Live Full Walk Free Bible Study – a word from the Author & a giveaway!

I am so excited to introduce you to Cindy Bultema, a sweet friend and Bible teacher that I have grown to love over the years. I’m still not even sure how our paths first crossed but it had to do with Shamrock Shakes from McDonalds. I’ve read all of Cindy’s Bible Studies and I love her because she’s so very much like you and me and has an ability to teach God’s word and connect with women of all ages and seasons of life. Even hard seasons that include rock bottom. Not everyone is willing to talk about their “rock bottom” with the grace and balance that Cindy does. This is why I keep coming back to her studies. Her blog. Her resources. In fact I’ve just started her brand new study Live Full Walk Free! More on that later. First I want you to get a glimpse of Cindy’s heart by hearing her words in this post. 

Meet Cindy:

High school was not kind to me.

Although there are a few fun memories – cheering for the freshmen basketball team, attending a zany psychology class, passing drivers training – I’m glad I never have to return to those four agonizing years again. Ever.

Mostly my adolescent days were filled with intense loneliness, rejection, and a bottomless longing for acceptance and love.

I’ll never forget the day I thought I finally was on my way to high school recognition. A fellow classmate shared she saw something written about me in the girls’ bathroom. Really? Me?!

I ran to the south side of the building as quickly as my clog-wearing feet would take me. I couldn’t wait to examine what someone had taken the time to reveal publicly about me!

I pulled open the heavy wooden door and scanned the chipped bathroom stall’s exterior. Then I spotted the six words that would shape my life for the next two decades…

“Cindy is a fat red cow.”

And on that dreadful day those six words attached to me like a sticky, descriptive name tag.

As the years went on, I may have appeared happy and self-confident. But beneath the cheery smile and bubbly personality, remained an injured and insecure young woman meticulously attempting to cover up the pain, and striving to protect herself from ever being hurt or teased…again.

I wonder if you can relate, sweet friend? What labels have attached to you over the years?

  • Not good enough
  • Stupid
  • Ugly
  • Fat
  • Not wanted.

Thankfully my story has a joyful ending. In 1996, in the midst of a drug and alcohol addiction, I was introduced to Jesus, and surrendered my life to Him. As I began to study the Bible, I quickly discovered God says I am….

  • Accepted (Romans 15:7).
  • Beautiful (Ephesians 1:3).
  • Chosen (1 Peter 2:9).
  • Dearly Loved (1 John 3:1).
  • Enough (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  • Forgiven (1 John 1:9).

My dear sister, you are too!

In Christ, we have been given new, Truth-filled, life-giving labels to wear. We all have.

Regardless of where we have been. Regardless of what we have done.

And in Christ, not only are the old labels erased, they have been replaced with power-filled words of Truth. Only God can do that!

What label are you wearing today? Did you put on “loved,” “significant,” “courageous” – or are your old labels trying to impact your new days?

May we say “no more” to not-nice nametags, lying labels, and sassy self-talk. Instead, may God infuse us with a fresh faith to “put on” Truth each day. His Words are always a perfect fit!

Be reminded of God’s power-filled words of truth with these free A-Z Scripture Cards available for download at http://www.cindybultema.com/live-full-walk-free/.

_________________________

With nearly 20 years of ministry experience, Cindy is a popular women’s speaker, author, and Bible teacher. But don’t let her cheerful smile fool you—Cindy has endured single parenting, overcome bondage to addiction, and survived tragic loss.

Cindy’s latest Bible study, Live Full Walk Free: Set Apart in a Sin-Soaked World http://www.cindybultema.com/live-full-walk-free/ was released in December 2016. Cindy lives in Michigan with her husband and their four kids. Most days you can find Cindy walking her beagle Rocky, attending one of her boys’ hockey games, or serving hot lunch at her kids’ school. Visit Cindy at www.cindybultema.com.

You guys – the Bible Study is really really good and the A-Z Scripture Cards are Awesome. Do you even know how many packs I’ve given away to people? Even danger stranger giveaways. I’m serious. Get you some! 

Cindy is donating a copy of Live Full Walk Free and a pack of A-Z Scripture Cards to a reader today. Just leave a comment on my blog and I’ll have the kids draw a name out of the hat. Umm yes, I did say drawing out of a hat. Sometimes I defy the high tech way of doing things and go old school. Actually I just don’t know how to do it. Ha! Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you in the case YOU are the winner. 

 

Bible Journaling Workshop

So the last few weeks I’ve been preparing for a large Bible Journaling Workshop at our church. The process took over our dining room but how fun it was!

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There was a sweet Spirit among the group and ladies left feeling like they too could linger longer in God’s word through journaling. Therefore I feel it was highly effective and I know it was FUN!

Two ladies in particular have inspired me in Bible Journaling and I shared their stories with the ladies on Saturday. Lisa Ritter’s daughter Emma has Cystic Fibrosis and Bible Journaling has been a huge source of comfort to her during their hospital stays. Lisa’s faith is astounding. Find her on Facebook and Periscope because you will LOVE her. I’ve been praying for Emma and had to share a tiny bit of her story with the ladies.

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Erika Kosterlitzky is actually the first person that introduced me to Bible Journaling about 7 months ago. Her sweet little Libby went home to be with Jesus in a drowning accident and this woman’s faith will also encourage you and bless you. Their story was shared as well on Saturday. You can also find Erika at her blog Life After Libby

And then we sat around these cute round tables and watched live tutorials, talked about what Bible Journaling can look like and how really the point is just to spend time reading and responding to God’s word.

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One of our planning team members made these art pieces for everyone. She made four originals and we made color copies and laminated them for everyone. Such a gift! She is so talented.

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Work stations allowed us to try our hand at some of the new art techniques we learned thanks to Heather, Suzanne and Allison – the tutorial chicks. They were so awesome! They used a ladybug camera to do live tutorials. Stamping, lettering and prepping/painting a page.

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The tutorial trio – love them!

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Several Mother daughter duo’s came and I loved that so much.

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A friend of mine working on her first page. Her boyfriend gave her a journaling Bible for Valentine’s Day and she was waiting until the workshop to learn a few basics. Her page turned out so neat.

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Sophie attended the workshop with a few friends so that was fun for her.

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The planning team in all our maturity and godliness.

My man opened up our time and I was so glad he did. I asked him to share with us a few words because I wanted the Spiritual leadership of our church to speak and pray over our group. He reminded us that being women of the word can change everything. Spending time in Gods word is important and being creative in the margins of our Bibles can be a neat tool when our heart and desire is to respond to God.

It took many hands to make this day so productive and special and I just thank God I got to be a part of it.

 

Just go – even when you don’t feel like it.

It was an emotionally grueling day Friday. I was walking through a dark time with a friend. A lack of sleep, hurting for my friends and feeling the weight of everything made me want to back out of the IF Gathering conference I committed to that night. I was already running 30 minutes late.

But I went.

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And I knew God wanted me there.

The live worship was powerful and lifted my spirit. It ministered to me and reminded me of things I knew in my head but needed to feel again in my heart.

Our small group table of 9 women were so sweet. I only knew one of them. But we shared stories together. How we met Jesus. How he was growing us. I went feeling so depleted emotionally but I soaked up their stories and could see Jesus using our table to minister to my own heart. And one story in particular grabbed my heart in the most unusual way. I can’t explain it really. But it grabbled my heart possibly even more than all of the amazingly powerful speakers at the IF Gathering. And we’re talking amazing messages from people like: Angie Smith, Lauren Chandler, Jen Hatmaker, David Platt and so so many more. I’m still reading all my notes and marinating in the Truths that were delivered. Such good stuff there.

But this story that I can’t keep thinking about is how one of the young women at my table encountered Jesus. Her story is this:

She grew up in an abusive home with parents addicted to drugs. She and her sister were scared a lot and they hid in the closet when things got really bad. The girl told how one good memory she has of her Mom is going yard sale shopping on Saturday mornings. One day she found a bundle of books she wanted and her Mom let her buy them. She took them home but didn’t read them immediately. But one night when she and her sister were hiding in their closet while all hell broke loose around them she found one of the books from the yard sale. It was a Precious Moments Bible. And she read for the first time about how Jesus loved her. She went on to explain that she felt a peace come over her and she knew she was loved.

Wow. I can’t get that picture out of my head…..two little girls hiding from their parents out of sheer fear and Jesus coming to them.

Emmanuel. God with us. In our closets when we’re huddled in fear. That kind of with us.

I just can’t get it out of my head. And I hope I never do. This is the God that loves us. That is astounding.

I thought this Monday morning post would be about the awesome session from David Platt on discipleship or Angie Smith’s impromptu Holy Spirit led session that rocked the room but really it was Jesus meeting that little girl in her closet that just made me fall in love with him even more.

So I’m reminded when we get that, “uhhhhh I really don’t want to go to Bible study, church, small group, that conference…….” we just gotta go anyways. And He’ll meet us there in ways we couldn’t even imagine.

 

About peed in my pants over a Bible study misunderstanding last night

Spoiler Alert: Baptist Humor. I’m not making fun of other religions but if you’re a Jehovah’s Witness you might not like this post very much. Sorry in advance.

Okay, so I’m in a wonderful small group bible study on Wednesday nights. There are a few women in the study that just moved or are new to our church so we’re all still getting to know each other. I’ve been bringing coffee each week but wondered if people really wanted it so I sent out this text message  asking if everyone wanted coffee. The thread gets interesting when a newer lady makes a comment about HATING coffee. See for yourself….. (I blurred out names and numbers)

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It’s like she was acting like she didn’t even know us but I knew it was the right person because she had just given me her number last week. So now I’m totally confused.

