Happy New Year!!!
Week 1: Jan. 1-4
Are you ready to set sail?
It’s time to get on board and venture out to the open seas! With the start of this new year, we are beginning an adventure into open spaces with higher thoughts and deeper truths.
As you step on deck, here is your first “order”: “Get your cabin in order!” You heard me, Sailor, “Go clean your room” with the goal of setting up a place for you to have your devotions and work on your challenges.
You could actually chose any room of your home, but intentionally choose a place to have your seeking-time. Make it tidy and inviting. This can be as simple as clearing off a desk or moving a chair, or deciding that you will sit on your neatly made bed and cleaning out your nightstand drawer.
Think of your house as the “ship” and your room as your “officer’s quarters” and your quiet-time place as your “post” or “battle station“. So, get your place “ship shape and ready for inspection!”
You will be fighting battles over the next couple months, and your “big guns” are prayer, thanksgiving, worship, scripture… So, this week get yourself ready for war. Become familiar with your weapons, get them cleaned up, and test them to be sure they are in battle-ready working-order! Remember, you become a more competent sailor with practice; so start this year right with a quiet time each day!!!
This link plays in just under 5 minutes: “Treasure Island” – S.C.Chapman
You can play Steven Curtis Chapman’s song in the background as a motivational “timer”. Play it and see what you can tidy up in 5 minutes, and then try it again, and again, and again if you need to! Maybe by the time you’ve set things in order, you’ll have the lyrics memorized! (If tidying up turns into a bigger project, check out next week’s song by Nicole Nordeman and use it as a four minute timer for a little variety!)
Once your space is ready, start using your beach bag, with Bible, pens, and journal this week!!! You could also end your day by snuggling up in your cozy corner and reflecting on a few of those journal prompts. If you start now, you’ll still have plenty of time to finish them.
Week 2: Jan. 5-11
Click on these links to listen to Nicole Nordeman’s new song “Be My Rescue” and to read the first part of this article about Nicole’s song on the Billy Graham Association website. (The coastal description of Nicole’s retreat reminded me a lot of ours! I am praying you will be equally inspired when you come away to meet with the LORD.)
Week 3: Jan. 12-18
Are you ready for a little more musical inspiration?
Read Psalm 107 several times this week. Look for the repeated phrase; try memorizing it. In your journal, you might want to copy the verses that fit with our theme or the lines that resonate with you.
Then, read the lyrics to the Navy Hymn. This link has the original lyrics as well as some other verses written later, I think you’ll enjoy them all! “Eternal Father Strong to Save”. Does it remind you of Psalm 107? Feel free to copy or print a couple lines or verses of the song to add to your journal.
If you are not already familiar with the tune, run a search of the title. There are a variety of posts on youtube with video and pictures of naval ships and ocean scenes that you might enjoy.
Week 4: Jan. 19-25
As we end this month we’re starting into a basic overview of the life of Paul. I have been eagerly looking forward to this assignment since I first chose our retreat’s theme. To use ship terms, this multi-week challenge will be the “stem and keel” of our retreat. I know I’ve said this before, but believe me, you will be so glad you took on these challenges when we get together in April! You are in for such a treat!!!! So persevere, Beautiful Ladies! (Even if you are currently part of another Bible study, don’t worry; this will not be a lot of work.)
Do you remember making a “treasure map” of your life? (If you haven’t done that yet, I hope you’ll do it this week!) Over the next months we’ll be checking out the “treasure” events of Paul’s life, and a having a map will be a huge help! So, you might want to print a map of Paul’s missionary journeys from the internet or photocopy one from the back of your Bible.
We’ll be looking at Paul’s life in a timeline: B.S.W. (“before shipwreck”) and A.S.W. (“after shipwreck”). Your part will be to read the B.S.W. part of the story recorded in the book of Acts. We’ll only take on a small section each week. If you don’t find the time to read this before we go; we will do a quick overview when we arrive. But I can’t say this enough, “you’ll so appreciate having studied this on your own if you choose to make this a priority!”
As you read, pay attention to the WHERE and WHEN details. You can make notes in your journal, but then try to make a rough timeline of his life as you go.
You might want to set aside a small section in your journal or use a paper clip to reserve couple extra pages so you can keep these notes together over the weeks.
This week start your timeline and make record of the events of Paul’s life in the following verses:
- Acts 7:58-8:3
- Acts 9:1-31
Week 5: Jan. 26-31
Keep working on your notes/timeline of Paul’s life…
- Acts 11:19-30