Week 4 Recap

Hello and welcome to the end of week 4: The Shoes of Peace!  Priscilla says on day 3 of our homework, “Only God’s peace can dig in deep enough to offer the kind of anchoring, grounding, and security we need, keeping us from being knocked over and undone by a potent enemy who’s always on the loose, and who specifically targets us in those areas where we’re the weakest or most tender. False alternatives and cheap substitutes have never been and will never be sufficient replacements.” I pray that you are putting on the shoes of peace each and every day, God’s peace!

I hope you enjoy our recap with Libby!   Have a beautiful weekend! Stay tune here to the blog for week 5 starting on Monday.

In His Love,
Melisa
One Heart Ministries

Week 4 Questions

Week 4 Questions

Hello dear sisters!  We are well into summer as well as our study. I am so thankful for the much needed rain we’ve had this week. I hope you all are enjoying your summer and I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed our video and article from Libby this week. I pray that you’ve been learning to shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace so that you may weather the storms of life when they come.

Today we have a few questions for you to consider.  We want to hear from you so share your thoughts with us.

  1. What did you list on page 97 of your homework on day 1 as you detected disharmony, unrest, or an overarching lack of peace in these areas? How have you seen the enemy’s handiwork in these areas?
  2. What are three specific things for which you can be grateful to God, despite whatever difficulty you’re currently facing? How can you incorporate these three things into your prayer strategy this week?
  3. What are some areas of your life where you need to be on the offensive instead of the defensive, taking back ground from the enemy? What would this process look like in a practical sense? Refer to your answers from your homework on page 115.

As for me personally, there was a time when the enemy used my overloaded work schedule and demands of raising children to come between my husband and I. For years he used this situation against us in very damaging ways. The scary part was we didn’t even realize it was happening. I am incredibly thankful God saved us from ourselves and what the enemy had intended to harm us with, God intended it for good.

If you are struggling to find peace through your situation I encourage you to reach out to your sisters in Christ. We were not made to do life on our own. The One Heart Leadership team is here to come alongside you in support, encouragement and prayer! Praying for you and your families!

In His Love,
Melisa
One Heart Ministry
oneheart@oakwoodcc.org

The Shoes of Peace

Week 4 Libby Brozik

Dear Sisters,
What an honor to be asked to share with you, what I have learned from the Scriptures and teachings this week in our bible study!

While I won’t pretend to have any sort of special wisdom, I’d like to share a couple thoughts about the “Shoes of Peace” with you that God has been teaching me this week.

Peace is one of those things that seems unattainable.

We live in a world that is filled to overflowing with distractions, hostility, fighting, disagreements, anxiety, stress, chaos, discontentment – the list could go on and on.  Even as I write to you right now, I feel those anxieties as I gear up for the end of the school year with my students.  It’s impossible to escape the chaos of life while we live on this earth.  However, it is possible to have peace even in the midst of chaos.

We have peace with God through the sanctifying blood of Jesus Christ and therefore have the Spirit of God dwelling in us and bringing us a peace that surpasses understanding.  It is a gift from a loving father.  Here are some things that God has revealed to me about this peace on my journey through this week’s study:

  1. The Enemy is Crafty

The enemy is looking to hit us where it hurts, and he is good at finding our weak spots.  Just this week I came to the realization that this enemy had found one of mine.  Priscilla Shirer talks about our areas of weakness, like the Roman soldiers going to battle, as we walk across the rocky terrain of this world.  I’ve found that not only do I need to identify the areas of weakness, but areas where I don’t feel weak – places I feel I have control.

To give you an example from my own life, I teach elementary music in the Troy School District.  During my first year of teaching, my principal described what she called the “Libby Calm”.  This was my tendency to approach students in a way that was entirely calm and collected, no matter what their behavior was like.  I grew confident in my ability to “maintain my calm”, to be peaceful in the midst of the storm.  Now in my third year, I discovered that the confidence that came with knowing I could do it caused me to weaken my defenses.  My guard was down, when my most difficult student yet walked into my room.  This student, let’s call him Timmy, is difficult in so many ways – always challenging and arguing, refusing to work, distracting his classmates and seeking attention at inappropriate times.  He shook my confidence.  He rattled my calm.  The enemy was looking to steal my peace, and for a while it worked.  I dreaded the days when I taught Timmy’s class.  My anxiety spiked right before I saw him walk around the corner.  I was snippy with him and the other students.

