Friday, February 6, 2009

For Nancy in NC

Hi Nancy! If I had an e-mail for you I would have sent you a personal e-mail, but you know what? This may be better because I'm going to ask our sweet siesta's to leave you some advice in the comments! This entire post is for you.

Nancy left the following comment on my LINGER post.

"I too need to linger with Jesus alot longer. I am retired (62) and live alone - How do I start "getting into the word" how do I study His word.
Nancy in North Carolina"


First of all the fact that you asked that question. tells me that you want and desire more Jesus in your life! Do you know how excited that makes me!?! I mean the jump up and down kind of excited!

As I thought about this question, I immediately thought "group Bible study". I would suggest to you that if it's possible find a women's Bible study in your church or another church in your area...jump in! BUT....

As I prayed over that...I felt like God wanted me to throw out some other ideas to you as well. The following is what I attempt to do each day ESPECIALLY when I am not doing a group study. I have this nice little list for you thanks to my new friend Rashelle who spoke at the retreat I led worship for back in January. She totally listed off my "plan" and I was cracking up. Here we go....

1. PRAY - ask God to remove any distraction and to teach you. "Teach me" (on a sidenote...the song "speak to me" came out of my Bible study time..I just kept praying speak to me and after a few weeks, this song was born. Proof that God does hear and answer..sometimes it just takes time..)

2. Ask and Expect God to Speak Have a special journal or notepad ready. If you're like me you'll want to find the perfect pen too. :) Start this time ANTICIPATING HIM.

3. Have a Plan
* Read a Proverbs/Psalm a day. Ask God to impress a verse or two on your heart. Write the verse in your journal and then write any thoughts that come to mind. You may find that you wind up journaling your prayers.

* Find online/CD devotions listen to those and then journal what you feel God impressed on your heart.

* One way that I have found to be most powerful in my life is to follow the example of Anne Graham Lotz. She has you break a passage of scripture down three ways.

First you ask "What does it say?" then "What does it mean" and finally "What does it mean to me?"

I have found that this approach keeps me focused and thinking about what the text is saying. I did her study "Visions of His Glory" a study on Revelation several years ago. We broke the book down in this way and it was powerful.


4. Make and Keep your Date This is your time with God. Do your very best to make it happen...BUT life happens. Sometimes you just don't get there even when your heart longs to. Our God doesn't slumber or sleep remember? He will always have time for you, so on those days when everything seems to fall apart around you, ask Him to show you when and where and how. He will. I can testify to that.

8 years ago when I started getting serious about spending time with Him, I asked Him to show me how I was supposed to find time to study His word when I had a 2 year old and was expecting my second child in less than 3 months. I mean seriously! I had so much to do how could I fit it in without getting up at the crack of dawn. (Go ahead and laugh...I laugh at myself.) Here's what He told me....You know that hour of rest time when you fold clothes and watch "The Young and the Restless"...that will be our time.

SO...it was. For that season, 12:30 - 1:30 became my quiet time. After my second daughter was born it changed a little, but you know what? He was always faithful to show me when and where. (and he totally changed my taste in television too)

I say that to say...when you ask Him to help you desire to spend time with Him He will. Remember he says when we seek him with our whole heart we will find him!

Okay Siesta's..here's your chance to help a siesta out. Leave some comment love and share with Nancy what works for you!

Nancy can I pray for you? Lord Jesus I thank you for Nancy's eagerness and desire to study your Word more. I'm asking you today to show her how, when and where. Would you place godly women who have a love and passion for your Word in her path today? I ask that you supply each and every need she has in regards to this. If she needs a new Bible..send it to her! If she needs a partner to help get her started...send one her way. Most importantly I pray that you will speak to her. Show her how awesome you are. I thank you for this crazy Internet and how it can bond a group strangers together...In Jesus Name.

Okay Siesta's...leave Nancy some comment love!

8 comments:

HisTreasuredPossession said...

