Tag Archives: Bad Girls of the Bible

Guest Author Liz Curtis Higgs Completes our Back to School Survival Series: It’s Good to Learn (Part 4 of 4)

Greetings, sweet friends!   I pray you’ve had the opportunity to grab onto (and not let go of) the past three posts on back-to-school survival.  These survival tactics are equipping us adults to survive not only this back-to-school month, but are giving us ways to survive daily living. If you’ve missed any, here are the links to our previous three survival skills:

Prayer…

Worship…

Wellness/Nutrition…

It is my distinct honor and privilege to turn you over to my dear friend and mentor, Liz Curtis Higgs, who will give us our fourth survival tactic. Oh, do you ever have something to look forward to!!! (www.lizcurtsihiggs.com)

Lizzie came to our Bible study this past Tuesday. She kicked off our 10-week study straight from her amazing book, It’s Good to Be Queen: Becoming as Bold, Gracious, and Wise as the Queen of Sheba. She taught us all about diving into God’s Word and the many pearls we can glean.

Tears from laughter and from His revealed Word touching our daily lives fell on many a Kleenex. Liz’ life lessons blessed all of us a thousand fold.

You’ll see our time together didn’t end with Bible study, it rolled onward and out the door for lunch. She tells it better than me. (Only for her would I try a restaurant I’d never been to before. You’ll see….)

Please give a hearty welcome to Lizzie and hear from her WHY IT’S GOOD TO LEARN…. 

—————HERE is Liz Curtis Higgs!!!———-

It is Good to Learn  

By Liz Curtis Higgs

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Gathering with a group of friends to study the Bible is the most fun a girl can have on a Tuesday (or Wednesday or Thursday) morning. Not kidding.

This is how one group does things (and does it well!).

First they eat. Then they meet. They stay parked in the Word for an hour or so, with open minds and open hearts, not to mention a good deal of laughing and crying and learning and growing. Just the best. Finally, they pray. And then they eat.

Really, is there anything not to love about a day like that?

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Facts don’t make us bold. Faith makes us bold.~ It’s Good to Be Queen

This week I joined Elizabeth and a dozen other delightful sisters in Christ to kick off their fall Bible study with It’s Good to Be Queen. Right. My own book. Kinda scary. I thought, What if they don’t share with one another, since I’m there in the room?

Not to worry. This was a lively bunch. They were glad to be together and glad to be in the Word. And seriously, look how cute they are!

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Group dynamics are a wonder to behold, aren’t they? At every Bible study, God brings together talkers and listeners, thinkers and doers. Every person matters, and their unique perspective on the material adds to the group experience.

The best part was having one empty seat—a reminder that the Lord was with us, just as He promises: “the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

For chapter one, we studied a single but powerful verse:

When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. 1 Kings 10:1

All of us agreed the one word that really got our attention was relationship. King Solomon of Israel didn’t merely worship the Lord—he had a relationship with Him. This surely amazed the queen of Sheba every bit as much as the king’s renowned wisdom did, since she came from a country that worshiped a hundred different deities. One could hardly have a relationship with the sun or the moon. What a concept for this pagan queen to grasp!

Her curiosity and hunger for wisdom sent her on a two-month journey across the Arabian Desert. Roughly fifteen hundred miles. On a camel. Oh my.

Sheba was bold, all right. She didn’t come to simply listen to Solomon, like other rulers of the Near East did. She came to test him, and with hard questions at that.

We kicked around some questions of our own during the discussion time. I may have written the book, but believe me, these bright women had plenty to teach me. Bible studies are less about teacher/student than they are about willing learners getting together to read, study, and encourage one another, using God’s Word as their first and foremost resource.

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With Sheba’s royal boldness beating in our hearts, we took our own (much shorter) journey to the Queen of Sheba restaurant in Louisville for lunch. Really, how could we not?

