Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor

Leslie Basham: The book of Titus tells older women to teach younger women. Carolyn McCulley encourages you to go ahead and begin this kind of teaching.

Carolyn McCulley: I think maybe we’re a little reluctant to admit we might be the older woman. But let’s just think in terms of maturity, not chronology right? We’ve received much. And to those who’ve received much, much is required.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, December 22.

Yesterday we heard the first half of a panel discussion from True Woman ’08. Bob Lepine is the co-host of FamilyLife Today and Nancy asked him to interview some of the women who were speaking at the conference.

Here’s Bob with Mary Kassian, Holly Elliff, Karen Loritts, Carolyn McCulley, and Barbara Rainey.

Bob Lepine: Let me ask you about tools and mentors—either people from a distance or people up close who have influenced your life; or tools, books, messages you’ve heard that have shaped your thinking about biblical womanhood. As you think about those tools and mentors, just what’s been most influential for you? Is there anything that comes to mind immediately?

Mary: I have a friend who is quite a bit older than I am. She has been just an incredible example to me just on how to live life. She’s a godly woman and she has modeled to me how to stay engaged over the long run and how to balance marriage and ministry and kids and how to retain having a passion for the Lord and to be missionally minded.

She is getting older in years and she is still missionally minded, thinking that God has a purpose and a reason and a plan, and I’m going to pursue that right to the very end.

Bob: Do you go have lunch with her from time to time, or what do you do?

Mary: I have lunch with her, and I phone her. She’s just my hero, and I just ask her all sorts of questions. Actually my favorite questions when I find an older woman who is walking in godliness, I go:

  • How do you do that?
  • How do you retain that?
  • How do you love Jesus more at the end of your life than at the beginning?
  • How do you become refined in holiness?
  • How do you walk that path?”

I think that’s why the Bible has such a focus on female relationships, that mentoring relationship. I think we all need girlfriends that can challenge us and ask us the hard questions, comfort us when we need it, shore us up and strengthen us when we are just discouraged, and just really challenge us to be strong and not be wimpy.

Bob: This older woman who is a friend of yours, did you just start asking her a bunch of questions? Or did you go to her and say, “Will you be my mentor?” Or did she come to you and say, “I’d like to mentor you”? How did that happen?

Mary: It’s nothing so formal. I mean, it’s not like here’s a contract; let’s mentor. It was just I thought she was just really cool. And so it was like, “Can I hang out?”

Bob: Carolyn, how about you?

Carolyn: Actually, I would say the marriages I saw in the first church where I became a Christian were so important to me because there I was, a former feminist. I encountered those passages in Ephesians about submission and no one thought it was a joke. They took it seriously. I was kind of concerned. "What kind of church am I in?"

But my pastor and his wife at that time and the numerous couples I became friends with really modeled for me what those Scriptures were supposed to look like. And though I’ve never had the privilege to be married, I’m taking applications if anyone knows single men.

Bob: You’re in the wrong room for that. I’m sorry.

Carolyn: You know, not necessarily. These women know single men.

Bob: Those guys who are live-blogging right now. Just take note of this, okay?

Carolyn: I shouldn’t have said anything. Anyway, I finished advertising for myself. I’ll move on to the question.

But it was watching those marriages. That’s why I want to encourage married couples to make the investments in single friends, to not forget that that form of mentoring is very important. It will model it for the next generation to get married.

Honestly, in a culture that doesn’t value marriage, the most important weapon in my opinion is married men reaching out and mentoring single men and saying, “This is the high view of marriage.” So go home and enlist your husbands.

Holly: I think for me it was beginning to have some relationships with women who were thinking women. And in that sense, kind of the sense that John Piper was talking about when he said, “If we have wimpy theology, we’re going to be wimpy women.”

I had never really wrestled with to the point of sound theology. And so Kay Arthur was one of those women who came into my life through Precepts. As I began to take some Precept training, as Barbara said. Just getting into the Word and realizing what God had for me there and that the answers were there to questions I had. It didn’t have to be separate from who I was as a wife and a mother. God’s Word was applicable to my life, and it meant something, and it changed things.

