girltalk Interviews Heather Platt

Reblogged from girltalk
May 29, 2012  |   by Carolyn Mahaney

Side note - girltalk is one of our favorite blog's here in the Women's Life Office.  If you are an avid blog reader add this blog to your blogroll.  Not only do they have great post's but there are also resources available on the blog.  Check it out today! 

It's been a few years, but we're excited to bring back our girl~to~girltalk interview series. In the past, we've been privileged to give you a glimpse into the lives of women such as Noël Piper, Mary Mohler, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We have several interviews planned for the next few months and today we are very pleased to welcome Heather Platt to girltalk. Heather is the wife of David Platt, Senior Pastor of The Church at Brook Hills and author of the book Radical. Heather serves David as he leads the church and travels internationally. She is the busy mom of three young children. We have not yet had the privilege to meet Heather personally, but have been so blessed by her godly character that shines through in this interview. We are sure you will be blessed as well. We asked Heather to answer a few brief questions to help us get to know her. More of the interview will follow in the days ahead.

Heather Platt


heather platt You probably know me as: David Platt's wife
I've been married for: 13 years this December

My children are: Caleb - 6, Joshua - 4, Mara Ruth - 22 months, and one on the way, Lord willing, in November

I was born/grew up in: Atlanta, GA

After the Bible, the best Christian book I've ever read: That's a tough one because I love to read. I have loved many books, but Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp and Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers are two of my favorites. I also love reading Christian biographies.  

Currently I am reading: The Well-Trained Mind (it's a homeschooling book so I can learn what in the world I am suppose to teach my kids for 1st grade!)

The movie I've watched more times than any other: It's a Wonderful Life

The music you're most likely to find me listening to: praise and worship

My favorite food: seafood

My favorite morning beverage: coffee

The household chore I most enjoy: cleaning and de-cluttering to make things more organized

If I have free time, you'll most likely find me: reading or exercising

My favorite place in the world: the beach!

The Bible verse I return to most often: Matthew 5:16, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."


Reblogged from Worthy of the Calling
May 21st, 2012 ~ Ashley Allen

Over the last several years I have been amazed – and appalled – by hearing some of the talk of Christian friends who are accepting whatever.

“Yes, they are barely clothed as they are dancing around the screen. You might call it porn. I don’t care. They’re movie stars and I like it so I’m going to keep watching.”

“That show is just fun. I would never cheat on my husband the way those housewives do, but it is a good show.”

“That show about the families is funny. I know that the Bible speaks directly against some of the things that are done and some of the ‘relationships,’ it is just TV, though. It doesn’t affect me.”

“Yeah, that boy in the book is a warlock and he does cast spells, but the books and the movies are so good.”

“That trilogy of books was a bestseller worldwide. The movie went to number one the first weekend it was released. It can’t be bad. I read the book and am excited to see the movie.”

“It’s a Christian book. Yes, some of the things in here aren’t great, but it is a Christian book.”

All of the statements above were made by believers about a variety of different things.

While not trying to appear as one casting judgment, Scripture does say that we are to hold one another accountable. As believers we are to live by a higher standard – one that God ordains in His Word and one that helps us look more like Christ rather than the world.

Often we don’t realize the effects of what we watch with our eyes and what we hear with our ears. Not only do these things leave lasting images in our brains, they also begin to dull our sense of right and wrong.

Additionally, whether we recognize it or not, we begin to think on things because it leaves a photograph in our minds. When we engage in watching television shows and movies that portray lifestyles, choices and decisions that are contrary to God’s Word, we are endorsing these behaviors and decisions rather than upholding biblical standards. If we say we believe God’s Word is true and is applicable to our lives, it should also be applicable to what we take in via our senses.

King David wrote, “I will give heed to the blameless way, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil” (Psalm 101:2-4).

The Holy Spirit led King David to pen this psalm following his indiscretion with Bathsheba. Through this psalm, one can see the standards he set for his life so that he might live set apart to Lord. He was careful to live in his home the same way he said he would live in the public eye (integrity). He was cautious about what he set before his eyes (setting no worthless thing before his eyes). He was careful about the company he kept and their effect on him (the work of those who fall away and their work fastening its grip on him). He was careful to know no evil (I will know no evil).

In the New Testament Paul wrote to the believers at Philippi: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

This is a good plumb line for us as believers as we examine what we are reading, watching and hearing. Do the things we read, watch and hear align with biblical truth?

I have a mutual accountability agreement with a friend in regard to this area of my life and her life. We challenge one another in what we are watching, reading and hearing. We have reminded one another that Scripture says our bodies are temples and the dwelling places of the Holy Spirit; we have been bought with a price; and we are to glorify God with our bodies (I Corinthians 6:19-20). Part of our bodies includes our eyes, ears and minds.

