Welcome Home Good Morning Girls!

GMG500x500

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Welcome Home Good Morning Girls!

We are about to begin a new series titled: Blogging Through the Bible.

For those who were a part of the old GMG, you may notice there are a few changes as we begin.

No enrollment.

No requirement to subscribe.

No hoops.

No hurdles.

Just come and join in as you can. If you would like to do this alone and at your own pace that is fine.  I will be your accountability partner here at the blog. Just come visit me a few times a week – I’ll be here for you.

What is Good Morning Girls?

“Good Morning Girls” is a title for a group of women who use email, Facebook, Twitter or text messaging to keep each other accountable for their quiet times.

Do Good Morning Girls groups have to follow your reading plans?

No, you may have an accountability group that is named “Good Morning Girls” but be in a group Bible study at your church, you may be following another on-line Bible study or each be doing your devotions in different books of the Bible.  You do not have to all be studying the same passage but you do have to want to share openly what God is teaching you, pray for one another and support each other on an on-going basis.

How to Start a Good Morning Girls accountability group.

1.)  Invite some of your friends to join you.  Pray about who from your church, Bible study group, family, neighborhood or workplace would be a good fit.

2.) Groups that are smaller generally work better – 5-12 is a good number especially for email and text messaging groups. Facebook groups can go quite a bit larger and still work.

Not sure who to invite?

WLW Forum a place to connect

Visit the forum here at Women Living Well (go to the bottom of the forum) and find a group to join.  Groups are forming based on interests like military wives, international women, homeschool moms, working moms and more.  This forum will close on September 11th and not re-open until January.

Are you a leader of a GMG group?

GMG Leadership Team

There’s a GMG Leadership Facebook Group created just for you! This group is a place where group leaders can come together with ideas, questions, concerns and gather graphics for their group studies.  This is a closed group.  Go here and request to join in.

How do we notify you and let you know that our group exists?

I am not tracking the numbers. This ministry is not about numbers but about depth. But I do want to welcome you as your groups begin.  So on the first Sunday of each month, I will ask those who are committed to that months’ reading plan to comment in the comment section. I will also ask for those who are not using the GMG reading plan but do have a GMG group, to share what their group is studying that month. I’d love to hear what you all are doing!!!

Are you a blogger who would like to join me on this journey?

If you have a blog and plan to blog your way through the Bible with me, I will have a link-up on Fridays for you.  Simply post your post anytime during the week and then come here on Fridays sand share it with all of us!  You are welcome to use all of the GMG graphics on your blog.

How are you doing all of this alone?

Here at Women Living Well, I have never had an assistant or helper.  When you see me pop up on facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, or comments here at the blog – that is me.  All of the things I do under the “Women Living Well” name will continue to be 100% me.

But at Good Morning Girls, we had many teams and women who worked under the GMG name.

I have a team of 4 that will be helping me.  When they answer your questions here, on Facebook or serve at the forum they will always be answering as themselves.  They will never answer under my profile.

These are the lovely ladies who have generously offered up their time and talents to serve the GMGs:

The GMG Team

Mandy Kelly from Women Of Worship
Rosilind Jukic from Missional Call
Bridget Childress from Becoming a Godly Wife
Misty Leask from Beautiful Ashes

I praise God for these women who quickly came to my aid and have gotten this ministry back on its feet.

**********

In closing, let me share with you a passage of scripture that God has impressed on me recently.

It’s so important that you know –  I know – I am broken.  I am flawed.  I’m just a girl.  A girl on this journey with you.  I might fall down along the way – but I’m committed to getting back up. I might need a break for a week or two, but I’ll be back.  I might say something that is not quite accurate and you might need to help me see my flaw – iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17).  I have not arrived – I am growing right along side of you.  I desperately need Jesus every hour.  So thank you in advance for your patience and grace.  It is my humble honor to serve you in this way as we walk with the king.

I Corinthians 3:5-23 says:

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.  I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephasc or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” (esv)

Welcome home Good Morning Girls. I’m so glad you are here.

Let’s Walk with the King,

Courtney

 

Blogging Through the Bible

 

Blogging through the Bible

 

Last week I shared my plan to begin blogging through the Bible – one chapter a day – 7 chapters a week – 31 chapters a month – 365 chapters a year until we have completed 1,189 chapters –the entire Bible.

