Friday, May 9, 2008

Beyond Myself

I recently started going through Beth Moore's Bible Study, Living Beyond Yourself, with a few long distance friends. I've tried starting this study several times, but I needed the accountability. The plan is to start this study with church this June, but I've started it a bit earlier so I'm ahead and not trying to cram finish at the last minute.

I also thought I would try and share some of the things I am learning. This way if I start to whine about something y'all can just point me back to this post!

Thoughts for week 1:
  • Christians WILL endure hardships! I don’t think I’ve ever quite accepted that. I've read it, and knew it, but I think I still thought if I tried harder, things would be easier...better. There have been lots of hardships in my life and I am beginning to see how things that have affected my life have showed Jesus to others. Doesn’t mean I like it anymore, but I’m beginning to see that they have a purpose.
  • Going along with that, it is important to plan a response. Years ago I heard someone talk about this. They had planned what their response would be if ever one of their kids came to them with “bad news”. They said that the first words out of their mouth would be, “I love you.” When their 16 yr old came to them to tell them she was pregnant, their first words were, “I love you.” That set the whole tone for the following conversation. I have actually used that before, and it was amazing how calm I was and how that one phrase was so effective! I have planned that my response to “hardship” will be to say, “thank you, God.” I may not really know what I’m saying thank you for at the time and deep down I may not even mean it, but it will set the tone for the rest of my attitude follow.
  • I have always defined grace as, God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. That simplistic definition is what I have used for probably 25 years. I loved that the lesson defined grace as not only forgiveness and our “ticket to heaven”, but that it is also a gift of joy and thankfulness. This harkens back to planning a response. Am I being thankful? Am I being joyful? Have I accepted His grace fully or just the free “ticket”?

Those are just a few of the things that really struck me this past week. If the entire study is going to be this deep, I'm going to need a nap after each lesson! (seriously it is exhausting!)

Originally I thought this was going to be a nice little study on the Fruit of the Spirit, but having done Beth Moore studies before, I should have known better!


Trish D said...

I love that definition of grace, too. It's so easy to forget how very blessed we are...

I have a friend who is rather into many of the "feel-gooders" like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers (eww, I suddenly feel like I need to go floss my brain) and she's recently said things such as, "I don't know why we're having such a hard time. I know God wants better things for me!" That led to a really good discussion about how God uses our "hard times" to draw us closer to Him... it's all about sanctification! Our pastor also has a phrase that I like: "God never wastes a hurt." I know it's kind of cheesy, but God really does use everything. Even when our sinful nature causes us to make grievous errors, you can be sure that He already has a plan in which He's creating something beautiful.

Deanne said...

I LOVED that study! I did it two years ago when I was still in Michigan, and it was my favorite of the Beth Moore studies. I got the most out of the week on patience. It would do me some (more) good to go through the study again one day. Glad to hear that it wasn't just me!!!

**did you use the word 'harken'??! :)

Ivy Six-Pack said...

I did use the word harken. Does it make me sound smarter?