Friday, January 27, 2012

Sisterhood - A New Semester!

I am SO excited today.
SISTERHOOD MORNINGS began again!!

Ok, so if you are new to my blog, you may be wondering what on earth I am talking about!
"Sisterhood" is essentially the women's ministry in my church.  They have meetings throughout the year broken out into "semesters".  I attended my first semester which ended just before Christmas.  The new semester for Sisterhood began yesterday!  There are well over 100 women and we are broken out into tables of 4 or more women.  Each table has a leader.  Last semester, we studied Priscilla Shirer's SEED.  Click here for a post I wrote during last semester.  You could also search "Priscilla Shirer" or "Sisterhood" on this blog to find any posts related to this.  Each week, we would have a teaching and we would discuss a particular chapter of the book we had read and go through a process of gaining insight from various scriptures.  We met over several weeks.  It truly was a life-changing experience for me.

So, now that you are caught up on what Sisterhood is, let me tell you about this semester!  Instead of doing an existing Bible study, we have a core group of women leaders who developed a curriculum for the semester.  After prayer and discernment, they have landed on the word "ARISE" for the semester.  The curriculum is based on Isaiah 60:1.


The specific text for this verse that we are using comes from the Amplified Bible.

Isaiah 60:1
Amplified Bible (AMP)

1ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you--rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!


When you pull apart this verse, it really is quite powerful!

In the teaching this morning, the definition of "arise" was broken down for us:
{source: dictionary.com}

a·rise

[uh-rahyz] 
verb (used without object), a·rose, a·ris·en [uh-riz-uhn], a·ris·ing.
1.
to get up from sitting, lying, or kneeling; rise: He arose fromhis chair when she entered the room.
2.
to awaken; wake up: He arose at sunrise to get an early start tothe beach.
3.
to move upward; mount; ascend: A thin curl of smoke aroselazily from the cabin.
4.
to come into being, action, or notice; originate; appear;spring up: New problems arise daily.


The topic for today was "Arise In Truth".
Wow!
This was such a powerful subject matter.  It really hit me hard!
As daughters of the King, we are being called to ARISE and to SHINE because the glory of God has risen up in us!  But arise means several things.  In the teaching, we were to examine the definitions and to discern how we specifically were being called to ARISE.

Let me back up just a little.

As I said, I am thrilled to be a part of this semester of Sisterhood.  I truly missed it when we broke before the holidays.  I was so ready to jump back in!  However, this time I was jumping in with both feet into the role of a "leader".  I have never been a leader...of anything.  I don't think "mom in charge of soccer snacks" is a title, so that doesn't count.  It truly is an awesome responsibility to be placed in a leadership role, no matter how small.  This semester, I am leading a table of women.  Ok, when I went there I thought I would be co-leading with another first-time leader.  Well, the response from the Chosen conference last week was amazing, so they need all hands on deck.  There are no co-leaders.  My friend and I were both put into table leader roles on our own!  Do give you an idea of the size of Sisterhood mornings, I was table #17 - and that was not the highest number.

Ok...back to the word "ARISE".
When I examined the definitions, I really felt like I could place myself in all of those categories.

We are beginning a new semester of Sisterhood after a period of "rest" {if you can call the holidays restful!}.  This is a time of waking up from that rest and moving back into the swing of things, getting into a rhythm again.  To get up and do something.  Arise.

We are being called into a time of spiritual growth and a time where we can really hear from the Lord in our lives.  This in itself will cause us to awaken.  Arise.

I, personally, am stretching myself and am in a period where my growth is going to be challenged {in a great way!}.  I am a table leader.  I am not elevating my status in any way by saying that.  I know that it's all Him. It is not about me at all.  But I am being called to move upward.  To lead a small group of women.  Arise.

As with the above, I am stretching myself.  I am going to grow in my faith and grow closer to the Lord.  I am in a position where I will really see what I am made of.  I want God to use me for His glory through this process and allow Him to speak through me.  I want to set myself aside so I can let Him through so that I can help to disciple the women who He has placed at my table.  This period of growth is a time for me to come into my own.  Arise.

I am all at once humbled, blessed, and slightly terrified.
But I know that HE is in control.
Not me!

I am so excited to grow closer to God through all of this.
I am excited about the opportunity we have as a group to bring Him glory.
I am excited that He has called me to be where I am right now so I can allow Him to rise up in me!

I am thrilled to have a group of women at my table who all seem to be similarly-minded - at least based on the table discussions we had today.  I am blessed to have them in my life and I look forward to sharing with them and hearing what they have to share with me so that we can all learn from each other and grow together in Christ!
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