The Pleasure of Corresponding with a Friend

I love letters! Letters have in them a way of communication that transcends many other forms of communication. My friends know that I would rather write a letter, e-mail, or text more than I like talking on the phone. There is something special about the pleasure of corresponding with a friend.

Corresponding with a FriendIn early high school it was spiral notebooks our friends passed between each other writing notes to each other in class. In junior high it was the primary means getting to know the girl who would become my best friend. Writing was my connection to pen pals and places in the United States that I never would have visited or known  had that person not lived there. I had boxes of love letters, notes from friends for many years until I lost them in our apartment fire.  I still treasure cards and notes given to me and hoard them in boxes in my garage. My father and I write to each other regularly from where he is living and it is creating a special bond between us. It is a special art and love in my life.

Read these words written in a love letter by Samuel Johnson to a woman he loved. This part of the letter is about writing letters.

In a man’s letters, you know, madam, his soul lies naked. His letters are only the mirror of his heart. Whatever passes within him is there shown undisguised in its natural progress; nothing is invented, nothing distorted; you see systems in their elements, you discover actions in their motives… This is the pleasure of corresponding with a friend, where doubt and distrust have no place, and everything is said as it is thought. These are the letters by which souls are united, and by which minds naturally in unison move each other as they are moved themselves… I have indeed concealed nothing from you, nor do I ever expect to repent to having thus opened my heart.*

To explain that in my own words, it would just not compare with how it was said by Samuel Johnson. If real life was like it is in a letter, then life would be exactly as it should be, “…nothing invented, nothing distorted…where doubt and distrust have no place, and everything is said as it is thought…”

You have probably always heard of God’s Word being a love letter to us. Withstanding the ages of time and persecution, and be in a book form that I can personally hold and know without a doubt that it is the eternal Word of God, is just a miracle. God promised to preserve His Word throughout generations so that we could all have an opportunity to have the pleasure of reading His correspondence to us as often as we wanted. We should be taking advantage of the freedom we have to have God’s own Word and go to it as often as the Spirit prompts us to read it.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8

Often when I am going through the habit of regular Bible reading I forget to approach it with the mindset of finding out what God’s letter is going to say to me. The Bible’s valuable content is not read as tenderly as I would handle a handwritten letter from a close friend.

What makes the Bible a unique correspondence? The Bible is THE Living Word penned by men of God directly from the Lord Himself (I Peter 1:21).

The Living Word has so much more meaning than an old letter from a friend. An old letter can only bring back the memories of the past, stirring up feelings in the present. In contrast, the Living Word can speak to you and share love to you about today and stirs up hope for the future. The treasure is that the Living Word is true and pure. We may not always understand it but we should be able to grasp the intent and heart of the God of the Bible.

Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. Psalm 119:140

God unites the soul to His will as we read the Word.  His letters are a mirror to our soul revealing the sinful heart and directing it to holy living. Reading it as devotedly as a love letter will keep our hearts close to Him.

I want to encourage you to love your Bible, treasure it again and renew your love toward reading it so that you may be able to receive the blessings of its message to your life for today and your future. We all desperately need the pleasure of corresponding with the greatest Friend we will ever have.

*From The World’s Greatest Love Letters Compiled by: Michael Kelahan, 2011

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55 Ladies Bible Study Ideas

This is a list of 55 Bible Study ideas for personal use or a Ladies Bible Study group. Also included is a list of books that are for teaching a Bible study for teen girls. This blog post was inspired by a question another Ministry Mama asked me, so I decided that it might be something that would be of interest to all of you that lead a regular Ladies Bible Study group in your church and are always looking for a new and fresh idea.

First of all I want you to know that I use the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible and I know there are lots of church ministries out there that do and it can get pretty difficult to find Ladies Bible Study books only using the King James. I have included both King James Ladies Bible Study ideas and other books and studies that use other versions of the Bible. My reason is because there is great quality of writing from various authors that God has allowed to write about Biblical subjects that we can use and glean from in our spiritual lives. Just because they may use a different version of the Bible, I do not believe that their work should be cast off, we just need to be wise in looking up the verses in the King James Version and making sure that their application is appropriate to the context of the Word as well as correct Bible doctrine.

