Posts tagged: blog

Announcing a New Series: LIVING HOPE!

By , September 7, 2017 11:29 am
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Divine Design begins a new series Tuesday, September 19th. Please make plans to come and discover all the hope that you can experience in Christ! Feel free to pass along the information below to anyone who might benefit from coming to class or listening online.

 

In Jesus, we have a LIVING HOPE for every day and every situation! God is good and has good plans for your future, even in the places where you don’t feel hopeful. In this study we will learn to:

  • Connect with God and His plans for your life
  • Grasp the greatness of God’s goodness and faithfulness
  • Deal with disappointment
  • Make times of waiting peaceful and productive
  • Foster faith and hope through community
  • Hear the stories of women who have found hope even in the worst of situations

 

Tuesday mornings beginning September 19th at Covenant Presbyterian, Room 104:

10:00 – 11:15             Worship and the Word

11:15 – 12:00             Mentoring groups (optional)

 

Listen online anytime at www.DivineDesignDiscipleship.com

Can’t come on Tuesday mornings? Contact Kathy Girardeau at kyg@bellsouth.net about additional times for mentoring groups.

A New Semester of THINK AGAIN: Cultivating the Mind of Christ

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By , January 16, 2017 8:49 pm
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colorful whispy

A new semester of DDD begins next Tuesday, January 24th. Please make plans to be come and learn more about thinking like Jesus! Feel free to pass along the information below to anyone who might benefit from coming to class or listening online.

 

God wants to transform us by changing the way we think. As we partner with Him in that process, we can view life through His unrivaled perspective and wisdom because we have the mind of Christ! By studying and cultivating the mindsets that we see in Jesus’ earthly life, we will learn to:

  • Access the mind of Christ through His Word and His Spirit
  • Experience peace and joy more and more consistently no matter our circumstances
  • Identify and clarify any distorted mindsets we may have and replace them with the truth about God, ourselves, and our issues
  • Have greater authenticity in our relationships
  • Become more focused and purposeful in our pursuits

Tuesday mornings beginning January 24th at Covenant Presbyterian, Room 104:

10:00 – 11:15             Worship and the Word

11:15 – 12:00             Mentoring groups (optional)

Listen online anytime at www.DivineDesignDiscipleship.com

Can’t come on Tuesday mornings? Contact Kathy Girardeau by reply email about additional times for mentoring groups.

THINK AGAIN-Cultivating the Mind of Christ: 09/13/16

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By , September 14, 2016 11:17 am
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We began the new year with praise and worship, singing: Cornerstone by Hillsong, Head to the Heart by United Pursuit, and In Christ Alone by Kristian Stanfill.

We kicked off this new series: THINK AGAIN: Cultivating the Mind of Christ with a look into the Fundamentals.  Kathy explained that we will be looking into how God wants to transform us by changing the way we think. As we partner with Him in that process, we can view life through His unrivaled perspective and wisdom because we have the mind of Christ! By studying and cultivating the mindsets that we see in Jesus’ earthly life, we will learn to:

· Access the mind of Christ through His Word and His Spirit
· Experience more consistent peace and joy no matter our circumstances
· Identify our toxic thought patterns and replace them with the truth
· Have greater authenticity in our relationships
· Become more focused and purposeful in our pursuits

In today’s lesson Kathy focused on the importance of cultivating the mind of Christ and the different ways we receive God’s Word through the example of the parable of the Sower, Matthew 13: 1-23.

 

New Series, New Logo, and New Technology

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By , August 24, 2016 5:12 pm
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Welcome to a new year at Divine Design Discipleship! We are excited to introduce our new logo and the powerful new teaching that we will begin on September 13th, “THINK AGAIN: Cultivating the Mind of Christ.”

Please watch this short video to learn more about our topic.

Please pass this post on to anyone you think may be interested in joining us either online, in class, or in one of our satellite groups. Here’s a brief summary of the series:

God wants to transform us by changing the way we think. As we partner with Him in that process, we can view life through His unrivaled perspective and wisdom because we have the mind of Christ! By studying and cultivating the mindsets that we see in Jesus’ earthly life, we will learn to:

· Access the mind of Christ through His Word and His Spirit
· Experience more consistent peace and joy no matter our circumstances
· Identify our toxic thought patterns and replace them with the truth
· Have greater authenticity in our relationships
· Become more focused and purposeful in our pursuits

Tuesday mornings beginning September 13th at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Room 104:

10:00 – 11:15 Worship and the Word

11:15 – 12:00 Mentoring groups (optional)

Listen online anytime at DivineDesignDiscipleship.com.

Can’t come on Tuesday mornings? Contact Kathy Girardeau by email about additional times for mentoring groups.

