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Be Still and Know in 2018

Tis a season for everything under heaven,

and Advent and Christmas are lovely,

but the decorations are looking a little sad,

the sweets have made me a bit sluggish,

the money spent a little too freely,

and all the festivities may have crowded out time with Him.

So it is time to turn.

January is the season of new beginnings,

the season of quiet,

where we can renew (or establish) the habit

of drawing near to the One who makes all things new.

David Lano photograph of Dee’s home on Dec 27, 2017

 

They say it takes 21 days to establish a habit.

Let’s meet together, daily, and see how God indeed, will renew us.

If you are new, just click on the “blog” at the top, and then on the

“Getting Started” door and follow the easy directions.

We have a wonderful group of women here who will enrich you.

And we so heartily welcome fresh faces.

There is room at the table for you!

 

So WELCOME!

We have been doing a study on “The Jesus Who Surprises,”

finding Him in the Old Testament and in every corner of our lives.

For the next six weeks we will find Him in the psalms.

The psalms not only help us spend time with Him,

but also help us renew our prayer life.

And how exciting it will be to discover Jesus or His gospel in these psalms.

We have a God who is as near as our very breath, but because He is Spirit, we may forget He is here with us. But the psalmist says, “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people.”(Psalm 125:2) I often thought of Psalm 125:2 when we lived in Seattle, where mountains practically surround the city. The Olympic mountains line the Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier, in all her glory, looms over the city from the south. Most of the time, however, you can’t see any of them! Whenever my parents visited my dad teased me that there were no mountains, that it was just a grand publicity stunt to lure tourists, for this is how the Seattle skyline often looks, and did every time my parents visited!

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

Mount Rainier

God is like that. He is the God who surprises. Those who were with us during our study of The Song of Songs learned He is like a deer who hides, but then leaps out and takes our breath away. I caught this picture of a stag leaping onto my snowy deck. Indeed, he took my breath away.

 

This week we will get our bearings, thought it will be a review for old-timers. Many who have been with us for a while have become wonderful encouragers and mentors to those who are new. Come every day, to get off on the right foot for 2018. If you miss a day, don’t quit, just get right back on. The Christian walk is not a sprint, but a long obedience in the same direction. But, as we will see from Hebrews, there is value in conscientiously endeavoring to establish a habit — so let’s make a goal of getting 21 days straight without a missI  I will post a new study each Sunday. We will do this study until Lent begins in mid February. Come and stay with us for six weeks and then evaluate if you want to join us for Lent. We’ve become family here, and there is always room for another at the table!

A few hints for beginners: Give us your first name, and then another name, but not your last, to protect your identity such as  Laura Dancer and Sue Seeker have done. I suggest you do not check the box to get replies, as too many e-mails will fill your box. There are directions so you can show us a picture of yourself, which helps us to know you. We are so glad to have you! We have found it is possible to experience God in a place like this!

Sunday, New Year’s Eve

1. What stood out to you from the above?

2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this last Advent or Christmas and why?

3. Write a prayer right here, asking God to help you get off on the right foot in 2018.  We can read it and pray it for you as well.

4. If you have been here before, how can you encourage your new sisters to not just start, but stay the course?

 

Monday, New Year’s Day, 2018

I love the Christmas season, but despite my best intentions, usually have too many sweets, especially at the end, and I did it again. I am taking the warning of Hebrews seriously

 

5. What does Hebrews 12:12-13 tells us to do? Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path? What is it and how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks?

 

 

6. Read Luke 24:1-27 (Review for many — but the basis of this study.)

A. How did Jesus surprise the two on the road to Emmaus?

B. Why do you think He did not allow them to recognize Him at first?

C. What did He show them in their Scriptures (the Old Testament) according to verses 26-27?

The Greek phrase “zeugma,” translated “all” means from front to back. In other words, both Christ and His gospel can be found in every Old Testament books.

D. If you were with us in the fall, share one place you discovered Jesus “in the books of Moses.” Why did this stand out to you?

Tuesday, Jan 2

7, Read Luke 24:28-53 

    A. How did the two describe their time with Jesus in verses 32?

    B. Have you had a time when you felt like that? If so, share.

C. Imagine you were in the room with the eleven when Jesus appeared. Describe what you would have seen. How do you think you would have felt?

D.  What three sections of the Old Testament are mentioned in verse 44?

I (Dee) am writing a book tentatively titled “The Jesus Who Surprises.” Though I wish I could cover every OT book, for Jesus and His Gospel are hidden in every one, since I am writing just one book, I must limit myself to Genesis (representing books of Moses), the psalms (representing the poets) and one or two of the prophets (representing the prophets).

Wednesday: Jan 3

8. Read Psalm 1 and find everything you can about the man who is blessed.

9. How can you be like that man in 2018?

10. How can you see Jesus hidden in Psalm 1? 

 

Thursday-Friday: Jan 4 and 5.

11. Listen to Tim Keller’s Sermon on Psalm 1 and share your notes and comments. You can divide this into two days — the message is 40 minutes. If you have heard it before, it is definitely worth listening to again!

 

12. How is living like the man in Psalm 1 related to establishing a new habit of eating right, spending right, loving right?

 

 

Saturday:

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

 

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227 comments

  1. subscribe to daily bible study

    1. Welcome Lori!

  2. Looking forward to this next study!

    1. Welcome Melissa!

  3. 1. What stood out to you from the above?

    I loved the analogy of the Lord encompassing us all the time and the mountains hidden from view. How oblivious I can be to his nearness, it is breathtaking when I become aware.

    Also the weariness of the end of the holidays. I have been more disciplined in my eating than in years past, but so much that I wouldn’t normally consume is ubiquitous at Christmas, it seems like willpower has a tipping point.  I find that the treats that my diet will allow become more frequent as I try to feel like I am celebrating too, and I don’t feel good. We’ve had houseguests for the past two weeks so I also haven’t been getting in my morning exercise. I am ready for healthy routines.

    I will be beginning a CCEF course next week, I really hope to maintain my participation here but I may be overwhelmed with my job and my coursework.

    One other thing I thought of, I have often wished that I would have created a new email just for the blog. That way I could subscribe to the comments and, when time allowed, read them all, without completely jamming my regular email address. An idea for the newcomers 🙂

  4. Looking forward to this study and the comments of others as we go through it. Expect to have my eyes and heart open to many engaging concepts.

