Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1 Peter - Week 2

Week 2 of 1 Peter, Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times
by Sue Edwards

Core One talks about getting ready, first with our minds. Sue directs us to verses in 1 Corinthians. Why is it important to start with our minds?
    • We cannot understand all that He wants us to know without having the mind of Christ. We embody the mind of Christ when His Spirit takes up residence in our lives. Without His mind, we know nothing.  
Core Three begins with a quote from Blaise Pascal: "The serene, silent beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world, next to the might of the Spirit of God." 
    • Our actions speaks louder than our words. I can tell you I'm a Christian - but does my life reflect that? Do I have any fresh fruit on my tree, or does it appear that God needs to do an extensive pruning job?
Love. It all comes down to love. What have you learned from God's Word that has helped you truly love others? 
    • He loves me no matter what. His love is truly unconditional. If He can love me, even after all I've done, how can I not show that love to other people. When I find someone difficult to love, He seems to remind me of His love.
Fun! We get to talk about chocolate... What is your favorite food? Something you crave and thoroughly savor. 
    • I love all things sweet. I don't really care what they are, as long as they are sweet! I think cakes are my favorite, especially cold cakes (not frozen, just cold).
On a more serious note, how do you learn to crave and savor God's Word?
    • The more time I spend with God and spend in His word, the more I want Him. When I find my cravings going towards something other than Him, then I know I've strayed too far. I don't want a life that isn't filled with longing and craving for him.

How about some information about Sue Edwards? Here you go!
One of my favorite pastimes is to engage my students in provocative topics. For example, in my seminary courses, we discuss:
  • navigating gender stereotypes that strap both men and women with unrealistic expectations that counter their gift-mix and personalities
  • discovering how to do ministry in a postmodern pseudo-spiritual culture instead of a world dominated by rationalism 
  • figuring out how to work together as men and women in biblical community while protecting our integrity
I love teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary, but after a full day tackling lofty subjects, I savor going home. Home means falling in a heap with my grandchildren in games like “Ring around the Rosie” and “London Bridges” or cheering on Wallace, my West Highland Terrier, as he protects our yard from bands of marauding squirrels.

When I wake up each morning, I pray, “Lord, help me not to mess up.” I have messed up before. I came to faith in my mid twenties, newly married with two baby girls. If not for his mercy, I would be another statistic, but he supernaturally showed me his grace. So for the last thirty years, I have served him.

Serving God has included teaching the Bible to women, overseeing two mega-church women’s ministries, writing four books and a Bible-study series, and now instructing seminary students in a world-class institution. These opportunities are God’s gifts and fertile learning ground. But I doubt you are impressed. People don’t care so much about credentials any more. Too many credentialed people have disappointed us. So I write out of flaws, failures, and occasional progress. I write out of the lessons learned in my day-to-day walk with Jesus, through highlights and heartaches, much like yours. I write from the everyday places--as I raised two-year olds and teen-agers, as I attempted to unify a discouraged ministry team, and today, as I attempt to create lessons for future ministers that will actually equip them for the challenges they will face.

God has truly opened “new doors” for me. And I’m grateful, but you know what gives me unbridled joy? Seeing God open new doors for you and seeing you step through them and shine. That’s our purpose, what keeps us writing, talking, and training others just like you. So stay in touch. Share your stories, tales of woe as well as wins. We want to grieve and rejoice with you. Give us feedback so we can learn from one another as we all prepare for new doors ahead. Who knows? Your insight just might show up in our next book!

Every blessing,

Follow along - Week 1

Thank you Kregel Publications and Sue Edwards for the opportunity to participate in this review and study process of this book!