I'm not really sure where to begin, but God's been working in my life and there's a lot of cool stuff going on.
I can't even remember if I blogged about this but I recently took on a role in my church of small group coordinator for our campus. (We are a church with different locations and our "mother" church is large but it's little offspring is flourishing!) My role has ramped up in the last few weeks as school started and a flurry of activities related to Fall and a new school year began. I have stood up in front of my church for several Sundays in a row and joked, cajoled, sung and even danced, as I talked about the benefits of belonging to a Life (or small ) group. We are launching several awesome studies this month... a class on Boundaries (Townsend Cloud-- how to set boundaries in your relationships and still be loving) Freedom in Christ (Neil Anderson- being set free from addictions and past baggage) and Building Strong Marriages (Family Life Marriage Builders). It's been exciting and SO rewarding to see some of my favorite people step up into leadership roles and act as facilitators for these classes.
Bruce and I are also getting a new LIFE group rolling this month. We will meet in our home over the next 8 weeks using a curriculum that will mesh well with our new sermon series that kicks off this weekend. We will be taking a closer, deeper look at that awesome passage from Ephesians 6 about putting on the WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD. I find it really interesting that this is the focus over the next several weeks for a couple of reasons. 1. This is one of my most favorite books in the New Testament and chapter 6 is powerful!! 2. I just this month joined a women's bible study that is, guess what? On the book of Ephesians.
I have to say something about this women's bible study. I have not ever been a very serious student. In school I flew by the seat of my pants and got average grades. Even as an adult doing some post high school classes, I didn't take it super seriously. I was just, so whatever about it. When it came to women's bible studies I was pretty much ho-hum about the whole deal. Did a few and (yawn) they were OK but nothing that ever melted my butter.
I love the small group setting so much more but even in those gathering times, I can't say I ever got all up and at 'em about what we were studying. So it makes it all the more curious that not only did I sign up for a bible study but I chose a inductive study-- one of those dissect each verse and study the who, what, when, where and why out of it. It's a Kay Arthur Precept study which I am quickly learning is like THE BOSS of bible studies. Perhaps the idea of going shopping for colored pencils and cool notebooks and dividers got me pumped, (because I dearly love to LOOK organized) but more likely it was the tantalizing notion of doing this study with my sister. Oh, yes. this is something we have never done together before and it's very cool to be doing it!!
So, here I am all digging in to this new way of reading a bible verse and thinking I am in a good place. All the while in the back of my head is this little thought that has popped up from time to time to time, about me leading a women's bible study of my own AT SOME POINT IN TIME. I was asked to lead one a couple years ago and I gently but firmly declined. It just wasn't the right time for me. But the idea never departed and once in awhile I would think about what I might choose for a study topic. I flirted with the idea out loud a couple of times with some gals from church but that was as far as it went. Today, TODAY, while having coffee with a new friend, I even dared to tell her that SOME DAY I might like to do a women's bible study. But, I hastened to add that I believed God would tell me when that right time was.
We continued this great conversation as we drank our coffee, touching on several things, all the while circling the theme of going deeper in our relationships with Jesus. I mentioned the Precepts bible study I was doing and the small group Bruce and I were starting and the topic of that study and....that's when it happened. THE NUDGE. Actually, it was more than a nudge; it was a firm grip on my shoulders and it was as if Jesus was looking right into my eyes as He spoke firmly. "This is the time. You need to lead a daytime study for women using the same stuff you're gonna use for small group."
I think I broke off speaking for a moment and then, in a kind of laughing, shaking voice I told my friend what I thought I was being told. I watched her tear up as I shared and then I knew that was the confirmation I needed. This woman needed this study and I needed to lead it.
I contemplated it as we continued to talk and I said I was going to pray about it and talk it over with my husband but inside my heart was racing and my mind was already making a list and my fingers were dialing numbers to invite other women whom I knew wanted this as well. I knew this was the time and this study on Ephesians and spiritual warfare was the one to pursue.
There you have it. I am starting this new group next week and God is being very gracious in letting me start small-- very small-- there will only be 3 women plus myself, meeting in my home to do the same study Bruce and I will be doing with our LIFE group. I am being obedient to the call of God.
It is interesting to note that though I take a certain amount of pride in being less than studious, that I like being thought of as a free spirit and even a bit of a rebel now and again, God seems to think this is a time for me to get disciplined and shine. Well, OK, then.
tune in next week when you hear Robyn say.... "WHOSE CRAZY IDEA WAS THIS ANYWAY???"
Remind me of the WHO, will you? ;)