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ALL Things ARE POSSIBLE!!! :)

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Matthew 19:26 New King James Version (NKJV)

26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

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History Behind This Verse:

Jesus was speaking to His disciples in this verse.  They had been asking Him questions about right and wrong and trying to figure out how to be GOOD enough to enter Heaven.  After telling His disciples many things about right and wrong, divorce, celibacy, and the likes, a rich young ruler came to Jesus and tried to prove his ability to earn Heaven through his own “goodness”….

Let’s read a few verses which precede verse 29.

16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

——————————–

NOW back to our verse:

23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”

26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The first half of this verse is referring to our salvation, which is the ULTIMATE GOAL for all of us!!! It is impossible for any human being to live a life blameless enough to enter Heaven on their own merit.  We are all sinners!  No matter how hard we try, we all sin on a daily basis! It is impossible for us to obtain eternal life on our own terms, but with God THIS possible!!! The only way that we can enter Heaven is by acknowledging and accepting our savior, Jesus! It is only when we are covered by the blood of Jesus that we are worthy.  We must understand and accept the fact that the gates of Heaven will only be open to us through God’s GOODNESS!!!

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Key Words

Are-  PRESENT TENSE form of the verb “be”

Possible- able to be done

 

 

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Connection To Us

Notice this verse reads:  With God all things ARE POSSIBLE, not all things are GUARANTEED!!

We must always remember that God is not our personal magic genie!  He will not give us things simply by us asking for them.

A few differences between our God and a magic genie are:

 With God-  LOVE is FACTORED IN

With God-  He knows our true needs

With God–  Ultimate WISDOM is calculated into the decision

It is easy for us to get upset and question God when we do not get our prayers answered the exact way that we are asking.  If you think about it, this is kind of silly on our part!  We have the ruler of the universe deciding what to give us and what we really need- we should be able to trust Him.  He KNOWS ALL, yet we get upset and stomp our feet when He applies His knowledge.  Our Heavenly Father knows what our lives will look like both if He grants us our prayer request and if He does not.  He makes EVERY decision out of LOVE!

If this verse read:  With God all things are guaranteed……

Our lives would be a hot mess!!

Without God applying His love and guidance into our lives, we would be like the toddler at the toy store.  We would spend all of our time going from one toy to the next, constantly opening the boxes and then throwing the toy down- never being truly satisfied.  We would ALWAYS be looking for the next THING to fill us!!!!

With God, He KNOWS what will both FILL us and SATISFY us!  We must trust HIM!!!  He knows that the closer we are to Him, the more full, complete, and satisfied we will be.  He is not going to give us any THING (or person) which will lead us away from Him!!  

***  on a side note:  I know sometimes God chooses to not step in to heal a sick or dying loved one.  This is SO painful and hard to understand. I do not know why this happens.  I do know that God LOVES both the person who is ill and their family members VERY much!!!  He looks at the futures of all involved and uses both His wisdom and LOVE to make EVERY decision.  For whatever reason He may choose to not heal the inflicted person.  This is extremely heartbreaking for us!

I  am praying for you if this is your present story. I pray that God will reveal HIS LOVE to you in a very NEW and POWERFUL way today!  I pray that He can guide you to having peace with His decision.  He TRULY DOES LOVE YOU WITH ALL OF HIS AMAZINGLY BIG HEART!!!

ALL Things :)

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_______________________________________________________________________________

Matthew 19:26 New King James Version (NKJV)

26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

____________________________________________________________________________

History Behind This Verse:

Jesus was speaking to His disciples in this verse.  They had been asking Him questions about right and wrong and trying to figure out how to be GOOD enough to enter Heaven.  After telling His disciples many things about right and wrong, divorce, celibacy, and the likes, a rich young ruler came to Jesus and tried to prove his ability to earn Heaven through his own “goodness”….

Let’s read a few verses which precede verse 29.

