Fall 2017 Bible Studies

{REGISTER HERE}

In case you haven’t heard, Bible Studies START THIS WEEK! For those of you who have yet to participate, we hope this will be the semester you decide to jump in. With morning and evening classes there is a study available to fit your schedule!

We are very excited to offer a new group on Tuesday mornings, called Mom to Mom. Young moms and seasoned moms will have the opportunity to connect as they participate in discussion questions and hear from different speakers each week on a variety of motherhood topics. Ina DeGram will also be leading a book study on Tuesday mornings, by Stormie Omartian, called The Power of a Praying Wife.

Monday nights Cathy Kaplan is leading a study for parents of preteens and teens, based on the book by Mark Gregston, Tough Guys and Drama Queens. Robin Bedwell and Kelly Miller will be co-leading James MacDonald’s life-changing study, Lord, Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late. 

On Wednesday evenings a Beth Moore study will be offered for our Spanish-speaking women. In addition, a discipleship study, led by Daphne Summers and Mei Chang, will be held for our Chinese community. If you know someone who would be a good fit for these studies, please extend the invitation! Reach out to your friends, coworkers or neighbors. As always, our Bible studies are open to any and all women.

Whatever study you choose, we promise it will be one of the best investments of your time.

For the full line up and to register for a study and childcare, go to chetscreek.com/women/bible-studies today!

 

A Best Yes

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Post by Christy Mobley

YES! YES!! YES!!!

No, no, no,  I haven’t been watching a re-run of the movie, When Harry Met Sally, I’m reading The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst.

On Monday nights coming up, a group of my “best yes” friends are going to be learning to make wise decisions in the midst of endless demands and having a blast while doing it!

We’re going to saying YES to truth, YES to wisdom, and YES to God.

That’s the very best YES!

I believe within a couple of weeks of this study we’ll be able to see women’s lives impacted by God in immeasurable ways.

Very cool.

Each week we’ll laugh at how wacky life is. We revel in the community that we’re building and the commonality we share. As women we already have such a strong relational pull to band together but learning God’s truth gives us another good reason to be “one”.

Here are just some of the nuggets we’ll be learning from The Best Yes…

“The decisions you make determines the schedule you keep. The schedule you keep determines the life you live. And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul.”

“We have to put our hearts and minds in places where wisdom gathers and not scatters.”

“We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please.”

“Wisdom makes decisions today that will still be good tomorrow.”

“Today’s choices become tomorrow’s circumstances.”

“Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives, in the direction we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.”

“Choices and consequences come in package deals. When we make a choice, we ignite the consequences that can come along with it.”

“My imperfections will never override God’s promises. God’s promises are not dependent on my ability to always choose well, but rather on His ability to use well.”

“Together is a really good word. Together is what we need when we hit really tough patches in life. Making decisions when life is making you cry shouldn’t be done alone.”

And those are just a few of the quotes, there’s so much more!

In the process of acquiring the wisdom to make good decisions, we’ll be acquiring the wisdom to discern God’s voice.

I can’t wait to see women come forward and share how they’re hearing God speak through a Scripture or a word of encouragement spoken in class. I look forward to the joy in their faces and the excitement in their voices as they recount their experience of God affirming a new truth through His Word.

God says if we lack wisdom we should ask Him for it. He gladly gives generously to all without finding fault. (James 1:5).

We’re asking—let’s watch Him provide.

If you’re not doing this Bible study with us, let me encourage you to find a small group, accountability group, life group, or triad to join, or better yet, I challenge you to start one.

And when you do, you too might be shouting, YES! YES!! YES!!

You can sign up this Sunday in the atrium at church.

I look forward to seeing you on Monday night, June 26th

 

 

 

Christy is a writer, speaker, wife, mother, mother-in-law and a first time grandma! She’s passionate about helping women find peace by experiencing God at work in their everyday circumstances.
Christy and her husband David have been at Chets since its opening at the school in 1998 and presently lead a life group at 9:00 on Sundays.
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Get in the Picture

by Shelley Marsh

 

mom poolOnce again, it’s time for vacations, trips to the beach and outings with the kids. Everyone will be taking pictures to record these sunshine-drenched days.  However, many of us ladies will exclude ourselves from the pictures.  We (as always) put the focus on our kids.  We think we don’t look good, our hair and makeup isn’t in place, we wished we weighed less. Forget all of that! I want to encourage you this year: get in the picture!

In the future, you will be able to look back at those images and remember the time spent with your family.  Your children will one day appreciate being able to see those moments with you captured forever.  Don’t put off the family photo because you don’t like how you look.  Children change so quickly, and you’ll want to have a record of those changes. They are the ones you will be looking at anyway.

