Archive for the ‘Summer Bible Study’ Category

Tuesday’s Common Meal!!!

Hey there ladies! Howdy from Atlanta! Here is this week’s Common Meal. The main dish is Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti. If you haven’t made this already, it really is a wonderful recipe and not to mention, it is very convenient for a group gathering. Convenient and good wins brownie points. I am listing two desserts to choose between: Barefoot Contessa’s Apple Crostata and Kimberly Meyer’s Banana Pudding. Kimberly Meyer is a super-employee at Living Proof and when I first tried her banana pudding, I passed out in ecstasy. Both desserts are wonderful, but obviously with the banana pudding, you won’t have to roll out a pie crust. And lastly, because I love you ladies with my whole heart, I want to add something for those meeting around brunch or lunch-time (in place of the Chicken Spaghetti). I am adding my favorite Mini Cucumber Sandwich recipe. I must admit that I am a sucker for Cucumber Sandwiches. I don’t particularly enjoy bridal showers but one thing I always look forward to is the Cucumber Sandwiches. As soon as the hostesses start making us play games like pin-the-tail-on the-Groom, I run to the Cucumber Sandwich Table. And if there aren’t Cucumber Sandwiches, I find my way to the exit door. A fun fact for you: when I got married a few months ago, I requested to have zero bridal showers thrown for me. No, I am not anti-social, I simply have played one too many bridal shower games. Enough banter…on to the recipes!!!

Pioneer Woman Chicken Spaghetti

2 cups cooked Chicken
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup finely diced Green Pepper
1/2 cup finely diced Onion
1-4 oz jar diced Pimientos, drained
3 cups dry Spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cups reserved Chicken Broth (from pot)
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 additional cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (for the top of the casserole)

Directions:
Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick enough meat off the bones to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar. Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil)

Melissa’s Notes:
What sets this recipe above the average chicken spaghetti recipe is that 1) the spaghetti is cooked in the chicken broth not water 2) the chicken broth is not from a can but is reserved from the actual pot the chicken was boiled in. In my opinion, this recipe lacks without these two elements. The chicken spaghetti feeds approximately 6 people.

Apple Crostata (Barefoot Contessa Parties!)

For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large)
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions:

For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.

For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into 8ths. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.

Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Melissa’s Notes: This is what some call a “free-form” tart or galette, which means simply that it isn’t baked with the support of a pie-dish or tart-pan. You just fold the 1 1/2 inch border up and crinkle it in about two inch intervals, to partially cover the fruit and then bake it straight on a baking-sheet. Try looking at pictures of similar recipes online if you have never made anything like this before. I think that this dough is pretty forgiving, though. I have made it numerous times and even when I think the dough has failed, it ends up tasting flawless.

Kimberly Meyer’s Banana Pudding
(seriously, it has the ability to change your life)

5 Bananas, sliced
1 14 oz Can Eagle Brand (Sweetened Condensed Milk)
1 Large Cool Whip
1 Large Instant Vanilla Pudding
3 Cups Whole Milk
1 Box of Vanilla Wafers
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Trifle Bowl or a REALLY deep dish (much prettier in a trifle bowl)

Directions:
-Put entire box of Vanilla Wafers on the bottom of a deep dish.
-Take can of Eagle Brand, 1 tsp. of Vanilla Extract & ½ of the large carton of Cool Whip and blend it all together.
-In a second bowl, mix instant vanilla pudding & 3 cups of Milk.
-Fold the two mixes together by hand (the pudding mix & Eagle Brand mix)
-Pour HALF of this mixture on the layer of wafers
-Put all of the sliced bananas on top of the layer of pudding mixture
-Put the other half of the pudding mixture on top of the sliced bananas
-Finish with the other half of the Cool Whip on top.
– Chill and Serve!

Melissa’s Notes:
I have found that this recipe makes a bit too much pudding mixture, so when I get to the step after layering the sliced bananas, I do not use the entire other half of the pudding mixture. Since I don’t like for it to be too sweet, I use a little over ¼ of it. Just make sure you taste it, and modify it according to your desires.

