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My idea of a good time is curling up with a cup of tea and a good book. Which is a quiet sort of activity. For the most part, I’m a fairly quiet person.

But I grew up in a home with two older brothers and zero sisters, so in order to properly communicate within my family, one must be fluent in football. So while I do enjoy a quiet morning reading and writing, on Sundays in the fall, my family and I will attend the 8:00 service at church, so I can be home in time for the 10:00 kickoff. (And I’ve been known to get quite loud when the Green Bay Packers make a great play on the field!)

All of that to say . . . when it comes to girlfriend talk, I’ve always felt a little handicapped.

One, I have a quiet disposition to begin with. And two, I never had much practice growing up. So when I’m with a group of girlfriends, I tend to be one of the quieter ones. I enjoy listening.

Over the years I’ve noticed that I mostly open up and talk when I’m with a friend, one on one. Well, one time I went out to eat with a group of girlfriends, and we were all sitting around a table chatting, when someone mentioned something about coaches. I thought to myself, hey, I can participate in this conversation. So I joined the conversation. In fact, I had just read an article about which NFL coaches employ a 3-4 defense and which coaches use the more traditional 4-3 defense. So I started talking about coaches too.

I had nothing but blank stares looking back at me. Then I learned that they were talking about COACH purses.

Well, I don’t know a thing about purses. But I do know that it’s important for women to gather — even when we feel like we’re from different family backgrounds, and we’ve had different past experiences.

Something really beautiful can happen when women gather.

The book of Philippians in the Bible is my favorite example of what can happen when women gather.

When Paul travelled to the city of Philippi (which is in the region of modern-day Greece), he heard about a group of women who would gather on the Sabbath, to pray by the river. So Paul went to the river and preached the cross of Christ to these women. One woman named Lydia, and her whole household came to believe in Jesus that day, and they were all baptized, right there in the river.

And the first church in Europe was born.

That’s what can happen when women gather.

Years later, Paul was imprisoned in Rome, and he wrote a letter to his friends back in Philippi. That letter would later be inducted into the cannon of Holy Scripture as the book we call Philippians.

The book of Philippians is the subsequent fruit, born of a few women.

That’s what can happen when women gather.

And that’s why I am so excited that here, at Deeper Waters, women are gathering.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says,

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

We’ve probably all experienced what can happen when women gather — and they don’t encourage one another, they don’t build one another up. In those situations, we can’t get away fast enough.

But when women gather, and encourage one another, and build on another up . . .

When women gather to pray and study God’s Word and grow deeper in their relationship with God . . . Lives are changed.

That’s not a platitude or an abstract theory either. That’s a promise. God’s Word never returns void. That means His Word yields fruit in our lives. Beautiful fruit.

So join us each morning, right here at Deeper Waters, where women from all over the country are gathering. I’ve invited some amazing women to share their stories — of how God is speaking to them through His Word — while we read through Philippians together. (If you want to receive these devotions in your inbox each morning, you can subscribe in the sidebar.)

Today: Read Philippians 1:1-2 and Acts 16:6-15



~ Diving Deeper ~

Whether this is your first Bible study or your hundredth, God’s Word is alive, and He continues to speak through His Word today. God always has something new for us when we go to Him to learn from His Word.
What do you hope to learn from your time in Philippians?
Share in the comments!


Denise J. Hughes

A lover of words and the Word. Author of #DeeperWaters and the #WordWriters Bible studies.

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