Tuesday, December 23, 2008

WELCOME to Beth Moore's "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman"

Don't you just love the title to Beth Moore's Bible Study? Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman

Did she nail that title or what? I bet it took all of three seconds to pick it out because whether you are single or married, young or old, no matter your religion or race, that statement is something most, if not all, women can agree upon.

We are so excited to be leading the women of Calvary Baptist through this Bible study in Esther.
We are a mother-daughter team who has been asked to facilitate this class. Sandra Timmons has been married to Earl for 42 years and has two wonderful daughters, Kristy and Lori, and four beautiful grandkids. She parented an ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), strong-willed child and was the high school teacher at Calvary Baptist Academy for many years. She has her Women's Ministry Advanced Certification and does public speaking for women's events. She is a breast cancer stage three survivor as of December 2007. Kristy Mullins has been married for 14 years to Patrick and has two of Sandra's beautiful grandkids. She investigates insurance fraud for a living and loves the opportunity to minister, to encourage, and to mentor women. She has endured fertility treatments, failed adoptions, and successful adoptions. She is now rearing her own strong-willed child and a child with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). And who hasn't had times of adjustment in their marriages? All this being said, we know about some of the trials women today face and believe the principles found in Esther are just as relevant today as they were then.

Sandra --I first "met" Esther when I was a teenager (a few years ago!), and, honestly, she scared me senseless! Here was this young, teenaged orphan who was so obedient and so courageous that she risked her life for her people. I was in total awe of her, but, being a teenager myself at the time, I obviously did not know God as well as Esther did. I was afraid to give myself so freely and totally to God; I was afraid He would send me to some mission field far away! Here I was saying, "Please don't send me to China!" and Esther was saying, "If I perish, I perish!" Wow!

Thank goodness God has grown me up some spiritually since then, but I definitely have not "arrived." Often, that growth came as a result of God's painting me into a corner so that I would have no option but to trust Him. As I have studied the book of Esther, I have learned so much about being able to trust God completely because He is always doing something in my life---even when it is not obvious to me. I am very excited about the upcoming time with the women's Bible study group because I know it will be a time of sharing and further growth.

Kristy -- What I love about Esther is the plot. It reminds me of the reality TV show Survivor -- Outwit, Outlast, Outplay. The second highest in command in the Persian kingdom sets a trap, and a woman who has been living in exile from her people rises to a status and makes herself available to God to be used. She definitely outwits Haman, outlasts Haman, and outplays Haman. Second, I can relate to Esther living with an unseen God. God is not named in this book. I have personally had a time in my life where God's silence was deafening, and it was maddening to put it bluntly. I hated it. I grew exponentially in blind faith, but it wasn't an easy process. Esther did not have an easy time of it either, but she was groomed for such a time as this. From the outside looking in, you may not first believe that, but God had His hand on her from the time she was conceived. She learned obedience and submissiveness from her circumstances and rearing. Courage was ingrained in her because she had survived the death of her parents and had been removed from her guardian Mordecai to become part of the king's harem. God prepares each of us if we are willing to fulfill our destiny in His kingdom. The question is, "Are you ready to fulfill your destiny in Christ?" I am.

Please join us in this Bible study and in blogging. We are so looking forward to this journey with you.

Every Thursday or Friday, one of us will blog what has been laid on our hearts. You have an opportunity to respond or put what has been laid on your heart. In order to do this, scroll down to the bottom of the entry and hit the "Comment" word. A box will appear for you to input your thoughts and ideas. You will need to put in your complete e-mail address, and the password you use for your e-mail. You will also need to copy the encrypted word and press Enter. Your entry will be submitted and reviewed to be posted at a later date.

We also invite others who are studying Esther to join us in blog-land. You may have a friend who is in another town, state, or country, and if you think she would benefit from this, please forward this address along to her.

We look forward to your input and sharing this experience with you. We encourage you to share this site with other friends and family especially women who might need encouragement.

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