Mini Cucumber Sandwiches
Recipe from “Southern Entertaining for a New Generation” by Rebecca Lang

Ingredients:

1 8-oz package Cream Cheese, Softened
¼ cup of Sour Cream
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon fresh chopped Dill
¼ cup finely diced sweet Onion
20 thinly sliced white sandwich bread slices
1 Large English Cucumber (seedless cucumbers) or 2 Cucumbers, thinly sliced
20 thinly sliced wheat sandwich bread slices

Directions:

-In a medium mixing bowl stir the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add the salt, dill, and diced onion.
-Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the white bread slices. Top the cream cheese mixture with one slice of cucumber, then top with the wheat bread slices.
-Slice the sandwiches in half diagonally or cut with your favorite cookie or biscuit cutter.
-Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 hours before serving.
-Makes 20 Servings.

Melissa’s Notes:
I buy Pepperidge Farm “Very Thin Sliced” bread in the bread section of the grocery store. This brand has both white and wheat varieties and they fit perfectly together for this recipe (buy one loaf of wheat and one loaf of white) Sometimes I add one really thin slice of turkey if I am serving them around lunch-time. Using a really sharp cookie-cutter or a biscuit cutter makes them look the prettiest!

Until next time….Bon Appetit!

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Jude 1:24-25 from the Dalton EMC Siestas!

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Scripture Memory Competition Grand Prize Winner!

CALLING ALL SIESTAS: You don’t have to be part of our Siesta Summer Bible Study to memorize our Scripture segment for this summer. It’s Jude 1:24-25 because you and I want to make it through these three undisciplined months without falling on our behinds. By all means, everybody join us! And, trust me when I tell you, you SURE don’t have to be in the Bible study to get a kick out of the videos you’re about to see.

Speaking of which…

…Siestas, you nearly killed me. The videos were FANTASTIC! CREATIVE! FUNNY! To all those who submitted videos, you are the teacher’s pet! I have NEVER loved Siestaville more. You are the funniest people in the world. I have rocked back and forth, clapped my hands, slapped my knees, and over and over said, “Aren’t they DARLING???” Or, “Aren’t they willing????” I’m just crazy about you. Thank you so much for going to all the trouble to help your Siestas hide the Word of God in our hearts so that we might not sin against God. (Psalm 119:11) We want to seek You with all our hearts, O God. Do not let us stray from Your commands. (Psalm 119:10)

OK, here you have it: the grand prize winner of the 2008 Siesta Summer Bible Study Scripture Memory Competition!

That’s right. From Cool, California! And I know you think I was partial to them from the start because they had such a great city name but see for yourself. They did the work. And they can expect a care package in about a week from a very happy and grateful yours truly.

Here you also have the 1st Runner Up which I totally dug and these Siestas are from way outside the Bible belt. Way to go, Wyoming Siestas! Giddy up!

And, because I loved so many of them, I am going to post a different one every single week until the Bible study is over. That way you can 1) have creative and ongoing ways to practice your verse, and 2) see your Siestas’ handiwork. And know why I’m so in love with you right now. Again, these posts will be for all of Siestaville. You don’t have to be in the summer study to appreciate what you’re going to see.

Well. You danged well made my whole summer. And it started out a mighty painful one. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ continue to make His Son the greatest joy in our whole worlds.

Because there ain’t no high like the Most High.

I love you. I really do.

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Siesta Summer Bible Study Gathering #2

O Happy Day, Dear Summer Siesta Bible Study Group! Hopefully you’ll grab ten or so minutes to watch the video greeting. If you have Internet access at your group gathering and can watch it together, that’s even better. I always want to put your discussion instructions in print, however, so that you don’t have to take dictation from my fast talking. REMEMBER, PLEASE DON’T RESPOND TO THIS POST UNTIL AFTER YOUR GATHERING. ALL COMMENTS ARE MEANT TO FOLLOW YOUR TUESDAY MEETINGS AS OUR (YOUR AND MY) WAY OF DISCUSSION AND INTERACTION. Thanks so much for your cooperation because this approach is a must to make the most of our Bible study blog experience. It needs organization to work effectively on such a wide scale. OK, young ladies, here goes!

1. Based on Week One, discuss what a functional god is and how an idol has functioned for you. In other words, what made it work?

The remaining three are based on Week Two:
2. Turn to p.39 of your workbook. Kelly had us read 1 Peter 2:9-12 and reminded us that we were meant to be peculiar people. Reread her words.

Now, in class today do an acrostic of the word “peculiar” based on various ways Christ has set us apart. In other words, come up with one word that begins with a “p,” then another that begins with an “e,” “c,” and so on.

