February 22, 2012

Hidden Joy Online Bible/Book Study

Drawing from her book, Hidden Joy, Wendy shares her incredible journey of healing and restoration after being assaulted by a man hiding in her apartment. Her story is an amazing testimony of God’s strength in our weakness, His hope in our hopelessness, and His healing in our brokenness. Through this study with Wendy you will:

1. Apply God’s Word in a way that makes it relevant and applicable to your every day circumstances.

2. Gain victory over your fears through regularly and faithfully praying Scripture.

3. Intensify and empower your prayer life through learning to pray God’s Word.

This seven-week on-line study will include short weekly video messages, Bible study, chapter discussions, lessons on how to pray, great fellowship, and on-going conversations on Wendy’s web site.

Read a sample chapter from Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner.

Purchase Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner from Proverbs 31.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us

February 15, 2012

Even in the Darkness: New On-Line Study with Giveaway

***If you are one of my on-line Bible Study girls participating in our Hebrews Study, please click here to go to the Hebrews Chapter 12 lesson and video message.***

***If you left a comment to win a copy of Jesus Calling from my last devotional, the winner will be announced next Monday so check back with me.***

If you are visiting here today from my P31 Devotion, Even in the Darkness, welcome!! I am so thankful the Lord brought you here today. I am trusting He brought you for a reason. Maybe you too find yourself locked in a prison of fear.  Perhaps darkness shrouds your heart.  Maybe you feel that all hope is gone. 

Friend, don’t believe these lies!!  God wants His highest and best for your life.  He brought you here today to speak into your darkness!  He has powerful truths He wants to teach you, amazing love He wants to reveal to you, and everlasting hope He wants to offer you.  

Twenty-six years ago, just days after my college graduation, an armed, masked man hiding inside my apartment raped me. For years I lived locked in a prison of fear, unforgiveness, and hopelessness. Being a victim defined my life and left me physically void. I believed that this man stole my every hope and dream.

But  God!!!  God’s love and His Word set my heart free! I learned that within the confines of God’s story, His Holy Scriptures, nothing had been stolen from me, but rather everything given to me. My life, which felt so hopeless, so out of control, was in reality full of hope and in complete control… God’s control.

My book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner, shares how God healed this broken place in my life and worked mightily not only to restore all that I had lost but also to give me abunantly more than I could have ever asked or imagined.

If you want to find this kind of Hope and live in full and complete freedom from that which imprisons you, please join me for my newest on-line study through my book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner, the Transforming Power of God’s Story.  It will begin mid-April and run through the last week of May.  My prayer is that through this study, you too, will see that the Bible is not merely a book but a living, God-breathed letter written especially for you. It transformed my life and infused me with a new power…a joy…that I had never experienced before. 

If you want to read/download a sample chapter from Hidden Joy, look in the right column and click on the link, “Download a Sample Chapter,”  just below the book’s image.

If you are interested in learning more about and/or joining this study, please do the following,

First, sign up in the right column of this  web site just below the Proverbs 31 logo where it says “Sign up for Wendy Blight’s on-line studies.”  This will ensure you receive an invitation at the start of this study with all pertinent details as well as information about future Living Truth on-line studies.

 Second, at the top of the right column, sign up to receive my weekly posts in your email so you can receive my video messages along with any other  information and/or encouragement written for each week’s lesson.  I usually post once a week.

Third, leave a comment (sharing a prayer request or your thoughts on the devotional or the on-line study) to be registered to win a signed copy of Hidden Joy.  Please be sure to leave an e-mail address so we can contact you if you are the winner.

In a few weeks, Proverbs 31 will announce the start of this and  other on-line studies.  If you decide to join us for the Hidden Joy Study and purchase your book from Proverbs 31 Ministries, we will send you a personalized, signed copy of Hidden Joy.

I want to leave you today with encouragement from God’s Word.  Each verse is taken from a chapter of Hidden Joy.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  Ezekiel 36:26

When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of springs where pools of blessings and refreshment collect after rains!  Psalm 84:6

I will give you treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.  Isaiah 45:3

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

Let me close us in prayer today,

Heavenly Father, You led each woman here today because You have a powerful work You want to do in her life.  I pray that as she continues seeking You for hope and healing in her life, You will give her eyes to see and ears to hear your every Word and leading.  Thank You for Your promise that when we seek You with all our hearts, we will find you!!  I pray that each woman who stopped here today will experience You in a powerfully personal way today.  Touch her in a tender way so that she knows You hear the cry of her heart.  Thank You in advance for all You will do in her life today and from this day forward.  We ask this in Jesus powerful and Holy name.  Amen!!

Blessings,

March 13, 2012

Announcing New Hidden Joy On-Line Study with Giveaway

Welcome to Living Truth.  I am so thankful you stopped by today.  If you are visiting today to learn more about our Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner on-line study, please take a few minutes (7 to be exact) to listen to the video message below.  It provides essential registration information and shares a bit about the book.

