When Ordinary Disguises the Divine

Ordinary is often the disguise of the divine. – Priscilla Shirer, Gideon
I love how Jesus [the angel of the LORD] met Gideon in the midst of his mundane task of beating out wheat. (Judges 6:11, 12)
Jesus didn’t meet me on the threshing floor (or in a wine press!) this past week, but He did encounter me in some ordinary ways:

  • A blanket of snow [the importance of stillness, Psalm 46:10]
  • Coffee with a friend [the blessings of friendship]
  • Spotting a cardinal atop a snow-laden branch while washing dishes [beauty]
  • Walking through my home [thankfulness]
  • Family time in the snow [sheer joy]
  • Smiles on my grandchildren’s faces [gifts from the Lord, Jas 1:17]

“Having your spiritual radar up in consistent anticipation of His presence—even in the midst of the joyful chaos and regular rhythms of your everyday living—is paramount in hearing God, because sometimes the place and manner you find Him is the least spectacular you’d expect.” -Priscilla Shirer

How have you encountered God in the midst of an ordinary day? I’d love to hear about it!


Unlocking God’s Strength in Your Weakness

I’m delighted to announce our NEW study!

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. 

– photo courtesy of LifeWay Christian Resources

Unpacking our Internal Bags

This week’s “Wow!” moment in Jonah:

“We can pack our internal bags just as quickly as Jonah packed his and be on a boat headed in the opposite direction of God’s will even while we are in the throes of everyday life.” – Priscilla Shirer

Would you agree that running from God is easier to spot if buying a ticket to Tarshish, but a bit more difficult when it’s our heart/mind that’s doing the packing?

I may not hold a ticket in my hand, but I am, unfortunately, much like Jonah when it comes to mentally running from God. Perhaps we’re not alone in this boat?

  • We properly position our bottoms, Bibles, and bible studies for quiet time—all the external necessities in place—without realizing that our heart, the one internal necessity, is playing hooky.
  • We go to church, but rather than expecting God’s presence to be active, alive, and eager to speak, we perceive a faint mental click in the background, signaling the proverbial ✓ being placed in the “I went to church this week” box instead.
  • God prompts us to speak truth, shift priorities, __________ (fill in the blank), but instead of running towards God’s desires, we choose instead to get busy, avoid prayer and other believers, or dive into a new addiction (do Junior Mints count?).

To unlock the internal luggage, we simply need to confess to God the specific ways we’ve tried to flee (He already knows!), ask for forgiveness, receive it, and head for the Ninevah God has planned for each of us. No luggage required!

I begin this week with a fresh appreciation in knowing there is no place—physically, emotionally, or spiritually—that my heavenly Father is not already there. (Psalm 139)

How about you?

– Photo courtesy of Lifegroup413.org

Interruption or Divine Intervention?

I’m not a fan of the interrupted life (unless your name is Piper, of course!) There it is. I said it.

But what if my perceived interruption is actually divine intervention? Enter the study of Jonah.

Becky Kirby and I are eager to meet and greet the 25+ women who’ve signed up for this study, which kicks off Tuesday night. Below is but a nibble from the smorgasbord of truth that awaits:

Power-packed principles:

  • Interruptions only become positive when we consider the person or circumstances to be more significant than what currently occupies our attention.
  • A life interrupted by a holy God is a privilege.
  • Your story begins with God’s call. It is not your legacy or lack thereof that makes you significant. It is God’s call and your willingness to obey it.
  • Making sense of what God has asked or feeling compelled to cooperate cannot be the prerequisite for choosing obedience. His Word must be enough.

The quote that plunged the deepest through my steel-toed shoes: If you find yourself balking at God’s instructions in your life, it is an indication of the importance you place on God and His will.

Our final word of encouragement to attendees (and ourselves) as we approach Tuesday night: Come anticipating — fully expecting — God to speak, to move, and to divinely intervene on your behalf.

It’s never too late to join us!

Ladies’ Study in Jonah Begins February 21

What do we do when God interrupts our lives? Many times, like Jonah, we run! In this 7-session Bible study, Priscilla redefines interruption and shows that interruption is actually God’s invitation to do something beyond our wildest dreams. When Jonah was willing to allow God to interrupt his life, the result was revival in an entire city. -Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted, by Priscilla Shirer

How do you suppose our lives would change if we chose to see daily interruptions as divine opportunities?

I look forward to finding out, beginning Tuesday, February 21st, as the Ladies’ Community Bible study group gathers in a beautiful turn-of-the-century home in downtown Simpsonville to study the book of Jonah over a hot cup of coffee and sweet fellowship.

Throughout the week, participants will have a small amount of daily study time in the workbooks. On Tuesday nights, 6:30-7:45 p.m., we’ll come together to discuss the truths we’ve learned (no one is put on the spot to share). Lifeway has plenty of workbooks in stock ($11.95). You’ll want to have the first week completed prior to our first gathering on February 21st. The study will be completed by the end of March.

Becky Kirby and I will be co-leading this session and we invite ladies of all ages to come join us!

We’d love to see you there!

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