This will take a few years to complete and I am sure I will need a break here and there during these next few years that will slow us down. But I am committed to working our way through the Old Testament and the New Testament until we have completed it all.

We will not start on page one of the Bible and read straight through. That is a very hard way to the read the Bible.  Instead I will mix in a reading in the Old Testament – then a reading in the New Testament. Then a reading in the Old Testament then a reading in the New Testament.

Some books are short and we will fly through them – so we may do a few New Testament books in a row, other books are very long and they will take 2 months to complete.

Some seasons of life are busy and you will not be able to join us, no worries. All of these posts will be archived for you to go back and complete at your own convenience.

The Schedule:

Sundays – I will post a monthly reading plan at the beginning of every month.  I will also post a weekly reading plan every Sunday morning so you can begin your reading for the week.

Wednesdays – I will write a mid-week devotional that correlates with the reading plan for the week.  I am hoping for discussion in the comments where you share what you are learning as well.

Fridays – I will post a 1-3 minute video about that week’s reading, to wrap-up the week.

So you may be asking:

Are you still going to do your typical September Marriage Series and Making Your Home a Haven Series?

I’m so glad you asked! ;)

Mondays are reserved here at Women Living Well for my typical writing on marriage and family.  I have a Marriage Series planned for September and we will do our annual “Making Your Home a Haven Series” in October.

Will you still be posting recipes?

Yes, on Thursdays!

How do I enroll for the monthly Bible Reading?

There will be no enrollment.

On the first Sunday of each month, I will ask those who are committed to that months’ reading plan to comment in the comment section. This is a month by month commitment. I hope this frees you to join a women’s study in your church or elsewhere on-line for a session and then when it ends – maybe join us here during your breaks.  Or if you have no other studies – join me on this journey every single month.

Do you have a schedule of what is to come so we can plan?

Yes – this is the tentative schedule for the next 7 months (subject to change):

September – Esther, I & II Peter, I, II, III John, Jude and Jonah (that’s a total of 30 chapters)

October - Galatians, Genesis (ch.1-25)

November – Genesis (ch.26-50) Psalms 1-5

December – Matthew, Psalms 6-8

January – Proverbs

February – Exodus (ch.1-28)

March – Exodus (ch.29-40), unsure

This past summer I began this reading plan pictured below.  The title of it is humorous: “Read through the Bible Program for Shirkers and Slackers”.  I like this plan because it does not have dates or time frames on it.  This helps someone like me who feels a tinge of guilt when I don’t successfully check off the boxes in just ONE year.


reading plan - CJ

I dug through my drawer looking for one of my completed reading plans and the only one I could find was my husband’s.  You will see below that his reading plan was setup to be completed in one year, but according to the dates he recorded, it took him 2 years to complete.

Bible reading plan 2Bible Reading Plan - 1

I plan to create a special reading plan with all the books of the Bible and chapter numbers listed for all of us to use.  It will not have months, dates or time frames.  My hope is that we do not feel condemnation when we miss a day…or week…or month but that we would get up and keep on going.

Please remember that checked off boxes do not earn the favor of Jesus. We are already declared righteous because of his sacrifice on the cross. This is an endeavor to know God more richly, to grow in righteousness, walk with the King daily and to be women living well.

Printable reading plans will be posted here within the next 2 weeks. ;)

What about Good Morning Girls Accountability Groups?

Later in the week, I will explain what a Good Morning Girls group is, how to create one, and how to find one here on Women Living Well if you don’t have one already.  I also want to address any questions the veteran GMG’s might have about this transition. I am not sure what questions you need answered – so please ask in the comment section and I will address your questions in my next blog post. (please no questions regarding the previous GMG team – I am moving forward.)

Within the next 2 weeks, I will also be posting extra Bible study methods including an explanation of the signature GMG method of Bible Study called the S.O.A.P. method.

