Rachel & Leah Bible Study: Night 6 of 6 (Follow Up)

IMG_20190324_153532Week Six

Well here we are my lovely Lord and Savior… the Preserver of my soul… the Bright and Morning Star… the Bearer of my weary soul. How much You have given me through this study… so many thoughts of encouragement and delightful pieces of You to share. Yet all I can give You today in this post is thanking You for allowing me to accomplish this moment… if You allow me to get it typed, pictures added, and posted.

Truth Six: Let the success of others encourage not discourage you.
Combating Verse: 2 Corinthians 10:12 KJV
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.IMG_20190324_153610

So much has happened while I have been struggling just to make it from moment to moment. If I don’t get this typed, I fear it won’t. So many of the wonderful things You have brought me and done for me, and for those around me are lost in my inability to remember… word for word… day by day… or moment to moment. But I remember in moments that make me smile, or at least help me bear my burden (my cross) as we are all called to do. But I will share what You will allow.

I remember the sweet sleep in the car, the fondness of a friend, and excitement to be joining many more dear friends. I remember I was so excited to finally get a Sprig of Joy fundraiser can!

I remember Keitha being excited to let us know Nicki Koziarz is coming to her Keitha’s church on June 20th. Nicki is the author of this ladies bible study we’ve been doing:
Rachel & Leah: What Two Sisters Teach Us About Combating Comparison.
6.2.8

I remember being blessed by the daily devotionals for each morning.

Day One: Where God Speaks6.2.11Day one reminded me of one of the key figures we are easy to forget was an important part in all of the comparison and hardship that Jacob, Laban, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah were all tangled up in. Esau was Jacob’s first rival. It was Jacob who struggled with jealousy and comparison. His actions toward Esau were exactly those of Laban towards Jacob. And Jacob gained the same ill character in his wives and father in law, the same ill character that his children would inherit. The deception Jacob learned from the whisper of his mother Rebecca to usurp what was rightfully his brother Esau’s, would be the same deception Laban would whisper into the ear of his daughter Leah to deceive Jacob on his wedding night after he had labored hard seven long years for Rachel.

Day Two: Go To That Place6.2.12Day Two had me thinking that of all of the places I have been… according to Your will or by my own foolish wisdom. I would rather be wherever You lead me… be wherever You are, and am grateful that You are willing to go wherever I have strayed to lovingly lead me home. Where You are, I want to go to that place.

Day Three: A New Name6.2.13Day Three makes me joyfully think on that new name You tell me You have written down for me in heaven… a new name that only You know and will whisper into my ear. It reminds me of when I started using my middle name as my new name… Gail. My family calls me BrendaGail. It makes me think of the many names changes in Your word… Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Noah to Noe, Saul to Paul, and of course Jacob to Israel. It also reminds me of the sad news of Rachel’s death. It was sad to know how her life had been. Never happy… always living her life in comparison.

Day Four: Party of 126.2.14Day four has me thinking on all of those children born out of manipulation and deception. Yet even in the midst of a dysfunctional family, You created the twelve tribes of Israel, and the lineage from which Jesus was born. It reminds me of when I once felt “barren,” and for years was constantly provoked by all the other girls who had babies, some three or four. They were very cruel. Yet just like Hannah, it was when I made a particular petition and vow that You answered my prayer. And that was before I had read Your bible, and I was a single teenage mom. I don’t know why You allowed things that seem contrary to Your word. I only know that You give life, Lord. Praise Your name!

Day Five: Spiritual Gifts Survey6.2.15Day five had a survey to discern our spiritual gifts. I was began with making sure I only answered between 2 and 4, but was soon all over the place. I leave the results to You because just as we are trusting the outcome to You, we know that You have allowed us to answer the questions that made the score. So as our thinking is (flawed or right on), it will determine what we score.

