I Believe Bible Study Registration

Study Title: “I Believe” Bible Study in Partial Fulfillment for Christian Studies and Global Citizenship Undergraduate Degree

Principal Investigator: Cassandra Wolfe

I am a student at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Department of Christian Studies and Global Citizenship & English Literature. I am planning to conduct a Bible study, which I invite you to take part in. This form has important information about the reason for doing this study, what I will ask you to do if you decide to be in this study, and the way I would like to use information about you if you choose to be in the study.  

Why are you doing this Bible study?

You are being invited to participate in a Bible study about the results of abstaining from, “fasting,” a particular activity that has been prayed about for a period of time, and spending intentional time in prayer and with God instead. I, the creator and researcher, believe that more time with God and in prayer, and intentional sacrifice, results in a less selfish attitude, and a more others-oriented lifestyle.

What will you do if you choose to be in this Bible study?

You will be asked to follow along with the content posted on a private blog page for which you will be given the password for seven weeks, participating in the comments section as you are comfortable and feel called. New posts will occur every Wednesday evening at 8pm EST, beginning Wednesday, March 6th, and ending Wednesday, April 17th, and will include discussion questions and prompts for the week. Week 1’s content will include how to go about choosing an activity to fast, and we will share what we are fasting in the comments section by the following week. The discussion board will be available for comments throughout the week. Only those who have signed up for the study will be able to see your comments. You will be encouraged to share your experiences and participate in discussion about relevant Scripture, but never forced.

I may quote your remarks in presentations or articles resulting from this work.  A pseudonym will be used to protect your identity, unless you specifically request that you be identified by your true name. You are also welcome to use a pseudonym as your blog name for participation. It is up to you what you want to get out of this study and learn from it, and that does not need to involve others knowing your identity if you feel you would be more willing to participate anonymously.

You will be asked to refrain from overly personal or potentially triggering information using best judgement.

What are the possible risks or discomforts?

To the best of my knowledge, the things you will be doing have no more risk of harm than you would experience in everyday life.

However, depending on the nature of your fast, you may experience various emotions in participating in discussions. You ALWAYS have the right to refrain from participating in conversations, and requesting that a discussion be halted.

As with all research, there is a chance that confidentiality of the information we collect from you could be breached – we will take steps to minimize this risk, as discussed in more detail below in this form.

What are the possible benefits for you/others?

The possible/expected benefits to you from this study include…

-A deeper relationship with God

-A broader understanding of Scripture related to fasting and prayer

-A renewed prayer life

-Higher productivity

-Reduced selfishness and greater compassion

How will I protect the information I collect about you, and how will that information be shared?

Results of this study may be used in publications and presentations.  Your study data will be handled as confidentially as possible. If results of this study are published or presented, individual names and other personally identifiable information will not be used. Any information I have your permission to keep will be kept on my private Google Drive account, not accessible to others, and will be used only for the purposes of my final presentation and paper. While confidentiality between participants will be requested, it, of course, cannot be assured of.

Financial Information

Participation in this study will involve no cost to you.

What are your rights as a Bible study participant?

Participation in this study is voluntary.  You do not have to answer any question you do not want to answer.  If at any time and for any reason, you would prefer not to participate in this study, please feel free not to. If at any time you would like to stop participating, please tell me. We can take a break, stop and continue at a later date, or stop altogether. You may withdraw from this study at any time, and you will not be penalized in any way for deciding to stop participation.  

If you decide to withdraw from this study, I will ask you if I am still able to quote any of what I have learned from your time in the study.

Who can you contact if you have questions or concerns about this research study?

If you have questions, you are free to ask them now. If you have questions later, you may contact me at any time:

Cassie Wolfe

519-570-8939

wolf3740@mylaurier.ca

Consent

I have read this form and the Bible study has been explained to me. I have been given the opportunity to ask questions and my questions have been answered. If I have additional questions, I have been told whom to contact. I agree to participate in the Bible study described above.

By registering for the online Bible study, you are agreeing to the information presented above and agreeing that all of your questions have been answered. To register for the online Bible study, simply fill out the form found here. You will be notified of the password for all the content by Wednesday, March 6th, 2019.

Again, for all the information about the Bible Study, the vision for it, and the research that has gone into it, head here, and peruse all the posts!

