"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Showing posts with label Book study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book study. Show all posts

Friday, April 22, 2016


This week's
Online Bible Study
Faith Gateway
{and also via a YouVersion 6 day reading plan for each of the 6 sessions/weeks}
Sheila Walsh's
new book
"The Longing in Me"
{there's a study guide and the book, which is optional with FaithGateway, but not really because it's so vital to what Sheila has to share}


{Day 2 of 6 with You Version Bible reading plan}

The Eternal is my light amidst my darkness
    and my rescue in times of trouble.
    So whom shall I fear?
He surrounds me with a fortress of protection.
    So nothing should cause me alarm.
(The Voice)

[You need to create a free account with Study Gateway to have temporary access to view the 20 minute one]

Even though King David seriously messed up many times, he had an out-loud, honest, vibrant relationship with God. Even when as a young boy he tended sheep by himself, he was clearly never alone. He knew who his protector was, and he didn't hesitate to share his heart and emotions with God.
Some of David's psalms would never have made it into our twenty-first century church libraries. There's something about David's honesty that we need to press into, to dig deep to find. David never hid from God. He knew in the depths of his being that the only one he could run to for protection was the Lord.
David was completely convinced that the unseen God was the only one worth pursuing-the only one whose protection mattered. And because he had experienced firsthand God's constant care and presence, he could-and would-face giants. David, in fact, had already become a giant slayer long before he ever confronted Goliath. He had learned that no matter what life threw at him or how big the obstacles were in his life that was facing at the moment, God was always bigger.
The same is true for us. God is our protector. He is our hiding place. He is with those who turn to him in prison, and those who turn to him in the pews, and in parking spots, and in private bedrooms across the earth. He is there for everyone who turns to him in faith.
The Goliaths in your life may seem insurmountable, like great mountains. You wake up in the morning, and the first thing that hits you is the reality that the mountain is still there. When you finally fall in bed at night, worry creeps in with you, reminding you of the same insurmountable mountain. If you don't challenge it in the name of the Lord, fear will occupy more and more territory of your heart and mind.
For this reason, you need to confront every Goliath in your life and believe that God will be your protector. David sang out what he knew was true so it would be louder than any fear that tried to sneak in the back door of his heart. That's not a bad idea! Fear didn't stop David, and we mustn't let it stop us. Young David learned that when everyone else failed him, God would always protect him. Likewise, when our longing for a father's protection is directed toward God, we'll never be left empty and alone.
Whoever your Goliaths may be, God can give you all the courage and strength you need to face your fears. Remember, the battle is the Lord's. The ship is his to steer and bring safely home. Your job is to show up and be brave!
God is raising up for himself a ragtag band of followers who are tired of listening to the bellyaching of the Goliaths in their lives-and who are ready to come against those giants in the name of the Lord! "YouVersion

Sheila begins this session in the Study Guide with a quote from Eugene H. Peterson, "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction", which would do us well to "soak in" ...
"We are secure. God is running the show."

When you are faced with a Goliath-sized problem, in what ways is your response shaped by your fear? In what ways is it shaped by your faith?
How has God been there for you in the past-providing for you, protecting you, healing you, and giving you grace and forgiveness?
How can God's promises in Scripture to be with you, guide you, protect you, and strengthen you give you confidence in his continual presence and protection?

Laurie McClure's personal response of her story is quite moving and powerful at Faith Gateway Online Bible Study.

I will be working through this Session 2 in my study guide today alone with God, because of all of these 6 sessions, I ,like Laurie and Sheila, find this longing to be perhaps one of my deepest longings and needs. I completely rely on God, as my Protector, yet often this has been the place where I weaken and have been most vulnerable. 

