Why the Wait?

On Tuesday, our Equip Her leaders gathered to get ready for our fall session which starts in just 5 days!! Shereen had this to share with us. Are you waiting on something? If so, I know her words will speak to you as they did to me.

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I’ve discovered something about myself – a latent but growing desire. I like to rummage!

Webster’s dictionary uses these words to describe RUMMAGE: “To discover by searching, a thorough investigation.”

Yep, I like to search and discover what I consider to be “treasures.”

Others might call them “junk.” But to me, there is potential and promise in them.

I was on an outdoor rummage through cluster of old trees a few months ago. I was looking for pieces of worn and weathered wood. It didn’t take long to pick up a load of cast-off bark and rotten logs, and I was ready to head home. Then I stepped on a lump under the grass. It was a grey lump that looked like wood but I was afraid it might be a hornet hive that had fallen!

So, I moved on . . .  only a few steps, though.  Then I came back. The rummage gene had taken over my fear of being stung by a nest full of hornets!

I kicked it – hollow.

I pulled the grass away – nothing flew out at me.

I grabbed a stick and pried up the chunk.

Gratefully, it was an old piece of tree. Half was missing, dissolved into the ground, eaten by bugs. But the half that remained was beautiful.

I took my treasures home to de-bug and clean up.

For weeks, I answered the question, “What are you doing with that old wood on the picnic table?!” I even had to save my “treasures” from being burned a few times.

Finally, I was ready to seal the wood –to preserve the beauty and find a new use for it in my house. (I have my eye on some succulents.)img_20160908_061807519

I saw potential in that old wood. For me, rummaging holds the promise of hidden beauty revealed . . . a re-purposing of something discarded.

I’ve been reading the whole Bible through this year and it’s like a rummage too.

  • There are old stories that I’ve forgotten– remember the talking donkey?
  • timeless truths buried–I had no idea how many times “a wise woman” saved God’s people
  • and there is a hopeful truth that God’s timing is not our timing. God loves to let us WAIT.

Waiting isn’t a bad thing. The passage of time in a matter doesn’t mean God has forgotten or left us out. More likely, it means He’s working on something truly amazing!

Job declared from the middle of his ash heap:  “But He knows where I am going. And when He tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths, I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food.” Job 23:10-12

Then a little later, when he recalled the power of God on the earth, Job exclaimed – “And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” Job 26:14

Job waited well, yes?

Having lost everything–every crop, animal, dwelling, child, every moment of rest and ease, emotionally and physically–with no good explanations, no blame or recourse, Job waited with HOPE and trust in God’s timing.

There are things I have waited for, prayed for, surrendered to God to handle. And I can say that I have followed God’s ways, not turning aside but treasuring His Words more than daily food.

And God seems to be saying . . .  those surrendered things are logs, lying among the trees–dormant. But even those logs are being transformed, changed from the inside out. God is thundering and moving in ways I can’t understand.

And it’s like He whispers–someday there will be a rummage and you will see the promise and the purpose. And, yes, the beauty of waiting.

Mind if I pray for us?

God-of-my-waiting ~ Forgive me for the times I tried to rush ahead of your ways. Settle my heart on what you hold dear and make me a patient woman. Perhaps someone reading this today is also waiting– give her courage and steady hope. We’re not experiencing this life alone, so give us a place to share and understand You together. Until that day when we step into Your eternal Presence and time will be no more, help us to find beauty in this waiting room.

 

 

 

Top 5 Reasons to Join EquipHer

Our fall session of Equip Her Women’s Bible studies is just around the corner, and we’d love to have you join us. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should:

  1. 10253963_10151978069536394_4558668043187102239_nIt’ll be FUN! Though I can’t guarantee someone won’t dangle a donut above your head at some point during the year, I CAN promise it won’t happen on your first day. I can also promise you plenty of laughter. And there might even be food!
  2. tuesdaysYou’ll make new FRIENDS. Guaranteed. No matter your age, no matter your season of life, there will be women  each week to greet you with a friendly smile and make you feel at home. We love meeting new people and can’t wait to meet you!
  3. DSCN1809The WORSHIP will impact your life. Whether it’s singing His praises together or listening to women praise Him with their life stories, when we turn our focus to God, our lives are changed.mums share
  4. You’ll find prayer warriors who will pray with you and for you. PRAYER is an integral part of our time together. Our prayer groups are safe places to share life’s struggles and talk to the ONE who can give us the answers.
  5. You will KNOW our God better. Isn’t that the true purpose of bible study? To know Him better? Proverbs 1: 1, 4-5 promises: My child, if you receive my words, and store up my commands within you . . .  if you seek it like silver, and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand how to fear the Lord,and you will discover knowledge about God.”