I have so many blogging friends who have enjoyed the “quizzes” for themselves. Lord, help them to be able to read the pictures. I know in times past, I would have went through the hard work (with joy) to type it out in a neat format aligning the book, but You and I both know I am blessed that the media devices finally charged and worked!
Thank You! 🙂

Dear friends, if you can not read one just let me know. I will type it for you.
There are 80 questions, and score as read above in the previous picture.6.2.16

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Scoring Your Survey
Here are the directions.
There are 16 areas of spiritual gifts listed.
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Graphing Your Profile6.2.24

6.2.25

My spiritual gifts scored
1. Giving
2. Faith
3. Prophecy

This surprised me considering when I read the sixteen possibilities, I only “had faith” in Faith. The others seemed like actions… involving others. I do not know why my self esteem has went so far to the basement lately, but I know God doesn’t want it there. How can I love my neighbor as God does if I cannot even love myself as my God loves me
(And the second [commandment] is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
– Matthew 22:39 KJV
)
I am to believe in who He makes me.
I am a child of the Living King… the One True God!
I can do ALL things through Christ Jesus, which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13 KJV)
How much more giving can one be than to share God’s love… genuine true love?

So then the question was asked…
How has God been speaking to you throughout this study about the situations where you are comparing yourself? How does humility play a role in what God is showing you?6.2.26My health is what it is. He has blessed me many days, and with encouraging and wise, and very patient therapists, nurses, doctors. I need to be thankful, and accept where I am is what God has planned for me… at least right now. Regardless of where that is and what it looks like or feels like, or lives like, I am to love who I am in Him, and to share that love with others. God has known my life long before I did, and as The Great Physician He has every right to do whatever He wants with it to bring glory to His name. Even in and ESPECIALLY in my weaknesses He is made strong.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV

In that giving to others… PRAYER is ONE of the most loving things we can give and do. I am blessed to have the prayer requests below to take with me. I pray as often as the Lord allows. This week we had prayed in our small groups, but kept our own prayer cards. Marilyn was excited to share a praise that her friend Etiska did not have cancer after all!! Such good news among what seems like a sea of cancer anymore. We were excited to share in her news, especially after praying with her.6.2.27This is what one of my dear sisters in Christ reminded me… because I am sharing with them in prayer my burdens, they will be able to rejoice with me in what I so easily think is trivial to others but is every bit huge to me and my health.

Just as they rejoiced with me over hearing my stepdad’s complete lung work up and blood work came back good while they have been helping me pray as the doctors work to find the cause of Bobby’s already terrible lung health to be even worse lately. His lung specialist still thinks it’s Bobby’s CPAP issues. So the ladies continue to help me to pray for him. 

And when he sent messages to “thank the girls” and let them know he is praying for them too, the ladies would send the same messages back to him.

As for my health… my lymphedema and lipedema are flaring up the most… along with the things my doctors are already trying to help me with. Sometimes there are great and effective treatments for one health issue but is either hindered by another,  or actually causes more problems that actually render the original problem tolerable. Sometimes I simply have to deal with both. I am trying to use the wraps as much as possible, but my spinal damage is making things so challenging. My positive is to know at least this time I have had a lot of help in my physical therapists whereas last time, I had no help so it was the bandages right off.6.2.10

On top of that prayer need, I have received a Jury Duty Summons6.2.9

I do not know how my Jury Duty Summons will play into the wraps and needing to elevate my legs, but I know that God is well aware of my needs, and am blessed to have friends who will pray with me.

I miss the ladies bible study!
I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend when Nicki comes to Keitha’s church.
But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know He watches me… and them. 😉

 

 

The Lowly of Lowlies

“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.”
– Luke 1:46-50 KJV

How exciting to read (and experience with her) Mary praising You with such magnification and joy, with such mindful praise. Counting her blessings and naming them one by one. 🙂 ❤ You have regarded the low estates as You even gave Jesus a life of lowly estate. How profound You have made the word humility. To be humble is to completely defined, yet how mighty You truly are, as is the mighty love and obedience of Your Son. Holy is Your name! Your mercy is surely on those that fear You. Thank You for humility, strength, for holiness, and Your mercy.

It seems so odd to break this devotion off in the middle of praise, in the middle of Mary’s prayer and praise to You. I’m so enjoying hearing her praise when her faith had no doubt, and her wisdom simply asked how it would happen. She has not laughed or doubted as others. She believed enough to ask how You were going to make that possible because she knew the logic of how the body worked, and the law of Your own words regarding purity. She knew You would not violate Your word, nor ask her to. Once You answered her, she simply continued to believe and praise Your Holy name.

