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Drink From the Living Well

 John Piper Quote

I stood at the YMCA vending machine digging through my change. I had just slipped my dollar into the machine and it spit it back out at me. Again I tried with the same result. So now I stood there digging through my change for quarters – crossing my fingers that I could come up with 5 of them. I really wanted that Diet Coke. So digging digging digging I went, until finally I came up with enough nickles, dimes and quarters to make $1.25! In they went, and out through the change holder they came. ARGH! I could feel the frustration growing inside of me.  “Are you kidding me?” This has to be a joke! In went the change, out it came in the return.  Oh dear! This is not even funny!

Finally, on my third try – {sweet victory} the Diet Coke bottle moved forward and down it dropped to my delight. Then I twisted the cap and EXPLOSION! From the long drop – the carbonation had been jostled and an embarrassing mess surrounded me!

Water – I know, I know – I should be drinking water right?  But for some reason, I am continually drawn to Diet Coke.  Water has been proven to improve energy, performance, remove toxins, keep our skin healthy, aid in digestion and in losing weight.

Soda has the opposite effect – it dehydrates and does other harmful things to my body. And though I’ve heard all these facts many times – I just keep on drinking my Diet Cokes! So what’s my problem?

The simple answer is – I like it! But I know water is better for my well being.

Jesus compared his word to water – here’s what he had to say in John 4:13-14, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Jesus calls us to drink from His living water – we know all the benefits and how he can change our lives and yet we STILL continue to fill up on other earthly stuff to fill our void and Jesus says – as long as you fill up on this temporary stuff – you will continue to thirst.

You see, without Christ we will always long for more – more food, more clothes, more friends, more fun experiences, more vacations – more, more, more. But Christ says – come to me, I will fill you up and you will never thirst!

The Bible is revolutionary, life-changing, extraordinary, eye opening, jaw-dropping, and downright amazing.  It is filled with romance, tragedy, heroes, good and evil.  There is suspense, drama, wisdom, and comfort.  As you read, you will weep and you will jump for joy.  Yet we women are too often drawn away by novels, self-help books, cookbooks, magazines, and social media.  These are a poor substitute for the Bible and a relationship with God.

There is no other place in this world where we can get a direct message from God, so why do we neglect reading Scripture?  Don’t we want to hear God’s voice?

The Word of God is full of living water.  We need to drink deeply from this living well so we can be women living well.

~excerpt from the book, Women Living Well

The Bible has been read out loud and recorded.  It takes a total of 70 hours and 40 minutes to listen to the entire Bible.  If you do the math and divide that number by 365 days you get 12 minutes a day.  12 minutes a day!  That’s it.  In just 12 minutes a day, we could read or listen to the entire Bible cover to cover -

every.
single.
year.

Doesn’t that seem doable?

It really is, yet we simply don’t make it a priority to drink God’s living water.

So the question is not Diet Coke or water? But will we reach for Jesus or stuff –to satisfy our souls?

Voices The Great I AM

Have you felt discouraged in your walk with God?

Have you felt like God is working too slow in your life?

Or like God doesn’t see you in your home?

Or  like you don’t even know where to start in your quiet time?

Or like you are in a season of dryness?

Many of you joined us this fall for the WLW Webcast featuring the Good Morning Girls – but some of you might have missed it.  Angela’s keynote wow’d me and the chat with Whitney and Jen on the couch was so inspirational.  I know we usually only post videos on Monday’s (and this one is a bit long), but just think of this as an added bonus for those who need extra encouragement ;)  Grab a couple loads of laundry to fold and enjoy this 45 minute webcast made just for you.

(if you cannot see this video – click here)

Walk with the King,

,WomenLivingWell.org

Week 2 – Your Spiritual Life {Are You Too Busy for God?}

Intentionally Focused Week 2 Banner

Today I want to get serious about our walk with God.

