Stepping Up Week 1: Where Will My Help Come From

Welcome back to the Womens Bible Cafe, where we’ll discuss our first week of Stepping Up Through the Psalms of Ascent by Beth Moore. As we read our first three Psalms this week, we imagined ourselves pilgrims on a journey with the Lord. While going uphill in our ascent, we know the enemy watches and will seek to block our path or cause us to stumble along the way. In your absolute posture of humility before God, as Beth suggests in the introduction, the Lord knows you’re giving your all to Him. “In God’s economy, the way up is down,” says Beth.  Start your lesson in humility, end your lesson in singing praises to Him.

As Beth writes “the Psalms are ample in number and endless in application.” She goes on to say “part of making our ascent is learning to take the high road. The process can begin by voicing to God the pain you’ve suffered on the low road.” In audio Session One Beth warns “Don’t let someone bring you to the low road.” It might be a good experience for this next week to pay attention to our feet- which road are we on- and how did we get there. Pray specifically and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if you are on a journey of ascent, or one of descent. Ask for guidance about your pilgrimage, and make sure you are in obedience to the Lord’s will.

We’re approaching the season of Lent, and if you are participating, a 40-day journey awaits you. Will you sing praise songs and voice your appreciation for the Son of God, or will you grumble about making a sacrifice? Will you boast about ashes on your forehead and your sacrifice, or will you boast about the Son who gave His life for your salvation. Pay attention to the words in your song, and let them be pleasing to the Lord. Put on your walking shoes, and journey on a pilgrimage of ascent, as you sing His songs.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm19:14 NIV

Prayer Requests

We have several new prayer requests, please visit the Prayer Wall and give your voice to the needs of these women. We welcome any prayer needs from the group. If you have a prayer request for our prayer wall, please click here.

Beth Moore Quotes

  • Put your tired feet into the water of God’s Word.
  • Humility is the natural posture for anyone who grasps the greatness of God.
  • Sometimes we don’t know why we’re on a certain road with God until miles have made their way to the soles of our feet.
  • God’s first priority is relationship, not just emergency response.
  • As you study scripture, God is accomplishing something in you.

This Week’s Scripture Verse

Please memorize Psalm 121, write each verse on an index card and start memorizing it as Beth recommend on page 22 of your workbook.

For Next Week

  • Read Week Two in the workbook
  • Listen to the Session Two Audio or Session Two Video (optional)

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )
  2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )
  3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
  4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.

Join the discussion 165 Comments

  • Jennifer D says:

    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    a) writing out the psalms in our own words
    b) three approaches say it -> work it -> pray it
    c) how the psalms are set up
    d) personal questions–makes us think and ponder on it.

  • mandy says:

    Ok, Im still catching up but since im still going over week one i had to post this revelation. At about 12:30am i was reading over day 3 in wk 1. Came across this question. ” what is going saying to you today?” I put “trust him to take care of every area of my life. Give all of me, GET REAL with Him and he will become REAL to me. I posted a blog about this for anyone who might be interested in reading it.

    http://mandy3381.blogspot.com/2011/03/get-real.html

    This study is soo what i need. thank you Christine for finding me on twitter and guiding me to this site. Absolutely loving it.

  • mandy says:

    Alittle late but it seems every time i pick up my study to work though it something always distracts me. I am sooo far behind its not funny but here goes

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? When i set my eyes on God and pray my way though the times i am having an emotional breakdown i find that it makes me stronger spiritual, uplifts me and its makes for quality worship time with God. If i dewell on whats bothering me(which is 99% of the time i find i get very distracted from doing anything God wants from me.

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? Im not sure how to answer this other than i know when i am walking on unfamiliar territorty, going to a new place or new job or school, it can be quite frightening, or for me, having to attempt something new thats a real challenge for me(im disabled) i like to know that God is there with me helping me through my needs or desires. And i do mean know, not just read, i need to feel. I dont want to hear someone say, oh God is with you.. I want to know and feel his very presence at all time, especially the difficult one.

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. Certain people within my family doesnt listen to me orr take me seriuosly alot of time. God listens all the time. And he is the only one that helps me though the rough or sad(death) times in my life. All within 6 yrs i lost a sister and a father, while although my husband tried to comfort me, God helped heal me.

    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson. That would have to be Page 23. Beth is describing the psamist journey. She says ” Psalms 120 unfolds with the pilgrim still in his remote location, lamentating his living conditons and longing to be near the house of God. He looks at the hills in the distance wondering and probably fearing what might be on the other side.”

    That is sooo me at this stage in my life. I am longing for something Real in my life. I sooo want God to be Real in my life. Been a christian for a long long time but life circumstances and such have desipated my faith. I know where i want to be but Fear keeps me from obtaining what i need.

  • Christine D says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?
    When I get overwhelmed with my emotions I am really trying very hard to put things in perspective. I try to turn my emotions around into worship by counting my blessings. For instance, I got really upset with my husband this week over something very silly. Instead of letting my emotions get the better of me, I stopped and just thanked God that I do have a husband to get upset with. If one of my children are pushing my buttons, I have to try really hard, but I try to thank God for the blessing of having 3 healthy and happy children.

    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth?
    This connection really spoke to me because He made everything, He knows everything, and He is my everything. He knows everything before we do it. He knows me inside and out. He is God, He is everthing.

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.
    For the longest time, I just felt like I was missing something. I have a beautiful family, a great job, etc. But, I got myself into some credit card debt because I was trying to buy myself happiness. Once realizing that putting God first and having an intimate relationship with Him is what I was missing, my life is just so much more fulfilled and has so much more meaning to me now.

    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    This was my first time to put my head to the floor. I have simply just never thought to do that. When I humbled myself before God by doing this act, I felt so much peace and love. I literally felt a spiritual hug when I was down on that floor. I was reminded that I am not alone.

  • Julie says:

    Got caught up and started by answering questions to week 2, but wanted to come back and answer week one questions too.
    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )
    If we used our emotions to worship, instead of letting them distract us, we would be praising and worshipping God at all times, never ceasing.

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )
    When you take any journey, you see all that God made around you. When you take an uncertain journey, you are usually filled with anxiety and fear, and seeing all that God has made around you can remind you that he is everywhere, and there is no reason to fear.

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
    God puts people in my life to help me and he gives me the strength and wisdom that I need every day.

    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    I like how Beth pulled in so many other scriptures to remind me that God is always there for me. One scripture that I read in this lesson reminded me that God has us “under his wings,” and that reminded me that he protects us like a parent holding a newborn baby. He always holds us close, protecting us from all harm. I love that image!

  • Carin says:

    Sorry, I am a week behind…. I had fun meeting some of you last week.

    Wow, this study is much different than the last Beth Moore studies I have done in the past. I am currently writing with cat hair on my forehead since I put my “back to the sky” in our office where my cat hangs out.

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship?-
    If we can only bring these emotions to God, I know he would say I have a plan, trust me! Hard to do that sometimes when we are wrapped up in the emotions. Praise him in all that you are in (again easier said than done). Being in the word to remind us helps too!

    2.The connection with an uncertain journey-
    An uncertain journey is navigated by God. I learned that in the study of Jonah. If we keep in mind that wherever God is leading us to it is best to do it the first time. He will keep navigating us and the trip will be less painful if we do it by his way the first time.

    3.God helps when others cannot.
    Peace!! No one can give us a peace like God. I have found that when I am in his word he speaks to me. When it doesn’t make sense I continue to get other confirmation. Knowing that peace in our heart is much different than trying to justify it in my head.

    Special Memory ~
    This is not quite special but it stood out to me. “Don’t get in the mud with people who fight dirty”

    • Christine says:

      You made me laugh with the cat hair image. 🙂

      Great reminder: “Don’t get in the mud with people who fight dirty” Thanks for posting it!

  • Janet says:

    OH THIS IS SCARY…As I jump into my first ever Bible Study I feel like I (my family) is being attacked. Why can’t they just attack me I can handle that so much easier than going after my 10 year old daughter. I need many prayers for strength during this.

