How will you answer "the knock?"

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Throughout the year we seek moments with our neighbors to show God’s love and perhaps to invite them into our homes. We may have asked a neighbor several times to come over and they have never accepted. Yet for Halloween, many of these same neighbors will likely walk up to our doors and ring the bells. May we open our eyes to the possibilities…

“Love is the very nature of God, and as believers, we share His nature. That’s why love is so important. Our expression of love is evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. True love results in action.” Janice Mathers

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No More Excuses!

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By Judi L
Reposted with permission from Calvary Life Magazine

NBS2GO Blog | No ExcusesExcuses, excuses….I can’t do a Bible study with women in my neighborhood! I certainly can’t do one in Traverse City this summer! That’s my time to read all the books I can’t get to the rest of the year. I have company all the time. I only teach children! What if these women ask me something I don’t know? Most of the people come and go during the summer so they won’t be consistent.

I kept seeing the need and making more excuses. The simple truth was I didn’t want to give up my time in the summer. I had asked God repeatedly, “What should I do?” And I couldn’t shake the words I had told the children all year in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) that we were about to "GO TELL THE GOOD NEWS" But I didn't want to go and tell!

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"They threw me to the animals. No one wanted me."

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NBS2GO Blog | Caroline with BrianCaroline’s soft voice drew the crowd closer. With attentiveness that no one expected nor planned for, her authentic words of vulnerability accomplished what some speakers only dream of but never achieve.

For Caroline, her size and stature began her testimony before she uttered the first word.

At age 18, she reached her full height, 3’7”. From birth, it was discovered that she had a rare bone and joint condition that would classify her as a “little person”. She was born on 2/10 at 2:10pm. Her life verse is Ephesians 2:10, “For I am God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

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Ugly Fear – Beautiful FAITH!

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R eposted with permission from Calvary Life Magazine.

FEAR seems to be a common theme from those who have been sharing their experiences about their Neighborhood Bible study journey! “How will my neighbors respond when I invite them to come to my house for a Bible study? Will they think I’m weird, crazy, fanatical? What if don’t know how to answer their questions? WHAT IF NO ONE COMES?” On and on the doubts and fears go. Well, my experience has been no different! From the time two years ago when the vision was shared for us to go out into their neighborhoods, workplaces and families like streams in the desert, sharing the Living water, I knew that God wanted me to start a study in my neighborhood! BUT, all those fears I mentioned kept on rearing their ugly heads in my heart and mind!

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Am I Seeking God Only for Answers or for Who He Is?

I often wonder…. what if my desire to listen to God equaled His longing to speak personally with me? Listening prayer for me is simply being still in God’s presence, anticipating His voice, recording His words, impressions, or pictures, and then responding in love, faith and obedience to what He whispers. It’s amazing — I always receive exactly what my heart is longing for — sweet companionship, fresh encouragement, and specific guidance. I’m praying that this excerpt from my “Listening Journal” will encourage you to begin a practice of listening to God. –Debbie

I’m away at the Lake, seeking focused prayer time, while a bumble bee circles my head.  I hear God saying – “Bumble bees are like distractions. I have a Plexiglas fortress around you, that moves as you NBS2GO Fresh Blog | Busy Beemove.  Fear not the bumblebee’s distractions. They will not harm you – present but not potent.

Stressing out is not what you need to do. It expends energy and increases the intensity of the distraction.

See all distractions for what they are – move forward, don’t stop and pre-occupy yourself with them.

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My Visit with Chip and Joanna Gaines last week

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“If you are more fortunate than others, it is better to build a longer table than a taller fence.”

This past week I saw a new vision of this quote up close and personal through the lives of Chip and Joanna Gaines, America’s sweethearts of HGTV’s show, Fixer Upper. My sister, her daughter, and I visited the duo and their town, Waco, Texas - now a destination of more than a million people a year. Of course, tuning into the show we see the hard work and devotion they both pour into transforming a house in shambles to a home filled with beauty. The immense amount of time and love they have given their clients and community has ripple effects throughout Waco and even central Texas. They have leveraged their influence not for themselves but for their city and community. Chip and Joanna readily encourage any visitor to frequent the natural beauty of their city and other businesses in town.

