Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Dannah Gresh: Dr. Venessa Ellen encourages women to truly learn the Bible.

Dr. Venessa Ellen: The Word says, “Study to show thyself approved.” It didn’t say, “Unless you’re a woman.” Even if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you have more fuel to teach those babies the truth accurately.

Dannah: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, for July 27, 2020. I’m Dannah Gresh.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Well, I am so happy to welcome to the studio today a new friend, Dr. Venessa Ellen. I see you’re here doing some recording with other Revive Our Hearts’ projects.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: I’m so glad somebody told me you were going to be here so that we could come and have this conversation.

Dr. Ellen: Thanks for having me. It’s great.

Nancy: And we’ve kind of known of each other from a distance.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: You live in Houston, which is great in the Michigan winters.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: But in the summer, you would probably rather be up here in Michigan.

Dr. Ellen: Oh, yes, for sure.

Nancy: My thought of Houston in the summer is that I can’t do anything with my hair.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: Hot, humid.

Dr. Ellen: Swollen. Yes.

Nancy: But when we’re freezing up here in the winter, you guys are enjoying yourselves down there.

I’m so grateful for our station partner, KHCB. We’ve had a longtime relationship with them. And so many friends we have in Houston—friends of Revive Our Hearts since its earliest days.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: You are very involved in ministering to women, teaching others to minister to women in the context of the local church and other ministries. Since we’re ministering to women through Revive Our Hearts, I wanted to have a conversation with you about some of your observations, what you see happening in women’s lives, what concerns you, what encourages you.

And I’d love to hear just a little bit about your story. You have a doctor in front of your name.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: That means you’ve been to school for a long time.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: You are the Chair of the Women’s Ministry Department at Houston . . .

Dr. Ellen: . . . College of Biblical Studies.

Nancy: And you’re training women to go and be fruitful, which is what this ministry is about.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: But, can you think back . . . did you grow up in the church?

Dr. Ellen: I did grow up in the church. My mother and grandmother . . . The rule was: You can be wherever you wanted to be on Saturday night, but you must be in the church on Sunday morning. It wasn’t about a relationship. It was church attendance.

Nancy: So your earliest memories are you’re in church on Sunday.

Dr. Ellen: All the time. My earliest memory is my grandmother gave me money to put in the offering as a child, and I stopped at the corner store and spent the money.

Nancy: Monday that was intended for the offering.

Dr. Ellen: It was intended for the offering.

Nancy: You probably didn’t think you were stealing from the Lord.

Dr. Ellen: I did not. She did. And I never did it again.

Nancy: You got caught.

Dr. Ellen: For sure, I got caught. The little local store owner knew my grandmother and told on me.

Nancy: So you grew up in the church.

Dr. Ellen: Grew up in the church, singing in the choir. I was even teaching women’s ministry classes before I was saved.

Nancy: Before you were saved?

Dr. Ellen: Yes. Before I was saved.

Nancy: So, tell us just how you came to know you weren’t saved.

Dr. Ellen: Well, I still had that old one-foot in/one-foot out . . . You know, you can have one foot in the club and one foot in the church. And just living life any kind of way without really identifying with a relationship with God. It was just the title of “I’m a Christian,” but not a lifestyle relationship with Him at all.

Nancy: So you thought that was enough?

Dr. Ellen: I don’t even know that I thought about it. It was just tradition. It was the way of my family. It was the way of people I knew. There really was no real accountability to do anything different until one day I was singing in the choir. I usually slept through the sermon, but one day I was awake, and I heard my pastor preaching on salvation, and that was the day that I got saved.

Nancy: Wow! And you were how old?

Dr. Ellen: I was twenty-one.

Nancy: Twenty-one. Was there an awakening happening in your heart, a sense that maybe you really didn’t have a relationship with Christ? It was just that moment?

Dr. Ellen: It was that moment, although, even after that I still tried to live my old way. I always tell the story when I go out and speak of how I was still trying to be in the club and trying to be in the church.

I remember one night I’d gone to the club, and everybody’s dancing, and the lyrics were saying, “You’re going to Hell.” Well, this is what I heard.

Nancy: The music was playing at the club.

Dr. Ellen: Correct. The music that’s playing, and everybody’s dancing, I hear the lyrics saying, “You’re going to Hell. You’re going to Hell.” That’s what I hear.

I asked my girlfriend, and she’s, like, “That is not what they’re saying.”

I literally picked up my purse and left and have not been in a club since then.