I look forward to Blogging Through the Bible with you, starting Sunday, August 31st.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

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A Simple Bible Study Method For the Family

Excellent post written by Rhonda Owens at ForTheFamily.org

Family concept on colourful stones

My parenting journey has been peppered with amazing friends — fellow parents who, like my husband and me, long very much to “impress [God’s commandments] on [their] children.  Talk about them when [they] sit at home and when [they] walk along the road, when [they] lie down and when [they] get up” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).

The difference between some of these sweet friends and us is that on a scale of 1-10 for family devotional creativity, they are actually on the scale; we are not.

In all fairness, I did try my hand at planning a bible study object lesson which included a lamp, unplugged. And ice cream.

{The ice cream was a last minute addition. You know, because ice cream makes everything fun, right?}

Note that I said I planned “a” bible study object lesson.  My enthusiasm waned when everyone got more excited about the ice cream than the lesson.

And that’s how it has gone for us over the years: we’d try a devotional idea here, attempt structured family Bible study time there… but we just couldn’t seem to find our rhythm.

More candidly, it seemed that no matter how hard we tried, our efforts seemed kind of lame when compared to fellow parent friends whose devotional times with their children seemed outlandishly fun and meaningful.

{Side note: it’s always a good idea to compare our parenting styles with our friends’ parenting styles, right? NOT!  But that’s the subject of another post.}

Our ideas simply didn’t measure up to the dramatic depiction of David’s slaying of Goliath {complete with homemade sling shots} or the creation of no less than 40 handcrafted Easter ornaments {each accompanied by a Bible verse, individually wrapped, ready to be opened for every day of Lent, and THEN hammered theatrically onto a handmade cross} or the Christmas Advent calendar prepared with 25 selfless acts of love to perform as a family to teach lessons in being the hands and feet of Christ.

{Find out what Rhonda discovered worked best for her family…which also happens to be identical to my family – over at ForTheFamily.org}

The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 5 {Never Walk Alone}

Book Club header week 2 chapter 5

Welcome back to the Women Living Well Book Club!

Chapter 5 Discussion

sally clarkson community

Image via Sally Clarkson

In Chapter 5, I list the 4 ways I have found community, accountability and friendship within the church.

1. Women’s Bible Studies – raise your hand if you have been in a women’s Bible study!

Women’s Bible Studies are not all created equally. Depending on the leader, the book choice and the group that attends – experiences can vary.  For me personally, this has been a huge piece of the puzzle of my spiritual growth and connection with other Christian women.  I LOVE Women’s Bible Studies and highly recommend you join one or start one in your home or at your church!

Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

2. Mentorship/Discipleship Ministry – When I was in 9th grade I was mentored/discipled for the very first time. I talk about this mentor named Holly in my book.  Holly and I met – one on one –  on a weekly basis for 2 years when I was in high school.  Holly was only 2 years older than me – but she had a huge influence in my life. She held me accountable for my daily Bible reading and walk with God and she listened, counseled and befriended me.  When she left my high school youth group, to attend the Moody Bible Institute – it wasn’t long until I followed in my mentors footsteps and joined her on her dorm floor as a student too!

Holly took the time to invest in me.  Who can you invest in? You are never too young!  And now she is a missionary in the Ukraine {she continues to inspire me through her life} and the last time she was home on furlough – our kids played together – here are some pictures below.

Holly Rist 2011

Holly's visit kids

3. Titus 2 Worshops – connecting with older women - If you are a young woman, the Bible says we NEED older women and if you are older- the Bible says you need to be with the younger women.  We need each other.  We need your wisdom, insight, leadership and example.  Young ones – if you don’t have an older woman to learn off of  - pray for one.

Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

4.  Good Morning Girls – (the background story) When I started the very first Good Morning Girls Group at my home church  (which was previously titled the ’6AM Club’) in 2007 – it was all about accountability.  I knew I needed accountability for my daily quiet times and that is just what Good Morning Girls provided for me.  This sweet group of 5 ladies emailed each other every.single.day for years and years.

first GMG group

But little did we know that our little group of 5 would one day in August of 2009 – turn into 120 Good Morning Girls here on Women Living Well!  These groups kept on multiplying and multiplying, to the point that I was at 600 women and I needed some on-line help to manage it all.

This winter, GMG enrolled 13,000 women in our on-line Bible Study – Praise God!

