Every year since Tony Reinke introduced his Isaiah Christmas online reading club, I’ve taken up reading the wonderful book through the month of December. This year is no different. Although I’m terrible at remembering to use the hashtag associated with it, you can follow along via Twitter (and possibly Facebook) following the hashtag #IsaiahChristmas. And by all means, join us!
You can learn more about it and download the Isaiah Christmas reading plan here: https://tonyreinke.com/2019/11/20/isaiahchristmas-2019/.
There’s so many wonderful Advent books and studies. If you aren’t going to join us in reading through the book of Isaiah, I’d love to know what you are reading. Feel free to comment.
I pray that you enjoy this Advent season, a season of longing and waiting. A season of anticipating the dawning of unspeakable joy! I’m eager to fix my eyes on Jesus this season.
Over the next three weeks I’ll be doing some wonderful giveaways, all leading up to two exciting announcements. These aren’t giveaways just to give you more stuff. My hope is that each giveaway will serve you as you run your race of faith. Each week will have a theme based on one of my chapters in Sacred Endurance. This week is all about studying the Bible.
In Chapter 8 of “Sacred Endurance” I share: The race set before us requires tenacity in the spiritual disciplines. These disciplines aren’t meant to be added to-dos, and they most definitely aren’t the way to gain a seat at the Lord’s table. They’re meant to help us finish well and enjoy the Lord.
I hope these Bible studies help you know and enjoy the Lord!
Today’s prizes: THREE people will win a copy of my new book “Sacred Endurance” along with either: “His Testimonies, My Heritage” by Kristie Anyabwile and friends, “In All Things” by Melissa Kruger, “If God Is For Us” by Trillia Newbell, “Jude” by Jackie Hill Perry, and “God of Creation” by Jen Wilkin.
Because it’s the season of giving, you’ll get a chance to share your prize!
How to enter:
- Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/trillianewbell/
- Tag a friend on the post in Instagram you want to win (both you and your friend will win!)
- 2 Bonus entries: Repost giveaway in stories or on instagram using #SacredEnduranceGiveaway
- US. and Canada only
- Contest ends on Thursday, November 21 at midnight
- Please tag one friend at a time
- Enter up to three times only by commenting three separate times
- This is an Instagram giveaway only (no comments on any other social media site will be counted in the giveaway) Please enter here: https://bit.ly/2CWoOD0
Remember these giveaways are leading up to an exciting announcement. Stay tuned!
Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.
Thank you to all who were able to come out to the Sacred Endurance book launch event. It was a night I’ll never forget. One surprising gift was the people who drove hours upon hours to attend from Minnesota to Birmingham to Chicago; we were blessed to visit with people from all over the country. I realize that most people would not be able to take the trek to good ole’ Tennessee, so I wanted to provide a few highlights including quotes from speakers and pictures.
We started the night with music from the wonderfully soulful singer/songwriter, Sandra McCracken. Her voice is delightful, but her ability to connect the Word to her music and help us worship the Lord ministered to each of us. Make sure to check out her new Christmas CD: http://www.sandramccracken.com/
Jedidiah Coppenger, lead pastor of Redemption City Church in Franklin, shared a word on the power of prayer and enduring in the faith.
Here are some quotes from Jedidiah’s talk:
“For most Christians, including me most of my life, we believe in the power of prayer, but at the same time, we just can’t find the time to pray. We don’t have meaningful, daily prayer lives. And that’s a serious problem, especially as it relates to enduring. God didn’t design us to advance and endure without his help. And we show our understanding of that reality, or lack thereof, on whether we ask for that help in prayer.”
“When you see God for who he is (that he’s your father), you also find that you embody a childlike boldness. Children have a unique boldness with their parents. Children will walk into your bedroom in the middle of the night, without any hesitation, or concern about your big meeting the next day. There’s no apology.”
“God delights in answering specific prayers because when we get specific, he becomes visible. Specificity leads to visibility, which leads to childlike wonder and boldness.”
I’m so grateful for the reminder to boldly go to God’s throne of grace where we receive mercy and help in our time of need and to ask boldly and specifically. God can do more than we could ask or imagine.
Next was a word from Isaac Ezell. He is the Associate Director of Development for HOPE International. He read from Sacred Endurance focusing on chapter 10, “Don’t Go It Alone.” He shared how we need prayer and community to endure. HOPE embodies this call of community through partnering with local churches and helping establish savings groups. Proceeds for the book sales for the evening went to benefit the good work of HOPE International. You can learn more about them and savings groups by visiting their website: https://www.hopeinternational.org/.
