The Living Room

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Couldn’t think of a better place to end than the place we started…. Living room Intimacy!

I hope everyone will take the time to read the handout from Sam “My Heart-Christ’s Home”. I would like to share a few things that stood out to me: First this description of the Living Room: This was a quiet, comfortable room with a warm atmosphere. I like it. It had a fireplace, sofa, overstuffed chairs, a bookcase and an intimate atmosphere. He seemed pleased with it. He said, “Indeed, this is a delightful room. Let’s come here often. It’s secluded and quiet, and we can have good talks and fellowship together.”  (Sounds a lot like “our living room” at Melanie’s)

“Don’t let Christ wait alone in the living room of your heart, but every day find a time and place when , with the Word of God and in prayer, you may be together with HIM.”

I loved this: “It is difficult for me to think of a higher privilege than to make for Christ a home in my heart, to welcome, to serve, to please and to know him there.” 

Think about each area of our lives as you read through: The Study – our mind, The Dining Room – our appetites and desires, The Workroom – our service, The Rec Room – what we do for fun (a good reality check!!), The Bedroom – relationship intimacy, and The Hall Closet – hidden things we haven’t dealt with.

Are we ready to Transfer Title? Can you honestly pray this prayer: “Lord, I want this heart of mine to be yours. I want you to settle down here and be fully at home. I want you to use it as your own. Every room.”

As we conclude the study of “A Mary Heart In a Martha World” I would like to ask us all to be praying as to where God is leading each one of us in what we study next. God has placed on my heart the need for all of us to truly KNOW His WORD. Some words from Charles Spurgeon in Morning by Morning; Sanctification (transformation) begins in regeneration. The Spirit of God brings to our minds the precepts and doctrines of truth and applies them with power. These are heard in the ear, and being received in the heart, they work in us “both to will and to do of God’s good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). The truth (God’s Word) is the sanctifier, and if we do not hear or read the truth, we will not grow in sanctification. We only progress in sound living as we progress in sound understanding.

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You are all in my thoughts and Prayers (and yes, Rachel… I am praying!! smile!)

Blessings,

~Lori

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Balance

Watching this video shows us how important balance is when sharing a teeter-totter. In Chapter 11 Joanna helps us understand the importance of balance in our lives as well.

“Loving the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself was and is the very thing God has always wanted us to do-it’s a perfect picture of the perfectly balanced life.”

“I must partner with the Lord in the process of being sanctified, that is, being made more like him. I must allow his holiness to affect the way I live and what I do. He counteracts our off-kilter beliefs and lifestyles for one purpose-to bring us back into balance.”

“As I keep my eyes focused on the Lord, I’ll have passion for God and compassion for people-and the kind of balance the Lord intended for me all along.”

“The secret of balancing worship and work, devotion and service, love of God and love of people is maintaining our connection to Jesus Christ. Our relationship with him is the fulcrum, the anchor, the steading point that makes balance possible in the first place. And the deeper that relationship goes, the more stable the balance will be.”

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Remember the story of The Butterfly in Chapter 9?  “Jesus didn’t come to make bad people better. He came to transform us into something entirely new. It is only when we struggle to break free from the chrysalises of our lower nature that the true beauty of the new life Christ offers can truly be know.”

Here’s her website link I promised:  havingamaryheart.com

Blessings,

~Lori

A Teachable Heart?

Happy Wednesday Ladies. It has been a busy week for me so I will make this a quick blog and look forward to a wonderful discussion of Chapters 9&10 tomorrow night!

Please take a few minutes to read over this Word Time from Joanna (our author), it is so right on to what we are called to do: LIVE BIBLICALLY!

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Chapter 9 – Martha’s Teachable Heart is truly one of my favorites. Maybe some of the hardest truths but what we must do to be disciples.

  • Be Teachable
  • Be Transformed
  • Be Willing
  • Accept His Correction
  • Be Obedient

Are you ready for HIS Holy Makeover in your life? “Jesus will change us. All we have to do is lay down our old lives and he’ll make them new.”

Chapter 10 – Mary’s Extravagant Love  “She didn’t hold anything back. Instead, in sweet abandon, she poured everything she had into showing her love for Jesus.” Oh to experience this kind of love!

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Blessings,

~Lori

“Be my Center”

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“Teach me Lord. Show me the rhythm of life.” Life is full of Hula Hoops (Responsibilities), but are we centering ourselves on Christ? Do we have a heart centered in him alone? (I’m not sure if the youtube video will post with the blog? Scroll down to see it…)

Chapter 7 – The Better Part, is about how we can have this “better part”. “Life works better when we know how to glance at things but gaze at God. Seeing Him clearly will enable us to see all other things clearly.”

I have to be willing to make room in my life if I want to experience the Better Part. Have any of you seen this?

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This was demonstrated for me at one of my bible studies and described in our books on pg.103 . It really is amazing that all of the rocks, pebbles and sand (even water) will fit in the jar, IF the big rocks go in first! JoAnna reminded us of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

The Chapter was packed full of ways we can learn to get the “Better Part.” I look forward to hearing all about what stood out to you!

Chapter 8 – Lessons from Lazarus. I’m amazed that no matter how many times I read a story from God’s word, He has something more to teach me. Several highlights for me:

  • What Satan intends for evil, God still turns for good
  • God’s incredible plan of redemption
  • God always has a plan, His ways are not our ways
  • The end is never the end, it is only the beginning

So much to talk about!! Can’t wait to see you all tomorrow night.

