Can you believe it’s been almost two whole years since I published a 4R?
Some of you are like, “What’s a 4R? Does it come with French fries or a house salad?”
No, silly rabbit. It’s just shorter than writing out “Random Ramblings, Ruminations, and Resources”. Try to keep up.
If you’re new to the blog or your memory is so terrible that you don’t have the capacity to commit every microscopic nuance of my blog to memory…
…I have a Google Docs file I’ve entitled “Scratch Pad”. Whenever I get a good idea for an article, I jot down the gist of it there. Then, when it’s one of those “meh” weeks when I’m not overwhelmingly passionate about anything in particular, or when I just want to address several small things rather than one big thing, I can thumb through those ideas for some inspiration. And sometimes, I throw in some announcements, updates, and other stuff, too.
So – if you’re tracking – 4R is basically stuff and things and whatnot and such.
And GIFs. Wonderful, wonderful GIFs.
OK, enough chit chat. Let’s get this party started…
Sold Out, But Keep An Eye Out
Finally. Finally, finally, FINALLY – hallelujah! – G3 Ministries is holding its first ever Expository Teaching Workshop for Women… and I’m sorry to tell you…it’s already sold out. Like, within just a few days of them barely announcing it at all. That’s how many godly women desperately want to be trained to properly teach God’s Word to other women and children.
Why am I telling you this if it’s sold out? Because I’m hoping G3 will continue to hold more of these in the future and I want you to be able to go! My advice? Connect with G3 (follow them on social media, get the app, sign up for their email list, etc.) so you’ll be one of the first to know when the next workshop will be held, and register immediately when it’s announced.
(If you managed to get registered for this one before it sold out, I will see you there!)
I Do It Myself
“I do it myself.”
Whether you’re a mom, an aunt, a grandmother, or babysitter, you’ve heard a toddler say this at some point. Maybe he’s trying to put on a sock, or she’s trying to fit a puzzle piece into a puzzle. We’re standing right there, ready and able to show them how to do it or do it for them, and yet, “I do it myself.”. That child would rather struggle with that sock or puzzle piece for five, ten, fifteen minutes than let us help.
Because that child knows something about life that we don’t know about Bible study. “I do it myself” brings with it rewards that having someone show you, or do it for you, just doesn’t. It brings with it the joy of figuring it out for yourself, the satisfaction of accomplishment, the firsthand learning that sticks with you that spoon feeding just doesn’t bring.
That child doesn’t want you breathing down his neck. He will fight you off if you try to help. Because he knows that “I do it myself” is better. That child grows past the milk of spoon feeding, and someone else showing him how, or doing it for him, to the meat of growing in maturity and independence and self-feeding.
Why is it that so many Christians never grow past the milk of someone spoon feeding them Bible study to the “I do it myself” of studying straight from the text of Scripture?
“I do it myself” is a normal part of child development. If a child never moved into the “I do it myself” stage we would consider that child unhealthy. We would take him to the doctor to find out what’s wrong. Why don’t we see that as unhealthy in our spiritual lives, in our Bible study lives?
We need to learn this concept when it comes to individual Bible study. Canned studies, a “mommy” breathing down your neck, showing you how to do it, or doing it for you, gets in the way of what you can learn – what God can uniquely tailor to you as an individual – when you do it yourself.
Yes, you may struggle. Yes, there will be trial and error. Yes, you probably won’t know what you’re doing at first. But that is part of the learning process. You can’t gain mastery of a skill if you never attempt to do it by yourself. And when it comes to mastering the skill of Bible study, the joy is not in, “Look at me, I did it all by myself!” but in, “Wow! God really did speak to me through His Word! Look how God has grown me! God showed me this great and amazing thing!”.
God gets the glory. We rejoice in His work in us through His Word. That joy is absent, and can never be achieved, when someone else is showing us how or doing it for us. It’s a joy we’ll never experience without “I do it myself.”
And speaking of Bible studies…
I know, I know, normally by this time of the year I’ve already started our new spring Bible study on the blog. That’s because, normally, sometime around October-ish, I’ve already prayerfully decided what book, passage, or topic the study is going to center on, and I’ve started my preparatory study and writing.
This year, for whatever reason God may have ordained, I have really struggled to settle down on the subject of our next study. I have been back and forth and forth and back in prayer about a number of different ideas.
Late last week, I started working on what I thought would be the right passage for the study, but it still just didn’t feel right. You know, like when you accidentally put your left shoe on your right foot? It’s still a good shoe, it’s just in the wrong place at the moment. And I started thinking… “What about a topical study on discernment? Maybe that would be a good idea.”. Several passages started coming to mind, but I didn’t have time to give it much thought…
…until a few hours later, when a reader emailed me looking for a Bible study on -you guessed it- discernment.
So I got up yesterday morning, and I started studying and sketching out an outline, and this time the shoe fit. I need a little time to study, so we won’t be starting right away, but our next Bible study will be a topical study on the subject of biblical discernment.
I debated whether or not to share that experience with y’all, because a lot of evangelicals would say that was “God ‘speaking’ to me”.
There was no Divine voice. There were no words. (That’s what the word “speaking” means. Words mean things.) God no longer talks to people directly the way He spoke to our fathers before us.
That was God answering my prayers for wisdom and guidance. That was God providentially arranging circumstances in His perfect timing. That was God helping me make up my mind.
God’s normal providence is wonderful.
Flashback (I hope)
Well, here’s a blast from the fairly recent past that ought to just bless your socks right off your little tootsies. Occasionally, I dabble (read: goof off) in various forms of creative writing. Here’s a little ditty I wrote (to be sung in your head to the tune of The Beatles’ Yesterday) a couple of years ago during that which shall not be named. Have fun. :0)
It’s a result of COVID-19
Stay at home and simply do nothing
Oh I am tired of quarantine
I can only see friends on a screen
But work is now a pants-less Zoom meeting
There are some perks to quarantine
Toilet paper’s gone
And from church we stay away😭
I’ve gained 20 pounds
From Netflix and snacks all day
Many weeks of social distancing
Wash your hands and cover when coughing
We’ll see an end to quarantine
We will survive this quarantine😃
There’s a song in the air…
I really enjoy listening to these brothers. I get a kick out of the fact that they’re doing Southern gospel all the way over in India. (Maybe they’re in southern India! :0) But they sing other styles, too. Check out the Living Stones Quartet’s channel!