Dig Deep!

October 2015

Rather than looking for Bible verses that seem to support what we’re already doing or what we think, the question we should be asking is, “Is there a biblically legitimate reason for what we’re doing, the way we’re acting, the efforts and projects on which we’re expending our energy?”


-Women, Leadership, and the Bible, page 209.

From Natalie's Desk

Big image

It would seem that this adage, attributed to the prolific screenwriter Sonya Levien, well fits my good intentions to have “Dig Deep!” —along with many other good things — up and running months ago. Yet, by God’s grace I never give up. Amid the activities of family life, work/business, and ministry-launching, I keep moving forward, whether plodding, striding, or running. It seems to be the story of my life. Hey, it took me around twelve years, start to finish, to complete Women, Leadership, and the Bible, but it did emerge into the published-work world last year!


Maybe you can relate—either to the long years of striding or to simply moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other by God’s grace. When it comes to the work and ministry of The Verity Initiative LLC, I thank God for what I’ve come to see has been a never-ending, God-fueled call and drive to be some small part of what he is doing in the world to bring his Kingdom come. I want to be part of his will being done, whether slowly or quickly.


I hope this encourages you to “never, never, never give up,” as Sir Winston Churchill is attributed as saying to a class of students at The Harrow School for boys during WWII. Despite the fact that he didn’t actually say that in his speech, it’s a great line that he could have said, and that I would say to you today. It’s good for all time.


As you walk forward in life, there will undoubtedly come challenges. You may struggle; you may stumble. You may even doubt your call, your self, or your God. But know that God is working all things together for good, to those who love him and who are called according to his purpose (from Romans 8:28; and read that whole astounding surrounding passage—too encouraging to encapsulate in a tiny little “from the desk of” article.). This verse in Romans, oft-shared among Christians, has been much misunderstood, to be sure, and sometimes misused. It’s less about “what God is doing for me” than it is about God’s power and glory at work in the world and how we see it from the perspective of one who is in Christ.


In Christ, we have the marvelous advantage and opportunity to see all of life from the perspective of “Look what God is up to and how I’m fitting in with that!” Depending upon your translation, you will see this emphasis and meaning with more or less directness. [Here is a side-by-side of 5 translations, so you can see the subtle differences the translators’ choices make in the meaning of the text: http://biblehub.com/romans/8.htm].


Overall, recognize that as one in Christ, you are part of what God is doing in the world today. You are the vehicle by and through which he is bringing his Kingdom-come and causing his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. So, never give up.

You might be wondering, what did Churchill actually say in that speech? I’m happy to report that the actual speech is even more inspiring than the mythological one and I leave it with you today:


"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. … Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days--the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race."
Big image

Coming November 19 —> A Telesummit for YOU!

Registration will open (we hope) October 15 at www.Your.BiblicalBreakthrough.com


What’s a “telesummit”?

A telesummit is an orchestrated series of “teleseminars,” also called “webinars” which are seminars that occur online rather than in-person, physical events.


OK, so what's this telesummit going to be like?

During this 1-day telesummit event, five experts in Bible study (mostly women!) will each present on one aspect of Bible study and interpretation that is super-helpful to women that will help them develop a new best practice in studying the Bible with mad, seminary-level skills. Each expert will teach deep-dish on that one, specific how-to topic for 20-40 minutes.


Cost?

This event will be FREE for all persons attending on Nov. 19 and the immediately-following 48 hours. Following that time-period, recordings and transcripts will be available for purchase at a nominal cost.


This will be so not-to-miss, it’s ridiculous. Each and every presenter is highly qualified to teach best practices in Bible study and will be doing so in a most down-to-earth way! Look for more information from us on this during October and November. IF this succeeds and goes well, we may offer more like this in future months.


We'd love your feedback on topics related to Bible interpretation that interest you, too. Drop us a line at natalieeastman.com/contact and let us know your ideas. Thanks!

Biblical Breakthrough Tips

In future newsletters, this section called “Biblical Breakthrough Tips” will include actionable training for your own, personal biblical breakthrough.

In this newsletter volume, however, I want to highlight the fantastic, actionable training that guest contributors provided to my two blogs (natalieeastman.com and womenleadershipbible.com) this July while I was on the Book Tour Road Trip.

Be sure to bookmark this page, so you can refer back to it in case you want to review any of these super-helpful, instructional posts.


UPCOMING CHANGE:

Below, you'll find two lists for these article locations: one for each of my present blogs. One's at WomenLeadershipBible.com (shorthand = "WLB.com"); the other, NatalieEastman.com (shorthand = "nrwe.com"). Beginning in November or December of 2015, these will be consolidated into one blog at NatalieEastman.com. For articles that originally appeared at WLB.com, you will eventually find a link to its new location at the other blog. The two series ("1 Thing..." and "Best Practices") will continue, and will be searchable by category at the new blog.

"1 Thing You Can Use in Your Bible Study Today" Series

Located at NatalieEastman.com/blog:

"Best Practices" Series

Currently located at the WomenLeadershipBible.com/blog, but moving in coming months to natalieeastman.com/blog:


In Case You Missed It...