God brought you here today because He wants to begin a new work in your life.  If His heart leads you to say “yes” to join us, please know you will be ministered to and prayed for as you journey through this book.  When I wrote Hidden Joy many years ago, I prayed each and every day for the hands into which God would place it.  Those prayers were lifted for you.  And now we are here together, years later, beginning a journey with the Lord together!!!  I cannot wait to see what He will do in and through our time together.

The Hidden Joy Study begins here on Monday, April 9th and runs through the end of May.  There is no cost to join the on-line studies.  The only cost will be the purchase price of Hidden Joy.  You will also need a Bible and a notebook or journal.  We would love for you to purchase the book through Proverbs 31 Ministries.  I will sign each book purchased from our P31 web site.  But the book is also available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other book stores.  It is also available electronically.

To register for the study, simply visit my sidebar and click on “Sign up for Wendy’s On-Line Studies.”  Place your e-mail address in the box and click “subscribe.”  Doing this registers you  for this study and ensures you will receive invitations for all future studies.  If you have registered for an on-line study in the past, you do not need to re-register.

If you would like to receive the weekly posts for the on-line study in your inbox every Monday, visit the side bar again.  At the top of this sidebar, you will see ”Subscribe to updates.”  Place your e-mail address in the box and click “Go.”  Each week you will receive an e-mail with the post for the week.  It is important to note that to view the video, you will need to visit the web site directly.  You may do so by clicking on the title of the post in the e-mail.

All information you share stays confidential.  I will not share your information with anyone.

My dear friend, Heather Bleier, has graciously donated books for a Hidden Joy Giveaway.  So, please leave a comment today and share with us why you would like to join the Hidden Joy on-line study.  We will select five names to win a signed copy of Hidden Joy.  One winner will receive two books to give one away to a friend.  Thank you, Heather!!!

Let me leave you with a few verses we will study as we journey through Hidden Joy.  Take a few minutes to look them up to see what the Lord has in store for you.

Psalm 40:1-3

Hebrews 4:12

Romans 8:28

Isaiah 45:3

See you April 9th!

Sweet Blessings to you,

March 20, 2012

Still Time to Sign Up For Hidden Joy Study – Winners Announced

Thank you for your wonderful response to our next on-line study, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner.  We have had several hundred sign-ups, and they are still coming in!!  I spent the morning Monday at our Proverbs 31 office signing the copies of Hidden Joy you purchased.

Thanks to the generosity of  Heather Bleier and Veronica Herzing, we are giving away five copies of Hidden Joy today.  Please stop by and thank them when you get a chance.

Congratulations to the winners:

Kathy who posted on March 13 at 2:34 p.m.

Yuena who posted on March 13 at 3:50 p.m.

Elisa who posted on March 14 at 9:14 p.m.

Kathy who posted on March 15 at 11:08 a.m.

Joyce who posted on March 15 at 7:38 p.m.

Please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com  with your mailing address by March 27th.

The Hidden Joy Study begins here on Monday, April 9th and runs through the end of May. Please invite your friends to join us.  Below please find a brief summary of the study.

Drawing from her book, Hidden Joy, Wendy shares her incredible journey of healing and restoration after being assaulted by a man hiding in her apartment.  Her story is an amazing testimony of God’s strength in our weakness, His hope in our hopelessness, and His healing in our brokenness. Through this study with Wendy you will:

1. Apply God’s Word in a way that makes it relevant and applicable to your every day circumstances.

2. Gain victory over your fears through regularly and faithfully praying Scripture.

3.  Intensify and empower your prayer life through learning to pray God’s Word.

This seven-week on-line study will include short weekly video messages, Bible study, chapter discussions, lessons on how to pray, great fellowship, and on-going conversations on Wendy’s web site.

There is no cost to join the on-line studies. The only cost will be the purchase price of Hidden Joy. You will also need a Bible and a notebook or journal. We would love for you to purchase the book through Proverbs 31 Ministries. I will sign each book purchased from our P31 web site. But the book is also available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other book stores. It is also available electronically.

To register for the study, simply visit the sidebar on my web site and click on “Sign up for Wendy’s On-Line Studies.” Place your e-mail address in the box and click “subscribe.” Doing this registers you for this study and ensures you will receive invitations for all future studies. If you have registered for an on-line study in the past, you do not need to re-register.

If you would like to receive the weekly posts for the on-line study in your inbox every Monday, visit the side bar again. At the top of this sidebar, you will see “Subscribe to updates.” Place your e-mail address in the box and click “Go.” Each week you will receive an e-mail with the post for the week. It is important to note that to view the video, you will need to visit the web site directly. You may do so by clicking on the title of the post in the e-mail.

All information you share stays confidential. I will not share your information with anyone.

I can’t wait to begin a new journey with you!!!

Blessings,

April 9, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week One

Welcome to Week One of our next On-Line Study, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story.

