Going Beyond Scripture: Why It’s Time to Say Good-Bye to Priscilla Shirer and Going Beyond Ministries

After a bit of research on Ms. Shirer, I’m determined that she’s one to beware of.

Michelle Lesley

Priscilla ShirerPriscilla Shirer is a wife and mom of three boys hailing from the Dallas area. Though you may be newly acquainted with her from her role as Elizabeth Jordan in the recently released Christian movie War Roomshe has been writing women’s Bible studies and has been a popular speaker at women’s conferences and other events for many years. Together with her husband, Jerry, she heads up Going Beyond Ministries.

When I participated in Priscilla’s DVD study He Speaks to Me several years ago, I found her to be an engaging writer, a witty storyteller, and charismatic speaker. Priscilla’s friendliness and genuine care for Christian women seem to shine through every word she speaks and writes. And to top that all off, she’s beautiful and sharp as a tack. It’s very easy to think of Priscilla and think, “What’s not to love?”

Which is why it grieves me to have to…

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A Boy is Healed (And It Doesn’t Stop There)

I’m exposing myself as a hypocrite. My critics should love this, but honesty is bellowing out of me this morning.

I’m not as biblically learned as my husband. Nearly daily he’s in the Word. Daily, he listens to sound teachings and his knowledge and wisdom grows. He’s read the entire Bible though once and the New Testament countless times. He’s smart. He digs into the where and the why and the what of the scriptures he reads. He wants background and the mind of the writer.

Me, on the other hand…I haven’t read the entire Bible through. I’ve read some of the OT and all of the NT, but only by hitting and missing. I read “soundbites” of scripture online. I listen to knowledgeable teachings at church and other respected pastors. I read commentaries. But I’m experiential. I do want to know the context of the passages so that I can understand meaning, but what I’m really looking for is how does this apply to MY life. I’m selfish and emotional like that.

So with that bit of tragic honesty, I’m not really a Gospel reader. There, I said it. I have read all four through and sporadically. I mostly know most of what Jesus did. I understand His ministry and why He did what He did. Of course, I’m not taking ANY of that away from Him.

But I want to read Paul. I want to know what he told the Romans about living a righteous life and wearing the whole armor. I want to hear about all the Spiritual Gifts he told the saints at Corinth. Let him teach me about the works of the flesh as he did for the Galatians so I can avoid them! Oh, Paul, tell me how I’ve been saved by grace through faith and not of my filthy works so I can’t even boast, as you told the people at the church in Ephesus. And my ever-favorite Colossians where you explain to me the character of the New Man, of how I’m to be since God called me to be His – and the very scripture God used to call me home and repair my marriage.

Those books speak to me!

But I know I’m lacking in my knowledge of the Gospels, so that’s why I’m in Matthew. I like Matthew. Not my favorite. I like John better. I just like the man of John, so I have affection for his book. But since the early church put Matthew first, that’s where I began. I knew I was going to read again about the beginning of Christ’s life and ministry. Those are always exciting things too. But I never expected an AHA moment for my life. Crazy, huh? Why wouldn’t I expect my Lord to speak to me through one of His biographies? Oh, but He did. And I share:

Matthew 17:14-22 is a familiar story to most. A man spoke to Jesus as He, once again, was addressing a huge crowd. The man called out, asking for mercy on his epileptic son who often fell into the fire and water. The good father he was had him worried about his son’s safety. (Is that a new concept to us parents?) The father explained that he had taken the son to some of Jesus’s followers and they were unable to help, but he watched as Christ cured him that very hour. (Have you ever sought the advice and help of godly people, to no avail?) Jesus’s response to their astonishment and reason why they had been unsuccessful:

Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

That’s a mouthful, eh? Faith. Trust in God’s will. Those are almost no-brainers that we forget. But prayer and fasting? How badly to do you want it? And to be sure, prayer and fasting isn’t for God. He’s the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The God of eternity past and eternity future. Nothing that happens ever has Him perplexed. He is molding and shaping us for His Kingdom.

So the next time I’m in doubt, the next time I’m confused or hurting, I need to draw upon my Lord’s words. I need to redevelop a love for His biographies because that’s where the treasures lay. He’s got this, you know. No matter if we don’t understand, He’s got this. We worry because we love, but we worry because we don’t trust. Right? We don’t trust that God has all this under control. We want to help; we want to offer Him advice. Aren’t we an arrogant bunch?

Get into His Word and learn His ways. Cultivate your trust in Him. That’s where peace lies. And who doesn’t need peace?

Please pray with me:

Lord, I know that you are my Savior. I know my salvation rests in You. I forget that there will be trials and I will still feel uncertainty and hurts. But I must never forget that all things are for Your glory. Even when things feel at their worst and my world is falling apart, You are always the glue that holds the entire world. You promised that all that the Father sends you will draw near to you and you will lose no one.  I will seek Your ways, and I will trust in Your ways. Your ways are higher than mine and You see past the fog of my confusions. You have proven to me time and time again that You love me, so I will leave no room for Satan to seep doubt into my spirit. You are the holy one. You are everlasting. You gave Your life for me. There is no greater love than that. I trust You and I lean on You. Give me a hunger for Your Word. Put godly people in my life to guide me closer to You and Your will. Let my life never be about me but only about You, lest I should ever want to boast. I love you, my Lord. Thank you for saving my soul and loving me more than I deserve. In Your holy name I pray, Amen

Now, trust in Him and go spread some joy! And get into His word!!


May 1, 2015

So, if you have read the last posting, you would know that I’m nearing joblessness. Though I still have another paycheck or so coming, we’ve decided to start the frugal living now and to save the upcoming funds. Smart already. Why weren’t we like that all along?

