JOY - The Struggle is Real

Session 1: Wednesdays, Aug 28–Oct 2 @ 6:30–8p
Session 2: Wednesdays, Oct 9–Nov 20 @ 6:30–8p (no MidLink Oct 30)

Life can be challenging at times and it can seem to squeeze the joy right out of us. It is easy to have joy on the mountaintops of life, but what about the deep, dark valleys? The struggle is real y’all!! As we study the book of Philippians, we will discover that the central theme is JOY. In fact, Paul uses the Greek words for joy and rejoicing at least 16 times in Philippians. However, the joy that Paul describes is not dependent upon our circumstances. The book of Philippians unpacks messages of humility, contentment, confidence, hope and joy which are all found in Jesus Christ alone. Please join us for this 6-week study as we explore the true meaning of joy even when the struggle is real.

Facilitators: Lana Reed, Sheena Abraham, Stacey Marshall, Mimi Villarreal, Susan Barnett, Valerie Norris

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1 – Introduction/History/Background
  • Lesson 2 – Joy in Living for Christ
  • Lesson 3 – Joy in Serving Christ in Unity
  • Lesson 4 – Joy in Knowing Christ
  • Lesson 5 – Joy in Resting in Christ
  • Lesson 6 – Panel of 3 or 4 women with a moderator guiding the conversation. We will have women share testimonies/stories/experiences of how you can have joy in ALL circumstances.

Lana Reed — Lana Reed has been a follower of Jesus since a very young child. She accepted Christ during a Billy Graham Crusade, a memory she holds dear. She and her husband Bruce have been members of Houston’s First Baptist Church for six years. They find great joy in serving the congregation and Sienna community. Lana and Bruce are blessed with five children, four of which she homeschooled. Their home is frequently full with the happy voices of their fourteen grandchildren, loved ones and those who need shelter. Music is one of her greatest joys. She loves to sing and play the piano. Her first solo was in church at the age of 3. She also finds pleasure teaching children and women. Lana has worked as a litigation paralegal for over 20 years. She enjoys working hard for clients to reach successful outcomes at court. The scriptures are a treasure to Lana, a foundation to her faith. She enjoys memorizing and hiding The Word in her heart. I Corinthians 13 and Matthew 6:33 are some of her favorite scriptures. "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

Sheena Abraham — Sheena Abraham has been a member Houston's First Baptist Church since 2014. She helps organizations tell their powerful stories and connect with key audiences through her work in public relations and marketing. As Director of Advancement at Second Mile Mission Center, she works with the community to help families in poverty. Her passion is connecting people with purpose. She enjoys reading and writing about neuroscience, habit formation, and entrepreneurial thinking. Sheena has been married to Sajan for 11 years, with two children, Layla (8) and Ezra (5).

Stacey Marshall — Stacey Marshall has been a member of Houston’s First Baptist Church since 2006, moving to the Sienna campus with her family in 2016. She is married to Malcolm Marshall, and they are the proud parents of Madison and Sydney. Stacey has been serving God through youth ministry, sports ministry, marriage ministry, and women’s ministry for over 20 years. She is a teacher, coach, and administrator at The Kinkaid School. Her passions include reading, teaching, and studying God word. She enjoys being active in any sport or fitness activity. Most importantly she enjoys spending time with her family.

Mimi Villarreal — Mimi Villarreal has been a member of Houston’s First Baptist Church since 2009. In the Spring of 2014, she and her husband Greg transferred to the Sienna Campus. This summer they celebrated their sixth anniversary. Together they are the parents of a gregarious little girl - Victoria (3). Mimi and Greg are a part of the 2:42 Life Bible Study. She volunteers regularly in the children’s ministry teaching the 4th and 5th grade LBS. She’s been involved in ministry since her youth, coming alongside herdad who is a long time bi-vocational pastor of a Spanish speaking church in Houston. For nearly seven years, she was a 4th grade reading teacher in the Houston Independent School District. She had the joy sharing her love of reading with her students & encouragement to new teachers. She hung up her teaching hat when she welcomed her daughter prematurely in 2015. If you don’t see Mimi out and about, she is mostly likely spending time with family & close friends, studying scripture, reading for fun, slogging (aka slow jogging), or working on watercolor calligraphy projects. Mimi’s life verse is Psalm 126:3 – “The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.”

Susan Barnett — Susan Barnett has been a member of HFBC since 2004; first at the Loop Campus, then moving to the Sienna campus when it was launched. She has been married to her husband Gene for thirty-eight years, and they have a son, two daughters, and four grandchildren with another on the way. Susan has been serving God through teaching Bible Studies and LBS, women's ministry, prayer ministry, and music for many years. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. Some of her other favorites are: enjoying nature and travel, sharing hot tea with a friend, and chocolate.

Valerie Norris — Valerie Norris is currently serving as the Director of Women’s Ministry at Houston’s First Baptist Church Sienna Campus. She and her husband Jay moved to the Houston area in 2012. She has been serving God by teaching in the children’s ministry, 20’s and 30’s ministry and women’s ministry for nearly 25 years. She earned her undergraduate degree in business at Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration a private school located in Troy, Michigan. She worked for approximately 20 years in the banking industry in the commercial loan area with my most recent position as a Credit Administration Officer. God began working in her heart and after much prayer, encouragement and wise counsel, she entered the ministry as a vocation in 2012. That year she was employed at Dallas Theological Seminary and also began studying there. She earned her Master’s Degree at DTS in May of 2017. Her passions include studying the Word of God, teaching, mentoring women, reading and writing. She also enjoys running, working out, music, traveling, watching football (Go MSU Spartans!!) and spending time with family and friends. Jay and Valerie have two adult children (Brittany and Lindsay) who along with their families are also members of HFBC Sienna Campus. She absolutely loves spending time with her grandbabies Aleeyah and Chason and they bring such joy to their family. She is grateful to have the opportunity to do life with the amazing women at our Sienna Campus. She feels extremely blessed to be a part of the HFBC family and is excited to see what God is going to do!

Milestones Class Details

Life can be challenging at times and it can seem to squeeze the joy right out of us. It is easy to have joy on the mountaintops of life, but what about the deep, dark valleys? The struggle is real y’all!! As we study the book of Philippians, we will discover that the central theme is JOY. In fact, Paul uses the Greek words for joy and rejoicing at least 16 times in Philippians. However, the joy that Paul describes is not dependent upon our circumstances. The book of Philippians unpacks messages of humility, contentment, confidence, hope and joy which are all found in Jesus Christ alone. Please join us for this 6-week study as we explore the true meaning of joy even when the struggle is real.

  • WhenWednesdays, Aug 28–Oct 2 & Oct 9–Nov 20 @ 6:30–8p (no MidLink Oct 30) Starting Aug 28, 2019
  • Final Class Nov 20, 2019
  • Where Sienna Campus
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