2022 Summer Bible Study

We’re excited to begin another summer of FREE study at the Bible Cafe™. We’re expecting more than 2,000 participants for the free Revelation Bible study. As a reminder, you will want the book Revelation: The Smart Guide to the Bible by Daymond Duck. Our Introduction week begins the week of July 11, 2022, where you’ll meet your leaders and make small group friends. Grab a book and show up for a free virtual small group at the Bible Cafe™- everyone is welcome!

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With so many women participating in the 2022 summer Bible study, we know you’ll have many questions. So here’s a summary of the most common questions we receive before starting  an online Bible study:

2022 Summer Bible Study with Virtual Small Groups

What if my book has not arrived yet?
You can download the book in Kindle format and get instant access. No waiting for a delivery truck.

What should I be reading in the book?
Each week you’ll read three easy chapters.

What Bible translation should I use?
If you look at the first inside page of your study book, with copyright information, you’ll see that the author is using the New King James Version (NKJV) for this study. Use any Bible you prefer. We recommend using an online Bible app, such as Biblegateway.com or YouVersion.com if you’d like to use the same translation as the book author, or examine a passage in multiple translations (NIV, ESV, NLT, for example).

Do we need to answer the questions each week? Where do I find them?

We have prepared ten discussion questions for each small group conversation. Christine Abraham will send you these questions by email when you REGISTER for updates.

When and where do the small groups meet?
To see the schedule of small groups, register for this study. We will send you the discussion schedule by email. FREE groups are meeting on Facebook- in a private group.

Who is my small group leader?

She will introduce herself to the group as soon as all the women have joined the study. You will have a leader and a co-leader, both are there to facilitate the discussion and pray for you.

Can I attend more than one small group?

Yes, you can attend as many small groups as you like. For example, if you miss your regular group on Tuesday, feel free to attend another group during the week so you will not fall behind.

2022 Summer Bible Study

What time and where do we meet?
We meet many times during the week- mornings, afternoons, and evenings.

Can my friends see what I post in the Facebook group?
The settings for the Facebook group are private. The comments will appear in your timeline and only you will see them. Remember though, if you have a friend in the same Facebook group, she will see what you

Do I need to participate in the group discussions?
It is beneficial to your study and spiritual growth when you participate. The enemy of God will convince you that your words don’t matter. We know from leading several online Bible studies that women who participate in group discussions are more likely to finish their studies. And so, the women who do not participate in the small groups are most likely to drop out and not complete the study.

Do I need the book to participate?
Yes, it is recommended for this study. Our discussions are based on the weekly reading assignment from Revelation: The Smart Guide to the Bible

What if I need to go on vacation during this study?
Bring your book and Bible with you.

What if I fall behind in my reading?
Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you get back on track. Don’t quit just because you are behind or feel disappointed in yourself. Reach out to your small group for support and encouragement. They will cheer you on, all the way to the finish line!

What if I have spiritual warfare while trying to do this Bible study?
You will have spiritual warfare, it’s almost guaranteed. As you draw closer to the LORD, Satan will do his best to put a wedge between you and your study. We know that Scripture is armor against the enemy…so he will distract, discourage and deceive you during this study. We encourage you to pray with your small groups and ask others to intercede. Post a prayer request in our group. We have a designated team of women who will be praying for you.

Welcome to online Bible study!

Quiet Time with God

When I ask friends what is most important they will say “quiet time with God.” We gather over cups of hot coffee and talk about finding quiet time for God. Somewhere between work, relationships, children, friends, chores, shopping, paying bills and cooking dinner, a woman desires for alone time with God. Is this quiet time possible with so many demands on our precious time?

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Often a woman’s strongest desire is to have an intimate relationship with God. Yet this is her lowest priority in her time management.

She’ll tell me she missed devotional time because she battled with her son over unfinished homework. Her boss called for overtime work and she missed the weekly Bible study group. She waited in line to buy a fast food meal, then neglected to pray while eating from the front seat of her car. Finally home, a pile of unsorted laundry rests on her unmade bed. She is so tired from her day, she just falls down into an exhausted sleep.