So in faith with no question on what You do is Your plan for me, even in writing a devotion that You designed in someone else’s heart and mind, and then led me to do, I choose to do to continue to trust You even in what seems like an interruption to her praise for You. You are mighty and great, and have perfect knowledge in emphasizing whatever You will. It definitely emphasizes that You are God, and that we all are of low estate in regard to Your mightiness. How great and merciful You are to teach us such holiness, mercy, and love! It takes such love to pause Your own praise to teach us of who You truly are… The Lowly of Lowlies. I love You God ! ❤

My Day 20 of the Christmas 31 Day Scripture Writing Plan.
(I won’t have notes for each day.
I am doing whatever You allow, Lord.
Whatever You give! It’s all about You!)

My Day 1: Knowledge to Know

My Day 2: Obedience Is Trusting You

My Day 3: Quick Understanding

My Day 4: Glorious Rest

My Day 5: Comfort Ye My People

My Day 6: Good Tidings

My Day 7: That Good Thing

My Day 8: Abundant Peace

My Day 9: He Shall Have Dominion

My Day 10: His Name Shall Endure Forever

My Day 11: Come

My Day 12: Fuller’s Soap

My Day 13: Of The Holy Ghost

My Day 14: Call His Name Jesus

My Day 15: In Bethlehem of Judaea

My Day 16: The Star

My Day 17: Highly Favoured

My Day 18: Faith and Obedience

My Day 19: According to Thy Word

My Day 21: A Strong Arm

My Day 22: The Days Were Accomplished

My Day 23: Abiding Shepherds (The Night Shift)

My Day 24: A Multitude of the Heavenly Host

My Day 25: Wonder

My Day 26: The Spirit of Your Son

My Day 27: Obedient Unto Death

My Day 28: Highly Exalted

My Day 29: Every Good and Perfect Gift

My Day 30: The Hope of Eternal Life

My Day 31: Opened Eyes, Wondrous Things

“NEW” Series, #4 Brotherhood of the World Bloggers’ Award 1.18.18

How exciting and adventurous You are dear Lord! A NEW kind of blogger award… Brotherhood of the World Bloggers’ Award! And how exciting to see Lovely A of Discovering Your Happiness receive hers! You, the Great Physician, knew she could use a pick me up at a time that she has been so sick that she had to take some time away from her blog. Practicing what she teaches, she took some down time, focused on her health, and just allowed herself to de-stress. What a great example she is to her self care theme. Thank You for being with her, Lord. I pray continued healing for her, and for all the things You know she needs prayer for!

Thank you, Lovely Anita, for allowing God to use you to nominate me for the Brotherhood of the World Bloggers’ Award too!
You put a smile on my face! 🙂 Me and God love you! ❤
fullsizeoutput_11f4The Rules:

 

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to his/her blog.
  • List the rules of the award and post a picture of the award.
  • Answer the questions from your nominator.
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers and be sure to let them know.
  • Write a list of questions for your nominees to answer

My Questions:

  • Where in the world are you based? North Carolina (USA)
  • What made you get into blogging? Journaling with God, challenges with friends
  • Summer or Winter? Summer
  • What makes you the happiest? God ❤
  • If you had to eat one food forever, what would it be? spaghetti 🙂
  • If you had one super power, what would it be? never sinning
  • If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? For everyone to know how much God loves them, and for them to love God just as much ❤
  • What are some of your 2018 goals? Following God, Choosing Life, Looking Up
  • Airplane holiday or Boat Cruise? Airplane holiday
  • America or Europe holiday? Europe

My Nominees:
Oaken Reed
Almighty God the Beginning and the End
Blacker the Berry
Invisibly Me
Red Letters
Not Easily Broken
The Godly Chic Diaries
Wrestling with Faith – Dancing with Jesus
loshame
Moonlight Psychology

Praise the Lord for each one of you! Congratulations on your nomination for the Brotherhood of the World Bloggers’ Award! May you each continue to reach out in community and brotherhood on WordPress and around the world! God has so many children, and loves each one… including you! ❤

Thank you again and congrats to Lovely A of Discovering Your Happiness!
Me and God love you too! ❤

PS… OOPS! I forgot 10 questions for the nominees. Please feel free to answer the ones given to me above… or simply skip. Whichever you prefer! 🙂

“NEW” Series, #2 Music Playlist

How lovely You are, Lord, to give us such delights as music! You allowed music through fellow believers, and even dear friends. Coming into Christmas You already had friends sharing music and videos that became favorites. This is new in many ways because for quite a few years now music has just been… music. Even if I happened to love or enjoy something, it was just that moment. I didn’t have the time or desire to feel anything to take with me.  But You have renewed a joy and a comfort in music.

