{Rooted} “Restless” Study – Chapters 9, 10, & 11: The Project, Immovable Fabric, & the Starting Place

Hello Rooted Ladies,

This week, my awesome co-leader, Karina Allen, developed the discussion questions for our study of “Restless”  by Jennie Allen. I have posted them below.

Chapter 9: The Project

Yeah, so this chapter brought some tears. I just think that I am a bit overwhelmed at what God might show me in this whole process of sorting through my threads. On page 75, Allen talks about God untangling our souls, stories, gifts, etc… I LOVE that! I often make a mess when I try to figure things out on my own or try to make something happen. Continue reading

{Rooted} “Restless” Study – Chapters 6, 7 & 8: Pleasing God, A Parable, & The Process

Hello Rooted Ladies,

Well, we are now starting to get into the thick of understanding why we are “restless” and how to determine if our dreams and visions are our own selfish thoughts or for God’s will and purpose. For me, this book is already ten times more useful than many books about finding your purpose because Allen actually gives us questions to ask ourselves to probe deeper. And her own struggles with knowing whether her vocational ministry was out of her own arrogance or even fear rather than God’s will really helps to illuminate the tension between the two. Most of us wonder if our goals are really God’s plans for our lives or our own selfish desires. Continue reading

{Five Minute Friday}: Reflect

Reflect{Today I’m joining the wonderful LisaJo of thegypsymama and a beautiful community of bloggers for the 5 minute Friday writing prompt. Today the word is REFLECT.}

Yes, I am a week late on the Five Minute Friday drill. Lately I always seem to be a bit late. Reflect is the perfect word for me at the moment because it is exactly what I’ve been doing lately. Truthfully, I’ve had a lot going on. {As many of you may have noticed by the quietness on my blog.}  A new marriage. A baby on the way. A move. And even major surgery while pregnant – complete with complications. All of these changes have given me a lot of things to ponder.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV).

Yet everything that I have gone through over the past few months has brought me closer to God. It has also shown my weakness and His strength. I haven’t always been the dutiful Jesus follower. Sometimes quite the opposite. I’ve been listening to Pastor Rick Warren’s sermons on the “Habits of Happiness” to get some more happy and more strength. And the Lord’s providence is amazing. {I encourage you to check out this series. Life changing!] These sermons were right on time. In Pastor Warren’s sermon entitled How To Keep From Stressing Out,” he said that I need to go directly to God – talk to God, pray about everything! Don’t talk to other people or read self-help books or whatever you do. Talk to God. It was a good reminder that I needed to seek God first in everything – big and small. And honestly, I wasn’t doing that as consistently and faithfully as I should have. I am a big-time reader and researcher. So, when I have a challenge, I immediately go into action trying to fix it. But what about praying to God first? I was convicted.

“Never worry about anything. Instead in every situation let God know what you need in your prayers and requests…” Phil 4:6 (GW).

Reflection has really been key these past couple of weeks. As I ready myself for a baby, I am reflecting on my life with God. I know only God will sustain me as I take this next big steps in my life – becoming a momma and learning how to be a good wife.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you. Psalm 55:22

Praying God will sustain you and give you strength,

Hope

Five Minute Friday

{Rooted} “Your Beautiful Purpose” Study – Chapters 3 & 4: Trust God’s Timing

Hello Everyone! (a special hello to Rooted Ladies),

So (in)courage sessions are back in full swing. And Karina Allen and I have started reading a new book with our group, Rooted: Women Rooted in God’s Word. {By the way, it’s not too late to join. If you are interested, leave me a note in the comments.} I couldn’t be more excited. We are reading Susie Larson’s, “Your Beautiful Purpose: Discovering and Enjoying What God Can Do Through You.” Doesn’t that title just give you the chills?!

