Thessalonians

Week 4: Prepare For An Energetic Week!

Few things get to me like this topic, as far the church life goes. Welcome, I am your “equally messed up” tour guide. I cannot help but read 1 Thessalonians 4, and be reminded of the ways the Church is… far from where we could be. I love the global church; we are the beloved body of Christ. His bride. His treasure.

Yet we settle for so little, when God wants to lead us to much more – even in this life before we reach Heaven and all its glory.

My Honest Heart Struggle

I made it my mission to go through “Meeting the Thessalonians” before this course was set to begin, which I mostly was able to. I can honestly say, week 4 was without any doubt one of the most difficult weeks. While I had weeks of surprising affliction that made it hard to reach for my Bible and notebook, this week has challenged me greatly based on the content in 1 Thessalonians 4.

It touched me at my core, as a single woman. Some excitement. Erm, much frustration. Plenty of moments, where I was reminded of where I want to be as part of the Church.

Join Me!

I invite you in joining me for the reading of God’s Word, where we will hear God speak in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.

As a single woman, I am bombarded with temptation – often. I am not alone in this struggle, though. I know, many readers are right there with me.

This passage of Scripture is important for all believers, regardless of our relationship status.

As we take the time to focus our attention on our Lord Jesus Christ, He will work in our midst. While we may face many temptations and struggles in this area, we are not alone. Girls and Guys, you are not alone. I am looking forward to the chance of going through this passage of Scripture together.

This week’s blogging might look drastically differently than the past three weeks have been. Because this passage of Scripture is of such great importance to me, I want to try and pop in whenever I can – to share my thoughts on a particular verse or share a quote from a Bible commentary. This week, in terms of blog posts, might look crazy different than this past week. Or, it might look exactly the same. Only the Good Lord knows!

We simply have to wait and see what God decides to do, because this is His blog.

I may have many passionate things to say, and He may have to offer a strong, yet gentile, reminder of “No Stacey, you cannot write that. It is not useful to build up others in the Church.” (I actually have a good set of moments like this. I, too, am a work in process. . .)

Whatever happens on the blog or your personal study this week, keep digging into God’s Word! I am excited to see what God shows us. Here is the reading plan for this week.

Until next time,

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Ambitions, Impact

Impact #2

My last impact entry was about 2 months ago. A lot has happened in that time. Health scare, which was relieved by a less serious health problem. Good news! (Bad news is: POTS is the reason for worsening symptoms. All before Spring.)

Feeling – Lately, I have felt a myraid of things. Home Sick. Loneliness. Frustration. (Dis)Contentment. Peace. Joy. Laughter. Mmmm, variety of emotions. Good, Bad, and in between. POTS has been rough, but I am still here. So, that is good news. I am not hooked up to a hospital bed with monitors. I am finding joy in unlikely places of chronic illness.

While all days aren’t joy-infused, I have the hope of my Savior Jesus Christ to remind me who I am. . . in spite of illness. Looking forward to Heaven, but trying to make the most of my time on earth to do something worthwhile.

Studying – Since my last impact, I have nearly finished studying 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Last week, I began the book of James. I am really enjoying it. One of today’s verse hit home for me, and is found at the end of this blog post. I have been reading and studying using The Living Bible found on Bible Gateway, which is a paraphrase like the Message. I am absolutely loving it! It is soo nice to have the privilege to open up the Bible in a new translation, using different wording, but having the same meaning. The Word of God is coming alive!

Reading – I am not quite sure that I am reading anything right now, since I have gotten out of the habit of reading actual books. Desiring God and reading the Bible in chronological order (that things happened) is what I am reading. Our church is reading the Bible together in a specific schedule. We have gone through Job, Genesis, Exodus, and are in Leviticus. Even with the audio Bible, my reading track record isn’t perfection but who says it has to be?

Listening To –

Celebrating – Many things.

