Monthly Archives: March 2014

Let’s Wrap Up Women of Faith’s UNWRAP THE BIBLE Conference with More Great Bible Teaching…

How do you unwrap a gift? Do you rip the paper to shreds, hurriedly, to find out what’s inside?

Or, like my sweet husband….

Do you shake it,

feel it,

barely, barely sever the tape,

slowly, ever-so-slowly, painstakingly remove the paper…

until we’re all about to pull our hair out??? (You’d think he’d never opened a gift before in his life, poor baby.)

Or, if you wrap like I do, that translates into stuffing the gift in a gift bag, fluffing up some terribly tired tissue, and zip! Out the door you go in sixty seconds or less…Thence unwrapping this kind of gift takes no time at all.

Gift Bag

What we’re about to discover, thanks to some fantastic Bible teachers, is:

To unwrap the Word of God, we must…


every single word,

every single phrase,

every single paragraph,

very slowly, akin to how my husband slowly unwraps gifts.

Women of Faith’s (WOF) Unwrap the Bible Conference, held in Houston, TX February 21-22, gifted each attendee with five gifts from the Bible to unwrap from five fabulous teachers. Beth Moore and Lisa Harper got us started. (See Part 1…). Then all five of them spoke together on a panel to help us with reading, studying, and quiet times, plus we got to hear a separate talk by Priscilla Shirer. (See Part 2…)

Unwrap the bible

This week, we’ll finish up with the last two gifts coming from Sheila Walsh and Christine Caine. All five of these gals equipped us with Scripture and lessons to keep us standing firm as we walked back out into the wild world in which we live.

Sheila Walsh is what I call the “Steady Eddy” of Women of Faith. Speaking with them from the beginning, more than seventeen years ago, you can count on Sheila to pick you up where you are, no matter the circumstances, and give you the Godly boost you need.

Sheila pointed us to John 15, showing us we must remain in Christ from the Vine and the Branches passages. She said, “Our source of strength comes from God’s Word.” She assured us, “You have not been forgotten. God is bigger than your circumstances.” 

She also warned us: “Beware of compromise…”

Her first lesson was: “We have an enemy hell bent on destroying us, but we have a Savior who became earth bound to deliver us.”  Significant to call upon our Savior.

Sheila walked us thru’ the Book of Esther, pointing us to Esther’s bravery shown in Esther 4:15-16: “Esther sent back her answer to Mordecai: ‘Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even tho’ it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.’” (MSG) Gulp…would you do this??? Esther’s complete trust in God is inspiring.

Sheila followed up with this lesson: “When you’ve done everything you know to do, then stand and watch the deliverance of the Lord.” 

Storm Inside

Next up, and brace yourselves, was Christine Caine. This was my first time to experience Christine’s teaching. I think my hair is still standing straight up on the back of my neck. My toes are still bruised. My ears are still ringing. This girl packs a punch. Oh, and it’s a Heavenly one at that…

Christine chose Sarah, specifically from Genesis 18:10-14 where God hears her laughing at the thought of becoming pregnant at her very old age. Never mind she “laughed to herself”, but God heard her anyway!

The key Scripture we focused on came from verse 14, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”  She cited case, after case, after case, where God showed up in uncanny situations to care for impossible situations.

After showing a hilarious clip of a boy going thru’ his parents’ pantry and frig, discovering numerous items more than expired, Christine pointed out: “The Promises of God do not have an expiration date.“ 

Then Christine looked out at all eleven thousand of us and asked, “So how’s your posture? How’s your belief? We must strengthen our womb of faith. Because….if it’s not strong enough, you’ll abort and miscarry.” 


Let’s just stop and think about this for a second. What a beautiful picture of our faith. Our “womb of faith” constructs a growing process for us to faithfully feed from this day on into eternity.

Christine further encouraged us to “be intentional about being in God’s Word, knowing God’s Word.” She said, “We’ve become blind to God’s ability to do the impossible…Remember, “Is ANYTHING too hard for the Lord???” 

She frequently adds, “Keep it fresh and keep it real.”


My most amazing discovery happened after the conference when Liz Curtis Higgs and I were asked to join the speakers and some WOF staffers for lunch. How fun is that?

WOF2014 Group

Here we are right before we left for the airport, after lunch. From left to right: Beth Moore, Liz Curtis Higgs, Priscilla Shirer, Lisa Harper, Michelle Parrozo (she’s on staff with WOF), Lisa Bevere, Melissa Moore (Beth’s daughter who writes brilliant additions to Beth’s Bible studies), and Christine Caine. (Priscilla’s cousin and I were the photogs!)