I was so thankful for the reminder from Priscilla that my peace does not come from this world or my own doing, but from my relationship with God.  This student still tried my patience, but when God’s peace permeates my heart, soul, and mind, I was able to approach him and his classmates in a way that built them up.  While Timmy’s behavior didn’t change, something in my heart had.  With God’s peace on my side, my impatience turned to patience.  My anxiety turned to calm.

Week 4

  1. God’s Peace brings Unity to the Church

Unity.  This is a big, trendy word that we often throw about.

I think, especially in the church (not just Oakwood but the church across the world) we have forgotten what Paul really meant by the word “unity”.  There are so many different things that threaten unity in our churches today – hurt feelings, differing opinions, conflicting interpretations of Scripture, differing preferences on worship style, etc.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in these things, especially when we feel strongly about them one way or another.

Here’s the thing, though:  unity in the church does not mean we have to agree with one another.

Plain and simple.  It’s okay if I like to sing hymns and you like contemporary music.  It’s okay if this person likes liturgical services and this person likes a more free-flowing service.  It’s okay to disagree on even these “hot button issues” the world keeps telling us are so important.  These things are not what is important.  Like I said before, the enemy is crafty.  He knows how to get under our skin, make us feel entitled to our opinions, our likes and dislikes, make us think that these things are important.

In Day 2 of our study this week, Priscilla Shirer points to Ephesians 4:1-16 that speaks to unity in the church.

Verse 3 tells us that we have been called to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” – the unity of the Holy Spirit that dwells within God’s chosen people.  Verses 4-8 go on to say “There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

As you go through this week’s study, be reminded that we are one Church – working together with unique gifts and talents, for the building up of one another in unity and peace.  May the peace of Christ be with you this week.

With love from your sister in Christ,
Libby Brozik

Week 4 Questions/Discussion Staters

Week 4 Questions and Discussion Starters Canvas

Hello sisters! I hope you all have been enjoying our study. Today we just want to encourage you to spend time in God’s Word working through the Bible Study book and join in on a question/discussion starter here.

  1. Most women love shoes! Describe the purpose and function of various shoes. Why do you think Paul attached shoes to the characteristic of peace?
  2. How have you experienced the peace of God in your life and how do you explain it to someone?
  3. What kinds of alternatives have you seen people drawn toward as a substitute for true biblical peace? What about you? What activities, people, or escapes do you tend to seek out when you’re upset and trying to find peace?
  4. Let us know how we can encourage you and pray for you.

As a reminder, Priscilla Shirer’s videos are available to purchase from Lifeway.com. They are not required for the study. The link to the viewer guides can be found in yesterday’s post, Week 4: The Shoes of Peace. Lifting you and your families up in prayer!

Have a great week of study!

In His Love,
Melisa
One Heart Ministry

Week 4: The Shoes of Peace

Welcome back dear sisters! I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing week. Here we are…week 4 of our 7 week summer study. I always say this but I can’t believe how fast summer is going! I hope you’re as excited as I am to get started learning about The Shoes of Peace. I think so many of us are in need, or have been in need of peace. We can not get through life without facing storms so we have to have our Shoes of Peace on! This is going to be a great week!

As a reminder, Priscilla Shirer’s videos are optional. They are not required for the study. The videos can be purchased at Lifeway.com if you would like to watch them. If you decide not to watch the videos, click here for the answers to the viewer guides.

Walking in peace and pursuing it with others is Paul’s prayer for us in Ephesians 3:17-19. That is my prayer for all of you this week.

Here is Libby Brozik to kick us off for week 4 – The Shoes of Peace. Let’s get started!