I also try to remember one thing: while I know that Jesus is present with me at all times - even though I can’t see Him with my eyes - if He were sitting next to me on the couch in fleshly form would I watch what I watch on television? If He were peering over my shoulder reading what I am reading, would He say, “That brings Me glory!” And, if I were going to the movies, would He select the same feature film as me?

The whatever we put into our hearts and minds has more implications than we realize.

How and what are you whatevering?

Ashley Allen was born and bred in Dallas, Texas, and currently serves on staff with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina as the Director of Embrace Women’s Missions and Ministries. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Christian Education and a Doctor of Philosophy in Administration, both from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. She has served on the church staffs of Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, and the First Baptist Church of Dallas. She has been an adjunct professor at Southwestern Seminary and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a guest lecturer at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ashley has a deep passion and desire for women to be discipled in the things of the Lord Jesus and to live out their faith in abandon in their everyday life circumstances. She desires for women to seek the Lord and apply the truth of His Word to their daily life. Ashley deeply desires for women who are mature in their walk with the Lord to reach out and disciple the next generation of believers in the things of God. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends; learning about the history of people, places, and events; reading and writing; watching any and all Texas Longhorn sports; participating in anything athletic; craft projects; and attending the ballet and musicals. Ashley is a Life Member of the Texas Exes, the alumni association of The University of Texas at Austin. She can be reached at

The Purpose of Loneliness

Reblogged from (in)courage
May 19, 2012


Music off, television off, phone left on silent, I’ve been dabbling with the quiet because I need to hear from God, but the truth about the quiet is that it has opened me up wide, turned on my dulled senses, and faced me toward my rawest, loneliest places. It is a constant struggle for me to not reach for my phone, always at my side. With my mouth I say I want to walk with God, but with my actions I crave a culturally acceptable numbness that keeps me from pain.

Many of us know truth with our words and our songs and in our friendship conversations, but it feels rare to experience it in the seething corners of our hearts or in those hurt, magnified memories we keep close and shoved down. We start to feel the quiet working on us, and so we reach for the phone, scroll through instagram.

I’m finding, even as I pursue the presence of God, that the quieter it gets, the lonelier I get and the more I am left to deal with my own thoughts and what I really believe about God. I’m beginning to see how I’ve discounted that I have the mind of Christ, that I am actually supposed to be able to hear myself think.
I’ve started asking how lonely was Jesus in His flesh. Who knows what it’s like to be God with breakable bones? And then I imagine the desperate, internal communion Jesus kept with His Father, the kind of communion I want with Him, too.

Because of Jesus, I’m starting to embrace the lonely, not hiding from it any more, and rather asking Jesus into it with me. Only then do I find myself truly not alone.

Even in the intimacy metaphor we receive with marriage, even in our most unified moments, we can feel most alone. Even with your most favorite sisters, in huge crowds, and with a boat load of kids, we find ourselves deep in the crevices of loneliness. We find ourselves feeling exposed and unfixed because there is no people fix, no earthly father, no covering that will do other than the covering Jesus gives, the messianic fix.

I believe we blow the horn asking all to gather in community often because we think it will save us – save us from ourselves. Community can point us in the right direction, but it still won’t fix us.

We in our lonely can realize a love that hounds, the presence of invisible God, and only from the solitude found there can we reach out to community and practice the healing of togetherness in Him.

What if we allowed the quiet, faced the lonely, and sat in it a bit? Might that lonely place be exactly where the door is, the one on which we knock, the one Jesus promises to open?


inspired by the reading of Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen and written by Amber Haines from theRunaMuck

Amber Haines has 4 sons, a guitar-playing husband, theRunaMuck, and rare friends. She loves the funky, the narrative, and the dirty South. She finds community among the broken and wants to know your story. Amber is curator with her husband Seth Haines of Mother Letters (published April, 2012). They are in the process of learning how to live in true community, to care for the orphan, and to love the broken body of Christ. Read her blog HERE, and tweet her a little HERE.
Reblogged from The Resurgence 
Jen Smidt

I recently came across a 20-year-old photo of Phil and me when we were dating. I started thinking about how very little I knew about relationships, men, and marriage then.

Formulating a list of what I would tell myself back then, my advice began with a stern warning to stay away from any man with a mullet . . . but then again, it was the ’90s—every man had a mullet!
On a more serious note, these are eight principles that would have taken much confusion and heartbreak out of those tumultuous dating years. I hope they help you:

1. Repeat after me: “You are loved.” 


I am not kidding. Repeat. After. Me. Out loud, often, with conviction. These are such simple words to say, but they have the most deep and resounding impact on our souls if we would just believe.
God says to his daughters in Jeremiah: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." Until you have tasted God’s eternal, steadfast, redeeming love, hold off on looking for a man. You may just end up settling for a quick love that cannot fill your core heart’s longing. Even if you are not currently being pursued by a man, you are constantly being pursued by Jesus.

