Welcome to Bold & Brave! If you're looking to move forward in your faith, then this is the place for you! We are a group of down-to-earth, everyday women, who want to make a difference in our world, by challenging ourselves, loving our people, giving where we can, and being lovers of God’s Word. We study the Bible & discuss together, find projects where we can give back, and encourage each other in spiritual growth!
As Bold & Brave Women, we:
- are leaders, not complainers.
- are passionate, not passive.
- are contributors, not consumers.
Join us, Wednesday nights, 7pm, at Freedom Valley Church!
for an awesome women's conference in September!
Go to www.fv.church/activate for all the info!
The Waiting Place
Yakhal: wait for, hope for)
Qavah: Wait hopefully, tarry expect
The waiting place may seem like an uncomfortably fearful place, where insecurity stalks us and our anxiety rules. We see it as a deserted place of struggle, full of tears and exhaustion and a condition we avoid like the plague. However, God allows the waiting places into our lives to grow us and teach us biblical principle and to reinforce our mettle through the strength of the Holy Spirit. So many times we strive and struggle and go from waiting to waiting with nothing left to show for it but deeper exhaustion and wear and tear to ourselves, relationships and to our peace. So many times we dig in and choose to stand still and sit and wallow in our pain and misery. And to the detriment of our dreams, goals and growth we complain and lose our blessings because the circumstances are too big, too scary, too hurtful and frankly we’re sick and tired.
But in the waiting place is where God is most present and at work in our lives. Even when we can’t feel him or see him he is there, waiting for the perfect time to rescue; but most of all to develop us through the process of waiting. In this desert of waiting when we run out of options and have nothing else to lose is usually where we become willing and more receptive to the idea of discarding the fleshly battered, inadequate tools and weapons we have always relied upon and instead swapping them out for complete and utter surrender to our Heavenly Fathers will. Desperation can help soften our hearts to the realization that in this heavenly surrender we are actually not losing it all but instead gaining discipline, wisdom, patience and endurance and overcoming our fleshly tendency towards behaviors that are harmful to our spiritual growth. Only in this softening can God pull down the walls and dispose of the deficient armor we have taught ourselves to wear to survive on our own.
God doesn’t want us to just survive; he wants us to thrive, he develops us into warriors who don’t run from the fight but instead run to it confident that He already goes before us ( Like David 1 and 2nd Samuel).
He want us to know that the outcome of the fight will be hard, it will take us to uncomfortable places It may leave us bruised, battered and the outcome may not always be what we expected yet SOMETHING will happen that is bigger than us(Silas and Paul in the dungeon and the salvation of the jailer).
He wants us to know that although life may have diverted us from our course at some point; and it might take a while to get to goals we think are only dreams. He is willing and able to open up doors and lead us in a journey where trust and surrender will lead to conquest. (Israel in the desert Numbers 13 and 14).
He wants us to know that healing is possible both physically and emotionally (Hannah and her child 1st Samuel 1).
And He wants us to know that even in the time of our greatest loss and insecurity; he can revolutionize our circumstances and bring a supernatural boldness and purpose to our life. (The disciples at Pentecost Acts 2)
In the Bible we see great examples of the waiting place, we see men and women who went through hell and fire but came out emboldened, polished and fearless on the other side.
Don’t fear the waiting place instead embrace this spot as a necessary junction for growth and facilitation of your next great conquest.
1. Pick 2 of the cases mentioned above, read the scripture associated and find what circumstances these characters where in and what God turned their circumstances to. What stands out to you about their process in the waiting?
2. Read the following verses, pick one that resonates with you and memorize. Write down and discuss how it speaks into your life and how it can help you to be still in the waiting place and focus more on God.
- Psalm 25:21
- Psalm 59:9-10
- Psalm 62:1,2,5
- Psalm 39:7
- Lamentations 3:22-26
- Psalms 27:14
- Galatians 5:5
NOTE FROM CANDACE: Thank you so much for all of your prayers and thoughts for Aaron! Sorry I can't be with you, but you're in good hands! Have fun, and please keep praying!
BIBLE STUDY FROM DENYSE!