3. Turn to p. 41. Recall our reading out of Genesis 21:1-6. Listen to verse 6. I especially love the New English Translation: “God has made me laugh.” Share something today with the group that God has done for you that brought you such joy or such a turnaround that it was laughable.

4. Lastly, turn to p. 49 for what I thought was one of the most powerful moments of the entire second week. Kelly said “Fear protects our idols”! How? Discuss that!

I hope that’s some good stuff for your Tuesday discussions. I am so glad we are studying together! You are one of my favorite classes EVER! Let me know (briefly so we can read them all!) how it goes! I love you so, so much. No kidding. You’ve become an important part of my life and this ministry. The whole LPM staff has gotten on board in serving you now. Study on, Siestas!

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Tuesday’s Common Meal

Here’s our common meal for this week, Siestas! We’ll do something fun from the “No Other Gods” workbook for our main dish and I’ll give you one of my old stand-by favorites for dessert.

Main dish: Let’s all make the Sicilian Pizza Crust on p.119 then each of us decide on our own toppings. Perhaps ask each of your group members to bring their favorite topping then throw them on and bake them when they arrive. Let us know if you’ve got some really creative ones. If you’ve got a larger group, you might need at least two. One pizza has NEVER served 6 Moores!!

Dessert: This is the recipe I’ve used for years for the best old fashion pound cake you’ve ever tasted in your life. Your house will smell like Heaven. It is in an old church cookbook posted by a dear woman of God named Bea Brock from First Baptist Church of Victoria, Texas. (Might we call her Aunt Bea? Isn’t that perfect for a pound cake baker?) It may not sound exciting but I promise you, it is a crowd pleaser. FYI: these portions always make a little too much for a standard bundt pan so leave some in the mixing bowl as you see it’s getting too full. You can just eat that part with the beater like Jackson and I do.

5 Flavor Pound Cake:
2 Sticks Butter Softened
1/2 Cup Crisco Shortening
3 Cups Sugar
5 Eggs Well Beaten
3 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Cup Milk
1 Tsp. each of vanilla, lemon, almond, coconut and butter flavor extracts.

Combine butter and Crisco. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs; mix flour and baking powder and salt, alternately with milk. Add extracts. Pour into well greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours. Let cool completely before you turn it out of the pan. That means you’ll need to make it about four hours in advance of class to be on the safe side. You can put a glaze on it but it doesn’t need it. You can also throw some fresh strawberries or blueberries on it with whipped cream. You’ll be back at your great grandmother’s house again with the first bite, tasting one of your sweetest childhood memories.

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Video Scripture Memory Update and Deeper Still

Hey, You Darling Siestas! I hope you are well and blessed in the perceptible presence of Jesus Christ. Just a couple of pieces of news this stormy Sunday afternoon in Houston, Texas. I wanted to let you know, lest someone be devastated by the delay, that our much-hailed Grand Prize Scripture Memory Competition Winner will be unveiled on Friday of this week rather than Tuesday. Due to a yet unexplained technical problem, some of the videos arrived in our inbox expired and we wanted to give them time to be resubmitted. After all, this fierce competition has caused an uproar second only to American Idol and the talent just keeps rolling in. Brace yourself.

I love y’all so much.

Grinning so wide that my ears feel all tight.

I just returned from Deeper Still in Atlanta, Georgia where a whopping 19,000 of us raised the roof in praise to the One True God and studied our heads into a migraine. (Not really. Haven’t ever really had a migraine but if you were prone to one, we no doubt gave you one this weekend but, Child, you can’t say you didn’t hear some Scripture.) God gave us a terrific group! One of the best huge groups I’ve ever gotten to be part of. (Don’t worry, Raleigh. You are still in a tier all by yourself but, I’ll be honest, this group got mighty close. Their love for Jesus was large and loud and they hung tight all the way to the last second of a long conference.) You’ll never guess who was sitting on the very front row next to the Governor’s (precious) wife. Our own Siesta, Georgia Jan! I LOVED HER! She’s the one that told that hilarious story recently about her church choir singing a special in a worship service about coming to Jesus with your burdens and, when a woman actually got up and came to the altar, they all thought, “What on earth is she doing? And in the middle of our special?” (My paraphrase but I laughed my head nearly to the floor over that honest appraisal.) Georgia Jan was one of those ultimate kind of people every teacher wants to have in class. Completely engaged and talking back to you constantly.

