Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Living Beyond Yourself

Living Beyond Yourself is a Bible Study we took in the fall of 2008 - September - November 2008. We ended it the week before we left for Israel - what timing, cause going to Israel was truly a test to live beyond myself. What an incredible study teaching us to go beyond what we are thinking and feeling and truly live life through the Holy Spirit, not on our own power but with the might power of God within us. It taught me so many things that I don't even know where to start. It was amazing and exciting to see the changes that were taking place in the hearts of the women who were involved in the study. God is so good and when we truly seek Him, He does wonders to our hearts and minds.

Below is some journalling that I had done through the study:

Written Sept. 16/08 - "We've just started this study at the beginning of September/08. WOW! Has it ever moved my spirit already! It's amazing at how much God shows me in each study - and how I'll never stop learning. That's the wonderful thing about God's Word and studying through different studies - it's always new and refreshing. I encourage any of you to let us know what you thought about this study if you've gone through it. Also, if you are going through it, share with us what God is teaching you.
In the first session, the first time I watched the video, I had a really hard time keeping my emotions intact through the whole thing. I just felt God strongly moving through my spirit with everything Beth Moore was saying in the video. If you're diligent with the homework during the week, that deep moving in the spirit just goes deeper, if you let it. I'm learning so much and loving it!! Thank you God! I am forever a work in progress. :-)"

Written Sept. 17/08 - "I just found out that a dear women's group in Santa Cruz Bolivia is doing this same Beth Moore study out there that we are doing here. That is such a cool God thing!! The first time I heard of Beth Moore, was when I was in Bolivia in April 2006. I had attended a missionary ladies retreat there with many of these wonderful godly women. I had also attended the Bible study there one night and that was when they were taking the Believing God study. Fall of '07 was when I led numerous ladies here through the Believing God study and it rocked our hearts! Well, this Living Beyond Yourself deal is working hard at rocking our world too! What tremendous spiritual truths and jewels that are in this study so far and we are only on week 2! God is moving and it's exciting!! I was just chatting on facebook with a dear missionary friend in Bolivia and she mentioned to me that they'll be viewing their 2nd session this week. We'll be viewing the 3rd session this week so we are only 1 week ahead of them. But I find that just so much like God to be working through and intermingling us Christian sisters in Christ in this way. That is so cool!! :-)
Another neat thing is this: I'm leading 3 groups through this study right now, Thursday am, thursday pm and Friday am. In the Thursday am group, a woman came to me and was quite excited to tell me that a woman that she cleans house for, had the Living Beyond Yourself study book on her nightstand. My friend didn't know if this lady was a believer or not and took such encouragement to see this study book by her bed!! I asked what her name was and realized it was a woman from the Thursday pm group. That was so exciting to my friend. God is so good!! I love how He entertwines our lives continuously. And now to hear that my dear missionary friends are going through this same study too, it's just so wonderful!! Thank you God for all your wonderful surprises each day!"

Written Oct. 1/08 - "Today, I just completed day 5 of week 4. Beth's heart for her sisters in Christ really spoke to me today because that has been my heart for many years. I love each and every woman the Good Lord sends through my life. We learn so much from each other. The apostle Paul's heart for believers in the churches that he writes to in the New Testament is so real - and I often feel those same things. Especially when he writes in Phil. 4:1 how his brothers and sisters there were his joy and his reward for his work. They brought him joy.....and so do my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord.
In this section of Day 5, week 4, Beth talked about how her sisters in Christ are such a joy to her!! How she is overwhelmed sometimes as she listens to her pastor give sermons and lives a life of faithfulness to God. Nothing gives her greater joy than to worship with her friends. She loves seeing the familiar faces of fellow church members every Sunday.... These are all just totally me!! I love the body of Christ! I love studying God's Word with other believers...I love spending time in these studies each day!! Oh, how I can't seem to get enough at times! :-) Ever feel that way?? My heart is so full right now....I thank God from the bottom of my heart how He has sent each one of you through my life through this site. And how He has sent others into my life through different means....God is so good!!

Hebrews 10:24-25 "Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near."
This verse is so applicable to us today - it has always been a favorite of
mine. Encourage one another my dear friends, show outbursts of love to each other and enjoy meeting together with other believers and never give up on it - never stop it. God is so good and we learn so much from each other. :-)
love u in Christ!! Lisa"

Written Oct. 9/08 - "And the peace of God transcends ALL understanding! It transcends, it exceeds, it goes beyond....far beyond anything I can fathom or comprehend. That really hit me this week. WOW! Peace! To be at peace during turmoil, during the storms of life, during everyday challenges, through any circumstances, through hurt and pain, through uncertainties, even though I walk through the valley of death....there is peace. But we can't have this peace unless we're allowing the peace of Christ to rule our lives. In Beth's video this week on peace, she said that we can't experience the peace of Christ unless he is in us. Extremely good video on peace. I'm just being so blessed and so spoken to in this study. Thank you God......You are so good!!"

As I look back on what I went through and wrote and learned those weeks of this study, I am continually amazed at how God had worked through those days and through that study in each individual woman. It's so exciting to see changes happen in the lives around me and also in my own heart. God change me!! Life isn't always about the people around us changing.....it's about changing our own hearts to reflect more of Christ! We can't change others around us...we can only change how we view them, how we react to them and how we love them through the love of Jesus. Christ in ME - the hope of all glory! Now that's living beyond yourself. I'm so thankful for this journey and all the ladies that walked along with me. What a joy to be able to walk along together!

