Week 2 Check-In!

IMG_4195

Hey y’all! How’s it going? Can you believe we are already at the end of week 2? I am really enjoying learning about the Kings and the rich history of Israel. A couple of things I wanted to mention as we wind up this week.

I have heard from some of you that you are actually staying on track with this study and that you have built it into the regular routine of your day. This is actually one of the best ways to create a good Bible Study habit…. by intentionally creating a margin within our busy lives to allow our hearts to hear from the Lord. Keep up the great work! By the end of the study, you will have a great habit formed and it will make things so much easier!

For some of you, I have heard that this week was a struggle. You got a day or two or six behind. It’s ok. Keep going. For me, if that happens, then I just double up my days until I am caught back up. It’s not the best idea to try to cram it all into one day. These studies are really designed for you to work through, little by little, and really digest what you are reading and learning. Allow yourself some grace, and keep going. I know that for me, I really struggle with the “all or nothing” mentality. If I get too far behind then I tend to want to give up. Don’t let that happen! The enemy wants nothing more than to steal this from you. See that tactic for what it is, and allow it to give you some new resolve to push through and stay on track. I am praying for you. You got this, sis!

Here is this week’s session video: Week 2 Session Video

These videos are placed at the end of the week so that you can study on your own and allow God to speak to you through His word. What are you learning? Anything you want to share?  Join the discussion on our Facebook page here: She Hears Facebook Page

I know for me, one of the most helpful things is to write down all of the things God is showing me in a separate journal. I also keep track of prayer requests and the different ways I see God moving. It helps me to process all the things I am learning. The reality is you can use a plain notebook or your computer to keep track of this. But for me, I love using these really beautiful Christian journals.  They are simple, beautiful, and affordable:  Bible Study Journal

How can I pray for you this week?

Rach

Happy Friday: Session 2 Video

beautiful-beautiful-flowers-bouquet-color-424670

You made it! It’s the end of week 1 and you survived, I knew you could do it!

Here is the video session for this week: Session 2 Video

You can follow along and take notes on page 50 of your book. Still need a book? You can find that here: Trustworthy – Bible Study Book

This week, we have been learning that trust is a CHOICE…. that’s so hard sometimes, isn’t it? At least it is for me.

What’s one area that you have a hard time trusting God in?

 

Midweek Check-In

eyeglasses-on-book-beside-macbook-3551711

Hey there! How is your week going? We are halfway through! I just wanted to check-in and see how it’s going so far?

I had a couple thoughts as I was studying, and I thought it may be helpful to point them out.

With this particular study, she jumps right in without a whole lot of warning. For me, that was a little confusing at first. My suggestion is to go ahead and take a highlighter and highlight any of the areas that mention a Scripture. Then, go ahead and read those chapters. You will come back and need to re-read during the study portion, but this way it will give you some context. Make sense? This really helped me out. Want to know which highlighters I use? Well…. I have loads, but this week I am using these ones:
Fun Highlighters

If there is something you don’t understand, ask questions. She glossed over some pretty important theological concepts…. the assumption is that you already know some of this. What if you don’t? I know the first time I did a study like this, I felt so discouraged because, within the first week, I already felt behind. Please, please, please don’t let this happen. That’s what I am here for! That’s what this community is for! We want to help you learn and grow. Connect with us on our Facebook page here: She Hears Facebook Community

Get a good study Bible. This is so helpful. There are inevitably going to be passages that you don’t understand or need more clarification on. I will be doing a post soon about all the different types of Bibles that I used for study. But in the meantime, here is one of my favorites:  One of my Favorite Study Bibles

 

Hope these couple of tips help.

Blessings!

Rach

Verse of the week: Psalm 62:8

“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

Week 1: Trust is a Choice

battle-black-blur-board-game-260024

Are you excited! I am! It’s Day 1, Week 1 of our first Online Bible Study of the year! There is something so refreshing about the feeling of “New.” The new year, a new Bible Study (where I am not falling behind yet), a new journal, some new pens…. all of it makes this nerdy gal happy. As we get started, I want to share with you some things that will help you be successful with an online Bible study. If this is an old hat for you, then please share some of your tips in the comments. If this is your first time, then I just want to help you avoid some of the pitfalls I have fallen into in the past.

Use a real Bible.  

I know that this is the age of digital everything, but there is something so sacred about getting into the Word, physically. It’s not to say that I have never heard from the Lord using my Bible App. But…. I can’t remember the last time that was. More often than not, when I am physically using my Bible, highlighting, underlining, cross referencing, it’s those moments that the Holy Spirit chooses to speak to me. Developing the discipline of getting in the Word on a regular basis, is one of the reasons I lead online Bible Studies. Not only for you, but for me. It helps keep me accountable. Not sure if you need that, but I do. I also think this sets such a good example for our children. (or friends, etc) Seeing you with Bible in hand, instead of your phone, portrays such a powerful example.

Set aside a specific time

(This is the part where your phone comes in really handy). I set a repeat alarm on my phone at a specific time each day, like an appointment. I would love to say that I just automatically get up early and start my day with Jesus. It’s not that I wouldn’t love for my life to be like that, but it isn’t. I fill alot of roles during the day. If I am not intentional about my time, it will be taken from me. That’s part of the reason I do online Bible studies instead of in person ones. I am super busy. In this season of my life, this is what works. But that doesn’t mean it’s automatic.

Worship

At least once a week (I do it on Saturdays) set aside some time for Worship. I like to take some time after I have done the study for the week, and just worship God and think about what He has been teaching me that week. It’s often in those moments that He impresses on my heart the things He wants me to take away in my own life. This can be really powerful. Remember that we are not studying for the sake of acquiring knowledge. (Although that will happen….) We are studying in order to learn from the Word and allow it to change us…… so we can then go change our world.

