Katrina’s Walk In Faith {Phase: Five}

Happy Friday, Friends! Can you BELIEVE it? We are already on the very last day of our Walk in Faith Bible study! What a joy and a privilege it’s been for us to learn and grow together with you all over these past five weeks! But just because our study is coming to an end does NOT mean our Walk in Faith journey is. That one will continue for a lifetime!

Speaking of a Walk in Faith journey, it’s time to check back in with Katrina Wylie to hear how God brought her to her own Resurrection Phase. Here she is:

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An Only God Destination

“Some wandered in desert wastelands … Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness … Some became fools through their rebellious ways …” (Psalm 107:4a, 10a, 17a, NIV).

Oh, how I can relate to the “some” described here when it comes to the death phase of my #WalkInFaith!

Do you know what’s awesome though? None of these stories ended there!

When we read on in Psalm 107, we discover something so incredibly beautiful: “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.” (Psalm 107:6 NIV)

Wow! What a faithful God we serve!! Even in our drifting …

Sitting on the couch, with the memory of the women’s church event (mentioned last week) flashing through my mind, God’s whispered words echoed in my heart once more, reawakening it to a future hope from Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know THE plans I have for YOU …”

In response, I dropped to my knees and cried out to our God! All the desperation and bottled up shame I felt from my drifted thoughts and wayward ways over the last four years poured out from the depths, overflowing to the one and only who could redeem them. And after much praise, confession and prayer for help to LET IT ALL GO, I arrived at one final plea of my heart – one seemingly impossible and crazy prayer:

“God,” I whispered through my tears, “if it’s truly your plan I teach, write and speak, please bring me to a place where this can be brought to life. Somehow bring other women into my life who teach, write and speak Your Word. Lord, I can’t. But YOU can. Please make a way where there seems no way.”

Though an answer didn’t immediately come, this renewed beacon of hope shined through my darkness, lighting the way back to seeking strongly after God. And through that seeking, a pull in a new direction started to grow – one to get on Facebook and start a blog to share about Him, which I did begin to do. But, just as I excitedly and fearfully set up a blog, some unexpected news came – my mom, at only 58, went home to be with our Lord … and all the bitterness began calling to me from the depths once more …

But God.

He is truly so very good and faithful. Because He had provided and ignited the beacon of hope in my heart BEFORE I entered into what could’ve been the darkest leg of my journey yet, I didn’t drop anchor back into that sea of bitterness. Instead, the light of our Lord led me forward, drawing me closer to Him through it, moment by moment, day by difficult day.

Then, about four months later, He moved in another unexpected way. While scrolling mindlessly through my Facebook feed, three words caught my attention:

Let. It. Go.

This is just what I had prayed for help with!!

Stopping to check it out, I discovered it to be an invite to join an upcoming online Bible Study with Melissa Taylor on Karen Ehman’s book, Let. It. Go. Curious to learn more, I clicked the link, not at all expecting what it’d lead to.

As the page loaded, my eyes instantly fell on it – Jeremiah 29:11 typed out across the header of the blog! Instantly, tears flooded my eyes, spilling down my cheeks as once again, God pressed upon my heart: “THIS is the plan I have for YOU.”

I didn’t fully understand how, but GOD had answered my prayer!!

That was back in January of 2013, and everything God has done in my life through this ministry and these studies since has been nothing short of AMAZING resurrection indeed!! If you would’ve told me that day, back in my car when God led me to quit my job, it’d lead here – to being a daughter of God whose past debts have been erased, spiritually AND financially, and who gets to homeschool her beautiful, healthy daughter AND teach/write for #P31OBS, I NEVER would’ve believed you in a million years – truly an “only God” destination!!

Is everything now blissfully perfect? No. There are parts of my heart in need of mending and some dreams still feeling far off. BUT, as I wait, I am resting in awe of what has been resurrected and in the joy I’ve found through seeking and experiencing God in the everyday along the way. And it is my hope and prayer God has used something shared here in this study to encourage YOUR heart with this truth also:

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If you, too, are finding yourself in a place of needing mending in your heart, well then I hope you’ll come along for our next study: The Mended Heart by Suzanne Eller. We launch June 22 and would love to continue to meet with you here!

Until then, I leave you with this hope to look forward to for your next “only God” destination:

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” Psalm 107:29-30 (NIV)

Let’s Chat:

What is an “only God” destination you’ve experienced?

Which of the 5 #WalkInFaith phases do you currently relate to?

 

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Bible Study Skills: Key Word Study

Happy Thursday everyone! Melissa Sherlin here to ask … Have ever wondered what the Bible has to say on a certain subject?

