Wednesday, January 21, 2015

“Real Encounters” Bible Study-Captivating

I am participating in a 10 week Real Encounter Bible Study @ Hope Church on Tuesday Nights with a group called Real Women doing Real Life. 
My group is reading the Book... 


Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

by  Stasi & John Eldredge

This book got great reviews so I am looking forward to our Bible study ! 


Every woman was once a little girl. 
And every little girl holds in her heart
 her most precious dreams. 
She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the Beauty of the story. And yet?how many women do you know who ever find that life?
Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, striving to be the women they "ought" to be but often feeling they have failed. Sadly, too many messages for Christian women add to the pressure. "Do these ten things, and you will be a godly woman." The effect has not been good on the feminine soul.
The message of Captivating is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating.


  1. Lannie's Letter: Week 1 - Captivating - Chapter 1 - The Heart of a Woman
    Dear Ladies,

    Brenda and I are very excited to have you join us for “Captivating” Tuesday Night, January 20 at 7 PM!

    “Captivating” will take you on a journey of revealing, healing and restoration of the deep hidden hurts and wounds that you have experienced as a “little girl”. God longs to captivate your heart so that He can show you how much He LOVES you!

    It is our prayer that you will allow your heart to show up. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you, speak to you and reveal what He desires to reveal – even if it’s painful!

    If you have already purchased your book, we will be covering Chapter 1 – The Heart of a Woman.

    Throughout the next 8 weeks we will be exploring the 3 core desires that God placed in a woman when He created us in His image.

    They are:
    • To be Romanced
    • A Beauty to Unveil
    • An Irreplaceable Role in a Great Adventure
    This class will help you understand why you have these core desires. The best part is you will finally learn that it is OK, regardless of what you may have been made to believe in the past. God put the desires in our heart when He created each of us, but the enemy has sought to destroy.

    “Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
    “Psalm 20:4 - May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
    “Psalm 37:4 - Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

    Excerpt from Chapter 1:
    By the Way of the Heart
    The longings God has written deep in your heart are telling you something essential about what it means to be a woman, and the life he meant for you to live. Now we know-many of those desires have gone unmet, or been assaulted, or simply so long neglected, that most women end up living two lives. On the surface we are busy and efficient, professional, even. We are getting by. On the inside, women lose themselves in a fantasy world or in cheap novels, or we give ourselves over to food or some other addiction to numb the ache of our hearts. But your heart is still there, crying out to be set free, to find the life your desires tell you of.

    You can find that life-if you are willing to embark on a great adventure.

    That is what we are inviting you to. Not to learn one more set of standards you fail to meet. Not toward a new set of rules to live by and things you ought to do. Something far, far better-a journey of the heart. A journey toward the restoration and release of the woman you always longed to be. This book is not about what you out to do or who you ought to be. It’s about discovering who you already are, as a woman. A woman who at her core was made for romance, made to play an irreplaceable role in a shared adventure, and who really does possess a beauty all her own to unveil. The woman God had in mind when he made Eve…and he made you. Glorious, powerful and captivating!

    Again, we welcome you, and thank you for taking this journey with us.

    Captivated by His Love,

  2. Lannie's Letter:Captivating - Week 2 Chapter 3-4 What Eve Alone Can Tell/Haunted by a Question


    In our first class, we got an overview of what we will be studying in “Captivating”. The core desires of “The Heart of a Woman”, created in the image of God: To be Romanced, To play an Irreplaceable Role in an Adventure and To Have a Beauty to Unveil.

    The questions that the little girl in us may still be asking and searching for the answers:

    Am I lovely? Do you delight in me? Do you see me?

    This week we will see the “Good/Bad”.

    Created Eve-The Good

    The story of Eve, as well as our own story, begins with glory, beauty, and goodness. Even though Adam was created in the image of God and was the triumph of the Creator’s work, the Master said that something was not good…. something was missing. Genesis 2:21-23 God created Eve. Eve is described as the “crown of creation”. She was the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman. That is you and you and you! You were not an afterthought. Take a deep breath and think about that for a few minutes. Does that make you want to change the way you think about yourself?

    Fallen Eve-The Bad

    Genesis 3:1-6 The Fall. The woman was convinced that God was holding out on her. She was convinced that she could not trust his heart toward her. She was convinced that she would have to take matters into her own hands in order to have the best life possible. For me, that is like a HUGE spot light shining in my face saying to me, do you have a clue, yet?