  • Jackie says:

    How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? I find that when I am deeep in emotion, like sorrow or pain, I am at the bottom of myself and alone as well. The only one who truly understands my emotion is the one who created me and knows my feelings.
    Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. Ditto

  • Anita Neufeld says:

    Wow! Everyone makes such great comments. I am very excited to start this!1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?
    I think emotions are all part of the ‘anatomy of the soul’ and the Holy Spirit recognizes them in worship. Emotions can be distracting because we humans tend to consider them extraneous or place too much emphasis on them. God desires what we bring to him, honestly and humbly.
    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth?
    I have found this to be a powerful chapter this week, because so much of my life is an uncertain journey! I suppose the answer lies in the one who has the control over uncertain elements.
    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.
    He sees the final product. He has a plan. He is all powerful
    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    I have been grateful for these chapters this week, reminding myself of God’s tireless shelter.

    • Christine says:

      Liked this comment Anita “the answer lies in the one who has the control over uncertain elements.” It really makes me think

  • Susan says:

    I love the feedback from this first week – – so many things to think about . .

    1. When I think about the first question and emotions – – so often they are distractions from God . . I hadn’t thought about that a lot . .so this made me stop and think (for the past two days!) about my emotions being in control. Because of trials in the past year and a half I have been extremely emotional . . .and I think this opened my eyes up to how much my emotions revolve around me . . .and how I need to strive harder to make them about Him and bring glory to Him.
    2. this journey I am on right now is one I never thought I would be on, and one I don’t want to be on . . But KNOWING He IS who He says He is . . and powerful and mighty and in control, and caring and loving sure does help!
    3. I can be totally honest with God – something that I find I can’t be with others – -only He knows what I am going through and how I really fell.
    4. special memory from this week – – I have 2! picturing everyone laying down as we pray – – did anyone else’s dog come climb over you to see if you were okay? 🙂 and mountains – – they are a place of peace for me.

    • Lauren says:

      I’m emotional, too… and I love how you pointed out that when we are allowing our emotions to control us, it is all about us… going back to that self-centeredness! Wonderful point that we should make our emotions about God! =)

  • Carrie says:

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27)

    One of the ways that God can help me like no one else can is that he knows what my heart is really feeling. Sometimes I will say, it is a little bit intimidating to know that no matter what I say God knows what I feel, people who hear me don’t know my heart. So many times I feel there are many things on my heart or feelings in which I have that I cannot find a word to describe how I truly feel. If you knew me, you would think, “what in the world, Carrie at a lack for words?” But it’s true. I’m so glad at these times I can fall face down (of course!) before the “Maker of heaven and earth,” and me, to pour out my heart with no words needed.

    • Christine says:

      It’s so true.. “people who hear me don’t know my heart.”

      Only God knows our hearts. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23 NIV

  • Karen says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?
    I bring them into worship and allow them to become saturated with His presence. I tell him about them and know he care. Worship puts them in a different perspective

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth?

    Knowing He is with me gives me comfort. It’s the fear of thinking I am alone that is challenging.

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.

    He hears my heart’s cry. He really understands me and I don’t have to explain how I feel to Him.

    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.

    The knowledge that I am studying with so many others who are on this same journey give me a sense of peace. I could feel the fellowship. What a wonderful experience.

  • Shannon says:

    How can emotions become avenues of worship rather than distractions?
    With any emotion I may have, I want to turn to God in prayer, whether it be great joy or sorrow. I want to thank Him and rejoice wih Him in moments of happiness and ask for His help and strength in moments of sadness. I want to praise Him for always being there and for feeling every emotion right along with me.

    What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey and wanting a reminder that your LORD is the uncontested Maker of heaven and earth?
    No matter how long or scary or how many bumps in the road, I find peace in that fact that the Lord is always with me holding my hand. He is there through every single bit of it.

    Name specific ways God can help you that other people simply cannot.
    He knows exactly what is in my heart. He knows what I need before I even know I need it. He knows His plan for me for the future and the challenges and victories I will go through to achieve it.

    Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    I agree with Dionne above, I love the HCSB translation of Psalm 121. How wonderful it is.

  • Carol says:

    2. Uncertain journeys can either be frightening, or can be an adventure, or can be a safe trip. Knowing God is holding my hand and gives me his unconditional love, I’m always up to the challenge…no matter which ‘kind’ of journey it is.
    3. God can raise me up and keep me pointed in the right direction. He can keep me straight spiritually and physically.
    4. Because of a personal bad experience, I was tested some years ago as to whether to take the high road OR not. I stayed on the high road. But, it was not until this study that I’ve truly begun to understand the full meaning of ‘taking the high road.’ I knew then that God was with me. And I know it now.

    • Christine says:

      All week I have been paying attention to the high road and the low roads that present themselves in my life. It is a perspective I had not seen before and one I am enjoying very much!

  • Deonne says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )
    God gave us our emotions—he wants to hear how I feel! Praising Him in joy or through sorrow brings us to His peace—it reminds us He is in control. He understands all our “messy” emotions—Jesus lived them!
    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )
    Because I’m a “control freak”—it helps to remember that no matter where I’m going—He made it and has already been there and is with me every step of the way.
    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
    As a former military wife and mother of two disabled sons, my life has been full of constant change—I praise Him for being El-Olam — The Everlasting God!
    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    I love the HCSB translation of Psalm 121:5 – The Lord is a shelter right by your side – WONDERFUL!

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for sharing the HCSB translation of Psalm 121:5 – The Lord is a shelter right by your side.

  • ariel says:

    First of all, I want to say how very much this bible study means to me. I am a new Christian and am not very familiar with the Bible – tho the Psalms have always been my favorite book. I am so inspired and humbled by reading your comments today – I will try and answer these questions as best I can. 1. I have experienced all of these emotions: grief, sorrow, fear, doubt but most importantly, hope. I know when I feel these emotions, it is time for me to prostrate myself at the foot of the Cross & ask God for his comfort and healing peace. It is when I am at my lowest point and seek God that I feel His presence – I am reminded of a saying – I can’t remember the exact words but it is that God always is holding me in the palm of His hand and will not let me fall. I never had thought of turning to him in these difficult times as times of worshipping him. This is a new thought for me. #2, I know that whever I go, the Lord will watch over me and protect me. I love the sentence ” We will never go anywhere God has abandoned precisely because he will never abandon us.” #3. I have wonderful, supportive family and friends but they don’t know me like God knows me. He alone can give me peace and serenity in time of crisis and will listen to me 24/7. Other people can offer advice but only the Lord can give me the right guidance and the strength to obey his will for me. #4. A very special memory from this week’s lesson is reading Psalm 91:2-4: “He (the Lord) alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God and I trust him. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” I love to visualize in my mind these words – it is something I need to cling to each and every day.

    • Christine says:

      I too highlighted this as one of my favorite quotes from our study: “We will never go anywhere God has abandoned precisely because he will never abandon us.”

      I searched at http://biblegateway.com and looked up the words “palm hand” and then I found this verse for you:

      I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Isaiah 49:16 NIV

      Also thought you’d like this one:

      Those who hope in the LORD
      will renew their strength.
      They will soar on wings like eagles;
      they will run and not grow weary,
      they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV

      • ariel says:

        Christine, thank you for finding that scripture verse for me – I do believe God has engraved me on the palms of his hands. Ilove the verse about hoping in the Lord – that He will renew my strength. I desperately need that feeling of hope at this time of my life.

  • Sarah S. says:

    How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 ) Tough one, but I, like has been mentioned here above, try to simply pour it all out before the Lord, praising Him that He is greater. He is greater than my fears, greater than my sorrows, greater than all of those. When (if) I remember to do this, it does become a precious time of worship.

    What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 ) If I’m not sure of my journey, I definitely want to be reminded of that I am sure of who made every destination on the globe.

    Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 ) All of my friends and family will eventually fail me. And I need comfort from Him that only He can give. All of my friends are also there to tell me, “It’s okay that you… (weren’t holy in this instance)” yet I want a standard of holiness in my life. Only God can do that.

