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WORD PICTURES FROM YOU TO HELP YOU CHANGE

LAST WEEK WE BEGAN TO STUDY HOW TO USE WORD PICTURES

TO SPEAK TO OUR SOULS

DRAWING UPON THE PICTURES WE SEE “PAINTED” IN

SCRIPTURE AND IN GREAT HYMNS


WHEN THE WEEK HAD JUST DAWNED

YOU WERE THERE WITH YOUR PICTURES

I CANNOT MENTION THEM ALL — BUT HERE ARE SOME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANNE HAD BEEN IN PSALM 18, WHEN “GOD HEARS OUR CRY FROM

HIS TEMPLE AND COMES THUNDERING DOWN TO OUR RESCUE”

AND DIDN’T WE SEE THAT LIVED OUT BEFORE US WHEN OUR OWN TAMMI WAS MISSING

AND THEN FOUND? OUR CRIES WENT OUT TO GOD — AND THEN OUR REJOICING!


Elizabeth  remembered this picture of Jesus from Revelation 19, when He returns. She wrote, once, on this blog:

This picture moved me to tears. It brings this passage in Revelation to life. It is His coming to me – not just on that great day, but NOW. When I look up these verses I feel Him hoist me up on the horse, holding me, carrying me through my pain – out of my lost-ness and fulfilling that deep deep longing in my soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.redbubble.com/people/aleonart/portfolio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renee remembered this portrayal of Aleonart from

The Song of Songs, “Awake South Wind” — and of God’s love for her

This amazing passage talks about thanking Him for the warm south wind (His Love)

and trusting Him in the cold north winds (Because He died for us we can!)

Angela, who has suffered so with Lyme’s Disease

remembered how God came to Job

in William Blake’s painting

Job portrays the Gospel —

for centuries later there was a greater Job who also suffered

but was not delivered

He did it for us

Julie told of putting Psalm 62 up near her desk when her husband was in Afghanistan

drawing strength from its word pictures: He is our rock, our salvation,

our fortress, our refuge

How can you see The Gospel in the truth that He is the Rock?

THERE WERE SO MANY MORE FROM YOU

BUT I WANT TO CLOSE WITH THREE — BECAUSE THEY HELP US “PEER INTO THE GOSPEL”

WHICH IS THE SECRET OF HELPING YOU TO

TRULY “PUT OFF” AND “PUT ON”

THE VERSE WE ARE INTENTLY HIDING IN OUR HEART

SO THAT WE CAN BE MADE NEW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan mentioned this portrait of Hosea, who was a Christ-figure, covering Gomer,

who was unfaithful to Him. Such a good picture of the Gospel and how Christ covers us.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rembrandt: Return of the Prodigal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim, who has been so freed by “peering into the Gospel” said this Rembrandt portrait impacted her so. God accepts her as He did the wayward younger brother, and even as He accepts the hard-hearted older brother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAURA-DANCER, WHO KEEPS TELLING US  SHE HAS NO IMAGINATION,

FOUND HERSELF MOVED TO TEARS IN CHURCH

AS SHE CONTEMPLATED THE WORDS TO THE SONG “ABOVE ALL”

JESUS WAS TRAMPLED LIKE A ROSE — FOR US!

SO HOW CAN WE NOT LOVE HIM?

A common thread in all of your pictures, was longing to trust God’s love. We are going to continue in Ephesians, the book in which Paul prays that we might “comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth” of the love of Christ.”

It is in the Gospel that you see the height of His love — and peering into the Gospel can change you.

If you are new, follow the directions on the right on this homepage. You’ll need to be approved the first time. Then you’ll be able to make comments whenever. Many copy this into a word document and type their answers there first, then copy them here. I’ve made suggestions for how to move through the week, but you are free to go at your own pace.

Some of you have asked about how Tammi is doing. When she walked into the sheriff’s office, she was disoriented and didn’t know who she was. She is now hospitalized near her step-father and mother in Alabama. Please continue to pray for her as doctors try to understand what happened and for the Lord to heal and comfort her.

Sunday-Monday  Icebreaker

1. Of the above pictures from your sisters on the blog, choose one, possibly two, that help you see the love of Christ for you and explain why. Could one of these become, as Elizabeth said, your “go-to” picture this week to help you in overcoming a negative behavior?

2. Challenge question (If you are just beginning, you don’t have to do this.) We are in the book of Ephesians, in which Paul prays we will begin to comprehend the height, the depth, the width and the breadth of the love of God. That can happen by “peering into the Gospel.” The pictures above are various reflections of The Gospel, and they are all based on various passages of Scripture. Amazingly, the Gospel can be found from Genesis to Revelation. Now — focus on the picture you chose (or another), find the Scripture behind it, and see what you can glean about the Gospel from it.

Monday-Tuesday: Review (If you just joined us, you may want to read last week’s post and listen to the free sermon.)

Putting Off and Putting On

Another way to say this is repentance and faith. There are two steps. This is from Tim Keller:

A. (Putting Off or Repentance)

Hating the sin/or itself. “Lord I see how repulsive this idol is. Lord, the thing itself is not what is evil—it is what my heart has done to it—elevating it—that makes it evil. I refuse to be controlled by it any longer. It wreaks havoc in my life. You justify me, not this. You are my master, not this. I will not be controlled by this. This is not my life (I don’t have to have it), but CHRIST is my life (I only have to have him.)”

B. (Putting On or Faith)

Rejoicing in the grace and work of Jesus. “Lord, I have been trying to earn my own salvation and weave my own righteousness. But you are my salvation and righteousness. I am accepted in your Son! All my problems come because I am forgetting how loved, honored, beautiful, secure, rich, respected, embraced, free in Jesus. And all other ways of finding honor, etc. are vain. Let me be so ravished with your love of me that no other love can control me.”

Meditate on this poem by John Donne. Make it a prayer —

Take me to you, imprison me.
For I, except you enthrall me, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

 

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE FROM MY LIFE OF HOW I AM APPLYING THESE TWO STEPS TO ONE OF MY NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS. THEN I WANT YOU TO DO THE SAME WITH A  NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR IN YOUR OWN LIFE

I wake earlier than I should and begin to worry about various things. I know we are told not to worry — so what do I do?

A. I must discern the idol and hate the sin. I am worried because I don’t trust God to be in control of my children, my ministry…

I ask myself, “What is the lie I am believing?” I think I can handle things better than God so I am trying to figure things out — a nice term for worry. But I can’t just stop worrying, even though I have discerned it is negative behavior and hate it. I must move to step B.

B. Philippians tells me to have no anxiety about anything but in everything, with thanksgiving, make my requests to God. It also tells me to set my mind on that which is lovely… Therefore, I can ask God to help me sleep (I often will pray Psalm 127:2: It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil, for He gives His beloved sleep.) But I also need to set my mind on that which is lovely — and the Gospel helps me with that. Many of the actual pictures above come to mind, as well as lines from hymns or verses. Usually, I do find myself turning from my control and resting in Him and going back to sleep. If I still cannot, I will continue in a classic I’m reading from my Kindle on my nightstand, and that can help me set my mind on Him.

3. Your turn: Name the negative behavior, discern the idol, and then your step of faith.

A. (Discern idol and repent — putting off)

B.(Move toward Him in faith — putting on)

Wednesday-Friday: Bible Study and Download Sermon. This sermon is 2.50, but well worth it.

Sermon Link: Link

If you cannot afford that, here is a substitute free Vimeo video that has some of the same points.  Free Vimeo Link

Read (or say by heart) Ephesians 4:22-24

4. Putting off without putting on is ineffective and even dangerous. Give an example, hopefully, from your own life of why this either doesn’t work or actually can be hurtful.

5. There is a link in this passage between putting off and putting on in verse 23. What is it and what do you think this means?

