“The most encouraging stories are hearing women, who have never studied the Word before, tell me they connected with God for the first time through my Bible studies.” Mindy Ferguson, author of Bible studies and devotionals for women, is a powerful communicator of God’s truth. “Everything I do is directed towards getting women into the Word.” Mindy’s passion is that women would truly abide in God’s Word and apply it to their lives. She says, “When women’s lives are changed, family’s lives are changed.” Mindy’s calling to rejuvenate women’s hearts through true experiences of God is altering the heartbeat of families everywhere.
Mindy met the Lord when she was 26 and fell in love with studying Scripture. She was an active student of the Bible involved in church, small groups, and her own personal time with the Lord. As Mindy began to experience the Lord more and more fully in her personal times with Him, she began to sense God whispering to her to share the wisdom she had been storing up in her heart. Still considering herself a new believer, this call brought up many anxieties and feelings of inadequacy. Yet, God’s timing is always perfect. Mindy had just concluded studying Moses and had moved into Joshua. The message of Joshua 1:9 began to follow her, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” To Mindy, this message was a clear directive to begin writing Bible studies despite her feelings of inadequacy.
As Mindy began writing the study on Joshua, she knew she must also live what she learned and wrote. In a step of bravery, she shared the few completed lessons with a woman at her home church: Cy-Fair in Houston, Texas. This woman called Mindy soon after and communicated how touched she was by Mindy’s Bible study; this humble beginning sparked what is now Fruitful Word Ministries.
Mindy began sharing her materials with her church’s women’s groups and eventually began speaking at other churches. Fruitful Word Ministries found its wings when other churches and individuals wanted to purchase the studies. Mindy finds that, while others are continually enriched by her writing and speaking, she is consistently fed and challenged as she writes. She says, “This is why I do what I do: God’s Word changed my life. I don’t just learn about the Bible, I connect with the God of the Bible.” God has been faithful to place the perfect book of the Bible in the path of her writing and study right when she needs it. “Peter taught me intimacy with Christ, Moses helped me see God’s glory in trial, and Abraham taught me faith when I needed to be brave,” Mindy shares.
Mindy’s story is truly one of perseverance and surrender. She reflects, “Following God is always an adventure and it always includes challenges.” Mindy has gracefully moved through disappointments with publishers and the ever-changing world of ministry. Her writing reflects her steadfast soul kept safe by Christ’s love. She says, “We really need to carve out space in quiet moments to get to know God in His Word. It’s not a legalistic practice, it’s a wellbeing practice.” Amidst life that can easily become loud and cluttered, it’s tempting to ignore the practice of quiet and introspection. Mindy longs for women to experience God’s love deeply and encourages them to change up what their personal times with Him contain. Practices of journaling, reading, taking a walk, or even clean silence help us hear the heartbeat of our Creator.
Mindy has several video lessons for her studies at fruitfulword.org and is excited about filming the Moses video lecture in the upcoming weeks! When Mindy is not writing, she can be found delighting in her family and making memories with them. Mindy and her husband reside in Houston, Texas and love coming up with creative ways to stay close and connected with a daughter in Austin, TX and a son headed to Colorado. Mindy invites women to follow her on Facebook, fruitfulword.org, and her YouTube channel.
Mindy’s studies, devotionals, and speaking events can be accessed at fruitfulword.org!
Maybe you really have tried everything. The Biblical counseling, the books, the long phone calls with friends or mom for advice, but your marriage is still falling apart. And, maybe, somewhere inside you hear a voice telling you to quit and another voice beckoning you to pray; to remember that nothing is impossible for God. A voice that reminds you that marriage is holy and dear to the Lord. Jennifer O. White, founder of Prayerfully Speaking ministries and author of Prayers for New Brides, is living proof of the power of prayer. After one failed marriage and her second one beginning to fail, Jennifer discovered the faithfulness of God to answer a simple “Help Me Jesus” prayer. She’s given her days to sharing how God is able to do more in our hearts and marriages than we can ask or imagine. She says, “There is no way that I, a woman who once chose to divorce a minister, am now writing books encouraging wives to pray and rely on the marriage Savior …except by the grace of God.”
