God's Gifts to All of Us
Choices. Choices in the midst of hectic schedules. Each one of us is facing unique challenges, different seasons of life and diverse responsibilities. And yet, one of God’s gifts to all of us - 24 hours each day. A gift to be used wisely and for His glory.
Why would women who barely get enough sleep and have no down-time choose to take part in a weekly study? Yes, very faithfully, these moms from our church set aside two hours every Monday to seek to grow in their walk with God. They are not discussing the latest trends in child-raising techniques, sharing recipes or whining about their lack of “me” time; that is definitely not their goal or focus. Though practical tips concerning life make it into the conversation, these women are intentional about learning from the Bible how a mom in 2018 is to live a godly life, honor her husband and train her children to love and obey God – let’s face it, these are not popular issues. So, passing real-life issues through the sieve of a biblical framework is crucial and is best done in a Christ-centered community. This semester, they are looking intently at Titus 2 and growing through it.
In the words of Michelle Angle, a busy wife and mother of two young boys, “I come here week after week, and these times of study and discussion help me make it through another week. I get filled up and encouraged.” Speaking to a newcomer, Becky Wagenaar said, “We who have been meeting together for a long time, we are family. You will soon be as well.”
Why would women who have full-time jobs, care for their families or, in my case, can’t seem to remember what I just agreed to as I hang up the phone choose - yes, choose! - to memorize Scripture? Isn’t that something one does before the age of 25, definitely before age 50? Isn’t that a Sunday school or AWANA activity? Although for Dorothy Hurt and Clara Jones it started out as something they did to get a discount at camp, these two godly women have experienced and shared that this discipline and its benefits are life-long. It is definitely not reserved to those for whom it comes easily.
Together, some ladies in our church have embarked on this adventure of Scripture memorization. This is not to say that it wasn’t happening before, but we have found that accountability makes all the difference. After memorizing Titus, we are now challenging others to join us as we focus on Colossians, James, Hebrews 1, or shorter passages.
Easy? Not in the least. So why take on this challenge? In the words of Heidi Lundberg, “Scripture memorization has transformed my life. There is no going back. I’m in this for the long-haul.” And others can testify to the transformational aspect of hiding God’s Word in their lives. For some of us, our ability to memorize is probably below average (ask my family), but that is exactly why we need to do it. It stretches our brains, challenges our memories, and requires commitment, but what joy to see God use His revealed Word to teach and mold us. Want to join us?
Why would someone choose to reach out to a hurting stranger instead of enjoying a date with a friend? Overhearing two women talking in distress at a local coffee shop, Angela Brown reached out and offered to pray with them. This resulted in holding hands with them on the spot along with the cancer patient, the husband of one of the women, and praying for their needs in the name of Jesus. This act of love and kindness was recognized by another stranger drinking coffee who ended up welcoming prayer at her table. And it has given Angela an increased desire to display the beauty of the Gospel to hurting friends and strangers, clearly explaining the truths of God’s provision of salvation to them.
Why would women choose to spend a Friday evening at the church, at the large group women’s gathering on October 19? It wasn’t necessarily convenient or relaxing; supper was definitely rushed! They chose to come and be challenged by the truth that we need daily time in the Word. Gwen Finch focused her talk on the necessity to “Be Still, So That …”; in other words, meditating on God’s Word so that the inevitable trials of life will not destroy us, so that we can share God’s truth with unbelievers, and so that we can help in practical ways in our community (Caring for Women fundraiser). Her message forced us to consider how our actions today are shaping who we are becoming. And we benefitted from hearing sisters in Christ share ideas, apps, and ways to be in God’s Word on a regular basis.
The words that Dorothy Hurt shared during her testimony will be words to treasure - a vivid example of a life lived in dependence on God. Her experience of a sputtering engine in a single engine airplane will be long remembered as she explained her instant reaction of looking to the pilot’s countenance (her husband) before giving in to panic. His seemingly peaceful look gave her the reassurance she needed. The analogy was clear to all of us. Just as Dorothy glued her eyes onto Dennis’ face for the rest of that journey, our eyes must be fixed on God as we face the ups and downs of life.
Next large group women’s meetings: November 9 and December 8
Women’s Bible studies: Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Connection groups: Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays.
Memorization: Any day!
Witness and outreach: Any day!
Time in God’s Word: Every single day!
How are we choosing?