It’s not too late to register for a class this fall. For registration details and a class schedule, click HERE. We hope to see you soon in Equip Her!

Classes That Fit Your Life

Life is busy. I get that.

As I looked at my own calendar, hoping to find an opening for sharingcrossed_out_calendar life-on-life with other women who love Jesus, I noticed the times I came to church. Often I walked into church and back out again without talking to anyone. On Wednesday nights when I dropped my kids off at youth group, then left to get groceries. On Sunday mornings when I slipped into church just as the music was starting, then left during the closing song.

Busy life can be lonely. I get that too.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Now there’s a place for us to connect –IMG_20160601_185616420_HDR

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        life-on-life

                Jesus-in-the-middle

at times when we’re already at church!

Each group is wonderfully unique and open to women of any age. Whether this is your first Bible study or your fiftieth, there’s something for YOU!  I say that with confidence because we study a living, active Word of God that’s always fresh when we open ourselves to learning from His Spirit.

Check out these classes:

Wednesday Nights:  September 14 – December 07, 6:30PM – 8:00PM

1 Kings: A Divided Heart/A Divided Nation // Teacher: Denise Davis This verse-by-verse study focuses on the reign of King Solomon and the lessons to be learned from the life of a man who “had it all” – wisdom, wealth, power – and yet allowed his heart to be turned from God. See how the effects on his kingdom relate to our culture today.

Cost: $18 (workbook included).

Homework: 60 min/week using Precepts method of study.

Childcare and AdventureLand Kids’ Clubs available.

Sunday Mornings:  September 18 – December 04, 9:00AM – 10:15AM

What Love Is: A Study in 1, 2, 3 John // Facilitators: Marlys Burgett & Shereen Schwaninger Sunday morning is your place to connect with other women and engage God’s Word! As we study the letters of 1, 2, and 3 John, we’ll explore what it means to consistently follow Jesus and walk in the Truth while we navigate our secular culture. Join us each week for a DVD study with Kelly Minter, guest speakers, activities and small group time.

Cost: $13 (workbook included).

Homework: 15 min/day.

Register online at: http://lincolnberean.org/happenings/women

 

Classes for All Women

ehworship (2)While Tuesday Mornings are a great place for young mothers to gather, that’s not our only purpose. The goal of EquipHer is to offer bible studies and a place of community for women of all ages and in all walks of life. In fact, one of the things I love most about Tuesday Mornings is seeing women ages 20 to 90 gather together during our opening worship time. In addition to our classes designed specifically for mothers with children still at home (see last week’s post), we will offer the following two classes designed for ALL women in our Tuesday Morning time slot this fall.

EPIC OF EDEN 

Teacher Sara Eyster has this to say about her class: “This video study offers a unique opportunity for a deeply substantive and profound spiritual exploration of the Old Testament.

Martin Luther exclaimed, “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me, it has hands, it lays hold on me . . . ” 

The Epic of Eden video series by renowned Bible scholar, Sandra Richter Ph.D. (Wheaton College faculty), uses the things we already know about scripture and speaks into our lives in personal ways, touching on our questions and needs.  That new knowledge runs after us daily giving us new confidence in the God we call Father, Friend, Redeemer – Yahweh.  Greater confidence lays hold on our lives building faith that promises to see us safely home.

Come with us on this Emmaus Road experience and agree with the disciples in Luke 24:32, “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 

There is a small amount of daily homework, some Bible study and some personal reflection.  Chocolates and kleenex are provided for when your own heart burns at what you are discovering about our God.”

FEARLESS: A STUDY OF DANIEL

I will be teaching this class on Tuesday Mornings and would love to have you join me. Like many of you, I grew up on stories from Daniel. I remember singing along with my other Sunday School pals, “dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone.”  I liked how brave that all sounded, but deep down inside, I knew I wasn’t brave at all. By nature I’m timid . . . cautious . . . reluctant to take risks of any kind. The Davids and Daniels of the Bible were way out of my league. Having the courage to stand my ground sounded all well and good, but I knew the minute a lion came my way, I’d be hightailing it in the other direction.