Think back to the photos you still enjoy looking at from your own childhood.  Don’t your favorites include a parent or grandparent?  Don’t you love seeing your mom with her seventies hair and pantsuit? Don’t deny your children the same joy.

This summer, I’d like to encourage you to get in the picture.  Make dad take a turn with the camera, or learn how to use your camera’s self-timer.  In the years to come, you’ll thank yourself, and so will your family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelley Marsh is a freelance writer and the author of Fifty First Coast Dates, a guide to creative date night ideas in North Florida.  She has been married to Robert for 16 years, and is the mother of two boys, ages 11 and 14.  Admittedly, she has taken many more pictures of them than she has of herself. However, here is a photo of her and her sons that was taken seconds after the dog licked her directly on the mouth:17990733_10213184621269251_797645511010403534_n  

When We Won’t Need Thanksgiving Anymore

I think it’s interesting that we have a season and, specifically, a day: Thanksgiving, set aside to turn our minds toward being grateful. I guess sometimes thankfulness doesn’t come easy.

Like the day my car conked out right on the other side of the Chick-fil-A drive-thru, infuriating hungry people who couldn’t get their food into their mouths fast enough, because they couldn’t get past my car. Honking horns and dirty looks!

I guess they were HANGRY!

But the Bible commands us to be thankful in all things and in all circumstances even the hard ones.

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I think we can all agree with the Bible when it tells us that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways are higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:9)

His narrative is:

We have to be last to be first.

We have to die to self in order to live.

God’s thoughts and ways are counter-intuitive to our human logic because He is sinless and selfless. And because of God’s selfless act of sending His Son to die on a cross to save us from our sinful acts, we can choose to have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

When we do, the perspective on our circumstances change.

Every year, I write out a list of what this kind of thankfulness looks like to me. This year, as I am continuing to learn how to  surrender to God’s will,  I’ve added a few more perspective changes to my list:

This year…

I’m thankful for the tooth I cracked because, with God’s help, I overcame my fear of going to the dentist and having it crowned.

I’m thankful for my car breaking down in the middle of the Chick-fil-A drive through, because it taught me that impatience breeds impatience, but kindness opens the door for mercy.

I’m thankful for dirty dishes and stinky laundry, because it reminds me I have food to eat and clothes wear.

I’m thankful when I can’t sleep, because it gives me a quiet space to pray.

I’m thankful for deadlines, because they teach me the discipline of time management.

I am thankful for regrets, because they remind me to seize God-given opportunities.

I am thankful for the problems that I can’t solve, because they bring me to my knees before my Heavenly Father.

I am thankful for humiliation, because it strips me of pridefulness.

I am thankful for the ability to laugh at myself, and laugh hard, because it keeps me from being too serious.

I am thankful for struggles, because they help me reach forward toward my full potential.

I am thankful for my weaknesses, because, in them, God shows me His strength.

I am thankful for hurt feelings, because, through them, I am better able to comfort others who have been in similar situations.

I am thankful for conviction, because it brings me to repentance.

I am thankful for my failures, because that’s how I learn to succeed.

I am thankful in grief, because God is close to a broken heart.

I am thankful for the scars of past sins, because they remind me not to go there again.

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On this side of heaven, we will never fully view this life from the angle God does. But as we pray and study His Word, learning to trust Him–truly trust Him–we can begin to see how His ways actually make sense, and then thankfulness in everything will come as naturally as taking a breath.

And when this happens, we won’t need a “special” day to turn our minds to giving thanks anymore, because everyday will be Thanksgiving. With that being said, however, we will still need a special day to have an excuse to over eat!  Amen?

Hope you have a happy, joy-filled Thanksgiving.


Christy Mobley{This article was written by Christy Mobley. Christy is a girly girl at heart. She has a passion for fashion and decorating which is to say, she loves to shop and move things around her house. She chases tennis balls for recreation and enjoys scavenging the beach for shark teeth. She and husband David of 32 years, are life group leaders and have been at Chets from it’s earliest beginnings. They have two adult sons and two daughter-in-laws. Christy loves sharing God’s Word through writing, speaking and teaching. Check out her personal blog at www.christymobley.com.}

Building Relationships Around a TABLE

How did I end up saying “Yes” to hosting a Chets Women: TABLE? I’d love to share with you!

My name is Rachael and I am a wife and mother of three. I love spending time with my family, getting away for a weekend, and I “worry work” myself whenever I have a free moment.

In the past couple of years my life has really changed. Throughout my adult life, I was a caregiver for my dad and grandmother until they both recently passed away. With this loss, I felt a huge responsibility to fill the time I would normally be taking care of them with something positive and productive. I needed help finding my place. I needed to find my place to serve, to give, and to love. That was when I signed up for a study called Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. The words of the introduction to the book resonated in my heart:

“Our hope is that through our story you might identify where God is leading you. We hope you read something that helps you overcome what is holding you back. And we give you permission to chase after it.”

