Join the Womens Bible Cafe™ as we study Elijah: Spiritual Stamina in Every Seasonby Melissa Spoelstra. This new online Bible study begins September 24, 2018. Life is like a rollercoaster. One day it seems that everything in life is good, and the next day it can feel like everything is falling apart. Then there are those in between days when we’re coasting along without much thought to the highs or lows. The prophet Elijah experienced this rollercoaster ride as well. One moment he was hiding out in the wilderness during a famine, being fed by the ravens, and the next he was on the mountaintop where God showed up in a powerful way with fire and then rain. Even Elijah grew weary of all the ups and downs, telling God, “I have had enough” (1 Kings 19:4). He needed spiritual stamina in order to keep on going and fulfill all the plans God had for his life. We do too!
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Elijah Bible Study for Women
In this six-week study grounded in 1 and 2 Kings, we will examine the life of the prophet Elijah, an ordinary man who did extraordinary things for God in the midst of the highs and lows of life. We’ll learn some of the spiritual stamina secrets that helped him to hold on and persevere in faith, including practical habits related to making decisions, caring for the soul, accepting his circumstances, mentoring, and finishing well—which was his ultimate legacy. Whether we’re currently in a mountaintop season where we’re experiencing God’s power and blessing, a valley season where we feel like running away, or somewhere in between, Elijah’s life will inspire us to go the distance in the life of faith. Best of all, his story will challenge us but not shame us, because we’ll discover that Elijah was just as human as we are. He doubted and struggled just as we do, but ultimately, he chose to believe God. As we study his life, we will grow in faith and develop spiritual stamina that will help us not only to survive but actually thrive in every season.
The Participant Book includes five days of lessons for each week, combining study of Scripture with personal reflection, application, and prayer. You’ll read the lessons at home and join an online discussion group led by Womens Bible Cafe™ leaders.
You’ll join us from home, your minivan, or your office.. no need to get dressed up for this Bible study!
We have women around the world joining us right where they are. No hassles getting to the Womens Bible Cafe™. No designated small group with a leader you might not like. Select your own small groups, decide when you want to attend, and grow in faith as the Holy Spirit teaches and moves during these online discussions.
Best of all, if you miss your regular small group because of another event, all you need to do is attend any of the other groups during the week. All groups are open attendance and everyone is welcome…the Bible Cafe™ is available for women seeking more Jesus.
Our talented team of small group leaders directed by Sonya Morris Nelson consists of theology students, pastor’s wives, certified Bible teachers, missionaries and more!
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Shortly after posting this comment on Twitter, I was contacted by the BibleGateway team for an interview.
Their response: We think the Bible Gateway App is a great tool for Bible reading and study. But when we read about somebody using it to complete dozens of Bible studies and a theology degree, we had to know more. So we got in touch with Women’s Bible Cafe to learn a bit more about the work they do, and how the Bible Gateway App helps them do it.
People often ask me how I read 100 books in a year, so I’m sharing my tips to encourage you to read inspirational books. Even though I work full time, have two busy teenagers at home, I’m finishing my Biblical Studies degree at Liberty University, and I lead a large online ministry…I’ve continued to pursue my passion of reading. Our Book Club Director Heather C. King read TWICE as many books in 2015!
10 Tips to Read 100 Books in a Year
Tip #1 Never waste time!
Using my smartphone or iPad, I carry Kindle ebooks everywhere I go. The books synchronize to my last page read. When I find myself waiting at a doctor’s appointment or car repair shop, I’ll thumb through my book collection and find something to read. Waiting room magazines are typically outdated and gossip-centered, so I carry healthy books in electronic format.
Tip #2 Lower the Cost!
Just as I don’t like wasting time, I also don’t like wasting money. So each morning I jump on Amazon and look for free and discounted Kindle ebook deals. I share these deals with others via http://lifeversebooks.com/newsletter
Tip 3# Free is Good!
After searching free books on Amazon each day, I then search NetGallery for pre-published books. I’m able to download these to my iPad (or Kindle device) and read prior to their actual release date. In exchange for the free book I’ll write an honest review on my blog at LifeVerseBooks and also on consumer sites such as Amazon. My local library doesn’t carry many Christian books so borrowing is not available to me. With free Kindle books I never have a due date!
