Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bible Studies and Lessons Learned

Have you ever noticed that disputes with your spouse seem to happen on the way to church?  Maybe it's because that is about the only time that Rich and I are together in a small space with no means of escape.  Of course, I also believe it's because the enemy wants us so distracted and funky by the time we get to church that we're not able to worship, minister and receive the Word like we need to.  Well, a few weeks ago, on our way to life group, we had one of "those fights".  You know what I'm talking about.  The kind of fight where you look over at the other one and have a vision of yourself reaching over and wrapping your hands around their neck.  Or when you sit there thinking, "God said you're a gift to me...He must have been in a dirty Santa kind of mood that day!"  (Oh the things we will think, say and do when we get angry or frustrated!) Fortunately, we have both matured in our walks with the Lord and we both secretly knew that we had to shed light on this issue, so we both shared during prayer time.  I was so thankful that when Rich and I got in the car to leave, we were able to rationally share our hearts and that we had asked for prayer and accountability at life group. Just knowing that the other person recognized the seriousness of the issue and shared during prayer time was a comfort and the walls began to fall! I love how the Lord operates even through our hard-headed, stiff-neck selves.

When I opened up and spilled my guts to the ladies, it was like opening up a dam and letting the flood waters go.  Nearly every woman in the room started sharing their experiences.  It was very obvious that our marriages needing some strengthening.  I believe that will be the case until the day the Lord returns.  No relationship can survive without investing time and effort.  As the days went by I prayed for various couples as the Lord would bring them to my mind.  Then the next life group rolled around and the discussions continued.  I love how the Lord loves us so much that He puts us with people that will love us through the difficult times and will lovingly hold us accountable.  (Those ladies did that for me.  They were praying for me just like I was praying for them.  During the week, they would ask me how things were going.  They are so amazing!)  So I immediately went home and pulled out the old, tried-and-true "The Power of a Praying Wife".  I began to read a few pages and the words began to jump off the page at me.  It really ministered to me and stirred up my spirit.  I started sending out texts with different points from the book.  I just had to share them...I couldn't keep this life-sustaining word to myself.  As the day went on, I really felt that the Lord was drawing me to do a bible study on this book.  So I began writing, reading, referencing and praying.  Without knowing what I was already doing, our spirit-lead life group leader asked me about teaching this to our life group.  hehehehe...  Of course I accepted with a big 'ole "ABSOLUTELY"!!!

In the mean time...

So I purchased the Beth Moore "Esther" bible study CDs and workbook well over a year ago.  I got about 3 full lessons under my belt and to be honest with you, it just wasn't doing much for I quit.  I put it up on a shelf, and I had often thought about how I needed to one day get back to it.  I've learned that just because it didn't minister to me then, doesn't mean that it won't minister to me later.  I wasn't ready for it.  Maybe I couldn't appreciate it.  Maybe my mind was on something else.  Well, the Holy Spirit had me get those CDs back out this week and listen to them in the car.  All I can say is WOW.  From the first word out of her mouth, I have been eating it up like a cheesecake and Nutella crepe.  (That one's for you Jenny!)  Man, how it has ministered to me.  I have found myself clapping, laughing, "amening" and talking to Beth while driving down the road.  Thankfully I recognize my limitations so I do not try to take notes while driving down the road.  Anyone that has ridden with me is giving a hearty "Praise God" right now.

If you have much experience with the Holy Spirit you know that He doesn't lead you to do something without there being a purpose behind it.  There is a purpose for everything that He says and does and this time was no exception.  It has amazed me how much the Esther bible study and the Power of a Praying Wife book are intertwining and giving me excellent material for my bible study.  It's gorgeous!  It's exciting!  I can't stop talking about poor friends.  I start talking and I have to remind myself to take a breath.  I hope that I'm able believe that I'm going to transfer this excitement to the ladies in our group.  I pray that this study is going to light a fire within them like it has me.  I have so far to go in becoming the Proverbs 31 woman.  But I'm going to get there...I'm learning MANY lessons along the way, and I can't wait to share them with others.

I'm going to leave us with a quote from Michael Omartian in "The Power of a Praying Wife".  I believe if given the chance, our husbands would say the same.  Our men need us, more than they may even realize.  I'm Richard's helpmate.  The question I have to face is, "am I really helping him or am I fighting against him?"

"I cannot imagine what my life would be without her [his wife Stormie Omartian].  It gives me comfort and security and also fulfills the mission the Lord has for us to pray for each other and bear one another's burdens.  I can think of no better way to truly love your husband than by lifting him up in prayer on a consistent basis.  It is a priceless gift that helps him experience God's blessings and grace."

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