Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I am fortunate to be invited into a mixed-denominational bible study of women. A fellow AWANA worker and I had been talking last Spring about how important unity is in the Body of Christ, and I mentioned my blog somewhere along the way. A few weeks ago she said, "I read your blog and I think you'll be pleased. This study presents the gospel with salvation being a gift of God and given freely. It's all about God's grace and how we cannot earn it, just receive it."
I am enjoying it, and at this time I am even hosting it. The former host has recently given birth to her fifth child. The other women and I make for a total of nineteen children which need care as we gather. The system they initiated was to put them outside in the backyard with a sitter and then all of us chip in for payment. So far, so good.
This is an answer to prayer! I've been desiring to have a bible study for the neighbors just out of my reach. Look what God did. It just materialized out of thin air! So all I have to do is rely on Jesus to give me opportunities to run into my neighbor who I've been ministering to, while she's hanging out with some of them that I barely are acquainted with. Yesterday, I got my first chance. I invited this one woman. I'd guess neither of them were impressed at my Jesus-ness. I leave it in God's hands.
This Just In: Apparently, I'm still a dork. Sigh! I'm still caring too much about the answer and not enough, not enough, about people. Talk about defying the point of why I was drawn in.
Enjoying God's Grace has helped me to recognize my blind spot. I have been praying to know His will for me and this is what He's showing me at this time. The people I've known the longest really want me to participate relationally with them again. I don't know what's wrong with me. My family, my longest-time girlfriend... something's gone terribly wrong in my attitude! I'm finding their lifestyle as my own stumbling stone! :( How did this happen? That's not what they should be getting from me.... I want their soul to move! I want to win them for Christ. I don't want to convert them to a list of rules, a conformity of whatever I choose.
I'm repenting and I'm praying. Lord, give me a new heart. This one's grown cold.
The other bible study I'm attending is called Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks by Priscilla Shirer, daughter of Dr. Tony Evans who is Senior Pastor of Oak Ridge Bible Fellowship, which was the location of the late Zane Hodges' memorial service held last December. I always appreciate it when I discover unyielding strongholds of free grace people at my church. We're only on the second week but thus far I have found it greatly comforting to see that essentially I have been surrendered and "doing things right" though Priscilla doesn't believe in or teach formulas in our relationship with Him.
Finally... there is a loose cord of wonderful cohorts in my church who have caught me up and I think I may be blessed to host this gathering as well. We have all thought that we should go through the book "Created to be His Helpmeet" by Debi Pearl. The women who want to read it together are from the entire spectrum of opinions on this! It may end up like "The View" where everyone plays an important role in thinking through what it is they believe and why. I have mixed thoughts. I was sort of "raised" in my faith (Jenn) with this understanding of a woman's role and it was delightful. I actually committed myself to being silent in church for a year or two. I'm ready to hear what God wants me to learn.
(This new cover is so Jenn :D I'm blessed to have an awesome threesome)
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