Posts in DWITW Team
Fix Your Eyes on Jesus - He’s Worth It!

As an editor, one of my favorite verses has always been Hebrews 12:1-2. A section of it reads:

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…”

You would think it would be the word “Author” that catches my eye, and while it does resonate with my editor-heart, the more striking word to me in these verses has always been the word “eyes.”

Eyes are a fascinating thing. You see, many days what my eyes are focused on is where my heart is focused. My bet is, you are similar. When you see a good sale, do you pine longingly for that treasured item? Or, like me, when you see fresh chocolate chip cookies or a mouth-watering steak, is that all your heart (or maybe your stomach) wants? Or, on a more serious note, when you stare deeply into the eyes of a loved one, does your heart soar with gratefulness?

This year, I’ve seen the truth of the saying ‘the eyes are a window into the soul.’ They show us where our focus is. To summarize Jesus’ words in Matt. 6:19-23, for where your eyes are fixed, there also will be your heart. But, the question I keep coming back to in pondering this word, eyes, is this: What are my eyes fixed on? Jesus, or other things?

the question I keep coming back to in pondering this word, eyes, is this: What are my eyes fixed on? Jesus, or other things?

I can honestly say it’s been a mixed year. There’s been a lot of change, transition, and questions this year - and my eyes have gotten diverted from Jesus more than a few times. It’s been a daily journey to keep turning away from other things and back to my King. But I praise God for His relentless pursuit and ever-beckoning call in my life. He continues to place measures of grace that enable me to keep fixing my eyes on Him.

One of the measures of grace He has used this past year was that of my volunteer role with the Dayton Women in the Word team. Serving as the Content Editor, I had the great privilege to help steward over many words this year. Words that informed, words that told stories, words that spoke life - words, ultimately, that we hope and pray gave God back some of the glory He is due.

I saw this role as an active practice of stewardship. A stewardship of truth. And through this role, I saw that God is the Steward over my life. I won’t lie to you, 2018 has been a hard, confusing year in many ways, but one thing I have definitely had is ample opportunity to choose to trust Him. Trust Him, even when I cannot see. Trust Him, even when I don’t have answers or specific direction. I’m learning, albeit slowly,  that this is what faith is, choosing to trust - not because you “get it all,” but because God is sovereign, good, and wise.

As a sermon I listened to recently reminded me, I’ve seen God say to me over and over again: “I didn’t ask you to have all the solutions, I asked you to have faith.” That is what this role has taught me - to have more faith. Faith that God can do abundantly more than I can ask or imagine. Faith that He uses broken people and situations for His glory. Faith that He can be trusted. Faith that He will do what He says He will do. Faith that He is faith-FULL, even when I fail in faith.

So, now as I close this chapter and move on to work on some other things the Lord is calling me to, I think about all that God has done in the past year through DWITW, and I am humbled. I’m humbled to have been to have taken part in this weighty work of stewarding truth - it has taught me once again to fix my eyes back on Jesus and choose to trust Him. This has been a true and pure gift.

My goal was always to lift high the name of Christ and to encourage other women to do the same. And I know  this is the goal of our new Content Editor, Stephani Duff. So, as I close this chapter, that is my encouragement to her and to you dear readers of the DWITW blog community: Fix Your Eyes on Jesus. He will never fade. He can be trusted with your yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. He is a good Steward. He is a good Author and will continue perfecting you, growing you up into His likeness, for the sake of the gospel!

Bekah Brewer wants to live in a world where travel is quicker & cheaper, people are wisely vulnerable, and where discipleship is not just a concept but a thriving heartbeat of the whole Church. When she’s not editing for DWITW or her business (Words Redeemed), you can find her playing soccer, pouring into friends & family, or planning out more times of fun, rest, and growth. Her favorite Scripture is Philippians 1:27a: Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (HCSB)

2018: Our Year In Review

Another year has come and gone, and we here at Dayton Women in the Word want to mark it the best way that we know how: by proclaiming God’s faithfulness to us.

We started 2018 with lots of big plans. Not all of them were fully realized in this calendar year, but as we walked in faith and obedience, we could see His greater mission going forward. We can say with confidence that He is at work in the city of Dayton!

Here are some ways that God has proveN Himself faithful through DWITW this year:

  • Women (and men!) across Dayton participated in the DWITW365 Chronological Bible Reading Plan! We experienced a full year of bible reading within community, 52 weekly encouragements on the blog by our dedicated 365 blog team, and 66 video introductions to each book of the Bible on Instagram - not to mention the countless messages about the awesome things God was doing and the connections He was making as we read His Word together.

  • Our extremely talented podcast team also put out two seasons of the DWITW Podcast (plus all of our Hosea recordings and a few special episodes spaced throughout the year). We had the privilege of hearing from over 30 guests combined in both the “Transformed” and “Timelapse” series’!

  • We celebrated our 100th podcast episode and hosted the DWITW Podcast Live event, gathering local women together and calling them to remember God’s faithfulness and goodness to us in the stories of the podcast and in our own lives as well.

  • We launched the Teaching Collective, allowing women a safe space to practice teaching and talking about Jesus. We saw much growth in the regular attendees, many of whom have stepped up to teach in their churches, in small groups, or within the DWITW community!

  • We hosted our 4th annual Summer Study by walking through the book of Hosea. God brought hundreds of women and as many kids as our classrooms could hold! We hosted a morning and evening study and extended our resources to include an at-home guide, which many women used to follow along with us from both near and far away from Dayton.

  • We launched an updated version of this website to make it easier to access our resources.

  • The DWITW Traveling Bible made it’s way (slowly, but surely!) around the city, getting read, marked up and beautified by lots of women in our network.

  • The Directors shared regularly (and vulnerably!) on the blog in our bi-weekly Team Journals blog series.

  • We began the behind the scenes work for a video series about bible study tools that we hope to finish and put out to the public in 2019.

  • God showed up for the ministry once again on Giving Tuesday and blessed us financially, in addition to the provision of many monthly givers that started in 2018.

Overall, we’ve seen God giving women confidence and depth in their relationships with Him. We’ve seen Him sending women out into their churches and areas of influence to teach and read the Bible with others. We’ve seen women’s ministries and bible studies start in churches which did not previously have them. We’ve seen church leaders take notice of the movement God is doing among the women in our network and ask them to take on leadership roles in their churches. It has been a year of growth and excitement.

It has also been a year of much transition on our leadership team. Several of our leaders were called out of the ministry throughout the year, which caused us to lean on the Holy Spirit for help and provision more than ever. God provided several new team members at the right times and continues to be the One who carries us individually and as a team. As the Team Lead, I wish you knew what I know and could see what I see! These devoted volunteers give many, many hours of their time to make Jesus’ name great among you. Your DWITW Team does so much behind-the-scenes work to keep our network alive and well. From graphic designers to content editors, blog contributors to Summer Study volunteers, babysitters to administrators — many hands, minds and hearts are at work to help the women of Dayton read their Bibles and know God better.

We are prayerfully expectant for 2019 and can’t wait to see what God does among us in the coming year.

God is good. we are grateful. We give him all the glory.

With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise Him in the midst of the throng.
— Psalm 109:30

Natalie Herr is the founder and team leader of Dayton Women in the Word. She is a servant of God, a wife, a mom of four and a God-sized dreamer. She loves teaching and equipping women with God's Word.