This Easter has been extra special for me.
About this time last year, I had an idea for a Bible study, and the first time I breathed a word of it to anyone was Easter Sunday 2015.
My church normally holds several weekend services, so every year we have our Easter service in one large auditorium at Azusa Pacific University. I’ve walked up those long steps at APU a thousand times. As a student, a grad student, and these days, as an adjunct professor. But last April, I walked up those steps with my family to attend Easter service.
While climbing those stairs, I told my husband, Jeff, about an idea I had. He knows my heart’s desire is to invite women deeper into the Word. I want to make the ancient text more accessible, more understandable — especially for those who may not be super familiar with the way the different parts of the Bible work together.
“Word Writers,” I said to my husband. “I want to create a Bible study called Word Writers. I want to write a study on each book of the Bible and talk about its themes, its context, and its practical application to our everyday lives. And I don’t want to hopscotch around, landing only on the fun, easy-to-understand parts. I want to study all of the Bible. I want women to grow closer to God and know Him better through the study of His Word. All of it. Book by book. Verse by verse.”
Once I got started, I couldn’t stop, so I told him everything, “I also want to add another element. To imprint God’s Word on our hearts, I want to invite women to write the Word with me. I want women to experience the Bible by writing it…word by word.”
By the time we reached the top of the stairs, I stopped to take a breath, and Jeff said, “That’s the one. That’s the first book you should write.”
I was glad he liked the idea. But moving from idea to book? I’d need help with that.
During the service, I talked to God about it. And the one thing He made clear was that I should pray — not for a book deal, but for ministry partners. Which made sense. Because my focus has always been ministry. Specifically, ministry to women. So I prayed the Lord would bring across my path the right ministry partners.
And He did.
This weekend, I walked up those same steps for Easter service. Only this time, what was merely an idea last year is a reality this year. The team at Harvest House Publishers caught the vision, and I’ve been blessed to work with an amazing group of people who are as passionate about studying the Bible as I am.
I love books. Always have. I love teaching books too. Many good books have influenced me. But there’s only one Book that has truly changed me from the inside out, and that’s the Word of God.
Genuine transformation really is possible. And I want other women to experience it too. But real change, lasting change, comes from Him alone as we spend time in His presence. Studying the Word and writing it out is a surefire way to draw us nearer to God.
I’ve been doing this for a long time. Writing the Word.
When I write out Scripture, I remember it better.
Writing the Word helps me slow down and savor each word, each line. With each phrase I write, I’m better able to meditate on its truth. And the more I focus on God’s Word, the more I sense a change inside me. My orientation shifts. I’m less me-centered and more Christ-centered.
When I’m writing the Word I notice more connections in Scripture too, things I might have missed by reading through a passage too quickly.
It’s fitting that Easter Sunday would bookend the birth of these Bible studies. For it’s only because He is risen that we can be in His presence, know Him through His Word, and experience the purpose and the peace He has for each of our lives.
This fall I’m inviting a group of women to come together. We’ll journal through the Bible while journeying through individual books of the Bible at a deeper level. We’ll start with Ephesians and Philippians.
And I’d love for you to join me!
If you’re already subscribed to my blog,
you’ll receive a special invite to begin writing the Word with women.
If you’ve not subscribed to my blog yet,
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE to make sure you don’t miss out!