Tip #4 Join a Book Club!
My local leadership group reads one Christian book per month, and we meet the first Saturday of each month to discuss the book. It’s exciting to read with like-minded people and then discuss key concepts from your books. At WBC we have an online book club with more than 11,000+ women at http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCbooks/
Tip #5 Turn off the car engine and read during carpool!
If you’re a parent like me then you’re carpooling kids all over town. Arrive early for pick-up, turn off the engine and wait in the carpool line with other parents who arrive early and read books. Watch the clock and before the kids are released, close your book and pay attention to the traffic and kids. I typically arrive 20 minutes early and read for 15 minutes, twice a day. Some people listen to audiobooks on long car rides or commuter trains, just make sure you’re not listening as you drive.
Tip #6 Turn off the television!
While television is relaxing entertainment, it often fills my mind with negative images and thoughts. I’ll limit my viewing time, especially before bed at night. When I read an inspirational book before falling asleep, I’m more rested and relaxed for the next day. I’d rather spend five hours a week reading books than five hours watching television- but that’s because I enjoy reading books. Set a goal to read 20 minutes a day and soon you’ll have less television and more books. Rarely do we see articles “How to Watch 365 Hours of Television in a Year” but I think it’s easy to do! One hour a day, 365 days a year… it adds up over time!
Tip #7 Set a timer on social media!
It’s easy to get online and lose track of time, so I set a countdown timer on my phone and when it rings I get offline. To be more productive, twice a year I record all of my activities for two weeks. Using a calendar format, I write down everything I’m doing and after two weeks I add the minutes into time blocks. Then I limit the unproductive activities (social media, electronic games) and increase my productivity (reading books).
Tip #8 Read more than one book at a time!
I get bored easily, so reading multiple books keeps me entertained and encouraged (like channel surfing with the television remote control). I’ll read one chapter from each book, switching between topics and expanding my knowledge. When a book is really good, I’ll put the other two books aside for a few days and plow through the five-star book instead!
Tip #9 Explore different authors and topics!
I learn fast so when I read the same author or topic repeatedly, I get bored and can even predict the next chapter or ending. To offset this conditioning I explore different authors and topics. The books I read are non-denominational. The Holy Bible English Standard Version is my plumb line and when I disagree with the theology or teaching of a book author, I fact-check with the Bible itself.
Tip #10 Read in front of others!
Books are conversation starters! Reading is healthy and expands your vocabulary. Since kids learn from our behavior, we model habits they’ll adopt later in life. After reading 100 books in front of my kids and husband…my husband who reads “one book a year” is now reading beside me, discussing with his local small group, and sharing what he’s learned. My teenagers are reading too! Read for yourself and others will follow.
Bonus Tip: Store your books in the free Kindle Cloud Reader instead of your device. Only download the books you’re currently reading to save memory on the device.
Bonus Tip: When I finish a book, I copy my book highlights into a document file so I can retrieve them later. You can find your book highlights at http://kindle.amazon.com
Now it’s your turn! Post a comment below and share your tips too!
Many women have been asking about my Simple Prayer Box and sharing my photos with their friends. I started this a few years ago when my I selected “simplicity” as my one focus word for the year. I wanted a simple method to organize my prayers and remind myself to interceded for family and friends. I’ve made a few changes since then and here is the prayer box I’m using today.
How to Create a Simple Prayer Box
You’ll need these items for your prayer box:
Index card file box with key
Index card blank tabs
Index card 1-31 tabs (optional)
I found my file box at Walmart and another one at the local office supply store. You can also find them at Amazon in pretty colors: pink, white or silver and black. I was not able to find the index blank tabs locally so I bought them online. See resources below if you cannot find the items where you live.
