NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
In late 2000 the Lord placed within my heart a ravenous hunger for studying the Bible. Honestly, I had no idea how to do it and do it effectively. Oh sure, I had been in church since 9 months before I breathed earth’s air, but had only spent a year or so doing any sort of study of the Scriptures. Yet, in those days in 2000 I knew that I MUST begin to study God’s Word.
Thankfully, I had a friend who had done a Beth Moore Bible study and she, too, was experiencing the same hunger as I. We prayed a lot and with the Lord’s leading organized a small ladies’ Bible study group. We began with Beth Moore’s study, Jesus, The One and Only.
Y’all, I was like a starving person who had just pulled up to a banquet table laden with every food imaginable. I was like a dry sponge who had been submerged in a sink of water. I could not get enough of the Word of God. I would spend at least an hour a day drinking in the sweet taste of Scripture. My faith began growing and my heart began changing into one that looked more like that of Jesus.
That is what the study of God’s Word will do for you. An expanding faith and softened heart.
Seventeen years later, I still cannot get enough Bible in my heart. God’s Word is living and active and speaks into any situation in my life. It is my corrector, my comforter, my teacher, my encourager. In good times and bad I run to Scripture for sustenance.
Over the years, I have used many different methods for studying Scripture. That is why I am so, so excited about my friend, Arabah Joy’s, new resource Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days. Because really, Burger King was onto something when they used the “have it your way” slogan for 40 years. Bible study is not a one size fits all thing. The method that I use to study God’s Word may not appeal to you and vice versa. AJ has put together a resource that I believe will be the BOMB to many people who are unsure of how to study the Bible. It will also provide new and different ways to do Bible study for those of us who are Bible study veterans and anything in between.
Let me tell you a bit more about this exciting resource.
This 7-day course will:
- teach you 7 different Bible study methods
- streamline the learning process so you don’t spend weeks or months figuring it out
- give you tools for going deep into God’s word in as little as ten minutes a day (perfect for busy moms!)
- provide ready made templates and printables you can choose from
- show you exactly how to do each method with the daily videos
- revolutionize your time in God’s word and discover fresh intimacy with God in the process.
- equip you to nourish yourself with the Scriptures
- teach you how to develop your spiritual senses
- help you establish a Bible study habit!
Plus, you can go at your own pace and you’ll have lifetime access to the course materials.
What’s not to love about that!
Bible study is one of those things about which I am dogmatic. There is NO OTHER WAY to grow your faith and develop a relationship with Jesus than the study of God’s Word. Period. It just will not happen if you do not study the Bible. You will remain a spiritual baby without Bible study.
So, are you ready to learn new ways to study the Scriptures? If so, I want to invite you to purchase Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days and get started on your own journey to intimacy and vibrant faith in Christ. Simply click the links in this post and you will be taken to AJ’s website where there is lots more information about this resource.
BONUS: Arabah Joy is offering a BONUS for everyone who purchases Bible Study Methods this week. It is a 6 week Bible Study Plan for the book of Ephesians using the 7 methods taught during the course. How awesome is that!!
I, too, want to reward you for taking a step toward a deeper walk with Jesus and here is how I am going to do it.
First, if you purchase Bible Study Methods using my links in this post, I have a FREE resource that I will send you. It is a listing of 11 Bible studies that I recommend. All you have to do to get it is send me (via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, direct message, text, carrier pigeon!) proof of purchase of Bible Study Methods. That’s it. Then I will email you the 11 Bible Studies resource.
Second, everyone who purchases BSM this week using my links will be entered to win a copy of any of the Bible studies that I have written (you choose the study): HeBrews: A Better Blend, Tasting Grace: A Mentoring in the Kitchen Bible Study, or Legacy: It’s What You Leave Behind. In order to be entered to win, however, you must leave me a comment here telling me you purchased or email me at email@example.com.
Sweet blessings, friends, as you study God’s precious Word!
When I was a tiny child I had horrible tonsils that kept me sick with a sore throat for most of the first five years of my life. At the age of 5 I underwent surgery to remove the offending tonsils and suddenly I could eat. I ate and ate and ate. In fact, I gained no small amount of weight in a short period of time.