Over at my blog we’ve been talking for the past two week’s about our daily quiet times, how the voice of social media gets in the way of listening to God’s voice, and how important it is to have community and accountability in our walk with God – but here – I want to go just one step deeper.

chapter 1 quote 3

What is it that we are focusing on?  What is our driving force?

“It is in the secret discipline of private prayer and meditation on God’s word that our roots grow deep into the rich soil of holiness.

But the reality is…holiness has never been the driving force of the majority.

We live in a culture where prayerless tweets and status updates fly through our fingers without a thought toward holiness.  The lines between principle and impulse have been blurred as information rapidly swirls like wind about us, moving us one direction and then the next.

All the information of every library in the world, we carry in our purses in the form of iPhones.  But most of the food for our minds found there is emptiness; emptiness served on a platter for our starved souls to feed on…If our roots are not deep into the rich soil of God’s Word, we will be swayed by the empty soul food we feed on. If holiness is not our driving force, we will be blown to and fro by the ways of the world and the emotions of our hearts.  Remember, holiness has never been the driving force of the majority.”
~excerpt from the book, Women Living Well

I’ve been told by many women over the years, the reason they miss their quiet times is because they are simply “too busy”...

I believe it goes a bit deeper than that.  Watch my video below to see what I think is the real problem.

(if you can’t see this video – click here to play it)

Week 2 Challenge:

Open to Revelation Chapter 1 and read what John saw when he saw Jesus in all his glory.  When you close your eyes to pray – pause and imagine what John saw.  Then begin praying.  I believe it will change the power of your quiet times this week.

Week 2: Reading Plan

Week 2

Week 2: Memory Verse

MemoryVerse-02

Let’s Talk:  What is it that draws you to God?  How have you made Him a priority in your life?

Walk with the King,

Courtney, WomenLivingWell.org

Making your walk with God a priority…

GMG Online StudiesOne week from today, we officially begin our Fall Online Bible Study: Loving Like Jesus! While there are some of you who have this Bible study routine thing down, we’ve also heard from SO many of you who are less than confident about how this whole commitment-to-reading-your-Bible every day is going to go down.

We hear you.

You want to make Bible reading a priority in your life. You really do.

But then life happens.

There are overflowing schedules and sleepless nights and distractions and deadlines and children underfoot, and we get it.  The heart is willing, but the daily tangible stuff seems to take over before we even know what hits us.

I know this cycle all too well.  I’ve lived it along with you at different times in my life - that vicious cycle of busyness that crowds out my time with Jesus, that results in guilt, and then leads to defeat. 

Oh friend, if this is where you’re at right now, don’t give up!  Satan wants nothing more than for you to feel defeated, resulting in you staying out of God’s Word.  But we know that just as our bodies need a steady diet of food, our souls need regular replenishing and reminding of the truths in scripture.

If you’re needing a fresh start in regards to consistent Bible reading, consider these practical tips as you prepare to begin this next session with us:

1. Make a choice…
Let’s face it, when I look over how I spend my days, I give most priority to 1. necessities and obligations that have direct consequences if I don’t get them done, and 2. those things that are close to my heart that I really want to spend time doing.  Just like we make a choice to commit to other things in our day, consistent Bible reading is never going to happen unless we make a choice to schedule it into our lives.

**Ideas: Literally schedule Bible reading into your daily planner, calendar on your phone, etc., just like you do other daily commitments. Regularly evaluate your schedule to see if something needs cut out in order to fit in a daily quiet time. Make choices the night before that will set you up for success the next day.

2. Create an Action Plan…
I’ve found that if I’m not intentional about how I’m going to do my Bible reading every day, I’m easily overwhelmed and distracted, and then I just end up giving up on it all together.  Instead…

**Ideas: Decide on a specific location for your Bible reading, and then stick to that same spot every day.  Keep your Bible and study materials accessible, and have a plan for what you’ll be reading.  Make goals that are attainable for you individually, and enlist accountability where needed. 

