Tuesday, May 31, 2016

12 Women of the Bible - Part 2

Week 1




Hey, OBSers! Hope everyone had a safe holiday weekend as we paused to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Freedom isn’t free.

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...Eve (pp. 13-23 in study guide)

Memory Verse
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Hashtags
#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!

Blog Posts, Bible Study & Discussion
● Weekly study email/blog posts, so check your email or head to the Facebook page to join in the conversation!

● Bible Study LIVE! Thursdays 8 p.m. ET ~ LIVE Bible Study on Facebook. 

Click here to join the fun! - https://www.facebook.com/groups/692185037534989/

Eve: Breaking Free of Feminine Stereotypes

"Sometimes we miss the miraculous of all that we have been blessed with because we're so focused on the one thing we don't have. When this happens, we become disillusioned with all that we do have." ~Lysa TerKeurst 


Key Scriptures: Genesis 1:31; 2:15-25; 31-7; Matthew :1-11

Let’s Chat:

Observe — Sometimes in life we have high hopes and big expectations, but things don't turn out the way we had imagined and dreamed.  Have you ever experienced this in your life? Tell about one such time in your life.

Bible — This week’s verse is Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

In your notebook or journal, complete the following:
1.     Write out Philippians 4:6-7, each verse on a different line or space.
2.     Beside each verse, write what you think God wants you to learn or do as a result of reading and writing that verse today.
3.     What could these verses have to do with Twelve Women in the Bible in your heart?

Stretch — “What one action step can you take today to move forward in faith.” #OBS #12Women!

Things to remember about how to get the most out of our study:

For the latest information regarding our study can be found right here in your inbox!

Missed an email or can’t find in it buried in the hundreds of emails you receive everyday – you can head over to the blog to catch up! Click here.

Here’s to a great first week of #OBS #12Women!

Big Blessings!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Jay … Blue Jay that is!

J is for Jay … Blue Jay that is!


The blue jay is a passerine blue in the family Corvidae, native to North America. It is resident through most of the eastern and central United States, although western populations may be migratory.

A song bird familiar to many people, with its perky blue, white and black plumage; and noisy calls. Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.

Blue Jays make a large variety of calls that carry long distances Most calls produced while the jay s perched within a tree. Usually flies across open areas silently, especially during migration. Stuffs food items in throat pouch to cache elsewhere; when eating, holds seed or nut in feet and pecks it open.
Blue jays are birds of forest edges. They are often found near oaks in forests, woodlots, towns, cities, and parks




A bold and curious bird, the Florida Scrub-Jay can become hand-tame in areas where it comes in contact with people. Unfortunately, it is restricted to the rare oak scrub community of Florida, a habitat under constant threat of development and us classified as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.




The Western Scrub Jay combines deep azure blue with dusty gray-brown and white. The rounded, crestless head immediately sets it apart from Blue Jays and Steller Jays. These birds are a fixture of dry shrublands, oak woodlands, and pinyon pine-juniper forests, as well as conspicuous visitors to backyards.

Friday, May 27, 2016

12 Women of the Bible - OBS



Many of you have ask, so wait no longer! Here it is...  

Part 2 of Twelve Women of the Bible online Bible study! 


Listed below are the incredible women that we will be studying in the remaining 6 of 12 Women of the Bible. Just like the first 6, each one these ladies also have their own unique life-changing story that we can learn from as well.

Week 1 – Eve:  Finding Lasting Contentment in the Truth
              Friday Video

Week 2 – Leah: Overcoming Rejection and Insecurity
              Friday Video

Week 3 – Hannah:  Surrendering in Waiting
              Friday Video

Week 4 Abigail: Dealing with Confrontation in Relationships
              Friday Video

Week 5 – Mary, Mother of Jesus: Moving from Comfort to Courage


Week 6 – Mary Magdalene: Transforming from Outcast to Follower


I pray you’ll join me on for the next six weeks, beginning June 2nd as we explore the lives of remaining women.

My goal is to make the fun and easy, so I’ll be trying some new ways to present this to you. In doing so, please give me your feedback: likes, dislikes – I want to make this the best experience possible.  I am open to all your incredible ideas of how to make this not only fun and easy but life changing for each of us.

If you have any questions or if this is your first time joining us, feel free to send leave me a comment below.

Big Blessings,

Cheryl 



Here's the link to our previous study

Quiet-Time: Ignite Your Faith, pt 3


What's the Big Deal? Why Is It Important?






Quiet time can be so difficult to prioritize. It's tempting to make excuses or just not bother. Preparing our hearts to hear from God requires a focused effort. Noise, whether outside or inside, distracts us. If we fail to understand the importance of having a regular, committed quiet time with God, we are not likely to hear His voice…the one that whispers, "This is the way; walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21). 

God longs to spend time with us. Consider what He was willing to do for us, in order to reunite us with Him. Is it asking too much that we devote daily time to Him? 

Jesus set the example for us concerning quiet time. He took time to connect with the Father regularly, as the following Scriptures tell us: 

"Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray'" (Matthew 26:36). 

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:35). 

"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:16).

