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Joy for the Journey

Our annual retreat begins in just a few days! From January 1 through January 4, we will gather at Dayspring's retreat facilities to begin the new year in prayer, fellowship, study, and worship.

If you are planning to attend retreat, we encourage you to spend some time over the next few days preparing your heart to be receptive to the message God has just for you.

If you aren't able to join us this year, would you also be in prayer? Pray for the leaders who will be sharing in words, music, testimonies. Pray for the women who are attending - that this will be a precious time of spirtual renewal.

As the sun sets on 2008 and the dawn of 2009 begins to emerge, we pray that you discover a fresh dose of Joy for your Journey.

See you at retreat!

Living Beyond the Lesson - GENTLENESS

How many times have we heard the words "meek" or "gentle" and pictured one that is weak, stepped on easily by others, or one that just has no backbone to stand up for themselves....a doormat?

What a different picture was painted this week as we studied meekness and gentleness through the eyes of the Lord. These terms were defined as the power and strength created from submitting to God's will. Not just submitting verbally, but humbly submitting as we live through the power of His Spirit. To pray, as Beth described her own prayer, "Lord, permeate into every broken place that is still "wigging" me out." To bow down willfully and trust the Lord of the universe with EVERYTHING!!

I seem to bow down and choose what I give to God or the area that I allow Him into as my circumstances dictate. I keep some of myself closed off and don't allow Him access. Why?? What am I afraid of? Believe me, I can't shock Him or make Him love me less. I can't be whole until I wholly submit myself to God.

As I watched Beth wrap her stuffed animal so carefully in gauze, I can picture the Lord wrapping me up, enveloping me as I open those closed off areas to Him. Taking the time, sacrificing personal time to sit still with Him and allow Him to mend me.

I can hear Him, "Slow down child......give me your time.....at this pace you will not be whole. Stop. Spend time with Me."

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


Living Beyond the Lesson - FAITHFULNESS

For those of you who knew Sharon, she was a walking, living example of faith, not just any old faith, but child-like faith. The kind of faith that God calls all of us to demonstrate in our responses to life.

Over the past ten years, I have come to accept and embrace God's believability through prayer. Oh, the power of prayer!!! So many of us don't ask for prayer because we think it shows that we are weak, that we have more problems than some one else, that our struggle isn't big enough for prayer........

LIES, all of them!!

My reliance on prayer and use of prayer in my daily life has actually deepened my relationship with God. It has humbled me, given me an eternal perspective and has helped me to realize and admit my dependence on Him.

One of my favorites from Beth Moore this week was when she said, "Beloved, I am convinced that faith sometimes means knowing God can, whether or not He does.....If He chooses not to, He has a greater glory in mind. Never let the enemy convince you that God is not able to do anything He pleases!....Nothing is impossible for our God!" If that is our mindset as we go into prayer, what victory, what faith!! We pray so many times in a routine, with no passion, faithless and defeated. Paul tells us in 2Corinthians 10:5 that we are to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.

Are you praying with faith? Are you praying at all? Are you so stuck in pride that you don't share your requests with anyone else? One of the greatest privileges we have as Christians is lifting each other up to the Lord in prayer. It is one of the most powerful tools we have in Christ.

In Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul is praying for the Ephesians. He prays that they are strengthened through the Holy Spirit, that Christ may dwell in their hearts through Christ, that they be established and rooted in love and have power together to understand the depth of God's love.

That is me prayer for each of you. He is worthy to be trusted. He is worthy to be believed. Are you willing to step out in faith and "not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God?"

Do it!!
I dare you!!
Oh, how God will work!!


Living Beyond the Lesson - Kindness & Goodness

Day 2 of this week resonated in my heart and brought forth such feelings of gratitude and love for my Heavenly Father.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned from God and spending time with Him, is that He desires to be so much more than Lord. He should reign in our lives, He should be the authority in our lives, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Name above all names and the list could go on and on.... But one role He desperately wants to fill is that of Father. Not a high, lofty father, but the kind that laughs, plays, enjoys time with His daughter, and isn't afraid to get involved in EVERYTHING!! The kind of Daddy that loves you to pieces, adores everything about you, and sees you as a treasure. After all, as the words to Beloved's song convey, YOU are His favorite thing!!

