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Women’s Prayer Breakfast 4-21-18

RLC Women’s Prayer Breakfast – Saturday April 21, 2018

The Women’s Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the Women In God’s Service group, was held Saturday April 21, 2018.  The guest speaker and Bible study leader was Mrs. Carol Stano.  Her theme of the day was Forgiveness – using “Stone Stories” from Scripture.

 

Carol began the morning with informal introductions and “telling our stories,” while everyone enjoyed their delicious brunch.  Carol then moved to the Sanctuary where she led the group through a brief time of reflection, confession and words of the assurance of forgiveness.  This was done using Scripture Text: “You are living stones chosen by God and precious to Him…” 1 Peter 2:4.

 

The women shared what the words “living”, “chosen” and “precious” meant to them and also to understand that God views each of us with His unconditional love and grace. Preparing ourselves for the day’s events and for our Bible studies each participant was given a black stone, representative of our sins. A confession litany was said and each woman then came forward and placed their stones in the water representing our Baptism. Words of assurance were given.

Bible Studies focused on some “Stone Stories”:

  • The Stone Not Thrown – experiencing the forgiveness of God – learning from Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman (John 8:1-11). The women discussed the Bible study questions from the text and shared experiences about the hardest thing about forgiving, and what does it mean to forget the past?

 

  • The Stone of Persecution – having faith to overcome life’s adversaries, combining the teachings from the Stoning of Stephen and lessons from Daniel. (Acts 7:59-8:1 and Daniel 3:13-30) This focused on how our faith overcomes life’s adversities. Jesus did not say “If you” but “When you” have trials. Facing adversity is the most critical test of the Christian life. Our choices are stark: Bitter or Better? Events can make us either way.

 

  • The Ebenezer Stone – Recognizing God’s everyday help. Ebenezer means, “God has brought me thus far.” (1 Samuel 7)  The name Ebenezer means “By God’s help we’ve come thus far” and is the message of the stone. Our faith would be strengthened if we had more Ebenezer stones in our lives. We need to hear “By God’s help, I (we) got…” you fill in the rest. The world believes in “good luck” or what “I” did but not on “by Gods help”.  The study concluded by making a personal Ebenezer stone to be a reminder not only for the Bible study day but as a visual reminder of “By Gods help we have come this far”.  It is to be placed in a prominent spot in your home or life.

There was a time for sharing the stories of the rocks that were brought to the retreat. Laughter and learning was shared by the group about these special stones. Carol closed the morning by encouraging us with these words and challenge:

           “I have seen amazing blessings as a result of God’s power.  I have heard countless “God Stories” – coincidences that I know were NOT coincidental, real examples of God’s presence working in the details of the lives of His children.  Psalm 78:4 says, ‘…we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done.’   I encourage each of you to share your stories of God’s might in your lives.  We will raise Ebenezer’s and DECLARE the glorious deed of the Lord.  Write a few sentences telling of the tangible evidence of God’s faithfulness in your life.”

 

Carol shared that she enjoyed meeting each woman in attendance and will continue to pray over each woman’s name and silent confessions.  It was our pleasure to have her as our guest in our church for such a wonderful Bible study not just to dig deeper into God’s word but to learn more about each other.