It was fascinating…and while I would have thought the girls would totally kick back, be wiped out from being “on” for eleven thousand attendees…certain they’d talk about food or shopping or when they’d be getting home …Not so…

They all talked about books and resources that help them when writing, whether writing for a book, or Bible study, or for a talk to teach, as well as future writing projects! I just sat back in awe.

One gal, who also speaks for WOF, did like Liz did which was to attend the conference purely to soak in these girls’ teaching. She sat next to me at our luncheon and was the most precious thing. I had no idea who she was.  She was so interested in how Liz and I’d become friends, what I did, etc.

I was so stunned at her interest,  I didn’t think to ask about her ministry!!! This same girl, who knows no strangers, wound up on our flight from Houston to Atlanta, and in similar fashion, became acquainted with half the plane’s passengers. Not kidding.

Who was this? None other than Lisa Bevere. Bet some of y’all know of her husband, John, too. They have written several books and have an awesome ministry. Checkout their website:

Alas, Liz and I landed in Louisville, back into the Real World. Hey, but we were still STANDING….and equipped with anointed teaching from gifted teachers.

As God would orchestrate, my small group recently began Priscilla’s Gideon: Your weakness. God’s strength. Bible study. IT IS POWERFUL!!! Let’s close with her prayer from Week Two, Day One:

“Today, Gideon’s story encourages us to seek the Almighty in the midst of normalcy. Ask the Lord to make Himself visible to you just as He did to Gideon. Pray that He will open your spiritual eyes over the next twenty-four hours so you can see Him more clearly than ever before.” And may I add, all the while standing firm in Him.


Finally, you must know the good news that WOF has already booked an Unwrap the Bible Conference for February 20-21, 2015, back in Houston, at Lakewood Church! Make plans to attend now!!! (Go to: )

‘Til next time!!!

(This post is dedicated to all five Bible teachers from Unwrap the Bible: Beth Moore, Lisa Harper, Priscilla Shirer, Sheila Walsh and Christine Caine.   You enlightened, taught, and empowered Liz and me and 10,998 others to stand firm in our faith and to take our stand daily. May God Bless you and your families and your ministries abundantly!!! Plus let’s not forget my dear friend, Liz Curtis Higgs, who extended this most gracious invitation to attend in the first place!!!  Hugs across town, Lizzie!!! ‘Twas a blessed BLAST!!!)


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Don’t Miss Next Monday Night 3/24!!! Men and Women are Invited to Meet and Hear from Patrick Henry Hughes at Book Club!!!

Friends, this is an evening you do not want to miss!  If you live in Louisville, you probably have heard of, or have seen the awe-inspiring Patrick Henry Hughes.  Whether on the football field in the marching band, or performing at a function, or in a church, or you may recall Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition completely remodeling their home in November of 2007.

If you live anywhere near Louisville, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear Patrick speak and sing and have the chance to meet him!  Plus, his Father, John Patrick, will also be with him and they will answer any questions you may have.


A synopsis of their remarkable story follows in this YouTube:

Not only will we get to hear from Patrick and his Dad, we’ll get to discuss their book, I Am PotentialEight Lessons on Living, Loving, and Reaching Your Dreams.

As Bryant Stamford said, “This book is not only the story of Patrick Henry’s life, but also a guide for those who seek to live their own life to the fullest each day…Several distinct core elements form the basis for Patrick’s eight lessons on living with faith and without fear, loving unconditionally, and reaching your dreams—no matter how unattainable they may seem.”


One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 7:  “Love, Given Freely, Multiplies and Returns”.  It opens with this quote from Frederick M. Lehman (1868-1953)…”The love of God is greater far, than tongue or pen can ever tell.”  God is all over Patrick’s story and the lives He touches thru’ him, his Dad, and his music.  I believe your eyes will be opened to the fingerprints of God thru’ Patrick Henry Hughes.

Bring your friends, neighbors, and relatives to this sure-to-be memorable evening.  Don’t forget, men are also welcome and we meet from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., in the Connections Room at Middletown United Methodist Church. 

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243

For questions or to RSVP, please call:  (502) 245-8839.

See you Monday night, March 24th!!!

Next week we’ll wrap up Women of Faith’s Unwrap the Bible Conference with Part 3 of 3.  (Click here for Part 1 and Part 2)  You’ll hear tidbits from Christine Caine, Sheila Walsh, and get a sneak peak into our lunch that Liz Curtis Higgs and I enjoyed with many of the speakers!  Sooo fun…

‘Til next time!

