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I AM lesson 10 December 15, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Faith, God, I AM...so you don't have to be.
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1. Have you ever experienced trials that were best dealt with “in the family” for either your reputation’s sake or God’s? You may still choose to leave them there, but you are welcome to share if you are comfortable.
2. Have you ever found yourself in a bizarre circumstance and later were able to walk someone through the same/similar situation? Did you recognize the hand of God in it?
My mind draws a blank here. I have been in bizarre circumstances and I know that one day God will use it,  just not yet that I’m aware of or can bring to mind.
3. I was in my late twenties before I ever let myself believe God was for me instead of waiting to smack me upside the head every time I made a mistake. Do you truly believe God is on your side?
Absolutely! I let me get in the way a lot of the time, but I trust that God truly is for me.
4. If God has ever had you in the Holy Spirit Chokehold (and who hasn’t He?), how have you reacted to God’s chastisement? Were you bitter? Brokenhearted? Grateful?
Oh yeah. I think I have gone through all the stages at one time or another. Bitter and brokenhearted for removal from a situation, then brokenhearted that I was bitter for being removed, brokenhearted that God had to put me in the “Holy Spirit Chokehold”. And grateful, so grateful that He loves me enough to do that.
5. Write a brief prayer of Thanksgiving for God’s longsuffering.
Father God, I love you so much and am so grateful for your patience – your longsuffering. Some lessons I must learn time and again before they really sink in, before Your Truth really resides in me. You endure so much for me, have endured so much for me. Forgive me for my stubbornness, help me Lord to hear You, to obey You the first time. For Your glory, Your kingdom. In Jesus name, amen.


I AM lesson 9 October 20, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Faith, God, I AM...so you don't have to be.
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1. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on how often your conversation is seasoned with the works of the Lord on your behalf? If you speak very little of Him, is there a reason you know of? If you speak often, how do people respond?
I’d say 7 anyway. It really varies, some people I know are going to roll their eyes, so it is a balancing act of speaking my heart, letting them know that it really is the Lord guiding me to do something versus my flesh not wanting me too. A lot of the people though know and acknowledge the work of the Lord in their own lives so it can easily turn into a time of praise.

2. Have you experienced a Set Up for a Show Up when you were uncertain whether the situation was the chastisement of the Lord or a temptation of Satan?

3. Have you ever or are you now experiencing any Job trials where you can still not identify any wrong-doing on your part?
I have experienced trials where it took me awhile to identify my wrong-doing, but I have..
4. Apply this principle: How can my response make my God famous? Will obedience result in my sanctification and God’s Glory?
By telling people it isn’t bad luck, that God is in control, that He loves me and He has been through it all too. He feels and knows my pain. He lifts my head. Walking it out. And yes, obedience will result in my sanctification and God’s glory. Praise Him!!

5. Does the origin of our affliction matter in view of the fame God can gain from it?
I don’t think so. It is how we handle the affliction that matters.We are either going to honor God or we are not, there is no in-between.

I AM lesson 8 September 9, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, Feelings, God, I AM...so you don't have to be, Love, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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1. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to ‘go back’ to a place of shame or ridicule? How did that make you feel? Awful, selfish, sad, remorseful.

2. Is there any circumstance in your life that still has you running for cover? Share if you feel comfortable. No.

3. When is the last time you felt like an overcomer? When the Lord and I spent most of the day (08/08/08) sitting together on my back patio working on My Pitcher.

4. If you have not yet taken the serpent by the tail, are you willing to stop running, take hold and trust God to transform it into a tool for wonders? I’ve taken hold and am trusting God.

5. I would like for you to write down this statement based on 1 John 2:14 somewhere you will see it often this week: “I am strong, the Word of God abides in me, and I have overcome the evil one.” Memorize it. Say it over and over until you believe it. Will you do this?? Most of the time, there are no right or wrong answers, but on this one, I’m expecting a ‘yes’! Yes.

I AM lesson 7 August 22, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, Feelings, God, I AM...so you don't have to be, Love, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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1. How would you answer the question, “Who am I?” I am precious in the sight of God. He created me – just as I am. He knew what, when, how, all that I am or hope to be – He knows. Cracked, broken, redeemed, loved, growing. Seeking after God with my whole heart. Seeking to reach the world – such as He has gives me – with the Good News, which is Christ Jesus.

2. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt inadequate because of your lack of a ‘tagline’? Yes, way more often than I even like to admit. Thinking that titles matter. A whole lot. Thinking that if I don’t have a title, will people listen, will they hear? I’m learning that it isn’t the title, it is Christ speaking through whomever He chooses. It is not my responsibility to ‘make them listen’, only to speak. He will reap the harvest. Titles can actually ‘pigeon-hole’ people I think sometimes. So really, isn’t it better to not have a title so I’m not distracted by it? Hmmm…

3. Do you have skills or position that you believe God could use mightily if only He would? I believe so. But who’s to say He isn’t and I’m just unaware. I must be walking in the Spirit always so that aware or unaware I bring honor to Christ. A daily choice I must make. Phil. 1:20-22a For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die. For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better. Yet if I live, that means fruitful service for Christ. NLT

4. Have you ever lost a position or station in life you believe could have ‘helped God out’ with something He has asked you to do? If you haven’t lost out, do you perhaps feel you have to gain this in order to be useful to the Kingdom? Sort of. I know what an answer. Yes. But now I don’t know. The crux of the question ‘helped God out’ implies He needs helping, and I know that not to be true. That makes it about me. God is more than able! I know God is working in me, moving me. For what? I don’t know. Maybe for something I would have missed had I still been tied to this other commitment. Making sure that I really am free to move where He moves me, when He moves me. Really releasing my grasp on things earthly. Good kingdom work but was it taking the place of the Spirit? Was it holding me back from His good purpose? I think so.