    Share a special memory from this week’s lesson. “The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.” Psalm 121:8

  • Karen says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )When I worship with songs, my emotions ,my true feelings come up. That is not a distraction that is what is real. I am a private person,so I try to hide my emotions, I now know not to hide it,this will only bring me closer to the Lord.
    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )It helps when I am on a new journey,which is lately very often. To know he has gone before me and knows what is ahead of me. That he wants what is best for me.If I can keep on believing that and walk with confidence, This will strengthen my faith.
    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )Only He knows my past,present and future. He is the one with the power. I have to believe it is through his power I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me..
    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    I am a pilgrim here, taking the high road, singing songs of praise, with the Lord who is singing over me! wow!!!!!!1

  • Debbie says:

    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth?
    I like to travel with my family and have watched as my children have traveled to other places. I have to trust that God Made heaven and earth and that He is in control. I always try to put my trust in Him as a plane takes of or I leave a child to start a new adventure. Unfortunately my human side doesn’t always believe that, but I have to keep returning to trusting Him to care for each of us in “His way” not necessarily my way.

  • Carolyn says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )
    By offering our human emotions to God, we will feel less burdened and closer to Him.

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )
    I’m not sure if I “get” this meditation. I wrote: “If God created our destination, it is a welcomed land for me to travel.”

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
    God can help me as I struggle to find patience, understanding, wisdom within myself. He is the only one who is always there to comfort.

    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    Initially, I struggled with Psalm 122. I didn’t feel like I could apply the lesson to my own life. However, when I read today’s lesson, I felt inspired to create peace within my own home and excited to brainstorm different ways I can positively impact my local community and church.

    • Christine says:

      You said “I’m not sure if I “get” this meditation. I wrote: “If God created our destination, it is a welcomed land for me to travel.” I sense your struggle here. Does anyone have an answer or suggestion for Carolyn?

      • Andrea (from KY) says:

        Sometimes I wonder if “I get” a concept in a Bible Study because I tend overthink it. What I have learned is that there are no right or wrong answers like on a test. That is why talking through the answers with others is helpful. You may have perceived the concept one way given your experiences and background while others may have interpreted it differently given theirs. Also, the “process” of any Bible Study is just as valuable as the study itself, in my opinion- daily reading, prayerful consideration of answers, application to life situations, etc…

        • Christine says:

          Absolutely agree Andrea, and I never want to be considered an expert when I share my opinions. When I was new in bible study, I never “got” what the other women seemed to be getting from the lessons, so I would not comment for fear I would embarrass myself. Then I completed Beth Moore’s Breaking Free and realized that I was sitting in Perfectionism, which was not helping serve the Lord. Because i was too focused on being perfect, I was not sharing the thoughts God placed inside my heart and I did not grow spiritually. I’ve shaken off my need to be perfect, and now write and speak for an Audience of One. My comments are always for the Lord’s eyes.

          • Carolyn says:

            A previous poster wrote about how she perceives Christ walking through life with her hand-in-hand. With this visual in mind, I would glean comfort traveling to a troubled land (or embarking on an uncertain adventure) knowing that a very capable companion is by my side. I think they key is placing trust in Him.

          • Andrea says:

            Carolyn, I, too, had to read the question several times before I had any clue as to how to answer it. I ended up taking it as this: How does knowing that God created this world and everything in it help you and serve as a comfort as you’re ‘traveling’ it?

          • Lauren says:

            Like this, Carolyn… God is capable even when I am not!!!

  • Lisa says:

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? This currently describes my life! I have been begging God for an answer, or clear direction for the journey I am on and I am finally coming to realize that God is more concerned about the process (changing me through the journey) than he is with the final outcome. In other words, my eyes have only been on the final destination, but God is more concerned with teaching me to rely on Him as we travel together. He is changing me and teaching me to trust in Him through the valleys. No matter what the final outcome I can rely on the fact that God is my protector and He is always in control.

  • Andrea (from KY) says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )
    I think that emotions such as grief,sorrow,fear,anxiety and doubt can only become worshipful when he purposely seek to make them so. I think that can only happen through asking the Lord for an attitude of worship and thanking him for trials and the lessons we learn from them.

    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )
    I find comfort and confidence in knowing that the Lord-the maker of heaven and earth, is in control of my journey through difficult or uncertain circumstances.

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 ) Since God is all knowing, His guidance is more reliable, so to speak. Also, since God is Holy, I never have to worry that He will lead me astray.

    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    My special memory was reading “”the process can begin by voicing to God the pain you have suffered on the low road.”(page 19) I have never really contemplated having a “woe is me moment” before the Lord until this study. I found great value in doing that.

    • Christine says:

      Regarding number 3, God will never lead you astray. Sometimes the enemy disguises himself and he can mislead you, so always be on your guard and wait for confirmation and conviction before you begin any journey.

      Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

    • Carolyn says:

      I felt inspired by your thoughts regarding (4). I hesitate to have a “woe is me moment” because I know how I react when others constantly complain and repeatedly share their issues. While I don’t vocalize my struggles, I have a habit of mentally comparing other’s pain against my own and then I get frustrated. I think about how insignificant their “woe is me moment” is compared to mine. Then, I get disappointed in myself for having that reaction (this has been a recent struggle).

      By sharing my moments with God, I hope to be more receptive and compassionate when listening to my peers during their times of difficulty.

  • Andrea says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?
    Only through an attitude of worship provided by the Lord hmself, could grief, sorrow,fear doubt and other perplexities and distracting emotions become worshipful.

    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth?
    I am comforted and have confidence in uncertain times and during uncertain journeys when I remember that He (the maker of the heaven and earth) is in control.

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.
    He has a perspective that no one else has. He sees the outcome, the other side. He is all knowing. In addition is is Holy whereas any other I may go to for help/advice is not.

    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    My special memory was reading this (page 19) “The process can begin by voicing to God the pain you have suffered on the low road.” I think so many times I have said “get me out of here!” or “please don’t send me back there!”, but I have never actually voiced pain I have experienced, or had a “woe is me moment” before the Lord.

    • Christine says:

      Wow, interesting answer for number 4. Now that you are aware of this, what will you do about it? Are you going to wear your pain like a hidden sackcloth or release it into the loving arms of the Savior?

  • Jill in CO says:

    How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 ). About two years ago, I faced a devastating loss, I was so angry with God. Not until I went back to church and sat there crying, I realized he was welcoming me and helping me deal with the loss. My emotions allowed me to open up and recommit my life.
    Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 ). Gods knows everything, there is no hiding your true feelings which allows me to ask for guidance from him.
    Share a special memory from this week’s lesson. That he protects me.

    • Christine says:

      You remind me of a time I went to church the day after attending a Celebration of Life for a 49 day old baby. As I sat in church with tears rolling down my face, I heard the Holy Spirit guide me to raise my arms and praise God. I was angry and had an internal dialogue about this with Him, and as I did so the Holy Spirit convicted me to praise Him in my grief. So I threw up both arms, tears running down, and singing a worship song that tore away the anger in my heart.

      • Jill in CO says:

        The loss was our twins, our daughter and son, who were born premature and passed away shortly after birth.

  • Molly J says:

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth?
    For me it would be a reminder that no matter how uncertain my journey is, God created heaven and earth so He is powerful enough to care for me.

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.
    True peace. Even in the middle of a storm!

  • Teddie says:

    How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?

    I have very little patience. In previous years, I have worn my frustrations “on my sleeve” and it affected many of my relationships professionally and personally. By turning toward God I have learned that expressing my emotions to Him brings peace and calmness to my life. Furthermore, if I save my emotions for my worship time, I find I can think clearly and He guides me to proper (non-hasty) solution.

    What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth?

    In order to have confidence and faith in a personal journey, you NEED to know you are protected.

    Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.

    Clearly He listens to private/difficult feelings and emotions. If not, we would feel totally alone in this world. Also, he is a constant, un-biased, faithful companion who ALWAYS has your best interest in mind.

    • Christine says:

      I’d like to learn to save my emotions for worship time, sometimes they just fall out from my mouth. 🙂

      Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. Proverbs 18:21 Message

  • Holly W. says:

    Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.

