Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Memorizing Scripture


Bible Study Skills – Memorizing Scripture

Top 7 Ways to Memorize God’s Word. There are many methods for memorizing scripture, and we all learn differently so some ways may work better for us than others.

Pray ~ Ask God where to start.  Is there an area you are feeling particularly weak? Maybe you’re weak in your faith and God led you here. I have been there. I have prayed for faith the size of a mustard seed. Seek God’s guidance to strengthen you through His Word.

Read ~ Read the verses in their context.  Having an understanding of what the actually means helps tremendously with our ability to retain and remember. (Check out the "Digger Deeper" post - see link below.)

Write it out ~ Writing the verse in your journal, on note cards or wherever is an effective way to remember Scripture. {Cool & worth noting: There is scientific research showing how writing something down with actual pen and paper helps us retain what we are trying to remember, far better than typing it out.  It triggers our tactile senses, giving us more of a relational, personal experience.}

Say it aloud ~ Whether you are reading it, repeating it, praying, it, singing it or sharing it, speak the truth out loud. If faith comes from hearing the Word of God, let’s speak it out loud and let those words connect with our hearts. Lord, give us ears to hear.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (NIV)

If you can only remember one verse, let it be this one, and trust God with the rest.

Meditate on it ~ Think on God’s Word. Let’s take time to let the verses soak into our minds and hearts. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible; it is also one of the most beautiful.  The Psalmist spent time reflecting on God’s Word and what it meant to him.


Visualize ~ Sometimes having a picture helps me wrap my mind around the Scripture I’m trying to memorize.




Make It Interactive ~ There are fun, interactive ways to memorize God’s Word.  Like apps for your phone such as Scripture Typer; YouVersion’s app now allows you insert scripture into pictures and share on Social Media. So let’s get interactive!!! on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter — and share God’s Word! Discussing God’s Word with family and friends can also help us live out Deuteronomy 6:7 “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (NIV)
 
I find it so much easier to memorize Scripture when I have personalized it in my heart before I try to commit it to memory.  When I allow the truth of God’s Word to change me on the inside, it isn’t something I can easily forget.  I may stumble around in the desert, but I BELIEVE that I am not deserted!
Share with us how you personalize scripture as part of your personal Bible Study-time. I can't wait to hear your ideas. We learn from each other, so share!!!


Check out Digging Deeper


Blessings,

  

Cheryl

Monday, June 29, 2015

Digging Deeper



Digging Deeper: Reading the Bible in Context

The intention behind words is a great thought to keep in mind as we dig deeper into our Bibles using Bible Study Skills … Reading a Verse in Context.

If you’re like me, then there have been many times you have been misquoted or something you said was misinterpreted. I have walked in at the end of a conversation, only to catch the last sentence. I assumed I knew exactly what the entire conversation must have been about, but when I spoke up, the person talking said, “But that’s not what I meant!”


I wonder how many times God thinks that when we read our Bibles?

Did you know there over 800,000 words contained in the 66 books of the Bible? God is the Divine Author, but He used humans to do the actual writing … around 40 of them! Forty people each with their own personality, writing style and way with words.

 It blows my mind to consider that the Bible was written over the time span of around 1,600 years!! The message stayed the same, but the culture and events of the day certainly changed during that time! People, temptations, trials and influences changed and the authors had to bear this in mind as they wrote the Words of Truth from God to His people.

Reading the Bible in context is like zooming out and seeing the bigger picture … the surrounding facts.

 “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
 

Let’s dig deeper! These are some questions I like to ask when I am studying any verse …

·        WHO was the author of the book of the Bible it is in?

·        WHO were they writing to?

·        WHEN did they write it?

·        WHY were they writing?

·        WHAT were they trying to say?

Here are a couple online resources to find this information …

Click on these links - Bible Gateway and Bible Hub

{For Bible Gateway click on “STUDY THIS,” then “ENCYCLOPEDIAS,” then “Encyclopedia Of The Bible,” then “Epistle to Galatians.”}

 


So are you ready to dig deeper?
Click here to download the .PDF you can print to help keep note of all you find out!

