I began this summer discouraged about the fall, but now I’m excited to see what the Lord has planned.
I’ve been teaching Bible study for almost thirty years and this is a first: I’m combining my local Bible studies this year into one virtual format and inviting all of you to join us.
We realized there are a lot of people who are going to miss their Bible study groups this year due to COVID and knew we could help.
We are going to provide you the opportunity to study God’s word each week with a large group of people who are connected through our ministries.
I’ve often said the single most important thing I have ever done for my own spiritual life was to learn the value of studying God’s word. The Bible really is “a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path” (Psalm 119:105).
I can’t cure COVID. I can’t always know your name. I can’t always know how to pray for you.
But I can teach you what the Bible says and what it means.
Together, we can choose to live what we learn.
Bible study changed my life
I was a young pastor’s wife, with babies at home.
We had pastored a small, rural church we loved in Mansfield, Texas. I knew everyone’s name and most of their stories.
The next thing I knew, Jim was called to pastor First Baptist Church in Midland, Texas. That church had thousands of members, and I quickly realized I was in over my head.
I’d grown up in the church, but not in a Baptist church. I’d read the Bible but had never really studied the Bible.
And yes, there is a big difference between those two things.
I agreed to teach a small women’s Sunday School class, and I knew I had a lot to learn. I joined the Community Bible Study program at our church and quietly took my seat in a small group.
Every week, I was terrified, thinking the leader would call on me and expect me to have the right answers. After all, I was the preacher’s wife. But, I was a preacher’s wife who still had a LOT to learn.
Years later, I’m still learning.
I can honestly say that nothing I have ever done has been more important to my soul than learning what God has spoken to all of us through Scripture.
I enjoy writing this blog post and the many other things I’m involved in. But nothing is more important to me than teaching God’s word to others.
It is a privilege to pass along what others gave me and, most especially, what the Holy Spirit gives me today.
Foundations of Faith
The Bible study this year is entitled Foundations of Faith.
You are invited to join us each week as we study Peter’s words of encouragement and direction to the early church and then look at the faith of many of God’s people throughout biblical history.
The faith Peter described in his letters to the early Christians is still the perfect model for all of us today. If it has been a while since you read 1 and 2 Peter, I would encourage you to do that. His words are incredibly relevant to what we are experiencing centuries after his letters were written.
2020 has been a year of challenges, and there will be more to come. But, it is often the difficult days that most provide Christians with the opportunity to share our faith with others.
Peter teaches us what we need to know to live as strong, loving examples of Christ in our culture today.
Come study with us
For the past several years, I have been teaching two Bible studies in Dallas. I will miss seeing the faces of these ladies I have grown to love.
Later this week, I will tape the lectures I would normally give each week. Please pray that I can put myself and my circumstances aside and allow the Holy Spirit to teach through me. Jesus is our teacher; I’m just a “mouth and mind” who wants to be used.
I’ve written lessons and they are published in a book, Foundations of Faith, that you can order. The book is offered by our ministry at our cost. Our original printing of 750 quickly sold and a second order has been placed.
So, if you have ordered one, it is on its way, but it will take a couple more weeks to get it. The books will begin shipping on September 4.
I always tell my classes that the most important part of Bible study is the time you spend with your Bibles, the lessons, and God’s Holy Spirit as your guide. God still speaks to us like he spoke to Moses. Most often, his voice is heard from the pages of his perfect, holy Word.
If you don’t want a book, you can still join us and watch the virtual lessons. We will provide a link each week so you can study with us.
If you are a reader of this blog post, you are probably a student of the Bible and a Christian who wants to walk with God. Therefore, I have a prayer request.
This study is going to reach people who have studied the Bible for most of their lives and people who will study Scripture for the first time. Please pray that God will grant me wisdom to teach his word well through the power of his Holy Spirit. That is everything.
I had been praying the Lord would redeem our “closed-in and closed-off” days for his great purpose. This study, I believe, is one of my answered prayers.
I’m praying that God’s word will strengthen, encourage, and even call—for the first time—a group of people who will spend eternity together one day.
What a privilege for me to be part of God’s plan to redeem a virus for his greater good.
One last story, a God story
We ran out of books and the ministry had to shut the link off.
How were we going to fulfill all those orders?
I’m grateful to all of our staff who jumped toward the challenge to make all of this possible. We are blessed to work with some of the finest, most dedicated people I know. I am so grateful for them because they are able to do what I never could have done myself.
We are a group of combined gifts who genuinely want to serve God. What a privilege to be part of this staff!
But, I have one last story to share because it is a story only God could have written. We don’t make money on these books, and there are expenses for the taping. But, our staff believed it was worth whatever it took to make Bible study available to my groups and to others.
When we ran out of books, it was a “moment” to be sure!
That day, a woman I’ve taught for more than twenty years felt led to make a gift to our ministry and asked me to direct its use. She had no idea at the time we had run out of books.
Is God amazing or what?!
We didn’t have to ask God what to do next because he had already told us. And that is why I am excited to invite you to join us in this study. I believe God has made it possible, “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
If you would like to order the study guide, Foundations of Faith, just click on the title and it will take you to the order page.
Your books will ship out on September 4, and the first lecture will be available on the website the following week.
(To the ladies in my Bible studies: you already have a book reserved, and you will be hearing from your leaders if you haven’t already!)
I hope you will join us each week.
It will be encouraging to see what God has planned for us as we study his Word together yet from different places.