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Inspirational Book Recommendations You’ll Love! (Part 2 of 3 on Women of Faith’s Unwrap the Bible Conference)

“I thought two books arrived yesterday.” Hubster John commented while nearly wiping out on two more packages that arrived today.

“Yes, well, …I ordered used books thru’ Amazon and they’ve shipped from all over the place. They are much cheaper as some of these books look like they’d be textbooks for Seminary.” I pleaded my case.

“And we know for sure,…” John teased, “YOU, of all people, need more books…”



Book addiction noted, I’m delighted to report in on one of many favorite parts of Women of Faith’s  “Unwrap the Bible” Conference from February 21-22.  Last week we unpacked Beth Moore’s and Lisa Harper’s  talks.  (For more information, please see Houston We Have an Answer….. )

This week we’ll hit highlights from the Panel Discussion with all five speakers:  Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Lisa Harper, Christine Caine and Sheila Walsh.  We’ll also discuss points from Priscilla’s talk.

Sheila facilitated the Panel by asking the girls what their favorite, most helpful books were, as well as what their daily time with the Lord looks like.  (This was rapid-fire-away-time bustin’ with resourceful  information!!!)

Priscilla Shirer mentioned two books she’s very fond of.  One is The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament by Sandra L. Richter and the other is The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbathby Mark Buchanan.  She says both of these made huge impacts on her.

Epic of Eden

Rest of God

(I’m currently reading The Rest of God and am highlighting paragraphs on every page as well as consulting an on-line dictionary…quite the vocab Mark has!  I’ll be writing about this eye-opening book soon.)

Regarding her quiet times, Priscilla said, “We must be in God’s Word even if we don’t understand it!  Continually search it out.  Keep placing your face before Him. Pray for understanding.”

Baby Holding Dad's Finger On Bible

Sheila said one of her all-time favorite books is by Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew. Haven’t met a book by him yet that hasn’t been well worth your time.

Jesus I Never Knew

Sheila emphasized, “Daily quiet times are so essential because one of the greatest lies the enemy spews is that God doesn’t love us, leaving us with the wound of abandonment. “

While she didn’t brag on her newest book, my buddy Liz Curtis Higgs, whom I was with at the conference, said The Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are is Sheila’s best writing yet.

Storm Inside

Sheila also armed us with:  Psalm 143:8 –  “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” (NIV)

I love the wording in the ESV:  Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.  Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”  The study notes say, “The reminder of God’s steadfast love enables him (David and us!) to endure….The expression lift up my soul is one of deep dependence and allegiance.”

What an endearing verse to start your morning.  Thanks, Sheila!

Christine Caine mentioned two favorite books:  The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative and The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission (Biblical Theology for Life) both by Christopher J.H. Wright.  (These are the seminary-like-textbook ones I spoke of earlier!  True tomes.)

The Mission of God

The Message of God's People

Christine said of her daily quiet time:  “Reading the Gospel transforms us to transform others.  Getting in the Word produces fresh truths and understanding. “  She added, “We’ve got to keep it fresh and keep it real.”

Beth Moore chimed in with a great suggestion:  “Ask God to do the supernatural like He did in Luke 24, where Jesus opened the peoples’ eyes to recognize Him and to Scripture. “ (v. 31)

Beth said she frequently uses Bible software such as , concordances and commentaries, and the book, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem.

Systematic Theology

Lisa Harper also mentioned Wayne’s book as well as books by Craig Blomberg, two of which are on my radar (loads to choose from if you checkout  or ):

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels and Preaching the Parables: From Responsible Interpretation to Powerful Proclamation.

Historical reliability

Preaching the Parables

 Beth and Christine also mentioned and the NET Bible Reader’s Edition.  Go to: to see the wealth of information you can access, which is the ministry that created the NET.

NET Bible

Praying this plethora of resources hasn’t fried your brain yet, let’s close out with pearls from Priscilla:

I’ve been blessed over the years to hear Priscilla’s Daddy, Tony Evans, speak as well as her sweet Mother, Lois Evans.  Once in Nashville, other buddies in Women’s Ministry and myself heard Priscilla and her Mother speak.  What a blessed family.  I must say, Priscilla preaches like her Daddy.  Powerful.  Very Powerful.

Priscilla Shirer

For her talk, Priscilla chose Jesus’ Mother, Mary, to teach us a few principles.  She said, “God wars for your soul.  We must stand guard against the enemy. We must not be just believers, but total trusters in Jesus Christ. We must believe He’ll be for us and will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.”

