I love magic. **All people that know me rolls their eyes** My favorite books are Harry Potter and The Land of Stories, my favorite show is Once Upon a Time, and growing up I had… More
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, bearing this inscription: The Lord knows those who are his, and let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.
2 Timothy 2:19
This week the Wine Women & the Word bible study read week 2 of the She Reads Truth study. It continues to impress me how blunt and straight forward Paul is. I know it’s true in my own life that sometimes the most obvious things can in fact not be that obvious at all. Or worse, we know the truth and choose to believe it doesn’t apply to us.
I’m enjoying imagining myself as a student of Paul’s. I’ve considered greatly what it means to imitate Christ and to have Godly wisdom guide my decisions and actions. He gives good instruction on keeping my marriage healthy by fully dedicating myself to it. His advice on living well, so as not to lead my fellow friends and family astray, is important.
The way we speak (or don’t speak), the way we act (or react), the things we dedicate our time to (or waste our time doing), the kindness (or hostility) towards others…all these actions speak volumes.
I encourage you to go through your week and think about what kind of example you set. I know we can all be a beacon of light, servant hearted and loving to all because everyone we meet is worth receiving that.
1 Corinthians Chapters 6-10
(spark notes edition)
- Settle lawsuits among Christians and before the righteous
- 1 Corinthians 6:12 Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims. (The Message)
- Live in Peace
- Words to the married and unmarried. Finding peace together so you may work it out in the hard times. Pleasing each other in your marriage, working on all things together.
- What to do when it doesn’t work out.
- Don’t cause your brother or sister to fall
- Living in a way pleasing to God and being a good example for young believers.
- 2 Timothy 2:15-18 Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul. (The Message)
- Imitate Christ
- 1 corinthians 11:1-2 It pleases me that you continue to remember and honor me by keeping up the traditions of the faith I taught you. All actual authority stems from Christ. (The Message)
I came across this shirt today and thought it summed up the idea of true LOVE for others (picture below). How often have we heard ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’ or ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The concept seems simple right? First, you must love and respect yourself. You must be kind in your thoughts, gentle to your shortcomings and give yourself grace on the hardest days. Sometimes it’s hard to do that, but when it comes to loving ourselves the concept is much easier. We strive to feed ourselves, fulfill our basic needs, necessities and fulfill general duties to our families and friends.
Even at the most surface level, this concept should be easily applied to anyone else you come across. Being kind, respectful, providing help if you can, giving grace when people mess up should be our default…and yet it is so easy to judge and be hateful. This is where many people get it wrong. We were not put on this earth to judge. We all make mistakes, sin and fail. We are called to live a life of love. To serve others the way Christ did. How many stories are there in the bible that has Jesus talking to tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners? Do you see him segregating himself from those he deems unworthy? No. So why do we?
To the clerk at the grocery store, the homeless person you pass on the way to work, the hateful family member, other professions, beliefs, nations, religions, nationalities, prostitutes, sinners and tax collectors….we owe love. We teach by loving and caring.
Something Marshall, my husband, and I often talk about is that respecting someone’s point of view, listening to their thoughts and validating their thought process does not mean you have to agree with it. You can kindly listen and not agree. You can respect and have different views. You can love without jeopardizing your own beliefs. Why is this so hard to grasp?
So remember today:
Love thy foreign, homeless, prostitute, imprisoned, disabled, gay, straight, transgender, enemy, blue collar, white collar, old, young, black, white, lonely, jewish, muslim, christian, atheist, male, female, racist, addicted, rich, poor, liberal, conservative, different from you __________ NEIGHBOR.
What identifier do you need to fill in the blank so you remember this? Go out today and LOVE. Be kind, be strong and be loving to everyone you meet. Maybe pray a little too.
Images property of https://cyny.org/all/loveshirt. Also- go buy this shirt.
“Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else.”
When we see people being successful it’s hard not to feel envious. It’s hard not to wonder why my life isn’t working out the same way their is.