6. Putting on without putting off is dangerous too. In the sermon, Keller talks about the danger of passivity, giving the example of masturbation. If you just ask God to take it from you but are not willing to die, what is likely to happen in time?

7. For those who have journeyed with us, give an example of a sister from this blog who you have seen put off and put on.

8. Listen to the sermon and share:

A. What does Keller say is unique about Christianity and why?

B. Keller talked about stealing as an example. Jay Adams asks, “When is a thief not a thief?” What is the answer and what does this illustrate?

C. Idols are an attempt to solve a problem. Give an example of this and how Christ is a better solution.

D. What else stood out to you from this message?

Saturday

9. What’s your take-a-way and why?

If you can watch the movie Courageous in the next two weeks, we’re going to talk about its strengths and weaknesses in light of Gospel Transformation.

Courageous Movie Poster

 

 

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318 comments

  1. 8. Listen to the sermon and share:

    A. What does Keller say is unique about Christianity and why? You can know God personally, you can change and you can change the world

    B. Keller talked about stealing as an example. Jay Adams asks, “When is a thief not a thief?” What is the answer and what does this illustrate?
    Not when he has stopped stealing that is not good enough. A person who is stealing is solving a problem through stealing. Got to put on to take place of put off or don’t change. No longer get meaning from old way but instead as a generous person. Satisfaction from work well done. Helping and ministering and being generous.Have to find a full new way of living.Interesting example of how it gets worse if you just put off. Given put off but nothing in place doesn’t help//Legalism

    C. Idols are an attempt to solve a problem. Give an example of this and how Christ is a better solution. How lots of people just want to say, have willpower or just say no. It is not enough. You are really stressed about a problem. You run to food for comfort yet running to the arms of Christ is better.But running to food is easier and tangible but the better thing is discipline yourself and get into pray, His Word. It is enough and
    better than the temporary illusion of comfort through food.

    D. What else stood out to you from this message?How lots of people just want to say, have willpower or just say no. It is not enough. Must not only put off but put on as well. His comments about the south is hilarious too. Love how they changed as well.

  2. I was reminded today of when we read Chalmers “The Expulsive Power of A New Affection”–I started reading again and found this gem:
    “The only way to dispossess the heart of an old affection is through the expulsive power of a new one. It is therefore only when admitted into the number of God’s children through faith in Jesus Christ that the spirit of adoption is poured out on us — it is then that the heart, brought under the mastery of one great, predominate, and supreme affection is delivered from the tyranny of all its former desires and the only way that deliverance is possible.”

  3. I miss u ladies!! Soo much!!!

  4. Blessings to you Meg as you follow the Lord’s leading. You have been a great blessing to us. You have grown tremendously here and I know that God will lead you into more growth for this is His will for us.

    2. I am looking at the Aleonart painting based on Song of Solomon 4:16 which says: “Awaken north wind—come, south wind. Blow on my garden, and spread the fragrance of its spices. Let my love come to his garden and eat it choicest fruits.” She seems to be facing the north wind with her cap and her shawl. Her cap is warm but her shawl thin and colorless which seems to be some protection but not immunity to the suffering of the north wind. What I find so very profound is that the fruit and beauty of her garden remains in her dress. It is not washed out by the cold wind. Even though she suffers with winter she has fruit remaining within, protected and ready to share with her love when He comes to His garden. Her skin and hair are colorless which could indicate a lack of exterior beauty but within are beautiful fruits and garden. Oh, and I think her beautiful red cap is the helmet of salvation, bestowed on her by her Lover. This is the gospel and the gospel is the reason she bears fruit, for without it she would be dead and barren inside.

    1. I absolutely love your illustration of the Aleonart painting, Anne. This is the gospel.

  5. http://youtu.be/lx3ias0H1os
    this video is just full of beautiful word pictures. had to share.

    1. This is so beautiful, cyndi. I love the Jewish instruments. They just give it a haunting, sacred feel. But the message is so stunning. “No more will I run from you. I will be here in your arms. Your name is above all of powers … the blessed Prince of Peace.”

    2. Oh wow, Cyndi. Thanks for sharing this — it’s wonderful!

    3. Cyndi, the pictures in that are so beautiful, thanks.

  6. Ephesians 4:22-24
    4. Putting off without putting on is ineffective and even dangerous. Give an example, hopefully, from your own life of why this either doesn’t work or actually can be hurtful. When I put off without putting on Him it seems like I am open to fire from the enemy, maybe even unprotected. This is especially true for me since I tend to moralistic behavior – something I am still overcoming.

    5. There is a link in this passage between putting off and putting on in verse 23. What is it and what do you think this means? “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]” For me I can’t do anything in my day without first washing with the Word. It’s like going through the day without a shower – I would never do that. I am powerless unless I have spent time in His word and with Him. In fact I am a mess. I have to get full of His love before I can deal with others in a loving way.

    6. Putting on without putting off is dangerous too. In the sermon, Keller talks about the danger of passivity, giving the example of masturbation. If you just ask God to take it from you but are not willing to die, what is likely to happen in time? It will return and you’ll be worse off or it might exchange for a new idol.

    7. For those who have journeyed with us, give an example of a sister from this blog who you have seen put off and put on. I will use Dee for an example because she shared of forgiving a woman who stole jewelry from her and her example of putting on Christ caused my eyes to open to my own selfishness. I want to be this transparent so others can see Him in me.

  7. WOW! What a sermon! I was just now able to listen to the sermon from last week am so glad I didn’t miss it. I will now need to change/add to my answer to the question about renewing my mind. Keller says to pray, Lord, my name is written in heaven, I embrace that my name is written on your heart. God as you renew the spirit of my mind empower me to put off sins and put on obedience I want to do what you say. To obey is hard but disobedience is impossible to endure!
    In the end disobedience destroys me b/c I was built for Him.

  8. Subject: FYI… coconut oil we use in our home! (from a niece of mine)

    FYI… Just thought I would share my bit of info on this topic…Thanks for sharing the video clip! It is amazing the information that is out there. Unfortunately you often have to dig for the good stuff. It is not a drug/money maker, so the medical community/insurance companies aren’t going to advertise it to you…

    http://www.amazon.com/Nutiva-Organic-Virgin-Coconut-15-Ounce/dp/B001EO5Q64/ref=rcxsubs_email_dp

    This is the Coconut oil we use in our household on a daily basis. We are a gluten free household, but I had also heard that it can help with Autism/Aspersers Syndrome. (… which is also a concern in my family.) It also is suppose to improve IBS…

    I like it & it is easy to use when cooking. I just subscribe & get it through Amazon with free shipping every 6 months. It can be very expensive on many store’s shelves in the Health Market areas… It is kind of like the old saying goes… pay me now or pay me later. I would rather take the hit with a higher grocery bill & a healthier family in the long run … then all the health issues & meds later on if you don’t take care of your health now.

    I figured it was worth a try.

    I like using it & the taste & smell also!

    1. Hi Joyce, I’m just wondering how this fits in here? Did I miss a post or are you just sharing with us? I had a recipe years ago and had to buy coconut oil. I used it and it has been on my shelf since. I didn’t know what to do with it. Do you think it’s still okay and I can use it in lieu of olive or others? I wish I had known of it’s help with autism. It migh have helpedy daughter.

  9. ttp://www.cbn.com/media/player/index.aspx?s=/mp4/LJO190v1_WS

    1. I’m sorry, I can’t get this to copy right, above. Try going to CBN.com, then under Health and then search…Coconut Oil. It’s called, “Coconut Oil Touted as Alzheimer’s Remedy” Something as simple as that could of saved my sister-in-law’s life.

      Praying for all of you:)

    1. praying!!!