Second, I want to say, I have not read a majority of these books, so it will be your job to read and be responsible for judging whether these books are proper for your church and ladies group. You should buy the Bible Study book yourself and read it beforehand. You may want to make your own handouts to give to your ladies for the Bible Study if the book you are studying has verses from other versions. This will help you be able to have one mind and one focus without the confusion of other translations. Some Bible study leaders choose to lead the group with the only Bible study book, and others like for their ladies to have the book themselves and have them read the chapters and do the study and bring it ready when they come to the group. The choice is up to you!

Third, the links to these websites are not associated with any affiliate links. I give them to help you find these resources easily. You have the freedom to buy these books on any other website, in fact, I encourage you to look for the best prices so that your ladies can purchase their book at an affordable price.

Last, if you have any suggestions for other Ladies Bible Study books, whether KJV or otherwise, please contact me and share that information with me so I can add them to the list. If I get enough suggestions I may even add another blog post of another list.

King James Bible Studies

Your Faith Affects Your Family Volumes 1 and 2 by Ruth Ann Larkly

Your Faith Affects Other Families by Ruth Ann Larkly

The Choice Is Yours by Terrie Chappell

Stewarding Life by Paul Chappell (teacher and student edition available)

Regular Baptist Press Ladies Bible Study Books (many are listed below)

Forgiveness: A Prescription for Peace by Juanita Purcell

Growing Through Crisis A Study in Nehemiah by Martha Tyler

Stretch My Faith, Lord – The Book of James by Juanita Purcell

The Secret of Contentment by Juanita Purcell

How to Stay Sane When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by J.O. and Juanita Purcell

How’s Your Attitude? A Study Through the Beatitudes by Juanita Purcell

Glimpses of God: Revealed Through His Names by Debi Pryde

Called to Conquer – Preparing for Spiritual Victory by Dorothy Davis

How Can I Love Those Prickly People? Juanita Purcell

Faces of Perseverance by Juanita Purcell

Women Who Made a Difference (Biblical Women) by Martha Tyler

Key Truth for Women by Martha Tyler or More Key Truths

Teachers of Good Things by Francie Taylor

Women of the Bible Series – 5 Books in the series: Helpmeets and Homemakers, Faithful and Fruitful, Helpless and Hurting, Powerful and Prestigious, Carnal and Conniving

Sweet Journey by Teri Maxwell

The Lady the Lord is Looking For by Cathy Corle

Christian Ladies Devotional Journal by Tom & Nancy Sexton

A Heart for the Lord Glorianne Gibbs

The H.E.A.R.T. Ministry has over 65 free KJV Bible Study Resources available for download for personal or group use.

Man’s Problems, God’s Answers by Gary Prisk – teacher’s and student’s booklet available

A Heart Devoted – A Yearly Devotional and Prayer Journal for Women

Secrets of a Happy Heart by Debi Pryde

What Do I Know About My God? Mardi Collier

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Other Ladies Bible Studies

Behold Your God: Studies on the Attributes of God by Myrna Alexander*

Love and Respect by Emerson Eggeriches (book and workbook)*

Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow*

Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp*

Invisible Hurts by Loretta Walker*

Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot*

Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot*

 Lies Women Believe & The Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss*

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver*

A Wife After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George*

Putting on a Gentle and Quiet Spirit – I Peter by Elizabeth George*

Lord, Change Me by Evelyn Christenson*

The Five Love Languages or The Five Love Languages for Children by Gary Chapman*

Changed Into His Image by Jim Berg*

*These books either contain verses from other Bible versions or I am not confident whether they are King James or not. 

Bible Studies for Teen Girls

Emotional Control By Jeannie Walker*

Is Your Fruit Sweet or Sour? by Karen Finn

The Lost Art of True Beauty by Leslie Ludy*

The Bride Wore White – Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity by Danna Gresh*

The King’s Daughter by Rachel Miller

Just Friends by Mike Ray & Cary Schmidt

Discover Your Destiny by Cary Schmidt – (teacher and student workbooks)

Lies Young Women Believe* – Nancy L. DeMoss & Dannah Gresh

 *These books either contain verses from other Bible versions or I am not confident whether they are King James or not.