16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

——————————–

NOW back to our verse:

23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”

26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The first half of this verse is referring to our salvation, which is the ULTIMATE GOAL for all of us!!! It is impossible for any human being to live a life blameless enough to enter Heaven on their own merit.  We are all sinners!  No matter how hard we try, we all sin on a daily basis! It is impossible for us to obtain eternal life on our own terms, but with God THIS possible!!! The only way that we can enter Heaven is by acknowledging and accepting our savior, Jesus! It is only when we are covered by the blood of Jesus that we are worthy.  We must understand and accept the fact that the gates of Heaven will only be open to us through God’s GOODNESS!!!

___________________________________________________________________

Key Words

All

Things

All-  the whole, entire, total amount, quantity, or extent of,  every

Things-  anything that is or may become an object of thought

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Connection To Us

What does ALL THINGS look like in God’s eyes??

The ALL things that He is capable of may seem supernatural to us because it is!

Throughout history when God steps in and causes something to happen BEYOND human power it is called a “miracle”

Hundreds of miracles are recorded in The Bible.

GOD STILL MAKES MIRACLES HAPPEN EVEN TODAY!!!

I know for a FACT that OUR GOD is still willing and able to perform miracles in our lives!

I see evidence of HIS miracles in the past and I know that HE NEVER CHANGES!!!

James 1:17 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

There are HUNDREDS of miracles recorded in the Bible!

This documented do not even begin to define what our GOD is capable of!!!

Here is a partial list of God’s miracles:

I only added the first few here- click on the link to read more  🙂

http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/miracle.html

124 miracles recorded in the Bible (partial list)

  1. CREATION of the universe, including plants, animals and humans (Genesis 1-2)
  2. WORLDWIDE FLOOD EVENT—destruction of the entire world by a divine Flood and the miraculous preservation of 8 righteous people and representative land-dwelling, air-breathing animals in the Ark. (Gen. 7-8)
  3. CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES (tongues) at Babel (Gen. 11:1-9)—a world of one language instantly transformed into a world of many languages
  4. SINFUL CITIES DESTROYED—destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:24)
  5. SUPERNATURAL DEATH—Lot’s wife turned into a “pillar of salt” (Gen. 19:26)
  6. SUPERNATURAL CONCEPTION—Isaac conceived by very elderly Sarah and 100 year old Abraham at Gerar (Gen. 21:1)

    ELDERLY NURSING MOTHER—Sarah was also able to naturally nurse baby Isaac. (Genesis 21:7)

 

I encourage you to visit the website above

– PRINT OUT THE LIST!!!  HANG IT ON YOUR WALL!!  

These are just a FEW of the things that YOUR God could do for you!!!

God has the ability to do ALL THINGS- even those NOT listed!!!

****  In my own life I have SEEN God’s miracles and provisions:

Some of my answered prayers can be read here:

 http://biblestoriesfromtheheart.com/category/my-prayers-answered/

1. The Lord  healed my mom from a brain aneurism

(it completely disappeared before they operated on her!

2. God brought my husband to me in HIS perfect timing!

3.  The Lord also led me to begin writing this Bible study and now I have SO many wonderful people to study His WORD -which is SUCH a BLESSING to me!!!

4.  My Heavenly Father provided a wonderful house for us (much nicer than we should be able to afford, but HE put it EXACTLY in our price range!!

5.  HE has helped me find things when I misplace them (car keys to be exact!!!- I wrote a blog about it)

6.  MANY MORE!!!

And my list could go on and on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Knowing that God is capable of ALL OF THIS and MORE should give us such peace, but sadly most of us  still find ourselves worrying.  Our God DOES NOT want us to worry!!!  He is holding us in HIS hand!!!  We just must  TRUST Him to know what is best for us!!! We must tell Him what we need and give our worry over to Him. We must pray without ceasing!!!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-28