  • Jesus is the top celebration. He loves me, and stays with me no matter what!
  • Doctors who care about their patients.
  • Good music that speaks God’s truths
  • Seeing how God can revive my broken spirit.

Loving – the gift of streaming biblical teachings, for anyone to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the biblical truths we need to know.

Praying – for my health, family, and a new blog series idea.

Holding Onto – Jesus! I am holding onto Jesus. Jesus is the One who is holding me, through all of life’s storms.

But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God… (Ps. 56:3-4)

Other Scriptures – James 1:9 (found below)

A Christian who doesn’t amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord’s sight (James 1:9).

Thessalonians

Let the Thessalonians’ Journey BEGIN!

Hey friends,

We kick off our Thessalonians study in the morning. Normally, we will begin the week by focusing on our memory verse. I had a blog post in the works about our memory verse, but here’s the thing: it’s not done yet (Saturday was a horrendously bad POTS day, which oddly enough was supposed to be my writing day).

I have to remember days like these will occur, when sickness or something else arise that put a slight pause on some of the blog posts. But, we are here. We are committing ourselves to Jesus Christ and His Word! As these days come, it is an imperative opportunity to lay our plans aside and see the plans Jesus Christ, our King, is going to carry out. To see what the God of the Universe is going to accomplish in that situation.

In these moments of unmet plans, we are able to stop everything and remember His presence. Not only is His presence available to us, we can fully come to Him and just cry out to Him.

In these moments, we realize the power of prayer and just allowing Jesus to hold us – when everything seems to be on hold (or nearing falling apart). But, we aren’t giving up. Let’s use this study and whatever arises in our lives as opportunities to get closer to Jesus Christ.

… So, my goal is to have the memory verse post to you all by Wednesday.

So, let’s just focus on our memory verse.

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you (1 Thessalonians 1:4, NIV).

Grab an index card or piece of paper. And, write out our Bible verse in your preferred translation. The translation I use varies. I think my Thessalonian index cards are TNIV. I adore using the Voice or New Living Translation (NLT), but often go for my main Bible – which is TNIV.

Whatever Bible translation you use and love, use it. I use a variety of Bible translations for clarity, and find it really helps me to engage more intently in Bible study when I use my favorite Bible translation. Some people use King James Version (KJV). While I am not a KJV reader myself, I adore the Modern King James Version I have on my ESword app for my phone. Really, I do. It’s awesome. Not only can I use it away from WiFi, it is filled with God honoring commentary and a few different Bible translations . . . as well as the much loved Strong’s Concordance to help me understand what the individual words mean in their original language. It is literally my favorite Bible app (but I also utilize Bible Gateway and YouVersion, if I have WiFi).

One of the biggest things I could say, as we all prepare to start our Thessalonians study is: Plan the study and memory verse into your day. Don’t allow it to become an afterthought. Because when we do, why hellooooo it’s Wednesday and you still haven’t broke out your memory verse cards yet (more on memorizing Scripture and my honest struggle in a couple days).

My hope for us in treking through the Thessalonians is to just meet with Jesus. We need to carve out space in our lives to just center our lives around who God truly is, His power, and His glorious presence. Knowing God, through His Son Jesus Christ, should literally change our lives, and this week we get the abundant joy of seeing how meeting Jesus completely changed the Thessalonians’ lives. They were transformed not for a moment, but a lifetime!

Until next time,

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The Overcomer Life

Slow Down // Trusting Him

These days, I am learning the benefit of slowly studying God’s Word. Verse – by – Verse. Slowly digesting the good news God wants to share with us. Slowing down allows us to take it all in. Including its delight and joy, too.

This is the way we study right here on Gracefully Overcoming, so we can get the most out of our time in the Word. It begun with the book of Ephesians this past summer, and recently we studied Gleaning From the Heart of Jesus in a like manner. Absolute joy! These studies are helping me grow spiritually in abounding ways. I am ready for what awaits us in January (even though I am still hammering down the details)!