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One Major vs. Two: Is a Double Major the Way To Go?

Today’s post is all about double majoring.

Why did I decide to complete my undergrad as a double Major? What are the pros and cons of this? Who I recommend it to?

My application story:

I cannot recall ever being stressed about post-secondary, having doubts, or thinking twice. Looking back, I truly see this as a gift from God.

I declared in middle school that I was going to go to Wilfrid Laurier University for Christian Studies, for a couple main reasons: I was under (wrong) the impression that this was one of the only programs in Canada for Christian pastoralship, which I believed to be my calling since the age of nine, and my opa, one of biggest inspirations, was once the dean of the seminary at Laurier. I saw myself following in footsteps.

Throughout high school, while colleagues stressed about where they were applying, what schools might accept them, and how many different programs they should apply for, I… just wasn’t stressing. And in Grade 12, when it came time to apply, I applied solely to the Christian Studies I graduate program at Laurier.

I was accepted (the main requirement was a good English grade, which I had always had).

Coming to Laurier, still without question, boy was I ever made more aware than ever of just how much God has guided my path.

Not only have I grown closer to Him and learned about Him in ways only He could have foreseen;

I met the love of my life,

Some of my lifelong best friends,

and discovered naturally what gifts I really wanted to/felt called to utilize for ministry, and what my dream of “being a pastor” might look like.

In the process, I realized that majoring in solely Christian Studies meant I had to take a lot of electives, which, in first year, were very random according to my availability, from art history to Spanish (my only Cs in my university career– can you tell my interests?!). However, I took one English elective called Reading Fiction, and remembered words of many peers and role models in my life, from my opa, who said, “You would love to take literature courses,” my English teachers over the years, who encouraged me to pursue writing, and my own parents. These affirmations helped me to recognize a fire inside of me that I had always known, but never considered in terms of university, because what kind of job does one get with an English Literature degree?

All I knew was that I wanted more English classes. And so, I applied to double Major, and was accepted.

And the English classes I’ve taken have contributed to my degree, my maturation, and my learning in more ways than I can begin to express. I am a more well-rounded writer, more in tune with the importance of history, and in tune with my passion in analyzing classic writers.

Double Major If…

1. You realize most of your electives are in one field.

2. Your grades are suffering in your electives.

3. You cannot pick between two majors.

Don’t Double Major if…

1. You’re not incredibly confident in your choice of 1st major.

2. You find yourself wanting to explore a variety of other fields.

3. You don’t want to be on a strict schedule with course options.

My English Lit studies have complimented my Christian Studies in that the literature I’m reading for English classes has caused me to think critically about the application of ministry to different individuals in a Christian setting and in the world.

Money, Money, Money: How I Went From Being a Self-Serving “Hyper-Saver” to Finding Balance with my Finances

Money.

It’s one of those things I was always taught not to talk about. I learned in childhood not to disclose how much of it I had, not to talk about my savings– and to save as much as possible.

Proverbs 13:11

Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

Proverbs 10:4

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.

These two proverbs are I think important when considering the use of money and, actually, the importance of saving it and “being smart” with it.

However, one could easily go to far with this, and save money with only his/herself and his own life in mind.

1 Timothy 6:10

The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

When I was in this hyper-saving, can’t-spend-a-penny-outside-my-budget mindset, I thought I was pretty awesome. I thought the amount I had in my savings was a virtuous thing. I thought I was better off than someone who spent a ton of money. Now, I didn’t think these things consciously, but they were definitely beliefs in my subconscious.

Now, reflecting on what I actually believe to be true, and praying about it, I have learned a few things.

Budgeting is important, but it’s not everything. As those proverbs state, wisdom with money is certainly important, because I don’t want to spend it all on myself. A lack of a plan with money is not what I’m called to. But an inability to go out with a friend for coffee who is having a really hard time because I “went over my coffee” budget is not necessary. If that friend really wants Starbucks, I can afford a couple dollars for a coffee– and even think about treating her of course! If this becomes excessive, I may think about inviting that friend for at-home coffee instead, but it doesn’t need to be so wound up in “my budget.” That is where I’m convinced of my conviction that it becomes selfless saving.

