Conversation Peace Online Bible Study | Week 6

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Welcome back to our final week of the Conversation Peace online Bible study.  What an amazing six weeks it has been as we studied and learned the power of transformed speech.  Being a lifetime learner was the focus of our final lesson from Mary Kassian.

conversation peace6

This week, learning about having a teachable spirit resonated with me.  With a teachable spirit also comes the willingness to accept correction, or discipline.  There’s that word we like to leave out: discipline.  Webster’s dictionary defines discipline as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects that mental faculties or moral character.” Isn’t this definition just how God disciplines us? His discipline is not harsh, does not scar, or tear down, it corrects, builds us up and moves us into the direction of better actions.  But, it does hurt.  And it’s going to, but the end result in becoming a better student and growing in our walk far outweighs the pain of changing.

When I was school age, I loved learning new things. I was always so excited to make the trip to the store to purchase school supplies.  Notebooks, highlighters, pens, pencils, binders.. etc. I would be in heaven.  When I would go to classes I loved, loved being there.  I picked up things easily most of the time, but then I got to geometry, and I hit a wall. Learning all the different shapes, calculating the area and degrees of angles was so hard for me.  Every time I tried to figure it out and thought I was making progress, another deduction of points, another low grade on a test.  I did not think I would pass the class.

At one point, I was not excited about learning at all.  Isn’t this how we sometimes are with our relationship with God?  I realized this week that there are some times, like during this study, when I want to walk away and do something that is easier.  Transforming my speech and words is hard, and there were times when I thought, “I am not going to be able to control my tongue, so I will just stop talking to people.” Funny isn’t it, as if I could do that.  As we see in our lesson this week, it is not out of our reach. God wants us to be successful and He will always provide the way, and we will be able to reach and achieve it with Him as our guide.  He is committed to me, so I need to commit to Him.

This study has shown us that this is not a one time process. It is continual.  We are always in a cycle of producing a harvest with our words.  When we see the fruit of our labor, it excites us to begin again.  The last five weeks have shown us that there are many steps to transforming our speech, but once put all together in sequence, our words will come forth and bless, lift up, show love and build positive and loving relationships.  God has given us His guarantee that He is with us and that He has given us what we need to use our words for His glory.  Ask yourself this question: Do you feel more at peace with your conversations now that you did when we first began this study?

Thank you for joining us in this study. We have been blessed by your presence each week and your commitment to studying and growing in your faith.  Have an amazing summer, and we hope to see you soon for our next study.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small group for study and fellowship
  • Give God a moment of praise for being faithful to you during this study
  • Reflect on how your words and attitude has changed since beginning this study
  • Register for Believing God Beth Moore study (starts August 10th) or
  • Register for The Holy Spirit Unleashed in You Kay Arthur Inductive Study (starts August 10th)
  • Write a review on the Conversation Peace member book/study guide- CLICK HERE

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: (You can answer in your small group or post a comment here on the website if you do not have a Facebook account)

  1. Why do you believe that Jesus was the best teacher and the best student? How can we model this behavior? (page 164-165)
  2. Have you committed to achieving transformed speech, or have you given up and decided that it is out of your reach? Why? (page 169)
  3. Think about this statement: “Your desire for transformed speech is an indicator of your longing for God.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? (page 171/184)
  4. Read this statement and personalize it by putting your name in the blanks:“My Spirit, who is on                                   and my words that I have put in                         ‘s mouth will not depart from                                    ‘s mouth!”  (Signed, Father God, the Almighty)How does this guarantee give you hope that you can speak the words that God wants you to speak? (page 180)
  5. Bonus Question: Share one thing you will take away from this study.

I am posting this activity for you to do during the week on your own time:

PERSONAL REFLECTION:

Give a prayer of thanks to God for completing this study. Thank Him for the progress you have seen in your speech over the last 6 weeks.

Since our study has ended, how will you stay connected to God going forward so that He will continue to transform your speech?  Write your answers in your journal.

Be Blessed,sonya morris nelson

 

Conversation Peace Online Bible Study | Week 5

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online bible study for women

Welcome back to Week Five of our summer Bible study online.  Can you believe how much we have learned in five weeks?  This week was especially personal to me as God showed me so many areas that I needed to construct and reconstruct in my life.  We learned how to build relationships that we have always wanted to have with others.  Let me share a story with you.