Today I will be "writing a spiritual resume" - ["to follow David's example and engage in spiritual strength training - to develop my confidence in God as my Protector and Provider"] - even though I know full well HE IS and truly HAS BEEN (especially my life here in Mexico, but even before). This "spiritual resume is to summarize God-related experiences and education - my knowledge of God and God's ways". So I am to start out with 20-30 minutes set aside to reflect on my life with God. I think this is a perfect way to start out my Fri. as I set aside this day just for Him and I. {this is on p. 39-40 in Sheila's Study Guide}

The Study and Reflect part that follows this has some invaluable, practical exercises ... like this 1st one:

"... As you consider this season in your life, in which of the following area(s) would you say you are most aware of your need for safety and protection?
{choose your top 2 or 3}


-physiological safety
-physical wellness and security
- job security
-financial security
-emotional safety
-aspirational safety
-relational safety
-spiritual safety
-social safety
-civil safety
-"future" security
{the Study Guide defines each of these}

'Much adobut not 'about nothing'
is about
'something more' 
that I still need 
to work out
"The Longing in Me"

Perhaps I need to come back and share more from
Session 2
my God-time

*... but as you can see this post is quite lengthy already, without me sorting through my "longing to be protected" publicly ... so just let me say that Sheila's story of her 1st marriage is one I totally can relate to because this is my life. Sheila never shared this part of her life before, until this book and after his passing ... so I too wait ... 

Friday, April 15, 2016


Part of what I shared in W.O.W., I should have waited and shared that devotional today since it went with the PRAYER for today. Plus this is kinda my day and place for PRAYER or worship. Be sure you check out the devotional and the prayers.


I came upon this You Version reading plan that goes along with the new Online Bible Study that FaithGateway started this week from Sheila Walsh's new recent book "The Longing in Me"

"This reading plan includes six daily devotions based on Sheila Walsh's book The Longing in Me: How Everything You Crave Leads to the Heart of God. Each reading follows the life of King David and focuses on the longings we all have—and how only God can ultimately satisfy those longings." YouVersion

[Sadly the video is unlisted so it will only be here temporarily]

I have the Study Guide but really believe that the book is more what I wanted but for now I will enjoy the Videos and the Study. But I highly recommend trying this out at You Version or joining Faith Gateway's. This is Day 1 as a sample for you. I believe each of the 6 days goes with the 6 sessions of the Study Guide. So if this is so this is: "The Longing to Be Chosen"

John 15:16-17

{I think you will notice the KEY One Word for me towards the end}

"Everyone longs to feel significant and special. The longing to be chosen, to feel significant, is profoundly primal. Yet even though God’s Word is filled with more than 3,000 promises that we are loved and chosen, when we walk through a hard season, we still want tangible signs that God is going to come through for us.
The problem is that while we know that God loves us, we can’t see Him with our eyes or feel His arms around us or hear His audible voice telling us that we are loved. So what do we do? We look for that kind of love and acceptance in someone else.

In the Bible, we find the Israelites did just this when they demanded the prophet Samuel give them a king. They were looking for a person to protect them rather than God, and they wanted to be like all the other nations around them. When they saw Saul, he seemed to be the kind of man they wanted. And outwardly, he did look like a kingly choice.

But God had other plans—a different choice. He chose David, the youngest of his brothers and a seemingly insignificant person. Yet God saw his heart. God had heard the psalms that David sang over the flock. He had seen his courage as David risked his life to snatch a lamb from the paw of a bear and a young goat from a lion. He discerned David’s heart and knew that this teenage boy who sang in the darkness and fought in the light would be the one he would anoint as king of Israel.

I know personally what it is like to look to others to fill a deep need for belonging. You see, as a young girl, I lost my father to suicide. Without that healthy relationship in place, I grew up feeling uncovered, exposed, and unprotected. That unmet need in my childhood to be chosen became a driving force in my life. It was the perfect prelude to desperate choices I would later make in life.
If I could step back in time and talk to myself, I would say, “Sheila you are chosen. You’re chosen by the One who will never unchoose you. You’re loved when the crowd cheers and when the lights go out and they all go home.” But I can’t step back. I often find myself at the same place again, each time with a little more understanding.