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Meet Aiden, a 9-year-old who caught a vision


Kid’s Back Yard Bible Club

 

Designed by kids, for kids!

 

Want to try something different with your family this summer?

 

Along with your summer bucket list of:

*pool time

*friend time
*vacation time

How about adding:

*neighborhood Bible club for kids!

Nine-year-old, Aiden, caught a vision last week to do such.

 

Debbie McGoldrick lead a workshop entitled “how to begin a neighborhood Bible study for kids.”  One such attendee was Aiden. After praying with his mom and dad he told them what he wanted to do. Aiden shared, “I want to teach kids about the Bible so that kids can know Jesus and go tell others about him and can become Christians too.” His mother, Heather, said, “he is so excited. We are truly excited to see what God wants us to do with this.”

 

The plan is simple. Heather discussed they will meet Tuesdays from 3:00-5:00pm in their home. The time will be spent developing friendships and reading from the Bible and talking about it. Their main desire is that their neighbor children know they can come to a “safe” place with their questions about God and they can learn what it means to have a relationship with God. She also shared her boys are running with the idea and they are trusting the Lord with all the details from week to week.

 

This week Aiden and his two brothers handed out rice krispie treats and flyers to the children in their neighborhood. How fun is that? They wanted to make sure all their neighbors knew about the summer Back Yard Bible Club. Heather also said she will have a private facebook group with the parents to keep them up to date with the weekly Bible verses.

Aiden’s favorite verse is Psalm 90:2. “Before the mountains were born you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.” When asked why this was his favorite, his reply
was, “it shows how much God knows and how mighty he is.

 

Way to go, Aiden! We can’t wait to hear about all the Lord will do through your step of faith.

 

What ideas have you had to reach out to children? What have you done to reach the children of your
neighborhood?

 

Joan Parsons, with three sons (21, 20, and 17 years old) and one girl (15), is thankful for her large capacity washer and naps.  She loves Mountain Dew, dance parties in the kitchen when all her kids are home, and laughing about anything. She remains bewildered with God's indescribable and constant love for her in the midst of heartaches and plain normal days.
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No panic, No fear, No figuring or forecasting


Trusting God All The Way to Africa

(Enroute to Nairobi from London – after being awakened at 2:30 a.m. with a distressing phone call from home.  I don’t think I slept, but continued to pray, praise and rest in Your presence.  I sit between my husband Mark and a woman eating a Hindi meal.  In the quietness of this plane, I surrender to You afresh and so desperately need to listen. I so desire to hear Your voice.  I wait.)

 

Song I’m hearing:  “It is well with my soul.” I say "YES" it is well with my soul...it's my heart that is filled with sadness and grief for the choices, lifestyle, etc. that have been chosen.  I’m thankful You are his Shepherd and I’m just the Momma sheep!

 

My sheep hear My voice and follow Me.  I know them intimately – that is true for you, true for your children.  Keep listening, keep praying, keep loving, keep forgiving, keep joyful, keep content, keep settled, and keep at peace.

 

I AM -  that’s enough for you, for this situation, for your time in Kenya, for the ministry I’ve prepared for you to walk in – you are:

 

My daughter

My mouthpiece

My channel

My water faucet

My cherished one

My love

My friend

 

I am your child’s:

 

Father

Friend

Deliverer

Rescuer

Counselor

Discipliner

Trainer

Mentor

Lover

Forgiver

Savior

 

I am all I am in My names.  I am to you and I am to him:

 

