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The black hole of living an invisible life

A few weeks back I wrote about starting a online bible study, called Pursuing God, with Margaret Feinberg. I was going to write last week about the first week of the study, but quite frankly language school was whooping my behind and I just didn’t get to it, so I apologize for that. At the end of week 1 we looked at the story about Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well and something stood out to me that i wanted to share with you all. I am sure most of you are well familiar with this story, but I will sum it up just in case.

  • Jesus goes to Samaria (big no-no for Jews)
  • Jesus talks to a woman who is getting water during the heat of the day (big no-no for men to talk to women without witnesses and for Jews to talk to Samaritans and oh by the way, getting water at that time was totally not normal)
  • Jesus asks for water and the woman asked Him why He would ask her for water (since He was a Jew) and then Jesus totally threw her a curveball and said “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.
  • The woman was confused and continued to talk about the water in the well and He said drink the water I offer and you won’t be thirsty again.
  • Then she asked for the water and Jesus said get your husband (ouch! That was rough seeing as she had had five husbands and wasn’t currently married to the guy she was shacking up with).
  • She changes the topic and then Jesus says He is the messiah, she believes and tells everyone in the village, many become believers.

I have heard this story many times before but something Margaret said in the video stood out to me. She said, “When you are invisible you can only get hurt on your terms, not theirs.”

This Samaritan women came to the well when no one else would normally be there. She wanted to remain invisible. After her first few divorces, people probably steered clear of her. She was no longer the talk of the town, because it was normal for her to get married and then divorced. No one cared…and she liked it that way.

I too, have liked invisibility at times. Times when I know I am not good at something, I shrink to the back. Times when I am embarrassed by my actions, I go and take some “me time.” Times when I can’t imagine that a girl would be interested in me, I create something wrong with her so I don’t have to be seen. Times when I’m afraid of failure, I act like I’m disinterested or don’t have an ideas.

I’m sure you have felt the same way at times, but what does this mean for our lives?

  • Could we miss out on some amazing opportunities ?
    • Absolutely!
  • Could we get so concerned with remaining invisible that it consumes our lives and we essentially do nothing?
    • It’s sad and scary to think so, but yes.

It is easy to get sucked into being invisible. It’s easy to never want to be seen, because as Margaret said, if we aren’t seen then we can’t be hurt by those that see us.

That doesn’t have to be the end of the story though. Once we stop caring about what others think or what may happen and step out in faith just like the Samaritan women did, then we can achieve many glorious things in His name. Look at what she did, she went into town and talked to a whole bunch of people who probably didn’t even look her in the eye on a normal day and she brought them to Jesus.

How can you be visible today?

Summer Bible study – Pursuing God – Join me!

I know this is going to sound like a giant plug where you will assume I am getting some sort of payment or something like that, but I promise you it’s not. Late last year I had the privileged of reading Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg and I have been receiving her blog updates ever since. Well, recently she offered a deal to join an online Bible study on the Gospel of John and the book of Genesis called “Pursuing God’s Love” and Pursuing God’s Beauty.” My mom taught me well so as soon as I saw there was a deal, my interest was piqued. Also, since I am an instructional designer and online education is kind of my thing, I was curious to see how this would all work. Since I am in Germany the deal wasn’t as good for me, but I was able to order the book and dvds from Amazon in Germany (it’s in English, my German is not that good yet).

Here is the real purpose of this post. I want you all to join me. You can join me in name only (as in you are doing it on your own and we never talk) or maybe we set up a private Facebook group (invite only) where we discuss the readings and video clips weekly. Whatever the demand is will determine what we do. Let me know in the comments of e-mail if you are interested.

I have provided a link to the post about the study on Margaret’s website and a link for where you can buy them in a bundle, but if you would prefer to get an idea of what’s involved here is a small blurb from her post.

Each week, you’ll be invited to read a handful of chapters from the Bible, watch a session from the accompanying Pursuing God DVD (14-20 min each), interact with five days of homework (approx. 25 per day), listen in each Thursday with an interview on Midday Connection. For my fellow blogging friends, each Thursday you can link up your posts as you share what God’s teaching you through His Word.

For everything you only have to pay $40, so that’s a pretty sweet deal!

Join Margaret, myself and many others throughout the world as we pursue God through his love and beauty (Tweet this).

Glo Bible: My thoughts and reflections

I opened up the Glo Bible the software for the first time and I was immediately amazed. It was pretty, it flowed well and it had a plethora of resources available to check out. I was excited to really start studying the Bible with my new study tool. The next day I started in my study of Ecclesiastes and I immediately became slightly disappointed. I wanted to do an in-depth study of the book of Ecclesiastes and unfortunately there wasn’t enough there for me to do that with the software alone. I still like the program, but I was hoping it was going to be a more inclusive software bundle than it is. Let me highlight a few of my favorite things and a few things I’m hoping get added either by paying slightly more or in a free update (obviously my preference). Glo Bible has a series of lenses that allow you to look at different aspects of the Bible. There are five lenses: Bible, Timeline, Atlas, Topical and Media.

Favorites:

1. Glo Bible has a very intuitive interface. It takes a little getting used to, but after you watch the tutorials it shouldn’t be too difficult even for technology newbies. No matter what you want to find it is just a couple of clicks away.

2. Very specific searching allows the user to find exactly what they are looking for. An example from the tutorial shows how to search for the words of Jesus found in John in the city of Jerusalem during the Passion Week. I know for me, I would have no idea how to find that unless I flipped through the whole book of John and that is a little annoying. With this software you can do just a few clicks and let the software do the “flipping” for you. In order to do this all you would need to do is click on the Topical lens. Then you zoom in a right click on Words of Jesus and “send” it to the Biblical lens. This shows you all of the words of Jesus throughout the whole Bible. You then zoom in to the book of John and drag a box around the book of John and “send” it to the Atlas lens and select Jerusalem and “send” it to the Chronological lens and select the Passion week. Trust me it is a lot easier to do than it sounds. The last tutorial video shows you how to do just that. This is a very powerful tool that will make finding specific verses much easier.

3. Custom reading plans allow you to pick exactly what you want to read and then either pick how many days you in which you want to read or how many minutes per day you want to read. Then when you read it counts down how many minutes you have left to read for that day. There are also some pre-set plans that give you a variety of options as well.

Not-my favorites:

1. The software does include the NIV study study so while you read the notes are at the bottom and you can sign in with your YouVersion account and see notes written by others as well. Those things are nice, but what I really want is some in-depth commentary. I would be willing to pay for an additional update with a full commentary that way this software was all I would need for in-depth study. I wouldn’t care if it was each book of the Bible that I had to purchase an add-on for or one add-on with the Matthew Henry Commentary or something like that. Additional resources like Bible Dictionaries or Word studies would be nice too.

2. On slightly older computers the software runs a little slow. I know they have the option of running the media off of the discs, but that is cumbersome if you are traveling.

Overall I really like the software. It allows me to have a Bible study tool unlike any other where I can search for very specific topics or find out where certain events happened or pieces of art that relate to stories or verses in the Bible. There are many tools in the software that I am still investigating and will probably be investigating for a long time. I would recommend this software to any one I know, but if they are looking for commentary I would tell them to buy one of those in addition to this. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this is something that they are looking to expand upon in the near future.