Many thanks to Anna Cate Peeples for her design work and Banks Nash who filmed and edited the video!

God’s Names: A Portrait of His Heart

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By , September 13, 2015 2:42 pm
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Our new series on the names of God begins this Tuesday, September 15th at 10 a.m. Be sure to join us and bring a friend. Handouts and audio files for each lesson will be available under the Resources tab of this website each week.

 

 

GOD’S NAMES: A PORTRAIT OF HIS HEART

 

 

God uses His names to give us a more accurate picture of who He is. My favorite name of God is Faithful and True! I’ll never forget my first glimpse of Him on that white horse in Revelation 19:11-16 MSG:

 

Then I saw Heaven open wide—and oh! a white horse and its Rider. The Rider, named Faithful and True, judges and makes war in pure righteousness. His eyes are a blaze of fire, on his head many crowns. He has a Name inscribed that’s known only to himself. He is dressed in a robe soaked with blood, and he is addressed as “Word of God.” The armies of Heaven, mounted on white horses and dressed in dazzling white linen, follow him. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth so he can subdue the nations, then rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the raging wrath of God, the Sovereign-Strong. On his robe and thigh is written, King of kings, Lord of lords.

 

How could I not be encouraged after reading this?

 

He is Faithful. Even when I’ve felt rejected or betrayed by others, He’s remained loyal in His love. I can trust Him to be who He said He’d be for me: Father, Brother, Lover, and Friend. When I fear or fail to believe, I can still count on Him. He says, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 NLT)

 

He is True. His tongue is a sword; His words instruct, correct, comfort, and reassure me. In times of intense spiritual battle, I’m learning to turn my focus toward Jesus sitting astride that white horse. He is able to restore my peace. He is Faithful to fight for me, contending with the powers of darkness that seek to steal, kill, and destroy. He will be True until the end when love prevails and the enemy is crushed beneath His feet.

 

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) Yes, I’m definitely stronger and feel much safer after pondering this aspect of God’s heart! I can’t wait to plunge deeply into more of God’s Names in this new series. I hope you will join me!

 

I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. 

Psalm 91:14

DDD New Series Coming Soon!

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By , August 23, 2015 3:01 pm
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I’d like to invite you to join us this year at DDD. Yes, it is a Bible study, but it is one whose aim is primarily focused on integrating the truths of the Bible in such a way that they go beyond head knowledge and actually become a part of your everyday life.

 

This is my passion because of my history. I grew up in a church that did an excellent job of teaching the Bible and I’m forever grateful for that. But, sadly, as an adult I found myself with lots of information about God but I really didn’t know Him very well. I knew He loved me because the Bible said so, but I had little personal experience of His love.

It could certainly have been said of me that I was “forever inquiring and getting information, but…never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7 AMP)

 

Everything changed for me when I discovered a method of learning called discipleship back in the early 90’s. I was a bit skittish about becoming a disciple until I realized what it meant. Jesus’ call to discipleship was a call to follow Him, to become apprenticed to Him so that I might learn how to do life His way.

 

The Bible helped me understand that Jesus lived life side-by-side with His twelve disciples. As they did life together they learned how to pray. They saw miracles large and “small.” Jesus mediated their interpersonal conflicts and corrected their erroneous thinking. He showed them how to integrate what they had learned in Scripture into their daily lives. Most importantly, they got to know Jesus intimately and, in so doing, they began to understand their own identities as well. “What an amazing opportunity,” I thought. “Sign me up!”

 

I’m excited to announce “God’s Names: A Portrait of His Heart” as the title for our new series this year. Until the Holy Spirit introduced me to an aspect of God’s infinite nature in a personal way, things I supposedly knew about Him remained one-dimensional and lifeless. Many, many times it’s been God’s names that have brought light and color and texture to the way I see Him. My picture of God isn’t yet complete, but each encounter with God and His names has yielded the kind of heart knowledge that enriches my life and my relationship with Him.

 

The Bible teaches us that we become like God as we see Him. As we meditate on the names of God together and pray them into our real life circumstances we cannot help but be changed! Please join us for this exciting time of getting to know God better!

 

GOD’S NAMES: A Portrait of His Heart 

 

In this study you will focus on:

  • Enjoying richer relationship with God by getting to know Him more.
  • Discovering your true identity by learning Who God is to you and for you.
  • Inviting God into your specific places of need by calling on His names.
  • Living out of the infinite supply of wisdom and power that His names reveal.

 

Tuesday mornings beginning September 15th

10:00 – 11:15             Worship and the Word

11:15 – 12:00             Mentoring groups (optional)

Listen online anytime at www.DivineDesignDiscipleship.com

Can’t come on Tuesday mornings? Contact Kathy Girardeau about additional times*** for mentoring groups: kyg@bellsouth.net

 

***I am not planning on reproducing our study at night this year like I did last year. What I am willing to do is work with those who cannot come on Tuesday mornings to find times that are convenient to form additional groups. We would listen to the lesson online on our own time and then come together for praise, discussion, sharing and prayer. 