The community where I live has one main road that goes in and out of the community. It has been this way for years.  Well recently it was decided to widen the road, to make it two lanes in each directions with turn only lanes to help the traffic flow better.  This is what we all wanted. We have complained at borough meetings about the terrible traffic.  So they finally listened, we are getting more lanes.  But, we never considered that in order to do this there would be a sacrifice on our part, the traffic would be a little worse.  In order to get the road of our dreams, construction needed to be done.  Beams and other equipment needed to be placed along the side of the road, new electricity poles had to be placed.  Seems as though we would sit in traffic for double the time as before.  I must admit, I do not like to sit in traffic.  So you can imagine, in my haste, I was so annoyed by the traffic and the construction.  I wanted it all done in the evening when no one needed to get to work, or run errands.  One day, I was talking to my husband, or should I say complaining, and he said to me, “They do have to build a new road, and maybe that would not be the best time for them to work.”

This reminded me so much of our lesson on The Power of Construction.  We learned how we must lay tracks to build up those relationships that were damaged, new, or even ones that we already have but just needed some adjusting.  As I was frustrated with the construction needed to build the perfect road in my community, I realized that to build those perfect or great relationships in my life, I needed to lay some of those tracks in my relationships.  Ouch.   I really needed to work on doing a better job of encouraging others.  I realized it really isn’t that difficult to tell someone “good job” or “you did a wonderful job in the choir today.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” and Hebrews 3:13 says, “ But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”  So I, we are called to encourage each other and build each other up every second, every minute, every hour.  Eye opening.

God really speaks to me during these lessons each week, does He do the same to you?  It’s like they are tailored made for me.  I am so grateful to God for ministering to me each week thru this study.

This wee, we learned that it is necessary for us to construct these areas of our relationships so that they are meaningful according to God’s will.  By doing this we can help others grow, and flourish.  We can speak life, we can show commitment to others, we can give feedback that corrects with love, we can speak at the right time, and we can forgive, how about that!

The most important of all this week was my realizing that in order to build these tracks in our relationships, we must rely on the Holy Spirit guiding us in our conversations and how we interact with others.  There are so many opportunities that come up where we can see only conflict and hurt, but if we dare to allow the Holy Spirit to use us to see opportunities to show love, what better, sweeter and more loving relationships we will have!  Isn’t that worth the trouble of construction?

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small group for study and fellowship.
  • Study and memorize our Breath Freshener for this week: Ephesians 4:29
  • Give God praise during your devotion time for your growth during this study
  • Read Week 6 in your workbook
  • Register for Believing God Beth Moore Study (starts August 10)  or
  • Register for the Holy Spirit Unleashed Kay Arthur Inductive Study (starts August 10)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: (You can answer in your small group or post a comment here on the website if you do not have a Facebook account)

  1. Share an example of a time when you received positive encouragement from another person that helped you thru a difficult situation or brightened your day. (page 130)
  2. Mary Kassian describes two common behaviors of the “Hiding Hound” fighting behavior as the silent treatment and walking out.How do these two behaviors create more conflict in the situation for you and for your relationship with the other person? (page 132)
  3. Think about the types of unfaithful speech you participate in: (Do you spread gossip, slander others, or do you listen to others slander and spread gossip?)Why is unfaithful speech so offensive to the Lord? How can we turn this into “faithful speech” (reliable, loving, committed)?
  4. Colossians 3:12-14 says: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”How will you keep yourself clothed properly with the eight items listed in the scripture above? How does this cultivate positive relationships?

I am posting this activity for you to do during the week on your own time:

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Think of one or two people you would like to encourage periodically.  Choose one person to encourage weekly or even daily over the next few months.  Write in your journal how this relationship improved as a result of your encouragement and how both of you were blessed.

Be Blessed,

sonya morris nelson

Conversation Peace Online Bible Study | Week 4

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conversation peace online bible studyWelcome Back to our Summer Bible Study, Conversation Peace by Mary Kassian.  This week we learned about the battle tactics we often use in our conversations with others.  What a powerful week of study it was for me, as I realized that still struggle with some of those battle tactics that I thought I had surrendered to God.

James 4:1-3 states, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Wow did this verse begin my reality check.  The root of this for me was pride.  Now sometimes pride shows itself by being arrogant, but my reality check showed me that I am insecure in some areas.  God showed me that even when I feel like I am lacking I am still being prideful because in that moment, it is all about me, when I should be relying on God to lead and guide me.  Remember God qualifies the called.  

This really hit me hard.  Can I share something deeper with you? I really struggled doing the blog and questions each week for Conversation Peace.  Now I wanted to do it, but as each week came up, I would always second guess my questions, and my writing.  I had inner strife because I was feeling that I lacked what I saw in other writers.  Feedback became attacks in my mind and I even wanted to stop doing them.  Imagine that.  But God showed me that  I needed His peace that would destroy and bring down barriers. I began to embrace the study and allow it to minister to me and then share what I learned each week.  My conversations with Christine Abraham became more of a partnership, as it had always been, full of positive conversations.  Thank You Lord!

