Women from around the world are connecting with God in a personal way that speaks to their hearts!

Amanda leads a weekly small-group Bible study for international women on her college campus. When she learned of her.BIBLE at a ministry conference, she immediately knew that it would be just right for the women in her study. Amanda exclaimed:

“This app is in women’s voices, AND it’s multicultural! Women gravitate towards those who sound like them.”

Since attending the conference, Amanda has made her.BIBLE an integral part of their study.

As soon as Amanda offered the “her.BIBLE study” to Anuja, from India, and Novia, her Indonesian friend, they signed up. Then Sharon, a new Christian from China, joined. Later Jennifer, a Mexican believer with lots of questions, wanted to belong. Lastly, a woman from the Middle East decided to join.

Six women from six different countries are coming together to listen and study God’s Word in New York City!

The group began meeting every Wednesday to study the book of John while listening to her.BIBLE. At the beginning of each week, Amanda would send texts, assign passages and offer helpful suggestions:

“While you’re folding clothes, walking to class, going to a coffee shop—listen to the app, and let the Word get inside you.”

By Wednesday, every girl had listened to the Bible passage several times. In the past, when Amanda assigned Scripture to her previous group, they never opened their Bibles to read it, but now these women are excited about God’s Word!

Amanda concluded,

“As they’re listening to the Word throughout the week, they see the importance of being in the Bible each day. What I wanted the most was for the women to want to read the Bible, not just once a week, but to hold on to it throughout the week. And that’s what’s happening!”

Women worldwide are seeking meaning, struggling in their faith, and longing to know their true worth. Together, we can help them find Jesus!

Your gift of any amount will help provide the funding needed to complete the Old Testament production, find more women leaders like Amanda who are longing to share God’s Word, and seek out more listeners through the internet.

You can give online here.

Some days, life feels relentless, and God feels distant. Yet, as soon as I pull away from Him, Psalm 43 pulls me back.

Like the psalmist, I cry out, “For you are God, my only safe haven. Why have you tossed me aside?” (Psalm 43:2a)

Darkness falls quickly, and the walls of the psalmist’s life close in. He has known the Lord intimately and experienced God’s steadfast love and presence, but now he feels rejected.

So what does the psalmist do? Rather than continuing to listen to himself and spiral downward, he starts talking to God. He says to the Lord, “Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me.” (Psalm 43:3a)

The psalmist knows that God’s light and truth can lead him out of his darkness and lies.

This kind of darkness seems impossible to penetrate, and the lies that the enemy loves to whisper sound like the truth. Nevertheless, the psalmist knows the power of God, so he looks past his circumstances, asking God for what seems impossible. He begs for God’s light and truth to guide him.

After the psalmist talks to God, he then asks himself: “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” (Psalm 43:5a) These are essential and revealing questions, because often, we can’t articulate our fears in a place of darkness.

But as soon as we articulate and face our fears, we can take hold of God’s vast promises that the Lord will walk with us through dark valleys (Psalm 23:4), will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5), and will ensure the waves do not overwhelm us. (Is 43:2).

Lastly, the psalmist exhorts himself “to hope in God” (Psalm 43:5b). He trusts that God will bring him to a place of praise.

He chooses to tell himself the truth, based on who God is, rather than listen to himself, based on his fears.

So today, when life feels overwhelming, will you let God’s Word have the last word?

When we know we need to change, we need a mindset reset. We need to shift from a “fixed mindset” – where life is only a “pass or fail” – to a “growth mindset” that values learning from failure. Why?

Because embedded in the “growth mindset” is the concept of grace. You are not a disappointment to God or a hopeless case. Knowing that you are not perfect, but constantly growing, is a big exhale of relief.

Peter Denies Jesus

But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment, the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. (Luke 22:60-62)

As I studied this story, I started wondering about Jesus’ face when he looked at Peter. I know how I might look if someone treated me the way Peter treated Jesus. The look on my face would be disappointment, disgust, or betrayal.

Thankfully, Jesus is not like me. Because he is always true to His own character, we know the look on Jesus’ face as He looked at Peter.

He gazed at Peter with love.

Jesus looked at Peter with love and grace when Peter was at his lowest point – the moment of his greatest failure.

Jesus looks at you and me with love and grace when we are at our weakest, most exhausted state. He sees our failures— every single one— that have led to our empty life and our reduced sense of self. Jesus knows them fully while reaching out to us with the boundless grace we need to step into real change.

He stands ready with a Redemptive Flip when we have already blown it. Every single time, he welcomes us back with grace and love just like he did for Peter. For Peter’s story did not end there. One of my favorite passages in all of Scripture is in the last chapter of John, where Jesus redeems Peter’s denial.

To summarize, Peter denies Jesus. Jesus looks at Peter with love. Jesus is crucified. Jesus is resurrected. In his grief, Peter goes fishing.

Suddenly, Peter sees a man on the shore. He flings himself out of the boat towards Jesus. In that moment, Peter turns away from his denials into the love and grace of Jesus. Peter’s glorious story encourages us too.

