There are some changes coming for "Living the Word Ministries" and I want to share them with you. I also would like to update you on a few others.
Boy, when I think back to the beginning of 2008, I am amazed at what God has done during these last 10 months. I can recall the prayers that I prayed. I can remember the dreams and visions that I had for the new year. And I have to say that God had His own plans, plans that never even entered my mind when the world was singing Auld Lang Syne. I am convinced that God loves surprising His kids.
The first few months of the year were spent preparing for the first ever "Living the Word Ministries" conference. Branching out on my own, without the support of any local church or organization, was no small leap of faith, but God was faithful. The conference was held in May and while the numbers wouldn't have packed Madison Square Gardens, I believe that those in attendance were touched by the awesome presence of God. The debut of the "LTW Band" was awesome and those sweet folks ushered us right into the throne room of our God. I thank each and every one of you who were in attendance. My heart was filled with overflowing joy and thankfulness to my God as I looked out and saw all those beautiful women, praising and seeking His face with every inch of their precious hearts.
The month of March brought the birth of our first granddaughter. I don't have to tell you what a joy this lovely little girl has been. I'm sure if you've talked to me, I've told you a million times.
With the spring, came an opportunity to teach the book of Ruth to the Women's Bible Study group at my local church. I have always considered myself more of a preacher than a teacher, but again, God had other plans. He has stretched me beyond what I considered my ability to stretch. I never dreamed of being involved in women's ministry. I had the honor and privilege to lead those same women, and many more, through the "No Other Gods" study by Kelly Minter this summer. I know that people overly use this phrase, but this study was life-changing for me and for each woman who set themselves apart this summer to seek God and tear down some golden calves and Asherah poles. No small feat. Each and every week I witnessed relationships forming, countenances changing, and a real love for God and for His wonderful Word develop in these sweet gals, right before my eyes.
On October 2, we began our fall Bible study - Esther - A Woman's Bible Study. If you live in the Detroit metro area, we would love to have you join us on Thursday nights as we travel to ancient Persia and watch a peasant girl become a queen and save a nation. We are marveling at the providence of Almighty God, as He teaches us that no event in our lives is random, and that we have been created to be used by God, for just such a time as this. We are believing that we have been anointed and appointed to walk right into our God-ordained destiny. (For times and directions: www.hopedetroit.org)
Chuck and I, and our family, have experienced many changes this year. We have certainly had our share of laughs, but we've cried our share of tears as well. We have received abundant blessings from the Giver of every good and perfect gift. We have also been on the receiving end of the devils schemes to derail us. Every blessing He's poured out, we return to Him in praise. And we've attempted to bless His name right in the middle of the hard times too.
So, all this to say that life is ever-changing. But bless God, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. And as life changes, so do ministries. After a lot of prayer, after a whole lot of seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, after talking it over with Chuck, and after not a few tears, I have made the difficult decision to indefinitely suspend "Tuesday's with Jesus".
All of the changes and doors that the Lord has opened for me have made it increasingly more difficult to write "Tuesday's" each week. After three years of writing to you, I feel the season of my life changing just like the falling leaves outside my window. I know that there are real faces on the other side of my trusty laptop. I see you in my mind's eye. I feel your love in my heart. And because you have been faithful to encourage me and bless me with your e-mails, I know that "Tuesday's" has been a blessing to many of you as you open your e-mail on sometimes not so sunny Tuesday mornings. Let me assure you that it has been nothing short of an honor and a privilege to serve you in this way over the last three years. I will treasure it in my heart forevermore. As I treasure each and every one of you.
Every single "Tuesday's with Jesus" is archived on the web site and I encourage you to go back and read them. Copy them, hand them out, forward them, use them as you wish in Bible Study...they belong to God... and to you.
In this season, I hear the Lord calling me to face-to-face ministry...to my family first. They are my most important ministry. Chuck loves me as close to how my heavenly Father loves me as any person of flesh ever could. My daughters are grown up girls, but in many ways they still need their mom. And I wouldn't have it any other way. My sons need to be well-nurtured plants...they need tending...tending with my love and with the Word of God. And I need to be "Grammy" to Miss Ashton and all of the other grandbabies coming in the future.
In this season, I hear the Lord calling me to face-to-face ministry...to women. Pray for me as I spend not a small amount of hours trying to hear from God what He would have me say in this Esther series. I so want it to be God-breathed and excellent. And I'm praying that God will open more doors of opportunity for me to communicate to His precious daughters, wherever He may lead, how much He truly loves them...how much worth and value they have in His sight, and what an awesome plan He has for their lives.
I will also continue to minister the Word face-to-face to those who come every other Saturday to my church's food pantry. I have been doing this for a little over two years and I cannot even express to you my love for these folks. We have watched God's transforming power at work, through His living and active Word, changing lives, lifting burdens, and drawing so many close to His heart. I wouldn't miss them for the world and it is not yet the season to say goodbye. They bless me so.
My availability to minister to any group, meeting or conference for women has not changed. I would be honored to come and share my heart and God's Word wherever He may choose to send me. I leave that in His hands and will follow wherever He leads. His Word burns in my heart and I can scarce keep it in. Please check back to the web site often. In the next few weeks we are going to post "Esther-A Woman's Bible Study" as an online lesson. I will also be preparing another "Living the Word Ministries" Conference for the early part of 2009. Also, be sure to check out the LTW Blog ... I will no doubt occasionally have something to say.
I apologize from the bottom of my heart if you are disappointed. I have been so honored and privileged to serve you in this way for so many years and I will miss it deeply. I will miss you deeply. Thank you for every prayer that you have prayed for me and mine. Thank you for every word of encouragement you have sent. Thank you for loving Jesus right along with me through the good times, through the crazy, chaotic times, and even through the hard times.
Pray that I will always be satisfied with nothing but the unfailing love that Jesus Christ has for me. Pray that I will cling to no one or nothing but Him. And I will pray the same for you.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven". (Ecclesiastes 3: 1)
I love you,