Before Amen: That’s A Wrap!

Y’ALL!!!!!  This is it! We are officially at the end of our Before Amen Online Bible Study. It’s been AMAZING! Nicki and I have loved spending this time with you. Yesterday we had a final conversation about the study and we want to share that with you now~

If you can’t see the video above click her to to view on Vimeo.

We hope you’ve loved this study as much as we have. And we especially hope what you’ve learned and begun to apply will stick with you!

This week, we had Glynnis Whitwer and Karen Ehman, authors of Everyday Confetti: Your Year-Round Guide to Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions, as our conference call guests on our final Before Amen Call, “Have Yourself a Prayerful Little Christmas.” During our conversation, we took a look at their book, which is phenomenal! If you want or need some fun, simple and meaningful ideas for celebrations all year long, this is the book for you!

And guess what??? We are giving FOUR books away today!

As we close this study, share with us and “Join the Conversation” in the comment section.

Let’s Chat:  (do this and you will be entered to win a copy of Everyday Confetti!)

  1. What will you take away from this Before Amen OBS?
  2. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Winner from Wednesday: Congrats to  Emilie, email beginning elancour.  Email Angie@Proverbs31.org with your mailing info and we’ll send you a copy of Before Amen!

Save the Date:

Mark your calendars!  Our next P31 OBS begins January 26, 2015!

Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing At All by Karen Ehman. Registration begins January 6!

Merry Christmas Y’all!  And thank you for being such a big part of this OBS. It’s been great and I hope you will join us again!

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Can I Get a “Thank You?”

I’ve had a HORRIBLE case of the “disappointments” the past few weeks. There’s been so much I’ve been believing for, praying for and I’m just not seeing things happen like I’d hoped.

But, before you think I’m getting all “woe is me” on you … I want you to know Chapter Eight is completely putting my perspective back in its rightful place.

Because life is not lived in a highlight reel, where everything is just awesome, high-fiveish and knocking it out of the park every day. There will be low days, weeks and even months. But ultimately, the reaction we have to our disappointments will either lead to self-pity or self-improvement.

I think my favorite quote from the entire book is in chapter eight …

“Gratitude is a dialysis of sorts. It flushes the self-pity out of our systems.”
– Max Lucado

So this morning, I took out my journal and I wrote [just like Max did] the letters A-Z. I then went through and wrote all the things I was thankful for in 2014.

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Gratitude. Is. Powerful.

Instantly my mood shifted. I saw how much God had done in just one year! It point those disappointments into perspective instantly.

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Can you imagine the sound we could make here on this blog today if each of us did this activity? Across the WORLD gratitude would be going up and self-pity would be going down.

So, let’s do it! Let’s start a little gratitude movement here on this blog today!!

Let’s Chat: 

Today in the comment section here on the blog, write out your A-Z of thanks!

I promise it won’t take long. It took me less than ten minutes to write mine out. Think of all the things God did in 2014 to praise Him for. And I know, “x” is tough. But I give you permission to be creative with it!

Bible Study LIVE is TONIGHT on Facebook:

Join us tonight at 8pm ET for Proverbs 31 Bible Study LIVE! This is live in real time and takes place on our Facebook event page.  Just show up via mobile device or computer with a notebook (for your own personal notes), Bible, and a few other little supplies (listed on the event page). It’s so much fun and you’ll get a community-filled, Scripture-focused, practical & applicable time for your real life Bible study all in one hour! Click here to join and get more information.

Special Opportunity: 

Would you like to be featured in one of our videos for our upcoming study of Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman? (We’ll launch Jan. 26 ~ watch proverbs31.org for registration details, beginning Jan. 6!)

We are going to have a new feature called, “You Asked” in our weekly videos. You have the opportunity to send in your picture and ask a question for Karen to answer!

Think of it like … “Dear Abby …” for OBS (is that column still around?).

BUT we need ALL questions and pictures by THIS Friday December 12.

These are the topics we are looking for specific questions about:

-Gossip

-Speaking the truth in love

-Talking to God before talking to others

-Listening

-Communication

-Anger

-Having the last word

-Digital tongue (the words you text and put online)

Please email your question AND your picture {you are giving us permission to use!} to: nicki@proverbs31.org.

 

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You Matter

Today’s video message, more than any other, made me really soak in that each of us really do matter to God. Check it out this quick two minute message from Max Lucado~

If you can’t see the video above by Max Lucado, click here.

We access the throne room of God by the Name of Jesus.

Prayer matters because you matter.

You are never without hope becaue you are never without prayer.

~Max Lucado

Doesn’t it just blow you away that God cares and loves us so much that He even wants to have a relationship with us?  He doesn’t have to, ya know. He wants to. We can access Him anytime and anywhere. We matter to God. And because we have access to Him, and we matter, we have hope. Never are we without prayer, and never is God unavailable to us. Think about that. You can go to him RIGHT NOW, without an appointment.

As I just re-read that last paragraph to myself, tears welled up in my eyes. When I was finished I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.  #SayWhat #YouLoveMeThatMuch  It’s pretty amazing isn’t it?