Slowing down to meaningfully engage in God’s Word is becoming so important to me. I want to exchange rushing and long reading plans (which work for many people, but my overwhelmed soul needs a slower pace), for the delight, love, nourishment, and healing found in Jesus’ short messages. So, I can become a doer of His Word.

I have been considering the studies I want to pursue for 2017. There are many good things we can study, my friends. We simply need to remember to let it be a vehicle taking us right into His presence. At times, we seem prone to busyness like a bad cold- even in our quiet times with Jesus. To enjoy His presence, let yourself slow down. Escape the urge to stay busy. Becoming more of a Mary than a Martha.

Take God’s Word one small bite at a time. Deliberately, taking our time to graze and delight in the Lord. So, we can get the most out of our time and relationship with God and His powerful Word. This is the place, where real life transformation happens!


Today, I want for us to look at a specific concept. We call it, “trust”. God commands us to place our trust in Him. We need to slow it down, and learn to develop this kind of trust in the Lord.

How are we putting our trust in the Lord, for the choices we make today?

In the Bible, we are taught to trust. Throughout God’s entire Word, there is one word that can be used to define our relationship with God. It is just this, trust. We are taught to trust God.

In Proverbs 3:5-6, we are reminded that trusting God is of greater value to us than any level of understanding we could ever have.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Psalm 37:3-7a talks about trusting the Lord, too. But, this specific passage, Proverbs 3:5-6, is the one God has laid upon my heart. It is the one I am trying to remember, as I make difficult choices. I want to learn what it means to trust God, so He can be the one in charge of my life.

Take-Away: Trusting God is a deliberate action. Consider your own acts of trusting God, and bring it to Him in prayer.

~ Stacey

Gleaning from the Heart of Jesus, Updates

Schedule for Remaining Blog Study

Hi friends!

For the last few weeks, we have been going through the Sermon of the Mount. But before we reached Jesus’ awesomely convicting sermon, we were met with the temptations Jesus Himself faced.

The Father sent Him out into the wilderness, too. In the wilderness, where it was just the Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the tempter Satan. In the wilderness, is a sacred but difficult place. Sacred, because of commune with the Father. Difficult, because of the heaviness of the temptations He would endure.

Jesus shows us how to walk through our own wildernesses.

And sometimes, it means getting away from everything we once knew. To be given our Father’s perspective on our life’s difficulties.

My Own Wilderness

Lately, I have been feeling like I need to take a step back in my online presence. This will only affect social media, not my blog itself. With that said, I have made a schedule to keep everyone in tuned with where we are in our study.

While the journal is available on Amazon (and your support is soo needed and appreciated, it’s what keeps this blog running), I have been posting the main scriptures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Although Facebook had a glitch this week when I made my new Instagram for my new blog, Chronically Overcoming.

Disconnecting…

Just like my Instagram account was disconnected from its purposeful source (Facebook is honestly the primary reason I began using Instagram in the first place, but anyway). A lot of times, we mean well… but in the process, we become disconnected from the important things (see Col. 3:1-2).

We need to take reflective rest breaks, and just take time out to allow our perspective to be renewed and to take inventory of our spiritual lives. There is absolutely no shame in this. It is actually really good to plug in and just take inventory of our spiritual lives. Where are we? And, where are we trying to go? Has God been the One leading us?

This is what I need to begin exploring.

As we continue our study, let’s expect God to move things around in our lives. Let’s expect God to show us what we need to surrender to Him. I don’t know where you are in your life, but I can guarantee you – He is asking you to surrender something. Take time to disconnect and check your connection with Him. Make sure you know what He is willing you to do. Make sure you can clearly hear His voice. Just disconnect for a bit, in whatever way God leads you.

Again, this choice will not affect the blog posts you all have grown accustom to seeing here on Gracefully Overcoming.


* Please note: The link for the journal (through Amazon) is an affiliate link.
* You can find all of the posts for our Gleaning study here.