Digging Deep: Five Days till We’re “In the Shadows”!

unnamed-8Others have tried and failed and, surely, I can’t put into words the exponential spiritual growth that occurred at Polishing the Pulpit this week. Suffice it to say that I’m so very thankful to be in these mountains the third week of August each year. I come to a spiritual peak in the times I share with these thousands of Christians in this beautiful part of God’s world. I’ll always be grateful to Allen Webster and the elders in the church at Jacksonville  for having the vision and zeal to make PTP the outstanding program that it continues to be. The fellowship is not even the main thing, but that alone is worth the trip!

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Countdown to the new Digging Deep study is at 5 days. The official beginning of the “In the Shadows” study is September 1st. I hope you can think of someone to invite to join us as we dig into what I think will enable us spiritually—to better evangelize and to more fully understand the purpose and importance of the Old Testament. So many of those we encounter in various churches around us are, on the one hand, confused by our insistence that we are no longer under the Old Law…or, on the other hand, curious as to why we study the Old Testament accounts so thoroughly and frequently. 

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I really believe that it will be impossible to complete the study this year without, in the end, understanding the value of the Old Testament to Christians while still being sure that it has been fulfilled and is no longer binding on us, as law, in any respect. That’s why I think it’s a great idea to invite your friends who may not have made the distinction in covenants to study along. I hope you will take the time to at least message a few friends or post the study on your Facebook wall.  Lots of women are studying as a class this year, as well.

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Now, about the Digging Deep study guides….You may order those at any time here: http://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Digging-Deep/c/20688312/offset=0&sort=normal. You’ll also find there the new Comfort Colors Digging Deep t-shirts that Ben Giselbach designed for us this year. The graphite and mint green made a great combination this year. You might want to take a look. (We had to remove the bundle we had offered earlier because our tumbler supply has been exhausted.) Note that all t-shirt orders must be completed by September 1st. This deadline enables us to have the shirts printed quickly and be able to mail them out in the first few days of September. 

Remember, also, that you may download the complete no-frills version of the study on the same page as well. We invite you to do that at any time with our compliments. The main objective here is to get the Word into the hearts of women, so be sure and do whatever best facilitates that. Don’t forget the podcast occurs monthly toward the end of the month. We hope you can join us for that hour live. We update the dates for that via the Facebook page “Digging Deep in God’s Word”.

Thank you for giving me the chance to study through the scriptures each year with you. I cannot tell you how huge a part of my life Digging Deep has come to be. And that’s a good thing. (Sometimes, though, I have to be careful to let my husband know that I love him even more than I love Digging Deep!)  So get ready. Get set…14063715_220885821642921_2281945772074807030_n-1

 

PTP! Let’s do this!

13912888_10153675854961384_3576400400912032462_nAs I write, I am trying to head out the door to attend one of the finest teaching programs I’ve ever experienced. Throughout the last year I have listened to 177 full length classes on the flash drive I brought home from last year’s Polishing the Pulpit. (http://polishingthepulpit.com) just while driving in my car. I’m spiritually richer just for the listening. I know more about the Bible and how to apply it. I have more teaching tools. I am glad I can listen in the  car after the gathering has dispersed. But to get to go and enjoy the fellowship of 4000 Christians while attending some of these lessons in person is a blessing in the vestibule of heaven, itself! 

The other night, while visiting the church in Jacksonville, Alabama I met a lady from the community who came also, to visit their Wednesday Bible study. When I met her, she related to me that someone in the community—someone to whom she had mentioned that she really wanted to know God’s will for her life—said “You should go over to the church of Christ. They have the best Bible studies over there.” Now I do not know who this person was. She was apparently not a member of the church. She had just become impressed with the reputation of Bible study that the Jacksonville church has. 

That was a breath of fresh air for me. God’s people should work hard to maintain that reputation. I’m sure I’ve heard at least a hundred times in my lifetime “The church of Christ used to have the reputation of being the people who knew the Bible. But that day, sadly, has passed.” Well, if it’s passed, I say, let’s bring it on back!