    Brokenness. Much needed brokenness.

    • Christine says:

      Praying Holly.

      So do not fear, for I am with you;
      do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
      I will strengthen you and help you;
      I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV

      He will cover you with his feathers,
      and under his wings you will find refuge;
      his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4 NIV

  • Holly W. says:

    How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?

    This question stoked a memory from something a preacher once told me and the congregation….a preacher that, even though I disagreed with what he said, I still respect him as the man of God he is.

    This preacher’s repetitive phrase was that “Salvation should not be an emotional decision. Don’t come blubbering up to this altar and make a decision to follow Christ on emotions. Emotions are fleeting.”

    While, I agree that emotions are fleeting, I am a woman…an EMOTIONAL woman. I have never like to go up to the altar, because when the spirit moves me, I become one of those blubbering, tongue speaking, shaking women that gives her heart, soul, body, and emotions over to the holy spirit. This scares people… and sometimes it scares me… but I know it is the mighty hand of God moving through me and around me and working within me. My opinion is… that as long as I am pouring out my heart and soul in emotions to my God .. I am in fact worshiping HIM. I am emotional for HIM. He is the one that loves me so much that I am in total awe to the point that when I mess up and realize that I have messed up and gone against the ONE who created me, it breaks my heart… and the tears overflow. When I pour out my tears on the altar to my Jesus, I am giving him everything.

  • Rhonda says:

    Do you have any current need to have those truths hammered into our head cconcerning your own life? Day three
    I seem to have taken on the whole “fix it” feeling about my husband and my business, sell, keep, rent what do I do? The truth is-no matter what happens in the future my God is in control and He will protect. Does that mean everything will go as I think it should? Probably not but I need to remember who is in control and RELAX! He love me and all is for my good

  • Johanna S says:

    1. When I know my emotions are controlling me, I have to stop and turn them over to the Lord. It is amazing to see how he can bring peace into any situation if I -be still and know that He is God-.

    2. On any trip or venture it is always reassuring to speak to someone who has traveled that same path, someone who has experience and can guide us through it. The Lord created ALL things, AND he has gone before us as a man here on earth. He is the ultimate Guidebook. If we trust Him, he will lead us through this journey and protect us.

    3. God will never disappoint me, never leave me, never give up on me. I can trust him like no one on this earth. I can pour out my heart to him and not worry about saying the wrong thing.

    4. This week both my mother and grandmother have been overwhelmed with the people and situations in their lives. I live across the country and desperately wish I could rush to their aid, but it’s not possible. I have felt so helpless and can only listen to their frustration and discouragement on the phone. When I read the first part of Psalm 121, I immediately knew what I could do for them. I called them up and quoted verses 1 and 2. I may not be able to help them, but they have a BETTER help than me! The Maker of heaven and earth waits for His children to make requests to him. That thought just struck me so hard. ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’ I had to share it immediately. I hope it brought them some encouragement.

  • Joyce says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?

    There’s an old expression… “You have to laugh to keep from crying.” But, in the last few years when circumstances were tough for me, I worshipped God. I was a conscious choice to use my emotions to praise Him rather than give the enemy any credit for what I was going through. My mantra was and still is: “God is good and worthy of ALL praise. Lord, regardless of what I’m going through I STILL love You!” I love God so much!

    Peace and blessings,
    Joyce

    • Christine says:

      I know it may seem strange to a new Believer…yet what you say is so true. Remember the expression “misery loves company?” Well, Satan represents misery doesn’t he? I suppose when we’re having a tough time, he just assumes we want to hang out with him instead of the Lord. I find when I praise Him in my misery, the length of the misery is shortened greatly.

    • Carrie says:

      Joyce,
      I would have to agree with your thoughts. I remember when I was a little girl, even now that I’m a “big girl”, if I was scared I would chant “when I am afraid I will trust in You.” Sometimes I would chant really fast and then it would become slower and slower and slower. I felt like I was drawing the Lord Jesus closer and closer to me and then His peace would surround me. I was, in a sense, fighting and pushing Satan away by bringing God closer. “I am with you always.”

  • Elsabe says:

    Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. God watches over me, and protects me, both day and night. This was my favorite part of week 1, just knowing that God is there for me, always.

    • Christine says:

      I love hearing this over and over….
      You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ Acts 2:28 NIV

  • Yvette says:

    How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?>>> For me, I know that when I turn that emotion, let’s say frustration, over to God and start quoting his Word, it turns into worship and that negative turns into a positive for me.

    Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. >>> I would be venting about something and the next thing I know, I will be in church or listen to my favorite preacher on the radio and it would be related to what I was venting about…God cares more than I think sometimes!! The joy that brings to my heart can not be compared to a person!

    Share a special memory from this week’s lesson>>> I liked the three approaches: say it, work it, pray it. found it awesome!

    • Christine says:

      Isn’t it amazing when God places something on your heart, you get in your car and the radio starts the same time as the engine, and the song is almost always related to what you were just thinking! My favorite memory is just after I met a doctor for a frozen shoulder, I get in the car and hear the words “isn’t it nice to have that weight lifted off your shoulder.” Or another time, when I drove my sick dog to the vet and said goodbye for the last time, the song “Walk With the Angels” played in my car. I was sobbing and praising at the same time. God brings joy in the midst of our pain.

      • Yvette says:

        Amen! you stories uplifted me sis. The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, beholding the good and the evil! Praise God He’s so intimate with us:)

  • Sandy says:

    How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )
    –Instead of allowing emotions to consume you and drive your day, if they turned around into praise, you can worship and focus yourself on God.

    What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )
    –Reminding myself that God is the maker—tells me that the big and little details are already figured out, I just have walk the journey that he places before me.

    Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
    –People are distracted, God is not—he’ll always be available, people are not always available

    Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    –I enjoyed her discourse on learning Hebrew, a language that I have come to see as “God’s Language”…it is often so important to go back to the original phrasing and words to understand the concept. One mistake/misunderstanding in translation can change the entire meaning of the lesson.

  • Ann M. says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 ) When pondering this questions I was reminded of the phrase “take it to the throne and not the phone.” God can take anything we lay before him. If we trust him enough to be vulnerable, we worship him.
    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? When I am uncertain it is very calming to stop and remember God is all knowing, all powerful, with a purpose and a plan. I see his greatness most clearly when I am down on my knees worshiping him. This gives me courage and strength to continues on the journey. Without that reassurance, I might not take the journey. (page 24 )
    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. Only God can wash me clean as snow, put a new heart within me and never leave me. He knows what is best for me all the time and loves me unconditionally. (page 27 )
    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.Psalm 121:3 says “He will not allow your foot to slip.” Several times this week I have thought about this truth. It has given me confidence in my daily routine.

    • Christine says:

      I’ve never heard this one “take it to the throne and not the phone” and in today’s world of “texting” this is a phrase I’d like to teach my girls. Thank you Ann!

      Re answer three, I just saw this posted by Rick Warren on Twitter:
      “KARMA say I get what I deserve. GRACE says God gives me what I need, NOT what I deserve- so I choose God’s grace! Have u?”

  • Janet says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? I have been empowered by the new church I am attending it is so full of emotions that are being shown as people step forward to seek GOD. To see the expression of joy and sorrow along with the works of the LORD.

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.
    He is ALWAYS there for me. When people can let you down.

    This week has been informative to me. I see changes in how I am able to precive things.

    I am learning,
    Janet

  • Andrea says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?
    If we try to hide or keep our emotions instead, we run the very likely possibility of it hindered our relationship with God. If we are honest about our fears, anxieties, hopes and joy, we are drawn closer to Him as we share these with Him. All of these things become vehicles for His grace and hand of protection to be shown in and through us.

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth?
    To me, this world seems scary. At any given time the floor below me and collapse and the falls around me can crumble. My loved ones can die, an illness can strike, my job can take an unexpected turn or I may simply have car problems that require a change in my schedule. In life there are no “road signs” announcing how long to our next desired destination or milestone and there is no cosmic GPS to give us confident that we are on the right track. But what I do have is God the Father who made this whole world, Who designed my path and everything that I will ever come across. He made it, surely He can handle it. Even when I feel that my world is out of control, I need to remember that regardless of how it seems, it’s forever in His hands. I often imagine God saying to me, “Just settle down, Andrea. I’ve got this covered.”

