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OVERCOMING ANXIETY (PART ONE OF TWO WEEK STUDY)

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 When Steve died, one book I was given was a well-written secular book called Comfort by Ann Hood, who had lost a child. I was drawn to the cover, but the advice she gave all had to do with technique rather than getting to the root of the problem. I knew that knitting and drinking herbal tea was not going to get me through my raging river of grief.

comfort

We can be SO THANKFUL for His Word which helps us deal with the big questions, with the root of our anxiety and fears.

It is possible for us to have a peace that passes understanding. Jesus said that He would give us a peace, a peace not like the world gives. 

I have that peace, though it took me time to understand how to overcome my many anxious thoughts. Whatever your anxious thoughts are, in these next two weeks we are going to go deeper, for you can have this peace as well. As a believer you already have peace with God, but you also need the peace of God. We have the resources to overcome anxiety.

It starts, as we will see this week, by seeing the big picture.

We have fallen into a story, a great story filled with romance and beauty, but also with heartbreak and tragedy and a villain. How do we cope with both the joy and the sorrows of life?

In part, by realizing we are citizens of heaven.

heavenlycitizen11

ann,sylvia,me2013
Ann, me, and Sylvia: July 2013

So when life is sweet, as it has been for me this week as two of my lifelong  friends have come to the cottage, as they have faithfully every summer for the eight years since Steve died, to cheer me and to love me. They engage me in great conversation, prayer, and songs of praise.  I can be thankful for this time, but also realize it is fleeting. Summer, health, and our mortal bodies will end. I must remember when life on earth is so sweet that I want to cling to it forever, that my real home is in heaven, therefore the wise person sets her affections on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. I must live thankfully, but in holy moderation, for this life is only a sliver of the real story.

 

citizen-of-heaven-l-sotkaAnd when this life is unbearably hard, as it has been for some of you this week, filled with evil so dark you think you cannot go on, remember this is not the end of the story. We  are citizens of heaven and we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly bodies into bodies like His magnificent body. In fact, He will transform everything. There will, indeed, be a happily ever after. Eden restored. This is no fairy tale. This is real life.

epic

 

One of my top ten books of all time is John Eldredge’s The Sacred Romance. So last week I read his newest book, Epic. I loved it so much I ordered the DVD for Ann and Sylvia’s visit. Oh — we  all loved it. I want you to see this trailer to set up our lesson from Philippians.
(You can get the book in paperback or kindle for under $3.) I recommend it and will give you a chance, next week, to share a highlight if you read it.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFKUlF2a77A

Peninsula-State-Park-Map.mediumthumbAnn and Sylvia and I hiked in the park this week, and were thankful for the maps posted on trees along the trail telling us: YOU ARE HERE. For though I have been on these trails many times, I can still get lost. One time I ignored the map (thinking I know this) and we got lost for three hours. 

I need a sign that reminds me where I’ve been, where I am, and where I am going. Eldredge says we need the same in this life, and God has given it to us in His story.

This story is so big it is an EPIC, so we cannot possibly do it in one week. This week we will consider the EPIC, and next week, how Philippians 3:20 through 4:7 fits into it. Keller’s sermon will be next week, and he thinks the same way Eldredge does, for the same Spirit says the same thing.

 

 

WEEK ONE: EPIC

SUNDAY/MONDAY ICEBREAKERS

1. Other than the movie clip, name one thing that stood out to you from the above and explain why.

2. Name one thing that stood out to you from the movie clip trailer on Epic.

 

TUESDAY: ACT I: ETERNAL LOVE

Eldredge says that “Before ‘Once upon a time,’ before Genesis 1, ‘In the beginning,” there was love, relationship — and a dance of three persons. The early church fathers had a word for the joyful dance of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit: “perichoresis.”

TRINITY

Do you see the root for “choreography” in this? It was a dance between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. And it is a dance into which we are invited. That is why the Son left paradise — to ask us to join the dance.

www.rassouli.com
www.rassouli.com

 

3. What evidences of perichorises do you find in:

A. John 1:1-3?

B. John 17:24?

C. Genesis 1:26

Our God is relational, and our God is love. The atheist Herman Melville confessed: “The reason the mass of men fear God, and at the bottom dislike him, is because they rather distrust his heart, and fancy him all brain, like a watch.”

But God is love. This side of the cross we should surely know it, but can you not hear echoes of His love, echoes of Eden in His creation? And, because we are made in His image, we are relational.

Think about your joys and your heartaches — are they not nearly always connected to relationship? Mine surely are. My greatest sorrow is the loss of my husband, but close behind are the betrayals I have felt from loved ones. And my greatest joys are in relationship: you, friends, children, and grandchildren.

4. When you think about your greatest joys and heartaches — are they connected to relationship? Explain. And what does this tell you?

Wednesday: Act II. The Entrance of Evil

Every story has an enemy. The hooded wraiths on black horses chasing the hobbits in Lord of the Rings.

Ringwraith(s)

NazgulHorse

The White Witch in Narnia seducing Edmond to betray his brother and sisters.

narniaedmondseduced

And the real story, of which all good stories simply echo, has a real enemy. I don’t even want to picture him, but we must be aware of the entrance of evil, the reality of evil, the understanding that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities and rulers of darkness. The wise person knows she has an enemy. So though it is tempting, do not skip today.

5. Read Isaiah 14:12-19

A. What was Satan once, and what caused his fall? (12-14)

B. What will one day be his end? (15-19)

6. Read 1 Peter 5:6-11

A. Find four exhortations to live by in the face of evil. Find one in each of verses 6, 7, 8, and 9.

B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?

Thursday: Act III. The Battle for The Heart

Eldredge says, “If you learned about Eden in Sunday School with flannel graphs, you missed something.” How can I show you? Watch this and allow it to bring you into worship of our amazing God who created this world for us, to show us His love, to fight for our hearts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE_BX1XUSC4

7. What stands out to you from the above and why?

This is the setting for a romance, for God is the Romancer of our souls.

8. How did creation affect the Psalmist in Psalm 8?

And then paradise is lost, for the man and woman are seduced by the betrayer, fall, and are cast out of Eden. But even as they leave, there is a promise from the God of love.

9. Find the promise in Genesis 3:15.

Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y7x_42slQk

10. Why did Jesus choose to die, and how should this help your heart to go on?

You are part of this Epic, and at this part of the Epic Map, you are here.

You-Are-Here-Map3

 

FRIDAY: Act IV. THE KINGDOM RESTORED

10. Read Revelation 19:11-16 and find everything you can about our Rescuer.

11. Read Revelation 21:1-5 and find everything you can about the new heaven and earth.

HAPPILY

 

Saturday

12. What is your take-a-way and why?

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312 comments

  1. 2. Name one thing that stood out to you from the movie clip trailer on Epic.

    Such a great metaphor of life feeling like a movie you’ve arrived at forty-five minutes late – or holding pages torn out of a book. Things don’t make sense that way. We need to know the big picture, the whole story. Only God can give us the whole story.

  2. B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?

    10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (ESV)

    I don’t know if I will have time to write out all the study, but just need to comment on this one verse. I love that the ESV says the Christ “himself” will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish me (us). He will do it himself, not send his assistants to do it. The picture is of the the king (or prime minister, or president) coming to restore, bless and heal us, because we are so beloved and special. I have been crying out to the Lord recently for restoration and this verse is a kiss from the Lord.

