Simply Study: Simply Rest

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Simply Study

Short-term Bible studies for busy people.

We are glad you are joining us for a week of Bible study. Down below is your Bible study work for this week. Each day consists of two links—one link is the daily scripture reading. The other link is a short Bible study or devotional reading.

We suggest you follow the  steps below:

  1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you insight and wisdom
  2. Read the scripture portion first
  3. Do the Bible study or devotion
  4. Comment on what you learned from your study time.

Finally, to deepen your experience, ask a couple of friends to join you. You can start a small Bible study group at your house or favorite cafe. God will bless you for the time you spend in Hid word.

In Christ,

Jane and Mary


Day 1: Simple Trust

trust and relax

Simple Trust Scripture

 Simple Trust Devotion


Day 2: Simple Sabbath

Flower pot Simple Sabbath Scripture

Simple Sabbath Devotion


Day 3: Simple Peace

blooming, broken places, cracks of life, purpose, Jesus, petunia

Simple Peace Scripture

Simple Peace Devotion



Day 4: Simple Rest

Rest FlowerSimple Rest Scripture

Simple Rest Devotion:




Day 5: Simple Restoration


bookcase Simple Restoration Devotion

Simple Restoration Scripture




Click the play button below for a little study music.



All rights reserved

Copyright 2016

i hear: rest

i hear

i hear: rest

Rushing and stressing are the hashtags that mark our generation. Ask anyone how they’ve been and they will answer, “busy!” While God is about fruitfulness, He is not about busy. God’s plan always includes margin, space and rest. When He sees we have exchanged His pace for the rat race, He calls us to come, rest and take a load off at the foot of the cross. #restinhim.

Please take a moment to rest in His presence and receive a little grace and peace.

Push the play button below to listen to i hear: rest.


Take time today to rest in Him. He is our peace.

Have a blessed day!


Original music for i hear and i pray podcasts, Scott’s Rhapsody, by Scott Kane from the band, In Due Time.

all rights reserved

copyright 2016

Gifts of Time and Sabbath Rest

Time is an elusive resource. No matter how hard we try, we can’t grasp it or control it or change it.time, Sabbath, rest,

  • We complain that there isn’t enough of it in a day to get things done.
  • It flies by when we’re having fun.
  • Things can become frozen in it.
  • The older we get, the faster it goes.
  • It’s of the essence.
  • We tell people to stop wasting it.

What is time, really?

The Gift of Time

With the creation of the sun and the moon on Day 4, God bestows upon us the gift of time and seasons. This Genesis 1 gift keeps on giving. We live out our lives within its parameters: seconds, minutes, hours; days, weeks, months, years. Over the course of a year, we rotate through the seasons of birth, growth, harvest, and rest.

But how many of us even notice this gift of time or the seasons that should give meaning and purpose to our lives, both in our days and in our years? Do we fully experience and engage with our senses the passing and changing of day to night, of week to month, of season to season, of year to year? Do we build into Untitled design-3our days times of rest, or do the days parade by in a stream of busyness and business, barely acknowledged much less celebrated?

Sabbath Rest?

As I’ve started working through The Way of Discipleship book with a friend, we’re currently studying the practice of Sabbath. The definition states the following: “Sabbath is a specific period of rest from the labors of life for the purpose of rejuvenation and fellowship with God and one another.” Three questions then direct me to evaluate my practice of Sabbath regarding these points:

  • my pace of life and its effect on my soul and those around me
  • what rest looks like for me, and
  • how much time I set aside to rest or reflect on God

As I sat with these thoughts, I realized this wasn’t going to be a section I could zoom through, because honestly I couldn’t see much Sabbath rest going on in my life on Sunday or any other day for that matter. I thought uncomfortably about what my Sundays typically look like. Morning is devoted to church, yes, but the afternoons are nearly indistinguishable from any other day of the week, crammed full of activities, cleaning, cooking, and laundry, lots of laundry. I often intend to slow down and relax, but rarely does it happen.