Nancy: So, at that point, your desires began to change, your interests. . .

Dr. Ellen: Yes. Everything changed. But it did not come without mentorship, which is why I’m very big on that.

Nancy: And what did that look like for you?

Dr. Ellen: My pastor’s wife just took me under her wings, and I even ended up living with them for a season, and she just taught me. I mean, literally, taught me the Word of God and how to live it, what it meant, what it didn’t mean because sometimes we have traditionalism versus truth. That was a blessing for me, and it turned everything around in my life.

Nancy: So I assume you started to stay awake during the sermons at that point?

Dr. Ellen: Yes—finally. It was interesting then.

Nancy: You were probably catching up what you had been missing out on.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: Isn’t it amazing how, when you have a relationship with Christ, your interests change?

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: What you care about changes.

Dr. Ellen: Completely.

Nancy: So, talk to me, as a young woman, how did some of the women in the church or Christian women that you knew, what kind of impact did they have in your life?

Dr. Ellen: Well, I don’t know that the women in the church knew that I wasn’t saved. I didn’t even know that I wasn’t saved. I think I have an old soul because I have always been serving, and I’ve always been teaching. So I was still teaching women’s ministry, and I was being mentored by a lady in the choir, being mentored by my pastor’s wife.

And then some years later, I met my husband, but we were just friends. He counseled me, and we became friends, and then later we got married. He was a preacher, wanting to be a senior pastor. And that was just a journey I didn’t think I was ready for because I was a true sinner. Like, everything I thought that God said, “Don’t do,” is everything I did. 

Nancy: So you felt like that disqualified you? 

Dr. Ellen: Right. I just kept thinking, “That’s not acceptable to be a pastor’s wife now. You can’t bring that past into it.”

I talked to a lot of people who helped me to understand Christ and how He didn’t hold that over your head once you are truly saved and set free.

Nancy: Don’t you think there are a lot of people who think that something in their past, their past baggage, keeps them from being able to be fruitful now?

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: How do you encourage that woman?

Dr. Ellen: I also believe that there are some Christians that still hold things over people’s heads. I do think that there are places that a woman may encounter that she’s still not able to do some things based on something in her past because of how someone’s interpreting the text.

So I encourage her to say, “What God has for you really is for you. It may not be that particular ministry. It may be another ministry. But God certainly will use you.”

Nancy: And He certainly has/is using you.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: I wonder sometimes if it’s not just in spite of your past, but also because of some of the life lessons from your past.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: Probably, when you speak to young women, you’re cautioning them or warning them about certain lifestyles or ways of thinking. You can say, “I have some experience with what I’m talking about.”

Dr. Ellen: Oh, yes.

I remember when I first started doing prison ministry, I was teaching to pregnant women who were incarcerated and were pregnant. I would go over, and they wouldn’t listen to me. They would sit with their arms folded to talk to me. They called me, “Church Lady.” It was going nowhere. It was like bouncing words off a wall.

I remember one lady saying to me, “You don’t understand what I’ve been through. You’re just a Church Lady.”

I stopped the lesson and just really gave my testimony to them. By the end, they were, like, “We would have never guessed. You’re so cleaned up.”

I said, “That’s what God does. He takes us out of the life that we were living, being eternally separated from Him, and puts us into this new world, these new positions, these new giftings. And that’s going to happen for you as well.”

So that’s what I tell them. It was a great experience to speak to that. So, yes, my past allowed me to have an audience, and it still does.

Nancy: I think the gospel isn’t really good news to us unless we have a sense of what we needed to be rescued from.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: Which doesn’t just have to do with behavioral issues, but our hearts, our attitudes, our ways of thinking, our inclinations.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: And if we never have a sense of being lost and being desperately needy for Christ and being the objects of God’s wrath because of our sin, then why would the gospel seem like good news?

Dr. Ellen: Yes. That’s right. I always say, “I truly was a sinner in need of a Savior.” I truly identified with that.

Nancy: Does it make you burdened for people in the Church today who may think they know Christ because they have religion, but they don’t really have Him?

Dr. Ellen: Yes, indeed.

We just did our graduation not long ago at the college, and a lady came running up to me. She’d taken our Marriage and Family class. She said, “Remember me? Remember me?” And I actually did remember her, but she was a student who kept saying, “I can live any kind of way. I’ve got my ticket. I’m good.” And she said, “I got saved in your class.”

Nancy: Wow!