    1. Welcome Beverly!

      My full name is Beverly and my last name starts with J (-:

       

  5. 1. What stood out to you from the above?

    The first paragraph drew me in for I feel the same way, and I love how January truly is a month of new beginnings! Dee’s challenge to turn is something I needed to hear…  and oh yes if you are new you will find Him here. 🙂 🙂

    I am so glad God delights in new beginnings for us for His steadfast love never ceases, his mercies never come to an end for they are new every morning! And so let’s turn!

  6. 2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this last Advent or Christmas and why?

    I was feeling really discouraged about my attitude on my way to work one day this Christmas season. I feel sad, I have lost people I love. I feel that especially at this time of year that is hard, but I was grumbling about all I had to do when I didn’t want to celebrate, I was resenting being ‘put out’. My focus was totally on me. I began to pour my heart out to the Lord wishing I were more generous in spirit, that I could better love the people around me. Then the thought broke in that I am my Fathers child, I do bear some resemblance to Him. I prayed that I would be a truer ambassador of His, as I did the sun came from behind the snow clouds, when that happens as I am praying I often think of this from Psalm 19:

    “1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
    2 Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
    3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
    4 Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
    In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
    6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.”

    I felt His presence, I acknowledged that I am His because He abounds in steadfast love. Even when I am internally having a toddler meltdown He loves me. My inner turmoil ceased, my heart reset.

    1. Chris, Thank you for sharing so honestly. My son’s message was from Psalms 42/43  this morning. He talked about the normal Christian life as being one where we are broken and honest before God. And what a good shepherd He is who comes and gently lovingly picks us up when we are cast down in our souls.  Psalm 19 are such a wonderful uplifting verses. Thanks!

    1. I love that you experienced God through Annie and David’s marriage-how He is answering your prayer for them. I love that about you-you inspire me to be aware of Him leaping out -even in daily conversations with others and so I am praying I would listen well. Did I tell you God has brought my mom a “kinsman redeemer?” :)) That is a way I have experienced Him too this Advent-I just thought of that because of your story. I will have to tell you the story sometime.

    2. What a sweet thing this is Dee. Reading it gave me chills, and a push towards prayer cards too.

    3. Dee thanks for sharing about your daughter Annie and her husband. Delightful to hear about God answering your specific prayers.

      I know you have prayed in response to some of my comments earlier in the year about my relationship to one of my daughter in laws. We spent 5 days in their home over Christmas and our time there was good.  I really felt loved and welcomed by her. Definite answer to many prayers. (-:

    4. I love the idea of prayer cards.

  7. 1. What stood out to you from the above?

    I’m pretty memorized by David’s photo! And I need this: “time to turn”, for new beginnings, quiet, and to draw nearer to the One who makes all things new. I am praying for God to come out of this season of His hiding it seems I am in. I experienced His presence like never before through last summer but this Fall and winter have brought some hard times for me, and yet still, He is peeking through–reminding me He is still here. I want to draw nearer to the still small voice, trust in His goodness as I wait for Him to renew.

    2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this last Advent or Christmas and why?

    This was our first Christmas with our new 4 year old son, home from China 5 months. It was an amazing gift to watch his delight and wonder over the lights and the Christmas tree. But honestly, it was hard to hold back tears listening to him tell the story of baby Jesus over and over. God had rescued him not just from an orphanage, but the true rescue was allowing Philip to know His name.

    3. Write a prayer right here, asking God to help you get off on the right foot in 2018.  We can read it and pray it for you as well.

    Father, I long to love and seek Christ above all else. To love Your Word and prioritize it every day. To be quicker to repent. To answer fear and doubt and complaining with Your Truth. To put others before myself, willing to serve, and to love well. Oh how I fail at all of this, every minute. Help me Father to repent and draw nearer still. Help me daily submit to Your refining hands, resting in Your grace, through Christ and because of Your great love for me, that covers all my weakness, and brings Your smile upon me.

    “The sweetest prayers God ever hears are the groans and sighs of those who have no hope in anything but his love.”-Spurgeon

    4. If you have been here before, how can you encourage your new sisters to not just start, but stay the course?

    Well, I have been here several years and I used to be much more diligent about answering every question and reading others responses. But lately, I have not been able to keep up as well online. However, I always read the lesson, and answer on my own. It has become a favorite part of my Sunday morning routine. It’s like opening a present to me to see what Dee will share and the truths God will speak through her. It is ALWAYS so timely and fitting for where He has me. I do read the responses through my emails (though that  can be overwhelming as Dee said!) But the fellowship here, these women, truly are closer to me that my own sisters. I have never experienced anything quite like it, and it’s hard to imagine it unless you just jump in and join us! You will be amazed at how God has blessed this sweet fellowship.

    1. Lizzy, What a beautiful prayer! The Spurgeon quote is so meaningful and coincides beautifully with the message at my church this morning. Thanks for sharing. You always encourage my heart.

    2. Prayed your prayer along with you this morning, Lizzy.

    3. That was a beautiful prayer, Lizzy. I prayed it for you, too.

  8. I need to get back into God’s word. Thank You

    1. Welcome Alissa,  A good place here to get back into God’s Word.

  9. 2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this last Advent or Christmas and why?

    I sensed Him in the “hard things” this advent-for it has been a hard Christmas season this year-but Him walking with me in those hard moments is what truly satisfied my soul.

    Another way I sensed His presence was while I was sharing with my dad a few days ago. It started with my dad asking questions and when he asked, “Did Jesus know he was going to be crucified? If so, then he could prepare himself for all that pain at least, right? “, I sensed Him.   I said, “Yes he knew, and great thought- maybe he could prepare himself ahead yet I wonder if anyone could totally prepare for that? 🙂 Yet dad what was worse was when God turned his face from Jesus on the cross. God is Holy. He can’t be in the presence of sin so during that time on the cross when Jesus was taking on our sin their relationship was severed and Jesus cried out loud, father, father why have you forsaken me? Dad, the trinity-three in one. This intimacy ripped apart!” Dad said, “That must have been hard for God to turn His face.” I said, “oh yes. but here is the wonderful part, dad..His intimacy was broken so that you would never have God turn his face from you! So that you can be intimate with God in relationship. He is that passionate for you. He did this all for you, dad. He loves you so. I saw my dad’s eyes soften for a few seconds. It was a glimpse but I sensed Him.

