Monday, May 13, 2013

WordSowers Scripture Tellers School

I would like to let you know about the WordSower Scripture Tellers School.

The dates for the school are July 9-26th and it will be held in Winterset, IA. I have wanted to participate in this training for about 2 years (since I first heard about it) but it is usually held in Oregon. The cost for this opportunity is $500 plus travel costs (which includes meals, housing, and materials). If anyone else is interested in participating this year, please let me know and I can share some more details with you. There is one prerequisite to attending, which is memorizing at least a 3 chapter long book of the Bible (I am memorizing the book of 2 Corinthians).

Some topics studied are the Disciplines of Oral Interpretation, Acting, Storytelling, Communication, and Hermeneutics. All are oriented toward effective oral communication of Scripture. I will be studying the Bible, the Church and Christian Discipleship and how each of us might best build up the body of Christ through the public reading/recitation of the Word of God. The goal is to share Word for Word Dramatic Recitations of Scripture and musical presentations, using Scripture for lyrics for the edification, exhortation, comfort and equipping of God's people.

So, basically I will be learning how to recite Scripture beautifully and artfully to encourage believers to hide God’s Word in their hearts. I love to memorize God’s Word and I hope this opportunity will help me be better equipped to share my love for memorizing the Scriptures with others.

I would love it if more friends were able to attend this year. So far I am the only participate signed up. (there are 6-8 spaces). Those of you who have been involved in Bible Bee in the past may find it helpful to memorize one of the Bible Bee books studied in the past. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Thoughts on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Rejoice always, praying without ceasing, in everything gives thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ~      1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wow. Those are some challenging commands to follow.  Does it really mean to rejoice always? To pray without ceasing? To give thanks in everything?  These were (and still are) some of my initial thoughts about this passage in 1 Thessalonians 5.  I mean, how can I truly apply this to my life? It it even possible? 

No. It is not possible. I cannot rejoice always, praying without cease, and give thanks in everything without Jesus Christ.  Humanly, it is not possible.  But with God all things are possible.  

Sure, it's easy to thank God when things are going my way, when life is good.  But what about when things are not good from my limited view point? When things don't do my way? Do I still believe that God has planned it for good? That everything is a gift from Him?  So many times I let my circumstances control my attitude instead of letting Jesus Christ rule over all.  

In order to be thankful at all times I must realize that God works all things out for good.  I must look for the good in the "bad".  Until I realize that all is a gift from God, I will complain when life doesn't go my way.  All I have is a gift from Him and without His grace I will fail to see these gifts.  That's why I must pray without ceasing.  I must live in constant dependance on Him because if I'm not dependent on Him, I will be dependent on my flesh.   And my flesh doesn't want to thank anyone for anything because it depends on itself.   Without Jesus Christ's grace, I won't even want to look for the good.

So I must die to my flesh and purpose to look for the gifts of God in each and every moment of life.   

This is hard.  It doesn't come naturally. But with God all things are possible.  I won't be perfect.  But I must continue, by God's grace, to create the habit of looking for God's gifts.  To practice, practice, practice.  To ask God to open my eyes that I may see His wonderful works.  

This is where the joy comes in.  The Bible says, "In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11b)  Joy is found in God.  And God is evident everywhere - if I'm looking for Him.   I must choose to acknowledge His presence and His working in every detail of every part of my life.  It's when I thank God for His gifts that I can live in His presence.  "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name." (Psalm 100:4)  Joy only comes with thanksgiving.  I cannot rejoice always unless I am thankful, unless I am continually looking for the gifts God bestows on me.  

So, "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks." Creating these habits will allow me to live life to its fullest -  "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  There's no better place to be than in His will.  

May God give me grace to live these verses out in my life!