Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tour of Duty Bible Study

This was the last week for the Tour of Duty Bible study. However, my book will stay close by!  There are so many great resources within the book and the amount of scripture that relates to so much of life.....oh, is wonderful.

So, below you will find my answers to the discussion questions for the last two chapters.  Feel free to comment.

Ch. 6 – Facing the Giants

Discuss your biggest giant that keeps your eyes off God. Is this giant a recent distraction, or is it a giant that keeps returning?

I think a mix of failure, worry, and time. I do have worries concerning deployment, I fear failing my family during this time, taking care of our home, raising the kids by myself, and messing up our finances. Time hit me today. It was only 11:30, but it felt well into the afternoon. I don't like days like that! The failure thing keeps returning, but the others are recent. I have found when these giants invade, I've been quick to turn them over to God. I hope I can continue to do that!

Do you agree with the statement “Giants require confrontation”? How have you confronted your giants lately?

I do agree with that statement. If you don't confront them, I think they grow bigger and become harder to confront them down the road.

Praying is a way to confront these giants, turning them over to God.

How does knowing that the enemy could be the driving force behind your giant change your perspective on it?

It shows that God is for us, not against his. The battle is the Lord's!

What part of the David and Goliath story hit home with you this week?

I think the part where Saul gave David the armor instead of fully relying on God as David did. I think sometimes we do that too. We say, "Ok, God, I trust you in this, BUT...." It's like we try to help God out a He needs help! :)

Which of the bulleted items on page 93 is the hardest for you to remember and why?

Sometimes all of them.

We feel inadequate because of our experience (being reserve or guard instead of active duty) or because of our age (I'm too old/young for this).

I think the other two work together. If we don't recognize the giants God has already defeated in our lives, then we do fail to give Him the credit and it is hard to get that victory. We aren't really relying on Him.

Discuss these verses: John 15:4-5 and Isaiah 40:31. How do these verses both challenge and encourage you?

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

John 15:4-5
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

These verses are beautiful. I am reminded that I am nothing without God. He is my everything. Just this week, I had a handful of people tell me, "You will get through this because you are strong."

No, I am not strong. My strength comes from the Lord. He is my Strong Tower. I know I can't do anything without Him.

What would your life look like without God? How can you trust Him more fully this week?

Without God, my life would be a mess. I would have no where to turn. The thing is, you can talk to people, confide in them, get advice from them, but it just isn't the same as having Jesus as your best friend. Throughout this journey, I will lean on Him and His Word.

Ch. 7 – This is Your Time
This chapter started with some heavy questions about God’s purpose for your life. If you feel comfortable sharing, what were some of your answers?

God has given me sort of a happy-go-lucky personality. I don't really stress alot (I guess outwardly anyway). I can pretty much get along with anyone. I hate confrontation. I think, or like to think, that I am fullfilling God's purpose by being the best wife I can be. I try to be supportive to whatever my husband is called to do. As for my children, I try to be the best mom I can be for them. I am doing my best to raise them as godly children. I'd like to think I am helpful to others when they are in need.

What are your thoughts on Romans 8:28?

Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." It reminds me that if I am fullfilling His purpose, then things will work out for good. I may not always understand or see the immediate "good" but I can have faith that He is in control and loves me.

What’s the difference between self-created courage and courage that comes from God? What insights did you have as you read about courage?

I think self-created courage is fake. We put on a front. We surround ourselves with "good stuff." We don't let people see the real us. The courage that comes from God is real. It shows our fears and our weaknesses, but shows that we are fully relying on Him.

What did you learn from the story of Esther this week?

Like Esther, I am called to this. Knowing that God has a plan, that He has called me, makes things less frightening. I can take comfort in knowing that He is with me each step of the way.

How do you find yourself being courageous? In what areas of life do you struggle with this?

I think just "keeping on keeping on." It is hard. Like today, the boys were content sitting in front of the TV and computer. I was content catching up on some of my favorite shows, but I knew it would make for a long day, a long weekend if we just stayed put. So we left the house. I think sometimes, just leaving the house is going to be key for me. I hate getting out in the cold, so with winter approaching, I know that I need to get out even if it is running to Sonic to get a drink with the kids every once in a while.

What’s the biggest takeaway you’ve had from this study and sharing and hearing from the other ladies who have participated over the last 5 weeks?

I think just that all of this has a purpose. None of us are alone. God planned our deployments. He planned for us to do this study together. He is in control.

I know we had a conversation about some of us not having those military spouse connections because we are guard or reserves, and I thought of those that don't have those civilian connections. As for me, I work in the public school system. I have obligations at church. My children are involved in activities that require my support. I have  people that are here for me in my hometown, next door, down the road, across town. I am thankful for that. I pray that those that don't have that support system would find one. That others would reach out to them. Just know, ladies, that I am here for you. We may never be able to meet face to face, but we do have this cyber world where we are able to connect!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, whether you are with your Soldier or not.

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