Guess who else was there? Big Mama and Boomama! (Don’t tell me you haven’t ever checked out their blogs. They are a blast.) I’m not kidding – I was totally starstruck. They were there in an official guest-blog-writer capacity with some of the LifeWay folks so I got to meet them at sound check then have them right behind me next to Amanda and her good buddy Janelle (we missed you so much, Sunni! Next time?). They were all right there where I could pat on all of them. (I’m a patter. I could mother a fence post as my grandmother used to say.) Big and Boo were just as fun as I thought they’d be. Better than that, they obviously have a keen liking for Jesus and His Word and that just says it, doesn’t it? Funny. Godly. Man, I love that.

One of my biggest highlights is that I got to be with both my daughters all weekend. Amanda and Janelle flew up with me then we met up with Melissa once we got there. We got to worship together (Trav and the team were in full throttle gift-mode) and open the “Holy Scripts” (as Melissa calls them with no small reverence) together during the conference. Lis’s Colin even joined us for the last session. He was so cute trying to fold his whole six-foot three-inch self up inconspicuously in a raging sea of capri-pants. Needless to say, the event was our highlight but the girls and I also had a blast together after it was over last night then again this morning. The funniest thing happened after the conference ended at 5:30 PM. Melissa went to so much trouble to make reservations at the ultimate spot to get a taste of beautiful, historical Atlanta, Georgia. We went to their version of the Spindletop (I can’t remember the exact name but most of us who attended the conference were there). It is a restaurant on the 76th floor of a building smack in the middle of downtown. It (the top floor, not the whole building) rotates over the course of an hour to show you a panoramic view of the entire city. Really cool. You can even see tons of landmarks built for the Olympics. (Well, three.) The problem is, the constant motion made Melissa seasick. She could hardly eat a bite of her shrimp and grits. And, boy, were they good. She turned white as a sheet and she and Colin had to go sit in the lobby of the first floor while we finished. I’m laughing my head off because we Moore’s cannot do one single thing without high drama. On our way out of the hotel, Melissa got an expression on her face that made her look about six years-old then she chirped, “Mom, that thing was hauling!” Slight exaggeration but it will make me laugh the rest of my life. She is priceless. Both my girls are. My favorite two people to be with in all the world. And their daddy makes three. We girls sat on my hotel bed last night with room service desserts and laughed until we literally cried. Honestly, I thought my face was going to freeze into a contortion. First thing this morning we got to see Melissa and Colin’s apartment and it is absolutely adorable. And smelled wonderful. You guessed it. Apple Crostata. Warm. Buttery. Apply. With a touch of orange.

Well, my man’s about to get home and I haven’t seen him in four days so I better get off of here. But not before I tell you how much I love working with Priscilla Shirer and Kay Arthur. There is simply no one on earth I respect more than Kay. I have literally never known a soul more devoted to the Word of God than her. And that Priscilla? Sheesh. (If that means anything bad, I don’t know it.) She is something else. One of the most gifted young communicators I’ve ever seen. We have become true friends over the last several years. I cannot express the joy she brings to me and how certain I am of God’s powerful call on her life. Keith and I are coming to love her and Jerry very much. And I don’t even have to tell you how I feel about Travis and the team. He had great new songs this weekend but held on to my favorites. Trav’s Angela was with us on the platform and I LOVE her being there. Talk about a woman who loves God’s Word! I don’t know another woman on God’s green earth I’d rather impact my daughters. I told Trav and Ang today that if we’d never worked together on the road as partners in ministry but had simply attended the same church, the Moores and Cottrells would have been BFF. It’s a fact, Jack.

That’s all for now, Girlfriends! Sure loved having a cup of coffee with you. Stay in God’s Word, young ladies! JESUS IS LIFE. I’ll talk to you soon because it’s almost Bible Study Tuesday! Get the last of your homework done, Girls!

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If you are waiting on your book

Ladies, LifeWay has graciously provided us with access to the first week of homework for our No Other Gods study. So if you decided to join us at the last minute or if you are waiting for the book you ordered to be delivered, you will still be able to start the study on time. Week 1 will be available indefinitely, but this is the only week that will be made available.

Click here and scroll down to “Samples and Posters.” You will see links to the Intro and Session One. Print it off and you’ll be good to go!