I will repeat the questions that Beth Moore asked us in our homework, "Oh, Beloved, do you know God as parent? Do you allow Him to nurture you? Do you take Him your tears and your fretting and allow Him to hold you in His arms and cover you with His love?"

If your answer is "yes" then keep on enjoying your Daddy, learning more about Him and allowing the intimacy between you to deepen day by day, moment by moment. If your answer is "no" or "you are not sure," then I challenge you to begin this type of relationship with Him.

Spend time with Him, seek His face, be HONEST with Him, and most of all accept the fact that He loves you more than your human mind and heart can comprehend. There is NOTHING that you can do to make Him love you less!! Don't be afraid, He is the one Daddy that will never let you down and whether you realize it or not, you need Him and this type of parent/child relationship with Him more than you know. There is nothing sweeter than sitting in the arms of my Heavenly Father, knowing that He understands and I don't need to explain it all in detail.

So many times, I close my eyes and lift my face toward Heaven and feel Him take my face in His gentle hands. Oh, Beloved, He sings over us and there are so many times that I don't want to leave that place!!

Many of you know my story about my earthly father and the pain that came when I sat out the father-daughter dance. BUT GOD, in His grace, compassion mercy and love, has shown me that I will never sit out another father-daughter dance with Him!! My reply......"Abba Father, I love you Daddy with my whole heart!!!"

Grateful to be loved by the Father,

Living Beyond the Lesson - Patience

I have been blown away by the lessons I'm learning each week during this study. And I've been trying to let every word of it speak to me. So when Beth challenged us recently to wake up one day before dawn, go outside, and "lift up the day's needs as the light begins to dawn and the sun rises", I was ready for this wonderful and refreshing new way to spend time with the Lord.

Daylight Savings Time had just ended (or begun, I have no idea except that I got an extra hour of sleep), so the timing was pretty good. At 5:22 a.m., I woke up (without even an alarm) and shuffled into the living room to find my Bible. The dog was eager to have an early-morning companion, and I realized that I would get no peace until he'd been fed. So, I fed the dog.

Then I pondered my instructions. The workbook suggested that I go out into the backyard and face east ('cause that's where the sun makes it's grand entrance). After pondering my east from my west, I determined that I could not, in fact, see the sun from my backyard. I had no choice but to go out front.

I shuffled back to my closet for a bathrobe and socks. The dog was finished with his breakfast, so I invited him out front to roam around while I prepared to spend some quality morning time praising God for a new day.

In order to find the perfect lawn chair, I had to move a ladder and several riding toys. Once my lawn chair was set, and I had Bible, pen (and coffee, did I mention the pot of coffee that I brewed?) in hand, I turned to a few scripture verses that had been given as a starting point to consider this new day.

By the light of the garage, I read Genesis 8:22 - "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." I was quietly reminded of God's perfect control over the balance of the world around me. Day and night, sun and moon, in perfect rhythm. "Lord, thank you for a new day!" I began... before I thought of a question...

"Lord, what time exactly is the sun going to rise today?"

I hadn't really considered it before, but I suddently wondered if this whole Daylight Savings time change meant that the sun now rose around 8am. Because I wanted to be totally o.k. with it but I also kinda wanted to know if I needed a more comfortable lawn chair. After all, it was just shy of 6 a.m.

I will honestly tell you that I considered getting up from my chair and checking the internet for the approximate "Sunrise Time". And I will also share that I thought better of it and sat myself back down.

Lamentations 3:22-23 said, "The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."

As I pondered this passage, I prayed for my family. For a fresh dose of His mercy for my day. For many things that were already threatening to weigh me down and control my thoughts before the day had barely begun.

But - I feel compelled to be honest - I was having a hard time getting to a place of stillness, of quiet, maybe like I was just getting in the way. The prayers I lifted up became more dutiful than genuine and I spent only a few more minutes in the chilly breeze.