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.
    Very simply, people are not and cannot be perfect. No matter how well-meaning or loving, humans are flawed and influenced by our sin nature. God, however, is not. All of His ways and thoughts are pure and right. No human can offer that.

    4. A memory from this week’s lesson.
    Years ago when I was a junior in college I took a mission trip to the French Alps with a group from my college. We ran a camp for missionary kids from all over Europe. On our first weekend we decided that we would take all of the kids on a hike. The younger kids took an easier hike (we are talking the French Alps, so neither were the American definition of ‘easy’) and the older kids took a slightly longer, more challenging course. At the end of the day, everyone arrived back but four teenage campers. It’s not clear how they got lost and separated from us, but they did. We were so scared—we were in a foreign land and in charge of a group of kids and by day three we had lost some in the mountains. With darkness quickly falling, we did the only thing we could. We gathered at the base of the mountain and prayed. As two of the counselors volunteered to go looking for them, the rest of us sang Ps. 121 (‘I lift my eyes up, up to the mountains, where does my help come from…’) It was so powerful; even in our fear we were drawn to God’s presence. Within 30 minutes of praying and singing at the mountain, the campers returned to camp. We communicated with the counselors that the campers were found and we met them at the base of the mountain and again sang that psalm. As I reread it and studied it this week, those memories—fears, worries, anxieties and His sustaining hope rushed back to me and I was reminded and assured that there is nothing that He cannot handle.

  • Lisa H says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )
    the “grief” could be hope to see a loved one again
    “doubts” to be used as stepping stones of thanksgiving for pointing out a weakness to be changed (a reminder that God uses ALL things)

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )
    fear of unknown – where am I going? (sometimes you don’t know where God is taking you) – what will it be like when I get there? God is consistent. He is not going anywhere. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
    a more authentic relationship with Him
    physical healing
    true emotional & spiritual healing

    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    * I was reading Psalm 121 for Stepping up.
    * Verse 6 made no sense to me.
    * I looked it up here: http://www.studylight.org/com/tod/view.cgi?book=ps&chapter=121&verse=6#Ps121_6
    * this is part of what it says:
    * Verse 6. — The sun shall not smite thee. hrh of the sun signifies to smite injuriously (Isa 49:10), plants, so that they wither (Psalms 102:5), and the head (John 4:8), so that symptoms of sunstroke (2 Kings 4:19; Judges 8:2 seq.) appear. The transferring of the word to the word is not zeugmatic. Even the moon’s rays may become insupportable, may affect the eyes injuriously, and (more particularly in the equatorial regions) produce fatal inflammation of the brain.
    * The part that got me was: the moon may cause fatal inflammation of the brain
    * What?
    * I searched it on the internet: does the moon cause brain inflammation? I found a great site and read through the information.
    * So … while reading and studying scripture, God made me not understand a verse so I would look it up. When I did look it up I was still confused which prompted a different search, which answered a question I had asked Him (about a new physical symptom? condition? I have been experiencing periodically), several weeks ago. Which in turn revealed a potential fatal condition I will need to have checked out.

    I thought about this the next day, and wondered why I needed a “human” doctor to tell me what God already has. The information was so very clear, and while scary as all get out, I was not in a panic. I got the feeling that it was not “fatal” to me, but rather just a mild symptom of an old, forgiven sin. God has me covered. God “diagnosed” me, I totally believe it, and all I need to do now is figure out how to control the symptoms.

    • Christine says:

      You said “doubts to be used as stepping stones of thanksgiving”…wow, I can almost see the stepping stones in the water. Great visual aid, thank you!

      I liked what you said about the “rabbit trail” when the Holy Spirit leads you to search for something you didn’t even know you needed to find. I’ve had similar experiences, and once I get to the end of the trail and look back, I see Jesus was there all along, leading the way.

      See the human doctor- when the Holy Spirit convicts you and then gives you conformation of this. I’m seeing three doctors this week (ugh) while they rule out my symptoms. Not fun, yet necessary because Jesus led me there. Along the way, Satan has been throwing darts and trying to scare me- so I’m singing my Psalms of Praise to defeat him.

      • Lisa H says:

        Peace to you about the appointments. That “rabbit trail” was short for this one. The first link took me to exactly what He wanted me to see. But the rest of it will be longer, I’m sure.

        To be honest, I had a horrible time reading my writing from the book to type it here! I was looking at it and I was like “what”???? I will now print better in my book! I didn’t “see” it visually, but now that you say that it makes it all the better!

        I highlighted a word on page 30: compartmentalize – I sooo do this, and that is probably why I didn’t “see” the stepping stones as a visual.

        So much to still learn. Yay!! (I love to learn) :o)

  • Lauren says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )
    Instead of focusing on the distractions of anger, sorrow, or fear, we can focus on God, who can help us through them. He is our way out. AS we focus on HIm, we begin to realize how much He really does for us… and we can worship when we look back and see that despite all the bad we’ve gone through… it was all for His glory.

    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )
    No matter where I go on this earth, whether near or far; north, south, east, or west, new location or familiar… God knows it. He made it, and He’s there, so I know I won’t be alone. No matter what happens on that trip, and whether good experiences or bad experiences occur once I arrive, He is faithful, and will see me through.

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
    No matter how close our friends are, they are still only human. They disappoint. They hurt. They, too, get angry with us. They make mistakes. God, however, never disappoints. Specific things He can do include 1. redemption- only He could send His son to die for the sins of the world, my sins, so that I could look to Him for eternity… 2. Unconditional love- He loves us… oh, how He loves us! Despite of all my failures, all my insecurities, all my humanness, He loves me with an eternal, unfailing love… No holds bar! =)
    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    Love, love, love Psalm 121. I always have, even from a young child. Living in the mountains of Southeast Kentucky, this psalm makes me think of home. There is apoint when driving across the state when you first hit those hills, and there they are just above you, that makes me want to cry sometimes. They protect us and keep us. Yes, my people may be sheltered, we may be impoverished, but those mountains make me think of safety. As I thought of the sojourner traveling, unsure of his journey or how things would go, but sure of the God who could protect him, I think again of my journey here on earth. Yes, hard times will come. Yes, I will stumble… but if I can hang on, my destination will be beyond human imagination. Wanting to shout Hallelujah right now! Thank You, Jesus! =)

  • Pam says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? Sometimes in my hectic work schedule, I get emotional when I am tired. So I try to remember to go somewhere by myself for a couple of minutes and thank God and ask Him to help me through the rest of the day and I need to realize that everything is in control and He has me under His wings.

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? When I am uncertain of what a situation may bring then I try to remember that God is with me where ever I go and that if I get all track, he will put me back on.

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that people can not. Recently I had the choice of one of two jobs and I really liked both of them. So I prayed and prayed that God would lead me where He wanted me to be and not where I wanted to be. No one could make that decision for me and I only wanted God’s will.

    4. Share a special memory from this weeks lesson. Well I am constantly praying for my 18 year old. I constantly pray for his protection, for God to give him a discerning of Spirits to know the good from the bad and to bring him back on track if he were to stray. Psalm 121:5-8 gave me my confirmation that my God is protecting my son and that my God will protect him a coming and a going from now until He returns.

  • Marilyn from Michigan says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )

    Scriptures that come to mind:
    (1 Peter 5:7) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
    (Psalm 68:19} Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah
    (1 Thessalonians 5) in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )

    It is a comfort to know that our God “Maker of heaven and earth” knows all. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. God is with us always and never sleeps, He is always keeping a watch.

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
    He has given us the gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. He will never leave us. He loves us unconditionally. I really like that He never changes and never lies. There are too many things to list. All good gifts come from our Father above.

    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
    I was really surprised on how the study prompted me to share things with the Lord in ways that I needed to and didn’t realise I needed to. PTL.