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Hoagland Study 08 QOS Menu

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The food was exotic, the fellowship was wonderful, and the opportunity to bless our server let us put our faith into action in lots of positive ways. With more visiting queens planned for the weeks ahead, Tuesdays with Elizabeth and Susan are going to be a blast!

Interested in learning more about the queen of Sheba? Here are some links that might be helpful:

Weekly Bible study blog for It’s Good to Be Queen

Free videos to enhance your study of It’s Good to Be Queen

A Shebalicious Pinterest board for the queen

More fun info about It’s Good to Be Queen

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Liz Curtis Higgs has one goal: to help women embrace the grace of God with joy and abandon. She’s the author of 32 books with 4.6 million copies in print, including Bad Girls of the Bible and her latest, It’s Good to Be Queen. Liz has also spoken at 1,700 women’s conferences in all 50 United States and 14 foreign countries, including Women of Faith, Women of Joy, and Extraordinary Women. Liz and her family are grateful to call Louisville, Kentucky home.

————————–THANK YOU, LIZ!!!——————————

Nobody says it like Liz. Truly one of her many gifts is writing which teaches us there’s nothing more important to one’s survival than being in the Word. Studying the Word. Talking about the Word. Translation: Bible study!

Liz told us her most favorite thing to do in all the world is to teach God’s Word. I can tell my Tuesday group’s next nine weeks together is going to be something spectacular indeed. Why don’t you grab some friends and try it?

‘Til next time!

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LAUNDRY – In the Bible?

Oh, the laundry…

Piles, and piles, and piles of dirty laundryAnd no matter how careful you are, at the end of the folding and sorting, you still wind up with an odd  number of socks.  Or that perfectly-now-mildewed-load you forgot about two days ago.  Sigh…

Just use your imagination to picture what our laundry looked like, while raising three boys, who all participated in sports.  Throw in a very adventuresome husband, my case for saying I really am blessed with four boys, and we’re talkin’ Mt. Everest-like piles.

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This past week, even tho’ we’re now empty nesters, my husband (remember, my fourth boy) has been all over the state of Kentucky hunting doves.  You know those poor, lil’ ole coo-ing birds.  Nope, we’re not travelin’ down the hunting road for discussion, but let’s just say, as I type, our yard has as many feathers strewn about as blades of grass.

I’ve grabbed the Oxi Clean more than once to spray the mud and blood out of his huntin’ clothes.  Ewwwwwwww.

God’s timing is hilarious.  Last week I was with dear friends discussing Chapter One from Liz Curtis Higgs’ Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn From Them.  I was stunned to discover “laundry” is in the Bible!

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We arrived at question three, part b (This is on page 246 if you have the book).  Liz says, “Psalm 51 gives us a biblical model for handling sin in our lives, step by step.

You may be surprised to discover how much God is willing to do on your behalf.   Read the entire psalm, and then note the many specific things David asked God to do for him.  Of all those requests, which ONE would YOU ask of God right now?”

When I did my homework on these questions, I’d read from the NIV version.   I noted it seemed like a really good “shopping list”!  I found it more-than-challenging to choose just one thing to ask God.

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Especially after my friend Jane read it to us in the Message (See below.)  We all wound up choosing several.   You can see I highlighted our favorites.

Psalm 51: 1-17, in the Message, reads:

“(1-3) Generous in love—God, give grace!

huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.

Scrub away my guilt,

soak out my sins in your laundry.

I know how bad I’ve been;

my sins are staring me down.

(4-6) You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen

it all, seen the full extent of my evil.

You have all the facts before you;

whatever you decide about me is fair.

I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,

in the wrong since before I was born.

What you’re after is truth from the inside out.

enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

(7-15)  Soak me in your laundry and I’ll  come out clean,

scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.

Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,

set these once-broken bones to dancing.

Don’t look too close for blemishes,

give me a clean bill of health.

God, make a fresh start in me,

shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.

Don’t throw me out with the trash,

or fail to breath holiness in me.

