Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Blessed to be a Blessing

Dannah Gresh: Christa and her husband had just moved to a new city where they didn’t know anyone. Christa had a new role as a senior pastor’s wife . . . and she was lonely. In the middle of this need, a woman showed up at just the right time. 

Christa: She drove to my home, and we sat on my couch and I wept. She spoke truth into me and prayed with me and was just a real encouragement to a lonely, hurting pastor’s wife that needed an arm to link through.

Dannah: How did that connection happen? We’re about to hear about it on the Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Choosing Gratitude, for Friday, March 19, 2021. I’m Dannah Gresh. 

Well, we’ve now had a full year of COVID-19 here in the United States. And what a year it’s been! One of the side effects of all the isolation because of the pandemic has been loneliness. Everyone knows what it’s like to feel lonely, and Nancy and I are no exceptions. We’ve been through periods where there are close relationships, and then those relationships go through seasons of change, and suddenly you miss that dear friend that you once used to spend so much time with.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Yes, that brings back a lot of memories, and sometimes it’s because of a geographical move. Sometimes it’s because someone that you love makes bad choices and then distances themselves. I know a lot of women who are in a place where they are just longing for deeper connections.

They want to reach out, they want to learn from an older woman perhaps, or invest in a younger woman, but they just don’t know how to start.

Dannah: Today we’re going to hear three stories that touch on these issues and may encourage you about where you need to begin. As you listen, you’ll be encouraged to turn to the Lord as your closest friend and to trust Him to lead you into deeper relationships with others. Here’s our first guest.

Linda Carullo: My name is Linda Carullo, and I’m from Valparaiso, Indiana.

Dannah: Linda came to one of the True Woman conferences sponsored by Revive Our Hearts. She thought she was coming mostly for other women. She wanted to learn and find new resources to share with others in her church. But as she sat there, she discovered how much she needed this conference.

Linda: I bawled through the whole conference! It was a personal surrendering of a family situation that was very life-altering; it was a very pivotal point in a family situation. God was using a speaker that I didn’t even know was going to be there.

Dannah: Jim Cymbala joined us and spoke to anyone who was hurting because of the poor choices of others. He especially focused his remarks to moms whose children were not walking with the Lord.

Jim Cymbala from True Woman ’14: And your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter, the loved one you’re thinking of as Chrissy’s [Jim’s daughter] sharing her story. They might not be praying tonight, but you can bring them to Jesus through prayer.

Dannah: Jim Cymbala’s daughter, Chrissy, had turned away from the faith she’d grown up with. She was there and shared how God changed her heart.

Chrissy Cymbala Toledo: I called Lorna and said, “Lorna, would you come?”

“What, Chrissy, what do you need?”

“Would you pray, could we pray this morning?” And I took her hand, and there was someone else in the house, and I said, “But, let me pray.” I closed my eyes, and with tears streaming down my face I said, “Lord, help me say ‘goodbye’ to this relationship. I need You to set me free now. Amen!”

But what I didn’t know, girls was that day when I prayed that prayer, the chains were already gone. They had been broken, and they had fallen off of me! (applause)

Dannah: Pastor Cymbala invited those hurting moms to gather at the front of the auditorium to pray.

Linda: There was a time of surrendering to the Lord, but not just that . . . It was praising God in advance for what God is doing. There was a time where Jim had us praying with the person next to us.

And here’s this beautiful young lady who just prayed her heart out for me. Then the time was over, and I was like, “I didn’t get to pray for you!” And then she’s walking up on the stage, and here it was Chrissy’s daughter that God chose to pray with me! 

At that conference, I did get a lot of available resources, but the personal impact for me, where God was encouraging me to surrender to Him the ache in my heart and showing me He cared enough to appoint Chrissy’s daughter to be standing next to me when thousands of women were there. God cared to nurture me that way!

Dannah: At True Woman ’14, Linda learned to surrender this tough family situation to the Lord and trust Him to work His will. But she began to get an answer to that prayer surprisingly fast!

Linda: On my way home from that conference, I received a phone call. And that was a very pivotal time. And I thought, God was changing hearts! I wasn’t even halfway home and an answer came! He sometimes doesn’t work that fast, but He knew I needed encouragement, and He provided.

Dannah: Linda’s story reminds us to persevere in prayer when someone we love has become estranged—not to manipulate or try to control them, but take them to the throne of God. We’ll come back to Linda in a few minutes, but let me introduce you to another woman who knows what it’s like to have an ache in her heart because of relationships.

Christa Mielke: My name is Christa Mielke, and I am from Austin, Minnesota.

Dannah: Her ache doesn’t come from having a prodigal child, but from loneliness after a move.

Christa: Two years ago, my husband transitioned from an assistant pastoral role to a senior pastor role at a totally different ministry. We left our church on good terms . . . so much so, in fact, it was really hard for me to leave. 

