:: lock screen ::

Ladies! We are CONSTANTLY on our phones!! I am on it more than I would like to admit. I try and make the lock screen on my phone scripture, to help speak truth in to my life at all times. Every time I go to get on my phone I am reminded of God’s word.

Here’s a fun little background that I made for you to use 🙂 (p.s. this background was downloaded from a cool blog called designlovefest)

click on the picture to save it to your photos.luke 1:46 background


:: Luke 1: 26-38 ::

Last week was the beginning of a new study! I love new things, don’t you? New clothes, shoes, makeup, books, journals (be still my heart!). New things are the start of something. It’s fresh, in pristine condition (usually). Something new is the beginning of something, maybe it feels like a fresh start. Make our journey of Jesus’ life a new start while we read the book of Luke. Challenge yourself to dig deep and be in the word daily. Make it a fresh, new journey with the Lord.

I have been struggling the last couple of weeks with the Lord. You know what happened? I started looking at me. I began to think of all the ways I wasn’t good enough or how Jesus was not meeting my wants and desires. Those things became idols (anything that takes the place of God in our hearts). I quickly realized that I needed the Lord to be the only thing on the throne of my heart. There is no room for anything else! I am being reminded of my need for Him in every moment of my life.

Along with our new study in Luke, it’s also the beginning of the Advent season. I never knew anything about Advent until several years ago. To be honest, I still don’t know a whole lot about it. I have challenged myself to dig deep and learn about the Advent season. Advent is a season of longing for God to break through for us. It’s the longing for the hope that Christmas brings.

You may be like, “Venice, hello, Christmas brings presents and food and all that good stuff.” Well news flash ladies, for Christians, Christmas brings the birth of our Savior.

Hop on over and read Isaiah 9: 2-7. The prophet is telling about the birth of Jesus before he even comes into existence. He speaks promises of what this child will bring. Underline all of those promises in your Bibles. Use them and the rest of this study to be a reminder of what this Christmas season is really about.

This week you are going to be spending your time in Luke 1: 26-38. It’s good!

Make sure you start each morning in a quiet spot and prayer. Give God more than 10 minutes of your time.

Day 1: Write down anything that stands out to you. Include question’s or thoughts you have about these verses.

Day 2: What do these verses tell you about God? {this should be A LOT!}

> underline the promises that the angel gives Mary from God.

Mary would have been 12 or 13 years old when the angel came to her. She was a virgin and unmarried. This would have been a huge scandal back then. The people would not have believed that she was a virgin, they would all think her and Joseph had been with each other before marriage. They would have been looked down upon. Lost all respect and honor. Probably lost their friends and maybe the support of their parents.

The Lord didn’t look down upon them. In fact he gives Mary the biggest responsibility, carrying and giving birth to the Son of God. She finds favor in God’s eyes. Mary didn’t do anything to deserve that, she knew this. She knew it so well that she was troubled in hearing that (v. 29).

How has the Lord shown favor on you?

Day 3: What is the Lord telling you about yourself?

Mary was so faithful to the Lord in her response of having a baby as a virgin. I could not even imagine the journey that would have begun for her. But, she responds with, “I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” That is so convicting for me. I have trouble saying okay to God in the simple things. This is how I would want to respond to God. Mary’s heart was so focused and consumed by the Lord that she responds in complete trust and service. She is ready to be used by God.

What are you truly longing for? What is in the deepest and darkest places of your heart? What consumes you?

Who or what are you looking for to fill that need, to meet those desires?

Write a prayer of confession to the Lord about the state of your heart. Prepare yourself for this Advent season. I hope that together we can become so consumed and focused on the Lord that we respond like Mary.


text one friend and ask how you can pray for them this week.

:: For NOTHING is impossible with God. And Mary said,

Behold, I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. ::

:: 2 Samuel 24 ::

This is the LAST chapter in 2 Samuel!!!! WOOHOO!!!! Now before you throw confetti we will be going into a couple of chapters into 1 Kings because we are going to see David through his entire life BUT we are getting through it! Make sure you spend some time reflecting over the next several days on not only this chapter but what the Lord has been teaching you through the life of David.