    2. Praying, Dee!

    3. Dee got to listen to the radio interview today at work. It was so nice to hear your soothing voice. You did a great job. Technology is wonderful most of the time, to be able to listen after it’s been done already and hit pause when you have to walk away so you dont miss anything, amazing!

  10. Good Morning ladies!
    I just received disturbing news that a good friend from work was just told her position was eliminated. So many people are losing their jobs at the hospital where I work because of the new software system they installed.
    I have been trying to awhile to enter into a RHIT program, so I can get certified in Health information. But I can’t having great difficulty understanding enough math to pass what should be a basic placement test, this is keeping from entering. And yet I have the knowledge to do medical record analysis.
    I need instruction, and insight as to whether or not this is what I should be persuing.
    My heart is not in it. I want to write.
    I am planning a trip to Mississippi in a few short weeks to research a book I have working on for almost ten years.
    I need clarity on what I should do, I need my job to pay bills and am not worried if I lose it, but I need to know if writing is just a dream or part of my purpose in God’s plans for my life.

    1. praying

    2. Praying, Laura Marie!

  11. Sorry for the grammatical errors…typing fast on my iPhone and can’t go back to edit…:(

  12. Read (or say by heart) Ephesians 4:22-24

    4. Putting off without putting on is ineffective and even dangerous. Give an example, hopefully, from your own life of why this either doesn’t work or actually can be hurtful. MY early years we grew up in a very legalistic church. So I was always putting off but only to sneak it on in private. It wasn’t for God it was for appearances. To be accepted in the legalistic crowd.

    5. There is a link in this passage between putting off and putting on in verse 23. What is it and what do you think this means?renewed in Spirit of minds.

    6. Putting on without putting off is dangerous too. In the sermon, Keller talks about the danger of passivity, giving the example of masturbation. If you just ask God to take it from you but are not willing to die, what is likely to happen in time? In time you will just do it again. That is why willpower or just say no does not always last or work…He is the exchange.

    7. For those who have journeyed with us, give an example of a sister from this blog who you have seen put off and put on.This is hard because there are so many! I love just watching each one individually run into His arms. Learning it is enough for victory over any idol. I love seeing this click. Not as a good luck charm but really fully realizing the love of the Savior for each of us individually.

  13. 5. There is a link in this passage between putting off and putting on in verse 23. What is it and what do you think this means?

    “be renewed in the spirit of your minds” In this part of the equation, we are the recipients—but we are not passive. God does the renewing, put it is in the context of a cooperative relationship with the Spirit. The key I think is that in the renewing, we come to see the old that we are putting off as more and more offensive to Him and it becomes less and less appealing…so the putting on is motivated not by approval, but love for Him. Keller said it’s a complete cycle everytime, but one we must repeat over and over throughout our lives.

    6. Putting on without putting off is dangerous too….

    I think this is when we don’t really want to do the work of putting off, because we find it too hard in our own strength, so we try to cover it up with something “Christ-like” in appearance, but shallow. Or we kind of throw up our hands and just say “God change me” and then move on. The example I just thought of is rather than taking off gossip, putting on a cover-up for it by phrasing it as concern or a prayer request for someone else. The problem is that root is still there and it will always poke it’s way threw unless we choose to, by the strength of the Spirit within us, put off the old and then, put on the new. And with our minds renewed, we are motivated by love to walk in the light of the New self we have put on.

  14. Hey sweet sisters! Only a few more minutes until Dee is on Faith Radio Net. It starts at 3:00 p.m. CST. Here is the link: http://www.faithradionet.com/2012/the-sustaining-power-of-god/ Just go to the link and then click on the tab on top that says, “Listen Online”-then follow what it tells you to do after that. Can’t wait! 🙂

    1. Kind of fun to know we’re listening together too–ALMOST like being together! I’ve had mine cued–so ready to hear that sweet voice 😉

      1. Elizabeth, what do you think so far??

  15. Elizabeth and Kim, Isn’t it great so far! 🙂

    1. Fantastic, love knowing my sisters are connected in this way.

    2. oh I just came back here–I’ve been filling muffin pans while listening in the room with the computer (NOT the kitchen!) a little messy!…but I just sat back down–OH, she just mentioned my dear friend Rebecca!So sweet–I just want to be there! She amazes me with how articulate she is–wow, this is ALL so incredible–I wish I could find a way to record it…

  16. Can’t wait until she gets to give practical examples of enslavement by sin and how to break free and then idolatry-yeah! 🙂 Great lead up to her upcoming book too. I have it on my Android phone as well so when I go get the boys from school in ten minutes I won’t miss anything. 🙂

    1. i knew I should have broken down and gotten a smart phone…reasons such as this 😉

  17. I am listening to Dee’s radio program too. Love Dee’s voice. I especially liked learning a bit more of her story and the picture of God as an intimate bridegroom.

  18. It does look like the link should show up tomorrow in the archives to listen again!
    Love how she said we don’t always understand but we know His character and that He gives us a joy that circumstances cannot quench. Also when she talked about identifying idols and the idea of searching proverbs for “too much”—that was so insightful, I’m going to do that! I loved too the talk on friendships—I pulled back out my copy, I can’t hear those truths enough. Oh the prayer at the end…but maybe my favorite part—I LOVE her laugh, that just made me smile right back at the computer screen! 

    1. Elizabeth, so good! 🙂 God has gifted Dee so. I found myself going, ‘yes’-you nailed it, good Dee!

  19. It is so cool that here I am in far eastern Canada and I can listen to Dee on a live radio show in Minnesota. Thank you, Lord. It’s as amazing as being on a Bible study blog with all you wonderful women.

    1. 🙂 Now you don’t have to feel so far away! Love that!

      1. 🙂 I’m so happy! It’s almost like getting a hug! I was great that she talked about Rebecca!

        1. Yes! Rebecca’s testimony resonates so with women. This is a special place, sister’s.
          Diane, you’re right next door in my heart.

        2. Diane, HUG. 😉 So glad you were listening at the same time!

  20. Just listened to Dees program soooo Good! Ladies I really need some prayer, I have been really depressed all week and really sad.. Just having a hard week i guess.. and i havent been sleeping well all week so today I am VERY vulnerable and think that i may have a meltdown!

    1. Oh, Lord. I know you are near to your child, Meg. Help her to run to you, to find her satisfaction in your arms. Help her, Lord. Remind her of the truths of your love and care. Amen.

      1. yes Lord, I agree with Diane in prayer that You would be where Meg runs and she would find satisfaction in You

    2. Speak those verses you memorized to yourself, little sister, love you and praying now.

    3. Meg, Listen to what Kim said and speak those verses to your soul.

    1. Gimme a D…gimme an E… gimme another E!..Sorry I couldn’t resist. 🙂
      Why do you think it got racy, Dee?

      1. i know, kinda makes you want a T shirt, doesn’t it? Or at least a “Go Dee” bumper sticker 😉

        1. I hate that I missed it! Hopefully will be available tomorrow.

        2. Hope I can hear it later also…Kendra and I were at the dentist:(

    2. Dee, When that topic came up, I was confident you would handle it well, and handle it well you did. Not too racy at all, and I could tell Susie larson wasn’t uncomfortable responding to you which speaks volumes as to how well you handled it-good job!

      1. 100% agree–if anyone can speak about it with truth and respect, it’s you. I never even thought racy…your heart comes through too strong to give any negative impression

        1. Yes, I can see your concern. It truly is a hard subject especially for when time is limited. I have been thinking on this since yesterday and I am asking God to give you special clarity for next time and assurance that what you shared yesterday was really appropriate. I understood exactly what you were saying and thought it was spot on, now I am asking God to give you His opinion.

