Friday, February 27, 2015

Practice Wisdom

  

Have you ever wondered if being wise is even possible for you? I know I have. And as we learned in the video, it's not enough just to acquire wisdom. Instead, we have to choose to apply wisdom to our daily life. As Lysa TerKeurst writes, we acquire wisdom where wisdom gathers, not where wisdom scatters. We have to practice wisdom in our everyday lives.

We are reading chapters 7-9 this week. If you're a little behind, skip ahead and read chapter 9 and it will be YOUR BEST YES!
I know I like immediate answers. I prefer to know an outcome … like yesterday.  It goes against every instinct in my being to wait, pray, seek and prepare. Wisdom puts in the preparation time. In order to determine our Best Yes, we must have wisdom and wisdom takes work. So, you may be asking, how do we do this? I hear you but how is this even possible?
  1. Ask for wisdom.
The Bible tells us if we lack wisdom then to ask for it. Ask for it, girlfriends! Side note: God doesn't usually just zap us with a BIG DOSE of wisdom when we ask Him. He often grants wisdom through a process. The process of training and showing up to practice

 "If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who 'worry their prayers' are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open." James 1:5 (MSG)

  1. Seek out wisdom.
Let's see what the book of Proverbs has to say (I know this is a long verse but hang with me here):
"My son, if you accept what I am telling you
and store my counsel and directives deep within you,
 If you listen for Lady Wisdom, attune your ears to her,
and engage your mind to understand what she is telling you,
you cry out to her for insight
and beg for understanding,
If you sift through the clamor of everything around you
to seek her like some precious prize,
to search for her like buried treasure;
 Then you will grasp what it means to truly respect the Eternal,
and you will have discovered the knowledge of the one True God."  Proverbs 2:1-5 {The Voice}


There are those who wander thru life and there are those who ask questions. How? Why? What if? It would be foolish to neglect and not appreciate this life practice.

 "As a dog returns to its vomit …" Proverbs 26:11 {NIV}

  1. Show up to "Practice" wisdom with your A game.
Have you ever lost something that you dearly loved and treasured? You search and you search until one day you finally find it; you jump for joy and do the happy dance!  Search and rejoice like the woman who found the lost coin in Luke 15:9.

What if, JUST WHAT IF, we were to search for wisdom like you search for your prized possession? Life is our source, the Bible is our map, the Lord is our guide.

I have some searching to do! Leave a comment or post your response on Facebook today and I will be praying with you, friends. We are all in this together.

Search on, sweet sisters!
  • What is your prized possession?
  • Get out your Bibles and read Psalm 62:5-8. Read it. Say it out loud. Read it again. Now turn to God in prayer (yes, right now) and ask Him to help in any places you feel stuck. Where do you feel stuck?
  • Of the Scripture passages mentioned today, which one speaks the most to you?
One last thing – Verse Mapping. It's one of the things I love to do and  I'd like to encourage each of you to do also. It's a way to help scripture come alive, make it personal and see God's Word in fresh new way. Here's a link that I found to be very helpful - http://heatherbleier.com/2012/06/13/a-day-with-jesus/. Check it out and start with one of your favorites or any of the ones we've mentioned in this Study so far.

Here are a couple examples...

 



Keep praying and be blessed,
Cheryl


Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Best Yes


This week we're reading Chapters 7-9. Thank you to everyone who showed up to last night's Facebook Party! I am so humbled to see everyone searching the truth of God's Word. It's so much fun hanging out with you ladies on Thursday nights!

We are officially half-way through our study.
Some of you saw this post of Proverbs 7:4 already on Facebook…
 
 
Our verse this week - "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life!'" Proverbs 19:20 (NLT)



 

Wisdom gathers when you open the Word of God.
   

Wisdom scatters when you don't open the Word of God.

So let's make our days count and make our decisions count. HOW DO WE DO THIS?
 "Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things." – Colossians 3:1-2 

Will you be a wisdom-gatherer with me? I am on the edge of my seat sweet friends. Journal your answers to these questions.
  • What is your favorite thing to do when you feel frazzled?
  • What does your quiet time look like? How can YOU be intentional in getting quiet before God?
  • What does it mean to be a woman of wisdom? Reflect upon Proverbs 9:1–18 as you consider your answer?
  • What wisdom lessons have you learned from opening the Word of God?
We never know how God will use us until we let Him! If we want to know God's direction, we have to listen to His instruction. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9 NIVUK

This week: Read Proverbs 4:25-27, it encourages us, God's Girls, to keep our eyes focused on what lies ahead – the best things. This is wisdom.

Talk to God about the releases you're struggling to make and ask Him to help you be steadfast in pursing the best things your heart truly desires.

Many blessings my sweet friends.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

This learning to live my Best Yes is so powerful.



