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Judy Keen

Overall I can say without hesitation that it has been a wonderful study for us all!!  Testimonies spoke to the value of this experience during our Easter Sunday sermons. For us personally, we have been touched and are so grateful for the work God did through this study and our small group experience.  Our group is one of the ones that plans to continue!

Judy Keen

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

At St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Deland, 13 small groups met during Lent, 2015, and used The Crucified Life for their study. About 135 members participated. So far we have received feedback from 8 of the 13 groups. Currently I know of 4 of these groups that plan to continue The Christian Life Trilogy, using The Resurrected Life. Two of the groups are planning to continue, but using a different resource. One group wants to wait until next Lent to use The Resurrected Life.
The following were responses to the question asked of our leaders, “What would you say has been the most important value your group received from this experience?”

  • Everyone loved the series and got a great deal out of it. Most felt that they saw the crucifixion in a different way with a deeper understanding. Words like thirst took on a new meaning.
  • All enjoyed getting to know each other and getting closer each week.
  • All were blessed through the series
  • Being comfortable with one another, building trust
  • To come together and share. (We all thought the material was excellent.)
  • The excellent core content has guided our conversation and created the environment for our group members to grow individually and as a group.
  • Getting to know each other and accepting each other in whatever situation we are in at this time.
  • We all learned the importance of really listening to each other. Some members of our group don’t have other Christian friends to talk to.
  • Making connections, community building, and sharing spiritual experiences
  • There has been remarkable growth in the group.

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

Janice Miller

I want to give a brief witness to the amazing beginning our Ladies Bible Study group experienced this morning as we shared Session One together. The women in our group, as you may have heard, have really bonded together as we have shared the Word over this past couple of years, and we always have a great time together…hence the name “Beloved Bible Bunch”.  But I don’t think any of us were prepared for the blessing the Holy Spirit poured out upon us this morning.  Three new ladies have joined us for The Crucified Life series, and they obviously immediately felt welcome because they quickly joined in the discussion as we shared our thoughts on the question as to why it is often difficult to forgive.  Soon there was deep sharing, some with desperate need for God’s help and healing grace.  At the end, we had a time of laying on of hands and prayer together.  The power of God’s presence was palpable and  tears flowed.  We had a sense that the ones with deep needs were “sent” to experience the love of Christ in our midst.

I am truly awed…..and joy bubbles up as I anticipate the continued sessions.  Thank you so much for being faithful to God’s call to develop these studies.

Yours in our Lord,
Janice

Janice Miller

I want to give a brief witness to the amazing beginning our Ladies Bible Study group experienced this morning as we shared Session One together. The women in our group, as you may have heard, have really bonded together as we have shared the Word over this past couple of years, and we always have a great time together…hence the name “Beloved Bible Bunch”.  But I don’t think any of us were prepared for the blessing the Holy Spirit poured out upon us this morning.  Three new ladies have joined us for The Crucified Life series, and they obviously immediately felt welcome because they quickly joined in the discussion as we shared our thoughts on the question as to why it is often difficult to forgive.  Soon there was deep sharing, some with desperate need for God’s help and healing grace.  At the end, we had a time of laying on of hands and prayer together.  The power of God’s presence was palpable and  tears flowed.  We had a sense that the ones with deep needs were “sent” to experience the love of Christ in our midst.

I am truly awed…..and joy bubbles up as I anticipate the continued sessions.  Thank you so much for being faithful to God’s call to develop these studies.

Yours in our Lord,
Janice

Sarah Bronos

I had one group start early because they wanted to start back up meeting after the Christmas break and didn’t want to start the study on Hebrews they were going to do and stop in the middle and change gears. I hear very, very positive feedback about this study. They love the content and the design of the class time. Having them start early has actually given momentum to try and get some more groups going.