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Our Heavenly Father will sometimes choose to answer your prayers in different ways than you are hoping.  When this happens you must have faith!   HE truly does know what is best for you.  Even when we know nothing else- you must know that He does  ALL THINGS  out of love!!! You  may go through hard times and you may lose people or things that you love, BUT you do not have to EVER be without LOVE, for GOD IS LOVE!!! And HE will never leave YOU or forsake YOU 🙂

Acknowledge Him (God)

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Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths

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History Behind These Verses

These verses are found in the book of Proverbs. The Hebrew word for proverb means “comparison, similar, or parallel.   The ideas found in Proverbs relate directly to this definition by comparing the ways of wisdom to the ways of foolishness. Throughout Proverbs, we are told that the way of wisdom will lead to life and the way of foolishness will lead to destruction and death.

The key word in the Book of Proverbs is “wisdom,” meaning: the ability to live life skillfully.  To live a godly life in an ungodly world, is rather difficult sometimes. Solomon, the author of many of the Proverbs,  knew how difficult life could be.  As a way to help guide other believers,  he documented his wisdom. During his lifetime it is said that he authored over 3,000 wisdom statements.  Some of Solomon’s  God-given wisdom statements were placed in the Bible by the Holy Spirit Himself.  The Holy Spirit wants these proverbs to help guide each one of us even today. This wisdom do not expire!

If you spend time reading and studying the book of Proverbs as a whole, you will find that Solomon provides us with knowledge and Godly instruction for every area of our lives:  our children, our parents, our work, our money, our free time, etc.   Basically any advice we need is found in this very important book of the Bible.

Our scripture for this week, Proverbs 3: 5-6, encourages us to follow the way of wisdom. In other words, we should be familiar with what God would want us to do in any situation that we may encounter.  One of the best ways to actually walk in wisdom is to actually study the book of Proverbs and apply what we learn to our everyday lives.

There are necessary steps that one must follow to gain Godly wisdom.  First a person must acquire KNOWLEDGE by studying God’s Word.  Second, that person must apply that acquired knowledge to fitting situations in their lives. There is a process to gain wisdom. One must actually DO what they have learned!  It does no good to read and study God’s Word  if we are not going to apply what we learn to our lives!

Knowing the Bible but not APPLYING its wisdom to our lives would be just plain silly! It would be like studying for years to become a master chef, then choose to serve your dinner guests spam sandwiches!!! Unless a master chef puts his/her culinary knowledge to use, it is simply wasted knowledge!

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Key Words

Acknowledge 

Him

Acknowledge- to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of:

the Hebrew word for “acknowledge” (yada) means to get to know someone by observing, reflecting and experiencing that person…..

SO…  in order to to acknowledge God we must know Him. To really KNOW Him we must spend time with Him each and every day. This Bible Stories From the Heart Bible Study is a perfect way to help us with this. Spending time each day closely observing scripture and reflecting on key words is helping us learn so much more about the character of God. We are not rushing through our daily reading. Instead, we are allowing the Word of God to soak into our hearts!   As this continues to happen, our relationship with Our Heavenly Father will deepen.  As our relationship grows, it will become even easier to truly acknowledge Him!

The more we acknowledge Him the more we will truly believe that HE really does know best!!! 🙂

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Connection To Our Lives

When we acknowledge someone we are in essence letting them know how important they are to us.  We are showing them that we value and respect their opinion, and that we deeply appreciate all that they do for us.

I am sure many of us know how terrible it feels to be overlooked or even ignored by the people we care about.  As bad as this makes us feel, imagine how it must hurt God when we do the same towards Him!

No one on this earth has or will ever love you us much as God does!  He is so devoted to us. He cares so deeply for each one of us.  He loves us so much that He had is only begotten Son die for us!!!

I bet none of the people we normally turn to for advice has done that for us!

So, why in the world is it so easy for us to follow the advice of other people instead our Heavenly Father?

Why are we so quick to ignore God’s wisdom and guidance?