There were many wonderful take-aways from this week’s lesson.  Our lesson ended with our call to servanthood.  This is difficult for us at times because being a true servant of God means we are vulnerable, we have to let our guards down.  We may get hurt by others.  Christ’s sacrifice was the ultimate, His love for us and willingness to obey His Father is one that we can never repay.  But when we model His behaviors we become more loving, more willing to sacrifice our rights for others.  We open up to others and minister and share our experiences with them.  We become willing to do whatever God calls us to do, because we know and trust that He will carry us and He will give us all that we need to accomplish His will.

I pray that you and I together, will be able to continue to tear down the walls of pride that so easily get us distracted and off course with our relationship with God.  Letting go of control, judgement, haste, and a sense of pride we can grow closer to God and become His true servants.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small group for study and fellowship.
  • Study and memorize our Breath Freshener for this week: Proverbs 17:19
  • Identify where you can obey God more and become a true servant for Him.
  • Read Week 5 in your workbook
  • Visit the Conversation Peace website for more resources
  • Register for the Believing God Beth Moore study (starts Aug. 10) OR
  • Register for the Kay Arthur inductive study (starts Aug. 10)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: (You can answer in your small group or post a comment here on the website if you do not have a Facebook account)

  1. Mary Kassian describes the “high gate of battle” as when we enter conversations with our swords drawn. Even if we do not strike, we assume a posture to defend or to attack. Why do you think you enter certain conversations ready to battle? (page 99-100)
  2. On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being easy and 5 being very difficult) where do you fall when you approach conversations with others? Are you above correction or willing to be corrected? (page 113)
  3. Mary Kassian lists 3 areas where we fail when being hasty in our conversations: 1) failure to restrain assumptions, 2) failure to restrain words, and 3) failure to restrain anger Which area do you most often show? What do you think would happen if you made it a habit of pausing and thinking before you react?(page 116)
  4. How would you define the Christian concept of servanthood?  If you adopted Christ’s servant heart, how would this impact your relationships with others? (page 120)

I am posting this activity for you to do during the week on your own time:

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Let’s revisit scripture memorization.  Are you memorizing our Breath Freshener scriptures each week? If so, how has memorizing the scriptures help you during the week?

Be Blessed,

sonya morris nelson

Conversation Peace Online Bible Study | Week 3

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Welcome Back to our Summer Study, Conversation Peace by Mary Kassian.  “The Power of Exchange.” What a powerful phrase. I recently was out and about doing one of my favorite activities: shopping.  I was in a rush and grabbed a really cute shirt but failed to try it on before buying it.  When I got home, of course, it didn’t fit quite right.  It didn’t flatter my shape at all.  I felt very uncomfortable in it.  My daughter and my husband both had those awkward looks on their faces when I asked each of them how it looked.  Long story short, I needed to exchange it for a larger size.  Once I did, I was free to move and free to be confident wearing it without worrying about if it would rip, or if I could eat, LOL (Laughing Out Loud).

conversation peace online bible study

This reminds me of our lesson this week.  Exchanging the negative thoughts in our minds, and the negative feelings in our hearts, and the negative place holders in our hearts with positive thoughts, with the joy of Jesus, and centering our hearts on Christ impacts our relationships with others.  Just as I felt more comfortable to move about and interact in my new appropriate sized shirt, we will be more comfortable interacting with others when our hearts are filled with Christ and His love and His life changing words.

My new shirt changed my feelings about my appearance, just as when we renew our minds and put on the love of Christ and He becomes the primary place holder in our hearts.  Putting on new attitudes and actions also impacts our conversations.  By giving grace as God has given it to us, our words become kinder, more compassionate, more patient, and more uplifting.  We must work to move away from holding grudges and counting the infractions that others have done to us.  These are things that hinder our growth and cause us to block God’s blessings.  To become one who gives grace, we must remember how God grants us His grace each and every day, even though we don’t deserve.  Trust me, remembering this will cause you to grant everyone you see grace. LOL  I know full well how amazing God’s grace has been in my life, and I want to give it to others when I can.  It is a process because we have feelings and when others hurt us with their words and actions, it is natural that we would not want to be kind to them.  But God calls us to spread His love to others and see others as He does.

