Heartfelt: An Interview with Dr. Joneal Kirby (Part 1)

Dr. Joneal Kirby

Today we will be sharing the first of a two-part interview with Dr. Joneal Kirby, author of the new ebook Heartfelt: A Woman’s Guide to Creating Meaningful Friendships, recently released by Worthy Publishing. Heartfelt takes a look at the importance of inter-generational relationships for women in the church, and how women can begin to develop deep friendships with other women.


You have an impressive resume of accomplishments—your books and career in counseling have made a huge impact on thousands of women. Tell us more about the everyday you.

I am blessed to enjoy a close relationship with all of my children. They are busy, faith-filled, godly people. And God has blessed them with amazing mates and children. I am so proud of them and who they are and am humbled by the fact they are so much more than I ever was at their young ages.

My husband and I are the closest of friends and we have worked hard to build a lifetime love in our marriage. We certainly do not do it perfectly and some days not even well. But we love Jesus Christ and embraced on our wedding day that our love for Christ would always be the foundation of our covenant love. I think our marriage is even stronger and healthier because we have done marriage ministry together for almost 20 years. That will keep you on your toes!

My husband and I enjoy 40 years of marriage, 130 acres of rolling hills and woods which we share with our daughter and her husband and children, and are planning on staying healthy and strong so we can do our marriage ministry together and I can continue traveling to teach women’s ministry workshops.

Were there any major life events that inspired you to write your book, Heartfelt: A Woman’s Guide to Creating Meaningful Friendships?

I’ve been doing women’s ministry for over 30 years. I wrote and developed our women’s ministry, now known as Heartfelt Friends, then it was Heart to Home, in 2003 just for my church. I knew we needed some way to connect the bright, eager, growing and yet less mature young women in our church with the vitality, faithfulness, and wisdom of our older women.

Titus 2 created a fire and passion in me to carry out verses 3-5 in our church. I wrote a program, a PowerPoint and a training manual that I could take with me and for the last 12 years, I’ve traveled all over the country teaching in churches and workshops and conferences.

Missy Robertson and Kay Robertson, of Duck Dynasty, are members of our church and have participated in Heartfelt Friends since the beginning. Missy Robertson and Kay decided to have a women’s conference, then at this women’s conference we’d have the opportunity to share our women’s ministry. In the planning days of the conference, the ministry and I attracted the interest of Worthy Publishing and together we shaped and wrote Heartfelt.

Heartfelt challenges readers to either join or create a Titus 2 ministry—why is it important for women to learn to open up their homes and hearts and experience a Titus 2 ministry?

There is nothing that builds closeness, unity, fellowship, intimacy and true loving feelings like having folks in your home.

Women crave these kind of deep connections and relationships, but we do not have time in our busy lives to do this routinely without a PLAN! A program with consistency, guidelines, structure, and intentionality helps everyone to get this scripture out of their heads and hearts and into their hands. It’s important that church leaders take this plan seriously, just as they do their children’s ministries, men’s ministries, leadership trainings and other discipling programs in their churches.

We need this program to encourage the passing of faith from the older generation to the younger. We older people need the energy, courage and openness of the younger people to help us stay focused and passionate for God. We need these cross- generational relationships like we need air! [Click to Tweet!]

Why do you think so few women follow the calling in Titus 2:3-5, to teach what is good and to train young women to love and follow the Lord? What can church communities do to make sure this calling is not forgotten?

I have asked this question hundreds of times. In fact, I just asked it to a group of women last night when I was training them to become Titus 2 Mentors. There are probably one hundred answers to it also. What I believe some of the main causes for reluctance or avoidance of being a Titus 2 woman is a lack of understanding of what it means and what that would look like if you did it in the year 2015.

We no longer live as we did in America for hundreds of years when we lived in communities that were stable and consistent and which included much of your own family. Women are not spending the majority of their day thinking, planning and focusing on their families and their homes as women had done for centuries. The church has been fairly silent, I believe, on how to intersect the life of the modern woman with the Biblical tradition in a way that makes sense to an entire generation.

That’s why I believe having a structured plan for churches to implement is so needed. It’s more than helpful. It’s a program and a functional way to teach mentoring the younger generations in faith and family.

I know these facts: Women want to serve. Women want relationships. Women want to learn of God together. Women want to support one another. [Click to Tweet!] But most, I’ve found, do not have any way of doing this in a routine, organized, intentional way. That’s why I believe Heartfelt feels so nice and hits a tender spot in women’s hearts when they learn of its message and its method.

