Hi, my fellow Restless Bible Study friends! My name is Laurie and I’m so honored and happy to be your leader through the Restless Study. Did you happen to watch our kickoff live-chat with Jennie Allen? Don’t you just love her? God has phenomenal plans for each of us over these weeks as we seek Him. I guarantee you that Jennie will tug at your heart questions right away… and that’s a good thing! I know that digging into some of this will require that we be vulnerable and that can feel scary and messy. It’s OK. Let’s trust God together. Let’s dream together. Let’s throw off the junk that has held us back and run the race together! Know that I am praying for each and every one of you that the Holy Spirit would fall on you and put a fire in you to let God use you toward His awesome purposes for His glory!
By way of introduction, Jennie asked this question of her friends on the video and it really intrigued me — Who are you? — so, I’m going to attempt to answer that and, in return, I ask the same question of you!
I am a Jesus disciple. I’m a single mama of five beautiful kids. Three girls and two boys — three homegrown and two through adoption — four vanilla and one chocolate. I’m a daughter. A sister. A friend. I’m a writer. I love to sing. I love to read, especially my Bible that I stole from my Poppy (I even had it rebound so it’s officially mine now). I’m a middle child and a Pastors’ Kid and all that that implies. I homeschooled my kids for 14 years. This is my first year not teaching, so that’s weird, and sad, and good – a mixed bag. I may look like I’ve got it somewhat together, but inside (and with my girlfriends who know all my freakish quirkiness) I’m pretty much a curly-haired hot mess with a decent sense of humor. I recently blogged my way through The Daniel Plan (which has become a big part of my life) so my pants are smaller which, as my friend Dawn-Marie would say, “rocks out loud”. I never finished college, which was really dumb (college-aged ladies, trust me on this — finish your degree!) and I wish I would have gone to seminary. I have three Scottish Terriers. My nickname is Laurz or Laurzie — long story. And in unrelated news, my hair is thinning — true story.
I asked Jesus to be my Savior when I was five and have served in the Church all my life, but only really, really determined to love Him above everything else when everything else fell apart. So, I’m kind of a beginner again.
My favorites: family meals, long walks on the beach especially when it’s foggy, praying out loud (totally worth the embarrassment if you’re overheard), Perrier, listening to my favorite preachers online, time spent with true friends, and field trips to nerdy places.
I am a big fan of people who’ve blown it but own it… I supposed because I’ve blown it a lot in my own life. I think repentance and forgiveness are gorgeous. God’s presence wows me. And I’m hungry for more of Him. I’ve wasted a lot of precious time on the wrong stuff, and I don’t want to waste any more not doing what God says to do and going where He says to go. I don’t want to waste another minute not caring deeply about the needs of the world around us and finding ways to serve, even though my life may be messy and my hands may be empty. I’m eager to live life for eternal purposes.
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith… so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. — Hebrews 12:1-3
My answers to the questions Jennie poses on page 21 of Restless study guide:
- Which of the stages (Comfortable, Thirsty, Running Free, or At The Starting Line)… do you most relate to now? Thirsty.
- When you were a kid, what did you think you would be when you grew up? A writer.
- What stops you from running full steam ahead? From dreaming? From obeying? Fear, feeling inadequate and insecure, time-consuming responsibilities. Mostly fear.
What About You?
If you’ve not watched the first video and read the “Getting Started” section in the Restless Study Guide, this week that’s your assignment. In fact, let’s start with what things you’ll need if you don’t already have them.
This Week: Introduction
- Read the introduction of the Restless Study Guide (pages 11-31).
- Write in your study guide your responses to the questions on pages 21-29.
- Have your Bible handy (or free online Bible resource, like BibleGateway.com)
- Watch session 1 of Restless (23:08 minutes). This first video is free on YouTube. This is an 8-session, video-based study. You can purchase the Restless DVD or buy and watch the videos week-by-week ($2.99/session) on-demand at Vimeo – for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks!
- Optional: Restless, the nonfiction book
- Optional: The entire Restless DVD Based Kit, which includes the Leader’s Guide and Conversation Cards. If you’re planning on leading a small group in your home or church to coincide with our online study at FaithGateway, you’ll want the kit, which contains: one study guide, one DVD, one leader’s guide, and one set of the conversation cards.
How the Restless Study Works at FaithGateway
Every Sunday I’ll email you. Don’t worry, you won’t be bombarded with emails. One per week will be it. I will share with you about the previous week and let you know what our reading and video-watching assignments are for the current week so you’re prepared. Feel free to comment on the blog post companion at FaithGateway.com where you can join others who are doing the study in discussion. I’d love for all of you in this online community to get to know each other and share your stories and what God is doing through the Restless Bible study in your lives.
Also, and this is a brand-new, super-exciting element: I’m going to be leading a live-chat Bible study weekly on Thursday nights at 10pm EST/ 7pm PST! Several women will be joining me – women ranging in age from their 20s to 60s. I’ll introduce you to these lovely ladies this Thursday (you’re going to love them!), but we also invite YOU to join in!
There are three ways you can be involved in our online live-chat Bible study:
- Watch and enjoy. If you’ve never participated in a small group study before, this is your chance to see what it’s all about!
- Offer your thoughts and questions in the comments side-bar during the live-chat
- OR, contact us and let us know that you’d like to be a live-chat guest!
Use this link to join us in the chat on Thursday nights at 10 pm EST/ 7 pm PST:
Every week we will randomly choose several women from our FaithGateway Restless Study community to join us in the video chat. More details about this next week, but to give you a heads up, you will need:
- High-speed internet access
- A webcam
- Access to Google Hangouts
- A teensy bit of bravery
What do you think? Are you in?
Share Your Story
Be bold! I’d love to hear from you! Meet others in our community! Friends, we would be so honored if you would share your story, your thoughts, and your answers to Jennie’s Week 1 questions (pages 21-25 of the study guide). Leave your comments below! ~Laurie
Don’t Forget These Free Resources
In case your materials haven’t arrived yet, you can still get started right away! Just pop in your email into the box below to get the free downloads.
- FREE – Watch for free first session 1, Restless (23:08) on YouTube.
- FREE – The introduction and lesson 1 of the Restless Study Guide
- FREE – The first three chapters of the book, Restless
Looking Ahead: Next Week
Week 2 (Feb. 9-15): Lesson 1, God’s Story. Read the Restless Study Guide (pages 32-54) and watch video session 2 (23:21 minutes).