Love: Now Available!

I am so excited to announce that the 3rd book in the Living Out the Word series is now available!  Thank you all for your prayers and support this year as I have worked to complete this project.

If you know of a ladies group that is looking for a verse by verse Bible study please share this information with them.

 

 

What does love look like?  Is God’s love like ours, or is ours like His?  Find out what the Apostle of Love has to say in his epistles about God’s amazing love.  Love in not only a general theme within the Epistles of John but also throughout the entire Bible.  The greatest commandment of all is centered on love.  As believers in Christ we are to walk in love, be rooted and grounded in love, follow after love, and put on love.  We are told in 1 John 4:8 that not only does God love, but that “God is love”.  During this verse by verse study, we will drive into the deep truths of God and learn what true love is and how we are to respond.  You can order your copy of Love: A Verse by Verse study for Women through the Epistles of John here!

Blessings to each of you as you strive to Live Out the Word!

New Website!

Most of you know that I have been working diligently to finish up my fourth book (and 3rd in the Living Out the Word series).  Lord willing, LOVE: a verse by verse study for women through the epistles of John will be completed by March 2012.  Please keep me in your prayers as I strive to meet this goal. 

The new website, www.livingouttheword.net,  is devoted just to the Living Out the Word series.  I would love for you to stop by and check it out!

Blessings,

Kimberly

Hitchhikers

I have never picked one up.  It’s not that I do not want to offer a ride to someone who needs one.  I just know better.  But I always wonder about a person on the side of the road who is hitchhiking.  Where are they going? Where have they been? How did they end up on the street? What would it feel like to be completely dependent upon others to get you from one place to the next?  Would it be hard to trust people?

I’ve been encountering a lot of hitchhikers lately.  These hitchhikers are of a different sort.  They are hitchhiking Christians.  These are the people who depend upon others for their spiritual growth.  They want a free ride.  They will cling to their family’s Christian heritage and not build one for themselves.  When it comes to learning the Scriptures, they will ride along on the spiritual knowledge of someone else.  They do not read the Bible for themselves.  They do not pray as they should.   They do not study to show themselves approved.  Instead they ride from Sunday to Sunday on the preachers words.  They ask others to pray and never spend time on their knees.  They take what others have studied for themselves, never checking to see if it is true.

When you faithfully attend church and hear weekly sermons it is very easy to hitchhike your way through life.  Yes, it is easy but very dangerous!  One reason it is dangerous is because when it comes to eternity we will not be able to hitchhike our way into heaven.  Each man and woman must stand in judgment before God alone.  Your church membership will not be able to stand with you.  Grandma’s sweet prayers will not be there either.  A Christian heritage will not make a difference.  Our only hope is the One who traveled the road before us and paved the way – Jesus Christ the Righteous.  It is in Him alone that we have access to the Father.

When it comes to spiritual growth, a hitchhiking Christian doesn’t get very far down the road either.  I know because I’ve been one.  My husband came into the faith at 19 years old.  He knew nothing about Scripture.  Early in our marriage he would ask questions like, “Why do you believe this…?”  My answer was simply because that was what I was taught.  In other words, my beliefs were not really mine.  I just took what someone else believed and rode alone with them.  Many of the things I believed were truth.  But it was not until my husband challenged me to know what I believe and why I believe it that the truth became mine.   Then there were those things that I thought I believed and when I began to search out the Scriptures I discovered that I really didn’t believe it.  When I finally began to search out the Scriptures for myself the Word of God became a powerful force in my life.  It became alive.  And I started growing in my faith.

Do you remember the story of the Berean church?  The Apostle Paul, with Silas, came to Berea to preach the gospel in Acts 17.  Paul was God’s man.  God had anointed him in a powerful way.  He wrought miracles everywhere he went.  He preached with authority.  And God would use him to write more books of the Bible than any other.  However, when he came to Berea the believers there “searched the scriptures daily” to see if the things he taught them were true.  They did not hitchhike along on Paul’s knowledge.  They studied for themselves.  And God called them “more noble” because they received the word with all readiness of mind.

We must be ever diligent in the Scriptures.  We must be careful to not rely upon others for our spiritual growth.  We need to put our thumbs down and quit hitchhiking.  Instead, we need to lace up our shoes and “walk worthy of the Lord… increasing in the knowledge of God,” (Colossians 1:10).

