Friday, September 30, 2016

Write 31 Days



Welcome!

I have accepted the challenge to join a group of bloggers to write for 31 days in October. Please join me as I #write31days

I will be posting a new blog daily  in the month of October and you can click on the daily links below.

God's timing is perfect and He is always at work in our lives; working every detail and circumstance in our lives - ALL things work together for our good.

All Things...

When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens. - Brian Tracy

Day 1 - Arise & Shine
Day 2 - Expectation
Day 3 - Promises from God
Day 4 - SOAR
Day 5 - Your Power Weapon
Day 6 - No Worries
Day 7 - Pray
Day 8 - Ask
Day 9 - It Will Be Yours
Day 10 - Fruit of the Spirit
Day 11 -  Skill & Wisdom
Day 12 - Treasures
Day 13 - Chosen
Day 14 - Words of Wisdom
Day 15 - Faith Brings Joy
Day 16 - Called
Day 17 - God is with me!
Day 18 - Hebrews 11:1 > Faith
Day 19 - God is in Charge!
Day 20 - Proverbs
Day 21 - The Wisdom of Proverbs
Day 22 - More Wisdom from Proverbs
Day 23 - Transformed
Day 24 - Let's Choose Wisdom
Day 25 - Speak Wisdom
Day 26 - Humble Yourselves
Day 27 - Choose Today
Day 28 - Choices
Day 29 - Love
Day 30 - Prayer
Day 31 - Dressed for Battle

The Wrap Up

Thank you for joining me in this 31 Day Adventure!!

Encourage one another daily. Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)


Be blessed and be a blessing!

Happy Friday!





Thank you to everyone for sharing their honest responses during last night’s live Facebook Party. I know it is hard and for this reason some may have been "holding back." I do want to give everyone the space to share… This study and our time together is a safe place.

The Between Session Personal Study (the yellow pages) are really good this week if you need some “go-to” Bible passages to read, reflect on, and keep fresh in our hearts. We are challenged to choose two or three of the passages and put them in your phone, on a card in your purse or wallet, or in a file in your computer. When the battle against shame heats up, read them, think deeply about them, and believe them! Those of you who have studied with me in the past know how much I love “Verse-Mapping!” Try it with these verses. Here’s the link for those who don’t know what I’m talking about - http://eboniez22.blogspot.com/2016/02/verse-mapping.html

Here are those “Go-To” Shame-Buster Passages...

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. (Hebrews 3:1)
Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:43)
[Jesus] gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:14)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13–14)
You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19)
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. (Psalm 103:2–4)



Love & blessings!



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Do Not Forget the Lord




Hello!
This week’s Scripture Readings for Session 3 of the Unashamed OBS are Deuteronomy 8:1-9, Hebrews 12:1-3 and Matthew 27:45-46. I know some of you are new to Bible Study; here’s are some notes from my Bible Commentary that might be helpful as you are reading these verses.

Do Not Forget the Lord (Duet. 8:1-9)
Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LordYour clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

8:3 – Jesus quoted this verse when satan tempted him to turn stones into bread (Matt 4:4). Many people think that life is based on satisfying their appetites. If they can earn enough money to dress, eat, and play in high style, they think they are living “the good life.” In the end they leave us empty and dissatisfied. Real life, according to Moses, comes from total commitment to God and living by every word that comes from Him.
How can we live by His word?
* Recognize our need for it
* Agree that God alone can truly satisfy us
* Pray for God’s presence, wisdom, and direction as we read
* Savor the relation you have with Him through Christ
* Practice what He teaches you




Hebrews 12:1-3

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The “great cloud of witnesses” is composed of the people described in Hebrews chapter 11. Their faithfulness is a constant encouragement to us. We do not struggle alone, and we are not the first to struggle with the problems we face. Others have run the race and won, and their witness stirs us to run and win also. What an inspiring heritage we have!

To run the race that God has set before us, we must strip off the excess weight that slow us down. How can we do that? (1) Choose friends who are also committed to the race. Wrong friends will have values and activities that may deter you from the course. Much of your own weight may result from the crowd you run with. Make wise choices. (2) Drop certain activities. That is, for you at this time these may be weight. Try dropping them for a while; then check the results in your life. (3) get help for addictions that disable you. If you have a secret “weight” such as alcohol, gambling, or pornography admit your need and get help.

The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run with endurance, and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus.

When we face hardship and discouragement, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. But we’re not alone; there is help. Many have already it through life, enduring far more difficult circumstances than we have experienced. Suffering is training ground for Christian maturity it develops our patience and makes our final victory sweet.