Dr. Ellen: She was halfway through her degree program and came to know the Lord.

Nancy: In Women’s Ministry studies.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: It helps to be saved if you’re going to help others, right?

Dr. Ellen: Just a little, yes.

Nancy: Well, you’re spending so much time, or you have over the years, not only serving women, but having a burden for women in the church, churched women, and women in the church. As you look around the landscape today, and you think of God’s plan, His calling for women, how do you encourage women? What do you see as God’s vision, the story God wants to write through their lives? What are you eager to see happen in the lives of women as they’re maturing in the church?

Dr. Ellen: Well, one, I think that we need to remember that it’s okay to study theology. You mentioned that, yes, I do have a doctorate. It’s so interesting how some in the world don’t think we should study theology.

Nancy: We as in women?

Dr. Ellen: Yes, we as in women, that we should be trained. They always used to ask me, “What are you going to do with that?” Because I got my undergrad in biblical studies and then a master’s in biblical counseling. So I’ve been in Bible school all my schooling years. “What are you going to do with that? You know, you’re a girl, right? What are you going to do with that?”

So my first thing would be to say, “The Word says, ‘Study to show thyself approved.’ It didn’t say, ‘Unless you’re a woman.’” We’re to study.

Nancy: Or just for those who are going to be pastors.

Dr. Ellen: Yes. Or if you’re going to have full-time ministry jobs, or something like that.

You study because, even if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you are more fueled to teach those babies the truth accurately. You don’t have to always be receiving a paycheck to go to school. It can be just for your edification and for the edification of your children.

So that would be my first thing.

Nancy: Let me just park there for a second. So you’re not just saying women have permission to study the Bible and study theology.

Dr. Ellen: No!

Nancy: It sounds like you believe that they have a responsibility, whether it’s formal education, advanced degrees or not, that we really need to be soaking in the Word.

Dr. Ellen: Yes! We need to be. If you cannot do it in a formal academic way, then sit under someone. Go and just get into a good Bible study and really learn. Get in a good solid church, really learn the Word.

Nancy: Read good books.

Dr. Ellen: Read good books. Read a lot of books. Bounce that baby on your knee and have a book in the other hand. Just keep learning God’s Word because we need to be able to speak truth to one another and not so much tradition.

Nancy: What do you think are some of the consequences in our lives as women and in our churches if we’re not getting our roots down deep into the Word?

Dr. Ellen: I think part of the consequence is being carried away by every wind of doctrine. Every little thing that’s out there, we’ll fall for it because we won’t know truth. There will be all this error that will run into our social media lives or maybe even our best friends or the lady at the supermarket that tells you something, and you go, “That sounds right.” But you don’t know if it’s right.

I think the danger would be to be led astray by the evil one or by your own fleshly desires if you don’t know the Word of God accurately.

Nancy: There’s so much out there that can lead us astray, even things that are called Christian—Christian media, Christian books, so called. There is such a need for discernment. Things don’t usually lead us astray because they’re way off. It’s more because they’re close to truth, but they are not quite truth.

I think of some of the best-selling religious books and authors today, and I’m going, “Where did that come from?!” So many Christian women are being taken in by some of that teaching because they don’t know God’s Word.

Dr. Ellen: That’s true.

Nancy: So getting into the Word, become students of God’s Word, and learn what it says, what it means, and how to apply it.

Dr. Ellen: Yes, exactly! A lot of women will say to me, “Well, I don’t really understand it. I open the Bible, and I don’t understand it.”

Go to someone who does. This is why I’m back to mentorship. But I always say, “Look for someone who is truly spiritually mature in their walk. Don’t just pick any old woman in your church to mentor you.

Nancy: You want to see fruit.

Dr. Ellen: Yes. Examine their life. Make sure that she’s walking uprightly with the Lord. And then sit with her. Walk with her.

Study doesn’t have to mean you write fifteen papers, thirty pages each. It just means learn of God so you can live of Him.

Nancy: And in order to do that, there’s probably some other pursuits that we won’t have as much time for. We all have the same amount of time, but we live these crazy busy lives. I think it’s easy to feel like, “With all I’ve got going on, with having kids, with having a job, with being involved in church, I just won’t have time to get into the Word.”

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: But it’s amazing how much time we have for social media, for movies, for other things that aren’t necessarily sinful, but are they sapping time and energy where we could be getting to know God’s Word?

