"The moment the word 'why' crosses your lips, you are doing theology."
—When Life & Beliefs Collide                

Monday, July 21, 2014

Not Where You Might Expect to Find Me

Inside a flowered book jacket ... on a LifeWay bookstore shelf ... tucked snuggly into the Women of Faith Bible study series?

Yup. That's me.

And despite what you might think, Understanding Purpose is not out of step with the four other books I've written (which, by the way LifeWay also carries), but is perfectly aligned with everything else I've written.

Here's the backstory.

Right in the middle of writing Lost Women of the Bible, I got a call from Mary Graham, President of Women of Faith. She had heard about my work through a mutual friend, Judy Nelson Lewis, and wondered if I'd write a volume on a woman's purpose for their Bible study series. Well aware that the WOF audience is wildly diverse, she wanted a study that was inclusive of every woman and young girl their ministry touched.

She said she hadn't read my book (only When Life and Beliefs Collide was out at the time), but her best friend had read it. Mary had browsed parts her friend had highlighted, and that prompted the phone call.

This would be a rush project and would mean temporarily suspending progress on Lost Women of the Bible. But it opened the door for me to gets the ezer message and the Genesis vision to a whole new audience of women.

It was an opportunity I couldn't resist.

The study is designed for use in small groups. But occasionally I hear from someone who is using it differently.

For example, a mom wanted me to know that she and her teenage daughter who was away at college—just the two of them—were doing the study together long distance. The study was generating some very interesting phone conversations between them on topics they otherwise might not have discussed.

Then, just recently, I received the encouraging note below from a friend who is working through the study by herself after reading my four other books.  She wrote,

"I am going through your Understanding Purpose book right now. It is BRILLIANT! I feel like I’ve been able to learn and absorb in three different ways these ideas you’re communicating:
   1) reading your books
   2) hearing you speak
   3) and now as a personal Bible study through this book
I'm enjoying this time with the Lord as I reflect on all these verses in my time with Him and think about his purposes for me! And talk with him about it!! And the outline in the book is brilliantly helpful to me in sort of visualizing a framework of the whole idea of purpose.

So I am LOVING that. And what a fantastic study this book would be for a small group!"

—Libby Cannizzaro
Women's Ministry Coordinator
The Falls Church Anglican
Falls Church, Virginia


So if you're looking for a Bible study to do on your own, with a friend, or in a study group, I hope you'll consider Understanding Purpose.  The Table of Contents is below.



Introduction—Does One Size Really Fit All?

Finding My Purpose . . . 
     Chapter 1     In a Broken World
     Chapter 2     With a Little Help from Oprah
     Chapter 3     As A Daughter of Eve
     Chapter 4     On God’s A-Team

Pursuing My Purpose . . . 
     Chapter 5     At the Feet of Rabbi Jesus
     Chapter 6     In the Trenches
     Chapter 7     On the Frontlines
     Chapter 8     Behind the Scenes

Living My Purpose . . . 
     Chapter 9     In the Home
     Chapter 10   In the Church
     Chapter 11   In the World
     Chapter 12   Awakening the Warrior in Me

3 comments:

jodi said...

Carolyn, I'm going to follow suit along with Libby. I've read your books and heard you speak, so this is now a must for me. This couldn't be more timely for me as I have been reading other books on finding my strengths and purpose. Can't wait to dig in! I trust you are still growing stronger each day. Thank God for that! Much love and continued prayers for progress in your recovery.

Alison Ingersoll said...

I led this with a small group of women at my church a couple of years ago. I loved having a way to share the ideas from "When Life and Beliefs Collide" in a small group setting, especially since the book has impacted me so much.

REAL Women Ministry said...

I get curriculum through LifeWay all the time, but I completely overlooked this as one of your writings. Maybe it was the flowery cover? :) I will definitely be checking it out, especially since your other books have had such a tremendous impact on me and my ministry to women. Thank you!