2. You are less beautiful than you think and more beautiful than you believe.


Our sin makes us ugly. No amount of makeup, clothing, or confident, flirtatious façade can change that fact. It takes a humble, redeemed woman changed by God to admit the ugliness of her sin and rest in her beauty in Christ. We must repent of our pride, our shame, our obsession with our looks. We must believe and embrace who God made us to be: beautiful in his image.
True beauty emanates from a woman who boldly and unabashedly knows who she is in Christ.

3. Consider what controls you.


Is it fear, loneliness, demand for a man, seeking approval, career, money?
Let the love of Christ control you. Pay attention to what is controlling your heart as you wait for a date, are in a dating relationship, or even into marriage. We settle for lesser gods than the one who died for us and love us unconditionally.
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who might live no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:14–15

4. Address your daddy issues.


Most of us have them—wounds on our hearts from our earthly fathers and their shortcomings. Whether yours was absent and uninvolved or abusive and abandoning, don’t let him define who you believe your heavenly Father to be. Even if you have a godly and protective father, he is not God.
You are not looking for a dad-duplicate or a dad-replacement in a man. You have a perfect heavenly Father.
Let Scripture reveal to you who God is as Dad and what kind of care he gives his daughters.
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13

5. Charm and beauty are not a good dating plan.


"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30
Often, our grand scheme for how to snag a date goes only skin-deep. We put massive pressure on ourselves to pour on the charm and look cute wherever we go, not realizing that a godly man will also be concerned about inner beauty. God certainly is.
"But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." 1 Peter 3:4
A woman who fears the Lord is one who, despite her desire for a date, fears being far away from God more than she does missing out on a man who is easily fooled by her exterior.

6. Realize you are already submitting—or are you?


Submission is not only for wives. God asks for a submitted heart now, one that trusts in his provision and plan for your life, including dating. Ultimately, dating, and all of life, is about submission—waiting and trusting God and saying as Jesus does, “Not my will but yours be done.”
This does not, however, leave you helpless, hopeless, and hamstrung in the relationship department. A godly woman can express friendly interest in a brother in Christ.
  • It is OK to mingle—but don’t manipulate.
  • Peruse—but don’t pursue. Let him initiate.
  • Take notice of the godly men serving Jesus around you—but never stalk. It’s creepy.
  • Cross paths with a man who interests you—but don’t tackle him.


7. Dress to kill . . .


. . . your evil desires and his. We all know what it’s like to be noticed for what we wear. Your desire to draw attention to yourself is vanity. Do not falsely advertise what is not available to anyone but your future husband. Don’t open the door for men to make assumptions about you by what you wear. Help your brothers in Christ by dressing modestly and appropriately (and by all means, neatly, cleanly, and fashionably!) Check your heart for your motives when you dress.

8. Guard your heart.


Guarding one’s heart is still an issue even if no one is overtly vying for it.  Watch out for the “might be” snare, as in, "He 'might be' flirting with me and so I’m going to get carried away thinking about every possible place [read: marriage] that could lead."
It is entirely possible to honor God, yourself, and a brother in Christ on a date. Don’t elevate him or the relationship to the place that God alone should hold in your heart. Enjoy, don’t idolize . . . and for goodness sake, relax! A cup of coffee does not necessarily mean a diamond ring is soon to follow.
As a single woman, give your heart fully, wholly, unabashedly, and devotedly to Christ alone.
Be active, vigilant, and careful about how much of your heart you give to a man. Be able to walk away from a dating relationship with your whole heart intact so that your future husband is not robbed of part of it down the road. Prayerfully consider what, when, how much to give away.
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23

8115_medium_img Jen Smidt is the wife of Pastor Phil Smidt and is a deacon at Mars Hill Church involved in teaching and counseling couples and women.  They have been members at Mars Hill since its inception and have 3 children.

Brother's In Christ

 Reblogged from Our Single Purpose
 May 14, 2012

I have a hopes is that by confessing this, some of you will confess this along with me and help me feel a little less embarrassed. Ok-here is my confession. Almost every time I used to see a guy, I immediately would judge him in every way possible to determine within the first 3 min whether or not he is my potential husband.
Maybe it is just my strong desire to be married, or maybe it’s my critical judgmental ways, but I can be anywhere and subconsciously be looking for my husband. I can be in church and meet a guy for the first time, or be in a doctors office and make eye contact with the guy in the waiting room, or even be in my car and look at the guy stopped beside me at the red light and immediately decide if he is the one for me! It’s amazing how fast my brain works as soon as I see that there isn’t a ring on his finger! Of course I determine how good he looks-is he attractive? Then I notice how he dresses-does he take care of himself? Then I notice his smile-does he have a good personality? All of these things can drive a girl crazy-especially if you are trying to meet and talk to a guy for the first time! All within the first few min, I can write a guy off just by these stupid subconscious judgmental thoughts because he doesn’t meet my “standards” of my future husband. Looking back, I think I have been this way for a long time! Am I alone in this?

