Knit and Crochet Bible Study

She shops around for the best yarns, and enjoys knitting (and crochet). Prov 31:13MSG

July 12, 2017
by BearyAnn
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Anger’s Foothold

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you”……for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Eph 4:26-27NLT

When this verse came across my daily reading today it hit a nerve.

Struggling with chronic pain, I have come to realize that anger sets in most when I lose control of the pain.

It is a daily struggle to keep my focus off the pain, but some days it seems impossible.

During these times I have to fall to my knees and cry out to God. Where I have no control, He is in control. My focus goes off the anger, off the pain, and onto Him. If I don’t, anger can set off a series of sins through harsh words, broken promises, and incomplete responsibilities.  Others are hurt by my anger response.

The verse does not say ‘anger is a sin’, it says ‘do not sin by letting anger control you’.

I must step away from anger when it seeks to lead me into sin. In stepping away from the anger, I must step toward something – that something must be God for me to feel peace.

I have told you these things, so that in my you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

Giving in to the anger is a choice. Realizing and accepting the anger is a choice I must make.

It’s a daily choice, sometimes even a minute-by-minute choice. I choose God’s peace.

Lord, I cannot do this alone. Thank you for those around me who hold me accountable. Thank you for loving and accepting me even in my sinful nature. Forgive me for my sin and help me to continue, daily, to choose you and your peace. Amen.

June 25, 2017
by BearyAnn
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Come On In

…let s go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him… Hebrews 10:22NLT

When I came across this verse in my daily email my mind started wandering. God says ‘you do not need an appointment, come on in’
God is welcoming me with open arms. So what then is holding me back? Do I fear He will push me away once I have stepped closer? Am I afraid He will be mad and reject me?

These are my fears and thoughts I am reflecting onto Him. God has called me in, it is I who have created the barrier.

Then I started to think about what some participants have said about walking into that first Knit and Crochet Bible Study. They entered hesitantly, fearful, and very unsure of what they would find behind those doors. Some, having been rejected before, felt certain they would receive the same at this gathering. There were words of “I don’t knit/crochet well enough to join in” or “I don’t know very much about the Bible”, and even “I wouldn’t know what to wear to such an event”.

As leaders and participants, it is our responsibility to be sure all are welcome. Don’t show favoritism; James addresses this is in chapter 2 verses 1-4:

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

This story could easily be translated also using terms like ” one comes in with the highest quality yarn and needles while the other carried a very low grade brand” or “one was a pastor’s wife and the other had never even touched a Bible”. It can be hard to gravitate toward one over the other.

I came up with a few steps to help alleviate fear for the newcomer. What other steps would you add to this list? (feel free to add your comments below)

 

Be sure to welcome them at the door

Help her to find a seat

Introduce her to those in the room

Ask about her knit/crochet skills

Share a bit about what to expect in the group

     

As your group develops, word will spread that you are a group to be trusted, a group that glorifies God and honors people.

You’ve opened your arms to others entering your presence in your group; enter into God’s presence fully trusting. He doesn’t care what you are wearing or your knowledge level.  He only cares that you enter in with a sincere heart fully trusting Him.

June 22, 2017
by BearyAnn
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Still Committed

 

My ‘word for 2017’ is COMMITTED. I am not doing very well at maintaining it. I have found myself with so many unfinished projects. Not just knit/crochet projects, unfinished posts, unfinished letters, unfinished household chores.  I seem to leave so much half-done, not committed to completion.

The word COMMIT is defined as a verb meaning a pledge, a promise, to do something. I did an online search through the Bible of the word ‘commit’.  It did not only reflect the physical action, it also instructed the action of mental/emotional commitment. To CHOOSE to commit wholeheartedly to God’s Word (Deut 11:18); to CHOOSE to commit firmly to God (Psalm 37:5); to CHOOSE to be commit to the faith (1 Tim 3:9)

When I do not complete a project, no matter how minor, I have chosen to ignore it and focus on something else. I set out on a course, and turned away.

I am reminded when I reviewed this promise to myself and to God, that if I am committed I must follow through.   Oh that my steps may be steady, keeping the course you set.-Psalm 119:5.
My half hearted attempts at projects around the house, with my yarn, and in my Christian walk are choices I am making. If the word commit is a verb, then I must take action. “I” must take action.

What is your word for the year and how are you staying committed to it’s follow through?

February 13, 2017
by BearyAnn
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Through My Headset–The Magnolia Story

While working on a sweater I abandoned to the closet quite some time ago I listened to ‘The Magnolia Story’ by Chip and Joanna Gaines.

I fell in love with this couple watching their Fixer Upper show on HGTV.

In the audio version of the book, Chip and JoJo read their story.  They captured my attention from the very beginning.

I was impressed by their genuine openness. I don’t know that I would want to share some of those stories.  They are as open and authentic in the book as they appear in their show.

They started their married life with no television, at the challenge made during their pre-marital counseling. The challenge was for 6 months. Now, years later and with a TV show of their own, they still have no TV.  There are days I think my life would be better without the TV always blaring in the background. Could I, would I, accept the challenge?  I digress. That is something for another post.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to “The Magnolia Story”.  The Gaines didn’t sound like they were reading the book. The sounded like they were sitting on the couch across my me, telling me their story. 