Having almost convinced myself that the sunrise was hours away, I snuck back into the house and opened the blinds of three big windows in the front room. Settling comfortably into the sofa cushions, I re-opened my Bible.

Seconds later, a sweet morning voice called out, "Mommy! Hi Mommy! What are you doing in there? Why is it still dark outside?"

I pulled my sleepy son up into my lap and we faced the windows. "The sun hasn't come up yet" I explained. But it will, I thought, as I recalled the words found in Genesis. "Let's watch it come up together!" "OK... let's do that!"

So, I sat on the couch that morning with my child and talked to him about our Great Big God. About how He makes the sun come up in the morning and the moon rise at night. How each morning is a brand new day. We thought of all the songs we knew that mentioned the sun or the morning or a new day. I managed to croak out one verse of "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!" He wanted to sing a song he learned on Noggin.

In those precious morning moments, I marveled at God's PATIENCE with me - driven by his unfailing mercy. I took the words of Lamentations personally. The faithful love of the Lord (for me!) never ends! His mercies (for me!) never cease. He loves me enough to challenge me to spend time with Him in new ways. And then He mercifully gives me the most beautiful options when I just can't get my "go-outside-for-quiet-time" act together. His mercies for me are new every half-hour!

I have since shared two more precious mornings of watching the sun rise with my child as we sit snuggled into the couch cushions - staring toward the east - in awe of our Creator who puts on a spectacular display every morning (at 6:46 a.m. by the way!)

Jenny D.

Living Beyond the Lesson - PEACE

PEACE, PEACE, oh how we desire and need peace! As Beth closed day 5 of our lesson, I want to repeat her words, "Lord, I want your peace! I want peace in ALONENESS, peace in PROVISION, peace in the STORM, peace in the WAIT, peace in the TEARS, peace in Your PLAN - and even peace in my DEATH. How may I have such peace?"

I am not sure how many of you are still asking that question, but in order to have the peace of God, you must first have peace with God by accepting His gift of Salvation. If you have done that, then God's peace, the peace that He died to give, is in you. It belongs to you.

She had us read Romans 8:6 which tells us that a mind controlled by the Spirit is the key to peace. That verse takes me back to the Mary Spirit Study when we learned that we must "think about what we think about." Isaiah 26:3 tells us that if your mind is steadfast on Christ that you will have perfect peace. What are you thinking about? Maybe your mind needs a good cleaning out!!

Then to maintain peace, Philippians 4:6-7 tells us that we must, in thanksgiving, present our prayers and petitions to God regularly. As a result, peace comes and guards your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. What a beautiful promise and Beloved, it is for you.

I want to share a devotion that I read this morning. It was entitled "Prayer of Joy. " Joy and peace are so closely linked, I believe that peace could easily fit as well.

" Prayer can be like incense, rising ever higher and higher, or it can be like a low earth-mist clinging to the ground, never once soaring. The Eye that sees all, the Ear that hears all, knows every cry. But the prayer of real faith is the prayer of Joy (Peace), that sees and knows the heart of Love it rises to greet, and that is so sure of a glad response."
(God Calling, Nov. 1st, pg. 175.)

We should pray in the hope, joy, peace and confidence that we possess through the Holy Spirit. Do not pray as though you have no hope or in defeat.....Pray because you know the Supremacy and Sovereignty of your God!!!

Living Beyond the Lesson - JOY

As I worked through this section of the study, my mind continuously ended up with thoughts of Sharon Longbottom, who formed and led this Bible Study.

If you didn't know Sharon, did you find yourself thinking about those people you know that are just joyful? The kind of joy that just flows from the inside out. They are contagious and you find yourself just wanting to be around them. Their lives are simply celebrations of God's grace. Oh, how I miss her!! But the joy that flowed from her is in me.

God reminded me of that this week. His joy is mine to claim and mine to loose. He doesn't take it from us, but it remains with us in His very presence.

Then, during the video, Beth described that our joy should be "defiant" joy. Now, most of us have "defiant" down pretty well, so this one shouldn't be too hard!! A joy that defies the circumstance. A joy that is founded on the fact that we are saved, not just saved to eternity, but saved from hell.