3. Apply God’s Word to daily living…
Reading God’s Word is meant to be more than just something we do to get it checked off our list.  It is meant to penetrate our lives so that change takes place, where we start to look a little more like Jesus, and less and less like us: in the big life-altering decisions, all the way down to the daily mundane.  When we really meditate on God’s words and get to know Him more through scripture, His truth begins to move from our heads into our hearts, connecting us to the Source of true life and peace, and changing us from the inside, out!

**Ideas: Memorize verses that will encourage you in situations where you might struggle. Pray scripture back to God.  Go to the Bible for wisdom when counseling a friend, or when disciplining your children.   

 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ~ Psalm 119:105

 

Let’s Talk: What practical tips do you have for incorporating daily Bible reading into your life? 

At His feet,

**Exciting news: we are making our FINAL TOUCHES on additional resources that we’ll be offering this session.  Look for Children’s Resources materials and multiple language translations, coming out THIS WEEK!!

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New to Good Morning Girls and need more inspiration, encouragement, and equipping in your Bible reading, but not sure where to start?  Then look no further! Join us for our next Fall Online Bible Study, Loving Like Jesus, beginning one week from today!!  Find more info here.

Loving Like Jesus FB Ad

 

How To {SOAP} Your Quiet Time

SOAP Quiet Time

I’m proud of you.

I really am….. I want YOU to know that.

I’m proud of you for making the commitment this fall to be in God’s Word…..to be reading it each day and applying it to YOUR life……the beautiful life our Lord has given YOU.

Each session we create a study guide that goes along with the verses we are reading, this study guide is to help you interact with God’s Word and learn to dig deeper…. slowing down to really read what God is saying to you that day.

Today I want to take the time and explain what the S.O.A.P. method is and WHY you should use it during your quiet time.

Why S.O.A.P. it?

It’s one thing to simply read scripture, but when you interact with it, when you learn to slow down to REALLY read it,  suddenly words start popping off the page. By SOAPing your verses you are able to dig deeper into scripture and “see” more than if you simply read the verses and then went on your merry way. Let me encourage you to take the time to S.O.A.P. the daily verses and see for yourself how much more you get out of your daily reading……you’ll be amazed.

What does S.O.A.P. mean?

S- The S stands for Scripture- you physically write out the scripture……you’ll be amazed that what God will reveal to you just by taking the time to slow down and actually write out what you are reading!

O- The O stands for observation- what do you see in the verses that you’re reading. Who is the audience? Is there a repetition of words? What words stand out to you?

A- The A stands for Application- this is when God’s Word becomes personal. What is God saying to me today? How can I apply what I just read to my own personal life? What changes do I need to make? Is there an action that I need to take?

P- And finally P stands for Prayer. Pray God’s Word back to Him. If He has revealed something to you during this time in His Word, pray about it. Confess if He has revealed some sin that is in your life.

Studying God’s Word like this can take as little or as long as you have time to give. Some days it can take just 10 or 15 minutes, other days longer.

How do I S.O.A.P.?

Here is a personal example….

Colossians 1:5-8

S- The faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

O- (Many times I just bullet my observations……what I’m seeing at first glance when looking at the verses)

  • When you combine faith and love, you get hope.
  • We have to remember that our hope is in heaven…….it is yet to come.
  • The gospel is the word of truth.
  • The gospel is continually bearing fruit and growing from the 1st day to the last.
  • It just takes one person to change a whole community…..Epaphras.

A-Something that stood out to me today was how God used one man, Epaphras to change a whole town!!! I was reminded that we are simply called to tell others about Christ……it’s God’s job to spread the gospel….to grow it and have it bear fruit. I felt today’s verses were almost directly spoken to GMG…..“all over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.” Isn’t it fun when God’s Word becomes so alive and speaks directly were we are at?!!!! My prayer today is that all the women involved in this Bible study will understand God’s grace and have a thirst for His Word.