Jehovah Jireh

Jehovah Nissi

Jehovah Shumah

Jehovah Rophe

Jehovah Shalom

Jehovah Isidkeru

Jehovah Rohi

El Shaddiah

Almighty – Adonai

Elohim

Elroy

 

Rest – He is in My everlasting arms 

Rest – He is being broken, molded,  shaped

Rest – I am sovereign

Rest – I am aware and know all

Rest – Roll all your burdens into Me and leave them there

Rest – I am on the move

Rest – I am awakening his heart

Rest – My ways, you would never figure out

Rest – be still and know that I AM GOD

 

Wait on Me

Think on Me

Dwell in Me

Let My words dwell in you

 

It is well with your soul – because as you press in and lean into Me – you sense no panic, no fear, no calculating, no figuring or forecasting.  My heart is calm.  My way is not hidden to you My daughter.  You continue to run the race I’ll set before you.  Run with joy and endurance with your eyes focused on Me.  You need to trust Me to rescue him in My way and in My time.  I will.

 

Rest, wait, and trust

Don’t worry

Don’t be fearful

Don’t be discouraged

The BATTLE is not yours but Mine

STAND and see the salvation of the Lord!

Lift up your head...see My glory

Expect a miracle

Expect to see with your eyes of faith a vision of him as I see him.

(Listening prayer for me is simply being still in God’s presence, anticipating His voice, recording His words, impressions, or pictures, then responding in love, faith & obedience to what He whispers.  It’s absolutely amazing, I always receive exactly what my heart is longing for…. sweet companionship, fresh encouragement and specific guidance.)

 

Debbie McGoldrick is the founder of NBS2GO, blessed to be married to Mark, mother of 2 married children and Dee Dee to Maddox and Joshua!  Debbie is an avid collector of heart rocks and shells, a lover of color, and always looking for a reason to go to the beach.

 
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Be nice to everyone. You never know who lost an argument to a teenager.


 

Mothers need one another. I don’t know how else to say it. We need advice. We need “oh ya, I’ve been there too.” We need encouragement. We need affirmation. We need help, for pete’s sake.

 

Gathering mothers together is really fun. Throw out this question, “tell your worst/best parenting moment” and let the laughter, tears, and connecting begin.

 

How to host a neighborhood Mother’s Day Brunch

  1. Choose a day, time and home to gather in.

  2. Ask a good friend to share thoughts on Motherhood

  3. Send simple invitations

  4. Prepare for the details of the day (clean, cook, ask a few others to cook too, etc)

  5. Welcome each guest and tell them you are glad they came

  6. Facilitate a “getting to know you” time

  7. Pray a blessing for the food and the ladies who came

  8. Eat!

  9. Listen to “speaker”

  10. Clean up


 

So simple. So needed.

 

We all desire to build “community” right where we live. Gathering neighbors together is vital to this. Sharing life with one another communicates value, love and care. Hosting a Mother’s Day brunch is a wonderful way to have women in our homes to produce this community!

 

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

 

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

 

As followers of Christ may we continually be known for caring for our neighbors, extending a helping hand, welcoming them in our homes and initiating relationships.

 

Do you have an idea for Mother’s Day?  Please share it with us.

The NBS2go Team
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5 Simple Ways to Connect with Neighbors at Easter

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5 Ways to connect with your neighbors at Easter

 

A pastor was recently sharing that his family initiated with a neighbor who lived two doors down. They had the family over for Easter lunch.  As the conversation progressed he asked them what Easter meant to
them.  The wife responded, “what do you mean? It’s all about the Easter bunny and spring and such.  Does it mean something different to you?” He thought he would ask the question in a different way. “What significance does Easter have to you spiritually?” The wife responded again, “does Easter have anything to do with God?”



Does this story burden you like it does me?  The crux of the Christian faith hinges
on the reality of the resurrection. Our team put together a brief list of ideas to connect with our neighbors during the Easter season.

 

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It's My yoke, My burden, not yours.