    My dad knows his time is short and I don’t see him making it another year but God knows the time. Dad then asked about heaven and what I think it will be like. I told him all I know is what God says in Scripture, but we can expand a bit with our imagination based on that. 🙂 I shared with my dad that I wonder what it will be like when he removes Baal from my lips and I can worship Him with a heart void of any stones. 🙂 So he asked what that meant and we shared and talked more… God is good. ALL the time. I firmly believe my dad’s advanced COPD is a severe mercy and by his grace He has let my dad live this long. Dad’s doctor said it is a miracle he is still here. 🙂 🙂

    1. Rebecca, So good to hear the wonderful opportunity God gave you with your dad.

      Only Heaven will reveal the depth and powerful results of a severe mercy in our lives and the lives of some we love.

    2. Rebecca, thank you for sharing about your time and conversation with your dad; it is precious.

  10. I need this study and new beginning.

    1. Carla, Welcome! 🙂

    2. Welcome Carla!

  11. 3. Write a prayer right here, asking God to help you get off on the right foot in 2018.  We can read it and pray it for you as well.

    God your rescue of me daily melts and wrecks me at the same time for lately I have been clinging to the securities in this world over loving you. I have been slow to turn, slow to repent, and easily influenced by my idols to desire comfort over your comfort, my control over yours and other’s affirmation of me over your steadfast, sealed approval of me. Help me to begin anew in repenting quicker with my stubborn comfort idol, to meditate in your word in the morning and not allow distractions to take precedence, for they have this past month! Help me to truly listen, to truly “hear” you. To be still and contemplate rather than hurry. To find breathing in your very breath in your word as my treasure over any other treasures.

    1. Rebecca, that is a beautiful & honest prayer…..such an inspiration! Wonderful about your Dad too. May his heart continue to soften & respond to the Lord, Who is wooing him  🙂

    2. Praying for you with your words written here, Rebecca.

  12. I needed to here this today. Looking forward to psalms.

  13. Happy to begin again in 2018 with Psalms! I too ate way to many sweets! I need a re-boot, Lord grant me self-control🙂 I too need to find my rest in Jesus and not the throngs Incan see and touch. My prayer is for renewed spiritual vigor. Lord, change and transform me for Your glory.

  14. 4. If you have been here before, how can you encourage your new sisters to not just start, but stay the course?

    So I have been here since before 2012-perhaps 2010 is when I started? But I would love to testify about how God has met me here over the years-over and over again. I am with Lizzy in that my life has been a complete zoo since my four boys hit their teenage years and while I do Dee’s study offline more so lately, I miss sensing Him in the interactions with my beautiful sisters here and so I am hoping to change that.  Dee’s blog is a huge part of my morning time with God. Usually her questions and scripture sends me in a beautiful direction of intimacy and wonder and I know He will do that with you.

    If you have ever read His word and experienced a verse that pops out, or a passage that sears your heart-that is HIM speaking-Like deep calls to deep penetrating your soul. You will find that here for those of us who have been here a while have, so I encourage you to stay with it and if you miss a day or have a busy week and can’t-don’t give up-soon you won’t be able to NOT be here. There are always new beginnings. I hope this helps and WELCOME!!! 🙂

  15. I’m so excited for this opportunity to reflect and continue my journey of obedience and creating healthy habits in 2018. I find myself easily inspired and then distracted. My hope is to start my day with this study. Thank you for opportunity.

  16. I too am mesmerized by the photo of your house taken by David. He must have standing out in the bay to take it! Beautiful! Stunning! I’d like to see the same shot with the differences in the summer.

    Welcome! Welcome! to all the new women. I have been here for a long time, though I mostly just follow silently, commenting occasionally. Dee’s Bible study blog is a refuge in a turbulent world, an anchor of truth and fellowship for a weary soul.

    I was glad to see Dee’s warning to newcomers not to click to follow comments, unless you want to read a lot of emails, but I enjoy following them (usually). I learn so much from the others. Many of the bloggers are like old friends though I have not met them in person. It is so helpful to find Christian kindred spirits here. Their encouragement has helped bring me through turbulent waters.

    1. Well said Diane! (-:

  17. Sunday, New Year’s Eve
    1. What stood out to you from the above?
    The picture of Mount Rainier as I just got back from Seattle last Friday I had a brief view of it while there and even Ruth said she was surprised it came into view considering how cloudy it has been before I came! A kiss from the King! The clouds also lifted at another day for me to see the mountains-oh it was so beautiful! He took my breath away.

    “The Christian life is not a sprint but a long obedience in the same direction.” some days I am just weary but I know God is with me. This world is not my home I am just passing through but I want to live this life with joy and purpose. Obedience, no matter how hard it might be, is the way to go.
    2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this last Advent or Christmas and why?
    I flew to Seattle Christmas Day with the purpose of visiting and getting a feel of how our daughter, Ruth is getting along after being there since August. I had a heaviness that springs from the fact she is not walking with the Lord and so far away. I had to pray and recall God’s promises and experience His peace. I boarded the plane and made my way to a middle seat between 2 men. The gentleman sitting by the aisle stood up and gave me his seat. I thought-oh, that was sweet of him and thanked him (Fritz is his name) and got settled. The flight was going to be about 3 hrs and 50 minutes. As I got to visit with the 2 gentlemen, I found out they flew from Georgia and Kansas City was just a connecting flight on their way to Seattle.  I found out Fritz was in the Navy in the Philippines, his wife is a nurse, her daughter who lives in Kent, WA was around Ruth’s age, and he is a Christian! In the next hour and a half we talked about our faith and our awareness of the spiritual warfare that is going on in the lives of our children. We exchanged phone numbers and he offered to talk to his daughter about getting connected with Ruth. When Ruth picked me up and as we were on our way to the place where we will be staying, I mentioned Fritz and his daughter living in Kent and then wonder of wonders, Ruth told me her new part time job at a refugee center is in Kent! I know God purposely led me to sit next to Fritz to remind me of His care. He used Fritz to encourage my mother heart. Like the stag in the picture, God surprised me with a special visit. He took my breath away. indeed!
    3. Write a prayer right here, asking God to help you get off on the right foot in 2018.  We can read it and pray it for you as well.
    Lord, it is 2018- it is time to turn. Turn to you as never before. Turn to your truth and promises as often as I can, turn to look at the hurting, vulnerable, marginalized, poor and in need of your good news. Turn upward to you and outward to my “neighbors”. Empower us to do your will and let us run the race to win!
    4. If you have been here before, how can you encourage your new sisters to not just start, but stay the course?
    Welcome to all the new women here! This is the place where one can go to that is safe, uplifting and saturated in God’s Word and presence. A place to be vulnerable, a place to learn to love God and others more. Come as often as you can and don’t give up-just start typing (smile) and before you know it, the wind will come and hoist your sail (eh, perhaps limber up them digits and fire up the spiritual neurons LOL)!

