Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Riding Camels at Petra

Yes, we rode camels at Petra Jordan and Alysha kissed a camel too. :-)

"Amazing Grace" in Jerusalem

After listening to "How Great is Our God" inside St. Anne's Church in the Old City of Jerusalem, we went outside and they began singing "Amazing Grace" so I had to video this one as well. It was so incredible with the birds singing along. Truly amazing! Enjoy.

"How Great is Our God" in Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, we went into St. Anne's Church - it was a beautiful stone church. Another group came in after us and sat in the front. A lady got up and began singing "How Great is Our God" - it was simply amazing and I just thought I had to share it with you on here. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, listening to it again at home. :-) The acoustics in this church were amazing! Enjoy listening.

Anointed Transformed Redeemed

This past fall, from Sept - Nov., we went through yet another incredible study called Anointed Transformed Redeemed by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore and Kay Arthur. It was a great journey of learning and growing and knowing that God choses and equips all those He calls upon....He doesn't call the equiped, He equips the called. I love that phrase because many times I don't feel like I'm qualified or equiped to handle things He puts into my path, but I know that if He puts something in my path, then He WILL equip me to deal with it and work it through and hopefully become a better person on the other side of it. I love asking the women to share some words with me about what they learned through the study, so some have and I'm going to share them with you here.

We started our new Bible study at Cornerstone this morning. Priscilla, in "Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed talks about the God we belong to. , His character and I was just reminded of the AWESOME ONE we serve. I so enjoyed this morning, that when I got home after lunch, I wanted to take a look at what the workbook was all about. I Read the first paragraph and the part "You did not choose Me, but I chose you. (John 15:16) This was not a new thought to me, but for some reason I stopped to dwell on that for a bit. Of all the important and not so important people throughout time , He chose "ME"! Once again I felt humbled by this, when the Holy Spirit tapped me on the heart as if to say "change the emphasis" huh? And it hit me in a fresh new way, He "CHOSE" me. God had a choice. He chose to pick me for a specific purpose, at this specific time in history. It's not about me or how insignificant I am, it's about God, His choice, His plan. It had me weeping. growing pains?
Kim Dyck

I just love how God reinforces things from day to day. I just had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day about how God has reached out to us and picked us, it wasn't that we reached out to pick Him. It's ALL God, praise be to Him! I agree with Kathy, and I can't help but cry too. I am so thankful that He is MY DADDY! Hallelujah!
Elaine Pruim

WHO AM I?? That God would chose me? Beth's words really spoke to my heart this morning...and like David chose not to, if we don't allow the difficult times and love times in our lives to stop us dead in our tracks and remain in that bitter moment for 20/30 years, wow, what a fulfilling life we can have. God has done so much for me...He continually amazes me.
I had a great reminder this morning too that not every good thing is a God thing....I like to do many things but I need to be in God's Word more, pray more and be closer to His heart so that I can discern and know which ARE the God things and not just the good things. I need to "come closer" to God so that I can better hear His voice....seek His face more so that I know without a doubt that it is He who is speaking to me and not just others.
The video this week really struck me.....how amazing it is that God has brought me THUS FAR. As I look back over the past 5 years, from when I had an incredible experience with God and how I knew that God had anointed me and was preparing me for some great things to come....I am in awe at what God has done in my life and through my life in the past 5, even 3 years. God is amazing!! I would have never ever have imagined....now I sit back on my knees and look up and say "Why would you do these things for me? Who am I to receive such incredible blessing and opportunity with you? I can't believe You did that for me God! Oh how I love you!"