You include stories from Missy and Kay Robertson, in what ways have they been involved in Heartfelt ministries?

I have been so blessed to minister with Kay for about twenty years to many young women in our church and community.

Kay is a terrific Heart Mom and has been doing mentoring before the word was ever mentioned in a church setting. She has a deep love for helping anyone who is hurting. She is a genuine, caring friend to many and she has supported our ministry and me since the beginning of Heart to Home.

Missy has grown up at our church and in our Titus 2 mentoring program. She was a young wife, young mom, with 3 children when she started coming to our small groups. Missy has been in my group several times over the years, and her love and commitment to soaking up the wisdom of the “senior saints” is very deep and true.

I am very grateful for Missy and Kay’s love of Titus 2 ministry and beyond blessed by their love and support over the years. We are very close friends and have served in our church together in many different ways.


Get Dr. Joneal Kirby’s ebook, Heartfelt: A Woman’s Guide to Creating Meaningful Friendships, and check out great new titles from Worthy Publishing today. Check back tomorrow for part two of our interview with Dr. Joneal Kirby.

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Get Bible Reading Plans with the Free Vyrso App

Discover a space dedicated to bringing you one of the best Christian ereading experiences when you download the Vyrso app.

Vyrso has it all to make your Christian ereading experience even better! [Click to tweet!]

From convenient one-touch Bible references as you read devotionals and Christian living ebooks to letting you jump into another world as you read your favorite Christian fiction novels to choosing from a  variety of pre-loaded Bible reading plans and access to an ESV Bible.

The Vyrso app was created so that you can easily spend time in the Word. It automatically syncs your ebooks, notes, and reading plans across all your mobile devices no matter where you go.

Get more out of your daily Bible reading.

Vyrso’s reading plans are centered around Biblical topics and themes. You’ll be sent to passages on relevant topics and discover what the Bible has to say on topics like marriage, faith, promises, and more.

Pick out a preset Vyrso reading plan today:

1. From the homepage, locate the “Today’s Readings” section.

2. Tap the + Add Item icon.

Reading Plans Tutorial 1

3. Choose “Bible Reading Plan”.

4. Tap “New Reading Plan”.

5. Select Private or Group Reading Plan.

6. Select a plan preset from the list.

Reading Plans Tutorial 2

Vyrso let’s you stay in the Word daily! Download the Vyrso app today and you’ll find the joys of Christian ereading right at your fingertips.


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Excerpt from Elizabeth George's "A Woman After God's Own Heart"

A Woman After God's Own Heart

Elizabeth George is a Christian writer, teacher, and popular public speaker. She has written over 21 books mainly aimed at Christian women, focusing on Christian living and personal Bible study.  Her titles are geared to help women remain focused on God’s truths for them along with real-life applications.  

Check out this excerpt from the chapter “A Heart that Loves—Part 1,” in Elizabeth Geoerge’s title, A Woman After God’s Own Heart. Through May 30, you can get this ebook plus 17 more devotionals and study guides from Elizabeth George in the Elizabeth George Bundle for $69.99 and save 65%!

How can a wife nurture a heart of love, a heart prepared to support her husband in practical ways “until death us do part”?

Decide to make your husband your Number One human relationship—Our relationship with our husband is meant to be more important than the relationships we enjoy with our parents, friends, a good neighbor, a brother or sister, a best friend, and even our children—and the way we use our time should reflect that ranking.

I learned a lot about this kind of decision while reading a book written by a mother and her married daughter, Jill Briscoe and Judy Golz. Right before her daughter was married, Jill sat her down and told her that once she was married, she couldn’t come running home and she was no longer to be dependent on her parents for anything.

Then the daughter wrote: “When [Greg and I] were first married, I almost automatically reached for the telephone whenever I had a certain problem or very good news to share. Usually before I finished dialing your number, Mom, I realized what I was doing, and I made sure Greg knew about it first before calling you.”

Judy also asked her mother, “Do you remember the time Greg and I had a newly married tiff and I called you in tears? The first thing you said to me was, ‘Judy, does Greg know you are calling me?’”

I say, “Bravo!” to this mother who voluntarily stepped out of a Number One relationship with her daughter and showed her the way to make her husband her new Number One human relationship! After all, God said that we are to “leave and cleave”—to leave our parents and cleave to our mate (Genesis 2:24). When parents are overly involved in a child’s marriage, problems can arise.

