The boys and I are participating in a Bible Study Fellowship class this year and all three of us absolutely love it! With my dad as the Chief Operating Officer and my honorary father, Chuck, as the Director of International Operations at BSF Headquarters, I was eager to send them my review after my first morning. I’ve been somewhat critical of BSF in the past, and well, you’ll see how I feel now…
(If you’re interested in finding a class near you visit www.bsfinternational.org They have day women’s classes (with classes from birth to age 5), evening women’s classes (with classes for 1st-12th graders), evening men’s classes (with classes for 1st-12th graders), and young adults’ classes. I encourage you to check it out! :) )
1. There’s nothing like singing hymns in the highest octave possible. :)
2. Direct quote from STL said in all seriousness, “BSF has now moved into the 21st century and you are able to obtain your discussion questions online”. :)
3. Memorization of abbreviations is uncanny- The TL will give an expository lecture, you can ask questions to the STL or CA, your DL prays for you regularly, the CLs love children, the CS keeps it all in control, the CACs direct and guide etc. etc. etc. :)
I was so encouraged by my reunion with BSF this morning! Let me just tell you, my heart had been hardened towards BSF in the past because I felt they were being judgmental of “new” ways. But as I started singing the hymns this morning, God showed me that I was doing exactly the same thing I was accusing them of- I was being judgmental of them being judgmental! When I realized my error in this I felt such an immediate release of burden! I was able to embrace our differences and focus on our common goal: to know Jesus deeper and grow in my relationship with Him.
The whole atmosphere/environment was so refreshing this morning! I noticed flexibility and freedom in the leaders and the whole demeanor of the class. Every leader I saw was wearing a cute top, dressy pants, and unique accessories. Not that outward adornment matters at all, but I was so encouraged to see them embracing their own unique character instead of conforming to a typical stereotype. There was a fun, freeing feeling all throughout the morning and I was so blessed by that! I remember the STL instead of saying “at 6:17 you need to be in this place or that, or you won’t be allowed to participate, etc.” she said, “Sometimes you’re going to wake up sick, or your child is sick. You can ask a friend to get you the lesson, or you can go online. You know what it all comes down to our single purpose: That you dig into the scriptures and know Christ better.” How incredibly awesome!!! The message I got loud and clear from BSF this morning: God loves you, wants you to know Him, and we will do everything possible to encourage you in that journey. There was NO frigid, inflexible legalism whatsoever!
I want to tell you how much I appreciate you who have truly paved the way sacrificially at headquarters to bring change and breathe new life into this organization. I’m so blessed by your fruit and I see it at work all the way here in IL! I even want to say thank you to the staff that wasn’t so “for” all of this, but your hearts have been softened and you’re allowing God to move in new ways. I know I keep saying it, but the sense of FREEDOM in Christ at BSF this year is overwhelming!
When I was skimming through Isaiah this week in preparation, God really made 46:3-4 stick out to me. I really identified with it currently having a child in utero and my mom’s 50th birthday today. :) “you who I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” I thought Isaiah would be a neat middle name for our son….In the lecture today it was mentioned that Isaiah mean Yahweh “God saves.” God has poured and poured into my heart lately that His plan is SO much better than my own. I feel like God has saved me through Peanut Wilkie Zielke (my child in utero) -He saved me by enabling me to trust His best and not MY best. I may not have chosen the path God has me on right now, but where would I want to be than in the center of His will for my life?! Thank you God for saving me from myself!
This email is a little haphazard, I know, but my heart is so full of joy for how God is moving- and how I needed to be a part of that by releasing my judgmental hardness to Him. I’m honored to participate in this wonderful organization called BSF. :)