It is not too late to join us!! To sign up, simply visit the side column of my web site and sign up where it says “Subscribe to Updates” and “Subscribe to Wendy’s On-Line Bible Studies.” After you do that, you are registered and will begin to receive the weekly lessons in your inbox every Monday. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

Months ago, I prayed for the Lord to draw each woman to this study for whom He had a work to do in her life. If you are here, sweet friend, it is because God drew you!! Begin this study from a place of confidence that no matter where you are today in your journey with God, He will take you to a new, healthier, better place. He is FAITHFUL and TRUE. He is GOD THE HEALER. He is a God of MERCY and HOPE. He is the GIVER of every GOOD and PERFECT gift. He is the WAY. He is the TRUTH. He is LIFE.

And if you desire healing…physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally…you are in the perfect place.  Every week we will be digging into God’s Word, learning, studying and praying His promises.  Below are a few of my favorites to which we will cling tightly during our journey.

My Word will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11.

My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lost sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22

My friend, STAND on these verses as we begin this study. Believe them with all your heart. And then STAND again. Stand and believe God for His promise in Jeremiah 29:13-14…

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

During this study we are going to seek hard after God, and you will have to join me in that seeking. Be diligent. Read your assignments. Read all the Scriptures. Do your homework questions in the study guide. And PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for God to do a mighty work in your life and in the life of each one of us doing this study together.

He is a FAITHUL God and will answer our prayers if we pray in faith and do not doubt!!!!

Today we will read the first two chapters of Hidden Joy. I wish my story had an easier beginning. It was hard for me to write and hard sometimes even now for me to read what happened to me on that day in June of 1986. But without this beginning, there would not be a rest of the story. Through what happened to me that day in my apartment…the day everything that I held dear was stolen from me…God has given me a TESTimony!! And I can honestly tell you that I would live through that day again if it meant that I would have the life and ministry I have today.

So, let’s dig in!! Each week I will share a short video message, post the assignment and a memory verse, and send you off for the week to do your homework. Please stop by throughout the week and share what you are learning and feeling in the comments. That is how we grow and learn in this study.

Assignment: Read the first two chapters in Hidden Joy, “Valley of Weeping” and “Why Did God Allow This?”

Memory Verse: When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of springs where pools of blessings and refreshment collect after rains! Psalm 84:6 (TLB)

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we invite You to join us on our journey. We praise You as our Abba Father. We thank You that You will meet each one of us right where we are as we begin today. Thank You that this is our divine appointment with You. Father, begin a work not only in us individually but also as a group, as a sisterhood of Christ. Even though we come from all parts of Your world, we invite You to knit us together through the power of Your Holy Spirit as only You can do. Begin a healing work in our hearts. Take us from glory to glory as we dive into Your living and active Word!! We love You and give ourselves to You. We open our hearts…even to the most hidden depths of pain, sorrow, fear, and doubt…and invite You to come in and MOVE us to a new place. Lift us out of the depths of darkness and into Your marvelous Light. We ask all this in Jesus’ most powerful Name. Amen.

Sweet Blessings to you,

April 16, 2012

`Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week Two

Welcome to Week Two of our Hidden Joy on-line study.

It is not too late to join us!! To sign up, simply visit the side column of my web site and sign up where it says “Subscribe to Updates” and “Subscribe to Wendy’s On-Line Bible Studies.” After you do that, you are registered and will begin to receive the weekly lessons in your inbox every Monday. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

This week we will dig into Chapters 3 and 4.  Thank you for sharing your stories this week.  You were honest and vulnerable…so real.  Thank you!!  I love how you are praying with and for each other.  It is in that vulnerability and honesty that God will do His mighty work!!! 

Below please find my video message for this week.  Click here to go directly to the web site and view message.

 

Assignment: Read chapters three and four in Hidden Joy, “God’s Story Unfolds” and “Treasures in the Darkness.”  Complete the Guide for Reflection and Study questions for Chapters 3 and  4 located in the back of the book.   (So sorry I forgot to include the questions in last week’s assignment, so if you did not do them, please complete them when time allows).  After this week, we will  read only one chapter a week until we reach Chapter 10.

Memory VerseI will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.  Isaiah 45:3

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we cry out to You to meet us in every page of this book and in every Scripture we read.  Show us Your glory!! We invite You to invade our  hearts and minds with Your Truth.  Replace every lie with Truth.  Replace our darkness with the Light of the World.  Show us the treasures in the darkness…Your riches stored in secret places.  And thank You, Father, that You not only know each one of us by name but also summoned each one of us by name to meet you here.  Please knit us together, Lord, into a beautiful tapesty of sisterhood.  Remind us daily to pray for one another.  Burden our hearts with those for whom You would have us pray.  Thank You that You love us so much that You would orchestrate this amazing place to meet and study Your Word.  Do a mighty work in our lives through Your Living and Active Word.  Penetrate us, Lord, to the core of our being.  Bring change, Father, bring mighty transformational change.  We come boldly to Your throne of grace and ask all of this in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

I am excited for what God will teach us this week.

