Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Another Journey to the Holy Land ♥

Wow!  In just a day and a few hours of sleep, I will be leaving for the Holy Land with a lovely group of ladies. ♥  This will be my 4th trip and I think I'm almost the most nervous. :)  But I know God has great things in store for us there! He's got amazing moment lined up for each one of us...including 3 of the women wanting to be baptized in the Jordan River! YAY!  OH! I KNOW God has great things in store for us on this pilgrimage.  :)

This is our lovely group of ladies who are going.....accept my dog Gracie. :)  Only Sandra is missing from this pic as she lives in Red Deer and won't be joining us until the day we leave.  Left to right is Gwen, Kathy, JoAnne, Pamela, Sherri, Alice, Jodi (with Gracie), Ruth, Lisa (me). :)

I pray that you will keep us in your prayers as we prepare and begin this journey.  If you'd like to follow along on a more indepth blog which we will be posting in daily, go on this link WJOF Ladies Tour to the Holy Land 

If you'd like to read of my previous journeys to Israel, click on Israel 2011, Israel 2009 or Israel 2008 on the main page of my Lisa's Pic's blog here. ♥

Monday, March 04, 2013

20 Years of Bible Study Memories

one of the first groups I led
It was just over 20 years ago, in the winter of 1992, when I was pregnant with Brandon that I began attending a ladies Bible study. I was immediately hooked! We were living in Dalmeny at the time and I had to quit work earlier than planned due to medical reasons with my pregnancy. I joined a ladies study in Dalmeny on Thursdays as well as one at Cornerstone on Fridays. After Brandon was born, the leader at Cornerstone was moving and she asked if I would continue on in leading the ladies study at Cornerstone. I immediately said yes! J So, what I learned on Thursdays at the study in Dalmeny, I turned around and began teaching it at the study at Cornerstone. Little did I know that I was beginning an amazing journey studying God’s Word with many dear sisters in Christ.   Here is a photo of one of the earlier groups that I led at Cornerstone...a blast to the past. J

having a picnic after a Friday morning study
  Hundreds of women have come across my path through Bible studies and I’ve learned so much from each and every one of them. I treasure all those jewels in my life and I know they treasure all the gems that we’ve gathered from God’s Word together. But it was in 2005 that God began a new journey in my life and he put it on my heart to go to Bolivia to visit missionaries. It was there in March 2006 that I was introduced to the indepth studies of Beth Moore. In 2007 about 30 of us ladies began our 1st Beth Moore study. It changed our lives and we haven’t turned back. Indepth studies have stretched us beyond what we have imagined. They have molded our character and deepened our walk with our Savior. Going to Israel with Pastor Russ in 2008 and then leading ladies groups to Israel in 2009 and 2011 have enriched the leadership of these studies in ways that I’ve never imagined!

Friday morning study at Cornerstone Church
Over the last couple years, more and more women from different churches have been coming through Bible study. We’ve gone through a variety of studies like Loved by God by Liz Curtis Higgs, Nurture by Lisa Bevere, The Truth Project and then others by Beth Moore; Believing God, Breaking Free, Living Beyond Yourself, Anointed Transformed Redeemed (with Priscilla Shirer/Kay Arthur), To Live is Christ – the life of Paul and Jesus the One and Only.  In January we studied the life of the Apostle John called the Beloved Disciple. It was filmed right on location in Greece/Turkey and the Island of Patmos. My hope and prayer  is to take a ladies tour there in Spring 2014. This past summer was the first time we took part in a summer study. Along with thousands of women across the globe, about a dozen of us studied the book of Nehemiah by Kelly Minter. You are welcome to read what I’ve written about it at this link  So much rich Jewish history we learned in that study. 

Tabernacle Replica in Ontario

In September 2012 we journeyed through A Woman’s Heart – God’s Dwelling Place – which was a study on the Old Testament Tabernacle and what it meant for the Israelites in the desert but also what it means for us today when Jesus says we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Incredibly powerful study and over 70 ladies, in 3 different groups had attended. We were so blessed!!  If you’d like to read about what I wrote about that study, you are welcome to go to this link as well In September, I had the joy of going to the Crossroads Centre in Ontario and literally walking through a replica of the Old Testament Tabernacle. What an experience!!  I am so thankful for that wonderful gift God gave me in that and to share with the ladies in the study groups.  We are all truly God’s Dwelling Place – our hearts – our lives – God with us!  

Thursday morning study at the
Warman Gospel Church
Pastor Russ often speaks about changing the world. Serving in and being a part of these ladies Bible studies over the years has definitely ‘changed the world’ both in my own life but also very much in the lives of these ladies who are a part of studying God’s Word. Each study impacts our lives and families. There’s nothing else quite like gathering together with a group of incredible women who are hungering to know more of God’s Word and to deepen their relationship with Him. It was such a delight to organize a bus trip to Calgary to attend a Beth Moore Conference this past June...such a reward for us that have journeyed through so many of her Bible studies. 

Tuesday night study in my home
We’ve already begun another study called Stepping Up  - a study on the Psalms of Ascent. We have learned so much already and in March, after completing this study, a group of us will be returning to Israel, Lord willing. We are all on a pilgrimage in our walk with God and it is particularly meaningful to be going through these Psalms of Ascent before returning to the Holy Land once again. In 4 different groups, there are about 110 women taking this study and about 30 of those who attend Cornerstone Church.  It’s definitely been an outreach ministry and some of those women have begun attending Cornerstone as a result.  What a joy and privilege it is to walk with these women!

It’s been extremely rewarding to lead these studies and to see the growth in the women. I love seeing who God is going to bring to each study that He’s led us to do and to see what He’s going to do in their lives! It brings me, and Him, much joy. J He handpicks each one. It’s an honor to lead these women, an honor to serve my church through this, and an honor to serve God through my life. Oh how I love Him and I love my church!!