The Young Girl: Part 1 In a Seven-Week Bible Study for Women

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this seven-week Bible study based on Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart. We’ll be studying the lives of seven incredible New Testament women. It’s the perfect way to journey through Lent together.

Mary: The Young Girl

Read: Luke 1: 26-38

Scholars believe that Mary was only about twelve years old when the angel Gabriel appeared by her side and gave her news that would rock both her world and ours.

What were you doing at twelve years old? I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t thinking about God much, or angels. I was thinking about boys, and what I might wear to the school disco. But yet I know God was thinking about me, just like God was thinking about Mary.

I was Mary’s age, just twelve years old, when I knelt at the altar rail with my sister and invited Jesus into my heart. I remember feeling special as I rode home on the bus that night… like God knew me. Continue reading

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors. And the Children…

It’s the first time there’s been no room for me to sit on the steps with the children as they gather to hear me read.

I look around, at all those little ones peering up at me, and somehow, it feels totally appropriate to kneel, in front of them, under the cross and flame. You’d think, with all those children, I’d be in a huge United Methodist church, perhaps in the big city of Grand Rapids. But I’m not… Continue reading

Esther: The Prayerful Girl- Part 7 in a Fourteen-Week Bible Study for Women

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this fourteen-week Bible study based on the newest book in the Love Letters series. If you made it this far, congratulations! We are now half-way through and, as a thank you, at the end of this post you’ll be able to enter a five- book giveaway of Girls’ Love Letters from God.

Esther: The Prayerful Girl

Read: Esther 2-8

I just saw a funny photo on Facebook. It showed a room full of little girls, all of them dressed in pretty pink, wearing tiaras and tutus, except one. She was wearing a batman cloak and mask. The tag-line read:

In a world full of princesses, dare to be batman.

It reminded me of Esther, who, even though she wore the crown, was brave enough to be herself, and to act as a true superhero who rescued generations of Jews from extinction.

 

Let’s meet Esther, The Prayerful Girl…

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The Servant Girl: Part 6 in a Fourteen-Week Bible Study for Women

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this fourteen-week Bible study based on Girls’ Love Letters from God. If you have time, you may wish to keep a journal to record your responses to the questions. Please DO leave comments, responses or questions on this post so that we can learn from and encourage one another.

The Servant Girl

Read 2 Kings 5:1-16

Last week I saw an amazing movie called Hidden Figures. If you haven’t seen it yet, GO. It tells the untold true story of three brilliant African-American women, who served as the brains behind one of NASA’s greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The film’s tag-line is:

Meet The Women You Don’t Know. Behind The Mission You Do.

Our Bible heroine for this week is also a hidden figure. She is largely unknown. We don’t even know her name. We’ll find her with a broom in her hand, sweeping floors, preparing meals, making beds, serving quietly in the household of the commander of the Syrian army. But this quiet, unassuming, insignificant girl has the power to change lives.

 

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Hannah: The Hopeful Girl- Part 5 in a Fourteen-Week Bible Study for Women

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this fourteen-week Bible study based on Girls’ Love Letters from God. If you have time, you may wish to keep a journal to record your responses to the questions. Please DO leave comments, responses or questions on this post so that we can learn from and encourage one another.

Hannah: The Hopeful Girl

Read: 1 Samuel 1:9-2:1

I have two adorable grandchildren who live 2000 long miles away. I see them about twice a year. Last time we visited, I distinctly remember what the weather was like the day we said goodbye. It was really cloudy and gloomy and rainy. I felt like the dark skies matched my mood.

But as we flew high above the clouds, the sun was waiting to greet us, shining bright and strong and cheerful on Mount Hood’s spectacular snow-covered peaks. It was a gorgeous sight. And it reminded me that in every sad or hard situation, there’s always hope, even if you can’t see it.

Sometimes you have to climb up to find hope, and sometimes you have to go down. And that’s where we find our Hannah… down on her knees, in the temple, literally crying out to her God of hope.

 

Hannah was desperate. She was desperate for the one thing in life that had eluded her… Continue reading

Deborah: The Strong Girl- Part 4 in a Fourteen-Week Bible Study for Women

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this fourteen-week Bible study based on Girls’ Love Letters from God. If you have time, you may wish to keep a journal to record your responses to the questions. Please DO leave comments, responses or questions on this post so that we can learn from and encourage one another.

Deborah: The Strong Girl

Read: Judges 4:1-16

In 1939 a motivational poster was produced by a British company to boost the morale of its citizens as they faced news of impending war. On a bright red background, five words in capital letters stood out clearly, and proclaimed a bold message to the world: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. 