        2. I also think there is a war in the heavenlies b/c satan does not want God’s people to get intimate with their savior so there is that aspect to consider.
          One more thing- we can go to our checkpoint and that is the Word and the Word backs you up! PTL!

  21. Here a song that really touches my heart. He loves us way too much to give us lesser things.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SGniRk_GcLs

    1. Diane, LOVE that song!

      1. Me too. It gives me great comfort when I feel overwhelmed that I may never be who I want to be.

  22. 3. Last Friday I was caught in lazy carelessness. This is going to be hard for me to share because I know that many of you are just the opposite of me. I am very much a type B personality with an approval idol (lol-what a combo). I blew off something that I should have looked into and then condemned myself in my defense. I know, it does not make sense. I was quick to defend myself and my words revealed my heart. It was a heart that judged another and did not really care enough to reach out. I was sick about the whole thing and went home from work very upset. The good thing is that instead of trying to bandage my heart I looked to the Lord and asked Him what was in this for me to grow on. That is when He showed me how starved for love this young woman is and how I was once very much like her. And how I had judged her and found reason not to care. It was a setup from the beginning because she rolled into my bedspace pushing all of my buttons, belligerent and speaking ill of her nurse on the unit. Oh how the Lord let me see beyond it all.
    A. My idol was really 2, comfort and approval which I did see and repent of but then B. by asking the Lord what He had for me in this and leaning into the pain He changed my heart!

    Today my heart was much softer. My first patient was testy and defensive but my heart was soft and I was able to comfort her. She looked up at me and said how she had prayed that she would not have a nurse with an attitude. I should have cried but didn’t. Baby steps as my son would say.

    1. I just love this Anne, just love it all. Your honesty is beautiful and your humility just reflects Him. I’m thinking those steps aren’t so “baby” 🙂

      1. Elizabeth, thanks for understanding. It was hard to share and also I didn’t see how it could fit, until I started typing it. I also am having a hard time with #7. It is very obvious to me we are growing into a beautiful lot of women (and we can only see hearts;)

        1. oh I do so understand Anne. I have always struggled with defending my reasons, my ways..I can make an argument for anything. I think that’s what is so beautiful to me in you–you are so honest with yourself and it brings you to humility and then He just shines like the flowers in your avatar, really.

          I started to come back on here just now and add on to my “7”–on you, Angela, Rebecca,Dawn, Meg, Renee…I think what is so incredible here too is that while we watch one another growing out of the weeds that entangle and sprouting up this fresh new life–we can all rejoice together. We are all united, and we share in each other’s victories and joys. For me, that is a rare find among women, and so beautiful.

          I’ve missed you though–can you give an update on dear Joey?

        2. Oh, Elizabeth I started to share but didn’t because it seemed off subject. He is doing so much better in school and getting satisfaction from that. His fb posts are not so negative anymore. He is starting to talk about going into the Marines (which makes us cringe but we don’t say anything negative-just pray)and also going to pharmacy school. This encourages me because he is hopeful of his future. He still does not go to church and youth group willingly but the attitude is pretty much gone. God has given me some timely and powerful words for him that I know are a direct answer to prayer (thank you so much!) and I think they began the changes. AND~He cut his hair!

          For those who are new my son Joey is 15 and has been the subject of much prayer here. And how God is answering!

          I hear and feel the longing among us to meet face to face and I say that it will be no time until we meet in eternity. To that I so look forward.

          I think I am in a season of south wind right now. While my life and family are not where I would like them to be, I find so much to be joyful about. There are rough patches like last Friday but so much good too. I am almost afraid to say it because I feel like I am waving a red flag in front of a bull(Satan) but I must give glory to God. It all began with this study. Dee, I remember that it felt like taking the polar plunge when we decided to begin in December of 2009. I don’t know why, but it did. How good it has been!

        3. Anne! I can’t pause to think how to carefully write a response–I’m too emotional and want to respond immediately–I just have goosebumps (those happy kind) ALL over my body! I don’t know why Joey holds such a tender spot in my heart but hearing of God’s continual work in him just makes me smile.He has him, He has plans for him and they are good.
          But you, Anne–YOU! You have always been so wise and I have always jumped to read your posts with great attention, knowing I will learn much–but something in your words lately just seems NEW, re-newed, JOY-filled. I hear a hope in you and really I think that’s what I felt reading–His Spirit poured out in you, through you.
          Thank you for sharing–and you know it is never off topic to any of us, to hear His work in the lives around us.
          Oh this is just a treasure.

        4. Great post Anne. I pray for your son Joey, Lord please soften his heart and guide him down the path that You have set out before him. May there be many “angles” along the way to help guide him when needed and may all the seeds that have planted now be watered. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN!

        5. Julie, thanks for praying. In the same way we lift Kyle up to the Lord. Don’t worry. The Lord is working out His plan for Kyle. I am praying about his pain. I can only imagine how this hurts a mother’s heart.

          For Joey we did not “do” all the things that we did for my older son. We are older and not as energetic. BUT~I have prayed and surrendered! The results are glorious because what I see developing is who he is in the Lord rather than who I want him to be. I am now applying this to my older son who is 27 Tuesday.

    2. Anne,
      I love this example and I can so relate to it because I’m a nurse too and yes, we encounter “difficult” patients and they do push our buttons and we can too easily get an attitude about them but I love what you did with this, you took it to the Lord instead of reaching for the “bandages” to just cover up the infection, and look what happened – God cleaned out the pus and you grew! And then He challenged you again and you demonstrated that repentance-faith cycle!!

    3. Anne, I read this yesterday-I am so excited to hear about this: “My idol was really 2, comfort and approval which I did see and repent of but then B. by asking the Lord what He had for me in this and leaning into the pain He changed my heart!” PRAISE GOD!! 🙂

      You also posted about Joey somewhere here and I wanted to tell you I am so thrilled! God is moving and we will continue to pray. You are such a faithful mom and it always blesses me to see your love for your son.

      You know, a word picture came to me yesterday when I was talking with my oldest son- God quickened me to pay attention to my heart for my son. Then He wanted me to see that is how He loves me yet only deeper. He knows my frame even better than I know my son’s and He loves every part of me. He wants the best for me and will allow struggles where he doesn’t intervene in order for me to grow and for our relationship to get sweeter because of it. I know my love for my boys pales in comparison with God’s love for me but He has given us this parent/child relationship as a special gift of a picture of His love for us-so I am thankful for those moments when God shows me His love for me is so steady and real.

      1. This is beautiful Rebecca! His love is overwhelming and as a parent we get a small portion of it in our hearts.

        Your answer on the danger of putting off without putting on has been on my mind in relation to my older son. He struggles with something that needs to be put off and I pray that God will give me opportunity and words to show him that we must put on Christ to be victorious.

        I loved Elizabeth’s rejoicing over answered prayer for Joey and right now I am overwhelmed with what treasure we have in each other, right here on this blog.

  23. 7. For those who have journeyed with us, give an example of a sister from this blog who you have seen put off and put on.

    HOW am I supposed to choose just one? Can’t do it, sorry. I could answer this about ALL of you.
    Diane- I remember when she first came on and the struggle in her words, the pain with her brother, the loneliness. I honestly didn’t know if she’d stay, but I hoped she would because I related to her. I am so thankful she did stay. She has been renewed in the spirit of her mind before us. I see how she has chosen to put off un-forgiveness, and to put on grace, hospitality, reaching out to others.

    Julie–Reading her struggle of a painful divorce, her son Kyle serving—she has such a heavy load to bear. But I see in how she has put off bitterness and put on a spirit of thankfulness—seeing what He has provided for her in friends, and her church. I hear joy in her words.

    OK, have to add Kim—she just keeps coming back to mind! She has peeled off the coat of comfort and put on one of humility, and strength—depending on Him daily.