Thank you Pam, Teresa, and the LifeWay Internet team! We appreciate you!

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Siesta Summer Bible Study Introduction

WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING FOR THIS SPECIAL REPORT: NORTH DAKOTA JUST REPORTED IN!!! ALL 50 STATES, GIRL FRIENDS! ALL 50 STATES! YAHOO-JAH!

(Siestas: Remember that your comments to this post are meant to FOLLOW your Tuesday gathering so that you can tell us a little bit about your time together. This will be our format for dialogue on our Tuesday Bible study days. Can’t wait to hear from you!)

Welcome to our first Tuesday Siesta Summer Bible Study! I hope so much you were able to view the video greeting I did for you because it has lots of information about our Siesta Summer Bible Study. Rough as it is, it comes with lots of love! I promised to put your instructions for your gatherings today in writing in case, as usual, I talked too fast for you to follow on video. You have only two assignments for your first meeting:

A. Please share what you perceive to be your biggest challenge toward walking victoriously with God this summer. House full of children? Heavy work load? Difficult season emotionally? Just had your heart broken? Just feel far from God? Whatever it may be, share it with your small group and take some time to pray for one another in your meeting today. Also, intercede accordingly toward your sister’s need for the duration of the study.

B. Turn to Jude 1:24,25 and read your summer Bible study memory verse-segment. (Oh, yes, you can memorize!!! You just have to learn how to make fun associations that make it memorable!) This is our only memory segment all summer so it’s very doable. Spend most of your gathering time thinking of ways as a small group to memorize it. Get creative! You can make up hand motions or actions to go with it – anything fun, clever, or meaningful to make it easier to memorize. If you think you did a really great or funny job with it, here’s what you do! Fine tune it over the next four or five days then video tape it with all your siestas in mind. Save it to your computer then email it to us using the following instructions:

1. Recording should be on a digital camera with a SD card.
2. With the SD card in your computer, go to www.senduit.com.
3. At the senduit web site click browse and select the video file name (note: file
cannot exceed 100MB).
4. Next (at the senduit web site) select the “Expire” option for 1 week.
5. Click “upload.”
6. When the file is finished uploading Senduit will give a location message and the option to email this information.
7. Select the email option and send to [email protected]

Remember, this will be Jude 1:24-25 (spoken or on power point) on tape with actions that help the viewer memorize it. The video can be no longer than two minutes in length but you probably won’t need nearly that much time anyway. Our LPM staff and I will judge all the entries and choose a Grand Prize Winner. The Grand Prize Winning video will be shown on our blog in two weeks for our second Siesta Bible Study gathering. In addition, the Grand Prize Winning Group (or individual) will receive a care-package that I will prepare personally and send to your location with about ten tons of love. I’m clapping right now like a five-year-old. I love contests!!! Surely we have a few competitors out there! Put that competitive spirit to good use and help your Siestas memorize some Scripture!

Y’all are so fun. Totally jazzed to be in the Word with you this summer. Have a blast with Jesus!

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Siesta Summer Bible Study Sign-Up Day!

***HEY LADIES!!! WE HAVE GOTTEN WORD THAT SOME OF YOU ARE HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME FINDING THE WORKBOOKS (The Member book NOT the regular trade book). ALTHOUGH THE INDIVIDUAL LIFEWAY STORES MAY BE OUT OF THE BOOK, LIFEWAY ITSELF HAS PLENTY OF THEM IN STOCK…SO INSTEAD OF LOOKING FOR THE BOOK ON THE SHELVES, THE EASIEST WAY TO ORDER IT IS ONLINE THROUGH THE LIFEWAY WEBSITE. Here’s the link. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU STILL HAVE TROUBLE. WE LOVE YOU LADIES!

Today is sign-up day for our Siesta Summer Bible Study! We are on the edge of our seats waiting to get a good look at our class! I bet few of us have had a Bible study group quite like the one we’re about to engage through Blog-world. We love all our Siestas like crazy but today’s comments need to be limited only to those signing up for our summer course, No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. Thanks so much for understanding and keep in mind that we have no intention of hogging the blog all summer with the course. There will still be plenty of posts for everybody. OK, Summer Bible Study Siestas, here’s what you do:

*Give your first name (Real name or blogger name)

*Tell whether you are doing small group or going solo. If you’re engaging a small group, tell us in one sentence a little bit about it: approximately how many and what your connection is. (Neighbors? Work? Buddies? Church members? Ect.) Where you plan to meet on your Tuesdays. (Homes? Church? Starbucks?)