Bring me back from gray exile,

put a fresh wind in my sails!

Give me a job  teaching rebels your ways

so the lost can find their way home.

Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,

and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.

Unbutton my lips, dear God;

I’ll let loose with your praise.

(16-17)  Going through the motions doesn’t please you,

a flawless performance is nothing to you.

I learned God-worship

when my pride was shattered.

Heart-shattered lives ready for love

don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.”

Look at verse 2:  “Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry.”  Isn’t that the best visual?  All of you laundresses out there, can you relate?

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(Quick time out:  Those of you who love to iron like I do (NOT!) may be happy to hear my friend, Sherry, doesn’t even own an iron!  I told her, upon this exuberant discovery, we’d be fast friends forever.  I digress…)

Back to the Bible:  Verse 7 is even better:  “Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.”  This is such a picture of cleansing and redemption.  Love that.

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Several of us in the group also chose vs. 10, which in the NIV is about asking for a “pure heart and the renewal for a steadfast spirit.”  I love how the Message says, “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.”

How many times do we beg for “do-overs”?  All you golfers out there, don’t you love mulligans?  I sure could use a “Genesis week”.  You?

A couple of other gals chose vs. 12 regarding “restoration of joy and a willing spirit to sustain us.”  (NIV) Whereas the Message says, “Bring me back from GRAY EXILE, put a FRESH WIND in my sails.”

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What a great picture of  renewal, restoration, even rescue from the depths of despair or “gray exile”.  Isn’t that the best?  See what I mean by a great “shopping list”???

What we tend to forget is King David wrote this psalm after he was confronted by the prophet Nathan over his adultery with Bathsheba.  Let’s not forget he also orchestrated the killing of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband! (See 2 Samuel 11)

And yet the redeeming kicker is: David knows where to go, whom to go to, and what to ask for.  Mercy.  Forgiveness.  Cleansing. Deliverance.  He knows the traits of the Lord because of their relationship.

Relationship with us is what God seeks.  In Liz’ book on the Bad Girls, she points out that while Adam and Eve had sinned by eating the apple, God still sought them out.  He went to find them.  “You can run, but you can’t hide” has never been so true.

And covering up our sins?  That doesn’t work either, because God knows.  Sooner or later the truth will come out.  I pray we all will realize where we are with God.  Are you okay with Him today?

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Max Lucado, in his new book, You’ll Get Through This—Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times, tells of a time when he and his wife, Denalyn, were in a disagreement about which realtor to use for the sale of their home.  He stormed off to church to preach. (Well now there’s a future searing sermon if there ever was one!)

Gnawing at his heart was this all-is-not-right feeling.  He said, “The distance between my house and the church building is only a five-minute drive.  But that’s all it took for God to prick my conscience with the truth.  Shouldn’t you be at peace with your wife before you preach to my church?”

Finally, before preaching, Max called Denalyn and they talked thru’ their problem.  He knew if his heart wasn’t right with his wife, it wasn’t right with God either.  Let’s pose that question again:  Are you okay with Him today?

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I experienced a tortuous time recently.  It begged for some truth-telling.  I lost more than a night’s sleep over it.  And the longer it went on, the worse things got. I felt like I was dragging a wagon full of lead, everywhere I went.

Finally, the truth came out.  Yes, there were consequences, but I have never in my life experienced more freedom and relief.

John 8:32 is the best:  “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV)  My Life Application Bible enlightens:  “Jesus himself is the truth that sets us free. He is the source of truth, the perfect standard of what is right.  He frees us from the consequences of sin, from self-deception, and from deception by Satan.”

John 8:36 says, “ If the Son sets you free you are free indeed.” NIV

My treasured friends, we must hang our hats on verse 2, where David is saying God is “Huge in mercy.”  He asks Him to wipe out his bad record, scrub away his guilt, and we can now return to the laundry (!): “soak out my sins in your laundry.”  Perhaps go have a good soak in your bathtub!

