like those mountains constantly, but I need to trust in Him constantly. Every year I find myself resolving to solve the same issues…getting closer to God, family issues, weight and health problems and money issues. I want this year to be the year I conquer these things so I can finally move onto something new. I want this to be the year I finally put God in charge of these areas and get out of His way to make something new in my life. Excited to be here and ready to begin!

  28. 1. Find two things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do. (Don’t go too fast.)

    I would say the picture of the mountain and the one where it is hidden. As I get busy with my day, I so easily forget as my mind naturally bends toward the things I need to get done and the issues I encounter daily with four boys, yet it is the Holy Spirit who prompts me to remember and to see the mountain-and when I do-oh my-His importance and beauty do crush whatever it is I deem as ultimate or crucially important at the time.

    Dee is so right when she says: “As you see how real God is, you will be changed. Instead of focusing on ourselves, if we focus on Him, we will be lifted up.” -This has been true for me on this journey on Dee’s blog. I think it has been a year and a half but slowly, over time, God freed me from depression and emotional eating, and Leslie’s advice on paying attention to body signals has been a crucial tool God still uses to get me to be still and listen to what is going on inside so I can turn before it becomes my ultimate. God wants me to climb higher-In reality though it feels like I am only at the base of the mountain! 🙂

    1. love this friend “yet it is the Holy Spirit who prompts me to remember and to see the mountain-and when I do-oh my-His importance and beauty do crush whatever it is I deem as ultimate or crucially important at the time.”

  29. 2. Meditate on this verse and share your reflections:

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

    God wrapped himself in flesh and walked among us-we are a mess-this world is dark and yet our God full of Grace and Truth made himself a speck for us. He became touchable-the One whose face was once untouchable.

    A. Tim Keller says that when you see the word glory, think “beautiful and important.” How does that put new light on this verse?

    John saw God in the flesh, He was in His presence. He saw His beauty, His large-ness, His majesty, His Grace- and I am sure he couldn’t fathom anything else as more beautiful and important.

  30. I am thrilled that I could be invited to join this study. I always start the year off good, with good intentions. This year I am hoping to drop some pounds and really follow God’s word. I know He is the true source of all that is good. I know and will continue to pray that this is the year I don’t fall away and before I know it the year is gone due to my own self. The mountain analogy was a great start for me. How easily I forget that all the help I need is always present. I am ready to begin this year on the right track, with the right help and prayers.

    Thank you so much.

    1. What do I need to do to join? I will try to figure out how to upload a picture. Doing this mostly from my IPad so not sure yet on all it can do. Thanks Julie Pedroza, Valparaiso, IN

  31. First off I would like to say Welcome to all the new ladies that will be joining us! So Glad all of you are here!

    2. Meditate on this verse and share your reflections:

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

    A. Tim Keller says that when you see the word glory, think “beautiful and important.” How does that put new light on this verse? For me, I think ok.. everything is beautiful Gods Glory is beautiful I wonder what heaven will be like!

    B. Though we have not seen Jesus in the flesh, for most of you, there was a time when He changed from being in the backdrop of your life to emerging as One who was glorious, beautiful, and huge. Share at least one, and preferably two, times when that happened. The first one would be when i was crying a few weeks ago, we were having bad weather and i didnt want to drive on the roads to take my client home I prayed to God to give me peace and comfort and he did overflowing peace actaully and when i came home from the Christmas eve service.. I had peace about 5 min after i walked in the door… I had peace about spending time with my mom the next day and her going to church with me the next day as well.

  32. Sunday-Monday   Icebreaker and Reflections

    1. Find two things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do. (Don’t go too fast.)

    The old saying “….can’t see the smoke through the trees” comes to mind…He is with us but we sometimes are unaware. I feel like I misread Him often. I feel like I am not smart enough to hear what He is telling me. I make decisions thinking I am doing so with Gods’ blessing only to find out I was wrong. It’s then that I get confused because I truly thought He was leading, not me.

