Revive Our Hearts Radio

The Power of a Mother's Courage

Leslie Basham: It seems like every time there’s a True Woman conference, those attending are in for a surprise. They hear the in-depth Bible teaching they expect. But then there are powerful impromptu moments . . . like at True Woman '10. A group of ladies stood out because of some messages on their shirts.

Bob Lepine: All right. I want to introduce you to some amazing women.

Leslie: Emcee Bob Lepine brought them up to the platform the second night of the conference.

Bob: Just step right up here. Some of you have seen some of these gals. (applause)

Leslie: As the ladies stepped to the front, the audience could see that each of them had a name printed on the front of their shirt.

Nyasha: My shirt is Ex-Coward.

Bob: And you are?

Bryn: Ex-Diva

Bob: And your tee-shirt?

Amy: Ex-Hypocrite

Bob: And, Shanell, you are an . . .?

Shanell: Ex-Idolater

Bob: An ex-idolater! And you are?

Marie: I’m an Ex-Narcissist.

Bob: And you are?

Catherine: An Ex-Abortionist (applause)

Leslie: The group had traveled from Los Angeles, led by their women’s ministry leader Santoria Bell. She explained why these ladies were so open about their past sins.

Santoria Bell: It was just kind of our stance to break the silence.

Leslie: And to boldly proclaim good news.

Santoria: Christ heals; He delivers; He sets free. (applause)

Christ heals; He delivers; He sets free.

Leslie: We’re about to hear more of these stories from an ex-diva, ex-hypocrite, ex-idolater, and the rest. Even though it doesn’t look like it on the surface, you’ll also find out why these stories are perfect for Mother’s Day weekend.

This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Friday, May 6, 2016.

Nancy DeMoss WolgemuthWith Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, we have a treat for you. We’ll hear about some of the things God’s been doing among a church women’s group in Los Angeles. And then we’ll find out how some praying moms have affected the group in LA behind the scenes, on their knees. Let’s listen.

Leslie: To begin this story, we’re going to hear more from this group of ladies who publically proclaim what their lives were like before Jesus changed them. If you have young children at home, you might want to get them busy doing something else. There’s nothing graphic coming, but you’ll hear an honest account of some of these ladies’ lifestyles before God changed their hearts. That change inspired their unique line of clothing.

Santoria: So we have a line called “The Ex Line.”

Leslie: Again, this is Santoria who provides leadership to these women at their church.

Santoria: There are “Ex” shirts. So Ex-Hypocrite is the one I’m wearing today. We have one called Ex-Liar, Ex-Doubter, Ex-Pharisee. So it’s really just our testimonies on a tee-shirt with one line. We really started that to break the silence, to take a stand for Jesus in a world that’s so against Him, and they’re blatant about it. So we were like, “Let’s wear tee-shirts that’s got our testimony.” We’re declaring the victory we have in Jesus.

Perhaps as well, it would start conversations and open up witnessing opportunities. I have to say, it’s opened a lot of opportunities because I think, one, people are shocked that we’re wearing the shirt, and then, two, they want to understand what the is the significance behind the shirt.

Leslie: Santoria brought a group of ladies from her church to the True Woman in 2010. A young woman named Marie was one of them.

Bob: And you are?

Marie: I’m an Ex-Narcissist.

Bob: Really?

Marie: Yes.

Bob: You really used to think you were all that?

Marie: Yes, all that. I thought the whole world pretty much revolved around me.

Leslie: Our team caught up with Marie to get more of her story.

Marie: Basically, before Christ I was really just very, very self-consumed. I bought into the lies of this world where in order to love others you have to love yourself first—just looking out for me, looking out for number one. There was nothing good in me to be looking at me. I was nothing but a liar, a fornicator, someone who was a big hypocrite that did nothing but tell lies and wore masks and catered to whatever people wanted because I wanted that attention. I wanted that approval from others.

Bob: And what do you know now?

Marie: It’s all about Christ.

Bob: Come on—yeah! (applause)

Marie: In Christ, that old person is dead, and now I can actually be righteous through the sacrifice of Christ and have a relationship with God and know that anything that is good will come from Him.

Leslie: The ladies at True Woman also heard from a woman named Shanell.

Bob: And, Shanell, you are an . . .?

Shanell: Ex-Idolater.

Bob: An ex-idolater?

Leslie: Our team caught up with Shanell as well.