 





Saturday, June 27, 2015

Be the Light




Proverbs 6:23 says "For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the correction of discipline are the way to life."

We live in a world that hates God & godly principles and it can only lead to destruction. As CF we have to let our light shine. The world needs Jesus more than ever before.

We have to be the Paul's & Peters of our time. No more Whimpy Christians, we can no longer afford to keep silent, lost souls are at stake.


Blessings
Cheryl

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Verse Chaining vs. Verse Mapping

Today we'll be mainly talking about "verse chaining" but if you've been with me in previous Bible Studies, we've talked about verse mapping.





Verse Chaining helps us dig just a little deeper into Scripture, linking God's Word together.

We can take a verse all by itself and try to guess or discern what message God is communicating. Yet unless we connect the verses together, we might miss the beauty of the complete picture God has for us to discover.

Verse chaining allows us to do just that … connect the dots! A chain is a series or group of things connected to each other in some way. When we dig deeper by verse chaining, we link verses together by words, phrases or thoughts.

There are many ways you can dig deeper into verse chaining, but let me show you an example of how it works:

Click here on link to view video -  http://vimeo.com/131528153

 Bible Study Skills: Verse Chaining using www.biblegateway.com

Let’s dig deeper into Proverbs 16:3. Here's our verse -

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

Download this .PDF - page1  and page 2 to record the verses you discover and get digging!

Post pictures of your verse chaining on our “God’s Girls” Facebook page.


Blessings,

Cheryl


Journaling Post


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sown Among Thorns


Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word. Mark 4:18

Mark chapter four is the Parable of the Sower. As I have been listening to various news media over the last few days - this is apparently the scripture that was being studied that faithful night. I must admit, I was in disbelief when I first heard the news of the tragic shooting in Charleston, SC. I was shaken to the core, how could this be happening in 2015? I felt as if I were placed in a time warp and transported back to the 1960's to relive a similar event.

The strength and faith of the families affected took the nation by surprise and off guard - pleasantly. The power of faith and love in the midst of such a horrible, overwhelming tragedy - crippled evil. The love and forgiveness shown in that courtroom could only come from a deep abiding relationship with the Savior. What the enemy meant to harm and destroy, God is using for His good and His glory. This event, I believe, will open the eyes of the nation; the scales of indifference and complacency are being removed.

2 Corinthians 4:4 - Satan is a great deceiver and has blinded the eyes of those who don't or refuse to believe. The enemy, Satan, keeps people blinded to the truth of the gospel. Even in the midst of this tragedy we continue to see the hand and power of God. Similar incidences in the recent past, spurred violence and destruction; this incidence has brought the community together like no other.

Humanly speaking those families should have been angry, bitter, and seeking revenge. But with God's power, they displayed "Christ's Love" - they exemplify what a true Christ-Follower looks like.

Look again at the scripture they were studying that night - "the seed fell among the thorns." The young man heard the word but because of his plotting, it couldn't take root. As Christ-Followers, we must put God first ahead of all the busyness of life. A life packed with worldly, selfish pursuits crowds out God's Word and leaves us unfruitful. We must actively quiet ourselves so we can hear God when He speaks.




So, lets examine and/or re-examine ourselves - where are we in our walk and relationship with the Lord? It's time to stop playing church and "Be the Church." Let's be the good soil as in Mark 4:20. Let's be hearers, doers and producers of fruit - an abundant harvest - because the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.


John 8:12 says the Jesus is the Light of the World. Let His Light shine through you (and me).



We become like those we follow...Luke 6:40

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

To Journal or Not to Journal




Are you having a love hate relationship with your journal - some days I am;  or maybe you're asking yourself "what's all the fuss about?" For me, journaling is my communication log and it helps me recall my life's journey with The Lord. All the things He's brought me through - the good and the not so good. I can rejoice as I reflect on ALL God has brought me through - the answered prayers and even the unanswered prayers. As Christ-Followers we know that God's ways are not our ways and His timing is not our timing.
Trust and believe - God loves to hear from us and the more we get into His Word, the more His Word gets into us!
So why journal?