It doesn't matter what study I've gone through...I am continually amazed at how God has chosen each one and it fits SOOOOO perfectly in my life and molds together soooo well what I had just gone through in my life or am going through or about to go through and God is preparing me for that. I serve such an amazing God!
This week in the Anointed Transformed Redeemed study, Beth challenged us to pray fervently to our Father to transform our family line. I yearn for my family line to be transformed and to bring us "so far" that God alone could be the excuse for it....becoming the people only God could make them...not just to feel better but to be freed, not just... being relieved but to be released, not just being adjusted but to be transformed, not just delaying our trip to the next pit but to be completely delivered! Amen? I know I don't want to stop cooperating with God until He has accomplished a wonder-driven work that takes us "so far"! King David was awe-stricken about how far God had brought him but also floored by what God had done for his family! I am too. Thank You God!
I wrote a prayer from the bottom of my heart from the scriptures that God gave me through the study of day 2 of week 3 in the Anointed Transformed Redeemed study. You'll find it just a few lines below. May it bless you thoroughly as you pray it over your children.
God blesses those who are not offended by me......this struck me so much this week and really spoke to me....how often we take offense and allow that bitterness to take root and affect our lives and our attitude....teach us Lord to trust that YOU are GOOD no matter what...no matter what the difficulty or how deep the devastation, You are Good and You bring good out of everything...thank you Father.
Lisa Braun.
Prayer for our Children:
Dear Father in heaven, in accordance with Your powerful, life-giving Word, I ask You to reach down from heaven and rescue my children – to draw them out of the deep waters of worldly entertainment and sin and deliver them from the powerful enemy and his demons – deliver them from those who hate them and those who are too strong for them. They attack when my kids are the weakest but I know God You will uphold them. You will lead them to a place of safety – You will rescue them because you delight in them – they are Your children (Ps. 18:16-19).

I ask You Father, to grant my children a treasure of good sense and to pursue godliness. God you are their shield, protect them as they walk – teach them integrity. You protect and guard the path of justice and you protect those who are faithful to you – O Lord that they would be faithful to You (Prov. 2:7-8).

I ask You to teach my children to guard their heart for it affects everything they do. Oh Father that they would avoid perverse talk and stay away from corrupt speech. That they would look straight ahead to you Lord and fix their eyes on the good that lies ahead in You. Lord mark out a straight path for them and that they would desire to stick to that path and stay safe. Father, that they wouldn’t get sidetracked but keep their feet from following evil. Protect them Lord – give them wisdom (Prov. 4:23-27).

I ask You Father that my children would have a desire to give their bodies to You as a living and holy sacrifice – the kind You will accept. When I think of what You have done for us, is this too much to ask of You Lord? Oh Lord that they wouldn’t copy the behaviours and patterns of this world but to let You transform them into a new person by changing the way they think...then they will know what you want them to do Lord and they will know how good and pleasing and perfect Your will really is (Rom. 12:1-2).

I ask You Lord that the gifts that You have given to them, that they would accept that gift and do it well to bring You and others blessing. That they would love others and hate what is wrong and stand on the side of good, to take delight in honouring each other, not to be lazy in their work but to serve You wholeheartedly and enthusiastically. Father that they would be glad for Your plans and be patient in trouble and always be prayerful. When others are in need, that they would have hearts of compassion Father and a willingness to help. That they would be hospitable, love their enemies, praying for those who hate them and curse them, to be happy or sad with others and sensitive to their feelings and that they would live in harmony with those around them and to think of others more highly than themselves. To enjoy the company of ordinary people, not to pay back evil for evil, to do things so that others would see they are honourable and to live at peace with everyone as much as possible (Rom. 12:6,9-18).

I ask You Father that my children would listen to You and do what You say so they will live a long good life. Teach them wisdom’s ways and lead them in straight paths. If they live a life guided by wisdom Lord they won’t limp or stumble as they run. Father that they would carry out Your instructions and never forsake them. Guard them Lord and lead them to a fulfilled life. Lord that they would not choose the way of the wicked and follow their paths, that they would avoid temptation and turn away and chose the way of righteousness. Father that they would pay attention to what You say and listen carefully and not lose sight of Your words but to have Your words penetrate deep in their hearts for Your words bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning (Prov. 4:10-15, 18, 20-22).

Dear Father in heaven, in accordance to Your powerful, life-giving Word, I ask You that when You look down from heaven searching the earth for one whose heart seeks You – that You would find that in my children. Who may enter Your sanctuary Lord? Who may enter Your presence on Your Holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives, do what is right, speak truth from sincere hearts, those who do not slander others or harm their neighbours or speak evil of their friends, those who despise sin and are faithful followers of the Lord and keep their promises, those who use their money wisely and don’t accept bribes...such people will stand firm forever (Ps. 14:2, Ps. 15).

Who am I Lord? Who am I but a mother, a daughter of You, who longs for her children to know You and to live an enriching life seeking Your Face. I hear You Lord, “Be still and know that I am God – there is no other. Be still....I AM...is with me...and my children.” Amen

God chose me before I was conceived. He has a plan for me! He made me special in his eyes. God's hand is always on you and he never leaves you without resources to handle something you are incapable of handling. God is the ruler of all the heavens and earth. God provides everything - health, wealth. Without God we are nothing and everything is for not. Praise God!
Our sins can never be too great for God to forgive. God have us grace - it is not a license to sin - rather it is power not to sin and love that covers it when we do.
God is strongest when we are weakest. Give your mess to God and He will carry it for you. Tell God your hurts desires and disappointments. He is the only one that can help.
God loves praise throughout the day. Remember to share with God all the good things in your life on a daily basis.