Remember you don’t want to be a copy of someone else. You are meant to be completely unique and serve a totally different purpose on this earth.
Be new, be YOU, be innovative. Don’t be afraid to be different or like what you like. You excel and be bold in who you are. Be first-rate today.
1 Corinthians chapters 1-5, Week 1
This is the first full week of reading She Reads Truth’s 1 & 2 Corinthian’s bible study! My Wine Women and the Word gals have been reading and preparing to chit chat over some wine and the teachings of Paul.
First, props to Paul for just laying it all out there. There was no beating around the bush, not intricately constructing of words, no nonsense…this man fiercely wanted to get a message across to the Corinthians by all means necessary.
Our readings this week dealt with power, false wisdom, spiritual wisdom, foolishness, servanthood, our calling, humility and discipline. Yeah…that sounds like a lot. Paul knew the tendency of the Corinthians towards self centeredness and self sufficiency and has swooped in to set the record straight. As human beings we are all prone to this lifestyle and listening to Paul was pretty humbling.
Paul tells us
God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9
It starts out simple. Fellowship is when you associate with people who share a common interest. Jesus died, we follow his teachings, we are saved. BOOM DONE. Yeah it can be that simple, but we humans like to complicate things with our selfishness, hence Paul talking to the Corinithians. The Jews and the Greeks especially had a hard time accepting Christ. Jews found weakness in Jesus’ death and the Greeks, who dwelled upon the wisdom per their culture, found Christ’s death to be nonsensical.
It’s really easy to see where they are coming from. Belief in something that is unseen takes inordinate amounts of faith. No, we can’t just download the answer to life in Christ and install it into our brains. We can’t google our way to eternity. It takes a quiet listening to the Holy Spirit speaking within you, it takes stepping away from what the world deems as important. It makes you step off the religion cliff, trusting that by following God we will be safely caught in a net before we crash and burn. The non-followers of Corinth could not make sense of this leap of faith and deemed it foolishness.
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who don’t believe, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved.
1 Corinthians 1:18
Paul sees the Corinthians have fallen victim to worldly distractions. They’re getting wrapped up in titles, in who they serve, which church they follow or what person they study under. Paul says
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave growth.
1 Corinthians 2:6
It is not an allegiance to any teacher, it is only God that matters. Teachers and bible studies can supplement, but they are not the main focus. They are merely tools in helping spread the word. We may strongly support global missions, feeding the poor or funding missionaries, but it is important to remember that though those things are good, they are merely ornaments on the life we are building. The foundation is God and can be nothing else.
In 1 Corinthians 4, Paul says something I love: His Grace is your qualification. I have a tendency to feel inadequate when measured up to successful and smart people. Lies creep in: Who am I to be leading a bible study? Why am I attempting to give advice? Am I qualified to spread the good news of Christ? WHAT IF I GET IT WRONG? Paul reminds the Corinthians that whether we are newbies or lifetime scholars of the bible, we all qualified. We have all been given the same mission:
A person should think of us in this way; as servants of Christ and managers of the mysteries of God.
1 Corinthians 4:1
Ok how cool is that? “Managers of the mysteries of God.” That’s going on my resume. It’s important to remember that no matter where you are in your faith you are already fulfilling your mission. If you believe, if you live a life worthy of God’s teachings, if you humble yourself and make Christ the center then you are already showing the world that there is something more important worth living for. You are ministering simply by living.
When you follow God your world shifts. You may do many of the same things, but your purpose shifts. Suddenly we are called to love unconditionally, to give, to serve, to not judge others, to live by God’s word and to model it for others. We no longer become the center of our own lives, Christ does. This often means others do too, as we are called to serve others as Christ served others. We are called to be humble, kind, strong, truthful, to learn and to listen to the whispers of the Holy Spirit (even when we don’t want to).