Matthew 27:45-46

The Death of Jesus

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Some translations it may read "Eloi, Eloi..."
We do not know how the darkness described in verse 48 occurred, but it is clear that God caused it. Nature testified to the gravity of Jesus’ death, while Jesus’ friends and enemies alike fell silent in the encircling gloom. The darkness on that Friday afternoon was both physical and spiritual.


It is important to note (verse 46) that Jesus was not questioning God; he was quoting the first line of Psalm 22 – a deep expression of the anguish he felt when he took on the sins of the world, which caused him to be separated from his Father. This was what Jesus dreaded as he prayed to God in the garden to take the cup from him (Matthew 26:39). The physical agony was horrible, but even worse was the period of spiritual separation from God. Jesus suffered this double death so that we would never have to experience eternal separation from God.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Possess Your Inheritance



UNASHAMED ONLINE BIBLE STUDY
Session 3





Here we are at Session 3 of the Unashamed Bible Study!

Can you believe we’re almost half-way through this study with Christine Caine?
 If you have yet to dive into our private Facebook group and live chats on Thursdays, I really encourage you to do so. Many of you have opened up and shared how this study is impacting your lives and have started praying for one another... it’s been fantastic! Don’t miss out on these community gatherings!

Reminder our Facebook Page is a closed page and you’ll need to be added to the group.
  
What We’re Reading This Week... “Possess Your Inheritance

Answer the discussion questions. Go through the group discussion questions for session three in the Unashamed Study Guide (pages 51-63). These are the same questions we use during our Thursday Live Facebook Party

For your personal study this week, answer the questions each day in the Unashamed Study Guide (pages 64-70, the yellow section).



Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9

Scriptures we will be reading this week
Deuteronomy 8:1-9
Hebrews 12:1-3
Matthew 27:45-46

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

Bible Study LIVE! Thursday September 29nd at 8 p.m. ET ~ One hour of LIVE Bible Study on Facebook. 

Let’s Chat:

Observe — Our theme this week is “You don’t have to be totally fearless, just more faithful.”

Bible — This week’s verse is – ”Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years...” Deuteronomy 8:1-2

Stretch – If you are going to pack your things and move out of the desert of shame, what is one specific change you need to make in the coming week? How will you begin on this journey? 

A life liberated from fear is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. God wants you to move forward and it’s going to take faith to do that. — Christine Caine

In case you missed it, here's the blog link to session two -  http://eboniez22.blogspot.com/2016/09/today-is-day.html


Here’s to a great week of #OBS #Unashamed-CCMV! #wired2worship

Love & blessings!




May you overflow with joy by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13




Friday, September 23, 2016

Session 2 Wrap-Up



Hi There OBS friends!

Many, many thanks to everyone who joined us at last night’s Facebook Party. We had some awesome discussions. I so appreciate you pouring out your hearts and the support you gave each other. We can’t change the past but we can make some decisions today that will change the future. Let’s choose today to move past our past, walk in the freedom that Christ died for!

We’re finishing up in Session 2... “Today is the Day”

So if you need to get caught up, answer the discussion questions in the study guide– pages 31-42

Continue to pages 43-50 – the Between Sessions Personal Study

Read and journal this week's Scriptures: 
Exodus 8:1-15
John 5:1-9
Isaiah 53:1-7

Optional Study help, I’m attaching the Unashamed 28-day Guided Journal (in case you missed it). Click here.

Jesus is fighting for you from a place of victory, not for victory

When it comes to shame, it is a dark place, and God wants to shine light
into our darkness. But to battle shame, we often have to stop running away from it and face it. We must face the darkness of shame and actually run toward it. Think about the setting sun. If we were to run from the sunset, with our back to it, the darkness will still overcome us—but we will spend more time running in the dark. However, if we turn, face the darkness, and run full-speed straight into it, we will actually pass through it and enter the light more quickly. This is the case with shame. We must face the darkness and pain of our shame and run toward it. The longer we deny it and run away, the slower the healing will be. It seems radically counter-intuitive, but the fastest way to overcome the darkness of shame is to face it and run headlong toward it, with Jesus at our side.

Jesus shamed our shame on the cross at Calvary



Isaiah 61:7 (NIV) reads – Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.


Jesus has set every one of us free, but it’s up to us to decide to walk in that freedom.



You too are free to choose to get up and get moving into the beautiful future God has planned for you. Choices really do determine destiny – and God has given you the power to choose! – Christine Caine


Love & blessings!




Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Start Running!




Start Running

If you have been avoiding God because of an area of shame in your life, commit to run to God in the coming days and weeks. Choose one or more of the “Run to God” exercises from the check list below, journal them in the Study Guide or a notebook. Write about what God is teaching you through the one’s you’ve chosen.