As always set aside some good time to spend in the quiet with God.

You may have to sacrifice things and especially your time to do this 🙂

Start off your time in personal worship each day with prayer and reading the passage (2 Samuel 24).

Day 1: After reading what were some things that stood out to you? Write down any questions, thoughts, confusions, etc.

If you can’t think of any (I personally had quite a few) ask yourself, why would David need to repent for numbering the people? Doesn’t v.1 say that the Lord made him do that?

> What are the 3 choices that God gives David as punishment?

How harsh are these?! I would NOT want to be in David’s position!!

> Write down in your journal some other things that stood out to you.

Day 2: Adoration // What are some things that you notice about God’s character? Does this chapter represent a God that is all loving all the time? Does God’s actions confuse you? Write these thoughts down!

> Check out verse 15. God means business! We then see that God then tells the angel that, it’s enough. He’s saying, it’s time to stop. He SPEAKS it and even the angels listen. The voice and character of God is strong.

Doesn’t that mean that when he tells us, his children (Christians) to do something, we should do it?

Day 3: Confession // David cries out to God with his sin. He confesses his sin to God and God acts. He doesn’t sit around and make David wait for forgiveness. It’s granted. BUT David knows what’s asked of him. In response to his sin he needs to make a sacrifice.

Read verse 24. David knew that surrounding EVERY.SINGLE. part of his messy, sinful, rotten life over to his King took sacrifice.

Now David here needs to present a living and real sacrifice to God. He needs to build an altar and go through procedure. Here’s the good news for us….we don’t have to do that. We have Jesus. He was that living sacrifice to the Father for us. How amazing is that?! If you don’t want to jump up and down or weep with joy or shout with excitement you need to read that over and OVER again until you do.

God sacrified his precious, perfect Son so that we could be in relationship with him, so that we could have eternal life, and that we have the privilege of glorifying Christ in all that we do.

But doesn’t that last part take sacrifice? Oh yeah it does.

Think about the things that you have to sacrifice because of being a Christian?

**hint hint** you should think of everything you do, watch, wear, say, think, date etc., as worship to God. We should live our lives serving wholeheartedly serving our King because he gave everything for us.

Think about what it means to sacrifice… it’s giving up something/someone who is valuable to you.

> What are some of the hardest things for you to sacrifice?

Day 4:  Reflect on what God has been teaching you about Him and yourself over the past few days. Reflect on what you’ve learned and the ways God’s grown you through the life of David.

  • Don’t just sit on your bed or in a chair and think, when I say reflect, I mean write it in your journal and spend time with God.

{ Pray }

Pray for your family.

I have been struggling with certain members of my family the past couple of weeks but it’s made me realize how prideful I really am.

Pray for the people in your family that are really hard to love. Ask God to soften your heart towards them.

Share with a girl friend who you’re praying for 🙂

:: 2 Samuel 20 & 21 ::

I am going to give you some notes and questions to think through after you read both chapters.I’ll separate them by chapters below and then you can do personal worship questions on both chapters combined. Make sure to read the chapter first, write down your own questions/thoughts, and then read this 🙂

2 Samuel 20

The kingdom was split in to 2 kingdoms, the North and the South (easy to remember). David had brought them together in his earlier days. Now we see them falling apart. We ended chapter 19 with them pinned against each other.

Sheba = a Benjaminite, comes from the North. This is also where Saul (king before David, David’s enemy, wanted to kill David) was from. Shiba was most likely loyal to Saul’s reign, so he probably didn’t care for David too much anyways.

What 2 major things does David do in this chapter?

> Why would David put away the concubines? Did anyone else feel bad for them?

> Where else had we read about these same 10 concubines? (twice before). How were they used before?

I picture them in a dungeon for the rest of their lives. I am sure that was not the case. They still live in the palace of David, they are just no longer used.

