I have so much to share with you tonight, that I don't quite know where to begin.
Today was a banner day. I haven't had a lot of those as of late, so I especially appreciated today.
It began with the study of Daniel. I've chosen to work through "You're A Brave Man Daniel," a study of Daniel chapters 1-6 with the kiddos this quarter.
Next we'll do the rest of Daniel, and then we'll dig into Revelation.
That is, unless Janna Arndt writes 1st & 2nd Thessalonians first. :)
That's my plug, by the way...if you're from Harvest House Publishers...we need the study of Covenant, and 1st & 2nd Thessalonians.
But, I digress...
Oh, a quick aside to tell you, I won't be proof reading tonight...I'm exhausted, but you know me...I gotta rattle when there's something worth sharing.
And today certainly was.
Our homeschooling morning ran later than expected, and it was a late lunch for us. I was starving, the kids were starving...you get the picture.
Add to that, I haven't been to the store since, I don't know....May, maybe?
So, we had an errand to run here in town...Dr.'s office...and I was going to drive through Taco Bell (again!), but then thought...hey, we're learning about the Middle East..why not go try middle eastern food?
I gotta admit, I was scared to death.
I'm a Texas girl, you know..I don't even like BBQ from anywhere north of the panhandle!
But, we were brave...and ventured into Cafe' Afify here in Anthem.
We were greeted by the most wonderful man, a fellow believer in Christ Jesus...and from Jerusalem.
You know I wanted to hop out of my seat and hug his neck, and pick his brain for hours on end!
Which is pretty much what I did..sans the hopping out of my seat and hugging his neck. :)
Today was homeschooling in it's purest form.
We studied a culture in the AM, and then we ate their food for lunch.
Our host at the Cafe' even gave us history lessons and geography lessons of the Mediterranean.
He walked us through every dish on the menu, and graciously allowed us to look at all the items of interest hanging on the walls.
I especially liked the picture of the cedars of Lebanon, having just studied about them in Kings & Prophets part 1. Then we got to look at maps of Tyre and Sidon.
I was totally beside myself with excitement!
I could go on and on.
It was amazing.
And the food...delicious!
I could eat lamb forever....and ever...and ever...and my kids could too! I was stunned!
Brennan and Caedmon are going to turn INTO pita bread, and I found that grape leaves stuffed with rice are De-Lic-ious!
OK...so that was part one of the day.
Then we came home, and I barked out orders like a mom with no grace whatsoever....for goodness sakes, there were women coming over tonight...for our fellowship night from the Kinsman Redeemer study, which wrapped two weeks ago, but which I've been absent from for that long due to illness upon illness here.
So, quite interesting isn't it?
Mommy acts like Mrs. Bossy pants to the kids, so that I can hostess the ladies that usually only see me at my best?
Um, I think I'll be asking for forgiveness of two sweet young kiddos tomorrow.
Yes. I know...upside down. Got that one wrong!
But, on to tonight...
These precious women who have been in the KR study of Ruth, all came for our wrap up dinner. They didn't let me do a thing, and even made me sit down while they made my plate of food.
They just came in like the loving swarm of little happy bees that they are, and took over my kitchen, whilst I sat on an icepack...
Then, it got really good....
I asked them the questions I'd been dying to ask for weeks...
Remember, although we've been studying Kinsman Redeemer, this has been a study for those being called into leadership....so it's been a different level of study...
I don't know how else to say it but to tell you that when you're studying with 10-12 other women who all do their homework and show up prepared, it's awesome to see what God does.
I've been the weak link in this, but thank the Lord that my friend D took over week 3 and led it. That was one of the main purposes of this class...to raise up other leaders/connect current leaders so that when life hits (as it will for all of us) we'll have someone else to call upon to lead our classes.
SO...here were the questions:
HOW has this study changed your life?
IS God calling you to lead?
If so....tell us....
You get the picture....
I kid you not when I tell you that I sat here and wiped many a tear as we went around the table and these precious women of God, from many different churches in the area, shared how deeply studying about their Kinsman Redeemer has changed their lives.
Then, glory be to God Almighty, from whom all good and perfect gifts come...they blessed me beyond their understanding!
You see, for 5+ years, I've been praying...begging God to raise up others who would go forth and lead.
There is such a need in our community.
So many hurting marriages.
Streets full of homes that people have lost due to foreclosure.
Kids deep into drugs.