    1. Ernema, Great to hear your testimony of your trip to Seattle.

      I love your encouragement to the newcomers. (-:

       

  18. 1. What stood out to you from the above?

    Because our youngest daughter and her family live in the Seattle area we generally visit there a couple times a year.  Mt. Rainier is a familiar site to us. But as you say she hides much of the time so sightings are special but oh the majesty!  Homes with a view of it are worth more and making opportunities to see it are planned. We have even chosen our seats on the airplane to be on the side flying in or out which will afford us a view of it in the air if the weather permits. We have seen some incredible views above the clouds of it’s majestic peak.  It is so true when you say God is like that.  When we are given a glimpse of his glory He is bigger and more beautiful than we ever imagined him to be. And you always want to see Him again and more. 

    2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this last Advent or Christmas and why?

    I love the lights of Christmas. I love the fact there are Christmas lights everywhere and it makes the season brighter and more cheerful from my living room Christmas tree and all the way driving to Texas seeing many displays of lights to some 30-40 incredibly large beautiful trees completely wrapped in lights surrounding the Perdernales Power Company in Johnson City, TX.  I am so reminded that Jesus Christ is the light of the world and even the world can’t help itself when Christmas time comes.  They put up lights. (-: 

    3. Write a prayer right here, asking God to help you get off on the right foot in 2018.  We can read it and pray it for you as well.

    Precious Father,  I praise and thank you for 2017. It has been a year of many things, some hard and some very good but you have been completely faithful at all times. I thank you for the Bible, your Holy Word, and it’s power to change and encourage my life.  I ask as I continue to share in the teaching and study of it with this group that I will grow in my knowledge of you and your wonderful ways.  I thank you for Dee and her leadership in the study of your Word. Please richly bless her and give us teachable hearts.  It is with hope in you and you alone that I look forward to 2018 and the power of your precious Holy Spirit to lead and guide my life and the lives of my sweet sisters in Christ on this blog.  
    I ask these things in the name of Jesus my precious Savior.  Amen

    4. If you have been here before, how can you encourage your new sisters to not just start, but stay the course?

     
    Even though I am plugged into a really good church with a wonderful teaching pastor (-: (some of you already know he is my son) and part of a small group and will be leading a Women’s bible study at my church I have found this blog to be a great source of good teaching from Dee.  I learn from the others who post and sometimes challenge my thinking. Agreement isn’t a requirement but I have found respectful interaction which sometimes helps me think through and reevaluate my position of thought or my situations in life. Also there is an element of accountably which I think is always healthy for us as believers to have in our lives.  Dee has led us by example in that regard for the responsibility to be as accurate as possible as a teacher is no small thing. She has made herself accountable to us for that. And those of you who stick with this serve as an encouragement to me. 
     

    1. Bev–love your prayer. Such a good reminder to me to first thank Him, in all circumstances.

  19. Welcome to ALL the wonderful new sisters! So glad to have you join us–it will surely bless you to be under Dee’s faithful teaching and join in this sweet fellowship.

  20. Sign me up to see Jesus in the Psalms.

  21. This is not my first time here, but I’m not sure that I remember my name as registered.  I do receive emails and this prompted me to check back in with you Dee to try and establish a consistent quiet time with God (via your Bible Study).  I have been on a tremendous spiritual growth through contact with many people, sharing my learnings with them and seeing some progress.  One story in particular is that years ago when I registered for a lent study one of our guy friends registered.  I thought it was odd since your site is mostly for women.  Because of this action, I informed my husband that I thought “Don” was looking for God.  I suggested he adopt him as his “lamb” and find opportunities to enlighten “Don” on how to have a personal relationship with Jesus.  It took about 2.5 years for the concept of salvation to sink in, but I am very happy to proclaim that “Don” accepted Jesus Christ as His Personal Lord and Savior.  He is on a daily commitment to learn all he can and he is so pleased to have us in his life.  Want you to know, this is an off-shoot from a contact with your website.  God uses us all to fulfill His purposes and I want to thank you for your purpose.

  22. Welcome Lori, Melissa ,Alisa, Gayle& Evelyn! Come to our table & eat with us  🙂 I have been on the Blog for a year now since Advent last year. Wow that went fast & it has truly been a blessing.

    What stood out to me was the picnic table all set in the field…..so inviting & outside in nature, where I love to be most    🙂  I like to picture Jesus sitting at the table with me & some sisters in the Lord, & just sharing & laughing & enjoying sweet time together. Hearing His words of love & encouragement & wisdom.

    I think I sensed God’s Presence most this Advent in my early morning quiet time, looking out the bay window to the East. I saw many beautiful sunrises, even a jet stream that was orange & looked like a cross! I was trying to look for the Lord with alert expectancy. Now I need to focus afresh on Him, & soak more in His Word.

    Dear Father God, please turn my heart & mind towards Jesus this New Year. Help me to be a willing & available vessel, surrendered to You. When I’m not willing, please draw me & soften my heart. May You overwhelm me with Your Love afresh, so that it overflows from me to the unbelievers around me. Use me to encourage & build up others You bring into my life. May I serve You more fearlessly this year. Thank You for never giving up on me!

     

     

  23. What a wonderful invitation!

    I would like to join the group finding Jesus in the Psalms.

    I have been praying about finding something fresh for the New Year and I believe this is it!

    Looking forward to following along and participating.

    https://everydaywiththeking.com/

  24. 1.  What stood out? Today I feel like God is behind the clouds. I am looking forward to this week and being more aware of when He might show Himself.

