Category Archives: interviews

Interviews with Women of all ages.

What God is Teaching… Heather J.

What has God been speaking to you about lately?
The idea of “waiting in hope”, the faithful expectation that God has good things. Not being fearful of what bad things might be coming around the bend. Trusting that God is taking care of us- that the future will be good.
In the past, I’ve always been a fearful person. It was easy for me to think negatively.  But the Lord has been teaching me largely through [my husband’s] example. It comes easy for him to believe the best. The Lord has been working on me with that concept.
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What is something practical that you’ve done to strengthen your relationship with God?

This year I’ve been working through the One Year Bible. It’s been a struggle for me to know what to do with a quiet time and this has been a very useful tool for me.
I used to just flip through and read a Psalm or something because I didn’t know what to do. Now, there is a plan and that is very helpful for me.
I also read a book called, “Let Prayer Change Your Life” which outlines a journaling technique. It has been a great aid in my devotional time.
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If you could encourage the girls who read this to do one thing… what would it be?
Pray. Talk to the Lord. Pray. Pray. Pray.
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What is a resource (book, CD, DVD, etc…) that you have used to further your walk with the Lord?
“God Calling” (Edited by A. J. Russell)
No Greater Joy – free magazine
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Heather is married to Andy. They have six children, Evan, Dodie, Paul, Sally, Jane and Phoebe.  She loves Pride and Prejudice, homeschools her children, enjoys making cheese and is out-going and fun.
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What God is teaching…Charlotte.

What has God been speaking to you about lately?
Two things.
1. Judging people.
 I was reading in Romans (2:1) 1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  I realized that I had been looking at people’s lives and judging them. Thinking, “Well, they’re not living up to what I think they should be living up to.”

In truth, it was really myself that I was judging. I was not living up to what I thought I should be. And my reaction was to judge other people to make myself feel better!

Thinking about that verse has reminded me that when I stand before God, I don’t want him to judge me! I want him to have mercy on me.

2. Identity.
 I’ve been convinced that other people viewed me in a negative way. And God has been showing me that it is who I am in him that is of value. The truth is that God sees the good in me!

Both of these things are interlocking because my judgement on myself and others is directly linked to my identity in Christ. If I am resting confidantly in the truth of how God thinks of me, then my attitude is softened- my judgements are tempered by grace.

How thankful I am that God is so good! So faithful!

What is something practical that you’ve done to strengthen your relationship with God?
I started writing out Bible verses in a notebook. Then, I go back over it and ask what it means to me. (What God is saying to me through it)
I’ve struggled some with doing devotions and this has really helped me! It’s not something of reading chapters and chapters but instead, meditating on each verse.

Also, being more vulnerable with God. I’ve always hated crying before people because it feels weak. But God has shown me that he doesn’t see me crying and think, “Oh, here she goes again.” He thinks, “Oh, let me hold you.”

If you could encourage the girls who read this to do one thing… what would it be?
Have a strong relationship with your parents! Foster it. Nurture it. Your parents can become the strength beneath you- they are your covering and protection.
Often your relationship with your parents is a reflection of your relationship with God. Foster and nuture both relationships!

Along with that, often you can strive for independence and think that means separating yourself from your parents. That’s not true. You can stay under the covering of your parents while still becoming your own woman.

What is a resource (book, CD, DVD, etc…) that you have used to further your walk with the Lord?

It seems like there have been different books at different points that really changed my life. Here’s a list of just a few.
Captivating by Stasi Eldredge
The Book of James (From the Bible!)
Louie Gigilo- “How Great is our God Tour”

Charlotte is 23 years old. She lives with her parents and her dog, Buddy.  She is the youth worship leader at Abundant Life Fellowship and is excited about what God is doing in her life and the lives around her!

What God is teaching…Natasha.

Hi, everyone! I was thinking about interviews and realized that although I have been “interviewing” people and therefore writing up lots of interviews- I never did one myself!

So, even though there are going to be some really exciting ones coming up (so make sure you check back or sign up for email updates!) today is going to be just me.

What has God been teaching you lately?

3 things.

Number One: Tasha, you were not created to wander through life looking for safe comfortable places to snuggle in. You were created to go out to the places where people hurt and are hurting and BE A SAFE PLACE FOR THEM. Love your friends even if they make you bleed. Love your enemies even if they scare you or harm you. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Don’t look at yourself. DON’T. Trust that I will take care of you. If you’re hurting, bleeding, broken… do you believe that I can heal you? I can, Natasha. I can. Trust that I will.

Number two: Embrace my Word. Discipline, my daughter, is essential! In discipline you will find freedom. You are “free” to do anything you want. Salvation cannot be bought or earned. But when you willingly place restrictions on your freedom,  you allow me to work in your life. You allow me to mold you. To refine you. I want to make you like gold refined. Cleaned up. Filled with ME.