    1. Yes it is a kiss from the Lord Diane! So glad your back!

  3. 5. Read Isaiah 14:12-19

    A. What was Satan once, and what caused his fall? (12-14)

    Satan was an angel. From the scripture I read he thought himself better than God. He states he will rise above the highest.

    B. What will one day be his end? (15-19)

    He will lay with the others in the “depths of the pit.” (NIV) It says he was “cast down to earth.” (NIV)This kind of makes me think that earth is hell. Is that what the scripture implies here?

    6. Read 1 Peter 5:6-11

    A. Find four exhortations to live by in the face of evil. Find one in each of verses 6, 7, 8, and 9.

    Humble ourselves knowing God will take us home, cast all anxiety on Him, stay sober and alert waiting on Him, resist evil because we all are suffering (our comfort is knowing we are all in this together).

    B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?

    God will restore us after our suffering. He will make us “firm and steadfast” (NIV) once again. He is in control and has the power.

    1. Laura, your comments here and all the other’s gives me so much hope!!……”Humble ourselves knowing God will take us home, cast all anxiety on Him, stay sober and alert waiting on Him, resist evil because we all are suffering (our comfort is knowing we are all in this together).

      B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?

      God will restore us after our suffering. He will make us “firm and steadfast” (NIV) once again. He is in control and has the power”.

  4. I think I am all set with the logging in as well 🙂 thanks David and Dee!

  5. 5. Read Isaiah 14:12-19

    A. What was Satan once, and what caused his fall? (12-14)

    He was a supreme angel-the morning star, bright and powerful. He wanted to be like God and even higher than God. Pride-idolatry caused his fall.

    B. What will one day be his end? (15-19)

    He will be thrown in the pit-below the worst of the worst-covered with the slain-he will be like a corpse trampled under foot. What a contrast-the morning star who was brilliant and full of glory was cast out and will be the complete opposite-worse than death.

    6. Read 1 Peter 5:6-11

    A. Find four exhortations to live by in the face of evil. Find one in each of verses 6, 7, 8, and 9.

    -6: Humble myself under God’s mighty hand. (He will lift me up in due time!)
    -7: Cast my anxiety on Him. (because He cares more than I do and loves me to the depths!)
    -8: Be alert and sober of mind for Satan’s tricky and slippery temptations and hisses-he plays off of my sin nature. (Don’t pass thoughts or circumstances off like they are all from my flesh or this world-be alert!)
    -9: Resist satan, standing firm in the faith.(encouragement on this is that other believers too are undergoing these devious attacks from satan.)

    B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?

    That God is a God of all Grace and He has me securely in Christ Jesus-covered in His glory eternally. Even if I stumble because of satan’s attacks-God extends Grace upon Grace to me-He will restore me in my suffering and make me strong and steadfast-God only gives satan enough rope to hang himself for TO GOD BE THE POWER FOREVER AND EVER.

  6. There my questions are! I guess it kicked in and works now! 🙂 Thanks!

  7. A. Find four exhortations to live by in the face of evil. Find one in each of verses
    6- Humble yourself, the Amplified Bible says …demote, lower yourself in your own estimation
    7-Cast all your cares upon Him…”7Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully”
    8-Be vigilant cautious and on guard at all times against the enemy
    9-Resist the enemy, be firm in the faith [against his onset–rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined]

    Know that you are not the only one who suffers

    What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?

    
I like these verses in the Amplified Bible:
“10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.
    11To Him be the dominion (power, authority, rule) forever and ever. Amen (so be it). “

He has called me and will personally complete me and make me what I ought to be, He will establish me, ground me, strengthen and settle me.
    This is all so personal, He has called me to His own eternal glory, it kind of blows my mind.

    1. Chris, I like the amplified version too…what amplified bible are you using? (I think you mentioned this before, sorry for not taking note previously.)
      I long to have better understanding of what I am reading and think this would be helpful…often I end up going to my study bible notes or commentaries to try to figure out the gist…not a bad thing, but every little thing that helps (i.e., amplified version)…:)

  8. Here is how I have solved the issue of the log in and losing work. Sometimes if I take longer than normal, or am idle for a time, I have in the past lost my answers. So I copy the entire weeks lesson and paste it onto a word document and save it as such . I answer my questions on the word document and when I am ready to post it, I copy the parts I want to post, log in and paste them into the field. No more lost work.

  9. 7. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    All of the adjectives used to describe God (and yet He is beyond anything that any of these words can express): undescribable, uncontainable, all-powerful, incomparable, unattainable, unchangeable. You placed the stars in the sky and you know them by name, You are Amazing God!! The song comes as close as possible to expressing the awe I feel when I think about God creating the world and all of mankind, especially me (it is a very personal awe!).

    8. How did creation affect the Psalmist in Psalm 8?

    When the Psalmist considered all of creation, he was humbled. He felt so small compared to all of creation that he wondered why God even paid any attention to him.

    9. Find the promise in Genesis 3:15.
    He promised that there would be enmity between the serpent (Satan) and mankind.

    My Life Application Bible commentary points out: a strike to the heel is not deadly, but a crushing blow to the head is. The pharse “you will strike his heel” refers to Satan’s repeated attempts to defeat Christ during his life on earth. “He will crush your head: foreshadows Satan’s defeat when Christ rose from the dead. Already in Genesis, God was revealing his plan to defeat Satan and offer salvation to the world through his Son, Jesus Christ.

  10. God is relational. Love that. But it also makes Christianity so hard and dare I say even frustrating at times (at least for me). In human terms, we like to think of relationships in terms of things like physical touch, presence, and conversation. During some of my lowest moments, when all my idols have failed me and I turn to Jesus for strength, I will beg Him to allow me to feel His presence. Just a glimpse of Him would put all my anxiety to rest. Why can’t He just speak to me in an audible voice? I mean these are the things we demand in any human relationship. But God is different. He does talk to me through His Word and maybe through an encouraging message at church or even this blog. But it is never direct and it never satisfies my fleshly appetite to see Him, hear Him, and touch Him. This is hard for me.

    I have to remember that God is Spirit and that His Holy Spirit is present in the spiritual realm not the physical realm. I also have to remember that my rebirth took place in the spiritual realm not the physical one. I can’t live by how I feel at any given moment and that is the hardest part of this journey. The world bombards us with messages about getting more in tune with our feelings and the bible tells us to walk by faith. This pleases God. Take what He says at face value and believe Him with a child-like faith. Live it out.

    I do think it is important especially when mentoring new Christians to explain the relational side to Christianity. Yes, God wants a relationship with us but not the kind we are used to. This will help prevent moments of frustration like mine when I think there is something terribly wrong with me because I just can’t sense His presence.

    1. Laura I understand exactly how you feel as I feel the same way at times about God. Thank you for sharing this!

      1. Dee,

        I am reading The Surprising Grace of Disappointment by John Koessler. He talks candidly about our unique relationship with Jesus Christ:

        “The advent of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to experience true intimacy with Christ. This intimacy is unlike any other relationship with which we are familiar. Our relationship with Christ is one in which we are known more than we know (1 Cor. 13:12). The comfort we find in the conversation of prayer is the comfort of being heard more than of hearing (1 John 5:14-15). . . . It is also a relationship where our greatest intimacy is to be experienced in the future rather than the present. This means that for the present we should not expect to find ultimate fulfillment in our experience of Christ. That is yet to come. We may even find on occasion that human relationships are more vivid and immediately satisfying to us. Perhaps this is implied in the earthly analogies the Bible uses when it speaks of our relationship to God. These concrete experiences ‘put a face’ on our spiritual relationship and help us to relate to the invisible God in a personal way.”

