What Love Is Week 1 | Online Bible Study

whatloveis week 1Welcome to online Bible study at the Womens Bible Cafe! We’re discussing week one from the book What Love Is by Kelly Minter.  It’s not too late to join this online Bible study; all small groups are open attendance and everyone is invited to participate! To register for this study please CLICK HERE

When I was a teenager, I sat one day at a large kitchen table in my great-grandmother’s home, listening to her stories.

My mom had said that if we didn’t hear the stories now, it might be too late.

So we wanted to be intentional about listening.  We asked her to tell us her whole story, how she came to America as a young girl with her family and how they traveled into town on Sundays for church and then spent the rest of the day sharing meals and visiting friends before heading back to the farm.

She was an eyewitness to the Depression and World War II, to a world before cars and computers.

I scribbled notes into a spiral notebook so that we wouldn’t forget dates and details.

About two years later, she passed away in her sleep and I’m so thankful we had listened—really listened—to her while we had the chance.

As I read those first few lines of 1 John for this study, I felt like I was sitting at a farmhouse table with John, soaking in the memories told by the last living disciple of Jesus.

He was an eyewitness, someone who knew what Jesus’ laugh sounded like when He told a great story.

He knew what it was like to look straight into Jesus’ eyes and see love and grace looking back at him.

He had heard Jesus praying and saw Jesus transfigured in glory on a mountain.

He watched Jesus die and then ran breathless to the tomb days later when some of the women said it was empty.

John writes:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us…. (1 John 1:1-3 NIV).

I don’t know about you, but as I read last week, I wanted so much to pepper John with question about Jesus so that I didn’t miss out on a single detail.

There’s something more, though.

Sometimes life smashes hard against our faith, ramming at the foundation and threatening to topple us over.

Kelly Minter writes in What Love Is:

“Sometimes my belief is shrouded in doubt, sometimes it’s overturned by blatant unbelief, at other times pain and suffering threaten to cut off its oxygen supply” (p. 16)

When we’re struggling, John reminds us that we can trust Jesus.  We can know that God is faithful and God is love.

After all, John was there.  He was an eyewitness.  Maybe John isn’t alive to tell the stories to us any longer while we sit around the kitchen table, but we have his own personal testimony written down in his Gospel and in these letters.

So, if you’re ever feeling a little worn or weary, hurt or confused, shaky or uncertain, read that assurance from John again and hold on tight to belief.

That’s the power of testimony.

And, when God has taken you through that season, don’t just tuck that away in your own heart.  Share the testimony with others so their hearts are encouraged and they are also reminded to believe and have hope.

BIBLE STUDY TIP FOR THE WEEK:

It might sound silly to say aloud, but sometimes questions in Bible study can be hard to answer! Maybe you are reading along in your workbook, doing just fine, and then you read a question that you don’t understand right away.  Or maybe she asks you to give a personal example of something and you can’t think of what to say.  Don’t get frustrated and give up!  Give the question a good try—read it slowly and read a little before and after the question to see if context helps.  If you’re still stumped, don’t let it become a hangup or discouragement.  Leave it blank.  Put a star next to if you want to return to it later.

Also, remember that one of the joys of doing Bible study together is being able to share with each other and ask others for help!  If you didn’t understand a question, it’s okay to ask your small group about it at the end of your time together.  Or, you can ask your small group leader if you can send her a message with your question.

Never let one blank question make you feel like giving up.  Invite the Holy Spirit to teach you every time you open His Word and then focus on understanding the BIG idea that the author is sharing in that section of the study or, even more importantly, what God is teaching you through that Scripture passage.

ASSIGNMENTS FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students! We meet in this Facebook group. Send a request to “join group” and we will approve it: http://www.facebook.com/groups/wbcchatroom3/
  • Basic Study: Complete week 2 in the study guide, about 20-30 minutes each day.
  • Optional: To watch session 2 video CLICK HERE (optional due to cost).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)

  1. Did you learn anything about John’s life that surprised you or maybe something that you knew before, but were struck by in a fresh way? (From Week One, Day One)
  2. John called Jesus “The Word of Life” (1 John 1:1) and A.W. Tozer wrote, “it is the nature of God to speak, to communicate His thoughts to others.”  How does knowing this give you hope in trying circumstances? (from p. 17)
  3. Kelly Minter writes that John offers an ‘invitation for togetherness’ when He writes about Christian fellowship. What kinds of blessings do we receive when we fellowship with other believers? (p. 22)  Do you have a personal example of a particularly memorable time when you were blessed to be part of a Christian community?
  4. Kelly writes that missing out on fellowship with other Christians “not only isolates our hearts, but others miss out on the uniqueness of what only we can bring” (p. 18)  Is there anything you can do to be more purposeful about participating in Christian community?  Or is there a tangible way you can extend the hand of fellowship to someone else this week? (p 25).
  5. What was the most impacting moment for you this week?  It may be a Bible verse, principle, prayer experience, revelation, new understanding, or conviction.

