Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 7.1

But for you who fear my name,
 the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. 
You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. (Malachi 4:2)

I use to look up verses in different translations and to find verses on various themes. I am going to try to walk you through a fun resource on this website. The format of the website changes occasionally, so you might need to play around with my directions a little.

Look up a passage (Malachi 4) at,
click on "search",
and look at the search results,
then click on "Show Resources."

Now, on the right hand side, there are some resources listed: a study Bible, a commentary, and a list of Bible themes. This is my favorite study help! Every verse has several themes listed, and if you click on them you can read verses on those themes. Scroll down to "Light, Spiritual" and click on it.

Now you have lots of verses, and a short definition of spiritual light. Click on a few references and read some great verses.

The verse in Malachi, above, is one of my favorites on this topic. Here are a few more:

Lord, You light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)
The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.
(Psalm 119:130)
Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105)
You guide me with Your counsel, and afterwards You will take me up in glory.
(Psalm 73:24)
Open my eyes so that I may see wonderful things in Your law. (Psalm 119:18)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Travel Light: Class Discussion 7.0

When I led this day at my women's Bible study, I divided everyone into groups of four or five. I actually made the groups at the first week of study, so by this week everyone was pretty comfortable with the other women around their table. I brought an Ipod with a playlist of instrumental hymns (David Nevue), and played it softly through a set of speakers. Then I asked each group to quietly read Psalm 19 and choose several verses to pray at their table. Then each group read their fill in the blank prayers from the homework, sharing them only with the women at their table. I urged the women to be sensitive to each other and to realize that not everyone would want to read each of their prayers. The music in the background helped us not to listen in on other table's prayers, and also helped us relax a little. It was a very special time.

If you are reading this on your own, look back at your fill in the blank prayers. Take your time with them. Doodle around them, or write them in your journal. Talk to the Lord about what you have been reading in his word. 

As you read about Malachi on page 61, don't miss page 62. 

Read a little more about prayer on page 105.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Travel Light Connections; 6.3

Lord, thank you that you are
so far above my petty worries, but so caring

Lord, thank you that you
show us glimpses of your glory.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 6.2

I am using the prayer sentences in today's homework.

Lord, thank you that you are
aware of my needs
the Christ!
the Healer

Lord that you that you
give me new vision when I am not seeing the possibilities
multiply my resources when I trust you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 6.1

Lord, as I read Joel 2 and 3, I saw that you are
longing to fellowship with your people
abounding in steadfast love

Thank you.

Readers: don't miss the prayer sentences in your homework.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 6.0

If you are using the recommended resources as you study Travel Light, I recommend the Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary on Joel 1, and the introduction to Joel in the Life Application Bible.

Joel is one of those books that makes me think of a road trip. Hang in there--something beautiful is coming!
In Joel 2 (tomorrow!), you will read a beautiful promise from the Lord. I love the way these promises are tucked into the Minor Prophets.

Don't miss this week's section in the Appendix: Elements of Successful Journeys. This is fun to discuss in a group. We all have our favorite element. In fact, this is one of the benefits of discussing scripture in a group--we keep each other from concentrating on only one element!

I love the Application part of study. How about you? Reading? Interpreting? Applying?

As you look towards next week, don't miss the prayer sections in each day's study. I will ask you to finish some prayer sentences. "Lord, thank you that you are..." and "Lord, thank you that you..."

Friday, March 14, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 5.3

Today as you read the Keeping in Touch section, you read my thoughts on interacting with God in the way he designed me to. I would like to recommend an excellent book on this subject.

Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul's Path to God, by Gary L. Thomas

Don't let the title throw you off. Gary Thomas believes that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. This is a book about connecting with God. I am sure you have noticed that some believers feel very in touch with God when they hike in his creation while others feel in touch when they serve in a soup kitchen or on a church platform. Some Christians love to sing praises to God surrounded by others while some like to gaze out their window and worship in solitude. This book showed me my spiritual personality, and urged me to grow nearer to God. It pointed out strengths as well as short-comings. It showed me how to refresh my soul. It showed me how my friends and family worship and helped me understand why we worship so differently. I highly recommend this book to Bible study groups, families and married couples.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 5.2

In Mark 6, I see that Jesus' hometown wasn't very friendly to him. Then Jesus sent his disciples out on what I presume was an exhausting trip of healing and preaching. Soon after that, his cousin, John the Baptist, died.

After these events, Jesus and the disciples were in need of a retreat, so he called them away to rest. (Mark 6:30). But people followed them.

As a mom of three kids, I feel so sympathetic to this situation. When tough times come, I need some time alone and a little refreshement--but I am often interrupted.

Jesus responded with compassion. (Mark 6:34).