Get engaged

One of the dangers of online interaction is, well, lack of interaction. It becomes really easy to sit back and remain quiet. In a live Bible study, you are forced to make eye contact and engage, at least somewhat. I am a social butterfly, so for me, that’s never an issue. But for some, it can be really isolating or allow you to fall away quickly without accountability. Don’t let that happen! Stay connected on the facebook page.

(You can do that here  SHE HEARS FACEBOOK PAGE) Comment on the questions. Reply to others. Connection, real connection, can happen online, if you only let it!

Okay, now for the fun stuff!

This week we are going to be studying Kings David, Saul, and Solomon. Have you ever studied them before? They are the most common kings that people recognize, so chances are, you are familiar with them. But let’s commit to taking a look at them with fresh eyes and fresh hearts.

Are you ready?

Here is the Week 1 Intro Session Video from author Lysa Terkeurst: Week 1   There will be another teaching video at the end of the week.

Still waiting on your book?  Here is the download for the first week that you can use while you are waiting for yours to arrive: Book download

Need to order a book still?  You can do that here, and get it super quick:
Trustworthy – Bible Study Book

Make sure you have watched the intro video.  I sent that out yesterday and it’s on the facebook page.  But here is a link, in case you missed it: Trustworthy Intro Video

I will be praying for you this week, especially today as you get started.  Don’t forget to join the conversation, I can’t wait to hear what God is teaching you!

 

Be Blessed!

 

Rach

No Rival, No Equal

nature-forest-trees-park-38136

My husband tells a joke to almost all of his patients. They usually ask him if he is married.  After replying that we happily celebrated our tenth anniversary this past year, he tells them that I am Italian and Irish so divorce is not on the table. Murder, however, might be an option.

Although he is joking, he does speak to an important part of my identity. Raised by first generation immigrants, my grandparents, I often refer to my Italian heritage, many times speaking some Italian words as I parent my children. Italians seem to have a sense of pride, much more so than my Irish side of the family. Even though I have blonde hair, burn easily, and had a maiden name that reflected the sheep herding side of my family, it was the Italian side that I identified with the most.

When the ancestry.com package arrived, I was anxious to read about the parts of Europe my family was from. We knew the village from Italy that papa was from, but the Irish side was a little more unclear. As I started to read over my genetic results, I realized quickly that I was unprepared for what I was reading. The surprise wasn’t from the Irish side. Instead it was from the Italian side. Rather, the lack of Italian side. There as only 1% Italian blood running through my veins. I had no idea how this could be possible, as I had a pot of pasta sauce simmering on the stove. What I realized through the results of my DNA testing was that my Italian side of the family were actually wanderers. They were Croatian, Russian, and Greek. Yet several generations lived in the southern part of Italy before coming to America. Very little Italian blood coursed through my veins. As silly as it may sound, this concept rocked my identity. I had grown up visiting the Italian bakery every day for fresh Italian bread. There was an Italian deli that was the only place in town to get the special Italian sausage that we ate every Sunday. We started making pizzelles at the beginning of December in order to pass out to waiting friends and family at Christmas time. Yet, here it was in black and white. The majority of my heritage was not actually Italian.

Any other week, I probably would have responded differently. But this week was one filled with discouragement and I sank into feeling defeated. As I turned off the pasta sauce that was simmering on the stove, I went to the bathroom to cry. I had so much of my identity wrapped up in being Italian, that I didn’t know what it meant to NOT be Italian. Maybe this is not something you can easily relate to, but I bet there have been times in your life that you felt insignificant. Times where your worth was wrapped up in something external. For me, I find myself in this place often. There are times that I feel like I don’t measure up, and the enemy uses those moments to whisper, “just give up.”
This was the place I was in when I began to worship. I was afraid to even say out loud what I was feeling, instead I started to just offer my hurting heart to the one who made it. As I started to sing along to a familiar song, there was a phrase that caught my heart.

You have no rival, no equal.

As I felt the Holy Spirit press these words into my heart, I repeated them back.
Yes, Lord. You have no rival, No equal.

As I did, I was met with the familiar voice of the Father.

You misunderstand, beloved. YOU have no rival, no equal.

Immediately my eyes burned with the tears that overflowed. In a moment, the Lord had spoken to the hurting parts of my heart. He brought to mind several places in the Word that explain what He meant. I sense that He wants you to know this too.
You are made in God’s image.

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

As I looked at my daughter, she was sitting on her bed, reading a book and twirling her hair. It’s something I do often. In fact, all my daughters do. My daughters look like me. Do your children look like you? Or do you know people who have children that look like them? Children look like their parents because they have their parents blood running through their veins. The Lord reminded me that as His daughter, I was made in His image.

No rival.

2 The Lord God tolerates no rivals; Nahum 1:2a

I know this. I know that God has no rivals. But I had never considered the fact that because He had no rivals, it also meant I had no rivals. Neither do you.

No equal.

I often teach on a verse from Ephesians 2:10.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

You are His workmanship, there is no one equal to you. He created you uniquely and on purpose.

As I pondered how these words spoke to my aching heart, I realized that these words are not just for me. They are also for you.

You are not what you THINK you are….. defeated….. discouraged.

You are made in God’s image because HE is the one who gave you life. That’s your genetic makeup.

If He has no rival or no equal, then YOU have no rival, no equal.

In a world where we compare and we feel like we don’t measure up, walk in confidence that, you were CREATED, by the very nature of who your creator is, as precious in His sight.

You have No Rival, and No Equal.

Be Blessed.

Rachael

 

I originally wrote this post for Warner Press but decided to share it here with you.  If you would like to read it on the WP blog, you can find that here: WP Blog