Around the same time, I started reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. This book taught me that baby steps are OK! I felt such a release from the pressure to have everything perfect! I learned to make choices that fit into the goals for my life and family, something the author called direction.

“Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.”

When Kelley Hastings rolled out Chets Women: TABLE at our church, I was looking forward to attending. It involves gathering 6 women to discuss 4 questions for 2 hours around a table. In fact, I felt very comfortable attending. But when Kelley gave me that kind, gentle look silently suggesting that I should host a TABLE, I was scared. I was flooded with insecurities. I am very unqualified to be any sort of spiritual leader. I have a huge fear of rejection (I get nervous that my own family won’t show up for Christmas). I make excuses for other people to not hang out with me even before I invite them. In the midst of these fears, God did that stirring in my heart that I had been praying for and chasing after. I used the decision checklist that I learned from Lysa in The Best Yes and I remembered Jen Hatmaker’s quote “Until we are obedient in word and deed we’re just here pretending to be there.” Honestly, there was no excuse holding me back from hosting a TABLE: I had a house, I had the date open, small environments are my favorite, and I felt it in my heart. I pressed through and said yes!

I ended up inviting the girls from my neighborhood. Some went to Chets Creek and others didn’t. A few were good friends and others I barely knew. I invited them on a Thursday night to my house for cheese and dessert. I prepared the TABLE, grabbed the four questions and welcomed these wonderful women into my home. We had a great time. We talked through things, we shared, we got way off subject, we cried, and we encouraged each other. We all loved the camaraderie and being able to talk through things with Godly women. We didn’t want it to be a one-time thing. So, we gathered around a table again, and then we did it again and again.

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This TABLE of women has been such a blessing to me. They accepted my invitation with a “Yes.” We show up in yoga pants and messy hair. But we show up for the same reason, to say Yes. To say Yes to Godly friendship, to say Yes to stopping our busy lives to focus on Him, and to say Yes to baby steps that lead us to serve and be closer to an amazing God.

As with most things, it wasn’t the event itself that changed me the most. It was the confidence that came from overcoming excuses and insecurities in order to serve Him. My TABLE wasn’t perfect. Everyone I invited did not come. I felt the sting of rejection. But, I knew God was working in me. I knew if I only had one person, it would be worth it. I knew that God was doing something bigger than just calling me out of my comfort zone. He was leading me into something and I desperately wanted to chase after it. God had a plan and it involved transforming me. So, when I received that kind gentle request from Kelley to serve with her on the Chets Women Connect Team I easily said yes. I knew it would be a challenge worth chasing after and I am excited to see how God can use me.

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As we approach another Chets Women: TABLE event, I encourage you to ask yourself, “Is this a baby step I should take?” If you feel that desire or stirring, just say Yes. Reach out to those around that you wouldn’t normally “church” with. Invite them over for 2 hours, 4 questions, and 6 women. God will not let you down!

How do you plan on setting your TABLE?


Women will gather around a TABLE all over Jacksonville during the weekend of October 7 at various times and locations. You can sign up to host or attend a TABLE in the atrium on Sunday 9/18 and 9/25. Questions? Contact Rachael Calzada at RachaelO@msn.com. 

 

 

Into the Light

Sometimes being in the dark can be good, sometimes not. As a teacher, I find sitting in my classroom with the lights dimmed after a busy day so calming. In the mornings when I get ready I like to keep the lights dimmed for a different reason. When it’s darker, I don’t have to see all of my flaws in the mirror. As women, we tend to want to stay in the “darkness” or at least keep the lights dimmed in our lives to avoid seeing all of our imperfections. However, God wants us to turn on His light to show us where He wants us to grow and change.

Priscilla Shirer writes in The Armor of God study,

“Our deceiver operates in the darkness. And he hopes we will, too. As long as we’re stumbling around shrouded in darkness – not really sure what’s true and what’s not – we’ll never be able to see him for who he really is and detect the underlying intentions of his plans. What we need is a spotlight that pierces the darkness and lays bare all his evil schemes, systems, and illusions. The truth of God’s Word is that light.”

Priscilla’s words left a deep impression on me this summer. She shared how absolutely critical it is to know all of God’s Word. Not just a basic surface knowledge, but a deep intimate knowledge. It is easy to be deceived by Satan’s lies in our culture and in our own hearts and minds, but as women of God we can choose to not be deceived any longer. We can choose to be immersed in God’s Word each day and allow His light to shine into every part of our lives.