Shanell: Oh, man. I idolized self all day long. I come from a background where there is just a lot of pride and selfishness in my family. I just thank God that He delivered me from pride, delivered me from thinking I had to do it my way, loving God with lip service. God just broke my heart and said, “Hey, you cannot do it without Me.” I’m nobody without Him, and I just thank God for that. So I no longer idolize self. I no longer idolize sin, clubs, drinking, smoking, all that.

Bob: And you’re free of that?

Shanell: Free!

Bob: Thank You, Lord, for that! (applause and cheering)

Leslie: Another woman in this group, Amy, wore a shirt that read Ex-Hypocrite.

Amy: I went to Christian private school right from Kindergarten to fifth grade. I professed to know the Lord, and I knew all the right things to do. I had rules, made straight A’s. My skirt was below my knee, no boyfriends. I had all the rules, but when I went to college, the one thing I had desired was to experiment with sex. It was like, “I want to do this, but I know the Bible says I shouldn’t.” But I said, “Well, you know what? The Bible isn’t true. Right now it doesn’t apply to me. So I’m going to do what I want to do.”

I said I knew God, but it was only when it was convenient for me. The Bible says that we say we know God with our lips, but our hearts are so far from Him, and that’s how I was. You couldn’t tell me I was not a Christian. And going into college, I came into college as a virgin, but there I had sex with over twenty guys, pornography and masturbation, homosexuality. I was in an abusive relationship which lasted for three years, abortions. But through that whole time, I went to church.

Christ died to save me from sin, and He hates it so much. It’s like, “You have to choose Me or your sin. You can’t be lukewarm.” It says He spits out the lukewarm. So there came a point where I just truly surrendered my life to Him and saw that my works didn’t matter to Him. So I gave my life to Him and began to life a life that was worthy of Him through the Holy Spirit.

Leslie: We also talked with a young woman named Catherine.

Catherine: My shirt says Ex-Abortionist.

Bob: Yeah. (applause and cheers)

Leslie: The message on that shirt made a big impression on Bob Lepine when he talked with Catherine on stage at the True Woman conference.

Bob: Sister, I have to tell you, I saw this, and I thought, That’s a hard shirt to wear. I mean, it’s not hard to be Ex, but to know that that’s a part of what you’re putting away in the background.

Catherine: While I was in the world, I had three abortions. It’s a way of me sharing how God does and can forgive the things that we’ve done in the past. It’s been such an awesome to stand and say, “I know I’ve committed murder, but my Savior died for murderers.” He died for me, and He has forgiven me, and there’s forgiveness and grace in Jesus Christ if we repent of our sins and turn from our actions.

Leslie: Our team talked with women wearing shirts that said Ex-Abortionist, Ex-Hypocrite, and Ex-Idolater. Our team also talked with a woman named Nyasha.

Nyasha: Today, I’m actually wearing a shirt called Ex-Coward. Before I came to the faith, and even after coming to Christ, I really dealt a lot with the fear of man. I was really almost frozen, for a lack of a better word, just by people’s opinions of me. I was afraid when I came to the faith to share my faith, to witness to other people about the Lord. Through Christ I’m consistently pushed past that, and I really hold on to verses that the Lord is with me, and I’m really going to do whatever He asks me to do. I’m not going to be a coward anymore.

Leslie: Nyasha doesn’t only wear an Ex-Coward shirt. She has another shirt that gets a lot of attention.

Nyasha: I have a shirt called Ex-Slave. I think the irony in that one is that I’m an African-American female. So when most people see the word slave, they’re thinking, like, Wow! You need to get over that. Slavery was a long time ago. Or I’ll get people that maybe are more into Afro-centric history, and they’ll just give me the fist and say, “Right on, sister! That’s awesome!”

The Ex-Slave shirt I still really wear because before coming to the Lord, I was in so much bondage to sin, so much bondage to lust, pride, pornography, masturbation. I even, after going to college as a virgin, I graduated after being promiscuous with many men and even ventured into homosexuality. So the Lord just really delivered me from so much. I was such a slave to so many sins, and I never thought I could be free.

Even ministries like Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s have really helped me to know that God has the power to deliver you no matter what sin that you could have bondage to, and that He will really revive your heart.

  • I never thought that I could have new desires.
  • I never thought that I could have a heart that really wanted to serve the Lord.
  • I never thought that I would no longer be enslaved to my lusts.
  • I never thought that I couldn’t no longer have the power to say no to my sin.
  • Through being strengthened by God’s Word and the truth, my mind has been renewed.

Bob: When I met these ladies earlier, I said, “Listen, every one of us could wear a tee-shirt.” Couldn’t we? We’re all Ex-somethings. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. The old is passed away; all things are new (see 2 Cor. 5:17).