Psalm 63 - Intimacy
Above all we should desire God. He is the only refuge and strength for this rollercoaster called life. We are overwhelmed and beat up daily because we have not learned the secret of intimacy with God. The secret of being still in his presence of reveling in him and going after him not for what he gives but who he is. When we spend time with him we learn his character which then fill us with confidence on who he is in our lives and situations. This Psalm should be a guide in our daily lives. We would be able to step off the crazy ride that life has become and become people who walk in peace and victory.
The psalmist who wrote this song has learned that his strength and victory and well being come from God and no one and nothing else. Why because he has learned that nothing is more important, and nothing can get in the way of his pursuit of Gods company. His strength and the well being of his soul are a result of repeated, INTENTIONAL pursuit of Gods friendship and character. As he experiences Gods character he develops a deeper hunger for more. He is fed and his needs are met but a need starts in him to go deeper to experience who GOD really is. He can’t get enough and gets to a point where his thoughts of God start early in the morning yet he continues to ruminate and mediate on Gods word even when he goes to bed. The presence of God is nourishment to the deepest areas of this mans life which is his soul, but unlike regular food it unleashed a bigger appetite for Gods word, presence and relationship.
As a result this unlocks a confidence that allows the psalmist to rest and walk trusting whole heartedly that whatever the situation (bad, good, crazy, dangerous) he can rest knowing God would see him through in victory even when it seems he would have been lost and defeated. He speaks of troubles in a fleeting way, like background noise overwhelmed instead by the enormity of his Father character, grace and faithfulness.
- What is you favorite verse in Psalm 63 and why?
- Do a Soap Study on this Psalm
- What does being in his presence mean?
- What does it mean to you and how can you implement seeking his presence in your life?
NOTE FROM CANDACE: Thank you so much for all of your prayers and thoughts for Aaron! Sorry I can't be with you, but you're in good hands! Have fun, and please keep praying!
BIBLE STUDY FROM DENYSE!
Hosea seems a very Harsh book, God asks the prophet to sacrifice his pride for a woman that was in society considered less than any member of the society. He had to endure abandonment, betrayal and humiliation. Gomer was a broken woman with many attributes that were not considered marriage material, a reckless disregard for the rules and for herself as she tried to fill an emptiness within herself by giving her body away to lovers that used her and took her for granted.
When reading this book earlier in life it was confusing as God seemed to torture Hosea and Gomer with this marriage as each one seemed to be going in a different direction, however through this marriage God was able to show true love not only to Hosea and Gomer but it mirrored his fluctuating relationship with Israel and his pursuit of them even as they pulled away.
God allowed Israel (reluctantly) to make choices that don’t include him, he lamented their choices and was frustrated by their lack of understanding as to where true fulfillment and love exists, but even in their brokenness he watched and waited for them to come to their senses and cry out to them.
Still he called, still he romanced them and loved them with abandon. When they reached the end of their rope he waited it seems almost unable to contain himself with impatience until they called out to him so he could run and redeem them in their darkest moment.
- Read Hosea 1-4. How far did Gomers life spiral out of control? Can you see relate to this spiral, physically, emotionally, spiritually?
- Read Hosea 4-6. What is Gods response to Israel’s rejection? Have you ever felt like God has answered you the same way?
- Read Hosea 7-14. What is your feeling on Gods treatment of Israel is there judgement or redemption?
I hope that you've learned a lot about worship so far this month! The book of Psalms means so much to me now, and I know that it will mean a lot to you too. I hope, by now, you've heard my message from the weekend on worship, because we're not done with this subject yet!
If you didn't get to hear it, go check out www.livestream.com/fvc and click on the latest message. In it, I issued a challenge to our church. It's a 14-day Worship Challenge, in which, every day, you'll see a new song posted, along with the lyrics, scriptures, and questions. I believe it'll help you tremendously this summer! Music can be powerful, and when we use it to worship the Almighty, God of Heaven and Earth, it's life-changing.
Take this seriously. Let your walls down. Open your heart. I promise you, it will be worth it.
- Head over to www.fv.church/worshipchallenge and join us, if you haven't already! Start at the beginning, or just jump right in, doesn't matter.
- EXTRA BOLD & BRAVE ASSIGNMENT: Make something creative honoring God. If you're musical, write a song. If you're artistic, make/write/draw something creative! If you're good with words, write a poem.
Worship is a word we use in church a lot...usually referring to something that happens with a band, music, and singing. But is that the only way it can happen? Does it happen in the Bible? Why is it important?
