Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We each need a sense of continuity and connectedness to previous and future generations, taking the baton from the previous generation, passing the baton of faith and grace on to future generations. You see, you and I are just running one leg in a relay race. We’re not the whole race.

Leslie: It’s Thursday, July 26, and you’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Mentoring. That word makes a lot of women nervous. Maybe you feel like you don’t have anything to offer a younger woman. Maybe you feel too flawed to pass any wisdom on.

You may have more ability than you think. Today’s program will help you see that mentoring might be easier than you expect, and it might be more meaningful than you thought possible. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: I’m so glad that you’ve joined us for Revive Our Hearts today. You are really in for a treat this week as we talk with three special guests about a program that I know will be of great interest to many of our listeners, both older women and younger women, and even a special part of this program that applies to children.

Betty Huizenga is our guest today, and she’s the founder of a program called Apples of Gold. It’s a mentoring program for women. She’s here to share with us how God brought this program about and how God is using it in the lives of women all across this country.

Betty, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule as a wife and a mom and a grandmom this week to join us on Revive Our Hearts.

Betty Huizenga: It is my joy, Nancy, and I just love to talk about Apples of Gold. It’s the passion of my heart, so thank you for having us here today.

Nancy: Well, I first heard about this program when you and your husband and I were sitting down over dinner in Florida not too long ago. We started talking about what God had put on your heart and realized that we are really kindred spirits.

Betty: We are.

Nancy: As you shared about this program, I thought our listeners would love to hear about this. So finally we’re here together to talk about. On just a few days notice, I asked you if you could bring with you two of the women who had been through the program. You were kind enough to do that. So we have two other women in the studio with us today. Dee Horne is with us.

Dee Horne: Good morning, Nancy.

Nancy: Dee, you’ve been one of the mentors in this program. You’re on the board of Apples of Gold. Thank you for coming on with almost no notice to share your heart with us.

Dee: Happy to do it. It’s lovely to be here. Thank you for having us.

Nancy: Then our third guest, Margo Topp, is one of the products of this ministry. Margo, we’re so glad to have you with us as well.

Margo Topp: Thank you so much. It’s a great opportunity for me to share just what Apples of Gold has meant to our family. Thank you.

Nancy: Now, the whole concept of mentoring—I meet a lot of younger women who are kind of floundering. They’re in that season of life where they’ve got a lot of little ones and a lot going on in their lives. Some of them are living way far away from their mother or their grandmother, and they’re just wanting someone to come alongside them and help.

I think probably all of you women at one time or another were at that season of your life. Why is this whole thing of mentoring so important and so needed in the body of Christ?

Betty: I was told recently, Nancy, that in an independent survey that was done a question was asked of women what did they most want or need in their lives. Their answer came back they need somebody. In our busy world today, we really don’t have a lot of somebodies who have time to listen to our hearts and to care about our families and our needs.

We might have the most wonderful moms in the whole world, but they might not be near us in this day. So young women are eager to have someone to share with who really cares about them. It’s very important to them.

Nancy: Margo, you have five children, and there’s quite an age range. You have a daughter who’s married and then down to a three-year-old. How has God used other people in your life, older women, to help you with the various seasons of being a wife and mother?

Margo: Right. I began Apples of God ten years ago. It was the first class, and I got to be in Betty’s first class. It was in that season that we would have had three daughters at that time through the elementary years. At that time that I was just crying out to the Lord for friendship, for guidance as to what to do with these three girls.

We were a Christian home, but I still, even though I had the Word of God in front of me, I still needed for someone to come alongside of me and interpret that Word with me and lead by their example. That is what Apples of Gold has done for me.

I told Betty earlier this morning as I was just thinking about Apples of Gold, I can remember where I was standing when I opened up the letter that was an invitation to come and be a part of Apples of Gold. I just wept because I had been crying out to the Lord for friendship.

I had been calling out for mentoring. I didn’t even really know what mentoring was. I just knew I had such a need and a longing for it though I didn’t even really understand it. That’s how Apples started for me.

Nancy: So, Margo, you said you didn’t even know what mentoring was.

Margo: I didn’t.

Nancy: Could you help us out. You’ve been a mentor to younger women. For those who aren’t even sure exactly what we’re talking about, what is mentoring?

