Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Getting to Know Nancy, Part 1

Leslie Basham: Those of us who are parents need to be on the lookout for ways to teach our children about God. It's Monday, September 3 and this is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

What's it like around the dinner table at your house? Chaotic? Rushed? Quiet? Today we'll hear how a mom and dad looked for opportunities such as times at the dinner table to pass on biblical truth to their daughter, Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We'll hear how their investment is paying off.

Bob Lepine the cohost of FamilyLife Today, is our guest in the studio and he's going to introduce us to Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Here's Bob.

Bob Lepine: Over the last twenty years, some of you may have been exposed to Nancy Leigh DeMoss's ministry through her Bible teaching and conference ministry as she has traveled around the country. Or, more recently, through two books she has written: one called, A Place of Quiet Rest, about a daily devotional life; and a book called, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free.

Today marks the Inauguration Day for a new facet of Nancy's ministry. It's this daily radio program called Revive Our Hearts. It's a joy for me to be along on "Day One" and have an opportunity to introduce you to Nancy Leigh DeMoss! Nancy, welcome to your own program.Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Well, this is a very exciting day and the Lord has in so many ways been preparing all of us for this day. Bob Lepine: Let's go back to the beginning of that. You actually came to faith in Christ earlier than most, didn't you? Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I did. Actually, receiving Christ and trusting Him as my Savior is my first conscious memory at the age of four. In response (my parents have told me) to the family devotional times that we had been having where they had been teaching us the Word of God and the Gospel.

I remember for the first time that day May 14, 1963, kneeling beside my bed there at naptime and recognizing in just a very simple, childlike way that I needed Christ, that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. There have been times since that day as I got a little older I wondered, Did I really know enough for that to have been a genuine conversion experience?

But over and over God has confirmed that it was not what I did, but it's what Christ did in me and for me on that day that was truly life-changing and has been the foundation for all of my life. Bob Lepine: You mentioned family devotions. That was a part of your family experience. Your parents were converted as young adults, right? 

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: They were, and they had not come from really "Christian" homes. And in those days of course, they didn't have all the books and tapes and seminars and Christian radio programs available that we do today to help parents know how to instruct their children spiritually. They both had such a vital, life-changing encounter with Christ and knew that this was what they wanted for their children.

I'm the first born of seven children. The first six of us were born in my parents' first five years of marriage. So at the age of four or five, I was the oldest of six children and as you can imagine, things happened very quickly in our home, with so much going on at one time. One of the things they really prioritized from early on was the training of the children in the Word and in the ways of God.Bob Lepine: I was imagining family devotions as you were describing your mom with six children all under the age of five! Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Well, as you can imagine, they were not as quiet and orderly as what many parents would hope for. There were seasons. As we got to be older and our schedules were going different directions, we were not all able to be together as much as my parents would have wanted. My dad, even as a very busy businessman, did prioritize being home for breakfast in the morning and for dinner in the evening. It was a late dinner, but we waited for him and we started the day together around the meal table as a family. We ended the day together around the table as a family.

For many today, I know this would be a novel concept. And it's not even that those were always wonderful times. We did a lot of arguing. We did a lot of talking all at the same time. There was training going on and we were very much "in process," so we certainly were not your model TV family of the fifties. There were some unkind exchanges and a lot of debating, but there was still the priority of being together as a family. In the sense that Dad sat at the head of the table and that he was influencing and shaping our lives--with the things we talked about, the input he gave into those discussions--he, and my mother as well. Those were formative times even though they may have been a little clamorous at the time.

Bob Lepine: Your dad was a successful businessman, very busy as a businessman, but when he wasn't doing business, he was doing ministry and did a lot of it, didn't he?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: He did; and I have to say that even business for him was ministry. His purpose for getting up in the morning and going to work was to find opportunities and ways to introduce people to Jesus Christ. That was just his way of thinking and people commented--as they would come into our home during those years--they would notice that as children we would tend to ask when we met someone new, "Does so and so know Jesus? Is so and so a Christian?" We were trained to think that way by parents who were always looking for opportunities to influence someone's life spiritually.

So he was very active in direct ministry. We always had (and to say "always" is probably not an overstatement) people coming in and out of our home. My mother has an incredible gift of hospitality and understands the ministry of using your home as "a place to touch people's lives." There were frequently guests at our dinner table, people staying overnight, and a lot of those were missionaries, pastors, and Christian leaders who were influencing us through their conversation with our parents.

Also there were people who didn't know Christ. We were watching our parents look for ways to introduce those people to what we had found in Christ.

