BSF Sharing Day/Comment Page

Hey all,

Well, our time this year in the Book of Acts is drawing to a close.  I will not be posting BSF Lesson 32 answers as it’s all personal questions that only you can answer.

However, I am posting this page for you all to share your answers to Lesson 32 if you’d like, what you learned this year and how the Study of Acts has impacted your life.  I’d love to hear it!

I’ll go first:

The over-all theme this year for me was prayer:  the importance of prayer, the significance of it, how we should pray all the time in every situation, and how God answers our prayers even when we don’t see it.  We are to bring everything to the table: every worry, qualm, anxiety, triumph, failure, persecution, question, feeling, and quandary to Him and He will take every single burden and make them His own.

I have never read any of these books of the Bible before (my goal of finishing the New Testament is summer reading!) so all of this was new information for me.  It has been wonderful to piece together the history of it all (you know me) and learn exactly how Christianity spread and how difficult it was and yet God prevailed.

Yesterday at church we discussed how the Jewish people are the only group of people to have survived millenia since recorded time.  Gone is the Ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Ancient Greeks and Romans, the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires and the empires of modern times such as the Nazi regime.  Only the Jews have survived and thrived.  All thanks to God and His magnificence.

I learned what it’s like to live a Christian life.  I grew up a Christian but we didn’t attend church regularly and when we did attend church it was all fluff.  I’m tired of fluff.  I want someone to tell me I’m going to Hell if I don’t believe; to tell me I’m straying from God’s path when I am; to tell me how to submit to authority and others; to tell me to love others.

Not having a Christian life modeled has impacted my life greatly and as I make mistakes in life, I am continually praying I learn from them and turn a new leaf in my life.

I don’t think God’s will for my life has changed.  Nor will it ever.  I do think I have learned a bit more about what it’s going to take to achieve His will for my life and the sacrifices I will be required to make in order to do so.

I pray all of this new knowledge I have learned stays in my brain until the point it is needed and when the situation arises it emerges.  I pray I can bless others through my knowledge.

Summer goals:  to finish reading the website I posted (HERE) and to finish the New Testament reading.  I’m in the book of John so I don’t have too much left after this study!

To all of you who have been so encouraging to me and others throughout this study, I send a heart-felt thanks.  It is much appreciated and beyond my words.

I wish all of you a joyous and blessed summer break and I will see you in the fall where we will start at the beginning of it all!

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16 comments on “BSF Sharing Day/Comment Page

  1. Mary Ann Amorose says:

    My dear Atozmom,

    Yes, I learned much from this year’s study of Acts. However, I want you to know that I couldn’t have done it without your wonderful blog. It opened up my mind in so many ways. I have watched you grow for over two years now, not only in knowledge, but in godliness. I know the Holy Spirit is indwelt in you; it manifests in everything you write. I am so blessed to have come across your blog, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me every day. May God continue to bless you and your family. Have a wonderful and blessed Summer vacation.

    Mary Ann

  2. Bos says:

    Many thanks for your dedicated study of BSF. It is great to compare your analysis of the scriptures with mine. Have blessed summer and we look forward to meeting again in September. Bos

  3. Kallie says:

    What struck me most during this year’s study was the need for Godly behavior. Of course, I knew that before. However I felt the Lord was trying to get my attention over and over to the fact that I need to love others deeply, from the heart. It is easy for me to love those who love me. I struggle with loving those who have hurt me or those who are downright hate filled and hateful. I will miss you, AtoZMom. I hope you keep posting over the summer. Though I am much older, I am continually learning and being blessed by your posts.

  4. helenvdavis@comcast.net says:

    I would like to say ditto to all of your remarks. You have been an inspiration to me and my study of acts. Thanks for sharing with all of us who have come to depend on you

  5. Carolyn Vaughan says:

    You have been a blessing for me. I too was raised in a Christian home, but my parents were very involved in the church. I am a sinner, however, I have never done anything really bad.

    When I get stumped on a question, I love to see what you put. This helps my brain get on the right wave and then I go from there. Keep up the good work in the Lord and I will be praying for you in this endeavor.
    Carolyn

  6. Gale says:

    I sincerely thank you for your hours (upon hours) of devoted time to this blog. I feel like I know you and we’re good ole “Spiritual Study Buddies”. Have a restful summer and I look forward to hearing from you soon. God bless you and your family!!