Faith! Living Out the Word book give-a-way

You could summarize the book of James in one word, “FAITH”.  Just what does it mean to have faith?  Every day you demonstrate great faith.  Even now, wherever you are sitting you have placed faith in your chair to hold you up.  Chances are you sat down without a bit of fear or worry that you would be held up.  You are relaxed and confident in the ability of your seat.  We demonstrate faith when we ride in an elevator, when we get in a car, when we fly in a plane.  We demonstrate faith in our doctors and the medicines they give us.  We even demonstrate faith in our own bodies when we first place our feet on the floor each morning to take a walk.  We demonstrate faith in restaurants when we eat food someone else has prepared. We demonstrate faith in our husbands, in our children, in our friends and family. If you pay attention you will find yourself demonstrating great faith throughout any given day.  Faith means to believe in something or to have trust.  But, what does it mean to have faith in God?  Is it enough to just say, “I believe in God.”?  No, for we learn in the book of James that even the devils believe and they tremble.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  And in verse six it tells us that, “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  Jesus spoke of faith often.  He spoke of those with little faith and those who had great faith.  He said that it was because of their faith that many were healed, that they were made whole, and that they were saved.  Faith moves mountains.  In the book of James we will learn that faith endures trials, faith understands temptations, faith gives us wisdom to pass the tests given, faith obeys the Word, faith produces doers, faith harbors no prejudice, faith displays itself in works, faith controls the tongue, faith acts wisely and faith gives us the ability to resist the devil and draw nigh to God.  

So, what exactly is faith?  My husband often gives a very simple and easy definition of what faith is.  It is simply having confidence in the trustworthiness of God.   In other words, faith is having complete assurance that God will do what He says He will do.  So the only way to build our faith is to know God and His Word.  It is through His Word that we learn of His trustworthiness and through His Spirit working in our lives that our confidence is built. 

So pull out your Bible and dive into the precious Word, verse by verse and line by line.  There is no better way to know Him and by doing so your faith will be strengthened more and more. 

I will choose a winner (US Resident only) and mail out Living Out the Word, Faith.  A verse by verse study for women through James on Monday, November 8th.   You can take a look inside the book here at Amazon.com.

Mandatory to Enter: Leave a comment with your favorite verse from James. 

Additional entries:  TOS Crew members, Subscribe to this blog (rss or email), spread the word about this giveaway (blog, facebook, emails, etc) and leave link in comments.

Teaching the Word of God

Nothing is more calming to my soul than picking up God’s Word and reading from the Psalms.  Perhaps it is because there is such transparency with the Psalmists.  As we read, we get a glimpse of heartache, troubles, sorrows, fear, worry and doubt.  But, in contrast we also see complete faith, hope, love, joy, and delight.  My heart is pointed to my Creator, Rock, Salvation, Strong Tower, Deliverer, Refuge, Preserver, Shield and Strength every time I read the Word of God.  My mind is transformed by the power of His Words, and I am strengthened through them.

I believe that giving my children a love for the Word of God is one of the most wonderful gifts I could ever give them.  We encourage Bible memorization within the family, their father and I read the Bible to them and we persuade each of them to read on their own as well.  Dana is currently teaching Bible Catechisms each morning after breakfast to the children. 

We use the Bible in all of their studies.  It is the most precious book we have.  It is the inerrant (incapable of mistakes), inspired (God breathed), all sufficient (completely adequate), Word of God.  In other words, the Bible is all we need and we cannot know it or study it enough.

Recently I was given a pre-inductive study of the Psalms, Young Hearts Longing For God, from Soli Deo Gloria Resources.  It is a 30 lesson workbook geared for children in 4th through 8th grade.  Each lesson takes the student through one Psalm per week.  It encourages daily reading of the Psalm creating repetition (which helps in memorization).  The student is given questions to answer as well as thoughts and prompts for journal writing.  The workbook is $16.00 or you can download immediately an ebook for $14.50 from their website.  (When you go to the site be sure and check out the free resources available.)

Abigail, my 6th grade daughter has been going through the study and has enjoyed it very much.  The only fault I found was that it was only available in NIV.  Since we are a KJV only family I had to print off the psalms myself in King James.  This was not too much of a problem in that I simply put the KJV pages in her notebook.

Soli Deo Gloria (Latin for To God Alone the Glory) has many resources and their goal is to assist the parents in teaching for God’s glory alone.  Below is an excerpt from their website.

 Why do we educate our children?

  • If we educate our children so that they will be intelligent and successful – we may be seeking THEIR glory.
  • If we educate our children so that they will impress our family, friends and neighbors – we may be seeing OUR OWN glory.
  • If we educate our children so that they can pour forth facts and figures accurately – we may be seeking the glory of KNOWLEDGE (and knowledge puffs up).
  • But if we educate our children so that they have a big view of God, are aware of their individuals giftings and seek to use them for the advancement of God’s Kingdom around the world and in eternity – then we are seeking GOD’S glory.

                                            

I must say that is a wonderful reason to educate our children!   Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth. (Psa 57:11)

To learn what others are saying about Young Hearts Longing for God click here.

 

Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received Young Hearts Longing for God free of charge in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Rejoice! Women’s Bible Study on Philippians Give-a-way

If you have followed my blog for anytime you know how I feel about studying the Word of God.  I believe that the best way to study is verse by verse, line by line, precept upon precept. (Isaiah 28:9-10)  This method insures that we learn the whole counsel of God and keeps the scripture in context.  (For more information on this read here.)