In the past, I’ve tried to read through the entire Bible on my own, but became easily sidetracked or confused. I started thinking that other Chets women might have had the same struggles. This gave me the idea for the upcoming study, Chets Women: READ THE BIBLE. Over the next nine months we will be using resources created by The Bible Project as we read God’s Word together. With the help of a daily reading plan, once a month meetings, and videos that explain each book of the Bible, we will learn HOW to read the Bible for ourselves and keep each other ENCOURAGED every step of the way. What a powerful gift for each of us.

The goal of this study is to read God’s Word, His spotlight of truth, and know it so deeply that it changes our hearts for our good and ultimately for God’s glory. Even as Joshua was about to enter the Promised Land, the Lord expressed how important His Word is. God tells Joshua in Joshua 1:8, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Please join me as we read the Bible together. It won’t be easy, but it will be so worth it!!

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16

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(( Register here for Chets Women: READ THE BIBLE ))


FullSizeRender (1){This post was written by Kelly Miller. Kelly is a wife to Ben, mommy to a sweet daughter, and a 2nd grade teacher at Providence. She is an active member of the Stevens Lifegroup. She enjoys studying God’s Word and loves to encourage others in their relationship with the Lord. Some of her favorite things include playdates with friends, massages, and iced coffees.}

Pull the Plug and Get Real!

Women, especially in our current culture, crave connection. We find a myriad of ways to keep in touch with our families, friends, other moms, co-workers, women we met at Target or at Bible study. And society doesn’t hinder our efforts either, with the push to keep up with everyone you’ve ever even heard of through Facebook. Or, if you’re a little younger, Instagram. Or, even a little younger, SnapChat. Just yesterday, Ciara Parker excitedly gave me the beginnings of what, I’m sure, will shape up to be a very informative SnapChat tutorial. Or these cell phones now, the size of a small iPad. The iPhone 6+ won’t even fit in the Chick-Fil-A phone coop! (FYI—we crammed ours in because, let’s face it, we all wanted free ice cream!) Everyone and everything is at our disposal; or we could consider that WE are at everyone’s disposal. And many times, we make SURE we are at everyone’s disposal…because how will they manage without us?

In addition to the constant connection to people and the world around us, we are imprisoned in our own personal struggles, like anxiety, depression, family issues, broken relationships, fear, the comparison trap. I mean, I constantly compare myself to Sally who is over here making apple-shaped and scented homemade soaps for all her kids’ teachers on the first day of school. And I’m just over hoping I can use the bathroom by myself for five minutes. Seriously. I struggle with anxiety, and have since I was a child. Some days my unfounded anxiety controls my entire day, and I find myself engaged in a battle that, seemingly, has no light at the end of the tunnel. And who wants to share with everyone all the baggage they deal with constantly? Because if Sally who makes apple-scented soaps knows my issues, then she will NEVER invite me to come over and make soap with her and her perfect Pinterest friends, and I’ll be a loser mom. And wife. And woman.

So, what do I do? I was taught from an early age to “fake it til ya make it.” And I have mastered the art of faking it…to my detriment. Why do we, as early as we understand how to, hide our weaknesses and struggles and pretend to be someone we’re not? While I know that transparency requires some discretion, especially on social media and in large groups, we often put up a façade even to those who love us and know us best.

Listen, friends, we as sisters in Christ should be unified, “encouraging one another, all the more faithfully as [we] see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). We’re all broken. Don’t be fooled by a Facebook profile picture or apple soap. We all have struggles and hard days and crazy kids and difficult relationships and—stop traffic—weaknesses. And sometimes we just need to intentionally walk away, lay it down, shut the door, UNPLUG the power that satan deceives us with. That is what UNPLUGGED is all about—coming together as sisters who love the Lord and acknowledging that we don’t have it all together…but our God does. And when we plug into His goodness and power and rest and peace and mercy, his love mends our brokenness and makes us whole. Remember that His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

So—truly—come as you are, and join us for Chets Women: UNPLUGGED ~ A Night of Songs and Stories.

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This event is free and open to all women. Let us know you’re coming and easily invite your coworkers, neighbors, friends and family by sharing the Facebook event. Childcare is provided for kids, babies to 5th grade, by online reservation.


April

{This post was written by April Tapp. April is an Arkansas girl who is enjoying her newly transplanted life in sunny Florida. She is married to Jeff, the Minister to Students at Chets Creek Church. With a heart for girls ministry, April serves alongside Jeff in student ministry, as well as serving in the women’s ministry role of leading the team for large group gatherings. Jeff and April have two boys that keep April on her toes, especially when their fun involves surfing (read: sharks), skateboards, and high speeds. She loves her Keurig, writing, teaching, and you’ll always see her in a great pair of earrings.}