Dr. Ellen: Yes. Right. I don’t think it takes three hours a day. That’s just me. I don’t advocate, “You need to be in the Word three hours a day.” You may not have three hours. You may have five little ones running around. But I think we can make time. We do make time for what’s important to us.

I think you can get your kids on a schedule to where you put them to bed at a certain time. You can spend thirty minutes in the Word, then spend another thirty minutes praying over what you read, asking God, “How do I live out what I see here?” Get up, rise early. 

Things you don’t know, make a phone call. Ask someone. “Hey, I saw this word. What do you think it means?” It doesn’t take a whole lot to really learn.

Nancy: And it takes building day upon day upon day upon day—just the way you learn anything.

Dr. Ellen: That’s right.

Nancy: You don’t learn some advanced subject by just going and taking a crash course in it. You learn it by going to class day after day and finding somebody who knows more about it than you do and saying, “Teach me.”

Dr. Ellen: That’s for sure. I’m all about the local church. I think we need to get into a good Bible-teaching, Bible-believing church. And then go on a regular basis. That would be my next thing.

I would say that I see a lot of casual church attenders, not true, strong church men, per se, or church women. Women who are in the church, who have given their time, their talents, their treasures, and attending on a regular basis because the Word is there for you. He’s breaking it down. There are Bible studies. There’s life interaction that happens in the church house, that accountability. The “weeping with those who weep” is kind of hard to do through the television ministry.

Nancy: Being a family.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: We need connection with each other.

Dr. Ellen: We do.

Nancy: We need time together.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: And the statistics today are astounding in terms of how few times, even people who are considered regular church goes, how seldom they’re in church. It’s, like, now, whatever, two times a month or something. And not so much where, when I was growing up, there was Sunday school, there was Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night.

And I’m not saying all those specific programs have to be as they always were, but how can you build any kind of relationship with somebody that you’re just barely rubbing shoulders with every now and again?

Dr. Ellen: And then they come back, and they go, “Oh, we missed it!”

My old pastor used to say, “Don’t ask me if you missed anything when you didn’t come to church because every time the family meets, you’re missing something.”

Nancy: Yes. We need each other.

Dr. Ellen: We do.

Nancy: So, think about church, women. We need to be in the Word, learning to know who God is, studying the Word, being involved in the church—and not just as consumers, not just expecting the church to feed me and meet my needs. But rolling up my sleeves and plugging in, which looks different for different people in different seasons, but that’s part of how we grow, too.

Dr. Ellen: It is.

There’s a little, bitty book that we read called, I Am a Church Member. I think it helped clear out some of the fog. Because we go to church expecting the choir to be a certain way, expect the preacher to preach a certain way. We go for us—consumers. We don’t necessarily go to give or to receive the right things. So we come to church with these motives that are not always pure.

So I loved that that book plainly just says, “Really, what is a church member?”

I think that we need to go back and review that as women and really ask that: “What does it mean to be a church member—not attender—but member?”

Nancy: Big difference.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: Relationships—women’s relationships can get, even in the church, people who know Jesus, love Jesus, but there can be challenges, conflicts, struggles—maybe that never happens in your church.

Dr. Ellen: Oh, no—it happens all the time.

Nancy: How does it happen?

Dr. Ellen: Well, I think first of all, as a pastor’s wife, I’m very familiar with it. I suffer with all pastors’ wives in understanding that there’s just something about walking in those shoes. You are a target, for whatever reason. If you’re a leader of the women’s ministry—there you go again, there’s another place where you are targeted.

I think what happens is we have jealousy and envy of one another.

Nancy: And it’s not just among women who are leaders.

Dr. Ellen: No.

Nancy: It can just be any . . . I mean, going back to Philippians, Euodia and Syntyche . . .

Dr. Ellen: “Please tell them to stop it.”

Nancy: Right! “Tell them to get along with each other.”

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: What breeds division and contention in women’s relationships?

Dr. Ellen: I think it’s disunity. The Bible speaks of being unified with one another, and I think we have a lot of selfish ambition. We have jealousy and envy and all these other desires, and then we are intimidated. Sometimes I say it’s like crabs in a barrel with women. We don’t want each other to rise, so we keep pulling each other down.

Nancy: Oh, that’s vivid!

Dr. Ellen: Yes. We will not let each other get to a level where God is using us mightily. You let one get to the top, and, “We’re going to start a fire and see how quickly we can bring her down.” It’s horrible.

Nancy: And in the process, we’re bringing ourselves down, bringing all of us down.