        I think this describes our relationship perfectly. While there are times when we can “feel” the presence of God, this like anything else can turn into an idol if we allow it to become a prerequisite to our fellowship with Jesus. And this explains why we turn to idols so often because like Koessler reminds us, oftentimes the “experience” of Jesus is not as satisfying as our human relationships. This does not mean that Christ lied when He said that He is the living water and that those who come to Him will be filled and never thirst again. But I don’t believe that Jesus was talking about an experience that will allow us to “feel” filled and “feel” like we are not thirsty. I think He was talking about our spirits which He made alive; when we walk by them, we are filled and the abundant life is ours. It’s very confusing to me, but the more I journey with Him, the more I am learning that it is a walk of faith and not one of sight.

        I do wonder about the fruit of the Spirit and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Is the fruit that we produce a feeling? I think the world’s peace is a feeling, one that is fleeting and based on circumstances. But perhaps the peace Jesus promises us is different. Could we be talking about peace in our spirits? If I’m honest, my emotions are all over the place, and sometimes I can relate to someone who struggles with substance abuse, because I just want to FEEL different even if it’s only temporary because the pain hurts so bad. But this peace, I’m wondering, has to be so much more than that fleeting feeling I get of being okay. It surpasses understanding. For example, I can’t change my husband or my in-laws but I have peace in my spirit. It’s not a feeling. And it only comes after total surrender to His will.

        1. Wow! Interesting musings on your book. It is so hard to not ‘feel’ close to God but know He IS there and loves us. Much to ponder here. thanks for sharing.

        2. I have experienced listening prayer. It is wonderful especially in small groups. What I discovered about it is that it is extremely important to wait. I think the Spirit is a quiet stream. So I learned to listen and wait. Don’t finish the thought, picture or impression for The Lord (which is my tendency) but wait for Him to reveal more. Test what you think The Lord has said. If it does not seem to have a purpose, let it go and move on. I have an active imagination so I try to be very careful but listening prayer has brought me much healing and many sweet times with The Lord. It can also lead you to know how to pray for people when you don’t know how to pray.
          The problem can be finding prayer partners who are comfortable with silence.

        3. Anne, can you recommend any good books on Listening Prayer?

        4. Laura,

          I almost posted this below, but thought it might fit in with this great discussion:

          I am with Dee-I talk too much to God and clearly I don’t listen as much as He wants me to-so as I sense Him speaking to me this week I want to slow down and listen!

          God is putting together some things I have read on the blog lately-two things Elizabeth said-one thing a while back about in the new heaven and new earth we will love like Jesus..the other thing was her beautiful story of the dragonfly on her bandage-then Dee said this: “In King’s Cross it says we are dancing, but always dancing into a battle.” -THAT arrested me!
          Then Diane’s comment when she asked for prayer-she said, “God is in control. He is not a tame Lion.” -oh my! That hit me-I pictured Him roaring like a lion on Krista’s behalf-as well as roaring to rescue her husband from the evil one. He is Aslan and the Lamb at the same time!

          Then we watched the EPIC DVD in full yesterday-God romanced me as I watched-not really a ‘feeling’ at all, just a quiet sense of Him showing me Himself-like the beautiful banana shaped flower in the video that opened up and surprise-beauty-awe! He is coming this week in a hidden and deeper quiet way weaving everything together-the blog bible study-what my sisters here are saying, including You.. He is intimate in so many ways!

          So I am putting the pieces together-I think…that I am in the dance, but it is dancing into a battle for the evil one is still here on earth prowling around, asking me-“do you really trust God? Is God REALLY trustworthy? I need to remember daily that satan is on the hunt and hits me right smack dab in my insecurities-where I am frail. The cool thing is how God made us physically so that when I miss satan’s hiss-and the red flags of worry and fret happen that clues me into the fact that I have been deceived. I am listening to his hiss and eating the forbidden fruit from the tree that Eve ate. Okay, so that is one reality I am pondering and meditating on as of late-something God has opened my eyes to in order for me see and turn and cling harder to Him.

          I think as Dee mentioned with Linda Strom-her listening prayer life-that as we mature intimacy with Him grows and as we abandon ourselves more we do hear Him more and experience a sweeter intimacy with Him-abandoning ourselves is growing in orbiting ourselves around Him and not ourselves..I think that is a huge part of what Linda has done. It isn’t based on emotions but I think on His word-and listening to how He comes to us through other believers-the sisters on this blog, Dee’s studies-studies at church, our pastors, etc..and how He is moving in our day to day lives as well-like with Linda Strom’s ministry-increasing it-with the dragon fly on Elizabeth’s bandage-sweet kisses..I think then the emotions do flow of gratitude and falling on our knees before Him for He is amazing.

          I don’t think we can intellectualize it-or really say that where we are at in our journey is the same in everyone’s. God may surprise Koessler as he grows older and closer with God-as the battle deepens so does our intimacy with Him sweeten…it is one of those upside down things again..

        5. This is a BEAUTIFUL post Rebecca. Your thoughts are so rich–one of those times I read and am so incredibly humbled the Lord allows me to know a woman like you. So many nuggets here:
          ” The cool thing is how God made us physically so that when I miss satan’s hiss-and the red flags of worry and fret happen that clues me into the fact that I have been deceived.”
          “as we abandon ourselves more we do hear Him more and experience a sweeter intimacy with Him-abandoning ourselves is growing in orbiting ourselves around Him and not ourselves”

        6. Elizabeth- I feel that way about you-humbled and grateful to know a woman like you!! Think about in the future when you and I and all the sisters here are together with Him and all the other believers from Adam and Eve onward- I really look forward to meeting Steve, and Karla Faye Tucker-I feel a kindred spirit with her. I am serious…in the new heaven and new Earth we WILL be laughing and dancing together with Angela and Laura Dancer, and singing with Him..We will experience this Earth as we never have before. I can’t imagine experiencing Him singing over us-wow..Yes, the sweetness we experience here with friends and with Him is but a taste. This is emotional on my part right now-I can’t contain it–as soon as I walk away from this fellowship with you I know I will battle I am sure as the day goes on. I have SO much to do today. 🙂 Maybe our prayer for one another is that we would be aware of how the evil one draws our minds away from Him and that He would draw our minds back to Him-and that we would stop and listen to Him throughout the day. I feel like a baby in this-but maybe that isn’t a bad thing. 🙂

        7. Such thoughtful posts! Thank you for the insight everyone, as it is causing me to think and think some more about this topic of intimacy with Jesus.

          Rebecca, I really liked your post, and I agree about how when we put the pieces together, we can see clearly that God does woo us in a very intimate and real way. Absolutely! But, I don’t necessary think Koessler would disagree (I haven’t finished his book so I could be wrong). He says we should not expect to find “ultimate fulfillment” in our experience of Christ. In other words, feelings can’t become the barometer to measure intimacy. Sometimes I feel Him close, sometimes I don’t, but by faith I know He lives in me so He could never be any closer than He already is to me.

