Friday, October 12, 2012

My Wife...the Writer and Speaker

From knowing my sweetheart as far back as our college days at Moody Bible Institute, I've known she likes to write.  If I have to admit it, she may have helped me on a paper or two or three:-)  I remember her actually signing up for the classes where she knew the profs assigned large essay papers.  And I wonder why we hardly had class together but came out with the same Bible Theology degree.
Throughout the years there have been small opportunities for her to use this gift for writing, but lately I see more and more larger ones presenting themselves.
Within the last two years she's written for our fellowship of churches women's magazine Spectrum, Jill Briscoe's magazine for women: Just Between Us, and most recently for Life Way's ParentLife Magazine.  This last one is the most exciting because it came through her sending the publishers at Life Way the manuscript she wrote for a women's Bible study in the book of Jeremiah.  You might ask yourself, how is the book of Jeremiah relevant in the life of a woman in 2012?  You'd be amazed how many practical applications can be made!  If you ask Melissa, she'd tell you Jeremiah is the book for our time.  
So one of Life's Way's top editors got his hands on Melissa's Jeremiah study and a dialogue between them began.  It's been almost two years now and she has written and re-written the entire study, tweaking, sharpening and making it more applicable to the reader.  
What's newer in her life is speaking; specifically to groups of women.  Now I've always known her to lead women's Bible studies, teach in Sunday school classes and large groups of students.  She's especially passionate about speaking to middle schoolers.  But through her research, writing, and leading a women's Bible study in the book of Jeremiah, a desire to publicly speak has emerged.  
After receiving her Jeremiah study, Life Way asked Melissa to send them a video of her teaching the material.  At first she wasn't excited to do this but after a few weeks of prayer and an amazing connection made with a video production company, she decided to move ahead.  Sending an e-mail to friends and neighbors back in January of this year, she took her first major step in speaking the message God placed in her heart.  85 women were there in the basement of the church that sent us to plant Encounter.
It was so fun for me to see her in action.  I even got to be one of the three cameramen in the room:-)  To view a 10 minute YouTube clip from her message CLICK HERE.
So now while we wait to see what Life Way will do with her Jeremiah study, over 2,800 people have viewed her video and she has a dozen speaking engagements lined up over the next 12 months. 
Only God knows how He will use the message He's placed in my wife's life out of the book of Jeremiah, but this husband is excited about the possibilities!

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