I then joined Dr. Russell Moore, Barnabas Piper, and Dorena Williamson for a panel discussion on enduring in the faith in real life situations including through difficult times, divorce, raising children, and much more. These quotes only scratch the surface of our discussion. It was rich and I’m so grateful for each of these panelists.
Dr. Moore reminded us that God prepares us for hard seasons of life: “When it comes to enduring in the faith, a lot of that has to do with what God has been doing in your life leading you that time of trial.” – Russell Moore
“If you’ll look back at your life and you notice the times that Jesus was closest to you, it was always in those moments not of your triumphs but the times when you are weakest.” –Russell Moore, paraphrasing Ray Ortlund.
Barnabas was open about one of the hardest times of his life. He shared that, “Phrases like ‘how long oh Lord’ were all of a sudden things that I could say instead of things that I could read.” –Barnabas Piper
“Suffering simplified my faith. I come from a fairly theological background. And so to get to the place where faith is as Psalm 37 says ‘trust the Lord and do good’ and you just do that, every day.“ –Barnabas Piper
“These things that could be clichés or pretty pictures on a wall take on profound meaning on a very simplified but deeper day-to-day basis.” – Barnabas Piper
Dorena shared the great news about her husband securing African American historical representation in a small town square. She also shared about the pain of racism and the importance of enduring those things in a community. She shared, “[It’s important and special] being in a faith community who affirm your dignity, the imago dei in you. Who will lament and believe you.” – Dorena Williamson
I reminded us that we can often project what man does onto God. Dr. Moore had a helpful word when asked about people who are disillusioned with the church or specifically evangelicalism, “We have to be able to differentiate between Jesus and the church. Especially when you go back and look at the picture of Christianity that is given in the New Testament it is not airbrushed and idealized at all.” – Russell Moore
Dorena, who is the mother of adult children, shared, “One of the first things that parenting has done for me is remind me that I am dependent on my heavenly Father. Remind yourself that you are dependent on your heavenly father. You are his child.” –Dorena Williamson
“You have a father who is faithful. Ask him to show you how to be a faithful parent.” –Dorena Williamson
“Keep planting seeds. We think if we follow these five things we are guaranteed to have certain results. But that’s not the way it goes. Keep planting seeds.” –Dorena Williamson
At the end of the night I got an opportunity to honor my dear and wonderful husband. I dedicated the night to Thern, my husband, and as I held back tears of gratitude and joy, I read the dedication of the book to him. He’s a gift to us.
The dedication: To Thern, my husband, my friend, my fellow sojourner running the race set before us, hoping in Jesus and fixing our eyes on him—together. He is with us till the end and then forevermore.
I love my husband and kids. They are a gift and I’m grateful that I get to walk out my faith along side each of them. Our dear friend and pastor, Jedidiah, ended the night praying for my family and for all in attendance.
I hope you are encouraged by these glimpses of what God did that evening. I’m praying specific prayers for each of you as you read these highlights. God knows where you are and what you need. I pray you sense his care for you today.
Special thank you to: InterVarsity Press and Christina Gilliland for helping make this evening happen. Your support and encouragement has helped me endure though this process (pun intended). Thank you to Krista Sagraves for doing decorations, Lauren Ivanoff and Alexis De Weese for set up and break down and serving throughout, Jordan Hill for running sound along with your sidekick, Nick Ivanoff, Eric Brown Photograph for these wonderful photos, and finally the amazing Well Coffeehouse. Your team is delightful and generous! Thank you!
Often you’ll hear writers equate the book writing process to giving birth. As one who has given birth a few times, I’ll say it’s quite close. Today is Sacred Endurance‘s birthday!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting various aspects of the book and sharing some surprises that I hope will bless you this season. You can learn all about the book via this sneak peak post: http://www.trillianewbell.com/2019/10/17/sneak-peek-things-sacred-endurance/
I’d love for you to grab a copy! You can order your copy where books are sold or find it at these links: IVP, Amazon, ChristianBook.com, Barnes&Noble…
I’ve been so honored to have early readers who are ministry leaders, authors, counselors, professors, and ordinary (like all of us!) Christians share words of commendation. Here’s what others have said:
“Sacred Endurance is a rich biblical exploration of our call to persevere. Practical, gospel-centered, and serious, Trillia’s book helps readers to run faithfully without denying or downplaying the reality of suffering and evil we face in this life.” –Alan Noble, Assistant professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University, author of Disruptive Witness
This is our sacred endurance: running the race of the Christian life set before us by the grace of God, through the strength of God, until the day we face our God. That is my hope and prayer for you and for me. May Sacred Endurance help us in some small way to get there.
