Posts tagged: discipleship

Announcing a New Series: LIVING HOPE!

By , September 7, 2017 11:29 am

Divine Design begins a new series Tuesday, September 19th. Please make plans to come and discover all the hope that you can experience in Christ! Feel free to pass along the information below to anyone who might benefit from coming to class or listening online.


In Jesus, we have a LIVING HOPE for every day and every situation! God is good and has good plans for your future, even in the places where you don’t feel hopeful. In this study we will learn to:

  • Connect with God and His plans for your life
  • Grasp the greatness of God’s goodness and faithfulness
  • Deal with disappointment
  • Make times of waiting peaceful and productive
  • Foster faith and hope through community
  • Hear the stories of women who have found hope even in the worst of situations


Tuesday mornings beginning September 19th at Covenant Presbyterian, Room 104:

10:00 – 11:15             Worship and the Word

11:15 – 12:00             Mentoring groups (optional)


Listen online anytime at

Can’t come on Tuesday mornings? Contact Kathy Girardeau at about additional times for mentoring groups.

DDD New Series Coming Soon!

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By , August 23, 2015 3:01 pm

I’d like to invite you to join us this year at DDD. Yes, it is a Bible study, but it is one whose aim is primarily focused on integrating the truths of the Bible in such a way that they go beyond head knowledge and actually become a part of your everyday life.


This is my passion because of my history. I grew up in a church that did an excellent job of teaching the Bible and I’m forever grateful for that. But, sadly, as an adult I found myself with lots of information about God but I really didn’t know Him very well. I knew He loved me because the Bible said so, but I had little personal experience of His love.

It could certainly have been said of me that I was “forever inquiring and getting information, but…never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7 AMP)


Everything changed for me when I discovered a method of learning called discipleship back in the early 90’s. I was a bit skittish about becoming a disciple until I realized what it meant. Jesus’ call to discipleship was a call to follow Him, to become apprenticed to Him so that I might learn how to do life His way.


The Bible helped me understand that Jesus lived life side-by-side with His twelve disciples. As they did life together they learned how to pray. They saw miracles large and “small.” Jesus mediated their interpersonal conflicts and corrected their erroneous thinking. He showed them how to integrate what they had learned in Scripture into their daily lives. Most importantly, they got to know Jesus intimately and, in so doing, they began to understand their own identities as well. “What an amazing opportunity,” I thought. “Sign me up!”


I’m excited to announce “God’s Names: A Portrait of His Heart” as the title for our new series this year. Until the Holy Spirit introduced me to an aspect of God’s infinite nature in a personal way, things I supposedly knew about Him remained one-dimensional and lifeless. Many, many times it’s been God’s names that have brought light and color and texture to the way I see Him. My picture of God isn’t yet complete, but each encounter with God and His names has yielded the kind of heart knowledge that enriches my life and my relationship with Him.


The Bible teaches us that we become like God as we see Him. As we meditate on the names of God together and pray them into our real life circumstances we cannot help but be changed! Please join us for this exciting time of getting to know God better!


GOD’S NAMES: A Portrait of His Heart 


In this study you will focus on:

  • Enjoying richer relationship with God by getting to know Him more.
  • Discovering your true identity by learning Who God is to you and for you.
  • Inviting God into your specific places of need by calling on His names.
  • Living out of the infinite supply of wisdom and power that His names reveal.


Tuesday mornings beginning September 15th

10:00 – 11:15             Worship and the Word

11:15 – 12:00             Mentoring groups (optional)

Listen online anytime at

Can’t come on Tuesday mornings? Contact Kathy Girardeau about additional times*** for mentoring groups:


***I am not planning on reproducing our study at night this year like I did last year. What I am willing to do is work with those who cannot come on Tuesday mornings to find times that are convenient to form additional groups. We would listen to the lesson online on our own time and then come together for praise, discussion, sharing and prayer. 


Covenant Presbyterian, Room 104, 65 Old Montgomery Highway, Birmingham, AL 35209

A Homecoming Feast

By , June 17, 2014 3:57 pm

When they stepped ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish on it and some bread. Then Jesus said to them…”Come and eat.”

