Table of Contents

Letter from Nancy

Dear Friend

In southwestern Michigan where Robert and I live, a “permacloud” hangs in the atmosphere throughout the winter months. Day after day, the skies are gray and bleak. Add in shorter days and longer nights, and winter blues can set in as we wonder if and when we’ll ever see the sun again.

Perhaps you’re experiencing your own period of darkness, as the heaviness of challenging or painful life circumstances presses down on you. These wintry seasons of the soul are occasions when it is especially important to turn our hearts upward to the promises of God found in His Word:

“The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” (Matt 4:16)

Jesus is that Light! He came to bring the light of salvation to a dark world, to disperse the darkness of sin and to dispel its power in our lives. So be encouraged! And remember that the light of Jesus gives us hope, not only for our salvation but for our day-to-day lives.

With your support, Revive Our Hearts shines the light of the gospel into the lives of women around the world. We do this through our daily audio teaching (Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him), our weekly videocast (Grounded), and our online and printed resources. In the months ahead, we’ll also provide this hope through events like Revive ’21 (October 8–9 in Indianapolis), plus our growing family of podcasts. Through these outreaches (and more!), we want to point women in all seasons and stages of life to His light.

One project I am especially excited to share with you involves a new devotional study Bible we are developing in partnership with Holman Bible Publishers (HBP). Featuring the text of the Christian Standard Bible, this resource will include notes developed from decades of my Bible journals and teaching. Though we are still in the early stages (target release date is 2024), my heart is overjoyed by the thought of God’s Word illuminating the hearts of women for years to come through this effort.

Our world today lies in profound moral and spiritual darkness. But as Christ-followers, we can have joy and hope because Jesus, the Light of the world, lives in us. May you walk in the beauty and warmth of His light, no matter how cold and bleak everything around you may be. And may His light shine through you to impart life to those who are still living in darkness.

Blessings,

Nancy


Silver Gum Wrapper

I was on a camping trip with two friends when we found ourselves in the middle of the woods, in the middle of the night—without a flashlight. We were trying to find our way to the bathrooms, but in the darkness, we just got lost. In desperation, I had an idea! What if I tilted a silver gum wrapper toward the sky to reflect some light on our path? This trick just got us more lost.

Somehow, we stumbled back to our tent and waited until morning to try again. As sunlight streamed through the trees, we emerged from our tent and saw a building nearby with the word “bathrooms” painted in big black letters. It was there all along. The light of day made all the difference.

We live in a dark world. We’re tempted to grasp at all kinds of things for wisdom and guidance, just like I grasped at that silver gum wrapper, hoping for light. In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

When Jesus spoke these words He was standing in the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles, a celebration of the forty years that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. Candelabras blazed around Him commemorating that God led the Israelites as a pillar of fire at night until they reached the Promised Land. Surrounded by temporary lights, Jesus declared that He is the light who will lead us all the way to our eternal home.

Maybe you’ve been walking through a dark valley. Maybe you feel like you’re lost in the woods. Remember that Jesus is your Light. You can follow Him out of the darkness, because:

He is the light of wisdom that dispels the darkness of ignorance.

He is the light of compassion that dispels the darkness of hatred.

He is the light of freedom that dispels the darkness of captivity.

He is the light of healing that dispels the darkness of sin and death.

Jesus speaks to us in His Word. So today, open God’s Word for the light you need to walk the path before you. It will make all the difference.

This article is adapted from the first episode of the Expect Something Beautiful podcast. Visit ReviveOurHearts.com/ExpectSomethingBeautiful to hear the entire story (complete with background music that will make you feel like you’re right there with Laura, in the woods, in the middle of the night, without a flashlight). By Laura Booz Silver Gum Wrapper

Get to Know Laura Booz, Host of Expect Something Beautiful

Q: Laura, where did you grow up?

A: In Lansdale, PA, with plenty of green grass and fresh air to imagine I was Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie.

Q: Tell us about your family.

A: My husband, Ryan, and I have six children, ages two to fifteen. We live on a lovely farmette in Pennsylvania with chickens, honeybees, and apple trees. I homeschool our children, and Ryan works from home as a developer advocate. We love our small hometown and our church family, Oakwood Presbyterian Church.

Q: Can you describe the Expect Something Beautiful podcast in three words?

A: Encouraging. Thought-provoking. Fun!

