Announcing our NEW 2014 Advent Study ~ {The Road to Christmas}!!

10698_835809636458648_4918780749353760401_n

You’ve been asking, and we’ve been listening! We can’t think of a better way to prepare our hearts for the season than this: our brand NEW Love God Greatly Advent Online Bible study, set to begin December 1!! 

God’s plan sometimes takes generations to be revealed. He works in the humility of our brokenness and through the celebrations of our joy to gently weave his story. Christmas is one of those times! There are several women in Jesus’ family tree. They are normal women. Broken women. Women willing to allow God room to work in their lives. And through their stories we can see the themes of God’s redemption, grace, and salvation. We hope you’ll join us on {The Road to Christmas} as we take a look at the lives of these women!

We know you need something do-able, so we’re keeping it simple around here… 

    • Commit to just four 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 on the blog for Weekly Reading Plans, Memory Verses, Challenges, encouragement and more!
    • Like always, our materials are {FREE} when you subscribe to the Love God Greatly 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. *{The Road to Christmas} study files will become available next week!
    • We encourage you to follow LGG on Pinterest, where we’ll pin some fun and inspirational ideas for Advent/Christmas for you, as well as related activities for kids!

*We know that December can be an overwhelming month, so we’ve designed {The Road to Christmas} to be easily workable into your busy holiday schedule. This round, there will be passages to study on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, plus optional readings to enrich your study on other days.

Grab your friends, sisters, moms, daughters, grandmas, aunts, church groups {you get the picture!}… and save the date! Trust me, you won’t want to miss THIS!!

At His feet,

Christmas 2015 FB Ad2

Living gratitude in the midst of your imperfect story…

Wheat field over cloudy skyIt’s no secret that I love a good story.

I love to read them, and I love to write them. Nothing captivates me more than something that’s real-life, up close and personal. Throw in a great visual and it’s golden.

Stories have the power to move us and teach us. They open our hearts, expose our feelings and help us to sort through our own convictions. And good stories often help us come to terms with our doubts and frailties, moving us forward to a place of confidence and action.

The world and our pride tell us to put on a good story front. To show our best sides in front of our friends. To post our most flattering pictures on social media. To portray as much order and beauty as possible so that our stories will look and sound good. So that we will look good.

But have you noticed what stories go viral on the internet?

I’m here to tell you that it’s not usually the neatly packaged life. More often than not, it’s the words and videos that are raw and real; the ones that speak of hope in hard times, love that overcomes trial, right that wins over wrong, and gratitude in the redemption of it all. You can think of one right now, can’t you?

Why is this?

I believe it’s because we’re wired to long for a redemption story.

The Bible is just that – from beginning to end – one long story that takes us through this incredible journey of ups and downs, rebellion and heartbreak until hope and sacrifice and redemption finally win. How glorious that the imperfection of the needy leads to gratitude for the provision of a perfect Savior.

gratitude post

The greatest story ever told.

Since gratitude is our focus, and since Jesus is the lasting Source of our gratitude, it follows that if you’ve been rescued, you too have an important story to tell.

“I can’t tell my story,” you say.

It’s too messy.

Too imperfect.

Too incomplete.

Too unresolved.

Too hard.

Too {fill in the blank}…

But wait.

Remember, the best stories aren’t the perfect ones. Listen, no one can relate with those anyway. The best stories are centered on the hope and gratitude we live out in the midst of our imperfect stories, because all of the glory is shifted away from us and back onto the real hero of our story… our perfect Savior. 

If we actually lived out this kind of consistent, genuine gratitude in the middle of our imperfect mess… it might just go viral.

A woman who is confident and content in who she is in Christ overflows with gratitude even in the midst of her less than perfect story, allowing God’s beautiful story of redemption to continue to shine through her to the next generation.

He’s given each of us a story.

It’s up to us to decide what we’ll do with it. Won’t you elevate the name of Jesus by living gratitude in the midst of your imperfect story today?

At His feet,

LET’S TALK: Do you struggle to live out gratitude because you’re caught up in the imperfect? How can we pray for you today? Let’s encourage one another in the comment section below!