    Dee, is it possible to somehow go back and add a picture for the blog? I am not very technical!

     

    2.  His peace during Advent and on Christmas Eve was so strong.

     

    3.  Lord, You know I’ve tried before, many times in fact, to start the new year off on the right foot. It doesn’t seem to me that significant times of growth came at the beginning of the year. But I would like for this year to be different. Lord, I desire for my life to mean more for Your glory and for Your kingdom. Help me to hear You, yes, but even more so to trust and obey Your leading.

     

    4.  Not sure when I started with the blog, and did follow silently for a time. My encouragement to the new sisters, whom I enthusiastically welcome, is to plan ahead with your week. I know I have the most time on Sunday afternoon, so I do most of the study then and just post daily. That way I don’t get bogged down and discouraged by running out of time. I love reading what others are posting, though I don’t respond to them as much as I should. Don’t give up if you get behind! Start anew the next week.

      1. i had to put myself as marybnurse to do the account, so that is what I will use for my sign in here??

  25. Just want to check if my gravatar will show up here somehow. This is kind of fun (navigating the instructions) and funny ( I am not very tech savvy).

  26. I guess not yet. Patience is a virtue, eh?

  27. 1. What stood out to you from the above?
    My eyes immediately went to  where you said that we sometimes forget that God is near us and I remembered Christmas Day and how I was feeling a little sad as this past year has been a hard one in which I felt very alone. I had been grieving some of the closest friendships I had had in a ladies prayer group that became a ministry. We met for 10 years every Monday evening but with Grandchildren coming, sicknesses, elderly parents, and God calling many of us to new churches we all seemed to drift apart and lost touch. One of the ladies especially I’d become friends with and we kept up by email for awhile but the last time we emailed was two years ago. As I was sitting there checking email I saw one with her name on it.  For a minute I asked myself how that old email had gotten in my inbox but then I kept looking at the date and it was that day. It said “I miss you very much and love you. I’ve had a hard year but wanted to get back in touch.”  I was reminded immediately how God knows what we have need of and how near he was to my heart. I know that but somehow I needed to be reminded. Praise God.  The last few days I keep being reminded of by the Holy Spirit and in many things I’ve picked up of the phrase “all things new” and then I read your blog this afternoon and you said  January is the season of new beginnings, the season of quiet, where we can renew (or establish) the habit of drawing near to the One who makes all things new.   That is what I want and NEED.

    1. Charmaine, what an answer to your missing your friends from your prayer group….an email from one of them! I do hope that you and she can get together and catch-up in the New Year! If not in person, maybe through emailing, or face-timing, or phone calls!

  28. What stands out to me? Yes, that God brings surprises. The picture of the deer jumping onto the deck is lovely! On our way to our church Christmas program a deer and her 2 fawns ran across the road in front of us and it was a magical moment.

    I sensed the presence of God as I spent time with my 4 year old great granddaughter. Her awareness of the birth of Jesus and her delight in singing songs about Jesus just touched my heart. It made me so aware that a child’s trust is so pure, and brought me such joy.

    My prayer: Father God, I pray for you to guide me to a closer walk with you in 2018. May I become more disciplined in my study of your Word and apply these truths to my life in a consistent manner.I thank you for the encouragement of these precious sisters who share so honestly. Thank you that you are a God of surprises, and I desire to look for these daily. Thank you, In Jesus’ name, Amen

  29. Charmaine…thanks for sharing your journey and how God is meeting you through this quiet reminders. He does surprise us when we least expect it. Stay with us-you have encouraged me by just sharing here.

  30. Hi, I’ve been wanting to go through the Psalms, so I guess that’s what stood out. I’m coming out of a completed weekly, in-person Bible Study, but don’t have the time this quarter to be on the clock like that logistically. Meeting a group virtually sounds much more manageable at this time.

    I usually don’t like November and December, but this year’s went well enough. I don’t like the hustle and bustle and commitments and expectations that have nothing to do with Christ. This year I felt very confident in ignoring a lot of it induced by family and society and decided to set the example or at least focus on my spirit (Romans 8:6) for the pleasure of God (and not man).  To wrap the season, we just spent New Years’ Eve with my sister and nephew at fireworks where she posted a “blessed” facebook status. That’s huge and witnessing that answered prayer (of her recognizing and feeling her blessings) was a special surprise from God. Looking back on other specific, answered prayer requests for 2017 encourages me as well. I was just getting warmed up! 2018 presents new opportunities to let go and let God.

    Father in Heaven, Thank you for my life and the peaceful ending to 2017. Thank you for your presence all along. I pray for more of the same, more revelation and more spiritual strength. Help me to be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction and constant in prayer.” With your help and in Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.

  31.  

    Welcome all new bloggers! You can’t go wrong with Dee’s teaching 😉.

     

    Happy New Year to all!

     

    1. What stood out to you from the above?

     

    I feel the sluggishness of which you speak; I actually enjoy getting back to my routine after a break.

     

    I remember the only time I have been to the Seattle area was in 1989 to see Mt. St. Helens. I couldn’t actually see the volcano because the fog was so thick! So disappointed, as I was a geologist. I did camp at Lake George on Mount Rainier, and hiked way up as well. It was beautiful!

     
    2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this last Advent or Christmas and why?
     

    I was taken with the sermon by Paul Tripp called, “The Plan.” It was based off of Isaiah 53:10. He spoke of how God had planned (willed) to crush Jesus to save all. Oh my! It was heart-wrenching AND enlightening at the same time. He asked those in the room who were parents to think of how we would not want anything like that to happen to our children; it was the most loving act He could have done. “For God SO loved the world that He gave His only Son…” oh my. How beautiful.

     
    3. Write a prayer right here, asking God to help you get off on the right foot in 2018.  We can read it and pray it for you as well.
     

    Dear Lord, You know me best. This life is hard but thank You for being my guide and protector. I believe You have my best interests in mind even when I don’t understand what is going on. It is peaceful to know You have my back. Thank You in advance for the blessings I anticipate in this new year. In Your Holy Name I pray. Amen.

     
    4. If you have been here before, how can you encourage your new sisters to not just start, but stay the course?
     

    Have you ever heard the old joke, “How do you eat an elephant?”

    One bite at a time!