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I AM – Listening Prayer

I surround you with My love

I hold you close to My heart

I am with you always and in every situation. I AM

 

I AM sovereign

I AM your peace

I AM your strength

I AM your counselor

I AM your wisdom

I AM your friend

I AM just

I AM jealous

I AM able

 

Hope only in Me, My Words, My ways,

Put your gaze on Me, My Word, My ways,

May thanksgiving and praise continue to flow from your heart for

who I am,

what I have done,
what I am doing and will do,

and for My Word.

 

Walk moment by moment experiencing and expressing

My joy

My peace

My love...let it

Overflow

Spill out

Bless your family, friends, and others.

 

Cast all your worries, cares, burdens, questions, decisions, uncertainties, loads, work, etc. on Me

– the great I AM because I care for YOU!

 

The more you know, understand, and trust My care for you – the more readily you will cast completely and continually everything upon me.  That is the only way My yoke is easy and My burden is light...because it’s My yoke, My burden, not yours.

 

Give thanks for all I have planned for you during this season -- don’t grow weary – sow broadly and knit the next row.

 

Watch, be in the grandstands – expect miracles, welcome miracles, be strong in your faith, walk through the doors I open for you, follow My lead by listening closely.

 

I love you my daughter. Rest and do not be afraid.

 

 

Founder of NBS2GO, blessed to be married to Mark and the adoptive mother of Melissa and Matt. Debbie is an avid collector of heart rocks and shells, a lover of color, and always looking for a reason to go to the beach.
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Jailbreak: Set Free to be Free

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Most prisoners in jail, regardless of the number of hours or years locked up, dream of the time they will be set free.  


Imagine an inmate sitting in a prison cell with his back facing the door.  A guard unexpectedly unlocks his door and informs the prisoner that he is free to leave. Yet he remains unmoved, staring intently at the walls around him.  How strange! Did he not hear or simply refuse to believe the guard’s word? Did he feel unworthy of such a gift? Was he fearful of what lay beyond the door that was standing wide open? Or does he actually like his prison?



In order for the inmate to experience freedom, he must believe the guard is speaking the truth, then stand up and walk out through the open door. 

It seems ridiculous doesn’t it? To be set free, yet to CHOOSE bondage!

Christ has offered us the gift of freedom, but so often we linger behind the bars that have been foraged by our past mistakes, or present worries, or possibly even our projected fears about the future. 

For past mistakes: God’s promise of forgiveness frees us from the penalty and power of sin’s enslavement.  “You have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do….but if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it, and its evil deeds, you will live free.” Romans 8:12-13 

For present worries: God’s promise of peace frees us from all worry. “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God your need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-6

For future fears: God’s promise of answered prayer frees us from all fear. “I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy!” Psalm 34:4-5



Are you in jail? Linger no longer! A legitimate jailbreak is yours! Take God at His word and, empowered by faith, walk out of your unlocked cell block and enjoy past, present and future freedom by Christ, in Christ and through Christ, moment-by-moment.

It is time to walk free!

 

 

Find more Fresh Stories here!



Debbie McGoldrick is the founder of NBS2GO and blessed to be married to Mark and the adoptive mother of Melissa and Matt. Debbie is an avid collector of heart rocks and shells, a lover of color and always looking for a reason to go to the beach.

 
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Lord, don't I need new clothes?

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What is keeping you from reaching out to your neighbors?  Are you hiding behind your door?

So far NBS2GO has encouraged you to host a Bible study in your home, emphasizing that it doesn’t matter what type of countertops you have, where you live, and if you serve food.  Think about it.  Jesus wasn’t meeting with His followers in a Joanna Gaines decorated farmhouse with a serene setting and tasteful hors d’oeuvres.  He fearlessly met them where they were – on the road, near the synagogue, in their homes.  He wasn’t focused on the external, but the internal.  Newsflash, He wasn’t worried about what He was wearing either.

