Tag Archives: Women of Faith

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…

Savor

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.” 

Baby

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.”

Undaunted

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.

Gideon

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: www.womenoffaith.com )

‘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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ALL ACCESS

“Here’s your all access pass.” Such were the words from The Big Kahuna of Women of Faith, as she gave my friend, Liz, and me “All Access” passes to wear throughout an arena in Columbus, Ohio, this past August.  Whoa!

Women of Faith Stage 450

Are you kidding me?  You mean we can go backstage, we can enter thru’ any door, we can go anywhere?  You really trust us?  (Even better, we don’t have to stand in line for the bathroom???)

I was already a tad giddy from dining with the speakers for that weekend. Look with me around our table: There sat Marilyn Meburg, Patsy Clairmont, Brenda Warner, Mark Lowry, Sandi Patty, Lisa Harper, Mandisa, and Amy Grant.

Not only did we eat dinner with them, we got to pray with them beforehand and ultimately hear from each of them during the two-day conference.  While I’m not a fan of the word “surreal”, that’s flat how it was.  Oh, and they seated us on the second row.  (Did I mention the bag of chocolates the speakers kept passing back and forth???  Slice of heaven!)

I’m sure the question now burning in your head is “Exactly HOW did you get to do this?” Just so happens my “friend named Liz”, who is truly a very dear, long-time friend and mentor of mine, is none other than Liz Curtis Higgs, author and speaker extraordinaire.

Liz would be joining Women of Faith the following weekend and wanted to go to the event as an attendee to get a feel for the program.  She invited me to go with her and well, really, who could refuse that?

Great speakers, meaningful teaching, over-the-top worship, staying up into the wee hours of the night talking, plus the road trip from Louisville to Columbus and back, made for a 100% blast-of-a-weekend.  Not to mention a favorite memory in our friendship journey!

While sporting our “All Access” passes, it occurred to me that each and every one of us, who believes in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying on the cross for each and every one of us, taking on our sins, and giving us His mercy and grace, has an “All Access” pass to the Kingdom, our Heavenly home.

John Stott, in his book Cross of Christ, said, “Until you see the cross as that which is done by you, you will never appreciate that it is done for you.”  Let that thought soak in for a minute…Stott also said, “The cross is the blazing fire at which the flame of our love is kindled, but we have to get near enough for its sparks to fall on us.”   Getting near enough equals one thing:  all access.

All Access Pass

So while the “all access” passes made us feel pretty special, let’s not forget our final destination.  Eternal life:  far more important than simply attending a conference here on earth!  Romans 5:1-2 tells us “…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into the grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Don’t miss this!

We are therefore able, as Hebrews 4:16 says, to “approach the throne of grace with confidence…”  ALL ACCESS.  Take your pass and run with it.

bigstock-Man-kneeling-at-the-Cross-of-J-8053908

‘Til  next time!

(This October 14th,2012 entry is dedicated to a brave, new friend.  This inspirational guy received a call to the ministry while working in the corporate world.  He left  all of that behind, attended and graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary!!! After numerous meetings, hours upon hours of prayer, he and several others started a new church.  His name? Jay Roy.  His church?  Throne of Grace.  Kudos to Jay and Liz and  their two girls as well as to their new congregation, two members of which, happen to be some more brave soldiers:  our brother and sister-in-law, Billy and Marte Hoagland.  Please add Throne of Grace to your prayer list.  Check them out on Facebook:  Throne of Grace Community Church.)

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