from Rachel: Faulty Assumptions

How are assumptions and thoughts connected? “They are foundational – the groundwork” Did you tuck away some faulty assumptions as an older teen or young adult? List three examples. “I’ll do better later – I’ll have more time then. “A little more won’t hurt – I’ve already come this far (‘I might as well beContinue reading “from Rachel: Faulty Assumptions”

from Rachel: It’s a Woman’s Prerogative to Change Her Mind

Look at the word mind, and write words that describe the mind of Christ. M (Psalm 8:1; 103:8; Matthew 11:29) – “Majestic, Merciful, Meek/Mild” I (Luke 23:4; Titus 2:7) – “Innocent, Integrity” N (Philippians 4:8; Revelation 19:16; Psalm 34:18) – “Noble, Name (?), Near (?)” D (2 Timothy 1:7; 2:15) – “Disciplined, Discerning” How doesContinue reading “from Rachel: It’s a Woman’s Prerogative to Change Her Mind”

from Rachel: Unchangeable Labels

Write your fact labels here: “wife, mom, daughter, only child, dog walker, short, bi-ocular, near-sighted, brunette, brain tumor-survivor, caucasian, college graduate.” Describe a time when you experienced a disconnect because of labels. “Lately, several people have been asking/expressing concern about my surgery two years ago. While I still enjoy singing praises to God and aboutContinue reading “from Rachel: Unchangeable Labels”

from Rachel: The Soundtrack in My Thought Closet

Do you meditate? “Yes” What did the Psalmist talk to himself about (Psalm 119)? Verse 27: I will talk to myself about “God’s wonders.” Verse 48: I will talk to myself about “God’s decrees.” Verse 78: I will talk to myself about “God’s precepts.” Verse 148: I will talk to myself about “God’s promises.” WriteContinue reading “from Rachel: The Soundtrack in My Thought Closet”

from Rachel: My Thought Closet

Write down the “I am” statements you say when you’re beating yourself up. I am “so lazy.” I am “such a procrastinator.” I am “so silly/foolish/stupid/idiotic/weird.” What words best describe how you feel when you beat yourself up? “defeated, incapable, incompetent” How in control are you over your thoughts? “infrequently” Are you satisfied with yourContinue reading “from Rachel: My Thought Closet”

from Rachel: Not So Well With My Soul

What do Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24 reveal about how God uses words? “He uses words to make thoughts into reality/substance.” Proverbs 18:21 describe two distinct outcomes of our words. What are they? “Life and death.” What are some words that breathe life into you? “Special, blessing, friend, best, love, precious, cherish”Continue reading “from Rachel: Not So Well With My Soul”

from Rachel: My Broken Dreams

How about you? Ever sing along, hoping the song (‘When You Wish Upon a Star’) might be true? “I’ve sung the song, but I’m not sure I had any particular dreams in mind. If I did, they were probably outside of the natural order of possibilities. My favorite fantasies involve portals to other worlds: policeContinue reading “from Rachel: My Broken Dreams”

from Rachel: My Broken Relationships

Why do you suppose Proverbs says so much about relationships with fools? “Those relationships are the ones that tend to bring the most trouble into a person’s life.” Summarize in one sentence the teaching of the scriptures you just read. “Don’t hang around with fools – their foolishness is more easily transferred than your wisdom.”Continue reading “from Rachel: My Broken Relationships”

from Rachel: I Just Want Everyone to Leave Me Alone

For what other reasons to women pull back, hide, and want everyone to leave them alone? “Feeling tired and/or overwhelmed – needing some alone time, feeling hurt and vulnerable and therefore fearful of more hurt.” [starred for emphasis] a description of God’s love based on Ephesians 3:18 and John 3:16: The Breadth – For GodContinue reading “from Rachel: I Just Want Everyone to Leave Me Alone”

from Rachel: I Think Too Much of Myself

Did you struggle with an intense focus on yourself in your teenage years? “Not like that, I was more of a Daria than a Quinn. But I was also rather a Hermione, so I definitely wanted all my work perfect to impress my teachers, and I relished in their praise and attention.” List some waysContinue reading “from Rachel: I Think Too Much of Myself”