Dannah: She was lonely, having left friendships behind and adjusting to a new way of life.

Christa: Shortly, in that time period, I read the Adorned book.

Dannah: That’s the book by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth called Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together. In the book, Nancy talks about the value of older women teaching younger women, as described in Titus chapter 2. Nancy also taught through that passage on Revive Our Hearts.

Nancy from “God’s Beautiful Design for Women”: God’s design for you is that you be intentional at this season of your life about being involved—engaged—in the lives of younger women around you, about bringing them to spiritual maturity. Don’t look around and say, “Who’s teaching these women?” That’s a good question. You’re supposed to be doing this!

Don’t look at the young couples’ pastor or the singles’ director. They may have a role there, but ask yourself, “What is my role in these women’s lives?”

Dannah: At her previous church, Christa had been mentored by an older woman, so the book and the teaching series reminded her of that loss. 

Christa: Then God took that relationship away from me. I can’t remember the exact episode of the series, but I remember listening to one of the episodes where they were talking about God taking away things from you in order to use what you’ve already learned.

Nancy from “God’s Beautiful Design for Women”: We heard it said earlier today about how lonely people are, how starved for relationship. We can sit in church with hundreds or thousands of other people, and—like a former pastor of mine used to say—be like marbles clanking up against each other in a bag!

People . . . lonely, hurting, needy, going through major life crises and issues and surrounded by people, but nobody knows, nobody knows them. We need to come up to people in church and to actually connect, to have your eyes look into their eyes and to say, “How are you doing? How can I pray for you?”

Dannah: The Lord used the book Adorned to help Christa stay focused on His plan during this tough move. And He used other outreaches from Revive Our Hearts as well.

Christa: Revive Our Hearts was just that reminder of why we were doing what we were doing. I think that having the confidence of that when I was running low on my ability to think truth, Revive Our Hearts was there to help me think truth. And the articles online as well; there are several articles that have been an encouragement about walking through loneliness.

Dannah: This was far from the first time the Lord had spoken to Christa through Revive Our Hearts. The ministry was there for her through several key transition points in her life.

Christa: My first exposure to Revive Our Hearts was when I was in high school and a friend of mine recommended the Lies Women Believe book.

Dannah: That’s the book by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.

Christa: That kind of began a turning point in my walk with the Lord.

Dannah: Then, when Christa was in college . . .

Christa: I started hearing the Revive Our Hearts podcast.

Dannah: She listened to it while running nearly every weekday.

Christa: That became a pattern for the next fifteen years or so.

Dannah: Then in 2008, Christa joined us for the very first True Woman conference. 

Bob Lepine from  True Woman ’08: Welcome to True Woman ’08! Are you excited to be here? Yeah!! (cheers and applause)

Christa: I really was just challenged and excited about what God was doing!

Nancy from True Woman ’08: We are so, so thrilled that this day is here! Our team has been planning for months and months, and you’ve been planning—with your families and in your churches. And the Lord has brought this group of women here for “such a time as this!” Amen. (cheers and applause)

This is the fulfillment of a longtime dream that’s been in my heart, and in many of your hearts, to see God birth among Christian women in our nation a reformation—a revival—of His Spirit, and to see women who embrace what it means to be God’s true woman—and to live out in their homes, in their churches, in their communities the beauty and the wonder of God’s ways.

Now is the time for us as women to say, “Yes, Lord!” Amen? (applause)

Dannah: So Revive Our Hearts had intersected with Christa’s life at crucial times. And now as she was in a new location learning to be a senior pastor’s wife, God again encouraged her through Revive Our Hearts. She especially benefited from the Leader Connection blog.

Christa: And Leslie Bennett is the one who runs that. Whether it’s her or Erin Davis or several other women that are connected, they usually write some form of encouragement or a challenge on that blog that will impact me as a pastor’s wife. It’s a reminder not to give up in ministry, the reminder to keep my priorities straight in ministry, but ultimately, to be in an intimate growing relationship with God, myself. I can’t give out what I have not allowed the Holy Spirit to fill me with through the Word. 

I have very much benefited from that. Leslie Bennett, I believe, wrote several articles on loneliness, as well, and so when we transitioned to a new ministry those were an encouragement to me.

Dannah: And in this time of transition and loneliness, we were able to connect with Christa in one final, important way. Revive Our Hearts has Ambassadors in regions across the country. The Ambassador in Christa’s area is Anne Neubauer.

Christa: Anne and I have met on several occasions, and in the church that my husband and I are in, there’s not really much of a women’s ministry established. I still feel very young in ministry, and so I really wanted an older woman that was doing ministry and had more connection to resources for ministry to kind of come alongside me.

