Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Time to Sign Up for Next Year's Bible Study!

 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree . . . Psalm 92:12

You are invited to join our Community Bible Study Orange County Women's Night Class!

Our study in 1 & 2 Corinthians will be ending soon, but we are so excited for the study of Matthew coming in September. Please come by and visit our class or fill out the registration form to secure your place in one of our groups for the coming year. The new study begins September 8th 2015.

Do you know where your heart is?  Oh I don’t mean the one inside of your chest, I mean the source of your desires.  The location of your heart can be determined by where the things you treasure are, according to the Gospel of Matthew. It was written from a Jewish point of view which gives us wonderful insights into the world Jesus lived in.  It also gives us the opportunity to study the Lord’s Prayer in detail and learn more about our own prayer life in the process. If you are a beginner in the Bible or a seasoned saint, this will be a life changing study! Join us as we pursue treasure that lasts. 

Dates are September 8th 2015 - May 10th 2016.

We meet every Tuesday night at 6:50-8:30 in the city of Orange. Feel free to come and visit and check us out.

We accept new registrants every week.  Please feel free to bring a friend.  Register at the top right-hand side of this blog page or here.

Our current registration for this year's study is over 225 women!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Do You Want to Learn What REAL love is?

Come and join over 200 other women who are studying the REAL meaning of love, God's love.  Our 30 week study starts September 9th, 6:50 pm at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Orange.  Located near the corner of Taft and Orange-Olive Road.   See registration form at top right-hand side of this blog.

If I say  the phrase “the love of God,” many thoughts might pop into your mind. If you’re a hymn lover   you might think of the chorus, “Oh love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure the saints’ and angels’ song.” On a more contemporary level, if you love the singer Marty Goetz, who is a Messianic Jew, you might hear the words, “There for you, there for me, there for free, the love of God.” Or maybe you don’t hear music at all. Maybe John 3:16 comes to mind: “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life.” Of course it’s also possible that you’ve never been aware of the love of God, so that phrase brings only doubts. What I hope you will all think about by the time we’re finished with our 30 week study in the books of 1 and 2 Corinthians is that all followers of Jesus Christ are to not only BE loved with God’s love, but they’re commanded to love OTHERS with the same kind of love. We can’t do that until we understand what God’s love looks like. 1 and 2 Corinthians will give us a gold mine of information on how God loves and how we can learn to love like He does.

Of course even people who have never read the Bible have heard 1 Cor 13 read, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.” Well, let me ask you a question and I want you to be totally honest. You don’t have to answer out  loud, but as you look at the way you love others, how does it measure up to that standard? I sort of fall apart at the first line, “love is patient”! “It doesn’t envy” doesn’t help me much either! How about “keeping no record of wrongs”? I think it quickly becomes apparent that the love spoken of here is the highest ideal of love. It’s the way God loves.

So how can we, as mere mortals, be asked to love each other in this exact same way? That brings us right back to our Corinthians study, because within these two books we come face to face with the Holy Spirit. That’s the only way we will ever be able to love with God’s love---through the Holy Spirit who is given to each person who receives Jesus as their Savior and Lord. We’re going to learn so much about Him this year—and notice I said HIM.  The Holy Spirit is not a force or a power, He is a person.  We will also be looking at the gifts that He gives to us and hopefully identifying which ones are working in our individual lives.

 In addition, so many important and contemporary topics will be addressed in our study this year, one of the most pivotal being what happens when the church begins to veer away from the truth of God’s Word and begins to exchange it for the world’s standards? Paul the Apostle, the writer of Corinthians, will help us understand how to be culturally sensitive while remaining doctrinally sound and spiritually pure. We will study, singleness, marriage, and divorce and what God says about it. We will also look at life after death and what it means to the Christian. And that’s just in 1 Corinthians! In 2 Corinthians the central theme will be the relationship between suffering and the power of the Holy Spirit. Who hasn’t asked the question, “Why” in the face of personal suffering or suffering as seen in the world today?

We will also receive a short course in spiritual warfare and how to battle our true enemy, Satan. Yes, he’s real, and he hates you. The great Christian poet and commentary writer J. Sidlow Baxter wrote that studying Corinthians is “like trying to hold the ocean in a teacup”. That makes me think of the last verse of the hymn I quoted earlier, speaking of the  love of God: “Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.

I hope you’ll join us at CBS and experience the love of God for yourself. 

In His Service~Patty Bivens

Monday, August 6, 2012

Daily Bread...

Ron Lessin has a web site called Meet Me in the Meadow where he shares daily thoughts and insights.  This one is perfect to pray for your own children, grandchildren, or any child you know!


Prayer for your children’s daily bread 

Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV


Gracious Father, I ask that my children will always hunger after Your words. Increase their appetite. May they find Your words to be delightful, whole and pure, abundant in grace, and rich in mercy.

Feed them, Father with fresh bread, living bread, daily bread. Nurture them in their spirits, teach them that they cannot live on bread alone, and that they need You to sustain them with every word that comes from Your mouth.

