I’m very pleased to recommend to you Janet Thompson’s Bible study series entitled, “Face-To-Face With…” (New Hope Publishers). There are seven books in the series so far. Each study book concentrates on one to three women of the Bible. The seven books are about:
*Priscilla & Aquila: Balancing Life and Ministry
*Euodia & Syntyche: From Conflict to Community
*Elizabeth & Mary: Generation to Generation
*Sarah, Rachel & Hannah: Pleading with God
*Lois & Eunice: Nurturing Faith in Your Family
Mary & Martha: Sisters in Christ
Naomi & Ruth: Together for the Journey
(The starred ones are the ones I have available. Please write me a comment on my blog or email me at Kathyspeak@aol.com by Wednesday, April 18th. Tell me which book you’d like and if your name is chosen, I’ll send it to you.)
I really like this series. Along with the write-in question format, it offers a lot of different sections including short testimonies from current women who are encountering the issue or topic that is being addressed. Other sections include “Face-to-Face Reflections” of Janet’s own stories. It’s amazing that she can provide enough insights on some Bible characters who are barely mentioned in Scripture (like Euodia & Syntyche). But she’s very good at pulling in other Scriptures that deal with the topic she’s addressing in the book. She includes sections for prayer and journaling also.
Janet is the founder and director of About His Ministries and she also developed the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church in Southern California. Although each study could be used by an individual, it’s also developed to be used by mentors and mentees, in addition to small groups.
Here’s an article by Janet that I think you will enjoy. Check out her website at www.WomanToWomanMentoring.com.
What to Do in God’s Waiting Room
by Janet Thompson
Anyone who has ever prayed or pleaded with God to act now knows that, much like a parent responding to a child, God answers prayer in 1 of 3 ways: yes, later, or no.
And, much like children, we usually respond in typical fashion: A yes response receives praise and gratitude. “Later” is met with impatience and frustration. A no gets anger and questioning in return.
But God postpones fulfilling our requests or even gives us an outright no, because He has:
- A bigger perspective and long range goals for us and humanity.
- A better plan than our plan.
- Perfect timing.
God never works randomly: there’s always a plan and blessed are we whom He uses to fulfill His plans, even when inconvenient. Many Old Testament men and women persevered in doing the Lord’s work in spite of disappointment. With physical eyes, they never saw the fulfillment of His ultimate plan: the Messiah, Jesus Christ. But they knew Jesus was coming and accepted their role in the unfolding story of salvation.
They trusted, obeyed, and discovered peace in accepting that God was in control of every situation. Sometimes they were part of a miracle, like Sarah having a baby at 90 years old, and other times they endured great sorrow and pain, but God used each one to His glory. He will use you and me too—and we can experience this joy as long as we persevere in the faith.
So how can you stay faithful when God says no or tells you to wait?
- Trust God and His love for you.
- Pray for grace to expect and accept His answers
- Replace worry with worship.
- Turn pleas into praises.
Like Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah, 2 of my daughters pleaded with God for a baby for years. And like Sarah and Rachel they often tried to take circumstances into their own hands and circumvent God’s unseen plans. But when they finally surrendered their will to God’s will and made peace with Him as Hannah did, each woman was granted a testimony of the blessing of waiting on His timing.
God’s waiting room can be lonely and painful. It helps to have a support group going through similar circumstances. Then, “[i]nstead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:6–7 MSG).