It is because of this that I have written two expository Bible studies for Women called Living Out the Word.  One is through the book of James called Faith.  And the other is through the book of Philippians called Rejoice.  I am currently working on a book through the Epistles of John called Love.

I am going to give away one of my Philippians books in two weeks to one of my readers.  Mandatory to Enter: Leave a comment with your favorite verse from Philippians.  Additional entries:  TOS Crew members, Subcribe to this blog (rss or email), spread the word about this giveaway (blog, facebook, etc) and leave link in comments.

 I will choose a winner (US Residents only) and mail it out on Friday, July 3oth.

You can take a look inside the book here at amazon.com.

When Bible Study is Wrong

Humor me a moment as I describe my perfect morning. After a good nights rest I would get out of bed by 5:30 a.m., pour a cup of coffee and sit down in the living room with a blanket, my Bible, and prayer journal. When I first wake I like it quiet. Don’t talk to me. I want to spend a few minutes slowly waking up and preparing to start the day. I like to write in the mornings. I like to read my Bible and pray. Therefore, the first hour is mine.

 On this perfect morning, an hour or so later, I would receive a phone call from my prayer and accountability partner who is a pastor’s wife in Arkansas. For the next 30 minutes to an hour we would talk about scripture, share burdens and encourage one another. Then slowly my children would wake up and we would begin our morning routine. I’ve spent many mornings just like the one described above. However, there is one thing wrong with the above picture…..there is no mention of my husband. I realize that there are some men who are perfectly content with being left alone in the mornings but not mine. He gets up early and wants to talk about the day. He wants his coffee and a companion to share it with. He wants a hot breakfast of biscuits, gravy, sausage and scrambled eggs. So, what’s a girl to do?

 The “whitewashed feminist” in me screams out that “I need my time too.” But, is this the correct Biblical response? As a child of God and my husband’s help meet what kind of example would I be if I neglected him in order to study the Bible? I remember the day clearly when God convicted me. My husband never said a word. He just went to the kitchen and started cooking breakfast while I sat on the couch with my Bible in one hand and the phone in the other. All of a sudden, I did not feel very spiritual. Bible study in itself was not wrong, but my attitude sure was. So I got off the phone, put up my Bible, for a later time in the day, and with a repentant heart began to serve. Am I saying that cooking breakfast is a more spiritual work than studying the Bible? Yes, in this case I am because God is always concerned with the heart.

Rejoice

book cover

With my proof copy in hand, I thank the Lord that I can say my Bible Study through Philippians is available. If you know of any ladies bible study groups that would be interested please refer them to this link. https://www.createspace.com/3391206  The book will also be available on amazon.com in a few weeks. Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers. Below is an excerpt from the introduction.

“Happiness is overrated,” was the response my good friend gave one day when talking about her life’s circumstances. What? Isn’t being happy what life is all about? If we will look around we will see that all the self-help books and motivational speakers seem to be telling us just this. Look up the word “happiness” in any dictionary and you will discover that it means the state of being happy or having joy, pleasure, delight, etc. Happiness results from the attainment of what one considers good. In other words, the world’s view of happiness is based on current circumstances. Are you happy when your husband brings home flowers for no apparent reason? What about when your children go an entire day without tears, fighting, and/or blood? We are happy when our finances are secure, the doctor visit goes well, our church has no problems, the in-laws went home a day early, and the bathroom scales are being generous. But what happens when it has been years since you have seen flowers from your husband? What happens when all of a sudden your children have become enemies and you work all day on getting a peace treaty signed? What happens when your clothes are fitting tight and to make matters worse your scale has been lying to you? What happens when your church family is having troubles or your in-laws announce a two week visit? What happens when the doctor brings bad news? What happens when your finances are a wreck? What happens to your happiness then? If we will be honest we will say it leaves. As a child of God, is this world’s happiness what we should really seek? Is our happiness what God is concerned with? Is being happy the same thing as having the joy that the Bible speaks of? Just what is the difference between “happiness” and Biblical joy? Here it is – happiness can come and go. But, biblical joy is rock solid. It comes from deep within your soul and cannot be moved. Glory Hallelujah, it is here to stay. The joy that comes from the Lord is not based on our circumstances but on Christ alone. I am going to say that one more time for emphasis. The joy that comes from the Lord is not based on our circumstances but on Christ alone! It has nothing to do with us, it is all about Him. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. (Psalm 32:11) When the storms in life come, my joy is in the fact that God is my refuge. When I am weak, my joy is in the fact that God is my strength. When others oppose me, my joy is in the fact that God is my defender. When I am afraid and do not know what tomorrow holds, my joy is in the fact that God is all knowing. When the fiery darts from Satan are thrown, my joy is in the fact that God is my shield. My joy comes from the fact that God IS.