Over the years since my children were born, I have made many excuses for not gathering with other women.  One of them centers around not having anything to wear.  Seriously!  Not talking about your typical packed closet with unwanted choices for the moment.  More like drawers replete with items that do not fit.  It is hard enough to step out in faith and lead a Bible study if you are marginally confident in your abilities to at least open in prayer, lean on the Word, and start a discussion.  It is even harder if you are completely uncomfortable in your own, plentiful, skin.

You can tell yourself all the same platitudes…the ones you have heard before.  Yet, it all boils down to one thing…the confidence to be who you are in Christ.

Time is up. Gig over. Own it.  By the grace of God and an unimaginable gift of a precious Son, we are FORGIVEN and can have a sweet, personal relationship with God.  We are not defined by our size, the baby weight (even if our youngest baby is 16 years old…can I call it that?), the ornery number on the scale, or our wardrobe – or lack thereof.

We are LOVED and called His.

We are also empowered by Him!  We can pour and squeeze ourselves into whatever is relatively comfortable and OPEN our front doors to other women who need Him.  It IS about HIM.

“For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Luke 11:10

 So, if what is holding you back from unlocking the door to hosting a Bible study in your home is what weighs you down; sweet sister, let go.  He loves youThe women will love you.  Stepping out in faith for Him and them, is more important than your comfort zone.  Countertops, home decor, fine china, haute couture (or clothes that fit) really and truly do not matter.  In this process, live FULLY in Him.  Your life will be overflowing instead of your muffin tops – blueberry that is, or scones.  In your obedience, you will be a gift to others and blessed beyond measure.

 

Rebecca is a wife of 23 years and a mother of two teen boys. A former educator, certified in three subject areas from P5 – 12th grade, she clearly can’t make up her mind (just ask her ever-patient husband).  Years ago, God placed Rebecca into the role of Editor for an online magazine, nurtured her love of writing and photography, and then delivered her to NBS2GO at its inception. Having recently moved, she is beginning a Bible study in their new neighborhood – with complete disregard to her wardrobe.  You can often find her reading a book, curled up with her two dogs, munching on raw carrots and green beans (her dogs that is).
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My head says GYM My heart says NACHOS

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My head says GYM my heart says NACHOS.

Who else can relate to this?
The beginning of the year always holds grand thoughts of that 10 lbs. I want to lose, or organizing my entire house, or the budget I want to live by.  What are your grand thoughts?  Do you have aspirations for this year?

My head says, “take the initiative with my neighbors.”
My heart says,

*too much fear of rejection
*I’m tired
*someone else will do it
*my house isn’t pretty
*I don’t know enough about the Bible
*I’m hurting
*I don’t know how

As this year begins we want you to know that we are praying for you. Many of you have communicated that you are pro-actively reaching out to your “neighbors.” We rejoice with you!  Many of you have communicated your desires to do so but you face barriers like the ones mentioned above.  We understand!

Personally, I am heading into my 10th year of leading a neighborhood Bible study.  In many ways that sounds like a lot of years.  In some ways, it feels like I just got started.  And to be perfectly honest I face internal hurdles just like I did the first year.  Will anyone be interested?  Will I sit alone? Will I know the answers to their questions? Will the Lord show up and teach us what He wants us to know?  Will there be genuine life change?  Will this make a difference anyway?

What is it with us humans?  Vulnerable.  I just feel vulnerable.  Do you ever stop to wonder if Jesus felt that way?  In his humanness, certainly there had to be times when he felt this.  This has deeply encouraged me each year as I trust Him to continue to reach out.  By faith, I press on.  By faith, I will put my neighbors lives in front of my fears.  By faith, I trust that God is “drawing men unto Himself.”

I choose to live by faith.  Will you come along side of me and do the same?  I need you to gather around me and pray.  Our team wants to gather around you and pray for you. We need one another.  We need to trust the Lord together.