Number three: I love you. I love the way you get excited over broccoli salad and giggle when you finish a good book. I love the way you scribble notes all over the house and forget where you put them. I love the way you spin around in the driveway when you get home and the stars are out.

 I know that I have been working at refining you, cleaning up a few of the dirty sinful things in your heart, but, my beautiful daughter, that doesn’t mean that I don’t see the things that I love about you. I have a perfect view of you. I see the person your sinful nature wants you to be and I also see the person that I created you to be. I love that person, Natasha Dawn. And I plan on using you to further my kingdom and then, when the time comes, spending eternity with you.

What is something practical you’ve done in your Christian walk to further your relationship with Christ?

Over the past couple years I’ve tried to pray specifically. It’s very easy to pray in broad terms… Lord, bless her. Help her know you more. But lately, I’ve worked at praying particular things… Lord, I pray that you would send her a mentor in the faith who is able to speak truth into the areas where she is struggling. And then! I get to wait and watch!

I think I was always afraid of praying like this because I feared that God would “not answer” and I would start doubting his power. What a wrong view! Basically, I didn’t trust him! God wants to “wow” us. He wants to show his strength in our lives! No, he doesn’t always say, “Yes.” And he doesn’t always answer the way we think (that specific prayer- about that girl- she ended up reading a book that “mentored” her. I never thought of that when I prayed! But I saw the hand of God moving still…)

If you could encourage the girls who read this to do one thing, what would it be?

Become transparent.

When we “hide” things in our lives, Satan gains control. The Bible says in many places that we need to bring light to the things in darkness. Our flesh thinks that if we admit our sins, or our short-comings, or our fears- then people will stop loving us or despise us or… etc… but that isn’t TRUTH. The truth is that when we admit our failings, we are set free. (And often, those we share with are set free from things in their own lives as well!) Satan only has power over the hidden.

Girls, live your lives openly. Be transparent. Don’t allow Satan to control you. Live in the light!

What is a resource you have used to further your walk with the Lord?

Studying the lives of missionaries. I have dozens of books that tell the story of missionaries around the world. Out of all of them, Jungle Pilot, the story of Nate Saint, probably impacted me the most.

The other thing is taking prayer walks. There have been many periods in my life when the only thing that kept me going was my daily prayer walk. I would find a woods, or a field, or a stream… someplace I could go and talk out loud to God without interruption. It has been literally “living water” for me.

Natasha is married to Amos and lives in a little brown house on Tug Hill.

What God is teaching…Peggy.

What has God been speaking to you about lately?

Actually, I have had a couple of things lately that the Lord has shown me. They were both during worship at church.
I have this continual trial going on in my life and I think that I had gotten to a point where it was affecting my perception of God. I hadn’t really realized it! But it was not a very good perspective.
During worship one Sunday, in the middle of worship, the Lord spoke to me and showed me that I had been thinking of  him as being disconnected from me.  That he was there and I was here.

I wasn’t necessarily praying or asking him to show me anything but suddenly I heard his voice! He just said, “You are not alone in your trials. I AM WITH YOU.”

God saying, “I am with you in your trials.” turned my perspective around. I thought about Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego— where God was standing with them in the fire. They went in alone but he did not leave them there. When the King looked, there were FOUR men! God came and stood right in the midst of the flames! In Isaiah 43 God says, “Fear not for I am with you… When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.”

Then the next week at worship the same thing happened! I was standing there worshiping and God spoke again.

I can often find myself thinking , “Why is my life like this? I’m a Christian! Things should be different.” I feel like I SHOULD be privileged somehow because I’m a believer. Instead, I struggle each day through my ongoing trial…

And God said, “What if all of this is not for you or about you?”

There was a time that a guy called us, someone who we know but not very well, and said, “You know, when I’m having a hard day- I think of you and Larry and I find the strength to keep going.”

I was so encouraged by that! This isn’t about me. I am walking through each day, not for myself but for the glory of God!

The third thing is that I feel guilty sometimes that I wish for this trial to leave me. And the Lord showed me that even Jesus said “If there is anyway- let this cup pass from me.” It’s okay for me to feel like I can’t do this! It’s okay for me to feel like I don’t WANT to do this! The key is choosing the same thing that Jesus chose: “Nevertheless, not what I will but what you will.”

What is something practical that you’ve done to strengthen your relationship with God?

The most encouragement for me is fellowshipping with other Christian women. It can change my whole day if I can talk to someone on the phone, or go get coffee, just be with friends who love the Lord.

Reading books help me as well but I definitely think friendships are first!

If you could encourage the girls who read this to do one thing… what would it be?

The biggest thing in my life was realizing that God really loved me in spite of myself. It’s really foundational to understand His love for us.

