Church Blog

Kathleen Nielson: Second Preview

April 17 2014 at 5:00 pm 0 Comments


I hope this second excerpt above will give you another small taste of Kathleen Nielson’s teaching.

I also have a testimony to share with you from Elise Finch who has benefited from Kathleen’s ministry. Here is what she has to say:

I have read the Bible as part of my daily devotional practice since I was a child. However, over the last 5-7 years I began to look at different methods of study, seeking to better grasp God’s Word in my own life.

During this search, I heard about Kathleen Nielson and read her book Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word. In the book she talks about seeing the Bible as literature written to be understood by all of us, including those of us who would never be fluent in Greek or Hebrew or complete a seminary course. I read a quote at the beginning of chapter 3, “If we affirm meaning in the text, meaning intended by God who breathed it out, then it follows that God means for us to receive this meaning. He gave us words that he means for us to understand.” God means for ME to understand his word! That’s encouraging, but it’s also sobering because if he means for me to understand it, that also implies he means for me to give it some sober-minded attention.

Reading Kathleen’s book and now having the opportunity to learn more through several of her studies has been profoundly helpful. I’ve learned how to look at the various genres within the Bible and read them with an eye towards how God meant to use their form to illuminate his truth. I’ve spent less time pondering my own opinions or jumping to personal application prior to finding out what each author’s intent was for their original audience. This approach makes sense. Although I will never “arrive”, Kathleen’s methods have provided a useful map which is helping me to better navigate the road of reading God’s word.

I am so excited for this time to learn from Kathleen again and am looking forward to being freshly spurred on as we study the Psalms.

I hope you can join us on May 9-10! You can visit the conference website for more information and to register. To view a video of a complete message by Kathleen, please visit the Christian Conventions website.

Valori Maresco
Women’s Ministry Director

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Women’s Conference Speaker Preview

April 10 2014 at 8:48 am 0 Comments


I hope you enjoyed the brief excerpt above. For an entire teaching by Kathleen Nielson, visit the Christian Conventions website for a recent message she gave on Rahab.

Here are comments I received about Kathleen’s teaching from Amanda Welton:

I have seen God grow my faith in so many ways through Kathleen’s Bible studies and ultimately His Word! After reading her book, Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word, and attending a seminar with her on biblical exposition, I was anxious to dig into the Word more deeply. In fact, I have now gone through four of her Bible studies with a group of friends in my neighborhood!

Last summer, we went through her Colossians study, and each time we met I was more deeply amazed at God’s grace through Jesus Christ and how he has made his church to function! We would start talking and we would begin to see how the Spirit had spoken differently to each of us to give us a fuller picture of what He was saying in His Word! And truly I saw happen in our little group of ladies what Paul had desired for the Colossians: “that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3)

I so appreciate Kathleen’s studies because she doesn’t give her opinions or spoon-feed you answers, but she has questions that make you dig and think. She also links the passage you’re studying to the rest of the Bible, so you see how cohesive God made his word! I’ve always “known” God is the same God as He was in the Old Testament, but when I went through her Joshua study I really saw it! I am looking forward to hearing Kathleen teach at our upcoming conference in May and to gain a better understanding of the Psalms through it. I know that you too will benefit from her gift of teaching and interacting with God’s Word!

I can’t wait to be with everyone on May 9-10! I encourage you to visit the conference website and register soon.

Valori Maresco
Women’s Ministry Director

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Pray for Germantown: Update

April 8 2014 at 5:27 pm 2 Comments

baby hand

We received this encouraging report from those who pray regularly on Monday mornings near the abortion facility in Germantown. What an encouragement to keep praying and watching as God works!

It was an amazing week in front of the late-term abortion facility in Germantown; much grace was flowing. Eight mothers chose life for their babies! Since we started providing a prayerful presence outside the clinic in December of 2010, over 175 babies have been saved!
—Last week a mother and her husband came to abort their “late-term” baby; they could not find the door to Carhart’s facility, so instead they entered Germantown Pregnancy Choices (GPC), our pregnancy referral center, enabling the staff to minister to them. The couple later returned to say that they had chosen to keep their baby and not abort! When the GPC staff asked what had helped them to change their mind about the abortion, the father replied, “It was the LOVE.”