*Your city and state. (I especially can’t wait to see this information, so please put this part of the profile on a line by itself.)

*If you’re going solo, indicate if you would you like to partner with someone else going solo in order to have some accountability and dialogue via email. You will indicate a “yes” by offering an email address for contact beside the word “solo.” We will let you guys get in contact with one another and work out your system but I think it has some great possibilities! Feel no pressure if you prefer to go it alone. You’ll still be participating here. Just don’t add the email address. The only reason we’re especially recommending small group is because Kelly emphasizes the richness of meaningful, Godly relationships between women in the study. And, anyway, I think most of us are lonely.

*If several bloggers are already planning to be in small group together, sign up under one comment giving your “names” and how many (if any) are joining you. We want to be able to see how many small groups we have, so we need each entered only once.

I have a feeling everybody’s going to want to see our class roster, so the more succinct and reader friendly you make your entry, the better. Here’s mine:

Beth (AKA: Siesta Mama)

Small group: Approximately 8 of our Living Proof Ministry Staff members, comprised of varying ages and denominations and single/married status. We will meet here at the ministry and can’t wait!

Location: Houston, Texas

That’s all there is to it! Our official launch is a week from today on June 17, 2008. You will need your workbooks by that day but no homework needs to be done in advance. By 8:00 AM CST on launch day, you will find brief instructions posted from me concerning discussion questions and/or directions for your gathering that day. If you end up partnering through email as I suggested earlier, you’ll assimilate the same instructions into your interaction on line. Your first week of homework won’t begin until after you meet for the launch on June 17th. We will then meet every other Tuesday until our August conclusion with a goal of having the coinciding two weeks of homework accomplished by each meeting time.

Every other week when I post your directions, you will hold your comments until AFTER your gathering that Tuesday. Some time after it is over, you will check back in with us (under that post) and let us know something about your small group meeting in a brief and readable paragraph. (For example, if there was some good discussion on one question or part of your homework, tell us briefly about it. The key will be to avoid writing long epistles because I’ve learned in Blog-world that many people are too pressed for time to read the really long comments and end up skipping over them. We don’t want anybody missing what you have to say!)

And about the weekly recipe suggestion! This is the part that can include all our Siestas whether or not you are participating in the study. Several days before our Tuesday meetings (including the launch), Melissa will submit a recipe for one dish. It may be an appetizer, a main dish, or a dessert. We don’t want to overwhelm you with a huge menu. We think just one common dish would add such a fun element to our gatherings. Don’t you think it would be such a blast to know we were all eating the same thing while we met? The common table. I love it! If you’re not participating in the study, you still have a great recipe!

Siestas, I can hardly wait! One thing is for certain: we are about to have a unique Bible study experience. Let’s see what God will do!

I love you so much and I am deeply honored to be your servant. Now, let’s have us some Bible study!

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Summer Bible Study Anyone?

Hey, Siestas! Thank you so much for your compassionate and diligent prayers for the Chapman family. It will be the difference between day and night for them. If you keep a prayer journal like I do, let’s write their names intermittently in the blank pages ahead of us so that we’ll have reminders to pray for them off and on for the next year. What seemed like random timing to us when we jotted the reminder to pray will be used by God as perfect timing for them.

OK, Girls, so what’s the plan for V-I-C-T-O-R-Y this summer? A more leisurely pace is terrific for the summer months if you have the kind of job (in or outside the home) where your schedule loosens up. Goodness knows, all of us could a huge let-up on the schedule and the stress. We need a vacation in the worst way. BUT, if you’re like me, 3 months outside the Word is roughly 2½ months inside a pit. I’ve found that if I’m going to live in victory, I’ve got to plan for it. Summer brings a whole new set of demands to many women’s lives so here’s a little encouragement to keep our heads covered with the Word.

