Friday’s Faith Feature|Resonating Thoughts from I Want God by Lisa Whittle (4/5)

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“We may not be trying to be famous, but we, the everyday people, still want to be popular. We still want attention and kudos and accolades. We still want significance and for people to know our names. That all seems harmless, but those desires so easily slide into an unhealthy place where we ask people to give us things to make us feel worthy. And it gets in the way of wanting God, because other people’s attention suddenly takes center stage instead of Him. When we give ourselves away to other people, we can never fully give our whole selves to God.

God didn’t create people to become other people’s gods. He knows that when we become other people’s gods we will not fight the same, love the same, risk the same. He knows we won’t preach the same. He knows we will settle more and become watered down people. He knows we will have to consider our image above everything else and that will extinguish passion flames and truth-telling and free speech. He knows it will make us dilute bitter-tasting truth so people can swallow it better.”

- Lisa Whittle

A Word from Kim: No level of attention or fame is worth compromising our relationship with God. So often, we tend to get caught up. Caught up in compliments. Caught up in celebrity. Even caught up in notoriety in extreme cases. But in truth, all those things can easily cloud the waters, making our faith walk murky and unclear. Ultimately, we drown in our own selfish desire to be known. And while that happens to us, many others are led down a path of idolatrous destruction. With all of this said and with all of the aforementioned in mind, it would behoove us to place God in the position He is best suited for over and in our lives, that of the Most High.#IWantGod  untitled

Charis – God’s Scandalous Grace for Us (Table Talk, Week 4)

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18405453Charis – God’s Scandalous Grace for Us: (A Quote from the Book): “God loves you because of who He is and because of what Christ has done. Whether you are depressed, suicidal, underweight, overweight, good-looking, ugly, dumb, smart, popular, socially rejected, happily married, divorced, physically fit, physically disabled, funny, dull – whether you are Judah or Joseph, Gomer or a Proverbs 31 woman – you have won the heart of God because you are human. God doesn’t save people who have it all together. He saves whores, prostitutes, porn stars, Bible college professors, and stay-at-home housewives who wear head coverings in church, because God loves to create righteousness out of nothing.

We are all vile sinners, addicted to the muck and sludge of our own depravity; we are victims beaten down by other people’s depravity. We are therefore walking magnets for God’s scandalous grace.”

Table Talk: Do you believe that God sent Jesus Christ to save you from the worst of your sins, the worst of yourself, and the worst of what you desire to have from the world? He did. God sent Christ to be a propitiation for your sins, my sins – our sins (1 John 2:2). There is no state or stain that cannot be touched by the blood of Christ.

Table Talk Discussion Question: What does scandalous grace mean to you, especially when you consider the state from which you have been delivered from?

Table Talk Charis Challenge: Read Preston Sprinkle’s book from cover to cover and share your thoughts with The Phone Tree Bible Study Group.  Those who read the book and submit a review or comment by October 1, 2014 will be entered into a special mystery gift giveaway. (A random winner will be announced on Saturday, October 4, 2014.)

Prayer: Father, praise Your name! Your grace is a gift beyond compare. Thank You for it. We are grateful. We are appreciative. We are humbled. We are in awe. May we glorify You even more for who You are and for what You have done and continue to do. In the name of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

To Read an Excerpt from This Book: Charis – God’s Scandalous Grace for Us by Preston Sprinkle

Saved But Still Enslaved

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Kim Teamer:

Strongholds and idols…quite the problem for those who desire to be faithful. If you have ever struggled with or if you are struggling with these now, I encourage you to follow this series. It will be for your good and your growth. God bless!

Originally posted on SeekingKingdom:

I am beginning a new teaching series entitled, “Saved But Still Enslaved: How to Tear Down Satan’s Strongholds.” Through this study we will discover that these strongholds exist in the lives of Christians, limiting our forward progress as we seek to live for God.

A stronghold is any thought or idea that tends to exalt itself against the word of God. Strongholds are tools of the devil that seek to rob us from the truth that God has given us through His word. These thoughts manifest themselves in a variety of ways, but they all seek to ruin us and trap us in a web of self-sabotage.

God has given us the power, however to tear down these strongholds and bring them underneath the reign of Jesus. He has put within our spiritual inventory the tools we need to tear the strongholds down.

Each week we will look at how…

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Gideon: Your Weakness. God’s Strength (PTBS – 3)

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A Phone Tree Bible Study Series

Gideon: Your Weakness. God’s Strength.  2cb702be-dafa-4d5e-923f-df23c7f1b270

Week 3: Who Do You Think You Are?

Summary: Who you are and who you believe yourself to be are important considerations. More important than that, however, is who God says you are and who He has called you to be. God has a way of challenging each one of us to see beyond where we are. He positions us to witness His greatness and in turn to see our own greatness through Him.

From Priscilla to Us:

“Yahweh’s perspective of us is often so unbelievable, so foreign to our own belief system and conduct that it can be like a bolt of lightning striking our desensitized souls. It jolts us away from the misplaced shadows of our experience into the truth of God’s reality.”

This Week’s Assignment:

1) Read through the following Scriptures and summarize what the LORD is saying.