Most of us have heard the scripture from James 1:2 that tells us that we will see hard times... no "if" or " maybe," but we will. Then, as Christians embracing the truth that we will share in the struggles of Christ and we should consider it pure joy.

All of a sudden, it doesn't seem so easy a task, this choosing joy. Think about it, if everything was easy, our joy would easily start to flow from the circumstance, we would become prideful and independent.

God uses our struggles to shape us, transform us, and reveal Himself to us. We need Him desperately and I would bet that each one of us is in some sort of struggle right now. Look for Him, He is right in the middle of your circumstances. Don't doubt His presence, purpose, or power.......Believe in it! Depend on it!


Victoria/Carol's Group Picks

Welcome to a NEW MONTHLY FEATURE for our blog. Each month, we'll be asking one small group to contribute their TOP PICKS for books, movies, CD's, etc. For an entire month, that group's choices will be listed on the right-hand side of our site.

This month, we asked Victoria & Carol's small group to let us know what they're reading, watching, and listening to these days (These will be our NOVEMBER picks, just a few weeks early)! Click on each item listed below, and you'll be taken directly to sites that will help you find out more about each selection:

November Picks:

anything by Joel Rosenburg
Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers
Dear Enemy, by Jack Cavanaugh
anything by Karen Kingsbury
anything by Dee Henderson
In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day, by Mark Batterson

Movies, Mini-series, etc.

The Game Plan
Pillow Talk
Singin' in the Rain

Songs, CD's, Albums or Artists
Shane & Shane
Chris Tomlin
Bebo Norman
Casting Crowns

Other (includes study aides, online/website resources, etc.)
Praying the Names of Jesus by Ann Spangler
A Heart Like His by Beth Moore

Leave a comment and let us know what you think about this month's picks! If you find something you like based on these recommendations, be sure to let these ladies know how they have blessed you by sharing!

Living Beyond the Lesson - LOVE

As I started reading Week 3 of our study, the two glaring questions
that resonated with me through the week were:

(1) How can I love the unlovely, not endure them, but love them?
(2) How can I genuinely desire the best, not for myself or my friends, but for my enemies?

The answer was clear. I can't. None of us can. BUT GOD, through his Holy Spirit, can produce that fruit in our lives. The first realization I had was that the fruit of the Holy Spirit was singular. There is only one Holy Spirit in us and one fruit of that Spirit which has nine different qualities. All of which are present in a believer.

Where we struggle is with our yieldedness to that Spirit and allowing those characteristics to flow from us. Then, because I am such a "feeling" person and respond quickly to those feelings in most situations, I could grasp "eros" and "philos" pretty easily. Then Day 3....... agape was defined.

I learned that agape is not as much a feeling as it is a submissive response. God commands me to agape. I must surrender and be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We have got to get this because agape is the foundational quality of the fruit of the Spirit. It is only through the agape of the Holy Spirit that I can love like God commands me to.

Take some additional time and read 1Corinthians 13. Reflect on what agape is and is not. Also, pay attention to the "always" and "nevers." There are no "sometimes" or "maybes."

As Beth closed Day 4, she said, "Agape begins as a response and ends with a feeling. It may be the most difficult request God ever makes of us - and the most glorious privilege." Nothing is impossible with God, I believe that with my entire heart and that truth is confirmed in 1 John 3:20, "For God is greater than our hearts" and 1 Corinthians 13:8, "Love(agape) never fails."

So Beloved, do you trust Him with your heart, to preform a much needed "heart transplant?"

I pray your answer is a resounding YES!


Living Beyond the Lesson - Week Three

What comfort and freedom in the truth that God has an agenda and will for our lives. If we could just know what it was every step of the way!!

So many times, I can look back and see where God worked, where the Holy Spirit beautifully and perfectly pieced together a situation. We have all heard the common saying, "Hind-site is 20/20." Well, I don't want my Holy Spirit experience to be one of always looking back to see Him.