    Laura-dancer has also grown so much before us. She has replaced fear and doubt with hope and as she said, reminding herself that He is King of all.

    Susan may have impacted me most this week. Her pain is so real and deep and fresh. I see in her this continual cycle of putting off un-forgiveness, loneliness, fear…and putting on the blanket of His love for her, the Truth that He is her Bridegroom, no matter what happens. Susan lives out what Dee talked about on the broadcast today—trusting in Who He Is, His character, even when we don’t understand.

    I really could go on about every one of you. I thank Him every day for the gift of koinonia we share here, what a gift.

    1. Elizabeth, you are so right! How can we pick? We l seem to grow as we keep the prize in focus 🙂

      One person I have been wondering about is chris (s?). Her son passed away a year or so ago. I pray for her and her family. I hope she well. Does anyone talk to her?

  24. 4. Putting off without putting on is ineffective and even dangerous. Give an example, hopefully, from your own life of why this either doesn’t work or actually can be hurtful. – for me this would have to be knowing what to do with a girl at work who will just do whatever it takes to ignore me in every way she can. I have tried saying hello and good-bye to her and for the most part she will not respond back. Yesterday she waved good-bye as she drove out of the parking lot, but then today ignored me again. I tell my self you’ve tried so just forget trying to reach her, stop trying to be the nice person and always do what’s right. So I listen to myself and don’t say anything either and say I don’t have time for the games. How is this attitude not being like her? I know I need to remove, or put off that attitude of ignoring and not caring and put on the attitude of love and compassion which is what Jesus himself would do. Jesus loved all people no matter who they were or what they did and I know we have to love others as we would want others to love us so this is something I am making myself do right now so I can have a more Christ like personality.

    5. There is a link in this passage between putting off and putting on in verse 23. What is it and what do you think this means? – the Message bible says “a life renewed from the inside” (Ephesians 4:23 MSG). I believe this means that as Keller said we need to chip away the layers of bad that have built up in our hearts and minds to be able to get to the Christ like mind that we need to live by.

    6. Putting on without putting off is dangerous too. In the sermon, Keller talks about the danger of passivity, giving the example of masturbation. If you just ask God to take it from you but are not willing to die, what is likely to happen in time? – the bad action will just return because there was no true repentance or self denial, or self discipline. It leaves you without a true super natural Christ like character growing in us to help us resist the negative influence around us.

    7. For those who have journeyed with us, give an example of a sister from this blog who you have seen put off and put on. – I know I have just started this blog but all the ladies seem to be so knowledgable, and have had such great posts. They are very helpful to me and they help me to see the situation from another’s point of view. I just want to say thank you to you for being so open to share. I to agree that it would so cool to all meet and blog face to face.

    1. Julie, Love your story in number 4! I too would tend to avoid people like that but to see your desire to put off and put on is so encouraging! You convicted me.

      There is a very icy gal in our church who happened to be in a bible study I signed up for-it is now over, but I remember her. I haven’t encountered anyone as cold in my life. I tried several times to break the ice-she even told me when we were grouped in two’s going over Bible Study questions-“I have nothing to say”, and just stared at me. (of course God would group her with me. :-)) No smile, no response. There was silence and I stumbled through trying to start a conversation asking her where she lived, how long she had been going to our church, etc..I ended up answering all the ice breaker questions so we could get them done and I attempted to draw her in but nothing. She doesn’t have a disability-she is just cold relationally for some reason. There was a still small voice telling me she was broken inside-something horrible may have happened to cause her to close up-YET I prayed and asked God to not put her with me when I facilitated a group later on, and guess what-He did. 🙂 She sat not answering any of the questions-stone cold face. I have no clue why-I knew not to ask her questions. I said hi to her but I haven’t really reached out-I naturally tend to bend away from her. If I see her again I won’t ignore her, but will attempt to love her. Thanks for this reminder!

      1. Rebecca, your story reminds me of something I heard today on the radio. I don’t remember exactly how it was said, but it was something to the effect of God will not help you out of a situation if he can perfect you while you are in it. I thought this hit home for me, makes me want to really listen to what He is trying to teach me so I can be done with each situation I get myself in.

        1. ooooh Julie that is good-so true, and your application is solid-so good-you want to hear Him and then do. Truly putting off and putting on-willing to sit in that uncomfortable situation.

          That reminds me of James 1. If you read the whole chapter idolatry is interwoven in it and the fruit of idolatry is given as an example in v.13-15. This can be applied to how we respond to these women in our lives-and this applies to our study of putting off and putting on. wow..

    2. Keep waving, Julie! Good for you.

    3. Julie, that is a very difficult thing to deal with in a coworker. Sometimes people surprise me because they seem so distant and then I find it is not so much that they don’t like me as it is just how they are. They get uncomfortable when they can’t keep someone at a distance. You could just try to maintain a cordial relationship with her and not try to be friends unless she makes a move toward you. I pray that God will give you opportunity to show love to her in a way that will minister to her heart.

      1. Thanks Anne, I appreciate all the help that each lady in this blog shares. I’m so glad and blessed to have started this and am excited to be able to get on and see all the other perspectives to each question.

  25. Read (or say by heart) Ephesians 4:22-24

    4. Putting off without putting on is ineffective and even dangerous. Give an example, hopefully, from your own life of why this either doesn’t work or actually can be hurtful.

    A good example would be when I went through a season where I didn’t control my frustration or anger with my boys when they would disobey. So I decided to put off, to just stop it and it worked for a night or two, but when the stress began again and they fought or disobeyed my anger grew more intense. I became frustrated that I couldn’t stop and blamed them for pushing me so far. This didn’t work because I didn’t get down to the motivation as to why I was so easily angered. Putting off without putting on was dangerous because it allowed the anger seed to grow and the bad fruit spilled onto my boys.

    5. There is a link in this passage between putting off and putting on in verse 23. What is it and what do you think this means?

    To be made new in the attitude of my mind-to apply Scripture to the motivation behind my actions and to meditate on it, chew it, ingest it to where God’s thoughts become my thoughts-and my attitude changes in regard to my motivation-but I must be willing to put off first in order to get to this middle part.

    6. Putting on without putting off is dangerous too. In the sermon, Keller talks about the danger of passivity, giving the example of masturbation. If you just ask God to take it from you but are not willing to die, what is likely to happen in time?

    You will do it again-you will keep falling to temptation because you haven’t applied the Gospel to your motivation to change it.

    7. For those who have journeyed with us, give an example of a sister from this blog who you have seen put off and put on.

    There are so many wonderful sisters who have like Laura Dancer, Anne, Elizabeth, but there are three who popped up in my mind right away-Elizabeth, Susan and Kim.

    Susan is always putting off and putting on-seeing every day where the areas are in her life she needs to change and then meditating on the Lord and exchanging her lies for His truth. She isn’t blaming anyone around her-she is focused on Jesus and the areas she needs to change in regard to her motivation-she is willing to die to herself. This has helped her to grow in Him regardless of the circumstances around her. She admits she stumbles almost daily, but she is in the practice of putting off and putting on.

    Kim is the same way. She has been willing to give up and die to herself the idol of comfort and has said on here many times this is a ‘process’-and she knows that even though she has experienced victory she must put off and put on and meditate on Him in the middle to change her motivations for why she eats.

    Elizabeth, she has examples all over the place and one in particular was when she forgave her mom. Unforgiveness was huge to her and when she applied the Gospel to her motivation to not forgive it melted the icyness in her heart and she freely was able to forgive her mother and that relationship was restored. SHe is free to love her mother now. There are other examples of other areas she has brought up that need change and it shows she is willing to die and knows the Christian life is about looking at the motivations underneath our actions and it is a continual process of change.

