Stuck Bible Study Review

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Stuck.  How many of us feel stuck in some way?  This Bible Study by Jennie Allen was another video study with 8 sessions.  It covered the topics:  stuck, broken, mad, discontent, scared, overwhelmed, sad, and unstuck.  This was a simple and quick study to complete each week.  Often times I could complete the entire week’s study in one day.  (But, I like to study for an hour a day, so if you study for less time than that, you could spread it out over several days).  At first, I wasn’t sure what I thought of the study.  I didn’t quite understand what “stuck” meant.  But, as I went on through the study, it became more clear.  This is a women’s study, and so many of the things discussed were issues that we deal with in our personal lives.  It was a lot about being real.  Not putting on a front with others, but being vulnerable and showing who you really are.  That’s tough for many women, so it would take some getting “unstuck” for the vulnerability to take place.  I did this in a group, and so we were able to let some of our walls down with one another and share some of our realness.

My favorite week was the topic mad (week 2).  God really spoke to me that week.  I struggle a lot with anger.  The passage for this week was James 1:19-27.  I did not remember ever reading James 1:26 before (though I know I have).  It says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”  WOW!  I know when I get angry, I have a really hard time keeping a tight reign on my tongue.  I say things I regret, a lot!  My voice becomes loud, discouraging, nagging, and hurtful.  I hurt those I love the most.  And, worst of all, my faith becomes worthless!  That is not how I desire to be.  I learned that I had to die to what I felt my rights were….things like being understood, the right to move quickly, a good reputation, my family’s approval, my right to have respect, obedience, and happiness.  When we die to our rights, we find freedom.  We get “unstuck.”  That’s what this study is all about.  Each of us have our own “stuck” places.  We each struggle with some kind of sin.  We each can let some walls down, and become real with these struggles.  We all struggle, and we know we all struggle, so why is it so hard to be real about those struggles?

The study is laid out as follows:  At the beginning of each session, there is a short reading on the topic for the week (usually just a couple of pages).  It’s kind of an introduction to the week.  Then, comes several pages of the Scripture to study with questions, charts, and space for responses.  At the end of each study week is a who are you, Lord? what do you want from me? response page.  Following that are four projects to be completed each week.  The projects include titles such as:  discover, measure, imagine, respond, compare, list, consider, act, answer, identity, question, and commit.  They include charts, drawings, and different types of application.  Then, to close out the week, there are a couple pages entitled wrapping up.

Though I was unsure of the study to begin with, it ended up being a really great study that I enjoyed very much.  It helped me get past some “stuck” places, and to learn ways to work through those places if they come up again in my life (which, they probably will, because sin is sin, and we all do it)!  It also showed me the importance of being real.  People need to see that we are real in this world….that we’re not perfect, that we’re approachable and we care because more often than not, we are struggling in the same ways that other people are.  And, if we’re real, we can help one another, be an encouragement, and an accountability partner during those “stuck” times.  You can find this study here.  I hope you will take a look for yourselves.  Find your “stuck” places and get “unstuck” by dying to self and allowing Christ to live through you!

In Christ,

Dena

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Autumn and Thankfulness

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I love autumn!  The changing of the seasons,  the new scents, the cooler weather, the colors, the new beginnings and better routines.  I love to light candles, decorate, and make goodies that include pumpkin and spices!  It’s a time to reflect on all we can be thankful for; a time of thanksgiving and praise; a time for abundance from harvest, to look back on the first Thanksgiving, and remember how our country began.  Simple beginnings with Indians, like Squanto, helping the newcomers to this land to survive, to be able to spread the gospel of Jesus.  May we strive to be a light like Squanto was so long ago.  May we help our neighbors, help them grow, walk along side them and teach them how to survive a world of chaos.  It’s so easy to see the ugliness of our world.  We need to be the light in this dark place.  We need to be encouraging words, a smiling face, to have a twinkle in the eye, the hope that draws people to Jesus.  May this season be a time of refreshment and renewal.  May we be hospitable and invite others to share in a time of thanksgiving, encouragement, and renewal with us.  May we see the goodness of Jesus together.  May we see His beauty in the changing seasons of creation around us.  May we breathe deeply, find rest and peace, and be that rest and peace that others need to find.

Last year, I did a daily Scripture Writing Plan from the blog Sweet Blessings.  She even has blank pages that you can write the Scripture onto, and it just makes it look so nice and festive!  Last year the verses focused on Gratitude for November, and then I continued with the December plan.  I would encourage you to use this plan or another like it to help get you in a mindset of Thankfulness.  It certainly kept me focused last year, and I plan to do it again this year.

I hope and pray that you will find gratitude in your heart this autumn, that you will take joy in the beauty before you, the smells, the opportunities, and the abundance the Lord grants each of us.  I pray also, that you will spread thankfulness to those you’re around.  I pray that joy will overflow from you onto others that may feel without hope.  We are so blessed!  May we be a blessing to others!

In Christ,

Dena

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The Armor of God Bible Study Review

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The Study, The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer, has been one of the best Bible Studies I’ve done recently!  It was a video series that had a workbook.  It contained six weeks of study.  Each week contained five study days, and the days were approximately 5-6 pages in length.  Not a skimpy study at all!  And, very deep.  The focus was on Ephesians 6:10-19.  Priscilla goes deep with this familiar passage, so it is not just another study on the Armor of God.  I loved the depth of it.  If you saw the movie, The War Room, the study goes right along with that movie (awesome movie that I’d HIGHLY recommend, if you haven’t seen it).  The weekly studies were entitled:  (I’ll also include the daily titles to give you a better idea of what all was covered).

Week 1:  Sizing Up the Enemy

  • Wrestling Match
  • Undisguised
  • Lazy Days
  • Bait Selection
  • Strategy Session

Week 2:  The Belt of Truth

  • Strengthening Your Core
  • Truth Check-Up
  • The Hanger
  • Walk This Way
  • Strategy Session

Week 3:  The Breastplate of Righteousness

  • The Heart of the Matter
  • The Clean Sweep
  • Perfect Makes Practice
  • Pickles and Ice Cream
  • Strategy Session

Week 4:  The Shoes of Peace

  • My Father’s Shoes
  • Digging In
  • The Hole in My Heart
  • Go Shoes
  • Strategy Session

Week 5:  The Shield of Faith

  • Real Faith
  • On Fire
  • In Good Faith
  • A Firm Foundation
  • Strategy Session

Week 6:  The Helmet of Salvation.

  • So Great a Salvation
  • The Inheritance
  • The Benefits Package
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Strategy Session

There was also an ending video on The Sword of the Spirit.

At the end of each day there was an applicable section in the workbook called Actionable Intel…. (this term is “used in a military context to describe information decoded and gathered about an opponent that can be used to secure victory against them in future battles.” – pg. 15 of the workbook).  You are encouraged at the end of each day’s study to gather spiritual information that can be used to win spiritual battles against the evil one.  It was a great way to apply what had been learned.  Then, at the end of each week, you probably noticed a Strategy Session.  The Strategy Session is where you take what you’ve studied the whole week, and write out prayers on prayer cards included in the back of the workbook.  I often used more than one each week.  Prayer is a HUGE part of this study.  It helped me to make prayer a higher priority in my life.  At the back of the workbook, there is also a Leader Guide that has discussion starters and tips for each week.

I thoroughly enjoyed the study, and would highly recommend it to anyone desiring to win battles against satan, to gain further insight into his evil plans, to become more prepared for his attacks, to realize when he’s attacking and how, and to gain a richer prayer life.  It also helped me see the power I have in Christ to win these battles.

Click here to find out more or to order a copy for yourself!

In Christ,

Dena