Mothering is not the ultimate gift goal of being a mother, revealing Christ to the children is and seeing God's love reflected in you is. Before getting out of bed each morning, offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God and ask Him specifically to make you aware of His presence throughout the day. It is so important to know the Word of God.
Lord, today let me see you when you are moving and hear you when you are speaking. Heighten my spiritual sensitivity to notice Your activity around me, and through me to others. May Your presence become so evident this day that I am steered clear of mistakes that I would most assuredly make if left to my own natural tendencies. Give me dear Lord, a consciousness, an awareness of You everywhere and anywhere I go.
Lord may you alone be my guide.
- Mary Hildebrandt

I’ve really enjoyed the different study styles in “Anointed Transformed Redeemed.” The biggest thing I have taken from the study is a reminder to step back and take even the small things to God before plowing through on my own.

Doing this study is confirmation of who God is and what he has done in my life. He is a God who loves me unconditionally. He is faithful in who e says he is. He is compassionate and gracious. He is powerful and he is there all the time, not just when I desperately need him. He reveals himself to me and speaks to me. He is a God f truth. He hears me and answers my prayers; always.

God is amazing to me and doing this study of David again proves how amazing God is. David was far from being perfect, yet God continually showed how much he loved him despite his failures and shortcomings. Even when David did some very terrible things God still wanted him to be part of his life. It was because David had a strong relationship with his heavenly father. That is what I need to keep constant in my life, is that continual relationship with my Lord, with my Saviour. He is my Saviour. He saved me, and I am so grateful, so thankful.

One of the things that has amazed me doing this study is the part that God knew everything that David was going to do in his life. He foretold that David was going to have a son named Solomon. This son was going to rule the kingdom in peace and build the temple. All this was known far before David sinned. Yet even through this act God blessed the outcome; God blessed the family line. Yes, I know God knows everything. He knows everything that is going to happen in our life before we do. But we are human and we think differently that God. This shows me that even through the terrible seen, God still wants the best outcome for our lives. He wants to bless us. He wants to show us how much he loves us, we just need to allow his, and get over our failures and mistakes and let him take over. And he will, more than we could ever imagine. That’s amazing!

Josie Wiebe

God is the centre of all, and is among us/inside us when we become a believer in Jesus Christ. This anointing guarantees opposition. God appreciates the efforts of a passionate believer even if all the actions are not perfect. The better you know God, the better you understand God, and you are filled with the spirit as you yield to him. We need to check with God first, before acting. When we pull our hearts back from God, the enemy will use it for other things. Don’t let the enemy hold us there. We need to be willing to walk past our offenses and receive God’s promises. God has promised good things, and He is trustworthy. God does not look at outward appearance, but on the heart. Every decision we make is a chance to go further down the path of destruction or go deeper with God. God knows it all so we cannot hide from God. God’s Holy Spirit in us in power to overcome temptation.

In order to tell the story of how God has worked in my life through this Friday morning class, I need to go back about six months, to the spring. I was working full time last spring and planning on retiring at the end of December. But God knew already that I was going to have to be available for other things for the fall and so He orchestrated my retirement for the end of June instead. That in itself is a story, but not the one for now!

So finding myself free from work for this fall, I saw this Bible study on Lisa’s Facebook and immediately said, ‘That is for me!’ Another God thing, but so far I had not realized how He was working so eloquently in my life.

Since two of my grandchildren, age 14 and 12, are home schooled, I had always said that I would teach them for ½ day a week once I was retired... so, now I was able to do that also. Little did I know that a tragedy in their lives was going to make this weekly time together so very precious and so necessary. At the beginning of September they found out, as we did, that their Dad and Mom were going to separate. We were all devastated. My son and his wife had told no one of their ongoing problems, least of all their children. As this overwhelming feeling of sadness and disappointment seemed to engulf us all, I began this Bible Study and listened to the story of David. I listened as Priscilla told us that God has equipped us and empowered us to handle whatever we are facing right now! My job right now was in sustaining and helping my son and my grandchildren who were facing such overwhelming pain. Then, Beth Moore continued by telling us that we have to move past our devastation with God and return to wholehearted obedience in God. What a powerful lesson for my situation. Kay Arthur finished up by reminding me of God’s amazing Grace..... not only the ‘power’ of Grace, but the thought that God ‘s Grace is ‘previous’ and therefore we can “forget what is behind and press forward” under God’s Grace!

