Heart Choices: November 2010

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New Bible Study Fellowship For 18-40 Year Olds in the Phoenix Area

Anyone who reads Heart Choices knows that I love Bible Study Fellowship.  I've learned so much through my years of studying the Bible verse by verse.  Miss A. Weatherell Johnson's organized study notes and questions have helped me grow in my love for the Lord and His Word.

BSF is reaching out to young people.

I'm so pleased about this! So, if you live in the Phoenix area or have friends or relatives here, please send them a link to this post.  I hope to get the word out about this new class.  It is specifically for the 18 through 40 year old age range.

Wes and Vicki Turner will leading this young adult class beginning in January of 2011.  I recently had the opportunity to ask Vicki a few questions about the new BSF study.

Are there other Young Adult Classes in the US or is Phoenix the first one?

There are 11 Young Adult BSF classes in the US.  There are 9 Young Adult Classes in international countries.  BSF is opening "new" Young Adult Classes around the world.  The places are Madagascar, Ghana, Nairobi (Westlands), Nairobi (Eastlands), Zimbabwe, Toronto, Taipei and PHOENIX, AZ!  This is the first Young Adult Class ever to be AZ!

I understand the first pilot study is Philippians.  Will the verse by verse study of Scripture and then the question and answer format be the same as the BSF we know (and love)?

Yes, the same format!  The Young Adult class is the only BSF class that is co-ed and taught by a teaching leader couple. 

Is there a lineup of the next studies after Philippians?

Ruth for 5 weeks and Colossians for 5 weeks

Do you have a place, date and time to begin?

We are planning to begin in January 2011.  We are in the process of securing a centrally located church because we have around 100 Young Adults signed up from all over the valley.  We are planning on a Monday or Tuesday night (depending on host church's schedule).  We are planning on 730-9:20pm for our meeting time. 

How long will the classes last?

Each study last 5 weeks. 

Will childcare be provided?

There is no children's program however the Men's and Women's BSF classes offer excellent Children's Programs (Day Women's Classes over Infant thru 5 year old programs and the Evening Men's and Women's have school age programs for grades 1-12)

Who will be giving the lecture; you or Wes (or maybe you switch?)?

Wes and I switch giving the lecture each week.

Are you still looking for volunteers to host a seeker group for you and Wes to share about the studies?


Why is BSF starting a class for young adults?

BSF is really focusing on the Younger than 40 demographics and are looking to grow their Young Adult Classes around the world! 

Anyone who would like more information on the Phoenix AZ Young Adult Class can contact Wes & Vicki Turner at azturners@gmail.com or 602-361-1135.  For information on the Young Adult Classes in the US and around the world can go to BSF website at www.bsfinternational.org.

Blessings and love,


Go Light Your World

Photo Credit: Victoria Magazine
Go light your world!

As I've ventured back into full time work, I need to remind myself that I have a light within me.  I may not be able to openly share Jesus with words.  But I can live out this light in love.  As I come into contact with others throughout my week, may they feel the love of Jesus.

Have a wonderful week and ...go light your world.

For more songs, visit Amy of Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

Blessings and love,


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm so thankful for each person that takes the time to read Heart Choices.  It's such a blessing to write and get feedback.  I love to visit your blogs too.  I've not been able to visit as often lately as I'm now working full time.  But I try to catch up on days off.

I'm so thankful for God's love and provision.  He has been so faithful to supply my needs.  Many times, He has used others to bless me and for that I'm so very grateful.  As I've gone through a season of trials, I'm thankful for His presence in my life.  How do people go through struggles without Him? 

Today I had the privilege of being part of a Thanksgiving feast at the school where I'm working.  There were lots of little children and many parents.  The children dressed up in Pilgrim outfits or Native American head dresses with feathers and vests.  They were too cute as they sang the songs we've been practicing.  As their feast was served, they practiced their good manners. :)

I'm looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with Greg's family here in Arizona.  I miss my family but they will gather together in Florida at my sister's house. 