Here's the link to a youtube video I created - The Joy's of Journaling!

https://youtu.be/790BTW5ipXQ

Keeping a journal helps you:

· Process and personalize what God is saying to you through His Word.

· Ask questions of the text.  The Who, What, When, Why and Where can all be written in your journal. (It doesn’t always have to be an “aha” moment, it can be a “Why did you say or do that, God?” Or any other question that may arise from your reading.)

· Confirm what God is speaking to you personally. (Some of my biggest God moments have truly come from something I had written in my journal, only to hear a pastor or speaker say the very words later.)

· Keep track of your journey. (It helps to see things that God has brought you through. We might not have reached our destination, but it helps to see that we’re not still wandering in the desert.)

Because our relationships with God are all unique, I expect our journals will be very unique and personal, as well.

Some ways to journal include:

Composition Notebook/Binders etc.
Some people like to use colored pencils, highlighters, drawings and special symbols. Others just love to stick their pens to a page and write whatever is on their heart.

Journaling Bible

A Journaling Bible is a Bible designed to write or draw in it. Say what? Write in your Bible? It’s true — it has lined margins for you to write your thoughts, cross reference or whatever you choose to aid you in your studies.  There is a whole community of artists out there who do artistic representation of Scripture in the margins.  I’m blown away by their gifts!

I’m not artistic in the least, but I do love having the margins to write the date and take notes in!

Whatever method you choose to use, when we allow the truth of God’s Word to penetrate the truth of our real lives, something special happens.

Our journals should be a place where God’s Word and the word of our testimony intersect.

It’s when we allow our hearts to be changed that our ministries and callings are found.

Pastor Marks teaching on the “Adventures of Journaling” - https://www.calvaryccm.com/media/main/MB255/the-adventure-of-journaling


Meditate on these scriptures: Hebrews 10:35-36, Jeremiah 33:3 and 1 Samuel 16:7

Here’s a journaling page I created; feel free to use it and share it! Click on the link: https://db.tt/7qUOgH9c

 

Blessings,

Cheryl

 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Valley of Weeping

 
 
 
 

Psalm 84:6 (NLT) says, " When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.

When we rely on God for our strength in times of difficulty, we will continually experience renewal and refreshing because He is with us.



Blessings,

 

Cheryl

Friday, June 12, 2015

Be an Encourager




Paul knew that in order for Christ-followers to grow in their faith, they must have love and encouragement. That is so true. We thrive when we feel loved and supported by our loved ones and close friends.

Throughout the New Testament, Christ-followers are encouraged to serve and to minister to one another, following the example of Christ. We are not called to sit quietly, going to church week after week; we are called to spread the Good News.

Let your light shine brightly so others can see, we as Christ-followers may be the only light of Christ those around us may see.

Encourage someone today!


Blessings,

 

Cheryl

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nice vs. Kind


 
Nice vs. Kind – What is the difference?

 

Kind as defined by dictionary.com means…of a good or benevolent nature or disposition.

Nice as defined by dictionary.com means… pleasing; agreeable; delightful.

There are 259 references to the word “kind” and only four references to the word “nice” in the NLT version of the Bible according to Biblegateway.com

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesian 4:32 (NLT)

Isaiah 30:10 says, “Tell us nice things. Tell us lies.”

Let’s explore some of the differences between “kind” and “nice.”

Nice is about what the other person is thinking and feeling – it’s their perception of the situation. Kind is about what you choose to do and why. When you want to be nice, it’s because you want to please the other person, you want everyone to be happy. When you want to be kind, it’s because you want to do what is right regardless of how the other people feel about it. Nice manipulates. Kindness trains.