Think through how that could be a good thing for both the concubines and David?

David now David uses his new in command, Amasa, to gather the men to talk of war against Sheba. Amasa doesn’t show, so David appoints Abishai in charge. Why not Joab?

On the way to track down Sheba, Joab, runs in to Amasa. He goes in to greet him but then murders him…and leaves his body there, with his guts hanging out. Oh and p.s., Joab and Amasa are cousins!!! Talk about family problems.

2 Samuel 21

Who stands out in this chapter?

What does David learn is the reason for the famine?

> you can find out why Saul was in the wrong for killing the Gibeonites in Joshua 9. There was a peace treaty made between them and Joshua (the Gibeon-Israel pact).

Rizpah = she was Saul’s concubine. After his death, Abner, the commander of the army, took her as his.

“Concubines aren’t consulted, they are used.” Does this change the way you thought of the concubines in chapter 20?

Now we see a woman that has been used and discarded, she’s had no voice, no say in her life, now influence the king! This is a big deal!

David hears her lonely cry on the mountain, mourning over her sons bodies. He’s moved to compassion and buries them.

“The storyteller makes us understand that it is not the Gibeonite sacrifices that break the famine, but Rizpah’s prayerful vigil and David’s compassionate burial.”

Rizpah seems to bring David back to his senses. Hopefully we will see a changed man in the weeks to come.

Day 1: While reading the chapters write down anything that stands out to you. This could be questions or thoughts.

Day 2: After reading these chapters, how do they call you to adore God? Are there things about God’s character that you’re seeing?

> In chapter 21 David has to give a sacrifice to atone for Saul’s sin. It made me ask the question, who will atone for David’s sin? Who atones for our sin?

Day 3: Take an uncomfortable moral inventory on your life? What are the sin issues that scripture is bringing to your mind?

> Think about how God is acting in these chapters. It’s behind the scenes, quiet, but powerful. I feel like we want God to come down and literally shake David awake to all that he’s done wrong, but we don’t see that.

We have to worship God for who he is, not the way we want him to.

How often do you worship God or pray to him to act or do something that you want him to?

Do you try to make God fit into your idea of him or do you truly seek to live your life for him no matter what?

Write a prayer of confession.

Day 4: What is God teaching you this week through your time spent with him?

{ pray }

spend some time this week praying for your school.while you walk down the halls of your school pray for your teachers, administration, principal, and fellow students.

:: 2 Samuel 19:8-43 ::

Take time this week to just simply read the Bible! Make sure you set aside some time either in the morning or before bed even. Try not to rush your time. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit down with your Bible, journal, and pen 🙂

Day 1: Read 2 Samuel 19: 8 – 43 & write down any thoughts or questions you might have right after reading.

> a couple of my thoughts were 1. I need a chart of all of these men because I CANNOT keep up! & 2. I have NO IDEA what’s going on. (I actually wrote that in my journal).

The second reading of these verses was much better. Again be patient, especially if you’re just reading it to get it over with. God’s word isn’t something we should rush and take for granted.

> you might need to write down a couple of the men and who they are or what they’ve done in this story.

Day 2: Read the verses again & think of how you might see characteristics of God.

> Again you may need to be investigators of the Word. You may not see it super clearly but every piece of scripture should point to the Father.

> Here is one of the biggest things that I began to see…the chosen king comes back to his home and grants forgiveness to all those that betrayed him.

Now in the chapters before we saw that both David and his son Absalom could not exist together. One had to die for their to only be one king. (Totally reminds me of Harry Potter & Voldermort!!) God had already ordained, before the battle, that Absalom was going to be the one to die. He had already chosen David as his true king.

> Now an area where David falls very very short, I could count the ways, as king is that he forgives Ziba, without him even confessing his wrongdoings. Ziba doesn’t even say anything to David, but yet David gives him land. There was no consequence for anything. Ziba did wrong, what exempted him from having to come before the king?

The death of Absalom and David staying as king was to bring peace back to the people. But do we see peace?

