COME As You Are, Friend!

Friends,

Welcome to Gracefully Overcoming! This blog started out, mainly just as an outlet to the things I was going through in my life. However, it has turned into much more. This has become a beautiful place to seek the Lord with friends – near and far. While this blog begun out of chronic illness, it is wholly about seeking the Lord Jesus with whatever we have to offer.

. . . Even our messes is absolutely acceptable offering to our great God!

Just Come, Friend!

“Jesus said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” So Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed him (Matthew 4:19-20, NCV).”

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18, NASB).”

“The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit–O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject (Psalm 51:17, NET).”

In the Scriptures, we are reminded that we can just come. We don’t have to wait until our lives are picture perfect and oh-so-neat to meet (or even better experience) our gracious God. He is yearning to be with us, and allow us to see this new and abundant life He has created for us. While sin has messed up things, they are not beyond repair – because we have our amazing Savior Jesus Christ who has come to repair everything. All we have to do is come.

Maybe, you aren’t uber excited about doing a Bible study right now. I wasn’t either, but the Lord awoke that spiritual desire today when I began my time reading through Titus. So just know, the Lord will meet you. Wherever you are, the Lord will meet you.

Let’s just come and realize our deep need for our Savior Jesus Christ!
Let’s invite Him into our broken (and often messy) lives, and wait to see how the Lord will transform us, our circumstances, and entire lives.

 

The biggest thing we need, as believers, is to get closer to the Lord Jesus. Whether it is through this study or another one, the ultimate goal has to be just that – to get as close as you can to the Lord.

This weekend, I want for us to begin praying about possible goals. Rather, goal.

What is one goal you can set, to help you get closer to Jesus these next eight weeks?

Because God has wired us differently (personality, interests, etc), that goal is going to look differently for each of us. Now I am setting aside a separate post specifically to talk about goals, but I am not talking about a year long goal. You may have one. You may have five. If you do, I think that is fantastic! My goals never seem to stick, so my one goal I am fixed on – is to sit quietly before the Lord.

Just think about these next eight weeks. What is ONE goal you can set that will draw you nearer to the Lord?

There are a variety of ways to get involved in our Bible study. You can find an eight week journal on Amazon to use for this (or another) study. Also: You can follow my Facebook page. Or even join the women’s small group to dig deeper into this Bible study!

In Him,

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Almost Time! {Press On Toward Faithfulness}

Hello my friends!!

Our study is quickly approaching. Press On Toward Faithfulness is our eight week study. I do hope you will join me, as we sit and study the Word of God. Diligently, we will be studying and learning from the books of Titus and 1-2 Timothy.

About the Study –

While it is New Testament books we are reading, they are only a few chapters each. And each day, we will be taking it slow and ingesting the treasures of our great God bite by bite. I promise you, the daily readings won’t be too long to read and meditate upon. We will be taking our time walking through these precious chapters.

Our goal here isn’t to see how much of the Bible we can read in one sitting. Rather, our ultimate goal is to allow Christ and His Word to take root in our hearts and change us from the inside-out!

In these books, we are able to gain wisdom from Paul as he counsels two spiritual brothers actively involved in ministry. Titus and Timothy gleaned much needed encouragement, as God spoke to them through Paul. They were encouraged, which helped them stay faithful to what the Lord was leading them to do. Many of us need this kind of encouragement.

Gathering Your Tools –

Our study begins January 15th, so it is just a few short days away. Be sure to grab your eight week Scripture Writing journal, which can be used for this study (or almost any study). It is only $6.25 on Amazon.

Next week, I will reveal our Press On Toward Faithfulness schedule – which we will be using to guide us through our day to day study. While it is a daily study, it will allow us to take in the Scripture piece by piece to get as much as we can – out of this sacred time. Each day, we will uncover new (and even once forgotten) truths that can radically change our perspective of God, ourselves, and show us the steps we need to take – as we place our trust in our Lord Jesus.

Also for those interested: We have a Facebook women’s small group ready to meet and dive into this study in a more personal setting. Consider joining us! But don’t forget about our multiple blog posts – as we go through this study! We will be spending lots of time diving into the Word together, whether it is through the blog or our women’s small group (sorry guys!).

Let’s Pray, Friends –

Lord Jesus, prepare our hearts for this sacred time. So many of us need this time more than words can say, and I know I am one of them. Prepare us physically, emotionally, and spiritually for this study. Help us to be planted in Your divine word and hear from You. As we hear directly from You, help us willfully obey – surrendering everything – so You can move in our lives, communities, and ministries. Be glorified, Lord. Amen!

Talk with you soon, my friends.

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P.S. Thank you for the support you provide, to keep this ministry going! The website link may be changing, so keep an eye out for that – friends. Even when this happen, fear not! The ministry of this blog will press on. The Lord has been providing mightily for all our necessities. I received word that my laptop was no more, but the Lord provided one for me to use.

New Study + Eight Week Journal

Hi friends!

I am soo excited to be back and ready to kick off our first Bible study of the year. We will be studying the books of Timothy and Titus in an eight week format. For this study, I am trying a new approach.

