Summer 2012 Bible Study Suggestions

How are my flourishing friends doing? Summer is just around the corner and that means it’s time to make summer Bible study plans! So here’s a list of my recommendations of some great Bible studies that will keep you in the word throughout the summer months.

My hope is that you will gather together a group of friends, neighbors, family or co-workers and study together this summer. We’ll use the Bible study blog site at blog.punkytolson.org to keep one another updated and share what we’ve been learning through our summer studies.

So, get your group together, choose one of the 4 studies below, or one of your own choosing. Then sign in on the blog to let us know you’re in, what you’re studying and with whom… and keep us posted on your summer adventures!

Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy – Kelly Minter
Ruth’s journey of unbearable loss, redeeming love, and divine legacy comes alive in Kelly Minter’s Ruth – the second study in the Living Room Series. This 6-week Bible study delves into the noble character of Ruth, her unique relationship with her mother in-law Naomi, and her blossoming love with Boaz. If you’ve ever been devastated by loss, struggled as a stranger, longed to be loved, or wept along the way, you’ll find a place with Ruth.

Workbook – $12.95 at Christian bookstores or http://kellyminter.com/store

Expecting to See Jesus – Anne Graham Lotz
The expanded edition of I Saw The LORD – is the result of Anne’s life lived in the hope of Jesus’ return. She has included a special video from the Mount of Olives in the Leader Kit, and new material in the book, to help you discover why we need to live in expectancy of seeing Jesus at any moment, until our faith becomes sight.

DVD Bible Study Leader Kit – $20.00; Participants Guide – $9.00; Paperback book (w/ study questions) – $12.00

At Christian bookstores or http://www.annegrahamlotz.com

Brave: Honest Questions Women Ask – Angela Thomas
This Bible study for women looks at the heart of what women are thinking and feeling. Angela speaks to participants about deep feelings that all women have at one time or another. She looks boldly at some of the fears and struggles of being a woman, and she helps us see how we can be brave in the face of those challenges. It takes a brave woman to ask these questions and dig into these topics alongside other believers. We’ve all got insecurities, flaws, and struggles that we’re afraid to address. But if we can be brave enough to raise the questions, God will answer us. You’ve got questions. God’s got answers. Be brave. Ask.

6 weeks of study, 5 days a week. 2 DVD’s with 7 Group Sessions. Video/audio resources can be downloaded online at LifeWay.com or purchased at Christian bookstores.

Based on the book: Do You Know Who I Am?

Nehemiah: A heart that can break – Kelly Minter
Nehemiah had to have a heart that could break so he could restore a wall that was broken. In this 7 session Bible study for women, Nehemiah’s heart for the oppressed, suffering and poor is a beacon whose light shines on the current call of the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus. This study also addresses teamwork, integrity, generosity, truth in culture, God’s compassion, and much more. Nehemiah also includes 7 video sessions and compelling interviews that will help you put feet to your faith (see DVD kit). Discover what God has put in your heart to do through the study of His Word, and let God break your heart for the lost and hurting, because a breaking heart is often what God uses to restore the broken.

Video resources can be purchased at Christian bookstores or downloaded online at http://kellyminter.com -or at http://www.lifeway.com

OK, sisters, let me know what you’ll be studying this summer and let’s be sure and stay connected (this will keep us from missing one another so much)! Can’t wait to hear from you!!

Love you like crazy… and so does Jesus!!

Seasons Change

There is an opportune time to do things,
a right time and season for everything on the earth:
A right time to plant and another to reap~
A right time to embrace and another to part~
A right time to hold on and another to let go…

Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 selected, The Message

My sweet sisters at The Well ~

Over the past year 18 months I have sought the Lord’s specific direction concerning some things He’s put on my heart. Not only do these things pertain to me personally, but more importantly they pertain to our precious Women at the Well Bible study as well. After talking and crying this through with the Lord for the past several months, and in talking and praying this through with John, I believe I have more clarity than I’ve ever had before- as much clarity as the Lord is giving me for the path in front of me right now. Therefore, with the end of this W@W Bible study semester I will begin a sabbatical from teaching weekly Bible study in order to do more writing, to complete some projects I’ve already begun, and to develop some things the Lord has directed me to. I will share with you in more detail what some of these things are because you are a tremendous part of my life and the inspiration for what the Lord has led me to do.