This week I fell for the lies that satan tells us about ourselves and our relationship with God. I was feeling very hopeless and down on myself.  My faith was tested in a particular situation where I couldn’t see a way out, and I was not trusting or believing that God could do it from lies that I was listening too.  But praise be to God that I realized that God can do anything but fail.  He is the almighty and powerful God who intercedes in situations on my behalf, and on your behalf each and every day.  I began to pray and ask God to help me put my thoughts back in line with His thinking and to help me stop believing lies. Will you turn to God for help when you began to think and believe lies that satan tries to destroy us with?

I want to continue to experience God’s overflowing love, grace and mercy and I want each to overflow from my heart to my lips to others.  I want to filter my words so that they are ones that are from God and demonstrate my position as a daughter of the most High King.  Praying that you will also!

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small group for study and fellowship.
  • Study and memorize our Breath Freshener for this week: Ephesians 4:22-24
  • Exchange some negative beliefs and attitudes with positive ones this week
  • Read Week 4 in your workbook
  • Visit the Conversation Peace website for more resources

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: (You can answer in your small group or post a comment here on the website if you do not have a Facebook account)

  1. On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being easy and 5 being very difficult) how difficult is it for you to reject satan’s lies and accept God’s truth? Why do you think this presents such a challenge for you? (page 70)
  2. Mary Kassian defines a “grace-giver” as one who looks with favor on those who least deserve it from us.  She defines a “debt-counter” as one who counts the hurts that others commit against us that they haven’t apologized or made up for. Are you a “grace-giver” or a “debt-counter?” What habits cultivate being a “grace-giver?” (page 75)
  3. Do you have an attitude of gratitude: Are you grateful for what is given or resentful for what is withheld? How does this impact your relationships with others?
  4.  What are two words you use to express thankfulness?
  5. PERSONAL ACTIVITY: Try this fun activity a few times this week: Use these two positive words in your interactions with others this week: pleasant and welcome.  Write in your journal each instance and how it impacted your conversation.  How did you feel using the words?Be Blessed,

    sonya morris nelson

Conversation Peace Online Bible Study | Week 2

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conversation peace week 2Welcome back to Week Two of our Summer Study, Conversation Peace by Mary Kassian.  By now I am sure that, like me, this eye-opening study has begun to take root in your life and change your view of the words you use each day. It’s not too late to get a workbook and join us!

My Momma always had plants in our house when I was growing up.  She loved green plants as did my sisters. I thought they were pretty, but could not grow a passion for it.  Over the years my Momma explained to me how important the soil, or dirt as I called it, was to the life of the plant.  The soil was the foundation and it gave the plant what it needed to grow. Water and sunlight helped the soil to provide a good foundation for the plant. If the soil wasn’t watered and the plant didn’t receive sunlight, it would become dry and the leaves would begin to become unhealthy and maybe die. Now you have to understand that I am one that never liked to play in dirt, wanted no part in planting or gardening, but at the same time, I could not believe that “dirt” was so important to a plant’s life.

Our lesson this week reminded me of this.  In Luke 8:15, Jesus explains to His disciples about seed that grows on good soil will produce a good crop.  The soil is the foundation, just like our heart is the foundation of our emotions.  What is in our heart will become what we believe, what we say, what we think and feel.  I realized that just like my plant, if I don’t saturate my heart with the word of God, communicate with Him through prayer, protect it from negative outside influences it will ultimately become dry, hard and not able to produce good fruit or words.

Now in no way does this excite or motivate me to begin gardening, I still don’t like to play in dirt (LOL), but this week’s lesson did open my eyes to how my heart shapes the way I think, the way I view certain words and how I respond in certain situations.  I want my heart to be healthy and to spew out words of life and love.

Our heart is a very complex, pumping many emotions, both good and not so good into our veins and ultimately manifesting out of our mouths.  We must make sure that what we keep Christ as the center of our hearts so that He dwells there and what overflows out of our hearts has no choice but to be full of positive and uplifting words pleasing to God producing healthy, green crops.  I believe that I can do it with God’s help, do you?

I love our Memory Verse for this week, Psalm 19:14, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (NIV)  As I carried my verse with me all week, I was reminded to take notice and responsibility of what I would say, asking God to partner with me to make sure that my words were pleasing to Him.  I started my day with this verse so that I could have the right focus when speaking with others during my day.