Maybe that’s what drew me back to the book of Daniel. There are hundreds of lions in our world today, aren’t there? Terrorists, snipers, unfit leaders, physical and mental illnesses, addictions, depression, angry neighbors, hurting (and hurtful) friends. Some days it takes every ounce of our courage just to get up out of bed. So what was Daniel’s secret? How DO we live FEARLESS in a fearful world?

As I delved into Daniel this summer, I began to realize the book wasn’t about Daniel and his character at all. This was a book about Daniel’s GOD. A quote from another summer study keeps coming to mind:

“If you are struggling to move forward in obedience to God, you do not need bigger faith. You just need to realize how big your God is.” [Priscilla Shirer, The Armor of God]

So what did Daniel know about God that allowed him to live with confidence—a confidence so bold it influenced the most powerful leaders of his day, a confidence so firm it remained unshaken through 8 decades of turmoil and loss? I can’t wait to walk with some of you through this book as we find out.

To register for any of our EQUIPHER classes, click HERE. Childcare is available for all Tuesday Morning classes. Space is limited so early registration is encouraged.

 

 

 

Classes for Moms

mums prizes2Over the next few weeks, we will be taking an in-depth look at the EquipHer Bible Study classes we’ll be offering this fall. Registration is now open online. For a quick overview of our offerings, click HERE. Then, if you are still undecided on which class to take, check our blog for the next three weeks as we share more specifically what each class will offer.

Today we’ll look at the classes designed specifically for MOTHERS.

MumsColor-01If you’ve been a part of our Tuesday Morning bible studies in the past, you are probably familiar with MUMs. Many of us got our start there. I still remember the fall of 1995 (Ouch. Yes, it’s been that long!) how excited I was to join the MUMs community with my six-month-old son. Designed for mothers of preschoolers, MUMs is the perfect place to connect with other new moms who are also dealing with diapers, sleep deprivation, and the demands of toddlers. Here you will learn to apply God’s word to your marriage and parenthood. You will also develop friendships that will last a lifetime. The focus for this semester is “Mothering–a High and Holy Calling.” The class will feature different topics and speakers each week. You will learn what God’s Word has to say about leaving a legacy, spiritual gifts, budgeting, grief and disappointments, and intentional living, just to name a few. Also built into the morning is plenty of time for community (i.e. FOOD and TALKING without child interruptions). Facilitated by Laurie Harms and class shepherd, Pat Folds, MUMs is a safe and welcoming environment and a great place to grow as a mom.
SelahImage2-11New this year is a class for mothers who have moved beyond the pre-school stage into the uncharted waters of elementary, middle and high school. Here’s what teachers Renee Meyer and Stacey Kuszak have to say about their class:

“For years we have longed for a class like MUMS, except one designed for the ever-changing stage of life we are now in. The stage where kids grow steadily toward the teenager years and beyond. The stage where life gets busy and sometimes hard things happen. The stage where you still want to follow God and be intentional with your kids and husband but suddenly don’t know how. Selah is a dream come true.

We chose the name Selah because in the Bible this Hebrew word is used, often in the Psalms, to indicate a pause. It signals the reader to reflect and think on what was previously said. These days, more than ever, mothers need to hit the pause button on life. We need intentional time with our God. We need a community where we can reflect on what He is teaching us.

That is our prayer for this group, that it would be a community of women who pause to pursue God in motherhood. We trust our time spent with God will overflow into intentional relationships with our kids, our husbands, our coworkers, and our neighbors. Motherhood is a high and holy calling. It’s also a long and hard calling. We need a safe, authentic community of women who can encourage, teach, support, and sharpen each other.

We are starting our Selah time together with a study we wrote, “The Call of Jesus.” Each week this Fall, we will look at a different call or command Jesus made to His followers: to follow Him, to come to Him, to trust Him, to see Him, to abide in Him, to remember Him, to love Him, and to love others. We will study these words of Jesus, hoping to hear Him clearly and respond to Him fully. And we will have a safe place to talk about what answering Jesus’ call looks like in our lives as women, wives, mothers, neighbors, co-workers, friends.

We are so excited to go on this journey with you—responding to the call of Jesus, and finding a safe place to pause. Thanks for coming with us!”

Childcare is available for all Tuesday Morning classes. Space is limited so early registration is encouraged.

Final Thoughts: Armor of God

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By Marlys Burgett This is our last time together. I’ve done multiple Bible studies over many years, yet this has probably been one of my favorites! Has it been so for you too? What has made it meaningful for me … Continue reading