Priscilla took us to the book of John, chapter 2 where Jesus and His disciples and His Mother, Mary, attended a wedding in Cana.  True to a Mother’s ways, Mary pointed out to Jesus they were out of wine.

Bread And Wine For Jesus

Priscilla enlightened, “Running out is the prefix to running into Jesus.  The primary way to see Jesus is to pay attention to where He leaves us:

If we don’t move,

If we don’t run, and

If we don’t try to circumvent our circumstances.”

Big lesson for those of us “fixers” out there to be patient….Sigh…

Priscilla added, “We don’t always have to try to make sense of Jesus, much less the season we’re in.”  Isaiah 55:8 reminds us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.”

Before she closed, Priscilla gave the most powerful case for believing and trusting in God. As if in a chess match,  she began with Genesis and ended with Revelation pointing out Satan’s attacks…But with each one, she beautifully reminded us that “God had another move”…and what He did to counter Satan’s attacks, culminates in His ultimate victory in Revelation.  We all wanted to jump to our feet!

John 20:30-31 says, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (NIV)  We must believe…

Priscilla’s pep talk nearly over, she said, “Don’t allow the Cross to lose its’ power.  Redemption is yours.”  Lord, please help us remember this.

Don’t miss Priscilla’s newest book, God is Able. She takes you thru’ Ephesians 3:20-21 in the most fun and gutsy way.  You’ll shake your head and say, “Now why haven’t I seen it that way before?”  You’ll come to believe “HE. IS. ABLE.”

God is Able

Please join me next week as we wrap up Part 3 of 3 of  “Unwrap the Bible” with morsels from Christine Caine, the most enthusiastic fireball I’ve heard recently, plus Sheila Walsh, the “Steady Eddy” of Women of Faith.  You’ll be blessed by their messages.

‘Til next time!



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Houston, We Have an Answer…Women of Faith’s Unwrap the Bible Conference Equips, Empowers and Encourages 11,000 Women!!! (Part One of Three)

“Ladies and Gentleman, this is your captain from the flight deck.  We’ve been cleared for landing in Houston.  Skies are fair, winds are light, and the local temperature is seventytwo degrees.”

Dashing off the plane, straight to our rental car, printed MapQuest in hand, (Lord have mercy on my co-piloting skills), my very brave friend hopped in the driver’s seat.  Deep breath and a sincere prayer to get us to our hotel, we were off.

Fearful Freeway Fretter that I am, you’ll be relieved to know my friend navigated those roads, dodging daredevil drivers, getting us to our hotel in no time. At one point, two lanes exited left, two lanes exited right and our one middle lane was exactly, and miraculously (!!!) where we needed to be.

Traffic jam in Los Angeles

You may be wondering how this all transpired:  My dear friend, mentor, and therapist (!!!), Liz Curtis Higgs, rang me up recently to tell me about a new, never-before-offered Women of Faith (WOF) conference.  WOF would be having five fabulous Bible teachers equip attendees to “Unwrap the Bible”.

Checkout the line-up:  Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper and Christine Caine.  Worship would be led by beautiful and super uber-talented Kari Jobe.

Liz, who is also a speaker for Women of Faith, wanted to go and support her Christian sisters and soak in the teaching for a change, being poured into, in lieu of also being on the line-up, pouring out.  After filling me in on the details, Liz said, “Would you like to go with me?”  My goodness gracious, would I ever!!!  (That was the invite of all invites, huh?!!!)

On Saturday, Liz and I found a great backdrop for a pic:

Eliz and Liz 2014

We flew down on Friday, February 21st, and back home late Saturday night the 22nd.  Our hotel was close to Lakewood Church, where the conference was held.  Eleven thousand women, plus a few brave men (including our pastor, Dave Stone and his wife, Beth) attended.


Parking was interesting.  Friday night, we wound up underground in one of the many garages.  I had to write down the color code, floor number, garage name, etc. just so we could find our way back.  Leaving a trail of bread crumbs, had we had a spare loaf (!!!) did cross our minds.

Being in the church/arena was wild.  I bet many of you have seen it on TV before.  It didn’t seem as big in real-life, altho’ eleven thousand women can make some noise!  Stop and think about 11,000 women opening God’s Word together.  Slice of Heaven…

Pictured left to right:    Victoria Osteen, Beth Moore, Liz Curtis Higgs, & Priscilla Shirer

Pictured left to right: Victoria Osteen, Beth Moore, Liz Curtis Higgs, & Priscilla Shirer

This picture was taken backstage Friday night.  Victoria opened the conference with a prayer and Beth was the first to teach.

