STUDY TIME

STUDY TIME

Last year is when I decided I was going to get serious about becoming a published author. I’ve always been a writer and my dream has been to be a published author. I began by piecing together my manuscript of the first book God put on my heart to release. I participated in NanoWrimo for simple self-motivation to fill in the blanks of my book. It worked. I now have a two hundred and something page manuscript sitting on my bookshelf, next to my bed, staring at me every morning screaming “edit me!”

 

While all of this was taking place, I was rummaging through Amazon one day, looking for a Bible study workbook. I am one of those weird people who actually like school and learning. I already had my Bachelor of Science and then went on to get my Associates in Theology and I was missing that school-like atmosphere. I like interactive things. I like being able to have an outline to follow and something to write in, for obvious reasons. I searched and I searched. I couldn’t find one that I liked that had what I wanted and so I simply said, “God, help me find a study guide” and I heard, “Create one.”

 

“Whhhhaatt??? You’re crazy! Yeah right! Ha!”

 

And I heard it again, “Create one that you would use.”

 

Wow. Okay. “Then what?”

 

“Publish it.”

 

I sat there dumbfounded. I also sat there with an image in my head of exactly what I was looking for. So, I put pencil to paper and started creating. It came together so fast that by the time I was done, I was still dumbfounded.

 

I looked at it, and up to God and pointed to it and said, “Now, I publish it?”

 

“Yes, you publish it.”

 

So in 3 days of nonstop (seriously, very little sleep) investigation, research and attempts, I figured out how to self-publish, designed my book cover and formatted the first workbook. I was sitting there at my laptop getting ready to hit the big red button that would put my name out there and I heard His words, “you are about to be a published author.”

 

I froze. It was reality sinking in. It was a life-long dream coming to pass and for me, it was breathtaking. God makes things so easy. If we listen and follow, He makes it so simple. Huge, daunting tasks are no longer huge and daunting. He helped me get over a fear of actually publishing something. I hit the button and there I was, dressed in my flannel pajama pants, flip-flops and Star Wars shirt with my unwashed hair thrown into a messy pony-tail and pushing my glasses up my nose because my allergies were preventing me from wearing my contacts. Rock-star.

 

As a child, I used to dream about sending a manuscript off to a publisher and them actually picking me. As a young teenager watching Little Women, I used to come up with male oriented pen names thinking I would have a better chance at being picked by a publisher. Little did I know, the greatest publisher of all time would pick me to create a Bible study workbook. I currently have two available for purchase and am working on the third which I plan to have available in a week or two. It’s in the final process.

 

I am working on a 365 day devotional which I hope to have out fall of this year and then there is my first book. It’s been a long time coming. I’m not sure just yet how I am going to go about publishing that one. It seriously has been something I have worked on for 25 years or more. I’ve often wondered if it is going to be something I finish, edit and never publish just because of the love I have put into it. Can I send it out into the world? I hope so.

 

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you the workbooks. They are simple. So simple. I wanted a workbook that made me examine the Word and not the denomination of the person writing it or the religious quirks of the establishment submitting it. I wanted to break barriers between the world and the Word. Why was this my goal? It was a goal because the majority of people I have talked to, church goers or not, believe animals went two by two onto the ark. I don’t point this out to insult anyone. I too at one point believed there were two of every kind that trotted happily onto that great big boat. Then, in my twenties, I read the story, in the Word, in the Bible, and I was blown away by the revelation I had in that common kid’s story. If we are skewed on such a popular Bible story, how much more are we missing out on God’s goodness?

W1P1D1
Sample page from Hebrews: Who is Christ?  Each workbook is a six-week study and each day is designed the same as shown here.

I created these workbooks with this in mind. To get to the nitty-gritty of the Word. To examine it for yourself. They are designed so that an atheist and a seasoned Christian could sit down, side-by-side, work their way through the study and learn something new. They are designed to NOT be overwhelming. We all have busy schedules but spending five minutes a day in the Word can make a World of difference.