If you are ‘fixing up’ a WIP, consider listening to this Fixer Upper couple tell you their story.

February 2, 2017
by BearyAnn
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Unfinished–But Not Frogged

While working on the final edits of the Proverbs 31 Woman personal devotional my husband pointed out I needed a better cover.

So I headed to my craft room to find a WIP to possibly photograph and use since the subtitle of the devotional is “God’s Work In Progress”.

I found something I had totally forgotten I even started.

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I found this in one of the dozens of tote bags I have hanging in a closet. I found the original pattern and my notes for a sweater, though I did not mark what size I was making.  I found the right front complete and the left front 1/4 done.  Unfortunately it is a lace pattern with a 16 row repeat while decreasing. I had a bit of trouble deciphering my scribbled notes and determining where I was in the pattern.

I am too far in to this sweater to frog it. Determined to move forward, I placed a lifeline in the row before I attempted to move forward. After a rocky start I did mange to determine where I was in the pattern and work through 2 full repeats.  I am on my way.

I am excited to know that as God’s work-in-progress He never puts me in a tote bag and hides me away in the closet.  He didn’t frog the whole project (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it). He is always working on me.

I look back at how God has brought me to this point in my life. I made a lot of mistakes and turn some wrong turns. But God has never left my side.

Just like the Proverbs 31 woman was not born with all the qualities describes, I must learn, make decisions, and grow.

I am a work-in-progress on God’s knitting needle.

Now to get back to that sweater. I wonder what weight point I was at when I started it. Will it fit?

January 6, 2017
by BearyAnn
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My One Word for 2017

I first got the idea after reading the book “One Perfect Word” by Debbie Macomber. For several years I chose one word which would be my word for the year.  When I did this, that word resonated throughout the year and helped me to focus.

Last year I didn’t choose one and as I look back at 2016 it feels undefined.

So I am choosing a word for 2017.  The word is ‘committed’.  I am committed to stepping out; I am committed to moving forward; I am committed to following the path God has laid before me; I am committed to believing I am not walking alone; I am committed to me; I am committed to action.

So many thoughts, ideas, and desires have flooded my mind and my heart.  It is time to get them out of my head, off the paper, and into action.  I may fail, yes. But I may succeed.  Either result is frightening. But I have committed to facing the results, no matter what it may be.

Do you celebrate a word for the year? What word did you choose?

October 18, 2016
by BearyAnn
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Through My Headset–Crash the Chatterbox

“..and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Recently my small group did a 6 week study that so impacted my life I have to share it.

After we completed the study I plugged in the headphones to hear the book, read by the author.  I particularly liked that what the stories the author used in the video were not the same as in the book, so I am not just rehashing what we had covered.

Pastor Steven Furtick really shed light on that chatterbox we listen to in our heads.  The best visual I could think of to describe the chatterbox and its constant badgering in my head is the old video game Break Out (is that what it’s called?). A  ball goes from one side of the screen to the other, breaking down bricks of the wall, smashing against them and moving in another direction. 

In my head the ball bounces back and forth, breaking my concentration, my confidence, my self worth. Each brick it smashed created dozens of shards that attacked me, telling me I a failure, I cannot do anything right, no one wants to listen to me, I am nothing.

In the video series, Pastor Furtick interviews “The Chatterbox” and brings this imaginary attacker to life. By seeing the chatterbox as someone I could face, I could challenge, it gave me strength to say “shut up, I am not listening to you”.

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I have heard and read many articles telling me to just trust God and everything would be okay. But I found that voice in my head was louder than God’s voice. God was speaking, but in the loud chatter of all the lies, I wasn’t hearing His truth.

Now I tune in to God’s voice, like a dial on the radio. I am actively practicing shutting out that chatterbox that tells me I am nothing. That chatterbox that is filled with lies and deceit.

It has to be a conscious effort. It doesn’t happen naturally, yet. But like everything else, I must continue to daily do this, it must become as natural to me as breathing. I must choose to listen to the truth of God’s Word, just as I choose to listen to my husband, child, or friend as we sit in a crowded coffee shop. I tune out the noise of the coffee shop to hear the one I am with; so I must tune out the chatterbox to hear the God of my life.grandma_ghetto_blaster_lg_clr

If you have a chatterbox in your head, I highly recommend “Crash the Chatterbox” book and study.  In fact, you can go to You Tube and watch as Pastor Furtick delivers this message in a 6 part series while you are working on your latest knit/crochet project.

Tune out the world, tune in to God.

“..and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

October 13, 2016
by BearyAnn
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I Am A W.I.P

Romans 12:2  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.

If  you have been working knit or crochet projects for any time at all, you are familiar with the term WIP. It stands for “Work In Progress”.   In my home I have several closets which have become hide-aways for various WIP projects.

I place this projects in these hide-away places when I find an error in my work that I do not wish to address; or I have become bored with the direction the pattern is going. Sometimes I do so because I have found a project that I think is more interesting. In other words, I am not satisfied with the project.