Jen's Sabbath pictureGod set aside Day 7 to rest from His labors. It’s a pattern He means for us to follow that’s somehow been lost in our skewed vision of time. Each day we race from work to school to home to lessons to home and then start the process all over again. Sunday is supposed to be different, as it was when I was a child. Stores  closed. Businesses shut. Families went to church, ate a leisurely dinner, napped, played,  and visited. Somehow from then to now, we’ve shed that tradition and made Sunday the catch-up day. Catch up on work, chores, laundry, with precious little time for Sabbathing.

I’ve tried to tackle this issue before in my life, but without much success. I want to be mindful of the gifts of time and rest and Himself that God has given us. I want to discover how to infuse them not just into my Sunday, but to create mini-Sabbath times throughout the rest of the week too.

Next post, I’ll look at my first attempt at creating some margin in my Sundays.

If you’d like to join me, I’d love to hear your thoughts on time and Sabbath. Just leave them below.

I’d like to thank my friend, artist Jennifer Bubp,, for allowing me to use her beautiful Sabbath collage.

Short & Sweet: She Sat

Nourishment for the Soul

Nourishment for the Soul

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’  feet and heard His word.

40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.
42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42

I am a list maker; a task oriented kind of girl.

I like getting things done. But, I also know how to take a break and rest. Mary of Luke 10, is that kind of woman as well. She also had her priorities straight – Jesus.
Mary didn’t always have it together, her past is kind of sketch. Her name literally means “their rebellion.” After meeting Jesus, however, she gained a new reputation: the One Who Sat at Jesus’ Feet.  She sat.

She sat.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be so connected to Jesus that in order for people to describe you they’d have to mention, “Oh, that’s Mary-who-sat-at-Jesus’-feet. She sat. What did Mary do while she sat? She heard the Word. She heard the Word from The Word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God.
Can you imagine?

Martha tells on her.

Martha is busy with much serving …on her feet … distracted.
Mary is busy with God … at His feet … filled.
She sat.
“Mary has chosen the good part, and it will not be taken from her.”
We get to choose too.

Action Points

  1.  The key to life is spending more time at His feet than on your feet. How can you make time to sit at His feet?
  2. What gets in the way of spending more time at His feet?
  3. What phrase characterizes your life now? _______________ How would people describe you? She/He ____________.

Life is sweet.



Short and Sweet: Green Pastures by Mary Kane


Nourishment and refreshment for the soul.

The LORD is my shepherd:I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:1-3

Because Jesus is our Good Shepherd, will lack for no good thing.

Knowing that God supplies everything we need pertaining to life and righteousness, our souls can find rest.

In order to experience His rest, we must lie down, but not just anywhere. According to our verse, God “makes His sheep lie down in green pastures.” I began to ponder why God made His sheep lie down in green pastures and why sheep find green pastures particularly peaceful. The answer?


The sheep rest peacefully because they are surrounded by their favorite fodder, green grass. The flock did not need to worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow was already provided for … as far as the eye could see.
We are God’s sheep. We also find peace by resting on our green pastures,  the word of God. “For man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” We can rest because our tomorrows are already provided for, and we can partake as often and as long as we like. The more we feast upon God’s word, the more peace we shall have.

If your life lacks peace, and your soul is troubled, come to God and rest in His Word.

Action Points:

  1. Set a consistent time to read God’s word. My favorite time is morning. Get up 15, 20, 0r 30 minutes early and start your morning feeding your soul with God’s Word. You will find healing and restoration for your heart and soul.
  2. Download an audible version of the Bible.  Listen while you are driving, running, or working out at the gym. I listen at night while I’m drifting off to sleep (double peace!).
  3. Set a goal for Scripture memory. Copy meaningful verses on note cards and memorize them while waiting at traffic lights, in checkout lines or while walking.
  4. If you’re a techy, you’ll enjoy  joining an online Scripture memory group such as Siesta Scripture Memory. Click on the link and sign up today!

How To Focus Body and Soul on God

How To Focus

“Jane,” my husband said in a tone that got my attention. “Are you even listening to what I just said, because your answer didn’t make sense at all.”

I looked up guiltily knowing that I was caught trying to do two things at once — and not doing well at either of them. Too often I try to listen with one ear to my husband while my attention is wandering to something else.