Leslie: We’ve been hearing stories of a group of women from Los Angeles. These ladies share very honestly about their past using shirts with messages like Ex-Slave, Ex-Abortionist, Ex-Diva. Santoria and the rest of these women from her church wear these shirts as conversation starter so they can tell others about the new lives they have in Christ.

Now, we told you earlier that we wanted to air this story right before Mother’s Day weekend. So we need to tell you about a couple of women who joined this group on stage at the True Woman conference. The first woman was named Lorraine.

Bob: One of these girls is your daughter, right?

Lorraine: Correct.

Bob: Who’s your daughter?

Lorraine: Santoria.

Bob: You did good!

Lorraine: Praise God!

Bob: You are?

Wan Jean: I’m the grandmother.

Bob: The grandmother! (applause and cheering) We’ve got three generations of true women right here, don’t we?!

Leslie: Santoria’s mother and grandmother live over 2,000 miles from where Santoria ministers in Los Angeles, but they met up with Santoria for True Woman in Indianapolis. When our team began interviewing these women from LA whose lives have been transformed, Santoria’s mother and grandmother were hearing these stories as well. It was a chance to see what God was doing through Santoria, and it was a real answer to prayer.

Wan Jean: I tell you, my heart is just full!

Leslie: This is Wan Jean; Santoria’s grandmother. She’s reflecting on the investments Santoria and the leadership team is making in California.

Wan Jean: I’m just so thankful and so grateful to God for these women that followed the vision God gave them that they were able to reach out and touch lives of hurting young women who needed that touch. I’m just so grateful for it.

Leslie: Before heading to LA, Santoria had to sacrifice her plans and say, “Yes, Lord.” Her grandmother knows what that kind of decision is like. This mother of ten children sensed a calling of the Lord in 1976.

Wan Jean: I was working at a place where I was making really good money, but He told me to leave that job. He told me to go home and be a mother to my children, and what I could give them spiritually would be worth more than I could make on that job financially.

Lorraine: My mother has always been what we call the epitome of the virtuous woman. 

Leslie: This is Lorraine, daughter of Wan Jean, mother of Santoria. She compares her mom to the woman described in Proverbs 31.

Lorraine: When you read that Scripture, you identify her to the letter. For her, her family and her children were so much more important to her than any material thing that she could gain.

Wan Jean: It’s just an investment because our children are our greatest asset, and what you invest into them, in the end you’ll get a return on that investment.

Lorraine: We had Bible study in our house. We studied our Sunday school lessons together as a family. There was no question about that. We had prayer together at home as a family.

Leslie: When these ten children started having kids of their own, Wan Jean continued a lifestyle of prayer. Here’s Santoria.

Santoria: She would write our names near Scriptures and read the Scriptures every day for our entire family—that’s the children and grandchildren.

Wan Jean: Colossians—the first chapter, verses 9–13.

Santoria: She would read our names in the prayers of these Scriptures.

Wan Jean: “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, [and I would put their name there] we have not stopped praying for you [and a name would go there]. We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding . . . [and we pray this in order that] you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in ever way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, and being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to God the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves” (NIV).

That was our prayer for the family.

Lorraine: And when I was raising my children, Santoria—they would sometimes get mad because I would make them, in the mornings read their Scriptures. Before school, they had to read a Scripture, and then they had to tell me what they gained from that Scripture before they started their day.

Leslie: Lorraine not only learned to value God’s Word from her mother’s example, she also learned to open her home and show hospitality—especially to Santoria’s friends.

Lorraine: They’ve always been at my house, and I know I got that from my mom and my dad. It was just passed down to us because our house was always open to any and everybody that had a need. So we were taught to share; we were taught to love.

Leslie: This made a huge difference in the life of a young lady named Bryn.

Bryn: I’m really moved by the power of God in what we’re talking about and the three generations here. Santoria and I went to high school together.

Leslie: Bryn grew up in a very difficult family situation, and she always knew she’d be welcomed in Lorraine’s home.

Bryn: It was just a place of rest for me and a place of peace.

Leslie: Bryn eventually headed out to California and is now a part of the ministry that Santoria heads up.

Bob: And you are?

Bryn: Ex-Diva. I grew up in a house where I didn’t know God or know the Lord, but when God allowed me and Santoria to become friends, it was through this family that I even found out who God was. I went to church through them and began to know the Lord for myself. Though there were many dark years where I really hadn’t made the commitment in my heart, that seed did not depart. Today I can say I have a walk with the Lord, but it’s because of this family.