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Let’s Discuss:

Here’s a – very brief – 1 minute video of my closing thoughts on this section of the book – “Your Walk with God”.

(if you are reading this in the feed – click here to view the video)

1.)  Tell us about a Bible Study you have  been involved in or a mentor or a Titus 2 Woman in your life, that you have connected with on a spiritual level.  How did that affect your spiritual growth?

2.)  Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (posted above), how can you apply this in your life?

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapter 5″

Walk with the King,

Courtney

The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 4

Book Club header week 2 chapter 4

Welcome back to the Women Living Well Book Club!

Here’s the links from past posts:
The Weekly Reading Schedule
Chapter 1
Chapters 2&3
“Your Walk With God” webcast & Extra Resources

Let’s Discuss Chapter 4

The world is changing rapidly. It’s amazing for me to consider that my kids have no idea what a typewriter or word processor looks like.  They simply don’t know a world without tiny devices that both entertain and answer all their questions.

Changes from the Media Revolution

 

Our kids are not familiar with those thick JC Penney Catalogs or record players or phones attached to walls.  Remember when we had to purchase film for our cameras…and flashes!  Then we waited 7 days for the pictures to develop and half the pictures were of people with their eyes closed!  My kids can snap 100 pictures in an hour on their iPods, crop, twist and turn them and have them printed on our printer in 2 seconds flat.

The onslaught of the media revolution has changed the landscape of our lives.  So, we must ask the question – how has this affected our walk with God?

I make clear in chapter 4 that media is amoral.  In and of itself, it is neither good nor evil.  It is our use of it, that determines its morality.  Each believer must discern and follow their own convictions

“Jesus lived in a different culture and context than we do.  Never before have women carried access to ALL the world’s knowledge on a tiny device in our purses!”  pg. 36

And this is where the danger lies.  I admit in the book that I struggle with being an information glutton.  As I hop from blog to blog, and Facebook to Twitter – I tend to gather more information than I can process or use and all this information crowds out the voice of God in my life.

Information is a cheap substitute

 

Let’s Discuss:

Below this video are our discussion questions for the comment section – please share your answers and thoughts there.

Here’s a 4 minute video of my answers!

(if you cannot see this video - click here)

1.)  Pause for a moment and list all the media you currently use in a week.  Now consider and sort through it, which of the media draws you closer to God and which of the media pulls you away from God.

2.)  God has not called His children to seek information; He calls us to seek Him.  Read Read Matthew 6:33 and Hebrews 11:6 {again} what are we to be seeking?

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapters 4″.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

“Your Walk With God” Webcast & Extra Resources


Book Club header Week 1 Webcast - Resources

What a great first week!!!  You all did such a great job giving feedback here and on the forum and out on facebook!  Way to go!  Next week we will continue the discussion about our spiritual walk – but until then, I want to provide you with some resources.

First, the Webcast below features Angela, Whitney and Jennifer (and me) talking about “Your Walk with God”.

Session 2 Speakers

The first 21 minutes is Angela’s keynote and the last 25 minutes are a couch discussion that I had with the GoodMorningGirls.org contributors.  I know this is going to encourage you!

(if you cannot view the video – click here)

The Good Morning Girls are launching their winter Bible study THIS Monday!!!  The title of the study is “Intentionally Focused”.  Check out all the details >>>here.  We’d love to have you join us!

Intentionally focused

 

Some other resources for your spiritual growth:

Putting My Prayer Life in Order

How to Study Your Bible With Colored Pencils

My Children’s Devotional and Spiritual Growth Books

A Solution for Keeping Your Little Ones in Bed {so you can have your quiet time}

A Vlog Demonstrating My Bible Study Tips

How to Take Sermon Notes on Sunday

I hope something here encourages you.

Chime In: Do you have a favorite on-line resource – please share it with us in the comment section!

Walk with the King,

Courtney 

 

The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapters 2 & 3

Book Club header chapters 2&3

Welcome back to the Women Living Well Book Club!  If you are looking for the weekly reading schedule – click here.

Now let’s dig into Chapters 2 & 3!