We will use a eight week journal I have designed. I hope you all enjoy this journal and its lower price. In effort to keep my blog’s domain, I have made this journal available to all over on Amazon and many other shopping websites for all your book needs.

Excluding helping out Gracefully Overcoming itself, this journal is a wise choice for our quiet time – because of its amazing features! It has a section to jot down our weekly memory verse, prayer requests we may have, Scripture writing, and then the specified journal and prayer sections. Even includes a weekly reflection! =]

While Christmas leaves many of us with a limited budget, this journal is only $6.25! And it gives you 56 daily entries (8 full weeks) to keep you writing, as you meet with God, worship, pray out, and study His Word.

Won’t you consider supporting Gracefully Overcoming, while purchasing a copy of the eight week journal? Our new study is set to begin January 15th – in effort to give everyone adequate time to prepare for our study.

I am excited to be with you all again, and to begin our eight week Bible study! While our study doesn’t officially begin until the 15th, my study will likely begin very soon – so I can make sure to stay on top of things. In the meantime, I will work on a {more} clever title for our study, other than “that eight week study”.

While we only have one design for our eight week journal, my hope is to include a few more designs over time. Bear with me: My laptop is headed for the shop tomorrow.

In Christ,

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{Summer} Psalms – 1

The blessing behind using this blog is – the freedom. My fingers can walk joyfully across my keyboard, and use a different format for this particular journey. Each blog post can short or long. There is joy and freedom, because I can just seek Jesus without borders.

Welcome to Psalms, Chapter 1!!!

What stood out? At the top of my paper, I jotted down very specific Bible references. Tonight, I want to share those with you. Each verse is shared in the NIrV translation. I encourage you to check out these verses in your own Bibles. Highlight them. Write notes in the margins about what God is showing YOU through these verses.

. . . Everything godly people do turns out well (1:3a).

The Lord watches over the lives of godly people. But the lives of sinful people will lead to their death (1:6)

When the Lord judges them, their life will come to an end. Sinners won’t have any place among those who are godly (1:5, see Matthew 25:31-46).

Which Path Will You Take?

Several other things stood out to me too. The descriptive words in the first verse alone are soul stirring. Things like “join in,” “make a habit,” and “follow.” It can be tempting to crave what others are doing, or even just settling for what others are doing. But, we are reminded of these two different worlds.

If we will focus our attention on Jesus Christ, the Bible, and eternity, we will grow by leaps and bounds

. . . and find ourselves intensely joyful as we sit at our Savior’s feet.

This Summer, I want to develop a great joy for our Risen Lord and the Bible. I want to just be able to walk by the Holy Spirit. I want to see the distractions of my life sink into the background completely unnoticed, because I am just sooo full of God and the joy He gives.

In Psalms 16:11, we are reminded that…

You [God] will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore (AMPC).

Week 1: Wrap Up

What was special about this week’s message? I invite you to comment below, and share with me (and other readers) about how God spoke to you in this week’s Bible study on 1 Thessalonians

Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:6

“You became followers of us and the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit. Therefore you were examples to all who believe in Macedonia and Achaia… (1:6-7a, MEV)”

This is the message that stands out, to me. One of the reasons I love the Thessalonians is – because their faith was enveloped in strength. They heard the Gospel message, and kept it close even in affliction. This showed the entire world that their faith was not an empty act, but as genuine as our faith could be.

Further in the New Testament, we are reminded that afflictions help us to refine our faith. In times of great trials, we are reminded of our dependence upon God just as David was. David wrote many worship-filled songs, from the depths of the pit that trials can often be described as. Yet even in the midst of great agony, David chose to allow it to be a tool of worship. The same can be true for our own lives. In 1 Peter 1, we are reminded that afflictions are the . . . groundwork, I guess you could say, for a deeper faith in Christ.

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith… may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ… [T]he outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls (see 1 Peter 1:6-9).”

Just before we are told that trials must come and even serve a purpose, we are reminded of a great promise. 1 Peter 1:5 is one of the verses in this chapter of Scripture that I hold tightly to.

“Through faith, God’s power is standing watch, protecting you for a salvation that you will see completely at the end of things (1 Peter 1:5, VOICE).”

In the NIRV, the first part of this verse reads like this: “Through faith you are kept safe by God’s power…” Our faith is important. We have to believe that God is keeping us safe, even through the fiery trials, and that He is bringing us closer to the great salvation He has promised us! I love the picture this verse offers to me. I crave protection, and that is what God is offering to me (to us) as I continue to deliberately put my trust in Him!

Looking back on your life’s trials, I invite you to join me in deliberately seeking how God has made that part of your growing faith journey. I know, the road is hard. For me, I can see how God has stretched my faith and pruned out some of the fleshly things I once clung to. I have grown more intimate in my relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

While my faith in Jesus isn’t where I hope it will be, it is shown as genuine and experiences growth in trusting Christ through those same trials I despise. This is the work of God, through the Holy Spirit. God is working through the good and bad.