I want to share a part of one of my favorite quotes, this part says, “For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness” (Audrey Hepburn) Remember this during the week as you continue to journey with us to transform your speech.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small for study and fellowship
  • Pray through and memorize our Breath Freshener for this week: Ephesians 4:22-24
  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your tongue
  • Look for positive changes in your speech this week, and thank God for them
  • Read Week 3 in your workbook
  • Visit the Conversation Peace website for more resources

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: (You can answer in your small group or post a comment here on the website if you do not have a Facebook account)

  1. What things in your life compete to be the center spot in your heart?
  1. Describe the image that comes to mind when you hear the word “overflow.” (page 39)
  1. How have your speech habits changed over the years? On a scale of 1 to 5, are your words becoming more loving and kind or less? (1 = less loving and kind and 5 = more loving and kind) (page 64)
  1. Soil is the foundation of a plant’s life, good soil gives the plant life, bad soil may cause the plant to die. Using our heart’s as the soil in this analogy:

What ways can you change the quality of the soil in your heart to be more pleasing to God? (page 53-54)

This last question is for you to think about and answer during your devotion time:

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Look at the areas you listed as problem areas in your speech last week.  Are you seeing changes? If you are, how will you continue? If not, what will you do to start making changes? What are the causes/root of your negative speech?  Pray and ask God to continue to help you transform your words to be pleasing to Him.

Be Blessed,

sonya morris nelson

 

 

 

 

 

Conversation Peace Online Bible Study | Week 1

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cp week 1

Welcome back to Week One of the Conversation Peace online Bible study. It’s not too late to the a copy of the Mary Kassian workbook and join us at the #BibleCafe The Conversation Peace workbook is currently in stock at Amazon or you can also find it at Lifeway Stores. Be sure to also visit the Conversation Peace website to download resources and graphic images. You’ll find the 20 Questions, Scripture Cards, and journal pages and more when you visit the site.

This week we set sail and learned that our tongue can set a great forest on fire by one tiny spark (James 3:5-6) and that our tongue can bring death or life (Proverbs 18:21).  Words can “breathe life” or “cripple and kill,” writes Mary Kassian.  Isn’t it amazing how this tiny little part of our body has so much power?  No wonder that God placed such a powerful tool within the cave of our mouth, only be opened and used when we are prepared to use it for good. How often do you pray before you speak…

For a moment, use your spiritual imagination with me to visualize  the words that come out of your mouth. Mary Kassian uses the metaphor of setting a forest on fire. The Bible says

It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. James 3:5-6 (Message Translation)

Think about how quickly it would spread to cause hurt, and destruction.  Or on the flip side, picture your words cultivating a harvest and with your words flowers and crops are blooming.  This can be our reality when we align our words with what God has said in His Word.

This week my spirit was pricked when I listed the names of my family and the Lord revealed to me how my words with them in the past were positive or negative. Our tongues navigate the direction in which our conversation will flow. Isn’t that so powerful? I can remember many conversations over the years that have gone terribly wrong. Not the way I wanted to at all, perhaps because my tongue was on autopilot.

I’ve decided to have an accountability partner for this study and we’ve really been ministering to each other. God has been working through us this week.  In conversation over this Bible study, she shared her realization that her words hinder and heal. Convicted by the Holy Spirit she prayed to be more healing than hindering. Part of the way she wants to accomplish this is to look at her tongue as a mirror, “Would she say those things about herself or to herself?”  You and I can do the same thing.

By answering the questions about my own conversations, I quickly discovered there were a few areas in need of transformation. What an eye opener when I really examined my conversations and how I used my words.  Taking responsibility for this is the first and painful step to transforming our speech.

Today we can begin to use the charts and tools we have to set ourselves on the correct path so that our words bring life to others. Our chart is the Bible, the tools that we can use are our own conscience, responses from others, and the Holy Spirit that leads and directs us the correct way to use our words with others.  The Holy Spirit will quickly get us back on course when we veer off course.

When we regulate our tongue, and partner with God, our conversation will become what God intended it to be. Words that will bring and give life to others, cultivate harvests in others, give hope and spread love. Don’t you want your words to glorify God and lift others up? I know I do.  As you continue to study this week, remember to watch the message you are sending with your speech, make sure your words are understood, take responsibility for what you say, and always go to God for help.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small for study and fellowship
  • Pray through and memorize our Breath Freshener for this week: Psalm 19:14
  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your tongue
  • Read Week 2 in your workbook
  • Visit the Conversation Peace website for more resources

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: (You can answer in your small group or post a comment here on the website if you do not have a Facebook account)

  1. This week’s lesson identifies our tongue as our principal steering mechanism. What does the phrase “What we talk is where we walk” mean to you?
  2. How often do you blame difficult people or circumstances for your negative speech? Why is this an unhelpful thing to do? (page 34)
  3. What are some ways your personality, feelings, past experiences negatively affect the way you communicate. (page 34)
  4. List two words that you need to remove from your vocabulary on order to have more positive conversations?

Praying with you,

Sonya