I want what Beth shared we can have in her video.....a heightened perception, a heightened discernment and a heightened insight.....and I can have that now! I want to be compelled by the Holy Spirit.

This world is a gray place. Black and white are not always evident. BUT GOD!!! His Spirit allows each of us to know things we wouldn't. He empowers us to distinguish good from evil. Like Beth shared, I do get "flagged" by the Holy Spirit. The question is what do I do with that? Do I doubt what I am hearing? Do I hesitate with fear? Do I wait or ask for a more obvious sign? All these responses, whether we want to hear it or not, are disobedient rebellion to our Lord and His leading. I want to respond, "Yes, Lord!"

But how can we be sure it is Him? We have to stay close to Him through a consistent and "meaty" diet of His Word, through prayer, and a daily filling of His Spirit. Ezekial 36:27 says, "And I (God) will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." I love that word MOVE.....He will move us to obedience. Just think about that, praise Him for that.

O Lord, move me!

Living Beyond the Lesson - Week Two

Life in the Spirit demands a DAILY pouring out, a DAILY pouring in, and a DAILY pouring forth. As I read those words, I know many of you are thinking there is no way I have time for that. I'll start that later....... Let me encourage you that none of us can afford to wait!

One thing I was convicted of this week was that I do not spend enough time confessing with my mouth. When I do, my confessions are vague. God demands that they are specific, that the sorrow we feel over our sin is Godly sorrow that leads to repentance, a true turning from our sin.

This time of pouring out isn't simply "lip service" but is a time of purification, being made righteous before God and joyfully realizing that I am forgiven. After emptying ourselves of that "junk," the next work is all Holy Spirit. All we have to do is ask Him to fill us to overflowing. One of my favorite verses is Romans
15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

When I empty myself and allow Him to fill me, that is the promise. We just need to claim it! That is where the pouring forth comes in. It will actually be quite natural when you are filled, yielded to and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Ladies, we have to simply let God be God!

Just think each of you is called to be His.....God doesn't call the equipped; He equips the called! Walk in that truth today!

Love ya,

Living Beyond the Lesson... Week One

Living Beyond the Lesson... is a new weekly feature, contributed by Joanne Tittle. Look for Joanne's thoughts on each week's lesson here, or click on Living Beyond the Lesson... found on the right hand side of the page (under the heading MORE INFORMATION ABOUT)...

I believe that this year at WIW, God is expecting great things from us, for us and within us. I think each of us needs to get ready for a supernatural transformation, being turned "inside out" for God!

Change, for the most part, is exciting - so get excited about God. Pray, giving Him full access to you - mind, body, heart and soul.

Rest assured you will have your "days," BUT GOD will change your days. In fact, all our days are filled with "moments." Just think how much God cares about our moments. He will change your moments if you let Him! And as I look forward to the days and moments that God will change in my life, I realize that it is not the circumstance He will be changing, but the way in which I respond to them...empowered, enabled, tempered by His Holy Spirit within me.

So, roll up your sleeves. Read Phil 3:12-14...and isn't it just like God to so beautifully weave our Mary Spirit study into this one by bringing us again to this verse in Philippians? I would spend some time with this verse. I know He is telling each of us some thing important. Let's PRESS on, STRAINING toward what is ahead, PRESSING toward the goal to WIN the prize. Sisters, you are not alone in
this. Not only do I and every woman at Bible Study walk beside you, but you are filled with the very Spirit of God.

He is calling you by name.......Do you hear Him? There is no more beautiful sound.

My prayer for each of you is that you experience a new willingness to
rely and depend on the power of the Holy Spirit, not just in the big
things, but in the everyday grind. Just like Beth Moore shared in the
video, you will be guaranteed to do things you couldn't, feel things
you didn't and know things you wouldn't.

You can do it!!!

Starting to Live Beyond Yourself

On September 24, we began a ten-week study.... Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself. If you haven't purchased your workbook yet and would like to order it online this week, please just click on the title of this entry or right HERE... it will take you directly to Lifeway's purchasing page for this particular book.

If you pre-ordered your book through Debbie and didn't get a chance to pick it up today... she'll have it for you next week!

