Archive for March, 2009

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Esther: Beth Moore study update

March 29, 2009

In order to access the videos associated with Beth Moore’s study of Esther, please contact this blog’s administrator.

Blessings,

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Esther: Week 8

March 15, 2009

This is the link for Session 7.

When you click on the link “Session 7” (above) it will open a new window with the download instructions. Click on “WMV” (to the left of the question mark) to launch the video. This video download is only available for members of this Bible Study. To participate, you will need the Member book.

Our next meeting will be at 6:30pm on 3/16 at Barbara Alvarez’s house. Contact Barbara if you need directions to her home.

Please post your comments/thoughts about this week’s video, the study material or on the book of Esther. This forum provides a way for us to share our ideas and opinions as we move through, and are moved by, our studies.

Links to previous sessions:

Esther: Week 1 (Introduction video)

Esther: Week 2 (Session 1 video)

Esther: Week 3 (Session 2 video)

Esther: Week 4 (Session 3 video)

Esther: Week 5 (Session 4 video)

Esther: Week 6 (Session 5 video)

Esther: Week 7 (Session 6 video)

posted by Fran.

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Finding Favor with the King: Week 7

March 3, 2009

Chapters 11 & 12

 

Lord,

            As we move into the Lenten season, empower us with new resolve to face the challenges that life presents.  Give us the strength to complete that victory for which we are destined.  Guide us to discover the talents and passions that will bring us closer to You and allow us to better serve you.

Amen

 

Summary

 

          Hopefully, as you know already, we decided to walk the Stations of the Cross on Ash Wednesday and discuss the last two chapters of the Tenney book before the Lenten Service.  As we began to move from station to station, however, we focused more on the Bible verses at each station.  One of the study questions for Chapter 11  asked if we had ever felt that it was the wrong time to try to ask God for something which, as I reflect on our activity, seems to coincide with what we were actually doing.  Wednesday wasn’t the time to reflect solely on Esther’s struggle or our own; it was a time to reflect on Jesus’ struggle and the struggle his disciples (our Christian forefathers) were experiencing at the time.  We may pray to God to help us during these troubling times, but imagine the troubles our Lord was facing.  Our problems, even Esther’s problems, seem almost mundane compared to His.  He knew what He had to face for us and willingly gave Himself for us, for our sins.  Imagine how it must have felt for the ones who professed to love Him the most, even after being told they would, as they took Him for granted, denied Him, betrayed Him.  Talk about confusing times and circumstances!  Imagine actually being in His presence and not realizing the true importance until after He was crucified and rose again.  And finally, imagine what the disciples were willing to do afterward to complete the victory, what they were willing to sacrifice for Him.

            As you struggle with your day-to-day problems and circumstances, try to remember what Jesus and His disciples experienced in the days and moments before His crucifixion.  As we try to walk in their shoes for even a moment, I think it will make our own problems seem much more manageable.  His sacrifice meant our salvation.  With His strength, we can do everything else and find His favor.

posted by Bonny.

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Esther: Week 7

March 3, 2009

This is the link for Session 6.

When you click on the link “Session 6” (above) it will open a new window with the download instructions. Click on “WMV” (to the left of the question mark) to launch the video. This video download is only available for members of this Bible Study. To participate, you will need the Member book.

Our next meeting will be at 6:30pm on 3/9 at Barbara Alvarez’s house. Contact Barbara if you need directions to her home.

Please post your comments/thoughts about this week’s video, the study material or on the book of Esther. This forum provides a way for us to share our ideas and opinions as we move through, and are moved by, our studies.

Links to previous sessions:

Esther: Week 1 (Introduction video)

Esther: Week 2 (Session 1 video)

Esther: Week 3 (Session 2 video)

Esther: Week 4 (Session 3 video)

Esther: Week 5 (Session 4 video)

Esther: Week 6 (Session 5 video)

posted by Fran.

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Finding Favor with the King: Week 6

March 1, 2009

Chapter 9 & 10

 

Lord,

            I love You for being You.  I know I don’t tell You often enough how much I love You, not what You do for me or for others, not for what You might do for me and others, but just for being You.  I don’t want to even try to imagine how dark and empty would be my life with You.  You fill my life with such love and light by just being.  Thank You.

I love You.

                                                                                                                                                Amen

 

Summary

 

            The prayer above comes from the discussion we had on Chapters 9 & 10.  One thing that has become abundantly clear during this study of Esther is the fact that we often don’t take the time to tell God how much we simply love Him.  We take Him for granted, sometimes like we do our loved ones, and just accept that they know how much we love them.  Because He knows our heart, we think that we don’t have to take the time to say it; we believe that we show Him through our worship and our work, but sometimes it means the most to simply say the three little words, “I love You.”  How often have we heard that phrase come from the heart of a loved one or friend?  Is there anything better?  Just imagine how God feels when we say it to Him?  We are all seeking a closer relationship, a more intimate relationship with God, but how many of us are willing to say it out loud or through our heart to Him?  Not thanking Him or begging Him or seeking Him for something, but just “hugging” Him and telling Him, “I love You.”

            Another thing that became obvious during our discussion is that we think that God has been given a starvation diet by most us.  We all felt our “banquets” for the Lord have been haphazard, micro waved  leftovers that wouldn’t even appeal to a stray cat much less the King of Kings.  Again, we recognized the need to put Him at the center of our lives, to make His needs our priority because it is through attending to Him that we will truly find ourselves.  Instead of continually bringing Him our wants, our needs, our problems, we should see to His needs, His wants, His problems, which will help us to re-focus our lives and clarify what’s really important, what’s really needed, what’s really a problem.

            Finally, we expressed some very guarded feelings about those moments when we recognized that someone wasn’t able to accept us for who we are.  It’s one thing when a stranger shows enmity toward you, but the hurt comes when a person we know, or worse still, a person we love reveals it.  It is hard, sometimes extremely hard, to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes in order to understand the problem, the source of the discordthe hatred; but if we don’t do it, then we are letting God down.  He tells us to love our enemies, forgive those who trespass against you, and if we don’t try, really give it our heartfelt best effort, then we are disappointing God.  He still loves us, just as we still love our own children even when they do something that disappoints us, but our heart hurts.  Imagine how His heart hurts because of us.  We ended resolving to use the Lenten season to renew our relationship with God.  Join us!

 

What follows are the study questions for Chapters 11 & 12.

 

Study Guide

Chapter  11 – RIGHT QUESTION, WRONG TIME

Don’t Ask Him Now

 

1.  Have you ever used the strategy on your father or significant other that Tenney suggests women know how to use to get something they want?  Explain.

 

2.  Would you consider it to be a form of manipulation if you tried the same technique when asking God for something?  Why or why not?

 

3.  Have you ever felt that it was the wrong time to try to ask God for something?  If so, what prompted that feeling?

 

4.  How have you taken God for granted? 

 

5.  How often do you seek God just to tell him you love Him without asking Him for anything in return?

 

Chapter 12 – HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Living in the King’s House and Wearing the King’s Ring

 

1.  Have you found yourself weary, discouraged, and seemingly no farther down the road of life than when you entered the valley of trial and tribulation?  Did you quit or did you begin walking again, step-by-step?

 

2.  Have you ever lived in confusing times or circumstances?

 

3.  Has there ever been a time when your own pride or your own tower of proud words caused your downfall?  Explain.

 

4.  Have you ever experienced a time when one day made all the difference?  Explain.

 

5.  To what extent will you go to complete the victory?  Is there a battle that you are in that you are trying to avoid, hoping that it will just go away?  What is God calling you to do to resolve the situation? Are you prepared?  Why or why not?

 

posted by Bonny.