Today, I know that it just takes time and some commitment to build understanding and begin thinking a new way. As a daughter of the Most High God, everything can change! The God of the universe has already chosen me—and you—and He says, “You are mine!”

Change means reminding yourself daily that you belong to God, and that He loves you, and that he chose you to be his daughter. As you grow in your understanding of God’s relentless love for you, the fruit of change will begin to grow in your life. As you grow in love for your heavenly Father, you will find that He will satisfy all your longings for significance in this world. "

In what ways might the longing in your heart be an expression of your desire to be seen and chosen?
In what ways are your deep needs or longings driving your choices?
How would you describe your awareness of God’s longing for you? How would you describe your awareness of your longing for God? "

[all images credit: Sheila Walsh]

Psalm 63:1-8

"The psalm expresses longing for God as an intense thirst. Pray the psalm through slowly, allowing the words of David to stir your own longing for God. Using the psalm as a reference, write your own prayer. Surrender your longings and the questions behind them to God, asking Him to help you find the answers you seek in your relationship with Him. Invite God to show you this week (end) how He loves you uniquely and personally. Thank Him for the promise that His love satisfies "more than the richest feast". (Psalm 63:5)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

W.O.W. ~ Whisper On Weds. ~ REST

Once again, when I received this "Whisper", I could hardly wait 'til Weds. and knew that between now and then, I most likely would receive so many other "whispers" that I may not be able to decide which one to share, so I quickly came to "walk" through the preliminaries of composing this "Walk On Weds." with my chosen "Whisper" On Weds. filled with the Passion of Victory{taken from "I Hear His Whisper"}


"My life is victory in you"

"The victory I call you to walk in is within you. When nothing seems easy around you I give you an easy victory within you. Yield to My life within and you will find grace in every difficulty. My promise is a promise of victory and My victory is My life released in you. I dispense My glory into you when you open your heart deeper to Me. Taste of My victory and rest in Me, for I have overcome all things."

"I have brought you to this place because of My passionate and tender love for you. I want to show you My victory. I want you to learn of Me and take My easy yoke upon your soul and find rest in Me. Have I not promised to lead you to the quiet brooks of peace? I will show you the path as you still your heart before Me. Trust Me and not in what you see. Believe in Me when fear attempts to stop your advance and you will find My oasis of victory. Even when you don't know what to do or what step to take, My peace will guide you. "

"Keep your soul at rest. Let nothing disturb the hiding place of victory within you. My gift is victory today. My promise is victory tomorrow. How you rest in My victory today will enable Me to give you even more of My life tomorrow. Take My gift of today's victory and be content as I prepare triumph. Let Me pour out My Spirit of Life upon you this day and take rest in the pleasantness of My love. "

Hebrews 4:1-3 
The Passion Translation

Now God has offered to us the same promise of entering into His realm of resting in confident faith. So we must be extremely careful to ensure that we all embrace the fullness of that promise and fail to experience it.

For we have heard the good news of deliverance just as they did, yet they didn’t join their faith with the word and activate its power. Instead, what they heard didn’t affect them deeply, for they doubted.

For those of us who believe, faith actives the promise and we experience the realm of confident rest.

"Do you believe that you have the victory within you today?"

"Reflect on what it means to rest in today's victory and
BE content in His victory for tomorrow."


I find that this was no coincidence, but a God-incidence to correlate not only with the One Word, BE ... as in the one I shared earlier in the year, BE STILL ... but also with REST and that the same week that I began yet another Faith Gateway Dare that I missed in the beginning of 2016 when I was DOing the #Change Challenge yet hearing God "whisper" (BE not do - REST not ... ) a definite CHANGE for me, and when Sheila Walsh's online book study registration was not available until Tues. instead of Weds., I was perusing through more from Faith Gateway and discovered I had missed out on this ... 

from another really wonderful book
{though I'm certainly not finished yet}
"Rest Assured ... " by Vicki Courtney

{it's the subtitle that grabbed my soul and spoke to me}

"... A Recovery Plan for Weary Souls ..."