John 21:9-12 GNT

The scene where Jesus cooks breakfast for His friends is possibly my favorite glimpse of Him in Scripture. He is the risen Lord, having defeated sin and death, and still He reaches out to those He loves with such humanity and simplicity. He chooses to minister to them over a meal! This is my ministry in this season, too; He’s teaching me what it means to feast.
My son recently moved home to Birmingham for his fourth year of med school. I had been anticipating (with some angst) Jackson’s relentless appetite, his ever-changing schedule, and my own heavy workload as a pharmacist. “Lord, what am I going to cook and when?” I cried out as I tried to generate a menu. The Holy Spirit reminded me to “seek first His kingdom” and trust the promise that He will help me.
So I put down my grocery list and pulled out my list of verses on the theme of “feast.” My eyes nearly popped out of my head when they landed on this passage:

We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time!

…Your father has ordered a feast—barbequed beef!

—because he has (his son) home safe and sound.

Luke 15:24, 27 MSG


Perfect—so personal and so helpful! “Thank You, Lord! Barbequed beef brisket will be my first offering,” I said. I had been hankering for some street tacos, so I made the brisket in the slow cooker and served it with tortillas and a yummy chili sauce. God not only provided the vision, but He also gave me a friend who helped me develop the recipe I share below.
My heart feasted as we ate those tacos together as a family. It was a celebration of the start of this special year, when—like the family in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son–my grown son will be home again. I was also celebrating the dawning of a new understanding of all that Jesus meant when He said, “Feed My sheep.”
Barbequed Beef Brisket
“Crock Pot Queen” is one of the many pseudonyms I have for multi-talented Dana Smith. (She is also the administrator for this website.) Her technique for pre-cooking the brisket yielded incredibly succulent shredded beef, not a bit stringy like other recipes I’ve tried. Blame her and thank her for the extra step—it is not difficult, just requires a little planning ahead. Also, Dana uses prepared barbeque sauce instead of the homemade chili sauce when she is serving a Southern barbeque dinner.
Brisket Ingredients:
1 beef brisket (3 to 4 lb.)
2 teaspoons salt
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bunch cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper to taste
Tortillas, warmed, for serving (we like the small corn tortillas)
Assorted taco toppings (cilantro, jack cheese, guacamole, or your favorite salsas—the mango salsa from Whole Foods produce section was fantastic here!)
Sauce Ingredients:
1 poblano pepper
2 jalapeno peppers
2 serrano peppers
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can (7.5 oz.) chipotles in adobo sauce
½ onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 ¾ cups beef broth
Precook the beef: Cut brisket into 3-inch chunks. Rub the pieces evenly with salt. Place sliced onion and meat in a greased slow cooker, then top with cilantro and ¼ cup beef broth. (Mine is the older 2-quart size, so you may want to adjust quantities accordingly.) Cook over night on the low setting. Take the meat out of the pot in the morning. Drain and bring to room temperature or refrigerate to complete the recipe later.
Prepare the sauce: Stem, seed, and chop the peppers. Transfer them to a blender. Add garlic, three chipotles, 1 to 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, and the oregano to the blender; puree until smooth. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat; add the chili sauce and cook, stirring until thick and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Pour in the broth and reduce until slightly thickened. (If this is more than you want to try, look in the Hispanic section of your grocery store and try a bottled sauce instead.)
Complete the recipe: Season the meat all over with salt and pepper and transfer to slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and then pour in the sauce. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. (Alternatively, cook the meat in a large Dutch oven, covered, for 1½ hours at 350 degrees; uncover and cook 30 minutes more.) Discard bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the beef with 2 forks; season with salt and pepper. Serve the shredded beef in tortillas along with the toppings.
Crock Pot Queen, Dana Smith
Food Network Magazine

Ruth: A Study of Redemption, Week 7 – 04/09/13

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By , April 9, 2013 10:23 pm

We continued our look at the third chapter of Ruth, using her encounter with Boaz as a model for prayer.