Blessings,

April 23, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week Three

Welcome to Week Three of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner. This week we study Chapter Five, “On the Mat.”  I’m so excited to announce that we still have women joining.  If you are new this week, welcome.  We are so excited to have you! 

This week I have a special treat for you.  A dear Proverbs 31 friend and sister in Christ, Veronica Herzing, shares a guest post today.  Veronica went through Hidden Joy with Melissa Taylor’s On-Line Studies several months ago.  God did an amazing work in her life during that study, and she wants to share some of her journey with you today.  We are blessed to have Veronica joining us for this study as well.  Below please find Veronica’s message.  Her story is not only encouraging but also honest and authentic.  If her words bless you today, please leave her a comment in the comment section of my web site.  If you would like to know more about Veronica, you can visit  her blog by clicking here

At the end of Veronica’s message you will find my video message as well as this week’s memory verse and homework assignment.  The prayer for the week is in my video message.  This week I challenge you to take one step off your mat.  And, if you take the challenge, please share with us what step you take and how God works in and through your step of faith.

 Dear Hidden Joy sisters,
I want to encourage you as you go through the Hidden Joy Bible study. I am living proof that through this study you can find your joy and become closer to Jesus – forming an intimate relationship with Him. I want to share some highlights of my own journey last year:
Day 1 ~
I am feeling nervous, uncomfortable, excited, anxious, relieved!! Could this possibility be the start of being free? I truly pray so. Will I start AND finish this? I pray I will.
Day 2 ~
I can’t do this. I am going to throw up. What are my fears? That it will be painful and make things worse. Yet through this study, I hope to realize I am no longer alone. I don’t want to waste another day, let alone another year with emptiness and a hole inside my heart.
Day 13 ~
Today was a day of choosing to remember the awesome things the LORD has done for me. Instead of dwelling on the past and all that has gone wrong. I opened myself and allowed Him to speak to my heart that is so bruised and battered.
Day 28 ~
Focusing on Christ despite the pull to focus on my past and wallow in the pain. It would be so easy to go back to that place. I prayed silently during Mass for complete healing for each of us in the Hidden Joy study. No sooner did I finish that Father stood up and prayed “Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for the pain in our lives and that through You we have joy as well. That’s what the Cross stands for – joy in spite of pain. Joy through Christ despite the pain of the world.”
Day 41 ~
I wasn’t able to completely forgive just from reading Chapter 6. Thirty plus years of hurts and unforgiveness doesn’t go away in six short days. However by going to Jesus often and asking Him to help me forgive I believe, I can forgive those who hurt me, myself included.
Day 48 ~
I had many opportunities in the past week to tell the devil that my God is bigger than my strongholds. However, I gave in and focused on my pain, the past and my weaknesses. After wallowing in my pain for days, I finally said, “I don’t know what to do or where to turn except to God.”
Dear God please show me without a doubt what my next step is, where I go from here and what now
Day 57 ~
Hard to believe we are entering week 9. It’s been a great journey. I have to say I have never felt closer to God before now and that is what this journey is about. It is more than my abuse, my mistakes, my marriage, my motherhood – it’s all about my up close and personal relationship with Jesus.
Final Day ~
As I read the final page I am sad to see the study end. I have made some wonderful connections; I never gave up during the study, and I finished it!! I have experienced growth, healing, and the hole I had in my heart at the start of the study is now filled with Jesus and His love.

Now friends I don’t want you to think “that’s all good for her, look how easy it was.” It wasn’t easy. I had a lot of ups and downs; however, I kept coming back to “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!” There were days that I went to Jesus every minute begging Him to help me. The key was that I then looked for the help, He sent it. At times it was a perfectly timed message from a friend; other times an unexpected gesture from a family member, and sometimes it was as simple as five minutes of peace.

Did my life magically change? Yes but not in a worldly way. It changed through my seeking to have a closer relationship with Jesus. Did that mean my life became the fairy tale ending I dreamed of? Not quite. I still have down days; I still feel the pull to sit in my pit, and I occasionally fall back into the victim mentality. However, I don’t stay there long…I pick myself up and CHOOSE to go to Jesus. I CHOOSE to take pleasure in the simplest things. I CHOOSE to believe I am much more. I CHOOSE to believe Christ’s promises and truths are for me and that I am His beloved.

Will you start believing that for yourself? How about just for today? How about taking it one day at a time and not worrying or thinking about tomorrow. Just for today, know that you – yes you:
Are His BELOVED and you have immeasurable VALUE!

One year later ~
My daughter summed it up best. We were having a heart to heart talk. I shared with her my abuse, how it affected my life, and how I completed the Hidden Joy study. I also shared with her that it was because of her that I wanted to be healed. She was my inspiration. I wanted what I saw in her life: confidence, fullness of life and a deep faith.

My 19 year old daughter made my journey worthwhile and complete when she responded, “Mom, I now want what you have. I want an up close relationship with Jesus. I see the difference and I want that.”

 

Thank you, Veronica!!  Your message has been a huge encouragement to us today. 