In Building a Great Marriage, author Anne Ortlund suggests that couples consider signing an agreement that spells out the status between marriage partners and parents. She suggests the wording might go something like this: “I am no longer accountable to obey my parents. I am freed from that authority, to be bound, joyfully and securely, to my mate.” A pastor I know includes vows for the parents during the wedding ceremony: They basically vow to stay out of the new couple’s marriage!

Whenever I counsel a young married woman, I enthusiastically encourage her to talk to her mother and mother-in-law about recipes, skills, crafts, interests, the Bible, and spiritual growth. But I am emphatic when I say not to talk to either woman about her husband. (And that works the other way, too. Mothers and mothers-in-law shouldn’t be discussing their husbands with their daughters and daughters-in-law.)

To make your husband Number One will take some work as you deal with drop-in parents, learn not to plan things with either set of parents (or anyone else for that matter) without asking Mr. Number One first, and handle expectations (“Of course you’ll be spending Christmas with us?. . .Or coming over every Sunday?. . .Or calling every day?”). Your husband is to be Number One in your life (after God)—and he needs to know it. [Click to tweet!] And everyone else needs to know it too.

Begin to choose your husband over all other human relationships—Again, this includes your children. Two psychologists stated, “The point at which many marriages jump the track is in over-investing in children and under-investing in the marriage.”


Elizabeth George’s ebook, A Woman After God’s Own Heart is available with 17 other titles that focus on spiritual growth as a woman, wife, and mother in the Elizabeth George Bundle—on sale for $69.99 through May 30

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Take Notes in Your Ebook with the Free Vyrso App

The free Vyrso app is a great tool to enhance your Christian reading experience.

Vyrso offers over 6,000 titles on Christian living. One of my favorite parts about reading these titles in my Vyrso app is that I’m able to highlight and take notes on specific quotes.

Gone are the days of having to flip through pages to find highlighted sections or even having to scroll through my ebook hoping to find my highlights and notes.

When I take notes with the Vyrso app, I don’t have to worry about losing them—the Vyrso app not only keeps all of my notes in one place where they’re easy to find, but I can see highlighted sections in individual ebooks I’m reading.

Here’s how you can highlight important quotes, write notes, and find them with ease in the Vyrso app:

1. Start by tapping and holding a word at the beginning of the quote, then drag your finger across the text to begin highlighting and lift it in order to stop highlighting the text.

2. After the text is highlighted you will be prompted to Copy, Share, Highlight, or Note the specific selection of text. In this example we want to add a specific note to the text selection, so you would tap, “Note.”

Highlighting Tutorial

3. When your note opens, the “Note Title” will be pre-filled with the selected text, but can be changed as needed.

4. Enter in your personal thoughts and notes in the blank note field (below the Note Title).

Highlight Tutorial

5. Next select the “Document” that you wish to store this note in. Documents are a great way to organize notes and highlighted sections of your ebooks. Simply tap on the document name to bring up your list of documents or create a new Document by tapping on the “+” symbol

6. When you’re finished, simply tap “Done” and the note editor will close. You will be able to view the note in the ebook.

 Highlighting Tutorial

7. If you’re looking for a specific note, but don’t want to scroll through your entire resource, you can access your notes document by tapping, “More” in the bottom right and then selecting the “Notes” option.

Highlighting Tutorial


Get the free Vyrso app today!

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New: Inspiring Devotionals Bundle

Inspiring Devotionals Bundle

Through May 26, take advantage of huge savings with the Inspiring Devotionals Bundle.

You’ll get six devotional ebooks for $20.99—that’s 69% off! These ebooks are all loaded with applicable devotional content that will cultivate spiritual growth and healthy prayer habits.

You’ll find the following ebooks in this bundle:

Renew My Heart by John Wesley

Renew My Heart brings together 180 selections from John Wesley’s widespread writings, addressing issues like salvation, grace, faith, victory, and more. Get more out of your devotional experience with Renew My Heart and enjoy refreshing truths with God.

Overcoming the Hurt: 60 Thoughts on Life’s Temptations, Trials, and Triumphs by Arnie Cole, Pam Ovwigho, and Michael Ross

In this 60-day devotional, you’ll be led through the book of Job, one of the most beautifully-written pieces of biblical literature. Verse after verse reveals God’s sovereignty standing with us in our trials—he is the Father of “suffering with.” This devotional let’s you walk in the shoes of a fellow struggler and discover that knowing our Creator is infinitely more important than understanding our hardships.