The TRUE Source of Gratitude {Don’t miss the beauty}…

Wheat field over cloudy sky

There’s a stretch of interstate that’s my favorite this time of year.

It’s a route we take often – the one with the gentle curve and the slightest incline that leads with nature’s gradual crescendo – and just as we round the last turn, the trees explode with the changing of the seasons. Reds, yellows, and fire-orange, just screaming His name in layer after layer of colorful hues.

“Don’t miss the beauty,” I tell them.

Those rowdy boys in back are too deep into loud talking and rock-paper-scissors to be bothered, but that spunky girl always finds a way to make sure they’re listening. “Boys!”

“Look up! Don’t miss the beauty…”

There’s a fine line between encourager and boss. Lord, channel that girl. Their eyes connect with mine in the rearview mirror, and we talk about how God gives us glimpses of His beauty at just the right time. Glimpses that remind us that He’s here and He’s good and He’s the giver and sustainer of all.

 “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts…”

Gratitude1

Crisp, fallen leaves crunch under our tires as we pull into the driveway. What was beauty just five minutes before is now a reminder of the work that has to be finished before winter comes. That, plus there are groceries to unload and a million and one things to do inside; and on a time crunch at that – our house would be filled with guests soon. No longer a captive admirer of the gentle curves and inclines of the road, I’m now a mom on a mission.

While I rehearse my to-do list in my head, that girl of mine makes her way up the front walk… sorting leaves into their fall color categories, noting the character and beauty of each along the way. That’s how imaginative six year olds do life, you know.

Head down and up to my ears in produce, I hear her call out to me,

Look up, Mom. Don’t miss the beauty!”

And just five minutes off of that gratitude-filled interstate, I tell her to move that rock off to the side to where she found it before I stumble over it on my way to accomplish the urgent.

“They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works…”

Gratitude2

“But it’s so they know, Mom,” her voice clearly frustrated, yet sincere.

“So who knows? So they know what?”

“So they know that we love Him.”  Who? All who were set to enter through the doors of our home that night.

That old rock – sloppily painted with chubby hands at Vacation Bible School and weathered by years of season changes – had suddenly become the message of her heart. Smack in the middle so you couldn’t miss it: JESUS… the Source of her gratitude. While I had spiraled into worry over cooking times and floors that desperately needed attention, she had continued in worship. While my head looked down to the tasks that seemed so urgent, her eyes looked up to the provision of a Savior.

And she didn’t miss the beauty.

Gratitude3-a

The beauty that gratitude isn’t something that we practice only when it’s comfortable. But that He’s worthy of all that we are, in every season, because He is good.

The beauty that Jesus isn’t someone that we place to the side when we have better things to do. But that He’s before all things and in all things and holds us together moment by moment, because He gives great grace.

The beauty that Jesus isn’t only found once a week through heavy doors in a padded pew. But that He’s found in the colors and the leaves and in the very rocks that cry out His name.

Oh friend, do you see Him?

Look up!

Don’t miss the beauty of who Jesus is and what He’s done for you today.

Then display Him front and center, so that others might come to know the true, lasting Source of Gratitude because of the Beauty that lives in you.

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.

He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness,

and light dwells with him. “

~ Daniel 2:20-22

 At His feet,

*LET’S TALK: What beauty can you stop and thank God for today? I’d love to hear your heart in the comment section below!

{Week 1} Challenge: “Every day this week, set your alarm thirty minutes earlier than your normal wake-up time. Purposely use this time to: 1. MEDITATE on God’s wonderful works (Psalm 145:5), 2. PRAISE God for what He has done (Psalm 145:1), then ask Him to give you opportunities to 3. TELL of His power (Psalm 145:6) in your interactions with others this week.”

W1 Challenge

{Week 1} Reading Plan:
Reading Plan Image W1

{Week 1} Memory Verse:

Week 1 Memory Verse

{The Source of Gratitude} Translations Now Available!!

Wheat field over cloudy sky

One of our greatest joys at Love God Greatly is to connect with women from all over the world {ah, internet, you are a beautiful thing!}. And my, oh my, has God done some major connecting!