And what was up with the Kingdom Hall comment?

I could’ve sworn this lady said her church background was Baptist but maybe she was an undercover Jehovah’s Witness and just wasn’t telling us. I hear they don’t drink caffeine.

All this takes place about 2 hours prior to Bible Study.

I decide not to text anyone else and ask if they were confused. Better to keep those thoughts to oneself instead of stirring up stuff.

I did however share it with Randy. He was equally puzzled.

So it’s Bible Study time and a few ladies trickle in and sit down. One lady did say something like, “What was up with the mystery texter?” I said, “I’m not sure.”

About that time the newer lady walks in. Suddenly I’m viewing her differently. Wondering if her husband is out knocking on doors in a white shirt and black tie.

What startles me is when she immediately grabs a cup and gets some coffee.

I’m baffled.

She sits down and I say, “Did you get my text earlier today?”

“Nope. When did you send it?”

I grill her a few more times to be sure she wasn’t the one who sent the text.

I pull out my phone and read the number I have for her in my contacts and sure enough – it was the wrong number!!

So I read the entire text thread to her – you know, the part where she says she HATES coffee and doesn’t know us and wondered if this was Kingdom Hall. That one.

Our entire group is about in tears we are laughing so hard.

Then another newer lady brings the house down when she said, “Well, I was confused by the manna comment until I did day four of our homework right before I came and that’s when I learned what it meant.”

More laughter.

So much that we had several people stop by and tell us we were having too much fun and to settle down.

Hahahahaha!!!!!

So, yeah, that’s my Bible Study story for the week.

Linking up with some of my favorite writers……JenniferKristin and Holley

 

 

 

Mugs & Muffins 2015

Mugs & Muffins – it’s a ladies outreach event we put on annually where you bring your own mug and $5 at the door and we fill your cup with coffee and provide lots of muffins. If you’re looking for a simple women’s event this is the way to go.

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This year I was so blessed to work with the Mom’s In Prayer group that I pray with weekly. They joined our church in planning and working on this event since our theme was on prayer. Our speaker was Joy Moreau the Appalachian Area Coordinator for MIP. Our team has had the privilege of sitting under her encouragement before and we wanted to extend the reach and have her speak at Mugs & Muffins. She is a precious woman of God and she led us through several stages of prayer and showed us how simple praying with one other person can be. We also got to hear an awesome testimony from Anna Keck, a teacher at our school and Mom’s In Prayer chik. She shared a great story and encouraged women to accept the call to pray even if they feel like they stumble through their words and aren’t totally comfortable praying out loud which was her story a few years ago as a new believer in Christ.

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I personally loved the time we had at our tables this year to interact with the other women we sat with. We talked about the things we wanted to praise God for and thank him for. And then we spent time interceding on behalf of someone we know that needs to know the truth of who God is.

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This year the decorations and centerpieces flowed so well. It just came together as people added their touch to things. A very talented iron and woodworker in our church cut the wood discs for us to use and we turned the mason jars into cutey-patootey centerpieces with fresh flowers.

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This year was the first year my sweet girl came with me. Here’s how that happened: “Sophie, would you like to go to a gun show with Dad and Mitchell or pray for two hours?” I was sort of kidding about the pray for two hours but I wanted her to know it wasn’t just eating muffins for two hours straight so she wouldn’t be disappointed. She whole heartedly agreed that praying for two hours would be much better than attending a gun show. Ha! So she came with me and was such a sweet hard worker. I know I’m her Mama and all but the girl worked hard and it was a sweet moment for me to realize we were serving together.

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A few questions people have asked about Mugs & Muffins:

  • How do you plan if you don’t sell tickets?

Wellllll that’s the tricky part. We’ve never had an idea of how many people would come to this event. We’ve just planned on anywhere from 40-60. This year we had 75 ladies and over 22 churches represented. That was so exciting for us! The only problem is that we did run out of regular coffee towards the end. That’s not great when the main thing you’re serving is coffee and muffins but sometimes you just have to roll with it and move on. So that’s what we did. Next year we will be better prepared in the coffee department.

  • How do you get the word out?

We used fliers, email and Facebook. I happen to be married to a man who is very creative and really good at designing fliers. He made the flier below for us to post away. Not just on Facebook & Twitter but in town – restaurants, hair salons, etc. Also because our MIP team is made up of women from different churches they put the word out to their churches.

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  • How do you get all your muffins and coffee?

We made our own coffee the first year and then decided it would benefit us to cater that part out. So we used a local coffee shop in town this year and made some of our own as well. The Ladies Missionary Fellowship and other ladies in our church provide the muffins every year. They drop them off on Friday and we warm them on Saturday morning.
Linking with Kelly, Laura, Jen, and Mom2Mom