When I think about it this way it sounds simple. It makes all the premeditated instagram posts, the constant resume builders, or the worldly desires I have fall away on a heap beside me. When we put on humility, love and discipline we have nothing to fear from others or the world. It makes me want to run through a field of flowers and joyfully shout that God has GOT THIS. Most of all, it makes me want to keep reading Week 2 of the study…I’m soaking this up like a sponge and can’t wait to see what comes next.
Questions to consider this week:
- What righteous thing do I put as more important than God or the Holy Spirit? Is it my own understanding? Is it the teachings of a favorite pastor or author? Evaluate: is God my center?
- How is the foolish teachings of the world clouding my judgment? What thing, though it may seem logical, is holding me back from firmly grasping God’s truth?
I’d love to know your answers 🙂
1 & 2 Corinthians | Our Wine Women & the Word Summer Bible Study
I am getting really excited as I start learning the history of Paul and the Corinthians in preparation for the new She Reads Truth study. In this study about 1 & 2 Corinthians I’m curious to hear Paul talk about topics such as love, spiritual gifts, repentance and resurrection. It’s really interesting to me, as I read about common problems for the church of Corinth, how relevant they still are today. (I’m sure I’ll see even greater connections after the study). Arrogance and the desire to gain social notability is just as relevant now as it was then, even if the context has changed a little. We are surrounded by people that live to please themselves, that search to gain better jobs or more recognition, to get more money or more followers on social media. Can some of these things be great? Absolutely. But how easy it is to fall into that trap of desiring it for your own benefits and not for the advancement of the Word.
I’m so guilty of this.
As my Wine Women & the Word bible study starts for the summer I am excited for us rockstar women to have some real talk about love, redemption and our roles. We will strive to connect these principles to our every day lives. These aren’t just stories to read, they are guidelines on living. Are we going to read the letters and ignore the teachings? Or are we going to choose to really understand and apply what we know?
I’ve thought about what it would be like to totally disconnect from social media for a day, for a week, or a month. I like to understand and know what is going on, so for me social media would be the hardest thing to completely give up. I think a clean break from scrolling through feeds on Instagram, CNN or Pinterest would be so much more challenging than I like to admit. But I’m feeling tired. I’m feeling brought down by the world and the worldly expectations of others. We are here to build each other up, so why do so many of us feel weighed down?
As we start week 1 and 2 we will begin to learn what it means to boast in the Lord and to find our roles in the body of Christ. I may not be a member of Corinth’s church, but for any of us that believe and know about Jesus we are members of his church and are given a specific way to live wisely and lovingly. I’m excited to see what we learn and to share our journey along the way.
Read below for a history and background of 1 & 2 Corinthians. Having this base knowledge will create even more depth for the study. Allow yourself to read, connect and learn.
- Paul wrote the letters 1 & 2 corinthians
- Out of the 27 New Testament books, Paul is attributed to 13.
- Paul was originally born as Saul. His early life was not one of a Christian. It involved hatred towards the Christians, arrogance and persecution.
- He was a an educated Jewish scholar that originally thought Jesus to be a false Messiah. He even took part in the stoning of a Christian man named Stephen.
- Paul had a life altering encounter (some say supernatural) with Jesus that caused him to see and repent. This just shows that no one is too far gone to turn their lives around.
- Acrocorinth is a small, but step mountain high on the Peloponnesian peninsula in southern Greece.
- Corinth was built at the mountain’s foot.
- This city was destroyed in 146 BC due to a war with Rome.
- In 44 BC Julius Ceasar rebuilds Corinth as a colony of Rome.
- The author Pausanias wrote about Corinth in the mid-second century and described the city like a tour guide of pagan monuments and sacred sites. Corinth was littered with many temples.
Background and History
The letters 1 & 2 Corinthians were written by Paul from the city of Ephesus in the Roman province of Asia. Paul wants the church in Corinth to work together to advance the gospel. He is writing to them because they have become divided by arrogance and pride, especially among those of the more powerful members.