     

    That’s my advice for anyone here. Some days are better than others and usually if I can’t finish all the days questions I just leave them for later in the day or the next morning. I usually end up completing the entire study even if it happens on Saturday. Don’t give up! You can do it!

     

  32. 1. What stood out to you from the above?

     

    Yes, the decorations are looking a bit sad, and I ate too many sweets. I did some extra baking for my son and his favorites while he was home, and I’m not feeling so good now! Although, I was listening to a radio program that was talking about how many of the more liturgical churches, like the Catholic church, continue on with the celebration of Christmas on into the New Year. Our tradition has been to put up the decorations and the tree right after Thanksgiving, so by now, I’m a little tired of them. And in the grocery store a few days ago, they were putting out the Valentine’s Day candy. It seems as a society we are always “on to the next thing” when perhaps, we should savor what is in the present a bit more.

    That January is a time for new beginnings….well, I actually had a bit of an emotional meltdown yesterday morning, more so than on Christmas Day, as I continue to grieve for my mom and that 2018 will be the first year of my life without her. It is hard for me to stop looking back at the past and wishing that things would be as they once were.

     

    2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this Advent or Christmas and why?

     

    A Scripture verse that kept coming to my mind at some of my lowest moments is the one about how we do not grieve as those who have no hope. Then I would think about why do we/I have hope? Christmas is the answer because it is when God came down to us.

     

    3. Write a prayer right here, asking God to help you get off on the right foot in 2018. We can read it and pray it for you as well.

     

    Lord, You know how hard it is for me to stick to a plan; I always begin with good intentions but then, for many reasons, I don’t stick to it. Some mornings I just don’t want to get out of my warm bed. I am not consistent in my prayer life and sometimes I think it is because I wonder if it does any good anyway. Lord, I think what I am searching for right now is meaning….it may sound silly as I know the theological answer to that, but I need to know it personally for my own life. Behind all the things I do, Lord, what is the meaning or purpose behind it all? I really need You to step down right into my everyday life. Sometimes I feel very scared, Lord, and I need to know You are right here with me. I am asking for just a quiet assurance from You. Thank you for listening, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

     

    4. If you have been here before, how can you encourage your new sisters to not just start, but stay the course?

     

    I encourage and welcome all the new ladies….the best thing to do is just start! I believe that you will soon feel comfortable sharing here. I’ve been here a long time, and the things we’ve shared here go deeper and more honest than I often can find in face-to-face relationships, and this is a safe place to share. No one is ever judged, criticized, or ridiculed here. This is a family unlike any other I’ve ever “met”…..and I’ve had the privilege to meet some of you in person. I really believe what makes the difference is that when I’ve done Bible studies at church, we meet once a week to discuss that week’s lesson, but here, we can meet every day – who does that? It’s the daily walking together that makes the difference, but sometimes I, like we all do, have things going on in our lives and we miss some days or even a whole week, but that’s okay….just begin again!

  33. 5. What does Hebrews 12:12-13 tell us to do? Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path? What is it and how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks?

     

    This passage tells us to get strong, “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees”, and to make the ground under our feet level, “make level paths for your feet”. I notice it doesn’t say to walk on level ground. Perhaps in this fallen world, there is no such level ground as our paths are strewn with the rocks of temptation and even our own desires for the wrong things make our way rocky. I think of verses like “put off the sin that so easily entangles”, and I imagine tripping and falling here. And the only way to make one’s body stronger is to exercise, and that requires discipline. It is hard for me to be consistent in my time with the Lord and to abide with Him, to keep up my faith, as it were, when for the most part, I am surrounded by those who do not share my faith. It really is a struggle for me, but if I get discouraged or go along with the path of least resistance, I become weaker. A big area is my church attendance. My daughter will usually go to my Sunday school class with me, but then has many reasons why we need to go home….she has homework, etc…. I like for her to go to my class with me because she has a connection with Cathy, our leader, and she hears sound and winsome teaching, but I know it has hurt me not to stay for the worship services. And worse, if she doesn’t want to go with me, I can feel sorry for myself for having to go to church alone and end up staying home myself. This is an area that is dangerous for me and I do believe it has caused some lameness in me (my excuses are pretty lame:))

  34. 6. Read Luke 24:1-27

     

    A. How did Jesus surprise the two on the road to Emmaus?

     

    He just showed up….these two men were walking along, talking about everything that had happened in Jerusalem concerning Jesus, and Jesus himself starts walking along the road with them. He asks them what they’re talking about.

     

    B. Why do you think He did not allow them to recognize them at first?

     

    Perhaps Jesus wanted to hear what they had to say. If He had revealed Himself immediately, there would’ve been no discussion. He knew what they were talking about, but He let them tell their story, He let them express their sorrow and disappointment and crushed dreams.

     

    C. What did He show them in their Scriptures (the Old Testament) according to verses 26-27?

     

    He showed them how all that was spoken by the prophets of old – how the Messiah had to suffer, was fulfilled in what happened to Him. He explained to them that these Scriptures were all about Himself.

  35. D. If you were with us in the fall, share one place you discovered Jesus “in the books of Moses”.” Why did this stand out to you?

     

    I had to look back at earlier blogs as my memory isn’t that good, but the one lesson that really stood out to me then was about “The Tapestry of our Lives” and the story of Joseph. Joseph is so much a Christ-like figure; suffering cruel betrayal, misunderstanding, falsely accused and punished, and preserving his people from death. I remember reading in my NASB translation how when, during the famine, Joseph opened the storehouses of grain and fed the people like a shepherd. Joseph’s life was so interwoven, as a tapestry, with his family, with the Egyptians, with history….he became so great and powerful yet was a humble servant and it always amazed me that he didn’t leave Egypt and go home; he stayed the course and stayed where God had put him, and in so doing, preserved the lives of many, including his own family.

    1. Wow SUSAN, that is an encouraging story about Joseph! “He stayed the course & stayed where God had put him, & in so doing, preserved the lives of many, including his own family”. That’s what I pray that I can do, & you too in your marriage to an unbeliever.! My heart goes out to u with your prayer for quiet assurance & meaning for your life. The Lord will do that for you, & I pray that He will touch & embrace you today!!

    2. When I think how in a tapestry how each stitch alone looks rather odd and often disjointed, something lacking, yet all the stitches together make something of beauty…such a metaphor for life.