How does this cause you to adore (admire, love more, even confuse you about) God?

Day 3: What sin issues is the Lord bringing up in your life through this chapter?

> If you noticed, Shemei, falls down before David. Remember him? He was the one in chapter 16 that pretty much cursed David out in front of people. Well, we see here that he falls before David, humbly. He asks David, as the returning king, to forgive his sins and to not remember them. He acknowledges his sins before him.

> Then Mephibosheth (try saying that 5 times fast!) comes before David. He is Saul’s (the king before David) son. His nurse dropped him when he was a little boy and it crippled him. His servant, Ziba, tricked him and betrayed him.

Mephibosheth humbles himself as a servant before David. He has nothing to hide and needs nothing from him. He only seeks his forgiveness and to what???….serve David.

How does this make you think about the way you come before the one true, everlasting, forgiving, grace giving, merciful King?

> Our king acts so differently than David. He is perfect. His forgiveness is never ending to his children. His grace is really enough. But it takes something from us.

Do you humble yourself before him? Do you seek forgiveness and hope to live only to serve him?

Day 4: Look back through your notes from the week and journal through what God has been teaching you this week. Maybe he’s shown you something new about himself or yourself.

{ pray }

Text at least TWO girls that are involved in our Impact community. Ask them how you can be praying for them this week. Then actually take time to pray for them. Follow up with them. Make sure to write their prayers down in your journal so that you can go back and see an answer to prayer.

:: 2 Samuel 16:14 – 19:8a ::

This week you have a nice chunk (i really don’t like that word) of reading to do. I promise it’s actually really interesting. If we were boys we’d probably love it even more. I know it feels literally impossible to set aside time to read the Bible. Maybe it feels hard to set aside to do anything other than school and homework. You should know I completely understand. My week days are packed! It’s not about you not having time but setting aside time. You HAVE to make time. Sit yourself down a few times this week and spend time with God. Read your Bible, journal, and pray. I don’t even care if you do personal worship “perfectly”…whatever that means. No one is perfect at this! It’s not about perfecting your study of personal worship but about growing your personal relationship with Christ. That’s something that is done on your own time before the Lord.

Make sure you start each morning with prayer, reading the passage, and journaling. If you want, because this passage is so long, just read it entirely through at least twice, instead of every day. This will help keep your mind and heart focused on God’s word. Being in the word daily also makes us focus our attention on the things above (the things of God) instead of ourselves all the time.

Day 1: What are the major things that stand out to you? Write down questions or thoughts you have.

Day 2 : Do you notice anything about God’s character?

>> You’ll see that God makes his plan known (17:14). He might feel behind the scenes but his plan is present the entire time.

Do you see him moving in the life of David?

Day 3 : What is the Lord telling you about yourself? Are these chapters bringing up any sin issues in your life?

>> Pay close attention to chapter 17: 23. This is sad. But what does it tell us? Ahithophel’s entire purpose and worth was built in that his voice was not only heard but was chosen. Once Absalom went with someone else’s advice on war, his world fell apart.

Now, the whole idea of being in charge of a war we obviously have NO idea. BUT, we, ladies, do understand the feeling of rejection and putting our entire existent into what other people think, feel, and react to us.

Take some time to reflect on that in your life.

>> This is just one of the things that you could take form these chapters. It is obviously a very small part because it’s just one verse. What are some other things you notice in these chapters?

Day 4 : Journal about what God has been teaching you this week about His character and you.

