Tag Archives: Jill Briscoe

Four Fabulous Kinds of Love in February Part 1 of 4: Love for God with Help from Stuart, Jill, and Pete Briscoe…

Ahhh, February. The month of love. Any of you guys out there reading this better have “buy chocolate for ____________” on your calendar…

Gift boxes of gourmet chocolates for Valentine's Day

We gals really appreciate it even if we say, “Oh no, please do not buy me any this year.” Just know we do NOT. MEAN. A. WORD. OF. IT. (!!!)

This month we’re going to have some fun with four different kinds of love:

Love for God,

Love for Spouse,

Love for Family, and

Love for Friends.

We’ll be exploring ideas from God’s Word and from excellent authors who can teach us a thing or two or ten.

Just when I thought our beloved Naples, Florida couldn’t get any better, Hubster and I were blessed with an unbelievable opportunity to enjoy it even more. On Sunday, January 24th, we attended Covenant Church of Naples (www.covenantnaples.com).

Pastor Trent Casto delivered a sermon on ‘The Lion of Hell” which caused each of us to walk out of there with both eyes open, hearts beating more rapidly, and much more on the alert for the prowling lion/thief/father of lies who’s looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) Translation: Major wake-up call!

In addition to being blessed by an applicable sermon, we noticed in Covenant’s bulletin we could return on Wednesday to have “Breakfast with the Briscoes”. As in Jill, Stuart, and Pete Briscoe! For real???

Tellingthetruth

Guessing many of you have either heard of the Briscoes or have read one of their many, many excellent books. Their books cover every topic you can imagine such as Bible studies, women’s ministries, prayer, marriage, family, aging, renewal, children’s books, etc.

Two of my personal favorites are Time Bandits: Putting First Things First (LifeChange Books) by Stuart

789925

And A Little Pot of Oil: A Life Overflowing (LifeChange Books) by Jill

1390050

Stuart and Jill hail from England, married in 1958, and praises to our Lord landed in the United States, ministering at Elmbrook Church (www.elmrook.org) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for thirty plus years. They’re “retired”, altho’ still travel and speak everywhere while being in their 80’s! They are still goin’ strong. Stuart said when asked when they were going to quit speaking, “As long as we’re able, we’ll go!”

Their youngest son, Pete, pastors Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Dallas (www.benttree.org). He, too, has written several books. He is very articulate, clearly loves the Lord, and is fun to watch interact with his parents.

The three of them have an amazing ministry, in addition to all they do via www.tellingthetruth.org. It offers messages that are broadcast all over the world via six hundred radio stations in eight different countries! Their website is a wonderful resource with invaluable teaching. (Podcasts, etc. are available PLUS they have a FREE APP you can download on your phone!)

Let’s get to the questions Pastor Trent posed to the three Briscoes. Each and every one of us can benefit from these.  Consider your love for God in each of these scenarios:

QUESTION #1 – How do you find joy and purpose in your everyday life?

Stuart said we must keep everything in perspective, especially from our human vantage point. He quoted Theologian Dr. Vernon Grounds who said, “aging means diminishing”. We must embrace slowing down, finding joy in each and every stage.

He told us he loves enjoying different generations. He and Jill are blessed with three children and thirteen grandchildren. Each month, he asks his grandchildren for a few sentences’ worth of an update—for their “beings and doings in the last month”. Then he publishes them in “Pappa’s Monthly Round-Up” so they can keep up with one another. Grandparents, take note!

Stuart told us he used to be a runner. One day he was out jogging and became really tired. He slowed to a walk and suddenly realized what he’d been missing: trees in bloom, green, green grass, blue skies, he heard birds singing, etc. He added, “It’s amazing what you see when you take the time to slow down.”

He quipped that in England there’s a trajectory to your life: you start out playing rugby, then soccer, then you just run, then you walk and play golf, and finally you become a bird watcher. We all laughed at this, and yet while Stuart said he and Jill are now birdwatchers, they still were quite spry moving around on the stage, up and down the steps, etc. He may have been fooling all of us!

Bird Watchers

Pete said one lesson he’s learned was that he does not find joy and purpose in success. He pointed us to Galatians 5:22-23 which lists the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

He said, “Joy is a gift from the Holy Spirit. We must be available to the Spirit and receive joy and purpose from Him.”

Jill said when you can’t praise Him for what He’s allowed, praise Him for what He has done. She cited cancer as an example. She doesn’t believe we should praise Him for the cancer, but praise Him for our caregivers, medicine working, family surrounding us, etc.

Praise Him that we find joy in Jesus, within us. There’s joy in serving Him. Look for the invisible qualities of God that are visible in His Creation. She cited Psalm 16:11 which says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy…”

156b20226a0d5518f3598e6ae5544915

QUESTION #2 – Each of you are leaders in different capacities. What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned?

Stuart replied that “leaders are intended to lead with followers following—a followship if you will.” He offered three suggestions:

A – Lead them where they are, not where you think they should be.

