Monday, July 31, 2017

Online Bible Study?

   Recently I heard about a ministry called Love God Greatly and their Bible Study groups, many of which are online.  To be honest, the thought didn't appeal to me at first.  I've been a part of and have led women's bible studies before, and there's just something special about physically showing up!  You can read each other's facial expressions and understand so much from tone of voice and body language.  You can give hugs and welcoming smiles.  And let's not forget coffee and snacks!  Relationships are built easily when we make time to get together.

  But...I haven't been in a women's bible study for years.  Why?  Because it's too difficult to find a group of women who want to commit to a study AND align schedules to make it happen!  I'm in a season of life where my kids activities and therefore my schedule are always changing.  Evenings that we do have free I usually try to reserve as family time.  So you take multiple women with varying schedules, and it's hard to meet consistently.  Maybe this online bible study thing is worth a try!  Women can plan their time with God whenever is convenient in their schedule that day, and then post insights and encourage others in a private online group setting.  The best part - you can do it in your pajamas!

So you've probably guessed by now that I'm in for a trial run.  And more than that...I feel like God wants me to facilitate a group. It forces me to put the time and effort in.  As with anything, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it!   I have a month to prepare, because the next study with Love God Greatly (LGG) begins on August 28th and is over 1 & 2 Timothy.  If this interests you too, read on for more info!

Who can join the group? Women only, please

How long does it last?  It begins on August 28th and continues for 6 weeks.

What do you have to do? LGG publishes a journal that can be ordered through Amazon or downloaded for free.  It provides daily Scripture readings, room to journal using a SOAP format, and other helpful tips.  LGG also has a blog that posts related devotions 3 times per week.  After journaling, simply participate in conversation in a private Facebook group.

What is SOAP?  This is a method of journaling.  SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.  Click here for more info.

What will we be studying?  1 &2 Timothy.  Click here for a description of the study or to order the study journal from  You can also get a kids version of the journal here so they can study along with you!

How do I join?  Just let me know you are interested and I will send you an invitation to join the group Facebook page once I have it ready to go!  Also, you may go ahead and order your journal (see above).  There will be a PDF version available for free download at a later date if money is an issue.  However, buying the $12 journal through Amazon helps to support the ministry and offers a nicer presentation of the material.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.  Who wants to try this out with me?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Known by Dick and Ruth Foth

Known: Finding Deep Friendships in a Shallow World.  Don't we all want that?  In this digital age of texting and Facebook, something seems to have been lost, or at least harder to grasp than it once was.  I was hoping this book would have some insight into how to navigate these challenges and create more opportunities for deep relationships to flourish.  While the book did well at describing the components of deep friendship, it did not address the struggle, and therefore lacked personal connection for me.

Using Scripture and story, the authors paint a picture of what deep friendships look like.  Friends share stories, spend time together, and affirm each other.  They are authentic, honest, and trusting.  They pursue, invite, sacrifice, and remain.

"Friendship - true, deep friendship - is found in a desire to know and the willingness to be known.  It is choosing to walk with another person through whatever comes.  A lasting friend knows you and still likes you.  And a lasting friend, at the end of the day, is quite simply there."

This book is written mostly by Dick Foth, with some comments added at the end of certain chapters by his wife, Ruth.  When I read Ruth's comments following the introduction, I thought this book was for me.  She was going to add in an introvert's perspective...just what I needed!  But instead, her thoughts were mostly poems or stories that didn't address an introvert's struggle.  

Overall, this is a nice book about friendship...defining what it is and sharing some good stories as examples.  It provides wisdom on how to be a better friend.  But it may leave you right where you started...longing for a deep friendship and not knowing how to take the first step to find one.  Just not quite what I had expected.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.