I'm getting off easy this year as my job is to bring the stuffing.  I  found this great recipe on Picky Palate.  I love when they give you step by step instructions with photos.  At least I know what it's supposed to look like.  I'll let you know how it comes out but it looks delicious.

I'm so thankful for my friends who gifted me with a turkey.  Many thanks to my Group of 12; you're the best.  I will be preparing it for Greg and me so we can have lots of leftovers at home. 

For more thankful posts, visit Laurie of Women Taking a Stand.
Blessings and love,


In Other Words Tuesday ~ Amazing Love

It's In Other Words Tuesday and Patricia of Typing One-Handed is our host for this week.

Here's the quote that Patricia chose for us to wrote on today:

When I spend some time really thinking about how much God loves me ...I become overwhelmed.

Who am I that He should love me so?

So many people grow up never feeling loved.  I've recently begun working in a private school teaching little children.  As I gaze at their beautiful faces, I wonder.  Do they feel loved?

Too often children grow up feeling as though they must earn love.  Yes, children must be disciplined (in love) and taught to do what's right.  But do they feel the unconditional love of knowing that no matter what ...they are loved?

As I grow in my relationship with the Lord, I learn that He loves me forever. 

Think about this:
  • Even when I wander, He tugs at my heart. 
  • Even when I sin, He's forgiven me. 
  • He has promised to never leave me or forsake me.
  • I know that I am a child of God.
So what is my response to this overwhelming love?

Do I want to take advantage of this love and become lazy and give in to whatever my flesh craves?

No way! 

God's amazing love ...sets me free!

I can live my life knowing in my heart that I am truly loved and cared for and in response:
  • I obey Him
  • I love Him back
  • I love others more easily
How do you respond to God's amazing love for you?

Blessings and love,

They Grow Up So Fast

I can't believe how quickly children grow up, especially when they aren't my own.  :)

Gabriella was in my first class as a childrens' leader for Bible Study Fellowship.  She was five years old at the time.  Isn't she cute?

This is Gabriella with her mom Marlene.  She is 16 years old now!  (Her mom is a teaching leader for BSF in Phoenix, AZ)

Marlene invited me to attend Horizon High School Choir's presentation of "Broadway Under the Stars: Heroes vs Villians".  Gabriella was performing with the Show Divas.  They danced and sang to a medley of "Gonna Fly Now" Theme from Rocky
"Eye of the Tiger"

They were so talented and ...oh so young!

I loved it!

Show Divas Group Photo 2010

I was so thankful for this opportunity to see Gabriella once again.  She's grown up so fast.  I love that she's been taught so well.

Blessings and love,


TSMSS ~ God on the Mountain

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I get to link up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

I love those mountaintop experiences.  Have you ever had them?  You know, those times when life is going along smoothly and it's so ...easy to praise God.

But what happens when you're in a valley?  God never promised that this life would be easy.  In fact, 1 Peter 4 tells us to expect trials.

  • What is your response when you find yourself in a season of trials and challenges? 
  • Do you continue to praise God? 
  • Or do you complain that life is so hard? 
  • Where is God?
The song I chose for this week is called "God on the Mountain" and Linda Randle sings it so beautifully. 

God is the God on the mountain.  But God is also God in the valley. 

I believe my faith is being stretched.  It continues to grow in the valleys of my life as I learn to cling to Him alone.

Do you make the choice to praise God regardless of your circumstances?

Blessings and love,


In Other Words Tuesday ~ Withdraw or Draw Closer to God

It's In Other Words Tuesday and I'm linking up with Kathryn of Expectant Hearts

Kathryn chose the following quote for us to write about today:

As I was reading this quote, I found myself nodding to the first two statements: 

  • Yes, the fire continues to give warmth but I have the choice to stay close and feel the warmth or step back and become cold.
  • Yes, the light continues to shine bright but I have the choice to stay in the light or to withdraw into the darkness. 
But withdrawing from God?

It's hard for me to imagine withdrawing from God.  As I grow in my relationship with God, I learn that He loves me, He's set me free from the penalty of sin and He provides me with His peace.