At Polishing the Pulpit, that’s the goal. You will start to believe that we can regain that reputation when you circulate through classes and connect in conversations  and go to the how-to sessions on everything from teaching tots to planning mission trips to food preservation for disaster outreach to learning some basics about the Bible languages. And the  fellowship at this great program!…It’s simply a foretaste of heaven. The children’s program alone is reason enough to make the trip with your family. They get to wander though a life-size New Testament village and soak in the accounts of that Book! I hope you will make plans now for next year, if you’re not traveling to Sevierville,Tennessee this weekend to attend,

I get to talk with ladies about the meek and quiet spirit of I Peter 3. I’m discussing this year the subtleties of the devil’s tactics to try and “trip up” Christian women. I’m simulating a study with a Mormon and kicking off a year of Deep Bible study for women. I’m over-the-top excited about that. I’m talking about some bad reasons to stay in an unfaithful church, some ways to use social media for Him… and more. I love this opportunity to teach. It makes me work and learn and study that blessed Book…Its meat (Hebrews 5:12), Its milk (I Peter 2:2), Its bread (John 6:58) and Its water (John 4:13,14).  But even more, I love the opportunity to learn.  I am just one tiny little teacher (well…you know what I mean) in a vast program of many teachers far more qualified than I am. So, for me, it’s all about soaking it up! At PTP, you learn quickly that, the more you know, the more there is to know. That’s why you keep coming back. And the best part is, you have 358 days in between PTPs to glorify Him with the applications you bring back from those seven days. It’s kind of like a spiritual gold rush for Christians…only  the gold is really there and you really do become richer. And you can take the gold home and invest it, and, slowly, you become richer and richer toward God. Let’s go do this!

Sister to Sister: Wall-builders, Nehemiah Style

nehemiah_rust_door-1024x682I hope you want to be one. Badly enough to pick up the Sword (of the Spirit) when the persecution comes. Badly enough to cry out to God and then pick up His tools and go at it again. Badly enough to multi-task for Him. Badly enough to face yours own Sanballots and Tobiahs (Nehemiah 2). I pray that my courage will not fail in the face of persecution. I want to build for my children and grandchildren. For those who are Digging Deep (https://www.facebook.com/groups/282349391779769/)  this month, Nehemiah is the man of the hour. He steps right out of the sacred pages and into the hearts of God’s people today…in their political views, in their sin-challenged families and in their weary congregations. Nehemiah is an affront to apathy and cowardice and an appeal to steadfastness and courage in a day when Christians are repelled as we view the moral and spiritual landscape about us. To be repelled is not enough, though. We have to repeal…. I mean, we have to do everything within our power to restore, one precious soul at a time, respect for the Word of God and sanctification for His purposes in whatever arenas of influence we have.

I challenge you to ingest Nehemiah in the remaining days of this month. Join us on the podcast (http://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women) next Tuesday night for some ideas about what we can personally do in a day when Christians are mocked, persecuted and are, more and more, finding themselves targets of litigation for the defense of religious freedoms and/or beliefs.

Appreciation goes to Polishing the Pulpit (http://polishingthepulpit.com) as I recommend today, for your listening, this lesson which finds its basis in the great book of Nehemiah. Specifically, thanks to Allen Webster and Grat Tucker for help in sharing this lesson and to my friend, Tennessee State Representative Sheila Butt, for her study and presentation.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2siobcrh8ehv1px/075%20Butt%2C%20Sheila%20-%20Finding%20Peace%20in%20Anxious%20Times-auphonic.mp3?dl=0

The Holy Spirit is Working At PTP!

1233412_10101287715624745_127146552_nThis week I am at a conference in Sevierville, TN that is just about as close to heaven as we are going to get in this lifetime. 3500 or so Christians worshipping, praying , studying and hugging each other in the hallways. People pouring out burdens to empathetic ears, singles “mingling” and playing games together (I’ve heard some matches were made!), elders and future elders sitting at “scenario tables” figuring out how the Word would direct congregations through difficult problems, moms leaning on the wisdom of older women and teens ingesting truths that are the real sword for winning battles of peer pressure and temptation. This, and so much more, is Polishing the Pulpit. Save up your money and head for the hills next August. It will be a great place of renewal on your journey to heaven. (And, next year, you can meet my Baby G!…one more reason! =)…You are seeing him this year…you know, that lady who looks like gravity will, of necessity, make her tip over frontwards at any moment!)

 

If you’ve been in the Digging Deep study this year, you know that the Spirit works mightily through the Word of God. Today He is working through that precious Word in the hearts of women at PTP. But the good news is, you can share the excitement of that working today at 2:30 pm EST via the live Digging Deep podcast. We will be concluding the Knowing God study and embarking on our 2014-15 study. Come and be in the room as we unveil this brand new study. Be in Ballroom A or  be in the chat room at www.talkstreamlive.com. See the women here who have completed the 2013-14 study in its entirety. Be encouraged and motivated. You will not complete the 2014-15 study without putting down roots in heaven. Yes, I am confident! God is just so good. You don’t have to be in the Digging Deep study to know and experience this, but you DO have to be in Bible study! That’s how the Spirit works in us. That’s how He motivates. That’s how He leads. That’s how He moves!

 

If you haven’t been moved by the Spirit this week, may I suggest you open the book?