Did you know that Love God Greatly Online Bible Studies are in over seventy countries worldwide?

You read that right… SEVENTY.

We’re humbled and in awe of what God has done (only God!), and… we’re blessed beyond measure by a handful of incredible women who are helping to make this reach possible through their translations of our Bible study materials.

Angela and I Skyped several of our LGG translators recently, and let me just tell you, there is so much heart and hunger for God’s Word behind each one of these precious translations. These women had us laughing one minute – then praising God through tears of joy the next – as we listened to them share about their passion for God, His Word, and for the women they serve.  And that’s just scratching the surface; they represent countries full of amazing women just bursting at the seams to know God more through His Word!

{sigh}… Thanks, God.

So here we are, and my heart is full once again (didn’t I just say that last week?!).  It’s honestly more than full… it’s OVERFLOWING with praise and gratitude to God for the many doors HE has opened for us here at Love God Greatly  yet another session!!!  I humbly come before you today to announce that {The Source of Gratitude} study documents will be offered in TEN additional languages:

Afrikaans.

Czech.*

Dutch.

French.

German.*

Hungarian.*

Italian.*

Malagasy.

Russian.

Spanish.

*Coming SOON!! Please check back as links will be activated when they become available!

Wow.  It’s almost too much to take in!!  When I think about women literally all.over.the.world. coming together as sisters in Christ, passionately seeking to know God more through His Word, I feel like I get a little glimpse of heaven.  A huge THANK YOU to the incredible women who have made these translations possible.  MUCH prayer, time, effort and sacrifice has gone into their labors of love, so that even MORE women are reached, inspired and encouraged by the LGG community, and most importantly, by studying the truth of God’s Word together!

Can you – or someone you know – benefit from {FREE} resources for {The Source of Gratitude} study in one of the languages listed above? Simply click on the link below to access {The Source of Gratitude} Reading Plans and Study Guides for the TEN translations offered this session:

http://www.lovegodgreatly.com/source-gratitude-translations/

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”

~ 1 Chronicles 16:23-24

 

Oh God, may Your glory fill the whole earth!

At His feet,

THERE’S STILL TIME to join us for our Fall Online Bible Study on {The Source of Gratitude}, but don’t wait long… our study starts on MONDAY! Grab some friends, and let’s do this! It wouldn’t be the same without YOU!!

485546_10205200236390831_745714988187267798_n

 

Thank you, and our {FREE PRINTABLE} gift for you!

Oh girls,

Our hearts are just plain full tonight.

These last eight weeks spent with YOU in the book of {Esther} have been nothing short of incredible.  It’s safe to say that we’ve laughed and cried with you, and just like you, we got honest with the work God needed to do in our hearts.  We’ve hung on every word of your stories celebrating victories and breakthroughs, and we’ve praised God again and again for revealing Himself throughout each chapter and verse. As we come to the end of our Love God Greatly {Esther Study}, we can taste God’s providence fresh and anew, and we pray that you can too.

So, thank you.

Thanks for your commitment to reading God’s Word with us, and for being vulnerable in the process.

Thanks to the hundreds of LGG Facilitators who led with such commitment and loving care.

And thanks be to our great God, who has faithfully and tenderly led us all the way.

As our way of saying “thank you,” we’ve created this {FREE PRINTABLE} for YOU!!

Let these words from Esther 4:14 be a reminder that you are a woman deeply loved by God, made for a purpose.

FREE Printable Bible Verse - Esther 4:14. "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? " #LoveGodGreatly #FreePrintable

*Thanks to Sunu from clothedinscarlet.org for creating our {FREE PRINTABLE}!!

Click here to download the free printable { PDF Version}

Click here to download the free printable { JPEG Version}

*LET’S TALK: How has God used the LGG {Esther} study in YOUR life? Did any specific chapter or lesson stand out to you? What will you take away from this study and apply to your daily life? Let’s celebrate what God has done in the comments below!!

At His feet,

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, and 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 works… the most important thing is getting into God’s Word!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Hide me
Sign up below to receive free study materials!
Enter your email address:
Show me