    1. Rebecca, this is a great example for #4! It grows from a seed to a monster.

      I heard an allegory the other night of the snake (Satan) with his head chopped off. He flails furiously but he is dead thanks to the finished work of Christ. What you say here brings that to mind for me.

  26. 8. Listen to the sermon and share:

    A. What does Keller say is unique about Christianity and why?

    You can change, and you can change the world.

    There are three things that are unique: 1. We can know Jesus Christ personally. 2. He can come into our lives and change us. 3. Through us he can change the world. The world tends to skip to number three and try to change themselves and the world through their own strength and it never sticks.

    How can you change in such a way that it sticks? Be made new in the spirit of your mind-the inbetween of putting off and putting on.

    B. Keller talked about stealing as an example. Jay Adams asks, “When is a thief not a thief?” What is the answer and what does this illustrate?

    When is a thief not a thief, when he stops stealing? No, a person who is stealing has an issue with his motivation-he is trying to solve a problem inside and that needs to be dealt with first-could be his identity and you can’t deal with it by saying stop stealing! He has to put on a new life-a whole new way of living and he has to put that on or the put off won’t last.

    C. Idols are an attempt to solve a problem. Give an example of this and how Christ is a better solution.

    We can all struggle with this-I know I have with my singing ministry when the thought occurred that some day I won’t be able to sing in the ‘Teenage venue’-to the youth. So I can say, and I have before-“I don’t feel significant so I must have this to feel significant-to give my life meaning and value, so I must find my meaning and value in ministry-if I am not ‘doing ministry’ then I have no value.” The truth I would apply to that is that my significance is found on the cross where I died to myself and He became my significance. All I am is in Him-what I have in Him-the honor of being a Christian-I am royalty, I have an inheritance, I have been given His righteousness and that is all I need for my significance. Ministry is a good thing-but not an ultimate. It changes-it ebbs and flows-it is just an avenue by which God can use me to spill Himself onto others-it isn’t my significance-He is. This helps me to die to self and just open myself up more to Him and walk in faith.

    D. What else stood out to you from this message?

    My example above kind of bleeds into this. Keller said: “Putting off means stop doing something and putting on means do something. You can’t turn away without turning to something else.” and “Scripture are never things you ‘get down’, they are things you have to go back to. You have to constantly be breaking the ice, constantly.”-OH I find this is true-it is constant!

  27. I wasn’t able to be online yesterday at all and I’m sorry I missed Dee on the radio! Is there a link where I can go to to listen to it? I’m about 3/4 through Keller’s sermon on change this week, so, so much to decipher, to reason it through, to think through.

    One thing he said that greatly encouraged me (so I wouldn’t feel so bad!) was that the principles in these few verses in Ephesians are many, and they are profound, and it takes YEARS for them to sink-in. They are never things that you get down, once and for all. You must continually go back to them. And this: “Being a Christian is a lot like being a pail of water outside on a very cold morning. You’ve got to constantly be breaking the ice, because it always tends to ice-up.”
    I thought, yes – I can be on here and doing the study and so into it and learning and growing, and then be away for ONE DAY, come back and feel like I’ve got to break the ice all over again. I’ve already forgotten a few things, I’ve already drifted a little.

    1. I like Keller’s imagery of Scripture being like a bucket of ice water that we have to keep chipping away at. Sometimes when God speaks to me it is like throwing a bucket of ice water over my head. I automatically shiver and draw back in distress before I am grateful and accept the teaching.

      I have not had a chance to listen to Keller’s sermon. I had bought a gift certificate to cover a number of the sermons so I would not have to pay every time. Now I have lost the certificate code and have emailed them asking them to resend the code to me, but they haven’t responded to my query yet. I don’t know if they will or if I will just lose the money, but it has been two days and they have not responded.

      It has been a busy week for me and now I am off to a women’s retreat later this afternoon and won’t return ’til Sunday. So I guess I won’t be able to finish this week’s study in time.

      I would appreciate prayer as I go to retreat. I find it difficult going to a retreat when I don’t know many people. I tend to be WAY too self-conscious and get really shy. I wish I could relax and enjoy. I’m going with my daughter who really needs the weekend away from her three little boys. I pray the Lord will bless her and renew us both. I used to be on a committee that facilitated women’s retreats when I lived in another place. It was so encouraging and comforting, like an old slipper. Since I have moved away from all those friends (several years ago now), I just find going to retreat hard, missing old times so much. Yes, I need to move on and take new risks, but I am finding it hard.

      1. Diane, I HAVE to go to the store but I had to respond to this before I left. PLEASE come here and tell us how your retreat went. You will be covered in prayer. Oh I am the same way you are especially after leaving my church in Missouri where I spent over 20 years. I agree with you-it will be hard taking risks-LOVE your honesty. It has been hard for me too, but I see God breaking ice in you and see you are a woman of such depth.

        Those women at the retreat need to see His love through you and even though you want to retreat-like I often do in groups of women I don’t know-reach out and ask these women questions about themselves-you don’t have to become “chatty Kathy”, 😉 but you will be amazed at who God puts in your path. Hopefully you won’t have an icy one like I did-but even though she was icy there was another totally the opposite there.;-) Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if God opens a door for you to encourage others with what you are learning here and from Keller. sister-even if it isn’t in your personality-God will enable you! You are such a gem and the ladies need to see the beauty in you even if you don’t think you are beautiful-you are His and that is enough.

      2. Thanks for the prayers. I appreciate your encouragement! So good to know you are praying!

      3. oh, I’m running out the door too, but I saw the words retreat and pray–and just had to jump on here to say yes, I will pray! I am not much of a women’s retreat girl–I know I should be, but I haven’t even spent a night away from my children–EVER! A bit embarrassing to admit, because the root is really my control idol!…but that can be for another answer to a question someday 😉 No really, I plan to work on it! OK, my point in all that, Diane–is to say that if I did go on a retreat this weekend, I would be looking for someone JUST LIKE YOU to sit by. Your demeanor is one that would make me feel comfortable, and at home…I can just tell. So I will pray that you will be encouraged, and used because you have SO much to share and bless others with.

  28. Oh ladies, I am dealing with idols of comfort and control. God is doing a really painful uprooting in my life through this little boy. I never imagined something so painful. I would love your prayers. I know it is all part of His plan and I desire to be more like HIM. It is great denial of self I am talking and really finding a love for an enemy.

    1. Oh, Angela. I’m praying. What an important ministry you are doing with this little boy! Not surprising that Satan is attacking you for all he’s worth. Keep calling out to God no matter how many times you slip and fall. God loves you so much!

      1. Praying now, Angela.

    2. oh Angela, I would give anything to be closer to you and come over right now and at least offer a hug and pray in person with you–but I am praying now, keep us posted

    3. Angela, please think of Gomer and Hosea. He is there to comfort you. I have thought of that picture several times today just to get me through.

  29. 8. Listen to the sermon and share:
    A. What does Keller say is unique about Christianity and why?

    He said the most sensational thing about Christianity is that we can change. By the power of the Holy Spirit we can be changed!

    B. Keller talked about stealing as an example. Jay Adams asks, “When is a thief not a thief?” What is the answer and what does this illustrate?

    Not when he stops stealing, but when he starts giving-generously. It’s not about “just say no”, the putting off. I have to meet the needs in a whole new way. Something must be put in its place. I must also be renewed, made new, and put on my new identity in Christ.