Over the next 2 weeks, we're going to study worship! (No Wednesday night ministry at FV on July 4th)
The most natural place to go for this in the Bible, is the book of Psalms! I had never gotten too into the book of Psalms, personally, until I received a gift at a conference. I love this version, and have been getting REALLY into it lately! Check it out here: https://hillsongstore.com/poetry-on-fire-the-psalms/
Watch this video if you didn't make it to Bold & Brave June 27th!
(I have linked these passages from The Passion Translation)
- Read Psalm 73. From this chapter, what does worshiping God help us with?
- Read Psalm 74. As you read, write a list of all the things that you can tell about God from this chapter.
- Read Psalm 84. Can you identify with any of the sentiments found in this passage? What do you think the "highways of holiness" or the "dark valley of tears" refers to?
- Read Psalm 91. In the last verse, it says "for you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation". What do you think is the fullness of salvation? Is there less than full salvation?
General questions as you read through the Pslams:
- What can we learn about how to pray from this book?
- Can you identify with the questions being asked of God?
- What's your one take away about worship?
So much of what we do is based around our identity. Who we see ourselves as, determines what we do, and how we see God. If we see ourselves as broken, we're going to act like we can never be fixed, and think God is a harsh judge. If we see ourselves as monsters, we're going to terrorize the people around us, and be angry at God for making us this way.
But if we see ourselves as HIS BELOVED CHILDREN, we can easily see that he's a good father, who loves us desperately, and wants the best for us.
This week, I want to try an experiment. I'd like each and every one of us to say out loud the 40 I Am's over ourselves each day, for a week. What does this do to our self-worth? Or image of God, and our image of self?
- Watch the video below, also linked here, if you weren't in Bold & Brave Wednesday night. What does this teach you about our identity as humans? What does it teach you about God?
- Say the "40 I Am's" over yourself, out loud every day.
- Pick one that especially speaks to you every day, and read it in it's context (the rest of the chapter or passage that its in).
- Memorize your favorite one.
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who am I in Christ?
- What lies have I always believed about myself?
- Who does God say I am?
- How can I use this list to encourage the people around me?
We are created in the image of God; and just as God speaks the world into being in Genesis 1, He creates us with the ability to speak. God continues as a communicator, through His word and by inviting us into a personal connection through prayer. The Bible states that He longs to be in fellowship with His children because He loves us!
As His followers, He not only gives us the gift of communication, He places us in community. We are not created to speak a language only to Him but He calls us on mission to share this good news with others. The tongue is a powerful weapon for good; it is also known to wound others and destroy lives and reputations.
Speakers and writers love to point out how women use more words than men on a day-to-day basis; all the more reason to learn how to wield this tool with skill.
We all have a long way to go in becoming effective communicators who can speak truth, share grace, and build life with our words. This week, we’ll explore why good communication is a hallmark of a follower of Jesus.
- Read Matthew 18:15-19. Do you understand now how to confront someone when they’ve offended you? Can you identify places in your life where you didn’t follow this, and it didn’t work out well?
- Read Proverbs 10:19. What do you think this means? Have you ever experienced this in your own life?
- Read Proverbs 18:21 & Ephesians 4:29. How do you practice speaking life into other people? Where can you be better at NOT speaking death?
- Read Proverbs 27:6. What do you think this means? What does it mean to be a true friend?
WEEK 21, JUNE 6
SOMETIMES life beats you up, for seemingly, no reason at all. I bet I don't even have to give examples, for you to know what I'm talking about. Sure, sometimes, we bring it on ourselves, and it's easier to see where we need to get better, in order to avoid that pain again. But what about the times when it's totally out of our control? How do we prepare for times when we can't see what's coming?
We've talked about the spiritual disciples, and what they can produce in our lives, and I believe that leaning into those disciples (those tools!) in the good times, can definitely help you get through the bad times. But what else? Isn't there more?
WISDOM is something I've always been fascinated by. It's a spiritual gift of mine, but it's one of those gifts that God actually gives freely! James 1:5, says, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." So this week, we're going to explore what the Bible says about wisdom, how it can help us, and how we obtain it. We're also going to try out a method of studying God's Word that we haven't tackled yet in Bold & Brave--scripture memory.
- Read: Proverbs 1-9. What was your favorite section of this part of the book of Proverbs? What spoke to you about it?