Most of you were in W@W in 2006 when we met at Carol Seay’s home.  During one semester I taught an in-depth study of John 4:1-42, Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well.  It was a blessed and powerful time in the life of our group and it was evident that the Holy Spirit was moving in and through us in new and big ways.  In 2008 I actually wrote an 8-week study that was “published” for Crossroads Women’s Bible Study at Trinity Christian Academy. I fully intended to further develop that study and have it formally published, but then 2009 came with the adventures in breast cancer and, well, the Lord put that project on hold temporarily. Now He’s taken it off hold and is pressing me to “finish the work”. The inspiration for this study was and is each one of you… the amazing disciples of Jesus Christ who make up our W@W Bible study group; those women who’ve ventured in and out of our study and those who’ve hung in there for eight years; women who are holding fast to Jesus and living real life with Him on a daily basis.  I’m so proud of you and how you’ve let Jesus shape and mold you into the women He’s created you to be.  I’m honored to know you, to serve you, to serve with you, and grow together in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Oh, how we love Him!!

My goal is to complete this work by this year’s end and then to beta test it with a pilot group of W@W sisters in late spring of 2013.  I’m so excited about that becoming a reality with you all! In the meantime I will solicit some of you to read through what I’ve written to make sure that it makes sense to you and speaks to you. And above all, I want to unapologetically beg your prayer covering over this study as I write. I have no idea what will come of it, but I know that the Lord is saying, “Just do it and I’ll tell you what to do after you’re finished.”

You all know how much I love the Lord and His Word and it’s my deepest desire that each of us continue in our pursuit of Him.  You’ve come so far… do not stop now, sisters!  Press on to know and love the Lord more and more every day!  Stay in His Word.  Hide it in your heart. Deepen your love relationship with Him and worship your King!  You’ve been trained and equipped over these eight years of Bible study.  Not only have you been taught the Word of God but you’ve been taught how to study the Word of God for yourself. You’ve been encouraged to make disciples by intentionally investing in other women all that you’ve heard and learned and witnessed.  A tremendous amount of God’s Word has been implanted in you (James 1:21).  It’s been sown into the soil of your heart and life, and now it’s time to reproduce that.  You’re more than ready!  You can do this!  Go on and raise up some spiritual young’uns… take a gal or two under your wing and help them to grow up in the way of Jesus.  There’s a battle going on and there are plenty of harassed and helpless sheep out there who are in desperate need of some spiritual shepherding (Matthew 9:36-38).  Get yourself a gal or two and love on them for Jesus sake!

Seasons change… they have to.  Think of how dang boring and hot it would be if it were summer in Texas all the time.  Right?  I’m not at all thinking that this is the end of Women at the Well Bible study…are you kidding me?  But the season is changing and with it the way we proceed in studying together in the future.

The Lord is also leading me to do more writing in regard to my own journey with Him, as well as in developing “life theme” Scripture messages that I believe He’s given me to expand and resource out through conferences and various speaking engagements.  Again- not exactly sure where this is headed, but I’m stepping into obedience (It’s not a particularly comfortable spot for me, but neither is “time out” for disobedience.  I’ll take the obedience track). These messages and lessons will always be filtered first through our Women at the Well group.  They may be in a 3-week, 4-week, 6-week or 8-week format, but they will not be heard anywhere until they are heard first by YOU!

That’s it for now.  I wanted to share this with those of you who have journeyed with me and walked so closely with me over the past eight years- not only to inform you, but to ask for your “partnership” in prayer and participation. I have no idea what this next year will hold, but I do know that if I don’t step out and do this now… I may miss opportunities to glorify God in ways I’ve been too afraid to attempt in the past.  Soooo many of you have been praying for me and trying to tell me to take this path over the past years.  Well… here we go, and I do mean WE.  Let’s stay connected through our blog and our W@W Bible study web page, and various social media (ugg, did I really type that) sources.  Let’s continue to encourage one another, to spur one another on and to worship the Lord together in our life for Him.  He is so worth everything!

I will have some thoughts and suggestions for Bible study options this summer and fall and will announce that tomorrow night at W@W.  I’ll also email that information out to you in the next week.  I’m counting on each of you to step up and get after the good work of making disciples for Jesus Christ.  Out of your heart of love for the Lord, serve Him.  Duty becomes delight when our priority love is Him!

It’s time! It’s time for you all and it’s time for me to flourishspread your wings and fly!  Just think how much fun it will be when we do gather together again and share stories of how the Lord has worked in and through us.  Remember our sister at the well, “…many believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony…” (John 4:39).  Your testimony is the most powerful message you can communicate (Revelation 12:11).  Tell your story, the story of what Jesus has done for  you and the difference He’s made and is making in your very life.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and to hang in there with me.  I love each one of you dearly!! And each one of you are greatly and dearly loved by the King!

Press on to know and love Him more!!

 

“Oh, that we might know the LORD!  Let us press on to know Him.  He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:3