Everything else comes out of that- how much you can respond to others, how much you can love others, how much grace you have for others, how easy it is to forgive others.
You need that foundation first.
My passion is for women to know and understand this truth.
There is so much in the world that tells us otherwise! There is nothing greater than to be unconditionally loved and to realize that is really truth.

You are valuable and you are loved.

What is a resource that you have used to further your walk with the Lord?

Relationships with older godly women! There have always been women that I’ve had in my life that I’ve been able to call in the middle of the night– women that have mentored me and helped me grow in the Lord.

Find them! Pray that God will bring them to you, search them out… When you see someone you like and admire, steer yourself toward them!

Peggy is married to Larry Lago. They live in Copenhagen and attend River of Life Fellowship. They have five children. Monica, who is married to Chad. Jordan, who is engaged to Delite. Tyler, Dylan and Caleb.

What God is teaching… Brianna!

Hi, girls!

This month’s “interview” is being written by me,  Brianna! Aren’t you excited?! 🙂

To get you started, if you don’t know me, I’m Brianna Siegrist, I’m married to Tasha’s oldest brother, Ezra. I live in Castorland, and I moved here 6 years ago, when my son Eric, was just born. I have twin 4 year old girls, Aurora and Giselle… and I homeschool Eric. I love ballet, and flowers, and sparkly things, and needlework, and NOT cleaning my kitchen… 🙂

What has God been teaching you about lately? (Or, what is a verse or chapter from the Bible that God has used to speak to you?)

Well, let’s see. I think more and more, I’ve been really impressed by the importance of READING THE BIBLE. That’s right, girls, READING the BIBLE. And when I say READING, the BIBLE, I mean ACTUALLY opening up the BIBLE ITSELF and ACTUALLY reading IT. 🙂 

Does that sound mean? Because I kinda mean it kinda mean, at least to myself. I mean, I have a whole room in my house that we call “the library” because it’s actually a library- it has a couch and two chairs and six book shelves spilling over with books. And on those shelves, which contain westerns and novels and ballet lesson books and other things- there are probably a hundred books about Christian Living- about God, and who He is, and what He wants from us- and what people think about Him- etc… and yeah, those books are all great! They’ve taught me so much over the years… but because I read those, and because so much of the bible feels like, familiar, or maybe kinda difficult to relate to my life, I haven’t felt as interested or motivated to actually pick it up and read!

But also, you know what else? Every time I HAVE thought of sitting down to do my devotions, I get distracted! Someone is calling me or it’s time to switch the laundry, or I sat down to check my facebook, and then my email, and then… You know what happens.

But I’ve started getting back into a routine with devotions- you know, ACTUALLY reading the bible. I’ve been reading a little, and then asking God, “Okay, God, what does this have to do with my life? Will you tell me?”
And then sitting back and trusting that- he DOES want to talk to me! I remember that verse- “Call to me, and I will answer you, and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

and the other one- also from Jeremiah- “You will seek me, and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”  (28:11)

What is something practical you’ve done in your Christian walk to further your relationship with Christ?

One practical thing is this: to take every thought captive!  I’m not very good at it, and in reality, I probably only take about 20% of my thoughts captive… but this is how you do it:

Every time a thought comes into your mind,

I can’t believe she said that! She always thinks she’s so much better than me…”

“Oh man, mom never remembers that I hate mushrooms. If my BROTHER hated mushrooms, she would remember! Everyone in this family is mean to me…”

What’s the point of singing along with worship? It’s not like God even cares…”

You take that thought, and look at it, and say, “God, is that the truth?”

And then you think back about the truths you know about God from the bible, and you compare your thoughts… and if it doesn’t line, up, YOU THROW THAT THOUGHT OUT. You say:

“It doesn’t matter if she thinks she’s better than me. I’m called to be a servant, and God loves me enough.”

“Oh, mom forgot I hate mushrooms. Oh, well. I still love her, and I know that she loves me.”

“God, I’m going to sing about how good you are, because the bible says over and over again to praise you!!”

See? Because as I’ve heard before: your THOUGHTS become your ATTITUDE… which becomes your ACTIONS… which becomes your LIFE.

Do you want to be a miserable, whiny, snobby, complaining, depressing woman?! Then don’t let those thoughts in! Kick them out! 🙂

If you could tell the girls who read this one thing, what would it be?

The most important thing in this life is to learn to love God- and to let him love you. Nothing else in life will satisfy or excite you or fulfill you… only your relationship with God.

What is a resource (book, DVD, CD, Bible Study, etc…) that has helped you in your relationship with God?

Hmmm…. I really like any books that talk about heaven. For some reason, thinking about the spiritual world makes me remember that life here is temporary and our problems and stresses are all over-come-able!

 

Well, that’s my interview! How did I do? I know, I’m a little wordy. I just love questions like this, though- things that make me actually think about God and how I feel about him. I would say more, but I really really have to go! The kids are sitting in the truck waiting to go to the library!