 

Covenant Presbyterian, Room 104, 65 Old Montgomery Highway, Birmingham, AL 35209

Blessed

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By , March 15, 2015 1:24 pm
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Please join us for the remaining sessions of our series “How Relationships Work.” We will meet these Tuesdays: March 17th and 24th, April 7th and 14th. Class times are 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.–or follow online anytime!

 

 

 

BLESSED

 

I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing.

 

Genesis 12:2 NRS

 

It was another gray March day, the sky threatening yet more rain. Only an occasional glimpse of sunshine had graced us these last 2 weeks here in the supposedly sunny South. My internal climate mimicked the external one. I wasn’t exactly gray inside, just lacking a bit of joy.

 

I dreaded my afternoon chore: catching up on my bills and putting my finances in order. That’s one of those tasks that I push to the bottom of the list repeatedly until the point when late notices threaten to arrive. I finished them all until I had to stamp the bills. We only had 2 in the entire house; they weren’t nearly enough for my stack of envelopes.

 

A glance at the clock told me that five o’clock was fast approaching. If I hurried, I might be able to get my bills in today’s post. To my irritation, I didn’t make it to the nearest post office before it closed, so I had to fight rush-hour traffic and head to the larger USPS downtown. I pushed through the afternoon rush hour traffic to get there.

 

I arrived and stepped into a long line of customers. I pulled out my smart phone to check messages when I heard a strange sound. It was something between a scream and a cry. My eyes followed the sound and landed on a boy sitting in what I can best describe as a large baby walker. He was pitching his head back and yelling at the top of his lungs. He seemed too old to be in a stroller; his sprawling limbs told me that he was disabled. His mom was the picture of patience as she bent down to quiet him. I noticed a Cross on the front of her t-shirt as she turned my way.

 

My mind immediately went to what the Bible teaches about blessings. I’ve been learning that we have the capacity to receive every spiritual blessing from God. (Ephesians 1:3) It immediately brightened my day to realize that I could impart a blessing to this precious family out of the overflow of God’s blessings to me. I put my phone down and under my breath began to speak blessings over the boy, his mom, and his sister. What love and mercy sprang up inside as I began to tap into the greatness of the Father’s love for them!

 

My blessing session was interrupted by the attendant who was ready to sell me my stamps. It made me smile to realize that my primary purpose for being there was not to complete this transaction and my little project for the day. How wonderful that my Sovereign Lord gave me this special Kingdom assignment. His plans for me were so much more satisfying that what I had in mind for myself that afternoon!

 

As I walked back to the car, the little boy zoomed right past me in his walker. When his mom came running after him I got a glimpse of the back of her shirt this time. It announced in a cheerful font and bright colors the message of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Now it was my turn to be blessed! I blurted out without thinking, “Lady, you’ve got on the perfect shirt!” She turned to me with a smile and said, “Yes ma’am, I do.”

 

This busy mom was clearly accustomed to questions about her son. She introduced me to 5-year-old Mason and shared his story with me. Her face blazed with passion as she told me how the doctors predicted he would never survive when he was born at 24 weeks gestation. “They said he would be a vegetable if he lived, but look at him. And God is not finished with him yet!” It wasn’t hard to see that her joy surpassed all the world has brought her way and it was contagious.

 

It was all I could do to get to the car before dissolving in tears. I prayed, “Forgive me, Father, for my selfishness and ingratitude earlier today. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see this stunning example of what it looks like to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. I want the same thing I saw on that woman–a joy that comes from deep down inside and that can only come from You.” I believe God will give me that same joy even in my most difficult circumstances. In fact I’m overjoyed now as I remember that He is not finished with me yet!

Impossible!

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By , January 26, 2015 9:52 pm
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If you want to grow in loving others well, join me for the teaching series “How Relationships Grow.” We start back Tuesday, January 27th with class at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.–or follow online anytime!
 
 

IMPOSSIBLE!

 
 
In Luke 17:1, Jesus says: “It is impossible that no offenses should come.” Wow! I am blown away that this is in the Bible. Thank you, Lord, for saying! This validates my experience–I keep running into opportunities to take offense and to offend others.

 

His solution to our offense-filled world is found in John 13:34, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Now THAT is impossible! I know I am not able to love like that. Yet I find faith and strength knowing that the One who issues this commandment is God of the Impossible.