          I remember years back when I hadn’t yet been saved, I hit rock bottom. I knew who Jesus claimed to be and I remember sitting there in my pain and with my index finger slowly writing the name JESUS on the wall next to me. It was my cry for help. But He didn’t come, or at least I thought He didn’t come. I didn’t sense Him there and I remember thinking to myself that there is no way a good and loving God would let someone experience this level of pain. Now when I look back, I know that Jesus was there and that there was a reason for the pain. He has redeemed it, as He redeems all pain. But, in that moment, I felt nothing of Him. This was one moment that has shaped me.

          When I did come to faith, of course I was very interested in the Pentecostal camp because everyone claimed to “feel” Jesus through physical manifestations. I tried but this just wasn’t for me. I think with everything in life, we need balance and this topic is no different. The reason I relate with Koessler is because I feel so much more “normal” knowing that other people are sometimes disappointed by not feeling the intimacy with Jesus they so greatly desire to feel. But as he says, this disappointment is really only suspended expectation because one day we will “feel” and “experience” the ultimate fulfillment of Christ, which is already ours by faith.

          Dee, I also remember a profound moment in your book when one of the ladies in your study was afraid that once she ran from her idols, God would let her sit in her pain. I gasped when I read this because this was me. I was so afraid of revisiting the pain and God not showing up. And maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I do find that when I turn from my idols, there are prolonged moments where I do sit in pain. Granted, some of this pain is a direct result of the consequence of sin in my life. But I believe God uses this pain to create character and perseverance in me, and of course hope for heaven. I just can’t say that every time I run from an idol into the arms of Jesus, my pain is removed. In the long run, yes, because my idol will only disappoint but this is a process that takes time, sometimes lots of it (at least for me).

          These are just my thoughts, but my mind has been opened to looking at intimacy with Jesus in a new way and I thank all of you for that!

          Dee, I don’t mean to impose but would you ever think about dedicating a week of this blog to listening prayer? I would love insight on this topic, as I have often thought that I was hearing God’s voice speak to me during prayer, only to later realize that I was wrong.

        8. Laura,

          Wow-excellent post-I relate to most everything you posted! I have been there-being afraid-‘will God let me sit in my pain’-and you are right-my pain didn’t subside right away, and my circumstances haven’t changed. 🙂 I was in a wilderness time-a season..Like Dee mentioned in marriage-a moment or season where I wasn’t connecting with God at all. Yet, God was pursuing me and led me to Dee’s blog and to healing in his Word, and He pulled me out of the wilderness.

          That time I felt really far away from God-yet as you stated in your post-He was near-I just didn’t sense Him because I was taking refuge in the arms of my idol. Long story-but anyway.

          I agree! I would LOVE for Dee to lead us in a week of listening prayer!

          I am SO GLAD you are here!!!!

        9. I am very encouraged by this conversation! Song of Solomon comes to mind, Dee, when you mentioned the ups and downs of marriage.

          Here is my take away:

          I think I have been afraid to let God woo me the way He does you, Rebecca, through a string of circumstances. This is a huge struggle of mine, and I’ve never really connected it to my relationship with God. I don’t really let people love me (the tape in my mind says I’m not worthy of love), and so when my mind does put the pieces together as to how God is working in my life, instead of taking the step of faith, I brush it off as pure coincidence. I’m very afraid to let myself feel His love because I won’t always feel it. I could easily turn it into an idol.

          This is why I was so attracted to Koessler because I thought, “I’m off the hook. God loves me but I’m not supposed to feel it now. Only when I get to heaven. He loves me in that far off way.” But, I’ve reconsidered. Thank you for this revelation!

        10. This is an absolutely amazing post, Rebecca. I am late in on commenting but WOW, there is so much deep stuff here I just love. Thank you for articulating this! I so sense the dance of intimacy with God this week in the midst of the battle that is our lives. Thank you, Laura, and Rebecca, and Dee and others for making me think more deeply about God.

        11. Laura, I sometimes feel as you do as well. The times He is difficult to “hear” are the times I feel He is purposefully quiet and it is a sign for me to wait and do nothing. It is sometimes hard to wait and I convince myself I need to have faith that He knows the plan and I do not. If I have a pulling to do something and don’t know where it is coming from then I “feel” it’s God and I must act. Since I already know this is how the relationship works, I have peace that one way or another He is in charge. Peace.

          One thing that I find is most difficult is being quiet to hear what God is saying. It is different than relationships with humans because God is not human and shouldn’t have those same human qualities. He is elusive because it makes us want to know Him more. If it were easy, we wouldn’t care. Kinda like our first experiences with love in high school. If we are always available for our love interest they will not be interested. If we play “hard to get” all the sudden they are hanging around! We want to know of Him because He is incomprehensible. We learn who He is through reading His breathed words in the Bible. Thank you Lord for these holy words.

    2. “allow me to feel His presence.”…this is also my prayer; that I may have an acute awareness of His presence. I relish the moments when He “breaks through” with “kisses” (e.g., when I read scripture text that incites me, hear lyrics that touch my heart, read a devotional that is clearly meant for me at that time/moment)…I absolutely LOVE those moments.

      1. Like!

  11. Hey–my name is already here! David–you bless us, thank you.
    2. Name one thing that stood out to you from the movie clip trailer on Epic.
    “the story already existed”…and “they lived happily ever after”. My husband and I heard Eldredge speak on the idea of every great story reflects The One Story of the Gospel. It was about 15 years ago—but it struck me. Every good story includes creation, fall, and redemption. A Villain, A Rescuer. The Rescuer must be greater than the Villain—or the happily ever after is only temporary

  12. 3. What evidences of perichoresis do you find in:
    A. John 1:1-3? Jesus is the Word, He is God—He has always existed.
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…”
    B. John 17:24? “… because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
    C. Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let US (implies Trinity)…”

    Also Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
    I got way sidetracked trying to read some of Augustine’s writing called “On the Trinity”. It takes me I think 30 minutes to begin to understand a few sentences—so incredibly over my head and yet his words attract me for some reason! What came to me from it, and seeing these verses again—is that God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit each had one beginning–there is no separateness in the Trinity and yet there is uniqueness. I jumped to the conclusion of his argument (the Cliff Notes Queen in me coming out) and he said this, which I think I sort of get and like:
    “O Lord our God, we believe in You, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. For the Truth would not say, Go, baptize all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, unless You were a Trinity. Nor would you, O Lord God, bid us to be baptized in the name of Him who is not the Lord God. Nor would the divine voice have said, Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one God, unless You were so a Trinity as to be one Lord God.”

      1. Is “King’s Cross” a book by Keller on the gospel of Mark? Sounds intriguing!

      2. I started king’s cross at the beach! Also started “glimpses of grace” so I’m going slow…but you’ve inspired me to go back to Keller–so good!

  13. 3. When you think about your greatest joys and heartaches — are they connected to relationship? Explain. And what does this tell you?
    Definitely both my greatest joys and deepest pain are intertwined with relationship. I love that our God is relational. He is personal. He sees us uniquely, individually. He knows Susan intimately and knows me apart from her. We are both His daughters, but He sees us as intricately unique and relates to us in our own special way. I love that. I have countless ways that I will see Him do something—sometimes small, yet not, because it is directly from Him to me and how can that be a small thing? The morning of my birthday was my bicycle crash and my leg and arm were bandaged up. That afternoon, the kids and my husband were fishing and I was watching from the park bench—a huge beautiful dragon fly came over and sat right on my bandaged knee. Stayed for 15 minutes! Huge, looking right at me. I finally stood and shook him, but there was something sweet—I felt Him saying He sees me, He loves me, He created me—happy birthday. I have totally gotten off track-sorry! But my point is that God does care deeply about relationship, because He cares deeply for those He created in His image—He created for relationship. He was complete, lacking nothing—He did not “need” us. But He created us to love Him—to have relationship with Him, and each other. I am talking in circles—hard one to answer, but good to ponder!