Below is this week’s video lesson and assignment.

Assignment: Read Chapter Five in Hidden Joy, “On the Mat.” Complete the Guide for Reflection and Study questions for Chapter 5 located in the back of the book. 

Memory Verse: What is impossible with men is possible with God. Luke 18:27

Please know I will be praying for you as you take a first step off your mat.  Please share what God does this week!!

Blessings,

April 30, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week Four

Hey girls,

Well, this is a hard week.  We focus on one word…

Forgiveness

This word elicits so many emotions.  God speaks to forgiveness numerous times throughout Scripture because He knows it is a challenge for His children.

As you work through this chapter, please remember I struggled with forgiving my attacker for years.  It is NOT something that came easily.  It is not something I learned in a week.  My heart’s desire is that God will take the Truths I share in this chapter and plant them deep in your heart.  I am praying He will tender your soul to receive them and allow them to penetrate to the deepest, darkest crevices and begin a mighty transformational work.

I invite you to be vulnerable this week.  Would you consider sharing your struggle with forgiveness so we can be praying for you?  I know how hard this is, and I commit to pray specifically for each one of you who leave a comment this week.  Unforgiveness is a HUGE stronghold, and Satan would love nothing more than to keep you in your place of unforgiveness.  DON’T GIVE HIM THIS PLEASURE!!  Claim the mind of Christ that is yours.  Stand firm on the Scriptures we study this week.  Work through the questions and invite God into the process.  He is waiting for you to bring this to Him and give you victory over this in your life.

Below please find the video message for this week as well as this week’s assignment, memory verse, and prayer.  In the message, I talk about a “Prayer of Forgiveness” I have written.  If you would like a copy, please leave your e-mail address, and I will send it to you.

Assignment: Read Chapter Six in Hidden Joy, “Learning Forgiveness.” Complete the Guide for Reflection and Study questions for Chapter 6 located in the back of the book.

Memory Verse: Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the the Lord forgives you. Colossians 3:13

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Your grace amazes me.  Thank You for dying on the cross for me when I was still a sinner.  Thank You for suffering pain, humiliation, and rejection for me.  Thank You that Your sacrifice was sufficient to forgive all my sins.  Lord, I am harboring unforgiveness in my heart.  I know this grieves your heart.  Please forgive me for refusing to extend grace and forgiveness the way you so graciously extended it to me.  You know how much this person has hurt me.  You know the wrongs they have done to me…how they have betrayed me.  But I know, Lord, Your will is forgiveness.  For it is in granting forgiveness that I will be freed!  Help me, Father to grant forgiveness.  Cleanse my heart from all bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment.  Root out every ounce so that nothing is remains.  You are my strength, and in You alone I know that I am able to forgive.  Give me the courage and the strength to take this step.  I commit to leave all my pain  and hurt at the foot of the cross, allowing You to take it all.  I will hold on to nothing!  Please begin Your healing work in my heart and mind.  I ask all this in the powerful and healing Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord.  Amen.

 Please know I will be praying for you as you journey through this chapter on forgiveness. Please share what God does in your life in and through this chapter.

Blessings,

May 7, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week Five

Welcome to Week Five of our Hidden Joy on-line study. This week we study Chapter Seven, “Surrendering Your Strongholds.”  This is my most FAVORITE chapter.  Through this part of my journey, God showed me how FAITHFUL, BIG and POWERFUL He really is!!

***** Before we jump into this week’s message, the Prayer of Forgiveness is now available under the ”Free Resources” link located in the top bar of this web site.  Click here if you would like a copy of the Prayer. This takes you directly to my free resources.  Click on the link that says “Prayer of Forgiveness.”   If you have any trouble, just let me know. *****

This week I have a special treat for you.  A dear Proverbs 31 friend and sister in Christ, Donna Bostick, shares a guest post today.  So many times we at Proverbs 31 are blessed by “virtual relationships,” women we meet on our websites or who serve P31 in some capacity from afar.  And every once in a while we have the pleasure of “live” face to face” meetings with these women.  That is what happened with Donna and me  a few months ago.  She came to Charlotte with a few other women who faithfully serve with Melissa Taylor in our on-line Bible Study ministry.  We all met at Chick-fil-A for lunch.  Donna shared with me how God did an amazing work in her life as it related to fear.  I invited her to share some of her journey with you today.  Below please find Donna’s words of wisdom on fear.  I am praying that her story encourages you and gives you great hope.  If her words bless you today, please leave her a comment in the comment section of my web site.

At the end of Donna’s message you will find the video for the week as well as this week’s memory verse and homework assignment.  The prayer for the week is Donna’s prayer.  As you journey through Chapter Seven, I am praying you will take your eyes of your stronghold, whatever it is, and FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS.  I pray you will TRUST in Him to take you to a new place in your battle – even just one baby step forward will be a victory.  And that is what I am praying for you!!!

Faith or Fear …. Your Choice
Donna Bostick

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV),

FEAR. We’ve all experienced, felt, and seen it. Some even live with it every day. 