How to Use Your Simple Prayer Box
Organize your box using the index tabs. Here’s how I have organized my box using these tabs:
Ministry leaders at Womens Bible Cafe
Ministry Leaders in other ministries
Scripture Verses- (Beth Moore SSMT my memory verses)
My Bible study small groups
Church- my local church, other churches, pastors
Fasting- when I am fasting I keep cards on my prayers and answered prayers
Prayer Room- these are the women who post prayer requests online
Country and Government
Daily tabs 1-31
Behind each tab I keep the names in alphabetical order, it’s easier for me to find the name of a friend and add her prayer to her card. If someone has a scheduled surgery, mammogram, doctor’s appointment, job interview, etc.- I use the numbered tabs and move her card there so I remember to pray for her on a specific date. I also use the numbered tabs to remember birthdays. Under monthly tabs I keep a record of the dates to celebrate the life of a loved one, anniversaries, or special events.
During my quiet time with the Lord, I pull a stack of cards and pray through them. If I am convicted of a Scripture verse, I write it on the prayer card including the date. Several of my friends have breast cancer, so I keep all their names on a single card and set aside time to pray for them as a group. When prayers are answered, I write this on my card.
You could write the address, phone number and email of your friends on the top or back of the card. Then as you are praying send them a text message, or if you have the time, a handwritten card. Don’t complicate this…as you create your own prayer box pray and ask the Lord how to keep it simple so that you will use it.
I’d love to see photos and ideas from your own prayer boxes, so please post them on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. These are wonderful gifts ideas for your girlfriends and Bible study leaders. It’s also a good activity for local small groups to create their boxes together.
As promised, these are the resources if you can’t find the items locally.
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Do not buy index cards at Walmart, I discovered the paper is really thin and doesn’t hold up well. If you want to save money, split the cost of the blank tabs with a friend, or don’t use the 1-31 tabs. Keep in mind this is something you’ll use for years, so the initial cost is small compared to the long-term use!
Last month I went Bible shopping with my family and we had so much fun! One lady was there looking for her first Bible and said “Your family is so entertaining, I’ve never had so much fun!” All I can say is that we looked like characters from a popular reality television show with the initials “DD.”
My kids needed Bibles for summer camp. My 12 year old daughter is upgrading from her purple princess Bible with crystal beads. I showed her a Life Application Study Bible in small size and she says “Mom, I don’t need THAT!!! All I want is Bible with just the words, nothing else!”
My teenager daughter rolls her eyes, says “I don’t need one, they share the verses on the screen anyway!” When her sister picks out a cool Bible suddenly she “needs” one too.
My husband says “I love my Bible, and I don’t need a new one because I bring my iPad to church.”
I scan the rows back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I picked up every Bible that caught my eye; most were pink or purple leather. I look at the translations, I say “this one is too heavy” or “the print is too tiny.” Finally I find one that is called “Large Print Compact Bible” and the cover is so beautiful, I MUST have it. My husband asks “How many Bibles do you own already?” The woman observing us just burst out laughing.
I explained to my captive audience “I have the first Bible I learned from, my Life Application Bible Large Printand it’s too heavy for church. So I bought a Thinline Bible for church and the print is so small I can’t see it. Then I have my Inductive Study Bible and the chapters do not have descriptions, you need to write them in yourself. I have my Leadership Bible, Commentary Bible (s) and my all time favorite is the Spirit-Filled Bible but it’s not in the translations I like using right now.” I forgot to mention that I also have Greek-Hebrew Keyword Bible, probably because I never use this one.
Finally my husband and kids get to the cashier and she asks “Do you want your name embossed on the cover?” So my husband yells across the Christian bookstore/coffee shop “Honey, do we want the kids names printed on the Bible?” I yell back “Well, they are going to summer camp with 700 kids so it would be nice.” As the kids Bibles are being embossed, I decide on a Bible to purchase for myself (the one in this photo). My husband yells, “Honey, do you want yours embossed too?” I yell back, “No thank you. The cover is so pretty I don’t want to mess it up.” He pays for my Bible and then says “Happy Mother’s Day” to which the jaws drop on the people around us. He continues “I know Father’s Day is tomorrow so today’s the last day to get you a gift.” I am hysterical with laughter while the other Christians in the store are hiding smiles behind their hands.
The kids are delighted and we finally left the store with three Bibles, two which are embossed with names.
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