Having a quiet time is like many other activities in our lives, in a least one respect. To be successful, it helps to have a plan. The Bible says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5 ESV).


Do you desire to hear from God? Are you passionate about wanting His will in your life, above your own? Daily quiet time prepares your heart to listen. You may "hear" Him speak to you in those quiet moments…or you may hear Him through a friend or circumstance later in the day. But because you've made time with Him a priority and have been willing to shut out the world to hear Him, He will make sure you do.

Be blessed and be a blessing!




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Quiet-Time: Ignite Your Faith, pt 2



From the Bible, we understand how to spend quiet time with God. Jesus gave us examples in the Gospels where He stepped away from the limelight, retreating to a quiet place to commune with His Father. These quiet times spent with God had some very important elements in common. 

Jesus understood the importance of truly knowing the Father: 

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." (Mark 1:35, NIV)

The elements of how to spend quiet time with God are threefold: The place is free of distractions, use of prayer and thanksgiving, and use of God’s Word.
An Area Free of Distraction – Each time Jesus wanted to spend time with His Father, He always retreated to a secluded area free from distractions. He could talk with God, and listen to Him as well. The same is true of us. Our quiet times with God should be in a place where we are alone with no TV or phone -- only God and us.
Prayer and Thanksgiving - Jesus’ prayers were not always for Himself, but for others. In our quiet time spent with God, we use Jesus’ example by offering prayers for others and thanksgiving to God for what He has done for us. These prayers should also include a time of reflection on how God has seen us through the good and bad times. 
God’s Word - Just as our bodies need food to keep it going, we need to spend quality time with God to feed our souls. Jesus often quoted from God’s Word in His quiet times. Quiet time with God is also a time to read God’s Word. If we don’t understand a certain passage of Scripture, we can ask God to help us understand it. It is through daily prayer and reading God’s Word that we will grow in our walk with God.






These are elements of spending quiet time alone with God. The importance is setting time aside each day to talk with God, because this is the best way to draw close to Him.

Be blessed and be a blessing!













From: AllAboutGod.com 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ibis


I ... is for Ibis





The Glossy Ibis forages mostly by wading in shallow water, probing in soft mud for food. Also picks up insects and other visible items from surface of water or soil.

Diet consists mostly insects and crayfish. Feeds on beetle larvae in soft soil, also adults and larvae of many aquatic insects. Crayfish may be main food in some areas. In Florida, reported to eat many small snakes. Also may eat leeches, snails, crabs, frogs, small fish.

Breeds in colonies, sometimes associated with other kinds of wading birds. Nest site is in shrubs or low trees over water or over land, or on ground on island. Nest (built by both sexes) is bulky platform of sticks and marsh plants, with a shallow depression at center. Adults may continue adding to nest throughout the period of incubating the eggs and feeding the young.



Be blessed and be a blessing!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Quiet-Time: Ignite Your Faith

 What Exactly is a "Quiet Time?"





A "quiet time" is simply being intentional about having a conversation with God. This usually means listening for God's voice by reading the Bible of devotions, and speaking to God through prayer. Jesus did this numerous times in the Gospels, sometimes slipping away all night or in the early morning to spend time with His Father.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35, NIV)

For most people, including myself, the hardest part of a quiet time (after actually finding the time) is fighting wandering thoughts..= "A good prayer need not be long or drawn out, but rather it should be frequent and passionate." - Martin Luther.


  1. Quiet times must be in the morning.
  2. Quiet times must last a certain amount of time.
  3. Quiet times must follow a specific routine.


Quiet time should be a two-way conversation; to do this - pray the Scriptures. How you spend your time with Christ is up to you. There are no real rules. What matters is that you are spending time with Christ. As an added bonus "journal" your quiet time - you'll be amazed months or years later when you read what you wrote.




Be blessed and be a blessing!





















Quiet Time ... to be continued

Monday, May 16, 2016

Herons

H ... is for Heron

The Great Blue Heron



Whether poised on a river bend or cruising the coastline with slow, deep wingbeats, the Great Blue Heron is a majestic sight. This stately heron with its subtle blue-gray plumage often stands motionless as it scans for prey or wades belly deep with long, deliberate steps. They may move slowly, but Great Blue Herons can strike like lightning to grab a fish or snap up a gopher. In flight, look for the widespread heron’s tucked-in neck and long legs trailing out behind.

The Great Blue Heron’s massive size and white in the face separates it from other dark herons; they are not likely to visit a typical backyard. Great Blue Herons fly with their heads pulled back against their shoulders and have smooth, deliberate wingbeats, barely raising their wings above horizontal. Great Blue Herons travel solo, except if you catch them during migration when you might see up to 10 together. 


Little Blue Heron



A small, dark heron arrayed in moody blues and purples, the Little Blue Heron is a common but inconspicuous resident of marshes and estuaries in the Southeast. They stalk shallow waters for small fish and amphibians, adopting a quiet, methodical approach that can make these gorgeous herons surprisingly easy to overlook at first glance. Little Blue Herons build stick nests in trees alongside other colonial waterbirds. In the U.S., their populations have been in a gradual decline since the mid-twentieth century.


