03
Sep

Children of the Day Reflection # 2: I Thessalonians 1

Children of the Day

I just finished the homework for the 1st week of Children of the Day, Beth Moore’s new study on 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. Did you find it difficult to get the daily homework done? Try spreading it over 6 days and doing about 3 to 4 pages per day, instead of trying to finish one day’s homework every weekday. 🙂

I am doing Level 3, which means I’m watching the DVDs, filling out the viewer guide for each lesson, doing the daily homework and writing out all the verses in these 2 books at the back of my member book. I am employing the same method for writing out the verses as for doing the homework: dividing the number of verses in each chapter by 6 days and writing that many verses for the day. It makes it a LOT easier, even if it doesn’t quite keep up with the daily homework.

For those of you tired of dragging out your Bibles every day, the verses are written at the top of each day’s homework, so you can easily flip back and forth to copy the verses. One of the folks coming to my church’s presentation of the DVDs said she knew she could do Level 3 and then, like me, groaned at the fact that Beth wants us all to move up one level and challenge ourselves. She’s groaning because as we age, we have fewer brain cells to use and thus, memorization is a really difficult thing.

I encouraged her to just try and memorize a few of the key verses that spoke to her and not to worry about the rest. The same is true of any part of this study. Do what you can do with the time you have and don’t give yourself a huge guilt trip about not always getting all of it done. Is it better to get it all done? Absolutely! The more you put into it, the more you will benefit from it! But, I still want you participating, even if you can only do a portion of the level you elected to do.

As I told my Bible study group, Beth Moore always gets to me, even when I wish she wouldn’t! A migraine sufferer doesn’t usually enjoy tears because it induces a clogged up head, which usually results in a rather major migraine. Also, I’m a stoic Scot on 3 sides of my family, so I believe in keeping that stiff upper lip firmly in place. But, I think her ability to get to me is simply a gift from God that He chose to bestow upon her. And I am so grateful for that gift, even if it gives me a headache!

I don’t think I’m alone. Many love Beth’s studies and always get a lot out of them. If this is your first time to participate in one of her studies, I hope you feel the same when we get to the end!

On to my reflections about the first part of Children of the Day! Probably the first phrase that jumped out of me is at the top of page 17 (in the Member Book), where Beth says, “…you count, Sister. All it takes to lead is for people to see you following Jesus.” I have always been a leader sort. I think it was just in my DNA. Add to that years in swing choir, Sunday school teaching, singing in praise bands, and training students and professionals and I just seem to wind up leading a discussion.

I often think that is the wrong way to be. I need to listen more and talk less. As Larry King once said, “I never learn anything by talking. Only by asking questions.” Beth reminds me that Larry is right. I don’t have to be the perfect teacher. I don’t have to write the perfect blog post. I don’t have to be a perfect wife or mother. I don’t have to plan a myriad of activities for others. All I have to do is follow Jesus.

What does following Him mean to me? Reading about Him in the 4 Gospels of the New Testament and, to the best of my ability, try to resemble His example as much as possible. That WWJD question is really the essence of Christianity! It requires diligent effort to be like Christ–it challenges my thinking patterns and forces me to reorganize my priorities. How about you?

It’s reassuring to hear Beth say that being faithful is sometimes very hard work (Page 20). Since we often cannot see God at work in our lives and He sometimes answers our prayers in a very weird and strange way, being faithful can wear us out! And, as she also pointed out, loving others can be a real labor. I’ll bet every one of you reading this can think of one person that is difficult to love!

Sometimes, the person is not difficult to love; I’m just plain tired! And my selfishness and weariness gets in the way of loving people like I should. That’s when I really hope the Holy Spirit kicks me in the backside and urges me to do the right thing. What is amazing to me is that when I give in to the Holy Spirit, it seldom is as difficult as I think it is and eventually, my enthusiasm for getting work finished and interacting with others carries me past my fatigue. What do you think about that?

Confession Time: I have been going through a “dry spell” with the Lord lately. He just doesn’t seem bent on giving me earth-shattering revelations right now. And it has frustrated me to no end and I’ve been beating myself up about it, thinking that I’m the reason why I can’t seem to connect with God. Now, I’m sure that I’m probably half the problem here, but Beth’s comment at the bottom of page 23 made me realize that the other half is this: “No formula suffices to get it. Nothing common about it. God’s presence can be sought, but it can’t be planned, because it’s not of man.”

I feel really stupid now. I’ve been thinking that I could somehow turn “on” conversations with God like a faucet at a kitchen sink. That it was something I had to do, a certain mind set I had to have. But the reality is that if God wants to talk to me, He will. And I can’t control when and how that will happen! I just have to follow Him and “wait upon the Lord.” The problem is that I’m not very good at waiting! So, I guess my prayers should be about being more patient with waiting and realizing that God has a multitude of ways He can communicate.  Did this resonate with any of you? If so, how?

What other parts of Children of the Day jumped out at you? Comment below! I’m all ears!

Friday’s Post: The Odd Days of September

You Might Also Like: Children of the Day Reflection # 1: Introduction; Slow Reader Friday: Songs in the Key of Solomon; and An Unlikely Mom

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 10:50 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

comments

2
  1. September 7th, 2014 | Chelsea says:

    I enjoyed the first session and am looking forward to the second one! I like how Beth looks at the details and gives you a better picture of what was happening at a particular time. I am often guilty of skimming through a passage and not really thinking about why someone did what they did. I really feel like I will get a lot out of this study!

    Several points stuck out to me. On page 21 it says, “we cannot offer to others what we don’t possess.” This is important to me because sometimes (especially as mothers) we forget to take care of ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves, in our faith or otherwise, before we can begin to take care of others.

  2. September 9th, 2014 | maryann says:

    I so agree, Chelsea. When my heart went nuts, I finally realized that I can’t take care of my family if I’m in a hospital! So, reading the Bible, praying, exercising and eating right are essential to being a good servant for the Lord!

    Beth always has a different take on the Scriptures than my limited point of view, so I enjoy that, as well as her giving us details about the books she studies. In this one I particularly like how she is detailing Paul’s trip to this area in Acts!

    Thanks for commenting!

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