How It Began
The Living Room Series developed in, well, my living room with a group of five girls, Ali, Lauri, Anadara, Carrie and me. We had the desire to study and mine the depths of Scripture but wanted to do so in an environment that promoted honest and genuine exchange. We also wanted to eat with one another because we think it’s Biblical and perhaps more honestly, because we love food. We discovered that cooking together, sharing recipes, and lingering around one another’s table set the tone for the deeper things God wanted to do in our lives. Dinner and discussion relaxingly primed us to share what we had learned from the study of God’s Word. After all, there’s something wonderfully disarming about the conversation that takes place around a dinner table.
We also felt that by keeping our group small we were more apt to genuinely share with one another. The more intimate environment allowed us to open up and honestly express our hearts in a way we wouldn’t have in a larger group. This also promoted more specific and intimate times of prayer. However, that’s not to say that many people haven’t used the “No Other Gods” or “Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy” curriculums in large group environments that have been effective. Both studies can easily translate into a church or Sunday School environment, but we wanted you to understand the additional benefits of meeting in a home, eating together and keeping the group intimate. But, hey, so far we’ve heard of people doing the study at Starbucks, at swim practice, the park, large church settings, so whatever fits your need…
No Other Gods
As a group we found the topic of false gods to be a significant one; not something banned to foreign lands and ancient times, but something we deal with on a regular basis within the confines of our hearts. They can be simple things like people, houses, careers, shopping, or food; things that may have grown into idols simply by how much we desire them. Or, they can be the more obvious false gods like alcohol, drugs, or pornography. Regardless of our idols, they all take the place of God in our lives, something He is not keenly given to because of His great and jealous love for us. As a group we discovered how much God desires to free us from such powerless, yet deceptive, gods so that we can make room for His all-surpassing presence to move in our lives.
Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy
For us, this was a wonderful follow-up to “No Other Gods” (though studies can be done in any order) because if NOG is about letting go, Ruth is all about holding on. We found it inspiring to stick with one woman’s story over the course of six weeks, experiencing the profound valleys, mundane plateaus and unthinkable highs that were part of Ruth’s exquisite journey. This Old Testament book was a surprise to all of us, amazing us by its distinct New Testament themes of grace and redemption – Jesus is all throughout this ancient book. Probably the most unique part of “Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy” was the opportunity to write and record songs about the turn of events that inspired me most about Ruth’s story. Two of the songs I wrote with Anadara and Alli: “Love Changes Everything” and “What Do You See” respectively. In the end, we all found ourselves challenged and changed by Ruth and, ultimately, her God.
In A Nutshell
Both studies are part of the unique Living Room Series. “No Other Gods” is an eight week Bible study and “Ruth” is a six week study, both including five days of homework per week, recipes for meal ideas, song suggestions that can be shared in your gathering, a helpful discussion guide in the back of the book that will enhance your over-all experience. To order a copy of the “No Other Gods” or “Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy” Bible study, the “No Other Gods” book, or the “Loss, Love & Legacy” CD simply visit the store. For questions, comments or more information on Kelly’s studies, books or music please feel free to email us at email@example.com