What a great transition... now that we have concluded the study on the Temperaments, we are more aware of our natural tendencies... and all the more aware of our need for a Savior. A Savior who dwells in us through the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Wrapping Up the Temperaments

What a great 3-week workshop on the Temperaments! For the past few lessons, Joanne guided us through the strengths of each "type" AND the challenges presented by our natural tendencies. On September 24, she wrapped up the series with a great study on what our Temperaments look like when they are led by the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

In addition, each Temperament was given a helpful verse from Proverbs to claim as we allow the Spirit to control and work in us! Here are the verses again, for your convenience:

The Sanguine - Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

The Choleric - Proverbs 11:14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,
but many advisers make victory sure.

The Melancholy - Proverbs 27:12 The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

The Phlegmatic - Proverbs 16:4 The LORD works out everything for his own ends—
even the wicked for a day of disaster.

Fall Schedule

The Fall 2008 Semester of our Bible study begins on Wednesday, September 3 at 9:30 a.m. with a Welcome Fellowship at the Lighthouse Building. The Lighthouse is located near the corner of Landmark and SR 580 in Clearwater, FL. We are situated between Heritage United Methodist Church and Leila Davis Elementary.

September 3 is a great day to come find out more about Women in the Word, and we welcome all who are interested in learning more about our study! There will be food, fun, and fellowship - a great way to catch up will old friends and meet new people. Please be sure to arrive a little early on the first day to check in, complete your registration, drop off children in the childcare area and catch up with friends!

Whether we're meeting you for the first time or welcoming you back, we can't wait to see you on September 3!

Calendar and Times

(Bible study is held on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)

Fall Session:
September 3, 2008 through December 10, 2008 (11/26 Thanksgiving break)
Welcome and Fellowship: Interested? Come check us out on 9/3!
Mini-Workshop: The Temperaments (9/10 - 9/24)
Living Beyond Yourself, Beth Moore (10/1 - 12/10)

January 2, 2009 through January 4, 2009

Spring Session:
January 7, 2008 through May (TBA)

Fall Study - The Temperaments

Beginning on September 10, Joanne will begin a mini-workshop on "The Temperaments".

Temperament is defined as "a person's nature with regard to the effect it has on their behavior."

We'll learn how to identify our own unique temperament, the nature of those around us, and exactly how God wants to use each of us in individual ways to bring glory to His name!

You don't want to miss this three-week series!

Fall Study - Living Beyond Yourself

On September 24, Joanne will give an introduction to the study, "Living Beyond Yourself" by Beth Moore. We'll journey through this ten week study together from October 1 through December 10.

This study "encourages women to know the freedom of a fruitful, Spirit-filled life... Beth walks participants through each trait listed in the fruit of the Spirit, from Galatians 5:22-23, and what that looks like in the day-to-day challenges of life".

A Spiritual Mentor

When we fully surrender to God's purpose for our lives, He delights in us!
WIW is a Bible study that was started by a woman dedicated
to the will of God in her life...

Sharon Longbottom was a Christian communicator and Bible teacher
with a contagious sense of humor. Her spiritual depth from being a breast cancer survivor made her a rare individual, indeed. She formed WIW in 1999, as a small home study group for six women. The group quickly grew to over 50, and today more than 100 women are registered!

Sharon had a passion to share Jesus with anyone, just about anywhere…
from the bathrooms of Wal-Mart, to the checkout lane, to the produce department of Publix! Her heart beat with women of all ages, calling all of us to celebrate life.

In June of 2006, Sharon went to be with her Lord in heaven,
and her legacy remains an integral part of our love for
the study of God's Word and the fellowship with His people.

Our Spiritual Mentor

Sharon was willing to hear God’s call to spiritual motherhood,
taking spiritual daughters under her wing to school them.
She had no training the world would recognize.
She had no thought of such.
She simply loved God and was willing to be broken bread
and poured-out wine for His sake.

It was what Sharon was that taught us.
It was her availability to God when He sent her to our door.
It was the surrender of her time,
an offering to Him for our sake.
It was her readiness to get involved,
to lay down her life for many seeking study.
Above all, she herself,
a simple southern woman,
was the message.