LAURA BOOZ is a writer, teacher, and podcaster who encourages women to love God, think biblically, and live vibrantly. She'll cheer you on, share practical ideas, and point out the beautiful ways God is working in your life. She’s delighted to host the Expect Something Beautiful podcast with Revive Our Hearts and to be writing her first book. She and her husband, Ryan, and their six children make their home in Pennsylvania. Meet her at LauraBooz.com.


Shining the Spotlight on a New Frontier

When it comes to digital median treands, podcasts are the new frontier. Here at Revive Our Hearts, we’re not concerned with being trendsetters, but we do want to meet women right where they are. Right now women are listening to podcasts like never before.

More than 106 million Americans are expected to consume podcasts in the first quarter of 2021. That number is expected to double by 2023. And the best news of all? Adults ages twenty-five to forty-four are expected to see the strongest growth.1 That’s a group of women we can’t wait to reach with the message of freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ!

When women pop in their earbuds, we want the trusted voices of the Revive Our Hearts family to be what they hear. Here’s a few more reasons we’re excited about the launch of the Revive Our Hearts Podcast Family.

• Podcast usage is on the rise in every demographic.

• Podcasts transcend traditional radio platforms and allow us to reach your daughters and granddaughters.

• Podcasting opens the door for us to develop new, wise voices, bridging the faithfulness of our past with a bright future built on one continuous mission: to point women to Jesus.

An Audacious Goal? (Our Favorite Kind!)

We’re not trying to land on the moon or colonize Mars, but we do envision a world in which Revive Our Hearts offers a podcast for every woman. Yes, every woman! We know it will take time, but as you see the faces of the family below, we think you’ll agree: we’re off to a good start.

Laura Elliott

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.
Helping you thrive in Christ with the daily Bible teaching you’ve grown to trust.

Seeking Him with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. A daily dose of Truth, helping you experience the joy of personal revival.

Grounded–NEW! Get an infusion of hope and perspective, with this podcast version of our Grounded videocast. Recorded LIVE, weekly.

Revive Our Hearts Weekend–NEW! Dannah Gresh recaps the best of Revive Our Hearts to get more Word into your weekend.

Women of the Bible– NEW SEASON! Engaging discussions to help you study your Bible alongside other women of faith. The latest season, Ruth, launched January 11.

Expect Something Beautiful with Laura Booz–NEW! With power-packed ten-minute episodes, Laura connects God’s Word to stories of everyday life.

The Deep Well with Erin Davis–NEW! Fall in love with your whole Bible through series-based teaching. Season 1, 7 Feasts, released January 1.

The digital landscape can be pretty dark, but we’re reaching for the stars with the launch of the Revive Our Hearts Podcast Family. Will you join us in praying that with God’s help we’ll soon shine a bright podcast light for every woman to see?

1 “Host-Read Podcast Ads Pack a Brand Recall Punch,” Nielsen (The Nielsen Company, October 21, 2020), https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2020/host-read-podcast-ads-pack-a-brand-recall-punch/.


Sharing the Light: Shining the Spotlight on Ambassadors

Have you ever found yourself stumbling through a pitch dark room? You try to make sense of shapes around you, but the darkness is as thick as if your eyes were closed. Blindly reaching for anything to help guide your steps, you know that just a sliver of light to break the darkness is all you need.

For women’s ministry leaders, seasons of darkness, loneliness, and discouragement are not uncommon. While they sometimes pave the way through the darkness, women’s ministry leaders don’t have to go the path alone. Revive Our Hearts Ambassadors are passionate about the ministry of Revive Our Hearts, and they sense a deep call to support women’s ministry leaders (WMLs)—Bible study leaders, women’s ministry directors, small group leaders, pastor’s wives, etc. As these leaders serve women wholeheartedly, Ambassadors step in to:

• Cheer them on as they help women thrive in Christ.

• Equip them with resources.

• Provide a safe place for vulnerability and sharing.

• Seek the Lord with them and on their behalf in prayer.

• Lift up their arms as they press on in the daily duties of ministry.

• Connect with leaders and connect leaders to each other. One ambassador recently shared her experience:

"Whatever I pour out in their lives does not compare to the fullness of joy God gives me in serving them. I am sharpened by these women and the wisdom from God's Word that they live out. The friendships I have made are lifelong; it is simply a gift from the Lord. We are sisters pressing on to know and follow the Lord and seek His glory." ~Anne

On the Journey Together

Ambassadors connect with women’s ministry leaders without seeking anything in return. From celebrating with leaders to meeting them in lonely places, ambassadors link arms with leaders to maneuver together the ups and downs of women’s ministry. One women’s ministry leader sent this text to her ambassador, Jessica:

"I was really down last week! I pretty much stayed home in my sweatcloths with no makeup and didn't even talk to anyone! I needed the time to reboot and refocus on prayer. It was like I had some kind of angst that I couldn't shake. When you sent me the text that you were thinking of me, I cried! I thank you for thinking of me and letting me know that you do!" ~Renee

If you lead women in any capacity and push through the dark to serve them well, connect with an ambassador in your area today. Let the Lord use them as a beam of light on your journey as you share His light with women in your life.