At that point, my sweet Mother, whose intentions were pure and good, began her campaign to make certain I did not become ‘fat’. ‘Fat’ became a word that eventually engulfed me like a disease.
“You cannot have that. It will make you fat.”
“Bread…corn…potatoes…dessert… is fattening.”
I adored food, but food soon became the enemy. By the time I was 18 I was in the throes of an eating disorder, and the demons of anorexia quickly took the message that my Mother had spoken to a whole new and devastating level.
Fat = unacceptable = unlovable
Suddenly love had strings attached to it which led me to do things that I should never have done in order to obtain ‘love’ from humans. I brought my strings-attached love into my marriage and that was disastrous on many levels. Thankfully, my marriage survived and I eventually understood that ‘I will love you if….’ is not genuine love.
In Romans 12:9 Paul speaks of the kind of love that should be part of the life of an authentic Christian.
Let love be genuine. (ESV)
Love must be completely sincere. (GNV)
Love must be sincere. (NIV)
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. (NLT)
Obviously Jesus is our model for this kind of love. He loved sincerely, without strings or hypocrisy. He did not pretend to love those with whom He came in contact. He loved them in spite of. He loved them…..
when they were fat.
when they were tall or short.
when they complained.
when they were filthy rich.
when they were dirt poor.
when they were sick.
when they were legalistic.
when they were dirty rotten sinners….like me.
Jesus loved sincerely.
Perhaps you, like me, have a history of love with strings attached. Guess what? Jesus can take that kind of love and turn it into a love in spite of. That is the kind of love Jesus has for you and me. Surely you and I can love other people in the same way.
So, tell me. What kind of love resides in your heart? Be honest now!
NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links.
Here a few links to some great books that go along with my post theme today.
Today is the final day of the re-launch of my Legacy Bible study and I am honored to be sharing over at Jen Stults’ blog. Jen is more than just a friend. She is the designer behind the new look for Legacy and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out.
Here is a little taste of what I am offering at Jen’s blog today…..
Very few of us will have a book written or a movie made about our lives. Most of us will go from day to day living out a normal (whatever that means) life with its undulating highs and lows. The vast majority of us will never have even as much as a one-column newspaper article written about the space between our birth and our death. So, why should we be too jacked up over our legacy?
Today I am sharing about legacy, faith, and mustard seeds over at Jen’s blog. I would love for you to click here and join me there.
PS: There is a GIVEAWAY there!
The first speaking engagement God allowed me was on Valentine’s Day weekend in 2008 at Macedonia Baptist Church in Hiawassee, Georgia. The event was the church’s annual widow’s brunch, at which time the church honored those church ladies who had lost their husbands to death. As I prayed and asked the Lord to give me a topic and Scripture that would speak to that particular audience, I sensed that He wanted me to focus on the topic of “legacy.” Most of the ladies who were being honored were older and had seen quite a few years come and go. There would certainly be a wealth of wisdom and some godly legacies among them.
My focal Scripture for that event was 2 Timothy 1:3–5, in which the apostle Paul reminded young Timothy of the great legacy of faith that belonged to Timothy through his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois. This seemed like a fitting topic and passage of Scripture on which to focus for a group of ladies who were still active and spiritually seeking, even if it was without their life partners.
My fifteen-minute message was well received, and I went home feeling that I had pleased the Lord with what I had done. Little did I know that this topic of legacy would become what author Margaret Feinberg calls a “sacred echo” in my life. Repeatedly over the course of the next two years, the topic of legacy would surface. Time and again, the Lord made it evident that this message about creating a godly legacy would be the message that I would offer to one ladies’ group after another. Each time I have taught this message, the Lord has given me new information and Scriptures to add to it. In fact, this message has become my hallmark message, for it is based on the things that God has taught me over the course of fifty-one years of doing this thing called life.