In Christ,

heather signature

The Storm Inside | Book Review

The Storm Inside by Sheila Walsh Book ReviewThe Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are by Sheila Walsh is not another victim book nor a depressing autobiography. It’s a book about YOU and once you open the pages and read the message inside, you’ll realize it’s written on your behalf. In her book Sheila addresses these ten feelings that can become overwhelming burdens:

  • Heartache
  • Disappointment
  • Fear
  • Bitterness
  • Unforgiveness
  • Anger
  • Regret
  • Abandonment
  • Shame
  • Insecurity

Sheila calls them the “ten chaotic feelings that tend to paralyze us” and walks you through a solution to these frustrating burdens. By the time you finish the book you will feel lightened from your burdens.

I enjoyed reading The Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are by Sheila Walsh. I especially enjoyed the ministry stories about women who reached out to Sheila for encouragement during their own times of pain and darkness. The book is filled with wisdom and based on truth of Scripture. Highly recommend reading one chapter a night before bed!

10 Quotes From The Storm Inside #TweetThis

Before we can embrace the good news of the love of God, we have to deal with the truth of who we are without Him. Sheila Walsh

God is in the business of reviving ordinary women like you and me, and teaching us how to live with courage and passion. Sheila Walsh

Words cut deep, and none cut deeper than those from a parent. Sheila Walsh

So long as we live on this earth, our human dreams will never live up to their preview. Sheila Walsh

Like Saul, we get to choose: will we fall on our own sword or fall on the mercy of God? Sheila Walsh

Satan cannot follow us beyond this life. Sheila Walsh

Countless lives have been ruined or put on hold because of someone’s refusal to forgive. Sheila Walsh

Forgiveness is not about removing someone else’s liability, but about setting our own hearts free. Sheila Walsh

No one can take away your identity as a royal daughter. Sheila Walsh

God’s plan continues to unfold even when it feels out of control. Sheila Walsh

************************

My Amazon Rating 5/5- To rate my review please CLICK HERE

To order a Kindle version of the book- CLICK HERE

To order a Printed version of the book- CLICK HERE

Covenant Online Bible Study Starts Today!

Womens Bible Cafe Inductive StudyWelcome to Covenant, an inductive online Bible study at the Womens Bible Cafe!  Did you know that God cut a covenant just for you?  Through this study of Covenant, we will learn how God’s old covenant points to the promises of the new covenant and newness of life in Jesus Christ!  We pray this study will bring you to a fresh realization that God is the covenant-keeping God who always keeps His promises.

You will discover God’s  enduring promises of Covenant by using the following three concepts of inductive Bible study:

  • Observation:  What does the text say?
  • Interpretation: What does the text mean?
  • Application: What does the text mean to me personally?

All you need for this study are a set of colored pencils or colored pens for marking key words, the Covenant Bible study workbook by Kay Arthur and your Bible.

Inductive Bible Study Method

Key Words:  These are words that are repeated which unlock the meaning of the text. Marking key words help you to discover truth for yourself and what God is speaking  to You through His Word.

How to Join the Closed Facebook Group (Chatroom)

  1. Login to your Facebook account FIRST
  2. Click the URL link for the chatroom: http://www.facebook.com/groups/wbcchatroom2/
  3. Click “join group”
  4. Please allow time for the leaders to approve your request

When you join the chatrooms, you will see a SMALL GROUP schedule “pinned” to the top of the group. All groups are open attendance. Select a day and time that works best for your schedule, look for the leader photo on that day and time, and then join the discussion right under the photo.

A FEW GUIDELINES FOR ONLINE BIBLE STUDY

IMPORTANT: The first week of online Bible study, many women are exploring different small groups. Some groups will move very fast and are challenging, while others are easier to read. This changes the second week…and the timelines are much easier to follow. Please be patient as the new women navigate the small groups and learn how they work. We usually have 15 women in the large groups, 8 women in the smaller groups on the second week of study.

CONFIDENTIALITY: Anything shared in small groups is not to be repeated outside of the group. Please respect the women who are transparent with their testimonies.

SENSITIVITY: Please resist the temptation  to interrupt (such as posting Facebook symbols or links to articles and videos), monopolizing by drawing attention to yourself instead of the Holy Spirit, or trying to “fix” shared problems. Women want to be heard and not told what to do.

