Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 5 - Woman at the Well

Happy Week 5, OBSers! Can you believe we are already more than halfway done with this study? Here is your Weekly Lowdown. Print this, post it to your fridge or tuck it in your study book.

This is your SUGGESTED guide for the week to help you keep up in the Bible study!

What We’re Reading This Week...Woman at the Well (pp. 131-141 in study guide)

This week’s memory verse: “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus ...” Hebrews 12:1b­2a (NIV)

Here’s what’s happening in our study this week…

Observe  What are your thoughts when you read this statement by Lysa TerKeurst, "The first four letters of the word 'Messiah' is mess. God knew we would have a mess and that the Messiah would come and touch or mess and out of that, would give us a message?"

Bible — Take a moment and read Hebrews 12:1-2.

In your notebook or journal write out your answers to these questions:
1.   Is something hindering you in your faith race? Ask God to show you what it is and how to get back on track.
2.   What can you do to ‘fix your eyes’ on Jesus?
3.   How did Jesus finish His earthly race? What does that mean for us as His followers?

Stretch   Fill in the blank: This week, when I don’t feel God’s presence, I will keep seeking Him out by _______. #12Women-CCMV, #12Women, #OBS

Everyone who leaves a comment on the blog today will be entered to win this giveaway prize pack “A Little Time With God” Devotional Journal and Pen!

#12Women-CCMV, #12Women, #OBS – When you post on social media about the study, use these hashtags! If you want to see what other OBSers are saying, search these tags to connect!

Daily Blog Posts, Bible Study & Discussion
● Monday, Wednesday and Friday – New study email/blog posts, so check your email or head to the Facebook page to join in the conversation!

● Wednesday – Video teaching from StudyGateway, the link will be emailed to you; I hope you’re enjoying this special feature of our Online Bible Study.

Thursday, 2/25
● Bible Study LIVE! 8 p.m. ET ~ One hour of live fun and great conversation! -

Woman at the Well: Turning Our Messes into Messages. We will learn that Jesus wants to deal with our messes and offer us healing and restoration

Her Character:  Looked down on by the Jews because she was a Samaritan, and disdained because of her many romantic liaisons, she would not have been most people’s first choice to advance the gospel in a region where it had not yet been heard.

Key Scriptures:  John 4:1-42; Luke 17:11-19

Life and Times
Cool, clear water. A commodity most of us today take for granted. We turn on a faucet, and water is readily available. In Palestine, however, water is scarce and valued.

The long, mostly rainless summers caused most of the rivers in Palestine to dry up completely. Even the Jordan River becomes shallow, narrow and muddy in the summer months. The early peoples of Palestine depended on rain during the spring and fall months for their water supply. Though scarce at other times during the year, the rain during these seasons kept the springs and wells flowing and cisterns full.

The Jews became adept at gathering every bit of rainwater, storing it up for future use during the dry seasons. Cisterns, covered pools dugout of rock specifically for storing rainwater were numerous. In Jerusalem, the temple area alone had thirty-seven cisterns, one of them large enough to hold over two million gallons of water. Gutters, pipes, and waterways directed the rainwater from the surface to the underground cistern, which would provide a constant supply of water, even during dry spells.

Heavy dew provided a good share of the moisture required by crops growing in the summer months. The warm, cloudless nights of Palestinian summers provide prime conditions for dew to form. Where ample water was readily available, farmers irrigated crops and vineyards to maximize the produce received from a field.

Drinking water was stored and carried in goatskins. Many towns and cities had drinking water for sale in their markets and on the streets. Only a minimal amount of water was used for washing, simply because it was so scarce. However, good hospitality required that a guest in someone’s home receive a basin of water to wash at least his or her feet and hands after walking on the dusty roads (Genesis 18:4; John 13:5).

Getting daily water from the neighborhood well or cistern was the duty of the younger women of the household. They would usually go to the well in the evening, when the air was cooler. It’s interesting to note that the Samaritan woman went to the well at noon (“the sixth hour”), probably in order to avoid the other women, who may have looked down on her.

Water is used in symbolic ways throughout Scripture. David compared his troubles to “deep waters” (Psalm 69:1-2,14; 124:5). The book of Proverbs compares people’s words to deep waters and wise words to “bubbling brooks” of water (Proverbs 18:4). Good news is like fresh water (Proverbs 25:25). Several passages refer to our sins being washed away (Psalm 51:7; Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 10:22).