Sarah Bronos

Christopher Brathwaite

The authenticity of The Crucified Life is beyond measure. I believe we at St. Marks are getting more from the program than Fr. Charlie expected.  By listening to a member from each group each Sunday as he/she reflects in the Homily/Sermon we have opened a new door to the church. The two homilist reflecting on “Forgiveness” and “Salvation” were right on spot: lay leadership is not just for non-clergy work, but for fresh and new insight from the village, the community, the supermarket, the drug store, the gas station, and from the kitchen table at home. Theology cannot be written once and for all. What the clergy learn in seminary is foundational and sound, but we sometimes forget the neighborhood: we forget that Theology must be expressed in cultural, timely, and contextual terms, understanding that God meets us where we are with a message for the people, where we are; A message undergirded by genuine care, love, faith, and God’s peace. What I am writing is what I have heard and it is melting my heart with joy: these people are sharp: I cannot speak for this Diocese, but St. Mark’s is already better off because of this series: (lay leaders have something to say). May God continue to guide us as we do the unusual (in the Episcopal Church) to build up the kingdom of God.

Christopher Brathwaite

A Missionary in the Middle East

My folks really loved the material! Can’t wait until our next group forms up.  –A missionary using the materials with three small groups in the Middle East

Russ Philbrick

Dear Fr. Charlie,

Last week we finished “The Crucified Life” in our study group and are now beginning “The Resurrected Life.”  We just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the study.  Probably the best we have ever done.  The devotional readings were truly anointed.  Thank you for serving God in preparing these studies, many are being blessed by them.

Yours in Christ,

Russ & Candy Philbrick
Ascension – Orlando

Kay Ruhle

They have loved your books and the devotionals have really hit their mark. You have done an excellent job on the books and the DVD? I’m sure you are most gratified with the response you have received from one and all!

Kay Ruhle

Pete Grigas

Dear Father Holt,

My wife, Carol, and I have been participating in a small group session during Lent using your “Crucified Life” series as our basis for discussion. We are members of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Deland and I have recently become a member of the Vestry. We have both found this series to be quite wonderful, thoughtful, and challenging – to the point that our group is planning to continue in religious discussions after we have finished this series. See what you’ve started?!!
Bless you, Father,

Pete Grigas

Holly Wade

Fr. Charlie,

The Don Pedro Island Women’s Bible Study Group began the Crucified Life on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Our group has done numerous studies of well known authors. I believe we all agree that the Crucified Life speaks so clearly to us. We all feel we are growing in Christ and developing a closer relationship with each other as well. We are pleased and uplifted. As the person who brought the study to the group, I am amazed at how easy it was to get the materials, how reasonable the cost for them and how rapid the answer to any and all questions. Love the website! Great Job!
TANHLTMH,

Holly Wade

Joyce Holmes

Dear Charlie,

We started with 6, moved to 8 and now…The Holy Spirit is doubling our group for the next section that we will begin in May! I will be going to Fl. for three weeks in April, so we won’t start until I get back. I cannot believe what God is doing with this. It reminds me of your work with another program several years ago. Our Presbyterian neighbors want to join us for the next section, so I cannot order the books until I know if it will be three or five of them.

For a large church this is nothing, but for a small church this is a cornucopia of good things! In the past, the same old group would come to anything-6! This bogs the human imagination. Thank you.

Praise Jesus!

Joyce

Pamela Easterday

Hi Charlie,

I just want to let you know that The Crucified Life is going very well at Holy Trinity.  We have 20 groups meeting with around 200 participants.  It is really taking our congregation more deeply into Lent.  The stories I hear from our groups include new friendships, more meaningful fellowship, and faith-filled risk taking in several ways.  People who have never led a discussion are doing it well.  One host is even re-learning to play the piano so that her group can close each week by singing a hymn together.  We are on an amazing journey together into the heart of the Crucified Life.  Thank you for making these materials available!

Faithfully,
Pam

Christopher Brathwaite

Yesterday at Bible Study I listened to Bertram and all I could say was, “what excitement,” I listened to a man full of joy as he reported on his home group/small group study on “Shame and Guilt” I thank Rev. Charlie for his vision and I prayer that more of us will be as inspired as Bert, as we continue this series. I pray that we will lean forward and stretch our minds to embrace this old story with the excitement and the newness it is bringing to light. I pray that those who think of ritual only will find in their small/home group, peace, joy, newness in building new friendships, faithful relationships, and a new thirst for the things of life that truly matter; a new thirst for the wisdom of God.

