Tag Archives: Tammy Head

What-Oh-What Do We Wear???

Guess what’s happenin’ in our town this week?  The “Run for the Roses” is about to go off!  If you live in Louisville, or anywhere in Kentucky, you know The Run for the Roses means it’s Kentucky Derby Week.

“Kentucky Derby 2013 is the 139th renewal of the greatest two minutes in sports!” boasts the Kentucky Derby website.  (Checkout  www.kentuckyderby.com) My buddy Liz Curtis Higgs sums it up best:  “For most Louisvillians, it’s not about the gambling, it’s about the beautiful horses and the beautiful hats.”

Breaking From the Gate

Whether you attend The Kentucky Oaks (Friday’s big race) or The Kentucky Derby (always the first Saturday in May), or a party, the majority of women wear hats.  No foolin’.

Derby 138

(Photo by Al Wollerton. Original photo can be found at KentuckyDerby.com.  To see 57 more beautiful hat designs, visit their website)

The hat market in Louisville is HUGE.  My friend Gwen works at a local store where they not only sell hats, but they custom design hats.  I stopped in to see her this past week.  Crowds of women were haulin’ in dresses and shoes, with excitement written all over their faces. (Husbands, while absent, were soon to be sportin’ sticker shock on their faces.)

Customers had to sign in on a list just to acquire a salesperson. A cooler of soft drinks and water awaited the thirsty.   Hats in all shapes, colors, sizes, as well as  fascinators fill the store. A plethora of feathers, flowers, ribbons, netting, etc. are available to further decorate your hat. (Checkout their website to see some exquisite hats:  www.deescrafts.com.   Note their question:  “What are YOU wearing on May 4th?”)

Fashion-challenged, I won’t even entertain wearing a fascinator.  Think terribly-tight-but-cute and over-the-top decorated headband.  Think future headache.   To be fair, some of you fashionistas CAN pull that off.   The last time I had a hat on, our youngest son, who was then a toddler, ran from me in tears because he was so frightened!  Alrighty then.

Liam Spradlin

(Photo by Liam Spradlin. Original photo can be found at KentuckyDerby.com.  To see 62 more photos from Derby 138’s red carpet, visit their website)

Now friends, I know, I know, I KNOW we are not s’posed to worry about what we wear.  Matthew 6:25- 27 plainly says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

With wardrobe in mind, let’s return to last week’s “Warrior Chick” (for more info’, you may click on “Transform Wimpy Attitude into Warrior Attitude…….)  We talked about how anyone of any age can transform a wimpy attitude into a warrior attitude  by putting on the FULL armor of God.   We must remember to put this on DAILY. (See below.)

Ephesians 6:10-17–The Armor of God:   “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 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 stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NIV)

The chicks we’ve been talking about come from Holly Wagner’s book, God Chicks—Living Life as a 21st Century Woman.  (Our first two chicks are the Just-B-U Chick…and the Princess Chick…)  The Warrior Chick/Attitude is so important we need to camp on it a bit longer. Warrior Chicks stand firm in their faith. (See in the above Scripture how many times the word “stand” is used!)

God Chicks

I’m sure some of you are saying, “Well, that’s all well and good to try to have a warrior attitude, but what if I’m wallowing in a pit of depression?”

Glad you asked!  Tammy Head recounts a time when she was inordinately depressed and gripped by fear.  She said, “I was scared out of my mind.  Tears were my constant companion and my friends hardly knew what to do but pray.”

One of her friends brought her a huge stone.  She told her, “God told me to get this for you… It’s an old church cornerstone.”  She didn’t really know what to do with it, so she asked the Lord and here’s what He told her:  “Lay it beside your bed, and when you wake in the morning, stand on it.  This will be a sign to you and your confession that I am your Rock and will hold you together.”

Tammy reminds us that “a cornerstone holds the WHOLE building together.”  May we savor and cling to Christ, our cornerstone and these Scriptures from  Ephesians 2:19-22:  “That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” (MSG)

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Last week we talked about warrior-like and faithfully persistent Kristen Sauder.  Thank you for praying for her and please keep it up! (www.kristensauder.com)  Her blog this week also talks about Derby and she tells of a church billboard out in  Oldham County which has “the perfect Derby message:  ‘Bet on the guy riding the donkey.‘”

This week, I’d love to tell you about another friend of mine who is also an incredibly persistent Warrior Chick.  Her name is Diane Schreiner.  Diane was in a serious bicycle accident last August which still remains a mystery.  Neighbors found her unconscious with broken bones and even worse:  bruising to her brain.  Doctors were uncertain about her survival.