Dr. Ellen: And the glory of God. What are we saying about the glory of God?

Nancy: And you can see why people who don’t have Jesus wouldn’t be able to get along with each other. But when it’s in the church, it’s, like, missing what the gospel looks like in relationships.

Dr. Ellen: Yes. We function from a world system instead of a biblical system. So instead of me coming to you one-on-one if I have an something against you, which is how the Bible tells us to do that, I go write it on social media and tell the world that I have a problem with you.

Nancy: Oh, now you’re meddling!

Dr. Ellen: Well, how does that solve anything? That is not how that’s going to help. And so what I keep saying to the ladies in the church is, “If you really do have a concern—first, check your preferences because the issue may not be a sin. It may be just you’d rather her do something in a way she didn’t do it.”

Nancy: That’s true in marriage. I mean, any relationship.

Dr. Ellen: That’s true everywhere.

Nancy: Check your preferences.

Dr. Ellen: I’ve been married twenty-two years, and I tell you what, God’s still telling me, “Toilet paper—it’s okay for it to go this way!”

Nancy: Really?

Dr. Ellen: It’s okay. That took years to clear up in my head.

Nancy: You mean there’s more than one way to load a dishwasher, too?

Dr. Ellen: There’s more than one way to close that cabinet.

It’s tough, and so I just try to remind the ladies in my church, “Hey, first of all, check yourself. Find out if you’re really too sensitive, you’re just in love with you, and you want everybody to be in as love with you as you are. And then if there’s really a real issue, then take it to the person. Don’t bring it to me. Let’s not gossip.”

I love the way my husband has taught me to shut down gossip. If a lady comes to me about gossip and she says, “Oh, I had a problem with so-and-so.” I’ll say, “Oh, hold on. Hey, so-and-so, come on in here.”

Nancy: I think she’d want to know about this.

Dr. Ellen: It shuts it down so fast. But that’s the way we need to handle it.

Nancy: We need to go to the person.

Dr. Ellen: Yes, go to the person.

Nancy: I was involved in a church when I was in college where the pastoral staff—it was a large church, and there were a lot of different pastors—and they had a mutual, non-negotiable commitment to each other. If someone came to them wanting to talk about one of the other pastors, they would do what you just said. And they would say, “I’m sure pastor so-and-so would want to know what’s on your heart, so do you mind if I just pick up the phone and call him?”

Boy, you’re not going to say something critical to one of those pastors. They’re going to have each other’s back. They’re going to support each other. Shouldn’t it be that way in our families and in the family of God?

Dr. Ellen: It brings it down, but it still exists.

I am taking my women’s leadership team through a book called Leading Women Who Wound, because we had a situation last year, and I don’t think they were equipped to handle it. So I told them, “This is my fault. I think I didn’t prepare you for real-life ministry where this happens.” So I’m going to walk them through what happens.

It’s because you have different levels of maturity that come through the door. And, you know, hurt people hurt. We need to recognize when there’s a hurt in an individual that’s coming through the door and how to handle that biblically.

Nancy: And in such a way that we’re seeking their restoration, not just seeking to be right or to be heard.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: But you’re right. With all the woundedness and people dealing with just multiple generations of abuse, of sexual promiscuity, of sins against them, of broken families, and not being parented, and being abandoned, you bring all of that into adulthood. Then you walk in the church, and you think all of a sudden you’re going to be this mature Christian woman—you’re not!

But we need the relationships of grace that are willing to make space and room for . . . I’m on a thread with a number of women—a text thread—who just come from all different backgrounds. At any given point, at least a few of us have something major going on in our lives, and sometimes it’s really messy.

I was following that thread this morning, and there’s one of our sisters in that group who is just . . . actually, there are two who are experiencing . . . well, now that I think about it, there are four of them. They’re all very different stories, but they’re all dealing with . . . One just lost her dad, and it was a long, hard, slow death. Another is dealing with some baggage from her past. Another with a major illness in her family.

These things are hard, but I love how they come around each other, and they pick each other up. One’s saying, “Can we send flowers to so-and-so today?” And they’re writing out their prayers for each other. There’s just a spirit to say, “How can we lift up this sister and these sisters?” Because if you’re not the one hurting today, you are going to be around the corner, and you’re going to want these women doing that for you.

Dr. Ellen: Exactly.

Nancy: But that’s kind of the mindset of: We are a family. We need each other. We need the Lord. And we’re not going to stab each other.