Micayla Brickner

Get Connect with an Ambassador


The Light of Restoration

An excerpt from Ruth: Experiencing a Life Restored, new from Revive Our Hearts

The newest study in the Women of the Bible series, Ruth: Experiencing a Life Restored, released last month. Over the course of six weeks, you’ll take a closer look at the book of Ruth and watch how the restorative love of God shines in the lives of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. Here’s a sneak peek:

Imagine you’re driving home from a long trip. You decide to try a different route and enjoy some new scenery. The GPS says it should take about six hours. After four and a half hours of driving, you realize you’re on the wrong road, one that’s taken you almost the opposite direction of where you wanted to be. Would you just shrug your shoulders and keep on going? Of course not! You’d turn that car around and start in the right direction. How long the trip takes is no longer important. You need to get back where you belong.

When we’ve strayed from God’s plan for us, it might be easy to think we’re too far gone to turn around. Yet it doesn’t matter how much we mess up; God is waiting for us to come to our senses, repent of our sin, and get back on the right path of following Him. This week, we’ll see Naomi take her first step on that long journey. She didn’t know what awaited her at the end of the road; she just knew that Moab wasn’t where she was supposed to be.

Whether you’re coming back to the Lord from a far-off place or continuing along the path of following Him, may our study this week encourage you to stay the course. The commitment to follow Jesus isn’t always easy, but the joy and rest we find in Him is completely worth it. —Excerpted from Ruth: Experiencing a Life Restored, Week 2

Learn More About Ruth


Lights, Camera, Action!

A New Season of the Women of the Bible Podcast

Grab your Bible, pour the coffee, and scoot up your chair to hear the latest season of the Women of the Bible podcast. Get insight from host Erin Davis along with Kristen Clark, Portia Collins, and Gayle Villalba as they dive into the book of Ruth.

• Discover how the Lord works in desperate circumstances.

• Hear personal experiences of God’s restoration.

• Gain a deeper understanding of who God is through Ruth’s story.

• See the connection between Ruth and ourselves, and our need for Christ.

• Glean wisdom from godly women as you study the Word together.

Listen to or watch the Ruth season of the podcast here!

Erin Davis, Host:

Erin is a writer and teacher passionately committed to getting women of all ages to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, including Connected, Beyond Bath Time, and 7 Feasts. Erin serves as Content Manager for Revive Our Hearts and hosts the Women of the Bible podcast and Grounded videocast. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Kristen Clark, Guest:

Kristen is married to her high school sweetheart, Zack, and is the co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries. She is passionate about promoting the message of biblical womanhood through blogging, speaking around the country, mentoring young women, and hosting Bible studies in her living room. In the end, she’s just a fun-lovin’ Texas girl who loves all things outdoors and eats dark chocolate whenever possible.

Portia Collins, Guest:

Portia is a Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture. Portia is the founder of “She Shall Be Called” (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on helping women understand and embrace true biblical womanhood through solid study of God's Word. To learn more about SSBC, visit www.sheshallbecalled.com. Portia and her husband, Mikhail, have a daughter and currently live in the Mississippi Delta.

Gayle Villalba, Guest:

Gayle serves as a Ministry Representative for Revive Our Hearts and has served on staff for nearly twenty-five years. Along with her husband, Gayle also facilitates at The Lodge, a retreat center for pastors and wives. Ed and Gayle have been married for fifty-six years and have four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, with two more on the way!


Keep on Feasting: Practical Tools to Keep You Hungry for God's Word

Making a New Year’s resolution might be the easiest thing you’ll do this year. Keeping it? Well, that’s the real challenge. We tend to think of resolutions as a singular event—a moment in time in which we set a goal and go after it, often cold turkey:

I’m done drinking soda.

I’ll just stop eating sugar.

This year, I’ll hit the gym for sure.

I’m finally going to learn to play the guitar.

In reality, these behavior changes require something more than resolve. They require commitment, perseverance, and the ability to fall, pick back up, and start again.

In January we challenged you to read the Bible every day in 2021, knowing you would need some tools to help you on your way (and a really good cheerleader). Consider these tips a dose of both! If you’re . . .