Please drop us a note, give us an update, let us know how we can gather around you and pray for you. Connect with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Your fellow human,
Joan
for the NBS2go team

 



Joan, with three sons (21, 20, and 17 years old) and one girl (15), is thankful for her large capacity washer and naps.  She loves Mountain Dew, dance parties in the kitchen when all her kids are home, and laughing about anything. She remains bewildered with God's indescribable and constant love for her in the midst of heartaches and plain normal days. 
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Seven Weeks, 12,000 Miles and Eight Flat Tires

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When I was a child, our family loved to travel, camp and explore God’s creation. One summer we had one of those vacations of a lifetime!  For seven and a half weeks, we traveled 3,000 miles from Michigan to Alaska and back. Mid-summer, the four of us piled into our red station wagon with a hand-made sign, “Alaska or Bust” proudly displayed in the back window. We drove north through Michigan into Canada where we began our trek to Alaska on the hard-packed gravel road called the “Al-Can Highway.”

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New Year’s Resolutions: Will I Walk on Water or Stay in the Boat?

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I usually don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. There are enough things I fail to do on a regular basis -- why would I add to the list? But, this past year I did. I made a big one: I resolved to give up fear. Fear of man, that is.



I decided that I was not going to allow the fear of man to influence me in any way. I would follow God wherever He led me, and I would do whatever He told me. I would not be intimidated into silence or complacency. I would be His to use however He saw fit regardless of the consequences.

Wish I could say that I have had a successful year ... that I have been God’s faithful servant, and that my resolution has become my reality. But, alas, I have not conquered my fear of man. That desire to please people is hard to shake. And it comes dressed up in so many disguises. But it has been an interesting year, and I've learned some important things:

  • God honors my desire to please Him. Even when I fail and allow my fear to keep me from doing what I know I should, He is right there with me, cheering me on. He does not condemn my weakness or shame my pitiful efforts. He reminds me that His power is made perfect in my weakness, that He loves me still and that He is with me and for me.

  • Sometimes God takes me to lonely places to teach me to be strong for Him. I don’t always like this. I like a good party with good girlfriends and lots of laughter. But, giving up my people-pleasing ways sometimes means I walk alone with Him.

  • There is always more at stake than I can see. Choosing God over man (or myself) always involves something bigger. It's never just about the thing before me. It's usually about something more significant and someone else.

  • Sometimes God lets me participate with Him in something really big and cool! I often remind myself that I have to get out of the boat to walk on water, which can be scary and seemingly crazy. But, I can trust God and walk on water or follow man and stay safely in the boat. I’d rather walk on water.


So, you may be asking and rightly so, what in the world does this have to do with neighborhood Bible studies? Well, EVERYTHING, maybe. We know that it's God's desire to reach the lost. We know that there are lost people all around us and in our neighborhoods. We know that we have been called to love our neighbors. And we know that sharing the Word of God with our neighbors is the most loving thing we can do.

What then keeps us from beginning a neighborhood Bible study? Is it the fear of man? The fear of rejection? The desire to be seen in a certain way? The desire to be accepted? The fear of not measuring up or of not being qualified? What keeps us from taking the next step? Perhaps it’s time to trust God and step out of the boat. Perhaps it’s time to make your own resolution. Perhaps it’s time to give up fear and follow God! And if you get to walk on water, you’ll never want to ride safely in the boat again ... I promise.

Lisa Hankins is a native Georgian and the leader of a Neighborhood Bible Study with a passion to help others find healing by trusting Christ with their brokenness. Lisa lives with her husband Richard and their two sons. When she is not shuttling her boys to various activities, she is busy serving as the sponsorship coordinator for an orphanage and school in Uganda called Hands of Love. Her favorite verse is Hebrews 10:25: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


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Lord, don't I need new furniture?

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And in today’s story, the key to a successful neighborhood Bible study is an old, sunken in couch.
Just as we promised here is Part 2 of Nancy Samra's story. Part 1 was posted Monday, December 5th.