Jesus told the Samaritan woman that he had water that would take away her thirst forever. The water he was speaking of was not, of course, two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, but spiritual water – a water that will fill her so full of himself that all her needs would be met, all her wants satisfied, and all her thirst fulfilled.

Be blessed and be a blessing!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up!

We made it through Week 4 of our Online Bible Study! Hooray!!!! Thank you so much for hanging in here with me.

Remember to pray for one another, we had a few pray request on our Bible Study Live. 

Enjoy this beautiful day! Sit back and catch up on your reading. Here's the link to the blog to help.

Remember to take the Spiritual Gift Test and you’ll discover all that Jesus has for you. Check the email I sent this week with the attachments. Here’s a couple online links – Spiritual Gifts Test and Gifts Test Assessment.

Have a Super Saturday and be blessed. Attend the church of your choice and pray for your pastor. All you CCMV chicks lets continue send prayers up for Pastor Mark as he continues to recover.

Share your Spiritual Gift in the comments section and be entered to win a beautiful Nicole Miller Leopard Notes Notebook!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Who was Martha in the Bible?"

Question: "Who was Martha in the Bible?"

Martha is a significant New Testament figure, a personal friend of Jesus, and someone with whom many women today identify. She lived in Bethany with her sister, Mary, and her brother, Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead (John 11:1–15, 43–44). We meet Martha three times in the Bible, and each event helps to build a profile of this interesting woman.

The Bible first mentions Martha in 
Luke 10. She is in her home in Bethany, a small town near Jerusalem, where she is hosting Jesus and the disciples. Jesus was well-known to Martha and her siblings; in fact, Jesus loved this little family (John 11:5). On the day that Jesus visited, Martha’s desire was to be a good hostess—to serve the best meal with the best possible presentation, for Jesus’ sake. Her sister, Mary, however, was taking some time out to listen to Jesus (Luke 10:39). As Martha “was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made” (Luke 10:40), she became a little cross with Mary and spoke rather abruptly to the Lord: “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (verse 40). In this foolish utterance, Martha implied that Jesus did not care about her, and she gave the Lord a command, demanding that He force Mary to assist in the serving. In her busyness, Martha had taken her eyes off the Savior. Jesus, who was able to see into her soul, diagnosed her problem: she was worried and troubled about the serving and had no peace in her heart. He gently told Martha that a simple dinner was more than adequate, and He reminded her that Mary’s decision to sit at His feet and hear His word was the better choice (verses 41–42).

We see Martha again just after her brother, Lazarus, had died (
John 11). The sisters had sent for Jesus when Lazarus fell ill (verse 3), but He did not arrive in time to heal him. When Jesus finally approached Bethany, four days after Lazarus’ death, Martha ran out to meet Him and declared, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask” (John 11:21–22). Notice Martha’s faith: she firmly believed that Jesus could have healed Lazarus of his illness. And her faith is not diminished by the fact that Jesus had arrived “too late.” Jesus encourages Martha with one of His “I AM” statements: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (verses 25–26). Martha’s response is one of great faith and understanding of Jesus’ divine nature: “Yes, Lord . . . I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (verse 27). Martha’s faith was rewarded that very day as she witnessed her brother’s miraculous resurrection from the dead (verses 43–44).

The third time we encounter Martha in the Bible, she is doing what Martha was known to do—serving (
John 12:2). Jesus is again attending a dinner in His honor in Bethany, and Martha is again serving. It is on this occasion that Martha’s sister, Mary, anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume (verse 3). It becomes apparent that Martha was likely a woman of some means, evidenced by the size of her home, the frequency of her hosting dinners, and the expensive perfumed oil her sister owned.

In Martha’s life-changing encounters with Jesus, we see the importance of balancing service with worship, of trusting the Lord even when all seems lost, and of using our material resources for the glory of God.

Martha was honest with Jesus. If you could be really honest with Jesus what would you say or ask him?

Be blessed or be a blessing...


Monday, February 22, 2016

Martha - 12 Women of the Bible

Week 4 - Here's Martha!

Hey all you OBSers hope ya’ll had a fabulous weekend!!

Congratulations we are officially in Week 4 of our study - making this the halfway mark! Hang in there and don’t give up; we’re in this together!!!

What We’re Reading This Week...Martha (pp. 119-129 in study guide)

This week’s memory verse:So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

This is your SUGGESTED guide for the week to help you keep up in the Bible study! Print this if you like, post it to your fridge or tuck it in your study book.

Here’s what’s happening in our study this week

Observe — What is an area of your life that perhaps you could look at as “managing blessings” rather than a burden right now?
Bible — Take some time to read through different versions of 2 Corinthians 4:18. Write down which words inspire and challenge you most from this verse! Then Verse Map it!!!
Stretch — Fill in the blank: This week, when struggles and anxieties arise in my everyday life, I will keep my eyes fixed on God by _______.
#12Women-CCMV, #12Women, #OBS – When you post on social media about the study, use these hashtags! If you want to see what other OBSers are saying, search these tags to connect!

Daily Blog Posts, Bible Study & Discussion
● Monday, Wednesday and Friday – New study email/blog posts, so check your email or head to the Facebook page to join in the conversation!

● Wednesday – Video teaching from StudyGateway, the link will be emailed to you; I hope you’re enjoying this special feature of our Online Bible Study.

Thursday, 2/25
● Bible Study LIVE! 8 p.m. ET ~ One hour of live fun and great conversation! -

Martha: Working Hard to Please Others. We will learn what our “many things” are that keep us from Jesus and how to accept Jesus’ invitation to be with God.
Her Character:  Active and pragmatic, she seemed never at a loss for words. Though Jesus chastened her for allowing herself to become worried and upset by small things, she remained His close friend and follower.
Key Scriptures:  Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1-12:3

Life and Times of Martha
Women’s Work
The work expected of a woman in Bible times was much more clearly defined than it is in our culture. There were things the women did and things the men did, things the female children did and things the male children did.
Martha as just doing what she though was expected of here. She had been raised to take care of her guests, to care for the people in here household. Mary was the one who stepped outside of the cultural expectations of her time, sitting at the feet of Jesus with men rather than working with Martha in the kitchen. When Martha complained, Jesus responded with characteristic boldness, ignoring the dictates of his time and urging Martha to stop and consider the choice Mary had made.
Women of that time kept busy from morning to evening with a daunting array of household tasks:
  • Grinding grain for bread, then mixing, kneading, and baking the bread for the day
  • Purchasing meat at a market or preparing an animal from the household’s flock for meat to eat, then cooking that meat
  • Carding, spinning, and weaving threads of various kinds to make cloth for clothing, bedding, and other household uses
  • Sewing clothing for household members
  • Drawing water for each day’s requirements
  • Cleaning the house
  • Washing the utensils and dishes used in meal preparation and eating
  • Washing the family’s clothing
  • Teaching and disciplining and loving the children in the household

Our Life and Times
The list could go on and on, and it is not so very different from the lists many women today could make of their responsibilities as wives and mothers. The tasks may be overwhelming. They may seem tedious and exhausting. But they are never unimportant.
Jesus’ words to Martha should not be construed to mean that “women’s work” should be ignored and left undone. That would be unrealistic. However, such work should never take the place of daily and intimate contact with the members of our families and the Lord of our lives.
"The more we are worried about our 'many things', the more we show that we are not trusting in God." -Amena Brown (see Matthew 6:25-34)

Open your heart today and prepare to be set free as you discover your true identity in Jesus Christ, and in Him alone!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Together We Can Make A Difference!

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)


This is one of the questions I posed to our God's Girls Group Bible Study Live on Thursday evening, "what are some possible steps we can take together to show God's love in our church and/or communities?" As many of you know my son is deployed, so my heart leaped for joy when many of you wanted to participate in a letter writing campaign to our military members who defending our country around the world. The cost of postage for a letters to APO/FPO address is usually the same as first class postage mailed within the U.S. If the CCMV chicks or if you live local & want to send a bundle I'll mail them; just leave it at the information center; send me a quick message or text.

Here's the list and the address format - feel free to address your letters to anyone of the sailors on this list. Our family knows how important it is to receive letters, cards, and words of encouragement when you're away from your loved ones.

They are many other ways we can make a difference in our churches and communities - volunteering, using your time and talents to serve God's people. Above all we can pray for each other and lift each other up continually.


You are such a blessing to me...may God continue to bless you!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Every. Day. Life!

“It was in the fields of everyday life that David’s character was developed to match his calling.”

Every. Day. Life!

How do we apply all we learn in our everyday lives? For starters, we spend time with Jesus every day. In doing so, we can discover God’s provision for us through our daily devotion times.

