Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The back story

4:21 p.m. Today's project was to write the message for Thursday's Bible study on I Samuel Chapter Two. We have a nice group of women of all ages which is growing as teachers get off for the summer and a few return from vacation. About 10 more ladies are completing the written lessons online because of distance or work schedules. Now in our fifth year, I continue to be amazed at the diligence and devotion the women demonstrate for learning God's Word!

Steve and I had a quiet morning that included our regular Bible study and devotions, laundry, harvesting tomatoes, staking plants and planning the next corn planting. Spraying organic cutworm killer would take place in the afternoon. I couldn't wait to grab my water, purse, Blue Diamond almonds and hole up in my office amid piles of reference books, a legal pad full of notes taken earlier in the week, post-its for quick reference while speaking to the group, and the Pink Princess plugged in and charged up for an occasional "Brain break!" The King James, New King James, and New Living Translations were at hand, and I'd read the chapter in the NIV already. Wonder of wonders, this morning I'd completed my own lesson, too, during my devotion time! In full agreement I quote Psalm 119:97, 103-104:

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.

How grateful I am to the Lord for giving me the ministry of studying and teaching His Word! It is truly through the Holy Spirit that I began teaching women's studies in 1983. I am still amazed that an avocation that I love so well, Bible study, is being used to help others know the Lord and His ways better, and apply the Scriptures to their lives. Another huge blessing is that I get to be in fellowship with prayer warriors and students of the Word, seeing each other through the trials of this life, as well as the miraculous acts of deliverance God performs in our behalf! When Jesus is in the midst of His women, a unity and bond are formed that no one can break apart--they have to go through Jesus first! (And Jesus did say of His church, in Matthew 16:18, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it").

Before we gather, however, there is much to be done here at home! Email and Facebook invitations, forming my lesson contact list for emailing--I was up last night until 11:00 p.m. with that task! The beauty of the age we live in is that once the ladies got paper copies of the first week's lesson to peruse last Thursday, from now on I'll email them to all but the few who can't print them out or have no computers. Lots of emailing directions to our hostess' home in Moreno Valley are needed, also phone calls to set up a carpool or caravan for our Riversiders. But no complaints here. Just knowing that women want the Word of God blesses and energizes me immeasurably!

Notes in Bibles by Chuck Smith and Victor P. Hanson, and commentaries by Vernon McGee and Matthew Henry make for an exciting beginning of my Bible study week. As the Holy Spirit causes the lesson to rumble around in my head, tailoring the message to my women, and convicting me in areas that need to be brought to the throne of grace, the message takes shape. A final review early Thursday morning allows for concepts that had not been present in my earlier study times. The Lord will add what He wants to the lesson--and subtract what is not needed.

Just as He does in my life!

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