 

Scene 3: My husband built the houses we lived in. At this point in time, we had a brand new home but my husband was changing businesses, requiring us to live on a strict budget. As a result, the living room couches were in desperate need of replacement but were not going to be replaced. I was upset with God because, after all, since I was willing to open up my home for Him the least He could do was provide nice furniture. I thought for sure it would happen when one of our friends sat down on the couch and sunk down so low we had to help her up. Now my husband would see the need for new couches. But all he did was turn the couch upside down and pound a board across the bottom.

We were having a neighborhood Bible study with couples. Some of the attendees had a couple on their street they wanted to bring. Although the wife was willing, the husband was not. I will never forget his first evening. The two men came into my home literally dragging this third guy in. Oh, oh, I thought to myself.

Not only did this man stay for the evening, he and his wife continued to come back time after time. One of those times he prayed to receive Christ.  We were all overjoyed. When I asked him why he came back when he was so resistant, he told me that walking up to my house was threatening but when he came into my living room that first night, my furniture reminded him of his childhood home.

Lesson learned:  Physical appearance or size does not matter.  Willingly open your home with whatever God has provided for you and He will do the rest.

 

SCENE 4:  I was hosting a weekly neighborhood women’s Bible study at my home. On one particular morning, the phone kept ringing with the all kinds of reason why each lady would not be there that morning.  Finally, it came down to only one lady who was able to attend.

I told my husband that I was going cancel this week's study and we would pick it up next week. My husband told me that I could not do that. When I asked him why he replied that if I were to cancel on the woman who could come, I was telling her she wasn't important.

 

Needless to say, I took his advice and let her come, explaining after she got there that it was just going to be the two of us.  She asked all kinds of questions that day. She did not know the Lord and was too embarrassed to ask these questions in front of the group.  She prayed to receive Christ and later on so did her husband and two sons. Eventually, they joined our church and began serving the Lord in all sorts of ways.

Lesson learned: Numbers do not matter. God is a personal God who is interested in individuals. Success is never based on how many people are in attendance.

 

SCENE 5: Fast forward to today. I am a mentor mom for my daughter’s neighborhood Bible study. I got grand-mothered in when we were temporarily living with my daughter and her family while we looked for a place to live.  We were living in a brand new condo when my husband was diagnosed with dementia.  I saw the handwriting on the wall and knew that if I was going to care for him at home, I
was going to need my children's help and I needed to make it convenient for them.  Well, our condo sold before we found a house.

I attended while I lived with her but told myself I was too old and needed not to be there when I moved out of her home. I had heard about a book called, Giddy Up Eunice, and read it just before I was going to tell everyone that I wouldn't be back to Bible study. It was all about the need for the older women to mentor the younger ones. It was God convicting me not to leave the group, not to buy into Satan's lies concerning age. I stayed on and have seen much fruit from my time with these young women.

Lesson learned: Age is not a barrier to service, especially old age. In fact, my son says I am at the prime of my serving years.

 

One of the fringe benefits of having Bible studies in our home is the impact on my children. All their growing up years this is what my children saw. As a result, they figured this what you are supposed to do and I never said otherwise. All of them have had Bible studies in their homes and joy of all joys, my granddaughter had a Bible study this summer with eight of her high school friends, some of whom do not attend church.

As I look back, I see how I’ve been wooed with a grace I don’t deserve. I’ve experienced love like I could never imagine. It’s the quiet whisper of a breeze, the powerful pull of the ocean’s tide, thunder across the skies, deep rumbling laughter. It’s beautiful, it’s scary, it’s wondrous.

It’s understanding that God’s character is predictable but His activities are unpredictable. I have learned that instead of just accepting His unpredictability, I can actually appreciate and embrace it because HE IS an AMAZING GOD!

 

Haven't you enjoyed reading Nancy's story?  Would you take a minute and respond and let her know how she encouraged you?

