Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Meet The Moorites

Cindy, Julia, Connie, Monica
Kelly, LuCindy, Mary, Sarah
Remember learning (or sleeping through the verses) about the Levites,
Moabites, Ammonites.,etc: the people from the land or tribe of Levi, Moab, Amman, etc? Except for the Levites, I neither recall nor plan to learn their significance. I have my own tribe to write about.  Let me introduce you to my dear friends, The Moorites.

After years of making ourselves comfortable studying the Bible with Beth Moore, Sarah decided we deserved a fitting name for our morning tribe of studiers.  We don't worship Beth, but we're drawn to her tireless research, humor, big Texas personality, ideas, stories, and her passion, for women and most importantly Jesus the One and Only.

After buying the books but never attending a session or actually opening a book, I made my first attempt at Breaking Free and Making Liberty in Christ a Reality on a Tuesday in September of 2001. Twenty minutes into the session, we were interrupted by our church's secretary and advised to watch the news.  As the twin towers fell, we spent the session on our knees.  I'll always remember that day not only as the end of what I thought I knew about scripture and my distorted view of God, but also the beginning of my longing for clarity and understanding and need for a special bond found only with the Moorites.

15 years of study
and so much more to learn
Unfortunately, instead of breaking free from strongholds, I made certain every blank was filled even if it meant sitting in my car in the church parking lot and writing SOMETHING/ANYTHING to impress my fellow Moorites.  That stronghold slowly faded after the fall of 2002. American troops moved in and out of Middle Eastern caves as we witnessed David and Saul doing the same, and Beth challenged us to Seek a Heart Like His. Either no one informed me of or I wasn't listening to, the most likely scenario, the fact that the very same giant slayer, shepherd, psalmist, and king was an adulterer, liar, and murderer for a season of his intriguing life. How can that be? David's sorrows, praises, and honest quest for God's heart was life changing. 

My tabernacle
please be impressed
More than once, we joined fellow stiff necked dysfunctional descendants of The Patriarchs and traveled through the desert, longed for our old idols, and complained about our boring manna while memorizing and drawing the tabernacle to discover A Woman's Heart certainly is God Dwelling Place. Wait, you mean He doesn't dwell in the steeple?

We followed the life and ministry of John, the Beloved Disciple and through Paul's pen realized To Live is Christ.  We enjoyed Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit three times. When Beth titled this study Living Beyond Yourself, she wasn't kidding. Why three times? Life's seasons change, and since we're not getting any younger, we Moorites might need a fresh pick of self-control and patience. Moorite Cindy says, "maybe the fourth time is the charm."  

We considered other writers; in fact, we've set Beth aside twice.  However, we're Moorites glued to a lady who let Esther teach us, and we agreed wholeheartedly, It's Tough Being a Woman, so even though Beth LOOKS SO YOUNG, we need an old friend, a friend who would understand when we didn't finish our homework or honestly admit, "I didn't like this day."

The Moorite families have grown up with the Moore family.  God's Word hasn't changed, but we have. The Moorites have new sons and daughters-in-law and new grand and great grandchildren, empty nests and college tuition payments, different ministers and church families, and a new set of ailments and co-workers.  Along with Beth, the Moorites have new stories, heartbreaks, and challenges, which means we have more areas for James to assure us Mercy still Triumphs.

If we don't repeat a Beth Moore study, we miss relating to her as a friend, wife, mother, sister, grandmother and of course, dog lover. One of the most valuable lessons we learned as Moorites is that God, through His Word, reveals something new to us with every new Beth hairstyle and jacket.  It's not unusual for a Moorite to say, "I've never seen this before." "Has this always been in the Bible?" "Listen to what this version says."
Mary & Sarah
Another reason to repeat? We are not nor ever will be experts. You can't expect us to remember everything we learn, except for our wonderful Mary, the earliest Moorite to arrive so we'll have fresh coffee while Experiencing a Fresh Explosion of Faith. Not only does she love and pray for us, Mary remembers all 5 statements of faith from Believing God.  1. God is who He says He is.  2. God can do what He says He can do. 3. I am who God says I am. 4. I can do all things through Christ.  5. God's word is alive and active in me. Being completely impressed and speechless, we quickly forgave her for refusing to redraw AGAIN the tabernacle for homework.

Since 2001, several Moorites have moved away or can no longer join the morning studiers, but other Moorites join with different childhood experiences, marriages, traditions, and wisdom ("Mamma summed up this verse like this..."), so a repeat becomes a brand new study.  A few years ago while home visiting family, Chrissy, a missionary presently serving in Romania, offered input from an entirely different world.

"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." Proverbs 27:17

The Believer's Bible Commentary states, "the interchange of ideas among people (Moorites) makes them more acute (and aren't we cute?) in their thinking. Sharing each other's opinions gives a helpful breadth of view.  Asking questions sharpens wits.  Friendly intercommunication hones the personality." Not that we need any more wits or personality. Julia, our appointed leader no matter what she says, does her best to reign us in and stay on topic. "I'll lead as long as LuCindy," her daughter, "operates the DVD."

"When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours." Romans 1:12

As much as we like to dig deep, we know Godly People Do Ungodly Things. We need Moorite advice, laughter, and encouragement to live Lives of Integrity like Daniel.  We communicate and make sure we're Stepping Up and finding and sharing new meaning from a favorite Psalm as we pray for family, friends, and each other. 

I didn't know what Children of the Day meant, but through 1 & 2 Thessalonians, we recently discovered we're to live in the light, be clearheaded and protected by the armor of faith, wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For me, this would be impossible without my fellow Moorites. 

One of our last questions from Children of the Day was What are some of the things going through your head on this final day? Some sadness and loneliness.

 "there's something about staying the course and together pouring over every word of a book of the Bible for weeks that demands a different discipline and forms a unique bond. I will miss it so much."- Beth Moore.

But also gratitude, for Concord Baptist Church where we meet, and each other and the ability to communicate and continue to pray for each other, and excitement for the next Beth Moore repeat study.

These Moorites are my comfort and strength, and I cannot wait to restudy and gain something new from what we've already learned AGAIN,