When we turn to embrace grace to live our one life well, Jesus is there looking at us with love.

The Psalms have been my go-to in every stage of life. Maybe it is because of my love of poetry and music. Or, it may be because of my Jewish heritage. Whatever the reason, I have found great comfort, encouragement, and wisdom within each chapter.

I have read and reread all 150 Psalms countless times, and each time have discovered new insights and nuggets of profound truth. I often find myself praying Psalm 91 or 139 over our children.

Listening to the Psalms can bring peace and comfort, as we find in Psalm 23,

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;

He leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley,

I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me.

Your road and your staff protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.

You honor me by anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings,

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,

And I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

When the sea of life is raging and swirling around you, simply pray, “Lead me beside peaceful streams.”

When you feel burdened and overwhelmed by the circumstances of life, simply pray, “Let me rest in green meadows.”

When all seems dark, and discouragement raises its ugly head, cry out, “Renew my strength!”

And the Good Shepherd will hear and answer because He is good and faithful and full of grace.

He offers each of us a gracious invitation to cry out any time, any place, anywhere with the confidence that He indeed will hear your voice.

Taken from, He Hears Her Voice, by Candy Marballi

I had just made new friends. Now it was time to move again. As a military child, my life revolved around leaving one city and starting again in another. During my elementary school years, I felt the security of attending school on the military base. But, I had to venture out for my middle and high school and mix with students who had been together since kindergarten. With their cliques already established, newcomers had a hard time fitting in.

I desperately tried to join all the “popular” groups in my urgency to belong. The athletes. The smart kids. The rowdy crowd. Yet, it wasn’t long before they discovered I was an “imposter.” I was quickly ousted and labeled some kind of misfit.

My childhood memories of being left out resurfaced. My longing to belong was strong, and I mixed in with the world until the shame of my sins was unbearable. I sought Christ’s forgiveness and chose to only belong to him.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. ~ Colossians 2:13

I soon discovered that my challenges as a military child prepared me, in part, for my adult life as a Christian. Once I became obedient to God’s standard of living, I was again left out. It hurt when my coworkers did not invite me to gatherings at their homes when they knew I wouldn’t party with them. At lunchtime, I hurried to my office to eat alone at my desk. No one wanted to sit with me after I didn’t join in their gossip or cursing. I even choked back tears at church after being passed over for an opportunity because I defended a fellow believer.

I have since learned that the Bible speaks of many left out, even injured and killed, because they refused to blend in with others. Even Jesus was criticized for hanging out with undesirables and sinners.

Now, as I grow stronger in my faith, I know Jesus is always with me even when people walk out of my life or leave me out.

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. ~ Psalm 27:10

Today is International Women’s Day—a holiday celebrated in countries worldwide from Armenia to Zambia and more! Though it is lovely to set aside a special day to honor women, it is even more remarkable to know that Jesus sees and values women every single day.

Melody helps women understand how Jesus values them by leading a weekly Bible study in her neighborhood.

She shares, “What I love about her.BIBLE is how ethnically diverse the women’s voices are because my Bible study is ethnically diverse.

“We have women right now from Angola, Nicaragua, and Mexico. It’s just so beautiful to hear them when they talk about their heart for God and their beautiful accents and ethnically diverse experiences.”
Melody goes on to explain, “To have a tool to give them, that’s also reflective of what we are as a Bible study, I think is amazing. And it’s just such a gift to be able to give that to them. So that’s why I use it in ALL my neighbor Bible studies I lead.”

We are thrilled to have her.BIBLE listeners in more than 170 countries, and also thrilled that there are women who want to produce an audio Bible in their heart languages.

Katy, who is producing an audio Bible in British voices, explains, “It’s not the male voices that are the problem [in current audio versions]. It’s the lack of female voices. There’s something about the familiarity a woman’s voice brings.”

You can join us in bringing God’s Word in women’s comforting voices to people all over the world. Just open the her.BIBLE app, click on the three bars in the upper-left corner of your phone, then click on share app. You can also click on a Bible verse and share it with a friend.

As you celebrate International Women’s Day, we pray that you will know how deeply loved you are by God. “May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is” (Ephesians 3:18). Then share His love with someone you know!

Remember that term, lady in waiting? It sounds so pretty, doesn’t it?

If only our seasons of waiting felt and looked pretty. But many times, they look painful, confusing, lonely, and heavy. I remember waiting with excitement when my husband and I tried to get pregnant. But after months had passed my excited waiting turned to fearful and lonely waiting, when finally the doctor told us we would never be able to get pregnant. I learned then just how painful a season of waiting could personally be.

But there is hope, and one of the places we find hope through our difficult waiting season is in the book of Habbukuk.

With strikingly raw language, Habakkuk invites us into his season of waiting. He looks around at the circumstances and world he lives in and wrestles with God over the seeming chaos. With broken relationships, corrupt leaders, rebellious injustice, declining faith, and financial hardship, God seems distant.

“How long, oh Lord?” and “Why, God?” are just two of the questions Habakkuk asks, so familiar to many of us in our times of waiting.

