Saturday, August 16, 2008

Beth Moore Study

Well, this past Wednesday night was our last night for our Beth Moore study, "Stepping Up: A Journey through the Psalms of Ascent". The last night was good and amazing. As I have previously written about that night (although briefly) all the women met in the sanctuary for the whole time that night.

We had a time of singing and worship. Then several ladies (and one whole group) got up and shared what the study meant to them and/or their testimonies. Then we watched the last video portion for the study. Beth Moore was excellent in this as with all the others. Then we sang another song and had a time of prayer. None of us wanted it to end, we had all enjoyed it so much. The general consensus in our little group was that we hoped they did another Beth Moore study next summer.

When New Life first started announcing that they would be doing this study way back at the beginning of May of this year, I was a little interested, but not sure I wanted to sign up for it. We hadn't been attending New Life all that long and I just wasn't sure I was ready for it. But, as the weeks of that month went along, and they kept announcing it, I felt such a pull to do it. By the end of the month, I felt like the Lord really wanted me to do this study and I had no idea why. So, I believe it was around Memorial Day that I finally signed up to do it, although I was very nervous about it. I just didn't understand why I felt so lead to do it.

But, you see, the Lord knew what the summer held for me just a short couple of weeks later. I truly believe that He wanted me to do this study because He knew what was going to happen and that I would need this study. I am so glad that I listened to Him and what He wanted me to do in doing it.

The study was amazing. I was in a small group of amazing ladies. Young and old, at all stages in life. It was a unique group really. And they just opened their arms, even though they didn't know me, and welcomed me in.

The study itself was also amazing. Beth Moore is an amazing woman and I am so thankful that she allows God to use her in this way as well as many other ways. I learned a lot of things I didn't know before about things in the Bible. I also learned a lot about myself. And most importantly, God used it to draw me into a much, much closer relationship with Him. I can truly and honestly say that I am in a relationship with Him now that is unlike anything I have ever had before. He has brought me close to Him, teaching me that I can and should give everything over to Him. Every worry, every heartache, everything. I have learned to rely on Him for everything and I know that when I am praying and praising Him, sometimes through tears, He is wrapping His big arms around me, telling me He is there and it will be alright. It has truly been an amazing experience! I am so thankful for that.

I will miss meeting with this particular group of ladies each week, but know that some of us are planning to keep in touch throughout the fall etc. One of the ladies from the group invited me to join her regular small group when they start up again (in September I think) and I am giving it serious consideration. But, also, New Life is doing a small group fair the weekend of Sept 6-7th, where you can go around to the different small groups, after services I assume, and see what each group is about and what they are studying etc. I think that is a very cool way to do that and will look at all of the others and pray about which one I feel lead to be involved with.

So, in closing, I want to say, if you ladies out there ever get the opportunity to be involved in a Beth Moore Bible Study, DO IT! You will truly be blessed by it and will enjoy it, I know.

I will leave you with the Psalm that came to mean the most to me throughout this study and this summer.

Psalm 121

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.


May God Bless each and every one of you!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's a Small World, After All

It is indeed a small world, after all. I have been writing on this blog for a couple of days about what is going on between the countries of Russia and Georgia. I have also made clear what I think Russia's motives are and that they need to leave the country of Georgia and respect it's government and democracy.

Well, last night was our last night for our Beth Moore study. I will write more about the whole experience later. However, right now, I want to share something from last night.

There were different women getting up, giving testimony or telling how the study affected them. Then this one young woman got up and started by trying to read one of the Psalms that we had studied. She broke down, crying. You see, she was crying because her husband's family is Georgian and many of them are still in the country. They (she and her husband) are very afraid for his family and nervous about what is going on there right now.

Right then and there, this situation had been brought home to our front door, so to speak. Here was this young woman who has a connection to what is going on in that country, right there in our church! Of course, we let her say what she wanted to say and she had everyone's attention immediately.