Young women who dress like prostitutes because they have no clue how loved they are by the King of Kings.
Babies having babies.
So tonight, as we went around the table and each woman shared, I was in awe to hear how God is preparing them to go forth and lead.
3 of them go to the same church and have an amazing team between all of them...oh, how I'd like to be a fly on the wall when God gets them rolling....
1 is a veteran homeschooler, with a heart for young women and discipleship, and basically said that she's open...she just needs to know where the need is
1 knows that she's been called to lead teen girls through "Sweeter Than Chocolate" in January
1 has graciously agreed to be backup for me, as we will begin "Sweeter Than Chocolate" at my church on Oct. 1, and she's been studying with me for quite some time...
At the end of the year, she plans to approach her church about leading there in January
1 is following God's lead in ministering to her grandchildren right now, and wants to share Christ with them and with others, without fear (love that! love her!)
1 has been leading for quite some time, and is on a brief time of rest in God, but is faithfully praying about what to lead next/God's will for her church's body of believers
1 wants to open her home up for a neighborhood study
1 wants to minister to the new believers in her church
1 wants to reach out to women in marriages that are hurting
1 wants to obey God...is she to be ministering outside of her home right now? How can she love on her husband and family as God wants her to? Is there "more" she's to be doing for the kingdom? (Her questions and openness ministered to all of us!)
I put more into quotation marks because I think it's often the devil's lie to us as women....I think he wants to keep us busy, so we aren't there to minister to our husbands and families first.
They are our first ministry. Win the world, lose your family? Upside down. Not God's way.
Several are afraid...me included!
Truly, I could go on and on.....
But, what I want to leave you with is this....I love these precious women so much, and not just because they cleaned my kitchen and didn't comment about my piles of stuff in the kitchen...
And not just because they went upstairs to say hello to my dogs so they'd shut up, and never mentioned the condition of the 2nd story of my home....
And, not just because they love me, and love each other....
I love them because they are HUNGRY for GOD.
They are hungry for the lost to come to know Jesus Christ.
Some are scared to death to step out....but many of them are ready to do so....
I cried tonight, because hearing their passion for others to know God's Word the way that they've come to know Him through learning to study for themselves is INFECTIOUS!
You know, babies get colostrum when first they are born.
Then they get mother's milk.
Then rice cereal.
On to pureed green beans.
And one day, they get hamburger and steak....
We've got sheep in our churches who are hungry for steak...the meat of God's Word.
They are starving for it.
Even if our pastors are wonderful, one day a week is not sufficient for dining at God's table.
If you think it is, then try eating only one meal on Sundays.
Try it for a few months.
One meal...Sunday morning.
See how it sustains you.
Try it for a few years...
How would you do then?
And, this is considering that you have a pastor who is teaching the Word in Spirit and in Truth.
What if you don't?
What if you're just getting a jellybean thrown out to you on Sunday morning, and your sugar high is spent by the time you drive out of the parking lot?
And still, no food for you the rest of the week...the rest of the month...the rest of the decade....
How are you going to weather the storms of life then?
People, please hear my heart on this....people need to know the redemptive love of Jesus Christ.
If you know it, and you're not sharing it....
Then really, aren't you just being selfish?
Would you keep food from a starving man?
Would you refuse water to a person lost in a dry desert?
What do you think the Word of God is?
The Bread of Life.
You don't have to be eloquent...God's Word speaks for Itself.
Just let Him use you to teach others how to study It.
Oh, how in awe I am that He is raising up others from within this community for which I've prayed so long and so hard.
His goodness never ends.
Please pray for Cindy Wyatt tonight...she is the wife of Pastor Steve Wyatt from Crossroads here in Anthem. Her Caring Bridge site is caringbridge.org/visit/cindywyatt .
Please pray for these precious women who were in my home tonight...that they'll allow the boldness of Jesus Christ to propell them.
Please pray the same for me....I've been feeling a little sad as of late...I'm a late processor, and this whole MS thing just hit me a few days ago.
Tonight was healing water for a parched soul, as was my time with my new friend at Cafe' Afify.
That was rich.
I'd never seen an Orthodox Cross before. The cross with a crown on top, because Jesus is King, and the word "Jerusalem" on the back. Does it get any better than that?!
I gotta get one of those...loved it!
Remember..I gave you full disclosure...I'm not proofing...I'm fried, and still gotta take my shot. :(
Love to you all in the King of Kings,