Week 8: 2 Thess. 2:15 {Stand Firm, My Friends}

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15, NIV). 

I have this week’s memory verse posted in several places of our home. It has continued to serve me with the needed reminder to stand firm and hold fast to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Even though I finished week 8 many weeks ago, I haven’t been able to take it down.

It has provided necessary encouragement, throughout the difficult days, when giving up seems tempting.

Stand firm literally means to keep one standing. In order to stand our ground, we must remember the hope we have found in Jesus Christ. We cannot allow circumstances to cause us to waiver either to the left or right, if God has called us to a specific thing. Let’s trust Him and obey Him in that specific thing.

In order to persist, we need to remember Jesus Christ’s word – which has lovingly been given to us. While in the Bible we are taught many things about God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the life He is lovingly calling us too, this is where the Holy Spirit steps in. In many different scenarios I cannot tell you what God is calling you to do, but God definitely is able to do exceedingly more than you could ever ask Him to do.

He promises us wisdom when we ask for it, gives us the resolve to stand strong, and helps us to continue on. A message we all, including me, need to hear – because we can get weary at times. God is calling us to stand strong in our faith. It is impossible to do this, when we are not allowing ourselves the necessary time spent in His presence and reading our Bible.

Keep listening for His voice, as you persevere and seek Him above all things.

This is definitely one truth we need to hold close to our heart, as we seek to live out the truths we learn in the Thessalonians.

See Psalm 46:1; Proverbs 3:5-6; Eph. 3:20; James 1:5

Check It Out!

(Email readers, please note that this blog post contains links you might miss unless you view this post on the website at http://www.gracefullyovercoming.me)

It has taken me nearly eight months, but finally you have an easy place to view other articles I have written that don’t make it to Gracefully Overcoming. Typically, I share these articles on GO’s Facebook page. Yet, I forget or become oblivious on the “how to” in sharing these articles right here on the blog.

Anyhow, now you have the opportunity to view these almost “top secret” articles. While visiting my website, click on SOG Articles and it will take you directly to my author page through Servants of Grace.

You will be blessed beyond measure, as you stroll through this ministry’s content. The best thing about it is: you will receive amazing biblically sound teaching, through this ministry. Coming in at second best is: there’s nothing to pay for – like other ministries who have to cover the cost of their ministries. You don’t have to jump through hoops to find this biblically sound teaching on Servants of Grace.

Go check them out, even if you have never heard of this ministry before.

The founder of SOG is very passionate about the Word of God, and ensures everything is going to line up with the Word of God.

Not only is it completely biblical sound (which should be any Christian reader’s biggest concern, by the way), SOG has all kinds of things, which are all designed for you and your Christian walk to benefit.

Concerning GO and our ministry right here on Gracefully Overcoming – including our beautiful Thessalonians’ study: Be sure to check back in a day or two, where we will be studying this week’s memory verse – which is. . .

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for
this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-
18).

Click here for our Thessalonians reading plan.

Until next time,

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Sunday Confession

I really do love church. The people, ermm not always (just sum it up to::: highly sensitive introvert, who lacks the ability to pour out emotional energy to be there for people when she can barely be there for herself). The music, yes. The nursery where I service, absolutely.

… But, sometimes, I struggle with my “want to”.

As someone with POTS, it can be utterly terrifying to go anywhere. And church is no different. It can be difficult to go and know if I will be able to stay. Lately, my symptoms have been worsening and I have the lowest attention span. There are often a bombardment of thoughts accompanying the questions – “Am I well enough to go to church? Or, how bad is it?”

Most people have to find their “want to,” in order to exercise. Me too, but my life has many areas where I have to find my desire to riskily make decisions.

The risk is what it comes down to. This morning, I had to weigh the risk. Was the pinnacle of symptoms worth the few minutes I would spend at church – especially knowing I was not in any kind of mood to jollily go socializing and encourage the world (my personality… if you see me at church, you know this one) before Sunday school?

You know, I believe it was worth the decision and symptoms (in the grand scheme of eternity, anyway). Contrary to the struggle to find my “want to,” I actually do want to go to the church and be with God’s people. This is simply (and it is not simple) just part of the process that it takes – in order to get me from my house to the church. There are internal talks, prayers, and questions going on, while I make the decision. I may feel “a little” uneasy in my decision, but at least I made the decision.

The hardest part of it all is – making the decision, and coping with the aftermath wondering if I somehow made the wrong one. I hate it when we have to leave early, because POTS is trying to kill me. Today was definitely one of those days. But, the highlight of my church day today was – sitting in the nursery, underneath our speaker that allows me to hear our musicians practice singing before service, and working on the Bible Reading Challenge. I loved just being there.

I hate the fear and questions I have to face, but I love the blessings I get to pick up along the way – that I would have missed otherwise. That’s what make the decisions hard. I don’t want to miss anything. It’s there that I need to remember that I am…

  • loved by God – whether I go to church biweekly, weekly, monthly, etc. He knows I am plugging into my relationship with Him.
  • called His own. I am even called His daughter, because of Jesus Christ!
  • still me, I am still me, despite illness.

Until next time,

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“The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing (Zeph. 3:17).”