Each week, as I came to class, I was given hope to help me and my husband (who I shared the lessons with). I was even able to encourage my son with the story of David’s crossroads and relate that to his life right now.

The most amazing part of all of this is to look back over the last few months and realize that God has been there every step of the way. He looked after having me resign in June; He set up a time every week that I can teach my grandkids about His Love and He had me sign up for a class at a church other than my own, because He knew it would meet my needs and help me to overcome. God’s amazing Grace was at work in my life without me even realizing.

Thank you ladies, and especially Lisa, for ministering to me in a time of devastation!


God is greatly to be praised and glorified in all we do. He is at the crossroads, when we come to Him, to direct us and to guide us in helping us in the right direction. When we sin He will forgive us. When we make a wrong turn God will help us to come back to Him, providing we seek Him. He will transform us if we are truly repentant. He will forgive us if, we but ask Him. All we have and all we do is from the Lord. We know He knew us from beginning to end. He knew us before we were born. He set out His path for us. He chose us, He died for us, He rose again for us to bring us hope, love and He will sustain us, if we keep Him in our sights. When I think of the cross, the burden Jesus carried to the cross was unmeasurable. And when he rose to give us freedom and to set us free, it is unfathomable. We all will have to atone for our sins and truly repent and to give God all of us, to glorify Him, to magnify Him and to follow Him in all we do. Let us always seek Him first in all we do, and to know He is with us when we come to the crossroads. He will carry us through. His love for us is everlasting and His mercy and grace will lead us through trials and suffering. Who else is there, but Him. Sometimes all we can say is “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!”

Here is what I learned from this Bible Study;

I have really been blessed from doing this study and hearing and learning from three well known women who love the Lord. There is always new things one can learn from scripture even though you have read it several times. Doing the study has brought tears to my eyes on numerous occasions realizing the truths of God and how I have to examine my own life.

First we learned that God chose us for a specific purpose and He will enable us for that specific task. He knows the end from the beginning, and we just have to put our trust in Him. He wants us to walk in a manner worthy of His calling, and to have a prepared heart to do His will.

Even despite our imperfections, He can use us. If we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, He will equip us to handle whatever comes our way. Without God's spirit we connot accomplish His plans and purposes.

The devil will always be there to try and attack us and discourage us, but we can stand firm with an unwavering faith and trust in the truth of God's work. We need to spend time with God in silence and solitude to equip us for our daily walk and believe without a doubt that He will hear us and help us. This is one of the privileges of receiving the Spirit of God. But Oh!! to have that trust and patience can be a struggle at times.

Oh God, help us not to default to the flesh, but to continually seek You. God wants the best for us, and sometimes it will take some trials to get there. But remember the best thing of life is on the other side of devastation. Joy and praise comes out of obedience. We have to base our faith on who God is and not on what He does. David, a man after God's own heart, was chosen to be King over God's own people, but he too succumbed to sin. He made several wrong choices at different crossroads in his life which brought him deeper into sin. But after being confronted, David acknowledged his sin and confessed to the Lord. Even though we make mistakes, God has never left us. There are consequences for our sins, but God will quard us from total despair when we have failed. Some of the pronouns that describe God is: loving, kind, great, compassionate, cleanses me from sin, judges, just, desires truth, makes me know wisdom, purifies me, washes me, blots our all my iniquities, renews a steadfast spirit within me, restores to me the joy of my salvation, delivers me, is righteous, praise worthy, and He will not despise a broken spirit. Amen, Amen!!!