Now how could I withdraw from God? 

His love is my motivation for living and loving and forgiving and sharing with others.

These may be hard times.  Life doesn't always go the way we plan.  But I've come to the place where I'm learning that there is a plan and a purpose and I may not always get to understand it all.  This is when trust comes in. 

When the check that was supposed to arrive in the mail and it doesn't  ...I draw closer to God.

When I don't know what tomorrow will bring ...I draw closer to God.

When I'm hurting inside and tired ...I draw closer to God.

So instead of withdrawing from God ...I draw closer.

I want to abide in Him.  It's the best place to be, not running away, but drawing close and clinging to the vine.

Blessings and love,


Norwegian Phrases

Google image
If you come from a Norwegian background, I'm sure you’ve heard the phrase uff da.  It’s an expression that tends to express annoyance. 

For example, if you stub your toe the phrase uff da might come out of your mouth.  Or if you hear something distasteful about someone, you say uff da.

I remember hearing other Norwegian phrases growing up. 

“Nei da” and “fy da” were a few of them.  I won’t shock you with how my family defined these phrases but it usually had to do with something that was unbelievable.

My paternal grandmother used another Norwegian phrase and it was "pssta Henry".
My dad, Grandpa, Aunt Ruth, Nana
My Nana never learned to drive after moving from Norway to the US.  After all, she settled in Brooklyn and cars weren’t really needed for transportation. 

But whenever my grandfather was driving, Nana had her own set of brakes on the passenger side of the car.  When she thought my grandfather should be applying his brakes more quickly, she simply helped him out as she warned “pssta Henry”.

Cousin Hilde's dog
I was taught many other Norwegian phrases while growing up.
  • "Takk for maten" means ...thank you for the food.
  • "Kan du snakke norsk" means ...can you speak Norwegian?
However, I'm so thankful for Google Translate.  I've been able to communicate easily with many of my Norwegian relatives on Facebook.  It's been such a gfun experience for me.

Are there any other Norwegian Americans out there?  Do you have any favorite expressions that you still use?

Blessings and love,


Autumn Cards

My favorite season of the year is autumn.  And I love all things pumpkin!

However, in Phoenix it's only now beginning to feel a bit like fall.  But I can't wait to unpack my sweaters.

I received this beautiful card from Cindy of Letters From Midlife.  Although Cindy's a blogger, she also enjoys the old fashioned way of communicating.  You know ...hand written cards and letters. 

I appreciate that about Cindy!

If you've considered sending some Thanksgiving cards, you might take a look at Cindy's Etsy shop.  She takes all the photographs and makes the cards.

(Btw, she didn't ask me to write anything about her or her cards.  But I love them and so I can't help but share things I love and enjoy with you.  Check it out!)

Thank you Cindy.  Your card and beautiful message meant so much to me.

Blessings and love,


TSMSS ~ More than Ever

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I link up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

Today I'm sharing another song that my friend Jamie sent to me for encouragement recently.  I remember a New Year's Eve some years ago when I tagged along with the Burgess' to see the Gaither's in concert.  Even their little children loved each one of these singers and seemed to know most of the words as they sang along.  Little Mary Beth fell asleep in my arms as the clock approached midnight. :)

This song is called "More Than Ever".  No matter what you may be going through in your life, turn to Jesus. 

Now more than ever ...He is so precious to me.

I love to sit at His feet!

Have a wonderful Saturday ...

Blessings and love,


Through the Eyes of a Child

What does life look like through the eyes of a child? 

I've been absent from our blogging community for the last few days.  On Monday, I began working full time in a private school.  I get to spend the day with three and four year olds. 

