Community Day: Meet R.J. Faulkner from Canberra, Australia

I’d like to welcome R.J. Faulkner to our blog today. R.J.’s group is from Canberra, Australia and has 13 group members.

Narelle: Please share with us something unique about your group.

R.J.: This is a difficult question to answer, as it’s the only such group I’ve been involved in, but if I had to think of something unique it could be that at one point, when the group consisted of just six members, half of the group were from the same family. I quite liked that!

Narelle: Where does your group meet?

R.J.: Usually in the family home of a member, but we try and keep things interesting by changing locations every year.

Narelle: What is your group currently studying?

R.J.: Our Bible studies are usually a “follow-up” look at the sermon that was preached the previous Sunday. They can focus on a particular book of the Bible, or perhaps a Bible character and their life lessons and how we can apply them to our own lives.

Narelle: What do you like about your group?

Dave: A large range of ages in the group.

Hannah M: That we’re really supportive and encouraging of each other. I like that we pray for each other, and that we’re able to tell each other what’s going on in our lives.

Narelle: Does your group have a favourite food or activity?

Gee: Cheezels.

R.J.: I love the socializing and meal-sharing in general, and I’m always keen for the loungeroom karaoke that we sometimes partake in before a holiday break.

Narelle: Why do you think it is important to belong to a Bible Study group?

Dee: The different atmosphere outside church.

Emma: Having mid-week time with other Christians, as well as Sunday.

Hannah D: It’s about caring for each other.

Thank you R.J. for visiting with us today and giving us an insight into your group.

R.J. FAULKNER was born in Canberra, Australia. Health reasons saw him resign from the retail and hospitality enterprises in 2004. It was around this time that he began studying self development, leading him to the conclusion that the best self-help material was often biblically inspired. He then began studying the Bible more seriously and gleaned much wisdom and strategy from it, as he continued to face significant health challenges. He now wishes to share his life experience with others in his ebook 31 Ways You Can Fight and Beat Back Pain. This is the first title in his “31 Ways” series of books, aimed at those who wish to enjoy an improved quality of life, particularly in the area of health. Now combining his retail experience and passion for music, Rodwell is also the owner of RJ Music and Collectables, selling new and pre-loved CDs, books, toys, and music memorabilia.

For more information about the ebook 31 Ways You Can Fight and Beat Back Pain visit http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=1341650

We hope you’ve been encouraged by hearing about R.J.’s group. If you’d like your group to be featured in a Community Day post, please contact us at: community [at] 30minutebiblestudies [dot] com

Community Day: DVD recommendation – The Reason for God DVD Pack by Timothy Keller

Narelle: My Bible study group recently decided to do something different and use The Reason for God DVD study series. There were six sessions that looked at issues people find difficult to deal with when exploring Christianity.

It was fascinating to hear the views held by the panelists and to learn why they struggled with various issues. At times we were a little frustrated because the conversations were edited to fit into the DVD time schedule, although we appreciated the fact that the DVD sessions were relatively short and concise. We would have liked to have heard more details from a few of the panelists on certain discussion points.

Timothy Keller did a great job in moderating the panel and drawing out the essence of each discussion topic. After we watched each session, we worked through the discussion points in the study guide and learned a lot through our conversations. I recommend this DVD study series to groups looking to learn how to answer many of the tough questions asked by people interested in exploring the Christian faith.

Back cover blurb:

In the New York Times bestselling book The Reason for God, Timothy Keller established himself as a modern-day C. S. Lewis who brings together faith and intellect, theology and popular culture, modern-day objections and historic Christian beliefs. Now fans of the book will find resources to help them engage with those same objections, drawing on recent scholarship and debates.

The Reason for God curriculum can be used individually, in groups, or by any believer who is engaging with friends who don’t share his or her beliefs. Christians will be challenged to wrestle with their friends and neighbors’ hardest questions, and to engage those questions in ways that will spark an honest, enriching, and humbling dialogue.

The Reason for God DVD captures a live and unscripted conversation between Timothy Keller and six panelists discussing their objections to Christianity. The discussion guide will help small groups and individuals dig deeper into these objections and learn about both sides of the issues.