Have you, like me, found yourself Googling “what does the Bible say about … ?” only to find multiple (and sometimes conflicting!) views on whatever subject may be at hand.

Doing a keyword search in my Bible or Bible app often helps me gain a deeper meaning of bgkwpmwhat God’s Word actually has to say on a certain topic.

I LOVE using BibleGateway.com to do keyword searches! I type in the word I want to study and what version of the Bible I want to use, and it pulls up the verses on that subject! On the left is what it looked like when I did a keyword search on faith.

With over 475 results and the ability to view other translations, context, or the whole chapter, I found myself in awe of God’s Word and how it all fits together to speak straight into my life today!

Meanwhile our friend (and P31 OBS Exec Team member), Christa Hutchins, is here to share a very special way that she does keyword reading AND a bonus to take with us as we continue to walk in faith!  Thank you so much Christa!

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Hey y’all, it’s Christa! This walk we’ve taken together has been something special, hasn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready for it to end.  So we wanted to leave you with a fresh, simple way to stay in God’s Word over the next few weeks.

My grandfather was a small-town Baptist preacher and, often, as a child and teen, I would visit him during an old-fashioned revival.  I got to sit across the dinner table (eating the best cornbread and fried okra in Mississippi!) with the mighty men of God who preached at those revivals.

One of those preachers challenged me to pick a small book of the Bible (or long passage that can be read in one sitting) and read the whole thing for several days or even weeks in a row, looking for something different every day … such as references to God one day, to Jesus the next, to His promises, His provision, His faithfulness and so on.

I tried it first with the book of Colossians. Reading this way helped me notice things I had never seen before and gave me a deeper understanding of the passage. As I read the same words over and over again, they soaked down into the very bottom of my soul and it changed me.

Deep inside, changed me.  

To this day, when I hear the words from Colossians 3, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and a dearly loved …”  it resurrects peace and confidence in my heart, because I am chosen and loved.  I’ve done this many times over the years since, studying different passages. It is a low-maintenance (but super powerful) way to stay in God’s Word.

I love that I can do key word reading any time, with nothing more than my Bible!  

Lysa TerKeurst has referred to Hebrews 11, often called “The Hall of Faith,” throughout this study.  So we encourage you to continue your walk of faith by reading Hebrews 11 (or another passage if you like) for several days, a few weeks or even a month. Whatever works for you. :)

Here’s a helpful list of  20 Things to Look For in Studying Scripture, some tips on key word reading and a little journal to record what you find.

 

We have loved spending this time with you, and pray that you will continue to dig deeper and deeper into God’s Word as you #WalkInFaith!  

~ Melissa, Sarah and Christa- the P31OBS Bible Study Skills Team

P.S. Anybody else hungry for cornbread and fried okra now????

Join Us:

It’s not too late to join us for the Conference Call Series Step Into God’s Word! Join us live today at 11 a.m. ET or catch the whole series on the recordings at your convenience!

Tonight we’ll be at Bible Study Live, an hour of live Bible study with your #P31OBS friends from all over the world, on Facebook at 8 p.m. ET!  Click here to join the event. I hope to see you there!

Let’s Chat:

Which study skill has meant the most to you during our study?

How do you plan to stay in God’s Word after the study is over?

 

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Walk in Faith Wednesdays {Resurrection}

 

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Hi Friends! Stacy Lowe with you today, and can I just tell you how thankful I am to be learning about the Resurrection Phase this week? This Walk in Faith can be tough at times, but, oh, how sweet (and worth the wait!) is the resurrection.

I have the perfect reminder of new life (resurrection) right here at my home. There’s a beautiful big tree right outside my door that loses its leaves each fall. Throughout the long, cold months of winter, the tree appears lifeless, its branches stripped of all color and vibrancy.

Here’s what I love about this tree, though. Sometime around April each year, it seems like I close my blinds one evening to a lifeless and bare tree, only to open them the next morning and see those previously empty branches bursting with new life. All that time it looked like nothing was happening, that “lifeless” tree was actually preparing for its moment to bloom. And with God’s help, so are we!

This week for Walk in Faith Wednesdays, Lysa TerKeurst and Melissa Taylor are back to talk about this Resurrection Phase.

If you’ve read already in the book about Sergei, you’re probably wondering what’s happened with him? Lysa shares the rest of this story in the video and we also get to see Lysa’s fabulous mom with her resurrected hair — hahaha. {See last week’s video if you have no idea what I’m talking about!}

Check this out.

If you can’t view the video in your email, please click here.

Let’s Chat:

What part of today’s video will you remember most?

I shared with you today about the tree in my yard. What signs of resurrection do you notice around you?

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