from Rachel: God Offers a New Attitude

God can make us new women this week. Are you willing to commit to his compassionate, transforming work? “No promises yet, sorry. It’s Wednesday already, also. Added” (signature) “Thursday after day 5” Write down some other attitudes that belong to the category of “bad.” “Lazy, selfish, pleasure-seeking, comfort-loving, work-avoiding, worldly and pursuing worldly pleasures andContinue reading “from Rachel: God Offers a New Attitude”

from Rachel: (God is Stronger Than My Struggles) With Stress/Anxiety

[starred for emphasis] “Yep, we can all pretend we’re doing fine with life’s stress, but the body will usually betray you and tell the truth.” How about you? Do you have any little stressors in your life? “Of course. On Monday (10/13/14) I drive to Macomb so that I can leave Chompers with mom andContinue reading “from Rachel: (God is Stronger Than My Struggles) With Stress/Anxiety”

from Rachel: (God Is Stronger than My Struggles) With Loneliness

Remember your loneliest time? What details made it particularly difficult? “My most alone time was last August (2013) when I vacationed alone for a week, but I relished in almost every minute of it. I think the times I feel loneliest are when I’m surrounded by people, but they are already all in groups conversing.Continue reading “from Rachel: (God Is Stronger than My Struggles) With Loneliness”

from Rachel: Surrender

If God is stronger than everything, and He is, then why do so many believers still live in tragic weakness? “Some are more comfortable there, others don’t have because they don’t ask, and still others try but struggle with the ‘trust fall’ of surrendering their power and control for His.” Beside each of these… steps,Continue reading “from Rachel: Surrender”

from Rachel: Near to God

[starred for emphasis] Our God is faithful and true. He is not playing games with us or changing his mind. He loves us. Jesus died for us. The Bible speaks to us. The Holy Spirit works in us. And in all these things, God is glorified. With no worrying about right or wrong answers, howContinue reading “from Rachel: Near to God”

from Rachel (and family): Why?

“The ‘therefore’ in verse 10 is ‘dia touto,’ which is not the Greek word that refers back to the previous point; it is more like, ‘so, here’s what I’m saying… “Verses 11-13 were probably either the lyrics to an early Church hymn, or a creed the assembly would recite together. “Do I deny following JesusContinue reading “from Rachel (and family): Why?”

from Rachel: The Legend of the Dogwood

“There is a legend that at the time of the Crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree, that it was chosen as the timber of the cross. “To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, andContinue reading “from Rachel: The Legend of the Dogwood”

from Rachel: Believing God Loves You

[starred] There are people in great need who decide to become great at being needy. It’s easier to stay needy than take hold of the power to change. [starred] There is no “enough” for us with God. Good enough. Kind enough. Generous enough. We do not earn His love because we have finally become enough.Continue reading “from Rachel: Believing God Loves You”

from Rachel: God Almighty

Take a minute to remember some of the characteristics you know about God. I’ll get you started. Finish the sentence, God is… faithful, loving, “(omni-)kind, (omni-)caring, (omni-)merciful, (omni-)gracious, (omni-)glorious, (etc.) magnificent, awesome, indescribable, uncontainable, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, providing, protecting, generous, righteous, perfect, alpha and omega, holy, friend… “but also jealous, just, wrathful, vengeful.” Read [the]Continue reading “from Rachel: God Almighty”

from Rachel: Made For A Mission

Christ’s command… seems like ‘Mission Impossible,’ “but God doesn’t give the option, ‘should you choose to accept it…’ It isn’t called ‘the Great Suggestion.’ “Never bothering to share my faith is basically saying to those around me, ‘I’m in, the rest of you can all just go to Hell.’ “Wake up asking for an opportunityContinue reading “from Rachel: Made For A Mission”

from Rachel: What On Earth Am I Here For?

“Memory verse: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 “Being holy doesn’t mean a perfect ‘goody two-shoes’, but being committed and focused and skilled at showing Jesus to others (‘showing others what God is like’)” a reference toContinue reading “from Rachel: What On Earth Am I Here For?”