Break to them the bread of life!
Thank You, Father, that Your words can be found, can be eaten, and can be know. May my children find Your words to be the joy and delight of their hearts. May they daily realize the awesome privilege they have to be called by Your name, to be a part of Your forever family, and to receive the words spoken to them from your heart.

Your words are like no other! May my children know the sweet taste of Your word, may its sound be a symphony to their spirits, and may the glory of Your word be a transforming light to their hearts and a lamp unto their feet.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Spirit of Resistance

The chief pang of most trials is not so much the actual suffering itself as our own spirit of resistance to it. -- Jean Nicolas Grou

Thank you for your patience with me as I neglected my blog during the most trying of times.  I know the whole purpose of a blog is for a person to give a running commentary on what they're going through in life in the hope that someone else may either be entertained by it or learn from it.

I guess I just couldn't find spiritual words to say as I was holding on for dear life.  I'm sure the Lord meant for me to share so my own trial could be a benefit to others who read my thoughts, and what I was learning.  But the above quote speaks volumes---I had a spirit of resistance to my trial.  Its amazing what comes out of us when we are squeezed! I entertained thoughts of not deserving what was happening, of disappointment with what God was allowing---doubt and disbelief---UGG!  My trial isn't over, but Easter Week has brought me to an awareness that Jesus left me a perfect path to follow through times of trial:

  • Deal only in truth when someone close to you speak lies. 
  • Pray and ask for deliverance, but end with "Thy will not mine be done."  
  • Realize the enemy has no power over you other than that which is given from above. 
  • Remember there is a high purpose for what my Father is allowing me to go through. 
  • Forgive.  
  • Consider the needs of others and don't focus on your own suffering.  
  • Commit yourself into the Father's hands.

May your Holy Week end in a glorious Resurrection!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Bigger Circle

Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn't offended by your biggest dreams and boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren't impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Why? Because they don't require divine intervention. But ask God to part the Red Sea or make the sun stand still or float an iron axhead, and God is moved to omnipotent action.

There is nothing God loves more than keeping promises, answering prayers, performing miracles, and fulfilling dreams. That is who He is. That is what He does. The bigger the circle we draw, the better, because God gets more glory. The greatest moments in life are the miraculous moments when human impotence and divine omnipotence intersect -- and they intersect when we draw a circle around the impossible situations in our lives and invite God to intervene.
-- Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker

I have some circles I need to draw around some situations in my life and I need to draw them BIG!  The above devotion had a profound affect on me as it refreshed my faith in what God longs to do in my life---in yours too!  I've spent way too much time looking at my situations and not enough time looking at my Situation Solver.  
There is nothing I desire more in life than to give God glory in all things.  What I had forgotten is contained in the statement, "Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers." Is it possible I've been ROBBING God of His glory by expecting too little from Him?  Perish the thought!  Have I hindered what He longs to do for me by asking too small?  Quite possibly! Have I offended or insulted Him by asking for far less than He is capable of? 
Almighty God, forgive me!  I bring You all of my impossible situations right now in full faith that You can, and WILL intervene for my good and Your glory!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

God's Wings

"I will trust under the shadow of Your wings.  Psalm 61:4
There are many things in life that might cause us to be fearful.  For many right now fear of the future is a big one.  So many people have watched their life savings drop to zero.  People long past retirement age are scrambling for employment at a time when they should be enjoying the fruit of their life's labor.  The age when you can collect your full social security has been bumped from 65 to 66.  Today I read they're going to bump it even further to 67!  For those 10 years away from collecting it probably won't be there.  Thoughts like these can make me feel anxious about the future.  Fear of the future is closing in on public speaking as the number one fear in America.  Fear of losing your health isn't far behind.  

There are so many things that we can be fearful about that we really have no control over.  That's where faith comes in.  God is in control of everything, all of the time.  So when I find my stomach tightening and my heart racing I close my eyes and picture myself like one of these little birds---under the shadow of His wing.  If God is for me, who can be against me?  If He cares for the birds of the air how much more will He care for me, His child?  I love this picture of the bird sheltering its babies.  I hope you will call it to mind like I do when you begin to feel fearful, whatever the cause.  God is greater, and He loves you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfulness or Murmuring?

Give thanks in everything—1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks for everything—Ephesians 5:20
Pray about everything with thanksgiving—Philippians 4:6
Do all things without murmuring—Philippians 2:14

Thankfulness is the presence of gratitude and the absence of murmuring. Thankfulness is an attitude of appreciation for everything that is received; murmuring is an attitude of complaint for everything that is withheld. Thankfulness is rooted in humility; murmuring is rooted in pride. Thankfulness says, “This is more than I deserve.”; murmuring says, “I deserve more!” Thankfulness is the doorway to contentment; murmuring is the doorway to dissatisfaction. Thankfulness travels on the highway of joy; murmuring travels on the highway of gloom. Thankfulness causes the disposition to be sweet; murmuring causes the disposition to become sour.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before Him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100 NLT
There is nothing I can add to this other than "Lord, forgive me for all of the times I have murmured over things withheld (no doubt for my own good) instead of being thankful for all I have which is so much more than I deserve!" Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!