- Find your favorite proverb in the whole book of Proverbs, the sayings found in chapters 10-31. MEMORIZE IT, using whatever method works for you, and start to think about how scripture memory might help you in the future.
- If you weren't with us on Wednesday, watch the following videos. What did you learn? Why are these books important? To go further, read each book and write down what you've learned from studying them.
WEEK 20, MAY 30
"Want to have it all? Here's what society says we should do: earn a master's degree or higher in your field; start your own business; earn six figures; lead a staff; get married to your soul mate. Work hard but smart, so you can keep passing your peers on the promotion ladder without ever having to work on a weekend.
Not only that, but add in the messages that you should have two children who eat only organic food, effortlessly make great grades, excel in a sport, and behave politely to everyone they meet. Make sure you have a warm, supportive, romantic, and passionate relationship with a handsome husband who excels in his own profession. Volunteer at the church at least a few times a month and devote at least 30 minutes a day to reading scripture and praying. Run at least one marathon a year, take at least one yoga class a week, and be sure you've read several of the books topping the best-seller lists each month. Keep a Pinterest-worthy house neat and tidy at all times, keep time in your schedule to nurture several close friendships, and keep yourself in a size eight--no higher!
We laugh at the idea of actually achieving all of these "goals", but if we're honest, many of us burden ourselves with expectations about everything from the numbers on the scale to the letters after our last name. We look to others to tell us who we are--and then exhaust ourselves trying to make it all a reality!
Fortunately, there's a better way. Jesus tells us to fix our eyes on Him, not on the endless demands of every other thing calling for our attention. He calls each one of us to a life fulfilled in Him, of flourishing in every responsibility and season, and focused on the outcomes that matter to Him--and He promises us freedom from "having it all" and moves us towards understanding what it means to have what He wants for us."
-Propel, Conversation Series, Christine Cain, Session 1
- Read John 10:10. Think about your relationships, your career, your personal development, and your physical health. What does "having it all" look like for you? What do you consider "success" to look like and feel like? How do you know you've achieved it?
- Read Joshua 1:8. How does God's word lead to a flourishing life? Why should we meditate on God's law? What are the benefits of it?
- Read Ephesians 5:1-17. Do you feel guilty about any choices you are currently making with your time and priorities? What does God's word say to this?
- Read Hebrews 12:1-2. How would you rate how you are doing right now running "the race God has set before us" with joy?
WEEK 19, MAY 23
This week, I was really inspired by a book I've been reading for like, EVER, A Contrarian's Guide To Knowing God, by Larry Osbourne (I highly recommend it, by the way!). There's a chapter called, "Tools or Rules, finding what works for you," and it had me thinking about the spiritual disciplines, in a whole new way. His whole point with the chapter is to say that sometimes we take things that are meant to be tools for something specific, and turn them into rules, meant for everyone, all the time.
For example, the Bible says that we should love others, as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). This is a command from Jesus, of something we all MUST do. It also says that the early church devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Read Acts 2:42-47. These are not commands, but rather observations of what a specific church did, in a specific time and place. Are there principles to be learned from it? Sure! But we have to remember the difference between TOOLS and RULES.
If the spiritual disciples then, are tools, instead of rules...what are they, and what can we use them for? Let's study that, this week!
- Reading the Bible. Read 2 Timothy 3:16, Psalms 119:105, Joshua 1:8, Romans 15:4, Psalm 119:11, Hebrews 4:12. Based on these passages, what is reading the bible a good tool for?
- Prayer. Read 1 John 5:14-15, Philippians 4:6, John 15:7, Mark 11:24, Matthew 6:7-8, Matthew 26:41. Based on these passages, what is spending time in prayer a good tool for?
- Fasting. Read Esther 4:13-17, Luke 4:1-13, Ezra 8:21-23, Acts 13:1-3, Mark 9:14-29. Based on these passages, what is fasting a good tool for?
- Regular Church Attendance. Read Hebrews 10:25, Colossians 3:16, Matthew 18:19-20. Based on these passages, what is attending church a good tool for?
- Tithing. Read Matthew 6:21, Malachi 3:8-10, Proverbs 3:9-10. Based on these passages, what is tithing a good tool for?
- Sharing your faith. Practice finding your own passages for this one! Where can we read about this in the Bible?
