Encouragement Blog

Welcome to my encouragement blog. My name is Jan Whitmore

Jan 429873 Author picture Janice Whitmore

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. NKJV 

 

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Category: Sow What?

  1. Transformation in South Africa Using "Sow What?"

    Posted on

    Mintie and MarithaPhoto: Maritha Esterhuizen with Mintie Nel

    I live in a quiet suburb in Hermanus, South Africa. Through serving our local homeless community, I met a precious lady, about my age (60ish). A low-key friendship developed between us over the past two years. She started sharing some personal issues and lately she asked if I would pray for her. I realised that a regular meeting time around the Word would certainly encourage her and be of great benefit, but I didn't feel free to just suggest it - so I prayed about it! I felt the Lord say that He was already busy and that I needed to wait! Exciting, isn't it!! I didn't have long to wait ...

    About two months ago she invited me for a coffee date. We had hardly sat down when she popped the question: would I be willing to lead a Bible study with her and some friends? She was the surprised one when I immediately said "YES" with a broad smile! She was quite overcome when I told her how the Lord had already put the desire in my heart and that He had put the desire in her heart and so we were both sure that we were in the Lord's will with this venture!! Awesome, isn't it!!

    As I prayed about it I know the Lord put Jan Whitmore's book "Sow what!" on my heart as the book to use for this Bible study meeting. I was so excited and especially when the books arrived the day before our first meeting. Isn't God just precious in all His ways! Such a testimony of His leading us! We have had the first three meetings already - what an incredible blessing!!

    The Lord is using the material in Jan's book with such powerful effect! Many questions and issues come to light and can be spoken about around the topic of learning to be aware of and train our SPIRITUAL senses and to understand that it is the Word taking root in our hearts that will bring the change. The Lord has already brought so many things to the surface shedding new light and deeper understanding with life-changing effect on them! It's such a humbling exciting joy to watch the Lord at work through this book!

    A significant key was the questions at the end of chapter one. Even though we all felt quite vulnerable about sharing on that level, it really challenged us to take a good hard look at where we really are spiritually and of course what we plan to do about it. The two ladies (we are only three) both declared that they've never experienced something like this before and that they are so very glad that we started the group and that they are looking forward to doing the rest of the book!!

    Thank you, Jan, for your obedience in writing the book!! We are so very grateful for this incredibly powerful tool the Lord has placed in our hands to help us grow spiritually in such a practical way!! May the Lord bless you abundantly, Jan, and I KNOW for sure that anyone who reads this book and/or uses it as Jan intended for a life group, will be amazed at what God can and will do! The Holy Spirit does ALL the work - just be available for Him to work through you!! Much love and blessings in His Name. Maritha Esterhuizen Hermnus, South Africa

  2. Transformation or Dead Traditions?

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    JH Newman said, “Growth is the only evidence of life”.

    If I place a seed in the palm of your hand and ask, “What kind of seed is it?”, unless you are a very keen gardener, you would probably have to admit you don’t really know. A seed is so small and insignificant that you can be forgiven for not knowing what special treasure lies in the palm of your hand. It may become a beautiful flower, full of colour and aroma, a laden fruit tree, or a nourishing vegetable.

    Book signing Book and PenThe reality is that it will not become anything sat in the palm of our hand! We will never know what it is or what it can accomplish until it is placed where it was designed to be— into fertile soil. Isn’t it incredible that one tiny seed was created with the ability not only to fulfil its own destiny, but to produce many seeds of its own kind, securing future harvests. There is inexhaustible potential in one seed—God made it that way!

    This is why God likens His Word to a seed; it has the very same potential when it is placed where God intended it to be—in the soil of our hearts. It is a seed that has all the power and ability not only to transform our lives, but the many lives we touch and influence if it is indeed growing within. It is only when God’s seed is planted deep into the soil of our hearts that we discover its true creative and transformational nature. So, if God’s seed is as good as the Bible tells us it is, we have to ask the question as to what prevents it doing its transformational work. We know there is absolutely nothing wrong with God’s seed, so guess where the problem lies!

    • Like me, have you ever wondered why some believers are radically changed while others remain spiritually lacking, indifferent and immature?
    • Why do some get saved but never experience an ongoing transformation of heart?
    • Why are some Christians as unchanged in their thinking and behaviour as the day they acknowledged Jesus? Just opening their mouth can give away where they are at.
    • What hastens and what hinders growing strong in our faith?
    • Is there a problem with the seed, or is there a problem with the soil?
    • What is it that contaminates, clutters, and captivates a heart, stifling spiritual development? What is a pure heart?
    • Why, when we have heard so much Bible teaching has our heart and life been changed so little?

    Sow What?, a discipleship experience based on the parable of the sower, is the culmination of twenty years of searching out answers to these questions. Jesus answers them in the parable of the sower! Therein lies the keys to dynamic transformation and spiritual growth. Therein also lies insights as to why many have ceased to grow spiritually. If we do not plant God’s seed into good soil in our hearts there can be no harvest!

    This book invites participants into a season of intentional seed-planting, cleansing and transformation. It is a discipleship experience written for small groups, packed with challenge and insight, written to help participants discover and experience the dynamic spiritual growth concealed within the DNA of one tiny yet efficacious “seed” – the Word of God.