Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ladies' Study, Week Two

This morning, our church hosted week two of our winter ladies' study. We're looking at Carolyn Custis James's book, When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference. We gather at 10:00 (approximately) to visit and talk and eat yummy nibbles, and then listen to a few announcements, and then a brief testimony. That takes almost an hour. Yeah, I like the nibbles! This morning one lady brought gorgeous, healthy muffins with whole grain, cranberries, carrots, and butter on top :) After this one, I had a blueberry one also. I called that lunch!
After that, we have an hour in our small groups to discuss the chapter from the book, with the emphasis on discussion. It's interactive. I'm one of the small group "fascillitators," or leaders. I do always prefer a Bible study, i.e., a study with a portion of Scripture as its reference and content. So generally I direct and re-direct the study toward the Bible, which is what we're there for anyway :)

The book is, at its root, about knowing God, and I've had a fabulous time in recent weeks searching for Scripture passages on this topic. What does God have to say about knowing Him? Why do we know Him? How do we know Him? What are the results of knowing Him? Passages from II Peter 1, Isaiah 11, Phil. 3, and Hosea, have been so enriching, and have opened this topic bigger and deeper than I'd hoped. It was a rich lesson today.

I'm thrilled to say that today we had many more women from other local churches, than we did from our own church. Maybe that came out wrong -- I wish all our own women were there too. (And shame on you for skipping, if you skipped! But I know everybody can't do everything.) But what a blessing to see so many women visiting! The goal is not for them to switch churches and become Presbyterians - haha! They've just heard about the ladies' studies at our church, heard they were excellent, and they continue to return and bring their friends. What a joy to teach these ladies!

I know some ladies are not into snacks and visiting and socializing. I understand; I'm not an extrovert that way either. But I'm happy to say that our church is offering rich, sustaining food for both the body and the soul.

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