This book is a detailed journey with Joshua as he led the Israelites into possessing the Promised Land. It is an eleven week study beginning with God's promises and ending with their blessed fulfillment.
Mindy Ferguson certainly does her homework when it comes to teaching God's Word. Throughout the book, she points out how much God was involved in leading the Israelites, and how involved He is in leading His children through their every day lives. She even takes us through a Spiritual Boot Camp, so to speak, as a two-week break mid way to help readers secure their faith and be certain how they can protect themselves in the coming battles. For me, at the end of each day's study there was a longing for more of God's word and His working in my life. Mindy covered all the basics of how to live a life in God's promises: Trust God, obey Him, and have faith that He is both true to His word and faithful.
The Word goes deeper when Mindy gives the reader insight into the original translations of many words, making it easier to understand the real meat behind the truth. She makes things plain. Nothing is sugar coated. It is simply the truth. The reader is asked many heart wrenching, soul-searching questions--the kinds that only bring out the truth we often hide from. So many times, as I went through this study, I felt like we were having a discussion over tea about God's Word and how it can be more deeply rooted in my own life. It is rich in application, and filled with encouragement for everyone longing to dig deeper in her walk with God.
The five studies per week usually took me between 15 and 20 minutes each day, and God's Word came alive. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves the Lord and wants to know Him in a more intimate and personal way. The study is geared toward women, but I am confident that any man could glean from the thought provoking questions and discussions provided in this study of the book of Joshua.
Thank you so very much, Mindy, for being obedient to God's call in your life. I am a soul blessed by yours. If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you a few questions.
How did you come to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and how does He continue to impact your life today?
When your life isn’t working, you know it. At the age of twenty-six my marriage was falling apart, I was drinking heavily, and I was struggling to be a good mommy for my son who was eighteen months old at the time. Desperate for change, I got down on my knees before God and asked Him to help me and show me the purpose for which I was created. Just a few weeks later, my husband, Mark, and I were invited to a conference with a church service on the agenda. We responded to the invitation and both made Jesus the Lord of our lives that day.
Jesus has transformed, and continues to transform, every area of my life. Mark and I have now been married twenty-three years. We are happy and both are serving Christ. We now have two incredible children - our son is in college and our daughter is in high school. We haven’t been perfect parents, but God has guided for us and provided for us as we’ve raised our children. I lean on God daily and trust Him to keep redeeming my mistakes, transforming my weaknesses, and working in me to make me more like Jesus.
How did God lead you into this opportunity to encourage and empower women through His Word?
God used His Word to transform my life. I have been a joyfully diligent Bible student ever since the morning that I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I’ve always been excited to share what God teaches me through His Word. After a health challenge in 1999, I sensed God prompting me to write down the lessons He was teaching me. Those lessons became the Bible study, Walking with God: From Slavery to Freedom; Living the Promised Life.
After teaching the study at the church we were attending at that time, other churches began to ask me to come and teach it. I eventually added weekly lectures to the written lessons. It was a gradual progression in ministry. God eventually nudged me into speaking at retreats and conferences. Today I enjoy serving Him through writing and speaking regularly. Every day is an adventure and I’m thoroughly enjoying the journey.
How has this ministry changed and challenged you in your faith?
I consider serving God in full-time ministry an incredible privilege and tremendous responsibility. Because of my past mistakes, I’ve often felt unworthy. I’m an introvert by nature, so being up front in a speaking role was not something I felt comfortable with or aspired to do. But I leaned on God and allowed Him stretch and mold me all along the way. I’m still growing and stretching, but I’ve learned to be adventurously expectant when God calls me to serve Him, whatever that entails. It’s my experience that when God calls us, He equips and empowers us to do and be far more than we could ever do or be on our own. I’ve been changed and challenged every step of the way and I take confidence in this, that he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). And He will do the same for you!
What brought out your desire to write your latest book? The Women in Jesus’ Life?
I taught an evening women’s Bible class for about seven years. Most of the women worked and I noticed that they often struggled to finish their homework when we did in-depth Bible studies that required a lot of Bible reading and questions. I also noticed that the majority of the women felt like they couldn’t measure up to all of the expectations or meet the many needs of their families, employers, and friends. It was clear to me that a study with a lighter amount of homework that emphasized the depth of Jesus’ love for them was needed. As I prayed about that need, my attention was drawn to the compassionate and loving way Jesus treated the women He encountered during His life and ministry. Inspired, I wrote The Women in Jesus’ Life for the women in my class. I found the lessons generated rich, open discussion. Women came to class each week feeling affirmed and encouraged, anxious to share how they related to the women they had studied during the week. It was a special time with a special group of women.
How was writing this book different from writing your first in-depth Bible study?
Walking with God took me 11 months to write and the research was extensive. I wrote with a friend reading my lessons, providing feedback. It wasn’t until the study was completed that I began to teach it.
The Women in Jesus’ Life was written in six weeks. I wrote the lessons each week and handed them out to my women’s class as I wrote. I still researched the culture and spent a lot of time with my face in commentaries, but the emphasis for The Women in Jesus’ Life is application and encouragement.
Both studies engage the mind and also stir the heart. They both help women dig in God’s Word for themselves. Both studies enable participants to grow in their knowledge of God’s Word and their intimacy with Christ.
Participants in the Walking with God Bible study will gain knowledge of both Old Testament and New Testament principles and gain a better understanding of God’s divine plan for the salvation of His people. Those who do The Women in Jesus’ Life will gain a greater understanding of the compassionate and merciful nature of our Savior.What Scripture verse or passage have you found your greatest encouragement and strength through?
Wow, it’s difficult to only list one verse because I gain encouragement from many, but if I have to list one passage, I would say,
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9 NIV).
Can we expect to see more books from you in the near future?
I’ve written another in-depth Bible study on the Apostle Peter that is not yet published. We’ll see what God has planned for that material. I am also working on a book, similar to Hugs Bible Reflections for Women, which I was fortunate enough to have published by Simon & Schuster last year. I’ll be talking to a publisher about that project later this year.
How can readers contact you?
You can contact me through my website: www.FruitfulWord.org, through the ministry’s facebook page, or I am also on Twitter www.Twitter/FergusonMindy.
Thank you again, Mindy. We anticipate more studies from you, if God opens the publishing doors.
Publisher: Hensley Publishing
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PS: You can also check out Mindy’s blog: http://www.mindyferguson.blogspot.com/