If you’ve already got a Bible study planned for the summer, let us know in a comment what it is and where you’re participating…or if you’re just doing it solo. Our blog could offer some fun accountability. If you don’t have a plan, however, I’d like to propose one. This summer I’m going to facilitate an 8-week Siesta summer Bible study on:

No Other Gods by Kelly Minter

I’ve told you before that I consistently do other authors’ Bible studies so that I can receive spontaneous words from God through other teachers. I have no idea how many I’ve done through the years, but for the last month I’ve been doing Kelly’s “No Other Gods.” I’ve gotten a ton out of it and have really enjoyed her writing style. The homework is not long and drawn out like other authors we know (let’s not mention names) and we won’t involve lecture-driven sessions, so it may be just the thing for some of you for summer. Not too much. Not too little. Kelly’s emphasis is on discussion, spending some really meaningful girl time together, and how about sharing some good food? Here’s my vision for how we could implement her study in Siestaville:

*We will launch on Tuesday, June 17th and “meet” EVERY OTHER TUESDAY (July 1st, 15th, 29th, August 12th) until we conclude our eight weeks of homework and accountability on Tuesday, August 12th.

*We will each need to get our own copies of the workbook (not the regular trade book version but the workbook!) “No Other Gods” by Kelly Minter and have it well in your possession by the time we launch. (We aren’t able to get it for you through Living Proof but I wish we could.) Please don’t wait till the last minute to get it or you may not be able to start on time! If you have a LifeWay Christian Store, you should be able to find it on the shelf but the easiest way may be on line through the LifeWay Website. Here’s the link: http://www.lifeway.com/e2/shop/?R=797560

*You can participate solo but since such an important part of Kelly’s purpose through the study is fellowship, try as hard as you can to enlist three or four other women to meet with you in one of your homes every other Tuesday night as scheduled. Five meetings this summer shouldn’t be too overwhelming and we can rotate houses if we like. Make sure that the women you invite to participate know that the evenings will be low on stress and high on much needed fellowship and rich discussion. Kelly calls this approach “The Living Room Series” because of its emphasis on a relaxed and refreshing atmosphere where we can develop some wonderful relationships in Christ. In this superficial culture that surrounds us, where friendship take place through text message (I’m guilty, too!), we have a huge deficit of pure depth in women’s relationships. Let’s make this real. The goal is to have those two weeks of Bible study finished each time you meet (after the launch) but the fellowship will still be worth your while if you couldn’t get all your homework accomplished. Let’s have lots of encouragement without loads of condemnation.

*On each of our meeting days (every other week starting Tuesday, June 17th to Tuesday, August 12th), I will “facilitate” by posting discussion questions or activities I’ve come up with based on our previous two weeks of study. You will then implement them into your gathering. (I will make sure the post is up first thing on those Tuesday mornings in case your meeting times are morning or noon rather than evening.) Your way of checking back in with me will be by telling me something about your gathering afterward in a comment to that same post. It will be left up all day Wednesday for your feedback.

(For those of you not participating, it is important to know that we will not hog the blog all summer with this Bible study activity. It will only require a post or two every other week. We will have plenty of other things going for all our Siestas.)

*Several days before our every-other-Tuesday meetings, we will post a recommended recipe (of our own – probably from Melissa) for a dish to be prepared by one of you and served at that gathering. THOSE OF YOU NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE SUMMER SIESTA STUDY WILL STILL ENJOY HAVING A RECIPE IDEA. Recent posts and comments have been proof to me of that. For those who will participate, one of the really fun elements of Kelly’s series is great food. Talk about Biblical! Much New Testament community took place around the table in a long, leisurely meal. You’ll love the recipes Kelly’s included in the Bible study even if we pitch you some of our own ideas. Inviting all the participants to have a common dish every other Tuesday night will be just another way to fellowship as a large on-line Bible study group. It’s the beauty of the common table.

So, what do you think? I’m really pumped about it! It’s kind of experimental but I think it has great possibilities! Here’s what comes next regarding our summer Bible study: I’m going to give you till Tuesday, June 10th to decide if you want to participate and also see if you can pull together a small group. (Remember, you can do it solo but the goal is for us girls to have some meaningful fellowship and accountability. Try thinking outside the box on participants!) On the 10th I’ll make a post for sign-ups and the only comments that day will be the names and locations and proposed groups of those who will be participating. It will be so much fun to see all the different locales our Siesta Tuesday Summer Bible Study will include. I can’t wait!

Got your own plan for summer Bible study? Then let’s hear it! Let’s plan some victories, Sweet Things. Let’s have our souls refreshed and our minds renewed. God has a word for us this summer. Let’s go get it!
I love you to pieces and I’m so honored to be your servant.
beth

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