God's Word SOAP

P- Dear Lord, please help me to be a “Epapras”…..to tell others about you and then leave the results in your loving hands. Please help me to understand and apply what I have read today to my life personally thereby becoming more and more like you each and every day. Help me to live a life that bears the “fruit” of faith and love……anchoring my hope in heaven, not here on earth. Help me to remember that the BEST is yet to come!

_____________________________________________________

I’ll be honest with you and say there are many days I write on the front and back side of my study guide…..but you don’t have to. Just take it one day at a time, and write as you respond to what God has shown you through His Word.

The most important ingredients in the S.O.A.P. method is YOUR interaction with God’s Word and your APPLICATION of His Word for YOUR life.

I hope this explanation helps you today as you learn to dig deeper into God’s Word.

“I have a feeling that we would have revival in our churches if all true believers dared to live what the Bible teaches.”

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to the blog. All the materials you will need (reading plan & study guide) will be attached to EVERY GMG email you receive from us after you subscribe and confirm your email. Once the fall session starts, you will receive a GMG email on Monday, Wednesday & Fridays. http://feeds.feedburner.com/GoodMorningGirls

Special Note: Just a reminder, women looking on the forum to find a group don’t have to log in –  just scroll through the groups and when you see one you’d like to join…. click on the link and ask to join. We have LOTS of leaders on there now!!!!

Welcome Back! ~&~ Bible Study Tips!


Welcome Back!!!  Good Morning Girls is back in session and we could NOT be more excited about what God is going to do this fall!

There are over 2,000+ Good Morning Girls in over 200+ groups!   Wowsa!  You go girls!  There are also an extra 200+ individual ladies joining us for the I John Bible Study and we are SO glad to have you girls along for the ride too!  We value each and everyone of you and you have been bathed in prayer.  Angela is on maternity leave with her 3rd beautiful baby girl (pictures to come in the next month!) but she sends along a message of love and said she is praying for you all during those middle of the night feedings!!!  She’ll be back in October!

Now let me tell you about each other!  We come from all across the globe and all walks of life.  We have women in Guam, Singapore, Italy, South Africa, Ukraine, the Caribbean,  Israel, Germany, Austria, Costa Rica, Japan, Switzerland, Palestine and more!  Nearly ever state is covered from the west coast with a group in Orange County, California, to Oregon, Washington and two groups in Hawaii to Las Vegas, Chicago, North and South Dakota, Montana, Iowa down to Florida, (lots of girls in Angela’s home state of ) Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, and over to New York, Maryland and lots of girls from my home state of Ohio!

Welcome to you all!  We are SO thrilled you are here!  

Groups begin TODAY, September 15th and the On-line Bible study in the book of I John will begin here on Monday morning, September 19th!  If you have not already, download this free E-study guide to go along with our study in I John.

I want to kick this session off with some of my personal Bible study tips and methods!  So take 7 minutes and watch the video below (if you are getting this in an email click here to view the video.)

 

 

Now where do we begin?  Take today to introduce yourselves and get acquainted.  Share something about yourself like your testimony, how long you have been married, number and ages of kids, your favorite things to do, cook, places to go, favorite verse in the Bible etc.  Take today and tomorrow to connect – feel free to share what you are learning right now in the word or something God taught you this summer.

On Monday, set those alarms –  wake early – read your Bible and then contact your Good Morning Girls to let them know you have had your quiet time.  Share something you learned or are praying about.  Be open.  Be encouraging.  Be praying for each other.  Be disciplined and most importantly…Be committed to your quiet time and your group.  Have fun and we’ll see you back here Monday!

Walk with the King!

Courtney, Women Living Well

**we will not be closing the message boards for another 2 weeks – so all late comers are welcome – just enroll on the board! The more the merrier!  You want to study God’s word?  You have a home here!  Our arms are ALWAYS open to you!

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