Week 1 - Bear Fruit
Divine Women Weekly's Fall Semester began today! Beth introduced our theme, "Tutta Frutta," and we discussed Gifts & Fruit. We kicked it off with our first Action Step: Thank God for the gifts He has placed in you and for the Holy Spirit that lives within you and produces His fruit in your life as you yield and cooperate with Him.
Week 2 - Love
For Week 2, we had the privilege of listening to Liz Perez share on the first and foundational fruit of the Spirit, Love. (1 Cor. 13:13) We had the opportunity to reflect on who, in our lives, has loved us unconditionally and challenged to ask ourselves what we need to do to love those in our lives who are hard to love. A line in a poem which Mother Theresa had hanging in her orphanage: "People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway."
Our Action Step for the week: Think of someone in your life who is hard to love and ask the Holy Spirit to help you begin the process of loving them.
Week 3 - Joy
This week, Maria VanderAhe share on JOY. The kind of JOY that is evident regardless of the circumstances.
"And be not grieved and depressed for the JOY of the LORD is your strength and stronghold" Nehemiah 8:10
Maria shared some of Mary Gingerich's journey with cancer and how that JOY is so evident in her. We had the opportunity to send "several trillion to flight, as we all prayed for Mary".
Our Action Step this week: Look for someone who is not experiencing JOY and let your JOY overflow and become strength for them.
Week 4 - Peace
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7
In Week 4, Heidi Fleming shared how asking God continually for peace, especially during the time of her mom's illness and passing, became a guard (shield) against any harm the enemy directed at her heart. The morning was filled with prayers for peace as woman shared, at their tables, situations where the Peace that Passes ALL understanding was so desperately needed.
Our action step: Take inventory of your time management. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about things you need to STOP doing, where you might need to SLOW DOWN, and where He’s cheering you on to GO after all that God has for you. Embrace His Peace!
Week 5 - Patience
Long Suffering was the topic of Liz Perez's talk for Week #5. She began by showing us how, if we are dry like hard baked clay, the water of the Holy Spirit can make us soft clay that is moldable by God. Liz taught on the life of Moses and used examples of how, when Moses lost patience, things went in the wrong direction. She shared four steps that will encourage us in long sufferering. 1) Take quiet time with God. 2) Practice humility - sometimes you need to apologize, even when its hard. 3) Depend on God. 4) Remember His faithfulness. He is faithful and is able!
"Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in the one ahead." James Russell Lowell
In case you miss it in the recording, this quote was also shared - "Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave." Martin Luther
Our Action Step: After taking some time to pray and with the help of the Holy Spirit, create a plan for how you will react to the next potentially anger-filled moment (i.e. leave the room when you feel anger rising up within you, but then come back once you have calmed down to resolve the matter). Your goal is to act patiently and lovingly rather than reacting hatefully.
Week 6 - Surprise!
Week 6 of Divine Weekly was PARTY TIME! We started off with a wonderful presentation about closet and home organizing by Sandra Simpson. Great tips and some ladies were blessed with door prizes to help them in organizing. Afterwards, we all headed out to the gym where we got to know each other a little better and played a rousing game of Fruit Basket. A great time of fun and fellowship.
Week 7 - Kindness & Goodness
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Kindness and goodness were the theme of Beth's talk for Week 7. Joyce Meyer said, "you don't have to feel good to do good." God is inviting us every day to put on love, in spite of how we feel and choose to do right – to bless someone.
Action Step: Make this a priority this week and plan to do good!
Week 8 - Faithfulness
Have you ever had a situation where you need to rely on the faithfulness of God to walk out an issue in your life? In Week #8, Shirley shared about God's faithfulness. Joyce Meyer says, "Faithfulness is not doing something right once. It's doing it over and over and over, again."
Action Step: Spend sometime this week asking God to show you an area in your life where you may not have shown yourself faithful, and then take the time to study what His Word has revealed about Him in that area. Be encouraged!
Week 9 - Self Control
Shirley lead us in a walk through the Bible to recognize times when Bible Leaders lost control and how that affected them, those around them and ultimately even us, today. It was a great refresher course on some well known stories and a good reminder that God gives us the strength to make good decisions. He will not leave us nor forsake us.
Action Step: Are you aware of an area in your life that you need to have come under control? Search the scripture to find a verse(s) that you can meditate on to help you gain the victory over it!
Week 10 - Wrap Up
Maria VanderAhe wrapped up Week #10 by sharing on How to Walk in the Fruit of the Spirit. We are all a work in progress and need to be "fertilized" by the Word of God and Fellowship with Him. We were challenged to have our "fruit" available for picking by those around us in need.
Thank you to Sonya Robillard and her team of workers for teaching the pre-schoolers about the Fruits of the Spirit and blessing us with a presentation of sheer cuteness.
Action Step for this week: Go and look for a need and then fill it. Offer your fruit to someone whose soul is dry and aching. Nourish someone who is hungry for the fruit of the spirit. Be more like Jesus!