! I was recently thinking about my life this past year. I cannot believe how much more I have come to know the Lord since I started my Salt and Light Bible Study. I have been a dedicated Christian since September of 1988 and I have had mountain tops and valleys.
The last few years I had started to feel such a deep sense of disappointment when I would attend conferences and ladies gatherings. Why you ask? Well, as a new Christian I would go and sit and get totally blessed and pumped up by the speaker. I would walk away feeling so motivated. It was worth the time away from my family because it was almost like taking a drug, for a short period of time I felt renewed. However, as I got older and as I heard more and more speakers it lost it's "motivating power" for me? I felt dry and disappointed.
Last January I started leading a Beth Moore study called, "Breaking Free". I was really looking forward to it because I had spent a season of 7 years laying fallow.
As I began the Beth Moore study I was encouraged for the first time in a loooong time. Especially the first few weeks. I realized that "I" was created by the one who loves me MOST and that I craved fellowship and relationship with other women. I realized that this didn't take AWAY from my family but really added to it. When MY cup is full I can give my family something to drink but when my cup is DRY I have nothing to offer?
About halfway thru the Moore Study I started to feel restless? I was missing the freedom of opening my bible to wherever I WANTED to read, I started getting behind on lessons because I would read something from the bible on my own and then I would spend hours one or two days trying to catch up those missed lessons.
The Lord then planted an idea in my heart. There was this lady who I really didn't know that goes to my church. She is a full time missionary with Navigators and speaks all over the world. I had heard many great things about her but didn't know her.
HOWEVER, I did know that she led these Salt and Light groups and that I had heard some really good testimony about how much some of my friends really REALLY Loved being a part of these groups. This idea grew and grew and finally one day on the way to bible study my girlfriend Angie and I were riding together as we normally did and I told her about this off the wall thought going thru my brain....,
What If I were to call this Debbie Friley and ask her if, at the END of our Beth Moore study would she be willing to come speak to our group (80 women signed up for this study) about Salt and Light so that those who were not plugged in could have a place to go after the Beth Moore study was finished? Angie and I agreed to pray about this and I told her that I wanted to just wait and make sure it was from the Lord.
Not even a full week later I am at the doctors and who comes walking out the door? Debbie Friley! I was stunned at how directly the Lord had answered my prayer?!?!
I just blurted it all out and she said, "GREAT", pulled out her calendar we set up dates and before I knew it, I was driving home in stunned silence. See this doctor is not near my house NOR hers. She's been my doctor for 10 years and I just don't run into St.Pete people while I'm there because she is in Seminole. I knew at that moment God was working.
Fast Forward to the end of our Beth Moore study and Debbie has come to speak to the girls in my study. Mind you, I was doing this for "them" because I had four children and just could not make a long term commitment to any ministry at this time in my life. Especially, "leading" a group. Beth Moore was only a 10 week commitment and so that was ok but these Salt and Light groups were on-going.
Debbie asked If I would be willing to lead a group and after praying about it I told her that I couldn't but that I'd be glad to help her get them started. She called me back and asked if I would be willing to lead one thru the summer just to give continuity as we made the switch and I said sure, thinking I could since it wasn't a long term commitment.
Little did I know how MUCH my life was going to be impacted! Salt and Light has been life changing for me. Even though it took me a few months to really catch the vision. You see, S&L is not about the author of the bible study. (such as Beth Moore) It's about the author of LIFE, Jesus Christ the son of God. It is the most remarkable journey to take responsibility for my relationship with the Lord instead of always depending on others to feed me. Debbie calls it being a self feeding Christian.
It is not easy. You have to get your hands dirty and discipline yourself to be in the Word everyday. To ask the LORD to speak to YOU each day and YET, it is the easiest thing I've ever done because it's as natural as breathing. I can go anywhere, anytime and all I need is my bible. I read the Word, read the Word, read the Word. Some women journal in a notebook but I simplify the process even more by doing most of my journaling in my bible. I date the place where I start and write what's going on in my life that day. One day I will pass these bibles I go thru, down to my children and grandchildren.
In the past year I have found myself praying ALL the time. When I find myself getting anxious I am learning to immediately stop myself and go directly to the leader of this bible study, Jesus Christ. I no longer look to be fed by others. Though I do enjoy listening to speakers, they are not
my main meal but instead the dessert!
Being a part of a salt and light group for me is hard work. I do have 4 wonderful children, I do home school them and have even been potty training one, I do have a wonderful husband who works LONG hours to provide for his family, I do have an ailing Grandmother who needs me a lot. It would be easy for me to say that I didn't have the TIME but the truth is that left on my own I would sputter and stall. Debbie, who says she is not the leader but just KNOWS the leader (Jesus Christ) says our motto is, "We're Better Together". In the beginning that was a cliche for me. Now I see how true that is.
Let me close by telling you about my group. ALL of them are older. Some are in their forties, fifties, seventies. NONE of them home school. ALL of them work outside their home. I remember thinking maybe this won't work I have nothing in common. Well, let me tell you something! These ladies have become so dear to me you couldn't tear me away from them with a crowbar, LOL! They offer me the experience of having BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Plus, we have the MOST important thing in common. We love the Lord. The Word is our ballast. As a group we cling to it. I thank these women for investing in my life and what JOY it has been for me to invest in theirs this last year.
My goal this new year is to finish reading thru the bible and to store up His word in my heart thru memorization. Salt and Light does have you memorize one verse per week.