WEEK 18, MAY 16
This week, I thought a lot about our values as Bold & Brave Women. To be leaders, not complainers. Passionate, not passive. And contributors, not consumers. I thought about how that means we need to make A LOT of decisions.
Decisions can be hard. We make decisions every day, all day--from what we will eat to medical decisions, parenting decisions to your outfit that day. What's the wise choice? What's the Godly choice? What does the Bible say about that? How do I feel about it?
"How we make those decisions matters to others and to God. We should always start and end with the final authority of God's Word. Leadership in decision making is undergirded by the wisdom described in the Bible. If we lived by the world's wisdom, our lives would be directed by popularity, polling, and culture values; but as His daughters, we are called to participate in His will for our lives by obeying His word and putting it into action with energy." --PROPEL WOMEN
This week, let's evaluate ourselves when it comes to making decisions. Read the Word, gather some great people around you, and ask yourself the tough questions. I suggest taking one day for each of these questions. Take your time working through the answers!
- Read Proverbs 16:9. What do you think this verse is saying? Are you more of a thinker or a feeler when making decisions? What are the strengths of that approach? What are the weaknesses?
- Read Luke 14:28-30. Do you have any tools that help you make decisions like the 10/10/10 rule we heard in Bold & Brave? What does it mean to commit to a decision? How does that give you credibility with others?
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. In what ways do you need to create boundaries? Is your past making it difficult for you to let the right people into your life?
- Read Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 15:22, and Proverbs 24:6. Who are the trusted advisors or mentors in your life? If you can't think of a few people you trust to speak into your life how could you begin to cultivate these relationships?
WEEK 17, MAY 9
This week, I was inspired by Colour Conference in Brooklyn, NYC, which is a women's conference put on by Hillsong! They were absolutely amazing, and I was reminded why I started Bold & Brave in the first place. So many women feel as though they aren't worthy of public ministry, or being used of God. And it's just simply not true, and to be honest, the church is suffering because of it. We NEED women, women's voices, and women's ministry & leadership in the church. We need women who are pursing JESUS with everything they have, and leading the Church through their discipleship.
It was to that end, that I wrote www.fv.church/womeninchurch . Please click that link this week, and begin to study these passages for yourself. See what God has done throughout the ages through the female spirit, and begin to dream about what He can do through you.
Remember Bold & Brave's values!
As Bold & Brave Women, we:
- are leaders, not complainers.
- are passionate, not passive.
- are contributors, not consumers.
I'd also like to challenge some of you, to begin thinking about these values, and how they relate to your own life. If you have a story, a testimony maybe, of something that has happened in your own life, that relates to one of these values, I'd love for you to send it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and possibly even share it with the group, in Bold & Brave!
WEEK 16, MAY 2
“A rested you, is a better you. You bring YOU into everything you do.” - Carey Nieuwhof
What was Jesus' secret? How was he able to accomplish everything that the accomplished in such a short amount of time? How did he know the Father's heart like he did? Many people answer questions like these with a simple, "he was the son of God." But if that's the only answer, then there's no hope for the rest of us to live powerful, Godly lives like that, is there?
I believe Jesus lived within rhythms and seasons. He abided in the Father and withdrew constantly to pray and be alone and meditate on the Word. If it worked for Him, and we're to follow his example, how do we do that? What does that look like?
This week, we're going to study these passages, and learn what we can from Jesus' example of rest & prayer.
READ: Mark 1:9-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-15
- When, in his life, did Jesus fast, alone, for 40 days? Do you think that's significant?
- Why, do you think, did Jesus answer his tempter, the way he did?
READ: Matthew 14:13-23
- What was Jesus doing immediately before going up the mountain, alone, to pray?
- Why do you think he sent his disciples away ahead of him?
READ: Mark 1:29-39
- Can you pick out any patterns about Jesus' lifestyle and ministry? Can you see any rhythms?
- What can you change, in your life, to work in more quiet time in prayer?
WEEK 15, APRIL 25
Last week, we studied spiritual alignment, and how to hep yourself WANT the things that God wants for you, and how to go about changing from the inside. But this week, we're going to look at faith from another angle--obedience. James 2 says that "faith without works is dead."
Read James 2:14-26 first.
This week, your assignment is two-fold:
- Read Abraham's story. Genesis 11:27-25:11.
- What can you learn from Abraham's faith? How does it compare to Rahab's?
- Why do you think James included his example in his faith teaching?