This past week I joined five storytellers in Rwanda to meet the incredible men and women served by HOPE International and capture stories. The stories are wonderfully encouraging but their lives were a lesson to me. On Tuesday, we drove out with another organization (Aziza Life) to learn from women of the Abumurvava Village, which means “The Courageous People” and experience the typical lifestyle of a woman in the countryside. As we drove out to this village and as I interacted with the women, I couldn’t get Proverbs 31, the famous Hebrews poem, out of my head.
The women begin their day very early and care for their husbands, children, animals, while also cooking, tending to the land, gathering water, and more. We learned how to get water from a spring, peel root vegetable, like cassava, with a knife. We cultivated the soil, cut grass with our hands to feed the cow, and watched as they cut a sisal plant, broke it down into fiber threads, dyed it, and made it into a bracelet. The owner of the home and president of their women’s group, Speciose, said they are very proud of the work they do. They should be!
Whatever your image of the Proverbs 31 woman is, I hope that this will inspire you and give you fresh vision for who and what she can be and do. My prayer for you and me is for a renewed mind—that we would catch a God-vision of what godliness looks like in all its contexts.
“As soon as you open your eyes you thank God for another day.” –Primitive a wife, mother, and a dear woman and new friend living in the Abumurvava Village.
“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.”
“She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.”
“She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household…”
“She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.”
“She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.”
“She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.”
“She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
“Her children rise up and call her blessed…”
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”
Be on the lookout for more about HOPE and this trip in the coming days. You can check out more brief stories and images and learn more at https://www.hopeinternational.org/tn. Make sure to download the free book Created to Flourish by Peter Greer and Phil Smith.
All pictures were taken by Jessica Steddon.
On November 12, Sacred Endurance will launch into the world and I want you to get a first look! I’m praying this book encourages us all to run the race with endurance fixing our eyes on the One who will sustain us till the end.
There’s a great deal to share so I’m going to get right to it.
If you’d like to know more about the book and what others are saying, check out my book page here: http://www.trillianewbell.com/sacred-endurance/
I’m thrilled to share about the Stories of Sacred Endurance Podcast. Learn more and subscribe here (don’t forget to listen to the trailer!): http://www.trillianewbell.com/stories-sacred-endurance-podcast/
And be on the lookout on the blog for guest posts. I’ve invited friends to share their own stories of endurance or the stories of others. My prayer is that you would be inspired and encouraged as you read each guest post.
You can read an excerpt: https://www.ivpress.com/Media/Default/Downloads/Excerpts-and-Samples/4578-excerpt.pdf
Here’s a sneak peek at the Table of Contents:
- Called to a Race
2. Jesus and the Cloud of Witnesses
3. The Right Motivations
4. The Real Christian Life
5. Enduring and the Mind
6. Enduring in Society and the World
7. The Heart Needed, the Strength Supplied
8. Taking Steps in Practical Disciplines
9. Broken and Contrite
10. Don’t Go It Alone
11. Falling and Getting Up
12. Looking to the Prize
Are you in Nashville on November 8? Join us for the Sacred Endurance event featuring music by Sandra McCracken, a short talk from Jedidiah Coppenger, a panel featuring Dr. Russell Moore, Barnabas Piper, Dorena Williamson and Trillia and other special surprises meant to encourage our faith to run the race set before us.
Learn more and register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sacred-endurance-book-launch-tickets-69049096707
You can pre-order where books are sold or find it at these links: IVP, Amazon, ChristianBook.com, Barnes&Noble…
God promises to finish the good work he began in us—but that doesn’t come without bumps in the road. Life can be hard, faith can wane, and distractions abound. Too many today are at risk of compromising their integrity or giving up on their faith. How can we persevere to the end? I, a fellow struggler on the journey, offer encouragement and hope for us to run the race well. While life may be full of challenges, we have a true and real hope in Jesus, who provides us with what we need to endure through pain and doubt. Newbell shares theological insights and practical disciplines to train us for faithful, godly living over the long haul. The race is hard, but you are not running it alone. Find strength and courage here to endure and finish well.