* There’s Something Different

About Debbie’s Faith

I can remember the moment I met Debbie like it was yesterday.  I had brought my son to Mommy’s Day Out at a local church and upon arriving home, his backpack contained an invitation to a women’s Bible study.  Unsatisfied in my faith and seeking new friends, I attended the following week.  The instant I met Debbie, I knew there was something amazingly and wondrously unique about her.  It took me just minutes to recognize it—she was head-over-heels, whole-heartedly in love with Jesus.  She spoke of Him like He was her friend, standing right next to her.  She knew Scripture, but not only in a head kind of way—in a heart kind of way as well.  Her prayers, which were a fusion of sweet tenderness and awe-inspiring power, effortlessly rolled off her lips and were like intimate conversations with Him.  I had never met anyone like her, yet I knew that whatever she was doing to grow her faith, I wanted in.  For years, I was not satisfied with my faith in the status quo.  I so desperately hungered for that kind of relationship with my Savior.  I just didn’t know how to attain it.

*My Personal Bread Crumbs Story

and Hunger for More Faith

In comparison, my relationship with Jesus was so very different.  It went something like this.  I would wake up, put my feet on the floor and say, “Good morning, Jesus.”  While brushing my teeth, I would mentally go down my laundry list of all I needed to accomplish that day and petition His help.  While getting dressed, I would pray for my family and friends and ask Him to bless them.  While drinking my coffee, I would grab my devotion or Bible study, shoot up a prayer for the Holy Spirit to guide me, fill in the blanks to the workbook, and end with a “Thank you, Jesus.” Having checked everything off my daily list I knew on how to feed my faith, I hoped I could make it through the day on the few bread crumbs I had consumed.

Yet, in the depth of my soul, I was so very hungry.  I ardently craved for more.  More faith.  More intimacy.  More Jesus. More! I recognized I was starving and in desperate need of a hearty meal.  However, my constant search rationed only bread crumbs for nourishment, so I robotically consumed them, abandoned my pursuit for more, and resigned myself to the belief that bread crumbs were my only option on the entire menu, while hearty meals were reserved for the spiritual elite.   I remember asking myself, “Is this it?  Is this all there is to experience in my faith—a constant ache in my belly, craving in my heart, and emptiness in my soul?”  However, the moment I met Debbie and witnessed her satiated relationship with the Savior, I understood that God has provided so much more than a meal; He invites us to His perpetual, all-you-can-eat banquet! We just need to show up and feast!

*The Faith Feast and Surprise Dessert

I remember asking Debbie what kind of schooling or special training she had that taught her how to obtain such a closeness with Jesus.  My thinking was, how else could she speak to Him so easily, quote verses off the top of her head, or thumb through her Bible and find applicable passages with lightning speed?  She shared with me that she had not gone to a school or had any special training, and that what I was witnessing was the fruit of the Bible study method she used.  Her students confirmed her assertion and testified that they had never experienced a Bible study that so dramatically and rapidly grew their faith, fed their spirit, and renewed their mind.  But I noticed something even more.  I also observed that her community of women had an amazing bond—something so much deeper than I had ever experienced in my own friendships.

Later, I understood that in employing this Bible study method, they obtained a mature and satiated relationship with their Savior, and that became the foundational source of the loving attachment they felt for each other.  In doing life together, they prayed for their ministry, celebrated their life’s blessings, counseled their broken-hearted, wept with their hurting, laid hands on their ill, and financially assisted their needy. Even though I knew I was witnessing something remarkable, it wasn’t until studying Philippians that I came to see how much their group resembled the church of Philippi that Paul exhorted, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.” (Phil. 1:9) It was their real knowledge and all discernment that caused their love to abound more and more for each other and for their Savior.  In them, I understood that deeper, more meaningful relationships was the feast’s bonus dessert.  My heart’s desire for true friendships was, for the first time in my life, a possible reality.

Since meeting Debbie and her group over 20 years ago, I too have fallen in love with my Savior.  I have come to not merely know about Him, but know Him.  I have learned how to feast upon His meaty Word, which feeds my mind and satisfies my soul.  I have friendships that are, quite frankly, super-natural in their outpouring of love.  In times of trials and pain, I know the One Who carries me, and I have a confidence in Him that only comes from intimacy and trust. That’s my prayer for you!  God’s Word is the banquet meal that can satisfy the constant ache in your belly, craving in your heart, and emptiness in your soul.  You just need the directions to the feast!

*Your Invitation to Dine and Feed Your Faith

August 25-27, 2017, at Billy Graham’s “The Cove” in Asheville, NC,  I will be teaching the method  Debbie explained to me so many years ago, which I have since taught to countless others.  You will acquire skills to mine for treasures in the Word of God, each building upon the previous. By the end of our time together, you will know how to feast upon the Word for yourself.  In tandem, you will use the book of Titus, which when done studying it, will forever be imprinted upon your soul.  For example, you will understand what was happening in the church at Crete that made Paul, through the Holy Spirit, give Titus the qualification list for elders that became the qualification list for all Church pastors.  You will understand how the culture of that time was bringing its influence into the church then, and see how Paul’s instructions to them apply to the church today.  You will comprehend the importance of seasoned believers in the life of younger believers, and how that translates for healthy living inside and outside the church.  You will see how godly lives today prepare Christians for the coming Savior.  We will also correlate Old Testament Scripture with Paul’s description of how Jesus rescues us from sin. Further, you will come to understand the true meaning of words like justified,  hope, faith(ful), doctrine, and knowledge . You will have confident assurance in your faith because you have confidence in Him.  But, more than anything—and I’m speaking from my own experience and the testimonies of countless others when I say this—you will love Jesus more, and be wholly satisfied.

Come, join me at the banquet table as we feast on His Word.

 

 

There’s a place here just for you!

 

For more details, go to The Cove Retreat