An update from Melissa B. Noren…
I thought you might be interested in a new journaling ‘activity’ I’ve discovered. My step-sister shared a CD with me almost a year ago, I finally found it and listened, and can’t get enough of it!
Lifeway created a women’s devotional audio CD that has 12 speakers on it from women’s Christian conferences around the US. Each snippet is only 10 minutes in length, and it features women like Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer speaking on their modern day connections to either people or chapters within the Bible. It’s fantastic! Each time a speaker begins, they tell you which verses they’re connecting with before they speak so you can follow along, take notes in your journal bibles or doodle your connection alongside! One speaker does not follow along with the other – they’re all different subjects. This will allow us to have a set study or theme for the next 12 weeks, without having to play catch up or feel as if we’re missing the previous one! Each one will be brand new…just like our connections in the margins!
Here’s the link on Amazon to the audio CD for LifeWay’s Women’s Audio Devotional.
I’ve just about worn mine out already, and I’m going to connect with each 10 minute session and journal/doodle it as an example before our Wednesday meetings! The group is growing in faith and in numbers – we’re up to 10 now at work – I’m loving every minute of it!
We listened to the 1st speaker, Jennifer Rothschild, from her Missing Pieces segment on “Present in the Presence”.
Everyone simply sat quietly and took their own notes when something triggered a heartfelt response.
After the 10 minute snippet was through, some had questions on how do I know I’m in His presence, I need an example of how to get started, etc.
I shared with them a very personal moment from just a few weeks ago, when I had bottomed out – in a Walmart parking lot no less!
How I sat in my car early the Saturday morning before Mother’s Day just squalling, feeling as if I was being forced to do something I did not want to do, crying out loud to Jesus, realizing for the very first time in 2 years on my walk with Christ what I was feeling was failure: failing as a wife, failing my husband, failing our marriage, failing God himself – when I felt His Presence.
There was a feeling of literally being enveloped where I was, and my heart heard, “My child – when you cannot be loyal to me, I will still be loyal to you. I’m going to show you what loyalty truly is.”
Well that was it – if I was squalling before, I absolutely has a meltdown then!
I’ve heard His voice two times within the past two years and the only word I can find to describe it is resonate. His voice absolutely resonated from above, through my ears and heart and body, and out into the area around me shaking me to my knees. This time was different; this was being held and whispered to, physically feeling His Presence wrapped around me as if I were sitting in his lap and his arms/robes fully enveloped me from head to toe. I was present in His Presence! And I know this because had I of NOT been present, I would have missed it all of it – I would have missed the opportunity to cry out to the Lord (like Gideon), I would have missed feeling Him envelope me (Gideon had the Angel/Jesus reassuring him of being the mighty warrior), and I would have missed feeling his voice (He told Gideon, “I Am with you”) and I would have missed learning the lesson of loyalty from God (Gideon was reassured time and time again “I will be with you and you will conquer…)
After sharing my lil’ meltdown of a testimony, the ladies had a new understanding of what His Presence meant. Everyone is going to journal times in their lives when they either were or were not ‘Present in His Presence’ and bring them back next Wed at lunch during our Bible Study! I can’t wait to see what everyone’s looks like !!!! I’ll have to take another pic of what the completed Journal Bible pages look like and send to you as a follow up!
Melissa B. Noren