Our last session with Kay Arthur was a very powerful message. She talked about God's grace. As long as we are alive God's grace is there for us, no matter what we have done. Grace is free and unearned. But we have to confess our sin and not dwell on our past and then God will be able to use us for His glory. God planned our redemption before the foundation of the world. He knew we were going to sin. I am thankful that God never gives up on us. His grace gives us power to move on. Joy can come if you live for Christ.
Rita Wiebe
God has showed me that it is my responsibility to seek, hear and obey and that He will do the rest. It is a readjustment to learn to trust His word, not my experiences and feelings. I am learning to trust that He doesn’t change when my circumstance do, meaning He is trustworthy to ALWAYS be faithful, available, and able. My ability to surrender control to God shows how much I trust in Him to be my Source and Sustainer. He doesn’t promise a painless life, He says He has a good life for me. The fact that He chose me and acknowledging that I need Him gives me peace and assurance in His ability to lead if I choose to go deeper still when I find myself at crossroads. For it is His empowerment that allows me to walk the road of his destination and fulfill each obligation along the way, not just being able to handle them, but thriving in them as I learn to respond not react to life. Basically I am now in a place where I can say thanks for the good, bad and even the ugly because it brought me here, and here I am His and He is mine so how grateful I am for Him bringing me so far.
Crystal Regier
"When I'm serious about being 100% sold out to God, all of the enemy's forces will come against me again and again, just like all the Philistine armies came against David. David sought the Lord for a fresh directive every time the enemy came at him. Again and again. God was central to David. I, too, must repeatedly come to God, where God is central to my life on a moment by moment basis.
When I give God control of my life, I'm not frustrated. My life is free from worry, anxiety and fears. Peace is my most treasured by-product of humbly trusting God's control in my life. How things turn out is God's responsibility when I'm obeying His lead. God equips me for His purposes. I am valuable to God and life holds fulfilling opportunities to serve my God.
God desires to shine His light through me, and show His love by my love expressed, and His life by my life lived out, for His honor and glory. I can fulfill supernatural purposes in natural situations by God's Spirit's enabling power.
Because I trust God and have complete faith in God's abilities, I can commit to obeying God completely. The only alternative to obedience is disobedience. It's good to reflect on how far God has brought me to realize God will continue to take me further, if I will continue to follow where He leads me. God wants to do good for me. I can have effective prayers as I pray the Word of God-it is God's will. God wants me to be honest with Him about my heart in my prayer life. Closeness is impossible without accessibility. I am passionate about God, whether I'm happy or sad. God's presence in my life is an awe inspiring daily moment. I will endure trials because my victory lies on the other side of the trial. God wants to hear all about what's in my soul. God is holy. He knows best. God sees my heart and He wants me to be honest with Him for my own good. I love the freedom of worshiping God with abandon.
Self condemnation is destructive because it lies and keeps me from the cross. I need to repent when I'm guilty. I need to receive forgiveness.
Every moment of every day we are at a cross roads in life. Everything I choose has consequences. Every seed bears a harvest. God's Word serves a purpose. God knows all. God values a heart that is contrite before Him."
Linda H.

The Anointed Transformed Study has been a study of new conviction. Week after week we are reassured of how much God loves us .how much he care, how he is always there for us regardless of what we are going through. I'm reminded that God needs to be the center of whatever I'm doing. There are many things I need to take from this study to reshape my heart. I need to learn to listen, receive and obey Gods word. God is in the business of changing lives-I trust and believe he is working in my life to bring change. The Lord chose me to be his own and accomplish the purpose he has for me. Before I rise each morning-I need to offer myself as a living sacrifice to God. Knowing I'm equipped by God gives me a God-Confidence. I'm reminded I need to trust in Gods spirit and act in God’s obedience to build a strong relationship with him. Again the Lord has brought to my attention the harm that we can suffer because of unresolved anger and fear-how we are to accept the challenge to work through crisis and conflict, so we don't become angry and bitter people. I need to trust God at all times-pour my heart out to him in prayer-ask for his help. He is the answer to my life. I need to be aware of satan as he travels around looking for an opportunity to cause me to stumble. The enemy is out there to steal, kill and destroy. I need to stand strong in my faith. I need to get past devastation with God and return to whole-hearted obedience. God doesn't do for me what I can do for myself. God promises an abundant life. My prayer is for God to accomplish a "SO FAR" kind of work throughout my entire family. When I'm weak, then I'm strong. WHY? Because I'm relying on God instead of myself. Thank you Lord, for opening the eyes of my understanding- continue to keep my eyes open with understanding. I love the concept of Grace- Grace is favor, unearned, unmerited. It is a kindness from God. Grace is because God is."