Let’s make this our prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father, I know deep in my heart that you love me more than I will ever be able to fathom. Please help me to trust you more!  Please forgive me for not always acknowledging Your love and direction for my life.  Please forgive me for following advice in my past that has led me away from you. I have learned that if I want to stay close to you I need to follow the path you have for me. Please help me learn to be more dependent on you.  Help me learn to be more obedient to your voice. Thank you for always wanting what’s best for me.  I LOVE and NEED you desperately!

Coloring Pages: Bible Stories from the Heart (Join us on Facebook)

Here are FREE Coloring Pages to add to your faith journals 🙂

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ALSO- CHECK THIS OUT  🙂 🙂 🙂

We now have “art inspired”  Christian Bible Studies for sale on Etsy and Amazon!!  🙂

Each workbook contains everything you need to begin hosting your own art-inspired Bible study!!!

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Here are FREE Coloring Pages to download and color as you read and reflect on

Bible Stories from the Heart WEEKLY Devotions and lessons…

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 God’s Word should be SAVORED!!!  Spending quite time praying and reflecting during coloring allows the Holy Spirit to speak to you in very deep new ways!!!  TRY IT TODAY!!!  🙂

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An Enduring Faith

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The Power of Faith in Jesus by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Good morning!  I decided I wanted to share a few posts about my different backgrounds:  my faith, my family, my art and maybe even just me in general.  It is always good to get know a sister in Christ better, right?  So I am going to start with faith:

I grew up in the ELCA Lutheran church:  there are also the Missouri and Wisconsin synod branches.  The ELCA is probably considered the least strict of the three in some ways–not sure how to put that.  But the ELCA allows women to not only be laypeople in the church, but also ordained ministers.  That is probably the biggest difference.  The ELCA believes in salvation by grace not works, the sacraments, confession of sins,  and follows a set liturgy (prayers, responsive readings, and every week they read from the Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, and the Gospel).  When I was a kid I went to Sunday school and attended church with my parents, so I was in on all of that.  I have always felt like I had a really strong base in the Word, because I listened during church and soaked in all of that.  I was very blessed.

I come from a family of strong faith and religion.  My mom, aunts, and grandmother on mom’s side really shaped my faith and service to the church:  you didn’t just attend, you SERVED.  And it was a good thing.  I have always dived in and enjoyed my different roles in the churches we attended.  Ours was a praying family, a Bible reading family, a singing hymns at home family.

I attended a Lutheran college, and took religion classes. BUT I was friends with strong feminist types, my religion professor was more interested in the historical facets of the Bible than the spiritual, and I was questioning life in general  (pretty typical college stuff).  My family thought I didn’t believe anymore…I NEVER stopped believing that Jesus Christ was my Savior, but I DID question RELIGION and cultural and societal roles of religion.  I know, I thought I was deep.  And I was trying to balance my scientific knowledge with my faith knowledge. That is a tricky and long road.

Now:  add into that a grandmother on the other side who had a strong faith, reads her Bible constantly, but who is very judgemental.  She told me as a child that I wasn’t saved because I wasn’t born again, that my denomination wasn’t being a true Christian.  And I have had other friends and neighbors pressure me the same way.  That put a whole judgemental spin in me:  I knew I was a Christian, but I became very leery, unbelieving of some other denominations.  I was prejudiced.

In my twenties and thirties we moved several times.  Sometimes I could find my good old comfortable ELCA church (that is another Lutheran tenet–you should be able to find a Lutheran church anywhere in the nation and be able to slip into and recognize the liturgy and feel comfortable and accepted).  Sometimes I couldn’t find one.  But I knew I needed fellowship with Christ and other believers, so I attended a variety of churches.

It was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I was finally able to let go of denominational prejudices.  I was able to see that we are all unique individuals with unique and different faith needs.  We all have different backgrounds and comforts in our religion, our worship, our beliefs.  Different personalities express worship and belief in different ways.  Some share, some do not.  Some need constant learning, some do not.  And often, if you look at the personality of a person outside of church, how they deal with everything in their life, they approach faith the same way.

But those of us who believe ARE ALL CHRISTIANS.