from Rachel: Shaped for Serving God

Question to consider: In what way could I see myself passionately serving others and loving it? “5/19 “I doubt I could feel any more passionate while serving others than when I sing in choir, especially with certain songs. I also feel a genuine love of the job in the two PTA tasks I do atContinue reading “from Rachel: Shaped for Serving God”

from Rachel: It Takes Time

“May 20 “I need to be more patient and persistent in trying to establish a daily routine of spending a few minutes with Jesus first thing in the morning. I manage most days for a week or two, but it doesn’t start to immediately become a comfortable habit or something I miss if I don’tContinue reading “from Rachel: It Takes Time”

from Rachel: Defeating Temptation

Question to consider: Who could I ask to be a spiritual partner to help me defeat a persistent temptation by praying for me? “May 19 “If I really want to be sure to be held accountable and be prayed for, I tell Susie and ask her for prayer. Unfortunately, since I don’t like to feelContinue reading “from Rachel: Defeating Temptation”

from Rachel: Growing Through Temptation

Question to consider: What Christlike character quality could I develop by defeating the most common temptation I face? “May 18 “Faithfulness: my biggest temptation and pitfall is not being willing to end the evening at a reasonable hour and go to bed. Then I can’t get up at a normal time and have a fewContinue reading “from Rachel: Growing Through Temptation”

from Rachel: Transformed by Trouble

Question to consider: What problem in my life has caused the greatest growth in me? “May 17 “I feel completely stumped at this moment, and I only hope that doesn’t mean I will have to have more problems very soon to bring about some growth. “I can think of a number of trials and temptationsContinue reading “from Rachel: Transformed by Trouble”

from Rachel: How We Grow

Question to consider: What is one area where I need to stop thinking my way and start thinking God’s way? “May 14 (or 15, because it’s 1:00 a.m.) “ I can’t think of a specific area right now.” “(Later) I suppose the area (which I really hate to admit and don’t want to surrender) wouldContinue reading “from Rachel: How We Grow”

from Rachel: Protecting Your Church

Question to consider: What am I personally doing to protect the unity in my church family right now? “May 12 “I don’t know, I suppose being loving and compassionate to many and to a few in particular. I suppose by generally not gossiping or hanging out with women who do (Though off hand I can’tContinue reading “from Rachel: Protecting Your Church”

from Rachel: Restoring Broken Fellowship

Question to consider: Who do I need to restore a broken relationship with today? “May 11 “Today, no one (as far as I am aware, anyway). “Tomorrow, next week, or next month – Sally – definitely my EGR (extra grace required) friend, but praise God, his grace is sufficient for me: plenty left to share.Continue reading “from Rachel: Restoring Broken Fellowship”

from Rachel: Experiencing Life Together

“May 10 “Actually, today (Monday) would normally be my day to meet with Susie; she just had too many people and too much work in her schedule this week. Then I gave Sally the option of coming over instead. If she had, I probably should’ve asked if we could leave the TV off for aContinue reading “from Rachel: Experiencing Life Together”

from Rachel: A Place to Belong

“May 7 “Yes, I feel it does. On Monday nights I am a Sparks leader and have been the song leader. On Tuesday mornings I babysit the children of any moms who choose to attend the Bible Study. I take home all of the office’s paper trash for recycling. Wednesday night we have choir orContinue reading “from Rachel: A Place to Belong”

from Rachel: Formed for God’s Family

“May 7 “I’m really not sure. I already feel like my church(es) are my extended family. I do everything from hugging Agnes and Eleanor down to bathroom maintenance (changing toilet paper rolls and even unclogging a toilet once). “I suppose the area where I fall way short is with believers I don’t know. I rarelyContinue reading “from Rachel: Formed for God’s Family”

from Rachel: Worship That Pleases God

“May 6 (late afternoon – I’m famished and developing a headache) “As worship types go, I think I’m a combination of Naturalist, Enthusiast and (somewhat) Intellectual. “Let’s see, words other than: worship, praise, thanks, hallelujah or amen. So I should try to instead use words like: adore, exalt, magnify, glorify, extol, appreciate, honor, blessed, privileged,Continue reading “from Rachel: Worship That Pleases God”

from Rachel: Developing Your Friendship with God

“May 5, 2004 “I will try to remember to pray often, ‘Dear Jesus, more than anything else, I want to get to know you intimately.’” “I need to remember that it is very important to grow closer to God, even if my main reason to want to want to is self-preservation – I would ratherContinue reading “from Rachel: Developing Your Friendship with God”

from Rachel: Becoming Best Friends with God

“May 4 “I read this chapter first thing in the morning, so I put on my fish ring as a reminder of God’s constant presence with me. Then, I decided to go one better, and I took my purple polish with me. While we were outside with the kids (Ladies Bible Study), I painted myContinue reading “from Rachel: Becoming Best Friends with God”