How do we define fear?

What is fear to the five-year-old whose daddy flings a plate of hot spaghetti through the air, followed by a chair aimed at the TV? Will her mom be the next thing he hits; or will it be the girl?

What is fear to the little one in the police cruiser with her younger sister, not sure what she’s done wrong, only to find out her daddy broke the law by not following the custody ruling.

Or to the eight-year-old who hears the heavy footsteps of the neighbor getting closer to the bedroom door. She lies silently, hoping the evil man will pass the door. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t.

Or to the forty-year-old, alone in the doctor’s office. The doctor gently says, “I believe it’s cancer. We’ll take it one day, and one test, at a time; we’ll pray you through this.”Surgery removes the lump near her vocal cords; it’s not cancerous. But the roller coaster dips two days later: it is cancer—the fastest growing kind. Another surgery is needed ASAP. Three days after this, the diagnosis changes again. After a second surgery six weeks later, she’s told they got it all. Does she believe them this time?

What is fear to the fifty-year-old driving with Melissa Taylor when she hears, “Donna, you should be speaking and writing. You have lots to offer. I want to see you doing these things.”

Those were, and some still are, my fears.

For years my fears ruled my life and my emotions. I allowed fear to become anger; the kind of anger that I would bottle up and unleash on the most unlikely candidate at the most inopportune times. At times I would let my fear hold me captive to living in the shadows, hiding and sulking from my family and friends. Sometimes I would even profess hate at either the circumstances or at the people involved and yes, even at God. And other times I questioned why God would allow all of this to happen.

I don’t have all the answers. But I realized one day that I had a choice. I can let my fears rule over my heart, mind and soul, or I can allow God to heal me with His grace and truth, and give me hope to share with others. Some days I make the right choices and some days I don’t.

Over time I’ve discovered I don’t have to let my fears define me. 2 Timothy 1:7 states, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” God keeps the promises His Word is filled with. He’s given us a spirit of power and a sound mind. Although some will probably debate if I have a sound mind {and I would probably lose!}.
Despite my fears, God has shown me He has plans to prosper and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He’s revealed Himself to be my Healer (Exodus 15:26); my Prince of Peace (Judges 6:24); my Protector, Defender and Abba Father who loves me no matter what (Psalm 68:5-6). God is my Daddy whose lap I can crawl into any time I become fearful.

Let’s begin to let go of our fears and take hold of these promises in His Word. We’re His daughters, protected and defended by His peace. Fears may have shaped our past, but they don’t have to define our future.

Thank you, Donna!! Your honesty and your words of wisdom have been such an encouragement.  And thank you also for generously giving of your time and talents  each week to serve Proverbs 31 through our on-line Bible study ministry.

Below is this week’s video lesson, assignment, and prayer.

Assignment: Read Chapter Seven in Hidden Joy, “Surrendering Your Strongholds.” Complete the Guide for Reflection and Study questions for Chapter 7 located in the back of the book.

Memory Verse: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

Prayer:

God, I praise You that You are my Future and Hope, and that You love me no matter what. Thank You that I can run to You and crawl in Your lap when fear overtakes me. Thanks for being a Promise Keeper, and the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Help me seek You with my entire being and remember Your faithfulness. I love and thank You for the life You’ve given me in You. Cause me to honor and glorify You with my life, actions, speech and heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

ENJOY some precious time with the Lord this week.  Sit at His feet and allow Him to minister to you and speak healing, renewing words into your heart and mind.

Blessings,

May 14, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week Six w/ a Giveaway!

Welcome to Week Six of our Hidden Joy on-line study. This week we study Chapter Eight, “Quiet Time.”

***** Remember  the Prayer of Forgiveness is now available under the “Free Resources” link located in the top bar of this web site. Click here if you would like a copy of the Prayer. This takes you directly to my free resources. Click on the link that says “Prayer of Forgiveness.” If you have any trouble, just let me know. *****

This week we have another special guest post written by my dear friend and sister in Christ, Noelle.  Noelle and I met through my on-line studies.  She has been one of our greatest encouragers, supporters, and prayer warriors.  I asked her what she would like for me to share about her and have copied her words below.  These few sentences reveal the passion of her heart more than any introduction I could ever write.

God has taken me down some crazy paths in my life, including surviving heart failure when I was 28 and losing both of my parents in the span of 62 days. Through the twists and turns, God has completely transformed my heart, mind and body by His truth. My heart’s desire is to walk alongside others as they uncover their own heart, mind and body transformations. 

Noelle has journeyed through very difficult trials in her life, and God has brought her through them in some powerful ways.   I invited her to share bits and pieces of her journey with you today.  She has written a beautiful message straight from her heart.. I am praying that her words encourage you and motivate you to go deeper still in your personal time with God.

If her words speak to you today, please leave her a comment in the comment section of my web site.  Noelle has graciously offered to do a giveaway with her guest post.  She will give away three copies of Hidden Joy and will select  the winners from the comments you leave this week.  If you already have a copy, we would love for you to give the copy you win away.