    I am struggling with a personal issue and need to remind myself He is always present and He paid the ultimate price for me and my sins. I thought about drawing some sort of symbol on my hand to be a constant reminder of His gift to me. Then, I thought well, I would have to redraw it every day, right? (I was thinking of a crown of thorns- smallish) then I thought, I could get it tattooed on my hand, but I really don’t like tattoos and the thought crossed my mind that maybe God wouldn’t like that either. My body is His in truth. So, I struggle and sometimes forget (unfortunately).

  33. I see how awesome and big our God is. Like some of the others I feel God’s presence and the times I don’t feel Him it doesn’t meant He isn’t with me. He is so faithful and loving I know He is always near. I struggle with fear/anxiety and have for over 40 years now. I deeply desire to let the Lord closer but I stop Him this is a confession I find hard to share but it is time. I find it difficult to join some of the Bible study groups at our church however I have gone but I spend so much time worrying that I am not participating enough etc I feel the Lord has put joining this on my heart. I look forward to this study – especially the study of the Holy Spirit.

    1. Catherine, I’m also from Canada. Welcome. I’m from New Brunswick.

    2. Catherine, I think you’ll like this study then because you won’t have to worry about “not participating enough”, as you said. You can take it at your own speed and and not feel rushed at home. So glad your here!

  34. Welcome all the new bloggers.

    2. Meditate on this verse and share your reflections:

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

    Jesus dwells in us. God’s glory is in us, full of grace and truth. The more we turn from our self-focussed life to look only on His face in submission and obedience, the more we see and we display His glory. Oh, wow. The thought of is blows my finite mind.

    A. Tim Keller says that when you see the word glory, think “beautiful and important.” How does that put new light on this verse?

    I commented on this earlier.

    B. Though we have not seen Jesus in the flesh, for most of you, there was a time when He changed from being in the backdrop of your life to emerging as One who was glorious, beautiful, and huge. Share at least one, and preferably two, times when that happened.

    Just in the past 24 hours, God is lifting a heavy blanket of discouragement from my heart. I had been struggling for the past week, mostly due to the stress of expectations I put on myself and others, I think. Yesterday, I had been in a panic worrying about my parents (in their 80s) who were confused about how to take a taxi to change airports in huge Toronto. (They are from rural New Brunswick, Canada.)They had mistakenly booked themselves to fly into a tiny downtown airport, and then flying out of the international airport five and a half hours later. I tried to help them realize that they were going to have to take a short ferry ride off the Toronto Island and then go by a special airport limo to the other airport. After a lot of research on my part, and attempts at explanation to them, I was not sure they understood what to do. Dad seemed confused and worried. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about them travelling today. They would have been preparing to leave for the airport about that time, in the middle of the night. God gave me the picture of them in transit with His huge hand cupped open underneath them. And he gave me the verse, Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” And I was actually able to go back to sleep again in peace.

    They will be in transit for several hours yet until later this evening, if anyone would like to join me in prayer.

    1. Love what God gave you, Diane!

    2. Oh Diane, I am in prayer for them also….may the Lord direct them to you safely.

  35. Though we have not seen Jesus in the flesh, for most of you, there was a time when He changed from being in the backdrop of your life to emerging as One who was glorious, beautiful, and huge. Share at least one, and preferably two, times when that happened.

    I can think of two times Jesus became apparent and present in my life. I was struggling with my sister in law, who is not a very easy person to have a relationship with. We have daughters the same age so she and I were Scout leaders. She was doing so many things that was upsetting the parents and I really was at my wits end. I did not know which way to turn with dealing with the situation because I did not want to cause family problems but I knew I had to deal with this some how because we had to deal with the complaining parents. I was home at my dining room table in tears asking God to please help me with this struggle. I lifted my chin and it was Jesus present and speaking to me. He said, “Let it go and I will give you peace.” I collected all the scout material took it to my sister in law’s house, handed it to my husband’s brother who answered the door and told him to please give this to her because I could no longer be a leader with her. Since that day I have NEVER had another issue with her, and my awareness of Jesus present has given me a much closer relationship with HIM. I was so afraid to share this experience with anyone, because I felt they would think I was crazy. Another time was when my mother was in the hospital and so afraid of dying, I stood at the head of her bed in the middle of the night needing help to assure her it was okay to let go. I felt a presence so strong in the room, I thought, “Oh Daddy, you are here to help us in this hour of need.” Well, I know it was my Daddy, our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Sprit there helping me and my Mom that night. We got through that night, but shortly after my Mom died and I did have peace knowing she was with my Daddy, and our Lord.

