Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

Read the Manual

Someone once told me the bible isn’t a museum piece to be displayed on a shelf. It isn’t just a textbook to be studied. It is alive.

It is the living word of God. It has the power to transform lives. It contains the wisdom we need to live our lives as they were intended to be lived. In short, it is our life’s manual.

Well if that’s the case, I did the first thirty-three years of my life never having read the manual. Which is typical for me. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t read instructions or recipes thoroughly and then gets totally frustrated when the tent collapses during the first basement “camp out” or the chocolate chip cookies are hard as a rock. (I always blame it on the oven or the pans.)

I never read the booklets that come with appliances. I’m sure my washer and dryer can do so many more things than I give them credit for but who cares, as long as they wash and dry. So ok, I ‘m not the wisest consumer and my appliances aren’t maintained as they were meant to be.

That’s not a good habit to have when it comes to life. Doing life on our own without the wisdom of God can lead to much worse than hard cookies and underachieving washing machines. It can lead to unnecessary hardship and suffering. It can leave us mired in anxiety, doubtful of our purpose, fumbling with decisions, and caught in resentment to name a few. God’s word addresses all these things and many, many more of the daily challenges we face in our worldly walk.

I experienced the “aliveness” of the bible for the first time in my early thirties. Up until then I was doing life on my own. I had what I thought was a faith life but now I see it lacked intimacy with God. I didn’t really know God.

Then I met Anxiety. It took up residence in my life and refused to leave.  I tried everything to deal with it on my own. One day it just became too much and as a last resort I prayed. Immediately, I felt a peace that I knew was not of me. It was a comfort and a call.

God wanted me to know the wisdom He had for me in his word. I opened the bulletin from our parish and saw that there was a bible study starting. I joined. I decided it was time to read the manual. My life hasn’t been the same since.

The word of God was opened up to me in a way that transformed my life.

The bible is boring you say? I am intimidated to join a bible study group. I’ve tried a study but it just didn’t keep my interest. Maybe you just haven’t found the right one. Don’t go another year without reading the manual. Join us in September as we open up the wisdom of the book of James.

This Beth Moore study facilitated by Pam Olsen promises to be anything but boring. For a sample click on the link.

I better end this blog now. I smell something burning. Was that 400 degrees for a half hour or 350 degrees for an hour…?

Joan

But if any of you lacks wisdom,
he should ask God who gives to all
generously and ungrudgingly,
and he will be given it.
James 1:5

 

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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