 

He tells me that He has “poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 5:5) If I walk in dependence on the Spirit, allowing His fruit to grow in my heart, I can experience what seems out of my reach. Although it seems impossible, God can prune my offensive behaviors and words. He can teach me to let others’ offenses roll off my back. He can do this, and He will–through His boundless love!

 

“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Mark 10:27

Important Dates for DDD

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By , November 10, 2014 7:43 pm
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Please take note of the remaining class meeting times for the rest of the fall semester. We WILL be holding both morning and evening sessions on Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11th.

The last class for the evening session: Tuesday, 11/11 at 7 p.m.
The last class for the morning session: Tuesday, 11/18 at 10 a.m.

We will resume our How Relationships Work series in mid-January, exact dates to be announced.

Be sure to use the holidays to meditate on the rich principles and Scriptures we’ve studied and to apply them! Let one of our leadership team know if we can serve you in any way.

Honored

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By , October 27, 2014 6:07 pm
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God is great at relationships! Our focus in the series “How Relationships Grow” has been to get to know Him intimately and study how He relates to us. As we learn how to receive God’s love in greater measure, He enables us to go and love with the same love with which we’ve been loved. It’s not too late to join us in this journey at 10 a.m. or 7 p.m. on Tuesdays or by listening online.

 
 
 

HONORED

 

“You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.”

Isaiah 43:4 NLT

 
 
In speaking these astounding words of affirmation, God sets a wonderful example in what love looks like. He wants to make sure we know that we are precious individuals that He loves and favors. Our magnificent and holy God, the Creator of the universe, chooses to bestow honor on us! He takes pleasure and pride in each one of His people and He doesn’t mind saying so. Wow! If God makes the effort to honor us, I want to go and do likewise to the people I love.
 
Birthdays present a wonderful opportunity to do just that. I’ve always been a big fan of birthday parties. Planning a favorite meal, cake, and candles is a great way to celebrate the people that are special to us.
 
My family recently gathered to mark the milestone of my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday. The children and grandchildren took time to write down things they love about her. They honored her with their words and then proceeded to put away mass quantities of Mexican food—her favorite!
 
The meal turned out so well that I wanted to share the recipes with you. I hope you will use these to jump-start your own fiesta. Enjoy!
 
FIESTA GRILLED SKIRT STEAK
 
2 heads garlic, broken into individual cloves
½ cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 pounds skirt steak, best quality
 
In a small skillet over medium heat, roast the unpeeled garlic, turning occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place the garlic in a glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes.) Cool, then peel and place in food processor or blender along with the remaining ingredients. Process until the mixture becomes a smooth puree. Place the steak in a non-aluminum baking dish. Pour the marinade over the steak, coating both sides of the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
 
Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Brush or spritz oil over both sides of the steak. Place it on the hottest part of the grill. Grill, turning once, until grill marks form and it becomes richly browned. Move the steak to a cooler part of the grill for cooking until done to your preference. (The thickness of the meat and your grill will vary, but this step took 15 to 20 minutes for medium temperature. I like to use a meat thermometer to gauge this.) Move the meat to a dish, cover, and let rest for at least 15 minutes. This step is important in keeping the meat juicy.
 
Cut the meat into 3- to 4-inch strips, cutting across the grain. Taste for saltiness and adjust to your liking. Serve with small corn or flour tortillas, lime wedges, and the toppings of your choice including fresh cilantro, shredded jack cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and sautéed vegetables (recipe follows). Each pound of steak yields 5 or 6 tacos when served on a 6-inch tortilla.
 
 
Adapted from “Fiesta at Rick’s” by Rick Bayless
 
 
SAUTEED FAJITA VEGETABLES
 
1 poblano pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 yellow or white onion, cut into thin rounds
8 oz. small Portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt, pepper, and ground cumin to taste
 
 
Heat a large skillet and a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add a dash of oil to the large skillet, then the onion, peppers and mushrooms. Cook until softened and slightly caramelized, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Season generously with salt, pepper, cumin and lime juice. Fill warm tortillas with the vegetables and add toppings of your choice for vegetarian fajitas. Makes an excellent accompaniment or topping for steak or chicken fajitas.
 
Adapted from a recipe on the website “Minimalist Baker”
 
 
SPANISH RICE
2 T. canola oil
½ onion, finely chopped
2 c. white rice
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. low sodium chicken broth
1 c. tomato sauce
4-6 T. chopped fresh cilantro, optional
2 t. salt
 
In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in the fresh onion. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add dry rice and cook with the onions for about 5 minutes or until rice becomes a golden brown color. Add in the garlic to the rice and sauté for one more minute.
 
Add in broth and tomato sauce (add slowly into the rice, not directly onto hot pan!) And then add in the cilantro if you’re using it. Stir it up and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat to low and cover. Let it simmer for 20 minutes and fluff with a fork.

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