“Watch out! Debbie is a seed-planter!” warned Elaine Bush at a recent NBS2GO luncheon at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Four years ago when she first heard Debbie McGoldrick speak, Elaine thought the format of these 2GO Bible studies was “an interesting and easy approach that brought new insights,” but she had no plans to begin a study of her own. “But I didn’t think about the seeds she was planting,” Elaine reflected. “They were lying dormant, waiting for the right season for the Holy Spirit to water them.”
Encouragement & Real Stories of Changed Lives
Melody began praying for her neighbors and developing relationships four years ago. She started a neighborhood Bible study one year ago. What you are about to read is a poetic reflection that you don’t have to do big things, but one little thing at a time. Since she began, Melody has seen fourteen women join her in Bible study and five have come to Christ. She hosted a Christmas gathering where thirty participated. In her Easter outreach twenty attended. This doesn’t happen overnight but in micro-decisions and a commitment to pray moment by moment and day by day.
As we pray every day at 10:02am asking God to send out laborers (to coincide with Luke 10:2), we believe Kelin is an answer to that prayer! Once she was aware of the tools NBS2GO offered to help reach neighbors for Christ, she did not delay to reach out and begin a Bible study in her neighborhood in Honduras. God led Kelin to become an ambassador for NBS2GO in Honduras, as she now helps train and equip churches to fulfill the mission of NBS2GO – “Reach the people around you, begin a Bible study group.”
Opportunity is knocking at your door this Oct 31st.
The opportunity to love your neighbor on Halloween and be a LIGHT.
I know, I know, it is the dreaded holiday -- Halloween. The one you celebrate BECAUSE it’s over.
But what if I told you that October 31st is redeemable? This is a day when you can bring glory to God. How, you ask? By letting your light shine!
“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness
but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
Not only does He say that He is the light of the world, but that WE are as well.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matt 5:14-16
Don’t hide, turning out all the lights so no one can see you this Halloween. And please don’t put a note on your door saying, “We are Christians and don’t celebrate evil.”
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
This is the time to overcome the darkness with light.
What if this year we all turn our lights up bright, and are the light to our neighbors?
How can you be a LIGHT this year to those around you? It can be as simple as opening your DOOR!
*Turn on your lights. Make your house bright and cheery. Put a string of white Christmas lights around your house. Make luminaries to line your walkway — buy Kraft lunch bags, fill with 2 inches of sand, and place battery lights inside.
*Give the BEST candy. (If you give a good-news tract, put candy with it as well.) Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Be a generous giver.
*Pray for your neighborhood as you prepare. Prayer-walk or prayer-drive the
neighborhood, asking God to help you develop relationships and to be a blessing to someone.
*Have treats for the parents -- cold water or hot chocolate, depending on the weather.
*Greet visitors with a smile and a welcoming attitude. Be on the porch as they
walk up. Create an inviting atmosphere with happy music playing. Decorate with pumpkins. (Remember they are not evil.)
*Get to know your neighbors by asking how they are or who they are.
*Value the children by finding something positive to say about their costumes.
*Have some dog treats available in case your neighbors bring Fido.
If you don’t have a “neighborhood” that has any trick-or-treaters, then ask a friend who has
“too many” if you can help -- buy candy; be a greeter and a blessing.
It took me three years to get up enough courage and capacity to start my first Bible study on my street. I loved my neighbors through acts of kindness, purposefully pursued them with hospitality, and boldly stepped out in faith to invite them to a Bible study, but when they came together, I noticed a huge tendency towards having a visiting session and not a Bible study group. Here is an example of a few questions that can arise in a Bible study setting,
“Is the organic food movement all a scam? I saw a documentary on Netflix…” “Have I ever told you how my husband and I met?” “Is the HOA unjust? I think owners, not renters get citations.”
As I was beginning a neighborhood Bible study I decided to hand-deliver a few invitations. Nancy lived across from me at the time, and my simple invitation turned into a conversation with her. Nancy shared with me that she had always wanted to attend a Bible study, but she didn’t know anything about the Bible. This had always held her back. I assured her that we would all be learning together and that she could feel comfortable. She came, and her life began to change. Christ made a difference in Nancy’s life through a neighborhood Bible study!
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” Washington Irving
Enjoy this remodeled HEART 2GO Bible study written by Debbie McGoldrick.
In creation we see a myriad of word pictures that God uses to demonstrate His character, biblical truths, and His miraculous ways. Jesus often used nature to illustrate His divine teachings. The following insect story allegorizes the essence of the HEART Bible Study theme.
That single question revolutionized what it meant for me to truly love my neighbor in ways that included both acts of service and also a relational commitment that changed my neighborhood forever. That year, I began to gather the neighbors together based on what our family already did each day. I was going to live with my neighbor, not simply do tasks for them.
The ruling on the field stands.
The ruling on the field is confirmed.
Football reigns and rules in the South. On Monday, we were glued to the TV to watch the National Championship college football game. It was intense to say the least. Half of my family barked like a true Dawg (University of Georgia). The other half was cheering “Roll Tide” (University of Alabama). Suffice it to say that all of us were hoarse by the end of the game. After every play, there was yelling. “Yeeessss!!!! Noooooo!!!!” And all at the same time!
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, is a beautiful story that has been adapted to film. It releases to U.S. theaters, today, November 17, 2017 and I can’t wait to see it. I hope moviegoers pass through the double doors, walk down the dark and narrow passage, and claim a seat prepared to accept this message of #choosekind.
August “Auggie” Pullman, born with a condition that necessitated 27 surgeries that did not restore his disfigured face, enters school for the first time as a fifth grader. Can you imagine? It is a rough start but students around Auggie transform throughout the year, allowing viewers to soak up the possibilities of being “ordinary” and what it means to choose kindness.
Guest post by Karen Guzman
I grew up in a house regularly filled with guests, whether for a meal or for a semester. So, when I joined InterVarsity staff and moved into my own place, it was natural to host students for meals, movie nights, parties, etc. Later, I began working with graduate students who tended to be on campus year ‘round. Work commitments and/or being from out of state or overseas make for infrequent visits to family. Working with international students, I discovered that many come to the states for school and return home without ever having seen the inside of an American home. Thanksgiving, particularly, became a focal point of ministry as I welcomed students into my home for a traditional American celebration.
One year, I decided to change it up. Instead of just reading the book at Bible study, I contacted the husbands of the women of the group and ask them to help me. I sent a quick note to them that said, "Hello! This is Joan Parsons. I am hoping to surprise the ladies around Valentine’s Day with a note from their husband. Could you please take a couple of minutes and answer the question: What do you admire about your wife? I would like 2-3 sentences. You can send it via text or email."
The morning of Bible study came and honestly, I was overwhelmed.
The husbands were amazing with their words. They had taken time to be thoughtful and encouraging. I took each of their notes and reproduced them on pretty stationery.
"She is the most capable person I've ever met. There is absolutely NOTHING she can't accomplish when she puts her mind to it."
One by one, I read the notes aloud. We laughed. We cried. We shared a very special and precious moment together. One of the ladies said, with tears in her eyes, "I have never heard him say these things. This means the world to me." And she and her husband had been married for 40+ years!
Mr. Hatch strikes again!
Ask the Lord to give you creativity. He can do what you could never do on your own.
How have you marked Valentine's Day in your Bible study? Share your ideas with other leaders in the comments.