I didn’t ever want to go to sessions on motherhood because they were so depressing to me, honestly. I wanted to be in something where I was learning something I thought was valuable. What happened during those years was that God blended those two things for me and showed me that motherhood was not separate from theology. It was part of my theology that God living His life out through that was connected to what I believed and what His Word said.

And putting all that together began to really change my thinking and shape my life.

Karen: For me God is so good. When I became a Christian as a young girl in junior high school, from junior high, high school, and college the Lord brought in my church—I left a really big church in Philadelphia and went to a smaller church that was changing, the neighborhood was changing.

But there was a group of people that stayed in the neighborhood when the color of the neighborhood was changing. I remember going to this church because they were getting out at 12:00. I didn’t want to stay in this other church all afternoon, so I went to this church that got out at 12:00.

So when I went as a young girl, the man who met me at the door was Pastor Peter Qua-chuck, a gentleman from the Ukraine that had left his Russian speaking church to stay in this community to keep this church going. And his family stayed there.

A year or so later a group from Hudson Taylor’s ministry moved two blocks from my home there in a suburban area of Philadelphia, and out of that, missionaries came into our church. So I was discipled my junior high years, my high school, and college years by missionaries from China.

They invested in my life. There were four specific women, two of them single, two married. None of them had children. They were older women that just loved on me, showed me about love of evangelism and about community outreach, discipled me how to love your husband.

This was not anything formal. They just lived it and showed me because I was clueless. I didn’t have that in my background. So I had a lot of women invest their lives in me.

The last lady, when I was in college, introduced me to this guy named Crawford Loritts and said, “You have to meet him.” So because she was my discipler, I went ahead and met him, and the rest is history.

But that and also the Word of God. I just cannot say enough about the Word of God. The Word of God is true, and it works. I used to put God on a 30-day plan. “God, I’m dealing with this certain issue. I’m going to put You on the lay-away plan. God, in 30 days if something doesn’t work out for me, I know it doesn’t work.”

But God has been true, and so it’s the Word of God.

Barbara: For me, one of the women who was most influential in my life was a woman who was long distance from me, and that woman was Elisabeth Elliot. I read almost everything she wrote. I subscribed to her newsletter. I still have them bound in a notebook because I looked forward to those newsletters coming on a regular basis, and I would underline and highlight.

She discipled me long distance because of her life and the godly way that she lived. I thought, “I want to be like her.” So it was years before I finally met her. But from the very beginning, I loved her writings, and I loved the way she was devoted totally and wholeheartedly to Christ, and I wanted to be like her.

Bob: Along those lines, apart from the Bible, and apart from any of the books that any of you have written or any of Nancy’s books, if you can give one book to all of these women here, do you know what it would be?

What would it be Carolyn?

Carolyn: It would be a book that I helped to draft, but I didn’t write it. And the reason why I say that is I had the privilege of listening to Carolyn Mahaney and all her teachings on Titus 2, and then turning that into the first draft of the book, and being immersed in hearing those virtues over and over.

She and her daughter, Nicole, finished that book. It is just spectacular. And for me that profoundly changed me because I realized I’m a woman made in the image of God, period. Marital status is added to that. My femininity is not conferred upon marriage. And that was such a profound thought to me. That book was a seminal book in my life.

Bob: That’s the book Feminine Appeal? Is that right?

Carolyn: Feminine Appeal.

Bob: Mary, how about you?

Mary: The one that really profoundly affected me was not a book. It was an essay by C.S. Lewis called “Membership” just on membership in the Body and just a real understanding of masculinity and femininity and just how it related to understanding God.

The Lord brought me to a point; He brought me to a point of obedience first in terms of saying, “Yes, I will live according to Your Word.” And second, He brought me to a point of delight in saying, “Not only is Your Word good and right; it is beautiful, desirable, and it is best. It is what will bring me the most joy.” C.S. Lewis’ essay on membership was very seminal in that.

Bob: Karen?