It is always better to give than to receive. Jesus Himself says this. And a giver is who Jesus is. And since really recognizing this is as Truth, this importance of giving– I’ve experienced such freedom with money.

Obviously, I’m not going to give all of my money away! Part of the calling I have with money in the society we live is to look after myself, paying bills, and even understanding when I’m meant to bless myself with that money. But knowing that I am blessing myself because I’m honouring God when I bless others with money– also recognizing the privilege it is, but that it’s not everything, is man-made, and temporary– is important.

All things belong to God– including “my” money. It isn’t really mine if everything under Heaven is God’s.

There is a common saying along the lines of “you earned it!” But I would urge you to think critically about everything you hear. As a Christian, I think about this in light of Scripture. My life story, actually, is that I am undeserving of any of the blessings graciously bestowed upon me– it is entirely because of Jesus that I have this life. This is my core belief. And so, when I work, and receive money for that work, I didn’t “earn” it or deserve it as much as I was given it as part of duty: working for the glory of God. And so, I come under Him with my money.

I had an experience in church a few months ago in which I heard God’s voice so clearly.

I don’t experience His audible voice very often, but He was incredibly clear to me about an amount of money I had in my bag that I was called to give to the church that day.

I was tight for money for the month based on the arbitrary budget I had in my head, and going over that budget would usually cause me stress.

Rather, I was overcome by Jesus’ love and very easily gave that money up. I have already watched Him tangibly bless and multiply it, as He promises to.

Since then, I have learned that it’s ok for me to like budgeting. It’s actually a blessing that I enjoy saving. But the Holy Spirit will always speak about generosity, and when He does, it’s always for all good that I listen.

There is also always room, and in Christ, I am literally, actually, truly free from the law. I have learned my fair share about the destruction strict rules can wreak on a person.

Matthew 6:21

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Above all, I pray my treasure is in Jesus Christ, and that my heart, then, is fixed on serving Him.

Fall Favourites 2018

It is mid-November.

I am mid-way through the first semester of my last year of my undergrad. 
Can anyone in the same place– or who’s been there– vouch for the insanity? 
Yeah. Breaks in order to carry out passions are necessary, I have found. 

That is why I keep up the blog. Many of these posts, have proven to be helpful for some, and many of them just fun reads, and many of them sparking conversations that have changed my life… or, I’m told, someone else’s… 

So, I keep blogging. I pray God continues to use it. 

Today, Wednesday, has the blessing of being a break in my week, consisting of zero lectures, and time to study, reset, hit the gym, hang out with friends, etc. This morning I was blessed by a meeting with my pastors, where these amazing friends of mine blessed me with their time and wisdom. I am so incredibly grateful to go to a church in which the leadership sees community and mentorship as a vital part of church.

After which, I got to head home and clean with my beautiful roommate, bride-to-be, and friend, Mary. This girl is one of my greatest blessings, and we have most definitely become like sisters. Investing in relationships and people in her life so beautifully, Mary has taught me so much about self-awareness and awareness of others. Maddie and Mary are both such incredible blessings to me that I cannot imagine my life without. 

And now, I’m enjoying a break in studying to blog, and felt inspired to do one of my old favourites post:
Essentially sharing the top ten miscellaneous “things” I’m loving this season, that I think you might appreciate, too.

Music. 

PVRIS. Thanks to a co-worker and friend, I have discovered my love for girl alternative music, particularly this band.

Food. 

I used to think I hated pumpkin… but I have this new fancy for it. Versatile for both sweet and savoury recipes, so healthy, and so flavourful, I especially love it in this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It’s also super affordable! 

Menu.

The restaurant I work at just launched its new menu! And it is incredible. If you are in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, be sure to check out one of our two locations!

Serving something for literally every kind of eater, catering to all allergies and dietary preferences, plain ol picky eaters, and meat and potato lovers. Real people, real food– and that’s what makes me passionate about this place.

Podcast.


I am so grateful for the podcasts broadcasted by my pastor, Mike Rutledge. For leaders of any kind, these podcasts are sure to glean something true for you! While those are not public as of now, his sermons are– and they are phenomenal. Check them out here .

Class.

I am loving my Christian Studies Seminar class so much. Learning such tangible things about program development, research, and integrating different practices, I feel I am finally honing in on some of my passions and callings. 
To brief the project that is coming out of this class, head here.