 

They are not fancy. They are not eye-candy. They are workbooks. They are a guide. They are a game-plan to get your study time in. Plain and simple. This is a life-long project. I don’t know how many there will be total. I told God in the beginning, give me the vision of one at a time so I complete it. Once it is completed, give me the vision of the next one. He has done just that. The first workbook is titled Hebrews: Who is Christ? and is available through Amazon. The second one is titled 1&2 Timothy: The Heart of a Servant and is also available through Amazon.  You can visit my author page at www.mistymoonauthor.com through Amazon where all of my works are listed.

 

The third workbook is Ephesians: Growing in Christ and as I already mentioned, I hope to have it out within the next couple of weeks.

 

Jeremiah 30:2 (KJV)

Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

 

 

IMPOSSIBILITIES

IMPOSSIBILITIES

I love Sundays. I love church. I never thought I would say those words for so many years when I was younger. Yesterday’s message was about 2017 being our church’s year of beauty. A year of impossibilities being possible. Our pastor used the example of Mary and how the angel of the Lord asked her to do the impossible. Impossible at least to what humans conceive to be possible. Conceive a child without the help of a man. Pretty impossible.

 

As I was sitting in service I had my own little revelation in this Biblical event that was an offshoot of what our pastor was preaching.

 

I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Things are only impossible until someone says yes.”

 

Sounds profound, right?

 

All of God’s promises are yes and Amen (2 Corinthians 1:20).

 

So who makes things impossible?

 

We do. I do. You do.

 

Wow.

 

When God speaks through the Holy Spirit, He uses examples we can relate to. Those that have an ear, let them hear.

 

My husband and I have known for quite a few years we were called to evangelism. God has been training us, teaching us, leading us and directing us in the way we should go. Most recently it was revealed to us through prayer and seeking Him, how our evangelistic outreach is to be set up. I won’t go in to all of that right now because it is in the process of being developed and it just isn’t time, yet.  I can share with you the “mission”, if you will, that He put on our hearts: Reach the unreachable.

 

Reach the unreachable.

 

The name of our website is www.unreachables.org which is being built so bookmark it for later use. There is a “coming soon” page up right now until we have it complete and ready for launch.

 

When we heard God tell us, “reach the unreachable”, we said YES without hesitation.

 

It wasn’t until this Sunday the following hit me like a piano on the head from a 10 story building: God asked us to do the impossible.

 

Unreachable according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unreachable)  means:

 

      :  incapable of being reached : such as

      a :  impossible to get to or get at • a location unreachable by car

      b :  impossible to contact or communicate with • was unreachable by phone • emotionally                         unreachable teenagers

      c :  impossible to achieve :  not attainable • an unreachable dream/goal

 

 

God asked us to reach the unreachable. He asked us to do the impossible. We said yes.

 

It is no longer impossible.

 

He has our attention. He has our cooperation. When God asked Mary to carry Jesus in her womb, he was asking her to do the impossible. It became possible when she said yes.

 

Reaching the unreachable became possible when my husband and I said yes. The victory is already there because it is now POSSIBLE. The unreachable will be reached.

 

A ministry is like carrying a child. You take care of it while it is growing. You protect it. You birth it. You continue to protect it. You raise it up in the way it should go. Mary was asked to carry Jesus and she did just that. A King was born. A ministry was born.

 

What has God asked of you?

 

Matthew 19:26 (KJV) But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

PLAY ME A TUNE…

PLAY ME A TUNE…

I’m selling my violin.

 

When I say that, people automatically think, “Oh! You play violin?”

 

No. Not really.

 

As a small child I loved watching people play the violin. I’ve always loved music in general. Music, arts, literature, you name it. The violin and piano in particular. If you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll see why I have a fascination with the piano.

 

Why do I love violin and the people who play it? Watch the next person closely who has a violin in their hands. They are in their own world. The rest of us don’t exist. They are free.

 

I love the sound of a violin. Even in an uplifting tune you can hear the sadness behind it. It reminds me of life. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s truth. If you listen hard enough you will realize the sound a violin string makes is so ugly that it’s beautiful. That’s life.

 

So why do I have a violin if I don’t play it? I wanted to learn to play the violin as a kid. My mom had me take piano lessons which I enjoyed and we could only afford because I used the church piano to practice on, we didn’t have one of our own. We had an electronic keyboard which my piano teacher told me hindered my abilities. I scoffed at her. Don’t tell me my whack electronic bossa nova dance music is hindering my classical music playing abilities!