Dee: It’s really coming alongside someone and being their friend and sharing the experiences that we’ve been through. One of the biggest parts of Apples of Gold that we didn’t even think about ahead of time was that so many older women do not have a place in the local church. They don’t have a job to do anymore. Now with Apples of Gold, they have purpose and they have wonderful friendships with the younger women. It’s a win-win situation for both of us.

Nancy: This isn’t really just a nice idea. This is something that God in His wisdom told us in the Scripture is really important.

Betty: That’s right. In Titus 2, the passage that we’ve used to create Apples of Gold, it says that the older women shall teach the younger women (see verses 3-4). As I think about that, it also says to train them. That’s what Apples of Gold is really about. We not only teach what the Word of God says, but we try to come alongside and do the training and show them practical ways to make their home the home that God wants it to be. So that’s why we do some cooking and all.

I also think it’s interesting that the Titus passage says the older women shall teach the younger women. So it’s really not an option for us. I think it’s a sad thing when women get to be a certain age and feel like they don’t have a purpose in the church anymore or maybe they think they’ve done it all and God’s saying no. Your life experiences are really important and valuable. Even our mistakes are valuable, aren’t they, as we teach them to others.

Nancy: I get the sense that some older women are feeling what do I know? What do I have to offer? There are so many things I’ve done wrong. You’re saying that even those women have something to teach.

Betty: I think that’s really true. So many older women will say the younger women are better educated and what do I have to offer. I may not be that educated person, but I get letters from a lot of educated younger women who say, "I wasn’t taught these things about being a wife and mom and how to make my home the special place to be. Those are the things that are really important now that I am a wife and mom."

So, yes, we do have valuable information. We do learn from our mistakes, and we also have successes to share with them. We can say you are going to make it. I think mentoring is a ministry of encouragement.

Nancy: I think sometimes those younger moms just need someone to come alongside them and say you are going to make it. You will be okay when it seems like life is overwhelming. Margo, have you ever been there?

Margo: I have. I would piggyback on what Betty just said and what you said also that I’m not looking for somebody that’s perfect out there. If anything, I’m looking for somebody who has made mistakes and then tell me how did she overcome those mistakes.

I’m not looking for a mom who has so-called perfect children. I want to talk to the mom who has had some struggles or who has gone through some valleys in her marriage and tell me what might work for me. If I’ve not already been through those things, but what might work for me in the future. So I would agree with what you said.

Dee: I think sometimes the younger women look at us and they say oh, I can never be that. Then when they realize that we have a big story to tell, that we haven’t done everything right but we’ve lived through it, they can see that they have hope.

Nancy: And that there’s been a process involved. These older women we look up to and we think when I grow up I want to be like that, well, they didn’t start out like that.

Dee: Exactly.

Nancy: They developed those qualities and those characteristics through years of failure and repentance and obedience and falling down and getting back up. It’s a process that we’re involved in to become that kind of woman. Those who’ve been down the road a little further have so much to offer us as we’re on that journey.

Dee: This is a forum that we’ve been able to talk about some things that are not talked about anywhere else. We can be transparent to one another. We can answer the questions that the young women might have that they’re embarrassed about or don’t want to talk about in another setting. But what happens at Apples of Gold stays there. We are able to really talk about some issues.

Nancy: What kinds of issues? What are some of the things that may not be easy to talk about elsewhere? What are some of the things that have surfaced in the conversations at Apples of Gold?

Betty: One of the things you talk about a lot, Nancy, is purity. That’s one of our lessons because it’s one of the things in the Titus 2 passage. We live in a world that is just impure. The young Christian women struggle with these issues, too. Their husbands go to work and the women are dressed up, and they look seductive sometimes, and it’s hard to be the mom at home.

I think our young women at home struggle with how should they appear? The world tells them they need to be just super-beautiful and wonderful and sometimes they feel they can’t measure up.

Then we talk about submission, and you know that’s a hot button every time. It turns out to be a wonderful lesson because once we realize we’re talking about submitting to the authority of God first of all, then everything else comes into a good relationship because if we won’t submit to God, then we really are in trouble.

Once women understand submission first to God, then to others, brings joy and peace and blessing to our lives, it changes it. But boy, when they hear submission, it’s like "I don’t think I want to come that week."

We talk about things like what if there’s abuse? What do you do in that situation? They’re hard subjects, and we’ve had women share very intimate details of their marriage as well and things they struggle with. Sometimes the younger women are the ones helping the other younger women where we talk about praying for our marriages and the things that aren’t working well for us.