    1. I love how the Lord helped you, Marie.

    2. Marie, how that touched my heart! I’m so happy Jesus gave you peace:)

  36. Find two things that stand out to you from the above and share why they do: First is the pictures, the stark contrast between the two is overwhelming. I feel like my whole life right now is the first picture and the mountain in the second picture is so majestic and beautiful. Jesus is even more so and is always there. I don’t want him behind the clouds, I want to see him always.
    The second is the quicksand analogy. Like clouds, we can’t get them to move or disappear by our own power, we have to wait until they are moved for us; we also cannot free ourselves from quicksand, we make it worse by struggling. We have to reach out, be still and let ourselves be pulled out. I think that I have been still, but I feel myself sinking deeper. I’m trying not to despair.

    1. Dawn MS, this is so good, and so true–we have to be still to be pulled out. So often I am flailing my arms and only making it worse! To be still…and know He is GOD!

      1. Dawn MS, yes this is so good-We have to ‘reach out’, be still and let Him pull us out. Great word picture of us turning to Him and letting Him pull us out.

  37. 2.  Meditate on this verse and share your reflections:

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

    A. Tim Keller says that when you see the word glory, think “beautiful and important.” How does that put new light on this verse?

    This brings to mind the absolute privilege it is to be a daughter of the King. The beauty and importance of our Lord has been revealed to those who believe in Him.

    B. Though we have not seen Jesus in the flesh, for most of you, there was a time when He changed from being in the backdrop of your life to emerging as One who was glorious, beautiful, and huge. Share at least one, and preferably two, times when that happened.

    Jesus really made Himself larger than life to our family when He brought me and my husband, separately, to the conclusion that I should be a stay at home mom. This is nothing I ever expected–I thought I’d lose my mind if I couldn’t have a career outside the home. But God worked in my heart, bringing people into my life revealing truth about His will for me. My husband had not shared his desire that I stay home, because he didn’t want me to feel as if he’d pressured me into something I didn’t want. Another instance of Jesus being glorious, beautiful, and huge to us concerns our son. We had prayed (and still are praying) for years about his path in life. He left home a couple of times during high school because he didn’t want to submit to our authority over things like curfew and grades. Not huge things, but this was indicative of his attitude about life in general–nobody’s gonna tell me what to do or when to do it. He received a sports scholarship to college, but threw it away because he wouldn’t go to class, partying and sleeping in were much more important. He’s now in the US Air Force and we continue to pray that Jesus will be real to him.

    1. Missy, I had a daughter I needed God’s help with when she was just out of high school back in 1990. You reminded me of Jesus coming to me in my time of need, when I was crying and thought my heart would never stop hurting. Oh how gracious and glorious our Lord is! I’m happy your son chose the Air Force, my husband joined right out of high school and he swears it gave him the direction he needed as a young man.

    2. Missy, thank you for sharing this, I pray your son is doing good now and knows Jesus in his heart.

  38. 2. Meditate on this verse and share your reflections:
    I love the words, “full of grace…” I have come to see grace differently since being in this study.

    A. Tim Keller says that when you see the word glory, think “beautiful and important.” How does that put new light on this verse?
    We certainly have seen Jesus enlarge in beauty and importance here on the blog us as we have allowed Him to work among us.

    B. Though we have not seen Jesus in the flesh, for most of you, there was a time when He changed from being in the backdrop of your life to emerging as One who was glorious, beautiful, and huge. Share at least one, and preferably two, times when that happened.
    When the Lord came to me as I was facing an emergency c-section without my husband. God’s presence was so real and comforting. The second time was when I was caught in a freak blizzard on a country road with six young children for several hours. I was young both times and the peaceful presence of the Lord sustained me though I didn’t know Him like I do now. I look back now and see He was wooing me to Himself to know Him more intimately.