The Lord has totally made me aware of this very stupid thing over the past couple of years. He has even helped me see how I have ruined some great possible guy friendships in the past, all because of this problem I seem to have. One of the biggest lessons I have learned, and boy do I wish I had learned it a lot sooner, is to look at the guys in my lives as BROTHERS IN CHRIST.

Scripture says in Hebrews 10:24-25,
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. “
My question is this: why should this Scripture only apply to our sisters in Christ? We have a responsibility to encourage and love our brothers, just as much as we do our sisters! Now I realize this should be done with caution, as to avoid unnecessary common sense problems, but with a bit of sense, this should not be hard for us. Maybe it’s just me, but, getting this concept has not been easy. I have to remind myself all the time, to get over this subconscious obsession of finding a husband, and remember that these guys are first and foremost my brothers in Christ. Let me testify that this has literally changed my relationships with guys!

I want to challenge you to examine your own life. How do you internally respond when meeting a guy for the first time? Do you instantly judge him as a “potential” or do you see him as a brother. Do you automatically write guys out of your life if they don’t meet your criteria or standards for a husband? How can we as sisters in Christ better encourage and love our single brothers in Christ?

Marlana is a 20 something living in the sunny state of Florida. She loves driving down country roads, going to the beach, and loving on her nieces and nephew. She is currently working on her M.Div. in Women’s Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She loves Jesus and desires to teach and disciple teenage girls and women in the Word of God. Marlana is the visionary for this blog and prays that this will be an encouragement to all.

Last Minute Mother's Day Cards

Need a Mother's Day card?  Download this pretty card from How About Orange and print it from your own computer.  Click here to download.   

Fall 2012 BWI Courses

Are you interested in taking BWI classes?  If so, this fall is a great time to start!  
Check out the courses that will be available below. 

New Testament Book Study  
This course will be verse by verse expositional/exegetical study of a book of the New Testament. The course will include a survey of interpretive methods with regard to biblical studies.  Also included in the course will be an introduction to theological interpretation. Key components of the book and the book’s theological contribution to the Biblical canon will be covered.

Biblical Foundations for the Minister’s Wife 
A practical survey of issues relating to the role of the minister’s wife. This class is directed primarily toward pastors’ wives, current and potential.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm
Dr. and Mrs. Danny Akin

Biblical Theology of Womanhood  
This course will examine biblical passages and concepts regarding God’s unique and consistent plan for women. Biblical Theology of Womanhood is designed to highlight the patterns of biblical femininity and to provide resources for implementing the Scriptures into the lives of women of today.

Counseling Women 
The course objectives for this class will be to think about life/problems/solutions in biblical categories, to develop basic tools for biblical counseling, and to be able to evaluate “Christian counseling” and self-help materials from a biblical perspective. The class will also learn more about the field of counseling and its vast resources for further self-education and personal ministry to women.

Church History  
An introduction to key historical events and figures that shaped the belief and practice of Christianity throughout the centuries.

Intro to Missions  
This course is designed to introduce women to God’s global mission and the biblical, theological, historical, and practical bases for their participation in His mission.

Spiritual Disciplines The purpose of this course is to integrate sound teaching with sound methodology regarding the spiritual disciplines in the hopes of increasing the wonder of personal and corporate worship as well as motivate vital engagement in the mission of our faith.

Preparing for Missions 
This course is designed to offer women biblical and practical preparation for living and ministering on the mission field, with special attention to a specific region of the world.

Old Testament Book Study  
This course will be verse by verse expositional/exegetical study of a book of the Old Testament. The course will include a survey of interpretive methods with regard to biblical studies.  Also included in the course will be an introduction to theological interpretation. Key components of the book and the book’s theological contribution to the Biblical canon will be covered.

Baptist Identity  
This course will provide a very basic orientation to key issues in Baptist History and Identity.

Christian Faith and the Arts 
This course will help women learn how to think about the arts (music, film, literature, painting, architecture) from a Christian perspective. Questions to be considered in this course include: How do the Christian faith and the arts relate? How should a Christian interact with the arts? What are the applications for a biblical theology of the arts for the home, the church, and for the public witness?

Continue to check back at for class times and teachers throughout the summer!  
Registration is not open yet for BWI classes, but will be this summer.

If you have any questions please contact the Women's Life Office at (919) 761-2340 or