Seeking the Good of Others

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)

 

 

SRT-Corinthians-Shareimage-Day12.jpg

Managers of the Mysteries of God

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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 🙂

~Shelby

 

 

1 & 2 Corinthians Summer Study Begins!

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.

 

Fun facts:

  • 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.

 

Image result for map of corinth
Map of Corinth

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:

  1. 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?
  2. What ancient Corinthian problem do you  most relate to and why? How do you overcome it? (Pride, arrogance, social status, privileges, rebelliousness, etc.)
  3. 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?

 

 

Picking Summer Wine & Trusting in Him #WineWomenWordWednesday

I find it more and more these days that I say the words “I just need a glass of wine” and I am not saying that in a bad way. Between work, family and the busy pace of life it never seems like I have a moment to sit and relax. Some of my favorite past times are sitting on a patio (especially with the weather that we have been having lately) drinking a light Pinot Noir, with the perfect hints of blackberry and licorice. In those moments is seems like there isn’t a care in the world, there isn’t a future looming over my head or a past that seems to hold me back every chance it can. Being a woman in my mid twenties it seems like there is always something that is in my way, and in these moments I always find it necessary to refocus and look at what is important and run towards that.

Wine:

Ladies it is patio season, and finding a good wine to drink on the patio is always difficult. That is, unless you know what you are looking for. Here are some quick tips that might help you pick the perfect glass to sit back and put your feet up! What you want to look for is something that is going to be light and refreshing but also give you the wine taste that you always love. Sitting outside in this beautiful weather I would recommend a nice white or rose. If you are more of a sweet wine drinker, look for a German Riesling, these are going to give you that bit of sweet but it wont taste like you are drinking sugar. If you are more of a dry wine drinker try a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, with this you are going to get more of the earthy tones are looking for. Me on the other hand I prefer red, even when it is hot outside.

I have been into Pinot’s lately especially from Willamette Valley in Oregon, they are one of the lightest reds you can drink while still holding its rounded berry flavors. No matter what your preference there is never a bad time to have a nice glass of wine, particularly when it is with even better company.

Women:

I have been feeling the pressures lately, being 25 seeing all of my friends getting married, starting families, it is hard not to be there as well. BUT… then I stop and look at my life. I am living in one of the most beautiful cities, in a cute little studio with stunning view. For the first time in my life I do not have anything holding me down (or at least I tell myself I don’t) I can walk down the street with my boyfriend and choose from 30 restaurants. I am not a mom, or a wife and I am TOTALLY fine with that. I like that I don’t fit the mold and when I am ready to be in that position then God will let me know when it is time, but until then, I am perfectly content with my little life.

Word:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

I have this painted on a wood plank that hangs in my entryway. I see it every morning before I leave for work and then the moment I come home. It is hard to remember sometimes that my strength is not my own. He is the one that can get through everything and as long as I put my troubles and worries on him, he will guide me through the rest. I know when I have Christ in my corner I can do anything, even in my darkest moments, my most frustrating moments, the moments that I am afraid to take another step forward, I know that he is there to take my hand and do the difficult work as he walks me through life. I just have to remember that I can do ALL things through HIM.

~Paige

Paige is a photographer and an administrative assistant. She has crazy amounts of wine knowledge because of many years working in the restaurant industry, including working for her dad’s restaurant Nick and Jakes. She is an amazing strong women. Check out her photography website: http://www.paigekime.com/ 

Paige Kime

Ask for it!

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for. ~Oprah Winfrey

I’m motivated by quotes. It’s like little truth nuggets that boost me throughout the week. I happened upon this today and had to share.

This quote is so pertinent to a goal I have going on this week. I struggle to say what’s on my mind. I’m afraid of hurting other’s feelings, or being rejected by other people. So I tend to not stand up for myself or voice any issues I’m experiencing.

Do you do this? We need to have courage to, kindly and bravely, ask for the things we need. It’s okay to not agree with everything everyone says. If others are willing to speak their minds, you should feel comfortable doing so too.

If you speak from a place of love and fairness, you need not worry about if your concerns will be rejected. Your voice needs to be heard, so speak your truth! Don’t let it build up from within. And feel freer knowing you’ve had courage to ask for what you’re needing today. You are worth it.

 

~Shelby

The woman to be admired & praised.

This is just poetic.

Proverbs 31, The Message

1-31 A good woman is hard to find,
    and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
    and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
    all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
    and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
    and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
    for her family and organizing her day.

She looks over a field and buys it,
    then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
    rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
    is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
    diligent in homemaking.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
    reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
    their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
    and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
    when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
    brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
    and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
    and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
    and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
    her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
    but you’ve outclassed them all!”

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
    The woman to be admired and praised
    is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
    Festoon her life with praises!