It’s not only the projects that get hidden away.  I am learning that I, too, tend to hide. It could be because I feel I have been wronged, or that I have done wrong. It could be that I don’t feel worthy or that I want something different. I want what someone else has, whether it is a physical object or a perceived emotional state; either way I am comparing myself to others. I am not satisfied with who I am. I am hiding because, in my mind, I am incomplete.

The truth is, I am incomplete.  I am a work in progress. Hiding away doesn’t change that. Staying out in the open doesn’t change it either. I am God’s Masterpiece, unfinished, stitched more each day (Ephesians 2:10)!

I may try hiding, yet unlike the projects I toss in the closet and forget they are there, God knows where I am and continues to work on me.  He reminds me not to seek the approval of those around me or to conform to others. I will never be satisfied because there will always be someone who will find a fault or disagreement with me.  He is stitching me with a fresh newness so that I may be satisfied in Him.

God continues to work on the project that is me. He hasn’t given up on me and tossed me aside.  Even with what I consider flaws in my pattern, He sees them as design enhancements. He continues to weave Himself through the stitches each day with a fresh newness.

It’s time to step into the light, unfinished, yet in progress, until completion.  My satisfaction is in Him.

October 13, 2016
by BearyAnn
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My First Knit Crochet Bible Study Groups

My First Knit Crochet Bible Study Groups
I thought I’d use this month to share how I started my first groups. You could call it ‘the foundation row’. (for the story of how the Knit and Crochet Bible Studies started check out the about page on my website CLICK HERE)

After compiling several ‘lessons’ I approached the Women’s Director of my church. She read the stories and really liked the idea. The church leaders agreed to try a semester to see if and how it would go over.
We met in our church coffee shop where the ladies were allowed to sit in comfy chairs and on sofas instead of at a table like most other classes. This allowed for a very relaxed atmosphere.
At our first meeting there were about 6 ladies and myself.  I gave a brief description of what the next few weeks would be like then launched into a knitting lesson. (The ladies had all been instructed to bring in a skein of yarn and set of needles.)  By the end of the evening, everyone had cast on and was working on the knit stitch. Over time, the purl stitch, increase, decrease, casting off and more were added as well as some crochet techniques.

The routine after the first session was to have everyone working on their projects while I read the short lesson and then led a discussion.  During the first weeks there was a not a lot of discussion as many find it hard to knit/crochet and talk at the same time while in the early stages of learning. However, it wasn’t long before everyone could move their hands to the stitch and add their thoughts to the conversation without losing their place. Yes, we did learn to frog (rip it) during these episodes as well 🙂 
By the next semester, getting started was a bit less hectic in my teaching of the craft as I now had some experienced knitters and crocheters. Instead of standing in the midst of several and trying to teach everyone, I could stand in the middle, demonstrate, and each new person would be alongside an experienced person who would help them one-on-one with what I was saying.

Not all participants wanted to knit or crochet. We had one join our group who brought along a rug she was hooking and others brought in embroidery work.
As in all groups, some excelled quickly into the craft; some had difficulty and lagged behind. The same applies to Bible Study and our individual relationship with Jesus Christ. We are all at various levels, no matter how long we have been involved.

Have you hosted a Knit Crochet Bible Study?  What techniques worked for you? What didn’t?  I’d love to hear your stories.

September 4, 2015
by BearyAnn
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Through My Headset – Precious In His Sight

I recently ran across an audio series by Theresa Ingram, wife of Pastor Chip Ingram of Living on the Edge.  I downloaded the MP3 and PDF files and thoroughly enjoyed the “Precious In His Sight” series and teachings of Theresa.  I related so well to her words.

The first part is titled “Mirror, Mirror On the Wall” and looks at  what God says is true about my appearance; I am Beautiful in Jesus’ Eyes.  I was created in God’s image. I am beautiful because He designed me, knows me intimately, and loves me. Though man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.

Part 2 is titled “From Cinderella to a Princess”, noting we are righteous in Jesus’ eyes. There is a difference in our lives before and after Christ.

In part 3 you are “Born to be a Winner”. Theresa discusses how to experience in you what is true of you. What untruths do you tell yourself? What is true of you? I loved her question “what is tatooed on your mind?’   Your self-talk could be your biggest weapon satan will use against you.

Finally, in part 4, appropriately titled “Wings” you are reminded how uniquely gifted and enabled by God to make a significant impact with your life. Yes, are can make an impact. She discusses the 4 road blocks we set up that hinder God from using us.

I was very touched by this series. I heard myself in her stories.

Once I finished I learned that there is an audiobook titled “Precious in His Sight” which is unabridged. The MP3 files are available through Amazon and the Living on the Edge website.

I highly recommend this to every woman who has even the slightest bit of self-doubt.  Yes, God can use you and wants to use you. He can and wants to use me.

This website, my desire to become a life coach and to begin public speak, along with my Knit and Crochet Bibles Studies, and my teddy bears are just the tip of the story He is unfolding in my life.

What story is He unfolding in your life?