Bob Lepine: Your parents also traveled to do some ministry. I know your dad took you with him as you got older on some of his ministry-related trips, right?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Actually, this is a great way, I think, to do family vacations. We, for many years, had very few vacations that were strictly pleasure. Often those vacations were ministry opportunities. He would take one or more of us with him into Mexico, for example. I can remember him preaching, and he was not a preacher, by the way! He was a layman and just would give his testimony and tell what God had done in his life. He would preach with translation in these little villas and churches in Mexico.

I can remember animals running through the streets and nursing moms there in the auditorium and settings that would be quite different than many of our churches here. I would watch him afterwards go in and out through the congregation and with his just very few words of Spanish, kind of "button hole" people and ask them where they were in their relationship with Christ. They would have us sometimes during the day out on the streets inviting people to come into the services.

So we saw from the outset of our lives and on our family vacation times even, the priority of giving out the Gospel, the priority of ministry, and the priority of giving your life for the sake of other people's lives.

Bob Lepine: That's something that you realized early on. In fact there's a letter in your home that is framed and sitting on an end-table that you wrote when you were seven years old. What's the content of that letter?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: It's in that little seven-year-old handwriting with misspellings and all, but there was a distinctive point at which I had sensed that God wanted me to be a missionary. I used the word missionary probably a dozen times in the letter and misspelled it every time, left out the "o." I was writing to tell my parents that God wanted me to be a missionary for Him.

Even to this day (some friends had it framed for me when I turned forty) I have it there in my home. It's a powerful reminder to me of God's call in my life and I remember saying at the end of that letter, "I shall do this for Jesus only and for Him only shall I do this." There's a sense of eagerness and earnestness about God's call and it marks what I really do remember as a child. That is, a distinctive sense that God owned my life, that my life belonged to Him and that I had been set apart to be used by Him in His Kingdom.

That's something I've never been able to escape and it's something I would not ever want to escape--to be called not only to belong to Christ but also then to be called to be His servant. It is, I think, the highest vocation and calling that there could possibly be this side of heaven.

Bob Lepine: You've been speaking, traveling nationally and internationally, leading women's conferences and Bible studies for almost twenty years now. You have been doing that as a single woman. You've never been married, right? 

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: That's correct. 

Bob Lepine: So there's been great freedom in your singleness to do the ministry that God set you apart for.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: One of the passages that I've always loved, since I was a young woman, is that passage in I Corinthians, Chapter 7, where Paul talks about singleness in the will of God being a gift--as is, of course, marriage in the will of God. He says that for the single woman her privilege is to serve the Lord with undistracted devotions.

That's not to say that there are not times of loneliness, times of longing. We all have longings that cannot be fulfilled this side of heaven. But those longings press me to His heart and in the midst of those times I still feel an incredible sense, a privilege and blessing to be able to serve the Lord in an undistracted way.

Bob Lepine: What is on your heart? What do you hope God will accomplish through the ministry He has called you to?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You know, Bob, when the Lord saved me, when I was four years of age, He called me to Himself. He gave Himself to me. I gave myself to Him, and my whole life has been the developing of that love relationship with the Lord Jesus. That's something that I find very few professing believers really enjoy and experience to the extent that I think God intends.

So my burden, for years, has been to let women know what there is in Christ: the riches of our inheritance in Christ, and the implications of the Gospel for our lives. What does it mean that Christ died for us, that He loves us, that we belong to Him? My burden has been to call women to experience and to enjoy the fullness, the abundant life that Christ promised us!

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss giving us a taste of what's to come on this new radio program, Revive Our Hearts. We hope that you'll find it a daily source of encouragement. Nancy and Bob will be back in just a minute, but first I want to tell you about Nancy's booklet called, A Biblical Portrait of Womanhood. It offers a series of practical questions to help you discover God's plan for you as a woman.

We want to give you a free copy so that you can get to know Nancy's heart. Ask for your free copy of A Biblical Portrait of Womanhood, when you call us at 1-800-759-4569.

You can also find information on all of Nancy's books and tapes on our Web site. The address is ReviveOurHearts.com. You can also write.  When you contact us, ask for our free newsletter. It will help you understand the vision for Revive Our Hearts and know what to expect in the coming days.

Now to wrap up our time together, here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss and our guest in the studio, Bob Lepine from FamilyLife Today. 

Bob Lepine: I've been sitting here thinking about the fact that today is Labor Day in the United States. That may be appropriate for giving birth to a new radio program! It's also your birthday, isn't it? 

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: It is, and in fact I was born on Labor Day.

Bob Lepine: So as we launch a new program, we can also say, "Happy Birthday!" both to Revive Our Hearts and to the speaker on Revive Our Hearts, Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We hope in future days you will join us and that God will do a work and will be glorified through all that's heard on this program.  

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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