So, there are two really great Book Clubs starting up and yet I sense that this one is meant for me. So there's this TOO! That's too much ...

At the moment, I am receiving the "weekly" emails but have not really started ... because the first week that I received last week just isn't my current problem: 

Enemy #1 of Rest – The Badge of Busyness

At this point of my life, or in this current season, I do not struggle with "busyness" (yet that can occur without a minute's notice, sending me into "busyness" mode and hurry to do)  {yes, there it is again, that opposite word from my "BE" ... that "DO" word that I'm trying to get out of ... DOing ... and work on just BEing} But in order to attempt this, I truly will need to focus on Vicki's "recovery plan" and that just isn't possible right now. Too much going on ... but not "busyness".

Then I made note of this image that came with Week 1 -



so I will just have to sit and ponder on this awhile

until I have a block of 

30 days

to find rest

for my weary soul

('cuz I haven't even finished Bonnie Gray's book from last year)

I was thinking April, but that's kinda already full with 
"You're Already Amazing Life Growth" 
(March 21-for 8 weeks)
"The Longing in Me ..."
(April 10-May 21)
will be done by the end of this month
I need to do a book review of my
"40 Days ..." book

{I'll probably have to let one of these go}

I certainly don't need to

(you do know that "busy" stands for
Being Under Satan's Yoke)

resist and flee
from anything like this

and so should you

{well, this was a much longer "Walk" than I anticipated}

My point is this:

I need to REST (up) in His Victory

so when


I can celebrate
BEing Redeemed
Jesus Christ

Monday, March 7, 2016


for Faith Gateway's next Online Study
{just finishing up with Lisa Harper's "Believing Jesus"}

"The Longing in Me: How Everything You Crave Leads to the Heart of God"
Sheila Walsh

...Study dates are April 10-May 21 at Faith Gateway

Week 1: Longing to Be Chosen (Week of April 10)

Week 2: Longing for Protection (Week of April 17)

Week 3: Longing for Control (Week of April 24)

Week 4: Longing for Happiness (Week of May 1)

Week 5: Longing for God’s Grace (Week of May 8)

Week 6: Longing for God Alone (Week of May 15)

"You vowed you’d never repeat the same mistakes—yet you find yourself right where you started. What is it that keeps drawing you back into the same old traps? The fact is, your longings are built from the blueprint of your needs: for protection, for love, for God. And those needs aren’t going anywhere." 

I don't know about you, but this certainly
sounds like my life and me

Not that I need any more books or book clubs 

but this Online Study looks like one that I don't want to miss

I love Sheila Walsh!
{we have a connecting kinship-lol}

"Sheila speaks candidly about the trials in her life, including the heartache of her first marriage, and intertwines her story with the biblical saga of King David. As both Sheila’s and David’s stories make clear, some cravings are misguided, but they all stem from the same hunger—and they will haunt you until that hunger gets satisfied properly. 
If you keep reaching out to the wrong people at the wrong times in your own life, The Longing in Me will help you understand that your cravings are not the problem. It’s where they lead you that makes all the difference."

"The Longing in Me"
Sheila Walsh has made some wonderful images available that I'm sure I will be posting but so far the one at the top today ... is my favorite ... because I know that my Longing for God is a big part of my heart, soul and mind more and more each day, and to hear that (of course, it's to BE reminded of that) does not compare with HIS Longing for me - just really comforts me and sends chills up my arms straight to my heart. 

I'm sure like many of you, you have had "longings" in your lifetime that just were not being met or filling you up or you went running in the 'prodigal' sense searching to find something or someone to fill that place. Most of us, found Jesus to BE the only One that could or did ... yet still something in us continues to long for more. 