B – Lead in the direction they’re willing to go, not where you’re determined they should go.

C – Move at their speed, not yours.

IF you’re able to accomplish all three of these, two things will happen:

1 –Rapport is built.

2 –Momentum is generated. As a leader, you need momentum because nobody can steer a stationary vehicle!

Stationary bike

Pete said he loves the opening line of Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life: “It’s not about you….” He said, “As a leader, you must remember that!”

Two levels to consider are “is this working?” and “is this not working?”, all the while remembering it’s not about you! Piece of cake, right???

Pete quoted Bill Hybels’ book Courageous Leadership illustrating the difference between “Capitol L” leaders and “Little ‘l’” leaders. He talked about leaders who are visionary, entrepreneurial, motivational, directional, strategic and managerial. Many audience members nodded recognizing some of their own particular styles.

44379

He admitted, “It’s tough to not get hung up on performance. At the end of the day, people still want to know how well you know Jesus, not how well you perform.” John and I talked about this later and he said, “This reminds me of that saying, ‘People don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care.’” Amen.

Jill confessed she’s quite the instigator, full of ideas. While this is a gift of hers, putting the ideas all together, coming up with a plan, and implementing it is not. Therefore, she learned to invite help.

When she and Stuart first arrived at Elmbrook, she realized she was the “minister’s wife”, therefore she must surely have a job to do. She gathered the women of the church and asked them to write out what their expectations of her were. (Can you imagine?)

Not surprisingly, their lists, upon lists, upon lists of expectations not only overwhelmed Jill, but she almost instantaneously realized she could do nothing on those lists!

After her cup of tea in a time of crisis (great suggestion!!!), she realized, thanks to the Lord, she’d just chip away a la Ecclesiastes 9:10 and “do unto the Lord”. Even if her efforts were bad, she was trying with all her might and praying harder than ever.

QUESTION #3 – In your own walk in Christ, what is the single greatest discipline a Christian should develop?

Jill suggested three things: prayer, solitude, and silence. No performance. She said, “Jesus will mentor you when you pray to Him.”

Young woman praying in the church

Jill recalls a visit to Viet Nam thirty years ago. They were led to a secret church. After hearing Jill pray, one young gal who’d also risked her life to be there said, “I love how well you know Jesus. I want to know Him like you do.” Jill realized that how we pray suggests how deep our relationship is to the Lord. Now that will make you think!

Stuart believes there’s more than one discipline. He said, “Both dependence and obedience are required.” These produce trust. Let that soak in a minute…

He pointed us to Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 where He tells His disciples to “go and make disciples of all the nations, teaching them to obey all the commands I’ve given you…”

Pete believes the discipline of knowing who you really are is of paramount importance. He threw us a curve ball. He asked, “How many of you are sinners in need of a savior?” To which we all raised our hands.

He corrected us by saying, “We shouldn’t identify ourselves as sinners, we are saints now, saved by grace. Perhaps we’re saints who sometimes sin, but we cannot mistake our identities…

There’s so much Christ has purchased for us. Knowing Him more today than yesterday should be our goal.”  How great is your love for God?

After the Q & A we had the opportunity to receive two books:

Improving with Age: God’s Plan for Getting Older and Better by Jill and Stuart Briscoe

26654060

Experiencing Life Today: 365 Day Devotional by Pete Briscoe

26132335

Sadly the morning flew by and it was time to leave. Pete, Stuart and Jill all gave John and me lots to discuss and ponder. We got to meet and speak with each of them and they were positively lovely, engaging and sincere.  Their love for God is contagious.

Take the time to explore their website: www.tellingthetruth.org.   You will be blessed!

‘Til next time!

 

 

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Bible Studies, Book Reviews, Scripture

Anybody in Need of a Shepherd

Have you ever lost anyTHING?

AnyONE?

Have you ever forgotten where you parked your car?

Sorry to say this is my new inexplicable occurrence du jour…

A friend of mine said she and her husband bought one of those recorder thing-ys  for her Mother-in-law last Christmas.  This thing, “As-Seen-On-TV”, allows you to speak into it & say, “I parked in 5B”, to remind yourself where you parked. My friend admitted she’d wished she’d bought one for herself as well! (Perhaps this will surface on our Christmas lists this year…)

 bigstock-Crowded-parking-lot-in-downtow-12089462

This week I’d like to tell you about a beautifully written and powerfully encouraging book by Robert J. Morgan.  John and I have been blessed to meet Rob, hear him preach at his church in Nashville (where he’s preached for thirty-three years), and read his amazing books (twenty-five and counting).

He once drove from Nashville to speak to our Book Club when we’d read 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.  Loads of men and women were beyond blessed that evening.

My challenge is to only write about one of his books as they each touch the reader in a myriad of ways.  (I’ll list some of them for you at the end and you can peruse his website when you get a chance:  www.robertjmorgan.com )

Let’s take a look at some of the many pearls Rob offers in his latest book, The Lord is My Shepherd—Resting in the Peace and Power of Psalm 23. 