Lord, I need your compassion. Fill me up with your love so that I overflow to those around me, even when I am tired.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 5.1

I love the hymn on page 47: Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting. It reminds me that there are times when I feel like I am accomplishing nothing for the Lord. In these times, he may be callling me to just rest. Rest in his truth, rest in his attributes, rest in his love.

Did you notice the list of hymns on page 91? These are my favorite arrangements of the hymns in this study. They are all available on Itunes. I put them on a CD so that I can listen to them on the way to Bible study each week. Music is my favorite tool as I prepare to lead a study. Even when I oversleep and the kids can't find matching socks and the breakfast eggs are rubbery -- I can worship and rest in the Lord as I drive to church.

If you have found a different arrangement of one of these hymns that you love, please leave me a comment. We all have such unique musical tastes--I am sure that my list doesn't fit everyone's style!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 5.0

There is a typo on page 45. Please read Haggai 1, not Haggai 2.

Here is my simple outline from page 45:
Haggai 1
A question:
verses 1-9a
Why aren't we prospering?
or Why isn't God blessing us?

An answer:
verses 9b-11
The temple is incomplete. You are distracted from your priorities.

A result:
verses 12-15 God's empowerment, the people's obedience

As you read about savoring the journey (which is my way of saying "meditation") remember that it is a tool. I suggest that you write "SAVOR" on a sticky note and put it on page 46. If you don't have time to savor a few verses on that day, move the sticky note to the next day. Try to make time to use one of the savoring methods some time this week.

Interested in the Only for My King book mentioned on page 103? It's a study of Christian heroes. It's here.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 4.3

Sometimes when I document my journey in the word of God, I focus on the verbs. I look for the actions in the text, and I pray that I will take those actions. Here is my prayer from Psalm 13:5-6, and Mark 5.

Enable me, Lord, today to
and tell my family what you have done for me
and how you have had mercy on me.

If you are following the prayer suggestions on the Keeping in Touch segment of this study, you are praying for leaders today. You might appreciate the thoughts in this prayer from Anne Graham Lotz. Note: it may begin an audio version as the page loads. There is a pause button you can hit to stop this.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 4.2

Lord, as I read Mark 4, I see you using everyday objects to illustrate great spiritual truth.
Please open my eyes to see your truth and your presence as I go about my everyday routine.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 4.1

As I said at the top of page 38, remember that your goal is not to collect a bunch of data from the Bible, but to grow nearer to Jesus.

As I read today's scriptures, a phrase from Psalm 10:14 caught my attention: "You do see." The book of Habakkuk is full of coming judgment. Our daily news is full of doom and gloom. Yet today, as in Habakkuk's time, God does see. He does care. I can trust Him. Like Habakkuk, I can move from troubled questions to triumphant faith.

My ESV Bible has a note on Habakkuk 3:19: "Habakkuk meant this to be a prayer the faithful would sing together." Habakkuk was doing his own documentation, and he shared it in a musical format.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 4.0

Today's worksheet on page 37 is very self-explanatory. I love to read Habakkuk. I am fascinated by the way that he asks God so many questions, but God does not give him exactly the answers he desires. And in the end (spoiler alert!) Habakkuk decides to just praise God no matter what happens. The commentary we are using as a reference in this study defines Habakkuk as "a spiritual struggle between the prophet and his God."

Don't miss the pages on documenting your study (p. 99-101). Every book I read on how to study the Bible said that study requires some kind of note-taking. This is not a biblical commandment. It is a tool that people have developed and put into practice in many different ways.

Praying through the word is probably my favorite way to document my journey through the Bible. On page 101 you can see two pages from my husband's journal. I asked him to journal Habakkuk and Mark 2, in his own way. I wish the pages had scanned a little better, but I think you can get the basic idea. Doodling is documentation.

I would love to hear from you, about your own method of documenting the Bible!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 3.4

After today, I won't be blogging on the fourth session of each chapter. This is your day to explore. Use the resource you were given in class (or check the appendix for ideas if you don't have a resource book). Don't forget that the appendix has details for each resource book.

It is very possible that you will not like one of the resource books. That's ok! This lending library format allows you to try several resources and see which ones fit you and which ones don't.

But I hope that if you meet with others to discuss the resources, you will stress the positive points. The book you don't enjoy might be your neighbor's favorite book. Don't discourage her from opening it.

I like to divide my classes into tables of four or five people, and towards the end of class we stop discussing as a group and talk just in our table groups. We share prayer requests and discuss the resource books. Sometimes I save one discussion question just for the table groups.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Travel Light Connections: 3.3

Today I read about the man with a withered hand. I wondered what went through his mind when Jesus told him to stretch out his hand.

What if he'd said, "Oh, I can't do that. I've never been able to do that. Sorry. Just can't."

He was talking to the Man with the power to change his abilities.

I wonder how often I've said "I can't" to the Lord when he was ready and able to empower me to do just exactly what I was sure I couldn't do.

Don't miss the Keeping in Touch section on page 35.