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Beyond Discipleship Discussion Groups

Beyond Flier 2015

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Still Growing…

2014 Still Growing...1

1 Peter 2:2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The Lord has been so kind to me and I think I owe it to him to keep growing closer to him. I want to know more about how to please him and I know I have to keep searching his word. I cannot get enough of it. I want to grow and I want to help others to grow, too.

Since my teen years, I began to realize I liked watching things grow, plants and caterpillars. I wanted to see them turn into butterflies, just watch the process. I liked to propagate from leaf and stem cuttings, but not so much from seeds. I got so much joy from the nurturing process, just watching things grow. Who knew that years later the same desires and joys would be the crux of my ministry to others in the name of Jesus?

The Lord knew what he was doing even before I was created in my mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart (I sanctified you; I consecrated you) and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.

Psalm 139:13 … you created my inmost being (formed my inward parts); you knit me together (wove me) in my mother’s womb.

2014 Still Growing...2This past week as I was watering house plants, I mused over the bloom of my snake plant. I had taken the first picture a few months ago and look at the growth in a few months. I was feeling wonderful. My mother nurtured this snake plant when I was growing up. The first time I saw it blossom was last year. The smaller plant grew from a little piece given to me by my dear friend, Barbara Grace; I’ve nurtured it since the 1970’s. I’ve rooted a piece for her daughter to have. My mother and Barbara have been resting in the bosom of Jesus for quite a while now… just thinking about how patient God is with me. Am I growing and blossoming in the soil I’m in?

2 Peter 3:17 …beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

…and so I want to worship the Lord and get as close as I can to where he wants me to be and doing what he wants me to do. I don’t ever want to stop growing closer to him and I want others to want to know him, too. And so I sit with him and walk with him and talk with him and then I just sit some more. Listening. Being. Enjoying. Basking in his love. Who knew that watering flowers would conjure up these thoughts? The Lord, who knew before I was even born! I want to remain FAVORED BY THE FATHER.

And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor. www.barbaraafbrehon.com

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Grow until you’re

rooted and grounded

like this mighty oak.

 

Kirkus Indie Book Review

Check out the book review done by Kirkus Indie. I am truly humbled by what professional reviewers have to say about my writing. Again, I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

http://www.barbaraafbrehon.com/kirkus-reviews-beyond-discipleship-to-relationship/

KIRKUS REVIEWS: Beyond Discipleship to Relationship

TITLE INFORMATION

BEYOND DISCIPLESHIP TO RELATIONSHIP

Brehon, Barbara A. F.

Westbow Press (144 pp.)

$28.95 hardcover, $11.95 paperback, $3.99 e-book

ISBN: 978-1490829685; March 20, 2014

BOOK REVIEW

From author Brehon (Reach Me with SMILES, 2014) comes a guide for developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and helping others do the same.

How does one go from accepting Jesus Christ as savior to having a more intimate relationship with the son of God?

“Jesus must be more than a casual acquaintance,” Brehon says, as she lays out a plan aimed at both new and old believers both. In brief chapters that conclude with points for personal reflection—e.g., “How can you use your worst situation in service to the Lord?”—a plan is laid not only for individual spiritual growth, but with a nod toward helping develop it in others. Small groups, ideally with three members, are most effective for fostering Christian development, Brehon says, and the book includes forms that can be distributed to elicit feedback from group members. “When others see the presence of Christ in another person’s life that they know, they are more likely to want the same transformation in their own lives,” she writes, so trust in prayer, lead by example and accept regular feedback. Brief and never far from the point, the easy-to-follow book is peppered with biblical references and ideas stressing the importance of trusting the Almighty. The overall feeling is a heartfelt one, whether the topic is personal welfare—“You must take an all-inclusive approach to caring for yourself and maintain your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to be the most effective instrument possible”—or what to do once the church has agreed to small group meetings: “Locate partners who will hold you accountable for who you say you are.” For readers open to the idea, they’ll find plenty of inspiration in this slim, practical guide.

Useful advice for Christians seeking to develop their own personal relationships with Christ while encouraging others to do the same.

Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744

indie@kirkusreviews.com

And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor. www.barbaraafbrehon.com

… and so we grow… grow in grace, which is God’s special favor…

Examine Yourself

1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. KJV
SELF EXAMINATION
God uses some things that we perceive as weak to amaze us and to make us realize we are nothing aside from his Son. We puzzle over this, that, and the other although God is almighty. In weakness we are strong if we realize he is the one who gives us strength to run to the end of each leg of the race.
The Lord prepares us to pass the baton. Sometimes we operate within and of ourselves and pass the baton too soon or too late; we don’t see what God is up to in our relationships and we throw in the towel. Did God throw in the towel on us? No, he sent Jesus to help us limp through that leg of the race until we get patched up, until our wounds heal from the inside out.
OK, some of us are stronger than others, but everyone needs to at least lean on Jesus when we limp. His enemies thought he was a weakling; He’s just “that one” from Nazareth. God chose weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
When I consider how I treat people sometimes I am ashamed. When I consider how I think in some situations I am ashamed. [Now, I don’t want you to get stuck on MY stuff. I want you to think about yours. When I say “my” or “I” you think “my” or “I”, too.] When I consider what I give to others with whom I am in relationship sometimes I am ashamed. When I consider that I have a role and responsibility in each relationship I have, I see that I am not doing all that I can and I am ashamed of myself. My relationships everywhere I am are important: with my family, on the job, in church, in social settings, etc.
If I don’t seem to be getting along very well with people no matter where I am, I must examine myself. What must I do to make things better?
It starts with knowing that I disappointed God, who for his own pleasure, chose to use me, the weak and foolish. He chose me despite my sin and selfish nature. I don’t have to present myself to others so they think I am always trying to get what I want. [Don’t go back to trying to figure out what I did. Examine yourself.] I don’t have to stop participating because it didn’t go the way I thought God was doing it.
I can take at least a half step back or aside for the sake of the greater good: to get a glimpse of the glory of God at work in each relationship, in each situation. I can dare to ask God, “God, what are you doing?”
Once I recognize that I have fallen short in my relationship with Jesus, I know that all my other relationships have to be out of sorts, also. We could be talking about dating, marriages, siblings, parent to child, coworkers, employer to employee, friendships of any kind: relationships.
When you are around others they should know that Jesus is in you. If they won’t get with him and in him in like manner, your relationship suffers. You are spiritually in different places. What must I do to make things better? Reconcile yourself to the Father through the Son. Each person examine himself, from the preacher to the pew, oldest to youngest, male and female. Each of us has a responsibility to self-assess our roles in our relationships.
I’m trying to get you to see that our relationships with other people help us to understand being in a healthy and growing relationship with Christ. He wants us in him by choice – money matters, people problems, or job junk. What does God want? http://www.barbaraafbrehon.com