    C. Idols are an attempt to solve a problem. Give an example of this and how Christ is a better solution.

    Many years ago, I started having some scary symptoms, including unintentional weight loss. Eventually I was diagnosed with a few different endocrine disorders including an auto-immune type of thyroid disease, which by it’s very nature just creeped me out. I was in my 20’s, my dad had just died unexpectedly, and suddenly I started feeling very vulnerable, and victimized. I wanted to control what was happening in my world, and what my own body was doing to itself. The road leading to diagnosis was scary enough, but since many auto-immune diseases can be related, Satan used that to lead me down paths of fear–I imagined the worst case scenarios. And while I prayed, I hate to admit, I don’t think I sought Him as much as I sought the internet for an answer.
    I look back at that time now and the turn of fear my mind took is hard to even relate to—it feels like I was just taken astray. I was crippled with fear, because I knew I couldn’t control a thing.
    But God. It wasn’t really until we started the road to children that I began to find peace. I finally had to give up my obsession because I had this new life dependent on me, and no time to be so self-absorbed. When I was finally forced to rest, to stop trying to control my life, my body– I found myself able to rest in Him. Able to thank Him for medicine, for health, for life– for His sovereign power that can over rule anything I read online. He is able, He is gracious, He is Lord of All.

    D. What else stood out to you from this message?
    Putting off without putting on, shelters, offers no training for resistance, no immunity to infection. You are especially vulnerable to doubting your faith, to going astray. Put-offs with no put-ons is worse in some ways than those with no Christian background. Victorian era left our culture with too much emphasis on putting off and not putting on—now the culture has swung the other direction, we are afraid to tell anyone to repent, or deny yourself, to change.

    1. Elizabeth, this was so good. I read it in the van-I shouldn’t but sometimes I do read comments on the blog while running errands. 🙂 I had to wait until I got to the store to read this because I wanted to read it all-I couldn’t stop. You have been through so much-but I find believers who have, as Dee says, their souls are enlarged-as yours is. God has incredible plans for you sister as He grows you His fragrance flows out of you all over the place. 🙂

  30. 4. Putting off without putting on is ineffective and even dangerous. Give an example, hopefully, from your own life, of why this either doesn’t work or actually can be hurtful.

    For years, I’ve tried to change the kind of wife I am. I knew it was wrong to use critical, disrespectful words, to neglect his needs. It finally is making sense to me what a past Bible study teacher was trying to help us do in her class on marriage – she would give us weekly “love in action” assignments. For example, stop what you are doing when he comes home and greet him. It wasn’t enough to just see all the sinful behaviors and attitudes, she wanted us to put on new behaviors – actions. For years, I’ve tried to put off without doing the hard work of putting on new behaviors, and it only works for a little while before I relapse.

    5. There is a link in this passage between putting off and putting on in verse 23. What is it and what do you think this means?

    Keller referred to “to be made new in the attitude of your mind” as the bridge between putting off and putting on. We do the putting on and off part, and God does the making us new in the attitude, or spirit, of our mind part. Its a continual process of going to God, praying and asking Him to give us that spirit that makes us desire to obey, the willingness, the soft heart. We learned last week that this is our imagination, and we can ask God to give us vivid images from Scripture, hymns, and art to make Him and His truths so vividly real that it captures our imagination.

    6. Putting on without putting off is dangerous too. In the sermon, Keller talks about the danger of passivity, giving the example of masturbation. If you just ask God to take it from you but are not willing to die, what is likely to happen in time?

    He said that if you just give the temptation to God and you don’t struggle against it yourself, you’ll probably still be doing it months later – you’ve been waiting for God to take it away and He hasn’t. It’s failing to see that unlike salvation, which was a once and for all occurence, Christian growth is a process. It takes work, discipline and training.

    7. For those who have journeyed with us, give an example from a sister from this blog who you have seen put off and put on.

    I can’t possibly pick just one! From this week, I loved Dawn’s example of how she put off that lie that God wasn’t rescuing her as pictured in the Hosea and Gomer picture, and then she put on the truth that He really did, she was just cold and needed to warm to His presence. Kim has demonstrated it again and again in turning away from seeking comfort in food. Meg has grown and matured so much since she joined us last year, identifying her relational idolatry and seeking to put on seeking Christ as her comfort and security and approval. She has grown tremendously. Elizabeth even noted that she, and we, need to be careful that we are not just putting off one idol to put on another.

    8. Listen to the sermon and share:

    A. What does Keller say is unique about Christianity and why?

    Christianity makes the claim that you can change. You can know God personally, you can change and you can change the world.

    B. Keller talked about stealing as an example. Jay Adams asked, “When is a thief not a thief?” What is the answer and what does this illustrate?

    The answer is not when he stops stealing, it is when he puts on generosity, when he puts on getting his satisfaction from work, when he puts on a whole new lifestyle. This illustrates real repentance because he has turned away from getting his needs met through stealing, and he has embraced a whole new way of life to get meaning from.

    C. Idols are an attempt to solve a problem. Give an example of this and how Christ is a better solution.

    I have a problem in my marriage, and it is that my emotional needs to feel tenderly loved, cherished, and known deeply are not being met. I am not getting the affirmation I think I need and the deep sense of security I want. So, I made idols out of my children and motherhod, and idols out of my parents always being here for me for security. But, two of my children are almost out of the nest, and they are not “mine”, and I am finding my parents becoming more dependent on me than I can be on them. Plus, with people, there’s always the “threat” of feeling like I have to earn their approval so they will like me and want to be around me. I have also escaped by daydreaming of the ‘perfect husband’.
    Jesus is a better solution because He is not a fantasy, He is the God of reality. I don’t have to earn His love and acceptance. He is always here for me and will never go away and leave me. He knows me to the very depths of my being and knows my every need and is able to fill the empty places in my heart.

    D. What else stood out to you from this message?

    We can look at the lives of Augustine and Luther, for example, and we don’t have to say “I’ll never be like them” – we have the same High Priest, Jesus. But these great men of faith had things they insisted upon – reading the Word, prayer, time with God, self-examination, discipline. They are no different than us.

    Some Christians adapt Christ to their culture, instead of adapting themselves and their culture to Christ.

    It made me think a lot of how I am training my children – am I just sheltering them and just giving them the put-off without giving them any resistance to fight the culture they live in? That’s really tough, because I don’t allow certain TV shows/movies or music for my daughter – it’s easy to just tell her well you don’t want to do this or watch that. Keller said we don’t want to make our kids the “boy in the bubble”.

      1. Well, you wouldn’t believe what I do – I listen and pause, listen and pause, and almost write it all down word for word. Not to toot my own horn here, but it’s just the way I learn best – I hear and then if I write it down and can go back and read it, it helps me retain it because I tend to need lots of reminding!

        1. LOL! Susan, Dee is right-I do that too..and for the same reason you do-I am like sheep I need my shepherd to remind me-i need LOTS of reminding too! 😉

    1. I thought the same thing Susan about how restrictive I am with my kids. I remind myself of Dee’s friend she brought the muffins to in Friendships of Women! They are young, but have still never seen a “real” TV show–but I haven’t changed yet because it also doesn’t seem “broken’–they never ask to watch any of the shows their friends do, and still love Berenstein Bears and our Read Aloud Bible series…still, I thought about how much I have said no to–and have I really given them something to replace it with? I know it will get especially harder as they get older. It was funny because having both my kids in public school, and private not being an option financially, I appreciated that at least they are building an immunity now!

        1. Amen to what Dee said! I see it too! 🙂

        2. sweet Dee–you might have to define “interesting” for me! I’m re-reading and thinking “controlling’ fits better! oh, how many hats my control idol still wears! 😉 baby steps, right? maybe mine are more like a crawl at times….

        3. …now about those identical skirts…JUST kidding! Thank you for your gracious mentoring Dee, and encouraging words. I pray I can have the relationships with my kids I see in you with yours now–oh so dependent on that grace!