Unable to pursue her goal for quiet time with God, she begins tomorrow with disappointment and anger. Chaos ensues in her constant struggle for what she calls “balance.”

Yet we know from our own experience that women are finding time and intimacy with God. They have adjusted their mindset and placed God into their day. These intentional women are making minor adjustments, such as:

  • Adjusting time spent with friends
  • Letting go of some television shows
  • Waking up an hour earlier
  • Cutting down on volunteer hours
  • Shortening social media interactions

But friends are important. Keeping informed and watching the news is important. Getting rest and sleep is important. Volunteering is important.  Social media is important for those who work online or feel isolated at home. Life is important.

Let me ask you this: If you had five minutes to live, would you do these “important” things? Do you need a life-threatening event to ignite your intimacy with God?

If you have experienced a life threatening event, most likely you found God in the storm. You know what it feels like to be close to God. You know Him as your Friend, Counselor, Protector, and Father. This motivates you to spend more time in His presence.

You study the Bible, praise His name, attend church service and join a Bible study. Over time, you may again be afflicted with a boredom of faith. Maybe you feel church is boring after 20 years with the same pastor. Perhaps Scripture is overly familiar and you know the ending of all the Bible stories. You allow the flame of faith- to extinguish again.

All these thoughts saturate your once intimate mind, and once again, you’re Satan’s prey.

It is not easy to release the clutches of Satan when he makes life seem more comfortable. Yet the benefit of resisting him is a lifelong intimacy with God. Your heart, soul and mind are filled with the Holy Spirit. God becomes your best friend. Are you really too busy for God?

What can you do to seek intimacy with God?

  • read a daily devotional
  • read a passage of Scripture
  • play worship music in your home
  • write a few sentences in your prayer journal
  • memorize a Bible verse

Don’t tell God you’re too busy or you’ll spend time with him as a New Year’s Resolution. Stop putting the King of Kings, lover of your soul… on a backburner for another day!

Life is not about being busy, it’s about celebrating your relationship with a LIVING God.

A Brief Look at Different Bible Translations

During online Bible study, one of our participants was frustrated with a discrepancy in Bible translations and asked a great question: Why aren’t all Bible translations “accurate?” She was confused why Habakkuk had a different date in her NIV translation than the one mentioned in her Bible study workbook using the HCBS version. We had a wonderful online discussion via Facebook and I decided to share it here as well.

First, the Bible is written by the Divine Author.

It was originally written in languages that we would not understand today. For this reason it needs to be translated and has been translated into 150+ versions. One of the first translations was the King James Version in the 1500-1600 time range. Many years AFTER this was written, the Dead Sea Scrolls, containing ORIGINAL manuscripts of scripture were discovered in 1940-1950 time frame.

Now the Bible translators have NEW and verified documents and they discovered the original Bibles were missing some of the scriptures originally written OR they had actually translated and added verses that were NOT in the original manuscripts.

Okay…so we now have 150+ Bible translations, some written before Dead Sea Scrolls and some written after. To see all the translations visit Bible Gateway.

Second…we have legends and other historical documents that have been discovered through historical research.

So when the Bible was originally translated, these legends were believed true and then later discovered the time frames might be wrong or the stories might be a legend and not a fact. One example is Simon the Magician (I just wrote a long research paper on him) and there were legends that he claimed to bury himself alive in the ground and waited three days to see if he resurrected. Seriously! This legend says he died, yet other legends said he died another way. It was not mentioned in the Book of Acts because 1) Luke kept to his original message and didn’t want the focus on Simon and 2) it was legend and not verified by any supporting documents.

Third… there is difficulty in Bible translators verifying dates.

I highly recommend Acts (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Darrell Brock, or one of his other commentaries because the author actually will tell you ALL THE DIFFERENT DATES. So he says “document xxx says 600-400BC” and then “document yyy says 650-550bBC” and he presents all the different verified data, then he explains why Bible scholars have concluded a specific date. It’s actually fascinating to read…I highly recommend reading ONE of his books.

Why are Bible dates important?