Chapter 2

 John Piper Discipline to rise early

During our discussion of chapter 1, a lot of women said the #1 hindrance to setting aside time to be in God’s word was “busyness”.  We are simply too busy…or so busy – we aren’t carving time out for God.

But you will find in Chapter 2 “The Busy Mom’s Guide to Meditating on a Passage of Scripture” written just for you (this guide was also featured over at DesiringGod.org. If you do not have the book read it here) .  There ARE ways to soak in God’s word even if you are busy.  You simply have to want it.

This guide is just one way you can study scripture – there’s a whole host of ideas listed on page 19 for you.  The key is to understand that without a plan –  plan to fail. Planning is the key to living a disciplined life that includes a daily quiet time.

 chapter 1 quote 3

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 opens with the topic of your prayer life.

when you are praying…andrew murray

Tools I’ve used to grow in this area are prayer journaling, prayer walks and fasting.  I would love to hear from you about your prayer life!

Let’s Discuss:

Below this video are our discussion questions for the comment section – please share your answers and thoughts there.

Here’s a 5 minute video of my answers!

(if you cannot see this video – click here)

1.)  From Chapter 2:  When, where and how are you studying God’s word right now?

2.)  Read Luke 5:12-16 – what was Jesus doing here?  How can we, as busy women, follow his example?

3.)  From Chapter 3:  How can you improve your prayer life this year?

Prayer:
Father, may I never forget the powerful and amazing ways You provide for me as I thirst after You and Your word.  Teach me to wait on You wtih patience and eager expectation as I go about serving my family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapters 2 & 3″

Bloggers:  Are you blogging your way through this book club with us?  Then link-up your blog post below.
**
Please note that this link up has changed for the next 8 weeks.{if your linked-up post is not about the book club it will be removed}



The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 1

Book Club Week 1 chap 1 Header

Welcome to the Women Living Well book club!

Today’s reading assignment was the Introduction and Chapter 1.

Voices The Great I AM

The book opens and closes pointing to the fact that we have to INTENTIONALLY shut out the clamor of this world so we can hear the voice of God.

My daughter was sick this past week – throwing up! Blak!  I knew she was sick the minute she lost her appetite.

And I wonder – Have you lost your appetite for God’s word?  Is your soul sick?  Has another voice crowded out the voice of God in your life?

The key to being women who live well – is to keep coming back to the living waters over and over and over and over again.  Never stop drinking from the living well!

Discussion: Chapter 1

Chapter 1 begins with John Piper’s quote below.  This quote comes from his book titled: When I Don’t Desire God (available for free on pdf here).

John Piper Quote

The first Biblical character found in my book might be considered a strange one – he’s not typically the center of a children’s Sunday School lesson or pastor’s Sunday morning sermon.  It’s Enoch, whose name means “devoted” or “dedicated”.  This guy FASCINATES me!

Genesis 5:24 tells us “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”  Hebrews 11:5 tells us, before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.

So how in the world did he walk with God so well, that God decided to pluck him from earth rather than waiting until he died?

John MacArthur says “the term walk expresses the idea of moment by moment fellowship with the Lord.”

Scripture says Noah walked with God and Abraham walked with God. And I want it to be said of me “Courtney walked with God.”

I want that!

So how do we get that?

solitude

Let’s Discuss:

Below this video are our discussion questions for the comment section – please share your answers and thoughts there.  Here’s a 5 minute video of my answers!


(if you cannot see the video – click here!)

 

1.)  On a scale of 1-10 (10 = great; 1 = stinky) , how is your walk with God right now?

2.) What would you say is your greatest hindrance to carving out time to meet with God in your busy day?

3.)  Grab your Bible and read (or google) Hebrews 11:5-6.  What does verse 6 state that we must do and believe if we want to be like Enoch?

4.) What is one intentional thing you can do this week to begin creating space and solitude to earnestly seek after God?

Prayer:
Father, help me to carve out calm in my day so I can hear from You clearly.  I want to be like Enoch, walking closely with You, my King. Amen.

I want to hear from you – what are your thoughts? Share them in the comment section below.

For Discussion on the Forum:  Do you have questions or thoughts you want to share from Chapter 1 — head on over to the forum and write them under the “Chapter 1″ thread (this thread is at the very bottom of the forum).