NON-DENOMINATIONAL: As a diverse group of women, we have different church doctrines, Bible translations and theologies. This is a place to respectfully disagree, rather than judging one another, so that you may grow and understand different viewpoints. It’s okay to question and see things differently, however we ask you to be kind and sensitive to the feelings of others.

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS: BIBLE TRANSLATIONS: Kay Arthur, the author of Covenant uses The New Inductive Study Bible (NASB) version for Inductive Precept studies.  The Observation Worksheets (Scriptures) that are included in the Covenant workbook are from the NASB version. You’re welcome to use any Bible translation of your choice, we encourage you to explore parallel (side-by-side) translations to get the most from this study. Use an online program such as BibleGateway, YouVersion, or BlueLetterBible if you’d like to study the Word in many translations- NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, and more. Many Bible apps have audio Bibles, so you can listen to the Scriptures if you’d like to!

ACCOUNTABILITY: We encourage you to find an accountability partner to pray for you and keep each other on track. If you see someone in your small group that you feel the Holy Spirit is guiding you towards for accountability, send her a friend request. Our leaders are available to serve you too, so if you want a leader to help you then send her a friend request.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Write a letter to God on the inside cover of your workbook. Put today’s date inside your book and tell Him where you are in your life right now, and where you hope He leads you through the study of Covenant.
  • Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students!
  • Basic Study: Complete week 1in the Covenant workbook, about 20 to30 minutes each day.
  • Optional: Watch Video Guide 1 video (optional due to cost), page 7

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (Answer here or in your small group)

  1. When you hear the word “covenant” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
  2. How do you feel when someone breaks a promise to you?
  3. Is this your first online Inductive Bible study? How many online studies have you completed (not just at WBC) or how many offline Bible studies have you completed? Which study have you enjoyed most?
  4. Do you have any questions before we meet again next week?

Before we meet next week, please read WEEK ONE in your Covenant study book. Set aside the same time each day, just as you set aside time to watch favorite television shows, attend a local event or an appointment. Be intentional about spending time with the LORD because you LOVE Him, not because this is a chore. Spend 20 to 30 minutes a day with God- set the time in your calendar and don’t miss your date with Jesus!

Welcome to online Bible study!

Sheree Poole

What Love Is Online Bible Study Starts Today!

online Bible study

My five-year-old daughter loves cookies.  She loves Fruit Loops and the color pink.  She loves zebras and flamingos.

She loves cherry tomatoes and apple slices.

She loves music you can dance to (and she does boogie!)

All day long, she squeals with excitement over this joy and that joy, expressing delight and comfort and gratitude.

I call her my “joy bucket.”  She loves to love.

It’s so easy, though, to toss that word around.

We love coffee or tea.  We love books and we love sunny days.  We love fresh-fallen snow and warm, fuzzy blankets.

We love to love and we love to be loved.

But can we say this, also?

We love our neighbor?

We love the unlovable?

We love God?

What is this Love, anyway?  Surely it’s not the same as loving chocolate or loving Starbucks.

In our study of Kelly Minter’s book: What Love Is: The Letters of 1, 2, 3 John, we’ll be looking at the themes of:

  • Fellowship
  • Light
  • Assurance
  • Abiding

More than that, we’ll be looking at Love.  As Kelly writes in the Introduction, “at a time when the word love means just about anything under the sun, and therefore almost nothing, John tells us ‘this is what love is…..’  And then he shows us Jesus” (p. 7).

It’s not too late to join this online Bible study, all small groups are open attendance and everyone is invited to participate! Please sign up by clicking here.

How to Join the Closed Facebook Group (Chatroom)

  1. Login to your Facebook account FIRST
  2. Click the URL link for the chatroom: http://www.facebook.com/groups/wbcchatroom3/
  3. Click “join group”
  4. Please allow time for the leaders to approve your request

When you join the chatrooms, you will see a SMALL GROUP schedule “pinned” to the top of the group. All groups are open attendance. Select a day and time that works best for your schedule, look for the leader photo on that day and time, and then join the discussion right under the photo.

BIBLE STUDY TIP:

This study is going to take you all over Scripture.  One of my favorite ways to complete a study like this is to use a tool such as BibleGateway.com.  For this study, I actually opened Bible Gateway up in my web browser two times.  I used one Bible Gateway page to read the main passage for each day.  Then I used the other page of Bible Gateway to look up the many additional Scriptures Kelly Minter references.  This saved a lot of time and I was able to read the verses in multiple translations or look at whole passages and chapters for context easily.