One reason it’s so important to study our Bibles every day is because we face challenges every day!

NEED to open my Bible to see what God can teach me about peace and trust. Then He can show me how to become more intentional in my walk with Him. He’s shown me I can’t just read the verses. I have to understand and believe them, then put them into action by allowing His Truth to replace my anxiety.

Every day I try to remember God’s Words and every day my character is growing to trust and rely on Him more and more as He prepares me for what’s next. Like David, we never know where, when or how He might call us to action!

Friends, will you be ready? Will you join me and spend time with Jesus in the Word every day.

Why do you think it’s so important to spend time with Jesus every day?

Look up the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Which Biblical characteristic(s) mentioned here is God developing in your life? Be intentional to watch for opportunities to live out these characteristics.

For me, I need to keep allowing God to develop peace in my heart and mind as I face my anxieties.

Other scriptures to consider: Psalm 23; 1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Corinthians 12:10; James 1:21-22.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Here's the link to catch-up on this week's reading

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Who was Mary of Bethany

Who Was Mary of Bethany

Of all the stories about women in the Bible, Mary of Bethany’s story is the most beautiful expression of intimate love for God in the form of Christ. Parts of Mary’s story are found in all four gospel accounts – Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:1-9, Luke 10:38-40 and John 11:1-12:3.

You may know Mary’s story best as the story of Mary and her sister Martha. The Lord was visiting their home. While Martha was busy getting everything ready to serve Jesus and his disciples, Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to what He had to say. Martha became frustrated and demanded that Jesus tell Mary to help her. There are things to be learned from both Mary and Martha, but for now we’ll just focus on Mary.

We should know a few things regarding the details of Mary’s encounters with Jesus: 
  • Mary’s first encounter with Jesus, as far as we can tell, is the story above. This story is from Luke 10:38-40. This is the Mary/Martha story we’re familiar with.
  • The Gospel of John gives a little background on this encounter. The situation that led Jesus and the disciples to be guests in Mary’s home was the death of Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead.
  • The second encounter Mary has with Jesus is another story you might be familiar with. Remember the mystery woman who broke the expensive jar of perfume, anointed Jesus with it and then wiped His feet with her hair? The Gospel of John tells us that woman was Mary of Bethany.

Mary of Bethany’s encounters with Jesus show us she must have been a very observant woman. It was very out of place for Mary to sit at Jesus’ feet to listen instead of getting the house in shape for guests. Think about the last time there were guests at your house. Did your mother sit down to relax or was she up and about cooking, cleaning, and serving?

When guests arrive at our homes, we want to show them a nice time and we do everything we can to make their time with us comfortable and fun. That is what Martha was doing and what Mary usually helped her with. This time, however, Mary recognized the Lord as more than just a teacher; she recognized Him as someone that her heart desperately wanted to spend time with, so she abandoned everything else to hear His voice and gaze on His face.

The second thing Mary observed is the pain and anxiety of Jesus in the week leading up to His crucifixion. The Bible tells us in Matthew, Mark and John that a week before His crucifixion, Jesus was dining at the home of Simon of Bethany. During the meal, a woman, Mary, entered and broke open an expensive jar of perfume with which she anointed Jesus and then wiped His feet with her hair. I believe she did this because she was prompted to by the Holy Spirit, but that’s only my personal opinion.

We often don’t realize what a scandalous act this was. Mary, a woman, entered a house where men were dining without an invitation (considered highly inappropriate). She “wasted” a jar of super expensive perfume (wasteful). She uncovered her head (scandalous because a woman’s hair could cause lustful thoughts in men). Then she wiped the dirt and dust (there would’ve been a lot of that because Jesus walked everywhere in sandals) off His feet with her hair!

Jesus makes it clear that Mary is anointing His body for burial, so it’s likely that Mary was very emotional during this encounter–she was “making a scene,” yet another thing the men would’ve considered inappropriate.

Mary of Bethany teaches us to have a scandalous love for Jesus that the rest of world might think is totally inappropriate! From the moment we enter a church, we’re taught how to respond to God, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Mary was taught how to behave properly and knew the customs of her people, but when it came to Jesus, she just didn’t care what anyone else thought of her behavior. Mary loved Jesus with a scandalous love and Jesus defended her for it, twice.

Can we learn from Mary’s example and love Jesus so much that other people think we’re crazy? I hope so.

Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to Me…  Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:6, 9).