Love, 

Brianna!!!

What God is teaching… Patrice.

What has God been speaking to you about lately?

In Isaiah 12:3-6  it talks about shouting to the Lord– praising the Lord. I was thinking about this and the verse in Luke where it says that if we don’t cry out and praise him then the stones will.

That is a cry of my heart! That people will realize the need to be praising the name of Jesus.  If we don’t praise him then we’re out of a job!
My heart says, I don’t want the rocks doing my job, you gave it to me!

What is something practical that you’ve done lately to strengthen your relationship with God?

Being disciplined.

God has also been impressing on me the need to take the time to quiet myself before him. To listen to what he wants to say to me. 
One thing from the book Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge really stood out to me. “Things don’t change when you talk to God. Things change when He talks to you.”

The Secret place is a time of prayer, meditating, reading the Word.

Remember that when you sow something you don’t get a harvest right away. We put the seeds in the garden- having faith that they will grow and we will reap a harvest.

In this case, we are “sowing” time with God. Trusting that we will reap a Spiritual harvest. Ask yourself before you do anything:  “Is this sowing to the Spirit or is this sowing to the flesh?” Because you WILL reap a harvest of what you’ve sown.

At this point in the interview, Patrice took us into her “secret place”. For her, this is a desk in her bedroom. We stepped inside and she said, “This is where I go and I shut this door and then I lock it.” The lock clicked into place. “I love it when I hear that sound. It gives me shivers. God is here. He’s always here. I can always escape and meet him in this place.”

If you could encourage the girls who read this to do one thing… what would it be?

Get in the Word. Start to be disciplined in this area! Be in the Word of God.

What is a resource (book, CD, DVD, etc…) that you have used to further your walk with the Lord?

Secrets of the Secret Place (Bob Sorge)
THE BIBLE! I do read other books but there is nothing like the Word of God.

Patrice is married to Steve. They live in Beaver Falls, NY with their one son, four daughters, two dogs and barn full of chickens. Patrice is active in leading Bible Studies and caring for her family. Her daughter, Rebekah, was a part of the original Women of Promise group.

What God is teaching…Jody.

What has God been speaking to you about lately?

For the past few months, I’ve realized that my love for people isn’t what it should be or could be… and I’ve been praying- “God, give me your love.”

During my devotions one day God reminded me about something that I had said to my husband. He showed me how my words and actions had been prideful. It hadn’t been intentional! And if God had not shown me, I wouldn’t have seen it! I felt the immensity of that.

In those moments the action of Him pointing out my sin felt like His love! There are verses in the Bible about God disciplining those he loves… and He loves me! I had a personal revival right there!

Since then, it feels like my love has been multiplied.  And through that, I’ve seen God working.

I’ve heard a lot of women my age (in their 40’s and 50’s) start focusing more on the negative side of the their husbands. Since my encounter with God about my pride and the overwhelming sense of His love pouring into me, I have been able to give other women hope! God is faithful to reveal his love to us and we then can give his love to others. (Especially our husbands!)

I have a tendency to learn something wonderful about God and then the feeling fades and life goes back to how it was before. I didn’t want that to happen this time! So, I began praying that God would keep His love always before me.

A few days later I met a girl for coffee and we talked about this and she asked me to do a study on the book that I had been reading (Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas) We’ve started meeting with her and some other women and it’s been wonderful! We’re using the book as a tool but the Bible is our source.

My prayer is that I can provide a place where women can talk about the real things in their lives and be turned to look at the Bible– at God’s love that is ready and waiting for us.

What is something practical that you’ve done to strengthen your relationship with God?

Thinking of different ways to serve my husband- and serving God that way. (Can be applied, of course, to anyone in your life!)

Reading through the Chronological Daily Bible— Basically, spending time in the Word. There is NO substitute for it.
 
Taking care of my body physically– eating well, exercising.  2 Corinthians 7:1 says: Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

 
If you could encourage the girls who read this to do one thing… what would it be?

Be real. With God first. And then with people. And above all- Love. See the value in people. Love them because God created them. He sees the value in each of us and we need to see the value in others.

What is a resource (book, CD, DVD, etc…) that you have used to further your walk with the Lord?

Scripture in Song (Hosanna) I learned so many scriptures this way and they fill my mind throughout the day. It’s wonderful!

Another resource that we all have is people. You can learn from people. Having conversations, being with someone, seeing how people approach life, watching someone go down the wrong trail, watching someone claim victory, watching someone grieve, watching someone rejoice… these are all places of learning!  Be a student of those around you.

Jody is married to Tom. She has three children, Beach (married to Katy), Charlotte and Sam. Jody has served the church through worship and teaching. Her realness has brought many into a deeper understanding of Jesus and his overwhelming love.