    1. Oh Elizabeth I loved your story about the dragon fly on your birthday…sitting on your bandaged knee….a kiss from God!

    2. Love your post, Elizabeth…the dragon fly…”He cares deeply for those He created in His image”. I need to hear that today!

  14. 5. Read Isaiah 14:12-19

    A. What was Satan once, and what caused his fall? (12-14)
    He was the “morning star, son of the dawn”. He was an angel who rebelled against God. “I will make myself like the Most High”. (vs. 14)

    B. What will one day be his end? (15-19)
    He will be cast into the pit, utterly destroyed.

    6. Read 1 Peter 5:6-11

    A. Find four exhortations to live by in the face of evil. Find one in each of verses 6, 7, 8, and 9
    1. Be humble
    2. Give all our anxious thoughts to God.
    3. Be alert and of sober mind. I take this to mean we are to be alert for the temptations that come at us each day and to be serious about them.
    4. We are to resist the temptations that come at us.

    B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?
    Even though we will go through times of sorrow, God will restore us and make us strong, firm and steadfast.

  15. My log in worked as well! Thanks, David.

  16. Josh McDowell http://youtu.be/d5O5nD0pyPc

    Susan and Dee thanks for letting us know about this man. His testomony is on youtube in 3 parts and it is wonderful.

    1. Wow Joyce…just watched this. Part 3 brought tears (about his dad). Thanks for posting this link!

      1. Your welcome…how are your mom and dad doing Susan?

    2. Dee, We all love you so much and appreciate all the hard work you put into this bible study blog and without it I would be lost. I don’t comment alot, but read and pray more. But you and all these godly sister’s here are such an encouragement to me, I don’t know what I would do without you all. I’m not able to get to church or another study, so I depend on this wonderful study so much. And your studies are all from the heart, Dee…and I learn soooo much! I love you dearly! So please don’t let that one bad comment hurt you so, when you are loved so much!

  17. “Between the already and the not yet, God will take us where we did not intend to go in order to produce in us what we could not achieve on our own. It’s called uncomfortable grace.” Paul Tripp

    A good short video to watch where he explains this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UXDyTo_iHM

    1. Diane,
      there was a lot in this little video clp. thanks for sharing it!
      Divine power +divine compassion=everything I need! This is what God offers to each of us

      God will take me where I have not intended to go in order to produce in me what I could not achieve on my own.

    2. Thanks Diane…there are so many wonderful Godly men and women to listen to on youtube and the music is so wonderful too…at first when youtube came out I thought it was terrible, but it’s awesome if you use it for the good things.

  18. 5. Read Isaiah 14:12-19
    A. What was Satan once, and what caused his fall? (12-14)
    Satan was an angel and his ambitions were the cause of his fall. He wanted to be equal to God.

    B. What will one day be his end? (15-19)
    He will be cast into the pit – Revelation calls it the lake of fire. That is a much more sobering reality than what a pit sounds like.

    6. Read 1 Peter 5:6-11
    A. Find four exhortations to live by in the face of evil. Find one in each of verses 6, 7, 8, and 9.
    Verse 6: humble myself under the mighty had of God—Humbling myself is a choice I need to voluntarily make. It was pride that made the devil fall when he wanting to be like/equal to God. Humbling myself is necessary to crush pride.
    Verse 7: Cast all my anxiety on God–
    Verse 8: Be of sober spirit and be on the alert
    Verse 9 Resist the devil, firm in my faith—recognizing that others are also suffering the same things

    B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?
    After suffering for a little while, God will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish me. And he will have dominion forever and ever! I need to look at any suffering I may face in light of eternity and also in light of the suffering that other believers around the world are facing, Most of what I suffer is nothing in comparison to what many experience. It is a light and momentary affliction but it achieves an eternal glory that exceeds any troubles I face. Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered. Can I do the same?

  19. 7. When I watch this clip I remember Job. This is God. Majesty. He is the answer to everything. Every kind of suffering or problem or pain seems to pale in comparison to this glory.
    Honestly, right now there is no amount of physical touch or connection that can compare with beholding this kind of glory. His majesty transcends the physical yet includes it.
    I wish I had more time this morning to meditate on this clip for I can’t yet get my mind around it much less put it into words.

    PRAYER REQUEST:This evening I have a video session at church about prayer. Video is completely out of my comfort zone but I am walking in obedience here. Please pray that I will speak the truth clearly. Thanks so much.

    1. Anne,I am praying now

      1. Thanks so much Joyce. I feel such dread but am determined.

    2. Yes, Anne. Praying for you. Do not be afraid for He is with you.

    3. Anne, I am praying too…sounds like the Lord is “stretching” you a little…” Video is completely out of my comfort zone but I am walking in obedience here.”…kudos for your obedience…please let us know how it goes.

    4. Thanks so much for prayers. I really had cold feet. They had 15 minutes allotted and it took less than 10. They seemed to be pleased with it. Anyway, I did my best and it is not about me.

      1. I’m sure you did great!

      2. so glad Anne!

      3. Thanks for the update, Anne…glad that it went well.

  20. 3. What evidences of perichoresis do you find in:

    A. John 1:1-3?
    Jesus, the Word, was with God in the beginning…God the Father and God the Son were always together. Together they created all things.

    B. John 17:24?
    In this passage I see that God the Father was showering His Son with glory and love from before the foundation of the world. Jesus also tells His Father that His desire is for us to be a part of that.

    C. Genesis 1:26
    God said, “Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness..” This sounds like a discussion was going on.

    4. When you think about your greatest joys and heartaches – are they connected to relationship? Explain. And what does this tell you?

    Greatest joys would include my wedding day – I remember loving the fact that at our wedding and reception all the people I loved and family friends that I’d known since childhood were all together in one place at the same time-how great is that? This May I had the joy of watching my oldest son, Adam, graduate from college. Heartaches and sorrows have been over the death of those I love-being separated from them, no longer being able to see and touch and talk to them. I feel sadness when my children go back to school-I miss them. On my worst days I feel lonely, abandoned, or rejected – these feelings are always connected to relationships. It also strikes me that having a sense of purpose in my life is always connected to people. Hmm…this tells me I was made for relationship – to love and be loved.

    1. Praying for you Susan..for all your struggles

  21. 7. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    I have always enjoyed the majesty of our earth. It is beautiful! Although the NE could use a drying out right now 🙂

    I am an earth scientist. I relish hiking in yellowstone, skiing the tops of the Rockies, and driving miles and miles across this beautiful country to see the sites. Hot springs, underground rivers, minerals fluorescent in caves, hurricanes, tornadoes, the redwoods, the volcanoes; I could go on and on. He formed her to take care of herself too; when she needs more rain she washes away the dirty landscape (much to our chagrin). I LOVE the beginning of the video with earth and sun peeking out 🙂

    God has a sense of humor! He literally made me laugh last year in yellowstone watching the paint pots! If you never have seen it, you should. The hot mud boils up and pops like hot oatmeal. It goes 5 feet in the air! Too funny.

    Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9hUsVq9q7U&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    I forgot about the sound they make!

    This is an amazing planet and when I teach about it in astronomy the kids always ask what I think about other planets with life in the universe. Maybe I am a small thinker, or maybe I have a different perspective, but I believe we are special. I think God made us to be unique. I know there are other planets “like” us, but nothing comparable so far. One centimeter off our orbit and we wouldn’t be the earth we know. One degree off our tilted axis and life would be different. We are so special! He made us for His pleasure; I know it 🙂

    1. Laura-Dancer, I love this post-how you see His care-how he made the Earth to take care of herself by washing away the dirty landscape. The video about the paint pots was amazing-I didn’t know they existed.

    2. Laura, I have never been there…that was funny to watch!

    3. Thanks for the URL to the mudpots video…yes, our Lord is comical…:)

      “One centimeter off our orbit and we wouldn’t be the earth we know. One degree off our tilted axis and life would be different.”…this always strikes me too; too incredible for comprehension.

  22. 5. Read Isaiah 14:12-19

    A. What was Satan once, and what caused his fall? (12-14)

    He was called “star of the morning, son of the dawn” and he lived in heaven.
    He fell because he wanted to be like God, even to raise himself above God; he wanted to be worshipped.

    B. What will one day be his end? (15-19)

    He will end up in “the pit”. People will gaze at him, pondering is this the one who made the earth tremble…who shook kingdoms…who made the world like a wilderness? (NASB)

    6. Read 1 Peter 5:6-11

    A. Find four exhortations to live by in the face of evil. Find one in each of verses 6, 7, 8, and 9.

    I couldn’t skip over verse 5 as well, as it says, “..and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” In light of the passage in Isaiah, that is was pride that caused Satan’s fall, this is a serious warning. These exhortations are to help in facing evil (outward temptation) but also the battle with my own flesh.

    v.6 – I am to humble myself; willingly submit myself to God’s authority. I am not to exalt myself – if I’m going to get a “pat on the back”, I’m to let God do it.

    v.7 – I am to cast all my anxiety/worry upon God, because He cares for me.

    v.8 – I am to be sober and on the alert because I have an adversary, the devil, who wants to destroy me.

    v.9 – I am to resist the devil, remaining firm in what I know to be true (faith), and taking heart that other believers have suffered and come through it with God’s help.

    B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?

    The suffering of this life will not last forever. God Himself will perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish me.

  23. PRAYER REQUEST: Important meeting today regarding Krista’s situation. God is in control. He is not a tame lion.

    1. Diane, YES, praying..

    2. Praying Diane!

    3. Praying now Diane. Seeing this late but will still pray.

    4. I’ll be praying, Diane…wishing you the best, Krista!

    5. Diane, I am late but praying all went well

    6. Can’t go into details but, praise God, He is at work. Praise Him for His moving in important ways. Plead to Him for a spiritual change of heart for Jeff. That is key. Only God can do that. Pray for an important meeting on Sunday evening. What will God do next?

      1. I’m sorry I missed your post above, Diane…I must’ve just logged-off yesterday before you posted but am glad to hear encouraging news…will be praying for Jeff and for Sunday evening.

      2. oh Diane–just logged on this morning thinking of you and hoping for an update! This is encouraging–so thankful, and continuing to pray!!

      3. Thanks for keeping us updated, Diane…I will pray for that needed “spiritual change of heart”…I will also continue prayers for Krista, the boys, and all of you; these are such turbulent waters…I will pray for calm and peace.

      4. Just saw this and will pray. Thank you Jesus for working with these young people and helping them in their struggles.

        1. Praying also Diane

  24. 7. What stands out to you from the above and why? This is the setting for a romance, for God is the Romancer of our souls.

    Okay so God made me by nature a ‘dreamy’ person-always longing to look beneath things and people-so this video took my breath away-sometimes it is as if everything stops and He literally takes my breath away. The first flower that opened-when it peeled back like a banana-the stunning beauty inside exploded. I am amazed at how delicate flowers are-His hands must be so careful, gentle and patient as He made them-and I picture Him smiling and pleased with them-yet at the same time when I see the majestic beauty and power of the mountains, and the wildness and danger of the Lava, and the huge trees-I see His amazing power! How He made this for us to get a glimpse of Who He is and to enjoy with Him-that He would take our breath away and we must take His breath away for Him to have created this for us. IT IS A SETTING FOR ROMANCE!

      1. I think I stole the phrase from you though! Yes, it IS a setting for romance. 🙂

    1. I love that too! We live in His setting for romance! It is breathtaking. For some reason the avalanche was very stirring for me. His power is without limit yet His heart is toward me.

      One of the doctors I work with just returned from a year off in which he, his wife and now 8 year old son traveled around the world. He showed us some of his pictures today. He found beauty in some unlikely places. Beaches in Norway of all places. I am fascinated with Iceland. Ran out of time but I look forward to seeing those pictures.

  25. 8. How did creation affect the Psalmist in Psalm 8?

    He saw God’s majesty and drew spiritual implications in regard to our relationship with Him-really the story he saw too!

    This popped out considering this week of satan attacking Dee:

    “You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
    Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.”

    And then paradise is lost, for the man and woman are seduced by the betrayer, fall, and are cast out of Eden. But even as they leave, there is a promise from the God of love.

    9. Find the promise in Genesis 3:15.

    He promised that Jesus will come and redeem us on the cross and smash satan’s head-and then we can have intimacy restored but in full in the future for He will restore things completely then. He also promised while we are here He has put enmity between satan and believers-spiritual warfare-so He will battle satan on our behalf-satan won’t have us.

  26. 7. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    The flowers, vast mountains, the fall of water, the rush of snow, “creation’s revealing Your Majesty”, “all powerful”
    I see God’s creativity, His attention to minute detail in nature; I cannot come even close to comprehending all of the intricacies of our world (e.g., precise placement of earth from the sun, stars in the night sky light-years away, growth, seasons). An example that epitomizes this is snow…snow intrigues me…each drop of water crystallized in a unique and exquisite form; not one alike. A huge number (beyond my imagination) of these beautiful, delicate pieces of art create an accumulation of snow that my car gest stuck in or I snowshoe on…INCREDIBLE!

    8. How did creation affect the Psalmist in Psalm 8?
    The psalmist is “star struck” by God…the psalmist is acutely aware of God’s awesomeness reflected in creation. The psalmist cannot understand why such an incredible God would give a care about sinful, rebellious, disappointing humans, let alone give humans dominion…it IS unfathomable, yet true.

  27. 10. Read Revelation 19:11-16 and find everything you can about our Rescuer.

    Jesus had first come as the Lamb, who was a sacrifice for our sins; but now he enters as a warrior riding on a white horse. The battle lines have been drawn between good and evil, and the world is waiting for the Conqueror to ride onto the field. Jesus is called “Faithful and True.” He is also called “Word of God” (vs 13) and “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” (vs. 16). It is as if there is no human word to adequately describe Him. He is greater than anything the human mind can devise. Most of the world is worshiping the beast (the anti-christ), and then Christ rides in with his army of angels to rescue us.

