Growing up a “Lonely Only”, there were a few things that got on my nerves. One was whenever anyone tried to nickname me, be it “Beth” or “Liz” or “Betsy”, my Mother always corrected them. “No,” she’d say, “Her name is Elizabeth. Please call her Elizabeth.”
Mom and Dad named me for one of my Mother’s sisters, who was Sarah Elizabeth. Never mind we called her “Bem”. So maybe I wanted a nickname too?!!!
One year when I went to camp I told everyone to call me by my middle name, “Lee”. If you could’ve seen the look on my parents’ faces when they picked me up…everyone saying, “Goodbye, Lee!” (Can you say, “Rebellious child”???)
Last week, my friend Sherry and I were doubly blessed to spend time with two fantastic ladies. One of the ladies is Ellen Stamps, who I wrote about in “Lunch with a Modern Day Saint Makes for an Extraordinary Day”.
The other young lady we had coffee with at a charming spot in Wilmore, Kentucky called Solomon’s Porch (www.solomonsporchwilmore.com ). I’m still not over the Pumpkin Pie Latte I had, so I’ll share the picture with you just one more time.
Once again, Sherry’s daughter, Laura, graciously connected us with a wise-beyond-her-years young Mom named Jessica LaGrone. She is the new Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary. (www.asburyseminary.edu )
Jessica and her husband, Jim, have recently moved from Texas so she can assume this challenging post. After she told us they have three worship services a week, offer daily communion, enlist numerous preachers and musicians every day, involving the students, my head started to spin.
Jessica shared this with Sherry and me as if she were rattling off her grocery list. Before taking another breath, she then gave us a copy of her first Bible study she wrote, Namesake: When God Rewrites Your Story.
Before I share with you a snippet or two from this excellent study, you must know that this is one of four studies she’s written, the fourth of which comes out next month, entitled Set Apart: Holy Habits of Prophets and Kings. It’s a Bible study on 1st and 2nd Kings.
One more piece to the puzzle is Jessica and Jim are blessed with two young children, son Drew and daughter Kate, ages five and two. Now do you see why I say Jessica is wise-beyond-her-years??? (I wanted to ask if she had experience as a plate spinner, visualizing her spinning about twelve at a time….)
Jessica says Namesake—When God Rewrites Your Story “is intended to help you discover the transformational power of God thru’ the stories of biblical characters who came to know God and whose lives and names were never the same.” Readers will learn about Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, Naomi, Daniel, Peter and the Unnamed Woman who was caught in adultery.
Jessica adds, “You will see that God wants to be just as intimately involved in your stories, offering each of you an identity that shines with the purpose for which you were created—to know Him thru’ His Son, Jesus, and to become more and more like Him, bringing God glory for His name’s sake.”
I love the format of this Bible study. Rich with Scripture look-up, Jessica’s studies are six weeks long, with “heartwork” for Days One thru’ Five. “The first four days explore the theme of transformation found in the featured Bible story, and the last one focuses on the theme of God’s revelation of Himself.”
She reminds us, “The word Christian bears, at its heart, the name of Christ. When that name is bestowed on us, God hopes and dreams that we will grow to favor His Son, to be like Him in all that we are and do.”
Then she encourages us with, “Becoming Jesus’ namesake is a complicated, lifelong process of transformation that begins with the simple act of trusting Him.”
Allow me to share three of many killer application questions in Jessica’s study that’ll make you think:
“Will I be discontent because I don’t yet have what I want, or can I find contentment along the way with God’s help?
What will I learn in my time of waiting?
Am I willing to listen for God as I wait?”
If you and your small group and/or your church are on the hunt for a Bible study, I highly recommend this one and I suspect, just from our few minutes with Jessica, her other studies are equally challenging. They also have DVD’s to accompany them. (Abingdon Press is her publisher. www.AbingdonWomen.com )
You can find Jessica via her blog at:
Here are the covers of her other books and studies:
Thank you, again, Jessica, for your time and for the wonderful resources. Blessings to you and your family and may God stretch your time and richly bless your students at Asbury in your new job! Keep writing!!!
‘Til next time!