Dr. Ellen: That’s right.

Nancy: We have differences in this group, as in any group—as in my marriage and yours. So we aren’t saying there aren’t differences.

Dr. Ellen: Right.

Nancy: We’re saying we’re going to love each other well. We’re going to protect each other. We’re going to help each other become all God wants us to be.

Dr. Ellen: Yes. And can we embrace the differences?

Nancy: Yes.

Dr. Ellen: Does everyone have to be as clean and shiny as you think they should be? Can we accept one another as God is sanctifying us? Understanding no one is ever going to be perfect. But when we enter those relationships, just embracing that, there’s going to be some perfections there. We’re going to get a little scratchy. It’s okay.

Nancy: And isn’t it pride that causes me to think you’re the one who’s got all this stuff, all the rough edges, and me, I’m the mature one?

Dr. Ellen: That’s right.

Nancy: We put everybody else’s faults under a microscope, and put ours under a telescope.

Dr. Ellen: Yes!

Nancy: That’s pride, right?

Dr. Ellen: Yes. Isn’t that “the log in the eye” versus “the speck”?

Nancy: Exactly.

Dr. Ellen: And we can’t see, but we keep knocking people down with the log? But we don’t see it.

I think you mentioned bringing all this baggage to the church. A lot of us have been taught things that are untrue. This is why I’ve used your book, Lies Women Believe, because we believe so much stuff that’s just not true.

First, we need to get them in the kingdom—right? Give them the gospel, get them saved. It’s the Lord that saves them. Then get them in the church, and then we can start saying, “Okay, I know what you’ve been taught. I know what you thought. I know what maybe Mama or Grandma or someone says, but can I just show you where that may not be truth?” And they’re set free!

Nancy: And that’s a process, it’s a lengthy process.

Dr. Ellen: A long process!

Nancy: And we all need it in our lives.

Dr. Ellen: Yes.

Nancy: We need to be on the giving and receiving end of that.

Dr. Ellen: One did it for me.

Nancy: Someone’s done it for me, and they keep doing it.

Dr. Ellen: That’s right.

Nancy: And we’ve run out of time on this conversation. It went so fast. But I want to bring you back on the next program. We have the honor of sitting with a wise woman here, and I want to just hear some more of your wisdom, and thinking. I want to go to that verse in Proverbs 14 about a wise woman versus a foolish woman.

Dr. Ellen: Okay. Yes.

Nancy: And the difference in the way our lives impact others. So when we come back on Revive Our Hearts, we’ll be hearing from Dr. Venessa Ellen.

Dr. Ellen: Thank you so much.

Dannah: Those are some wise words from some wise mentors: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Dr. Venessa Ellen.

Their conversation is part of our month-long series on practical wisdom for life, here in July.

So, do you want to be wise? James tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

I’ve actually been reciting that verse this month and begging God to give generously. We sure do need wisdom in these difficult days, but what a sweet reminder God loves to give it—and generously!

Now, we see His wisdom in the written word, the Bible, and in the living Word, Jesus, who was wisdom in the flesh. So any wisdom not directly based on God’s Word, in conformity to the Spirit of Jesus, is not godly true wisdom. That’s why we have to be careful to measure everything against the standard of Scriptures.

Well, Mark DeMoss has done that so beautifully in his book, The Little Red Book of Wisdom. I’ve mentioned before that it’s a favorite around the Gresh home. And, yes, it does line up with the Word of God.

This month, you can have a copy of The Little Red Book of Wisdom when you give a gift of any amount to support the work of Revive Our Hearts. It’s our way of thanking you for your donation.

Simply ask for the book on wisdom when you contact us to give. To do that, just visit, or call us at 1–800–569–5959.

Now, do me a favor: Can you picture a crane? You know, that’s a big machine with a variety of uses. It can lift heavy things and speed up the construction of tall buildings. Or, if it has a wrecking ball suspended from it, that crane can be used in demolition work.

Tomorrow we’re going to think about how our “cranes” are being used: to build up, or to tear down? Dr. Venessa Ellen will be back to help us discern the difference. Thanks for joining us today, and please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Pointing you to your Bible, Revive Our Hearts, with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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About the Teachers

Dr. Venessa Ellen

Dr. Venessa Ellen

Dr. Ellen serves as the Chair and Program Coordinator of the Women’s Ministry Department at the College of Biblical Studies where she teaches, counsels, trains and mentors women. For more than 23 year
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.