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Victoria/Carol's Group Picks

Welcome to a NEW MONTHLY FEATURE for our blog. Each month, we'll be asking one small group to contribute their TOP PICKS for books, movies, CD's, etc. For an entire month, that group's choices will be listed on the right-hand side of our site.

This month, we asked Victoria & Carol's small group to let us know what they're reading, watching, and listening to these days (These will be our NOVEMBER picks, just a few weeks early)! Click on each item listed below, and you'll be taken directly to sites that will help you find out more about each selection:

November Picks:

Books
anything by Joel Rosenburg
Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers
Dear Enemy, by Jack Cavanaugh
anything by Karen Kingsbury
anything by Dee Henderson
In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day, by Mark Batterson

Movies, Mini-series, etc.

Titanic
The Game Plan
Pillow Talk
Singin' in the Rain

Songs, CD's, Albums or Artists
Shane & Shane
Chris Tomlin
Bebo Norman
Casting Crowns
Beloved

Other (includes study aides, online/website resources, etc.)
Praying the Names of Jesus by Ann Spangler
A Heart Like His by Beth Moore
www.biblegateway.com
www.marriagevine.com

Leave a comment and let us know what you think about this month's picks! If you find something you like based on these recommendations, be sure to let these ladies know how they have blessed you by sharing!

Living Beyond the Lesson - LOVE

As I started reading Week 3 of our study, the two glaring questions
that resonated with me through the week were:

(1) How can I love the unlovely, not endure them, but love them?
(2) How can I genuinely desire the best, not for myself or my friends, but for my enemies?

The answer was clear. I can't. None of us can. BUT GOD, through his Holy Spirit, can produce that fruit in our lives. The first realization I had was that the fruit of the Holy Spirit was singular. There is only one Holy Spirit in us and one fruit of that Spirit which has nine different qualities. All of which are present in a believer.

Where we struggle is with our yieldedness to that Spirit and allowing those characteristics to flow from us. Then, because I am such a "feeling" person and respond quickly to those feelings in most situations, I could grasp "eros" and "philos" pretty easily. Then Day 3....... agape was defined.

I learned that agape is not as much a feeling as it is a submissive response. God commands me to agape. I must surrender and be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We have got to get this because agape is the foundational quality of the fruit of the Spirit. It is only through the agape of the Holy Spirit that I can love like God commands me to.

Take some additional time and read 1Corinthians 13. Reflect on what agape is and is not. Also, pay attention to the "always" and "nevers." There are no "sometimes" or "maybes."

As Beth closed Day 4, she said, "Agape begins as a response and ends with a feeling. It may be the most difficult request God ever makes of us - and the most glorious privilege." Nothing is impossible with God, I believe that with my entire heart and that truth is confirmed in 1 John 3:20, "For God is greater than our hearts" and 1 Corinthians 13:8, "Love(agape) never fails."

So Beloved, do you trust Him with your heart, to preform a much needed "heart transplant?"

I pray your answer is a resounding YES!

Joanne

Living Beyond the Lesson - Week Three

What comfort and freedom in the truth that God has an agenda and will for our lives. If we could just know what it was every step of the way!!

So many times, I can look back and see where God worked, where the Holy Spirit beautifully and perfectly pieced together a situation. We have all heard the common saying, "Hind-site is 20/20." Well, I don't want my Holy Spirit experience to be one of always looking back to see Him.

I want what Beth shared we can have in her video.....a heightened perception, a heightened discernment and a heightened insight.....and I can have that now! I want to be compelled by the Holy Spirit.

This world is a gray place. Black and white are not always evident. BUT GOD!!! His Spirit allows each of us to know things we wouldn't. He empowers us to distinguish good from evil. Like Beth shared, I do get "flagged" by the Holy Spirit. The question is what do I do with that? Do I doubt what I am hearing? Do I hesitate with fear? Do I wait or ask for a more obvious sign? All these responses, whether we want to hear it or not, are disobedient rebellion to our Lord and His leading. I want to respond, "Yes, Lord!"

But how can we be sure it is Him? We have to stay close to Him through a consistent and "meaty" diet of His Word, through prayer, and a daily filling of His Spirit. Ezekial 36:27 says, "And I (God) will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." I love that word MOVE.....He will move us to obedience. Just think about that, praise Him for that.

O Lord, move me!

Living Beyond the Lesson - Week Two

Life in the Spirit demands a DAILY pouring out, a DAILY pouring in, and a DAILY pouring forth. As I read those words, I know many of you are thinking there is no way I have time for that. I'll start that later....... Let me encourage you that none of us can afford to wait!

One thing I was convicted of this week was that I do not spend enough time confessing with my mouth. When I do, my confessions are vague. God demands that they are specific, that the sorrow we feel over our sin is Godly sorrow that leads to repentance, a true turning from our sin.

This time of pouring out isn't simply "lip service" but is a time of purification, being made righteous before God and joyfully realizing that I am forgiven. After emptying ourselves of that "junk," the next work is all Holy Spirit. All we have to do is ask Him to fill us to overflowing. One of my favorite verses is Romans
15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

When I empty myself and allow Him to fill me, that is the promise. We just need to claim it! That is where the pouring forth comes in. It will actually be quite natural when you are filled, yielded to and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Ladies, we have to simply let God be God!

Just think each of you is called to be His.....God doesn't call the equipped; He equips the called! Walk in that truth today!

Love ya,
Joanne