Marinate Blog Summer Study: Bonus Video

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Hello there! I am typing this from the lovely Daytona Beach where my family is enjoying a week full of eating and doing nothing – my two favorite things! 🙂

I don’t have  a Romans video for you this week, but I do have something I would love for you to watch instead. It’s a message by Nancy Guthrie entitled “Word Based Ministry to Women.” It doesn’t directly related to our Romans study, but it does lay out why Bible study is so important and how God’s Word transforms us from the inside out. I’ve never heard a message that more clearly expresses why I am so passionate about helping women like you live Bible-saturated lives. I think you’ll really enjoy it and it might be just what you need to motivate you to finish our study strong. If you get around to watching it, I’d love to know what you think.

Next week we’ll be back in Romans, so keep working through that workbook!

 

Marinate Blog Summer Study: Week 4

(Note:  If you are viewing this as an email, you need to click on the title above to view the video from the website.)

This is officially my favorite one. Romans 6 . . . oh how wonderful!

Does any particular truth stand out to you as you watch and “marinate”? I sure would love to hear about it!

Marinate Blog Summer Study: Week 1

Not only do I have a new Bible study for you today, I have a whole new blog! MarinateBlog.com and AprileSweers.com are now one in the same. The new blog is going to allow me a lot more flexibility moving forward, which I’m excited about. There are a few things to tweak (such as making it readable on mobile devices), so bear with me. We’ll get there!

Here’s the first teaching video of our Romans study – New You, New View: How the Gospel Changes Everything. It’s okay if you have already started the workbook, but this video is intended to be watched before you get started on your first week of homework.

A few things:

  • If it looks all green and garbled, give it a few minutes to buffer.
  • If you have subscribed to the blog but never received the workbook, let me know!
  • If you haven’t subscribed but want the workbook all you have to do is enter your e-mail address in the “subscribe” section to the right. Then, activate your subscription when you receive the e-mail asking you to do so (just a click – super simple).

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this lesson! One thing you got out of it, one truth that stood out to you the most – something like that. We can make this study much more interactive (and fun!) if we “talk” with one another through the comment feed.

By the way, have I told you how excited I am that you are joining me for this study? Well, if not, I am. Really, really excited!

Now go get that warm cup of coffee, a pen, and your workbook (listening guide on page 5) and let’s get start “marinating” in the incredible, life-changing truths of Romans!

 

Marinate this Summer: Host a Playgroup with a Purpose

Can you believe that May is almost over?! With summer right around the corner, I am going to be putting together some “Marinate this Summer” posts to help you be intentional about keeping Jesus at the center of all that fun you’re going to have.

One would think that having a more relaxed, laid-back schedule would make soaking in God’s Word easier, but in my experience it’s the total opposite. “Relaxed and laid-back” doesn’t necessarily equal “free time all to yourself.” (If you’re a mom, it definitely doesn’t!) And even if it did, I would be much more likely to indulge myself in some Food Network than nourish my spirit with Scripture.  Just sayin.’

If we are going to live Bible-saturated lives this summer, we’re going to have to do it on purpose.

I want to help you do that!

So here’s my first summer suggestion:  Plan a playgroup with a purpose.

Choose 2 or 3 friends who have kids with similar ages and invite them to your house each week to play. Instead of chatting it up about the latest gossip, your favorite TV shows, the crazy things your kids have done lately, or why your husbands can’t seem to get the wet towels in the laundry basket . . . talk about the Bible.

Pick a book of the Bible or a Bible study workbook, work through the assigned reading/questions on your own during the week, and then come to the play date ready discuss the highlights.

Yes, you will be interrupted 567 times. No, you will never get through all of the material.

It won’t look anything like a “real” Bible study group. But that’s okay.

Your goal is not to finish the study (you may not even finish very many sentences!). The goal is to walk through this summer hand-in-hand with some sweet sisters in Christ who will hold you accountable to be in the Word every day, encourage your heart with Scripture, and refresh your soul with Christ-centered conversation.

Here are some tips for a hosting a successful playgroup with a purpose:

  • Keep your expectations really low and be flexible. Don’t fool yourself into thinking this is a Bible study per se. It’s a playgroup. You’re just choosing to be intentional about what you talk about as you facilitate your children’s play time.
  • Clearly outline the reading/homework plan from the get go. Type it out, e-mail it, Facebook it – whatever. Just make sure that everyone knows what to read and when.
  • If all the children are pre-school age and younger (i.e. high maintenance), keep the playgroup small.
  • Plan ahead. Have snacks, drinks, activities, etc. ready to go so that you don’t have to use your “chat’ time on that kind of stuff.
  • If the children are a little older, let them watch a movie in another room. Make it fun by having popcorn and maybe a sweet treat.
  • If you only have 3-4 kids in the play group, consider pooling your money together and hiring a high school girl to supervise, entertain, and feed them for an hour while you meet each week. You will still be there to interact with your kids as needed, but this will minimize the interruptions.
  • Choose a book of the Bible or a Bible study workbook that is “summer friendly.” In other words, this is not the time or the place to work through Revelation or tackle a 10+ week Beth Moore study.
  • Plan 3-4 discussion questions to talk about when you gather each week. You MUST structure the conversation a bit or it just won’t happen – not if you are having to wipe bottoms and break up toddler fights in between thoughts.
  • Try really hard to pray together. If you have little ones, you will have to pray with one eye opened, but give it a shot. As moms, we try so hard to cultivate special summer memories. What better memory to etch in the minds of your children than that of you and your girlfriends on your knees before the Father!
  • Encourage authenticity. Make your “playgroup with a purpose” a place where your friends can be real and honest . . . a place where God’s truth can intersect real life, not the life we sometimes pretend to have.
  • Did I mention that you need to keep your expectations low and be flexible? Yeah, that’s REALLY important.
  • Last but not least, have fun!

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions to add? Any questions? Comments are always welcomed!

Now go plan that playgroup! 🙂

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