Diane’s husband Tom set up an online journal thru’ CaringBridge to keep friends and family updated.  His entries revealed their strong faith and absolute trust in God’s sovereignty.  Painstaking therapy and utter patience was required, all of which Diane sailed thru’ valiantly. She is a testimony to the power of prayers of so many AND to God’s incredible healing power.

My sister-in-law, Marte, and I visited Diane in the hospital early into her recovery.  She seemed amazingly alert and conversed comfortably with us that day. She said she still struggles with memory issues. After weeks and weeks of staying at Frazier Rehab, she was finally able to go home and then be driven to physical therapy several days a week.

The next time I saw her, I picked her up from therapy to go to lunch.  She walked out of the door of the building, by herself, down the stairs, and straight to my car. No walker, no crutches, just Diane!

My mouth dropped to the ground!  I felt like I’d seen a ghost!  I kept trying to help her and she kept saying, “Nope,  I don’t need any help, I’m just fine, thanks!”  Diane’s recovery is truly miraculous.  She is literally a beautiful vision of answered prayer.  We praise you, Lord.

Diane Schreiner

Diane and Tom exemplified warrior-like attitudes, clinging to their strong faith, and blessing all who crossed their paths. Many people’s faith has been strengthened because of what Diane went thru’ and HOW she handled everything. One of Tom’s entries in CaringBridge said, “The best thing to prepare for suffering is good theology.  Whether it is life or death, healing or disease, God is good and He rules.”

Diane says, “I know why God spared me: to glorify Him with my life in the coming days and years.”  Is she a warrior chick or what?!!!  You can read a beautiful article on Tom and Diane in the most recent spring issue of Southern Seminary magazine.  (Go to www.sbts.edu for more nformation.)

Not only do Tom and Diane stand firm in their faith, but like we talked about last week, Diane wields her sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.  (See v. 17 in the above Ephesians passage.)

Lady Justice

Tom tells of Diane having Isaiah 41:10 posted to a window sill, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.”  The article says, “Schreiner’s response to this crisis demonstrates that he and his family believe this promise in Isaiah to be true.”  Amen and amen.

Let’s NOT worry about what we’ll wear today.  Let’s DO put on the Armor of God.  You GO, Warrior Chick!

‘Til next time!

(This post is dedicated to my very brave Warrior Chick friend, Diane Schreiner.  Let’s all vow to pray for her continued healing and recovery.  Thanks Diane for showing us what true, sincere faith is.  The Lord is smiling on you.  And, here’s a fun fact for you readers out there:  Diane’s husband, Tom, is not just a devoted husband and father, he also happens to be an incredibly gifted teacher, preacher and author. He’s too humble to brag on himself, but I happen to know students from all over the country come to Southern Baptist Seminary just to have him for a prof.  You can listen to his sermons he preaches at Clifton Baptist Church on their website:  www.cliftonbaptist.org   God Bless you all and your sweet family.)

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TRANSFORM Wimpy Attitude to WARRIOR Attitude: No Age Limits!

These days age limits barely exist.  Toddlers careen down snow-covered mountains on skis while eighty year olds run marathons.  Now in the fifty-something category for yours truly, I beg to talk some transformation.

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While it is ultra important to take care of yourself and to get the proper exercise, I’d like to suggest one’s ATTITUDE makes a whale of a difference when navigating life (for the big picture), or when learning a new sport such as snow skiing, just for a fun lil’ example.

Many moons ago John and I were invited to go snow skiing in Colorado with several friends.  This was the chance of a lifetime for us twenty-somethings.  Small detail:  I had never been skiing before.

Plunking myself in ski school, I learned how to snow plow.  Eventually I could keep the skis parallel.  Finally I learned to spread a lovely arc of snow upon stopping.  Now a “big dog”, I was ready for the “big girl” slopes.

One day our friends said, “Meet us at the top for lunch!  The view and the food is fabulous!!! And there are all kinds of slopes to get you back down.” (Meaning beginners were welcome.)

John was elated to have me join him on the ski lift. He’s a proficient skier and he had been patiently waiting while I’d been in ski school.