Karen: One of the books that has really been incredible in my life is the book, Legacy of Faith by Lydia Brownback. It’s about 21 women in the Bible, both Old and New Testament. There are some women that we are just familiar with and some women that we just don’t spend a lot of time.

It tells their stories on where they met God, on things that were good about their lives and challenges. But it’s really an incredible story about a cross-section of women and how they responded to various issues in the Bible. I really learned a lot, and I always recommend that book, Legacy of Faith.

Bob: Barbara?

Barbara: I don’t have one that just stands out. But I will tell you what I’ve been reading lately. We’ve had a really difficult summer in our family. This summer one of our daughters had her first baby in June, and the baby only lived seven days.

We’ve all been journeying through the valley of the shadow of death in our family. So I’ve been doing some reading to understand why God might allow this, and we know He did. We knew He was sovereign.

In the course of the summer and all of the things I’ve read, I’ve read two different kinds of books. One is called A Grace Disguised.  I would highly recommend that to anyone who is going through a death or any kind of difficult loss. The author’s name is Jerry Sittser.

It’s been a powerful book to understand how God uses the difficult things in life, death, and any other kind of loss through divorce or bad health or whatever. God is building our soul. He’s building into the core of who we are through suffering and loss. So it’s an outstanding book.

But interestingly the other book, it’s actually a series that I’ve been reading since the summer are The Chronicles of Narnia. It’s been really fascinating in light of Molly’s death in June. I started reading them when the Prince Caspian movie came out in May. I thought, “I haven’t read those books since my kids were little, and I want to read them again.”

So I started reading them before Molly was born and continued after Molly died. They’ve been so lifting to my soul to be reminded of heaven and what God has prepared. And just to stretch my imagination again by reading those books has been delightful. It’s been hopeful. It makes me long for heaven more than ever before.

Bob: Farther up and farther in right?

All right we talked about the priority of mentors in your lives. I’m going to turn the tables on you now, and we’re going to put 6,000 mentees, protégés in front you here. We’re going to let you be a 60-second mentor for these women. So you get one shot, one piece of advice.

They’re about to re-enter reality because this has been kind of un-reality. People make your bed for you, you know that kind of thing. You’re about to go back to the real world where people have needs. You’ve got one piece of solid advice. Who’s ready?

Barbara: I am. The most important thing that I’ve learned over the—how many years have I been a Christian? I’d say pushing 40—is the importance of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and learning to listen to Him, learning to hear Him speak to you. I’ve realized in the last ten to fifteen years this more than I did earlier, and I wish I’d known it earlier. But He loves to speak to us. He wants to speak to us.

Jesus said in the gospel of John, “I will send a helper, and he will remind you of all that I said. He will bring to your remembrance all that I have said.” And I need that. I need that every day of my life. It’s a joy to me when the Holy Spirit reminds me of something that Jesus said, reminds me of something that’s in the Bible.

So my prayer and hope for you is that you will depend on the Holy Spirit and that you will ask Him to speak to you. That you will say, “Holy Spirit, speak to me. Give me ears to hear and a heart to obey when You do speak to me.”

Karen: I would encourage all of you as you’re going home that you are in a holy huddle here for a while. Now you’re going back to reality. I would even suggest even extending maybe one more day over the weekend to keep that media fast because it’s still bad news. It hasn’t stopped since we’ve been sitting here.

But enjoy that media fast. Make those hard decisions that I’m going to deny myself the rights that I have to do whatever I want and just say, “Lord, I surrender.” Take that little white flag, little handkerchief that you have. Keep it going.

Every time you would tend to fall back to the old you, take yourself into the bathroom, look in that mirror. Talk to yourself, and raise the flag.

Also, I would suggest too that you would find someone that will hold you accountable and saying, “Lord, I was at this conference and out of all the things that I heard there is one thing that You kept over and over and over whispering in my inner being that I need to step up and change.” Tell that person, and then walk it and believe God for it.

Don’t keep listening to yourself. Talk to yourself. Believe God, and put God to the test.

