Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Review: Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World (with Study Guide and Companion DVD) by Joanna Weaver

Joanna Weaver leads us on an exciting and entertaining journey as we examine the know elements of Martha and her sister Mary’s interactions with Christ when he was invited into their home. The leaders guide and dvd companion to Joanna’s book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World are wonderful group supplements that encourages us to view scripture in the context of a modern woman’s life. Most women today have to work in order to help sustain their families, more woman are completing higher education and still stepping into the role of mother and wife, making it increasingly difficult for a woman to take time out for herself or for God. This study does not marginalize the complexities of today’s life; rather it embraces them and opens our eyes to the possibilities facing us. There are so many new chances for intimacy with God that we have a hard time recognizing because of our busy we are (Martha) that we sometimes struggle with our desire to lay aside our duties and take up the posture of a disciple, and listen to what God wants to say to us (Mary). Both elements are important, and Joanna does not portray Martha as the commonly perceived nag, or uptight woman, but rather shows us the heart of a servant who has opened her home, and is giving her all for Christ, and who just needs a hand to hold her still and remind her that she too deserves some time to just feast on Gods promises for her. Throughout the study guide, we find tips on how to meditate on Gods words and promises in a world full of distraction, tips on how to equip your Bible study area, tips on reading and marking your Bible to enhance your study time, and so much more. There are so many practical and helpful hints at how to strengthen your relationship with God in a world full of commitments and schedules.  Joanna Weaver really upholds her promise to help us understand living room intimacy with God will never be found in kitchen service, in her studies she really reaches into the heart of today’s woman and shows no matter how busy we are, or how tired we feel, there is always a way to sit at Jesus’ feet and feel His presence. 

sneak-peak_1852They were two of Jesus’s closest friends. Each had something to offer Him. But one offered “the better part.”
In this ten-session DVD companion participant’s guide, Joanna reminds us that Jesus extends to us the same invitation He gave these sisters of Bethany: Come to Me. As we discover the best of both the “Mary” and the “Martha” parts of our lives, we will deepen our devotion to God and learn to delight in sitting at His feet.
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Week 1: Introduction

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.
Luke 10 :38–39

Having a Mary heart in a Martha world?

Is it really possible? More than ever, I am convinced it is. Jesus wants to meet with you as surely as He met with Mary and Martha that long-ago day in Bethany. He wants to reveal Himself to you, filling you with His presence and His
love so that His grace spills through you to a dry and thirsty world.

Though our initial introduction to Mary and Martha is only four verses long, I believe this brief story has the power to literally change our lives. So let’s begin! As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a
woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38–42)

Theme Verse
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

Discussion Questions

1. Before we begin this study, what preconceived ideas do you have about Mary and Martha? Which woman do you relate to most—Mary or Martha? Explain your answer.

2. One woman told me, “My life is like a blender—and it’s stuck on frappe!” What inanimate object best describes how your life currently feels, and why?

3. Read Matthew 11:28. What do Jesus’ words mean to you?

Session One Video

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Revelation 3:20, nkjv

The Story of Mary and Martha—the Story of You and Me, Luke 10:38–42
The Living Room Intimacy __________ God that we long for will never be found in Kitchen Service __________ God.

Discovering the Better Part

1. Martha opened her home (Luke 10:38).
• preparations—diakonia —____________________

2. Mary opened her heart (Luke 10:39).
• She made ____________ for time with Jesus.
• She did the _______________________.
• She ___________________ to Jesus.

The same invitation Jesus made to Martha is the invitation He makes to us:
“Come spend time with Me.… Allow My __________ to fill your life so that I can spill you to the world!”

Closing Time

I sense the Lord saying…

Make a Plan

God desires to transform you by the power of His Word. He wants to speak specific things to your heart over the next several weeks. What one thing could you do to get the most out of this study?

Prayer Requests

This Week’s Assignment
• Follow through with your week 1 “Make a Plan” homework.
• Read chapters 1 and 2 in Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.
• Answer week 2 study questions.
• Memorize Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
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Excerpted from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World Study Guide by Joanna Weaver Copyright © 2013 by Joanna Weaver. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. - See more at:

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This book can be purchased from:,

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy New Year!

God promises us a fresh start with each morning, a chance to look beyond what we have been, and to hold onto the promise of what we may become.

"Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don't you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land." Isaiah 43:18-19

His promise is there for us, ready and waiting for us to accept it. So as you look forward to this new year, remember there is always hope for tomorrow, even when we can't clearly see the end, we can believe in the promise!

Happy 2014!