Last week, Karina posted questions from Chapters 1 & 2 which related to Embracing Your Purpose. This week, we are discussing Section 2 entitled “Trust God’s Timing.” This section covers Chapter 3, “Wait on God,” and Chapter 4, “Face Your Fears.” I don’t think either of these chapters talks about easy things, but very necessary practices for us to learn if we wish to truly follow God.

God has had it with the proud, but takes delight in just plain people. So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. 1 Peter 5: 5– 7 THE MESSAGE.

In Chapter 3, Larson does a great job at relating her story of waiting on the Lord for her calling – speaking, writing, and radio ministry. She shares how the Lord had her pray for another woman who was living Susie’s calling. I love how Susie admitted her initial inability to be happy for the woman because she was jealous. Isn’t that so real! But of course, the Lord has her waiting and puts her in training to prepare her for her current calling. It’s pretty interesting that her calling includes sharing other women’s stories about the way the Lord is working in their lives. God always brings it all together. Her story was just another reminder to me that nothing done for God is ever wasted.

I love this line from page 60. “When the dream of service seems far off and our flaws and foibles cloud our view, it’s the perfect time to be still and know that He is God (see Psalm 46: 10). God knows how to speak to us in a way we’ll understand.” It quickly sums up my personal struggle and God’s perfect response. It’s beautiful. {That is one of my favorite verses.}

I spent a good amount of time with her study questions. And I realized that God is probably speaking to me more than I notice. And even when he speaks, I often doubt or question his voice. I wonder – is that God speaking or is that my own ego/voice? I’m working on hearing and discerning God’s voice without doubting so that I can really follow His will for my life. {Thank goodness Larson is going to cover this topic in the next session.} What are you working on? How do you know that you hear God?

In Chapter 4, Larson does a great job at exposing the links between our fears and sin. And she explained how the devil uses our fears against us. For me, she really taught how much God protects us and covers us because He loves us. Her study questions really forced me to dive deep into God’s promises and our actions by looking at Psalm 112, Psalm 91, Psalm 27, and Psalm 62:7-8. And I really liked her thoughts on others judging us and its purpose. She asked us to study Isaiah 54:7. It made me realize that although there could be some truth to the judgment, only God can truly judge us and we should take it to prayer. We should also not seek to judge others (cover ourselves by covering others). Very powerful teachings.

It would be great to hear your thoughts on her discussion questions from Chapters 3 & 4.

Your Beautiful Purpose Book

Discussion Questions

Chapter 3: Wait on God

  1. How would you describe your current season of life?
  2. What kinds of stories and movies most inspire you and why? Do you notice a theme in those movies that may connect you to God’s purpose for you? Explain.
  3. What does obedience to God look like for you in this place?
  4. If you could step outside your circumstances and look at who you used to be and who God is making you to be, does the person you’re becoming encourage you? How so?
  5. Share about a time when God put a desire in your heart and then made you wait for its fulfillment.

Chapter 4: Face Your Fears

  1. Can you give an example of a time when, in the face of a fear, you trusted God?
  2. How did God show Himself faithful on your behalf?
  3. What kinds of things help strengthen your faith and encourage your perspective?
  4. What kinds of scenarios trigger fear or self-awareness for you?
  5. Whose courage inspires you and why?
  6. What’s something you wish you had the courage to do?

Looking forward to the discussion. Wishing you a week full of hope, joy, peace, and discovering your purpose!

-Hope

Join My (in)courage Book Club and Read “Greater” by Steven Furtick

Hello Ladies and welcome!!

You are warmly invited to join Rooted: Women Rooted in God’s Word, Drawing Closer to Christ. Please join us on a journey to grow closer to God by reading and studying God’s Word. Together we will read the bible, Christian bible study books, as well as Christian living books.

God’s word is alive, active and should be lived out in our lives. As a member of Rooted, you should expect to grow, flourish, and be transformed – both individually and collectively.

Greater bookThis session, we have chosen Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God’s Vision for Your Life. by Steven Furtick. We believe that God has placed dreams in our lives to achieve His purpose and makes us better – in fact greater.