"I did not know much about David when the study began, but over the course of six weeks, his character was revealed in an awe-inspiring way. I love how he was described right from the beginning: a man after God’s own heart! As we progressed in the study, I was astounded by the sin he was immersed in. And more amazed to learn how God dealt with David and his sin. Recently, I had an opportunity to share David’s story with my sister, a young married woman expecting sensitive to any mention of God. But I was glad to be able to talk about sin and redemption in a way that did not offend her. This study has really brought into focus my own issue of disobedience, the biggest obstacle I currently face. But David’s story has shown me that if I learn to align God’s will with my own, in combination with His grace, there is no end to His blessings."
Vi Teichroeb shares this from her heart:
"Lesson 1 helped me to see that there is a purpose for my life. I must focus on the people it affects rather than the task I do. I must not waste for we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do good things he planned for us long ago.”
Lesson 2 taught me that I am anointed for God’s purpose, even tho I often don’t feel like it. God calls people of every unlikely backgrounds like David, the Shepherd Boy. Obedience is of utmost importance, then God will guide and lead us. 1 Cor. 15:57-58 “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
Lesson 3 showed me that I want a healthy fear of God which will draw me nearer to Him. I do not need to have an unhealthy fear of Him if I trust Him and obey Him. I was reminded of verses I could pray for myself and my family. Prov. 2:7-8 “He stores up sound wisdom for the upright. He is a shield to those who walk uprightly. He guards the paths of the justice and preserves the way of His saints.”
Lesson 4 spoke to me about complete obedience, I will not grow or receive all the Lord has for me unless I seek Him and everything I long for, for His Glory. Jer. 7:23 “Obey my voice and I will be your God, and you shall be my people and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.”
Lesson 5 showed me how very important the crossroads are in my life just like in David’s life. I need to think out and make my decisions according to God’s Word and in obedience to Him. I also will have to restore 4-fold where I have sinned. 2 Sam. 12:6 “He must make restitution 4-fold for the lamb, he did this thing and had no compassion.”
Lesson 6 - I saw once again how God forgave and blessed David. The Lord did not lead David as He had planned, but David was repentant and then obedient. It established for me that as much as I’ve messed up in my Christian walk, I can be forgiven and as I seek God’s face, my children and grandchildren can, by God’s grace fulfill desires I might have had if they keep the Lord’s statutes, commandments and testimonies. I can have honor and riches in Christ even in my old age. The Lord is full of power and glory. His is the majesty and whole dominion. All things, good, come from the hand of the Lord. My prayer is “Create in me a broken and contrite heart to serve you, O Lord.” 1 Chron. 29:11-13 “Yours of Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and you exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all, and in your hand is power and might, and it lies in your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now, therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name.”
The final video I enjoyed very much, knowing what great women of God Kay Arthur, Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer are, that they can make us all laugh and show how much fun we can have as Christian women serving our Great God!!"

Even from Day 1 of the homework in the Anointed Transformed study this week, God is showing me things that I definitely need work on. I'm also involved in another study which is called "The Bait of Satan". Much of what I have been learning in the first week of that study is overlapping with what we are learning in the Anointed Transformed Redeemed study. God obviously wants me working on this area of taking offense. John Bevere, in The Bait of Satan says that taking offense is one of the most deceptive snares that Satan uses to get believers out of the will of God and most people who are ensnared by it don't even realize it. Jesus says in Luke 17:1 that "it is impossible that offenses will come." People will offend us, we will have many opportunities to be offended by others in our life....and the person who can hurt us the most is people that we are the closest too...why? ..because our expectation of those people are higher....we'd think they'd know better/that we'd know better...the closer the relationship the more harsher the offense....often the greatest hatred is found among the people that we have been the closest too. In Psalm 55:12-14 it says "it is not an enemy who taunts me - I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me--I could have hidden from them. Instead it is you--my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God." Oh my dear friends, the enemy takes such pleasure in bringing up offenses between family members, friends and fellow believers. He has so much enjoyment in magnifying the mistakes and failures of those that are closest to us in hopes that we'll take his "bait" and get offended and hold grudges, that we'll become bitter and resentful towards them, fall away and divide the church...God's chosen people. Jesus says that in the end times many people will become offended and their love for one another will grow cold....Matt. 24:10 says that "many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another." Jesus is talking about believers here and we see it happening throughout the churches time and time again. When we take offense, a wall goes up, we keep our heart at a distance to try to avoid getting hurt again, and we don't forgive....ultimately we destroy ourselves because before we know it, 10 years has gone by and we're still harboring that offense. Through God's word and His promises, we can overcome these offenses, forgive others and ourselves and move on. Like a root that grows into a big tree, bitterness springs up so fast in our hearts and overshadows even our deepest Christian relationships. A bitter root comes when we allow disappointment to grow into resentment or when we nurse grudges over past hurts. Bitterness brings jealousy, dissension, and immorality. When the Holy Spirit fills us He can heal the hurt that causes bitterness and help us to forgive and move on. Beth Moore reminds us in the study this week that if we desire to go "so far" with God, then we've got to move past those devastating points in our lives and return to wholehearted obedience with God and trust in Him completely. Ladies, is our faith based on what God does, or on who He is? God's ways are not our ways, we cannot always comprehend what He is doing, what He allows to happen in our lives or why He makes certain decisions. Basing our faith on who God is rather than what He appears to be doing is so crucial to our spiritual health. Remember God is not harsh...He is HOLY. There's a big difference.