And God answers. Habakkuk is shocked by the answer of how God will deal with the chaos that surrounds His people. Yet, instead of turning away in despair or rushing to shallow comfort, Habakkuk returns to God while he waits on Him.

And this time, instead of more answers, Habakkuk receives more of God Himself.

Through this path, Habakkuk’s fear turns to peace, his despair into hope, and his confusion into trust. The book of Habakkuk reminds us that life is a string of seasons of waiting, and these seasons can propel us toward or away from God. Still, we are never alone in these seasons but lovingly held and guided by a God who is drawing ever near to His children and teaching them to look to Him.

I long for companionship when I am in pain.

I want someone to talk to me, weep with me, and sit with me. I want someone to put human flesh on God’s comfort. I need community.

This need always felt vaguely unspiritual. Until I saw that in Jesus’ darkest moments, he desired His friends’ presence.

Mark 14:32-34 says, “They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Clearly, this longing did not reflect a lack of trust in God or a fragile faith. It was simply human. God incarnate longed for human fellowship because God created us to live in community.

 

Sitting with our friends in their pain is a treasured gift. They rarely are looking for answers to their most profound questions or solutions to their pressing problems. Instead, they just want our presence.

Yet often it’s easier to tell stories, offer advice, recite a Bible verse, or even deliver a mini-sermon on optimism. We want them to feel instant relief, so we try to force their healing, fix their problems, or alleviate their doubts.

I’ll never forget a friend who stopped by after my son Paul died. She sat in the kitchen without making much conversation. Instead, she listened when I spoke about my pain. Since I didn’t want to be alone, her silent presence comforted me as I processed my grief.

So if your friend is suffering, try visiting them with no agenda but to be with them. Pray silently as you sit.

Trust that God is working and may bring about more healing and comfort as you “stay and keep watch” than your words ever could.

Life doesn’t always make sense, especially moments that hurt. It’s such a comfort to know that we have a Father in heaven who loves to restore what the enemy has stolen.

One beautiful tip for choosing healing can be found in the Book of Philemon, written by the Apostle Paul. Paul’s friend Philemon was a pastor whose runaway slave had met Paul and converted to Christianity. The former slave wanted to make things right with his former master, probably having some stolen goods, but he was afraid of being beaten if caught. So Paul penned a letter, beseeching the pastor to be kind for the sake of Christ. He also offered to help make things right.

“If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it (Philemon 1:18-19a),” Paul vowed.

This short letter offers a beautiful appeal to forgiveness, and tradition says that Philemon did forgive the former slave.

One day the Lord prompted me,

What if I wrote you this letter? Suppose I came to you asking, for the sake of our friendship, that you forgive someone who wronged you?

Suddenly I realized that Paul’s letter is a picture of what Jesus asks of us. He never reasons away guilt or denies the hurt caused.

Instead, he asks us to forgive for his sake. Then he goes a step further.

If your offender owes you anything, put that on my account. I will repay.

This idea is a powerful key to the forgiveness process!

“Father,” I often pray, “I choose to forgive this person because of how You’ve shown me mercy.”

Then I take a quick inventory of what I felt “robbed” of. Was my self-worth robbed? Did I feel taken advantage of? Am I feeling the loss of a friendship? Whatever it is, I know that my Father in Heaven desires wholeness for me. With this in mind, I’ll pray,

“Lord, I put these needs on your account and ask you to meet them. You are a good Father who delights to give us good gifts!”

I can’t tell you how many times God has responded to this prayer! By shifting my expectations to focus on God whose very name is Faithful and True, I’m practicing forgiveness and creating an opportunity for Christ to restore in his way and time.

He is the faithful Father!

As a news reporter, I consulted with my team in a hurried phone conference about our upcoming trip to Cairo. Should we still go, in light of the political unrest? Multitudes were in Tahrir Square protesting. The military unsuccessfully tried to quell the building rage since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. So while I apprehensively voted “yes,” secretly, I was both terrified and excited.

As I headed to my gate, I tried to calm my steadily building nerves the morning of my trip. I prayed and asked God for courage while the news from Egypt got progressively worse.

Then, I heard a chime from my phone. A friend sent me the following text:

“Dear friend, I am praying Isaiah 52:12 for you over the next week. ‘You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the Lord will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.’

So take heart in this reassurance. With God as your rear guard, there is nothing to fear. Be the hands and feet of Jesus with confidence. Tell their stories.”

God gave her a word of encouragement that was so apt to my circumstances. I even thought about the smoke and fire pillars that led Israel in their exodus out of Egypt) I envisioned the Israelites’ obedience in moving forward, knowing God made the path and watched over them.

Even though Isaiah 52:12 speaks about God delivering the Jews from Babylon, Isaiah’s promise applies to Christ’s salvation to all people. The reassurance of God going before as the advance force and also covering me as a rearguard brought a whole new meaning to the reality that “God’s got my back.”

When someone comes to me asking for advice on an uncertain path or decision, I imagine that the God of the Universe says to them: “For the Lord will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.”

Then, move forward boldly.