Another woman might say, "I had that with my husband last year, and do you think I prayed then?" They end up sharing things they never expected to. So as Dee said, then we need to remind the women, "Okay, this is something the young woman maybe didn’t plan to share so it stays here." We help each other.

In Apples of Gold, we have six mentors at each session. So one mentor picks up off what the other one says. The young women have a chance to listen to many different concepts and ideas.

Margo: As an Apple, we do share things, and we do ask the questions of these gals that we’ve begun to build relationships with. It is very safe. So there’s definitely a desire for us to be able to do that.

Nancy: You said, “As an Apple.” Tell us what an Apple is in the Apples of Gold program.

Margo: Right. An Apple would be one of the younger gals that is part of the program, come to the program to learn about the passage in Titus that teaches us to love our husbands and our children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to our husbands. So that’s what we’re coming for—to learn more about that and really desiring to be more of the woman that God created us to be.

Nancy: I suppose, Betty, as older women, I think we would all realize that there are women who have influenced our lives. Betty, who are some of the people that God has used in your life over the years to encourage and mentor you that you look back and you say I’m so thankful that God put that woman in my life? Who were some of those women, and how did they influence you?

Betty: When I was a very young mom, my sister-in-law, who is now with the Lord, had five children, and I was just a young mom. She taught me about homemaking. As we were canning peaches in the kitchen together, we would talk about the Lord and how she was raising her children and all.

Her leaving me was a big hole in my heart because she really talked to me about the things I could not talk to my mother about. Even though I had a great mom, there are just some things you don’t feel comfortable talking with your mom about. Sometimes I think when we talk to our mom about those issues, they might feel like they have failed us in some way and that they didn’t do a good job. Then they become defensive. That’s not what we mean to do to them at all.

Then there’s a wonderful woman named Libby Gucci from Annapolis, Maryland. When we moved to Annapolis in our early marriage and didn’t know a soul anywhere, Libby and Graham invited us into their home, and I really began to see how the Lord wants to use our homes for sharing His Word. They just talked about the Lord as if He was their best friend. I knew I didn’t have that.

Being in their home and seeing the warmth of it, the respect that their children, who were then teens, had for them, it really set an example for me and gave me a deep desire to want my home to be like that and to use my home in that way. God can do amazing things in a home that He can’t do in a restaurant or in the church building, so I’m a real encourager to use your home.

Nancy: So your heart for home has really been cultivated as you saw other women who had a biblical and godly perspective on home, and now you’re passing on that heart for home to younger women.

Betty: I hope so. I hope so. I hope that they really become confident. That’s one of the reasons we do cooking classes. Many of the young women would say I could never have a dinner party. Then after Apples, they’ll call and say, "I had a first dinner party."

Not that dinner parties are so important, but there is something wonderful about being invited to someone’s private place—their home—for dinner. I love to go to someone’s home for dinner. It’s very special to be invited into the intimate spaces of someone’s life. So when they can do it, we feel, okay, this is great. They’ve conquered it.

Nancy: That’s something that’s been so missing in our generation where the home becomes just a stopping off place, but not a place where people are really being nurtured and loved and formed—their lives formed. So you’re really helping women to come back into the home and experience what God intended for them to use that as a place of ministry for their families first and then for others as well.

Betty: A deep love develops between the mentors and the young women. I so love Margo, and it works both ways. I was thinking on the way down here. We didn’t get to talk about it, but I remember a time when I was going to go out and do another broadcast for someone and the night before Margo and Doug appeared at my front door, rang the bell and said, "We’ve just come to pray with you because we know you’re going to do this broadcast tomorrow." That was so meaningful because it was them giving back.

I think we’ve had several people who’ve said why do you do this for these young women? Why do you feed them and spend money on them and take all this time? You could be doing other things. There just taking from you. We offer it free of charge. I say no, they’re learning to serve others, and that’s a good example when they come back to us and encourage our hearts.

We go to church, and we have lots of young friends that we never had before. It’s really true that churches are divided by the generations so often. The music is different for generations and all. But when you love someone and you’ve prayed with them over some sensitive issues and you’ve encouraged someone, they’re your friend. Now you come to church and the younger and older are together. That’s really powerful.

