How to Fail at Bible Study

I’m going through Priscilla Shirer’s newest Bible study with people at church. It is being approached [by me] in a different way, so I make it through each quiet time.

My quiet times used to be sooo much deeper. But part of my “now” quiet time is reading through each day’s lessons like I am reading a book. I stop and think about the questions being asked instead of writing some in my book.

What I dislike most about chronic illness is how cautious I have to be of my energy and fatigue levels. It makes the struggle to get in the Word so strong!

I know how to fail at this Bible study

… that I am choosing to use in this pruning season. This is not my first communal Bible study. After about a decade of gathering with others from different walks of life, I have learned this well. I am not like everyone else. And going through a Bible study with ignorance of my needs is – only going to help me fail. But the goal is success, not failure.

Truth? I feel guilty for not diving into each question intentionally given in my workbook. But at the end of the day, I have to operate using my resources. So running to our Savior Jesus and holding my plans without an “all or nothing” mentality. Because, this is what works for me. This is what is helping me draw nearer to our Savior Jesus during this amazing time of community and growing in the Word.


As I think about finishing day one of my study, I am holding onto James 5:17 especially that part about Elijah was as human as we are!

Even for Elijah, he became depressed, discouraged, and delighted in our Mighty God! We get the opportunity to grow in Christ with the realistic goals we set for our Bible study or quiet times with the Lord. What are some of your realistic goals?

Realistic goals help us to love the Lord with all we have to offer Him and join others in seeking Him – as an act of worship! And while we are worshipping, He is transforming us from the inside-out!

Scriptures: Proverbs 21:5; Matthew 22:37; Romans 12:2

[Heading Image: Gemma Chua-Tran // Unsplash]

Opportunities to Prune

Photo: Hudson Hintze // Unsplash

I have been thinking about possible blog ideas for Summer. But, I know how sickly I am from Spring to Fall. With that said, I am holding off on all blogging commitments.

Will this mean I won’t blog during these months? Absolutely not! I am going to keep trying to get into the Word and self care. Facing these upcoming months, feels horrible. But, I am reminded of something –

I grow so much spiritually, emotionally, and mentally during these trying months. There is one word that always describes this season of life.

Pruning.

In John 15, we meet these words – “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (v. 4).”

Fruit can be either good or bad. When farmers go out to pick fruit off a tree, it can be either in perfect condition or ruined due to a number of factors. We learn a whole lot about good and bad fruit in Galatians 5:13-24. If we could choose between love and hate for our children, which would we choose? We have an amazing Heavenly Father who wants the absolute best for us!

During my bumpy season of life, that is when I lean most on the Lord Jesus and am changed! I am never the same person once that 6+ month chronic illness flare ends. But, I have the option of developing amazing self care habits right now.

I have the opportunity to take every single symptom I want to vanish, and allow the Lord to use it for His good – just like Genesis 50:20 teaches us about Joseph’s testimony! “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (NIV).”

I am excited yet curious to see where this season of life takes me, mostly only spiritually and relationally. If I could skip over the physical part, I totally would! But, I am going to smile and get ready for this pruning season. I am excited to see the exchange. To see patience replace the impatience, and work on my attitude to make it more like our Sweet Jesus!

And, growing in Christ centered community and accountability would be super good too.

Further Study: Philippians 2; Galatians 5; John 15

He Will Bring You Through

This seems very appropriate, since I forgot to post on our Facebook page (again).

He will bring us through WHATEVER we face. He may opt to not answer every prayer the way we look for Him to, though!

I have been chronically ill for… a while now. Do I believe He chooses to heal, even if it isn’t miraculous and looking like no evidence of illness? I do. He heals. But it doesn’t have to look like I expect. He can choose to bring me through this, by giving me the amazing strength to make it through each and every hour of the day.

He will bring me through my current flare up and this hot weather. [Can we say, “Hellooooo California!”]

He will bring us through whatever relationship issues we may be having.

He will help us with whatever depression and anxiety we may face. And He will help us to cling to Him. He is immovable… but times of mental health issues can make us feel like… He has moved. But this is EXACTLY why we need the Word of God! He is immovable. And He will help us through whatever we are facing.

He will bring us through our brain fog and help us come up with ways to remember about things that are near and dear to our hearts. This page is near to my heart, but I don’t…always…remember to schedule posts (which is why I typically schedule them on a monthly schedule).

He will help us through this pandemic, our finances, health struggles, and all kinds of big and smaller scale issues…. because His LOVE for us is literally out of this world!

“But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!” ~ Romans 5:8 TPT

What do YOU need the Lord Jesus to bring you through? What can we pray for you about to our Risen Savior and Lord?

Making Disciples of All Nations

In Matthew 28:19-20, we are taught to make disciples of all nations. This goes beyond telling others the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. It means doing life with others, and showing what it means to follow our Savior Jesus.

9.5 years ago, I found myself in an unique position. I was in an university program, where “out of nowhere” my health became quite poor. I didn’t know what was wrong, other than it reached the point of difficulty functioning.

With the courage of a friend, I was able to begin sorting through the issues. I had no idea what was going on. When I found out I was chronically ill, my world kind of stopped for a little while. But a way I coped through this was through writing.

Nine years and six months later, here we are.

I never imagined the Lord would place the ministry He was calling me toward, by basically dropping it in my lap.

I had to find my people and niche, and here we are.

God has given me this incredible ministry, which far exceeds anything I could have ever imagined!

I have never experienced these huge dreams for my life. But, this has been a very cool ride. And, God has used my trials to bring many amazing folks into my life!

Want to know some Gracefully Overcoming stats?

In under 9 1/2 years, we have seen this ministry reach 106 countries, over 16,000 views, and well over 4 thousand subscribers.

To make disciples, we must first share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to tell people about how He wants to save them. We need to come alongside others and do life with them like we see in Scripture. Doing life means reading the Word and encouraging them. How are we doing this very well, my friends?

If you have any topic you would love to see on Gracefully Overcoming, let me know in the comments below! Also, don’t miss the YouTube channel or receiving notifications if there is a new blog or vlog posted. On Facebook, I keep you updated on all of that… but it isn’t the only way. =]

Bringing Your Best

The Proverbs 31 woman.

She is well known.

She is amazing.

She is so loved.

As I think of this woman of God, I am reminded that I need to keep giving the Lord my best! Even now. Even in the midst of my heavy burdens. One of the biggest hindrance we can have, is looking at others’ lives. We see everyone’s well gardened lives. And our hearts scream with the two “C’s”: Comparison and disContentment. Friends, what if we worked on how to praise God in the midst of the circumstances the Lord has saw fit to equip us?

We can offer the Lord the best of us, even during the worst times of our lives. And this is something we can hang onto! Even during times of bed or house bound, I can encourage and love people. That is how I can offer them and the Lord the best of me, during my worst times as far as my health goes.

Life isn’t always pretty, but… the Lord Jesus is always, always, always at work in our lives!