from Rachel: The Reason For Everything

“May 2” “Lately I think I’ve been doing better at this. The dog walking gets me out into nature and, more recently, I’ve begun singing a few hymns as we walk along. “As the weather warms, I would like to go out on the deck first thing every morning for a quiet time. “I shouldContinue reading “from Rachel: The Reason For Everything”

from Rachel: Seeing Life from God’s View

“April 28 and 30” “If I were to try and give a metaphor to life, I think I would go with it being a journey. To me, this isn’t entirely worldly and unbiblical, there is A Pilgrims Progress, and, more importantly, Jesus talks of the narrow road to heaven as opposed to the wide roadContinue reading “from Rachel: Seeing Life from God’s View”

from Rachel: What Drives Your Life?

“I am chagrined to admit that my driving force would generally be the pursuit of pleasure. The second would be necessity. The latter kicks in when the former is overcome by: hunger, fear (of scoldings etc.) pride (not wanting to accept the image and all the labels I earn), nagging etc.” “I’m not sure whatContinue reading “from Rachel: What Drives Your Life?”

from Rachel: You Are Not an Accident

“April 21, 2004 “My first thought is that I’m pretty content in my skin. I can’t think of much that I still need to accept. But that sounds prideful, so let’s go deeper. I suppose as far as appearance, I love what God has given me, but I don’t like any changes – I pluckContinue reading “from Rachel: You Are Not an Accident”

from Rachel: It All Starts With God

“April 20, 2004 “Let me begin by saying that this is my second time through this book. However, this time I intend to make every effort to read one chapter a day as intended (not cram on the afternoon of the meeting). How can I remind myself today that life is really about living forContinue reading “from Rachel: It All Starts With God”

from Rachel: Stuck in Conflict

“Peace is not found in winning or avoiding conflict, but in rightly handling conflict. “1. Start with love.” Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. Philippians 4:1, English Standard Bible “Verse 4:1 is easy to pass over too quickly to getContinue reading “from Rachel: Stuck in Conflict”

from Rachel: Letter to Oprah

“Dear Oprah, “[I love your show… blah blah blah] I also love your new song. I think that was so terrific of Paul Simon to write that for you. The song is running through my head at the moment because as he sings about you ‘A story in your eye / Well, speak until yourContinue reading “from Rachel: Letter to Oprah”

No Ticket to Oz

Dearest Rachel – It was storming terribly last night, dear. Our home security system by the front door was beeping like a combination alarm clock and a forklift stuck in reverse, and no amount of money going forward and typing in the password which shut it up for more than five minutes, before it wouldContinue reading “No Ticket to Oz”

from Rachel: Spring Cleanin’

Jesus Christ must be Lord of our intellect if we are to keep our house in order (Matt 22:34-36; Phil 4:8) A. Study! “Christ must be Lord of my intellect for me to have spiritual order.” B. Dwell on the good stuff! “It doesn’t come automatically; I must deliberately turn my thoughts to these.” JesusContinue reading “from Rachel: Spring Cleanin’”

from Rachel: **Gratitude

“I know I had many wonderful years with my ‘Daddy,’ but it’s never quite enough. May I be grateful for all the time I had. “I loved my car, also but I can be grateful for the chance for upgrades.” I suppose I should be saving some of these sermon notes that clearly hail fromContinue reading “from Rachel: **Gratitude”

from Rachel: False Accusations

Can you think of a time when you were falsely accused of something? “Yes and no (Something I totally didn’t do, only by Jokun, doing on purpose with hurtful motives, something I did carelessly, lots of times)” What was the outcome? “(hiccup cured) With Sally we would eventually reconcile, the one time with Suzy, itContinue reading “from Rachel: False Accusations”

from Rachel: Lacking Nothing

“‘The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.’ Psalm 23:1 (most accurate translation for the Hebrew phrase) “Surviving attempted takeovers by the enemy: Colossians 2:8 ‘See to it that no one takes you captive.’ [We have an] active responsibility to protect ourselves. “Who is the authority in my life?” Is it My Life in theContinue reading “from Rachel: Lacking Nothing”

from Rachel: Sermon Notes

“Some of us live like we have no control over our time and our schedules.” Psalm 90 – “Written by Moses – prince – shepherd – spokesperson/prophet – leader of people” Our time is “limited”, therefore we need to “limit” what we do with our time “‘From everlasting to everlasting, You are God’ (90:26)” “‘TeachContinue reading “from Rachel: Sermon Notes”

from Rachel: Soul Memoirs

(Note: Honey, this post is taken verbatim from a file found on one of your computers the other day. The file itself dates from October 2011, as you were intent on putting together an explanation of your faith journey in order to reach out to your parents, whose spiritual position you were beginning to haveContinue reading “from Rachel: Soul Memoirs”

from Rachel: Ministering to Other Mothers

Think of a time when God hinted that He desired to use you in His kingdom purposes. Describe what He laid on your heart. “I can think of several. Every ministry I’ve been involved in has a moment like that. Generally I say ‘Yes!’, occasionally ‘No!’ “One slightly different one that comes to mind wasContinue reading “from Rachel: Ministering to Other Mothers”

from Rachel: The Importance of Loving Parents

Would you describe yourself as having been filled with the knowledge of God’s love for you? Why or why not? “Yes, I’m sure largely this is easier for me than for some because I grew up with parents who were so grateful to have me and so proud of me and so open about howContinue reading “from Rachel: The Importance of Loving Parents”

Jan Would Like A Word

Dearest Rachel – I think I may have mentioned it to you previously, but today’s work on the laundry room – and your closet – have reminded me to remind you that you may need to prepare yourself for when Jan gets up to see you someday. It seems she would like to talk toContinue reading “Jan Would Like A Word”

from Rachel: A Meditation on Psalm 77

I will remember my song in the night;I will meditate with my heart,And my spirit ponders: I will remember the deeds of the Lord;I will certainly remember Your wonders of old.I will meditate on all Your work,And on Your deeds with thanksgiving. Psalm 77:6,11,12, New American Standard Bible (NASB) (v.6 “I will remember my song in the night”) What song will you rememberContinue reading “from Rachel: A Meditation on Psalm 77”

from Rachel: Spiritual Birthday

“I did so (eleven) years before my biggest sin. I know He forgave my past, present and future sins when I asked Jesus to come into me heart April 22, 1984.” “Thank You God for loving me. Thank You for always making me feel like the apple of Your eye – special and precious. ThankContinue reading “from Rachel: Spiritual Birthday”

from Rachel: Fact/Fate/Faith Labels

My fact label: I am a “brain surgery survivor” My fate label: I am “scarred, vision-impaired, weaker in both body and mind” My faith label: I am “healed, restored, blessed, protected, loved” My fact label bolsters my faith. “I would like to think I loved God and valued and appreciated life sufficiently for my firstContinue reading “from Rachel: Fact/Fate/Faith Labels”

from Rachel: A Different Perspective

How can you add God’ truth to your truth today? “This to do list is too long. But God is able to give me maximum efficiency if I’ll let Him and be willing to let do” (let go?) “of some items.” “I beg to differ” about circumstances being too much for Him. “Perhaps [they are]Continue reading “from Rachel: A Different Perspective”

from Rachel: Psalm 19:13

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I really wish I knew the context behind some of the notes you left behind for me to find – although that is surely not what you intended. Honestly, you seem to have kept a lot of secrets about yourself – things written down for nobody’s eyes butContinue reading “from Rachel: Psalm 19:13”

from Rachel: Absolution

Dearest Rachel – Normally, I would put one of your notes up on Sunday morning, as they mostly come from sermon notes and bible studies. But upon discovering this barely half an hour before Jan was to arrive this morning, I had to include it here and now: It’s as if, after the awful up-and-downContinue reading “from Rachel: Absolution”

from Rachel: Morning Prayer

Dearest Rachel – While going through the stuff in the laundry room outside our bedroom, I found this post-it note attached to the corner of the mirror. It was a bit out of my line of site, but you must have had it there by the sink to remind you to offer this prayer asContinue reading “from Rachel: Morning Prayer”

from Rachel: Psalm 121

“(1) I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? (2) My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. “(3) He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. “(4) Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. “(5) The LordContinue reading “from Rachel: Psalm 121”

from Rachel: On the Wisdom of Solomon

“A metaphorical thought about Solomon and his wisdom, inspired by Ecclesiastes 2:3 and 9 I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven duringContinue reading “from Rachel: On the Wisdom of Solomon”