Here's a prayer that I'd like to share with you which is taken from the Bait of Satan workbook:

"Father, there are a number of people who have hurt me that I am angry with. Many of these people I thought I had already forgiven, but when they come to mind I am still angry and hurt. I want to be free from offense toward these people and anybody else who has hurt me. But I need Your help. I am hurting deeply because of what some of them did to me (name anyone specific that comes to mind). I want to forgive them. Please give me Your grace to do what I need to do to see this happen. I commit myself to You. I thank You for the new level of freedom You are bringing in my life. In Jesus' name, Amen!"

This prayer tied in so wonderfully with what we heard on the video last week. I'm so thankful that King David didn't stay offended with God...that He moved forward and remained a man after God's own heart. Yes, he had his share of mistakes and failures, but he continued trying to do what God wanted him to do in spite of his weaknesses....and we can too ladies. We can be women after God's own heart, in spite of our shortcomings and mistakes. Life is hard but it's not gonna be less hard by staying mad and bitter at someone...what if we just keep on going in Jesus name cause you know what?? there ain't a sissy in this house. :-) Remember, even when the plague is near, God is nearer...where God's presence is, there is blessing...so let's be jealous for the presence of God ladies. God is for me, now against me...God is good!...no matter what happens, can we say I TRUST YOU GOD!

God's blessings on you dear sisters
My comment on the bonus video of questions they were asked:
It was neat to see these 3 ladies as real women, rather than just teachers all the time. They were kicking back, relaxing and laughing about lipstick, husbands, sex, meeting men's needs, and us as women. It was quite hilarious! There were serious things said, but we sure were laughing a lot in between the serious stuff. They had some deep theological questions asked of them like, what their favorite lipstick was and if a movie was made about them, which movie star they would like to pick to play their role. That was soooooo funny! But here are a few more serious quotes from them from the video:

"Focus on God, on the light ahead, and not on the lions that are trying to devour me." quote from Beth Moore when she was talking about which Bible character she'd like to be like and she had picked Daniel.

""God meets you where you are." - from Beth Moore
"You can't do a thousand things to the glory of God ladies." - from Beth Moore
"Deut 6 - teach God's ways to your kids...show them that God is the absolute biggest joy of all of living to you...for our kids to see that we are so in love with God and that He's not the big bad wolf." - from Beth Moore
"If you meet a man's needs, it will be easier for him to love you. 2 deepest fears of a man: that a woman is going to rule over him, and fear of being found inadequate. Have reverence/respect for your man ladies - every man has an ego and God gave it to him. Don't challenge a man's authority. A wife does not have authority over her own body (1 Cor. 7) and for a man to avoid fornication, he needs to be married." - from Kay Arthur.....the amazing thing about Kay Arthur, is that she has scripture to go with ABSOLUTELY everything she says. Oh, I wish I knew my Bible that well that every teaching that came out of my mouth was backed by scripture that I knew by heart, from memory.
"No natural love of the heart is safe unless God has it first." Kay Arthur
"Our spirit does not go senile - our bodies do but our spirit doesn't." Kay Arthur
"If we understood the true meaning of submission we would not fight it so much. Submission does not demean you....submission is learning how to duck so God can hit your husband." Beth Moore......ladies we don't have to take things into our own hands and think that we have to "teach" our husband or make him pay when things don't go our own way...submit and duck so that God can deal with your man because he is accountable to God for his actions and decisions and for not being the leader in the home that God designed him to be. It's not our job to change our husband....it's our job to pray for them and to be the wife that God wants us to be, inspite of their shortcomings.
"Men & women have strengths and weaknesses and God brings them together and makes them one." Kay Arthur

I was really blessed by these things that the women were talking about in this video.