They introduced me to the knowledge of God. So I just wanted to say thank you for taking me in during the times it was very dark with my mother. I just wanted to say thank you so much for being such a huge role in my life. The things that took place so long ago are eternal because it has all worked out for a plan and in God’s perfect will. I just want to thank all of you—Lorraine and Wan Jean and Santoria. I love you.

Leslie: As you can hear, our team set out to interview women with shirts with messages like Ex-Diva, but this interview turned into something else. It was a chance for young ladies to honor the older women who had come before them, thanking them for planting seeds that are now bearing fruit.

Woman 1: I, myself, am a product of what her grandmother has done in ’76, when she decided to give her life doing the work of raising children unto God.

Woman 2: Because we live in a generation of independent women, you’re not taught to put your family first. So to see her do that, and the fruit of it . . . Being with Santoria is a product of that.

Woman 1: A lot of my walk today has been really watching her, and to hear that that began generations ago with her grandmother praying and setting that example and deciding to focus on her family, the fruit that’s come forth from that, three generations later, has really been a blessing. It has affected my life.

Woman 2: It inspires me as a young woman to want to do the same thing and to be counter-cultural—not to go with what everyone else is doing.

Wan Jean: That has been my prayer down through the years, that my children and my grandchildren would give their lives to the Lord and be used by Him, and He kept His Word, and I thank Him.

Lorraine: She put those seeds in us, not only to teach us but to show us by example.

Wan Jean: I don’t think I could have gotten a greater return. God is so good

Nancy: What a beautiful account of the power of a mother’s influence! If you’re a mom and you sometimes wonder whether your sacrifices are really making a difference, I hope you’ll remember what you heard today.

We’ve been reminded of how important it is to pass the baton of faith on to the next generation. Each of us as women have a sphere of influence just like the grandmother and mother we just heard about. So ask yourself the question: Am I making investments that could pay off for generations to come? I know I want that to be true of my life!

Today’s story also makes me really thankful for my mom and the sacrifices that she made as a young mom with seven children. I’m thankful, too, for other women who have invested in my life over the years.

I hope you’ll take some time this weekend to think about the women who have really made a difference in your life and to thank them for their influence.

Leslie: I hope you’ll take that advice from Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth this weekend and bless the women who have influenced you.

We’ve been able to bring you today’s story of these three generations of faithful women thanks to listeners who support Revive Our Hearts financially. When you give to the ministry, you’re helping us speak to Nyasha, one of the women we heard from today. She listens to Revive Our Hearts via the daily podcast.

Nyasha: Well, I don’t think I could imagine not having Revive Our Hearts ministry in my life and in my walk. God has been so faithful to me to just change me. I’m just so grateful for Nancy and for this ministry because I really know that Satan was planning to destroy me, but through God’s grace and a ministry like this, I know that I have an opportunity to really be the woman that God called me to be.

Leslie: There are a lot of young women like Nyasha. They never saw biblical womanhood lived out, and Revive Our Hearts is showing them how to become the women they were designed to be. We can’t speak to women like her without the support of our listeners.

Nancy: And Leslie, I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak to this precious young woman and countless others just like her. The reason we could help disciple Nyasha is thanks to listeners like you have given to support Revive Our Hearts financially. May is the end of our fiscal year. That’s when we wrap up one annual budget and get ready to start a new one. It’s important to end this fiscal year healthy to prepare for the summer when we usually see a drop in donations.

When you support Revive Our Hearts this month with a gift of any size, we’ll say thanks by sending you a CD that my husband and I have listened to over and over. It’s called Love Divine by Jan Mulder. Here’s a sample . . .

As a transcript reader, your gift will be doubled as part of a matching challenge this month. Some friends of the ministry know how much some people appreciate reading the daily Revive Our Hearts message. To keep this resource coming each weekday, would you support the ministry with your gift?

Visit a special site for transcript readers to make your donation and have it doubled! That web address is ReviveOurHearts.com/donate/transcript. Ask for Love Divine when you make your donation. You can also call 1–800–569–5959. Thanks so much for your support for such a time as this. 

Leslie: Do you ever feel powerless to do what God’s called you to do? Listen to what Nancy said to a group of women’s ministry leaders not long ago.

Nancy: I believe we have today, in the church, men and women ministering in a host of different ways, doing God-ordained tasks, being called and set apart by God to serve Him, but doing it without a conscious sense of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. And what we get is words. We get tasks. But we don't get the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

Leslie: We will hear more from that powerful message starting Monday. Learn how to do what God has called you to do through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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