So I reached out, and she and I met. We’ve pondered back and forth, and I’ve asked questions. In a way, Revive Our Hearts will have a very intricate role in helping our church get off the ground some needed and beneficial ministry outlets.

Dannah: On the Revive Our Hearts radio program and podcast, we’re limited in how much we can interact and encourage leaders like Christa, but the Revive Our Hearts Ambassadors invest in each of these leaders one-on-one.

Christa: Shortly after we moved, through the Ambassador program, Anne Neubauer drove to my home. (Now, you have to realize, she lives up in the city, so it was a goodly jaunt for her. It was a ministry for her to drive to my home!) We sat on my couch, and I wept to this woman I really didn’t know that well, but I knew Revive Our Hearts.

Because I knew Revive Our Hearts, it gave me an element of trust, that I could then communicate with this woman. She spoke truth into me and prayed with me and was just a real encouragement to a lonely, hurting pastor’s wife that needed an arm to link through. 

Nancy: Wow, Dannah, I’m so grateful for women like Anne Neubauer—and for all the Revive Our Hearts Ambassadors—for the way God is using them to connect women to Jesus and to each other all across the country!

Dannah: I loved hearing how Anne traveled to reach out to this pastor’s wife who was struggling in her transition in a new church. That illustrates what the Revive Our Hearts Ambassadors do. They serve other leaders. They encourage them one-on-one, and they connect them with the resources Revive Our Hearts has to offer.

Nancy: And Dannah, let’s just pause this story for a second to say to some of our listeners: you may be involved in serving in your local church through women’s ministry, and you could use some encouragement, just as Christa needed it. There may be a Revive Our Hearts Ambassador in your area. I want to encourage you to reach out to her and let Revive Our Hearts serve you as you serve other women. To do that, you can visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call us at 1–800–569–5959. 

Dannah: Okay, we’re going to hear more from Christa in a few minutes, but we told you we have three stories today that point out the power—and some of the struggles—that come from relationships between women. 

Our final story isn’t about a prodigal or loneliness from a move. The final story is about the challenge and opportunity among women in a local church. One leader wondered, How do I get the women in my church together? We have older women who have a lot to contribute, and we have younger women who need to be discipled . . . but how do we bring them together?

Jean Kielisch: I’m Jean Kielisch, from Appleton, Wisconsin.

Dannah: Jean and some other women in her church knew they needed to connect the older and younger women, but anyone who has tried this knows it’s tough to get started. They began by reading a book by Susan Hunt called Spiritual Mothering, and they realized Susan would be speaking at a conference called Revive ’13

Jean: We decided to go. We wanted to meet her in person and see if she would sign our books. It was there that we really were exposed to the whole True Woman movement and really saw, first-hand, the resources that Revive Our Hearts supplies.

Dannah: After the conference, Jean and her team finished the book by Susan Hunt, but because they now knew about Revive Our Hearts, they had access to more small group studies for women, like the studies Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wrote with Mary Kassian. 

Jean: True Woman 101 & 201—biblical womanhood was such a huge need, learning God’s design for womanhood. And so, Revive Our Hearts was a huge piece of that, both in the initiative of it and then to continue encouraging us and supplying us with so many resources!

Dannah: After the women in Jean’s church finished True Woman 101 and True Woman 201, they read Nancy’s book Adorned and went through the study guide together.

Jean: Adorned was incredible! Actually, we had two classes: we had an evening class and a morning class. My mentor in ministry (her name is Beth) and I taught that together, and we called it Adorned. It was monumental!

In the beginning when we first started developing the mentoring ministry, it was small and there were just a few women who felt like, “I could step into this. I could see God using me in this.” But there was still a lot of reservation, fear, “How can I be a mentor?” kind of thing.

And so when we offered Adorned as a Bible study, we just saw women’s eyes just light up. Their excitement for, “God could use me in this way in the relationships I have in my life!” It was amazing! And we’re seeing the fruit of that. 

That was last year, and we’ve just seen a continued hunger, a desire to live out the way God designed us. It’s been phenomenal!

Dannah: As these groups in Jean’s church began learning about God’s unique design for them as women, it affected the men in the church as well. They wanted to step up and embrace God’s design for their lives. 

Jean: So the men have started connecting one-on-one in a mentoring fashion.

Dannah: This focus on discipleship has affected the whole church!

Jean: We’ve seen younger women catch the vision that they can be mentors to the teen girls, which is just what it’s all about!

Dannah: What an encouragement for all of us to be in relationship in the body of Christ. We all need to be mentored by those further along in our faith. We need to encourage those walking alongside us, and we need to be pouring into those coming behind.

Jean has shown us that if we stick with it and we’re intentional, we really can develop stronger relationships. Each of our guests today have dealt with that in one way or another. But there is one thing we didn’t mention yet that ties all of them together. Do you know what that is?