Curriculum Details: Session Titles and Descriptions: 1. Isn’t the Bible a Myth? 2. How Can You Say There Is Only One Way to God? 3. What Gives You the Right to Tell Me How to Live My Life? 4. Why Does God Allow Suffering? 5. Why Is the Church Responsible for So Much Injustice? 6. How Can God Be Full of Love and Wrath at the Same Time?

Awards: 2011 Christian Retailers Choice award for Curriculum (Nontraditional) 2011 Outreach Magazine Resources of the Year for Small Group (Curricula)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Reason for God Pack, Includes One DVD and One Discussion Guide from Amazon.com

Community Day: How can you get involved?

Narelle here. Friday is our Community Day on the blog and each Friday we’d like to focus our posts on small groups. Our goal is to feature groups from all around the world. Each group is different and we’d like to know what it is that you love about your group. What makes your group unique and why do you think it’s important to meet together to study the Bible?

We’d love to hear from you and learn more about your group. Please contact us at: community [at] 30minutebiblestudies [dot] com if you’d like more information on how your group could be featured in one of our Community Day posts.

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The deadline to enter our June Bible Quiz and eBook giveaway is midnight on JUNE 25 AEST.

The June 20 Bible Quiz and eBook giveaway post can be found here: Bible Quiz and eBook giveaway

Community Day: Meet Ray Hawkins from Australia

I’d like to welcome Ray Hawkins to our blog today. Ray’s group is from Tasmania and has 12 regular group members.

Narelle: Please share with us something unique about your group.

Ray: We comprise folk from various Australian states, Wales, England and South Africa.

Narelle: Where does your group meet?

Ray:  We meet primarily in homes on a rotating basis.

Narelle: What is your group currently studying?

Ray: We have just finished a series on the life of King David. This was done in conjunction with the Sunday sermon. We begin a 4 month Discipleship program next. Part of our purpose is to offer opportunities to each person to lead a study time. Not all will accept but the offer is there.

Narelle: What do you like about your group?

Group members: What we enjoy about our group is the acceptance of views and a willingness to share stories. There is also the opportunity for interested folk to lead.

Narelle: Does your group have a favourite food or activity?

Group members:  We don’t have a meal as such. After studies we have the proverbial ‘cuppa’ and cake.

Narelle: Why do you think it is important to belong to a Bible Study group?

Group members: The importance of belonging to the group is mutual support, discovering new insights for living the Christian life in a meaningful way. Although not as such an accountability group, we do look out for each other and assist in the tough times which come.

Thank you Ray for visiting with us today and giving us an insight into your group.

Ray: Who am I?

I began my life’s journey in 1938 so you can see I’ve outgrown my youthful zest. Raised in Rockdale, a Sydney suburb of NSW I grew up in a typical (if such exists) working class home. My father was a returned soldier. Enjoyed sport and Sunday School but not State schools. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother all younger than I.

I made a decision for Christ around 12 years of age but didn’t really become serious until around 18 years. I began work at 15 as a labourer. The 1959 Billy Graham Crusade in Sydney impacted me greatly. That and a new minister at Church caused me to think about the Christian Ministry. Entered Bible College in 1960 aged 21 and enjoyed 4 years of studies, inter-action and being chiselled and shaped by God in heart and mind. I met my future wife, Mary in my final year. She was doing a two year course. We married in 1964 and have three children.

Now retired after 40 years of ministry I stand in awe of God’s faithfulness and guidance. Mary and I were church planters and often self supporting. Three short term mission trips to Africa in our more senior years also was a wonderful and humbling experience. It triggered also my writing career as a poet and devotional author.

http://www.evenbeforepublishing.com/rayhawkins.html

http://www.mary-hawkins.com

http://www.christianwritersdownunder.blogspot.com

http://www.internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.com

http://www.creationresearch.net

http://www.omegawriters.com

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We hope you’ve been encouraged by hearing about Ray’s group. If you’d like your group to be featured in a Community Day post, please contact us at: community [at] 30minutebiblestudies [dot] com

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We’re giving away a copy of Ray’s Devotion Children: God’s Special Interest to a reader with an Aussie mailing address who comments on our June 14 post by midnight on Tuesday, June 19 AEST. Please check out our June 14 Book Recommendation and giveaway post for more information.