Verse 7 in the NIV says, “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

May God’s unfailing love cover every square inch of you and me. And may our laundry piles only be a reminder of  the cleansing we have available from God and His unending grace.

Don’t miss verse 17 in the Message:  “Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.”

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‘Til next time!

(This post is dedicated to one of the most amazing writers and sweetest friends around: Liz Curtis Higgs.  She’s the real deal.  She’s a precious, encouraging friend and mentor to me.  She’s one of my favorite authors (www.lizcurtishiggs.com).  She loves the Lord more than life itself.  She can articulate grace to others like no other person I know.  She juggles a crammed calendar, a smokin’ keyboard on her computer, a brain burstin’ with books and still somehow ministers to all of us.  God Bless you, Lizzie.  Keep writing and I’ll buzz over and do your laundry any time. Of course, it may come out very gray! And by the way, we are LOVING the Bad Girls!)

Y’all come see us in Bible study.  We’ve only started with the first Bad Girl, and there are nine more to go!  (Click on….“You’re invited”…)

Standing are Elizabeth Jeffries and me.
Sitting from left to right are our buddies Jane Chilton, Naomi Rhode and our Lizzie
Standing are Elizabeth Jeffries and me. Sitting from left to right are our buddies Jane Chilton, Naomi Rhode and our Lizzie

Standing are Elizabeth Jeffries and me.
Sitting from left to right are our buddies Jane Chilton, Naomi Rhode and our Lizzie

 

 

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YOU Are INVITED!!! Please Join us to Meet TEN Bad Girls of the Bible! – Bible Study Begins September 10th…PLUS: Freebie Book Offer!!!

Sweet Friends, PLEASE mark your calendars and join us September 10th for a super fun, educational, and potentially life-changing-a-la-Liz–Curtis-Higgs Bible Study!!!  We’ll be meeting at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC) in Louisville, Kentucky.  If you are anywhere near Louisville, please come join us!

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Middletown United Methodist Church
11902 Old Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40243
http://www.Middletownumc.org

Best-selling author and speaker Liz Curtis Higgs has recently revised and released Bad Girls of the Bible and Lessons You Can Learn From Them.  Plus she has filmed a brand-new teaching DVD to go along with it!  My friends, Jane Chilton and Nancy Tinnell, and myself will be team-teaching tidbits as well.

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We will meet beginning  Tuesday, September 10th and run until November 12th.  We are offering a morning class and an evening class.  Classes will last only ninety minutes.  Mornings will be from 9:30-11:00 a.m. (You’ll beat the lunch crowd if you run out for a bite afterwards!), and 6:30-8:00 p.m. for the evening class.

Lizzie will be teaching us about ten bad girls (!), so we’ll meet for ten weeks.  One week per chapter.   We’ll learn all about Eve, Potiphar’s Wife, Lot’s Wife, The Woman at the Well, Delilah, Sapphira, Rahab, Jezebel, Michal, and the Sinful Woman.

Liz’ writing in the fictional and Biblical accounts will bless you, encourage you and leave you equipped in God’s Word and bathed in His grace each week.  Best way to register is to call Kelly McDonald or Nancy Tinnell at MUMC at (502) 245-8839.  You may also register by visiting their website:  www.middletownumc.org

I also suggest going on and getting your book as we’ll dive right in the first week and you’ll want to have read the intro’ and first chapter by  September 10th.  You will love Liz’ format on the DVD and our format for discussion.  Not to mention that Liz will pop in one of these Tuesdays to surprise us and teach us LIVE!!!

 

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This is a great opportunity for you to invite your friends.  Last summer we were blessed to have women of all ages, friends, neighbors, etc.  The more the merrier!

Liz says, “The point of Bad Girls of the Bible is that categorically and absolutely, whatever your story is, you are not alone.  There are lessons here for all of us…”  Oh, I promise you, you are in for a treat!