    1. He done a great job of wooing you, Kim, because your life shows us Jesus everyday!

  39. I love the quicksand picture, for I know the more I struggle to be perfect the deeper into sin I get. I am so glad to have a God who is my everything and all he asks of me is me.
    I am sad to say that I feel God leading my into a different direction this year:(

    I have loved getting to know you ladies and have learned so much from all of you and have coveted your prayers during some very hard times this year! But my time is so limited and this blog has taken time that I feel needs to be devoted to prayer for my children and time sitting quietly in Gods presence. I have commited to spend less time on the computer and more time with Jesus this year. I feel I need to focus on time alone with God.

    I will miss you all very much and if i have down time will be checking in on you:)

    1. I’ll miss you, cyndi.

    2. Cyndi, You and Anne can’t leave us :(((( I love you both so much!!!! I understand, but please check in with us, so we know how to pray for you:)

    3. Cyndi, I join in with all the ladies here-Oh you are such a breath of fresh air. I will miss your honesty, your humor and your insight, but I understand and will look forward to when you do check in on us! 🙂

    4. Cyndi you will be missed but you have to follow God. Glad to be fb friends…

    5. Love and prayers, Cyndi. You have blessed me.

    6. I will miss you, Cyndi – I will pray for you to have wonderful times of sitting at His feet!

  40. 2. Meditate on this verse and share your reflections:

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

    A. Tim Keller says that when you see the word glory, think “beautiful and important.” How does that put new light on this verse?

    We have seen His beauty, beauty from the Father…..We have seen His importance, importance from the Father.

    I looked up the word “beauty” – the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

    and the word “important” – of much or great significance or consequence.

    So Jesus came to us and gives us intense pleasure which is greatly significant to us.

    I have noticed in my life that when I am in step with Him, I am in a better place. When I am out of step, my life is in shambles.

    1. Me too, Laura!

  41. I am always glad to get Dee’s emails and I’ve taken the class at church on the Psalm’s that had the CD with it. Was great!

    I guess the first thing that got my attention was the words “Higher Ground”. I want to feel that ground again. I say again because I’ve had some experiences in my life that I know were on higher ground but I’ve found out that I almost always land back down on lower ground. I’ve been struggling with this the last several years since chronic pain has come into my life. In 2003 I guess you could say I was on higher ground..I was growing in a Word based church and serving in ministry…My confidence level for a shy person had grown greatly and I could actually speak in front of a women’s meeting—something everyone knew was God because I am extremely quiet and shy.Anyway, without rambling by 2007 I was having spinal surgery and losing my job of 29 years. I don’t want to whine but this is something I can’t seem to overcome and I feel that I am grieving what once was–my always good health, drivenness, etc. I heard someone say that it is in the valleys where grass grows–not on the mountaintop. But I still want to take that walk up the mountain to higher ground even if it is a fourth of the way or a half. When I was a child in the Allegheny mountain area there was a cross on the top of the mountains that we could see as we drove into our small town to shop. At night it would be lit up and you could see it from a long distance. I remember laying my head against the back window of the car and just being mesmerized by it–I thought with my innocent thoughts that God must be up there. Still trying to get up there.

    I remember the first time I understood the difference between the Word of God (the Bible) and “the” Word–Jesus himself walking the earth to save all of us. Great!! So happy that this will cover the Holy Spirit–He is in us and we are in Him. Exciting!

    Sorry for the long post.

    1. Charmaine, I am still in cronic pain also, with my back. I understand how you feel. I’m happy to be in the valley of grass with my saviour tho…he carrys me to the top, to higher grounds:) So glad your here!

      1. Thanks Joyce. Be well.

    2. Welcome Charmaine, and your post was not too long–I’m so thankful you are here. So sorry for your pain and struggles, but thankful He has brought you to this place. I pray you will feel encouraged by His strength in you, His great love for you.