A FEW GUIDELINES FOR ONLINE BIBLE STUDY

IMPORTANT: The first week of online Bible study, many women are exploring different small groups. Some groups will move very fast and are challenging, while others are easier to read. This changes the second week…and the timelines are much easier to follow. Please be patient as the new women navigate the small groups and learn how they work. We usually have 15 women in the large groups, 8 women in the smaller groups on the second week of study.

CONFIDENTIALITY: Anything shared in small groups is not to be repeated outside of the group. Please respect the women who are transparent with their testimonies.

SENSITIVITY: Please resist the temptation  to interrupt (such as posting Facebook symbols or links to articles and videos), monopolizing by drawing attention to yourself instead of the Holy Spirit, or trying to “fix” shared problems. Women want to be heard and not told what to do.

NON-DENOMINATIONAL: As a diverse group of women, we have different church doctrines, Bible translations and theologies. This is a place to respectfully disagree, rather than judging one another, so that you may grow and understand different viewpoints. It’s okay to question and see things differently, however we ask you to be kind and sensitive to the feelings of others.

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS: The author of this Bible study uses the New Living Translation (NLT) for teaching. You’re welcome to use any Bible translation of your choice, we encourage you to explore parallel (side-by-side) translations to get the most from this study. Use an online program such as BibleGateway, YouVersion, or BlueLetterBible if you’d like to study the Word in many translations- NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, and more. Many Bible apps have audio Bibles, so you can listen to the entire book of John if you’d like to!

ACCOUNTABILITY: We encourage you to find an accountability partner to pray for you and keep each other on track. If you see someone in your small group that you feel the Holy Spirit is guiding you towards for accountability, send her a friend request. Our leaders are available to serve you too, so if you want a leader to help you then send her a friend request.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Write a prayer inside the cover of your What Love Is workbook sharing with God what’s on your heart as you begin this study.
  • Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students!
  • Basic Study: Complete week 1 in the study guide, about 20-30 minutes each day.
  • Optional: Watch session 1 video (optional due to cost).
  • Download: Answers to the Video Sessions: What Love Is Video Viewer Guide With Answers

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (Answer here or in your small group)

  1. Imagine you win a free ski vacation this winter. Would you be more likely to spend all day out on the slopes or spend all day cozied by the fire with hot chocolate and a good book?
  2. What do you hope to gain from this study and the time spent together?
  3. If you had to define Love in just a few words, what would you say?
  4. If this is your first Bible study, we’re so excited for you! If you’ve done a Bible study before (here at WBC or anywhere else), do you have any tips you can share for those new to Bible study?
  5. Does anyone have any questions before we meet again next week?

Before we meet next week, please read WEEK ONE in your study book. You’ll need about 20 to 30 minutes each day to complete the lesson.  Be intentional about making the time and protecting this time with God, not because it’s a chore, but because you love Him and want to be with Him!

Welcome to Online Bible Study!

heather signature

Womens Bible Cafe Book Club | February 2015

christian book club

We are so excited to announce our WBC Book Club books for February 2015!  We hope you’ll join in and read one or both books with us this month.

We love learning about Christian authors and discussing the books we read with each other.  At the WBC Book Club, you’ll find a fun place to fellowship, make new friends, share a passion for reading and deepen your faith.

While these selections are available in print, they are also offered in Kindle ebook format for our international guests.  You can find them on Amazon, in Christian bookstores, or even possibly at your local library or church library.Choose-Love

Join us as we read and discuss the following books with our Facebook group!  Our theme for February 2015 is Love.

Our non-fiction Book of the Month for February is Choose Love by Stormie OMartian.  Stormie Omartian is well known for her bestselling books on prayer, but we are so excited about the way she discusses three aspects of love in this book:  Receiving God’s love, expressing love to God and showing love to others.  

Our Fiction Book of the Month for February is The County Fair by Katherine Valentine.   We thought—What better way to celebrate the month of Valentine’s Day than with a book by a Christian author named ‘Valentine’?  This is one of four books that she wrote set in a small New England town, sharing stories that are funny and faith-filled.  Each book in the series can stand alone, which is perfect for those of you who don’t like cliffhangers as endings!  I read The County Fair over the Christmas break and fell in love with the characters and the small town where it takes place.  county fair

You will start reading your books in February.  There is no specific reading schedule or chapter requirement each week. All you need to do is complete the book and be ready to discuss it during the month. It’s that simple! We meet in a private Facebook group or you can post your comments on our website for discussion; either method is fine.

How to Join the WBC Book Club

To join the Facebook group, LOGIN to Facebook first then click here:

Book Club: http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCbooks/