I never told Berniece Filsinger how much I appreciated her.
When I was a teenager, my mom arranged for me to be a helper in a vacation Bible school class at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Sidney.
Berniece was a sweet woman who taught a class of little kids and I was her assistant.
I don’t recall that I did too much, but I remember the sunny, summer day when Berniece was teaching the children about the Holy Spirit.
She told how the Holy Spirit lives in us.
“The Holy Spirit lives in you and you and you ….,” she said, pointing to each child.
A blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl suddenly piped up with a comment.
“My brother swallowed a marble,” the little girl said excitedly. “My brother’s got a marble in him.”
The Holy Spirit and a marble — all in one kid.
I don’t know how I kept from laughing.
Berniece wasn’t fazed a bit.
She just kindly continued with the lesson.
I admired her cool, calm, soft-spoken demeanor.
Decades later, I’ve been thinking quite a bit — not about marbles — but who Berniece was teaching about:
The wonderful Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity.
This month, women will have a great opportunity to learn more about the Holy Spirit during the Citywide Women’s Bible Study.
Starting Feb. 24, area women are invited to the seven-week study which runs from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays at Full Life Church, 2380 Seaton Ave., Fremont.
The study includes a video and table discussion. There’s a workbook through which women can learn even more.
I’ll facilitate the non-denominational study and I hope lots of women will be able to come.
In the past, we’ve had the studies on a Thursday night.
We decided to try something different this time and I hope women who might not be able to come on a weeknight will try this option.
I’m so excited about this study.
We’re doing the revised and expanded version of Priscilla Shirer’s “Discerning the Voice of God — How to Recognize When God Speaks.”
Who’s Priscilla Shirer?
Oh, let me tell you.
If you’ve seen the movie, “War Room,” you’ve seen Priscilla.
Priscilla had a leading role in the film about a woman, named Elizabeth Jordan, whose marriage is on the rocks when she meets an older, wiser lady, who becomes her mentor.
It’s a good movie about the importance of prayer and trusting God and it did very well at the box office.
Priscilla also spoke last summer at Eagle’s Nest church in Omaha.
She was dynamic and interesting.
I enjoyed hearing her speak.
But then, I knew I would—mostly because I’ve done a few of her Bible studies and loved them.
Priscilla has written several studies including, “Armor of God,” “Jonah — Navigating a Life Interrupted” and “Gideon — Your Weakness, God’s Strength.”
We did the Gideon study at the Citywide Women’s Bible Study last fall and the women who attended really seemed to enjoy it. I thought we had some great table discussions.
And the videos were powerful and thought-provoking.
This newer study is a revision of one Priscilla did years ago. I did that study in 2013 and enjoyed it.
But Priscilla said she’s gained 10 more years of insights since she first wrote “Discerning the Voice of God.”
I recently started working on the new study – just to get a head start.
And I’d have to agree—this one is even better.
Priscilla has a gift for explaining the Scriptures and I really believe God already has been speaking to my heart through this study.
Now, I know weekends can be busy.
Maybe you’ve had a hectic week with kids or grandchildren, work, sports, school, clubs or other activities.
You’re trying to get caught up with laundry, housework, getting groceries or running errands.
Stop a minute. When was the last time you did something for yourself?
Something that would recharge your spiritual battery?
A Bible study can do that, especially one that’s spirit-led and well-grounded in the word—like Priscilla’s.
This is something you do to help revitalize yourself and have interaction with other women also seeking to become closer to God and grow in their faith.
I love when women share stories of how they’ve seen God work in their lives — how he’s come through right when they’ve needed him most.
My faith has been deepened and I’ve been encouraged as I’ve listened to the other women.
And let’s face it.
We need each other.
Years ago, women would get together (a few still do) to make quilts. As they sewed, they’d talk about their lives and families and current events.
I think we’ve lost much of that camaraderie. Oh, we may send emails or texts. We may hop on Facebook.
But we’ve lost much of the face-to-face time to sit and talk with people about things that matter in our lives. We miss the opportunities to visit with women of different ages and backgrounds who can enrich our lives and bring us perspective.
I’m hoping that older women – who may not want to drive at night – might opt to attend.
Actually, I hope women of all ages will decide to come.
We can learn so much from each other.
The workbooks are $15 each (which includes shipping) and we’re asking those who are interested to register by Feb. 14 at www.fulllifechurch.org or by calling the church at 402-721-1010 so workbooks can be ordered in time.
Please let me say that if you hate workbook-type stuff, you don’t have to get one.
You can still benefit a lot from the videos and table discussion.
Please just come.
You might learn something wonderful.
And you might get to hear — or share — a story or two about some really nice woman like Berniece.
You know, I never did find out what happened to that kid with the marble.