STILL READING EVERY DAY

Great job! Keep on feasting!

TIP: Is it time to take your reading plan to the next level? Consider writing out a passage, journaling what you’ve learned, or making some basic observations as you’re reading the text.

HIT OR MISS

Don’t give up! The more you drink from the deep well, the more thirsty for the Word you’ll become!

TIP: Think about what you do on the days you are successful and make those things a part of your process. Is it setting out your Bible the night before? Going to bed early? Reading at night instead of in the morning? Lighting a candle and grabbing a cup of coffee? Make sticking to your routine as painless as possible.

TOTALLY OFF-TRACK

First, pray. Pray that God will give you the desire and the discipline to commit to a plan and stick to it. He wants you to hear from Him through His Word. He’ll answer!

TIP: We all need accountability. Ask a sister in Christ, your husband, or a mentor to read the Bible with you weekly and to hold you accountable on the days that you are apart. It will be good for you and your friend will be blessed, too!

FEAST ON!


Lighting the Nations with the Message of Biblical Womanhood

For people like me (Laura) living in the United States, it’s easy to believe that the stereotypical American woman—the one who does it all, has it all, and feels she doesn’t need anybody to help her— is the woman who most needs to hear the message of biblical womanhood.

While women in the United States certainly need to hear our call to principles outlined in the True Woman Manifesto, we envision a world in which the message of biblical womanhood is meeting women as far as our digital reach can go. You name a country; we want to get there.

Our sisters from regions outside the United States report on the impact of the message of biblical womanhood in their areas—and their hopes for its future spread.

When I [Retha] think about the impact of the biblical womanhood message on the Afrikaans women in South Africa, I think about God’s grace to our nation. The basics of biblical womanhood are part of our culture, even if their truths are sometimes distorted. For most women, however, biblical womanhood is seen as cultural tradition, not biblical Truth, and the younger generation often wants to be liberated from these traditions. The beauty of introducing women to biblical womanhood is to watch them realize that what they see in older generations is beautiful and God’s design is not old-fashioned, but liberating.

From the United States to South Africa, now we turn our eyes to Latin America, where Yamell is beginning to see glimpses of biblical womanhood taking root:

By understanding the background of women in Latin America and the great influence that feminism has made here, it is clear that the message of biblical femininity is completely counter-cultural—not something that is cultivated or promoted. Because in the last decade these truths have been permeating the culture and many women are being exposed to them, I see a glimpse of a great change in the midst of God’s people. The women who have been exposed have embraced these truths, have begun to live them, and most importantly, have begun to pass that legacy on to the next generation.

From Africa to Latin America to the United States and far beyond, may God help us to continue to call women to live counter-culturally and to model biblical femininity.

Laura Elliott, Retha de Villiers, and Yamell Jaramillo

Learn More


A Growing Darkness: Anxiety & Depression on the Rise

As much as we’d love the elementary and middle school years to be made of “sugar and spice and everything nice,” the statistics around today’s tweens tell a darker tale.

  • Depression and anxiety rates have skyrocketed to never be- fore seen highs.2

  • Girls are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with de- pression or anxiety than boys their same age.3

Some of these girls need to have less busy schedules or just more time to talk things out. Others require Christian counseling or medical intervention. But there’s one thing all of them could ben- efit from: time in God’s Word. In spite of the fact that many moms and grandmas have learned to comfort their own hearts with biblical Truth, only thirty percent of church- going moms report that their tween daughter is building the habit of daily devotions or studying God’s Word.4

Take some time to invest in helping your daughter or granddaughter learn the spiritual discipline
of being in the pages of her Bible regularly. An easy way to do that is to join True Girl’s upcoming on- line Bible study based on the book of Ruth. It runs March 15–April 12 and is led by Dannah Gresh and True Girl lead teacher Staci Rudolph

Dannah Gresh

Register Today

2 Edo S Jaya and Sri Wulandari, “Psychotic Experiences, Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety Symptoms and Common Mental Health Risk Factors of Urban and Non-Urban Dwellers in Indonesia,” Psychological Research on Urban Society 1, no. 1 (2018): p. 3, https://doi.org/10.7454/proust.v1i1.21.

3 MD Ron J. Steingard, “Mood Disorders and Teenage Girls,” Child Mind Institute, July 17, 2020, https://childmind.org/article/mood-disorders-and- teenage-girls/.

4 Statistic from focus groups conducted by Dannah Gresh while writing A Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free.