This week, for our James Bible Study, we get to do something very special for our “doing” activity. We have the opportunity to bless some very needy & deserving children within our inner city. Take a look below & bring what you can next Monday (March 5th).
Books & School Supplies Needed!
This coming week we will be supporting the work of Cathy Leoppky who teaches inner city kids at Faith Academy. She writes the following:
Faith Academy is a conservative Christian School whose focus is on children in the North End of the city of Winnipeg, with an ongoing commitment to enroll significant minority of poor and disadvantaged children. Faith Academy- Pritchard is partnered with Union Gospel Mission. The students that attend Pritchard are fully funded by Union Gospel Mission.
Here are a few things that I would really appreciate having donated to my classroom (Kindergarten / Grade 1)
Gently Used (or New):
- Games– Such as snakes and Ladders, Candyland, Connect 4 etc…
- Children’s Books– books to read to the students as well as books they can read. (I hope to do an author study on Mo Willems soon. He writes, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” etc…)
- School Supplies– Pencils, erasers, pencil crayons, pencil boxes, bins/baskets to hold books
- Puzzles– Approximately 20-30 pieces
Last night at the Women’s Bible Study we were challenged to turn our focus for the next two weeks (& beyond really) on our words. As we have learnt in James, the tongue is incredibly powerful & therefore, we must be careful how we “use it”. James 3: 9& 10 read:
“Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!” (NLT)
Perhaps there are certain situations or interactions with certain people that we have a harder time controlling our tongue. Think through some of these situations where you might choose to hold your tongue or how you might choose words of life rather than words of destruction. Consider those closest to you – your parents, your husband, your kids, your room-mate, your co-worker, etc. Be more intentional, not habitual.
Another suggestion is to give yourself a physical reminder to “choose your words wisely”. A note or verse on your mirror, computer, lipstick or lipgloss, a smiley face on your fridge or car dash… whatever might help you to be more diligent in “taming the tongue”.
“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Psalm 19:14 (NLT)
Also – just a reminder that we are NOT meeting this coming Monday, February 20th, but will resume Monday, February 27th @ 7:30pm.
For those of you participating in our women’s evening bible study on James, I am so encouraged by your presence. I know how hard it is to sometimes carve time out of our busy schedules. I realized this week that it may be helpful to do a quick post each week on our “doing” activity. Laurel challenged us this week to:
Week 4: Find a way to build up & encourage someone around our Bible Study table. Write a note, send an email, call…
However you carry this activity out is up to you, but we want to encourage you to “lift up one’s face” this week. What a powerful image Beth shared with us last night on “lifting up one’s face”.
If you missed out on some of the previous “doing” activities, you’re never too late. Here they are in case you would like to still carry them out:
Week 1: To actively show Christ’s love to those around us by bringing items for Winnipeg Harvest. (Please note: we have already brought our donations to Wpg Harvest, but please feel free to drop them off there yourself or at any of the drop off locations they may have.)
Week 2: Encourage one of your pastor’s or leaders. Perhaps with a note of encouragement, a meal, etc…
Week 3: Reach out to someone around you who is facing difficult circumstances, discouragement, loneliness, or simply someone who could use help – a neighbor, a new Mom, an elderly friend – let’s be a practical help to someone around us.
Jesus said in John 13:34, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.”
May you serve one another out of this great love!
Although we tend to shy away from that word & often don’t like to be identified as “religious”, I have been made to consider today, after doing my “James” bible study homework, that like it or not, we technically are religious.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines religious as relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity. How do you reveal your devotion to God? Or in other words, how do you visibly show your love for God?
Matthew 22:37-39 tells us “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first & greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (NLT) We could get into a whole other topic about defining who your “neighbor” is, but for now, let us keep it simply as anyone beyond yourself. How are you “loving your neighbor”?
James 1:27 says that “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (NLT) From the words of my “Life Application New Testament Commentary”: “Like Jesus, James explains religion in terms of a vital inner faith that acts itself out in daily life. Our conduct must be in keeping with our faith.” During the time that James wrote this epistle, the orphans & widows were most noted for their powerless position & were the obvious “poor”. Today, we still have those who are dependent upon the care of others. God places quite an emphasis on the poor throughout the Bible. Beth Moore challenges us by saying, “We are called to tend to the poor, but adjust your lens and see what specific opportunities make your heart jump…or maybe sink. Let’s muster the courage to ask Him to show us who to help and how. True religion is all hands on deck and all heads out of the sand.”
So how about you? Where is God stirring up your passion? Are you ready to be religious?