I love the balance I have between Your Word and prayer after so many years of learning so many amazing things from Your Word while writing for the Bible Book Club. It was so worth it, but I like a slowing down of the mechanics involved with that so that I have more time, especially in the morning, for more focused prayer time.
Steve's sermons have gone right along with it, and yesterday he said that the average person spends 30 hours a week watching television, and I am not surprised. While I have not spent that kind of time, I realized that, while I had much time with You in the morning, my evenings were more spent in entertaining myself to unwind (not always TV but other forms of entertainment too). So, I devoted myself to an evening prayer time with You that has made such a difference. Steve cemented that decision by his simple sermon yesterday.
Then I found this simple "Core Value" Prayer study that is in the form of a DBS that I really want to "test run" with others. :)
I am also so grateful for what is going on with our Kingdom Community. We are truly developing community in the group, and I am so grateful!
Two big things helped to develop our community: 1) the exit of one person who was not like-minded with a very strong personality and 2) moving our corporate prayer time to the hour prior to our curriculum time rather than having it on a separate day. That difference has been huge as our hearts meet at the throne, prepared, before discussing what we learned and applied from Your Word that week, how we shared with others, and going over our homework.
It has been powerful. I also think it has been amazing to see one of the guys who had thought about dropping out come out of his shell. I think the dropping out of the person I mentioned in 1) above really helped as that person had a very extroverted and aggressive personality that overwhelmed this guy (and some others). I also think the remaining strong personalities in the group are feeling much safer with 1) not being there to "spar" with (making those of us who love harmony very uncomfortable) and the love and acceptance they are sensing from my wonderful husband. Consequently, they do not come across as domineering because they are more comfortable.
Safety in a group is so important, but it is hard to achieve. I do not know how we arrived at that safety though, but we recently arrived. I do think reading The Practice of the Presence of God and The Game with Minutes also helped us be more aware of God's presence in our group.
I also thinks it helps to have a new couple come who is very like-hearted and very much committed to the group process, loving the accountability involved. I love them! :) Well, I love everyone in this group. David said it best because this is his second time through the process, “I love the community, accountability, and lifestyle of living in the Kingdom that this group provides.” Thus the beauty of Kingdom living that our national leader has created. I so appreciate him, and it was so lovely to sit with him in Phoenix for a day (even though he was suffering from Malaria. :().
God, You are good. All the time You are good. Now, I am off to learn more about Jacob who wrestled with You. Silly boy, but there was hope for him! I feel like those strong, independent personalities in our group, like Jacob, have been tamed at the River Jabbok by the gentle touch of Your Spirit! Thank You for making it easy as we could never wrestle with them! Letting go and letting You do Your work has been nothing short of miraculous.
I can do nothing more than give You praise and glory and honor for what You are doing. Protect us from the enemy of our souls who would, indeed, try to destroy what You have wrought by Your Spirit. We humbly rely on You to "strengthen and protect us from the evil one" by "Your great power and Your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You."
The ringer is beeping, and I am sending.