    • Christine says:

      I like the way you connected scripture verses to the questions. Thanks for reminding us that “He has given us the gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. ” No human has done that in 2,000 years since Christ.

  • Janice says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? I think that using any emotion that we are feeling, and presenting it at the Lord’s feet, giving Him the praise for ultimately being in control of each situation.
    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? Praise the Lord, that we have the Maker of Heaven and Earth along beside us while we journey! (Psalm 121:5 “The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side.”)
    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. Like many of you wrote: He knows what we need, because he formed us! He knows our deepest needs, better than we do. God hears our heart!

  • Joy says:

    1. When i surrender all my emotions to Him, even my most upsetting emotion can become worhsip and my most exhilarating ones help me see the grace of the Almighty in my life.
    2. When i am uncertain about which direction to go, it is very reassuring to know that ‘He holds my future and He holds my hand’!
    3. To protect, guide and correct me. To forgive me and help me retrace my steps. He alone can give me a ‘do-over’!
    4. I was once again reminded of how the Lord kept me from making the wrong decisions as a teen. Looking back, had i not heeded the Lord’s guidance and submitted to His will, i could have ruined my life. The Lord in His infinite mercy, found me, saved me, and ensured that i kept ‘walking up’ and not to my own downfall. I praise God for His mercy in my life!

    • Christine says:

      One of my favorite verses is Deut 131 NIV “Lord carry me.” There is a song you may enjoy by Jeremy Camp called Carry Me, here is the link:

  • Joy says:

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
    Knowing that God is my All in All, I want to be His All in All sharing all of me with Him. I think that I find I am selective with various friends/family about what I can share for various reasons and with God I can reveal everything because he already knows my fears, insecurities, my faults, and on and on. He provides what I will never be able to in people.

    • Christine says:

      Sounds like a wonderful Father-Daughter relationship based on mutual trust: The Lord knows you will come to Him with your fears, insecurities and faults, and you know He will be dependable and faithful to you.

  • Becky says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? As a reserved person, emotions in public (my own) make me feel as though I am calling attention to myself. (page 16 )
    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? He made heaven and earth. He made me. I am His. I am safe in Him. (page 24 )
    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. Give me hope and peace about the future. (page 27 )
    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson. Psalm 121 is the Psalm that I prayed for many years just before going to bed. My husband was in law enforcement (he is retired now), and Psalm 121 was my nightly prayer in order that I could go to bed and go to sleep – knowing God watched over my husband, our two daughters, and myself. “. . . will not strike you . . . or the moon by night.”

  • Holly says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )

    Well, with unhappy emotions specifically (suffering).. we know that God works for the good of those who love Him, that the suffering will help us to go stronger in the Lord. So in way we can thank God for what we are going through because it will bring us closer to Him.
    But that is so much easier to write down than actually feel when times are really hard…

    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )

    You feel insecure, so its comforting to know that your God and Maker has everything under control – Your Will be Done!!

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.

    Comfort in the bigger scheme of things …. answering prayers .. slavation… miracles … spiritual fulfillment.

    4.Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.

    Psalm 121 is one of my very favourites especially when travelling around. I have always battled though, with vs.7 where it says the Lord will protect me from harm. Because this is not always the case. Bad things happen to people every day, christians too…. I understand that God’s plan for us involves hurt and suffering too, but the psalm says we will not come to harm. I know we have been taught that the psalm speaks in the spiritual sense of our Souls being protected and kept. But the actual pilgrim travellers were singing this song … so surely, when the song was written – it was talking about the actual physical world back then? It is confusing and just doesnt feel concrete sometimes….

    anyone have a comment?

    • Christine says:

      We could have an entire bible study on insecurity! What caused Eve to say yes to the apple…it was her insecurity. Our insecurity makes us dependent on God, not independent from Him. Insecurity touches a nerve in me….because the opposite of insecurity is pride. The middle ground between insecurity and pride is Jesus. Without Him as the center of our life, we are walking in pride or walking with insecurity. (see, I could go on forever and I haven’t even read “So Long Insecurity” yet 🙂 Could be a topic for a future bible study here 😉

      • Holly says:

        You know… I am insecure, I always seem to find contradictions in the bible and teachings… indisputable topics. I really do love and believe in Jesus, and ultimately, after all my questionings I still feel a deep-rooted faith and trust. But why is’nt everything clearer? I don’t feel any walls around me to contain my thoughts…

        • Christine says:

          One thing that really opened my heart to clarity was a 40 day Lent fast. I wouldn’t do it again because I had blood sugar problems and ended up very ill, however during that time I was really focused on Jesus. When I had my evening meal of goat cheese, nuts, raisins, apples and red wine (I was eating they way I thought Jesus would eat 🙂 ) I would literally imagine I was eating my meal with Him. I would wonder what his day would be like, meditate on how he would handle an issue I encountered in my day, and really felt a closeness and connection. I would recommend some kind of ritual that will have you seated at the feet of Jesus, during the 40 days of Lent. Do something that reminds you of His presence, and spend time with Him. During my fast I always centered my thoughts on “What would Jesus eat?” Pick something you can do for 40 days, and each day answer the question “What would Jesus….?” Be warned, when you do this you also draw the attention of Satan and he will make his presence known. Have a plan on how to deal with the spiritual warfare, before you begin. I don’t recommend 40 days of fasting- it can make you very ill!

          For 40 days, you can read from a favorite devotional book such as Jesus Calling, then after your reading ask “What would Jesus say to me now?” Or you could read a Stormie Ormartin book about praying for loved ones, and after the daily prayer, ask “What would Jesus pray for (name)?” Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in 40 days of Lent. Pray specifically for the Holy Spirit to make everything clearer to you.

        • Andrea says:

          I agree, Holly. Sometimes I just wished God had e-mail so He could just shoot me little messages letting me know when I could expect certain things or a confirmation that “He has it”. But I think if everything was clear and spelled out, there would be no need for faith or even salvation. Part of the sweetness of salvation and His grace is that we are confused sinners who don’t have all the answers– the Bible says that on our own we couldn’t choose holiness and ‘goodness’ even if we wanted to. Our limitation of understanding and actions- although causes doubt and is annoying- it ultimately draws us closer to Him.

  • Loran says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 ) Each time an emotion is felt, use it as a signal to pray.
    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 ) Remembering that God is the Maker of heaven and earth makes me realize that God can do anything, therefore helping me on my journey is very easy for him.
    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 ) He never lifts his eyes off me and guards my every move. He sacrificed his only son so my sins would be forgiven and I will spend eternity in heaven by his side. He gives me peace and leaves no room for worry. He will never hurt me or let me down.
    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson. Getting down on my face daily before the Lord puts me in the proper position to give praise, thanks, and to submit my requests.

    • Christine says:

      You said “Remembering that God is the Maker of heaven and earth makes me realize that God can do anything, therefore helping me on my journey is very easy for him.” It saddens me to think of how many people do not ASK the Lord for help. I think this is something we can all pray over today, that more people will ASK and SEEK the Lord in their journey.

      For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matt 7:8 NIV

    • Carolyn says:

      I like the idea of using a strong emotion as a signal to pray. Great tip, thanks Loran!

  • Debby says:

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.
    God is always there. He truly listens and even if His reply is not what I want or am looking for, I know that His way is the best way. He gives true peace.

    • Christine says:

      Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV

  • Maureen says:

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? God can protect my emotions and I can choose not to be led around by wrong, fleshy emotions but instead believing God instead of my emotions.

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? So much of life is uncertain so it is reassuring to know God knows it all!

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. God can open doors for me that no human can, and that I cannot do for myself.

    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson. I like John Calvin’s descriptions of the psalms as “An Anatomy of all the Parts of the Soul”. I never really thought that all of my emotions are reflected throughout the psalms. I think sometimes I think I must be the only person that feels such and such emotion….but I’m not, it is all there in the psalms and I think it will be reassuring to know I can go there when I am having trouble dealing with any specific emotion.

    • Christine says:

      “So much of life is uncertain so it is reassuring to know God knows it all! ” Nice quote Maureen!