How perfect is the message in Hayley’s song “Called By Love” by Red Letters. You used a dear friend to remind me that when the devil tries to tell me I have no right to listen to or sing with Your music that I am called by love to worship You. I need to worship You to keep my strength up against the one who hates me to have any… especially in You!

You used my dear friend Aney to introduce me to “The True Love of God” by The Church of Almighty God to remind me the “It’s [Your] tender words that water and nourish me to grow up. It’s [Your] stern words that encourage me to stand up again.” That is the truth of Your love. The music lifts my spirit with its light beat.

You surprised me with a new favorite video “You Are More” by Tenth Avenue North. You used Life With Jesus to introduce me to this reminder that I am more than the choices that I have made because I have been remade. It’s not about what I have done, but about what You have done for me. It’s not about how I feel, but what You felt to forgive me, and how You felt to make me loved.

“All The Way in Your Company” by The Church of Almighty God was so cute, and so me and You. The video story and message is a theme song for us. It is a great theme song for our Walking the Walk journey! I would love to be able to run, but as long as I am walking with You, whether on the Parkway, the ball field, running errands, or the days that will leave me in my bed. If I am with You, I am exactly where I need to be!

You used Hayley again to remind me with “He Has Freed Us” by RedLetters that [You] will carry us through every trial in life, that [Your] love is perfect, and [Your] ways are right. [You] have freed us.

And oh how You continue to amaze me through Hayley even more! When she told me of her song “I Choose Life” by RedLetters after she read my post Choose Life as a theme for this year, I was so excitedly in awe of You! You had used Deuteronomy 30:19-20 to inspire her, myself, and so many others at the same time. I will ever be so grateful for Your bringing Hayley into my life, and for allowing me to hear Caralyn’s podcast on A Jew & A Gentile Walk Into a Bar… Mitzvah. I am eagerly awaiting Hayley’s CD. 🙂

I can’t remember how You brought me to “Sleeping At Last” by Saturn. It’s not even Christian music. But You had me pay attention to the message. “How rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.” It was You and me again… more You speaking to me. So I listen… again and again… and again. ❤

So then You give me “Old Church Choir” by Zach Williams. I LOVE this song. You help me get to a place where I put aside all the noise and voices in my head, and just enjoy You! You let me know that when I do that…“There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy!” Praise Your Holy name! This is definitely a motivating and strengthening song, all wrapped up in a delightful joy! ❤

Lastly, You used Kristi Ann to just steal my heart again. “Still” by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family. How do I never stop falling in love with You!! You know that all I need is to be still and know that You are parting waters, and moving mountains that I don’t even see. All You need is for me to be still.

So this is the playlist You have given me. I love that You think of me, and whisper my name into someone’s ear. I am grateful You give us music. Thank You for renewing music for me! Thank You for reminding me of the weapon it is against the very one who hates me spending that quality time with You. I look forward to whatever You bring my way. As long as You are there… I’m ready.

“Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” – Psalm 33:3

“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” – Psalm 40:3 

Commands of Praise

That music…
those drums…
those horns…
those stringed instruments…
those perky voices…
it’s all so loud!
And dancing…
in God’s sanctuary!
It’s such a loud
NOISE!
Yet every one
of those things
are commanded of the Lord
in His psalms.
Even the new songs!
So it’s all that God
COMMANDS.
Lift your holy hands.
Sing! Dance! Shout!
PRAISE YOUR LORD!

11-9-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

Give to God What is His

Give to God what is His.
He made it a loan to you.
He wants to see our faithfulness,
our cheerfulness too.
Honor God in praise
as He so deserves.
He has no pleasure
in being reserved.
Honor one another
as He has us.
Patience, mercy, forgiveness
are just.
Give to God what is His
without His needing to ask.
His pleasures are forever.
His love will always last.

11-4-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)