Beth, I've seen you teach in person and on DVD. And in both you come across as very intense.
That's probably the most common word I hear!
Where did this intensity come from?
Even though I committed my life to Christ as a child, as a young woman I lived the Christian life through my own determination. I was a very unhealthy person who made lots of destructive choices. I didn't yet understand about God's Spirit living through me.
The odd thing is, I didn't know I didn't know the Word. Having been raised in the church, I'd memorized a fair amount of Scripture. But as far as God's Word empowering me to have the renewed mind of Christ and to live differently, I was a long way from that.
By the time I was married and in my mid-twenties, I'd taught children's Sunday-school classes, led a Christian fitness class, and done some speaking. When a position for an adult Sunday-school teacher opened up, I was encouraged to go for it. But I was absolutely terrible at it. And I do mean terrible.
That's hard to imagine!
I've got such a "blonde" personality; I'd say something funny, then tack a Scripture onto it. How in the world did my first class ever put up with me? We had some fun together, but I'm not sure we learned anything!
But when I read in my church bulletin about a Bible doctrine class on Sunday nights, I knew that while it would bore me to tears, God wanted me to go. At the first class, this former football player threw open his Bible and taught us with such a passion that tears filled his eyes. I couldn't take a single note. When it was over, I ran to my car and burst into tears. I don't know what that was, I told God, but I want it. That night God lit a fire in my heart for his Word that continues burning to this day.1