It’s valuable to the historical context: who was the king or leader at the time, what was the moral and social environment at the time. Especially with the Greek gods…A date range is often more preferred than an exact date where there are no historical documents to date the time.

In our workbook Read the Bible For Life, on page 81 George Guthrie puts Habakkuk on the timeline with “610?” and his question mark indicates there is some confusion on the exact date for this prophet. I have the John MacArthur Bible Commentary and he lists Habakkuk as 620-605BC. I have the Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary and he lists Habakkuk as four different dates. He writes “Some suggest the time of Jehoikim (609-597BC), others maintain Josiah’s time (621 BC), and still others in the time of Manasseh (686-643BC).” I’m going to stop there…because while I don’t know the exact date of this prophet what I do know is that there is confusion with Bible scholars over his exact date.

What are the differences in Bible versions?

KJV and NKJV, NASB, ESV are word-for-word transaltions. NIV, HCSB, NET, NLT are thought-for-thought translations. AMP and Message are paraphrased Bibles, Message is translated by one author rather than a team of scholars. The word-for-word is closer to the original source language. The thought-for-thought is easier for understanding and therefore recommended for new Bible study students. For this reason, there will be variances in Bible translations. Choose the translation that you understand and use the Life Application Study Bible if you are new to Bible study, as you will find help applying what you learn.

What are the warnings of Bible inaccuracy?

Not all Bibles are accurate. Some have added books. Some have removed text. Some have suggested God is a Mother and Jesus is not the Messiah. Some are dangerous and false teachings.

How to Select a Bible That is Right For You

We often get asked about differences in Bible translations. Here are some helpful things to remember about different Bible versions.

  1. Pick the same Bible translation your pastor is using at church. Much of your denomination doctrine will be based on that version.
  2. Pick a study Bible. Beginners will find “Life Application Study Bible” easy to understand. Or the “New Spirit Filled Life Bible” which is a comparison of differences in doctrine and emphasis on Holy Spirit in Scriptures.
  3. Pick a commentary from your favorite theologian. Examples would be Tony Evans, Charles Stanley, Matthew Henry, John MacArthur, David Jeremiah, Warren Wiersbe, Moody, Holman, NKJV Commentary, NIV Commentary, Dallas Seminary, etc.
  4. Advanced Study: Some Bible teachers use Keyword Study Bible with Hebrew and Greek references. Many Bible scholars use the Thompson Chain Bible.
  5. You might use more than one Bible. For study, I use the Tony Evans Bible, Charles Spurgeon Bible, Keyword Study Bible, New Spirit Filled Bible. For journaling I use the Illuminated Faith Bible. 

 

    10 Reasons Why We Don’t Join A Bible Study

    Years ago the thought of joining a Bible study group made me sick to my stomach. It didn’t fit my lifestyle. It wasn’t convent for me And frankly, I was scared for the other students to see my Biblical ignorance. 

    You might be reading this article because you’re feeling apprehensive about a commitment. I know this, because I once felt the same thing as you.

    Numerous excuses filled my mind as I rationalized my reasons for not participating in Bible Study. These are my past reasons for not participating in a Bible Study. I’ve conquered these strongholds and my hope is you will too.

    10 Reasons Why We Don’t Join Bible Study

    You’re too busy. Satan likes a busy woman because those distractions will keep you away from God.

    You’re afraid of quitting. Not believing in yourself is an advantage for the enemy, he wants you to doubt your strength.

    Past failure. You tried a Bible Study, got behind and felt guilty. Right, just like the time you got on a bike, fell off, and never rode a bike again.

    Homework, yuk! Asking your children to do homework and then not doing it yourself…Satan just loves this.

    No time in my day. We waste time learning from TV or scrolling social media and we don’t give our time to God by reading the Bible.

    My house is noisy. Getting up early is not easy, after the first day. Once you find alone time, you’re value it more than anything else in your day.

    I have to work. Making money is important, but worshiping money, instead of spending time with God, is not. Get up early or read at lunchtime.

    It’s too expensive. Use your money for coffee drinks, or for God? We all have priorities and sometimes they need to shift.

