A Chasing Freedom Bonus: Connection

Connection is important.

In fact, we know from research that connection is one of our most basic needs.

As children of God, in a family of God, we may already know this, but the scientific community is uncovering amazing research that (not shockingly) supports the way God designed us from the beginning.

Here’s two of my favorite TedTalks about connection the impact of connection on our lives:

Johann Hari TedTalk: Connection’s impact on addiction

Brene Brown TedTalk: Vulnerability and Human Connection

We need connection like rain needs drops and bagels need cream cheese, no even more than that. We were made to connect to God, and also people.

In Genesis, God walked with Adam and Eve, and we crave that kind of connection to Him, whether we know it or not. In Christ, we are free to draw near to God once again and we wait for eternity for all the singing and dancing with Him face to face.

At the creation of the New Testament church we see connection revealed even deeper- one body, one baptism, one Lord. This is more than nice ideas. It’s a way of life. We reach others with hope by – you’ve got it – connecting with them, friendship, care, fighting against isolation and the lie that it’s easier on our own.

So, this fall, with our online Bible study Chasing Freedom, we’re going to add a layer of connection we haven’t had before. A connection challenge, if you will.
We’re partnering with the Dear 52 Project and the talented Anna Noble, to offer a free downloadable mini-set of Dear 52 cards.

There will be one card for each week of study. You print it and you send it to someone. Here are some samples to get you excited:

Connection. It’s that easy.

Who in your life could use a handwritten note that says,

“I thought of you.”

“I’m praying for you.”

“It’s been awhile. How have you been? ”

“Hey, we’re talking about freedom in this Bible study and I just really appreciate that you let me be myself.”

Two lines, four lines, or a small journal entry…no matter the length of the letter, the connection is created; friendships, relationships, or family care and concern grows and encouragement builds up.

Here’s all the Chasing Freedom components, pick and choose what works for you:

  • six easy-to-read weeks of study, to connect you to our God and His great love for you
  • a card, each week, to connect you with someone who also needs to know that they are treasured and loved. It’s a beautiful thing
  • Thursday night Facebook Live studies to connect us to one another
  • Fridays and Saturdays – there will be Chasing Freedom podcasts for those of you who are audio people, and to hear a voice sharing freedom rather than words on a page

Stretching our hearts wider for Christ and those He puts in our path…together.

Find the cards and the study, beginning September 18th, right here, at ilovemyshepherd.com.

Scattering gifts…

For the body does not consist of one member but of many.

1 Corinthians 12:14

One day during Holy Week, my children and I sat around the school table, talking about plant classification (exciting stuff!). Someone was probably lamenting the heavy burden placed on them by Mom, the homeschooling tyrant. Someone else was probably demanding a snack. 
 
My husband innocently pops his head in the door and sweetly says to me, “Hey, were you planning on singing for Easter? I’m just getting the bulletin organized.” I glanced up from my work, and I’m not sure the look on my face, but I knew the turmoil inside-
      One more thing, Lord. Really. 
      How am I going to manage?
      Where is the time going to come from?
      Maybe I can practice while the noodles cook….
      No, I need to return that phone call.   
      How about during quiet reading time?
      I need to get Bible study ready for tomorrow. 
 
And so on and so on. We all have the internal dialogue. Mine tends to range from organized files to harried and discombobulated. 
 
My husband looked into my face and gently imparted timeless wisdom for every woman –

“You don’t have to use all your gifts at one time.”   

 
Good call, dear husband. I’m going to sit this song out. I’m going to praise the Lord on Easter morn from the pew. 
 
I so often want to seize every opportunity, meet every need, heal every hurting heart, but not only is that God’s job, I was placed in a body to serve together. A wise person once said, “A need does not constitute a calling.” Sometimes it all seems so overwhelming, so many hurting people, little things to be done here and there and everywhere. God knows. He has a plan. Even this is in His hands. Sometimes His plan for me is to say, “Thanks, but not this time.”
 
God gave each of us many gifts to use for His glory. I’m sure you have so many ways and places to use them. He is so creative with each of us! Rest in this, sister…
      Use them, bless with them, but remember –
      You don’t have to use them all at one time. 🙂