  36. 5. What does Hebrews 12:12-13 tells us to do? Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path? What is it and how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks?

     

    It tells us that we should make “straight paths” for ourselves and others by getting rid of things that make us weak. It’s kind of a “get off your bum and get moving” verse 😉.

     

    I definitely fell off the food wagon wagon during the season. In fact, the peppermint topped chocolate “slice” with my coffee this morning was heavenly, so I guess that doesn’t count? Lol!

     

    Seriously, I could do better in many areas: prayer, Bible study, food/drink, exercise, sleep (that’s a big one for me….I need to go to bed earlier), words (foul and snarky), being judgemental, and I’m sure there’s more.

     

    Since I have so much, I will only concentrate on a few and hopefully the others will fall into place somewhat. I will do a couple of things to stay strong; I’m pretty good at being disciplined when I want to 😉🙏. I have the weight watchers app and I have fallen behind on keeping track of my eating and exercise (it’s been an nice break from that though 🤷‍♀️). I will go to bed by 10 so I can actually do my bible study at 5 am instead of sleeping through the study. As I lay here and answer these questions other things come to mind that I should change 😔. I am a MESS.

    1. Laura, you always make me smile with your honesty. I am a mess, too so let’s help one another here. Thankfully, God is in the business of turning messes into masterpieces.

      1. 👍 sounds like a plan!

  37. 5. What does Hebrews 12:12-13 tells us to do? Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path? What is it and how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks?
    12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
    Since these verses start with a “therefore”, I supposed I should look at the verses before them. Hebrews 11 gave us examples of the faith walk of ones that have gone before us. 12:1-11 talks about this cloud of witnesses and an  encouragement for us to persevere giving Jesus as the greatest example in vs 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
    Part of the faith walk of this hall of famers was discipline because God treated them as children. So too for us, and as part of it we should strengthen our frame-arms for work (literally for me with my shoulder problems) and knees for walking (ugh-arthritis?).
    Areas in danger of becoming lame in my life boils down to consistency-my time with the Lord, prescribed physical exercises for my shoulder and over-all health, prayer life. I need an accountability person and a start, this blog will be one. Praying to be consistent here in the next 21 days but not let the Pharisee in me rear its ugly head when I fail.
     
    Dee, any specifics on how you manage the prayer cards? I find myself being overwhelmed just with the thought of the many cards I have to make. Would perforated index cards work as well? I have thought about printing pictures of each person I pray for and paste it on the top of the page/card. Like you ladies’ gravatars. (Smile)

  38. 6. Read Luke 24:1-27 (Review for many — but the basis of this study.)
    A. How did Jesus surprise the two on the road to Emmaus? 
     

    He joined them in their walk and began to talk to them.

     
    B. Why do you think He did not allow them to recognize Him at first? 
     

    I’m not sure, but maybe because He wanted them to speak authentically, without reservation?

     
    C. What did He show them in their Scriptures (the Old Testament) according to verses 26-27?
     

    He showed them all the places He was mentioned in the Old Testament.

     

     

     

  39. In what area am I in danger of becoming lame?

    This word picture is very vivid for me as last year I was limping for 7 months from a deteriorating hip, now with a hip replacement my gait is steady. My weakness is  allowing my thoughts to discourage me as my focus may be my insecurity, rather than God’s power at work in me. Yesterday my pastor spoke on courageous thankfulness. So my goal is to take courage every morning, being grateful for his grace that has set me free from my sinful self.  I want to grow stronger with more of Him and less of me.

    1. Shirley, I am glad to hear that you’ve made a good recovery and your new hip is helping you walk steady! My sister is still recovering from hers….she had to get a lift for one shoe as her one leg is now shorter than the other, but the biggest thing is her pain is gone.

  40. Luke 24:1-27 A. Jesus surprised the 2 disciples on the Emmaus road as they spoke of the events that had happened. Their faces were downcast. I am wondering about the motive of Jesus being unrecognizable to them. They needed to express their feelings  and give Jesus an opportunity to remind them of the prophecies that had been made from the time of Moses of the way God would set us free from sin. I remember the need for the sin offering that was necessary to offer: an unblemished lamb. I believe this was the picture of Christ, who became our sacrificial Lamb.

     

  41. D. If you were with us in the fall, share one place you discovered Jesus “in the books of Moses.” Why did this stand out to you?

     

    I love, love, LOVE this idea of finding Jesus throughout the Bible! I never knew about this until I began listening to Nancy Demoss Wolglemuth and (mostly) on this blog. To be honest though, I had to go back to the fall to remember what we studied! I have so much to remember these days that I can’t fit it all in my pea brain! Here’s what I found:

     

    The story of Abraham and Issac; I thought the parallels of faith, riding a donkey, going to a far away place, carrying his own wood, father giving son, etc. were convicting to me believing that it is true that the entire Bible is truly a story of Jesus!

    1. Laura, I love, love, LOVE this idea of finding Jesus throughout the Bible! Your excitement is contagious-I love that you love finding Jesus throughout the Bible!

  42. A New Year…Jan.1…a New Beginning

  43. Happy Blessed New Year to all u dear ladies & sisters….old & new!! May we press on together & spur each other on towards our goal…Jesus & becoming more like Him!

    Laura , I just love your honesty & the way u put things…haha it makes me laugh! Yes, I am a mess too. So thankful that the Lord specializes in putting broken pieces together & making something new! An area where I am in danger of becoming lame is liking my wine with dinner too much. In all honesty I don’t think there is anything “wrong” with enjoying wine with a meal, but it’s become a bit too much of a draw for me. I’m praying that with the help of the Holy Spirit I can fast from that for the 21 days, & focus more on Jesus. I want to be a clean fresh vessel surrendered to Him, & be looking for His newness of Life in me.

    Emmaus:  I think Jesus took them by surprise & didn’t reveal Himself right away, cause he wanted them to discover Him for themselves. Then they were able to look back on what He said, after He had revealed Himself, & be amazed. How often I must miss Him, but I pray that my eyes will be open to look for Him.

    Jesus spoke to them about how He had been foretold all tho Scripture & how this was fulfilled in His life & death & resurrection.

     

    1. Jenny, I too find the wine with dinner becoming a draw. Thanks for your honesty; I will be watching it as well.

      1. we’ll stand together sis! His love is better than wine, so we can be looking to experience that!