Community Day: Meet Lisa Harris from Mozambique

Narelle here. I’d like to welcome Lisa Harris to our blog today. Lisa’s group is from Inhambane, Mozambique and has 6-8 group members.

Narelle: Please share with us something unique about your group.

Lisa: Our group is a mixture of cultures and languages. Between us, we speak at least four languages including Portuguese, English, Africaans, and several local languages. While communication can be a challenge at times, it’s been fun to be a part of such diversity.

Narelle: Where does your group meet?

Lisa: We meet on Saturdays outside in the yard of one of our member’s homes under a tree where it is cooler.

Narelle: What is your group currently studying?

Lisa: We are studying a series of lessons on women of the Bible in order to show our women that no matter who they are they can be used by God.

Narelle: What do you like about your group?

Group members: We love the opportunity to learn from God’s word, to pray for each other, and to get to know each other better.

Narelle: Does your group have a favourite food or activity?

Group members: We get suckers (candy/lollies) for learning memory verses.

Narelle: Why do you think it is important to belong to a Bible Study group?

Lisa: Today we studied Eunice, Timothy’s mother, and learned the importance of raising our children to follow God. Several shared how they went to church with their families growing up, but they still knew nothing about the Bible and what God wanted for them. They talked about the importance of learning God’s word so we can share with others and be a light in our community. There is a joy and excitement in them as they study God’s word.

Thank you Lisa for visiting with us today and giving us an insight into your group.

LISA HARRIS is an award-winning author who has over twenty novels and novella collections in print. She and her husband, Scott, along with their three children, live near the Indian Ocean in Mozambique as missionaries. As a homeschooling mom, life can get hectic, but she sees her writing as an extension of her ministry which also includes running a non-profit organization. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)

When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, and heading into the African bush on safari.  For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com or her blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com. For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit www.theECHOproject.org.

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We hope you’ve been encouraged by hearing about Lisa’s group. If you’d like your group to be featured in a Community Day post, please contact us at: community [at] 30minutebiblestudies [dot] com

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The deadline to enter our Bible Quiz and eBook giveaway is midnight on JUNE 5 AEST.

The May 28 Bible Quiz and eBook giveaway post can be found here: https://30minutebiblestudies.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/may-bible-quiz-and-ebook-giveaway/

Community Day: Meet Heidi Silberman from Australia

I’d like to welcome Heidi Silberman to our blog today. Heidi’s group is from Canberra, Australia and has 40+ group members.

Narelle: Where does your group meet?

Heidi: Every Thursday during term time a group of about 40 women take over our church building. We chat over a cup of tea or coffee and a sumptuous spread of morning tea before dispersing to various hidey-holes in smaller groups to study God’s Word. It’s great to have this time of fellowship first and to feel like we are part of something bigger than the study groups of 6-8.

Narelle: What is your group currently studying?

Heidi: This term we have been able to choose which group to be part of. One is doing a “Back to Basics” of Christianity, another focusing on the roles of wife and mother and two groups (due to popular demand!) are studying the book of Romans.

I’m in one of the Romans groups and I love that we can dig our teeth into what God has to say to us through Paul’s words. I appreciate being listened to and being free to open up – I admit I cry on a regular basis at Bible study! I also love being one of the younger women in the group as I learn so much from these amazing role models who have been on their journey much longer than me.

Narelle: What do you like about your group and why do you think it’s important to belong to a Bible study group?

Heidi: I asked some of my group members to share their thoughts on the group.

Diana appreciates the gales of laughter that so often emanate from our corner of the building. She likes the freedom to share, to reveal weaknesses and fears and the affirmation she receives from hearing what others have to say.

Liz likes our group because “everyone is wiser than me”. She believes it is important to belong to a Bible study group in order to keep focusing on God regularly and so she can support her Christian sisters both practically and in prayer.

