It didn’t feel quite like home yet. But the boxes were now empty and piled up and a few had been shaped into a hideout for our kids. In a daze, I stared out the window and thought, “I know this move is right, but I feel alone in an unknown land.” We had moved 120 miles from Memphis, Tennessee to a small farmland town of 2000 people. I know that’s not far! But, it felt foreign.
I knew what we were doing there. Yet, had the thoughts circling around in my mind been voiced out loud, they would have contradicted my knowledge screaming, “What are we doing here?!?!”
Our next move generated the same. This time we had moved 8000 miles away to Africa. The landscape was different, the miles increased, yet my thoughts had traveled this terrain before - “What are we doing here?"
I was excited and terrified; ready for the new and longing for the familiar.
How would you answer that question for where you live? Maybe you’ve settled in for years in a location and you can drive blindfolded from one end of the city to the next. Or, maybe boxes are still being unpacked and you’re trying to arrange the furniture in your new location. Or maybe you took no furniture, but just disembarked off a plane in a foreign land, a few suitcases in tow, and you’re navigating the local market trying to locate furniture.
This book will be your first friend in your new location! I leaned into every page of this book, wishing I had read it years ago! It’s an incredible guide that gives you tools to navigate your city – no matter how long you’ve been there.
Why do you live where you live?
What’s your purpose in your location?
Living sent isn’t a made up idea by man. It’s God’s idea. He’s been in the business all along of sending people.
He sends people to hard places, like Joseph –
But God sent me ahead of you to keep some of you alive on earth. He sent me here to save your lives by an act of mighty power….So then, it wasn’t you who sent me here. It was God. Genesis 45:7-8
He sends people who don’t feel equipped, like Gideon –
And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest…” Judges 6:14-16
He calls us, is close to us, so he can send us- like the disciples –
He chose the disciples, “so that he might be close to them so he might send them...” (Mark 3:14)
Wherever you live, you have a “sent” purpose.
Meet the author and get the ebook here.
Keep this book nearby as you’re unpacking boxes in a new move or allowing God to give you a fresh look at the purpose of where you are. No matter what location you’re in, it creatively guides you to discover purpose and adventure in the place God has sent you. Get a pen and you’re shoes on, you’re going to be motivated, and the adventure is just beginning!
Lori is a Global Mission Catalyst at IMB, mobilizing churches and leading women to participate in God’s global mission. She, her husband, and their 3 kids lived in Africa as missionaries before returning to plant Grace Point Church in Bentonville, AR where Mike is Sr. Pastor. She’s passionate about discipling people to see how their everyday life collides with God’s mission of making His glory known to all nations. She blogs at lorimcdaniel.org
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You have to love the title of this book! Dwight Robertson writes a compelling rationale for living out the Great Commission. His story telling style draws you right in from the first chapter as he commissions his roof repair guy as a missionary. From the start you can see both his heart for the Lord and his desire to help everyday people see themselves as partners with God in Kingdom building.
The book is laid out in four parts: The Plan, The Power, The Problem and The Possibilities. In each section, he continues to engage the reader with quotes, stats, and illustrations that are really down to earth. Along with a rationale for joining God's labor force, he encourages the reader to trust the Lord to love others through them. He offers a number of simple doable strategies for getting started or building on any of your current efforts. Study questions for each chapter are in the back of the book.
Some of my favorite takeaways from this book were:
"Jesus never knew a stranger. Everyone only belonged to one category: people to love."
"[Kingdom] laborers are ordinary people who deeply love God and actively love others."
"Significant Kingdom work will be accomplished by nameless, faceless people who do what they can where they are—with God adding the increase to their labor. That’s God’s Plan A."
" You don’t even need to have the perfect approach all figured out. Every heart has multiple entry points.
"the greatest gift you’ll ever give the world is your intimacy with God."
And don't miss the section about "missionaries in camouflage"! That's all I'm going to say on that one.
I picked this book up on a Kindle deal and read it straight through in one sitting. It is that good.
You are God's Plan A; and There is No Plan B is a great book for anyone who is serious about joining God's love army. It's easy to read and would make a great study for a group that wants to make a difference. Whether you have been active in ministry or you are brand new, this book is a wonderful resource to help you be on mission. Super encouraging! As my sister would say, "Run- don't walk!" I highly recommend it.
Robertson, Dwight (2010-03-01). You Are God's Plan A: And There Is No Plan B . David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. Quotes are from locations 303, 324, 619,1475, 2376 in the Kindle version.
On any given day you might find Andrea in a meeting, on a plane, or in some part of the world where she meets amazing people and sees just a few of the awesome ways that God is working. She serves as the Global VP for Leadership Development and HR with Campus Crusade for Christ. When she’s home, she enjoy books, time with friends and occasionally gets to the beach. You can find her on twitter at @AndreaBuczynski and blogging at abreflections.
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I love my Woman’s Study Bible (Thomas Nelson Publishers). In fact, for the last 18 years I've loved it to pieces. Literally.
While I was leading a women’s Bible study a few years ago, the front section of the Bible separated and broke apart in my hands. About a year ago, I discovered my table of contents was inexplicably missing.
So, after almost two decades of cramming sermon notes in the margins and leafing through its pages for Bible study prep and personal devotions, I was finally forced to have it rebound.