  • Sharon says:

    1.How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? (page 16 )
    Turn emotions into times of praise for everything God does is beneficial.

    2.What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? (page 24 )
    Comfort and assurance from knowing God created all things and there is good in what we pursue if it is in His Word. His path for us is set and was from the beginning.

    3.Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. (page 27 )
    Give me an internal peace.

    • Christine says:

      I turned my emotions into praise last night, and what a difference it makes! Once I got the “tune” into my head and my heart, the song just went on and on. I’m certain the devil hated hearing me sing it….because he wanted me to experience a different emotion at the time 😉

  • HeatherJoy says:

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.
    For me this is just the Peace that just bringing things to the feet of Christ accomplishes. So often I may share something with another human being and while they are sympathetic, I still don’t feel better. However, when I bring things to Christ, I know He ALREADY KNOWS how it’s gonna turn out and that brings me such Peace!!

    • Christine says:

      I like the image you shared of finding peace when we are sitting at the feet of Jesus. It reminds me of the story of Martha and Mary.

  • Cindy H says:

    1. I know that we can’t always rely on our emotions when we come to worship, but it’s so nice when I truly feel the Spirit of God touch my spirit. A couple of Sundays ago, I was in my daughter’s church taking communion. I came back to my seat, wiping tears from my eyes. The thought of the body and blood of Christ just overcame me.

    2. Someone told me once that he wanted to walk so close to Jesus that when he went to heaven, he’d just keep right on walking. That’s something I continually try to do, picture Jesus walking hand in hand with me on this journey to heaven.

    3. As a school counselor, kids often pour their hearts out to me over the situations in their lives, some trivial and some huge. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with the hopelessness of the situation that I can only go to God. He’s the only one who can fix it. Even though I’m not supposed to be talking to the kids about God, sometimes He is absolutely the only answer to their problem or situation, and I tell them that.

    4. Beth’s description of Jerusalem brought back so many memories. I have had the joy and privilege of going to Jerusalem. It is true that when I walked those streets that I felt like I had come home. When I returned to the states, I had an unexplainable homesickness that I couldn’t shake for a long time. It has been over twenty years since I was there, but I yearn to go again.

    • Amanda in NC says:

      Re: your #3 – God bless you for that! You may be the only place they hear about God from. That’s amazing!

    • Christine says:

      Praying that God continues to send the children to you so you can speak truth into their hearts.

    • Holly says:

      4, …. really?? why is that Jerusalem has such a draw still, without it being a peaceful city? Why DID the people love it back in time if it was’nt peaceful then either? … I am half-Jewish and have distant relatives there… but i have never travelled there… is it because you feel closer to Jesus somehow? I’m just interested…?

      • Christine says:

        I know I have a personal craving to go there, place my feet on the soil where Jesus walked and breathe the air where he was born, died and raised. I can’t imagine anything more peaceful and beautiful to do in my life, and I pray someday I have the money to afford the trip. It’s my life dream to do this after my children are grown.

      • Cindy H says:

        Jerusalem! I will never forget getting off that plane in Israel and watching several of the Jewish people fall to their knees and kiss the ground. I had this overwhelming joy flood over me as I experienced that. We then traveled to Galilee. Waking up in the morning and seeing the sun rise between the hills over the beautiful Sea of Galilee…..I had to pinch myself because I thought I was in heaven! Twenty years later, it was still so fresh in my mind that I wrote a book of stories picturing that beautiful land.

      • Stephanie says:

        I too have had the privilege of traveling to Jerusalem. It was something I had always longed for and now that my children are grown I got to travel there with my mother just this last October. It was absolutely amazing! I was in tears a lot of the time. The trip was very emotional for me. To walk the streets that my Lord walked and sit in the garden where he prayed, and gaze inside the empty tomb that my Savior walked out of and conquered death once for all. There really is nothing like it, It really was like going home. I can’t even explain it. But as soon as I got off the plane back in the States I knew I had to go back.

    • Becky says:

      Cindy, I have a 4 year old grandson in a broken home – I pray that he has someone like you in his life at school.

    • Lauren says:

      I’m a nursing instructor at a community college, and our students have large problems.. insecurities, lack of family support, financial difficulties… I, too, am not supposed to “talk” about God, but I like to think that my “walk” does a lot of the talking for me… opening their eyes to where my joy comes from. It’s sad that we live in a world where discussing God is taboo… but we can still be a light in a dark world. WE can still be the hands and feet of Jesus reaching out and showing the world that He loves them!

  • Judee Baysinger says:

    1.) God wants to make Him a part of our lives. Not only the bad times, but the good as well. Many people only talk with the LORD when they are in crisis, but He wants to laugh and cry and sing and ye, even joke with Him every day of our lives. (I know personally that God has a sense of humor.)He wants to walk beside us all the time and talk to Him like our best friend that He is. Don’t be afraid to be angry with the LORD, just tell Him what you feel and ask for His guidance. Your walk with Him will never be the same when you really open up to Him with all the things on your heart. Believe me, I know.

    2.) Taking an uncertain journey is one of the best ways to know God is maker or heaven and earth. You have to rely on Him like never before and He will show you miracles you never expected. If He can make all the world, what problem can you have He can not handle?

    Love In Christ,
    Judee

    • Christine says:

      I’ve seen His humor too Judee. I was raised to fear the Lord in an unhealthy way, seeing the Father as One who disciplines and not One who loves us as children. Thankfully, I do see His heart and His humor, and I know that I am loved by Abba.

      Did I tell you about the day God sent the UPS guy to my home?

      • Janice says:

        I haven’t heard that story yet!

        • Christine says:

          The Day God Sent UPS to my home:

          I was at womens bible study at church and we were discussing the Lord’s Prayer. I was new in bible study, so I argued the prayer had lost its meaning for me because it was memorized and not internalized. My friends corrected me and showed me how valuable the prayer is. When I arrived home, there was a UPS package on my front porch. I did not order anything, and inside was a Christmas ornament with a note that said “Free Gift with Purchase.” It was October and so strange to get a Christmas ornament as a free gift. Attached to the ornament was a note “How to Understand the Lord’s Prayer” with a line-by-line explanation of the verses. I fell on the floor laughing and promised God “never again will I doubt the power of the Lord’s Prayer.” He humbled me.

          • Christine says:

            Well, after I posted this I was driving in my car and heard a song I’ve never heard before. The song had the words to the Lord’s Prayer and was on KLOVE radio. I looked it up and it was called “Let Us Pray” by Steven Curtis Chapman

          • Karen says:

            That is priceless!! I too was raised to be afraid of GOD. Not a healthy fear. I love this story. I love the LORD!!

      • Judee Baysinger says:

        No, what happened?

    • Lauren says:

      Love this… If He can create the world, what problem can you have He can not handle? Thanks for the reminder!

  • Nanette says:

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot: When I fall face down before God, I know that I am surrendering “all” to Him. The humility of it is incredible and at that moment, I can only think of God and nothing else. I know He is listening at that very moment in a way no one else ever would.

    • Christine says:

      Just got off the floor myself Nanette, praying for a friend. I notice when I’m face down to the ground, I am not distracted by my visual environment and all I see is the ground before my face. In this position, I feel less energy than when I am standing and proclaiming praise. I’m in a vulnerable place: I can be laughed at, I can be licked and stepped on by the dogs, and I can smell the dirt in the carpet. This is not a position of pride, it is one of complete submission to Him. It feels awkward and takes some getting used to! I try to find the sunny place in my home- its always my living room reserved for guests!

      • Ann M. says:

        I learned the blessing of praying on my knees years ago but resisted praying flat on the floor until this study. I totally get what both of you are saying. It has been an awesome experience so far.

        • mandy says:

          I have yet to do this 🙁

          • lauren says:

            Mandy,
            Don’t get discouraged. I read where you said you got distracted when you started working on the study. First thing in the morning, even in you aren’t doing the study at that time, use that time to go down on your face… it doesn’t have to be for a long, extended period of time. I’ve not done this every day; far from it, but on the days I have it gives you a sense of peace. The important thing is not to give up, just keep pressing on. God knows where you are and will meet you there!