Holly: I think I would encourage you to remember that when you get home God is not someplace else. He’s not just here in this room in Chicago. When you get home and you’re in your kitchen or you’re at school or in classes or driving carpool or at work, remember that God can be just as present in your life there as He was here.

It’s a matter of remembering that He is always present, of turning to Him in tiny little moments. It only takes a heartbeat to turn to the Lord and say, “Help.” His presence does not stay here when we go home. Aren’t you glad?

Carolyn: I think I would say to take what we’ve received in terms of the rich teaching here and turn around and be intentional about discipling another woman, to really look in the context of your local church for women through whom you can fulfill the Titus 2 mandate for the older woman to mentor the younger woman.

I think maybe we’re a little reluctant to admit we might be the older woman. But let’s just think that’s in terms of maturity, not chronology right? We’ve received much. And to those who’ve received much, much is required. There are many, many young women who have no knowledge of biblical womanhood because it’s so contrary to what our culture teaches, and they’re really hungry for this kind of material.

Bob: The truth is everybody’s older than somebody right? And even you high school young women who are here, there are junior high young women. You can start pouring into their lives.

Carolyn: Exactly.

Bob: You don’t have to wait until you’re 50 to be a Titus 2 woman. Go ahead and start pouring. Mary?

Mary: Okay ladies, let me challenge you with this: The world is going to dangle before you things that seem very desirable. The only way that we can say “no” to those things is by replacing it with something that is oh so much more desirable, by being captured in our hearts by a vision that is so beautiful, so high, so holy, so pure, so fulfilling that we’re willing to sell all we have for that pearl of great price. Never forget.

Leslie Basham: That’s Mary Kassian speaking at True Woman ’08, the conference that Revive Our Hearts and Nancy Leigh DeMoss launched for women. We’ve been listening to a panel discussion moderated by Bob Lepine. The panel also included Holly Elliff, Karen Loritts, Carolyn McCulley, and Barbara Rainey.

Many of the speakers and workshop leaders who joined us for True Woman ’08 will return when we present three conferences in 2010. Nancy Leigh DeMoss will also be joined by some new speakers including James MacDonald, Voddie Bauchum, Crawford Loritts, and Kay Arthur.

For details on the lineup of speakers from each conference, visit Get more information on the conferences coming this fall to the Dallas, Ft. Worth area, and to Indianapolis. If you’re near Chattanooga, don’t delay. Take advantage of early bird registration through the end of January, and plan to join us in a few months.

For more details visit Check out the videos that will help you feel what it’s like to attend True Woman. Nancy’s here to describe some of the reasons that Revive Our Hearts is moving forward with more conferences like the one we heard today.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: As we’ve listened to these moments from True Woman ’08, I’m so deeply grateful for all that God did in the hearts of those who attended from around the world. And the results are still being seen in the hearts and homes of those women.

Launching that first national conference involved significant financial risk. But I remember so well how we felt that the Lord wanted us to move forward in faith that He was leading us and that He would provide. Even though we were in the beginning of what proved to be a worldwide recession, God did indeed provide just what was needed.

No sooner was True Woman ’08 finished than women began asking for more conferences in more cities. We took those requests seriously and again asked the Lord what He would have us to do.

And after much prayer and counsel, we are now gearing up for three True Woman conferences in 2010. Once again we’re moving forward in faith. This is a huge undertaking, but we’re trusting the Lord to provide all that is needed to make it possible.

Some friends of Revive Our Hearts are excited about the True Woman events and other important ministry outreaches coming up this next year. So they’ve pledged to match dollar for dollar every gift given to Revive Our Hearts in the month of December up to $280,000.

In order to sustain and expand our ministry outreaches, we need much more than that amount during this month. So would you ask God what He wants you to give? And would you help us be sure that we meet and exceed this matching challenge?

I hope you’ll stand with us as we continue calling women to experience freedom and fullness and fruitfulness in Christ.

Leslie Basham: Here’s how to make your donation. Call 1-800-569-5959, or visit and donate any time.

Tomorrow Nancy will remind you that Christmas is a time for awe. Join us for the next Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.


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About the Teacher

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 for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.