      1. Thanks much for your encouragement. Glad to be among so many women seeking after God.

    3. Welcome, Charmaine! I love your childhood memory of seeing that Cross lit up on the mountaintop, and thinking that God must be up there. I’m sorry, too, for the losses of good health and your job – your grief is understandable. I hope this study will help you find new hope and higher ground.

      1. Thanks Susan. Without hope what would we have. I don’t know how many times I repeat to myself, “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”” There’s that glory word.
        Blessings.

        1. Welcome, Charmaine. I like your quote, “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” There’s that glory word is right. We all need that sure hope. It’s so great that glory is in our future.

  42. I am BRAND new here (from Parkville, Missouri.) My daughter-in-law encouraged me to read all of this and she knows my HEART! I am “hungry” to learn more and join you. What do I do now? In Christ, Mary Ann

    1. Welcome Mary Ann, it’s so great to have you! As far as the study, I find it easiest to copy and paste the questions into a word document for studying. Then as you feel comfortable to do so, we share our answers here. Dee has the questions broken into days to help, but don’t feel bad if you get behind a few days, we all do at some point!
      A new study posts on Dee’s blog each Sunday.
      So glad you’re here! You’ll find this is as close to sitting around a circle of friends studying the word, as an online study can get 😉

    2. Welcome Mary Ann! Your doing great already!

    3. Welcome Mary, you live so close to me! You may even know some of my friends there in Missouri. I live in Kansas which is very close to Kansas City.

      What is easy for me is to cut and paste the questions into the comment box here and then answer them, or you can do as Elizabeth suggested. Whatever works for you! 🙂 I also agree not to feel bad if you get behind, we all do. I find it is better to simmer on questions sometimes and not go too fast. Sometimes that is God quickening me to stay there and meditate. I love how Dee breaks it up into days. that way I am able to simmer and know the next day i can finish. even if I get behind, the third day I can still catch up. Online is great because you can go at your own pace, whenever you can get online to do it. So good to have you with us!

    4. Welcome, Mary Ann! You’ve already gotten some great advice from Rebecca and Elizabeth! You can go at your own pace, or follow the guidelines Dee has in breaking the questions apart into days of the week. Sometimes I write a particular question or passage of Scripture on paper to look at during the day and reflect on it, before I post my answer. Some days, I have my Bible and I stay right at the computer and work on the study, praying and studying and then posting. We’re glad to have you with us! Dee also has, on the home page, a “Getting Started” section you can click on.

  43. 2. Meditate on this verse and share your reflections:
    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
    A.
    After all we learned about the Word, this whole verse has new meaning! One’s word is the truest reflection of who they are, as Christ is the Incarnate God. Through Christ, we see God’s beauty, His weight, His dominance, His power. We see the full dimension of God’s love-the extent to which He loves us.

    B.
    Sorry, I have shared this before, but it is still the first to come to mind. In the years of struggling with infertility, I had innumerable doctor visits—shots, blood tests, ultra sounds…and I was always alone. My husband is an amazing man, and he wasn’t against it, but from the beginning, the fertility road was not comfortable to him. When we found out he also had fertility issues, my Dr made a fist with her hand and adamantly assured me she could still “make me get pregnant”. That was the last day I ever saw her. I remember crying the whole way home, telling God I felt like if I stayed with the treatments I was just like her, shaking my fist at Him, demanding my way. Then I did what I’ll never forget, I asked God to change my heart, to align my desires with His, to let His will be done in our lives. I was content, I thought, to just be me and my husband forever, but I knew I needed to submit my will to Him. A few months passed, my Oswald Chamber devotional nudged me, and one morning I woke up and knew, God had come in and messed with my heart. I was scared, but I knew it was Him and as scared of adoption as I was, it was harder to not heed the Call, than to follow Him.
    That was one of the strongest times in my life that I remember sensing God really coming in and changing my mind, my will, my desires. Ever since, I haven’t taken lightly to the prayer to be changed—He will do it.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story about adoption with us, Elizabeth. I hadn’t heard it before. I too understand that when we ask God to change our hearts, he takes us seriously and does it. He really messes with our hearts, and praise the Lord he does. Without Him, our lives are truly in shambles, as Laura dancer says.