Blessings,

~Lori

Wonderful Fellowship

What a beautiful group of “Bible Babes” we have. Truly enjoyed our discussion and time together last night.

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One message from the leaders guide I wanted to share: (From Joanna)

  • It is so important to be a problem-solver when it comes to making time to be with Jesus. So often we encounter obstacles and give up rather than figuring out how to get around them. You may try a certain time of day only to find that it doesn’t work for you. That’s okay-try other times until you find something that works for you. Remember, don’t set yourself up to fail. Start with an amount of time that is manageable to begin with. You can grow from there! Set yourself up to succeed!!

Obviously, there are many ways to go about our “Living Room Intimacy” that God desires to have with us. We talked about “a room” or “place” as well as the great reminder from Diana, “To invite HIS PRESENCE into our day.” He’s there waiting for us!!

I also wanted to share this incredible description from my devotional, Morning by Morning: “As the day begins, it is fitting to open our eyes and hearts to our Creator. Morning devotions anchor the soul so that it is less likely to stumble on the day’s journey. To rush from bed to business without first talking with God is as foolish as forgetting to bathe or dress or as unwise as dashing into battle without arms or armor.” 

“A day of grace begins with time spent alone with God.”

AND remember….  look for “God appointed opportunities” for a Random Act of Kindness this week! Can’t wait to hear everyone’s story next week.

Two more chapters this week: Chapters 7&8

Blessings,

~Lori

 

Spiritual Snickers Bars

imagesDo we have a hunger for God? Or have we filled our lives with ‘Spiritual Snickers Bars’?  Is it time with friends, shopping, books, dinner parties, or even our service to others that takes the edge off our hunger for God? What are our barriers to our intimacy with God? What is filling our God-shaped hole he created?

“Once you’ve tasted the Living Room Intimacy Jesus offers, you’ll find nothing else will satisfy. For even Snickers bars taste flat in comparison to the sweetness of the Lord’s presence. When you’ve sampled the best of the best, you’ll be willing to skip the junk food this world offers in order to have a real sit-down meal with the Savior.”

There is so much to absorb in these two Chapters: True Intimacy with Jesus, making my heart Christ’s home!! And… Kitchen Service: Fruitful living, serving like Jesus… “On our way, Going out of our way, and In all kinds of ways!”

Do we have “Jesus Sticking out All Over?”

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Looking forward to our time together tomorrow!

Blessings,

~Lori

Living Room Intimacy & Kitchen Service

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Praying for all of you this week as we read our “Having a Mary Heart in A Martha World” chapters. Reminder it’s TWO chapters this week!

Read Chapters 5 & 6…. Can’t wait to share all about how these chapters speak to us. Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to work in us as we grow closer to Him in intimate relationship.

Blessings,

~Lori

Will you leave the kitchen?

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What will we do when told we’ve missed out on the best God has for us? Will we bow our knee, or will we run back to what is familiar? Will we sputter excuses or humble our hearts?

Luke 10: 41-42   You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. 

Martha showed her devotion by giving the gift she knew best. The gift of service. There’s nothing wrong with this! However, so often we give God the gift we think he needs rather than take time to find out what he desires.

  • We must take time to sit at Jesus’ feet, to worship him, to get to know him better.
  • When we put that first thing first, then he delights to reveal his will and our part in fulfilling it.

The “one thing” that Jesus said was needed in Martha’s life was fellowship with him – and that’s true for us too! How well do we know God? “It isn’t outward appearance that concerns the Father. It’s your inner person.”

Chapter 4 – The Cure, focuses on “our WAGON”. Is it too loaded down? Will we allow God to dump some of our load so we can allow Him to fill it with His presence? Will you LEAVE THE KITCHEN long enough to experience the intimate fellowship of the Living Room?

See you on Thursday night to discuss “our rocks” and the “ONE THING”.

Blessings,

~Lori

Be thankful for all things!

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Be anxious about nothing, Be prayerful about everything, Be thankful for all things!

What impacted me this week was “attitude”. How much it affects the way we live. And… how important prayer is.

  • Turn worry into prayer
  • Fretting magnifies the problem, but prayer magnifies God
  • Gratitude is important because it has the power to change our attitude
  • If my God isn’t bigger than life, then my life is bigger than God

When we decide to pray instead of worry – when we choose to have a grateful heart in not-so-great circumstances- then the peace of God comes and takes us into “protective custody.”

Will we pray? Or will we worry? We really can’t do both. “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Looking forward to discussing Chapter 3 tonight: The Diagnosis

Blessings,

~Lori

The 3 D’s

As I begin to write this I’m taking a DEEP breath. My intension for the Blog was to have it out over the weekend… did not meet that goal. Was I in “Martha” mode this week? Maybe a little, but definitely it has been a challenging one. Funny how this weeks reading talked about the 3 D’s that can affect our hearts: Distraction, Discouragement and Doubt and I think I’ve experienced each one. God really does have a sense of humor, having me experience what we’re learning about.

My favorite verse from this week is Deuteronomy 31:8  The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

When we are distracted and discouraged, tired and overwhelmed, there is no better place to go than to our Father. He alone has what we need.

Looking forward to discussing Chapter 2 – “Lord, Don’t You Care?” tomorrow night with all of you.

Just a few highlights to leave you with: First, we can bring our needs to Jesus anytime and anywhere. Second, Jesus really cares about what concerns us. And Finally, Jesus loves us enough to confront us when our attitude is wrong.

And one of my favorite reminders:

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He longs to reveal his love to you. You’ll find it by sitting at his feet and remembering who he is.

Blessings,

~Lori