Additionally, Liz has a new book due out in mid-September, The Women of Christmas—A Fresh Look at the Nativity Scene through the Lives of Elizabeth, Mary and Anna.  Waterbrook, her publisher, has a great deal going right now where if you pre-order the book, you get a BOGO offer (buy one get one free!!!)  Think “early Christmas shopping” if I dare broach that subject!!!

Go to:  www.WaterBrookMultnomah.com/WomenofChristmas

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And for those of you melancholies out there wondering where part 4 of 4 is in the “Do You Know Where God Is?” series, please rest assured it’s coming in a couple of weeks. For parts 1-3, you may click on…(part 1, part 2, part 3).

This week we needed to get details out on this Bible study since so many of you have asked and it’s fast approachingThe other upcoming activity involves so many of you who will be taking your children to college next week.  Gulp!  We’ll be talking about that too!  Thanks for your patience.

‘Til next time!!!

(This post is dedicated to all of you out there who have been asking about this Bible study and who will be coming and bringing friends! Keep ‘em coming!!!  We have been praying for you and ask that you keep the whole study, all the attendees, all the details, and our sweet author, who’s feverishly writing yet another Bible study, Liz Curtis Higgs, in your prayers!)

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From Easter Chicks to God Chicks… Avoid the Comparison Trap!

Perish the thought of ever being a “hot chick”… Please forgive me, but when I hear the word “chick”, because of this lovely world in which we live, that caliente phrase whips around in my little brain.

So, I’d love to introduce you to a fun, positive phrase, for you girls out there.  Did you know we may also be known as “God Chicks”?  There’s a great book by Holly Wagner with that very title: God Chicks—Living Life as a 21st Century Woman. 

God Chicks

Thankfully Holly clarifies the title:  “The reason I’m using the term chick is not to be disrespectful, but to have a little fun!  So c’mon, you amazing God Chick.  Open your heart to a picture of the woman you were created to be!”

 Last week while celebrating Easter, oh and I pray you celebrated “He is risen!” (Click here for more on “He is risen!”, Jesus’ resurrection), you may have seen little Easter chicks for décor. Or, I know some folks who hatch live chicks this time of year.  Cute,  little fuzzy critters…who blossom into big ole’ hens.  Good eggs, bad rap.  I digress…

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Let’s return to “God Chicks”.  Holly gives us several kinds of chicks, all of which are empowering. The one we’ll focus on today is the “Just-B-U” Chick.

One of  my pet peeves, and quite honestly, struggles, is the turbulent trap of comparison.  I inevitably compare myself with the “chick next door”, or the “chick next to me at the checkout”, or the “chick on TV”, and by all means run-Forrest-run from magazine covers!

Holly’s prescription for comparison?  The “Just-B-U” chick! She reminds us, “We will only be effective when we are being ourselves…We spend valuable time wishing we were like someone else, and all the time we have our own treasures inside us…just waiting to be discovered.”

Edwin Elliot said, “By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before!” Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, and I know that full well.”

Holly adds, “Together we will do awesome things for our God, but only if we encourage each other as we fulfill our unique purposes rather than tear each other down by being jealous.”

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One recent experience highlights this point perfectly.  Last summer, I was blessed to team-teach with two other very seasoned Bible study teachers, Jane Chilton and Nancy Tinnell.  Jane is a long-time dear friend and mentor of mine.  Nancy is a new, dear friend and mentor, and, may I go so far as to say a guardian angel to many of us in a multitude of ways!!!

By some miracle, and by blind belief on Nancy’s part (!), the three of us connected, prayed, and planned a six-week Bible study. (I fully believe, after the fact, this was a divine appointment.)  We studied Liz Curtis Higgs’ book, The Girl’s Still Got It—Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World. (If you go online to Liz’ website, www.lizcurtishiggs.com, you can read her blog about her Bible study on the Book of Ruth.)