    2. Elizabeth, your story thrills my heart. What trust you have in him!

    3. Love your story Elizabeth. Powerful

    4. Thank you for sharing-so good.

    5. Elizabeth,
      That’s such a powerful testimony. How, if you had stayed with that doctor, it would mean being like her, shaking your fist at Him, demanding your own way. I’m sure it was not an easy path to take, but you submitted to Him, and it has made you such a beautiful person.

      1. It was Dec. 27–this line specifically-“Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point— a great crossroads in our life. From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory.”

        At the time, we had decided to end fertility treatments and I was content, I thought, to be just “me and my husband”. Then I read my devotional, and that line stuck out. I felt like God was saying I could just go on and be “me and my husband”…(I was 30 at the time), and He would be OK with that, it wasn’t sinful…OR, I could take the (much) riskier step (in my mind) and trust that He did have more He wanted to do in our life, and that maybe my husband’s desire (all along through the infertility path) to adopt, was from Him. I read it that night, journaled I was willing, but didn’t share. The next morning I looked at my husband and told him God had done it, “I didn’t want to want to, but I do want to adopt.” He was thrilled!
        Sorry–that got LONG! ;0

        But real quick–when we read the Luci Shaw poem–she really reminded me of that devotion, and that time in my life.

        1. Elizabeth, Thanks for sharing that quote. That describes so clearly how God worked in my life (actually during the couple times I posted earlier), but I couldn’t put words to it. I just knew that something had changed.

    6. Elizabeth, I have loved this story and loved to hear it again-your yielding to Him and trusting. So encouraging to me.

  44. I really enjoyed the sample clip of Psalm 125 that Dee gave us but it was too short. What musician was it, Dee? So I went online and found this. It’s a utube musical version of Psalm 125 by the “sons of korah” that is really good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB8SJEs2xvs

    1. Good question, Diane! I think it sounds as if it could be Michael Card or ??? I searched Psalm 125 in the Amazon mp3 section, and didn’t hear it. So, I decided to listen more carefully 🙂 Will explore more and post if I figure it out.

      I think it sounds like good warm up or cool down music for the treadmill (Could do a warm up and literally use it as a Psalm of Ascent if I change the angle of the treadmill!) in order to get my focus in the right place.

      1. Different artist, but it’s # 6 on this page: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00120GOHA/ref=sr_1_album_9_rd?ie=UTF8&child=B00120HL4U&qid=1325566553&sr=1-9

        Gonna drive me nuts until I find it, because I think I have it on a CD….

        1. NOT a different artist….? I think the songwriter/artist is Jamie Soles. Page for the album: http://solmusic.ca/discography/ascending.php

        2. Thanks so much for all your research, Renee. I am considering buying the CD. You’re right. It would be good to exercise with. (More exercise is one of my New Year’s resolutions.)

        3. Downloaded it 🙂 I listened to the samples first and decided it would be a good way to memorize Scripture. I don’t think it is a CD that I’ll regularly listen to the whole thing. Instead, I’ll pick a song and listen to it over and over until I learn the chapter. I compared the words of a few of the songs to the corresponding chapters in Psalms, and they are very close.

    2. Wow, talented musicians. Where’s the like button?

    3. Thanks for this Diane..I was blessed. On a whim I sent it to my son John to listen to because he is a musician. I thought the guitarist was excellent in the beginning and thought maybe John would appreciate I as well..maybe music is how we can connect 🙂

  45. Hey all! So sorry I have not been completely dedicated or finished the studies these past two weeks. I have tried but my sweet hubs has been home and my schedule has been crazy and off because he has been home for two sweet weeks! He returns to work tomorrow so I hope to be back on my schedule and get on to answer and interact more!!

    Also, I am so afraid to type this but the past couple of days my strength has increased. I feel almost back. I praise God for this but because it can fall so fast I am hesitant but I am thankful and trying to enjoy each day and be really thankful for the good days!! Love to you all and so happy to see new people on here joining in.