  • Maureen says:

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? I wrote: a divine connection. When we are uncertain it can lead to fear and insecurities, so we need to lean on what we KNOW is true through God’s word.

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot: Only God can answer my prayers, open doors, protect me daily from spiritual warfare, give me comfort when I am alone, and love me ALL the time, no matter what I say or do.

    • Christine says:

      I like your answer to #3, it took me some time to realize that my mother and friends were not the best place to go for advice. God alone has our best interest at heart, and it’s always cemented in His will for our lives.

  • Amanda in NC says:

    1. By trying to remember to give God praise during the good and the bad. Thanking him ahead of time during trials and heartache for bring you through it, not letting troubles take your focus off God.

    • Christine says:

      Thanking Him ahead of trials- that’s a perspective many people do not see. They wait and “test” their faith, seeing if God will give them their desires before thanking Him. I like the idea of thanking Him before the outcome, thank you for sharing this.

    • Holly says:

      Thanking Him at the start of the trial sounds good… it’s so hard to thank God and actually mean the worlds you’re saying though, during a trial…. maybe it is also easier to thank God after a trial aswell….

    • Becky says:

      Amanda, what a thought. I am going to post this somewhere to read it each day in my prayer time. There was a time I could do this. . . I have lost that. I want it back.

  • Lynmara says:

    3. Name a specific way God can help you..-God really brings me back on track. With friends I have to share the situation and how I feel about it in order to get advice. God knows me so well that I can simply skip the story and go straight to how I feel. Going down on my knees has helped with that experience.

    • Maureen says:

      Love it!

    • Christine says:

      Skipping the details and going straight to your feelings with the Lord sounds like you established an ongoing dialogue with Him. I’m working on teaching this to my daughters, teaching them Beth Moore’s dialogue method. When Beth dialogues, she says she will take a devotional verse for the day and paste it into a Word document. Next, she changes font colors and then takes each phrase in the verse and replies back to God, having a conversation with Him about her life and her feelings. She calls it “two-way” communication.

      For example, here is the verse of the day from BibleGateway.com

      Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 NIV

      My dialogue would be (on two ink colors, because I’m creative!!)

      Search me, God- look inside my heart and see if there is anything that does not belong.

      and know my heart- examine the thoughts of my heart and tell me if they are not in alignment with Your desires for my life

      test me- though you know this makes me uncomfortable, do it in a way that brings out my cooperation and not my fear

      ….and so on.

      • Janice says:

        That is a wonderful idea!

      • Erika R says:

        I love that idea~

      • Lynmara says:

        I did this yesterday night and I was pouring in tears. Good crying, but honest. Sometimes I feel an urge to speak to God, forgetting I can do it anytime. Great idea.

        • Christine says:

          I give credit to Beth Moore for the idea! Intimacy with God brings me to tears also. When I first felt them it did not feel like the usual “my life is falling apart help me Jesus tears” 😉 it felt more like a loving moment of pure JOY and PEACE and His presence.

      • Susan says:

        I really love that idea – -I can see how it works in two ways – – one to put His word in my heart . . .and the other is that it will probably help my brain to “topic” the verse.

        • Christine says:

          I’m doing this for 40 days of Lent. I decided to use Our Daily Bread here is the link if you want to join me:

          http://odb.org

          Todays verse is:
          The Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart. —Deuteronomy 8:2

  • Sue Alice says:

    Hi there Christine. Hi there everyone new, WELCOME, and blessings to all. Cannot wait to read all of the comments.

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? By people worshiping God at one time say in church and not doing something else, when they could have their eyes on the LORD not the people around them. Their eyes and emotions at this time should belong only to the LORD.

    2. What connnection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the Maker of heaven and earth? By knowing God is always with us, no matter what we have done. He loves us unconditionaly, and will set our feet on the right path. After all HE is the Maker of heaven and earth.

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. I know God can see in my heart and soul and hear all that goes on in there, and He still loves me in spite of it.

    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson. Hearing Beth say we need to sing songs to the Lord for it is good for our souls, or something to that affect. I love her stories and listening to her talk….always something new with her.

    • Christine says:

      I am easily distracted in church, we have more than 8,000 people on the weekends and I do not like large crowds or noise. In addition, my mom, stepdad, sister and brother-in-law sit with us and it becomes a social event rather than a spiritual event. I struggle with the distractions, and often get more from the sermon when I listen online at home. I’ll take notes, translate the verse into other versions, and experience intimacy with God as I am learning the lesson. In the megachurch, my emotions are distractions to my learning.

      • Becky says:

        Christine, thank you for this comment. I am in an extremely small church, I have been thinking “I wish I was in a large church where I could disappear into myself for worship”. For each of us I guess there is some struggle from Satan when we want to worship. –

      • Lauren says:

        I used to stay distracted…my church is very small, so it wasn’t what was going on around me.. it was what was going on in me. I’d be thinking about all I had to do the coming week, my to do list, all of the “overwhelming” busyness of day to day life. I had to consciously say… STOP it! Now, if I catch my thoughts wandering, I’ll close my eyes and say to myself (or really to God) “Ok… what am I supposed to be getting out of this?”

        • Christine says:

          I like that, thanks for sharing Lauren. I’ll give it a try!

          • Andrea says:

            I am easily distracted. To focus, I take notes in a journal. My pastor usually provides an outline, so I copy into my journal and go from there. It keeps me focused and engaged. Because I keep it all in the same journal with dates, passage info & who preached, it is very easy to go back to a given sermon or to use it for more indepth study on my own. I find that when I take notes, I remember so much more.

        • Karen says:

          I also am distracted thinking about my week to come. I have to pray specifically for each message, that I would hear from the Lord what I am supposed to get out of the sermon. I find myself very attentive when I pray that.
          I think when we women sit down, we somehow feel we should be doing something else, we are natural born multitaskers. I cannot multitask and concentrate on the Lord, and He doesn’t want me to. Martha vs Mary syndrome.
          Karen

          • Christine says:

            I’m releasing my inner Martha. 🙂

          • Karen says:

            Amen, Me too!!!

          • Carolyn says:

            I too am easily distracted at church, primarily because our children (4) and (6) frequently require my attention. For those of you with children, how do you make the most out of your church service (for both you and the kids)?

          • mandy says:

            That is exactly how i am, when ever i sit down to begin ANYTHING GOD related. A thousand different things start racing through my mind. I find myself writing to do lists.”i cant forget this or that’s” Instead of calming my mind down and bringing it into focus for a relationship encounter with my Lord.

      • Sue Alice says:

        I agree with that also Christine. We have over 1,700 members and it can get very distracting there also. People around me like to talk to each during the sermon…….as if church was for only a social event. I can go online but as of yet, I have failed to do so. Thanks for the comment.

  • Christine says:

    (I’m going first to show the new members how to post an answer. copy and paste the questions into the comment box, then fill in your answer)

    1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions? I wrote in my workbook: Emotions become worship when we bring them before the throne of God, instead of marinating on them in idoaltry. It’s possible when we put God above our emotions.

    2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth? Knowing the Maker of heaven and earth is on the journey with me dissolves my fear and grounds my feet in the certainty that I am safe.

    3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot. I know that God hears my heart and not just my words.

    4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson. I enjoyed the introduction audio and the session one audio. Hearing Beth’s voice and her personal stories adds passion to the study.

    • Kathi W says:

      1. How can emotions be avenues of worship instead of distractions?
      I wrote that if every time we had one of these emotion we would give God praise and worship Him.

      2. What connection do you see between taking an uncertain journey, and wanting a reminder that God is the maker of heaven and earth?
      Knowing that He is with me makes me feel better on an uncertain journey.

      3. Name a specific way God can help you that other people simply cannot.
      When there is no earthly way or reasoning that helps…only God can because He knows what we need and when we need it.

      4. Share a special memory from this week’s lesson.
      With God in control of every area of our lives we are like Jerusalem…a well-built city, the walls cannot be breached because they are seamless, we have peace when there is no peace around us, we have prosperity because we walk in His prosperity. I just loved this!!!

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