5. How are you with your dialogue vs. doubt conversations with God? Which does God hear most from you? Dialogue. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding me, I do not doubt God or His will and purposes. Do I question? Yes, and that is good I think. If I didn’t question how would I get the answer?

6. Do you believe God’s Wonders become more wonderful if they originate in the ordinary? Any scripture references come to mind? If something is more than ordinary we seem to expect more and would not count it to God I think. Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter & John and realized they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. NIV The NLT translation uses the word ‘boldness’ instead of ‘courage’. Isn’t this what we want, people to know that it is Jesus and not us? The ordinary allows that to happen, allows them to be drawn to Him.


I AM lesson 6 August 21, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, Feelings, God, I AM...so you don't have to be, Love, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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1. How current is your God? Is he up to date on all your issues or do you have old hurts you still hold behind your back? This lesson has been sitting so long, waiting. And now I can say “He is current-up to date-this very moment.”

2. Has the enemy ever told you there are situations that are ‘old news’ that are better left stuffed down? Or perhaps because they were so long ago they can’t possibly be affecting you now? Yes. The great lie of the enemy. The truth is they are very central to how we live now, unconsciously. Which takes some serious time with the Lord and deep soul-searching to see. Then understand. And finally to release them to the Lord and ask for healing. To learn to stop and think before acting or maybe I should say before reacting in the old way.

3. In the matter of established authority, does God truly reign in your life? Where are you when He calls your name? Yes, I believe He does. Where am I? The “right” answer would be (in my mind) to say on my knees. But really, am I going to spend all day long on my knees? No, so enough of that! I am living in this moment He has given me, open to hear Him speak to me at all times of the day or night.  Awake or asleep, it matters not to Him, just that I am open.

4. Do you ever feel God has forgotten you in your ‘west side of the wilderness’? I could say yes for sure. I think it’s a natural feeling, one that His Spirit overcomes when we stop to seek Him. Because I know (in my head) that He is always with me, He hasn’t forgotten me. Feelings – it is not good to be ruled by our feelings! What I really think is that I just couldn’t hear or see Him because circumstances (feelings) overcame me and I wasn’t trusting Him. Mostly because I was holding on to things from the past – which colored everything else.

5. Have you ever experienced a time of cleansing where God has illuminated and rejuvenated you? If not, do you find you are in need of this now? Yes. This last month I have spent many, many hours alone with God, His Word, journaling, praying, reading. God is faithful, sometimes it requires much action my part. Dedication to God for a time specified by Him. It really is amazing that we know when He really wants to talk the hard talk with us. We know how long we are to be facedown. We know when we have learned what He is saying, we have sought forgiveness, we have forgiven, we have laid it all before Him. And we know when He has released us from this intense time.
This makes my daily time spent with Him alone so sweet, because I am in His will. At least until the next time – and I know there will be – but less and less ‘ickiness’. Does that make sense? My prayer is that as I grow in Him, that these times would be more illuminating for me. That I learn more about Him, that I gain understanding and wisdom so that I more freely, more nautrally am His light in this world.

I AM lesson 5 May 27, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, Feelings, God, I AM...so you don't have to be, Love, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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1. Have you ever found yourself ‘in faith’ yet bewildered or demoralized?

Yes. In my experience, I have felt bewildered or demoralized in one area only to find that it was really only where my bewilderment was being manifested. I am close to those people, and have more interaction with them so it just came out there. Giving completely over to God and whatever He chooses, to be completely open and vulnerable exposed the truth.

2. Do you consider yourself content? Would you describe it as Decidedly Content or Dreamily Content?
Can it be both? It started out as Decidedly Content, but the longer it lasts the more it turns into Dreamily Content. Trusting that no matter how long it takes, or even if it doesn’t happen – I’m okay with it. Because I am in His will and that is good enough. He is enough.

3. If you are not content, are there circumstances that keep you from this feeling?
I am content, also I have to be careful to not let circumstances lure me into discontent – it can so easily happen.

4. Have you ever found yourself in a place where you looked back on a period of your Christian walk and believed a great opportunity passed you by?
I must catch myself here because when I think great opportunity I think “great” in the big sense, our human sense anyway. I can think of a few in my humanness – if I would have sung that song better then I would be doing “this”.
But really – the great opportunity, to speak the truth to someone who has not heard it. To share in love, with the Spirit leading – that is the missed great opportunity. And yes, I have missed it.

5. Do you ever believe your faith was stronger in an earlier time in your Christianity and find yourself floundering now?
No. I believe I am growing stronger every day.

6. Can you recognize that this season may be one of great preparation instead of a period of “I Was”?
Yes. That is taking the focus off of me and turning it to Christ. This longing I have, maybe it is just a bit misguided and He is leading me slowly to what He wants. The longing gradually changing…fading to a longing but a longing for “what” I do not know. It is there nonetheless and I so want to do, long to do big things for Him. Whatever, whenever, however He chooses. Nothing is impossible! All things are possible, through Christ.