—During our Monday prayer gathering, we were reflecting on Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13. We came to understand more deeply our need to first show LOVE in our work; otherwise, we will never be able to share the truth! Soon after that reflection, a young woman interrupted us and challenged us saying, “You all make it hard on the women coming here (to abort). Everyone should mind their own business.” We found out this woman had brought her friend to Carhart’s facility for a late-term abortion. We were surprised by her words, but reminded of the example of Paul, and a few of our team lovingly ministered to her, while the rest of those who gathered continued to pray for her. This woman and the mother she brought for the abortion were seen going in and out of Carhart’s facility, but in the end—the mother did NOT abort her baby! Praise be to God!
—Another testimony: While praying on Wisteria Drive during the 40 Days for Life Campaign, a young woman stood in front of us and simply said, “I just stopped by to say thank you for all you’re doing.” She is a single mom with four children and is five months pregnant with her fifth child. This past January she had an appointment at Carhart’s for an abortion. A few days before her appointment, she had driven by and seen our crew holding signs and praying. At that point, she decided she could not go through with the abortion and canceled her appointment. This was a powerful testimony to me that the Lord is using our presence to save lives even if we never talk directly to anyone. Only God knows how many others have changed their minds just because we are here in Germantown.

All who long to protect the most vulnerable in our community are invited to join the group that prays in Germantown on Monday mornings. This work is truly a matter of life and death!

Every Monday, 8 to 10 a.m.
Corner of Wisteria Drive and Executive Park Terrace
Germantown, MD 20874

Visit for parking and directions.

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Ramil Smith’s Story of Adoption

February 3 2014 at 3:35 pm 0 Comments

Above: In yesterday’s service Ramil Smith shared the story of his adoption. Found wandering in Quezon City, the Philippines, as a toddler, he was taken in by a poor family and eventually came to the U.S. through a summer hosting program.

Covenant Life’s Beloved Ministry will be holding an informational meeting tomorrow (February 4) at 7 p.m. to introduce people to Catholic Charities, the summer hosting program the Lord used to bring the Smiths and Ramil together. For more information on this evening, visit the Event page or e-mail the .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Forgiveness and Freedom in Christ

January 21 2014 at 2:25 pm 2 Comments

Above (from Sunday, January 19): Betty Stavely describes emerging from 35 years of shame and struggle and receiving forgiveness and freedom in Christ.

For more information about Forgiven and Set Free, the confidential, small group Bible study for post-abortive women that Betty mentions, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or call (301) 407-1575 or (505) 670-4164. This and more opportunities for women are listed in our Equipping Women section.

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Special Sunday Song from Erin Hill

December 17 2013 at 8:53 am 4 Comments

This past Sunday, Erin Hill, a member who serves on our Music and Worship Team, shared a song that fit perfectly with Joshua’s message on The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant from Matthew 18:21-35. We asked Erin if she could tell us how the song came about and also provide the lyrics:

“One day last week I came across some pictures of old friends that took me straight back to a difficult season of pain, disloyalty and dissolved friendships. If you had asked me prior to seeing the photographs I would have told you that I had forgiven these particular people of what they had done against me and my family; I thought I did! But the truth was, I hadn’t yet done that completely. The Lord desired to bring me to a place of further healing and true forgiveness. He opened my eyes to see that I was still holding debts against these people and it was affecting my current relationships, but most importantly, it was a hindrance in my relationship with the Lord.

After seeing the pictures I was able to take some time to sit down at the piano and receive this simple song from the Lord (mind you, I was pretty angry when I first started singing!). As the lyrics and the music started coming I was seeing how this was a sweet gift from Him for my aching soul. I don’t know how it all transpired but an unexpected healing took place while I was being honest with the Lord in that moment.

While I was still writing, I had the thought that this song might not only be for my benefit but possibly a song the Lord might use for his church. I contacted Josh to see what the text for Sunday was going to be…I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud when he shared that he was teaching on the passage of the unforgiving servant!

I truly feel that the burden of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness has been lifted from me and I sense a freedom that I haven’t felt in almost five years! Praise God!”


When I see Jesus face to face
I won’t think about the pain I feel right now
One day when I put my hand to his
I won’t think about the hands that hurt me here

But right now it seems much easier
To hate my enemies
Than to forgive and rest within your peace

So I need you, Jesus
My anger’s held me captive for too long
I need you, just you
Replace this bitterness with your love

I had a debt I could not pay
And you showed me your mercy

Erin Hill photo

Thank you, Erin, for serving the Lord and our church with your voice and your songs. Let us know if you are able to get the song recorded!

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