- Read Rahab's story. Joshua 1:1-6:27.
- What can you learn from Rahab's faith? How does it compare to Abraham's?
- Why do you think James included her example in his faith teaching?
How can you improve in the faith-obedience area? Is there any area of your life that still hasn't been fully surrendered to Christ? Is there any area of your faith that you aren't living out?
WEEK 14, APRIL 18
An excerpt from A Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God, by Larry Osbourne:
- Ask God to change your mindset.
- James 1:5
- Proverbs 2:6
- Proverbs 3:6
- Matthew 7:7
- Psalm 51:10
- Renew your mind.
- 2 Corinthians 5
- Romans 12:2
- Ezekiel 36:26
- Galatians 5:19-23
- Matthew 6:33
- Take captive your thoughts
- 2 Corinthians 10:5
- Build your want.
- Proverbs 4:23
- Ask for advice from the right people
- Hebrews 10:25
- Proverbs 12:15
- Proverbs 11:14
- Proverbs 15:22
- Psalm 1:1-6
ASSIGNMENT: Ask God what needs to change, in your life, to get you to the next level of growth in Him. Once you have that identified, start studying these scriptures! Pick one or two a day, read the entire chapter or passage in context, do a SOAP study, and work on how to apply it in your life.
WEEK 13, APRIL 11
We're going to continue the DIFFERENT Challenge for another week, but if you wanted to go on a different track (more like what we talked about in Bold & Brave on Wednesday), you could look up the following verses, and strengthen yourself through the power of the Word! Be sure to think deeply about the words on the page, maybe do a SOAP study, or spend some time journaling and meditating on the verses.
1 Corinthians 2:1-16
WEEK 12, APRIL 4
If you were with us at Bold & Brave this week, then you know it was a little different! We've talked a lot about my own testimony and the things I've gone through to get where I am in the Bold & Brave department. I fully believe that the Bible is the way to go. USE the Word of God to change yourself from the person that are, to the person that you want to be! That's why Jesus came! Not to change bad people into good people, but to raise the dead--to LIFE!
Whatever you're scared of today...Jesus can change that for you. Sometimes it's only a moment, sometimes it's process. But have the courage to start somewhere. Live different. BE different. Be bold & brave, stand OUT from the crowd...be an example! You're called to a higher purpose. God has a purpose and a plan for your life, and he can use YOU for something big! Change the world!
It all starts with Jesus.
THIS WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT:
In Bold & Brave tonight, I challenged us all to a new kind of growth plan. It's daily, but it may help some of you that learn better through video! There's also Bible Reading and questions for every day! Join us, in being different, in standing out from the crowd, and pursuing Jesus with everything you've got.
Click the picture to start the plan today. A new post be there every day for the next 2 weeks.
WEEK 11, MARCH 28
DOCTRINE. THEOLOGY. SCRIPTURE. HOLINESS. SANCTIFICATION. SOMANYBIGRELIGIOUSWORDS!
These concepts can be scary, but they don't have to be! Romans has a lot to say about these concepts, and explains it all in a way that we can understand. Faith vs. the law. Gentile vs. Jew. Sin & grace. THE GOSPEL.
This week, we're going to read Romans 1-3. For best results, I suggest reading all 3 chapters every single day. Each day, pick out something that stands out to you. We'll be discussing how scripture can speak to us differently, depending on what we're going through, and some of the over-riding concepts in the book of Romans.
Here's a head start on understanding the book of Romans:
WEEK 10, MARCH 14
PRAYER is so important to the life of a believer...so why do so few of us know how to do it? Is it a formula, or a conversation? Is there a magic amount of praying we have to do? Is there something we can do to get through to God better?
This week, we're going to study these questions, by doing a TOPICAL study on prayer! Click here for more on how to do it!
EXTRA: The best book I've ever read on prayer is actually fiction!! "Blink" by Ted Dekker, made me think about prayer in a whole new way. - Candace
WEEK 9, MARCH 7
I believe that being bold & brave is more of a spiritual battle, than it is a personality one. Many people are quiet, reserved, content to sit in the background and listen to a conversation, instead of engage in one. If that's you, and you're comfortable there, great! But so many of us, are there, but aren't comfortable there. We want to be able to express ourselves freely, without fear, to be confident in our own skin!