    11. Read Revelation 21:1-5 and find everything you can about the new heaven and earth.

    The earth as we know it will be gone. God will create a new, eternal earth. We don’t know where the new earth will be or what it will look like, but God and His followers will be united to live there forever. We are told “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” There will no longer be any death, pain, sorrow, or crying.

    It sounds like a big relief to me!!

  28. We sang this last week in church, and it is really ministering to me this week. “Speak O Lord”, by Kristyn Getty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGg40zKRvAg

    1. Elizabeth, I LOVE the songs your church offers in worship time!!

  29. That was so beautiful Elizabeth:)

    I didn’t have to sign in this time I came back to the blog!

  30. 8. How did creation affect the Psalmist in Psalm 8?

    He was taken aback by the creation of God. He was amazed, humbled, and felt responsible for the job left to man by having to care for all of the creation God left him.

    9. Find the promise in Genesis 3:15.

    Because of their unfaithfulness to God, He promises a life of struggles that is difficult and filled with strife.

  31. Hi there! I’m new to this and found this study as I was desperately searching for a Bible study. My womens bible studies at my church ended for the summer and I miss being around other women believers and studying His Word. I say desperate because I NEED help to stay digging deeper in the Word. So I hope to join in on discussions if you all will let me. 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Welcome Caitlin…please jump right on in!

    2. Welcome Caitlin! Yes, we would so love having you here-so dig on in! 🙂

    3. Welcome, Caitlin…so glad that you have decided to join the bible study blog…I look forward to future interactions. Blessings!

    4. So glad you are joining us 🙂

    5. Welcome Caitlin…would love to have you join us!

  32. 8. Creation affected the Psalmist in Psalm 8 with humility. He saw in creation the majesty of God and was filled with wonder that God cared about him and even placed him over His magnificent creation.

    9. This question is interesting. It seems like the promise is hostility and conflict between man and Satan. We will not be united with him but always in a battle against him.
    Jesus is ultimately the seed of the woman and He will crush the head of the snake and kill it. In the meantime it will strike our heals but have no power to mortally wound us.

  33. 7. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    The beauty of creation, showing the artist that God is. The delicate way that creation works in such minute detail, showing the engineer and architect that He is. The power of the avalanche and the bubbling of the lava, showing how controlled He is, yet the overwhelming strength that lies underneath. The mountain goat walking on the ledge, only to have the picture pull back to show how precarious its position is, yet it is unafraid, showing how caring God is. The quote that popped into my head is from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where the children ask Mr. Beaver about Aslan, “Is He safe” to which Mr. Beaver exclaims, “Safe? No, He’s not safe. But He is good”! Finally, the words from the song, “You know my thoughts and you love me the same”. So great.

    8. How did creation affect the Psalmist in Psalm 8?

    When he looked at creation and was overwhelmed by the “bigness” of it, he was humbled by God’s love for mere mankind. Why should the God who is capable of all this care about us?

    9. Find the promise in Genesis 3:15.

    God promised that He would put enmity – an enemy – between mankind and the evil one. This would be an enemy of Satan and would crush him

    10. Why did Jesus choose to die, and how should this help your heart to go on?

    Jesus was the promised enemy of Satan and so our promised Savior. He had to die as a sacrifice (“you will strike his heel”) and then be raised to life so that He and therefore we as well would have eternal victory (“He will crush your head”). This encourages me that the victory is already won. Satan is already defeated

  34. 10. Why did Jesus choose to die, and how should this help your heart to go on?

    He chose to die so that He could rescue me and restore what happened in the Garden of Eden after they fell. He defeated satan on the cross so satan couldn’t ruin me and that God could have me. He died and rose again so that I could live eternally with Him here-and in the new heaven and new earth!

  35. 10. Why did Jesus choose to die, and how should this help your heart to go on?

    He loved us. He wanted to make sure we would be with Him in paradise! If He didn’t die then we would die sinners here on earth with no chance to meet our God. The plan was for Him to live amongst us to know Him, for Him to take on the sins of the world, our sins, and to pay the awful price for us so we could know heaven. Thank you Jesus for the horrible pain you endured because you love us! My heart can go on because I wouldn’t want His actions to be in vain for me. After He did that (above) how could I ignore His love and carry on my life without Him in it? How could I give up when He didn’t (even though a couple of times He faltered)? I’m not giving up. He paid the price, so I’m “in!”

      1. 🙂

  36. 1. Other than the movie clip, name one thing that stood out to you from the above and explain why. How wonderful it is you have great friends who help you through! Loved that picture of remembering our citizenship is in heaven but sometimes I am homesick! Can so relate!!! I so long to be with HIM in my home where I belong. Until then I journey on knowing He is in me…Til I see Him face to face.

    2. Name one thing that stood out to you from the movie clip trailer on Epic.Loved that clip! Loved him taking the sword for some reason. 🙂 I too love the Sacred Romance. This book will be awesome! Cannot wait to read.

      1. As I read Epic I had a lot of thoughts about how good it would be for Joey. I agree that it might be good for teens to get this perspective on their lives.

      2. Oh I did not even think about it! Will see. I bet she would! Thanks!

  37. Julie, I have been thinking about you; I haven’t seen you lately on the blog…how are you? how are things going with Kyle and Allie (and baby Logan too)? I continue to pray for resolution.

  38. That is why the Son left paradise — to ask us to join the dance. OH MY GOODNESS! Love this so so much because you know why my heart is drawn to dance! It is just a shadow of HIM asking us to dance. 🙂 Love it. How much love to leave perfect love and joy of dance to bump around with us imperfect yet He makes us perfect…How beautiful! Love the picture too! The type of dance I like depends sometimes on my mood. but one stood out for me from so you think you can dance this week. It is a dance called the paso doble which is like a battle. I often feel like I am in a battle and this dance portrays it well if you have time to watch. It is good. Starts at 56 sec mark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdmc9YIP9uA

    1. Beautiful dance

    2. Loved this Angela!

    3. Like! Thank you for adding the “dance” perspective. I really having no training in this area, but dance touches me on a deep level I do not really understand.

  39. Tues-We see all over God using us…Plural. They were all together as one. Delighting in the Trinity was a book I read this year that is in my top 10 of all time. It spoke much of this and was so very good! Looking forward to Epic. But the Scriptures all talk about God and His plurality.

    Yes all heartaches are relational and joys. I was thinking even when I am alone the greatest times of joy are with HIM…or watching creation which is still relational! We were made for relationship and community!

      1. Oh Dee, yes do tell her! If she is open to getting together I can get my info to her.

        My pastor recommended the book. Best thing ever! Michael Reeves http://www.amazon.com/Delighting-Trinity-Introduction-Christian-Faith/dp/0830839836/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373721013&sr=8-1&keywords=delighting+in+the+trinity

        It says it is an introduction to the Christian Faith so I said, naw I don’t need to read that! But so glad I did. I am going to reread it because it was so good. I passed it on to a friend right now though.

  40. 5. Read Isaiah 14:12-19
    A. What was Satan once, and what caused his fall? (12-14)
    He was an angel, who claimed he would make himself like the Most High.