When she was done. Another woman spoke. Then another woman stood up and stated that she believed we should not just say "we'll pray for you and your family" to this young woman, but that we should pray with her now! So, those of us who felt lead to do so, got up and went forward and we surrounded this young woman and each one of us prayed. Then, New Life's Woman's ministry leader closed the whole group prayer off with a prayer. It was amazing.

Here I have been very interested in what's happening in this little country, and yes, part of my interest is because I am in politics and I pay attention to what is happening. But, also I had a deeper interest and had been praying for the country and it's leaders, praying for safety and guidance. Then I go last night and there is this young woman (I never got her name) who's in-laws and husband are Georgian and that his family is still in the country. Talk about bringing it home!

So, I just want to say once again, that I believe that Russia is in the wrong here. They need to take their troops and get out of Georgia and go home.

I continue to stand with the Georgians and will continue to pray for the people and leaders of this country. But, now I have a personal connection. And even though I didn't get this young womans' name, I will pray for her husband's family also. I urge all Americans to pray for the people and leaders of this baby democracy. They deserve our full support.

God Bless.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Colin Powell!

Say it ain't so, Colin Powell! I hope this report that you will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention and endorsing Obama at that time is not true!

Say It Ain't So!!!

An Update on Georgia

Well, I had hoped that Russia's invasion of the Republic of Georgia would be over by now. Sadly, it is not. Russia keeps saying that they are for a cease-fire agreement with Georgia, however, their actions are not backing up their words.

Based upon reports from within the Republic of Georgia, the Russians have pushed forward, further into the country, bombing the city of Gori. They are fastly closing in on the capital city of Tbilisi and the people are frightened, as they should be. They are also blocking Georgian navy ships in port, bombing them as well. Russia has also issued threats to other "break-away" countries, that used to be a part of the USSR, that if they speak out against Russia and in support of Georgia or offer support to Georgia, that Russia will come after them as well. There has also been charges of "ethnic cleansing" by the Russians as they move through the country of Georgia.

President Bush today held a press conference and stated some things that America will be doing to help the Georgians. First, he is sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice into the region as a show of support. He is also sending a C-17 full of humanitarian aid into Georgia, saying that Russia should not block this plane from coming into the area. He also stated: "The United States stands with the democratic government of Georgia and insists that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected. The United States strongly supports France's efforts as president of the European Union to broker an agreement to end this conflict."

We need to stand firm with this fledgling democracy against Russia. Russia's actions have already damaged it's relationship with other countries that it once considered allies. Georgians have the right to be free, to have a freely elected government, to have a democracy without interference from Russia. Russia needs to get out the country and go home. This is nothing more than Putin's attempt to reunite the old USSR under communistic rule.

May God Bless the Georgians as they fight off this offense from Russia. As I have stated before, this American stands with you. And others should too. This has far reaching consequences.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Excellent Opinion By George Will on Current Events