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At one point while riding the lift up to the top of the mountain, it was snowing pretty hard and the snow was pelting our faces.  I whispered, “Oh, how I wish this were sand and we were at the beach.”  Yep, John heard me.  He laughed…I think.

Lunch at the mountaintop restaurant was indeed delicious and the view spectacular.  Most of our group was black diamond level skiers or blue at the very least (advanced to intermediate).  No greenies (beginners) but me.

Things went downhill from there.  (Pun intended)  We could not find a green slope to return to the mountain’s base.  Nope,  nowhere, no sir.

John sweetly suggested, “Oh, you can handle a blue.  Let’s just go slowly.”  Engulfed by moguls, and none-too-enamored with any of them, down-via-the-derriere became my MOT (mode of transportation).  While the sky was already a beautiful hue of blue, I confess I colored it blue-er.  Arg.

So, in my case, I learned to ski too late.  I had a bad attitude coupled with fear which makes for a lousy combination. WIMPY is one adjective which comes to mind.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, another one of our friends on the trip was also fairly new to skiing. Unbelievably, she was negotiating black diamonds, effortlessly,  in a couple of days.  To this day, she’s determined and won’t quit ‘til she grasps what she’s learning.  WARRIOR-LIKE comes to mind. (This little girl below is well on her way!)

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Over the past few weeks we’ve been learning about different chicks from Holly Wagner’s book, God Chicks—Living Life as a 21st Century Woman. Holly uses the term “chick” to have fun, not to be disrespectful. (For previous chick types, see …THE Just B U Chick and the Princess Chick…) This week we’ll be encouraged to purposely transform into a Warrior Chick. 

 God Chicks

Holly shows us what it takes to become a warrior.  While she offers several warrior characteristics, all of which are worth pursuing (please do read her book!), I’m convinced the most important one is to STAY at the post to which you have been assigned.

I suspect you have many different posts.  For example, I currently have the post of being a wife, a mother, a friend, and a teacher/writer.  What posts do you have?  Most posts are life-long.

Most posts are no piece of cake.  Take marriage for example.  When you got engaged and were in the honeymoon phase, yes, you thought marriage would be a piece of cake.  Soon challenges come and how do you handle them?  Do you abandon your post?  NO!  You stay:  in sickness and in health, thru’ dirty laundry, dirty diapers, teensie weensie arguments, and blown budgets.  You STAY.

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Same  with children.  They won’t always do as we like for them to do.  Do we dump ‘em?  Say, “Go fend for yourself?”  NO!  We STAY.

Same with friends.  Holly Wagner discusses friends and forgiveness at length.  Warriors STAY at their posts AND go the distance.

The KEY to warrior attitude is being courageousCourage kills fear.  Holly cited Lisa Beamer as a great example.  Lisa’s husband Todd was one of many killed on September 11th, 2001 when his flight crashed in Pennsylvania.  “On October 19th, just a little more than a month after her husband was killed, Lisa boarded the same Newark to San Francisco flight that her husband had been on…The warrior in her rose up!”  Lisa made a statement against fear.

2 Chronicles 20:17 says, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; STAND FIRM and see the deliverance the Lord will give you Judah and Jerusalem….Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”

The Life Application Bible helps us understand the above verse better:  “How do we let God fight for us?  (1) By realizing the battle is not ours, but God’s; (2) By recognizing human limitations and allowing God’s strength to work through our fears and weaknesses; (3) By making sure we are pursuing God’s interests and not just our own selfish desires; (4) By asking God for help in our DAILY battles.”

Holly teaches “the Chinese character for crisis is actually the combination of two concepts: opportunity and danger.  It is all a matter of how you look at it.”  All of us can transform wimpy attitudes into warrior ones!  IT IS NEVER TOO LATE… NO AGE LIMITS!!!

 Many of you know Kristen Sauder.  Kristen is valiantly battling cancer.  (www.kristensauder.com )  She is staying at her post of wife, Mom, friend, writer, radio talk show host (when she is able).  Her faith is stronger than it was before her diagnosis and she is clinging to it fiercely.  She is a warrior chick if there ever was one.

Kristen Sauder

Ephesians 6: 10-20, on the Armor of God is the best Scripture for us warrior chicks.  This should be the first bit of attire we put on every day:

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 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 stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all  the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (NIV)

Note the pieces of armor as well as the number of times we’re told to STAND.  The Apostle Paul tells us to be strong, to put on the armor, and to pray, being alert, declaring the Gospel.  Tall order.  Excellent words of wisdom.