 

I only took one year of lessons. I had advanced so quickly through the weekly lessons she gave me a third year piece to play for the spring recital. She even said it would be a challenge. I learned it. I could play it. I could play it well. Recital time came and I froze.

 

I butchered that piece like no other. I might as well have been playing Three Blind Mice on the recorder and dancing through the crowd.

 

My piano teacher’s pursed lips signaled to me that she was not a happy camper.

 

At the end of the recital she thanked everyone for being there and said, “I would like to recognize the students that did exceptionally well. As I call your name, please stand up.” She called every other student’s name but mine and then stared at me as everyone clapped for them. I stared right back. You could hear the tumbleweeds rustle at our feet.

 

That is why I only took one year of piano lessons. I refused to go back and she was the only piano teacher in town. It was a small town.

 

I still tinker at the piano when I’m around one. I still love the sound of it.

 

It wasn’t until I was 28 when I had a revelation that if I wanted to, I could buy a violin and play it. So I did.

 

violin-374096_1920

 

I bought a violin, a case, some rosin, a tuner and a little song book. I took that violin home and made horrible, horrible music with it. I kept making horrible music with it until it started to sound a little better. Eventually I taught myself Three Blind Mice just for kicks. I learned to play the ABC song. Then the tune of Happy Birthday. That’s when you know you have arrived with any musical instrument.

 

So I bought a violin, taught myself to play and I played. Goal achieved. Now I’m selling it.

 

I was thinking about it this morning and some would say I didn’t achieve anything. I achieved what I wanted to. I played the violin. My goal wasn’t to learn and go on to become a world-renowned violinist. I simply wanted to know what it was like to hold a violin and play some music…and I did.

 

I had a dream. I realized one day I could make that dream real. I made the dream real. I have other dreams. I’m making those dreams real. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t think you are too old, too young or that you have to take it to the extreme ends of the earth to be successful in your dreams. Accomplish your goals. Start with small ones if you need to so you boost your confidence, just don’t stop.

 

Psalm 37:4

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

 

 

*A long time from now, when we are both in heaven, I’ll be the one skipping through the crowds playing Three Blind Mice on the recorder.

 

Tasting Your Own Foot 03.09.17

Tasting Your Own Foot 03.09.17

Many times I’ve seen or heard the question posed, “What is your favorite scripture?” and if there are at least five people answering, one of them always responds with Jeremiah 29:11. I’ll be honest, my immediate thought when I hear this has been can’t they be more original?  I don’t mean that in a facetious way, there are just so many excellent verses in the Bible to choose from and so many gravitate towards this particular one.

 

Well, my foot has been tasting good this week. My go to verse for the last seven years has been Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV) – Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

 

When I call on God, I expect an answer because of this verse. I hold Him to His Word. Great and mighty doesn’t necessarily mean “good”. According to Merriam Webster the word great means notably large in size, elaborate, ample, large in number, predominant, remarkable in magnitude, degree or effectiveness, eminent, distinguished, long continued. Mighty means possessing might, accomplished or characterized by might, great or imposing in size or extent.

 

These are not simple, nonchalant words. This verse means God will guide and direct and reveal things to me that are beyond my current understanding. If you read my post from yesterday, you will see my husband and I have been going through a time of God being silent. I think this is the reason that I had a breaking moment in His silence because I expect Him to be true to His Word in Jeremiah 33:3.

 

Well, He was.

 

Last night before church I had to run by a craft store and pick up some supplies. Walking through, on a shelf, I saw a rustic looking sign that said, “I know the plans I have for you – God”. I knew exactly which verse this was but it made me smile. I even thought about buying it. In all honesty, I’ll probably go back for it. We paid for the supplies and were on our way to church.

 

Last night’s service was powerful. The move of the Holy Spirit was sweet and chain breaking. I’ve been building my faith back up and casting down the thoughts of the enemy since my breaking moment and last night only helped my refueling process. I heard Jeremiah 29:11 in my head as reassurance from God himself: I know the plans I have for you and they aren’t for destruction. They are to prosper you. Be patient. Trust me. Continue to walk in my ways.

