Wednesday is my birthday and I always buy myself a new Bible study. So today I’m sharing the ones that made my short list. I chose them because they all speak to the Shalom Sista Manifesto points I’m currently working on. I’ve also broke then down by four categories or the four directions we seek shalom: between us and God, ourselves, each other, and systems in the world.
Because I’m all about that unity, I’ve chosen studies from authors with a variety of theological backgrounds. I deeply believe that people and their stories are more important than their theological positions so I try to learn from everyone and work out my differences with the Holy Spirit before taking it to another Sista. This is my act of peacemaking before I pick up a single highlighter or pay a single bible study group fee: exercise grace and patience in the choosing will prepare me to practice humility and kindness in the reading. Always.
While they may cover the spectrum of positions, they all have one thing in common that I love: they point us to live wholeheartedly in some important way from our theology of heaven to our friendships.
Sistas!!!! I’m not sure which one I’ll pick. Take a look at my options and let me know which on you’re most excited about!
Since I’m A Kingdom Woman, Should I Learn How To Think About Heaven
Imagine heaven. See clouds? A pearly gate? Golden walls? For most of us, the word “heaven” conjures up a cartoonish image of a city floating on cotton, even if that’s not really what we believe God’s dwelling place is like. Time to forget all that. In this study, we want you to begin to think about heaven the way the Bible thinks about heaven.
Length: 12 weeks
Cost: Free online. The study is about 149 pages so it may cost between 10-15 to print it at you local printers.
Why I love it/ Manifesto Point It Covers: Shalom is the culture of the kingdom of God. Flourishing, wholeness, abundance, goodness, and love are the hallmarks of the heaven and when you and I think think of heaven, we shouldn’t imagine a far off place, but a reality that we can live in our everyday lives. This is what our manifesto point, “We are invited” is all about. It’s going back to the beginning of God’s relationship with us and looking for evidences of Shalom, so that we can join God in this adventure of making the world right again. This study on heaven and earth is so important for this journey because it helps us see ourselves in God’s story. Doing this study, I think will help me know and own my calling as a peacemaker so when I pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” I can do it wholeheartedly with clear eyes and the convictions that those words aren’t just pretty sentiments Jesus passed on to his disciples.
Or Maybe I Could Practice Shalom Within Myself, Specifically Around Beauty
Description from the site:
By learning to recognize the beauty around us, we can better see God’s reflection in everyday life. We remember that this world, while broken, will be made new and perfect once again, giving us hope.
Length: 6 Weeks
Why I love it/ Manifesto Point It Covers: For a season, I thought myself efficient. Black notebooks, blue pens, clear vases, white tshirts, the more unassuming my belongings were, the better. I rejected color and beauty because I thought they were frivolous and quite frankly, a waste of money. I know, you can’t imagine me the woman who has claimed yellow as my signature color, to have been such a Plain Jane, but it’s true. But in the Kingdom of God, beauty is celebrated. Creator God delights in all kinds of beauty from a your laugh lines to the changing leaves of New England. This is why a Shalom Sista says, “I will see the beauty”, she’s positioning herself to connect with God as an artist and to worship him as such. I’m excited about this study from If. Thanks to their app I can reaceive encouragement through the and y’all… it’s spiral bound! Clutch.
Maybe I’ma Need To Be a Shalom Sista in My Friendships
Author and activist Shane Claiborne believes all people share a vision of a world where love triumphs over hatred, where life conquers death.
A couple of years ago, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and Claiborne crossed paths. Ben said to Shane, I have read your books, and I like what I see. Shane said to Ben, I have eaten your ice cream, and I like what I taste. They started dreaming and scheming… and Jesus, Bombs, and Ice Cream was born.
Length: 6 sessions
Why I love it/ Manifesto Point It Covers: I mean, Shane Claiborne is our OG of shalom seeking, isn’t he. From “The Irresistible Revolution” to “Executing Grace” every book he writes points us to a picture of God that looks like Jesus and challenges us to live our his non-violent, radically beautiful ways in our lives today. One thing I’m working on right now is being a peacemaker, but sometimes I don’t know what that looks like. What does a more peaceful world look like not just in developing countries, but right outside my bedroom door where my kiddos are fussing over the remote or my when my husband and I disagree? I’m looking forward to this study to see if Claiborne and Cohen offer practical guidance for these everyday questions. Also… I’m having grand visions of pairing my bible study time with my favorite ice creams or visits to L.A. ice cream shops.
I’ll share which on I purchase for my birthday when it comes in. They all look amazing so, I think I’ll do them all at some point over the next school year. I guess you could call it my Shalom Sista Curriculum.
Shalom, Love, and Highlighters,