Hearing Jennifer's unmatched belief that God can mend any ruin is a gift and a treasure.
Jennifer lives in West Monroe, Louisiana and describes herself as one who loves to share what inspires her. Born and raised in a small farming community in her home state, she’s a natural helper and connector of people to the resources they need. While in college pursuing a degree in Social Work, Jennifer surprised herself one day when she confided in someone her desire to be a writer. The Lord had bigger plans for her abilities to share and connect than she could have dreamed.
Throughout her life, Jennifer had always been drawn to God through church. In her teen years, she cried out to God for wisdom. She feels that God’s answer to that prayer is seen today in her love for His Word and praying its truths. The Lord would make beauty from ashes through this very skill.
Jennifer found herself working for a Christian publishing company, blogging and discovering her gift of writing Scripture-based prayers. Jennifer’s step-son and niece were both engaged and she wanted to bless and nurture their unions. She decided to give them prayers she would write for their marriages. It was then the Lord whispered to her, “You could write a book of prayers for marriages.”
Her book, Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God’s Armor after the Wedding Dress, made it to market February, 2015. Jennifer’s ministry and book remain a testimony of God’s renewal in Jennifer’s life and continually rejuvenate even the most difficult marriages.
Jennifer’s hope is that married couples everywhere would harness of the power of prayer. She says, “As wives, we often fall into a trap thinking that our husbands are the enemy. Ephesians 6:12 opened Jennifer’s eyes to the reality that we as wives are not wrestling with our husbands but actually with the spiritual forces of darkness. A large chapter of Jennifer’s story centers around recognizing the spiritual battle and the importance of being an active participant under God’s authority. Prayers for New Brides is a perfect help in taking up the armor of God to fortify our marriages against the lies and destructive strategies of Satan.
A Biblical counselor, one of the biggest influences in Jennifer’s life, opened Jennifer’s eyes to her identity in Christ for the first time. Her wisdom, prayers from the Power of a Praying Wife and Prayers that Avail Much, and several praying wives in Jennifer’s life helped her engage in this spiritual warfare. She says, “No situation is too big for God. I am living proof that life and marriage get a lot better when we resist the enemy and draw near to God. Prayer is an opening of a door for Him to pour out on us what we need. God already has it ready! We have to remind ourselves that God is for us and nothing is impossible for God.”
Jennifer also emphasizes the importance of having others praying for you and your marriage. Women of all ages have used Prayers for New Brides in small groups as a way to keep one another praying and witnessing God’s redemptive power. She's also created Marriage Armor for the #PrayingBride, a daily email of prayers for your marriage. You can subscribe for free at jenniferowhite.com/marriage-armor. Jennifer encourages even singles to sign up and begin preparation for their future marriage.
Even with protective prayer, warfare isn’t easy; inside and outside of marriage. Jennifer says Satan discourages her by defining her ministry as "white noise" amidst a broadcast of thousands of ministries. But, Jennifer continues in the path that the Lord has lain before her by repeating Ephesians 3:20 and singing praise and worship songs moment by moment. She has also begun collecting encouraging emails and conversations she’s received over the years from individual’s whose lives have been touched and transformed by Prayerfully Speaking as a reminder that the Lord is at work through her testimony.
Jennifer invites you to her website, jenniferowhite.com, where she shares blogs filled with truth for your encouragement and renewal! Prayers for New Brides is available at Amazon, Lifeway, Books a Million, Christianbook.com, and Barnes & Noble.
Jennifer’s story of ruins to redeemed reflects all of our journeys. Nothing, not even a broken marriage, is too lost for the Lord to make beautiful once more. Just ask Jennifer.