I believe that confidence is a spiritual battle. If the enemy can trip you up there, he's GOT you. All of you. You can't make a move without confidence. And it was there, that I was stuck for so long.
My relationship with Jesus, and study of the Word, is the only thing that brought me out of that fear, and into a bold & brave place. I am able to step into my calling, stretch myself, and learn about the gifts God has given me! I learn more every day!
What is God saying to you lately?
How can you provide time in your life to slow down and listen?
Do you talk to Him about your real life, your actual thoughts and fears?
How do you go about taking the Word seriously, and applying it to your life?
What's your favorite Bible passage to think about when you're afraid?
When asked about who Jesus is, what do you have to say??
EXTRA AD 30 ASSIGNMENT:
What's the one thing you can take from the book? What will you remember the most? Is this a book you would recommend to others?
WEEK 8, FEBRUARY 28
This week, read 1 Peter!
- Who was Peter writing to?
- What stood out to you the most about what Peter wrote?
- How can you apply it to your life?
- When he says "give your worries and cares to God" (1 Peter 5:7), how do you think you go about doing that?
- Do 2 SOAP studies on passage that you like in this book.
VERSION COMPARISON: Now, read 1 Peter again in another version of the Bible! Try NIV, The Message, or NKJV! Was there anything significantly different about the other version? Did you learn anything new from reading it again in another version?
CHALLENGE: Write your own Self-Motivation Mantra, like Craig Groeschel's!
EXTRA: AD 30 ASSIGNMENT:
Read through the end of the book this week! What did you think of Maviah's miraculous healing at the end?
Do you think healing could be like that for us?
WEEK 7, FEBRUARY 21
This week, let's read Philippians together. Come up with a plan to start a gratitude journal, starting with writing out, word for word, Philippians 4:8. Then try to list 50 different things that you're grateful for--this week alone!
If you need help getting a handle on Philippians, try answering these questions as you read:
- Who wrote Philippians?
- How do you think the subject matter relates to being a Bold & Brave Woman?
- What can you apply to your life from this little book?
EXTRA: "A.D. 30" ASSIGNMENT: Read through Chapter 17.
- What did you think of the interaction with Jesus?
- Does it change anything about how you view Jesus?
WEEK 6, FEBRUARY 14
This week, we're going to study Acts 1-2, where we see the Holy Spirit come! Answer the following questions for yourself, and we'll answer them together as a group next week!
- What power was Jesus telling his disciples about in Acts 1:8?
- What was the day of Pentacost back then? How long after Jesus was crucified did this happen?
- What's the significance of Peter being the one to speak to the people gathered in verse 14?
- Can you imagine saying those things to those people at that time? Why would that have been difficult?
EXTRA: "A.D. 30" ASSIGNMENT: Read until you see Maviah get to Sepphoris and begin to enter Herod's court. (around chapter 12)
- What have you discovered so far about the cultures back then? How are they different from today?
- What did you think of the encounter with Mary (Miriam)?
- Are you beginning to see that culture a little more clearly now?
**If you don't know what "A.D. 30" is, see here, order the book, and follow along with us!
WEEK 5, JANUARY 31
This week, we’re going to try someone else’s Bible Reading plan & devotional! Get the Bible app on your phone, or go to www.youversion.com, and look up “Brave Is The New Beautiful” Plan (or click here) . It’s a 4-day devotional with bible reading!
EXTRA:: Write a letter to yourself before you were saved. (watch this video for inspiration!)
My letter to myself for inspiration!
To the Candace that existed before ministry-
You don’t know anything yet of exhaustion, hard work, emotional pain, or desperation. You may think you know, but believe me, before ministry, you don’t. You don’t know how many nights you’ll be kept awake with anxiety about confrontation, how many times you’ll bawl your eyes out to God all alone, or how many days you’ll work your heart out despite dealing with anger, frustration, or meaninglessness. The ministry world is not easy, and it likes to remind you of that fact often.
But, you also don’t yet know the joy of seeing a spark of interest in a difficult child you’ve been working with for months, or the light in the eyes of a mother who has never had hope before. You don’t know what it feels like to ask people to volunteer from a nervous stage, and actually see sign ups afterward. You don’t know what it feels like to lead someone to Jesus yourself, and to text them at 11pm when they’re reading the Gospels for the first time, and crying tears of joy and freedom! You don’t know the sheer exhaustion of a job well done after 3 long services of speaking, and of someone telling you through tears that they’ve never felt the heart of God like that before. You’ll never understand the vulnerability of presenting an altar call, and the gut-wrenching seconds before asking the congregation to respond, or the breakthrough when they finally do. You’ll never know what it is to see a group of new friends, become old friends, find their place in the body of Christ, and learn what it is to tithe, give, grow spiritually, and worship. You may never feel God smile upon you...or know what it is for Him to be proud of you.