On September 3rd, I guest-co-hosted the GirlfriendIT Radio show with Patty Wyatt. Together, we interviewed Dr. Michelle Anthony, the vice president and publisher of learning resources at David C Cook Publishing and author of Spiritual Parenting, The Big God Story, and Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family, and Megan Marshman, Director of Student Resources and Production for David C Cook and Director of Women's Ministry at Hume Lake Christian Camps. Together, Anthony and Marshman have written the extremely important book 7 Family Ministry Essentials. During the show, we talk about...

...how parents can make spiritual deposits into their kids' lives,

...how true spiritual formation can happen within families,

...how the church can support parents and families in this,

...and how leaders can know where to start. Soooo good.

Listen to the show at this link: goo.gl/PlUOtQ


On October 1, the ladies of GirlfriendIT Radio interviewed me. Admittedly, the word "interview" gives the impression of a stiff, nervous discussion. Their show is definitely more hanging-out-with-girlfriends-style, while still filled with great content. We discussed some fears women face when it comes to exploring the Bible about controversial or just tough topics, particularly that of women's roles, and I gave some tips on how to move through them -- in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Listen to the show at this link: http://goo.gl/2NRvCN

Big image

Old-But-Still-Awesome News

Women, Leadership, and the Bible: How Do I Know What to Believe? A Practical Guide to Biblical Interpretation was published in May 2014 and has seen a decent amount of exposure and success! I wanted to share a few fun highlights with you.


If you have any published works of your own that are listed on Amazon.com, then you know it’s a fickle creature in terms of “Amazon bestsellers rank.” So, it’s with a grain of salt and a “well, that was a nice 30-seconds of fame” feeling that I show you this screen-capture of the paperback:

Big image

Considering the millions and millions (and millions and jillions) of books on Amazon, I felt pretty good about this.


Also, the Kindle version was ranked #40 for about thirty seconds (literally, but it did happen, so fast that I wasn’t able to learn how to make a screenshot of it in time!). As of today’s writing, it’s hovering at #200 (out of who-knows-how-many-thousands, or maybe tens-of-thousands), so I’m exceedingly happy with #200) in the subcategory of “Exegesis & Hermeneutics.” I’m also ecstatic that it’s being offered/bundled with How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Drs. Doug Stuart (my OT prof at GCTS) and Gordon Fee. Their book is one of the best, most approachable books on Bible interpretation and study that I’ve seen. With the track record of being “still the one,” as in number one, in its primary Amazon subcategory after nearly fifteen years, I’m honored WLB is linked to it. But even more importantly, it’s being recognized primarily, at least by Amazon, as a book on how to study the Bible—because that is what it is—rather than on feminist theory or “what to believe about women in church leadership.”


I’ve been delighted with some of the reviews of WLB this year, as well (see “Reviews & Feedback” below), because reviewers of all stripes on the “women’s issue” have recognized that it is not a book “telling you what to believe,” but rather how to study, understand, and interpret the Bible for yourself, so that you will know what you believe God to be saying about things, and also understand more fully why others believe as they do.

Reviews and Feedback

Here are some reviews of Women, Leadership, and the Bible that have appeared this year. (Please feel free to share widely!) :

“Engaging, eminently helpful, and completely accessible. Most delightful ‘how-to’ book you’ll ever read. Natalie’s brilliant five steps empower women (and men!) to bring the Scriptures alive in the power of the Holy Spirit. She reminds us of the great chef Emeril Lagasse. She passionately takes us into the kitchen of God’s word and teaches us to feed the people of God the real food of God. We can almost hear Natalie, like Emeril, shouting, ‘BAM!’”

— Erilynne Barnum, founder of call2disciple ministries &

— The Rt. Rev. Thaddeus Barnum, Anglican Bishop and author of Real Identity


“I have heard women tell me their one life wish is to study the Scriptures. I am delighted to be able to say they finally can, without going to seminary. Natalie Eastman dignifies women’s minds with her careful steps for understanding the Bible. You will finish prepared to face those ‘problem passages’ not just about women’s roles but about everything. Natalie Eastman is an ideal guide because she refuses to tell you what to think; instead, she delivers the tools that all teachers of the Bible use to unlock meaning and application.”

—Jonalyn Fincher, author of Ruby Slippers, Vice President of Soulation.org


“In a Christian world, where all too frequently women are discouraged from the serious study of biblical and theological issues, this slender volume provides encouragement for the use of discernment. It provides practical encouragement for women to be fully engaged in the educational life of their churches, and to exercise their gifts.”

—Rev. Dr. Robert Norris, Senior Pastor, The Fourth Presbyterian Church (EPC)

Prayer Requests


  • Telesummit on 11/19/2015: for the presenters, for the attendees, and for the logistics of the entire event
  • Natalie’s presentations

Your Biblical Breakthrough

Thursday, Nov. 19th, 9am-4pm

This is an online event.

Big image