This post marked the completion of a project I had been working on since November of 2012.  My second inspirational e-book, How To USE Your Bible, was uploaded online in PDF format – ready to be shared with my readers.  At last!

What a wild ride it was!

Early in the summer of 2012 we began attending a small community church in our neighborhood.  We went the first time at the invitation of a sweet friend from down the lane and, because of her affiliation with the pastor, we were welcomed and accepted.  Or so it seemed…

The story is long. And sad.

To make it short — in November I offered to share a seven week series designed to help some of the new Christians in the group become more familiar with their Bibles. My offer was welcomed and accepted.  Or so it seemed. What with one thing and another we didn’t actually start the series until early January of 2013.  The first week went quite well.  Or so it seemed.

Week two? Okay, no problems. The group was receptive and excited about what we were sharing. But, the pastor’s wife was not present for that weeks gathering.

Week three was an entirely different story! Less than fifteen minutes into the lesson everything we had assumed, thought, or believed about our welcome and acceptance in the church and my weekly group came to a dramatic halt.  The Pastor’s wife and her close aide were in attendance. I opened by quoting a favorite verse.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

Mrs. Pastor was quick to tell the group, “that is not true. We don’t believe in that teaching here.” Turns out our faith was questioned. Our motives were questioned. And, our doctrinal beliefs were challenged on every level – especially our stand regarding the completed work of the Cross and God’s abundant Grace for His children.

The truth is, all of the unpleasantness was our own fault.  We should have been much more thorough when discussing our basic beliefs with the pastor and his family. That omission was a huge mistake on our part. We were not exactly asked to leave the church.  But, as it turned our, unless we were willing to renounce the Gospel of Grace, we simply could not continue to attend there.  Of course, we cannot deny the things we have lived and so believe absolutely to be true.

There IS Good News

The good news?  I was even more determined to finish preparing the seven weekly lessons that I believed the Lord helped me to start. Over time I wrote a study for the full seven weeks.  Writing it turned out to be a huge blessing for me.  As each week was finished, I posted it online, making it available to anyone from the group who was still interested. Several were and followed along to the end.

As the weeks progressed it became obvious there was something more happening. Over the ensuing years those seven weekly lessons were presented to other groups and were eventfully published as a paperback booklet that I was thrilled to offer as a gift to those who attended the gatherings.

Designed to promote spiritual growth and a stronger bond with Jesus Christ, this little booklet is a simple, yet well-rounded, guidebook for contemplative study of God’s Word. Divided into a series of seven weekly study guides and daily devotionals it is geared to help the reader reach a higher personal appreciation of God’s unconditional love and grace.

The Word Alive

I offer it to you with the assurance that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that it will be a blessing to anyone who believes, as we do, that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. 15 (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”)

John 1:10-15
Revised Standard Version