{ Pray } 

Take time to pray for at least two of your girl friends. David has some really amazing friends in this story. They are so loyal to him and in turn to God. Text a couple girls and ask if there’s something specific you could pray for them. Text them a simple, “I’m thinking about you” or “Praying for you”. We all need this 🙂

:: 2 Samuel 15 & 16:1-14 ::

Does anyone else feel like these chapters in 2 Samuel are getting harder and harder to read, understand, and even try to comprehend?! I have been struggling with personal worship for the last couple of weeks. It hasn’t been because I haven’t read the Bible but I’m having trouble connecting the words and verses to my relationship with Christ. It feels like I’m reading a troubling yet fascinating story but not digging in to the verses to investigate a deeper meaning. Hopefully the questions, insights, and maybe additional scripture at times will help give you a better understanding of what you’re reading 🙂

As always before you start your time to read God’s word, make sure you find a quiet spot, remove all distractions (yes, this may mean to put away those precious phones :), and then most importantly pray. You can even write this short prayer down. It’s simply one to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and understanding when reading God’s word. Write down your desire to still be sleeping or the many MANY distractions running through your heads (we are girls so we have about a bajillion thoughts at any given moment). That last is a must for me to write down, it’s literally me confessing my distractions to Him.

Lastly…read the passage 🙂 For this week it’s 2 Samuel 15 – 16:1-14. It’s a doozy, but keep on reading!

Day 1: Write down your first impressions and thoughts. These might be questions on words or even the storyline you’re confused about. In chapter 15 it might be “David why are you running?! You are the king, what’s wrong with you?!” < this might have been one of mine

Day 2: What do these verses tell you about God’s character? You may need to be an investigator for this one.

>>> We see in the beginning of chapter 15 and in the previous couple chapters that David is not acting. He doesn’t really act on behalf of and for his family. He didn’t protect his daughter, he didn’t protect his son, and is ultimately leading to chaos in his life. Later on in these chapters that David is trying to protect the people that are fleeing with him. He still does care for his people. We have seen David act so justly, so courageously, all in the name of the Lord. But yet he still fails.

Spend time reflecting on how the Lord has cared for you. What has he rescued you from?

Day 3: After looking at His character, what is the Lord telling you about yourself? What sin issue is Jesus calling to mind?

>>> Absalom spends 4 years plotting the murder of his father, David, the king. Before this, he spent 2 years planning to kill his brother Amnon for the raping of his sister Tamar. Absalom is a murderer. His murders seem to be covered up by feeling like they are “good” or “just” acts right?

He killed Amnon under the excuse that he had raped his sister. There is a small part of me that wants to say, “yeah you go Absalom, justice must be served!” BUT what gives me the right to act as God, ruler of all things corrupt?! That is wrong, but many times with our sin we don’t think it’s too bad because we’ve covered it up with something that appears to be good.

This could be gossip. We think it’s important to tell a group of friends the secrets of someone else because maybe it will help this person. Wrong!

What about being the BEST Christian we can be. Our own self-indulgent righteousness gets us in HUGE trouble. We think that reading our Bible, going to church every time the doors open, knowing every worship song, praying constantly, and memorizing scripture is what saves us…what makes us a “good” christian…or at least better than anyone else.

And then there’s judging. We think because we are awesome Christians that we can judge anyone and for any reason. Maybe you look down to someone who wears scandalous clothes, or parties, or drinks/smokes, or curses, has sex with their bf/gf, or doesn’t read their Bible or doesn’t go to church consistently. This, ladies is all sin!

In Absalom’s mind he was doing right by killing his brother. He was taking action while David, his king and father, didn’t. By Absalom thinking that what he is doing is “right” or “good” because he’s getting justice is putting himself in the role as king. He even tells the people that when they hear the trumpet sound to say “Absalom is king at Hebron” (v.10). As bad as David may seem right now, we have never EVER heard David say this. He always praises God for his position in power. He credits God as king, not himself. David’s faith is still there…even if it feels like it’s silent.

How many times in your life do you put yourself in the position to rule your own life?

Day 4: Spend some time journaling today about what God has been teaching you this week. Maybe it’s something big about him. Has God showed you a new characteristic of himself to you? What have you learned about yourself and sin that you need to bring and confess before him?

{ Pray }

Take time to pray for at least two of your girl friends. David has some really amazing friends in this story. They are so loyal to him and in turn to God. Text a couple girls and ask if there’s something specific you could pray for them. Text them a simple, “I’m thinking about you” or “Praying for you”. We all need this 🙂

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