In the past three years, I discovered another thing that changed my personal faith.  I was really good at teaching kids about faith, but I wasn’t very good at teaching myself.  I gave my faith away to my family and others through too much service–the kind of service that was draining me, not building me. So I pulled back.

This is when the faith art journaling REALLY took off.  And then when business took off.  Because I was sharing, and still building myself.  I was giving more up to Jesus–control, worries, prayers, faith.  I finally let Him lead.  I didn’t make the choices, as much as He did.  I quit praying for very specific requests.  I stared praying with confession that I am not perfect and need God in every moment.  I started praying with gratitude.  And I started praying for not this or that thing how I wanted it to be, but for strength, wisdom, discernment, peace and calm, love, patience–the things that would let me believe in God’s will and plan, but that would help me on that path.

My faith is renewed.  It has always been there.  ALWAYS.  But it has taken a fresh new spin, it is affecting me in a new way.  Teaching me in a way that fills my current life.  I am sure that it will morph again as my life continues to change with age and changes.  And that is as it should be.

In Christ’s peace,

Nicole

God Launched a Bible Study!

Today I want to share with you how an “unanswered” prayer in my life actually turned out to be a BLESSING in disguise! This is the story of how this blog and Bible study came to be.

 GOD SHUT A DOOR!

door

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My story

I have been a public elementary school teacher for almost 20 years.  I have LOVED it!  I KNEW when I first began teaching children that education was the right career for me. Teaching inspired and fulfilled me. Watching children grow both in knowledge and in confidence moved me- and still does!

Over the past couple of years I have experienced a different pulling.  I have felt a nudge to move in a different direction. After leading many adult Bible study classes, I began to feel a STRONG calling on my life to work for a faith-based company.  I thought it might be time for me to find a job where I could serve adults.  I felt called to merge my teaching with my Christian faith, so I reached out to the John Maxwell Co. (John Maxwell by my standards, is THE BOMB, when it comes to Christian Leadership Teaching)

My first degree is in Marketing.  I went back to get my teaching degrees after my children were born. I saw that The Maxwell Co. had an opening in their Marketing division, so I reached out to the hiring manager. She responded to my interest email and set me up with some interviews. I KNEW this must be a sign from God because I had been out of the business world for 20 years!  After interviewing with everyone at the John Maxwell Co. (besides John Maxwell and the janitor- slight exageration) I felt pretty confident that I would be offered the job. I was so excited!

Weeks went by before I heard that the job had been offered to someone else  I did not have enough (or any, in fact) email marketing experience. I was DEVASTATED!!!!  I just KNEW God was CALLING me…  and then the door was slammed in my face!!!  OUCH, John Maxwell!!!!!  😉

The day I found out  I moped!!!  I am not a “mopey” person, but I allowed myself one half of a day to pout!  During that one half of a day I did something a little bit desperate and a lot bit crazy…  I found the most influential Christian business person in my area and I messaged him! This particular person is the past President and CEO of iDisciple- which is part of Family Christian Bookstores. Anyway, I poured my heart out to him and asked if we could meet. I wrote that I felt “called” to work for a faith-based company.  I  mentioned that I had been out of the business world for 20 years.  I asked him for guidance and advice.

This very important business man messaged me back within that same hour! I KNOW that he receives HUNDREDS of letters and resumes each week (he even told me so), but he responded to mine!  He said there was something about my letter that touched him!  He then told me that he would forward my letter to the hiring managers at iDisciple with his personal recommendation attached!  I was beyond excited and happy!  This to me was more validation that God WAS CALLING me to work for HIM!

What happened next led me to begin writing on my blog.  This business man forwarded me the email that he sent to his hiring managers.  In the subject line of the email he wrote:  potential writer!!!!  Here is the INCREDIBLE part- ….In my letter I had mentioned NOTHING about wanting to write!!!  The really AMAZING thing about this is that GOD KNEW I WANTED TO WRITE!!!

