I have the extraordinary honor, as a featured speaker with Womenspeakers.com to introduce you to two authors featured in this year's Bible Study Expo.
This live Facebook and Twitter event is Thursday, March 14 from 1 PM - 4PM Eastern Time.
If you're looking for a Bible Study for individual, family or group study, you won't want to miss this event!
Rachel Larkin is an author, speaker, chartered accountant and home-school mum. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and their three young adult sons. She is the author of Simple Prayer: The Guide for Ordinary People Seeking the Extraordinary.
Mary Comm has developed and managed three successful, non-profit Christian ministries. A published author and speaker, Mary holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology along with a Biblical Studies Certificate from Colorado Christian University. She is also a Certified Professional Life Coach whose passion is helping people experience the freedom and fullness of walking in the truth of who God says they are.
1. What is the title of your book? Describe it for us.
Rachel: Delighting in the Names of God: 8 Weeks to a Deeper Prayer Life
Delighting in the Names of God will take you on an 8 week journey of reconnecting and delighting in Yahweh through studying 7 Hebrew names of God. It's a simple way of deepening your prayer life. It answers the longing for a more deeper relationship with Him.
Mary: Uncommon Love: God's Heart for Christian Parents of Gay Kids. We at Uncommon Love Ministries strive to represent Christ well as we equip churches and families to unconditionally love, encourage, and come alongside those in the LGBTQ community without compromising their personal faith or the truth of God’s Word.
2. Why write a Bible Study? How did you choose the topic/focus/theme?
Rachel: I wrote this study more than 10 years ago when I was leading a small ladies home group. I was very interested in Hebrew and God's names and discovered in my own personal study the meaning attached to the names that God reveals. I put together an 8 week study and shared it with the ladies and they received a lot from it. What intrigued me was how learning about the Hebrew meanings of God's names changed and deepen my prayer life - naturally. I was able to address God in my prayers in a more relational way. It increased my faith knowing that God is El Shaddai, the God of more than enough, El Roi - the God who sees me.
Mary: I really didn't choose this topic! It chose me, in a sense, as my own daughter 'came out' and currently identifies as a lesbian. Because of my Christian faith, I needed support in learning how best to love, encourage, and come alongside her without compromising who I am in Christ and the faith and values that define me. The reason I wrote this as a Bible study was because of the difficulty of creating a cohesive support group of Christian parents when there were so many conflicting perspectives of the issue and how to approach it. In order to come together we needed to establish the authority of Scripture as the foundational and guiding principles of our support group. As a result, this Bible study was born!
3. How long have you been writing?
Rachel: I have been blogging for over 10 years on previous sites, journaling since I could write, probably and writing books for the past 2 years.
Mary: I have been writing most my life. Of course, no one will ever see my first writings... (...very baaaaaad poetry!). LOL
4. Why should people participate in the 2019 Bible Study Expo?
Rachel: It is an amazing opportunity to hear from the authors on what motivated them to study their topics and how their spiritual lives and relationship with God has changed because of it. It is awesome for the Women's Leader in a church for sourcing great material for her small groups.
Mary: This Expo is an excellent opportunity to hear from the authors firsthand, to see their passion, to connect with them personally, and I think it will be loads of fun, too!
5. I hear you're an introvert. As you know my platform is about encouraging introverted believers. How will introverts relate to your book? What guidance would you give them to get the most out of your book.
Rachel: In regards to the practicalities of the study, Delighting in the Names of God can be used in two ways, one in a small group where the material is digested at home and then you come together and go through the discussion questions. Secondly, it can be used as a personal study that you can do at home. So it caters perfectly for introverts. I love the idea of not being surprised and having the time for personal reflection on questions so that I can formulate my answers first so that I don't feel like I am put on the spot in a group situation.
In relation to the material resonating with an introvert, discovering that God wants to reveal himself to the individual in a personal way regardless of how big their platform is or whether they are a shy inward thinking person or a passionate excitable processing out-loud person - we are all people that he loves individually. I think that the introverted gal would resonate with the story of Hagar and her discovery of El Roi, the God who sees her. Here is an insignificant slave woman who was taken away from her country to travel around with Abraham and his wife. She goes through quite a bit and then is left to fend for herself in the desert. But God visited her and revealed one of his Hebrew names just for her. El Roi - the God who sees and notices me.
Mary: Introverts will appreciate the thoughtful and individualized approach to this Bible study. Whether completed alone or within the context of a loving support group, the nature of this Bible study is to get alone with God and His Word to find the answers for which your heart is longing. To get the most out of it, spend ample time with the journaling sections, then step out of your comfort zone and share your journey with trusted others who are traveling this same path. My hope is that no parent of an LGBTQ kid will suffer alone in isolation. Don't isolate, instead communicate in a safe group of like-minded others. Even if none in the group know each other in the beginning, by the end you will most likely be lifelong friends!
Additional Information for Rachel Larkin:
You can find Rachel at https://www.rachellarkin.com/book/simple-prayer/ . She has a passion to see believers growing in faith and prayer as well as developing their potential for Jesus. She writes at https://www.rachellarkin.com/. To find out more on seeing God turn up in your daily life, Rachel has a free eBook available for download - The Untold Story: 7 Steps to Seeing God in the Midst of your Real Messy Life https://www.rachellarkin.com/book/untold-story/
Additional information for Mary Comm:
I have an amazing, adult daughter who I love with my whole heart. We have a great relationship even though we don't agree on her lifestyle choices. We've always been close and while this journey has been heartbreaking for both of us, we love each other as much if not more today than we did the day before she came out. THAT is the power of Jesus. My hope for my daughter is, first and foremost, that she will return to an intimate relationship with her first love--her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the Lover of her soul and the Hope, Joy, Peace, Healing, and Purpose she is looking for. Once that happens, He will take care of the rest! Her life verse is Jeremiah 29:11, and it is my hope and prayer for her today and always.
I'm so glad you joined me today to support these two brave authors, sharing their passion for Jesus Christ. I pray their testimonies bring you the hope and peace of the Lord. Don't forget to stop by the Bible Study Expo on March 14th.