 The Lord is my shepherd

For those of us who love pets, as in dogs and cats, and for some who own and ride horses, we grasp the whole pet care/call-me-crazy concept.  But how unique of  Rob and his wife, Katrina, to counter offer their daughters’ request for horses by suggesting sheep!

They immediately bought four or five lambs and their daughters were hooked.  They got to bottle-feed them at first.  Imagine gazing out in your backyard and seeing sheep grazing!

Rob points out that even if we don’t have actual sheep in our backyard, simply from reading Psalm 23, “we can gaze out that evocative window every day. ..It’s possible to transport yourself instantly to green pastures, still waters, restored souls, overflowing cups, and righteous pathways.”

(The sheep and the pasture photos below are thanks to permission from  Liz Curtis Higgs and her fascinating Scottish blog:  www.MyScottishHeart.com )

SCENERY-03-Dykes-and-Pastures

NOW, more than ever, we Christians need the peace and power of Psalm 23.”

Furthermore, “ALL sheep need a good shepherd.” Uh, and that would be you and me.

Even when we think, “Oh, I’m just fine, thanks.  Don’t need anything.  Don’t need anyone either.”  That’s exactly when we need a shepherd, because frankly, we humans are a tad bit like sheep.  Wandering for a shepherd.

Isaiah 53:6 in the NIV says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Rob informs us that “a sheep is the one animal that is utterly clueless and helpless without a human being nearby….Without someone tending us, we become ragged, unhealthy, and utterly pathetic.”

BEASTIES-08-Single-Sheep1

Let’s look at this familiar psalm for a minute:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (NKJV)

bigstock-The-fairytale-Castle-of-King-L-46647160

Just a few of the fun facts on Psalm 23 that Rob includes are fascinating: (I’m only giving you a few so you can discover the rest when you read the book!)

“It only has 6 verses and about 100 words.

It begins with ‘The Lord’ and it ends with ‘forever’.

25% of the text includes 28 personal pronouns.

Sheep, shepherds, lambs, and flocks are mentioned nearly 700 times in the Bible.

The sheep is the first animal mentioned by name in the Bible. (Genesis 4:2, Amplified Bible)”

While Rob covers the concepts of peace and God’s power within Psalm 23, each chapter is filled with encouraging, equipping ideas for the reader to take to heart.  One of my favorite parts is where Rob talks about the theme of Psalm 23.  The Living Bible says, “Because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need.”

Pages 34 and 35 show us how we will not lack for “peace, provision, hope and encouragement, guidance, deliverance, companionship, protection, help and healing, abundant life, nor for an eternal home.”  He takes you thru’ each verse! It’s akin to a pep talk to press on!!!

Additionally, if you struggle with fear like I do, you’ll see case, after case, after case built straight out of the Bible to put you at peace.  Rob shows us “the testimony of Psalm 23:4, ‘I will fear no evil, for You are with me.

The Bible assures us and reassures us of the real and literal presence of the Lord in, upon, and around our lives every day.

Our instant connection to Him is prayer, and one of the simplest prayers in history is:  ‘I will fear no evil, for You are with me.’”

 

bigstock-Praying-3554961

 

My favorite quote from Jill Briscoe’s book, A Little Pot of Oil, is also included in The Lord is My Shepherd, bringing home again, that sweet point of the Lord’s presence with us.

Jill says, “In the years following, I have never stopped learning about the Spirit’s sweet, abiding presence.

He has drawn me to Christ as Savior and Lord and

Has ignited a passion in my soul for those who do not know Him.

He has taught me how to pray when I didn’t have a clue what to say,

Enlightened my mind to the Scriptures and

Thoroughly applied them to my life, and

Overwhelmed me with grace.

He has strengthened me when I was weak,

Humbled me when I was proud, and

Sensitized me to sin.  In fact,

He has been all that I have needed Him to be, whenever I have needed Him.”

A little pot of oil

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest book store for The Lord is My Shepherd—Resting in the Peace and Power of Psalm 23.  You will be so blessed and you’ll want to share it with your friends and family. (My husband, John, just finished it and loved it!)

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” will never ring truer for you and me.

‘Til next time!

(This post is dedicated, bet you can guess, to author, speaker, pastor and friend, Rob Morgan.  Thanks, Rob,  for another beautiful book we can all savor over and over!  Please keep writing!  Hug Katrina for both John and me!  We hope to see you soon!)

Rob Morgan

Please pray for Rob and his family and his church, The Donelson Fellowship.  It’s only about five minutes from Opryland, if you’re ever in Nashville.  It’s an experience you do not want to miss.  The church’s website is:  www.donelson.org

Rob’s website is:  www.robertjmorgan.com (Checkout all of his books!)

A few of my favorite books of his include:

The Promise

Red Sea Rules

446821_w185

Then Sings My Soul

3 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Friends, Life Lessons