The Girls still got it

Being the rookie in this trio has its’ benefits:  I got to watch and soak in a boatload of wisdom. (This was my first time ever to teach a Bible study!) Our planning meetings were rich.  Nancy has this uncanny God-given talent to hone in on a theme to share with our attendees.  She  literally came up with one word or character trait per chapter of Liz’ twelve chapter book!  She kept us focused and on-track. She uses beautiful phrases such as “canopy of grace” that melt your heart.

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Jane has also taught Bible studies for years.  She first taught Bible Study Fellowship (www.bsfinternational.org ) and later taught at Southeast Christian Church.  I was blessed to sit under her teaching for several semesters.  She also has an uncanny God-given talent:  she brings to the table unforgettable visuals which clearly tie in a teaching point to apply to your life.  She pushes you to savor God’s Word beyond your brain, to let it dwell in your heart and pour out onto others.

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These gals encouraged me to just be myself.   Perhaps I was the comic relief of the bunch…. Even  more comical, was how much I prayed the same thing over and over to the Lord.  Can’t we all shout hallelujah that He never tires of hearing from us?

 James 4:8 in the New King James Version reminds us, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.” We praise you Lord.

 Being pushed way out of one’s comfort zone isn’t the worst thing in the world.  Ann Voskamp recently said, “God takes you out of your comfort zone because THAT’S where you meet The Comforter.” 

I pray you’ll seriously grasp Holly Wagner’s concept of a Just-B-U Chick.   (And this is just one of eight different chicks she teaches about!  More on the others in another post or two or seven!)  The Just-B-U chick encourages all of us to use our gifts to share with others.  Quit comparing yourself to others!  It does no one any good.  At all.

 My small group of Bible study buddies is beginning an awesome study written by Tammy Head.  It’s called Duty or Delight?  Knowing Where You Stand with God.

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Already in week 2, Tammy addresses the comparison trap.  She says, “If God isn’t the inspiration for doing what we do, let’s abandon those man-made expectations and run to the cross.  What we’re ultimately looking for is approval, and because Jesus offered His life for us, we already have it.”  Just-B-U!!!

 “Never forget…your value…far above rubies and pearls.”  (Adapted from Proverbs 31:10)

 To close, may I ask you to pray a long-term prayer request?  And may it double as something ultra worthwhile to pray about adding to your calendar?  (Click on “But I don’t have time for a Bible study”… if you have any doubts…)

Guess what?  My friends I told you about earlier, Jane and  Nancy….well, WE have just had another planning meeting.  Watch out

 Exciting news!!!  We will be offering a Fall Bible study.  (Thence the long-term prayer request.)  Please pray for all details to come together and for those of you close to Louisville to come and study with us at Middletown United Methodist Church (www.Middletownumc.org.  If you have questions, please call Kelly McDonald at 502-245-8839)!!!

Even better news: EVERYONE’S invited!  While you’re praying, ask the Lord who He would have you invite.

Tentative timing for the Bible study will run from mid-September until mid-November on Tuesdays.  We’ll be studying Liz Curtis Higgs’ updated edition of Bad Girls of the Bible–and What We Can Learn from Them which has a brand-new, chapter-by-chapter Bible study video taught by Liz.

Oh my, we are ALL in for a treat!  And, like last year, Liz will come visit and speak  in one of our morning classes and one of our night classes!  You do not want to miss this opportunity!  (Her book releases July 16th.)

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I pray we can all be a Just-B-U chick every day.  Remember John Piper’s infamous quote, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”  That is:  in our own skin, not someone else’s.

 Jeremiah 1:5 adds confirmation to our uniqueness:  “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

 Blessings to you this spring day.  Just-B-U!

‘Til next time!

(This post is dedicated to my two teaching buddies:  Jane Chilton and Nancy Tinnell.  I’m honored and forever grateful to have been a part of last summer’s study and now, this upcoming one for fall.  Y’all keep me challenged!  I need to stay on my knees, and for that, I’m forever grateful.  May God bless you and continue to give you His guidance to lead me and soooo many others. )

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