    2. Susan, I have taken the truth of your statement “Jesus is a better solution because He is not a fantasy, He is the God of reality. I don’t have to earn His love and acceptance. He is always here for me and will never go away and leave me. He knows me to the very depths of my being and knows my every need and is able to fill the empty places in my heart” to heart and I know in my head that it is true, but I still struggle daily with not feeling it and while I know that we aren’t supposed to base our beliefs on feelings, I cannot get satisfaction from just knowing something, I want to experience it. I tend to look at it like a long distance relationship, I get all the romantic letters and I know the love behind them is true, but I want to feel the arms around me and have real intimacy not just imagine what it would be like. But I refuse to give up!

      1. If I don’t have it in this earthly life, oh how much more great it will be in eternity 🙂 🙂 😀

      2. Dawn, You don’t know how I love your real-ness-your honesty. There isn’t one fake bone in your body and I am sure God so rejoices over this in you-He wants us to come to Him like you do!

        This statement is crucial-your pursuit of God is so evident in this statement:”But I refuse to give up!”. This is His presence in you giving you this desire-Keller said the feeling of the absence of his presence is really proof of His presence-not sure I got that quote right.

        When you are in the word and He quickens you-that is intimacy too- you can sense his presence as he quickens your soul and your thoughts with His word-As you breathe in His word you are having intimacy with Him-there is comfort, wisdom, solace, conviction, soothing balms He gives in His word. There are even times when perhaps you have a desire that is given by your idol and another thought races in of the truth-that is intimacy with God. Also, when you are encouraged by sisters here-when He quickens your heart with something someone said-that is intimacy too-a hug from a sister or brother. I recall Dee and Keller saying that intimacy with Him normally can be a steady quiet stream and as you grow the depth of the stream gets deeper-kind of like in marriage. Sometimes intimacy with Him can be like a huge wave but those times don’t happen a lot for most of us. I am telling you this because I want to encourage you and because I NEED IT TOO! I need this reminder when I don’t sense His presence.

  31. 9. What’s your take-a-way and why?

    My ‘living it’ this week has been two-fold-I am training for a wonderful new job 😉 and desire to do my best so I am taking in a lot of information and am eager to get going, yet I am really watching my thought life-I tend to bend toward thoughts like, “what if I fail?”-I used to do this every time I sang. This time I am replacing those thoughts with thoughts like, “God is my approval and if I fail what can separate me from the love of Christ? Can failure? I have a choice to deny His pain and agony for me on the cross or to embrace it and be confident in it. Also, I have found rest in looking at the picture of the warrior bridegroom-this is reality of my future. He is my life and this is an avenue by which He is giving me the opportunity to serve my boss and serve Him. If I make mistakes they are merely opportunities to learn and grow.”

    Also, The last time I was scheduled to sing was when I was down with pneumonia and I couldn’t, the same goes for this time. I was hoping to be rid of this cold by yesterday but my asthma can complicate things and I am coughing like crazy this morning. I have to be able to sing by tomorrow morning. I am letting go though-I have noticed His peace is deep set in me about calling to cancel for tomorrow. I am not concerned about what my w.t. leader will think like I normally would have in the past for I know God is in control and He allowed this for a reason. That is the power of God that I am not consumed by my control or approval idol!

    1. Rebecca–every time I read your posts now my first thought is the same “I just love her!” You have such a Christ like beauty–and I used to say you seemed to jump through my computer screen, but now it’s like you just GLOW of Him. When I imagine you with the icy girl you mentioned above–I thought, OF COURSE He wanted her to see you–you are filled with His warmth, just glowing.
      I am praying for you to get well, but praising Him that you have laid it at His feet and your only desire is to honor Him, not please the W.T. leader, or have to worry with explaining yourself. His power in you just… glows–ok, it’s just my new word for you, it fits too well!

      1. Elizabeth, You are such an encourager and your encouragement isn’t without weight or depth-it is meaningful and sincere-God is really enlarging your soul Elizabeth- your life truly is such a powerful testimony of His power and His love! Every single testimony you have shared with us of Him moving in your heart to press you closer in to Him is totally bringing HIM such glory and honor-because as we have learned in our lesson this week-the unique thing about Christianity is that WE CAN CHANGE why? BECAUSE OF HIS POWER IN US! Your life stories are worth more than the most expensive diamonds or jewels- His fragrance will spill out of you onto others for years to come. I am so excited!!

        1. Rebecca–Oh dear friend, thank you for this right now. I shared this with a lump in my throat to my husband–just because I wanted him to see the kind of friend you are, such a blessing to all. I meant every word to you and look forward to a day I can hear you sing in person!

        2. Elizabeth-forget singing-I just want to see you and give you a HUGE HUGE HUG! 🙂 I hope that happens soon, but if not-i am sure it will when we are together face to face with Him! 🙂

    2. Love how we are seeing and turning to His light. This too is an area I am working on and your post blesses me.
      I was in charge for the first time yesterday, a funeral dinner at church. We attend a mega church (over 1000) and I feel like a tiny blip on the screen. I have been helping with funeral dinners for over a year and am well trained but never in charge. I felt sick to my stomach on my way to church and like you, wondered if I would fail but remembered His approval is best and that superseded all other approval. What peace is our’s because of only needing Him to approve! This is BIG.

  32. Saturday
    9. What’s your take-a-way and why?
    Christinity offers the promise of change. If we remain in Christ, change is inevitable—and that offers me so much HOPE! I think by nature, and because of how I was raised, I have a tendency to emphasize the putting off in my life more than the putting on. There must be a balance. I grew up with a lot of “don’t—“ and being a bit of a goody 2 shoes, I “said no” when told to. But now it’s not about saying no to drugs, etc…it’s the heart stuff—it’s no to complaining, comparing, criticizing. Sometimes though I stop there. I recognize the sin, I’m convicted, I repent…but I forget to put something in its place. Keller said the putting off is for me to renounce my old personality—the way I am prone to be. And then put on what the King says—be like Christ in my actions. Everything of the old self must be examined. Some things are unacceptable as a Christian, some things are OK but must be purified—the motive must be checked.
    For the past week I’ve had a messy friendship snafu (don’t know if that word fits, but it just came to mind and I like it), and I admit I have been tempted to gossip. I even thought it out—I was meeting one of our many mutual friends for weekly prayer time and thought maybe I could just refer to it as a problem needing prayer, but not even give the offender’s name. But I couldn’t. Maybe it’s the silent but present accountability here…but I did not share any of it with anyone. This morning I realized that while I had put off gossip, nothing was in its place, so I decided to pray for the friend who has hurt me. A few hours later, she sent a repentant email, saying God is really working in her heart and she is realizing a lot of things she needs to repent of…she ended it with asking me to please be in prayer for her. I was humbled by her humility, and the confirmation of renouncing my sinful tendencies and putting on His character in its place. I fail at this so often but I am encouraged that Keller said while the putting off is continual—something we must repeatedly do, it is complete each time.

    1. Elizabeth, I had to laugh. Snafu is an acronym for something that you probably don’t want to say. I thought I’d let you know.

      1. thanks Dawn–had no idea. Guess I do live in a bit of a bubble. Sorry Dee! 🙁

        1. Me too…hmmmm..Dawn, Now I am going to have to google that word or should i? 😉

        2. Me too, and I did look it up. Dictionaries didn’t help, but (eventually I read) wikipedia attributed the word origin to the Army in the early 1940s. ‘Nuf said! I had no idea. Interesting how somewhat common words come to be — and how much I don’t know about word origins.

        3. Yeah my husband was in the Army when we got married, he explained it to me a long time ago.

        4. I know I have used that word. I had no idea!

    2. Such a good post and reminder about gossip. It makes me consider a conversation at lunch yesterday with a bunch of Godly women discussing the state our country. As I look back at it now the conversation ended on sort of a note of discouragement. I should have said let us put off being disheartened and put on faith. I never say until now all of the implications of this passage.

  33. Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any method you’ll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

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