As you set your thoughts on the new year think of the lesson's Nancy has shared with us.  Am I willing to trust the Lord with opening my home?  How do I evaluate success in reaching out to my neighbors?  Am I willing to fail?  Am I worried about my age, my ability, my knowledge?

 

 
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Hospitality is not from the hands; it's from the heart

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Lean in close and “listen” to this story from Nancy Samra. Nancy has been a member of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan for 26 yrs. Widowed after 48 years of marriage, she is a mother of three, grandmother of eleven and spiritual mom to a number of others. Her greatest joy is being able to continue to serve the Lord. Her son, Jim Samra, is the head pastor of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids. This is the story of her loosening her grip on her plans, desires and dreams. We will post it in 2 separate posts. We don’t want you to miss ANYTHING!

 

PART 1

Play On! Scenes from the Film of my Life

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Want to join me for some Nescafe? In Macedonia?

Michelle

Macedonia or Bust


I am still pinching myself.  Was it only two weeks ago that I was in Macedonia watching God’s amazing work through years of prayer unfold before me?  

Before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you what had happened at our NBS2go prayer meetings.  Our simple prayer and cry to the Lord was “Awaken Hearts around the world.”  We had been sensing a new meaning to “GO” but had not been given specific direction to follow.

Last February, Brenda (missionary to Macedonia since 1991) discovered NBS2go on the Internet. This was an answer to prayer to find “simple, transferable and easily translatable” Bible Study resources.  She contacted us for permission to translate our materials.  She wanted to train her leaders how to use them during their National Women’s Conference.  At the end of August, Brenda extended an invitation to attend their conference.

Linda, Debbie and I (of the NBS2go leadership team) had the privilege of going and serving!  It was the largest gathering of its kind in the history of Macedonia with 550 women in attendance. People in Macedonia are very relational. Many women came by invitation to experience something different.  The Gospel was shared from the first word spoken to the closing prayer by a team of Macedonian women’s leaders.  The testimonies, skits, worship and message were built around the theme of “Our God is An Awesome God.”  

Our experience was like that of a “fly on the wall” (how often do we wish to be present yet not visible at the same time experience something we can only imagine being a part of).  It was truly amazing and surreal! We jumped in and helped to decorate before the conference sharing our ribbon curling skills while listening to piped in English 80’s elevator music. The Lord provided a translator with a lovely British lilt to her voice during the conference sessions.   We hugged and encouraged those who have been serving the Lord on the mission
field.  We drank Nescafe and listened to stories of changed lives. The Spirit of the Lord was present.


We could see the vision of NBS2go right before us and were grateful to partner with Brenda and her team in Macedonia.

 

Grateful and full of hope,

Michelle Coons

 
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That babe in the manger

Christmas time is here...well, not yet of course.  But as we prepare our hearts for this time of year we may also want to "put on our gift list" something quite different.  How about giving our neighbors the opportunity to gather, to connect and to hear the life changing message of forgiveness through that babe in the manger.  Listen to Gale Johnson of East Renton Community Church of Renton, WA as she shares a simple idea of reaching out to her neighbors.  You will love this!

 



For more information to set up your own "Christmas Gathering" please click here.

As always, please share with us if you plan to host a gathering or any other ideas.  We love hearing from you.

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What is NBS2GO?

NBS2GO = Neighbor Bible Studies 2GO - nbs2go.com is simply the packaging of ideas, resources, and inspiration to equip believers to launch and multiply Bible study groups.


What's the big deal about a Bible study group?

Like a one-room schoolhouse, a Bible study group brings together a wide range of seekers and Christ-followers to study, discuss, and encourage one another toward life application of God’s Word. This blending of spiritual maturity levels creates a dynamic, life-transforming community. Friendships are formed, and group members are equipped to minister to others where they do life. Life transformation and multiplication!

NLT Scripture references on nbs2go.com and in publications, unless otherwise noted.

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