Thank you
from those whose hearts have been changed
through your obedience to God’s call.

In Loving Memory of Sharon Longbottom
A Life Well Lived
October 31, 1939 – June 17, 2006

About Joanne

Under the leadership and teaching of Joanne Tittle, Women in the Word offers a dynamic place for growth and fellowship in the study of God's word.

Joanne has a way of opening her heart, touching the lives of other women and passionately sharing the love and Word of God. She has been part of the leadership team of Women in the Word Bible Study since 2000. In 2004, the mantel of teaching the Bible Study was passed to Joanne. Her ministry extends to her family, leading and mentoring Sr. High students and Discipleship groups through her local Church, planning and implementing Women’s Ministry Programs through the church, and planning/leading yearly women’s retreats. Joanne lives in Palm Harbor, Florida with her husband, John and two children, Matthew (15) and Madison (8).

Retreat 2009

Women in the Word Retreat 2009
“JOY for Your Journey”

PRE-REGISTER NOW - Get your choice of accommodations when you pay in full!

Friday, January 2nd – Sunday, January 4th
DaySpring Retreat Center in Ellenton, Florida

Special Musical Appearance by BELOVED!!

Cottage accommodations (semi-private) - $200
Dorm accommodations - $150 (linens not provided)

For more info or to register please see Joanne or
Respond by email: womanintheword@gmail.com

**All prices include buffet style meals
(Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast)

Don’t miss this precious time spent in the presence of God through prayer, reflection, praise and worship. This is an unforgettable, priceless weekend spent in the very splendor, majesty and glory of God’s

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you”
Psalm 63:1a

But God...

In her book, “ This isn’t the Life I Signed Up For”, author Donna Partow writes:

"The punch line of every testimony must be “But God!”
I was in pain, but God…
I made foolish choices, but God…
I couldn’t find my way, but God…
It’s not about us. It’s about God.
Remember that, and you’re half-way healed."

It is the testimony of Women in the Word that this Bible study would not exist, but God.

That the lives of women in our fellowship would be left unchanged... but God.

That financial hardships would prevent a ministry opportunity... but God.

As a part of this testimony, we offer an opportunity for women to give and receive financial blessings that would otherwise be impossible (but... GOD!!!). If you would like to donate to the "But God...Fund", please see Joanne or email us at womanintheword@gmail.com.

And if you find yourself in a place where you don't think you could manage the cost of a Bible study workbook, the cost of childcare, the opportunity to attend our annual Retreat in January, please see Joanne or email us at womanintheword@gmail.com. You can rest assured, knowing that your situation will be handled with compassion and discretion. Allow us to demonstrate the belief that the punchline of our testimony truly is "But God!"


Childcare is available each week for women who are bringing a child/children to the study. Drop off time for children is at 9:20 a.m. so that the study can begin promptly at 9:30 a.m.

Newborns can stay with mom, but we encourage all moms with children older than a few months to utilize our childcare area. Infants through about 2 yrs old are cared for by loving workers who provide games, activities, snack time, and lots of hugs & snuggles.

Children approximately 3 yrs to 5 yrs old participate in a wonderful curriculum of Bible stories, designed to impress upon their hearts that God is Love! Snack time, games, puzzles, crafts, coloring... the Workers in this room have a heart to share God's love with your child in a fun, action-packed atmosphere!

Childcare Fees: Infant and Preschool children are $4.00 for one child, $6.00 for two or more children, per week. Homeschool children (see Homeschool link) are $2.00 each with a maximum of $5.00 per family, per week.

Payment for childcare is due once per month (at the first meeting of each calendar month). If you pay in advance for the entire semester, you will receive a discount of one free week. Please see a childcare servant leader for the appropriate totals for each payment method as pertains to your family situation.

If this is a financial burden for anyone, please call Joanne Tittle and she will discreetly help you to make other arrangements.

*** For more information on how you can help with the childcare ministry, please see one of the servant leaders to find out how you can help, too! ***