There are times when we are walking so close to God or on the edge of despair (quite the dichotomy) - totally opposite in nature yet we go there at times and allow the enemy to convince us of his lies and so many untruths that we believe or buy into as fulfilling us (even temporarily) or numbing us to the pain and suffering, the trials we don't want to face, the past that circles back around and shows up in our face with reminders of failure, disappointment, betrayal, lack, inabilities, misconceptions, low self worth, broken dreams, incompleteness, lie after lie, and on & on it goes, the onslaught of attack ... the enemy has strategies and he observes us to know us well and where we are vulnerable ... how foolish we are in our youth and even now to allow those lies to continue or believe them.

That's why my "FerVent Fridays" and the (in)courage current Book Club is great to teach us how to strategize against the strategies of the enemy in at least the top ten biggest one ...
(see last Friday's post or get Priscilla Shirer's book "FerVent".)  
We are in a war and it's a war against our souls and that longing for us is meant only for Jesus! Only God can fill that longing ... that hunger ... that hole and turn our battle scars into triumphant victory stars. Only Jesus satisfies!

And I haven't even read Sheila's book ... imagine when I do. Sheila's words always speak to my heart, my mind and my life experiences (sadly but most helpfully). Sheila most often offers us "real tools to heal from the past and CHANGE the way we respond" ... {Boy, do I need this!!!}. Did you catch that "Longing ..." is intertwined with the story of King David (yeah, one of my favorites) - a man after God's heart. 

I was thinking to share this on my "Walk On Weds." or "Whisper On Weds." but because of the registration starting today, I needed this as a reminder (even if I did put it in my calendar) and I wanted to give you a heads up ... chance to join & sign up. At least this one does not start until April! ... {I find it's good to sign up even if you can't keep up or fully participate because you'll have the emails or info for later. There are times I do and I can't afford the books but I still can follow along and gain some blessings} Maybe I will be fortunate and get this one to review. Sometime God blesses me this way (if He thinks it's one I need. After all, He knows best and knows me even better than our enemy)... oh, and by the way, Love God Greatly (LGG) is doing the Book of Ecclesiastes for their next study per their blog post announcement (at the end) beginning March 21st but y'all know that I'll BE doing  "... aMazing" at Holley Gerth's blog.

"My Soul Longs For You"
Misty Edwards

At the time that I wrote the above portion on "longings" that only God can fill, I had not yet read the Gateway Devotion for Day 6 (which was yesterday, March 6th, for me) my new daily devotional "It Is Written" ... and it was perfect to go with this. 

"Jesus Wants to Fill Us"

This is just so GOD!!!

I added this blog post in to cover this 31 day reading plan

later when I started it for March.

It's over in my right hand sidebar on the blog at the top as my
Featured Devotional Post
if you'd like to be able to go back to the daily devotions
and link quickly or more easily to Gateway

Monday, February 29, 2016


[image credit]

Vimeo of Announcement

" ...Priscilla Shirer’s book Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer is both inspiring and challenging, and we can’t wait to see what God does as we join together to read it."

For More details

Taking part in an {in}courage book club is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
  1. Pick up a copy of Fervent as soon as possible.
  2. Read at our pace (schedule below) or complete the book at your convenience. New blog posts (and some other special things!) will be published each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the duration of the study. When you subscribe to the book club you won’t even worry about forgetting — we’ll send you email reminders!
  3. Share your thoughts in the blog post comments,in the Facebook group or on social media (just tag @incourage and #inbooks)
Fervent content will always be available on the book club page, enabling you to watch videos and read the posts any time, even if you begin the study after our official start date. No “fear of missing out” around here — you can come and go as it works for you or your small group! " From (in) courage

I did a book review of 
back in 2015
{there are some other blog posts about this too}
Priscilla Shirer
So is her book
and the movie
"War Room"

This is another one of those books that I received to read and review then it expires and I can no longer read my copy but because the author and this book are so good and the topic being "prayer" is one of my pet peeves {did I use that right?}

well, anyhow

I got me my own copy at Amazon at a great deal! (kinda) but because that I need 2 other books for "...aMazing..."
I kinda wished I had waited