If we were honest with ourselves, how equipped do we feel to hide God's Word away in our hearts? Do we think we have what it takes to teach our families their way around the Bible? One woman and author, Abby Boldt Messner, decided she needed something more to help her in these important tasks. From Terrace Park, Ohio, Abby has found the perfect way to root her beliefs more deeply into her own heart and her children's hearts. I had the absolute pleasure to interview this unique woman of bravery recently and she’s a story to follow.
Abby has written two books: 10 Big Words—10 Word Bible Verses for Teens and 10 Big Words—10 Word Conversations with God. Abby’s inspiration stems from a curiosity about God’s word. She’s determined to reveal its simplicity and applicability to people of all ages.
Writing has always been a staple for Abby. “It makes me not feel so small.” She enjoys the perspective it brings her. “It can create a hill that I can step over out of what I thought was an impossible mountain.” With all of her writing projects, she knows that ultimately, it’s successful if she’s found benefit, and beyond that, it’s blessed if others do as well.
Her most established work, 10 Big Words—10 Word Verses for Teens is a compilation of ten word Bible verses for easy memorization. This book was originally not a book at all! Growing up, there was little talk of Jesus in Abby’s world. However, when her kids came along, she was inspired to seek out the Creator of her little miracles. Abby and her husband began attending Horizon Church where they began to understand the grace of Jesus. But Abby noticed something as she volunteered for the church: Other kids and families seemed to know the Bible cover to cover while she struggled to find her way around. Abby wanted a solution and to give her own kids access to the Word in a way that made sense to them. While contemplating how best to provide her and her family truth, she stumbled upon a Bible memorization tactic from Lysa Terkurst. Lysa had been encouraging her own daughter for years with Bible verses that were only ten words long. Short, powerful, and easy to memorize. It was the perfect thing for Abby
Abby started her ten word Bible verse list and at first kept it within the home. After a time, it dawned on her that other families were probably struggling in similar ways to ingrain God’s word into their hearts and minds. At this time, Abby had enough verses and content for a book to be born. Enter 10 Big Words—10 Word Bible Verses for Teens in 2014.
Soon, Abby’s heart grew for more knowledge about prayer and a simple way to pass along that knowledge. 10 Big Words—10 Word Conversations with God, made it’s way into print in 2016. Following the structure of 10 Big Words—10 Word Bible Verses for Teens, Conversations with God is packed with life-giving yet simple prayers for all people at any stage in their spiritual walk.
Abby’s 10 Big Word books are bought by Horizon Church and distributed to every incoming 5th and 6th grader. They are also available to everyone online at tenbigwords.com.
Consistent with Abby’s curiosity comes a whole new project. Lately, Abby has been thinking about why we have certain stigmas associated with people different than us; Specifically, stigma against individuals with tattoos.
On a family trip to Kings Island, Abby’s husband challenged her to ask these people their stories. Abby got creative and came up with a way to do just that. Abby says, “It’s easy to just look away. I don’t want to be that person. I want to engage.” So, Abby created business cards inviting people to share their stories and the stories of their tattoos on tenbigwords.com. Her hope is that she will compile enough essay submissions to create a book. Ultimately, Abby hopes to gain a better understanding of people different from her. She says, “This will change me.”
Abby invites every person to follow her discoveries (or even add to them!) through the tattoo project on her website: tenbigwords.com
Abby’s closing words from our interview were for every woman to “just share” about whatever is happening in their life and to not hide within themselves. She’s passionate about connecting and creating understanding between believers and nonbelievers alike.
Abby's 10 Big Words books are an amazing resource for family devotions and are precious gifts for the kids or any believer. Follow Abby Boldt Messner on Twitter to keep in touch with her newest endeavors to connect to the Lord and everyone she meets.
In Deuteronomy, God instructs us to surround ourselves with His words. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 it says "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
What better way to bring God's word into your home than with beautifully designed pieces?
Live with Heart & Soul wants to equip our readers to bring God's word into their homes with this beautifully designed watercolor printable poster of Psalm 15! Click below to download it now, completely free!
1. For full size, print on Legal size paper
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We hope these words will be a blessing and an encouragement!
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