Standing on Brave Shoulders–Plus a Giveaway

Plus a Giveaway (1)

 

Candles filled the concert hall and God’s Spirit hung heavy, but this was no ordinary night of worship. God was calling us out, writing our destinies into existence.

Only 20 years old, I stood alongside the other graduates in a special commissioning service. Our ministry mentors were instructed to challenge us, calling us by a new name.

When my turn came, Paula paused to think. Finally, she scribbled out a word, folded the paper, and passed it to me.

I wanted to accept this new name, embrace it, but another claimed my life. Everyone could read the name “Timid” etched across my life.

How could I live the word “bold,” the word she prayed over me so brazenly?

Sometimes it takes years for God to fan our prayers into flame. I lost that piece of paper, but over the years, I clung to the hope it gave me.

It took a brave woman to call out the brave woman in me. In fact, it’s taken an army of brave women.

Courage begets courage, doesn’t it? We learn bravery by seeing it in action.

For instance, I needed to see my friend Fran Geiger Joslin run a publishing company, after starting it on a leap of faith.

I needed to watch Mary DeMuth live the message of her books, while daring to imagine and set in motion the Re-story Conference.

I needed to watch Heather Creekmore choose endurance and faithfully steward the message God has given her.

Seeing my friend Lea Ann Garfias choosing to be brave and launch her must-read book, Rocking Ordinary, helps me stare down fear and slay my own dragons.

We all need this kind of inspiration. That’s why I’m excited to tell you and hopefully give you a copy of the American Woman’s Bible (Thomas Nelson 2016), a study Bible that includes stories of the brave women who helped make America.

IMG_4189

I know I don’t need to tell you about the many bold woman who, fueled by faith, shaped our country. Their stories speak about gumption, hospitality, and sacrifice.

Their stories, past and present, remind me to be brave—how one act of bravery ripples out into the world, inciting more bravery.

On days when we don’t feel courageous, snapshots of godly woman like Ruth Bell Graham, Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt, lend us tenacity and strength.

Henrietta Mears had it right when she said, “Faith is caught rather than taught.” This quote and many others from woman like Flannery O’Connor, Emily Dickinson, and Dorothy Day inspire readers and fill the pages of this Bible.

IMG_4183

 

Bold woman speak the truth to each other. We borrow and lend courage. We help each other live new names and new stories.

The Giveaway

I have two copies of the American Woman’s Bible  that I would love to give you, one hardback and one leather bound.

Here’s how to enter: If you haven’t already, like my author page on Facebook and let me know in the comments below. In a week, I’ll put all the names in a hat for a drawing and contact you if you won.

Would you consider sharing this post on social media, maybe even tagging a brave friend, too? Thanks for being brave!

When the Bible Seems Boring

selfie

Some days my eyes read the words of my Bible and comprehend the meaning, but my heart fails to believe. I yawn my way through.

Other days that familiar spark of faith happens. I read and truly believe the miracles on the page might mean miracles still happen for me.

Today I read, “But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears,” (Psalms 18:6). And that wow moment came.

The Psalmist’s story is my story. God has rescued me from some pretty deep pits.

I’m working on reading the Bible with more wonder. I’m asking for eyes to see. If we’re reading it without the wow factor, maybe, we’re reading it wrong?

We have to still ourselves focus our minds and wait for the awe. Perhaps God would move our hearts to revelation if we spent more time reveling in his Book?

Yeah, I know it’s a really old book and can be difficult to understand. Read it anyway. God already sent you the best teacher. (Joh 16:13)

Sometimes I have to put myself in the scene, feel the emotions and visualize the reactions and the pure reality of the moment to truly understand.

This is a type of meditation, a longing for a deeper understanding–for a more pure knowing. Sometimes answers come only through study and seeking.

Sometimes the awe won’t come and questions linger. What do you do then? Practice the 99% of truth you already have. Obey. Sometimes the only way to grow in knowledge of him is to obey him.

Meet with him. Meditate in his book. Then you’ll know him.

May you seek wonder in God’s Word. May God give you ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart that understands.

Because as Albert Einstein said, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”