Worship.

Sitting still with Jesus and singing this song to Him is powerful.

Hobby.

I would say that my number one “hobby” is tap dancing. It is one of my favourite things to do, most definitely my favourite form of exercise, and a practice that gives me so much joy. My school showcase is coming up on December 2nd!

Make-Up.

This eyebrow pencil gave me so much more eyebrow confidence! (When I choose to use it, haha).

Blogger.

Currently catching up on all the posts by my girl Mackenzie. 

Fierce, strong, and beautiful, she is a must-read blogger.

New Friendship.

Blooming so quickly, I have a new friend at church named Kayla, who is one of the fastest friendships I’ve ever formed. She is someone I feel I’ve known forever, and who I’ve been able to open up with instantly. Do you know those friendships? So special and such blessings. People will trump places, work, and experiences for me, always. 

A Morning with my Best Friend

Morning. Not stupid early, but not late morning, it’s 8:30am and your eyelids open after a solid, undisturbed 8 hour sleep. You smile to yourself, feeling that euphoric, passionate, life-is-good-because-God-is-good emotion that translates to excitement to spend time with Jesus. You know He’s going to meet you where you are– which happens to be your little student bedroom in Waterloo, warm under the perfect duvet, that perfect warm that is practically impossible to crawl out of.

You roll over just far enough to grab your Bible, and open it to where you left off. Psalms.

Psalm 41. 

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;

the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.

You spend enough time with Jesus to know that you are certainly not perfect at “regarding the weak,” but also to know that He has already forgiven you for it. He instructs you, though, and He makes you better. That simple time calling on His name and seeing His face, His very body, sitting on your bed, nowhere else to be but with you because that’s how much He loves you– whaaat— He tells you to lift your weary head and stop dwelling. He makes you aware of a coping mechanism that you go to when you’d be much better off turning to Him.

But that’s just it.

In the valleys He reminds you of His faithfulness.

If it weren’t for the coping mechanisms and failures and misgivings and faults, you wouldn’t know how much you need Him. That’s not to give any credit to the faults. No, it’s to weaken them, because it’s kind of sad to know that humans need them sometimes in order to know Him. 

But oh, there is grace. Oh, there is so much love. Oh, He is forever and always forgiving and unbudging. Oh, how this God Jesus just wants to befriend you, be above everything else in your life because He knows it’s what’s best for you.

He is, after all, your Father.

 

What Makes Thanksgiving My Favourite

“Over Christmas? Really?”

That’s usually the reaction I get when I tell someone that Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday.

But in my house, it’s the same every year.

My mom makes the most amazing turkey dinner on the planet, for one thing.

And the smell of it reminds of all different seasons of my life.

Seasons running home from school excitedly with hand-traced turkey crafts, “What I’m Thankful For” cards, and pumpkin pictures.

Seasons marking on the calendar when the pumpkins were to be picked and carved, and seasons chattering with my Oma and Opa about what Id learned in school.

Seasons crying in front of my meal, so sick with anorexia that I didn’t know how to be thankful for food let alone eat it.

Seasons of healing and growth, of “coming home” for Thanksgiving, of dreaming about hosting my own one day.

None more thankful than I am this year. In my last year of university, paying bills and cooking and working and trying to get the grades. I am more thankful than ever for parents I have that have loved and shaped me in many ways, and the people in my life today.

I am feeling restful. Sick with a second brutal cold of the year, I’m recognizing sufficiency in God’s Grace and timing and guidance. Trusting that He has me in the palm of His hand. Glimpsing my own imperfection, error, and downfalls more and more. Realizing more with each passing moment how much I need my God… thus, at the same time, realizing it less, because coming to know it more means becoming more aware of how undeserving I am. It makes no earthly sense that He is the lover He is.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B6BRS2WlhoY

I am thankful today for Jesus, and the fact that He is Life and He is Love.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever Psalm 136:1

I am thankful that He has given me the most wonderful man to love and be loved by. I am even thankful for the long distance that challenges us and strengthens us.

I am thankful for my beautiful parents and sisters, and the ways they have challenged me, loved me unconditionally, and taught me.

