Well, those are words I never expected to type, but here we are.
I’m not in a panic over the Coronavirus, but it’s true that some, perhaps many of us, may end up self-quarantined or otherwise homebound. But here’s the thing:
Every opportunity holds the potential to become meaningful.
Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise — making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15,16
Below are thirty ideas to consider if staying inside for a while. I pray they’ll become the catalyst for spreading hope, encouragement, and truth, to others (germ-free!):
Set aside fifteen minutes to scroll through Facebook to collect prayer requests. Jot them down and set aside time to pray specifically for each person. Well-meaning “likes” don’t always result in prayer, but they can today! If the Lord brings to mind a certain scripture verse while praying, share it with the person. Our extra minute can encourage them for days.
Turn on praise music and sing to the Lord or better yet, sing acapella.
Create your own music list. Fill it with songs of hope and peace.
Turn everything off. Listen to the birds. Watch them. Study them. Let these tiny creatures serve as a reminder of God’s intimate care for you. (Luke 12:24)
Cook a vegetable meal. Before you pick up the fork, read Proverbs 15:17 aloud: “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” Invite conversation: How does this apply to our family? How can we “put feet” to this verse in helping others?
Take a James 1:17 stroll. “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” As you walk outside, intentionally search for God’s good gifts surrounding you⏤an unfurling blossom, a flower’s scent, the sun breaking through clouds, etc. Embrace the goodness of God and let it carry you heavenward throughout the day.
Finish the current book you’re reading. Then, go the extra mile and leave a review on Amazon. Bonus points if you do the same on Goodreads, and don’t forget to add it to your reading list while you’re there.
Start a new book. If you know the author, message her along the way sharing what encourages you or a phrase that stood out to you. If a quote stands out, consider posting it on Facebook and Instagram to encourage others (and the author).
Call a different person each day. Many of us prefer to text but let’s delight someone by laying aside our preferences and call instead.
Text two people each day with one purpose in mind: to encourage.
Read scripture verses on peace. Write them down. Memorize at least one and lean on God’s promises with the same warmth and confidence a child bends toward her mother.
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* Click here for a downloadable PDF print of the list above.
The Coronavirus situation gives us, the hopers and believers of the world, opportunities to share Christ in ways we’ve never had before. Becoming more intentional in how we care for others — emotionally, physically, and spiritually — during a time when many are focused on themselves, might just make an eternal difference.
Yes, we plan and use our resources wisely, but above all, we love selflessly.
Is there one particular idea above that stands out to you, or do you have one to add to the list?
Beginning Tuesday, January 28th, the Ladies’ Community Bible Group will come together in a home setting to study Priscilla Shirer’s Gideon: Your weakness. God’s STRENGTH.
When we hear the name Gideon, most of us think about his 300 soldiers or the fleece he laid out under the evening sky. But Gideon’s story is so much bigger than any one man and his mark on Israel’s history. Like everything else in the Bible, this is a story about God and His people. His love for them, as well as His strength operating in spite of their weakness even through their weakness. And because God’s people includes you and me, Gideon’s story is also about us — our lives, our doubts, our struggles, and our possibilities as believers. From a state of fear, weakness, and insecurity, Gideon emerged as Israel’s hero, filled with God’s presence and His passion for deliverance. This study will encourage you to recognize your weakness as the key that the Lord gives you to unlock the full experience of His strength in your life. In what ways do you feel insufficient? Those places create the greatest opportunity to experience the sufficiency of God. Instead of ignoring, neglecting, or trying to escape your weaknesses, see them as the gifts that they are, given specifically and strategically by God to unlock the door of God’s strength. –Back cover
If you’re in the area, we’d love for you to join us. A dynamic study, warm fellowship, a blazing fire and hot cups of coffee await!
Interested? Simply leave a comment on the blog (if I already have your contact info), email me, or Facebook message me for further information.
We recently finished up our community Bible study, Nehemiah…A Heart That Can Break, by Kelly Minter.
Obviously when a group studies a particular book in the Bible one can’t go wrong. Every word is profitable. Not one returns void. Each syllable, exhaled by our living and active God.
Each Bible study author, however, has their own way of bringing to light what God lays on their heart via thought provoking questions and insights shared in their unique voice. And it’s Kelly Minter’s voice/style that our group especially enjoyed.
Sometimes the most accomplished people aren’t the ones with the most ability but with the most breakable hearts.
If we view our sin as a minor infringement we will view God’s forgiveness with equal mediocrity. We can’t appreciate the great cost of forgiveness if we think our sin barely needed it in the first place.
Even well-meaning people can unintentionally draw us away from God’s will in our lives.
We expect enemies to wound us, but wounds from a relative or loved one inflict hurt inside the private property lines of our souls.
This single focus of Nehemiah simultaneously convicts and inspires me as I consider the ways I am so easily drawn away from what God has put in my heart to do.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Nehemiah’s enemies unleashed threats, lies, and an onslaught of intimidation when he and his people were just inches from the finish line.
How easily I can put the ministry of people above the people themselves. The subtle temptation to exalt the “wall” of study, returning e-mails, planning events, and even putting together a meal for a Bible study over actual people is the most counterproductive traps we can slide into.
Is it any wonder why we’re already planning to go with another Kelly Minter study later this year? Hint: Esther.
Who are some other Bible study authors you would suggest we (and other groups) give a try?
I plopped down on Lifeway’s blue armless chair, arms filled with the latest bible studies, and bowed my head. I mean, one can’t go wrong in choosing a study as long as we’re in the Word, right? In the big picture, I believe this to be true—but I also believe God is in the details of our personal lives. So I pray.
Lord, You alone know who will attend this study. You alone know our true journey — where we are, where we desire to be, our strengths, our weaknesses, our everything. Pour out Your wisdom and direct me clearly in choosing our next study, as I am confident You have a purpose and a plan for each of us.
And pour out He did. Two hours, and nearly fifteen studies later, one study stood out: Abide in Christ, by Andrew Murray and Bo Stevens.
“It would be easy to study this parable to gain more knowledge, but this was not our Lord’s intent when He shared this parable with His disciples. His intent was for them to experience an abiding relationship in Him. He has the same intent for you and me today. He wants us to learn to abide, not simply learn what it means to abide.” -Bo Stevens
This modern-day version of Andrew Murray’s The True Vine invites us to dive in the Word throughout the week and come up for air on Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m.
While the study itself is only 6 weeks, we will have an introduction the first week, and on our final week, we’ll come together for a very special Vine & the Branches tea party that you’ll not want to miss.
Begins: Tuesday, September 4th Ends: Tuesday, October 23 Time: 6:30-7:45 p.m. Place: Be Encouraged Ministry House, Simpsonville Led by Cathy Baker and Becky Kirby
We’d love to see you there!
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