If you can live without ever knowing any of these feelings...don’t accept the job. If you want to be comfortable, confrontation-free, bored, and weak...stay where you are. But if you want to live free. Strong. Deep. Bold & Brave...you can’t do anything else. God will lead you & your family into everything that He’s promised, and so much more.
WEEK 4, JANUARY 24
The name of this group wasn't chosen by accident. In fact, I didn't choose it at all...God did! I was at a conference in late summer 2017, and I left with a picture of myself leading a group of women who were kept in fear, and now are bold for Jesus! Women passionate about Jesus, about the Word of God, and growing into a beautiful leadership and vision within the church! Now, to understand just how surprising this picture was for me, you have to know that I was always the LEAST bold and the LEAST brave person that I knew. Growing up, I had so much social anxiety, I felt like I was trapped in a box of fear all the time.
I used the Word of God to make myself become the person that I wanted to be...and God matched my diligence and helped so much along the way as well. This week, we're going to learn one way that I did that in my life, and maybe along the way, you'll stumble upon freedom too!
So, this week, we’re going to a topical study! Use a concordance, google search, etc, to look up all the occurrences of boldness in the Bible! Write down (and bring with you next week) the top 3 that speak to you, and do a SOAP bible study on your favorite. Bring with you to Bold & Brave next week!
WEEK 3, JANUARY 17
Alright, so this week, we’re going to try a new kind of Bible Study, in a new book of the Bible! Here in the beginning of Bold & Brave, I’m just trying to not only expose you to various women of the Bible, but also to arm you with various tools to study the Bible!
So, this time, we’re going to read Ruth, and as you go along, do a character study. Write each character’s name as they come up, and then some characteristics...what they look like, young or old, etc, and anything you notice about them. At the end, compare! And answer the following questions:
What can you learn from each character?
What pieces of culture (at that time) shaped their decisions?
Are any of them good role models for a Bold & Brave Woman?
WEEK 2, JANUARY 10
Now we're going to study the book of Esther (yes, again!), but this time, "Unexpected Challenge" style! (Click here if your'e unfamiliar with Candace's The Unexpected Challenge.) Here are your questions, and we're actually going to go over our answer next week!
To answer these questions, use Google, use commentaries on Bible Gateway (hint: start with Matthew Henry's commentary!), and ask other Christians in your life! Some of these questions may not even have solid answers that we can know for sure...it's more about the journey of asking questions of the Word, and opening up your imagination to the context of the Word.
- What does history know about King Xerxes of Persia, outside the books of Esther?
- Did queen's have any power in the Persian empire?
- What religion did the Persians practice?
- Why did Mordecai not bow down to Haman?
- Is Esther a good role model for a Bold & Brave Woman?
In Bold & Brave, we learn how to study the Bible, and study it together! Every week, you'll have an assignment, to go home and study and work on! The Bible is the "bread of life", the Word is "living and active" and is a beautiful picture of God having personal relationships with us over and over! The Word can do amazing things in your life, if you let it!
This week, read the book of Esther. It's only 10 chapters, a quick, good read! And we're going to do a SOAP study!
S stands for SCRIPTURE: write down the verse (or two) that meant the most to you. Write it out, word for word, on the page. Sometimes we notice things that we didn't before when we are intentional about writing scripture out.
O stands for OBSERVATION: write any little thing you notice about it, anything that sticks out to you, as you read.
A stands for APPLICATION: write down what you think you can apply to your life about this! This may be in the way the characters interact with God, or how they interact with each other. It could be what they DO, or don't do.
P stands for PRAYER: write down your prayer to God, using what you read, and your application points. Ask for God's help & guidance to living out His Word, and what that means, according to the book of Esther.
BONUS: Share! Share what you've learned with the people closest to you! Come to Bold & Brave next week, and share what you've learned. Ask questions of the other ladies, maybe they learned something you didn't, and we can all learn from each other!