God of Creation | Week 1

I’m sorry when I’ve come with my agenda

I’m sorry when I forgot that You’re enough

Take me back to where we started

I open up my heart to You

Cody Carnes “Nothing Else”

In late 2018, I found myself staring up from a deep, dark valley of hurt. My faith was shaken and I couldn’t escape the guilt and doubt I was feeling because of this hurt. I didn’t doubt that God is God or that He is real and I still believe in Him with my whole being. No, no… I doubted myself. I felt guilty for my own decisions. So, I shut down. I fell into a spiritual depression.

That’s exactly what the enemy wants… He wants us thinking about OURSELVES more than we think about God and others. The enemy wants us to be so concerned with ourselves; our hurts and our doubts and our weaknesses that we become distracted, lose focus and veer off God’s path.

His tricks aren’t new. But, when you’re in that valley it feels like you’re the only one to ever be in that place. #youarenotalone

I’ve felt God’s pull to come back into His arms, but doubt and guilt weighed heavily on my shoulders. Since that time in 2018 I have struggled to “get back” to His Presence, to the fellowship I had with Him, to the person I had become.

BUT, God always has a rescue plan.

We made a huge move overseas to a small island in the middle of the ocean. I’m surrounded by His creation, His ocean that reminds me of His love, grace and mercy. I’m reminded of His plan from the very beginning to rescue, redeem and revive humanity- all because of His goodness and love.

I’m caught up in Your presence

I just want to sit here at Your feet

I’m caught up in this holy moment

I never want to leave

Oh, I’m not here for blessings

Jesus, You don’t owe me anything

And more than anything that You can do

I just want You

Cody Carnes “Nothing Else”

<<Insert God of Creation Bible Study by Jen Wilkin>>> Take me back to where we started... God saw me, He saw you before the world began (Ephesians 1:4-5).

So… we (God and I) had to go all the way back to the creation of the world together- hand in hand.


What I learned this week

I love how Jen Wilkin refers to the introduction of a book as “reading the envelope.” You wouldn’t open a letter you received in the mail without first reading the envelope- Who sent it? Where did it come from? When was it postmarked? Why did they send it? These are questions we answered in the first week before we even started reading.

Who wrote it? Moses. (Luke 14:44)

To whom was it written? The children of Israel… & us.

When was it written? Moses wrote the book of Genesis (as well as Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) during the 40 years of wondering in the wilderness.

Why was Genesis written? It was written to provide Israel with a theological and historical foundation and to establish the children of Israel as a nation- God’s people. Genesis is a historical narrative with facts and exaggerations. It’s “deceptively simple,” says Jen. Moses used repletion as a memory tool since the Law was read aloud to groups of people. The simplicity and repetition provided people greater opportunity to memorize and remember God’s Word.

What is the central theme of Genesis? It is the beginning, a starting point. It’s the beginning of everything: creation, life, love, sin, redemption, God’s provision…


The Bible is a book about God- not me. This I knew, but seem to forget sometimes. I often look in scripture for verses that support my own beliefs or give me justification for my own desires. Rather than reading to learn about who God is and how I can know Him better.

In homeschool this week (words I never thought I’d say) we are focusing on James 4:8 “come close to God and He will come close to you.” We talked about when my girls come to me for a hug, I embrace them. I don’t push them away or run (although sometimes I want to;)). When they stay close to me they tend to make better choices and speak words of life. If they are in another room and don’t think I can see or hear them, they are more likely to be unkind and say mean things.

So, through this study, I’m snuggling up as close as I can to the One who created the Heavens and the earth and all within it.

This is going to be an amazing Bible study… stay tuned for next week’s takeaway… or get your own study and join me. 🙂

Week 2 <– click here


Resources

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

God of Creation- A Study of Genesis 1-11

God of Creation – A Study of Genesis 1-11 teaching by Jen Wilkin

Worshiping with Color | Ep. 17

“The LORD says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 29:13

Worshiping is simply our response to God’s love, who He is and what He has done. 

Worshiping with color is an expression of one’s unique personality. God created us as an original- we don’t sound the same, walk the same or even like all the same things. 

Our worship may even look a little different. Some may sing lout with arms high and eyes closed, others may sit with their head bowed, while still others softly sing with hands layered on their heart. 

It’s not what the exterior looks like, it’s about the intention of the heart and mind. 


Scripture to Read

Isaiah 29:13-14

2 Chronicles 26-31

Hebrews 4:12-13


Resources


Podcast


Holy Yoga

Are you in the Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia area?

GREAT!!

Stay informed on when the next Holy Yoga class with the Rising Oaks will be by following our Facebook page & Instagram 


Ways to Follow & Stay Connected to the Rising Oaks Podcast

Instagram

Facebook

Blog with Resources

Podcast

How to Find Rest on All Sides | Ep. 16

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2 Chronicles 15:15 (NIV) says “All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and He was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.”

Only God gives the rest we so desperately need.He knows that when we are distracted by our to-do lists and need to do lists we miss Him and His fullness. He knows our minds and hearts need quietness with Him. He knows all of this because He created us to need Him and find rest in Him alone.

Make time for Him today & watch and see how He shows up to gift you with rest… on every side.


Scripture to Read

Psalm 37:4

Matthew 11:28-30

John 1:1-14


Podcast


Holy Yoga

Are you in the Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia area?