You gotta know the bathrooms quit working Friday night due to a water main break in that area of Houston.  A  wee challenge.  (Pitiful pun intended.) Liz and I were beyond relieved to discover our hotel’s water was on and working upon our arrival that night!

Let’s get to the Bible teaching…

First up:  Beth Moore.  Each of the five teachers chose a woman from the Bible to teach on. Beth chose Hagar.  She was convinced Abraham’s wife, Sarai, must have had a case of spiritual amnesia since she orchestrated his having a child with Hagar.

Beth Moore Teaching

Beth walked us thru’ Genesis, Chapter 16, where Hagar flees after having had enough flack from Sarai, whom Beth dubs “Miss Mess”.  Hagar flees into the wilderness with her son and the Angel of the Lord finds them.  He asks her two questions we must ask ourselves in verse 8:  “Where have you come from and where are you going?”  Excellent points to ponder.

Strategic Journey

Beth further encouraged us by pointing out Hagar’s response to the Angel of the Lord.  In vs. 13, “She called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; Yes!  He saw me; and then I saw him!”  (ESV and MSG) No matter what season we’re in, God sees and hears each and every one of us.

Beth added, “There’s new grace in a new place for each and every one of us.”  Next time you wonder where you’re going, marinate on new grace in a new place…Isn’t that comforting?

One of Beth’s sweet staffers wrote an excellent post about this conference on the Living Proof blog, from February 26th.  Go to and checkout the post as well as a cool pic of the church.

Next up was Lisa Harper.  She taught on “A Woman with a Disabling Spirit”, found in Luke 13: 10-17.  The woman was “so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn’t even look up.  She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years.”  (MSG)

Lisa pointed out that while this woman had a physical disability, many times we are crippled or bent over with a mental one, or two, or twelve. She said, “Our view, when bent, is very limited.  We must be careful to not swallow the lies of the enemy.”

believing,trust in God, belief in the power of the lord and Jesu

Lisa pleaded with us, “Girls, Jesus does not want us to live a bent-over life.  He calls us to Him, as He did to this woman in Scripture, calling us to stand. “ We must make up our minds to stand tall and to stand firm.

Equipping us with numerous Scriptures, little did Lisa know three of them are my jump-off-the-page favorites:

2 Corinthians 1:24 – “Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.” (NIV)

Ephesians 6:13-15 – “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to standStand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”  (NIV)

1 Peter 5:8-10 – “Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. “ (NIV)

Lisa’s empowering lesson reminds me of a book  which could apply to all of these teachers and to all of us. (A must-read for surviving the Christian life.) When the five teachers were brought together in a panel discussion led by Sheila Walsh, they were all asked how they have their quiet time as well as which book or books have helped them along the way.  I couldn’t write fast enough.  (I’ll share their answers with you in next week’s post.)

The book which they could deftly add a sequel to, is also from a panel discussion with six courageous contributors, each with decades of experience in walking with Jesus.  The book?   Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints by John Piper and Justin Taylor.


The contributors?  Randy Alcorn, Jerry Bridges, John McArthur, John Piper, Helen Roseveare and Justin Taylor.  Each wrote a chapter in the book and their two-cents’ worth will blow you away.

All eleven of these great Bible teachers and writers say the same thing:  “The Lord is more precious to me the older I get.”   This was a quote from John Piper’s eighty-six year old Father.  Justin Taylor says, “One of the purposes of this book is to encourage you and equip you to truthfully write such a sentence—and mean it—in the final season of your life.”

Helen Roseveare admitted she’d like to change the subtitle of the book from “A Call for the Endurance of the Saints” to “A Call for the Perseverance of the Saints” creating the mental picture to “steadily go on, refusing to give up, no matter what comes.”

Each of the women in the Bible the WOF speakers chose do exactly this, all the while standing firm.  Join me next week  in Part 2, when we pick up with invaluable information from the girls’ panel discussion as well as pearls from Priscilla.  Part 3 will conclude with favorite quotes from Sheila and Christine, as well as tidbits from our lunch with an amazing bunch of women.  Tuck your toes under the table, as all these gals pack a punch!

Friday night’s farewell, led by Kari’s worship, had us using the flashlight app on our phones:

Arena with flashlights

Meanwhile, enjoy some fabulous music– from worship leader, Kari Jobe!  ( )

‘Til next time!


Filed under Conferences, Friends, Travel