This week we have been digging into Chapters 4-6 for the week. (I know some of you have because of the awesome comments on the Facebook post. But if you haven't, dig in, girls! You do NOT want to miss this. The words in these chapters have marched right up next to me and parked in my personal space. Anybody know what I mean?

Chapter 4, Lysa says, "Life has such a habit of stripping the feelings of power and significance right out of our scope with its constant daily demands."
And that is so true, isn't it?

But then she says something so powerful, life-changing, really. Did you catch it?

"That daily stuff – those responsibilities that seem more like distractions – those things we want to rush and just get through to get on with the better and bigger assignments of life – those things that are unnoticed places of service? They are the very experiences from which we unlock the riches of wisdom."

In Chapter 5, we continue reading about the importance of our decisions and those sneaky little obstacles and distractions that keep us from our Best Yes. Stress, busyness, misguided opinions, unrealistic expectations and weariness are just a few of the things that can rob us, limiting our ability and capacity to find wisdom. If we are emotionally, physically and spiritually spent, our life will reflect it.
Lysa talks about how too many activities and commitments can leave us bankrupt and overdrawn. Especially those that have not been specifically assigned to us. And when we feel depleted, empty, with nothing left to give? Our attitude often stinks. Our approach to life in general can be a little less than lovely (ahem).
This week, we meet a woman in 2 Samuel. We do not know her name. We do not know her position. We do not know if she is wealthy. We do not know who her family is. We do not know her education. (I'm guessing none of that stuff really mattered). What we ARE told is that she is a wise woman.



"A wise woman called from the city, 'Listen! Listen!'" 2 Samuel 20:16a (NIV)

We'll be discussing her tonight. Here's your assignment for extra credit! Read 2 Samuel 20.

As we move on to Chapter 6, we continue building on what we've learned in previous chapters. Lysa reiterates the importance of every single decision we make.

"Today's choices become tomorrow's circumstances."

"Your decisions will determine direction. Your direction will determine destination."

Our Best Yes always makes room for time with God. No appointment can replace an appointment with the King. No time spent adds value to our lives like time spent with Jesus. We gain wisdom here. Our souls find rest here. Our hearts are renewed here. We are made whole here.

Ok ladies – no matter where you are in your reading, I want to see all of you on Facebook tonight. There's a lot of truths that Lysa shares in these chapters. Even if you haven't picked up the book at all – join us. It's going to be FUN!

See you tonight Live at 8 on Facebook!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Proverbs

Collected practical wisdom for everyday guidance


Did you know that it was Benjamin Franklin who coined the phrase, "A penny saved is a penny earned?" Like most, I've heard that said all my life. Every culture has its wisdom. The Book of Proverbs is linked with King Solomon as a composer of some sayings and a compiler of the book itself.

Proverbs is a book of practical wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to live life well and make good decisions. This is a gift from God; it is not something you can gain or own. You cannot earn wisdom in the school of hard knocks or on the streets or by education or age. Wisdom begins with knowing who God is and the responding to Him in worship and adoration (Proverbs 1:7).

Wisdom is following God's instruction and doing what is right. Foolishness is rejecting God's teaching and doing what is wrong. Rather than allowing us to decide for ourselves, God decides what is right and wrong; and out of grace, He has revealed it to His people in Scripture. Certain things are to be avoided - lazy lifestyles, violent men, seductive women, dishonest gain, alcohol abuse - because they lead to trouble. Other things are to be pursued - hard work, good friends, a strong wife, discipline, good conversation - because they lead to life.

One of the most unforgettable aspects of this book is how wisdom is personified. Lady Wisdom, as she is called, exists before creation and works alongside God as He fashions the hills and sets the limits of the sea (Proverbs 8:22-31). Lady Wisdom now stands in the streets, calling to the young and na├»ve and inviting them to take the path that leads to true life. Lady wisdom stands in contrast to the seductive woman who wants nothing less than to entice and destroy young men. We see and read about it everyday.

Pursue Wisdom - a true search for knowledge, understanding and wisdom will lead you to God, and then you'll understand the fear (reverence) of the Lord. - Pastor Chuck Smith

Wisdom is the ability to cope with the demands of life in healthy and constructive ways. The Book of Proverbs is rich in biblical wisdom to help guide us to meet these daily demands.

Set Your Heart to Wisdom. Wise women tuck Godly wisdom into the words they speak and even more into the words they chose not to speak. A heart must have godly wisdom or it will follow the pattern of foolishness. – Lysa TerKeurst

What's your favorite Proverb? Take the challenge to read a Proverb-a-Day for 31 days.

You see, the Eternal sees our ways before Him. He watches every move we make and knows where those paths lead.  - Proverbs 5:21 (The Voice Bible)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Best Yes!


This week we are reading Chapters 1-3 of The Best Yes.  Go ahead and get started on that if you haven't already, and we'll be discussing that content during this week.