Let’s Chat~

  1. What do you desire most from God?
  2. What amazes you the most amazed with God?

Hey, y’all~ I have one extra Before Amen book, and I bet someone out there would be interested in giving it away for Christmas. Am I right?  Join the conversation today (comment section) and you will be entered to win it 🙂

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They Need Help

What can you do when the challenge is greater than you are, you feel helpless and you aren’t sure where to turn?

I hope and pray you will never have to ask yourself that question again.  You can pray.

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“They need help” is the part of our pocket prayer that brings us to pray for others. If your prayer strength is compassion, you probably find yourself praying for others a lot.  But, just like Nicki admitted in last Friday’s video, she struggles for the words to pray for others, and I know she’s not alone.

We have a dear friend in P31 OBS who recently had a lung transplant. It has been a gift and honor to watch her friends and family pray for her. She needs help, oh, yes she does! And we have interceded on her behalf going to the Father with our requests and prayers for her. For me, it’s easy to pray for someone like this. She deserves it. And I’m happy to report she’s doing very well. 🙂  But what about praying for our enemies?  Or just people who we really don’t feel like praying for? There is someone I quit praying for a few years ago, and I must say, I’m convicted.  That is so far from what Jesus would do.

Jesus modeled praying for others so well. Okay, he modeled everything really well. But I’m so touched by His compassion, especially for those who didn’t deserve it. For those who were mocking Him. “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing” (Luke 23:24, MSG).  I don’t know if I would have said that as I hung on the cross. I think I would have asked God to give them their punishment. To take care of them and make them go away. To get them out of my life so I never have to listen to them again. Not Jesus. He placed them in the hands of God. Father, they need help.

If you struggle to know what to pray for others, use the prayer guide Max Lucado gives us in the Abide section of our study guide (p. 135).  Let’s try it now~

Father~ You love these people who are hurting more than I do, so I can trust you.

You are good~ You have a plan for those who are on my heart today.

I need help~ So much of my world revolves around me. Please help me think of others and pray for them more.

They need help~ (Lift up their names and needs to God.)

Thank you~ Thank you for providing this gift of prayer and allowing its power, through your Son, Jesus, to actually change your mind!

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Let’s Chat~

  1. Is there someone in your life (past or present) who you struggle to pray for?  Can you bring yourself to pray for them today?
  2. What was your favorite part of Chapter 7?
  3. Which Bible verse mentioned in Chapter 7 or the Study Guide for Chapter 7 really spoke to you and moved you to deeper thought or action?

 

(Just so you know, immediately after writing this post, I prayed for that person I haven’t prayed for in years. I didn’t even know what to say in my prayer, but I did it anyway and it felt good. Although it doesn’t heal the past or restore the relationship, I trust God with it. And we know He is good. Thank You Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.)

You’re Invited~

Join us TONIGHT! It’s our Before Amen Facebook party~ 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST) … free fun with friends and Christmas cheer!  RSVP here to get to the party.
BeforeAmen_FacebookParty

 

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Before Amen Week 4

Oh my goodness. It’s Week FOUR! I’m a little sad, but … I’m REALLY excited about this week’s video. You guys are in for a treat because we have an extended version of our video for the week!

So, you’ll need to carve out about 15 minutes to watch this special study-end video.

Before Amen Week 4 from Proverbs 31 Ministries on Vimeo.

Click here to watch the video on Vimeo.

That was so fun! Hope you guys enjoyed that, including my face turning FIRE ENGINE RED. 🙂

Here’s what we have going on this week:

Memory Verse – Get started learning this verse now! Pin it, print it, share it on social media, write it on a chalk board or note card~ whatever you need to do to help you put it into action. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

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  • Monday – Begin working on your memory verse and reading Chapter 7 , “They Need Help.”
  • Tuesday – Chapter 7 Chat on blog; work through the questions on pp. 133-136.
  • Wednesday – Video clip from Max Lucado to go along with Week 4 and questions based on the video for discussion.
  • Thursday – Read Chapter 8-9, “Thank You” and “In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” Begin questions on pp. 137-144, Chapter 8-9 Chat on blog.
  • Friday – Week 4 Wrap Up Video & Prayer Challenge

Optional Events This Week:

  • Live Conference Call with Karen Ehman & Glynnis Whitwer, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Thurs., Dec. 11, 10:30 a.m. ET (Call WILL be recorded so no worries if you cannot be on live with us!)
  • It’s A Party!!! Facebook Party, Tues. 9 p.m. ET
  • Proverbs 31 Bible Study LIVE, Thurs. 8 p.m. ET

 Let’s Chat: 

Since we had so fun asking Max the questions we REALLY wanted to know, we thought this week we’d ask you a few of the same ones. So answer these questions today in our group chat comment section:

1. What’s your favorite place to be?

2. What’s your favorite food?

3. What’s your favorite book you’ve ever read?

Can’t wait to read all your answers! Have a great week everyone!!

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