A few weeks before this happened I had asked a couple of friends of mine to meet me for a special prayer time.  We prayed about my “calling” …  I told them how I really felt God nudging me to work somewhere where I could help adults.  I told them that my ultimate dream was to write Christian curriculum and Bible Studies one day. At this time I was waking up around 4:15 every morning to read and study before leaving for work each day.  Studying Jewish history and how it relates to events in the Bible fascinated me- STILL DOES!!!  I often say that I am obsessed with reading and researching!

A few days past by. I never heard back from iDisciple, but I knew that I should begin writing.  I started blogging.  I began writing short devotions.  I KNEW that even if no one else read them that I SHOULD write them down.  I was learning so much each morning when I read.  I needed to somehow DOCUMENT my findings and thoughts so that I would not forget them. Writing the devotions would help ME to remember what I was reading and learning. It would give God another avenue to SPEAK to me!  As I began writing, I felt HIS insights begin to flow through me!

From there the Bible Study began.  It all happened SO FAST and SO NATURALLY that it is a little bit hard for me to remember the exacts.  It is like GOD moved His hand over my computer, and everything connected! I don’t even remember who joined my team first:  Abby, my journal instructor; or Nicole, my artist.  Both of these amazing ladies were brought to me by God Himself!  We have never even met each other!  We all somehow connected on the internet!  I saw Nicole’s artwork on Pinterest and reached out to her asking if she would let me use some of her artwork with my study. Abby saw something I wrote on another “pin” on Pinterest and reached out to me asking about my Bible Study.  We began messaging and sharing ideas, and ……the rest is HISTORY!!!

Our interactive online Bible Study was born!

God KNEW what He wanted me to do and He KNEW who I needed on my team!  The Lord CAUSED the doors at Maxwell and iDisciple to close.  He caused the business man to reach out to me.  The Lord led me to begin this Bible Study, and He assembled my team!!!!  I feel SO BLESSED!!!!  I KNOW that I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be at this moment! For now, I will continue to teach elementary school during the school year and will write and lead online Bible Studies in the summer!

I am excited to see what God has in store next!

You can read more about my AMAZING team members by following their blogs:

http://www.nicplynel.com/

https://singlemommyslife.wordpress.com/

Please feel free to join our online Bible Study!!!

We will be writing interactive devotional lessons once a month in the fall .  🙂

You can see more on our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/Biblestudiesfromtheheart/

Through it All

Through it All ~

https://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/through-it-all/

Remember the Wonders free photo by Aaron Justin on Creations Swap

Through the mountain,
God led me
through the hardships
He supplied me.

Through the darkness,
God directed me
through the uncertainties
He never left me.

Though the high waters,
God brought me
through the sorrow
He comforted me.

Through the storms,
God protected me
through the heartache
He cared for me.

Through the desert,
God guided me
through the loneliness
He loved me.

Through the valley,
God carried me
through the suffering
He fortified me.

Through the wilderness,
God was with me
through all of my doubts . . .
He waited for me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Psalm 136:16
King James Version

“To him which led his people
through the wilderness:
for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Copyright 2013
Deborah Ann Belka

GOD BROUGHT ME LOVE!!!!!

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I am going to share with you the story of how God brought my husband Gary and I together.

Our story actually began about 5 YEARS before we even met.

I will list the steps involved and them I will give details about each.

PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED IN GOD’S TIMING 🙂 🙂

Step one:  Gary prayed about which church he should join.  He had been attending a small church.  But after his divorce, he felt like he needed one that would allow him the opportunity to meet new people.  At this time he was very much into hiking.  He decided to hike up to the top of Blood Mountain and spend some quality time with God.  As he was praying and asking God to lead him to a new church, he heard a noise.  Someone was approaching the summit of Blood Mountain. …  Gary looked up and saw a man.  This is where GOD comes in…. The man was wearing a 12 Stone Church t-shirt!!!!!   Gary laughed to himself.  He had just prayed for God to lead him to a new church and here was a church t-shirt….  this  particular church in a few years would actually be very close to Gary’s home.