    The commitment is too long. Being scared is something Satan has instilled in your heart and if you don’t study the Bible- Satan wins.

    The “Holidays” are coming. There will always be a holiday, a Spring Break, Christmas Season or family vacation. While these events are short lived, bible study is a six to ten week commitment of reading God’s Word. His Word in your heart is eternal.

    Like you, I’ve had many excuses not to join a Bible Study. As a result of my past attempts at church small group, I created the online Bible Study Cafe for women just like us. This study allows flexibility for your schedule, your family, your job and other events in your life. What makes it unique and important is that you can study at home, in your fuzzy slippers, and with a bad hair day!

    You don’t need to impress anyone with your wisdom, your Biblical skills, your fancy church clothes. You need to impress G….O….D….. your Father.

    What do you have to gain by spending one more minute at your job, arguing with your kids, watching reality television or clicking like buttons on Facebook!

    You have a lifetime of memories created by spending time in Bible Study. Shall we give our hearts to Satan, or to God?

    I’m on this journey too! Let’s be sisters.

    CHRISTINE ABRAHAM

    CHRISTINE ABRAHAM

    Bible Cafe™ Founder & Director

    CHRISTINE ABRAHAM is the Bible Cafe™ Founder and helps people understand the Bible, fellowship in small groups, and develop a lasting relationship with Jesus. She earned a Graduate of Theology degree in Biblical Studies from Liberty University. Christine has facilitated more than 100 Bible Cafe™ studies. She is a popular Christian Life & Leadership Coach. She lives in California with her husband and two rescue dogs. 

    Gideon Bible Study [Week 6]

    Welcome to our final week of the Gideon Bible study by Priscilla Shirer.  Throughout this study we’ve learned how God is able to turn weakness into strength. By now you realize there is more to Gideon than wet fleece! Our final chapter this week unveils the obstacles Gideon faced- his own self interests and idolatry.

    (image: Unsplash)

    We had the opportunity to complete “The Interview” and then reflect on own situations from a Biblical perspective. Did you claim your own idols after the lesson on page 150? It’s easy to read the pages of scripture and judge Gideon, and as we learned this week, much harder to judge ourselves. Yet for a Bible study to be effective and have lasting impact, we need to apply scripture to our individual lives. We need to live it…not just read it!

    What impacted you most during the Gideon Bible study? Which lesson or statement from Priscilla Shirer took root inside your heart? It would so so wonderful to gather together at the Table and hear your personal stories. In the meantime, we have s all group experience where you can gather and share your thoughts with each other. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook look for the hashtag #LessonsfromGideon and see what others are posting about this Bible study.

    In the final chapter this week, I personally discovered how something inherently good became an idol in my life. I’ve know that I struggle with emotional eating, and food which is good has power over me when I use it to fill an emotional need. I was reminded this week that only God fills those empty spaces in my life, and the solution is to turn to Him in prayer and not food.

    Chocolate is my cure-all for any mood…and something I need to limit inside my home. I use chocolate to celebrate something or to comfort a feeling I might be having. How about you? Is your idol a Facebook game, a television show, an addictive habit…what are you a bit obsessed over? For some women, even Bible study can become an idol when it becomes a badge on the wall and replaces a relationship with God. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.

    Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Cor 13:5 NIV

    Pause from your busy day or your heavy burdens and examine your own heart. Make sure you are in alignment with His will, in relationship with Him and detached from potential idols. This needs to be a daily habit as you center your life inside His Presence.

    My prayer for you is that by finishing this Bible study, you now recognize your own strengths and weakness from a spiritual perspective. With this knowledge, you are then in a position of authority in spiritual warfare. Walk in victory…beside Jesus. 

     Thank you for joining us in this Bible study! It has been a pleasure to spend this time with you. Thank you to our 20 volunteers who lead the small groups and pray for you by name. God is good, always!

    Final Assignment 

    • Write a book review for Priscilla Shirer 
    • Tell someone how much you enjoyed the Gideon study!
    • Join a small group this week

    Gideon Bible Study (starts May 9th, 2022)