Nancy: Well, we’ve just barely scratched the surface of this whole concept of mentoring and Apples of Gold. Over the next couple of days, we want to get into some more nuts and bolts and tell what the program is, how it came to be, how it works. I think many of our listeners are going to want to be part of an Apples of Gold program and to learn how they can get started and how they can find resources to help them. I think you’ve whetted our appetites for learning more about the concept of older women teaching, training younger women in the ways of God.

So I hope you’ll join us for our next time on Revive Our Hearts and that you will consider how does God want to use your life. Perhaps you’re in the older woman category. How does God want to use your life to help to train and encourage and nurture faith in younger women?

Maybe you are a younger woman. We have a lot of listeners who are teenagers or college-age girls or young moms in their 20s and 30s. We’re going to offer some hope and help for you as well as you’re seeking to become the woman that God wants you to be.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be right back with some Biblical insights on mentoring from the life of Joshua. She’s been talking with Betty Huizenga about Apples of Gold, a mentoring program that connects older and younger women. We also heard from a couple of women involved with this mentoring program, Dee Horne and Margo Topp.

You can involved in the Apples of Gold mentoring program just like they have. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com and follow the link to Apples of Gold.

Betty Huizenga not only runs an organization called Apples of Gold, but that’s also the name of her helpful book. It’s a six-week program for women to go through together learning about everything from table settings and meal planning to family relationships. Each week’s lesson includes discussions on hospitality and practical life skills and a Bible study.

When you make a donation of any amount, we’ll send you Apples of Gold and Nancy’s conversation with Betty on CD. You set the donation amount, and we’ll send the CD and book. You can donate at ReviveOurHearts.com, or ask for the CD and book when you donate by phone. The number is 1-800-569-5959.

A radio program can never replace a real-life mentor, but think about how much Revive Our Hearts is like a mentor. Nancy brings you solid counsel on issues you face as a woman. The program is available to you all hours of the day at ReviveOurHearts.com. When you listen day after day, you grow in your spiritual maturity.

Are you taking advantage of all that Revive Our Hearts has to offer? One way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to sign up for the Revive Our Hearts Daily Connection. It’s an email that brings you important thoughts from Nancy’s teaching every day. We call those “Key Quotes.”

Then if you choose, you can explore the content further by using the “Quick Links.” They take you to the transcript, streaming audio, or MP3. The “Quick Links” also let you conveniently order books or other resources you hear about. To sign up for the Revive Our Hearts Daily Connection and make sure you don’t miss any content you need, visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

When you receive consistent biblical wisdom from a pastor, a godly older woman, or even a radio program, you need to ask yourself how can I now pass biblical wisdom on to the next generation. Here’s Nancy with an important wrap-up.

Nancy: We each need a sense of continuity and connectedness to previous and future generations, taking the baton from the previous generation, passing the baton of faith and grace on to future generations. You see, you and I are just running one leg in a relay race. We’re not the whole race. We’re just one leg of it.

If we could only get a vision for the fact that we’re a part—that one little leg that we run—and we run so hard, and we get out of breath, and we think we can’t make it, but that one leg we run faithfully is a part of God’s grander, greater, eternal redemptive plan. You’re not isolated at your point in time. You are part of a continuum of faith.

Moses passed it to Joshua. Joshua passed it to the next generation. They passed it to the next generation. Jesus passed the baton to His disciples, and Paul said to Timothy the things that you learn from me entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

It’s so selfish of us just to live for the current moment and for our current generation without being conscious that we are part of a great, long relay of faith and playing well our part in picking up the baton and then passing it on. As an older generation, we need to be inspiring, preparing, encouraging, strengthening, affirming the next generation.

Mothers, that’s what you’re doing for your children. When I see little girls who have a heart for the Lord, I’m thinking the next Elisabeth Elliot is out here somewhere. Only God knows who she is, where she is. I want to encourage those children, bless them, and somehow in some small way be passing on the baton of faith to the next generation giving them a vision for how God wants to use them as a part of His kingdom and His plan.

O Father, I pray that you would help us take seriously the responsibility to pick up the baton of faith, to carry it, and then to pass it on intact to the next generation. Help us to transition well, to be learners in our early years, to be fulfilling Your responsibility for leading in our mature years, and then ultimately one day to be leaving a legacy for the next generation.

Would You give moms, wives, single women, and widows, people in every season of life who may be listening today just a sense of the fact that they are part of something bigger than themselves. May we each say, Lord, help me to be faithful at running this leg of the relay race and then equipping the next generation to run their leg. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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