Monday, February 15, 2016

12 Women of the Bible

Week 3 - Mary of Bethany

Hey all you OBSers! Welcome to Week 3!!!

Hope you ALL have a wonderful Valentine’s day and a great weekend!!

Print this, post it to your fridge or tuck it in your study book. This is your
SUGGESTED guide for the week to help you keep up in the Bible study!

What We’re Reading This Week...Mary of Bethany (pp. 107-118 in study guide)

Mary of Bethany: Putting Our Faith into Action. We will learn how we can be like Mary and serve Jesus by doing what you can with what you have.

Her Character:  Mary appears to have been a single woman, totally devoted to Jesus. The gospel portrays her, by way of contrast with her sister, Martha, as woman of few words. As Jesus neared the time of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem prior to Passover, she performed a gesture of great prophetic significance, one that offended Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus.

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:1-9; Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1-12:11

#12Women-CCMV, #12Women, #OBS – When you post on social media about the study, use these hashtags! If you want to see what other OBSers are saying, search these tags to connect!

Daily Blog Posts, Bible Study & Discussion
● Monday, Wednesday and Friday – New study email/blog posts, so check your email or head to the Facebook page to join in the conversation!

● Wednesday – Video teaching from StudyGateway, the link will be emailed to you; I hope you’re enjoying this special feature of our Online Bible Study.

Thursday, 2/11
● Bible Study LIVE! 8 p.m. ET ~ One hour of LIVE Bible Study on Facebook. Click here to join the fun! -

Let’s Chat:
Observe — Our theme this week “The gospel is living LODED and acting out on our faith in the world…Mary did what she could do!” What thoughts come to mind when you read this statement?
Bible — This week’s verse is Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV) "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Let’s try Verse Mapping this verse; click here for more information.

Stretch — What is God speaking to you about through the lives of the women in this study? Prayfully consider and journal your thoughts.

Mary of Bethany’s Life and Times
All able-bodied and ceremonially clean Jewish men, usually accompanied by their families were required to attend Passover in Jerusalem as well as two other major religious feasts, Pentecost and Tabernacles (Exodus 23:17), throughout the year.
The Feast of Passover took place in Nisan, the first month of the ancient Jewish year, our April. (See attached for Jewish Calendar & Feasts). The most significant feast celebrated by the Jew, Passover commemorated their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. At that time, Moses had commanded each family to kill an unblemished one-year-old male lamb.  He had instructed them to take the blood from the lamb and, using a brush made of hyssop branches, spread the blood on the sides and top of the doorframe of each household. When the tenth and last plague came to Egypt, the angel of death entered only the houses without blood on the doorpost and killed the firstborn son in each family.  Any home with blood on the doorway was “passed over.”

Jewish families ate the meat of the lamb for their Passover supper, sharing with neighbors if the family was too small to finish the lamb alone. The meal also included a salad of bitter herbs as well as unleavened, or unrisen, bread. Before Passover, the house was thoroughly searched and cleaned to be sure no yeast was in the house to spoil the unleavened bread. This bread reminded the Jews of the haste with which they had to eat their last meal in Egypt before leaving slavery there. Psalms 113-118, known as the “Egyptian Hallel” (or Praise) psalms, were sung before and after the meal.

Often during their history, the Jews neglected to celebrate the Passover, as well as many of the other religious feasts God had instituted. The times when the Passover was reinstated are mentioned specifically in the Old Testament, and the ignorance of the people regarding the sacred nature of the feast is apparent. Most often, the restoration of the feast came about because of a religious revival (2 Kings 23:21-23; 2 Chronicles 30:1; 35:1-19; Ezra 6:19-22).

The Last Supper Jesus ate with his disciples, on the night he was betrayed, was the annual Passover meal. Jesus gave specific instructions to several of his disciples for preparing this important meal. While he and his disciples reclined at the table, Jesus revealed that one of the Twelve would betray him and that he would be crucified.

Our Life and Times

With His words, “This is my body” and “This is my blood,” Jesus gave new meaning and significance to the Passover lamb. When he was crucified the next day, he himself became our Passover Lamb. Though we may observe the beauty of the Passover, for believers, the work is done. Jesus’ death on the cross as the ultimate Passover Lamb made the continual sacrifice for sin no longer necessary. Through his body and blood – through his work as our Passover lamb – we gain forgiveness for our sins and life eternal.

Many Blessings!

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