The Bible study I’m currently in is by Tammy Head, called Duty or Delight?  Knowing Where You Stand with God.  Tammy further expounds on the Ephesians passage: “There are four requirements to living victoriously:  1 – Know the Battle that’s raging” (Warrior Chicks courageously fight battles.), 2 – “Know the role your identity plays” (STAY at your post!) , 3 –  “Recognize and resist Satan’s attacks” (as Warrior Chicks, we must heed James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves, then to God.  Resist  the devil, and he will flee from you.”, and 4 – “STAND FIRM in the Armor of God.”  Go back and put that armor on!

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We could spend weeks on the armor of God.  Navigating life with a warrior attitude requires the Sword of the Spirit.  Guess what it is?  The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. (See vs. 17 above.)

Lady Justice

Hebrews 4:12 tells us:  “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Tammy taught us that “a Roman soldier’s sword wasn’t long but rather light as to be used in hand-to-hand combat…Truly having a tight grip on it was a matter of life and death.”  We must be women who have a tight grip on our swords.

Kristen Sauder obviously has a tight grip on her sword.  She frequently shares in her blog how the Word of God, her Sword of the Spirit, is sustaining her.  She is patiently enduring cancer AND, she and her family are ministering to so many of us without even knowing it.

My friends, we do not have to be “tough stuff” on the exterior.  As long as we’re armored up, we are warriors–wielding God’s Word. We are warriors, STAYING at our posts.

Warrior Chicks:  Hold up your swords and claim Galatians 6:9:  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”   Remember, NO AGE LIMITS!!!  To God be the Glory.bigstock-Wheat-Harvest-concept-12573353

‘Til  next time!

(This post is dedicated to the strongest Warrior Chick I know:   Kristen Sauder.  Of all the Bible studies she’s written, her Praying for your Prodigal–a Journey through Luke 15  study by far continues to encourage me not to give up praying for prodigals.  And for you readers out there, please hold Kristen and her family tightly in your prayers.)

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From Easter Chicks to God Chicks… Avoid the Comparison Trap!

Perish the thought of ever being a “hot chick”… Please forgive me, but when I hear the word “chick”, because of this lovely world in which we live, that caliente phrase whips around in my little brain.

So, I’d love to introduce you to a fun, positive phrase, for you girls out there.  Did you know we may also be known as “God Chicks”?  There’s a great book by Holly Wagner with that very title: God Chicks—Living Life as a 21st Century Woman. 

God Chicks

Thankfully Holly clarifies the title:  “The reason I’m using the term chick is not to be disrespectful, but to have a little fun!  So c’mon, you amazing God Chick.  Open your heart to a picture of the woman you were created to be!”

 Last week while celebrating Easter, oh and I pray you celebrated “He is risen!” (Click here for more on “He is risen!”, Jesus’ resurrection), you may have seen little Easter chicks for décor. Or, I know some folks who hatch live chicks this time of year.  Cute,  little fuzzy critters…who blossom into big ole’ hens.  Good eggs, bad rap.  I digress…

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Let’s return to “God Chicks”.  Holly gives us several kinds of chicks, all of which are empowering. The one we’ll focus on today is the “Just-B-U” Chick.

One of  my pet peeves, and quite honestly, struggles, is the turbulent trap of comparison.  I inevitably compare myself with the “chick next door”, or the “chick next to me at the checkout”, or the “chick on TV”, and by all means run-Forrest-run from magazine covers!

Holly’s prescription for comparison?  The “Just-B-U” chick! She reminds us, “We will only be effective when we are being ourselves…We spend valuable time wishing we were like someone else, and all the time we have our own treasures inside us…just waiting to be discovered.”

Edwin Elliot said, “By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before!” Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, and I know that full well.”

Holly adds, “Together we will do awesome things for our God, but only if we encourage each other as we fulfill our unique purposes rather than tear each other down by being jealous.”

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One recent experience highlights this point perfectly.  Last summer, I was blessed to team-teach with two other very seasoned Bible study teachers, Jane Chilton and Nancy Tinnell.  Jane is a long-time dear friend and mentor of mine.  Nancy is a new, dear friend and mentor, and, may I go so far as to say a guardian angel to many of us in a multitude of ways!!!

