Category Archives: Ministry

Studying the Bible in 2016

We got home from 9 days of travel to a fun stack of mail. Isn’t mail the best? I totally leave my Christmas cards up until Valentine’s because we don’t even open half our cards till we get home after the New Year!

Christmas cards aside, my favorite piece of mail was a package from NewHope Publishers that held my friend, Katie’s newest Bible studies!! Katie has helped me see that on the foggiest of days, all it takes is a focused 15 minutes to go deep into God’s Word.

Her studies and her podcasts are fantastic and I wanted you to hear an excerpt from her “Hope” study that I just started. Want to join me for a 4-week study of Faith, Hope or Love? You can pre-order today with the code ORR15 and save 20%!
Studying the Bible in 2016

I’m particularly drawn to instructions. I long for someone to tell me what to do when in order to achieve my desired outcome. Whether it be how to put a savory, yet nutritious meal on the table in less than an hour cooking time, or the best way to maximize my time as a work-at-home mom, I’m especially drawn to the how-to’s in the areas I feel week.

I think many people are this way, and our spiritual life is no different. It only takes a quick stroll down the self-help book aisle to see what we all crave: something more than what we have now. It’s easy to feel depleted and defeated emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.

As a Christian, the pressure’s on to be a beacon of light to the lost world around me, yet sometimes I can’t seem to shake the feeling I should be doing or experiencing something I’m not. Scripture tells us that Christ came to earth to provide a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). It’s one thing to read these words on a paper and say, “Amen.” It’s quite another to experience this living hope in our everyday lives.

Maybe you feel this dissonance as well?

You and I are on a voyage. A journey toward this living hope and abundant life our Creator and Savior has promised. However, our travels can often feel more like we’re aimlessly tossing in a storming sea of hopelessness. You may desire to better navigate the trip ahead. You may find yourself looking for a way out of the chaos, for a ladder that will lead to the lifeboat that promises rescue from the storm. Or, maybe you’ve given up altogether, and all you have left is a weak cry for help from the bottom of the boat.

You may have heard from others: “Keep your chin up. Don’t lose hope!” It’s easy to see hope as a verb — something we need to do. An action we need to take. Though there are actions we can and should take when our soul is in despair, trying to conjure up the strength to be hopeful is not helpful.

It’s impossible.

Hope is a noun, not a verb. It’s not something we do to escape the storm. Hope is what we hold fast to, as we endure each wave.

Hope is a treasured possession, not an action.

Hope is a guiding light, not a ladder to climb.

Hope is a steadfast anchor, not a search for more.

Hope is a harbor of promise, not a way of escape.

Our hope is found in the Gospel of Christ alone. This good news of Jesus is not a one-time experience; it’s a moment-by-moment need.

PRAY THIS WITH ME: God, we are desperate to experience the hope of Christ in our everyday. We look forward in anticipation to all You have planned for us through Your Word. Open our eyes to see the truths the Bible holds about our gospel-hope. Soften our hearts to receive them. Enable our souls and minds to follow you in obedience as we respond to all You will speak to us.  

This is an excerpt from Everyday Hope, an easy to use, four-week study. Designed for women who are pressed for time, yet crave depth from their Bible study, Everyday Hope offers a relevant and lasting approach for reading and understanding Scripture. In as few as 15 minutes a day, explore hope that fills the Scriptures and the same hope God intends to fill your life. Everyday Hope, will help you discover how to hold fast to His promises amidst feelings of hopelessness. Purchase your copy today at your favorite retail bookstore. Also available online at these online stores

Katie Orr is passionate about equipping women to walk with God for a lifetime. An enthusiastic and dedicated teacher and speaker, she has blogged for well-known groups such as the Mothers of Boys (MOB) Society, flourish.me, missionalwomen.com, inspiredtoaction.com, as well as other high-subscriber blog sites. A former Campus Crusade for Christ staff member, and mother to three young children, she and pastor-husband, Chris, are part of the church revitalization movement where they call Harrodsburg, Kentucky, home. Learn more about Katie and the FOCUSed15 study method at katieorr.me.

Be Who You Needed

I got an email from a dear friend who was approached by a new bride seeking a mentor. My friend and I messaged back and forth with a mentor of ours about how to go about forming this mentorship and it bolstered words to a quote that’s been rolling around in my mind lately. I’d love to hear what you think and any ways God is leading you to “Be Who You Needed.”

be who you needed

Mom and Dad, Karen, Richard, Julie, Tammy, Keith, Michelle, Alissa, Kristin, Jenny, Marian, Susan, Anna Claire, Laurie, Bonnie, Aimee, Elizabeth, Anita, Katie, etc.

All women (and a few rock star men who weren’t scared to teach me the Bible and tell me my boyfriends were lousy), who have invited me to pull up a chair to the table of their lives. They’ve given me a front row seat to their decisions, marriages, parenting, friendships and walks with Jesus. They’ve intentionally taken time away from their own lives and invested it in mine.

These disciplers have walked beside me in both the boring day-to-day and the dramatic once-in-a-lifetime. They’ve called back to me from a few steps ahead and charted the course by giving me hope, vision and ideals. They’ve asked me the hard questions to help me deal in reality and see myself for who I really am. They’ve been generous with their resources, networks and their time. They’ve laid down their rights and conveniences for mine.

In each stage of life I’ve needed someone who would create space for my questions and need for prayer. Someone who could act as a mirror to my soul. (And who could show me my need to pluck the stray eyebrows of that precious soul, if you know what I mean.) These people have left such a legacy and I am beyond grateful. Their presence in my life has created a desire to turn around and look for those journeying behind me.

Great leaders don’t collect followers;
they create leaders more compelling than themselves. 

No matter what season we are in, there’s guaranteed to be someone who can benefit from our life experience and wisdom. When these relationships are infused with the hope of Jesus, the lost world will be drawn to Him.

I’ve done this really well but I’ve also done this incredibly poorly…

I’ve discipled people more to myself than to Jesus…

I’ve cared more about what they think of me than what God thinks of me…

I’ve tried to create moral reform vs. hammering the foundational truths of repentance and faith…that we are more sinful than we ever dared to imagine and more forgiven than we ever dared to dream…

And even still God uses broken people to help broken people. His grace is sufficient for me and for those He entrusts to my care.

So, who is the middle school girl trying to make it through the 8th grade unscathed?

Where’s the college freshmen just trying to figure out how to walk with Jesus on her own for the first time?

That young mom who looks like they haven’t had a good night of sleep in well over a year? She hasn’t. Go hold her baby and let her take a shower and a nap.

The seemingly glamorous professional who seems to be jet setting and enjoying her busy life? She’d love to be treated to brunch and given some good ole’ fashioned eye-contact and a listening ear.

Who’s the dear one you could intentionally journey with for a season? Whose eyes could you lift with your hindsight to give them a more true picture of God?

Text that person. Set up a walk or a coffee date. Ask a soul-stirring question and see where God takes things. Perhaps walk through a book of the Bible, have them in your home weekly or serve together.

No clue who that person would be? Start a small group in your neighborhood, workplace or church rallied around a season of life or struggle. Promote and see who shows. Who knows? You could be “that person” for an entire group of women or maybe even one would rise to the top.

Let’s listen to the Lord together and see how He might lead us. By faith, let’s be who we needed when we were younger.