Corinth connected the Greek mainland with the Peloponnesian peninsula. It was a high traffic area where many cultures and religions resided. Many gods found a home in Corinth and were integrated into governmental activities such as festivals, trade guilds, social clubs and every day life. Traveling spokespeople often stopped in Corinth to charge a fee as they advised people on how to advance socially. (Hmmmm that sounds like society today!)
Paul brought the gospel to Corinth and a church was established. After settling in Ephesus for 3 years, he heard word of the church’s problems and he sent a letter to the church addressing problems such as sexual immorality, division in the church and social snobbery. This extended letter (also known as 1 corinthians) addresses the root of the problem: arrogance. He says that living in this way was incompatible with God’s free gifts to them in Christ. The gifts including: wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. A self centered lifestyle as the expense of the under privileged was simply not going to cut it. It was clear that their personal social advancement was more important than the gospel’s advancement.
The second letter to the Corinthians (the book of 2 Corinthians in the bible) focused on the relationship between the suffering and the power of the spirit in Paul’s life/ministry/message. This letter is a response to a complicated history between Paul and the Corinithian church. Paul sent Timothy to Corinth and found the church, again, in turmoil. Paul then went to Corinth himself to resolve some issues, but found a small minority of the church to be very rebellious towards him. He left and extended mercy to them. He writes to strengthen the majority of the church that are faithful and to offer the small percentage of rebels a chance to repent. He covers topics about encouragement, discipline and joy over the repentance of the Corinthians.
Questions to consider:
- Paul has a crazy cool story about accepting Christ and changing his lifestyle. What have you seen in your life, or someone else’s, that has changed dramatically since learning and following Christ?
- What ancient Corinthian problem do you most relate to and why? How do you overcome it? (Pride, arrogance, social status, privileges, rebelliousness, etc.)
- The Key Verse for the She Reads Truth introduction of our 1 & 2 Corinthian study is: 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his son. Jesus Christ is our Lord. What do you think this verse means? What do you hope to know more about this verse and this study?
A message from Shelby’s mom #Chris on this holiday!
I LOVE WINE. The kind of love where I curl up in a chair with my feet under me. I exhale a relaxing breath, smile, close my eyes, and breathe in the oak barrel smell while soft music plays in the background. Ahhh, I can picture it now; an evening on the patio savoring those familiar, relaxing experiences. Pure relaxation.
One of my favorite things about wine is that it brings friends together. I love it because it tends to be a common ingredient for girlfriend time. We can kick it and sip for HOURS.
You know what I am talking about…”kick it” with friends. Relax somewhere with other people, not doing anything in particular. Everyone can relate to “girlfriend time.” That moment of connecting with women through quality time and conversation. Sippin’ wine is the catalyst to quality time with those we care about.
The path of love is the path
of bravery and, then, if we are
lucky, genuine connection based
on genuine communication.
This is the only love that
is invincible, for it can handle
change, it can manage confusion.
Love is found only in this genuinity.
~ Waylon Lewis
Ladies, sometimes we forget to relax. Have you made yourself a priority lately? There is nothing quite like a recharge you get from girlfriend time. Everyone benefits from the positivity of the encounter. It really isn’t about the wine. It is about the shared experience with those you care most about. Wine is the conversation starter.
Does anyone know which page of the bible explains how to turn water into wine? Asking for a friend…Ok ok, the silly part of me is starting to show. So if you want to know how I live my wine/women/word I have guiding principles as I navigate this thing called life.
I need a glass of wine.
Or a bottle.
Or a winery in Italy.
Friendships must be built on a solid foundation of wine, sarcasm, and shenanigans.
Always keep a bottle of wine in the fridge for special occasions. Like Wednesday.
Remember to do some sippin’ and kickin’ and celebrate every day like its National Wine Day! Grab a friend, have a chat and enjoy a sunshine-on-a-patio filled happy hour.