You know ladies, we always have a choice....God will not make us do anything, we are not a puppet....each day is a choice. But we act out what we believe in our own physical bodies....what do you believe? God has given those who believe in Him, believe in His Son Jesus Christ, the incredible power of the Holy Spirit. Through Him, all things are possible. Through Him, we can live beyond what we are feeling or thinking...we can live throughout all aspects of the Fruits of the Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. We can live out all of those - they are already in us because the Holy Spirit is within us. I love how each of those has an action.


God has taught us some wonderful things through this study. He wants to change our life and also our day! Victory happens one day at a time. I don't have to worry about tomorrow, a year from now, or 10 years from now. All I need to think about is what I am doing right now, how am I living for the Lord, in what ways am I reacting - through the fruits of the spirit or through the human flesh which cannot please God apart from Him. I need the glory of the Lord to fill my temple, my body - so that I reflect more of Him and less of me and my selfish desires and actions. When God fills me up, it pushes out my carnal nature, my fleshly humanness and makes room for His Spirit and His work in me and through me. Teach me how to do that more Lord. I need to choose each day whom I will serve - myself or God. I stumble and fall each day, I make mistakes....but God is constantly there with His unfailing love and never ending mercy and forgiveness. Through His faithfulness, He gives me a new chance each and every day, every morning.

I love this poem by Beth Moore: THE COMPANY I KEEP

Let me be known by the company I keep
By the One who determines each day that I greet
From the moment I wake til He rocks me to sleep
Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep
When the valleys are low and the mountains are steep
By the One who holds fast when swift waters are deep
Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep
By the One who implores me to sit at His feet
And quickens my soul to discern what is deep
Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep
Eclipsed by your presence that I may decrease
Til all You have chosen this traveler to meet
Let me be know by the company I keep.

O Lord, my heart is overwhelmed of your goodness and your presence. O how I want/yearn to live beyond myself each day - to live in such utter and complete fullness!! Each and every day, start the day with you and end the day with you. Amen?!?

The following are some thoughts from some of the women who took the study:

"I wasn't sure I was going to take the Bible study, but Kathy told me it would be good for me to take it the second time. I found that this time was not as hard but some of it was quite challenging, some questions were hard to understand. But I knew God was always there to get me through it. I found the Today's Treasures were encouraging and I spent a lot of time on some of the questions, but the study has been a big help. With all the stress I am going through, sometimes I would get very depressed because things were moving too slow. So I would get out my Bible and workbook and that helped me a lot and it gave me a lot to think about. I am learning to have more patience. God has shown me to be kind, loving and trusting Him. Thank you Lisa for the study and taking the time out of your day to be there and for praying for us all. Thanks for the good group. Today's Treasure "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Eph. 2:10 - Joyce

" I was not going to come but am very glad I did. This study showed me how much I have been trying to do so much by my own strength. It reminded me how much more I must rely daily on the Holy Spirit to help me respond to the situations that arise rather than to just react to them. To walk in the fruits of the Spirit requires that I fill myself with the Word regularly." - Vi Hartl

"Attending this Bible study was amazing - I learnt so much about myself and got more intimate with the Lord. It has also taught me more patience and self-control. Thank you so much Lisa and ladies for making me feel good about myself again. Hopefully I can do the same for someone else. God bless you all!!!
- Kathy Janswick

"Living Beyond Yourself - Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit was a Bible study of challenge but also great blessing. Not only did I learn each 9 fruits of the spirit in sign language but learned the depth of each and how Christ has meant each to work in me. The filling of the Fruit of the Spirit should change each day leading to a changed life. This study has given me a greater desire to have a more steady and meaty reading of God's Word and to really seek Him as to where He wants me to change and to live out the fruits.
I have learned that LOVE can be grasping, friendly and caring and never failing. And JOY cometh, I just need a lot more of it. There are more reasons to be joyful than not, especially when everything around me is crashing. It's the absence of fear and turmoil, not the absence of pain and grief. PEACE rules. PATIENCE has taught me to be still and be filled, to have mercy and not to judge others and to still be patient when things are hard because it doesn't mean it's bad. KINDNESS tenders and GOODNESS God associates with doing good and most of the time I'm going to have to pour out before healing comes.
God is faithful so we can be characterized by FAITHFULNESS and it fights! GENTLENESS bows - Oh how I need more of this fruit to be submissive, humble, to have a teachable spirit and to stop fighting God; let him teach me. And lastly SELF CONTROL stops. I always have a choice with each decision I make. I do not need to conform to this world but to Christ and to learn to say "That's enough for now." I don't want to either have neglect or obsession - I want to only worship God - Christ my Savior." - Fran Larochelle

The study itself was so rich. What I value so much is that although Beth Moore is an interesting and fun teacher, the material would still be valuable without her because it is the Word of God. Any study based on a person is not good but this is the precious Word that is most focused on. I learned so much and it was almost like total new again, even though I had done the study before. A very definite impression for me was the power, the need, the great importance of women ministering to women. Some need the input of the Word, some need the fellowship, some need advice, some just need someone to listen to them rant. The part of each woman in the group was different but each was equally important to everyone else. Women need women but especially in the context of the powerful Word. So, carry on!" - Evonne

"Even tho I had taken this study before, I thoroughly enjoyed it again, It seems I need to always be reminded that only by God's power through His Holy Spirit can I do anything worthwhile. Beth has such a fun way of bringing across her ideas, and always, but always she refers us back to GOD'S WORD. My prayer and hope is that I will allow the Holy Spirit to control my life, and that I might exhibit the fruit of His infilling daily." - In His Love, Vi Teichroeb

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