One-A Daily Devotional: One Way, One Truth, One Life by Various Authors

One is a daily devotional, wholly focused on the person of Jesus. You’ll be inspired to live each and every day purposefully and completely focused on Jesus—the one who is the way, the truth, and the life. After each day’s reading, you’ll come away encouraged, refreshed, and motivated to approach life differently—more fully focused on the one who died so that you might live.

One Year with Jesus: 365 Devotional Thoughts on the Red Letter Words by James A. Davey

Discover one year of daily, easy-to-read devotionals based on the Bible’s words of Christ. Walk with Jesus’ words from his first recorded words at age 12 all the way through his many pronouncements in the Gospels and book of Acts.  One Year with Jesus lays out both what the Lord said and a compelling thought to bring these “red letter” words into the context of our daily lives.

You Are Chosen: Inspiration to Reassure Your Soul by Darlene Sala

Enjoy 90-entries written for women that truly show-off God’s desire to know you and his determination to make you his own. Issues such as purpose, loneliness, perseverance, and beauty are addressed to remind you how much God loves you.

God Calling: Expanded Edition by A.J. Russell 

The classic devotional God Calling has encouraged, challenged, and informed millions of readers around the world. You’ll access daily entries that will speak to you and remain as relevant as it was today as did when it was originally published almost seventy years ago.

Get the Inspiring Devotionals Bundle for $20.99 today and save 69%—that’s a total of $48.95 in savings!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life . . . Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” —Proverbs 31:10-31, ESV

This Mother’s Day, don’t forget to take the time to thank the moms you know—including your own!—for all that they do.

Identify the Proverbs 31 women in your life—maybe it’s the busy mother, a soon-to-be mother, a new mom, or maybe it’s the woman who acts like a mother to you who supports you. Whoever she is, she demonstrates true beauty and value through her love for the Lord and those around her.

Watch and share this encouraging video with those you love and the women in your life:

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Free Ebook: Incomparable

Incomparable by Andrew Wilson

Daily we strive to grow in our walk with the Lord, and daily we can be overwhelmed by the amazing love and incredible grace of God. Andrew Wilson took time to study the Word and began to explore the being of God, the names of God, God’s trinitarian nature, and the attributes of God, resulting in his ebook, Incomparable: Explorations in the Character of God.

For a limited time you can get Incomparable: Explorations in the Character of God for free!

There are so many names and characteristics for God, often times making it difficult to fully comprehend who God is and how his characteristics all work together. Wilson takes time to fully navigate each name, each attribute, each characteristic in order to help us more fully comprehend who God is and what that means for us.


Wilson writes in Incomparable, on God’s unchanging nature:

“Almost everything about you is changing right now, even as you sit completely still. Your body is changing, as every second you produce twenty-five million cells, and your brain processes one hundred million new pieces of information. Your location is changing at a rate of sixty-six thousand miles per hour, along with the rest of the large lump of rock we call the earth. This rock is itself changing all the time, with the earth’s crust moving continuously, continents changing shape, and Mount Everest growing five centimeters every year. The sun, probably the largest and most steady object you know anything about, is changing rather more dramatically: It is now fifty million tons lighter than it was when you started reading this paragraph. Everything changes. Except God.[Click to Tweet!]“

Continue on your great journey of growing in your faith and discovering more about the extraordinary character of God by adding this free ebook to your library. You’ll be able to explore 60 names and descriptions of our creator, find profound Biblical insights that will enrich your faith, and connect truth to your daily life.

Get Incomparable for free through tomorrow, May 5. Once you buy this great ebook, you’ll be able to open and read it right out of your Vyrso app!

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Introducing the Elizabeth George Bundle!

Don’t let the busyness of life hinder your relationship with the Lord [Click to Tweet!], instead find inspiration and encouragement as you pursue God. This ebook bundle is centered on specific themes to inspire all women and the women you know, no matter what stage of life they’re in, to get back into the Word and pursue God.

Elizabeth George Bundle 

Elizabeth George Bundle

Through May 30, get 18 ebooks by Elizabeth George, worth over $200, on sale for only $69.99. The Elizabeth George bundle includes titles that focus on spiritual growth as a woman, wife, and mother. It comes loaded with devotionals and study guides all geared toward helping women find practical, real-life truths.

You’ll find the following ebooks in this bundle:

-A Mom After God’s Own Heart plus the devotional, and growth and study guide

-One Minute Inspirations for Women

-A Wife After God’s Own Heart plus the growth and study guide

-A Woman After God’s Own Heart plus the daily devotional

-A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus plus the growth and study guide

-A Woman’s Daily Walk with God

-A Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices

-A Woman’s Walk with God

-Following God with All Your Heart plus the growth and study guide

-Loving God with All Your Mind plus the interactive workbook, and growth and study guide

Save 65% when you get the Elizabeth George Bundle for only $69.99!