12 August 2008
Trouble in Georgia
By George Will
WASHINGTON -- Asked in 1957 what would determine his government's course, Harold Macmillan, Britain's new prime minister, replied, “Events, dear boy, events." Now, into America's trivializing presidential campaign, a pesky event has intruded -- a European war. Russian tanks, heavy artillery, strategic bombers, ballistic missiles and a naval blockade batter a European nation. We are not past such things after all. The end of history will be postponed, again. Russia supports two provinces determined to secede from Georgia. Russia, with aspiring nations within its borders, generally opposes secessionists, as it did when America, which sometimes opposes secession (e.g., 1861-65), improvidently supported Kosovo's secession from Russia's ally Serbia. But Russia's aggression is really about the subordination of Georgia, a democratic, market-oriented U.S. ally. This is the recrudescence of Russia's dominance in what it calls the “near abroad." Ukraine, another nation guilty of being provocatively democratic near Russia, should tremble because there is not much America can do. It is a bystander at the bullying of an ally that might be about to undergo regime change. Vladimir Putin, into whose soul President George W. Bush once peered and liked what he saw, has conspicuously conferred with Russia's military, thereby making his poodle, “President” Dmitry Medvedev, yet more risible. But big events reveal smallness, such as that of New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson. On ABC's “This Week," Richardson, auditioning to be Barack Obama's running mate, disqualified himself. Clinging to the Obama campaign's talking points like a drunk to a lamppost, Richardson said this crisis proves the wisdom of Obama's zest for diplomacy, and that America should get the U.N. Security Council “to pass a strong resolution getting the Russians to show some restraint." Apparently Richardson was ambassador to the U.N. for 19 months without noticing that Russia has a Security Council veto. This crisis illustrates, redundantly, the paralysis of the U.N. regarding major powers, hence regarding major events, and the fictitiousness of the European Union regarding foreign policy. Does this disturb Obama's serenity about the efficacy of diplomacy? Obama's second statement about the crisis, in which he tardily acknowledged Russia's invasion, underscored the folly of his first, which echoed the Bush administration's initial evenhandedness. “Now," said Obama, “is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint."John McCain, the “life is real, life is earnest” candidate, says he has looked into Putin's eyes and seen “a K, a G and a B." But McCain owes the thug thanks, as does America's electorate. Putin has abruptly pulled the presidential campaign up from preoccupation with plumbing the shallows of John Edwards and wondering what “catharsis” is “owed” to disappointed Clintonites. McCain, who has called upon Russia “to immediately and unconditionally ... withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory," favors expelling Russia from the G-8, and organizing a league of democracies to act where the U.N. is impotent, which is whenever the subject is important. But Georgia, whose desire for NATO membership had U.S. support, is not in NATO because some prospective members of McCain's league of democracies, e.g. Germany, thought that starting membership talks with Georgia would complicate the project of propitiating Russia. NATO is scheduled to review the question of Georgia's membership in December. Where now do Obama and McCain stand? If Georgia were in NATO, would NATO now be at war with Russia? More likely, Russia would not be in Georgia. Only once in NATO's 59 years has the territory of a member been invaded -- the British Falklands, by Argentina, in 1982. What is it about August? The First World War began in August 1914. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact effectively announced the Second World War in August 1939. Iraq, a fragment of the collapse of empires precipitated by August 1914, invaded Kuwait in August 1990. This year's August upheaval coincides, probably not coincidentally, with the world's preoccupation with that charade of international comity, the Olympics. For only the third time in 72 years (Berlin 1936, Moscow 1980), the games are being hosted by a tyrannical regime, the mind of which was displayed in the opening ceremony featuring thousands of drummers, each face contorted with the same grotesquely frozen grin. It was a tableau of the miniaturization of the individual and the subordination of individuality to the collective. Not since the Nazi's 1934 Nuremberg rally, which Leni Riefenstahl turned into the film “Triumph of the Will," has tyranny been so brazenly tarted up as art. A worldwide audience of billions swooned over the Beijing ceremony. Who remembers 1934? Or anything.
© 2008, Washington Post Writers Group

George has had some excellent points here in this column. I think it should cause all of us to pause and think. History does repeat itself. It doesn't have to.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Georgia, the Country, not the State

I must say a word about what Russia is doing to the country of Georgia tonight. This started over the weekend and has only gotten worse. While the Georgian government is saying they want a cease-fire and Russia is saying the same, the Russian are not backing up their words with actions that reflect that.

Russia needs to get itself back inside Russia and out of Georgia and any other break-away republics it has entered in the past few days with their military troops. This could spread very quickly to other countries that formerly were a part of the old USSR. It could get so much worse before it gets better.

And make no mistake, even though Putin is now the Prime Minister and not the President, he is still running the show and still very much in control of the country of Russia. He wants nothing more than to put the old USSR back together under communistic rule and that old iron fist.

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the people of the Republic of Georgia. May God grant you safety, peace, and an end to these hostilities brought onto your country by Russia. You are struggling and want so badly to be a free country, I just pray that your countrymen and government and the other governments of the West will stand up to these Russians and send them back where they belong.

God Bless you Georgians. This American is behind you.