By some miracle, and by blind belief on Nancy’s part (!), the three of us connected, prayed, and planned a six-week Bible study. (I fully believe, after the fact, this was a divine appointment.)  We studied Liz Curtis Higgs’ book, The Girl’s Still Got It—Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World. (If you go online to Liz’ website, www.lizcurtishiggs.com, you can read her blog about her Bible study on the Book of Ruth.)

The Girls still got it

Being the rookie in this trio has its’ benefits:  I got to watch and soak in a boatload of wisdom. (This was my first time ever to teach a Bible study!) Our planning meetings were rich.  Nancy has this uncanny God-given talent to hone in on a theme to share with our attendees.  She  literally came up with one word or character trait per chapter of Liz’ twelve chapter book!  She kept us focused and on-track. She uses beautiful phrases such as “canopy of grace” that melt your heart.

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Jane has also taught Bible studies for years.  She first taught Bible Study Fellowship (www.bsfinternational.org ) and later taught at Southeast Christian Church.  I was blessed to sit under her teaching for several semesters.  She also has an uncanny God-given talent:  she brings to the table unforgettable visuals which clearly tie in a teaching point to apply to your life.  She pushes you to savor God’s Word beyond your brain, to let it dwell in your heart and pour out onto others.

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These gals encouraged me to just be myself.   Perhaps I was the comic relief of the bunch…. Even  more comical, was how much I prayed the same thing over and over to the Lord.  Can’t we all shout hallelujah that He never tires of hearing from us?

 James 4:8 in the New King James Version reminds us, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.” We praise you Lord.

 Being pushed way out of one’s comfort zone isn’t the worst thing in the world.  Ann Voskamp recently said, “God takes you out of your comfort zone because THAT’S where you meet The Comforter.” 

I pray you’ll seriously grasp Holly Wagner’s concept of a Just-B-U Chick.   (And this is just one of eight different chicks she teaches about!  More on the others in another post or two or seven!)  The Just-B-U chick encourages all of us to use our gifts to share with others.  Quit comparing yourself to others!  It does no one any good.  At all.

 My small group of Bible study buddies is beginning an awesome study written by Tammy Head.  It’s called Duty or Delight?  Knowing Where You Stand with God.

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Already in week 2, Tammy addresses the comparison trap.  She says, “If God isn’t the inspiration for doing what we do, let’s abandon those man-made expectations and run to the cross.  What we’re ultimately looking for is approval, and because Jesus offered His life for us, we already have it.”  Just-B-U!!!

 “Never forget…your value…far above rubies and pearls.”  (Adapted from Proverbs 31:10)

 To close, may I ask you to pray a long-term prayer request?  And may it double as something ultra worthwhile to pray about adding to your calendar?  (Click on “But I don’t have time for a Bible study”… if you have any doubts…)

Guess what?  My friends I told you about earlier, Jane and  Nancy….well, WE have just had another planning meeting.  Watch out

 Exciting news!!!  We will be offering a Fall Bible study.  (Thence the long-term prayer request.)  Please pray for all details to come together and for those of you close to Louisville to come and study with us at Middletown United Methodist Church (www.Middletownumc.org.  If you have questions, please call Kelly McDonald at 502-245-8839)!!!

Even better news: EVERYONE’S invited!  While you’re praying, ask the Lord who He would have you invite.

Tentative timing for the Bible study will run from mid-September until mid-November on Tuesdays.  We’ll be studying Liz Curtis Higgs’ updated edition of Bad Girls of the Bible–and What We Can Learn from Them which has a brand-new, chapter-by-chapter Bible study video taught by Liz.

Oh my, we are ALL in for a treat!  And, like last year, Liz will come visit and speak  in one of our morning classes and one of our night classes!  You do not want to miss this opportunity!  (Her book releases July 16th.)

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I pray we can all be a Just-B-U chick every day.  Remember John Piper’s infamous quote, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”  That is:  in our own skin, not someone else’s.

 Jeremiah 1:5 adds confirmation to our uniqueness:  “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

 Blessings to you this spring day.  Just-B-U!

‘Til next time!

(This post is dedicated to my two teaching buddies:  Jane Chilton and Nancy Tinnell.  I’m honored and forever grateful to have been a part of last summer’s study and now, this upcoming one for fall.  Y’all keep me challenged!  I need to stay on my knees, and for that, I’m forever grateful.  May God bless you and continue to give you His guidance to lead me and soooo many others. )

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