Check out this video!

This book will help us become as God intended us to be. Please join us on this journey to discover how to ignite God’s vision for our lives.

Our group is pretty simple. We’ve created a private Facebook group to share our reactions and thoughts on the book. {To join, email Hope or write a comment in this post with information on your Facebook page, and you will be added.} Each week we will read a few chapters and have a commentary post with discussion questions to get the conversation started. It is our hope that each of you will feel moved to comment on the book and how God is moving in your life. {The full schedule is below.} Oh, what a great journey this is going to be!

And in case you are curious, here is a little about us.

Karina

Karina

Karina Allen

Although originally from New Orleans, Karina now lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While pursuing her undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University and teaching preschool, she found her passion for Christian counseling and life coaching for junior high, high school, and college aged girls. Her dreams also include writing devotionals and an autobiography. She loves books, the bible, and of course, bible studies. She is excited about the group because she loves seeing how God knits hearts together online!

Hope

Hope

Hope

The other half of this duo hails from San Francisco, California. After graduating from law school, Hope moved from sunny Los Angeles to Northern California for a new job. Not a stranger to moving, Hope has lived in Colorado, Texas, Maryland,Virginia, North Carolina, California, and even small stints in England, Indiana, New York, and Philadelphia for education and career pursuits. Yet, despite all the moves, she has found a home in Christ and a deep sense of comfort in her faith. Her passions include reading and studying God’s word. And, as a former journalist, Hope dreams of writing books, renaming herself “Hope” (her favorite word), and learning more about herself in God’s eyes. She is documenting her spiritual journey at her web site, HopeJoyPeace.com.

So, please join our group, and pick up your copy of Greater. And in the meantime, please feel free to contact either one of us with questions or comments.

Your sisters in Christ,

Hope – 4hopejoypeace@gmail.com
Karina – karina268@ilovejesus.net

Greater wide

“Greater” Reading & Chatting Schedule

Each week’s questions will be posted here on this site as well as on the Facebook group on the Monday for each week! Please feel free to read ahead. And no worries if you fall behind. This journey should be fun and flexible. The chapters are short, easy to read, but very thought provoking. We suggest journaling your thoughts as you read – and of course, posting them here!

Week 1: Week of Feb. 12: Chapter 1

Week 2: Week of Feb. 18: Chapters 2

Week 3: Week of Feb. 25: Chapter 3

Week 4: Week of Mar. 4: Chapter 4

Week 5: Week of Mar. 11: Chapter 5

Week 6: Week of Mar. 18: Chapter 6

Week 7: Week of Mar. 25: Chapters 7 & 8

Week 8: Week of Apr. 1: Chapter 9

Week 9: Week of Apr. 8: Chapter 10

Week 10: Week of Apr. 15: Chapter 11

Week 11: Week of Apr. 22: Chapter 12, Epilogue

Note: this schedule may be modified.

{Reflecting on} the Election, Heaven, Grace, Being Brown and More…

click for source

What I’m pondering this week – ->

I thought I’d occasionally post articles or sermons that deserve more than a “tweet” or two. They deserve notice, attention, and reflection. So, here’s what I’m pondering at the moment.

The Election

The Election Thoughts From a Christian Independent by Jen Hatmaker

Heaven

Proof of Heaven: A Doctor’s Experience with the Afterlife by Dr. Eben Alexander

Grace and The Law 

The Lifestyle of the Free (sermon on the Ten Commandments) by Pastors Dave Lomas and Dave Dealy of Reality SF Church

Judgment

When Christians Play God by Pastor Ryan Blackwall at First Baptist Church

Being Brown

One Question I’d Like To Stop Asking by Deidra Riggs

Financial Peace

How Do I Find Financial Peace (sermon) by Pastor Chris Brady at The Journey Church

What are you pondering? {Please share.} What are you lifting up to God?

praying hope, joy, and peace for you and yours,

-Hope