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In March, more than 30 women were part of our audience for the taping of Melissa Spoelstra's video for Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World. As we eagerly await her Bible study, which releases in August, we're happy to share "reviews" from two women who were there that day. Carolyn DuBois and and Tanya Heath, both members of Encounter Church in Dublin, Ohio, described Melissa as “relateable,” “genuine,” “conversational” and “engaging.” Both women also found they could apply Melissa's message to their lives, thereby helping them grow in their faith. What more could one ask from a Bible study!

From Carolyn Dubois:

"I was so pleased to be in the audience for Melissa's taping of Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World. Each session had so much meat in it and Melissa did a wonderful job making Jeremiah applicable to our lives.  One part I remember specifically was when she talked about how we can grow 'big ears' like Jeremiah to listen to God.  She suggested devouring God’s Word, not just choking it down—the difference between savoring chocolate and swallowing a vitamin! The analogy really made me think about how I view my Bible reading time.

Melissa is very easy to relate to. She admits struggles and does not put herself on a pedestal. She shares many examples from her marriage and family life, which shows she is 'real' and her faith is genuine. She talks in a very conversational and relaxed manner, yet has such passion. You can tell she loves Jesus and God’s Word. It is evident that she desires for women to learn from Jeremiah and grow a deeper relationship with God.

I plan to use the Jeremiah study for my Bible study group this fall and can’t wait for my friends to hear and learn from Melissa!"

Carolyn DuBois attends Encounter Church in Dublin, Ohio, where Melissa Spoelstra's husband is the pastor. Carolyn enjoys helping with the kids' ministry, and leads a weekly neighborhood Bible study.

From Tanya Heath:

"First, I have to say that Melissa Spoelstra is very relatable, authentic and 'normal!' She gets what we're each going through. Life is hard, God is good…she finds ways to say this over and over and it never gets repetitive or feels recycled. I found her to be energetic and fun to watch, but at the same time, clearly feeling every word that she speaks. Melissa is not rehearsed or scripted in her manner, but open and conversational and engaging.
 
Part of what made her relateable were the real-life personal examples she shared. She found ways to apply the scripture and truth in Jeremiah to help me make connections in my own life. Melissa's sincere passion for the Word, and compassion for the struggles all women face, drew me in and were evidence of God’s provision for each of us.
 
Melissa's message offered so many wonderful A-HA moments for me. The one that resonated with me the most was when she wore heavy coats and clothing to represent the anger, shame, jealousy, etc. that we so often carry with us.When she removed the coat, underneath there was a light and airy tank top—a visual reminder that we have a choice when it comes to wearing ourselves down with those negative characteristics. When Melissa literally removed that weight, I actually felt like I could breath better, like a burden had been lifted. It was a very powerful moment for me.
 
I completely enjoyed the experience of being in the audience for the taping of Jeremiah, and I am eager not only to use this Bible study with any group that I might lead, but to suggest it to those friends who also make Bible study recommendations for their own women’s groups."
 
Tanya Heath is a wife and mother living in Dublin Ohio.  She and her family attend Encounter Church, where Melissa Spoelstra's husband is pastor. Tanya says, “I find that Bible studies are the most nourishing part of my relationship with Christ…like watering flowers or feeding the physical body, it has become key my spiritual health.”