Life with a capital L: a small group resource & my blessing

God has been at work in my life. For a second time, God sent me Matt Heard’s message to live life with a capital L.

Twelve days after my Mama stepped into heaven, I reviewed life with a capital L. This book helped me glean the richness of the journey Mama was taking as she lifted one foot toward heaven and eventually, the other, reaching her destiny and true Life with a capital L.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Mama’s Life in heaven.

I am so glad that Heard created a small group participants’ guide and DVD. The guide can be used in 4, 6, or 12-week sessions with the DVD and the book.

Heard uses every-day examples to illustrate Biblical concepts. For example, he describes the difference between a bucket and a pipe: if you pour water into a bucket, the water stays in the bucket and will eventually become stagnant; however, if you pour water into a pipe, the water flows through the pipe, much like when a Christian serves as a conduit for God’s love, showering it on others, and as a result, God pours more love into that Christian to give the love away.

What’s in the guide

In the participant’s guide, Heard provides the facilitator with tips on how to lead the group. The participant’s guide includes:

  1. Warm-up questions (before the video).
  2. Video reaction prompts.
  3. Word studies (to go deeper in the Bible).
  4. Group discussion questions.
  5. Closing prayer prompts.
  6. After session reflections.
  7. Resolutions (prompts for prayer, reflection and action throughout the week).

Personal reflection

Daddy’s journey to heaven was 15 years before Mama’s. She missed him so much. Often, she would ask me why she was still living. I told her that God wasn’t finished with her, yet, that God had something else for her to do.

I wondered why she had to go through the last few weeks of her life. I know now. In those last few weeks of pain, there were glimpses of heaven. She served as a conduit for God’s grace and love to spill out onto her caregivers and onto her children. She didn’t know the reason for those weeks, nor did I. I’m sure she knows now. I know now.

One caregiver said that she had not seen such peace in a hospice patient. Her conclusion: “She must have her spiritual house in order.”

Without a word, in dying, Mama pointed people to Jesus; Mama lived life with a capital L in her dying.

Final resolution

Matt Heard’s final resolution sums up Life:

I will keep in mind that my ultimate redemption is graciously secured and that Christ will get me home.

I will pay attention to today’s heaven moments – whether physical aches, unfulfilled longings, encounters with beauty, broken experiences, or opportunities to obey – and will hope for the day when Life with a capital L will no longer be diluted by a fallen body and fallen world.

I miss our morning calls, Mama. They were Life.
I miss you, Mama.

My tears are filled with your Life, glimpses of heaven.
I’ll see you in heaven, Mama.

Matt Heard’s message is important. Please share this message.

Make it Yours!

Above all, make it your resolution this week to ask God to show you the
path to living Life with a capital L.
My prayer:

Father in heaven, thank You, again, for Matt Heard and the message You have given him. Bless him as he seeks Your face, Your guidance, and Your future messages. Guide us towards a deeper Life with You. We want to be used by You. We love you, Lord.

More Information

Author Bio

I unexpectedly received a copy of the Participant’s Guide and DVD of life with a capital L: Embracing your God-given humanity from Multnomah Books.

Colliding with destiny … Finding hope in the legacy of Ruth, A Review

colliding

 

This book is a must read for women who are in the middle of challenging times. I have read the book of Ruth quite a few times, but I had never approached it from the perspective of a young woman emerging from great loss, isolation, and the unknown.

Sarah Jakes offers practical insight about the possible thoughts of Ruth, the unseen challenges she may have encountered, her faithfulness to Naomi, integrity, and God.

Although this book has not been referred to as a devotional, it is the perfect 30-day devotional for someone who is working through difficult times. With each of the 30 short chapters, Jakes focuses on several verses in Ruth, illustrates the verses with everyday examples, provides thought-provoking questions for the reader to journal about, and ends with a prayer.

Jakes shares her personal collisions with destiny and the guilt she felt over a failed marriage and past mistakes. The book of Ruth provided hope as Jakes walked with this young widow from the land she knew to the land of the Israelites. From following the women in the fields and picking up leftover bits of grain to finding favor in the eyes of the field’s owner, Boaz, Ruth did not give up. Jakes urges the reader to persevere and wait upon the Lord to work.

When you collide with destiny as Ruth did, you will discover a beautiful point of intersection between the longings of your heart, your experience, and gifting, and the opportunities God opens before you.

A beautiful story about the redemption of the church unfolded before my eyes as a picture of the Christian walk through the challenges of life, through the loss of a loved one, loss of job, loss of health, loss of spouse, or loss of possessions.

So often we remember Ruth with Boaz and her ultimate blessing, not with her struggle. This outcome gives me comfort. It means when all is said and done, my legacy will not be what broke me but how God blessed me. Only those who care to see my scars will understand that the blessing did not come without wounds and that I did all I could to survive.

There is hope, and your story is a legacy.

What is your legacy?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.

My prayer

Our Legacy-Maker, thank You for Sarah Jakes and her compelling look at the book of Ruth. Father, enable us to see You at work in our lives, transforming the hurts, the bruises, the scars of our lives into beautiful legacies that touch other lives with the beauty that only You can create. Thank You for being the Great Artist in our lives.