So….  Gary began attending 12 Stone.

The 12 Stone campus that was open at this time was not convenient for Gary.  He began looking elsewhere and visiting other churches closer to his home. After attending another church for a short while God instructed Gary to open his Bible to a particular book.  He was told to read Joshua chapter 4.  As he began reading he noticed that the words 12 Stone appear 3 times in the first 9 verses!!!!  Gary needed NO MORE VALIDATION from God- he decided to make 12 Stone his new church home. Within weeks of making that decision, 12 Stone announced that they would be opening a location in Sugarloaf- which is where Gary LIVED!!!!

Step 2, Gary met a friend through his new church.  12 Stone had small groups available for people to join and study God’s word together.  Gary decided to join one. During this first group he met a man named J.R.  It is important to note that J.R. only came to one of these meetings.  I think God directed him there so that he could meet Gary.  Gary and JR met on that first night of the study and are still friends to this day! (J.R. comes back into the story later)

Step 3, (YEARS LATER) God prompted me to start a co-ed Bible study. I was now divorced and hated the whole dating scene.  I was lonely.  I needed friends!  I LOVED to read and study so I decided to find a Christian Singles Book Club in my area to join.  There weren’t any, so God prompted me to start one!   The group was AMAZING!!!  At one time we had over 150 members!  I met some incredible people through this group- some of which are still my close friends today.  BUT….  the person I met in that group that relates to THIS God story is …..  you guessed it…  J.R.!!!!!!!!!!

Step 4, Gary’s friend joined my co-ed group.  The co-ed group had been meeting for a little while when J.R. started coming.  Because I was the leader, I made it a point to NOT date within the group.  This was actually a GOOD thing! I had never really had “guy” friends before this group, but now I did!  I felt comfortable sharing my stories and weaknesses with the group because there was no “sexual” tension.  J.R. and I became friends.  I remember asking him one night where all the good guys were…  because I sure couldn’t find any.

Step 5, God tells me I will find love in MAY.  This took place sometime around November or December.  I know this because I remember crying on the floor like a big old baby and looking up at my Christmas tree.  I was feeling very down.  It was the holidays….  I was all alone…. I had pretty much given up on dating….  and I was coming to realize that I would probably be single forever.  I remember CRYING so hard on this particular night!  SNOT BUBBLES were coming out of my nostrils!  I was making weird gasping sounds….  I was a MESS!!!!!  I remember praying to God….  asking Him if I would ALWAYS be alone!!! SCREAMING out to Him that I felt so LONELY!!!  It was not too long after my prayer that I heard His voice!  God said, “May,  Leslie, Not before May and not after May, but May”…  He repeated this to me several times that night and the next morning.

Step 6,  I go on with my life.  I continue my Bible Study and give myself time to heal and grow.  Over the next few months I feel myself getting SO much stronger, both emotionally and spiritually.  I do not feel desperate anymore.  I feel FULL!  I am now at a place where if I don’t find love again in my life that I KNOW I will still be alright.

Step 7, I move into an apartment. At the time I was trying to purchase a very small and kind of scary townhouse about 20 miles away.  It fell though.  I had a friend from the Co-ed Book club who had just moved into an apartment complex in Duluth.  She loved it,  so I decided I would move there too.  I did not know this at the time, BUT Gary was moving into his apartment the same exact month that I was….   he moved in roughly 2 weeks before I moved in!!! His apartment was in Suwanee, which is about 6 miles from my apartment in Duluth.  We STILL had not met, NOR had we even HEARD about each other!!! God was still working on our introduction…  it would occur SOON…  but not until MAY!

Step 8, J.R. introduced me to Gary.  This occurred on May 5.  I remember the date because the Co-ed group was getting together to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  J.R. called me and asked me if it was ok if he brought his friend Gary. He wanted me to meet him.  He thought we might hit it off…..  SURE, I said!!  🙂  We met that night and began dating exclusively that same week!