A few days later, I read this verse in my Bible:

“I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.” Psalm 84:2 NLT

Thinking about that verse and my inattention to my husband, I realized that I often do the same thing to God. “Do I ever do anything with my whole being?” I wondered.

Multitasking = Multifailures

I’ve fallen for the lie that multitasking is a good thing, when in reality it doesn’t play out that way in my life. Multitasking means that my focus is split between multiple things at the same time, so rarely do I ever give my best to any one thing — God, my family, my work, or myself. In Psalm 84, we see that the writer is solely focused on worshiping God: his whole being, body and soul, is consumed with joyfully praising God.

A complete package is what God wants us from us, fully engaged and focused on him. What that involves probably looks a little different for each one of us. For me, that means that I do the following:

  • Shut off the notifications on my phone during devotions so I am not distracted by a new message waiting impatiently for me to read it
  • Show up at my  volunteer job prepared and ready to work every Tuesday evening
  • Look at my husband when he is talking to me
  • Don’t check my email when I’m talking on the phone with family and friends so I can focus on what they’re saying

Healthy Body and Soul

With my whole being also requires taking care of my body and soul because if they’re not as healthy as I can make them, then I won’t be able to give my whole being.


 A strong body makes a healthy place for the Holy Spirit to reside. It gives me energy and vitality to do the work God gives me. Believe me, I know how it is to feel weak and helpless.

  • Food — Following a gluten-free diet is important to my health. It was one of the things that allowed me to recover from a several-year illness that had me sidelined and afraid to leave my house. I also  avoid most sugary foods and try to eat greens and other vegetables. The further away a food is from the state God made it in, the farther away I try to stay from it.
  • Exercise — It has taken me most of my life to get some discipline where exercise is concerned. I still struggle with it, but now love walking, riding my bike, and paddle boarding when I get the chance. I feel better when I am active on a regular basis. It certainly makes it easier that I have a fit family, but you could be the one that starts this habit in your family.
  • Sleep — I am alert and energized when I keep a consistent sleep schedule, and for me that means not staying up late.


  • Devotion — Spending time with God keeps me connected and grounded. It gives me the strength, stamina, and joy to live a balanced life and to be a witness for Him. I’m not perfect at this, but I do aim for several days a week.
  • Gifts — God has given each one of us gifts to use in His kingdom, so I need to budget and invest time and resources into developing and using those gifts. I’ve learned not to feel guilty about taking a class, attending a seminar, joining a group, or working on a certification. Granted, I take the time to pray about and seek what God has for me to do before just jumping in. Lest you feel like you’re too old and your best years are behind you,  I’ve found that God bestows new gifts on us during different phases of our lives. So, no excuses! Seek what He has for you now, whether you’re 18 or 88.
  • Work — Whatever work God has given me to do, I need to make it a priority. Focusing and concentrating on the tasks at hand and organizing  my time wisely help me to be more productive.
  • Rest — We all need times of rest and relaxation where we pull back to regroup and take a break. Schedule small breaks throughout the day. Get up and walk around. Take a 10-minute cat nap. Jog in place for a few minutes. Stretch. Go look out the window and take a short walk outside. As the budget allows, plan for longer times of rest, like a weekend retreat. A new perspective makes for a healthy body and soul.

Start Where You Are

Even if you are in a busy time of life, such as a parent of young children, a caregiver, or in a demanding career, look for small segments of time where you are solely focused on the task at hand. Connect with God by snatching 15 minutes of concentrated prayer before the kids get up; take a prayer walk on your lunch hour at work  (phone off); arrange for a family member to give you a break from caregiving and do something that refreshes you. Start small and as the ebb and flow of your life changes, learn how to grab those times of focus in other areas too.

Practical Tip:  Instead of trying to change everything at once, choose one new area of focus. Actually write it in your calendar or put a sticky note on your desk that says: Get up at 5:45 for devotions or whatever it is and then do it. Once you have established this habit, start another one.

I’m finding out that “with your whole being” is really a habit and a choice. Being aware of the tendency to be fragmented is the first step toward offering a focused body and soul to God, a spouse, and others.

How about you? Please share any tips that enable you to be a “with my whole being” person.

Pray on!