Dear Lord, thank you for love, joy, peace, and faithfulness to you Word, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

Fr. Chris

A Missionary in the Middle East

“Our groups are sharing at our “meetings” already how the material is touching their lives…..so nice…..”
–A missionary using the materials with three small groups in the Middle East

The Rev. Charlie Holt

“The launch of these materials has far exceeded anything I would have imagined. I was praying and hoping for 20 churches to participate in Lent of 2015 and we ended up with over 40 congregations with 2,000 participants. Wow! Thank you to God for doing exceedingly more than I could have ever asked or imagined! And thank you to the people of the Diocese of Central Florida for taking a step of faith in using these materials.”

–The Rev. Charlie Holt+

Bob Preisser

Rev. Charlie,

Our guys at Zephyrhills are really enjoying and growing through the Resurrected Life series… Your study is touching lives, and is truly a blessing.  We really hope that you will be able to minister again at ZCI.  Thank you and God bless you.

Geni Preisser, ZCI Prison Fellowship

Holly Conover-Wade

Jim and I did (just the two of us but you know what He said) The Resurrected Life study while we were on vacation. I thought it might be awkward with just us but it is one of the most meaningful studies I have ever done and I am sure not only because we always felt there were three of us at the table but because I received so much insight from the concept that we are living the Resurrected Life Now! I thank you for this gift to us. In the middle of the study we went to The Cove for a 3 day seminar with Lee Stroble (Case for Christ) and his chosen Scripture passages were tracking right along with were we were. I plan to present this to my small group for the fall or winter. There are members of my group that do not have a church home and the emphasis on “church” will be meaningful. Our friend Cheryl, did not have a church home and her service was in the high school auditorium. I, of course, know He was there but the lack of His Holy Place was hard.

Holly Conover-Wade

Fr. Nick Funk

Fr. Charlie,

Good morning. I wanted to take a moment and thank you for producing “The Crucified Life.” We’ve been using it for our Lenten program this year, and have had positive responses among the 15-20 folk who’ve attended. What I’ve heard as one of the main reasons that people have liked the program is that it’s a Lenten program from the Episcopal tradition that presents Jesus.

Fr. Nick Funk

Brian Walsh

Reverend Charlie,

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for following God’s call to write The Crucified Life.
I have been reading it ( along with so many others at Northland) and it has impacted me.

The short  life changing concepts presented on each day of the devotional are thoughtful, deeply insightful and so well written that they move the Spirit within.

Brian Walsh

John Carr

Although we used the materials differently with our group of 17-20 than you did it worked well.  We met every Wednesday night in Lent for Dinner and a Movie.  We opened with a prayer, I gave an overview of the evenings subject and used one of more of your listed questions as introductory thoughts to the DVD.  Your DVD messages were really excellent.  Your last one really gave new meaning to the Nike saying of JUST DO IT.   Now we just need to find our IT.  Good thought.

A new family of 5 has joined our church and made each Wednesday evening.  One will be our first baptism in a long time this Easter Vigil and two will be confirmed in May.  Another fellow made all of them and is a new member.  He said that he has looked for a church for 9 years and finally found a church home with us.  He said he appreciated the intellectual foundation of our faith.  He referred to my sermons that made him think rather than being told what to think.  He is also a fan of yours and really liked your DVD.  You have done a good thing for the Kingdom with your series.

John Carr

Lou O’Brien

Dear Father Holt,

I want to thank you for the excellent teaching series, The Crucified Life. I have facilitated Bible studies at Christ Church in Greenville, SC for over 30 years. We have 40 signed up for this class and after three sessions, there is deep discussion and good sharing. We plan to do The Resurrected Life after Easter. Joanne and Ted Quantz are dear friends and they met you in Jacksonville at Christian Healing Conference and they gave me the information about this series. We are moving to Greensboro NC in August and I hope to introduce Holy Trinity Episcopal Church to your work. Thank you for providing an excellent study, reflection and prayer during Lent; Blessings,

Lou O’Brien

Phyllis Bartle

Charlie,

Just wanted you to know what has happened at St. Judes since we went through the trilogy of Crucified Life, Resurrected Life and Spirit Filled Life last year.

