I love thinking about God. I love thinking about Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Christian life. I like envisioning all the ways I can change the world by spreading the Gospel of Christ far and wide. I mean, yes, I am an introvert who tries not to leave my home. And yes, I am a homeschooling mom with five children still at home. And sure, I get a little agitated sometimes when one of my darling children interrupts my globe-trotting fantasy of spreading the Gospel. And don’t even get me started on the people at the grocery store who leave their unattended carts in the middle of the aisle while they catch up with their next door neighbor or compare ounces to prices.
And when I say, “Don’t get me started,” I mean it. Because if I get started thinking about the disconnect between my “thinking about God time” and my “I live in this world time,” well, it’s tough. If you were to ask me how my faith life was doing, sitting in my comfy chair with my favorite drink and my highlighted Bible, I’d probably say, “Pretty good. You know, just always trying to grow in closer friendship with God.” We both may hear little birds chirping while the glorious sun shone through the perfectly styled window. And of course, a candle would lit or a diffuser diffusing in the background.
But if you were to ask me while I was maneuvering the cereal aisle–which, why by the blessed way, is it the narrowest aisle in the grocery store, the most visually assaulting, and the aisle everyone seems to run into their next door neighbor or some random child from the local sports team their kid played under three soccer or peewee football with ten years ago and everyone feels the overwhelming need to catch up? But I totally digress!
If you were to ask me in the above situation how my faith life was going…well, I might roll my eyes at you, as I tried to push my squeaky wheeled cart by you. Or I might just bold face lie, “Oh it’s good! Me and Jesus are BFF’s! I have the color coded Bible and email full of (unread) devotionals to prove it!”
When I used the word “disconnect” above, I seriously meant “disconnect.” And maybe it’s just me, and if so, thank you for reading this far. But I think more of us than care to admit, are struggling with our faith in action. We read all about it in the Good Book and can picture it in our heads but life has a funny way of making itself inconvenient and squashing that holy image pretty quickly.
I’ve started reading the New Living Translation this year and the preface to the Book of James states, “He [James] discussed pride, discrimination, greed, lust, hypocrisy, worldliness, and slander.” Sounds like a whole lot of faith life squashing tactics packed into five chapters doesn’t? But wait! There’s more, “James used several analogies to show how true faith must evidence itself in good works.”
Being the Thesaurus girl that I am, I looked up “evidence” as a verb. Synonyms include: prove, demonstrate, illustrate, indicate, manifest, signify, testify, confirm, display, exhibit, witness to name a few.
And right about now I’m asking myself, “So Jenny, how’s that ‘faith in action’ working out for you? Especially on the cereal aisle?”
If you’re asking yourself the same thing, let me invite you to our August Online Bible Study. And I get totally understand if you’re not asking yourself about yourself but instead you’re asking yourself about me! Trust me, I won’t assume you’re struggling with your faith in action by signing up. We can just all pretend it’s because you all want to see how a month in the Book of James totally transforms my cereal aisle attitude.
This month’s Online Bible Study will function just like last month’s, which was so much fun! Last month we reset our joy by working through the Book of Philippians. We had a Scripture Writing Plan, printable worksheets, a pretty lock screen for our phone or computer, weekly Facebook Live chats in our private, members-only group, a recorded “How to Verse Map in Your Journaling Bible” tutorial with one more to come on verse mapping in a notebook. In addition, I totally over delivered by hopping on Facebook Live regularly in the early mornings to chat about lessons found in the Book of Philippians! It really was fun, community-driven, and by the end of July each of us will have written the Book of Philippians in our own hand! How cool is that?!?
So who’s joining us in August for our “Faith in Action” Online Bible Study? There’s a Scripture Writing Plan, that if followed means we will have written the Book of James in our own hand! There are printable worksheets to help us dig deeper into the study, something pretty–a printable or lock screen or both, weekly scheduled Facebook Live chats, impromptu pop on Lives and a recorded “How To” video on some aspect of our Bible Study.
I mentioned last month when I opened enrollment that the price would be going up soon. I’ve decided to keep it the same $9.99 for August. The only price change is that you don’t have the opportunity to get a second month for $5 this time around.
A word about enrollment and this is important. Enrollment is only open for 5 days. Midnight on July 31st I will close enrollment for August. I will have a waiting list that you can join, but that filled up fast too last month. There are two reasons for this. The first is if I don’t close enrollment before we start our “Faith in Action” Online Bible Study, then my attention will be divided between friends working on the study and stragglers coming into the study; that’s not fair to those already enrolled and moving through the study. It’s also not fair to those who join feeling like they’ve walked into a room of people who have already become friends or feeling like they have to play catch-up with the study. For those reasons, this study will begin Wednesday, August 1st.