Kindness emerges from someone who’s confident, compassionate and comfortable with themselves. A kind person is loving and giving out of the goodness of their heart.

At the root of extreme niceness are feelings of inadequacy and the need to get approval and validation from others. Overly nice people try to please so that they can feel good about themselves.

Genuinely kind people are giving because it’s in their nature to care, and since they have not ulterior motives, they aren’t concerned with whether or not other people like them.

Kind people can be assertive and set good limits. Nice people, on the other hand bend over backward to be obliging. They deal with potential conflicts by placating the other person because they can’t bear to have anyone upset with them.

Kind people have good self-esteem and because they love themselves as much as they care about others, they expect to be treated with respect. Nice people are desperate for approval, so they’re often mistreated or taken advantage of.

Kind people take responsibility for their own self-care. They’re generous, even altruistic, but don’t get caught up in the user-pleaser type of relationship.

Kind people are happy people to be with, and add to their happiness through acts of generosity and altruism. Nice people are needy people who inadvertently create more and more unhappiness for themselves.

The nice person has to understand that their self-worth can never be improved by being a pleaser.

In order to change a dynamic, I have to first look at what I’m doing and what I’m able to control and change. I'm responsible before God and man, to be self-controlled and self-disciplined, and the requirement on me is kindness. Love is kind (I Corinthians 13:4 - Love is patient and kind) and God instructs me to be kind. If I'm not kind then I'm being disobedient to God.
 
Be obedient by being kind.

 

Blessings,

 

Cheryl

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ways to Become a “Masterpiece”


 

1.     Understand we live in a messy world

a.     Suffering accelerates spiritual maturity

2.     Know that God is never far from us

a.     Our disappointments are Appointments

3.     Throw a party

a.     God is concerned with our character not our comfort

Sometimes God sets us on an unexpected course in which we are asked to trust Him with every detail of the journey

God is worthy to be trusted & worshipped as we respond in obedience

Ephesians 1:5-6 (NLT) – God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love…Psalm 107:21-22

Look for the Hand of God in everything!
 
Blessings,
Cheryl
 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Good News...Great Joy


 
What is the Good News? Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost and through Him we have forgiveness of our sins and life eternal with Him in heaven



John 1:12 – But ALL who believed in Him, He gave the right to become children of God

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ways to Become a “Masterpiece”

1.    Understand we live in a messy world

a.    Suffering accelerates spiritual maturity

2.    Know that God is never far from us

a.    Our disappointments are Appointments

3.    Throw a party

a.    God is concerned with our character not our comfort

Sometimes God sets us on an unexpected course in which we are asked to trust Him with every detail of the journey

God is worthy to be trusted & worshipped as we respond in obedience

Ephesians 1:5-6 (NLT) – God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love…Psalm 107:21-22

Look for the Hand of God in everything!

Blessings,

Cheryl

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Greater Love



“God’s plan is for you to be in relationships that provide mutual help and assistance. As much as you need other people for help and friendship, they need you for the same reasons.” – Charles F. Stanley –

 What does it take to develop a lasting Friendship?

Time Together

Philippians 2:4 encourages us to “not merely look out for (our) own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” When you care enough about your friends you put them first, you love them lie Christ loves you.

Communication

Genuine friendships are built on honest and transparency. “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend” (Proverbs 27:9).

Shared Life Experiences

Is there someone you can laugh and cry with? Godly friends rejoice over accomplishments, give wise counsel, and are loyal at all times. “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17)

Who is your 5 a.m. friend? We all need one.

Demonstrations of Love  

We are called to love one another the way Christ loves us. “This is My commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you” (John 15:12). A loving friend is selfless, kind, patient, generous, and forgiving.
 
 
Blessings,
Cheryl
 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fix Your Eyes


Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Proverbs 4:25 (NLT)





I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)

Live life with positive expectancy!

This song I think fits perfectly with todays theme - Fix My Eyes by King & Country. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ej9T4bTAGI



Blessings,

 

Cheryl
 

Good Things

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