    When a woman falls from grace, what is most deeply marred is her tender vulnerability, beauty that invites to life. She becomes a dominating, controlling woman-or a desolate, needy, mousy woman, or some odd combination or both, depending on her circumstances. REFLECT: Think about which one you tend to be.

    Ladies, the “Good News” is that we are on the road to redemption.

    Let us allow the Holy Spirit to begin a new work in us to embrace the characteristics of God that He created in us as women (created in His image):

    1. Vulnerable 4. Fierce and fiercely devoted
    2. Tender 5. Inviting
    3. Merciful 6. Full of Mercy

    The core desires that God placed in our hearts as women go largely unmet on this side of Eden. We ache. God longs for us to bring our aching hearts to him so that he can speak to and touch our deep hearts.

    Hebrews 4:14-16 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    14 Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him].15 For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.16 Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

    God knows why we do the things we do. He understands us. Look to him now with your confession. There is mercy in his eyes. He would like not only to forgive us our fallen ways, but heal our fear, and reveal his love to us in the depths of our soul where we have yet to trust him.

    Brenda and I will be praying for each of you.

    See you Tuesday Night!

    Captivated by His Love,

  3. Lannie's Letter: Captivating - Week 3 - Chapter 4 "Wounded"

    My continued prayer for each of you, as we continue our journey through Captivating, is that the Holy Spirit will gently unlock the doors of your heart to reveal the hidden places that you have kept locked so that He can reveal and begin to heal the wounds of your heart.

    Last week, we talked about Created Eve (The Crown of Creation), and Fallen Eve (She was afraid because she was naked so she hid.) We asked the question: What do you hide behind?

    Because the enemy lied to Eve, she was convinced and believed that God was holding out on her so she decided to take matters into her own hands. The enemy has told us lies, as well, trying to convince us to believe that his lies are true about us. Good news! Fallen Eve is NOT the TRUEST YOU!

    This week may be difficult for some of you as we explore the things in our past that have wounded us as little girls, young women and even the women we are today. No matter how painful the process may be the freedom, peace and joy unspeakable that comes as a result of healing is worth it.

    The wounds we received brought with them a message. By believing and accepting messages that portray a twisted view of who we really are, we have developed ways of trying to protect ourselves from being hurt again or trying to get something of the love our hearts cried out for. The ache is there. We have a desperate need for love and affirmation.

    The wounds that we have received over our lifetimes have not come to us in a vacuum. There is, in fact, a theme to them, a pattern. The wounds you have received have come to you for a purpose from one who knows all you are meant to be and fears you. Did you know that the enemy fears you?

    Questions for reflection and exploration:

    1. What is your story?
    2. What was it like for you as a little girl?
    3. How was your heart handled when you were a little girl?
    4. What are some of the messages that came with your wounds that the enemy has tried to convince you to
    believe about yourself that isn’t really the truest you?
    Jesus came to HEAL us.
    Isaiah 53:5 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
    Jesus came to set us FREE.

    Isaiah 61:1-3
    The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

    Dear Father,
    I pray for each lady as the Holy Spirit touches those places in their heart that have been wounded. We come in agreement now claiming your word in Isaiah that He was wounded for our transgressions and with his stripes we are healed. We claim the good news that you sent your Son, Jesus, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives. Thank you, Father for loving us so much. In Jesus Name, Amen.

    Brenda and I will be praying for each of you.

    See you Tuesday Night.

    Captivated by His Love,

  4. Lannie's Letter: Captivating - Captivating - Week 4 - Healing the Wound

    I believe that last week’s lesson on “Wounded” is the hardest week for most of us. It is not easy to face our wounds. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to touch each of us where we have been hurt. Also, I encourage you to share with the class as the Spirit leads. It takes a little time and courage to be vulnerable with others, but it helps the healing process.

    Please read Chapter 6 in “Captivating” for this week’s lesson.

    Isaiah 61: 1-3 (NIV)
    61 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
    The offer from our God is to heal our broken hearts and to set free the places that are held captive within us. All of us have broken hearts. All of us are held captive to varying degrees. In order to receive the healing that God has for us, we must bring him our wounded hearts.
    And so, dear heart, it is time for your restoration. For there is One greater than your enemy. One who has sought you out from the beginning of time. He has come to heal your broken heart and restore your feminine soul. Let us turn now to Him.

