Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library

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Hope {Advent Bible Study}

The focus of this week’s Advent study is HOPE. Hope means to anticipate or expect with confidence.

Advent Bible Study {Living Outside the Stacks}

SCRIPTURE

Jeremiah 33:15

In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.

OBSERVATION

God promises His people that after their captivity has ended a righteous descendant from King David’s line will be born. The fulfillment of this promise is the birth of Jesus Christ, who is just and righteous.

APPLICATION

When I read this passage, I think of a new bud on a tree branch and all the promise that it holds. It represents new beginnings, a fresh start… When we trust in Jesus, we are reborn and our lives begin anew.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the gifts of love, mercy and new beginnings given through the birth, death and resurrection of your son. There are no words to express the joy and hope that I have in knowing that I have been made brand new. And I ask that you touch the hearts of my friends, so they may know and accept you into their lives.

Amen.

ABOUT THE STUDY

This month, I will be participating in the Advent Study, Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus, hosted by the ladies at Good Morning Girls. Good Morning Girls are a group of Christian women who email, Facebook, Twitter and text message each other to keep them accountable for their quiet times. You can even catch them on Instagram, just follow the hashtag #goodmorninggirls.

Having quiet time in the Word is a great way to begin or end the day. It gives you time to focus on God and His will for your life as well as to renew and refresh your strength. I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day and spend some time just reading and thinking about the Lord.

If you’re joining in, please leave a comment below so I can pray with you.

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Preparing for Christmas {Advent Bible Study}

Last week, I briefly talked about how God has been dealing with me about the ways I’ve been using social media for His glory. Specifically, the fact that I haven’t been. I’ve been using my spaces on the web to talk about style, food, photography and all sorts of other things… There’s nothing wrong with that, I believe that God wants us to have fun, but I don’t want that to be all there is to me. I firmly believe that I’m living at this time and place for a reason. God has a purpose for me.

So I know it was nothing but God that lead me to an eBook called Reach: How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God by @laurakrokos and @angipratt. The book challenged me to look at how I’m using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to spread the message of God’s redeeming love. the book also made me examine the reasons why I had stopped focusing on my faith:

  • Fear of losing readers who don’t share my beliefs
  • Feelings of unworthiness

While my fears are very real, ultimately, my fear of disappointing God is greater. No matter what I do, I can’t earn God’s grace, it was a gift freely given because of His mercy (Titus 3:5). Furthermore, the Word tells me that His word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11). So even though not everyone will accept Christ, there will be some who will have their hearts pricked. And, last, but not least, we are commanded to go out and share the message of Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection (Mark 16:15).

I don’t want to waste the opportunity that I’ve been given.

And I can think of no better way to share the message of God’s love than to start at the beginning with the birth of my lord and savior, Jesus Christ. So tomorrow I will begin two Advent studies! I’ve never celebrated Advent before and probably wouldn’t have even thought about it had my friend, Ellen from Miss Stewart AKA Mrs. Seaman, not invited me to celebrate with her and her friends on Facebook.

In fact, I’m so new to the concept of Advent that I had to look it up. This research led me to Good Morning Girls and a cute little video that explains that Advent is basically preparing your heart for the arrival of a very special guest, Jesus Christ. You can watch the video by clicking here. I’d also been seeing #goodmorninggirls on Instagram and Twitter for the longest time, so I’m doubly glad to finally know what it stands for

Anyway, I look forward to sharing the message of Jesus Christ with you and I pray that you find comfort, joy and peace in the knowledge that Jesus was born, crucified and resurrected for you and for me.

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