It’s a message that the heroine of our Bible story, Deborah, would have worn as a billboard around her neck. Except that in her case, I’ve a feeling it would say: KEEP CALM AND MARCH ON.

Let’s set the scene:

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Rahab: The Brave Girl – Part 3 in a Fourteen-Week Bible Study for Women

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this fourteen-week Bible study based on Girls’ Love Letters from God. If you have time, you may wish to keep a journal to record your responses to the questions. Please DO leave comments, responses or questions on this post so that we can learn from and encourage one another.

Rahab: The Brave Girl

Read: Joshua 2: 1-21

So, I have a confession to make.

I sometimes run on the treadmill in my dressing gown. Wait a minute… make that jog on the treadmill in my dressing gown, or maybe it’s more like a trot… a slow trot.

I love my dressing gown. It’s warm, and comfy, and cozy. But, and here’s the thing, when my body warms up, and I finally manage to throw it off, I do SO much better. I even look like I’m running sometimes.

And when I wrestle that thing off my shoulders and throw it on the ground, I always think about the writer of Hebrews who said:

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

That’s just what our brave girl, Rahab, did. She threw off everything that was holding her back and ran, straight towards God.

And what does she find? Continue reading

Miriam: The Trusting Girl – Part 2 in a Fourteen-Week Bible Study for Women

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this fourteen-week Bible study based on Girls’ Love Letters from God. If you have time, you may wish to keep a journal to record your responses to the questions. Please DO leave comments, responses or questions on this post so that we can learn from and encourage one another.

Miriam: The Trusting Girl

Read: Exodus 1:22-2:10

I’ve been on the Nile River. It’s huge. It’s very long. It’s very wide, and it’s very deep. And you’d have to be completely, utterly, hopelessly at the end of your own resources to ever, ever consider putting your baby in there, even if you did coat the basket with tar. But that’s what Moses’ mom did. It’s unbelievable.

This mom, after hiding her precious baby boy for three months, realizes that she cannot save him from the murderous Pharaoh, and chooses to put him in the river. Hear that again. She chooses to put him in the river.

It’s the ultimate lesson in letting go.

And it’s my story.

It’s not just my story because I wrote it. It’s my story because I lived it. There I was, one day, standing in an utterly desperate, utterly hopeless, utterly terrifying situation with my son.

For those awful, several years I lived in the land of what if? where all my moments and all my days were consumed with worry about all the dreadful things that might happen to him. I don’t know about you, but I’m an expert in imagining what might happen. I’m so good I could lead a class in it.

And one day, when I had come to the absolute end of my own resources, I simply had to let him go, and trust God instead. I had to place him in that basket, my precious son, with his long legs hanging over the edge, and let him go…

I wonder what Miriam thought might happen to her tiny, defenseless baby brother when her mom chose to let him go in that little basket, down in the huge River Nile?

I’m sure that any one of these awful scenarios ran through Miriam’s mind. She must surely have thought, what if…. Continue reading

Eve: The First Girl – Part 1 in a Fourteen-Week Bible Study for Women.

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this fourteen-week Bible study based on Girls’ Love Letters from God. If you have time, you may wish to keep a journal to record your responses to the questions. Please DO leave comments, responses or questions on this post so that we can learn from and encourage one another.

Eve: The First Girl

Read: Genesis 2:15 – 3:13

God clapped his hands in delight as Eve opened her eyes for the very first time. She was wonderful! After six days of creating the world- painting the skies, stirring the seas, and filling the earth with life- here was God’s masterpiece, his glorious finishing touch to the world. Here was Eve, made by God’s own hand. And she was good.

These are the opening words in Love letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart. I chose them for a reason. These words set the stage for one of the most important truths that we, as women, could ever know.

You are good. 

Hear those words again.

You are good. 

God made you. And everything God made is good.

So how are you feeling today? If you’re anything like me, you don’t truly believe those words. Because we Christians are supposed to be humble, and on top of that, life has a way of wrestling us to the ground, and whispering lies, like:

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A Special Announcement and Invitation For The New Year

When one year closes and a new one begins, hope is ushered in.

While we’re busy making our New Year’s resolutions, the master of new beginnings is waiting quietly in the wings, whispering hope into our hearts, just like this:

“Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.”

This is our great God of hope doing what God does best… assuring us that the past is the past; filling us with hope; cheering us on into this new year; encouraging us to keep moving forward; holding our shaky hands every step of the way.

I’m excited to announce that here on the blog, I’ll be starting something brand-new, and I want you to be part of it. Continue reading