Cheryl likes the friendship that develops trust, bringing a freedom to share of ourselves.

Shelley thinks it is important to be part of a group as God uses others in the group to confirm what He has been saying in other parts of our lives.

Our group leader Robyn likes the insight that group members bring to our group. “People are not just saying the stock answer, but bring up things I hadn’t thought of.” She thinks it’s important to be part of a Bible study group because you can dig deeper than when studying on your own.

Rebecca says “I love the fellowship with other sisters in Christ, the closeness we can share, the encouragement we can provide to each other, and the learning of God’s Word together. I love sharing the common goal with other women of seeking to become more like Christ and seeking His truth and answers in the Word.” Close knit fellowship and accountability isn’t possible on Sunday morning so a Bible study can fill that gap.

Thank you Heidi for visiting with us today and giving us an insight into your group.

HEIDI SILBERMAN lives in Canberra, Australia with her husband and four gorgeous kids. She teaches and performs improvised theatre and loves writing. She has written for community websites and anthologies and her first 10 minute play will be performed in August.

Her parenting blog, Postcards From Planet Chaos, is at:

http://cupofteatime.wordpress.com/

and her Christian devotional blog, Everyday Pearls, is at:

http://pearlseveryday.wordpress.com/

Community Day: Meet Missy Tippens from USA

Narelle here. I’d like to welcome Missy Tippens to our blog today. Missy’s group is from Winder, Georgia and has 20-30 group members (varies each session).

Narelle: Please share with us something unique about your group.

Missy: I think one of the most unique things about our group is that we come from various churches in the community. It’s so fun to study with women from other denominations and backgrounds. We also have a wide range of ages—from the late 30’s to around age 80!

Narelle: Where does your group meet?

Missy: We meet at my church in a large Sunday school room. We used to set up the tables in a large “U” around the room but have had to go to more of a theater-seating format with rows of tables to be able to see the videos.

Narelle: What is your group currently studying?

Missy: So far, our group has always done Beth Moore studies. We meet weekly for two hours with time for prayer requests, discussing the lesson and watching Beth speak by video. Right now, we’re studying the book of James in James: Mercy Triumphs.

Narelle: And we have a few questions for the members of Missy’s group. Firstly, what do you like about your group?

Laura Reynolds: I like our group because we are all open and honest.  We bring our thoughts and concerns to the table when questions are asked.  We are comfortable with each other.

Nancy R.: What I love about our group is the wonderful ladies we have and the fellowship we share.  The other thing I love is our leader, Dotty, who brings so much love and humor to the group.

Narelle: Does your group have a favourite food or activity?

Laura Reynolds: We go out to lunch each week after the study.  We try to choose a different place each week.  If you can come…great…if not we hope you can come next week.  We also have a covered dish luncheon after the completion of each study and have a great time.

Narelle: Why do you think it is important to belong to a Bible Study group?

Laura Reynolds: It is an excellent way to make new friends and grow relationships with other ladies that you would not perhaps be able to any other way.  There is something very special about studying God’s word with others and to share and listen how others respond to questions.  It is amazing how when someone responds, another would not have thought about it that way.  Bible study is a very important part of my life and it makes the scriptures come alive and makes them more understandable.  And as for the friendships/relationships, well all I can say is they are “priceless”.  I highly recommend a Bible study to everyone. Try it and I know you will love it.

Nancy R.: It’s important to belong to a Bible study group so that I can stay in the Word on a daily basis, stay close to God, and to be held accountable by the group for my study.

Thank you Missy for visiting with us today and giving us an insight into your group.

Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mother of three, made her first book sale to Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been finalists for the Booksellers Best, ACFW Carol Award (Formerly Book of the Year Award) and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her most recent from Love Inspired, A House Full of Hope, was released in February. Georgia Sweethearts is coming in spring 2013.

Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com.

Find her on social media:
https://www.facebook.com/missy.tippens.readers
https://twitter.com/#!/MissyTippens

We hope you’ve been encouraged by hearing about Missy’s group. If you’d like your group to be featured in a Community Day post, please contact us at: community [at] 30minutebiblestudies [dot] com