I am thankful for friends who are loyal, funny, and compassionate, and friends who double as God-fearing, fiercely loving sister-roomies.

I am thankful for each and every short day on this earth, and days loved for the purpose of my unfathomable Creator Jesus. Would I actually know the weight of this, Lord, and live, by Your grace, like it’s true.

So I guess Thanksgiving is my favourite because it’s a reminder of the fact that that I’m meant to give thanks and praise to my God. To never cease in singing His praise. To know that, in different seasons, His love band very personhood has never changed, never faltered, never lessened. I can look back and look forward, and I know it’s Jesus who remains constant.

Thanks be to God!

‘ina

I remember like it was yesterday asking my Bible prof the question, “does the phrase so that have a single word in Greek? I see it everywhere in the Bible. It must be a common translation from one Greek word.”

My prof smiled. “Yes, it absolutely does. It’s hi-na.”

This was last semester, and I remember knowing that the word was important.

Colossians 1:9-10 We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way.

The word meant so much to me because, when I see “so that” in Scripture, it always denotes a reason, a greater purpose. “Trials and tribulations are so that your faith might be made greater. Suffering and mourning are so that Christ might fill you with His strength.”

On my right wrist, I have a tattoo of the eating disorder recovery symbol. I’ve always felt it’s complete.

Since hearing the Greek word for “so that,” I keep thinking about getting hina, (in Greek it looks more like ‘ina) tattooed on my other wrist.

The eating disorder I endured was so that He might be glorified. The devil has no real authority through the disorder, thus God allowed it to happen so that He might be glorified, and that I might lean on Him more.

Flash forward to now, yesterday, in Biblical Greek class with the same prof who taught me hina. About a month into Greek, and I’m pretty proud of how much I’ve already learned.

When I stumble upon this in my textbook:

Eis can denote either result or purpose; ‘Ina far more commonly denotes purpose. Paul’s change of language is likely deliberate– to point out that his purpose in disciple is entirely rehabilitative, even if one of the results of his action is temporary exclusion and ostracism of the persistently rebellious sinner… “What the grammar suggests, then, is that the ‘destruction of the flesh’ is the anticipated result of the man’s being put back out into Satan’s domain, while the express purpose of his action is his redemption.” Craig Bloomberg

Wow. I can’t put words to how much this commentary excited me. This word had meant truth, historical and spiritual proof of healing to me… and here it was. Discipline purpose entirely rehabilitative.

It is this truth that has set me free.

And that reminded me of the freedom yesterday.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time.

If you know me well, you may be skeptical of my eating disorder recovery.

This is hard to write, but necessary to write.

I understand that. And I don’t mean to be a recovery advocate hypocritically. The healing that God has worked in me, by His Spirit and through His word, is done, and miraculous, and I give all that glory to Him.

But I became aware recently that there were still some habits around food, and views of food, that I held, that I was blind to, because they were normal to me. Because I’d been living this way for so long.

And, with that word, by His Spirit that I both physically and spiritually felt fill me up in my Greek class yesterday, I knew what I needed to do.

Controlled by the Spirit, I finally did the hard work of writing some of these things down. Views of food that I know are skewed. Wow.

I spoke them out loud and renounced them. And prayed.

And more rebirth. More memories. More healing.

There’s always more. Wow Jesus I just want moooore of YOU!

He is so good, my friends. He is so good. He refuses to leave me and He refuses to leave you. He wants to do a great work in you. He wants to bring you in to the purpose of life, and bring you joy and adventure and peace and a kinder heart in doing so.

The past few days I’ve eaten more peanut butter than I have in long time, lots of oily snacky food, and the skin on turkey, and I realized for the first time the swirling voices in my head that have still been there.

And it’s okay that I’ve been struggling. But I’m not okay with staying that way, only because I know Jesus is apart from those voices. And I want to be all His.

He’s allowed me to acknowledge the voices– and silence them.

This whole ordeal– Hina. SO THAT. Purpose.

*if you are resonating with any of these words– about eating disorders, or just about knowing there’s healing/purpose– and have questions or need a friend, I am here. Feel free to message me or ask any questions you might have. I’m trying to be more honest about the lows, rather than forever saying “I’m fine.” Because when darkness is brought to the light… well, it’s not dark anymore.