Ruth: A Study Of Redemption, Week 6 – 04/02/13

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By , April 3, 2013 11:03 pm

We began chapter 3 this week looking at Ruth as an example of a disciple and Boaz as a picture of Jesus. Through their interaction we see that Ruth was COMMITTED, COVERED, and COMFORTED.

Ruth: A Study of Redemption

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By , January 8, 2013 2:45 pm

Hi Ladies!
I am excited about the New Year and all that God has put on my heart to share in the upcoming semester at Divine Design Discipleship. I have attached the details for Ruth: A Study of Redemption. Please plan on joining us and be sure to invite your friends.
Note the February 12th start date. This is due to the retreat Jan 18-20 and the CPC Missions Luncheon on Tuesday, February 5th. We will still have a full semester, so come ready for God to minister to you by using these next few weeks to prepare your heart. Meanwhile, catch up on the most recent blog posts or listen to past messages on our website at
Much love to you all!



Ruth: A Study of Redemption

In the book of Ruth we find two women who are in the midst of barren times. As they bring their losses, disappointments, and uncertainties to God, they enter a new season of purpose, provision, and community. Join us as we seek to know God as Redeemer by studying this exciting story and applying it to our own lives.
If you desire to grow relationally and spiritually this year, here are some opportunities you’ll find at DDD:

  • In-depth Bible Study – We will focus on knowing Jesus as our Redeemer, discovering His restoring and renewing work in our lives.
  • Relationships – Experience body life where mature believers invest in younger ones. Find encouragement and prayer support from like-minded women.
  • Refreshment – Renew your focus as we come together for weekly times of corporate meditation, prayer, and song.
  • Application – Make the principles of Scripture personal through workshops, written resources, and prayer. See what God is doing in the lives of other women and share what He is doing in your own life.

Led by Kathy Girardeau
Tuesday Mornings beginning February 12th, Covenant Pres., Room C316

  • 10:00-11:15 Worship and the Word
  • 11:15-12:00 Prayer and Mentoring Groups (optional)



In the Beginning

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By , September 14, 2010 9:37 pm

I often marvel at the power and creativity of God when I consider how I arrived at becoming a Bible teacher and leader of a discipleship ministry. After all, I was the woman who had vowed, “I’ll do anything but teach” when my father urged me to use my gifts in a classroom just as 7 of his siblings had. Instead, I pursued a degree in pharmacy and a career in pharmaceutical sales. All along, however, I was aware that God had planted a deep love for His Word in my heart and an intense longing to do something of lasting significance. I assumed that marrying and having children would quell these rumblings, but realizing these dreams only made the desire for eternal things more intense. After a yearlong wrestling match with God, I finally agreed to leave the workforce and become a full-time mom. Almost immediately, the Lord began to present me with opportunities to work for His Kingdom. To my great surprise, not only did I participate, but I actually enjoyed ministry!

I’ll never forget the day that the direction of my life was forever changed. I heard Psalm 119:65 explained for the first time. Its basic meaning is that I can expect God keep His promises and interact with me according to what He says in the Bible. Suddenly, I saw my relationship with Him in a new light that was shockingly simple. I am free to approach God (in fact I am invited to do so!) asking Him to make His Word my personal experience. All my years of acquiring Bible knowledge were about to culminate in what Jesus modeled for us—a lifestyle of discipleship. To say that I was excited is an understatement! I furiously began applying all the principles and promises of Scripture and found, to my great delight, that God is completely faithful to fulfill His Word. This discovery was too great to keep to myself. I soon had 3 other women meeting around my dining room table seeking to apply the Word of God to the issues of their lives as well. As I have continued this pursuit over the years, the Lord has not only grown me spiritually, but has called other women to join me in the journey. The ministry of Divine Design Discipleship has become a community in which many women of faith have learned to know God and experience life according to His design.

This website is offered so that you might take advantage of the testimonies, tools and techniques that have proven helpful in my journey. I pray that God will bless you as you explore them.

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