I work as an elementary Tech Teacher. This is the end of my first year here at my school. As I let kids out of their cars at bus duty this morning I found myself saying, “We did it! It’s the last day of school!”
This “I did it feeling” is pretty triumphant for me today. The kids kind of smile and go on their way like, “yeah Mrs. Miller, we came to school, no big deal.” But all I feel is this giddiness to think that I MADE IT.
This time a year ago I was doing graphic design freelance and working in a church. I was doing many things I enjoyed, but was still feeling unfulfilled. On a whim I applied to an Instructional Aide position in an elementary school. The posting said I would be able to work in various classrooms, help with lessons and be a support for the teachers.
I’ve always had an interest in education. Through college I traveled and worked with 3 different schools in Peru, Jamaica and Nepal. I made advocacy posters for education on campus and read with 2nd graders a couple hours a week. It’s funny how God can be working in your life despite what you’re pursuing on your own. I love design stuff, don’t get me wrong. I think God knew I was an achiever…that he’d be able to use my design skills to bring me to the place he wanted me all along.
A principal emailed me last June and said he saw my resume. He said there was a Technology Teacher position open and that with my design and tech background I’d be a great candidate. That week I went in for an interview (knowing almost nothing except that I REALLY wanted to know more). I would go on to take the job and start my Master’s in Education within the following school year.
My design job got me into a school before I’ve finished my teaching degree. God worked with my heart to help me say NO to my other jobs and YES to the opportunity he wanted me in. It’s so crazy to see the puzzle pieces come together.
So here I am, one year later. I learned how to write lessons and teach them. I got to be creative and have fun and build relationships with all the students in my school. A family gave me a mug today that says “Teaching is a work of heart.” I cried a little, not going to lie. When you’re on the right path you’ll know because of this full-hearted feeling. The feeling of being filled up by goodness. I did not see this coming.
Happy summer to all my teacher friends! And to my students- I can’t wait to see you next year!
Ladies, grab a glass of wine tonight because YOU DESERVE IT. Not that you need a reason to treat yo’self, of course. I’m having a glass tonight for self care, for relaxation and to enjoy the complexity of something so simple. I’ll admit I’m writing this before Wednesday. I’m sipping on a Trader Joes wine called Purple Moon Merlot. I’ve always had a love of full moons and their beauty so that’s the real reason I was drawn to this one (I can’t help but love the designs). Coming in well under $10 it was worth the investment, plus I loved it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
As I sip I read my combined Women & Word section posted below. This poem is so simple and yet impactful. Each of you, though pretty, are born with so much to be proud of. You were born on this earth for a specific purpose only YOU can fulfill. Don’t forget that and don’t forget to keep striving for your greatness. Remind a friend today of all they are worth and that they are important.
Women & Word:
It’s the last week of school, Grad classes are moving full steam ahead, we had Mother’s Day, school carnival, baseball games, wedding shower prep, taking down my classroom, teaching yoga classes, bible study and not to mention every day things like, oh yeah, eating and sleeping.
It is so hard not to get caught in the frenzy.
One of my biggest weaknesses is being present in the moment. So often I am doing one thing, but my brain is 3 activities ahead. We remember activities based on what we give our mind to. It’s very hard to fully experience, let alone enjoy, something when you are constantly running through mental to do lists.
When I teach yoga classes I will often say, “Set aside your mental todo list, it will be there when you are done. Take this time to fully focus your mind on your body and on your mat.” I had a teacher say this in a class I was taking and, though simple, made me stop and really think. Making your last mental note before jumping full focus into an activity is a good exercise to help you be fully aware of the current experience.
I had some great counsel recently on grounding. Grounding is the act of rooting yourself and your thoughts in this moment. Think of it literally: when we ground ourselves on our yoga mat, in the classroom with kids, or in your living room with family, you are feeling the ground beneath your feet. You are rooting yourself in that location and even in a conversation. If you often find your mind wandering, your body pacing or constantly moving, you probably are not grounded. Allow yourself to settle and enjoy.