  •        Run to God #1: Make a decision to be with our group at every session of the Unashamed study, even when you feel tempted to avoid it because the process might be getting difficult for you.
  • Join us Thursday’s at 8pm on our closed God’s Girls Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/groups/692185037534989/


  •        Run to God #2: Commit to attend church weekly while you are walking through this study and seek to engage your heart, mind, and body fully in worship, even when you might feel some measure of shame or unworthiness.


  •        Run to God #3: Read a portion of the Bible each day and invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you, teach, and minister to you as you read.


  •        Run to God #4: Begin a journal in which you write down three prayers of praise each day: one for God’s love, grace, and goodness; another for someone in your life who is a blessing and joy; and a third for something about who God has made you and what He wants to do in and through you as His beloved child.


  •        Run to God #5: Read Psalm 139 each day for the next week. Slow down and meditate on verses 13 and 14, and say them out loud. Thank God that you are fearfully and wonderfully made!


  
When that shadow of shame lurks in the corners of our hearts, it holds us back from the fullness of all that God has for us...You can leave your guilt and your shame at the cross and you can move past your past.

God can and does redeem anything and He is able to turn all things around to work together for good (Read Romans 8:28)


Blessings!






See page 28 in the Unashamed Study Guide 

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Today is the Day!"

UNASHAMED ONLINE BIBLE STUDY
Session 2





Hey, OBSers! Here’s this week’s happenings for our study.

This is your SUGGESTED guide for the week to help you keep up, I hope you’re digging deep into the daily study! The more you invest in your private time of reading, asking, thinking, and worshiping, the more you’ll get out of it. Keep going for it!


What We’re Reading This Week... “Today is the Day”
o   Study Guide discussion questions – pages 31-42



We can’t change the past, but we can make some decisions today that will change the future.

We must face the darkness and pain of our shame and run toward it. The longer we deny it and run away, the slower the healing will be. It seems radically counterintuitive, but the fastest way to overcome the darkness of shame is to face it and run headlong toward it, with Jesus at our side.

We must all choose to embrace the pain of recovery today. Jesus did what He could on the cross, now we must do what only we can do here on earth.

Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. — Isaiah 50:7

Scriptures we will be reading this week
     Exodus 8:1-15
     John 5:1-9
     Isaiah 53:1-7

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

Bible Study LIVE! Thursday September 22nd at 8 p.m. ET ~ One hour of LIVE Bible Study on Facebook. Click here to join the fun!  - https://www.facebook.com/groups/692185037534989/

Let’s Chat:

Observe — Our theme this week is “There is no such thing as a drive-through breakthrough.” — Christine Caine

Bible — This week’s verse is - [Jesus] stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” — Luke 4:16-19

Stretch – What frogs are you still living with for “one more night”? You don’t have to be imprisoned by shame any longer! Today is the day to be set free!

You will heal as you go. The same Jesus that did it for me, I know, will do it for you! — Christine Caine

In case you missed it, here's the blog link to session one -  http://eboniez22.blogspot.com/2016/09/unashamed-run-dont-hide.html 


Here’s to a great week of #OBS #Unashamed-CCMV!

Love & blessings,
Cheryl





May you overflow with joy by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Z is for Zebra


Z is for Zebra






Closely related to horses and donkeys, the zebra (sub-genuses Hippotigris and Dolichohippus) is best known for its black and white striped body. In fact, zebra stripe patterns are unique to each individual. The unique stripes of zebras make them one of the animals most familiar to people. Their stripes are believed to be camouflage devices that help zebras hide well in the grass.




Zebras as very social animals and live in large groups called 'harems.' Plains and mountain zebras live in harems that are made up of one stallion and up to six mares and their young, while Grevy's zebras come together as groups for short periods of time. Sometimes herds come together to form temporary groups of up to 30 members. Zebras sleep standing up, and only when they are in groups that can warn them of danger. If they spot a predator, they will bark or whinny loudly to warn the others in the group.




The pictures in this post were taken during a field trip with my local camera club to LaPorte Farms located in Fellsmere, Florida.


This ends my nature series! Here's the link to previous posts in this series.




























When I began my nature series on March 29, 2016, my goal was to post one picture each week of something in nature and write a brief description about it. The only restriction I put on myself was that the pictures I used had to be from my own personal photo library. All except 1 picture in series (when I was on vacation) were from I have taken. All in all, not bad.

I hope you've enjoyed this series and stay tuned for the next series.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4 NIV



Be Blessed and be a Blessing!







HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM!                 FOR THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS: "AS A MOTHER  COMFORTS HER CHILD, SO WILL I COMFORT YOU.&...