Oh yeah! Nancy I just love your heart and you can know for certain, this will be answered because it is exactly in line with His will for you! I think Steph did a great job with her outline. I think the only thing I would add is if you are feeling in a rut, "change it up a bit" and make sure you're watching! God meets us in so many ways and sometimes we miss Him b/c we're still doing the same old thing when God is doing a new thing (see Isaiah 43:18-19) You are so welcome here Nancy! come back often. We siestas just love you to pieces!

beckyjomama said...

Sweet Nancy, what a Blessing you are! I love that you want to love God more. Praise Him for the nudging of your sweet heart :)

Here is how I started out...

I could not for the life of me find a Bible reading plan that I could stick to. I thought you just picked it up and read... I got through Genesis OK - good stories - but got lost once we got into Exodus and further. So, one week at church I picked up a Guidpost. It is a bimonthly devotional magazine. Each day there are verses to read and a life application story/lesson. I loved it! I also kept a journal where I wrote down the verse and what I learned. It became my prayer journal - every plea to God was in that notebook! I found that it helped me stay focused in my prayers.

Nowadays you can find a variety of devotionals in any form from magazines to books and even online. These will help you get started and establish a routine and from there you can grow into your own system. At this point I don't really need the devotionals anymore (although I do enjoy them!!) and when I am in a Bible study I find myself actually looking for more time in the word so He can speak to me personally rather than just in the lesson.

God Bless you Nancy, may He RICHLY Bless you in His word!

twinkle said...

Stephanie, I loved the "Linger" post...

Nancy,
God is so creative in how He draws us into His Word. I wish there was an ABC, 123 method of success!
It is very important to have a Bible that YOU want to read. I personally adore the King James Version. It speaks to me at my greatest need of that moment. I enjoy reading The Message Bible. It is a passionate, today's language application that really helps me to feel the drama of God's Word.
You can buy the Bible on tape and listen to it in your car. When I hear it spoken from a tape, it stays with me. And playing it over and over on car trips when I'm alone...I just love it!
Two books really are great reads for beginning Bible study...the book of Job and the book of John. They will make you HATE the enemy the devil and LOVE God's Sovereignty! Yes, they will.

Whatever you choose to study, always begin with prayer.

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a hunger and a desire for His Word.

Ask Him to open your mind to understand His message to you.

Ask Him to speak to you through His Word.

Take advantage of Bible study at church (especially Beth Moore's studies). Make sure you do your homework because this is where you fall head over heels in love with your Saviour.
Make use of on-line Bible study tools. Lifeway has some on their website. The Bible is on-line, too. I like biblegateway.

Pray for wisdom. God will hear and answer!
May He set you on-fire as you discover His passion for you.

Still Learning said...

Hi Nancy,

Everyone has had such great ideas. My suggestion is to start like Stephanie said and pray about it. When I started to try to find out who God truly was and have a relationship with him I had a very frank conversation with him and for me, lots of prayer time led me to feel like I had to read the Bible in whole for the first time. Now, that wouldn't work for lots of people but it changed my whole life and after I was done.... well, the Lord was my closest friend. I guess if you pray and make the time to start in any way you can whether it's group Bible Study or just alone time with a Bible you can understand (I love my New Life Application Bible) God will show you the way that is best for you to know Him more.
Everything everyone has said will certainly lead you down that path to knowing Him more.

God Bless,

Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the answers thus far. I'm hoping more will respond. You all are such an inspiration to me. I Love you.
Nancy in North Carolina

Leah said...

Stephanie and Nancy,

I know I am late in getting this posted but I hope that it will be helpful. Click on over to my blog (www.thepoint-leah.blogspot.com) and see the post dated Sunday 2/8/09.

Leah

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

I would advise BSF. BSF is an intense bible study that completely changed my life by immersing me in the Word. Maybe there is one near her:

http://www.bsfinternational.org/Home/tabid/53/Default.aspx

She can click on BSF Classes to see.

Lora said...

What a sweet heart you have dear Nancy. Stephanie's #1 is key for me - I pray, "Lord give me an insatiable love for You and Your Word." Bless you dear Nancy, ask and He will give it to you!

What sweet encouragement your post is Stephanie, sweetness to my soul.