    1. Praying for you health, Angela

    2. Angela, I praise God for this report b/c I have been praying for you!

    3. So thankful for this Angela–continuing to pray!

  46. My Eating Dysfunctions
    Lord, please heal me
    of my eating dysfunctions–
    eating for comfort,
    eating as entitlement,
    eating as if I’ll never eat again, etc.
    Please shine your light on my idols
    and on my dis-ease in this area
    and help me to not only lose weight
    but also to be healthy,
    and to glorify you in my body,
    in Jesus’ name, amen.

    I found this by going to Dee’s WED – FRI study questions (I jumped ahead), at the very bottom of her questions, where it says to click on this LINK. It goes into Bob Hostetler’s Prayer Blog on My Psalms 125.(Which is so beautiful and alot to think about) I was contemplating the meaning of this Psalms 125, when I went down too far and seen at the right side of this link for “My eating Dysfunctions”. I printed it and put it where I can read it everyday, as I also stuggle with weight, as many of you have mentioned, you do also. I thought this little prayer is exactly what I need to remind myself, before running to food, instead of running to Jesus. Sorry, to get off the subject.

    1. Thank you dear Joyce. I saw this today and it encouraged me.

      From Ann V.
      And more — ‘koinonia,’ it means sharing. Sharing — breaking of oneself and giving oneself away. We only have what we hand away.
      It means sharing out of brokenness to bring healing to community. We only are broken and this is beautiful: in brokenness, we are instruments in the hands of the Wounded Healer.
      It means in our brokenness, we share in the sufferings of Christ, and this is communion. God, He calls His people to share – not out out any sense of perfection – but out of brokenness, patterning life after the God who broke Himself and gave.

      This is why I am here. I am just as broken as any of you and am beautiful in my brokenness.

      1. I love this!

      2. Good thoughts, Joyce and Kim. I have never struggled with weight as many have until recently as I get older. Now I too need to learn how to lose weight and keep it off.

        Kim, thanks for sharing the thoughts about the importance of sharing my brokenness. These are wondrous thoughts, “sharing out of brokenness to bring healing to community. … in brokenness, we are instruments in the hands of the Wounded Healer.” To be an instrument in the hands of the Wounded Healer is awesome! You are such an inspiration to me, beautiful in your brokenness.

        1. Thanks Diane, we inspire each other.

    2. This is great Joyce–even applying it to other idols of mine, subbing control for food…–really rich

  47. I like this part of the opening……”It isn’t a quick fix, it is a long obedience in the same direction, but it really is happening.”

    I struggle to see “it happening.” However, I am someone who can be obedient for a long time. I praise God that I have places like this blog to go to when I am weak. Thank you Jesus for Dee and the prayer warriors we have here!

  48. B. Though we have not seen Jesus in the flesh, for most of you, there was a time when He changed from being in the backdrop of your life to emerging as One who was glorious, beautiful, and huge. Share at least one, and preferably two, times when that happened.

    When I was 13 my dad died. I have shared the events of this on this blog before. When I went to the hospital to see him, he was very sick. He struggled to see that I was with him, but he knew. I promised him I would be good and okay in the future. He couldn’t speak to me but I knew he understood. I also knew that God was with me, helping me, and would always be there for me. In my life there have been times where I couldn’t explain the way things would “drop” into my lap and lead me to the next venture. I believe these were the times that Jesus was leading me through.

    In the last 5 years my husband and I have struggled with 2 of our 4 children. It has been hard. About 3 years ago my friend told me of a podcast I could listen to and it changed my life again, this time bigger than ever. You see, I have always been a Christian, but hardly read the Bible or meditated or anything like that. When I began actually practicing a few years ago my life was changed. Praise be to God that He put this wonderful young woman in my path to lead me back to Him!

    It is still not an easy climb; everyday I have to remind myself that He is near, but I am glad I am with Him and not alone.

  49. 4. Ask the Lord if there is someone you should invite to join us. If you are on my e-mail list you will be getting an e-mail invitation you could forward. Pray here.

    Dee, should I have already received this email? How do I know if I’m on thd email list? I did invite some friends on my own…..we will see 🙂