We live in a world that is all about the here and now rather than the there and then. Our mottos are “if it feels good, do it” and “it’s all about me.” The simple fact is that it is not all about us. I see generations of young girls and women who have never been taught the importance of a noble character or the value of “shunning the very appearance of evil.” Today our young women are learning about character and holiness from mainstream fashion and lifestyle magazines. To our shame, Christian women have planted themselves comfortably in soft pews in white-washed churches and allow the world to teach its values to our young women. We, the body and bride of Christ, should be the ones teaching our young women how to be women of faith who believe in Jesus Christ; women who exhibit noble character and holiness before God.
This is our calling in this generation. This is why I wrote Legacy.
Have I always made all the right choices to create a godly legacy? No, I have not, yet God has faithfully and lovingly corrected and guided me. Every day offers opportunities to make choices that reflect God’s presence in my life….or not. My prayer is that I make more godly choices than not; that my character reflects more of Christ than not; that my faith is stronger than the day before, yet not as strong as it will be tomorrow.
What about you? Are you being intentional in the creation of your legacy?
May I leave you with a quote about choosing to live a holy life that resonates deeply in my soul? It is from Jerry Bridges book The Pursuit of Holiness and I quote it in the Legacy Bible study.
“It is time for us Christians to face up to our responsibility for holiness. Too often we say we are ‘defeated’ by this sin or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient! It might be well if we stopped using the terms ‘victory’ and ‘defeat’ to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms ‘obedience’ and ‘disobedience’ … when I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from under my responsibility. I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me.”
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
Today, as part of the re-launch of my Legacy Bible study, I am sharing a story that should give us all cause for pause. There is also a giveaway of the Legacy Bible study going on over on my Instagram page. I am leahadams64 on IG.
Dr. Frank Cox of North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia, tells the story about one woman’s legacy in his book entitled, Legacy: One Life to Live. Dr. Cox received a call from a local funeral director telling him about a 52-year-old lady who had died. She was new to the area, and did not have a church home. The family had heard about Dr. Cox and wanted him to conduct her funeral service. Dr. Cox agreed to do the service. Here is the rest of the story in Dr. Cox’s own words.
“The funeral would be at 11:00 the next morning. I rehearsed the Baptist funeral on my way to the funeral home. You probably know it well. Mama loved Jesus. Mama gave her life to Christ. The Scripture says, absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
“I arrived at the funeral home my customary ten minutes before the hour. I was greeted at the front door by the funeral director who took me and introduced me to the husband of the deceased and their two grown children. After a few condolences, I asked if we could go to the conference room for a minute so I could ask a few questions in order to make the memorial services as personal as I could.
“As we entered the room, I took a seat at the head of the conference table with the husband at the opposite end. The two children sat on each side. “Sir” I said, “I want to make this as personal as possible. I noticed your wife was Baptist. Please tell me when she received Christ as her personal Savior.” To be honest, I was not prepared for what I was about the hear.
“He said, “Received Christ? Preacher, we are pagans. We don’t believe in that Jesus garbage and whatever you do, please don’t bring Jesus up in this funeral today.” Immediately my nice little funeral message flew right out the window. What was I to do?
“My father, a Baptist preacher, always taught me when you are in doubt, put the question back to them. “Well, sir, what do you want me to say for your friends who have gathered to remember your wife?”
“The husband thought for a moment, looked at his children and then responded. ‘Tell them she loved race cars.”
“Mama loved race cars.” I kept flipping through my Bible to see what God’s Word said about race cars.”
Most of us will never be in the predicament in which Dr. Cox found himself. The question he asked the family of his dear women, however, is one we must consider.
What will the person who preaches your funeral say about you? How will those who sit in the pews at your funeral remember you?
I don’t know about you, friend, but I want to be remembered for more than loving race cars. Or books. Or food. Or traveling. Or __________________ (you fill in the blank).
I want to be remembered for loving JESUS.
Psalm 145: 4-7 offers some words on which we might consider hanging our Legacy hat today.
One generation shall commend your works to another,
And shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
And on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
And I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness,
And shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
Your legacy. What will the preacher who stands over your casket say about you? Will he or she be able to say that your life commended Jesus to the next generation? Every choice you make, every word you utter, every act you perform is all part of your legacy. So what will it be?