Nancy: Go ahead and tell me!

Dannah: Well, each of these guests have become a Revive Our Hearts Monthly Partner

Nancy: I love that! So as Revive Our Hearts has encouraged them in their relationships, they have all deepened in their relationship with this ministry.

Dannah: Yes, for instance, remember Christa—the pastor’s wife who moved to a new community and connected with her Ambassador? She was at a conference hosted by Revive Our Hearts and heard about the need for monthly partners.

Nancy at a True Woman conference: Thank you to all our Ministry Partners! They are the backbone and lifeblood of this ministry! They make it possible. They support the ministry at thirty dollars a month or more; and some, God enables to do much more than that. For some, thirty dollars is a real sacrifice, but they say, “I want to be a part of what God is doing in expanding this ministry around the world.”

They pray for the ministry, because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, right? (see Matt. 6:21). And they share the resources; they help to multiply the ministry.

Dannah: Christa had been so blessed by the ministry that she wanted to respond to this call and become a Ministry Partner. She went home and talked with her husband about giving at least thirty dollars a month, and the commitment to pray for the ministry and to share the message with others.

Christa: He was very excited about it! These are kind of his words, “I’m excited to give back to this ministry because it has poured into my wife!” I know God has used it to make me a better wife and mother. I’m grateful for how He has helped other people who are beyond me in life—and even not within my circle of influence necessarily—but they have created a place where truth abounds. And as Revive Our Hearts remains steadfast to the Word of God, I am thrilled to be a part of it in any small way.

Jean: Being a Ministry Partner is amazing!

Dannah: Jean, the woman who spearheaded mentoring in her church, also wanted to be a blessing to others by becoming a Monthly Partner.

Jean: It’s a tangible way I can be involved in affecting women I will never meet, from all over the world, and to help put in their hands resources—the broadcast, all the printed material, the conferences. There are amazing benefits to being a Ministry Partner.

Dannah: Linda tells us about some of those benefits.

Linda: Every month I receive a packet in the mail that has the newsletter to keep us updated for things we can be praying about.

Christa: Yes, I have really enjoyed being able to maybe know a little bit more about what’s going on in the ministry, through that newsletters that come, that will have specific prayer needs and things that we can interact with, with more knowledge perhaps.

Jean: The resources we get every month . . .

Dannah: Monthly Partners receive a devotional each month called Daily Reflections. It’s published exclusively for Monthly Partners, and it provides daily devotional readings.

Linda: I read that, as well as my own quiet time. Those messages are powerful and then, I can share those as well. When I’m done with my book, I actually pass that on to a friend.

Dannah: Jean also appreciates . . .

Jean: . . . the gifts we get in the mail all the time. 

Dannah: When Nancy writes a book, for instance, Monthly Partners often get a surprise copy in the mail.

Jean: Being able to come to the conferences without paying the fee—as part of being a Ministry Partner—is huge!

Dannah: Partners can attend one Revive Our Hearts conference each year at no charge. That means, when you become a Monthly Partner this month, we’ll cover your registration when you join us in October for Revive '21. Our theme this year is Grounded: Standing Firm in a Shaking World.

And the biggest benefit these Monthly Partners receive is knowing that the Lord is using them to bless other women, just like they’ve been blessed by this ministry!

Linda: I’ve received so much! How could I not want to participate in making these resources available for myself, but also for anybody all over the world? I just love Revive Our Hearts!

Jean: I love Revive Our Hearts! I can’t say enough about it!

Nancy: I’m so grateful that Jean, Christa, and Linda were willing to share their stories with us today, and that they’ve been willing to support Revive Our Hearts month-by-month as partners. That means they’ve committed to give each month, and pray for this ministry, and share the message with others.

Perhaps you relate to one or more of these stories, and you’ve benefited from this ministry in a significant way. Here during the month of March, we’re asking the Lord to raise up hundreds more Monthly Partners. That team provides a solid base of support, as donations typically fluctuate at different times of the year.

Dannah: When you become a new Monthly Partner here in March, you’re going to get an amazing welcome collection! It includes: Women of the Bible studies—three of our most recent ones, a book titled You Can Trust God to Write Your Story by Nancy and Robert Wolgemuth, a new Heaven Rules coffee mug, and the Daily Reflections devotional.

Nancy: To join the Revive Our Hearts Monthly Partner team, visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can call us at 1–800–569–5959.

Dannah: If you could only ask God one thing, what would you choose? The Bible tells us that King David was surrounded by powerful enemies, but he made just one request of God, and that one thing wasn’t deliverance from adversaries. Nancy takes us to Psalm 27 on Monday. Have a great weekend, and please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth loves it when godly women connect with other women! The program is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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