After my last blog about the family Bible study, my daughter, who taught the class, wanted to write her basis for getting us all involved. She was a champion putting up with all of us! -Beth
By Rory Sewell
In January, even creeping into February, there are probably more gym memberships, juice fasts, and healthy meal delivery services sold than any other time of year. Why? New Year’s resolutions, of course. As a new year begins, we all resolve to be better. And we can usually stick with it for a while, but what happens to those resolutions by the time July rolls around?
You may recall from an earlier blog that our family did the “one-word” challenge this year rather than ordinary resolutions. Each of us chose a word that would be symbolic for us in 2019. I chose the word “intentional.” I figured I’d have some explaining to do about that word, but nobody questioned it.
Here’s the answer to the unasked question… my goal for the year was to be intentional about sharing my faith with the people closest to me. I’m a teacher in children’s church, and I’ve been the Children & Youth Director for the Greater Lake Travis Community Bible Study (CBS) class for the past 3 years. In those roles, I routinely teach Bible lessons and share my faith with other people’s children. But I started to worry that I wasn’t really bringing that home. I mean, my husband and I take our children to church every week, they volunteer with me in children’s church, and they know I’m a Bible teacher. But I don’t necessarily have intentional faith conversations with them. And I definitely don’t have those conversations with my parents and siblings. Our family is funny and sarcastic and hilariously inappropriate, and I guess I worried that injecting faith into the conversation would spoil all of that. Even so, I was sort of haunted by a question posed years ago by magician Penn Jillette, who asked, “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Yikes. So I chose the word “intentional” and decided to finally start telling everybody what I believe.
That was January 1. I had chosen a word, so surely that was enough, right? Apparently not. A couple of weeks later, my friend told me about an exciting new ministry tool from CBS called God’s Amazing Book (GAB). It’s a 7-week introductory Bible study designed for people with any level of Bible knowledge from absolute newbie to seasoned scholar. I immediately thought I should start that with my family. Just as quickly, I dismissed the thought because we live in separate states and countries. In March somebody mentioned having virtual GAB meetings using Skype. Again, I thought I should try it with my family, then I dismissed the thought because it seemed hard. In April I visited a friend’s church in Dallas, and the pastor posed the question, “Why don’t we boldly pray for opportunities to share the Gospel more often?” And a couple of weeks later at a meeting, my friend told everyone that I was going to test out a virtual GAB group with my family because I had mentioned that I was considering it. So it seemed the time had come for me to put my word for 2019 into action.
With that, the Ferester Family Virtual GAB Group was born. Bible apps were downloaded, Google Hangouts was figured out, many questions were asked and answered (and some left unanswered), and words not common in Bible study were spoken (true to our hilarious inappropriateness). Across continents and time zones, in the early morning hours during vacation and late nights after chocolate demonstrations, however, we could make it happen, we did it for 7 weeks. And, while stressful at times, it was a lot of fun and allowed us to see each other’s faces once a week, which we don’t often get to do. Best of all? Maybe I can check the word off my list for the year and think of an easier one for next year. ☺
I hope you’re sticking to your resolution for 2019, but there’s still plenty of time if you’ve gotten off track. And if you resolved to buy or sell a home this year, be sure to contact Beth Ferester & Company to help you stick to it!