As you read, pay close attention any time Lysa uses God's Word, or Bible verses, in her writing. When you see a verse, stop. Read it again. Better yet, get your Bible out and look up that verse.  Possibly highlight it or write it in a notebook that is used for The Best Yes study notes. Ask God what He wants you to take away from His Word. I believe the Bible is special. And I just know that God wants us to pay close attention to it and use it in our daily lives. The Best Yes is such a great book with a great message, but I know for a fact that Lysa doesn't want us to read her words and skim over God's. Both will help us in making our Best Yes decisions in life!

If you don't have your Bible with you, download the free YouVersion  app to your phone.  I LOVE this because I have a Bible with me everywhere I go now!  I still use my real Bible, but it's great to have a small little device that has a Bible on it with me all the time. You can go their website for information or just type in "YouVersion" in the search space of your App store on your phone or tablet.
 
Our memory verse this week is: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. (Psalm 111:10 NIV)
 
If you aren't familiar with verse mapping, I want to share it with you today. We started using this if you were with us for the "Yes to God" study.



 

If you like you can unpack these 2 verses as well –
  • God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful. 1 Thess 5:24 NLT
  • Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust in the Lord will be joyful. Proverbs 16:20 NLT

Optional Challenge

 
Wisdom is the ability to cope with the demands of life in healthy and constructive ways. The book of Proverbs is rich in biblical wisdom to help guide us to meet these daily demands.
The book of Proverbs is conveniently divided into thirty one chapters, the perfect amount to cover in about a month. By reading one chapter a day six to sevent days a week over the next five weeks, you can read through the entire book of Proverbs by the time we gather for our final Facebook Meet-up in The Best Yes online study.
Week 1: Proverbs 1-7
Week 2: Proverbs 8-13
Week 3: Proverbs 14-19
Week 4: Proverbs 20-25
Week 5: Proverbs 26-31
Again, this is optional, so there's no guilt, no pressure, no have-tos? In fact, use this as an opportunity to practice making you first Best Yes decision. If it's just one thing too many right now, again no pressure.



 


 


Friday, February 6, 2015

Help Me Holy Spirit!!!

It's a glorious Friday Morning!

 

James 1:19 - My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

These three things (quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger) apply to our personal relationship with others and our relationship with God.


Listen more & speak less.


Listening means being others-centered. Listening means I value you. Build each other up (Ephesians 4:29)


Listening is difficult when we're prideful, selfish, angry. We think our ideas are more important than others.


Listening + being teachable = learning - I never learned anything while I was speaking.


Meditate on God's Word and let it speak to you...Have a glorious day!

 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

S.O.A.R.


 

 

   
 
Recently I came across an article by David Jeremiah, in it was the acronym SOAR. I wrote it down and memorized it. It's one of those gems you want to tuck away and when you need it's there.

    S – Seek; seek God first.
    O – Obey; obey His Word
    A – Ask; ask God for wisdom and direction
    R – Rest; rest in His promises



 


Proverbs 2:2, 10-11 …directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; for skillful and godly...Wisdom shall enter into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to you. Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you…

 
Here’s the link to the time assessment tool Lysa mentions in Chapter 3 - http://thebestyes.com/time-assessment-tool

The decisions we make dictate the schedules we keep. The schedules we keep determine the lives we live. The lives we live determine how we spend our souls.

Never is a woman so fulfilled as when she chooses to underwhelm her schedule so she can let God overwhelm her soul.



Let's all commit this one to memory as we're beginning our journey to "The Best Yes!"

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Online Bible Study



Welcome to The Best Yes Online Bible Study. I am so happy and thankful for each and every one of you who decided to join us in this adventure. We will be using “The Best Yes” book by Lysa TerKeurst for our online study; the study guide is not required. It is available at the CCMV Watermark Bookstore.

Our primary communication tools are Facebook and email; from time to time I post things here on my blog to make it easier for the Facebook only girls. Everyone is encouraged to sign up on the CCMV Website. Our God’s Girls page is a closed group by invitation only so be sure and send me a “friend” request!!! Here’s how to connect with me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CherylCooperHoward.

We’ll have our first live session on Thursday, Feb 5th at 8pm – can’t wait to connect!
 

Week 1                   Introductions                     Facebook Meet & Greet
                                Purchase book (if you haven’t already done so)

 Week 2                  Set Your Heart to Wisdom                            Read Chapters 1-3

 Week 3                Establish a Pattern of Wisdom                    Read Chapters 4-6

 Week 4                Practice Wisdom                                              Read Chapters 7-9

 Week 5                Predetermine Your Best Yes                       Read Chapters 10-12

 Week 6                Avoid the Traps of People Pleasing          Read Chapters 13-15

 Week 7                Build a Best Yes Legacy                                  Read Chapters 16-19

                                Wrap-up

Good Things

God has prepared great things for you, things so good you cannot even imagine them. Are you ready to handle the wonderful opportu...