Step 9, We fell in love.  On the very last day in May Gary’s car broke down.  He called and asked me if I could pick him up from the shop.  I did and we ended up spending the day together.  I remember we talked, cooked frozen lasagna, and watched some TV,……….. BUT the most important thing that happened on that very last day of MAY- Gary told me he loved me for the VERY FIRST TIME!!!!!  God TOLD me that it would happen in MAY!!!!  AND It DID!!!!!!! We even joke and say that GOD helped it happen on that last day of MAY by having Gary’s car break down!  If his car wouldn’t have needed repairs, we wouldn’t have spent the day together and Gary may not have told me that he LOVED ME!!!!

GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!!

God “rang” my cellphone and ANSWERED MY PRAYER!! :)

God does such AMAZING things each and every day in our lives!!!

I think it is important that we take the time to DOCUMENT our God moments

We should NEVER forget even the slightest detail of when God steps in and TOUCHES our lives

Now I will share ONE MORE GOD STORY with you.

It involves a phone call….

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I have SO MANY God stories! This one is about God leading us to the house we currently live in. Gary (my husband) and I were planning on getting married. We KNEW that God brought us together (that is a whole other GOD STORY) …. we were looking for a place to live. We both had our own apartments…. mine a one bedroom, his a 3 bedroom. At the time we were both “empty- nesters”…. his teenage daughters were living with their mom, my children were all older and had already left home (2 in college, one living with friends)…. because of this we were looking for something small. We were searching for a townhouse or small ranch near his children’s high school. We could not find ANYTHING!!!! The few that were in our budget got snatched up before we could even consider them. We were getting a little frustrated. We even began debating about just keeping his apartment and moving my stuff in there.

THEN GOD STEPPED IN!!!!!!

We decided to look at one more house. It was MUCH MORE HOUSE than the two of us needed (we thought), but it was close to the monthly rent that we were looking for AND IT was near the high school and his daughters, so we checked it out……

We had made a list of things that we wanted in a house…. a fireplace, book shelves…. etc….. WHEN WE LOOKED AT THIS HOUSE it had EVERYTHING we wanted multiplied by about a million…. it was SO MUCH MORE than we thought we needed or even wanted….

We spoke to the owner and she agreed to lower the rent to what we could afford to pay….. WE WERE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO WERE CURRENTLY EVEN LOOKING AT THIS HOUSE- which is a TOTAL God thing!!!!!

We left that showing and were still unsure. It was WAY TOO MUCH HOUSE for US!!!! We just didn’t NEED it!!!!!! We felt so undeserving of it…  I think we even felt a little embarrassed even considering it.

We prayed. We asked God to lead us. Should we move into this house? After all there were only two of us…. it was just way too much house for us!!!

ALMOST instantly (seriously,  within 3 minutes) after praying my cellphone rang. It was my 24-year-old son. He was calling to ask if he could possibly stay with me for a while. We KNEW this was a sign from GOD! We MOVED into the house and my son now lives with us. This house has been a true BLESSING!  I feel like God knew that my son needed this time with Gary and I.  The growth that my son has shown over this past year is INCREDIBLE! He was always an amazing boy, but now he is developing into an amazing MAN!  He now has a full-time job and is saving money to buy his own car! I know that God moved us into this house so that my son could learn Godly wisdom and love through my husband, Gary!  It is INCREDIBLE!!!! I feel SO BLESSED that God led us here!

Gary’s daughter also lived with us for a few months which was AWESOME!!!! She had not lived with her father in years, so this was a wonderful season for both she and her dad.  With this house we have SPACE available for any of our 5 kids to come home at any point! I do not know what the future will bring or where we will live next, but I DO KNOW for right now we are EXACTLY where we are meant to be!!!!!

Isn’t it AMAZING that the God of the UNIVERSE wants to be involved in our everyday lives!!!!

 I LOVE THAT!!!!