  7. Bangis says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the link, I am still going through it.
    I have really been blessed from reading the book of Acts and i like your honest views( your blog is amazing) God bless you

  8. TD says:

    I thank God for you and your blogs. God is blessing me in His words and this years study have been a eye-opener. You are sharing a gift with all of us and in the midst God is blessing all of us. Continue what you are doing until God redirect you and know that I am Thankful for you and pray that God will in each of our lives in fulfilled. Proverbs 3:5-6

  9. Christa says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope you can accept the fact that you have made this year much better for me and allowed me to understand more than I ever could have on my own. I believe Our Lord has been so good to me by allowing me to find you and your words. Please continue this journey for so many of us would be lost with it.

  10. Jacky says:

    I thank God, for giving you the grace. I thank you too for your blog, it’s been so help full to me when I’m stuck. I also thank you for your dedication to follow Christ’s footsteps. May He bless you in all you do and show you the way forward with your book.

  11. Dee says:

    Don’ know if you heard, but Revelation is coming to BSF. For us in California it will be in four years. They will probably use others as the pilot groups.Wow what a blessing we have to look forward to(the Last days or the study of them ) I can’t wait! Have a blessed summer and God bless you with service to keep you near to Him.

  12. rungirl says:

    Revelation is coming to us in Texas 2015-2016…can’t wait…what a deep study that will be!

  13. Sweet Mama says:

    What has BSF’s Act of the Apostles meant to me? I had read these books before but I had never truly studied them. I followed guidelines and did not “cheat” with commentaries and such before answering questions but did read and study afterwards. This blog is one of my resources of encouragement…many weeks it was what kept me going. Some weeks I was good about it while other weeks I seemed to be in survivor mode…just doing enough to get through it. And isn’t that how it was for our apostles and the early disciples of Christ? Sometimes on fire and sometimes needing encouragement of others? Sometimes relying faithfully on God and sometimes needing to be reminded to go to God FIRST? Sometimes quarreling and complaining and grumbling about this and that and other times working peacefully together in harmony toward the true goal of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

    What have I learned? BSF does not only teach the Bible which always leads to the Gospel of Christ. It teaches cooperation in how discussion groups operate so that all get a chance to answer and all begin and finish on time so that everyone can get to lecture which also begins and ends on time. What a wonderful lesson about time management and allowing others to have a turn and learning to not dominate for those who are more outspoken and to not sit quietly and never speak up for those quiet folks. As a leader in leader’s circle, I have learned from others behind the scenes who struggled with this to always PRAY first before circle and allow God to lead me to the one question I would like to volunteer to share and to remain quiet otherwise. This is a victory for my big mouth. Have you ever noticed that there are the folks like me who loved school and we are the hand wavers wanting to share on everything and then, there are the quiet sit back and take it all in types who never seem to want to volunteer? The combative types who want to be rabbis arguing over the minute and the everybody get alongers who just want to fluff on past? That’s what I love about BSF. All those different denominations, different types of personalities, and even the occasional seeker getting along and learning just what God wants them to learn.

    What else have I learned this year through ACTS? More about submission and working together for a goal. I’ve learned more about CHOOSING to place myself under authority. I can carry this back to my home church. I can be under a young children’s director at my church and learn from her and because I’ve been submissive, she has told me how much she has learned from ME and I was able to share that I learned these skills in the children’s department of Bible Study Fellowship International. I’ve learned to be prepared, prepared, prepared before teaching a children’s lesson. I’ve learned to edit my words and not be so wordy when speaking to children. I’ve learned that children deserve to hear the Bible and not a dumbed down version. I’ve learned that we only have children for a few hours at church or at BSF and to USE that time wisely for God.

    I entered this study not particularly caring for Paul as a Bible character. He had always been one of my least favorites in the Bible. I saw him as bombastic, and a bit of jerk actually which tells you how much my superficial thru the Bible reading had gotten me. Suddenly, I saw this man, a special keeper of the law, rich in intellect and learning, a man who loved his people, a man who loved the God of the Jewish people, who was protective of this rich heritage and who saw the people of this sect known as The Way as a threat to his people and who believed along with the Head Honchos that this was a threat to be taken seriously and that it needed to be eliminated and I saw this humanity of his and I identified with that person whose world was black and white and realized that I was that person, too. Then, on the Road to Damascus, this amazing miracle conversion and the change in this man and I, too, wanted that kind of change in my life. I have always considered myself a Christian, some years more devout than others, but a life long believer. And I finally saw Paul as something more than the evil man who was there as Stephen was stoned to death. (Somehow as a child, that image of Paul was the one that stuck in my head.)