Race cars or Jesus?
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
NOTE: The names of the winners of the Wednesday Legacy giveaway are posted on the Wednesday post. If you did not win, be sure and enter the other giveaways that will happen today and next week!
The word legacy is never used in the Word of God, yet the concept permeates the Bible. Synonyms for legacy include inheritance, birthright, bequest, and heritage. The words inheritance, birthright, and bequest cause one to think of money or property being handed down. In contrast the words ‘legacy’ or ‘heritage’ bring to mind things handed down that lie in the realm of the spiritual or moral.
Today I would like to share part of the legacy that I call my own. On April 7, 1936, Wayne Edward Colwell was born to Frank and Eula Colwell in Blairsville, GA. He would be their only child and was watched over and protected fiercely, especially by his mother.
Only moments old, he struggled to live, and at one point was wrapped in a blanket and “laid out for dead,” as the old-timers used to say. It was only when one of his aunts noticed the blanket moving that the family realized he was very much alive. A few months later, he would struggle with a serious case of pneumonia that threatened his life. Yet by God’s grace, he overcame that as well.
In June of 1952, Wayne became very sick and was diagnosed with polio at the age of 16. He spent weeks at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where he endured excruciating spinal taps and other medical procedures necessary to diagnose and treat this horrendous disease.
Ultimately, polio would leave him unable to walk without the aid of a full leg brace and crutches. His parents could only see him once a week while he was at Grady, and this contributed all the more to his mother’s overprotective spirit. After several weeks at Grady, he was moved to Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center, where he spent several months learning to live with the residual effects of polio. He was told that he would never walk again and would be forced to spend the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair.
Just home from Warm Springs ~ 16 years old
After coming home, Eula would have waited on Wayne hand and foot had she been allowed. However, Wayne had learned a measure of independence at Warm Springs, and he was determined that he would not allow his handicap to disable him. He finished high school, attended Young Harris College, and obtained his broker’s license to sell real estate. In his real estate business, he often needed to walk the properties that he was buying or selling, and with the aid of the full leg brace to keep his atrophied leg straight and crutches to keep him upright, he did just that. He achieved great success in the real estate business and also served a term as the sole commissioner of the county where he lived.
Not only was he successful in business, but he was a wonderful father to his two daughters and husband to his wife, Bobbie. His life evidenced his love for Jesus, and he volunteered untold hours mowing the grass for First Baptist Church in Blairsville. His passion was to see young people encouraged in their walk with Christ, and he gave generously to the youth program at First Baptist.
On the day of his memorial service in October of 2004, over 800 people stood in line for several hours to pay their respects to Wayne. His family heard story after story of how he had helped people in the community in a very quiet way.
“He paid my mortgage payment to keep me from losing my home.”
“Wayne came by the appliance store, purchased a washer and dryer, and told me to deliver them to so-and-so. He told me never to tell who paid for them.”
Over and over, the stories were shared. These stories evidenced a life well lived—a life that left a legacy of hard work, integrity, perseverance, wisdom, and love for his Lord and his fellow man.
May 2004 ~ The Colwell Family
Wayne was my Daddy, and over the years, I watched him function as well as any man who had two good legs. He provided very well for our family, when he could have easily given up and depended on charity or the government to support us. He was a respected businessman whom people trusted because of his honesty and integrity. He worked hard and persevered in spite of his handicap. God gave to him wisdom, keen insight, and vision, and he used them to be the man God desired for him to be. It was from my daddy’s example that I learned about perseverance, hard work, and integrity.
People are watching us each and every day of our lives. As we go about our days, we are—either consciously or unconsciously—setting an example for others. In the things that we do and say, we are writing our story on the lives that surround us.
Have you considered the story you are writing on the lives of those surrounding you? Share a legacy story from your family with us in the comments today.
This story is found in week 1 of the Legacy Bible Study.
Today, I am giving away two copies of Legacy (one print version and one Kindle version) over on the Legacy FB page. Simply go to the page and LIKE it, then leave a comment on the page telling me whether you prefer the print version or the Kindle version and you will be entered to win when I draw two names on Sunday morning.
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.