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Interview: Lysa Terkeurst on Faithlife Today and The Best Yes

Managing our time, stress levels, and spiritual health usually can be boiled down to two words—”yes” and “no.” So how do we make wise decisions on a daily basis? Lysa Terkeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explores this question and how to find “space for our souls” in her ebook, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands

Check out this episode of Faithlife Today and hear from Lysa Terkeurst on her ministry and her new ebook, The Best Yes:

In this interview, Terkeurst imparts a small, but effective, piece of wisdom on how to spend quality time with God on a daily basis—“Give God, who should be first, the first five minutes of our day.” [Click to tweet!] Terkeurst illustrates this with her morning routine—when her alarm goes off in the morning, she spends the first five minutes of her day reading the Bible rather than scrolling through social media on her phone.

Terkeurst’s new release, The Best Yes, is all about “learning to find and play the role God wants most for you to play, not the ones you feel pressured into playing for the sake of others or even our sense of accomplishment and worth.”

How can you start giving God the first five minutes of you day? How can you begin to combat “busy” and spend more time with God? Check out Lysa Terkeurst’s The Best Yes on Vyrso!


See more interviews and lectures with authors, speakers, and scholars on Faithlife Today, a new video series showcasing powerful insights, biblical inspiration, exclusive interviews, and more—all from your friends at Faithlife.

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A Salute to Dads Who Choose Not to Rage by Jay Payleitner

The Dad Book

Today’s guest post is from Jay Payleitner, an event speaker and the author of over a dozen books on family relationships, including the bestseller, 52 Things Kids Needs from a Dad. Don’t miss his latest title, The Dad Book, now on Vyrso. To connect with Jay, visit his website is jaypayleitner.com

About five years ago, I finally replaced our faded and flawed garage door.  It cost me $1,200 and made all the difference in the world when you pulled up to our home.  That new door was crisp, clean, and flawless.  I was confident it would stay that way because–even though my sons played driveway stickball—I had specifically selected a heavy-duty door so the wiffle balls wouldn’t leave a dent.

Eight days later, I pulled up to a driveway of four college boys playing stickball.  My eyes went straight to three gashes in my new $1,200 garage door.  As I had planned, there were no wiffle ball dents.  But it turns out that once in a while on the backswing a stickball bat—which is really just a broom handle wrapped with athletic tape—will strike the garage door with enough force to leave a noticeable crease in the surface.  Did I mention that door had cost me $1,200?

So, what did this dad do? Did I rage?

Claiming a small victory for dads everywhere, I’m proud to say I did not rage.  (Yes, I can hear your applause.) Now, it helped that my son, Isaac, jogged out to the street to meet me with a sincere apology.  But just as important, my mind quickly calculated what was going on.  There were no beer cans scattered on the lawn.  No police squad cars were pulling up with bad news. No creepy video games were crashing and slashing in a dark basement. My son and three of his life-long friends had chosen to hang out in my front yard and compete in the time-honored game of stickball.  What kind of investment does that require? Broom handle: $3. Wiffle balls: $6. A garage door with stickball bruises: priceless. (Marked down from $1,200.)

Gentlemen, hear me.  Please don’t stress out every time a floor gets scuffed, a table gets scratched, or a door gets dented.  After all, it’s just stuff. And stuff doesn’t last. Relationships are the one thing that we can take with us into eternity. [Click to tweet!] That’s why you want your home to be a place where unconditional love and overflowing grace reside. You want kids from near and far to feel welcome and comfortable.  As a bonus, you’ll always know where your own kids are and who they’re with.

There’s a story told by Harmon Killebrew, the great power hitter for the Minnesota Twins, during his induction ceremony into the Hall of Fame. He recalled how one day he and his brother were roughhousing in the front yard. His mother stepped out of the screen door and called out, “You’re tearing up the grass.” Harmon’s dad happened to be within earshot and reminded his wife, “We’re not raising grass. We’re raising boys.”

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. Your kids will grow up so fast.  They’ll be gone before you know it.  After that, you’ll have plenty of time to re-sod, re-paint, re-screen, re-carpet, and relax.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.”  Colossians 3:21 (NASB)

Check out Jay Payleitner’s, The Dad Book, now on Vyrso, for inspiration, ideas, and encouragement for dads to engage with their kids and connect them with God.

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