At the end of Noelle’s message you will find the video for the week as well as this week’s memory verse and homework assignment. The prayer for the week is Noelle’s prayer.

I asked my doctor what went through his mind 13 years ago when he was called into the emergency room.  His eyes filled with tears as he explained, “I couldn’t sleep a wink that night because I knew you would be dead by the morning.”  We had a special patient-physician bond since I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in my early twenties.  Knowing my kidneys were my weakness, we were both completely blindsided when the fight for my life ended up being unexpected heart failure when I was 28 years old.

It was nearly impossible to reconcile.  Within the span of hours, I went from being an athlete to needing emergency open heart surgery.   After my operation, I was on life support.  The physical pain was excruciating.   Fear and anxiety filled my days.  Oddly enough, though, I grew accustomed to this new way of life.  I’m not saying any of it was enjoyable… or even tolerable… but I got used to it.  There was only one thing I couldn’t endure.  My thirst.  All of the adjectives in our language cannot begin to describe how thirsty I was.

When I came out of my coma-like state, I used my best sign language to ask for a glass of water.  I was still in critical condition, so my fluids had to be significantly limited.  Instead of water, my nurse would put a couple of ice chips in my mouth.  Those ice chips did nothing for me, so I’d try to sleep as much as possible to escape my torment.  In my dreams, I’d fantasize about drinking glass after glass of pure water until my thirst was quenched.   It was heaven… until I woke up to… another ice chip.  As you can imagine, when I graduated from life support in the ICU to a regular hospital room and the nurse brought me a pitcher of water, I almost broke down in tears. 

Did you know that we are all born with that same kind of thirst? 

As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him? (Psalm 42:1-2 NLT)

This psalmist knows his deep thirst and he knows that only time with God can satisfy his need.  Your soul is thirsty.  Are you quenching your thirst with springs of “Living Water” (Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13) by having a daily quiet time?

What does your quiet time look like?  If you asked me ten years ago, I would have answered you this way (use your best robotic voice as you read), “First I go to my kitchen table, then I read one chapter from the Old Testament, one chapter from the New Testament, one Psalm, one Proverb and then I pray for ten minutes.”  Now, I know God honored my discipline, but I was trying to quench my thirst with ice chips.  I was still thirsty for more! 

How about you?  Do you have your quiet times scheduled in your calendar as irrevocable appointments?  Think of it this way.  If Wendy Blight said she was coming to your town and really wanted to meet you (probably at Chick-fil-A for some sweet tea), you know darn well that you would be there with bells on!  You would want to know all about her and you would be so excited to share what’s on your heart.  Admittedly, it can be hard to have that same excitement with God since He’s invisible to our eyes.  But Jesus said, “…Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”  (John 20:29 NLT)

Once you have your Father-daughter date scheduled in your calendar, what are you going to do?  Consider the newfound victory you are living in: you are finding forgiveness and releasing strongholds.  You have the freedom of a new life!  God is holding your face in His hands and He excitedly says, “See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV84)  He is making a way in the desert!  Streams in the wasteland!  In other words, He is offering Living Water, not ice chips!

There are two tactics that have helped me transition from ice chips to water.  I have personalized my quiet times with God, and I have personalized His tone of voice so I can hear Him deep in my heart. 

I’ve traded my robotic quiet times for tailor made dates with my Heavenly Father.  Before I begin my quiet time, I take a moment to see where my heart pulls me.  Most early mornings I spend my time in my home office with a cup of coffee.  But there are instances when I feel drawn to get cozy on the couch, or maybe the kitchen table seems more fitting.  On the weekends, I drive out to my favorite bench which overlooks the beach.  Sometimes I let God lead me through the Bible.  Other mornings, I might be in the mood to sing praise music (I’m convinced my parrot-squawking voice sounds more like Carrie Underwood to God’s ears).  There are times when I’m involved in Bible studies and other times when I just want to write God a love letter or a thank you note. 

I’ve also learned to personalize God’s voice.  Matthew 11:28 is Jesus’ call to us when we are tired and burned out, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  I’ll tell you… when I was drinking ice chips, I couldn’t relate to that verse since I heard a Harlequin-romance-meets-Old-English voice in my mind.  But just as we use different tones of voices when we speak to different people, God’s voice is personalized to each of us.  I’m a playful and quirky girl.  In faith, I picture Jesus running a few strides in front of me turning to me with a big smile and calling me with a strong voice, “Come to me Noelle!”  Now, I can relate to that.  I have a friend who is more of a romantic, and she hears that verse whispered in her ear.  That resonates in her heart.

What about you?  How can you go from ice chips to Living Water?  Are your daily Father-daughter dates scheduled in your calendar?  What can you do to personalize them?  Do you hear God’s voice in a tone that touches your heart?  Drink up girlfriends!  God is pouring out Living Water for you and me…  Cheers!

 

Noelle, thank you for sharing this beautiful message with us! And, yes, I do LOVE me some sweet tea.