  44. 5.  Hebrews says to strengthen feeble arms and weak knees, and to smooth out the path before you so that you don’t go from lame to disabled, but rather healed. I am realizing this means to do something different than what I’ve been trying that landed me in this shape! There are two areas for me to work on. One is this blog. I start well, but then toward the end of the week I feel like everything has already been said, and my contribution isn’t worth the effort and I quit posting. I need to be more consistent. The other is with the list of verses I have to go to instead of poor food choices. I haven’t been using them, and that needs to change. I need to meditate on one verse a day, keeping in a submissive state with God.

    1. Mary b: First of all I am so glad you are here and I love your picture! 🙂 I can relate to needing to do something different than what put us in this lame condition. To say, instead of walking in unhealthy habits-I will replace them with consistency in his word and in fellowship with other believer-is beautiful Mary for that is where we must start-with a teachable heart and He has given you one.

      I can also relate to feeling like my contribution isn’t helpful to others-like when there are no responses. I hope to encourage you that I have found thoughts in others’ posts that encourage me yet I am unable to comment.  I am sure they had no intentions of that thought or action spurring on and sharpening me or anyone else so it is Him moving in ways we can’t see. 🙂 🙂 He has already moved in your first few posts even though you might think you aren’t saying anything new. 🙂

      I tend to process scripture here a lot..It is so helpful for me yet risky for I have been totally mistaken with what I think He is showing me but we sharpen one another here in love and I think we so need that.

       

       

      1. I appreciate hearing that you, too, think a lot about posts that you don’t reply to. I am so grateful for this blog, and the living example of ‘sisters’ living together in unity….

  45. 6.  B.  Most likely, had He revealed Himself right away, they would have been so full of questions and excitement they would not have listened to His teaching.

    D.  Jesus in the Books of Moses…

    Ex 12:13 the blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you…it is His blood on us as our Passover lamb that makes judgment Passover us and grant us life.

    Num 24:17 I see him, but not now, I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob. A scepter will rise out of Israel… He is the bright and morning Star.

    Deut 8:3 he humbled you causing you to hunger and then filling you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord….Jesus is the Bread of Life, our spiritual food.

     

    1. Mary, you have a good memory….I like your OT references that you cite here!

      1. these are all ones that I have marked in my Bible over the years, so it was easy to go back through and just look for Jesus!

  46. 5. What does Hebrews 12:12-13 tells us to do? Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path? What is it and how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks?

    The only way the lame parts of me can experience healing is as He makes me more into the image of Christ but I must continue to be in the habit of meeting with him every morning for I am weak and lame just due to my sin nature.  Sin is always crouching at my door so I must not let it in but I can only master it when I am spending timein His word-letting Him heal my sinful places inside.

    Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path?  My husband’s paycheck was delayed right before Christmas and my first response wasn’t trust and this isn’t the first time I have spazzed about finances-ugh. I saw how rattled I became inside-for a whole day but in the past my rattling has lasted longer!!

    how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks? When I see the red flags pop up, I will speak truth. “Having this security/comfort isn’t better than God..He is my well of satisfaction, my comfort, and there is no better joy than being with Him-for He has shown me this over and over-recount those moments!” ALSO: Getting into His word for longer periods of time and asking Him to help me see Him there. This sounds crazy but this year I am doing a read through the Bible in 90 days. I plan to do this every morning and then do Dee’s blog. I did my first day this morning and it takes about 30-40 minutes of reading time because I don’t want to read just to get through it but to hear Him and I did this morning! It took me about 40 minutes. So I must get up at 4:00 in the morning instead of 4:30. I figure the more distractions I have in this busy season of life then the more of His presence I need, and my desire for Him will grow as His presence quenches my thirst.

     

      1. Pray for me to be steadfast! With a challenge like this I can be like Peter and not follow through! :-/

  47. Rebecca, you are such an inspiration & example of faith!! Fancy getting up at 4am! I’m sure the Lord will meet u in a big way & bless u with His Presence  🙂

    Mary b. , I agree with Rebecca…your comments are always welcomed & appreciated. I don’t comment on everyone’s but I wish I could. It is a blessing to read & ponder them, as best I can. I need to figure out how to do the picture….so nice to see your face!  🙂

    1. Thank you, Jenny.  Following the directions Dee gave, even this non techy girl could do it.

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  49. Happy New Year, sisters!

    1. What stood out to you from the above?
    I like the picture of the door…why?  I think because of the welcome that is being provided…the door is open, just waiting to be walked through.  Additionally, the vastness of Mt. Rainer is striking…when I look at size differences in the buildings in the pictures, it shows even more how truly vast Mt. Rainer is.  A good reminder of the vastness, boundlessness, immensity of our Lord…beyond anything the human mind can fathom.
    2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this last Advent or Christmas and why?
    The commercial, secular hub-bub/hustle-bustle of the season really got me down.  Too often I allowed a high stress-level at work and others’ demands and expectations to overwhelm me…I am SO thankful for my Sunday worship, I really sensed the Lord’s presence; His refocusing me…it was like a transfusion to get me through the week ahead.
    3. Write a prayer right here, asking God to help you get off on the right foot in 2018.  We can read it and pray it for you as well.
    Oh dear Lord, You know what is needed…I feel You guiding me to a more intentional life, more intentional decisions, and I thank You for directing me and helping me to discern the disciplines needed.  Lord, I pray for courage and initiative.  Thank You, Lord, that You are faithful, patient, and kind…thank You for loving me and calling me Your own…thank You that you are trustworthy.
    4. If you have been here before, how can you encourage your new sisters to not just start, but stay the course?
    Do not be discouraged if you don’t catch every comment and/or reply as often as you would like…do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the comments, remember that the most important thing is the study itself.  Do not be discouraged if you do not receive replies to your comments, as Jenny said, regardless of replies, others are finding your comments a “blessing to read and ponder”; do not allow the “approval idol” to play with you.  I began my bible study blog participation in September 2012, but largely stepped away from active participation for much of 2017…I am eager to return and will try to follow my own, as well as other sisters’, encouragement in staying the course…I truly feel that this is an intentional decision the Lord is guiding me to take.

    1. Hi Nanci!! Glad you’re here😊

    2. Good to see you here again, Nanci!