Green Heron



From a distance, the Green Heron is a dark, stocky bird hunched on slender yellow legs at the water’s edge, often hidden behind a tangle of leaves. Seen up close, it is a striking bird with a velvet-green back, rich chestnut body, and a dark cap often raised into a short crest. These small herons crouch patiently to surprise fish with a snatch of their daggerlike bill. They sometimes lure in fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait.

Green Herons stand motionless at the water’s edge as they hunt for fish and amphibians. They typically stand on vegetation or solid ground, and they don’t wade as often as larger herons. In flight these compact herons can look ungainly, often partially uncrooking their necks to give a front-heavy appearance.


Black-Crowned Night Heron
















Black-crowned Night-Herons are stocky birds compared to many of their long-limbed heron relatives. They’re most active at night or at dusk, when you may see their ghostly forms flapping out from daytime roosts to forage in wetlands. In the light of day adults are striking in gray-and-black plumage and long white head plumes. These social birds breed in colonies of stick nests usually built over water. They live in fresh, salt, and brackish wetlands and are the most widespread heron in the world.

Black-crowned Night-Herons often spend their days perched on tree limbs or concealed among foliage and branches. They forage in the evening and at night, in water, on mudflats, and on land. Adults have all-black bills; immatures have yellow-and-black bills.


Tricolored Heron



The Tricolored Heron, formerly known as the Louisiana Heron; are fairly common, but never in large numbers. Found in open shallow water or marshy pools. Nearly always solitary, but nests and roosts in mixed colonies. Foraging behavior very active; often runs after fish. Unusually long neck on long bill give distinctive shape. Immediately recognizable by white belly and under-wing coverts contrasting with dark gray and brown upper-side.


Be blessed and be a blessing!







(AllAboutBirds.org; The Sibley Field Guide to Birds)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Gators, Gators and More Gators

G...is for Gator - The American Alligator that is!





The American alligator, sometimes referred to colloquially as gator or common alligator, is a rare success story of an endangered animal not only saved from extinction but now thriving. State and federal protections, habitat preservation efforts, and reduced demand for alligator products have improved the species' wild population to more than one million and growing today.
One look at these menacing predators—with their armored bony plants (osteoderms or scutes), lizard-like bodies, muscular tails, and powerful jaws—and it is obvious they are envoys from the distant past. The species, scientists say, is more than 150 million years old, managing to avoid extinction 65 million years ago when their prehistoric contemporaries, the dinosaurs, died off.
American alligators reside nearly exclusively in the freshwater rivers, lakes, swamps, and marshes of the southeastern United States, primarily Florida and Louisiana.


The average size of an adult female alligator is 8.2 feet and a male is 11.2 feet; males can reach a weight of nearly a half a ton or 1,000 pounds.
Alligators are apex predators and consume fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Hatchlings feed mostly on invertebrates. They play an important role as ecosystem engineers in wetland ecosystems through the creation of alligator holes, which provide both wet and dry habitats for other organisms.


Throughout the year, but particularly during the breeding season, alligators bellow to declare territory and locate suitable mates. Male alligators use infrasound to attract females. Eggs are laid in a nest of vegetation, sticks, leaves, and mud in a sheltered spot in or near the water. Young are born with yellow bands around their bodies and are protected by their mother for up to one year.



A very large alligator bellowing at Gatorland! Click here to watch video -- https://youtu.be/JBbDzJlYRVk 


The American alligator is listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Historically, hunting had decimated their population, and the American alligator was listed as an endangered species by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Subsequent conservation efforts have allowed their numbers to increase and the species was removed from the list in 1987. Alligators are now harvested for their skins and meat.

Be blessed and be a blessing!


Pictures in this post were taken at the Viera Wetlands, Gatorland and the Merritt Island NWR.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Living the Proverbs 31 Life!


The Woman Who Fears the Lord...



An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her?
Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.
11 
The heart of her husband trusts in her [with secure confidence],
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 
She comforts, encourages, and does him only good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 
She looks for wool and flax
And works with willing hands in delight.
14 
She is like the merchant ships [abounding with treasure];
She brings her [household’s] food from far away.
15 
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And assigns tasks to her maids.
16 
She considers a field before she buys or accepts it [expanding her business prudently];
With her profits she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
17 
She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]
And makes her arms strong.
18 
She sees that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out, but it burns continually through the night [she is prepared for whatever lies ahead].
19 
She stretches out her hands to the [b]distaff,
And her hands hold the spindle [as she spins wool into thread for clothing].
20 
She opens and extends her hand to the poor,
And she reaches out her filled hands to the needy.
21 
She does not fear the snow for her household,
For all in her household are clothed in [expensive] scarlet [wool].
22 
She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry.
Her clothing is linen, pure and fine, and purple [wool].
23 
Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 
She makes [fine] linen garments and sells them;
And supplies sashes to the merchants.



There is nothing more beautiful in all the world than a woman who is righteous and love God. That's true beauty! The Virtuous Woman


Happy Mother's Day! Be blessed and be a blessing!!!

A Virtuous Woman

THE 10 VIRTUES OF THE PROVERBS 31 WOMAN 1. Faith – A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks ...