{The Road to Christmas}- Materials Available TODAY!

**IMPORTANT UPDATE on {The Road to Christmas} study materials…**

Thank you SO much for your sweet patience as we work through a slight technical issue with {The Road to Christmas} – Study Guide link. GREAT news… we think we’ve remedied the issue – woohoo! :) LoveGodGreatly.com subscribers, look for a NEW email in your inbox on Tuesday (tomorrow) morning, where you’ll find the updated links! Aahhh… we’re so thankful for YOU – such amazing women – who are just as excited about this study as we are! Counting down to Monday with you!

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Oh friends!

We are one week away from our upcoming Christmas study- The Road to Christmas and we couldn’t be more excited!

Our study for the next 4 weeks will be a little lighter than normal with readings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For those of you who are wanting a little more, no worries, we have optional readings on Tuesday and Thursday just for you!!

Now is a great time to print off the {FREE} materials provided to you for this study! When you subscribe to our blog (and don’t forget to confirm your subscription!), you will receive an email in your inbox each time a new post is submitted here on the blog.  Scroll down to the very bottom of those emails, and you will find the links to the {The Road to Christmas} Study Guide and Reading Plan.  The Study Guide – in journal format – is a wonderful, interactive way to record what God is teaching you throughout the study. If you’ve already subscribed in a previous study, you’re good to go! 

Make sure to look for this image at the bottom of your email, our free files will be listed right after it:
Christmas 2015 Download Files Here

Take time to print out our materials and share a picture of them with us by using the #LoveGodGreatly hashtag on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! We’ll share some of your pictures on Sunday! Can’t wait to see them!

Invite some friends to join you this Christmas and let’s dig into God’s Word together!

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Good Morning Girls

 

 

 

Christmas 2015 FB Ad2

 

 

Wearing Your “Sunday Best”…

Wheat field over cloudy sky

So I had one of those crazy Sunday mornings yesterday. The kind that involves struggling to dress three girls with tights that don’t have any runs in them, finding matching dress shoes for each and bows for their hair… Oh my goodness, who am I kidding! As I ran around my house like a modern day archeologist digging into drawers of multicolored tights and socks, looking through rooms and closets for two dress shoes that match. I heard that old familiar voice in my head say, “You know, if you had only laid out everything the night before…” Yeah, I know! And honestly, I do that most of the time. But man, I was tired Saturday night and after baths, books and bedtime… I was exhausted. I was done… ready to call it a day.

So I found myself on Sunday arriving to church late and having to walk the “walk of shame” (those of you with younger children hopefully know what I’m talking about… not that I’m hoping you’re late to church like me, but you know what I mean!) as I dropped off all three of my girls late to their Sunday school classes.

Why were we late? Because I was concerned with how my girls were “clothed” for church.

After a stressful and rushed Sunday morning, I came home let my girls play and sat down to write today’s blog post and I read these words:

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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

Ohhh dear Lord, thank you for this gentle reminder. Forgive me for placing more importance on how I clothe my children on the outside rather than the inside.

Oh how I want to teach my daughters about what truly matters in life… I so needed this reminder. Maybe you did too?

As daughters to the King of kings, who are chosen, holy, and did I mention DEARLY LOVED… this is how we are to clothe ourselves.
With:
Compassion
Kindness
Humility
Gentleness
Patience

Last week we spent time looking at Who God is and What He has done. What a great time it was just to stop and slow down before the craziness of our holiday season comes upon us.

And so this week we come to our response to who God is and what He has done.

Our response to our Lord is to live as women clothed in this manner! And you know the great thing about “dressing” this way? These garments never go out of style!

So my challenge this week is to intentionally display compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience as we go about our days, interacting with the people God has placed in our lives.

I know it is hard to display all these characteristics! None of them come naturally to any of us. But when we focus on our gratitude to God and what He has already done, our love for Him compels us to extend that same love to others.

This week, instead of spending so much time and attention on what we wear (or what our children wear) on the outside, let’s spend time in prayer thanking God for what He has already done and ask Him to work in our lives to clothe us with:

Compassion… as we kiss the thousandth booboo for the day.

Kindness… as we look at the needs of others around us and decide to act and meet a need. Maybe even extend some kindness to ourselves…

Humility… as we praise another instead of seeking the praise.

Gentleness… as we choose to respond gently instead of “telling it like it is”…

Patience… as we realize we are all a work in progress. We are all broken and striving to be more and more like Christ each day… but none of us will be fully mature and complete until we see Jesus face to face. Until then, we are all growing in the faith. Let’s be patient with each other in the process.

As I look at this list, my heart overflows with love for God and a desire to wear these garments everyday in gratitude to the One who has done so much for me. But if I’m completely honest with you, I struggle everyday and that scares me. You see, I’m in the process of raising three girls to love God with all their hearts, minds and souls… oh how I want to teach them what it looks like to be a woman who clothes herself with these garments.

And you know the amazing truth in all of this? From the richest to the poorest, EVERYONE can clothe themselves with these amazing, beautiful garments!

So next time I have another crazy Sunday “rush to get to church” morning, I’m going to go back to this verse, take a deep breath, slow down, and make sure I put on these “garments” first for my girls to see…

Because it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters…. and seriously, who has time for matching bows anyway?

 

Love God Greatly!

Angela- Good Morning Girls

 

 

 

 

{Week Two} Challenge:

W2 Challenge

{Week Two} Memory Verse:

MV2

{Week Two} Reading Plan:

Reading Plan Image W2

 

Source of Gratitude study files now available!

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In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give,
and life cannot be rich without such gratitude.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Oh friends,
We are so excited to release our new Source of Gratitude study files with you today!
As the upcoming holiday season approaches, we know that life can get a little crazy. We can’t think of a better time to make it a priority to stay in God’s Word, and focus on the source of gratitude!!
We know you need something do-able, so we’re keeping it simple around here.

• Commit to just two weeks, and we’ll provide a simple Reading Plan and Study Guide…all of the work is done for you!

No need to enroll for this short study… simply join us every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for our blog posts, challenges, encouragement and more!

Like always, our materials are {FREE} when you subscribe to the LGG blog. If you’ve already subscribed in a previous study, you’re good to go! You’ll find the links to our study materials at the bottom of each email you receive with each published blog post.

Looking to do something with your kids? We encourage you to follow LGG on Pinterest, where we’ll pin some fun and inspirational ideas for Thanksgiving-related activities for your kids!

• Have you been meaning to share LoveGodGreatly with a friend? Our upcoming Thanksgiving study is the PERFECT time to invite someone to check out what LoveGodGreatly is all about!

• You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

“I have learned that in every circumstance that comes my way, I can choose to respond in one of two ways: I can whine or I can worship! And I can’t worship without giving thanks. It just isn’t possible. When we choose the pathway of worship and giving thanks, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances, there is a fragrance, a radiance, that issues forth out of our lives to bless the Lord and others.”
~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy

Oh friends, we pray that you’ll join us for this exciting study, with hearts set on gratitude, ready to worship the source of every good gift!

 

The Tables Were Turned…

But they did not lay hands on the plunder.” Esther 9:10. The Jews legally had the right to kill anyone and everyone who came against them and to plunder their goods. But just because they had the right to do something, didn’t mean it was the right action to take. So what is our reaction to those who plan to do us harm? Look to God and pray your heart out. Place your hurt, your pain, your heartbreak into His hands….and leave it there.

After months of waiting, the sun finally broke free from the night and the dreaded day arrived, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.

Yet God, in His amazing involvement in the story of Esther, had “turned the tables”.

Though Haman’s evil plan could not be stopped, the Jews were able to defend themselves from their enemy’s attacks.

The Jews went from possibly over-powered to having the upper hand.

Now they stood assembled…united.

Think for a second what the Jews must have went through as they waited months for this day to finally arrive. Each sunset drew them closer to their approaching doom. As days turned into months, the anti-Semitic mistreatment, which began first with Haman, had continued to grow day-by-day.

Sleepless nights became a norm and fear increased with each approaching sunrise.

But God turned the table on Haman’s evil plan and the Jews stood ready to defend themselves.

Armed with the new edict written by Mordecai, the Jews had a choice to make.Would they simply defend themselves, or would they retaliate?

The world tells us to fight back; “an eye for an eye” is the battle cry.

Yet the Jews choose to restrain themselves and use self-control instead.

“But they did not lay hands on the plunder.”

It was a right they could have taken.

The Jews had been given the same freedom to kill and plunder that their enemies had been given by Haman, yet they choose not to.

They defended themselves and their families from their enemies, but they stopped and did not venture into the land of revenge. Though they had the right, they did not plunder the property of their enemies.

What is our response suppose to be when God has “turned the tables” in our favor? Are we to retaliate the same way the world does? Are we to seek revenge?

Just because legally we can, doesn’t mean that morally we should.

That’s what we see in Esther 9:1-10.

The Jews legally had the right to kill anyone and everyone who came against them and to plunder their goods. But just because they had the right to do something, didn’t mean it was the right action to take.

So what is our reaction to those who plan to do us harm?

Look to God and pray your heart out.

Place your hurt, your pain, your heartbreak into His hands….and leave it there.

And when it all boils up in your heart, because it will….again and again, keep giving it to Jesus.

Trust Him.

Choose faith over your fear.

And remember, like in Esther, though you may not see God, He has not left you. God is at work in your life, He has a plan and a purpose and one day He will turn your sorrow into joy!

 

Love God Greatly!

angela

 

 

 

 

 

Our NEW upcoming study!   Join us for 'The Source of Gratitude,' from November 10th to November 21st!  LoveGodGreatly.com

Our NEW upcoming study!

When we think of thankfulness, we typically look to temporary things: our health, our family, the food on our table… All wonderful things to give thanks for! But the heart of gratitude should stem from a much deeper place…

Join us for ‘The Source of Gratitude,’ from November 10th to November 21st! During the first week of this study, we’ll take a closer look at who God is and what he has done. This will inspire us for the second week of our study, when we examine what our response should be.
Gratitude should permeate our lives each day of the year! When we glimpse of the greatness of God, our response of gratitude will follow.
We are so excited – we can’t wait for you to join us!

Please note that there will be no formal enrollment for this study. Groups are not available unless you are already in one, but we invite you to study along with us here on the blog…or grab some friends to form your own group and study together. Either way is fine, the most important thing is getting into God’s Word!

Week 8: From Hopeless to Hope Filled…

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Oh friends, we are winding down our study and what an amazing 8 weeks it has been! The study of Esther has spoken to me in ways I wasn’t expecting! Encouraging me, inspiring me and strengthening me as I look to my future and what lies ahead. I pray the Esther study has done the same for you!

(If you’re unable to see this video, you can view it here.)

Have you ever been in a situation or relationship that seemed hopeless? Maybe you’ve had someone in your life devise an evil plan to hurt you or those you love, and not even a ray of hope can be found in it?

Reading through Esther these past eight weeks and studying her marriage to King Xerxes, I would say the king lived his life detached from his wife, at best. Esther may have been an orphan girl turned queen, but her marriage to King Xerxes was no fairy tale.

He was a man who seemed to possibly have a drinking problem. Think back on how many events from our story center around banquets and wine.

He was a man who was easily angered. Who reacted first and thought later.

We know he was not a good judge of character. He surrounded himself with unwise counsel, whether it was Haman or his board of advisors. Need an example? Think back at the advice his men gave him when dealing with Queen Vashti.

If that wasn’t enough, it appears Queen Esther’s marriage to King Xerxes had cooled, since the king had gone 30 days without requesting to see her. Think about that for just a moment. 30 days without having any sort of contact with your husband… a woman could begin to feel as though she was forgotten, not needed… unloved.

To top it all off, Esther then has to muster enough courage to be the one who approaches her husband…to the point of risking her own life for her people, and at the encouragement of the only man who has truly loved her, her cousin and adopted father figure Mordecai.

I say all this just because my heart hurts for her.

As a woman.

As a wife.

She must have wondered at times if King Xerxes really was who she was supposed to be married to. Though her life looked glamorous from the outside, inside the palace walls it was far from a fairytale.

You can almost sense the heartache Esther was feeling in chapter 8 as she falls to her husband’s feet, weeping and pleading with him to stop the evil plan – which, may I remind you, he and his buddy Haman, “devised against the Jews.”

In his defense, the king seems almost shocked at his wife’s response to him. From his perspective, he had given her everything she wanted. Haman was dead and his estate was given to her, which she, in turn, gave to Mordecai. What more did she want?

But that wasn’t enough.

Because he really didn’t understand what she was truly after.

This wasn’t really about her… but about THEM.

Her people.

The king didn’t seem to comprehend the threat of disaster that was looming over Esther and her people, even after Haman was dead. The evil edict was still in place, and something needed to be done about it. It’s as though the light bulb goes off and King Xerxes finally sees the severity of the plan he and Haman put into action.

And then something happens: a ray of hope shines on the situation.

King Xerxes begins to understand the seriousness of the situation, and his heart turns toward his wife and her people.

What was once hopeless is no longer.

God is at work and deliverance is on the horizon.

Now instead of being divided on this issue, they are united.

Though the previous law cannot be stopped, King Xerxes gives Esther and Mordecai the power to write another edict, allowing the Jews to defend themselves on the day planned for their annihilation!

Have you ever been in a situation that seemed hopeless? If so, be encouraged today that God, in His timing, can change the situation. He brought hope and deliverance to Esther, Mordecai and all Jews living under King Xerxes’s reign! He did it then, and He can do it again!

What was once a hopeless situation can be changed to a hope filled situation when God works through His people!

Let’s Talk: Have you ever went through a situation in your life where you felt hopeless? If so, how did God work in your life to move you from hopeless to hope filled?

Love God Greatly!

angela

 

 

 

Week 8: Reading Plan

WK 8 Reading Plan

Week 8: Memory Verse

Esther week 8 memory verse

Week 8: Challenge

Weekly Challenge w8

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