Changes & Choices: Finding Calm in Chaos - Notes

This is a webpage that contains notes, slides and resources from our recent classes. 
Monday, June 15 and Friday, June 19
  • Ann McMurray kicked off our series by talking us through premise of this study, building on the recent sermon series by Lead Pastor Chris Goldman on anxiety. 
  • Ann talked about the various things that people are most anxious about, and shared her own coping mechanisms. 
  • We were encouraged to not merely distract ourselves from our anxious thoughts, but to turn up the volume and pay attention to them. We need to think about what we think about.
  • Just because we think negative thoughts about ourselves, it doesn't mean we should accept them ... nor should we hang onto everything we feel. 
  • Two steps: 1) Trace your fears to their roots, and 2) Identify the voice of your fears.
  • Click here to download Ann's slides.
Monday, June 22 and Friday, June 26
  • Ann McMurray reminded us about what we covered last week, namely that we need to turn up the volume of our thoughts and pay attention to what they are. Now we are challenged to change the channel ... think different thoughts.
  • Based on Philippians 4:8-9, we are challenged to think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, etc.  As with any new skill, we must practice this daily.
  • Click here to download Ann's slides.
Monday, June 29 and Friday, July 3
  • Donna Oiland led discussion on prayer, and referenced several books:
  • The Transforming Power of Prayer: Deepening Your Friendship With God by James Houston
  • Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels
  • Between Heaven and Earth: Prayers and Reflections That Celebrate an Intimate God by Ken Gire (this book is out of print, but available used on Amazon)  
  • Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.  An updated translation is available by Mark Davis
    Donna shared a picture of a baby sleeping in his dad's hand and used it to illustrate the 3 verses in Psalm 131.  In verse 2 there is a reference to a weaned child. We know from breastfeeding kids that when they are held before they are weaned, they are primarily "looking for something to eat."  After they're weaned, they simply snuggle up when held, enjoying closeness to mom. In like manner, God created us for a relationship with Him. So often our prayers are for something we want or think we need; asking for something. How wonderful it is when our desire is to just be with Him, not wanting anything but a time with our Abba.
Monday, July 6 and Friday, July 10
  • Donna Oiland reminded us about our topic last week … prayer, talking with God. Today we’ll explore how best to LISTEN to God.
  • The women shared about their experience in prayer journaling.
  • Listening is tough for us to do. We’re all just thinking about how we want to respond, rather than really hearing what the other person is saying. Is there too much noise in your life (phone, TV, Radio, etc.) Are we too “wired” to hear God?
  • YouTube Link to Rob Bell, Noise.
  • Take some time to quiet your heart and ASK God for what He wants you to hear. 
  • Two devotional books were recommended: Streams in the Desert and One Year Life Verse Devotional
  • Mary Oliver Poem, "Sometimes" ... Pay attention. Live astonished. Tell about it.
  • We were also encouraged to do prayer journaling, as often as we can … in order to track and record our prayers and when God answers them.
Monday, July 13 and Friday, July 17
  • Karla McElroy started the session by greeting all the women, and starting the discussion about our Value, Identity & Purpose.
  • The lesson was based on the Sunday School song we all grew up singing, "Jesus Loves Me."
  • At the close of our time together, we pray that you can say, with absolute assurance and delight, “ I AM VALUABLE!  I AM GOD’S DAUGHTER!”
  • The God of all time and creation, values me so much that He gave His beloved Son that I might be redeemed to live as His beloved daughter.  He confirms my Value and Identity. Next session we’ll dig deeper into our Identity and it’s implication for our Life Purpose.  
  • Click here for Karla's slides.
Monday, July 20 and Friday, July 24
  • Karla McElroy started the session by greeting all the women, and reviewing our discussion that centers around the Sunday School song we all grew up singing, "Jesus Loves Me."
  •  The One who spoke all of creation into being, the very image of God, loves me with a gut wrenching compassion that compelled Him to obey the Father, to sacrifice His own life. His “because” love transforms me into His beloved daughter. We have full confidence in His promises because of His breathed out Word; the Word that is our joy and heart’s delight. His living, abiding Word guides our steps and gives full assurance of eternal life with Him.
  • As His beloved daughter, I am an alien on this earth, living my life as a testimony to His grace. My redeemed life has been secured by His sacrifice;
    my eternity with Him made possible by His resurrection. It is an honor to live this earthly life, with its trials and sorrows, in a way that reflects glory to Him.  Praise God, heaven awaits. I am a child of the King!
  • Click here for Karla's slides.