12th Feb2013

Seeing His Word Clearly {In the Church}

by Daenel

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

01st Jan2013

Happy New Year!

by Daenel

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!

02nd Dec2012

Love {Advent Bible Study}

by Daenel

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.

28th Nov2012

Hope {Advent Bible Study}

by Daenel

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.

27th Nov2012

Hope {Advent Bible Study}

by Daenel

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

Hope Advent Bible Study {Living Outside the Stacks}

SCRIPTURE

John 1:12 {KJV}

But as many as received him, to them gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

OBSERVATION

There are many who reject Jesus and His claims, but there are also many who believe His claims. And it is those who believe in Him, who will inherit the kingdom of God as His children.

APPLICATION

The gift of life is free to those who simply choose to accept that God in His mercy and grace looked down upon this world in all of its nastiness and offered up His son as the perfect sacrifice.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for sending your son, even though His own people rejected Him, thank you for giving me the opportunity to accept Him. Thank you for the gift of salvation. I ask that you continue to lead me in your truth and help me to walk faithfully in your word.

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.

26th Nov2012

Preparing for Christmas {Advent Bible Study}

by Daenel

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.

07th May2012

Knowing God by Name {Bible Study}

by Daenel

Knowing God by Name

Today marked the beginning of the second week of the “Knowing God by Name” bible study and I have to say, this has truly been an awe inspiring study. In the first week, we learned the names of God that indicate His deity:

  • YAHWEH ~ LORD {Jehovah, Self~Existent One}
  • ELOHIM ~ GOD {Mighty, Strong, Prominent One}
  • ADONAI ~ LORD {Master}
  • RISHON VA~ACHARON ~ THE FIRST AND THE LAST
  • ADONAI YAHWEH ~ SOVEREIGN LORD

Each of these names proclaim that God is the LORD of lords and God of gods, there is no one above Him, He can do anything, He is the beginning and the end…

I’ve always known that God is above all but reading it in His word {and in Hebrew} has been such a learning experience. God established that He is the one who is in control and has the ultimate authority because everything bows to His will {Isaiah 46:9~11}. What a great and powerful God we serve!

A couple of times a week, I plan to share what I’ve learned from my discussions with the ladies from the Women’s Bible Café and my readings from the book  Knowing God by Name: A Personal Encounter by Mary Kassian. For more information on the study, you can check out the Women’s Bible Cafe on Facebook by clicking here.

02nd May2012

Knowing God By Name {Word Filled Wednesday}

by Daenel

Knowing God by Name {Word Filled Wednesday}

When I was a little girl, I hated my name. I mean, I absolutely positively hated my name. People used to call me “Danielle”, “Darlene”, “Daniel”, etc. All perfectly fine names, but not my name. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I fully appreciated the uniqueness of my name and it wasn’t until I had children of my own that I understood the power of names.

This week, I started a new study with the Women’s Bible Café called “Knowing God by Name: A Personal Encounter” by Mary Kassian. In this study, we’re learning about 35 of the more than one hundred names for God. Each name reflects the power, might, uniqueness and awesomeness that is God. But more than that, each name demonstrates His relationship to us and our relationship to Him.

So far, the thing that has stuck with me is when God tells Moses “I AM WHO I AM.” {Exodus 3:13~15} when Moses asks who he should say sent him. Do you know the power behind those words? Think about it, “I AM” can be followed by any number of things that demonstrates the might of God…

  • “I AM” the LORD of lords
  • “I AM” your provider
  • “I AM” without beginning or end
  • “I AM” omnipotent

Just keep adding to it…

With those two words, He has established that He is our all and all and there is no one above Him. Great is His name and He is truly worthy to be praised!

I’m linking up with:

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