    B. What will one day be his end? (15-19)
    The depths of the pit, “a rejected branch”, “covered with the slain”.

    6. Read 1 Peter 5:6-11
    A. Find four exhortations to live by in the face of evil. Find one in each of verses 6, 7, 8, and 9.

    v. 6: humble myself—under God’s mighty hand. Again I picture that bird Joyce first gave us—the little ones under the protection of His wing.

    v. 7: cast all my anxiety on Him, because He cares for me. To cast requires a concerted effort, there is a deliberateness in it to me—it’s not just “toss”, but to cast implies a forcefulness. When we fish, the kids always prefer daddy to cast because his goes “way out there”—to cast my anxieties to the Lord is to make a concerted effort to let it all go, it’s not a “casual” release that can easily be taken back.

    v. 8: Be self-controlled and alert. I know some who avoid the topic of spiritual warfare, but I need to be constantly aware that I have a real enemy. He prowls around, he knows where I might be weak—and he is fierce. I think the command to be self-controlled mentioned here, tells me to be careful with what I let my mind think, my eyes see, my thoughts entertain…because my enemy sits ready to attack at any moment of weakness.

    v. 9: Resist him. Stand firm. Remember others who are fighting the same battle.

    B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow?
    The God of all grace, has called me to eternal glory in Christ. And after I have suffered, “a little while”, He himself will restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast!

  41. Elizabeth, look what God just put in my inbox from institute for Creation Research! This for us today perhaps? 🙂

    Resisting the Devil

    “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

    The devil is far more powerful and intelligent (as well as subtle and seductive in his malignant purposes) than any combination of human enemies we could ever face, and we would be utterly unable to defeat him with our own human resources. Yet God’s Word makes it plain that we are neither to yield to him nor flee from him. Instead, the admonition is: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

    But how can we resist such a mighty foe? As in our text, we must constantly maintain sobriety and vigilance against his enticements, and be careful to remain “steadfast in the faith.” Otherwise, the pseudo-intellectualism and social peer pressure to which we are subjected daily could quickly persuade us to compromise the faith, or even to depart from the faith.

    We are commanded not to yield and not to compromise. Instead we must “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” We have “the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the |wicked one|,” and also “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:11, 16-17).

    This mighty sword with which we can make Satan flee from us is literally “the saying of God”—that is, an appropriate individual word from the complete Word of God. This was the instrument with which the Lord Jesus Himself resisted the devil, parrying each temptation with an incisive thrust of Scripture. The result then—as it will be now with us also—was that the devil “departed from him for a season” (Luke 4:13).

    1. love this, Rebecca–great article! “This mighty sword with which we can make Satan flee from us is literally “the saying of God”—that is, an appropriate individual word from the complete Word of God.”

  42. 7. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    OH MY. Watched this with tears—I’m sure we all did. Once my white horse showed up, I was just awe-struck, really. Amazing. I watched it again without music even, so that I could concentrate on the images and try to fully take it all in. I am overwhelmed by how many things I over look, how many things I will never see…I feel sad that I can so flippantly go through life and miss so much. I can be struck by a beautiful sunset over water…but even as I type there are a family of birds outside at our feeder, and I rarely take time to gaze at their beauty. But what also strikes me, it that God doesn’t say ‘well, you’re not appreciating all I’ve made, I’m going to stop…” He creates because He can’t NOT create—it’s Who He IS, Creator. All of nature is unique and beautiful because it reflects Him. This video gave me a renewed appreciation for us, humans. We are created by the Magnificent Creator. We see Him in videos like this and are amazed at the beauty all around us—I want to remember that same beauty mark from the Creator is on all of those I am in relationship with.

  43. 1. What stands out to me other than the movie clip

    For me it was the map. When Dee talked about that when she thought she knew the way they ended up lost for 3 hours. It’s so easy to think we can do it all on our own. That there are more important things for God to handle besides our everyday trials. I feel that way But a lot of my everyday life but I also feel very lost. So I find myself turning to Him and His Word when I feel lost. Like finances, neither my husband nor i know anything about handling finances so I feel lost. So I have given that to God in hopes that He will show me the map.

    2. What stood out to me in the movie clip?

    The beginning. About our lives being a story that we step into the middle of us. It’s easy to think that my world is my world forgetting that there was a beginning and there will be an end. It puts things into a better perspective to stop being consumed by “my” world and see the things around me more that God could use me to influence.

    3. What evidence do I see for perichoresis?

    In John 1:1-3 I see that the Word was in the beginning and that the Word was with God and the Word was God.
    In John 17:24 it shows Jesus’ intimacy with the Father that Jesus could make such a request.
    In genesis 1:26 it shows that they were desiring to make men in their image and were in agreement with each other.

    1. This was good, Caitlin “That there are more important things for God to handle besides our everyday trials.”

      It is so easy for me to feel too insignificant for God–and yet, He reminds us that He cares even for the sparrow. His grace allows us to feel “lost-ness” without Him.
      So glad you have joined us!

    2. Love this:…” So I have given that to God in hopes that He will show me the map”.

    3. Caitlin, “So I find myself turning to Him and His Word when I feel lost.”- I can so relate-feeling lost throughout the day-so true!

  44. 5. Read Isaiah 14:12-19

    A. What was Satan once, and what caused his fall? (12-14)An Angel, pride

    B. What will one day be his end? (15-19)cast out

    6. Read 1 Peter 5:6-11

    A. Find four exhortations to live by in the face of evil. Find one in each of verses 6, 7, 8, and 9. Live humbly, cast anxiety on God (know He cares), Be on the look out, Resist Him by standing firm in faith.

    B. What promise can give you hope in verses 10-11, though the enemy brings sorrow? God will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us through it.

  45. I love zoos and aquariums because they inspire my heart to worship the Creator! I hope my children find this same wonder.

    7. What stands out to you from the above and why? I wonder what that guy was doing who jumped in that large hole! He seemed so free but man! I loved the rainbow, ocean, lightning, everything! Creations screams His name!

    This is the setting for a romance, for God is the Romancer of our souls.

    8. How did creation affect the Psalmist in Psalm 8? inspired His heart to worship also. One of the wonderful things about homeschool is teaching the kids science through God’s worldview. We did an entire year on planets and space. How majestic! How amazing! We were inspired!

    And then paradise is lost, for the man and woman are seduced by the betrayer, fall, and are cast out of Eden. But even as they leave, there is a promise from the God of love.

    9. Find the promise in Genesis 3:15. They did not know Jesus was planned at this point but they had hope that man would bruise the enemies head.

  46. Just pondering this it must have been the saddest of sad days. These people were like children in all their innocence. Nothing ever experienced like it! Then in came the enemy. It just makes me think of those people who seduce children. So sad. But God is bigger and I am thankful for His plan even before this happened to send Jesus to redeem and rescue!

  47. 10. Why did Jesus choose to die, and how should this help your heart to go on? It encourages me that He did die in such a way that was hard. He could have done or planned it in an easy way. It is interesting God chose the time of the cruel romans, that method, etc. So thankful to Him and if He could endure that for the joy that was set (us) then I can endure for HIM. In all things.

  48. Sorry mine are all cramped together!!! It has been a crazy week. It just seems to stay that way here lately. Anyway, so thankful for this and will leave last thoughts.

    10. Read Revelation 19:11-16 and find everything you can about our Rescuer. I always dreamed of a strong man on a white horse, a prince of sorts, who would ride in and save me. I thought it was my husband yet he too easily disappoints. Then God showed me it was HIM and He had me all along! This verse reminds me of this! Love it! Love how He will make all things wrong right on that day!

    11. Read Revelation 21:1-5 and find everything you can about the new heaven and earth. Cannot wait for this new home! Especially meaningful is the no pain. 🙂