The  small groups are continuing!  And growing!  And flourishing!  The groups are not all doing the same studies but what they are working through is appropriate to the group dynamics.  We’ve currently got at least 5 different small groups meeting on different days and at different times.

Thank you for encouraging us to get in on the ground floor with your programs.  They have been such a blessing to our small parish.

Your friend,

Phyllis Bartle
Rector
St. Judes Episcopal Church

Holly Conover-Wade

Fr. Charlie,

Well we are at the end of the Spirit-Filled Life. (we split up because of travel schedules and all will finish by 1/12.  Several just want to start at the beginning and “do it again.”  Don’t you just love that?  I believe I fall into that group.  It is a remarkable gift that you have shared with each of us.  I told the women when we started that I had been praying for each of them, by name each day, after we decided on this study.  I also told them that I would continue to pray each day and if each of them would make the same commitment as well, they would be astounded by what God would do with it. I know I was. We had The Holy Spirit and 11 women (three new) excited about coming to Bible Study, Him and each other!  The daily readings are compelling and clear and the explanations of gifts and fruit and how they are used together is so helpful.  I believe our new intimate knowledge of the Holy Spirit will strengthen each of us.  So, thank you and keep writing!

Holly Conover-Wade

Patti McCabe

Dear Father Holt

I know we have never met, but I know you have blessed me and I feel like I know you and want to be your friend.  You have been blessed by a beautiful gift from God.  You have been annointed with Gods blessing of understanding words.  You continue to “renew the face of the earth as a garden of righteousness and praise”.

You have brought me the true understanding of the Holy Spirit.  You have taught me how to live my life as a Christian by making sure my heart is aligned with the heart of God. Before I asked God to fill me with the fullness of the gift of the Holy Spirit I did not have a meaningful relationship with the Holy Spirit..  I kinda look at the Holy Spirit as my conscience.

Thank you for devoting your time to put your understanding of Gods love into words.  Please continue sharing with others. Hopefully we will meet some day.  We do have a very beautiful and peaceful island to visit.  Our group would love to share it with you.

Have a joyous Christmas and a Blessed New Year

Patti McCabe

Small Group Member

“Tonight at Bible Study when Dave lead the group in our closing prayer, it is the 1ST TIME EVER IN THE 21 ½ years I have known him to pray out loud, he has never prayed a blessing. Nothing! The Holy Spirit is moving in him!! GOD IS SO GOOD!! Also, him asking the group for prayer for his faith to grow is HUGE TOO! My jaw was on the floor! What a miracle!!”

– Small Group Member

Susan Wagner

Our Bible study group so appreciates the insights of your books as well as the framework for personal and group understanding. We have all come to have a better understanding, not only of the Lord’s call, but of each other, through your books.

– Susan Wagner

Dawn Darley

Words are very powerful indeed. The Holy Spirit has given me a thirst for more of Jesus and His words and deeds. I truly want to know Him more intimately. I use the example of Him on the cross often in my job/ministry. I am a hospice nurse. When speaking with my patients I often speak of the cross and how Jesus made a way for our sins to be forgiven. I see 3 men on their “deathbed”, just as my patients are. One accepted Jesus, the other did not. His powerful words to them influenced their decision. One chose to accept that gift on his deathbed. Sadly the other man did not. I am so excited about your teaching and in this new year I plan to use what God has given you to give to others as a tool to learn more of sweet Jesus. Thank you for allowing Him to use you. I will pray for you as you continue to minister and teach.

Dawn Darley

Hope Schmidt

Dear Rev. Holt –
The Bible Study group of women – WOW (Women of the Word) – from New Smyrna Beach came to hear you and worship the Lord with you all at St. Peter’s back in May 2016. We had finished one of your Trilogy and were very inspired. (Your Trilogy is so infused with God’s Word – I know they say it slows the progress of the reader to cite the fluency “address” of the verses. But personally it stops my fluency to look in the back or to try to find where they read those words in Scripture.) The study was another stepping stone on our path to completeness or spiritual maturity. Thank you so much for your obedience to Him in writing them! We all felt that the videos were a wonderful accompanying blessing – especially since they were not a professional, glitzy, movie star enhanced fraud – but real people, real life, real time in response to our real God.

Fondly, Hope Schmidt

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