This past week I’ve made several observations I’d like to share. Please remember poverty isn’t new to neither me nor my husband, so before I’m viewed as insensitive, I’ve walked this walk.

My Top Ten Observations of Being Poor

1. Just about every leftover can be recycled by rolling it in a tortilla and covering it with cheese.

2. Thrift store shopping is not beneath me and I have actually always liked secondhand stuff.

3. A toddler does not need 20 pairs of shoes…unless they are hammy-downs in various sizes.

4. It might be okay not to compromise on toilet paper.

5. Generic just about anything is just (almost) as good. Except toilet paper.

6. It’s okay not to have 240 channels. Directv may not agree and may have their telemarketers putting in overtime to coax us back, but at least their people are working.

7. Diapers, while costly, are a necessity when the toddler isn’t ready to be potty trained.

8. Staying home (and not internet shopping) saves a ton of money.

9. Being broke hasn’t changed my generous spirit and I still want to give. Now, I’m just have to be more resourceful.

10. We sure were wasteful!

I May Be a Statistic, But I’m a Child of God.

So it’s officially official. I’m a statistic. Either of cutbacks, downsizing, the economy, Obamacare? Who knows, but after nearly 20 years, I will no longer be employed. I entered that place a mere child of 23. The only skills I had were few: I could type very well, I could put together sentences correctly, and I liked people. That was it. I had never touched a computer and within months I was unpacking and plugging in a new one. I retyped a manual that was hundreds of pages. I learned to file and even updated and recreated filing systems. I was sent to classes to learn how to use various software and created a new database. I developed friendship with my co-workers and began to care about their lives. But I was also cared for. I was fed. I was taught. I was reprimanded and given the opportunity to grow. My oldest was nearly born in that place! A lot has happened over nearly 20 years. I loved that company and it loved me. So as I near the end, I almost feel as if I’m planning a funeral. Tidying up loose ends. Closing the books. I give a lot of lip service to my God. I can quote scriptures about how He counts the hairs on my head, how He formed me in the womb, how He never leaves or forsakes me, how I should look forward and not back. I must believe this swerve in the road is of His design. Or in the very least by His permission. So what’s next? Well, I came up poor. My husband came up poor. Poor is nothing new to us. So we shall be poor for a while. My oldest might feel a bit of a pinch, but she’s resilient. And as a dear friend said, it’ll build character. My Granny Tressie, after whom I was named, is quoted as saying, “If you can’t make a dime, make a nickel.” So I’m off to make some nickels soon. We’ll all tighten up our belts and we’ll make this work. And oh my geeze, the husband is trying to send me back to school. What an incredible opportunity, huh? As a mother, this gives me joy to know our girls will see us come together in adversity and remain a team. We’re a team. It will get rough. But we will always play for the same team. And our Coach is phenomenal. If He knows how many hairs are on my head, don’t you think He knows what my future will hold? He’s never sitting on His throne scratching His head and thinking, “Huh! I never saw that comin’!” I’m human. My heart might get a little wistful, but I’m always hopeful. And I’m even getting kind of excited. Did God just push me out the nest? Will I fly? I can’t wait to see what’s behind the next bend. I’m all in, Jesus!

Bribery or Encouragement? Don’t judge me!

I did it. I became THAT mother. You know, the one that bribes.

I’m not really that kind of mother. I believe in firm, but reasonable, boundaries. I believe that when you parent in love, give clear expectations, use positive re-enforcement, and swiftly correct and redirect, life will run smoothly.

And generally it does. But this potty training will be the death of me. The last time I did this I was not even 30. Now that I’m 40(ish), the world operates differently, it appears. The game has changed. This child doesn’t seem to be bothered by wet floors and stained furniture. Even after much coaxing and reminding and encouraging and jumping for joy.

So I gave in this morning. M&Ms have saved our morning. The idea came when she, at 8:30AM, began asking for candy. Nothing unusual. Since before she learned how to say the word and so cutely said “quain” instead, the kid has loved candy. But this morning when she asked before I could give the usual no-it’s-too-early-how-about-breakfast spiel, a HUGE light bulb went off. Before I could even respond, I ridiculed myself.


But the expectant look on that baby’s face. Oh my. I thought, “This is a goldmine! This might be our ticket. She has no idea what I’m about to do!”

So I looked at her squarely in the eyes, and said, “Yes! You can have some candy. But FIRST, you have to tee-tee in the potty.”

She looked at me like I was nuts. What? Work for food around this joint?

Ah, but she fell for it! And she tee-teed in her potty. A lot. And received her reward of ONE TWO THREE candies. (See how I incorporated math into it? Maybe colors next time. Ever the home school mom!)

And lest we think it was just a fluke, she did it again. Maybe there’s something to the bribery potty training deal. We shall see.

The only downside might be keeping the rest of the family out of the Potty Rewards.

My Observations from Mothering a Toddler

I love being a momma. I know this is my calling and I’ve never doubted that. However, my oldest is fourteen and we tend to forget the good stuff from long ago after a few years. I’m so grateful for this second chance at toddlerhood. Never a dull moment.  Ever.

1. Boxes make the best toys.

2. Music has magical powers when she doesn’t know that I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

3. Poop is a toy.

4. A hiding toddler is a mischievous toddler.

5. Play-Doh and crayons are edible and non-life-threatening.

6. Watching the same episode of the same show over and over and over and never tiring of it is possible. Apparently.

7. Food from the plate of another always tastes better.

8. A toddler can change the names of items and have the entire family using the new, often nonsensical, words.

9. Everything (except broccoli) is potential food.

10. My heart bursts at the seams when I hear the word Momma and I feel little arms squeezing me and I kiss sweet, puckered lips. And that smile gets me every time.

This gig rocks.