- Discovering a lovely brand of tea.
- Sleeping in on a Saturday morning during the BSF break.
- A wonderful chat with my sisters and friends.
- I read my first Bessie Head (Maru) this week and it was lovely.
- Successfully parallel (flash) parking in one attempt.
- Trying a recipe and immediately knowing you will do it again.
- Enjoying Season 7 of My Kitchen Rules.
- Seeing my nephew and niece as they start to interact as siblings.
- Really enjoying the study of James. Quite challenging but very interesting.
- Discovering a great podcast and then going back to download all 80 episodes
Posted in books, Heart matters, home
Tagged Bessie Head, Book of James, BSF International, cooking, driving, friendship, My Kitchen Rules, Podcasts, recipes, siblings, sister love, tea
On the last night of BSF we typically have a sharing night where class members share with each other lessons and thoughts of the study. It is a very encouraging and motivating part of the lesson as the Holy Spirit continues to affirm that He is the one who reveals knowledge to each of us.
Below see some of my thoughts and I pray that you will be deeply encouraged/challenged as I was.
- The Father and the Son act in one accord always. Jesus acted in total obedience and submission to His father and was obedient to death, even death on the Cross (Philippians 2:8).
- God is Sovereign – He ordains all things so that scripture will be fulfilled. This was confirmed for me particularly at the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord – He was in charge at all points, even when He gave His spirit on the cross.
- Through looking at the relationship between Father and Son, I was able to reevaluate my identity as a Child of God (John 1:12 -13) and to critically evaluate those relationships that were providing a pseudo identity. It particularly helped to read that believers are a gift from the Father to the Son (John 17:2) and we are securely held in the Father and the Son’s hand (John 10:28).
- Believers bear fruit as they abide in Christ. This forced me to look at the Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) again and ask those around me to help me identify where I am not bearing fruit. It was challenging to hear but definitely true and it gave me another reason to trust and ask God to help me overcome this area of growth.
- The character that most reminded me of myself is definitely Peter. Oh how I wish I could say I was like John but I saw repeatedly how self confident I am as opposed to being God-confident.
- I was struck at how unbelief in Christ existed throughout the gospel. I had previously thought that it only grow during that Holy Week but it was only present among the Pharisees and the other Jewish leaders throughout His life on earth. However as John explicitly says that he wrote this book that we would believe and by believing we would have eternal life (John 20:31), this is what I learnt about belief:
- Jesus confronts unbelief to expose the heart. I was particularly challenged at how praying small prayers ultimately demonstrated that I did not fully believe that God is able to achieve significantly above all I can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
- A believers’ sole identity is in Christ and nothing (or no one) else.
- God provides evidence for each step of belief.
- I also learnt that obedience is the lens that allows us to see the purpose that we were created for. Also, through the depth of my obedience am I able to show my love for Jesus Christ.
Having learnt all of this, I can also say that my discomfort at the number of the unreached (unsaved) also grew. It is appointed for man to die once and after that to face judgment (Hebrew 9:27). My responsibility is purely to share God’s word and leave it to Him as he awakens faith in us and causes us to believe. While scary, failure to believe means meeting Jesus as Judge as opposed to as Saviour and Great High Priest. So I pray that we may continue to share the reason for our Hope when asked (1 Peter 3:15).
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1: 18)
Through the intense study of John in BSF this year, I have had occasion to think of the verse above. To me, God’s word is living and inspiring and able to cut through flesh and bone. When I read the Bible, it speaks to me and I gain understanding and learn something about the character of God, about my faith and sometimes about myself. And this is different from my feelings – it is an internal working of the Holy Spirit in the heart of someone that is submitted to God. But, this verse also helps me understand that for those that do not believe the Bible is God’s inspired word (2 Timothy 3:16 – 17), it is all foolishness.
- For the freedom to worship God and to have a personal and meaningful relationship with Him.
- For a few years in the recent past I was involved in a four-part bible study called BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) International and this week with news reports of the Pope and Desmond Tutu, I was reminded again of why it is important to read God’s word and interpret it for myself (obvs in line with His teachings).
- We have had such a mild Winter this year and I am utterly grateful for the many beautiful days we have had!
- The unquestioning love of a mother? Definitely not a little thing but manifested in so many little ways each day that we live and experience it.
- I borrowed library books in June and they were due at the start of July, I returned them over three weeks later and the fine was miniscule. I love it when such surprises come along you way!
- Finding a parking spot close to the entry into the main building: once, while dropping my mum off at the airport (and check-in had already started) and secondly, at the office because by the time I usually get her allocated parking for the company is often almost full.
- I have resumed Pilates on Tuesday mornings! Only the best activity ever!
What little things have caught your eyes recently?
At BSF this week, we are learning about the blind man in John 9 and part of it is contrasted with the story of Job who lost everything and was nevertheless presented before God as blameless, upright and loving God. Part of it too was about the Pharisees’ spiritual blindness because they thought that by keeping the Law, they would actually see God even when He was standing right in front of them. How also although the man who was eventually healed was blind, he was not guilty. Those who were guilty were the Pharisees who while blind, thought themselves seeing (Jn.9:41) that just stopped me in my tracks! How often do I think I know only to later find out that in fact I didn’t and what I needed to do was trust in Him and just let Him be God, the Alpha and the Omega….like woah? I surrender and just quietly walk away from it all!