Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library

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Seeing His Word Clearly {In the Church}

We must worship in spirit and in truth {Living Outside the Stacks}

When I was about seven years old, my mom took me to have my vision tested. My teachers had noticed that I was squinting a lot and having a difficult time reading the chalk board. Up until that point, I didn’t realize that I couldn’t see. I seriously thought my issues were due to white chalk on a not~so~clean blackboard. It wasn’t until the doctor started playing with the lenses and asking me to pick which one was clearer that I realized how little of the world I was seeing. Once he settled on a prescription, the doctor ordered my glasses and told us to come back to pick them up.

I remember the day we got the call that my glasses were ready; I was so excited to pick up my new specs. I thought of all the books I’d read, TV I’d watch, games I’d play… I skipped into the optometrist’s shop and modeled my new glasses in the mirror, smiling as I saw myself clearly for the very first time. What I wasn’t prepared for was what happened when we walked outside and I saw trees for the very first time. I mean, I really clearly saw the trees and was flabbergasted. I tugged on my mom’s sleeve, looked her in the face and said “Mom, I didn’t know trees had separate leaves.”

All of my life, I’d only seen trees as brown sticks with a blur of green, red, and yellow on top. I saw individual leaves on the ground, but never individual leaves growing on a branch.

Sometimes that’s the way I feel when God’s word speaks to me; like I’ve read the verse but never understood the individual words. I see things through a haze and a blur until I take the time to view His word through His lens. John 4:24 {KJV} says: “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” When I try to focus on His words on my own, I feel like that little girl, squinting and struggling to see; but when I stop and pray, I see the individual leaves…

I’m linking up with:

Internet Cafe Devotions ~ Word Filled Wednesdays

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Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013! I’m so excited about the possibilities that come with a new year. It’s almost like life is giving us some sort of cosmic do over. And boy do I need it! I missed some of my goals for last year but I’m pressing forward and not dwelling on the past. I hope that you’ll continue to share this journey with me and that you’re just as excited for 2013 as I am…

Morning Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks}

I began today much like I do any other day, with a cup of coffee. This is how I prepare myself for the day’s activities: a cup of coffee and a few minutes of silence. And with this being the beginning of a new year, I used my quiet time to think about all the things I will accomplish.

This year I’ll be turning the big 4~Oh! This is so hard for me to believe. There are days when I feel like I’m barely out of my twenties. And a lot of days when I look at those four teenagers living in my house and wonder why they’re calling me “Mom”. You’d think after nineteen years I’d be used to them by now. I’m not sure what I’m going to do to mark this milestone birthday, but I know I have to do something big.

I’ve joined not one but two photography challenges for this year. Like last year, I’ll be joining in the Photo A Day Challenge hosted by fat mum slim and posting the pictures on Instagram (be sure to follow me there). The second challenge is the one I’m most worried excited about because it requires that I use Nikki (my Nikon D3100). Poor Nikki hasn’t been getting out as often as she used to since I started working. Mostly she’s been relegated to taking outfit pictures but we all know she’s capable of so much more. So I’ll be stretching my creativity and, hopefully, learning some new tricks along the way. You can view my photos from  365: The 2013 Edition by clicking here.

At church I’ll be busy with the women’s group. Pastor Z asked me if I would help lead the women’s group. squee and eek I agreed because I thought it might be fun and since I’m not reading the Bible in 90 Days this year, I thought this would be a fun way to engage myself with other ladies in a study of God’s word. Our first study will be True Woman 101: Divine Design by Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I’ve already run it by the ladies and they’re all kinds of excited about the study and the discussions that we’ll be having.

I’ll also be doing some product reviews, sharing some of my favorite books and, hopefully, hosting a whole lot more giveaways. As always, I enjoy reading your comments, so please don’t be shy, leave a comment whether you agree or disagree; life is all about learning and sharing.

And I look forward to sharing 2013 with you! Be blessed and be happy!

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Love {Advent Bible Study}

The focus of this week’s Advent study is LOVE. Love means to have a strong affection for anther arising out of kinship or personal ties. It also means to have an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.

Love ~ Advent Bible Study {Living Outside the Stacks}

SCRIPTURE

1 John 4:7 {KJV}

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

OBSERVATION

When I first looked up “Love” in the Webster’s Dictionary, the first entry was for maternal love, the second for romantic love and a bit further down, the love God has for mankind. This struck me as wrong. I know the dictionary isn’t a religious book but the first act of love ever demonstrated was when God sent His son to die for us {John 3:16, John 15:13).

God’s love is sacrificial, benevolent and unwarranted, this is how our love for one another should be.

APPLICATION

This week, we’re challenged to demonstrate our love for one another through random acts of kindness. I love this. For the last week, we’ve had a mitten tree at work for collecting articles of clothing such as gloves, hats and scarves for those in need. So I decided to crochet scarves to go on the tree. To me, nothing says love more than something handmade. And while, I may not ever meet the person who gets one of my scarves, I’ll know that somewhere out there, someone is keeping warm with God’s love through my hands.

PRAYER 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the example that you gave us of perfect love. Thank you for giving us the greatest gift of all, eternal life through your son, Jesus Christ. I ask that on this week, you help me to find ways to demonstrate your love to anyone who crosses my path. Let them see you in me. And, Lord, bless each person who receives something from the mitten tree. Keep them strong and healthy. Reveal your love to them.

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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