Encouragement & Real Stories of Changed Lives

Full of new ideas, insights, and inspiration.

Thanksgiving: to host or not to host

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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.

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A Young Perspective on Open Hearts & Open Doors


This weekend I hosted a party in our new neighborhood for a former neighbor. (A little background on the eight of us hostesses - we’re all in a really fun season of life. We’re all 20 somethings, we’ve been married about five years, and we’re young in our careers and in our adventures in parenting.)  Even though we’ve been getting together and throwing little get-togethers for years, this time, somehow it felt different.I felt the tension of being old enough to plan and celebrate new life experiences – a baby shower! – but still so young in the world.  As we were setting out the food and arranging the flowers, I still almost expected one of our mothers to pop in and help. I had a vision of all of us girls pretending to be adults, trying to “play hostess” dressed up in our mothers’ heels and pearls. It was a beautiful moment of vulnerability as we outwardly projected confidence in our ability to hostess, while inwardly wondering if we’d ever truly measure up. The moment passed and the shower went off without a hitch. I think our mamas would’ve been proud.All that to say, if you’re waiting to start a Neighborhood Bible Study, don’t wait until you feel old enough or ready enough or prepared enough. “Do not let them look down on you because you are young....” (1 Timothy 4:12a) We have a place in the body, too! And we have a purpose to serve in our neighborhood even if we feel inadequate and inexperienced. Even if you think that when you open the door your neighbors will view you as a little girl playing dress up, pretending to be able to host some big event, the truth is, when you open your door, you open your heart – and that is a beautiful thing for neighbors to see.I’m right there with you, stepping into big beautiful shoes, twisting the pearls around my neck and hoping to create authentic community with my neighbors just as I am – inadequacies, imperfections, and all...Lucy Lucy Duggar is a 20-something fully-embracing life in Atlanta - loving her husband, Grant, and their comical great dane, Georgia. Culture, travel, and art history are a few of her favorite things, having worked for a museum and several non-profits in the Greater Atlanta Area. She was born in Alaska and has lived in Oregon, France, Wyoming, and most recently London, and Shanghai; she and Grant are just back from a year living abroad, but she feels most at home in the South. Where ever she may be, you can bet there's a good book at hand and a delighted introvert fluttering pages.
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Blessing Bags


Blessing bags are a great service project to prepare together within your NBS.  One blessing bag is kept by each person.  In the future, whenever an NBS member sees someone in need during day-to-day commutes or in travels, they may bless the individual (or family) with the bag.  This is a neat answer to those we see holding signs, asking for money or help.The goal is for each of member to leave with at least one bag.  Following is a list of supplies.  Divide the chosen items amongst your members.  Have each person bring the appropriate number of items.  For example, 10 bars of soap if there are 10 members in the study.  Many of these items can be purchased at a dollar or discount store.  With each person remitting their items, then assemble the bags so that every bag contains one of each item on the list.  Simple!Gallon size Ziplock bagsItems to go in the bags, such as: Chap Stick Packages of tissues Toothbrush and toothpaste Comb Soap Trail mix Granola bars Crackers Pack of gum Band aids Mouthwash Coins (could be used to make a phone call, or purchase a food item) Hand wipes You could also put in a warm pair of socks, and maybe a Starbucks gift card Small Bible Bible verses on paper or cardsDo you have nay thing to add to this list? have you participated in this service project before? Tell us about it! 

“From the Lord comes deliverance.  May your blessing be on your people."   Psalm 3:8 NIV

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Blessed to be a Blessing

Aunt Donna

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I Don't Have Granite Countertops...

I don't have granite countertops, I can't lead a neighborhood Bible study...There!  I said it!  Doesn't that sound crazy?  Oh! my list of excuses was many... I don't know the Bible like I should. I haven't been to seminary. I am nervous. I don't have the gift of teaching. My house isnt perfectly decorated.  The list goes on, and on....Yet in the not so ignorable part of my heart lingered these words, "Who will go for Me?"I live in the "South."  Most of the women around me have lovely decorated homes.  My neighbor's home has been featured in Southern Living Magazine!  To invite women into my home felt intimidating.  My thoughts about granite countertops were very real.  But deeper still, were my thoughts about my sweet neighbors and friends living right here next to me. "Who will go for me?"  And I said, "here I am Lord, send me."Send me with all my insecurities.  Send me with all my flaws.  Send me with my shortcomings.  Send me with my shallow worries about my kitchen.  I can't give them living water.  You can.  I can't give them forgiveness.  You can.  I can't bring life change.  You can. And you can use me.  And if the Lord can use me He can use you!What are your barriers?  Spoken or unspoken?  Real or shallow? Joan
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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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