Life does look a bit different ...through the eyes of a child.
  • For one thing, my quadriceps are so sore.  I love to speak with the children at eye level but that requires this body of mine to constantly bend down.  My husband and I joked that I've been trying to shed the extra weight I've accumulated recently and so I have the feeling it will be working its way off.  I also have much less time to eat.  :)
  • I appreciated the celebration of Veteran's Day so much more through the childrens' eyes.  The school had a special outdoor assembly to honor the military.  We all sang a few patriotic songs, the pre-kindergarten cheerleaders performed in their adorable cheering outfits (so cute), and the band played songs to honor our veterans.  They had a special guest; a veteran of Desert Shield who came in full uniform to speak with the children.  As I gazed at the crowd of children listening intently, I was surprised by the tears that filled my eyes. 
  • I am reminded that children are like sponges, absorbing what they see and hear.  As an adult, I want to be a good example to them.  Even though this isn't a Christian school, I am still a Christian.  I pray that I would be a light to all I encounter and that they will see the love of Christ in me, even when words are not spoken.
  • I am also amazed at what children can learn.  Our three year old class is learning Spanish.  It's been good for me as I took this language for three years in high school but forgot much of it.  As the children learn the words for paper, pencil, scissors and all the days and months of the year it comes back to me too.
  • I get to share the details of my day with Greg.  He even made a 'Welcome Home Debbie' sign.  I returned to a clean house and a crockpot meal.  He's very creative with leftovers and it always tastes great.
I'm thankful that I have a four day weekend so I can rest up.

I found this adorable painting online and thought I'd end this post with it.  I think I'm going to love seeing the world through the eyes of children. 

How about you?  Doesn't life look different through their eyes? 

Have you noticed?

Blessings and love,


Encourage One Another

Laced With Grace

I've been so blessed with such encouragement from my Christian sisters.  I've been going through a difficult season in life and I don't know what I'd do without the love and support I've received from my friends.  

Today I'm over at Laced with Grace.  I hope you will link over and read about how we can encourage one another.  Life is hard and we need each other.

Blessings and love, 


TSMSS ~ What a Beautiful Name

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday and I'm linking up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

The past few days have been full. 

I had the pleasure of spending a short time with my blogging friend Kathleen of Sassy Granny.  She recently moved back to Seattle to be closer to her kids and grandkids.  But she and Terry came back to the Phoenix area to visit friends and relatives.  I was honored that she took the time to go to the Rio Vista Recreation area so we could sit and chat.

Notice the "Do not feed the ducks" sign.  I think everyone ignores that as they kept pestering us the whole time and even grabbing my finger.  But Kathleen and I still had a great visit!

Then I was off to do my first garage sale.  My good friends Jack and Anna May have the perfect home location; on a visible corner.  They were kind enough to allow me to haul my stuff to their driveway.

I thought this was all I had to do and they would come.  LOL.  But no, I didn't spend the whole time in the hammock.

I had much help from my friends.  Unfortunately, John and Helen still couldn't sell that Christmas tree.  But Helen knows so much about garage sales and pricing.  Thank you Helen and John!

Thanks Anna May and Jack!

And finally, here's my song for this week.  I woke up with this song in my head today.  However, it had been playing yesterday at my friend's house so it must have stuck with me.  It's a good one and I hope you enjoy it too.

Happy Saturday to you!

Blessings and love,

Thankful Heart

Debbie on Clearwater Beach
My heart has become more sensitive lately as I realize how thankful I am.  The other day I was reading from Sarah Young's devotional "Jesus Calling".   Let these words resonate within you.

"As you turn your attention to Me, feel the light of My Presence shining upon you.  Open your mind and heart to receive My heavenly smile of approval.  Let My gold-tinged Love wash over you and soak you into the depths of your being.  As you are increasingly filled with My being, you experience joyous union with Me: I in  you, and you in Me.  Your Joy - in - Me and My Joy - in- you become intertwined and inseparable.  I suffuse your soul with Joy in My Presence; at My right hand there are pleasures forever more."

This morning I awakened with this song in my head called "Who Am I?"  I wanted to share it with you this morning. May you be blessed as you listen to the words. How can we not  be thankful?

I'm linking up today with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand for Thankful Thursday.

I'm also continuing to participate in the Giving Thanks Challenge 2010 hosted by South Breeze Farm.  I'm keeping track each day on my sidebar.  It's not too late to join in.


Blessings and love,

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