 

Below is this week’s video lesson, assignment, and prayer.

Assignment: Read Chapter Eight in Hidden Joy, “Quiet Time.” Complete the Guide for Reflection and Study questions for Chapter 8 located in the back of the book.

Memory Verse: “Be still and know that I am God..” Psalm 46:10

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this amazing “small” group. You perfectly called each one here because Jesus has set her free… free indeed! As the heavy chains of unforgiveness are broken and as each stronghold is rendered powerless, You are calling us to an exciting new life! Give us ears to hear You as You call us to our special Father-daughter date each day. Help us to personalize our quiet times so we can fall madly in love with You. Help us to recognize that our thirst can be quenched by You alone. In our lives today, we can get deceived and think that busyness is a badge of honor. Our cell phones buzz, Facebook draws us in, even serving at church can take us away from the intimate times You want to have with us. Let us not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our quiet times help us to renew our minds. Abba, bring us from ice chips to Living Water. We love You so much. We lift our prayers and sing Your praises in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Noelle and I will be praying for God to speak personally and powerfully to each one of you as you become intentional in your time alone with God.  Please share with us what you experience throughout the week in your quiet time.  And don’t forget when you leave a comment, your name will be included  for a chance to win a copy of Hidden Joy.

Blessings,

May 21, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week Seven

Our theme for the week is PRAYER!  Noelle set the foundation for this week’s chapter as she so graciously offered up beautiful prayers for many of you throughout last week’s comments.

Before we begin today, we want to announce the winners of Noelle’s Giveaway.  She has written a note regarding the giveaway.  PLEASE READ CAREFULLY AS YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT HOW THIS GIVEAWAY HAS TRANSFORMED!!  Please find her note below:

Isn’t it amazing how we can have a spark of desire in our hearts, and when we lift it to God, He can create a wildfire? I have the distinct privilege of working out with an amazing boot camp team at o’dark thirty each weekday morning. We believe in striving for our own goals and at the same time, fighting the good fight for others. On Wednesday, I shared the idea of randomly choosing three ladies to receive copies of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner.

My team took that vision and multiplied it. As a team, we would like to offer a copy of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner to every lady who posted a comment this past week. If you don’t already have a copy, we know that this book will bless you beyond measure. If you do have a copy, we would love for you to give the gift of hope and healing that you have received and pay it forward.

We believe that God can work miracles in and through your hearts.

With love and support,

Transformation by Truth boot camp team in Aliso Viejo, California
  Noelle, Molly, Amy, Jill, Ed, Greg, Juan, Jen, Holly, Bill, Shelley, Denise, Rekha, Sagar, Nora, Tami, Dianne, Colleen, Margarita, Jamie, Ron, Gisselle, Mary, Sarah, Christine, Dayna, “Hollywood” Audry, Gina, Freya

 

Noelle's Boot Camp

 

When I received this e-mail from her, I was truly blown away.  Their generosity truly brought tears to my eyes because, other than Noelle, I have never met a single one of them.  But God ordained it.  He moved their hearts to give in this way.  Why?  Because God is omnipotent.  He knew there was a need for  you or someone in your circle of friends and family to truly know His Hope as told through Hidden Joy.  He knew the goodness in Noelle and in the hearts of her boot camp friends.   And God made a way to meet your needs through their generosity.

As for this week, I am  excited about spending a week on prayer.  In the video, you will find an invitation to write a prayer.  You may write a few sentence prayer or a paragraph.  My heart’s desire is that we put into practice what we learn.  Please share your prayer with us!!!

You will also find a book recommendation.  My dear friend (and wife of my pastor), Marilynn Chadwick, has written a book on prayer entitled Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars.  It is her first book and one of my favorite books on prayer.  If you would like to meet Marilynn, click here to see an interview she and I did a few months ago.  Also, feel free to stop by her web site and say hello.  She would love to hear from you.  Marilynn gave me one of my first opportunities to share my testimony.  Because of her invitation and encouragement, I felt confident to step out and share it more and more.

Below please find this week’s video lesson, assignment, and prayer.

Assignment: Read Chapter Nine in Hidden Joy, “Prayer.” Complete the Guide for Reflection and Study questions for Chapter Nine located in the back of the book.

Memory Verse: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You as the source of all Truth, as the Author and Perfector of my faith.  Thank You for creating me to be in relationship with You. Thank You that You desire for me to come before You in prayer.  I commit to deepen my times of prayer with You.  Please meet me every time I open my heart to receive all You have to offer.  Bring the fullness of Your Spirit into my prayer time with You.  Let me sense the power of Your presence.  Show me that You are active and listening.  I claim Your promise that when I draw near to You, You will draw near to me.  May I be different because of the time I spend in prayer with You.  Change me as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a friend, and as Your servant.  Make me a blessing to all those for whom I pray.  May I draw others to You because of what You are going to do through me.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Please know I will be praying for you thorughout the week, and I look forward to reading your prayers!!

Blessings,