GREAT!!

Stay informed on when the next Holy Yoga class with the Rising Oaks will be by following our Facebook page & Instagram 


Ways to Follow & Stay Connected to the Rising Oaks Podcast

Instagram

Facebook

Blog with Resources

Podcast

Hope & Expectations | Ep. 15

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“God formed Man out of the dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive- a living soul! Genesis 2:7 (MSG)

We were created to worship God alone… take a listen and find out how God showered me with His love and peace as i surrendered all my fears to Him && put my hope and expectations in Him alone.

I feel seen, completely known and loved. 

Enter in. Sink deep. Surrender all to the one who holds the stars in place.

“Holy Yoga is about removing the barriers little by little, seeking to know Him rather than to know about Him, and to experience Him as fully as possible.” Brooke Boon, Holy Yoga: Exercise for the Christian Body and Mind. 


Scripture to Read

Genesis 2:7

Joshua 1:8

Psalm 10:4

Isaiah 43:1-7

Matthew 5:14

1 John 4:4


Podcast

Click Here to Download on Podbean


Resources

Holy Yoga: Exercise for the Christian Body and Mind. 

Experiential Worship 

Interested in what Holy Yoga is all about? Check this out! 

Holy Yoga Morning Flow


Ways to Follow & Stay Connected to the Rising Oaks Podcast

Instagram

Facebook

Blog with Resources

Podcast

Tired of Waiting? | Ep. 14

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God is methodical, strategic and absolute. He is always working when our natural eyes cannot see. However, it can be hard to wait when we are excited and full of expectation for what’s to come. Are you tired of waiting? Do you find the wait difficult to remain faithfully consistent in your current season? Me too!

Today’s episode we will dive into 1 Samuel 17 and gain wisdom from David, before he became king of Israel. There are three things David does that, I believe, propel him from being stuck in the wait. He was already anointed king of Israel, yet we find him in the pasture tending his father’s sheep while King Saul’s army is fighting against the Philistines.

How does David rise to the challenge or the battlefield?

How does David remain faithful during the wait?

How did David become the right person when opportunity came knocking?

Take a listen to this week’s episode to find out.


Scripture to Read

1 Samuel 17, Mark 11:24, Mark 6, Psalm 27:1-23


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Resources

Wait and See by Wendy Pope

God is Working in Your Waiting by Jade Mazarin

Worship in Your Waiting by Kristen Tabb

Interested in what Holy Yoga is all about? Check this out! 

Holy Yoga Morning Flow


Ways to Follow & Stay Connected to the Rising Oaks Podcast

Instagram

Facebook

Blog with Resources

YouTube

The Time is Now | Ep. 13

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Scripture to Read

Haggai 1, Ezra 4-6, Hebrews 3:15, Matthew 21:18-22


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Resources

Jesus on Every Page by David Murray 


Ways to Follow Rising Oaks

Instagram

Facebook

Blog with Resources

linktr.ee/ashley.risingoaks

My Momma Heart to Yours | Ep. 12

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Scripture to Read

James 5:16 amp


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Resources

Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson

31 Days of Praying Scripture over Your Children 


“One of the greatest dangers of family relationships is that we become bind to beauty and mystery simply because we live in such close proximity. 

You need a vision for your children…. with your spiritual eyes you can see what that person can be.” Mark Batterson, Praying Circles Around Your Children

Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament: Numbers | Ep. 11

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Scripture to Read

Numbers 13-14, John 5:46, Ephesians 2:3-5, Romans 5:9, Luke 8:22-25


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Resources

Head Heart Hand blog by Dr. David Murray

Jesus on Every Page by Dr. David Murray


When we read the OT, we can sometimes feel lost or disconnected from the text and story. It seems like something that we don’t really need to know about because, well, we are living under the new covenant. I used to think this. I rarely read any of the Old Testament besides Psalms and Proverbs. The other book scared me. The truth is, the entire Bible is God’s story, Genesis to Revelation….beginning to end…the scarlet thread is weaved. All of the Old Testament points to Christ, our Savior.

If you have your Bibles, take a moment to stop and read Numbers 13 and 14. This is where we are going to hang out for the rest of this episode.

We are going to look at how this passage can teach us about who God is and ways we can see Jesus in this text.

A Jesus Perspective | Ep. 10

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Scripture to Read

John 9:1-3, John 16:33, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Colossians 3:1-3, Hebrews 3:1, 2 Timothy 1:10


Podcast

Download this episode (right click and save)


Resources

Article: Three Ways to Overcome Gun Violence in the United States by Dawn Sutherland

Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful 


Questions for Reflection

  1. What are you focusing your attention on? What are you thinking about? What do you notice?
  2. Are you more concerned with the eternal or temporary? With the internal or external?

Memorize & Meditate

Write out 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Meditate on this Truth.

Memorize this Scripture, let it renew your mind and change your heart.

I will fix my eyes on Jesus, to see the unseen and eternal. 


Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Your word. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Your Word breathes new life and into dry and weary bones. Help me to see people the way you see them. Increase my love for people and You. Fill me with hope in the eternal to overflow onto others and be a light in this word. Thank you for the cross and for Your love, that’s everlasting. Please give me a Jesus perspective.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.