Starting the New Year with…
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***Winner will be announced tomorrow, February 1st 2009***


What could be better than starting the new year with the giveaway 😛 ? At the end of this post you can find out how to can enter this marvelous giveaway. Lori had the opportunity to review Tara Barthel’s Peacemaking Church Women’s Study, “Living the Gospel in Relationships“. What is even more exciting, Lori got together for an interview with Tara.

I am excited to introduce you to Tara Barthel. The Lord, who always has perfect timing, brought this DVD Series before me to review while I was recuperating from a recent minor surgery. The Lord knew I would not be going anywhere and he had some things to teach me. So every morning at 5am Tara and I met through her DVD study, and the Lord opened my heart to more of Him.

This Women’s Study, “Living the Gospel in Relationships” not only gave me the tools I need when dealing with conflict, but she opened my eyes to idols in my life I did not even know existed. I am already praying for the right person to win this bible study, but if you don’t win this giveaway, I strongly encourage you to consider telling your church about this wonderful Woman’s Study. Without further ado…

  • Tara I am so excited to have you visiting us here at Laced With Grace. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I often describe myself as a “recovering lawyer” because my background is in the law and business, but currently I am a homemaker. I’m married to the world’s kindest man, Fred, and I have a five-year old daughter, Sophia Grace. Our home is very organized (I love office supplies!) but dusty and full of Golden Retriever hair (because I don’t vacuum enough). Before Sophie was born, I worked for Peacemaker Ministries—I was their first female senior staff member and I was responsible for all Christian conciliation cases, church interventions, and conciliator training. In 2005, I co-authored the book, Peacemaking Women, and in 2007, I recorded the video series that you are giving away in this drawing.

  • In your Women’s Study, “Living the Gospel in Relationships” the first thing you tell listeners to do, is to be a Berean. Can you tell us what that means?

This term is taken from Acts 17:10-11. Paul and Silas had just been taken away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went to the synagogue and met Jews, Bereans, who were “more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11, ESV).
I start the video series by encouraging the women to “be Bereans” because I long for all Christian women to saturate their minds with Scripture and test what they read and hear to see if what is being taught to them is true. It grieves me how unbiblical the theology is of many Christian authors and speakers—particularly those marketed toward women.
Yes, we have a lot of fun in “Living the Gospel in Relationships.” And no, I’m not a dry, boring speaker, as I’m sure you will attest to. But I do pray that I am rigorously biblical in my teaching; that I am a Christ-centered, gospel-proclaiming, thinking Christian.

  • How has the Peacemaking Principles of responding to conflict biblically changed how you handle conflict in your own life?

I am so grateful for the biblical peacemaking principles taught by Peacemaker Ministries. Prior to reading The Peacemaker (by Ken Sande), I simply had no idea how to glorify God and love my neighbor—especially my Christian neighbor—when conflicts came. When should I overlook? How could I ever redemptively confront another person? What does it mean when I tell someone, “I forgive you?”
The Peacemaking Principles have given me the biblical and practical help I need to live out what I claim to believe. I now know the opportunities that conflict gives me and how I can get help in my local church if a conflict “gets stuck.” It’s still hard to be confronted, of course, but I see now how much I need godly, loving, firm accountability and confrontation to help me in my journey of progressive sanctification. And I now know the sweetness of genuine forgiveness and reconciliation—that relationships really can be restored because of the power of the Cross!

  • I like it when you said the second thing we need to do when listening to the study “Living the Gospel in Relationships” is not to spend time thinking of the person who really should be hearing the study! Can you share more in how we fall in that trap when we listen to a bible study?

Whenever we hear something as life-changing and eternally-important as these biblical peacemaking principles (and I’m not using hyperbole—check out John 13:35 and John 17:20-23 to see what I mean), it is natural to be excited about telling others. We think about family members in a decades-long conflict; a couple in our church who is contemplating divorce; a feud at our local school.
We can be particularly tempted to think about someone who has hurt us—how they shouldn’t have done such-and-so; and how they were wrong when they did XYZ. It can be tempting to pop a “Peacemaker Brochure” in an unmarked envelope and “just happen” to leave it in their mailbox.
But if our focus is on others, we are missing the first step. In all of life, our focus is to be on the Lord. His glory. His Kingdom. His purposes. His plan. As we worship Him rightly and catch even a glimpse of His perfection and holiness, we are not going to be filled with criticism of others. Instead, we are going to see our own sin and fallenness and repent.
Worship of the Lord and humble repentance is the first step of biblical peacemaking. We cannot forgive and love others until we first remember how much we are forgiven and loved by God.

  • Thank you so much for joining us. Is there any verse the Lord has laid upon your heart for the New Year? Also is there anything that you are working on that you can share with us?

I recently blogged from Hebrews 2: “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”
I am praying for grace to not neglect such a great salvation as has been lavished on us by our Heavenly Father!
My next project is a series of board books and beginner-level books addressing relationships among toddlers, preschoolers, and young children (and their mothers!). Because kids never fight, right? ?
Thanks for having me. Please let me know if there is every anything I can do to serve you and your precious Laced with Grace readers.

Tara thank you so much for stopping by!


Would you like to receive a copy of Tara’s marvelous Peacemaking Church Women’s Study? The study includes: DVD set: This study includes four DVD’s that contain the eight video teaching sessions. Each video session is about 40 mins long. 5 Study Guides/journals Peacemaking Principles on responding to conflict biblically. Along with any promotional material to advertise the study if you are doing the study at church. All you have to do it add a comment to this post, or you can enter daily by leaving comments on the daily devotions of our team. If you share this giveaway with your blogging friend on your personal blog, it will give you another chance to win 🙂 . You have until January 31st to sign up; winner will be announced on February 1st.

Thank you for stopping by Laced with Grace today…Be blessed today and always,

171 thoughts on “Starting the New Year with…
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  1. Sandi Cline

    What a wonderful opportunity for our study group. I would love to win this contest and will constantly pray for it . Thank you for this opportunity. Gof Nlrdd

  2. cindy ratz

    I just started going back to church & I would love to win this to help me get started this year on the right path!

  3. Donna Bass

    This looks and sounds like it would be a wonderful study and my small group is always looking for something new. I would enjoy going though this.

  4. Marcy Strahan

    Thank for a wonderful giveaway.
    Bringing the words of God into lives is what we as Christian are propelled to do.