Two New Opportunities (For the New Year)

Hey friends,

Welcome to 2017! I have TWO NEW THINGS to share with you all today. These are some pretty nice ways to get “plugged in”. Even if you are a part of a church family, it would still be a great way to get spiritually fed this year. Bear with me, as I share the details of both.

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Picture from Free Images

Bible Reading Challenge is the first big opportunity I have to share with you all. While it started on the 1st, it’s not too late to join in. The goal is simple: to get into the Word of God and to encourage one another to keep spending more time in God’s Word.

The reading plan is a combination of reading the Bible in the order that things happened, and also reading daily Psalms. For the Bible Challenge, I have set up a blog to share the thoughts/posts and a facebook place to help my friends have easy access to the daily reading schedule. Just five days in, I have already gotten a bit behind and all. But you know what, I am really enjoying this Bible challenge. I am enjoying having the opportunity to just sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to my audio Bible as I remember how God has worked on behalf of His people – and – how God is our awesome Protector and Defender who initiates a relationship with us through His Son Jesus

Our Nine Week Bible Study is next on the agenda. I feel a bit scatter brained right now, so bear with me – as I write up this post. I am looking at my already higher-than-normal word count, and hoping I don’t miss details. While I know I haven’t shared much details about our new blog study, there has been a reason for that. These past few months have been crazy and hard as far as my health and symptoms go. I have wanted to make sure I would be up for this, as I do put a lot of time and attention into each of these studies (or I try to). Anyway, I am ready to share. =)

Are you ready for this? We will be studying the Thessalonians. Both books are included in this Scripture Writing – Bible Study on this blog. Honestly, I have already begun this study and am on week 3. So, I can say we will grow a lot. God is speaking to me in really good ways. He is reminding me of His presence. So, I invite you to join me in our study of Meeting the Thessalonians!

 

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Our new study will be a bit different as far as its format. I believe this will make it a better study for both you the reader and myself.

The Thessalonians study has been an amazing ride, one ride I am definitely ready to share with you all!

Big changes for our study –

  • It’s a “weekday” format – meaning five lessons per week.
  • A focus on memorizing Scripture.
  • Our weekly blog posts will continue, but perhaps only 1-2 posts per week.
  • A posted reading plan for those who cannot afford the journal (I couldn’t get one either, so don’t feel bad).

Also, there are changes within the journal too. What are some of those changes?

  • A weekly prayer sheet to help us jump start our week in prayer.
  • A reflection questionnaire to help us end each week well, and prepare for the following week.
  • A space to actually write out the memory verse, along with tips to help us memorize Scripture.

God is going to do some very amazing things in the course of our study. It will be 9 weeks of honest conversations with God and seeking Him in His Word! Look forward to having you join us.

We will begin our study on January 29!

Psst a little secret: We will begin studying the book of Romans after this study in the same format. We will take bite-size portions of Scripture to meditate and focus on, studying Romans over several Bible study eight week “sessions”.

Click here to support Gracefully Overcoming, by purchasing our Meeting the Thessalonians Scripture Writing Journal!

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IIWK ’16: The Questions

I have chosen something ambitious, crazy, and therapeutic to do. Invisible Illness Week begins tomorrow! Initially, my goal was to set aside seven daily posts – to help shed some light on invisible illness, my struggles, and what has helped me. Sounds good, right?

… But, sometimes, plans change.

While I am still pursuing ideas and blog posts related to invisible illness, I am going to refrain from the daily posts on this particular blog. Here’s why –

I want to try and blog on invisible illness much more often. Originally, the idea was to blog on it for a month, but I created a free space to talk about the high’s and low’s of chronic illnesses.

A while back, I made a promise to not send more than one blog post per a day. There have been exceptions to this rule of thumb, at times. So, this was my initial reason to make a separate blog for talk chronic illness.

The new blog series is still comn. It just might last much longer than a month. My list of questions is long, a lot of much needed questions arising to the surface. There is soo much about invisible illness that is left in the dark. Friends, we have to talk ab struggles of invisible illness. We have to be able to talk freely about it.

Otherwise, how do we expect to find support and win the battle against our enemy – chronic illness?

So, I am making this challenging adventure separate from what I do on Gracefully Overcoming. It is the same author. The same me. Just sharing a bit more about my life with invisible illness – for those who want to see how I tackle those things  and use it as an opportunity to allow my faith to be stretched – too.

So, meet me over at “Chronically Overcoming” to join me for this journey! But, before I let you go… I need to ask you a HUGE favor!

I am currently compiling a list of questions to answer on a regular basis, and the answers will be shared along with any insight, struggles, hope, joy, sadness, tears, grief, etc, that I have to offer up too.

But, I need something from you- my friend!

Comment Below with a question about…

Invisible illness.

My struggles.

How my faith plays a role in my health issues.

 

… Anything you want.

You can also email your questions directly to me at gracefully.overcoming@gmail.com. I am on a break from social media for the month of October, so please refrain from sending over any questions using those avenues. I would hate to miss your question//message!

Pray for me. I am looking forward to seeing what God decides to do in my life, during this season.

~ Stacey