What Is BSF? Read more about this bible study here: http://fieldsofhether.blogspot.com/2012/09/what-is-bsf-bible-study-fellowship.html
"Conversational" is the buzz word for BSF this year. Instead of straight question and answer format, our groups are set up to be more "conversational". Which has changed the questions for our homework each week too.
I know in the past two years I struggled with some of the questions, I couldn't quite figure out what the answer was that they were looking for. This year, I really miss the old questions. But it's only week two, so hopefully this will get better? One of my favorite thing about BSF was how structured it was. This year it feels like we are delving into all sorts of weird theories and wild speculations. We're on week two and we are still on the first chapter of Genesis.
One of the controversial discussions we are pursuing is on whether or not a "day" in Genesis one is an actual, literal, day. The notes this week present alternate theories. (I actually wrote "Yes, I think it was - but really, I don't care, it doesn't change anything" as my answer last week.)
One of the women in my group had an awesome answer. "Although we do not understand God's concept of time, God understands our concept of time." I love that. She's so right! If God says day, I believe he means "day", unless he specifies otherwise. Mostly, I don't find it to be important.
This weeks notes also give us a full page on Theories of Creation. Darwinian Evolution. Intelligent Design. Theistic Evolution. Deistic Evolution. The Gap Theory. Progressive Creationism. Literal Six Day Viewpoint. I know it is important that we be "informed", but I just do not enjoy this.
Enough whining. There is still a LOT of good in this study. In the notes this week is this application:
"In what ways is your past or present life "formless"? Where do you need God to give you new purpose, new perspective, and new hope?
Could "empty" describe your past or present life? What thoughts and activities fill your day? (Be specific) What value do they have in knowing God, worshiping Him as your Creator, and helping others?
This is what I love about BSF - it challenges me. Occasionally I fall into the all or nothing fits of guilt - I'm not a missionary, I'm not helping in orphanages in 3rd world countries, I'm not winning souls for Christ.. Nothing I am doing is "really" important in the context of the word of God.
Then I get a reality check, and realize I am failing on a much smaller level, the "real" level. I'd often rather have a pity party for myself over what i view as impossible than to actually deal with where I can day to day do better.. it's just so much easier, don't you think?
How is my present life formless?
- what are my goals, beyond keeping this house clean?
- What is our plan for this farm, and how are we working towards it?
- How many good intentions did I have on Sunday, that are still unrealized on Thursday?
What thoughts & Activities Fill My Day?
- How much time do I spend watching tv, reading books, catching up on facebook?
- How much time do I spend instructing our children? (rather than correcting)
- How much time do I spend reaching out to others?
- Am I spending more time thinking about how irritating it is that my children and husband cannot close a simple closet door, EVER, or get their laundry to the laundry room, than I am being thankful that I have a husband and children?
What Value Do They Have In Knowing God, Worshiping Him As My Creator, And Helping Others?
This is where my brain wants to shut down. This application seems so hard. Are these items really my goals? I say they are, but does my life, my daily actions, reflect my words? And perhaps the biggest question, the only real empty nest struggle I expect to have.. if my daily instruction of our children, raising them to know and love God, is my contribution - then what is next? Where do I need to be expanding, once the focus is no longer on the 4 teenagers who are growing up and moving on? (No need to dwell TOO hard here, I have a few years before the youngest moves out... )
We've fallen into the habit of watching too much tv. Everything is pretaped, we only watch shows we want to watch, and never commercials.. but we've been watching too much. It's not the best use of our time.
I've fallen into the habit of yelling and complaining, rather than instructing and maintaining. Our children need help and instruction to study the word of God on their own, and they need structured guidance help them use their time more wisely and keep track of their own to do lists. If I used my time more wisely, not only would it be a better example to them, I would spend more time helping them learn time management.
Walk Every Day. Be thankful for the creation around me.
Pray through my prayer list every day. Structured, not just haphazard prayers.
Make time in my every day schedule to reach out to others.
Add some verses around the house to remind me to be more thankful.
Check in on our children's devotions - what are they learning?
Start a couples devotional with my husband? (need to ask him)