    Dear Jesus, I am beginning to see the assault on my life and on my heart, as coming from the enemy. He has been fierce against me. I have been wounded and wounded deeply. And I am trying to believe, beginning to believe, that it was not all my fault. Not what I deserved. Oh, God, please come to my battered heart and heal me. Come to the places in my heart where I have believed the enemy’s lies to me for so long and speak the truth to me, there. I need you. I need your protection. I need your mercy. I need your covering, your kindness, and your touch. Make me quick to recognize the ploys of the enemy and teach me to stand against them. Please come for me, Jesus. And heal me. In your name, I pray. Amen.

    Are you willing and ready to give Him deeper access to your heart in order to heal you?

    Brenda and I look forward to seeing all of you on Tuesday Night at 7 PM.

    Remember: Next Tuesday Night, February 17, is our general session, and Debra will be teaching in the Sanctuary. This will be a great opportunity to invite your friends to come be with us.

    Captivated by His Love,

  5. Lannie's Letter: Captivating - Week 5 - Review Chapter 4 and Read Chapter 11


    I really missed our class last week! But, it was great to be in the sanctuary with Debra.

    For the last few weeks on our journey through Captivating, we have talked about our hearts, how we were created, our wounds and the healing of our wounds.

    In the beginning of the class, I mentioned that God created us for relationship, and the enemy works very hard to destroy our relationships (marriages, friendships, co-workers, siblings, etc.). This week we are going to focus on "spiritual warfare".


    Can you even fathom that thought? The enemy fears you and me!

    1 Peter 5:8
    Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

    It is important that we clothe ourselves with the armor of God every day. We certainly would not get up in the morning to prepare for our day and walk out the door without putting on our clothes. We should make it a priority to always be ready for the sudden attacks of the enemy.

    Ephesians 6:10-18 The Armor of God
    10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

    There is a struggle. There is a battle. And you are in it. In fact, the story of your life, of every woman’s life, is the story of the long and sustained assault upon her heart. We are under regular, spiritual assault.

    The enemy always attacks our weaknesses. We must always be present and engaged and learn to fight for ourselves. Often, the hardest person to fight for is...ourselves. But, we must! Our hearts are needed! We cannot fight well for others if we do not fight well for ourselves.

    Ladies, you are the Bride of Christ…and the Bride of Christ is a warring bride.

    Brenda and I are praying for you and we look forward to seeing you in class tomorrow night.

    Captivated by His Love,

  6. Lannie's Letter: Captivating - Week 6 - Romanced - Chapter 7
    Dear Ladies,

    If you were not able to be with us last week, I want you to know that you were truly MISSED!

    Last week’s lesson was on Spiritual Warfare. I feel that it is worth reminding each of us to always put on the full armor of God each morning before starting our day. It should become as much a part of our daily routine as putting on our regular clothes to walk out the door, but SO MUCH more important.

    REMEMBER: To always PRAY lest we become easy PREY for the enemy who is lurching and seeking those that he can devour.

    We need each other!

    Ecclesiastes 4:12 New Living Translation (NLT)
    12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

    For this week’s Lesson, we will be talking about “Romanced”. Please read Chapter 7.

    We are made for intimacy with God, not just knowledge about him. As women, we long for romance. We are wired for it; it’s what makes our hearts come alive. The path of our restoration as women, the healing of our feminine hearts, takes us into a deeper experience of God and his love for us.

    God is the author of romance. It is His idea and He is the best at it. Our deep longing can be met….momentarily. Only God can meet that deep inner longing for romance and intimacy in the most substantive, life-changing way.

    God longs to bring this into your life Himself. He wants us to move beyond “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” He wants to heal us through His love to become mature women who actually know Him. Our hearts are desperate for this – to experience for ourselves that the truest thing about His heart toward us is not disappointment or disapproval, but deep, fiery, passionate love. This is, after all, what a woman is made for.

    Think about the following questions as you think about what being “Romanced” means to you:

    What do you love? Where is your favorite place? Where do you feel most alive?

    Brenda and I are praying for each of you!!

    I look forward to seeing everyone Tuesday night!!

    Captivated by His Love,