 

It has been in His silence that I have had to stand on the Word in Jeremiah 29:11. I have had to remind myself daily of this verse. He was showing me why this verse is so important and means so much to so many people. I now have Jeremiah 33:3 and Jeremiah 29:11 in my daily thoughts. I will never disregard the importance of this verse in people’s lives again. It’s a Word not just for me but for all of us.

 

I don’t know what you are believing God for right now but use these verses. Ask Him and He has to answer, His Word says He has to. Trust that His answer, even if it is silence, is for your good and His glory.

 

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

FOLLOW THE LEADER 03.06.17

FOLLOW THE LEADER 03.06.17

There are roughly 613 commandments in the Bible. I’ve heard people say, “How in the world can a person follow a religion or God who has so many ‘laws’ and requires so much of us?”

I did some quick research to see if I could find a number on how many U.S. laws there are. There isn’t a set number. Nobody knows. There are so many “they” can’t even count them. For a rough comparison, there are over 20,000 laws in regards to gun ownership and use. Let that sink in for a moment.

Sometimes I become overwhelmed with trying to live Christ-like. Every day, I try and do my very best but at the end of the day, I can always find something to repent for, something I could have done better, something I messed up, somewhere where I missed the mark. It’s easy to find yourself in a position of, “why even try, what’s the point?”

The point is Christ gave it all for it all. Let’s say that again. Christ gave it all for it all. He gave it all for us. He gave it all because he knew where we would find ourselves at the end of each day if we fully examined ourselves and our walk with Him.

Sometimes we think we are the only ones that think this way. We may look at our brothers and sisters in Christ who we attend church with and think, “Man, they have it all together. They make living for God look easy.” Truth is, there may be people who look at me and you like that. I can tell you, if someone is looking at me like that, they are grossly misled.

This is one reason I am so big on sharing testimonies. It shows others they aren’t in this alone. That’s the lie of the enemy and the easiest one he can get any one of us to believe, that we are alone. I told God when I rededicated my life to him that I would be a living testimony of His Word. I would openly share my walk with Him because I know for the longest time, I didn’t think anyone else would understand where I was at and the struggles I had. That is very isolating and when we are isolated, satan can have his way with us a lot easier than if we are surrounded by others who understand and can pray and lift us up because they know what we are going through.

Even in our isolation, God is still there. I think of Jesus and when he was tempted in the wilderness. He was by himself. He had been fasting for 40 days. I don’t know about you but after 40 hours of not eating my demeanor changes. Jesus held his own though. He was tempted and failed not. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. So even in those moments when we feel most alone, we have this written testimony of what Jesus did to meditate on and strengthen us. This is why it is so important that we read the Word. It is living water. It is life giving. It is the Truth. It saves. It gives. It fixes. It heals. It is everything we will ever need and it only has 613 commandments.

Amazingly enough, I see that even the people back in his day struggled with this. A Pharisee, one who was a lawyer (one who knows laws), asked which commandment was the greatest. He may as well have said, “There are so many commandments your God has given, how do we follow them all? Which is the greatest? Which should we follow first? How are we supposed to follow so many laws?”

Jesus answered with the perfect answer: LOVE.

If we love, it covers all the commandments because all the commandments were written out of love. If we choose love above all else, we operate in freedom not only for ourselves but we allow others to walk in it as well. They may not choose to but the opportunity is provided to them. You can put any one of your actions up against the question, “Did I do this in love?” and you will find where you need to repent, where you need to praise and where you need to be patient. Jesus made it so simple for us and yet we continue to over complicate things so often.

Preachers don’t preach on topics they haven’t already lived or dealt with. Remember that the next time you find yourself listening to a message that seems to be meant just for you. It was for them first. This post, was for me first. I’ve been working on my love walk and I’ve been failing miserably every day but I know at the end of the day I have things to give thanks for, I have things to repent for, I have adjustments that can be made and I have a new day coming to try again. Most importantly, I have a God, THE God, to praise and Jesus to thank for shedding his blood and covering it all. I have a lot to cover.

 

Matthew 22:36-40

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.