 You can too and join the
Book Club

{frankly, I thought since Holley's releasing her new book, that it was going to be hers}

but they already had done
"You're Already Amazing"
so I guess they chose another fabulous one

Oh, now I spoiled my next blog post


(oh, well)
coming soon

 2 Book Clubs
in March
too many
two good ones
which one shall
I we do?

{maybe I'll have to just follow along incognito in both}

I was so ready to
march with you
in March

{we'll just have to see how the schedules look}

Sunday, September 27, 2015

SOS ~ GRACE ... DAY 49

DAY 49
Buy The Grace Immersion book at Amazon.com

Week 7

"The Wonders of Grace"

DAYS 43-49

  • Day 43: Approaching God with Confidence
  • Day 44: The Panorama of God’s Grace
  • Day 45: Sustaining Grace
  • Day 46: Super-Lavish Grace!
  • Day 47: Grace in 3-D
  • Day 48: Calming Grace
  • Day 49: Simply Amazed By Grace

    from the book
    God's Word

    "From the fullness of His grace we have all received 
    one blessing after another "
    John 1:16

    Day 49
    "Simply Amazed by Grace"

    Readings in this devotion come from:
    Romans 11:33
    Ephesians 3:17-19

    There were no "Discussion Questions" in this one
    but of course, I have some too

    What is the most Amazing part of this study or God's GRACE that you have found anew?

    How does God's GRACE reach into your life at this season and what changes do you see from His Grace and being immersed in His Grace?

    How can we not be 

    "Simply AMAZED by GRACE"!!!

    TLC Sermons:
    6. Grace-Inspired Change
    7. How Grace Changes Me
    8. The Panorama of Grace


    The 50th day of "Grace Immersion" takes us back to the beginning with more details of John Newton's early life (the composer of "Amazing Grace") but because I chose the label "50 days"

    I thought I should not let you think I just left out the 50th day. The fact is that "Grace Immersion" actually has BONUS devotions that go beyond the 7th week into an 8th week with these:

    Day 50: John Newton: The Rest of the Story
    Day 51: Billy Graham Gets Busted
    Day 52: Grace Anatomy
    Day 53: Don’t Receive Grace In Vain
    Day 54: Grace: Classic Christianity
    Day 55: Grace Names
    Day 56: Hitting Bottom
    Day 57: How Dare You Sleep On Soft Pillows?!
    Day 58: Live Free!
    Day 59: Distracted from Him by It
    Day 60: The Grace Boat
    Day 61: Grace Teaches Me To Say No
    Day 62: Listen to the Music
    Day 63: Grace In Disguise
    Day 64: The 3:16 Promise

    Sadly, sometimes they are not available online and sometimes they are over here, but there always is the actual book by Rene Schlaepfer of "Grace Immersion". This indeed is one fantastic 50 day plunge into God's Amazing Grace! I'm a bit partial but I truly loved every one. Throughout this series, but especially in Week 7 {that lasted for the last 7 SONdays here, making this 7 weeks, not all 7 days in one week} ... I truly spent time marveling at the "wonders of GRACE" as Pastor Rene entitled this last scoop ... looking at the true wonders, the unspeakable "fullness of His GRACE"!

    And I'm so thankful that I came upon this book and study for My One Word of 2015: GRACE! The perfect word and study for my blog. I just wish I was more gifted and able to put it altogether like this senior pastor of Twin Lake Church has. 

    I'd recommend this for every church as a church and/or small group study. I may choose to feature more of these on SONdays 'til the end of this year or who knows maybe in the "Gardens of GRACE" (just not in Oct. or Nov.) So this is it! 

    Let's continue being
    by His
    every single day

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    This blog is ALL about HIM, for HIM, not about me!
    I hope that is what you see
    this is why I am

    To my faithful visitors;
    all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
    I do appreciate you so much!

    Thank you for taking your time to visit!

    Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!