- Joshua 1:9

- Psalm 138:3

- 2 Corinthians 3:5-6

2) Read the lesson material from Week 3 in your member book. (Week 3, Day 1 – The Key To Our Strength – will be featured in next week’s post.)

3) Sit down in a quiet place and spend some genuine quality time with the LORD. Pour out your heart to Him; describe and discuss who you have come to see yourself as being. Ask Him to clearly reveal to you all those things that He has said you are in Him. From there, write down what His Spirit teaches you regarding this. Review your discovered Scripture-based lessons daily.


Friday’s Faith Feature|Resonating Thoughts from I Want God by Lisa Whittle (3/5)

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“The reason we do not have more of God is that we make our immediate need for comfort the priority…We want immediate relief from the empty existence we have created for ourselves and will comfort ourselves in any way that will make it possible. We will comfort ourselves with shopping. We will comfort ourselves with food. We will comfort ourselves with sex. We will comfort ourselves with porn. We will comfort ourselves with prescription drugs. We will comfort ourselves with TV. We will comfort ourselves with self-help conferences and keeping our calendar all booked up. Band-Aids that solve nothing and cannot heal our deep hurt. We diminish the depth of the wound, applying topical solutions to deep-down things that need attention. …our desire to comfort ourselves has been the problem all along.”

- Lisa Whittle

A Word from Kim: No truer words have been spoken. Look deeply inside of yourself and figure out where you stand. Ask yourself the hard questions. Have “Band Aid comforts” become your idols? Does your need for a pacifier of relief rule you or can you honestly say that you are all God’s? #IWantGod  untitled

A Phone Tree Review|Wine and the WORD: Savor & Serve by Kurt Senske

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About the Book:”In the pages of this book, the art and the miracle of wine, coupled with the vivid biblical imagery of the vineyard, open a lens onto God s abundant grace, and, in turn, onto our lives as disciples that we might fully savor God’s blessings and serve those around us with great joy. Open this book and let the rich message of the goodness of God pour over you and into your life.” –

Phone Tree Review: As appealing as the most luscious of grapes, Wine and the WORD:Savor & Serve was a delightful blend of the sweet and the succulent. With beautifully penned words, meaningful quotes, Scriptural references and thoughtful vignettes, author Kurt Senske did an excellent job of leading me down a metaphorical path, comparing wine and the Word of God. His words invited me to look at the significance, history, and importance of the special “nectar of gods.” Additionally, his writing did much to influence a deeper level of thinking as it relates to my Christian life experience.

Favorite Quotes:
“By drinking deeply of God’s wisdom, commands and promises, we taste and see that the Lord is good, that he satisfies our deepest needs and that our reverence for him is indeed the beginning of wisdom.”

“There are times our lives, like an improperly poured glass of wine, lack integration and balance.”

“As a fine wine distinguishes itself from the not-so-fine bottles, we are called on to declare by our words and deeds that we are distinct among the crowd.”

“God’s love knows no bounds. He has given us fruitful terroir, a landscape that has been shaped by a history of sins forgiven and promises fulfilled. We blossom, not under the hand of an inattentive vinedresser, but under the caress of One who knows us intimately.”

“…the nectar of God’s Word – that which we read, we hear and we ingest at the Table of our Lord.”

“Reading the Bible is like drinking deeply of an exquisite wine.”

“Living the Christ-filled life is to be intoxicated with the Gospel.”

Favorite Chapters: Chapter 4 (What is Your Varietal Character?); Chapter 5 (Integration as a Strategy for Living); Chapter 17 (To Our Health!); Chapter 18 (Suffering and the Vine); Chapter 19 (The LORD’s Supper)

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Audience: This book will likely appeal to a select group. With that said, however, I do believe that individuals who are open to comparative considerations will gain an appreciation for the tasty symbolism that Senske is pouring forth through his words.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Shelton Interactive in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The words I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Charis – God’s Scandalous Grace for Us (Table Talk, Week 3)

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Charis – God’s Scandalous Grace for Us: (A Quote from the Book): “…when we want God to love us, we turn up the performance dial. We sleep less; we read more; we throw away our movies; we cleanse our iPods of all secular music; we work, and work, and work. But we can’t make God love us. God is not like you and me. God is transcendent. And His love is fundamentally different from ours. Even though our love is fueled by conditions…God’s love flows from His transcendent and intimate character. He loves you because of who He is and because of what He has done, not because of what you do or don’t do.”

Table Talk: Why is it that so many Christians get caught up in works when it comes to their love for God? Many base their faith on this type of performance mentality. As a result, they shut themselves down pretty quickly, thinking that they can either never measure up or that they can’t do enough to “make it in.”

Table Talk Discussion Questions: Do you think that there is a spiritual disconnect that comes with this type of works or performance mentality? Discuss.

Table Talk Charis Challenge: Study James 2:14-26 thoroughly. (Refer to additional Bible study resources to gain a more comprehensive understanding of this text.)

Prayer: Father, help us to understand what You would have us to know regarding love, faith, and works. Let us not throw up barriers to Your truths. Teach us to see clearly and to comprehend Your true message once and for all. In the name of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

To Read an Excerpt from This Book: Charis – God’s Scandalous Grace for Us  by Preston Sprinkle 18405453