Could I have bought another Bible? Easily. So, why didn’t I?
Because, in my opinion, The Woman’s Study Bible is the best study Bible available for Christian women. Here’s why I think so:
* The study notes and commentary are written from a complementarian interpretation of Scripture (the understanding that while the genders equally bear God’s image and are equal in worth, Scripture outlines distinct roles for man and wife.)
* The study notes are written by scholarly women! Not only is textual insight geared to women, it is written by women who have dedicated their lives to biblical scholarship and how it intersects with issues common to modern women. The result? Nearly 300 articles on what Scripture says about topics such as adoption, homeschooling, women’s ministry, infertility, divorce, motherhood, singleness, and more.
* Almost every page is loaded with helpful charts and excurses that break apart the text according to topic, literary genre, and more. Especially helpful are the character profiles provided for almost every woman in the Bible.
So, when I was asked to review the latest edition of The Woman’s Study Bible I jumped at the chance. I was eager to see how the newer version stood up against my well-worn and well-loved copy.
Here’s what I discovered about the 2nd edition of The Woman’s Study Bible:
* It has the same solid scholarly commentary & textual notes highlighting a modern woman’s concerns. Additional information is added to some notes such as the explanation of complementarianism in Ephesians 5 (see page 1598).
* It has the same practical goal to help women apply difficult passages. A little disappointing , however, is the removal of first edition editor Dorothy Patterson’s fabulous exegesis of 1 Tim. 2:9-15 - a helpful piece for navigating potential interpretative errors in this important passage.
* It has an even lovelier and modernized design.
* It has the same user friendly indexes & charts.
What’s new? The 2nd edition has additional devotional book excerpts by popular women’s authors like Stormie O’Martin, Kimberly Daniels, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and more.
I recommend this study Bible for any believing woman – both new and wise in the Lord. However, I would caution any buyer to be choosy in selecting their choice of translations. The Woman’s Study Bible is now offered in the NIV, NKJV, and the KJV. (The first edition was available in NKJV only).
The accessible language of the NIV is immensely helpful for breaking down difficult passages – particularly Old Testament poetry and some portions of the Pauline epistles (let’s be honest, Paul’s Greek isn’t for the novice). But I truly believe the latest version of the NIV to be textually inferior to the NKJV, ESV, or the HCSB.
That being said, I would wholeheartedly suggest this Bible for a friend or loved one. In fact, I recently recommended a new sister in Christ purchase this very Bible. Currently, there is no other study Bible geared to women on the market that compares in doctrinal depth and or in desire to maintain the original author’s intention at the time of writing.
Women's Study Bible Giveaway
If you'd like to check it out for yourself or want to have an extra Bible to giveaway we have a chance for you to win one below. There are lots of ways to enter and some you can do everyday to increase your chances. We will pick a winner next Friday. We will email and display the winners name.
Melissa Deming is the creator of HiveResources.com–a site that helps women sweeten their walk with Christ through devotional articles, book reviews, and more. Melissa holds a Masters of Divinity in Women's Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. She and her husband, Jonathan, have four-year-old twins, Zach and Jonah. They are part of the core team of a new church plant in Pittsburgh.
A copy of this Bible was provided free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.
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My mom was the queen at Christmas! She had our entire house decorated, baked a million delicate Christmas cookies, and usually made a Christmas dress for not only my sister and I, but also herself. Seriously, she was the Christmas Champion!!
But it’s been almost 15 years since I had a Christmas with her, and the older I get the more I realize all she did to make Christmas so special for anyone and everyone around her. For years I didn’t let myself have a special Christmas for fear of being let down and disappointed because it wouldn’t be the same without my mom.
About a month ago, a memory popped into my head (which, if you know me, is pretty amazing since I can’t remember very many memories without some sort of prompting). I remember laying on my parent’s bed, and my mom was reading her favorite Christmas book to my sister and I – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I really don’t want to give away much of the book, because if you haven’t heard of it or read it before you need to THIS CHRISTMAS!
But there is one part that I just have to share. And all you have to know is that Imogene is playing Mary, the mother of Jesus, and holding the baby while everyone is singing “Silent Night”:
“Everyone had been waiting all this time for the Herdmans to do something absolutely unexpected. And sure enough, that was what happened.
My mom would cry every single time she came to this point. As a kid I would say something like, “Mom! You know it’s coming and you still cry!” But it wasn't until I was older that I began to realize the beauty in this moment with Imogene. Imogene realized, as my mom picked up, what Christmas was about. Seeing this baby, Jesus, and what He came to do for us all. It wasn't just all that Mary and Joseph went through to get to the point of shepherds coming to worship a baby, but all the glory surrounding the Prince of Peace and the REAL Christmas Champion.
Now, my eyes get a little moist just thinking back to the story, and the thought of my mom shedding tears of joy – because now I understand more clearly. It makes me go back to when I was that “awful old Imogene” realizing Who Jesus was for the first time, and I, too, cried and cried and cried – without bothering to wipe them away.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you so much for coming! Thank you for the beauty You brought through the complicated circumstances surrounding your birth. Thank you for choosing shepherds and “Herdsmans” to come worship you at your manger. Thank you for coming to make people like me and Imogene into your child! Thank you for being the Ultimate Christmas Champion!!
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.