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When An Apple Does More Than Keep a Doctor Away

A basket of truth for our Bible Study friends.

by Cathy Baker

Searching for a way to put your Fall apples to good use? 

Here’s one idea to throw in the hat:

Remind someone how special they are in God’s eyes by placing one apple in a clear cellophane bag, tying the top with jute or a ribbon and adding a card that says this: 

You are the apple of my eye. 
Love, Jesus 
Psalm 17:8

It’s a little something I made for the ladies in our most recent bible study, “Do You Think I’m Beautiful?” by Angela Thomas. I’ve also made these on other occasions because, let’s face it, who wouldn’t be encouraged by this truth? 

A simple but powerful reminder!

The term “apple of my eye” refers to something or someone one who is cherished above all others. David, the author of Psalm 17, was confident of God’s love for him. Yes, he had his share of doubts and insecurities, but he always returned to this foundational truth.

I don’t
know where you are today, or what you might be facing. Maybe it’s a
health issue, financial woes, or just a plain ol’ rough day, but know this: You are
cherished by the King of Kings. 

May we walk in this truth together, confident that there is nothing we could do or say to make Him love us more, nor is there anything we could do or say to make Him love us less. Now if this doesn’t put a giddy up in our step today, I’m not sure what will. 

How does it make you feel to know that you are the apple of your heavenly Father’s eye? 
 

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 17:8 

P.S. I happened across the apple note tags at Cracker Barrel, 75% off, but I’ve used plain white tags as well. It’s the message that counts.

Staying in Step With The Spirit Via Healthy Relationships

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 3 }

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

My friend, Becky, and I co-lead a Community Bible Class. Our current study by Angela Thomas’ Do You Think I’m Beautiful? is proving to be quite the eye-opener.

In it, Angela shares how our wholeness is found only in God—not spouses, parents, children, friends or stuff.

For today, let’s talk friendships.

Skipper sinking in quicksand. Love Gilligan’s Island!

Just this week, I emailed Teresa, my best friend of 20+ years, sharing a current struggle. In that moment, I felt surrounded by circumstances heavier than quicksand (Does anyone else have Gilligan’s Island flashbacks when you hear that word?) She responded with much wisdom, discernment, and a fresh perspective to boot. Teresa, along with my other friends, are a treasure to me. They are, as Angela describes, vessels of God’s love. They are not, however, placed in our lives to make us whole. 


Here are three (of many) ways we could unknowingly be looking to our friends for wholeness rather than God:  
1. Without hesitation, we
pick up the phone (or tap on the laptop) to ask for a friend’s advice
instead of first whispering a prayer to the Lord for His wisdom. (James 1:5)
2. We allow friend’s advice to trump the Word of God. Yet another reason to surround ourselves with godly friends. (Proverbs 12:26)
3. We place unrealistic expectations on our friendships. Our friends need to be released from the pressure of making us whole. It’s impossible. They can’t do it, nor should they. 
“A girlfriend can be fun, but she cannot be your savior. We need God.” -Angela Thomas
Staying In Step With The Spirit: When we look solely to God to fill those empty spaces in our lives, we draw closer to Him, relying on the unseen Face rather than familiar ones. 
Father, thank You for creating places in our lives that only You can fill. Forgive us where we’ve sought out anyone or anything to take Your place. Fill us today with your power, grace, and mercy — not only for our benefit but for others as well. May You receive all the glory! 

Is there a particular friend you’re thankful for today? The comment box is the perfect place to give a “shout out!” Or, if you have something to add to the list above, I invite you to share. 



#Write31Days:

{ Day 2 } Staying in Step With the Spirit Via Less Clutter

Who Are You? Who, Who, Who, Who?

 
I know I sound like Pete Townsend of The Who, but it’s that one question that has me so excited about our our upcoming community bible study by Angela Thomas, Do You Think I’m Beautiful? Perhaps my fervency for teaching this study originates from the fact that I once banked my happiness and fulfillment on the love and attention of the opposite sex. For some, their identity, thus their happiness, lies in their ability to climb the corporate ladder, raise “perfect” children or be accepted by anyone and everyone. 
I believe we are all tempted to place our identity in someone or something other than God for to know and believe the truth of how God views us obliterates the enemy’s best efforts. Of course he would have us believe lies instead! I know of fewer things more dangerous than a Christ-follower confident in their identity. 
How we view our heavenly Father’s feelings towards us is a game changer. 
 
Heavenly Father,
When we doubt our worth in Your eyes,
for Yours are truly the only ones that matter,
may we see Jesus.
Through Him, we are forgiven, covered in fresh fallen mercy.
We are precious in Your sight. 
When the enemy flings his arrows of doubt,
may we raise Your shield of faith high
keeping our feet firmly planted in truth, 
for we are loved perfectly and unconditionally by You.
Amen.
 
 
Father, will you steep Your Word deeply into our soul?
  
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people
for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him
who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9
 
 
Is there one particular word or phrase from the above scripture you feel 

led to “sip” on, meditate on, throughout this week?


   

———————————–
 
The words “that you may” stood out to me as I read the above verse. Knowing our identity, and standing firm in it, could hold eternal significance.
 
 
 
 
As we bring our time to a close, is there one tangible way to “pour”
out His truth in response to the word(s) chosen above?

Thanks for stopping by today at Sharing Life Together…One Sip At A Time. Would
you consider joining in the conversation by leaving your “word” from the above verse in the comment box? Blessings!
He
does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take
pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those
who wait for His lovingkindness. – See more at:
http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Delight,-God-Expressing#sthash.MnlQbRF6.dpuf

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  

Colossians 3:3

New Community Bible Study Begins in September!

New study begins in September! Before you start thinking this study is about how we appear to others or anything else pertaining to self, read what Publisher Weekly had to say about it:

A title like this leads a reader to think that this will be a book about body image. However, it’s more about understanding beauty and acceptance in the context of God’s unconditional love, a poignant message that many women will appreciate. “A good man can be wonderful,” writes Thomas, a motivational speaker and mother of four. “But he can never be ENOUGH, and he can never make you WHOLE. You and I were made for even more. We were made for God.” She builds a persuasive case for God as a pursuing lover who delights in each one of his daughters, even when they feel unlovable. She speaks honestly and with cutting humor about how Christian women appear to be all smiles, but “are dying on the inside.” She also does an especially fine job of drawing on the prodigal son parable from the New Testament to demonstrate that although women sometimes feel like the prodigal and sometimes like the unappreciated elder son, God is waiting to receive them with open arms.  

I love the focus: Only God can make us whole. Men, friends, nor fancy houses can complete us—only Jesus!

Dates: Tuesdays, September 23 – October 28.
Time: 6:15-7:30 pm
Location: Becky’s home in Simpsonville. Address shared via email list.

If you live in the Greenville, Simpsonville, Fountain Inn SC area and would like to be added to our email list with all the information and updates concerning our community studies, please leave a comment, find me on Facebook or via Twitter @cathysbaker.

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