Tuesday, August 28, 2012
BIBLE STUDY FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL
It's time! Each fall hundreds of thousands of men, women and children around the world gear up for the BSF year!
Last night Honeybuns attended the beginning- of- the- year leadership training for the Tulsa Men's Class and came home so excited I was reminded that I'd NEVER blogged about BSF. Can't let that omission stand!
Bible Study Fellowship International is an international, inter-denominational, in-depth Bible Study that has been in existence since the 50's. Members meet weekly from September - May, with a vacation at Christmastime and a week in the spring. The 2 hour class time involves a discussion with other members, listening to a lecture by a Teaching Leader, notes over the passage and questions for the next week. By the time you've participated one week, you've studied a section of the Bible FOUR time! It's fabulous! The course includes year long studies of Genesis, Matthew, History of Israel and the Minor Prophets, Acts, Isaiah, Romans, John, and soon to be released REVELATION.
This year the study is GENESIS! I've titled it, the GOD of NEW BEGINNINGS!
Several years ago they added a children's program. The Day Class members can bring their children until it's time for them to go to school. THEN, they kiddos can go to an evening class where classes are provided for 1-12 grades. The children study the same passage as their mom, dad or grandparent that takes them and helps them with their lesson.
My BSF story:
I first learned about this organization through my Little Rock friend, ChrisW, and I am forever grateful. That was way back in 1984. She invited me several times and I went to "get her off my front porch" so to speak! (We became close friends for years.) I was "HOOKED" at that first introduction class I attended and I signed up right then and there. A year later I became a discussion leader, then the Substitute Teaching leader and then Teaching Leader in Little Rock. (That was an AMAZING journey that covered a period of several years.)
After we moved to Savannah, GA , my friend Melissa T. and I helped start an Evening Women's Class there! (Lots of FUN stories about that endeavor!) When we moved to Dallas I signed up again and became a Teaching Leader again for several years in the metro-plex. (More FUN stories!) The classes ranged from 150 -500 members, the energy was fabulous, the people and their stories forever seared onto my heart.
Attending the class is one thing, serving as a Teaching Leader is another amazing experience BUT the leadership training was off the charts wonderful as well. Relationships that were formed during those times are eternal, and those leaders and former leaders from Little Rock, Savannah and Dallas are still my soul-mate buddies. Our hearts beat in the same rhythm, even though separated by hundreds of miles.
The leaders meet weekly at another time and place for invaluable training, the Evening Women's Class leaders did and still do meet for a couple of hours beginning at 5:30 AM on Saturday mornings. YEP, you read that right! That early morning session became the "highlight" of the week for most of us. The materials and support from BSF headquarters at San Antonio Texas changed me forever. That training still "splashes" over into all areas of my life.
Last week an acquaintance asked me, "Well, just what DID you get out of all those years at BSF?"
(Asked with a tone of disgust, which for mysterious reasons almost always emanates from people that have never attended.)
It's a great question, easily answered. Along with deep, deep friendships all over the country, I have a working knowledge of the Bible AND AN EXTREMELY HIGH VIEW OF GOD and therefore a pretty low view (and expectation) of mankind. That's it!
That viewpoint changes EVERYTHING!!!
I'm confidant that many of our troubles occur because we MERE mortals try to relate to a deity of our own imaginations, rather than the one revealed in HIS book.
My many years my time in BSF was a "season of preparation, for a lifetime of ministry." I cannot overstate the important principle, "you behave the way you behave, because you believe what you believe." The battles are always fought, won, or lost in our minds.
Honeybuns could not be BLASTED out of that men's class. It meets at Tulsa Kirk of the Hills on Monday nights.
If this seems like a commercial, I suppose it is! Lives are changed for the better when people are introduced to and learn to love and obey the AUTHOR OF THE BOOK!
BSF is simply a very effective "tool" where thousands have come to know the holiness, authority, love and justice of the AUTHOR.
It's GENEIS this year, time for a NEW BEGINING!