coffee and Bibles

Okay friends, well Candace and I have entered the crazy hectic haze that is known as the 2 months leading up to Christmas!  You know what I am talking about - you dig your heels in, put on your running shoes, attach the coffee I.V., and prepare not to breath until after New Years - we are almost to the I.V.

However, that is not the point of this pretty post!  I have to tell you a story - I know right, it's so exciting!  So, a few months ago I volunteered to lead a small group in our home for our church, and this particular group is geared towards the female of our species.  This particular small group is one I am pretty excited about which is why I was a little sad when no one came.  Then Shelly Reid, our Small Group Coordinator Extraordinaire, shared with me that statistically the small group that is the most difficult to establish is one for single women.  How crazy is that?  Then, because I am a nerd, I googled some statistics about small groups and found that people in America in general have become less social, even stating that active membership is local clubs and organizations has decreased by almost HALF! That seems a little crazy to me, and believe me, I know the importance of time at home and just with your family!

So I say all of that to let you know that I really, really, really want you to come to our small group or to a similar small group in your area.  However, I know that you probably don't care about the statistics but about the story so here it goes...

I became a believer at a very young age (5ish), but I was never really discipled.  People in my church and my parents encouraged me to study the Bible and to live a godly lifestyle; however, I really didn't know where to start or what a godly lifestyle looked like.  I mean I tried having a "quiet time," but that didn't really work for me because once again, what the heck is a "quiet time?"

Things changed for me when I was in college at Jones County Junior College.  The wife of the director of the Baptist Student Union asked me and a few other girls if we would like to be involved with a girl's Bible study in her home.  I tried it out, and it completely revolutionized my world.  Oh, it was like she gave me a key that opened so many doors in my world.

She taught us a way to study the Bible - she used studies written by Kay Arthur, and by learning more about Christ through the studies, I did not find simple answers but a place to find answers and a method to gather answers.  I also learned that I dislike quiet times and benefit best from an "un-quiet time" as I study best when the television is on and music is playing, and I learned a study method that provided, predominantly, direction mixed with some valuable insights into Scripture.

I must tell you it changed my life.  And it was not just the studies - the community I found in that group of girls is still one of my fondest memories from my entire college experience.  We laughed and cried together, we supported and challenged each other, and we prayed together and for each other.  We lived life together - we knew things about each other that no one else knew.  There is something so precious about gathering in a home with a cup of coffee and opening up the Scripture with people who are experiencing some of the very same struggles and joys as you are or who have already walked that path and can offer priceless, godly advice.

This is my prayer for our small group - that we experience that balance of garnering knowledge of our God and gleaning the many benefits of living this life in community with other believers!  And along the way I hope we laugh, cry, pray, discuss, agree, disagree and drink lots of coffee!

I pray to see you in small group this Wednesday at 6:30 at our apartment!!!

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