    There is so much there in these books we have studied in our Library we call the Bible. Do I want to be the old Paul, the keeper of the Special Law that excludes, or the new Paul, the bringer of the Gospel to the Gentiles that includes all? Do I want to be the kind of Christian in Nazi Germany who sees the world as us and them or sees myself as helpless to stop evil or do I want to be the kind of Christian who will stand up if my neighbors are being dragged away even if they are NOT Christians just like me? Would I have been willing to be a Corrie ten Boom? Would I have been willing to speak out? To hide Jews? To protect Jewish children and babies? Am I willing to die for Jesus?

    What have I learned from these last chapters of Acts? Paul practiced common sense. God expects us to use common sense. Paul, even as a prisoner, was a leader, an encourager, an exhorter, even to those who would have killed all the prisoners. I imagine that Centurian soldier in charge of Paul. Submission to authority. Paul did that with this man and this man saved not only Paul’s life but that of the other prisoners. And finally, Paul gave thanks and broke bread. In ALL things, Paul was thankful.

    I am thankful to Bible Study Fellowship, International and to Ms. Johnson, Rev. Hasting, and all the leaders at the national and local levels for 50 years of teaching the Holy Bible and equipping believers to go back to their churches to serve. I am thankful for the current BSF staff, board of directors, FRAs, regional and local leaders and the host churches who allow us to meet in their facilities. I am thankful for all of those teaching leaders who prepare lectures each week and the adminatrative people and the children’s supervisors and leaders and group leaders who work so hard all week so that men and women and boys and girls and even babies can attend and learn about the Bible. I am thankful for the BSF website which gives such encouragement as we learn about BSF classes around the world. I am thankful for this unofficial site here that AtoZ runs that allows many of us to share and learn together in addition to our local classes. It is a tremendous blessing to me.

    I wonder about that Centurian who protected Paul and the others even though he probably was not a Christian when he did it. Imagine if he had not. How many books in the Bible would we not have? Did he later become a Christian? We don’t know. Something about his mission, about Paul, his duty and honor compelled him to do the right thing.

    That is what I have learned through ACTS. I do not have to agree with someone and they don’t even have to be a Christian for me to stand up for their human rights and do the right thing. They will remember what I did and who I did it in the name of…Jesus Christ. For indeed, it is for the Fame of the name of Jesus Christ to the nations.

    P.S. I just remembered another lesson this year: Hospitality. I’m horrible about hospitality. It’s something that makes me want to go to my doctor and ask for a prescription of Xanax (I don’t but I want to!!!) just to get through annual family visits. What a shameful pity! I’ve been so convicted about this!!! Just the role model of all these stories of Christians welcoming each other and opening their homes has lit a fire under my husband and me to start doing all those neglected home repairs, for us to start making attempts at friendship at church and in our neighborhood, and for me to get a part time job (our children are grown but not married or with children) to help finance those repairs to help my hardworking husband to help pay down our kids’ college debt and folly debt we incurred during our children’s high school (all those overseas trips, competitions, and lessons) and college (too many long distrance trips to visit them) and general folly(not factoring the children attending out of state colleges even on scholarship in a different climate and not having clothes for that climate and travel costs to and fro and wanting to watch them compete and perform and hotels and restaurants and winter clothes for us, too.) The part time job will allow me to continue in leadership in BSF and to attend the studies (excited about Genesis, Matthew, Moses, and REVELATION) and to be a better hostess.

    What an FAST and amazing year this study of Acts has been!

    Blessings to AtoZ mom and her family and to all of this wonderful online BSF family around the world!!! Your words and sharing all mean so much to me. ❤

  14. Agnes says:

    Dear Atozmom
    I came across your blog only this year, my last year with BSF. I thank God for your faithful sharing on the study of Acts. Reading your insights always gives me another view point to the studies. There are days when I cannot seem to get started but reading your blog never fails to get me going.
    I cannot wait to come back again in year 2015 when Revelation will be “revealed” in Singapore.
    Till than may you continue bless others and be blessed at the same time.

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