The counsel I received was this wonderful exercise. When you walk into a new room or a new situation as your day progresses, think through these 4 senses:
Take a deep breath, look around and
4: Note 4 things that you SEE
3. Note 3 things that you HEAR
2. Note 2 things that you FEEL (touch or feelings)
1. Note 1 thing that you smell
Feel free to mix and match and take time to observe your environment. If we allow ourselves to get caught in the frenzy we will be swept away by stress, doubt and sleepless nights. There can be peace and enjoyment in the frenzy. For me the goal this week is simply to ‘experience.’ As I get better at this exercise the goal will be to truly ENJOY. We all start with baby steps.
What 4321 things are you experiencing right now?
34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I love when the universe collides. You know how someone mentions one thing to you and then all of a sudden you’re seeing it everywhere? Or when you’ve been reading about a topic and all of a sudden it pops up in something totally unrelated?
That’s some real life magic right there.
This month I got a Yoga with Adriene email newsletter. Adriene Mishler- the creator and teacher on Yoga with Adriene– always has an uplifting point of view. I love that she is just so real and QUIRKY. She is just so fun. I’m currently doing one of her yoga challenges you can find here.
I followed a link to a blog post about a little something called Ahimsa. This was a topic I studied in yoga training and have always enjoyed. Ahimsa, by definition, is the principle of nonviolence toward all living things. It is a building block of yoga and one of the first yamas.
Anyway, the idea of nonviolence is crucial to our happiness and to finding truth in our lives. Violence does not necessarily mean fighting or physical violence. We show violence to ourselves in many ways, and always to our detriment.
Not forgiving a friend produces resentment. Eating unhealthy foods in excess isn’t treating our body like a temple. Being angry while driving sets your day off on the wrong foot. Not taking time to rest, doubting ourselves, saying harsh things about your appearance or abilities…all these things are so common and are examples of violence.
Ahimsa is the practice of nonviolence. It’s taking the time to realize what things you need to be more kind about. For me, it has been battling negative thoughts about my relationship with friends and coworkers, or even my relationship with myself. I could sit and wallow in that for days. My act of Ahimsa has been journaling and making distinct efforts to understand my friend’s ‘Love Languages.’ I’m also being kind to myself when I start identifying more with my faults than my strengths. We all have both of those things, it’s what we do with them that matters.
Perhaps yours is negative self talk. Today your Ahimsa could be listing out the negative feelings that constantly bombard your brain and counteract it with some TRUTH. Next to the negative things write down a truth that counteracts each of those thoughts. You can even write down solutions to those struggles.
How can you start practicing Ahimsa?
Start taking time for yourself.
Start a gratitude journal.
Show love to that odd coworker instead of talking about them in the lounge.
Take time for a yoga practice or regular walks.
Give yourself 5 extra minutes in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Allow time in your schedule for changes.
Stop and think of that thing, person or activity that reallllly pushes your buttons. Don’t let that anger or self-talk take over your day. How can you practice non-violence, or love, towards these situations? If you don’t like something then change it.
So I’ve had Ahimsa on my mind. Then that thing happened where you start seeing other connections.
Recently at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) we were reading about showing love and encouraging others. We read in Romans 15: 5-7
5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
and then Romans 15: 13
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
These messages began to fall so perfectly together for me. The idea of being filled up with joy and peace leaves our spirits to abound in hope. When you are filled up with joy, peace, hope and truth there isn’t room for violent thoughts.
When we are filled up we are then called to do the same to others. We are to encourage and lift up those around us. It is our duty to build them up in the same way The Word has built us up.
That’s some serious Ahimsa.
Today I hope you take time to work on nonviolence. To allow scripture and words and love fill you up. When we are feeling fulfilled we can better combat those violent lies that creep in. You have to actually invest time and effort to see progress, so why not start now? It’ll only result in a happier self. You’re worth it. Perhaps your first act of nonviolence will be taking this time and making changes for yourself.