On 31 July 2012 a group of about 40 women from our Church and beyond embarked on the course Living Beyond Yourself - experiencing the fruit of the Spirit, presented by Beth Moore. The course was part of the Third Term Teaching series held by Trinity. This is the third Beth Moore course that Trinity has hosted and each year they have been very popular.
Beth Moore is a Bible teacher called to women’s ministry. She is based in Houston Texas and has written many outstanding Bible studies for women. The 10-week Living Beyond Yourself study consisted of workbooks (with 5 days of homework each week) and an hour DVD of Beth teaching each week. On Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings we met to worship, discuss the homework in small groups and watch the week’s DVD together.
Many of us were daunted by the prospect of 5 days of homework each week. However, as we got into the study we realized the joy of delving deeply into God’s word and the discipline of spending time talking to God and meditating on His message.
The Living Beyond Yourself course explored the Holy Spirit and the fruit it produces in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. The first 2 weeks introduced the concept of the Holy Spirit as depicted in scripture, specifically in the book of Galatians. We learned how the Spirit fits into God’s plan for us as individuals and for humanity as a whole. Many of us were astounded at the many roles of the Spirit that we had never thought of.
Weeks 3 to 10 were each devoted to an individual fruit of the spirit. Beth explained Greek definitions, elucidated Biblical truths and used Bible stories in her own Spirit-led interpretation of each fruit. Many seemingly basic concepts that we have taken for granted, were expanded on, teased out and made fresh and new. Beth handled the subject matter with humility, compassion and humour that made learning fun. She challenged us to take stock of our own lives and see how the Lord was speaking to and challenging us individually.
It was with a measure of sadness that we finished the course after journeying together for 10 weeks, forming new friendships, laughing lots and sometimes even crying together. We left feeling sad on the one hand, but on the other hand, inspired to put into practice what we had learned – to lead Spirit-filled lives. We look forward to the next Beth Moore course, which will hopefully be run at Trinity next year.
Report by Karin Blackburn