A Place to Belong

By Hollie Roberts – BSF Executive Director

I was just another face in the crowd, one of 150 women gathered to study God’s Word in a BSF class. 

Nothing about me said “BSFer for life.” I was six weeks away from having our first child, and I walked into that group with a temporary mindset. “I’ll give it six weeks. This may not be for me.”  

But through God’s grace, my Group Leader saw beyond the shy woman before her. She saw me. In fact, she saw and sought to know every woman in our group. Her goal was not to win us to BSF. Her desire was that God would plant a deep love for His Word in each one of us through study and real community.

Six weeks turned into eight. Eight weeks turned into a year. And one year has stretched into many as I write to you from BSF Headquarters.  

This is my BSF story. God has faithfully used these studies to shape and grow my faith through times of real struggle and true victory. 

But my story is only one of many. This year alone, BSF will have 400,000 unique stories to share as members gather around the world to study Matthew.

In such a great crowd, will one story make a difference?  

Unique Stories

Matthew 1 begins with a genealogy. The author could have opened with a mighty miracle or listed the many prophecies Jesus miraculously fulfilled. Instead, Matthew begins with a list of names.  

Some names are familiar, such as Ruth and David, but who is “Eliud the father of Eleazar” or “Azor the father of Zadok”?  

These are easy verses to want to skip. But like every word of Scripture, God included this list for a reason. He knit together each story as part of His grand narrative – His salvation plan for humanity through His Son.  

Every name on this list is a person who matters to God. Psalm 139 tells us God created their inmost being. He knit them together in their mothers’ wombs. He knew their fears, their worries, their sins, and their hopes. He walked beside them as they led thousands and comforted them in great loss.  

God intimately knew every man and woman included in Matthew 1. And God knows you completely. There may not be a book in the Bible called “Azor,” or even a passage about his life, but his value before the Creator of the universe is absolute.  

So often, we want to become an Abraham or a David. We long to measure our faith by the actions of Ruth and Rahab. But David did not become “a man after God’s own heart” in a day. And God spent years preparing Abraham for the moment that his belief was “credited to him as righteousness.” God built these men and women of faith over a lifetime. He met them in the small, everyday moments, preparing them for the times their faith would be tested. 

We may not know anything about Azor’s life, but God does. And if God used Azor to weave the bloodline of Christ, how might He be using you? 

Woven together

Genealogies throughout Scripture remind us that God links us together, from one generation to the next. Matthew 1 is a collection of wealthy and powerful leaders divinely linked to outcasts and exiles. Together, this group leads to the birth of the greatest Leader and Outcast the world has ever known: Jesus Christ, our Unexpected King. 

The genealogical path to the Messiah was crooked and messy. But that was God’s perfect plan. 

In these names we see that God is sovereign over all things. No wealth, power, influence, or affluence was greater than God’s plan. And no tears, pain, struggles, or hardship escape His notice.  

Nothing we do has the authority to shift God’s purposes or plans. But through His kindness and grace, we are invited to participate in His story. 

So how will your story make an impact this year? And whom will God use to help you write it? 

Just as every person listed in Matthew 1 matters to God, so does every person in your BSF group. He knows the woman on your Zoom screen and the man sitting next to you as you learn from one another. Will you take time to know them, too?

Without a Group Leader who was willing to get to know me years ago, I would not be writing this blog today. I pray that each of us, whether the world sees us as Abrahams or Azors, would see one another as God does. Through His Spirit and the power of His Word, we are all connected as part of God’s wonderful redemption story. 

May we remember Matthew 1 as we meet each person who comes to our groups. May we invite those whom God places in our paths. May our group list read like the genealogies in Scripture. There is room for anyone and everyone who wants to come. 

Hollie Roberts

BSF Executive Director

Hollie joined the BSF Headquarters Staff in 2018. She served as a Regional Director and Chief Field Development Officer before becoming the Executive Director. Hollie first attended BSF in Amarillo, Texas, where she began serving in leadership as a Children’s Leader (CL) and Group Leader (GL). After moving to Houston, Texas she continued to serve as a CL and GL, before becoming a Teaching Leader. Hollie and her husband Kevin have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Her family is actively involved in BSF.

 

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1,632 Comments

  1. Thank you! Your dedication is appreciated and my life is enriched by BSF.

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  2. A warm welcome, dear Hollie, to your new position as our BSF Executive Director. I am so excited to begin the study of Matthew and blessed to be part of it with your leadership. May God be the Glory.

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  3. Last year was my first year with BSF and I loved the Genesis study and our study group and BSF leader were wonderful! I was asked to be a Group Leader for the Matthew study and was very humbled . I knew God had opened this door to me so I said yes to being a GL as I know He will be leading me as He always does!! About 5 years ago I went with our Pastor and 5 others from our church to Haiti to experience mission with an orphanage/senior living center which our church has helped for years. I wanted us to have an outreach to people we met along the way, so I had some t-shirts made for our group with “No go, no Lo” on the front so when people asked about these words we could point them to Matthew 28:19-20, and share our faith! I am excited and ready to keep growing in wisdom through His Words in Matthew, and ready to “Go” wherever He leads as “Lo” He will be with me!!

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  4. What a timely and encouraging message! Thank you for the reminder that it is in the little moments and everyday faithfulness that we become women and men after God’s own heart.

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  5. Thank you for all you are doing! So thankful for BSF.

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  6. I am so thankful you have answered the call to be our BSF Executive Director we in the Camilla Ga SDG will be praying for you as you lead us.

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  7. I’m praying Numbers 6:24-26 for you. Welcome to your new position in BSF!

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    • God bless you Hollie. I know you will be an inspiration to us throughout our lessons In Matthew. I will keep you in my prayers.
      Congratulations on your appointment.

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  8. I enjoyed what you had to say. Thank you for sharing your heart. I am excited to see what God will do to me through the study of Matthew.
    God bless you as you continue to serve Him.

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  9. Welcome to your new position, Hollie. Praying for The Holy Spirit to fill you with Wisdom and Persevering Power. I look forward to getting to know you as we study Matthew.

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    • Thank you for your service to BSF! May God’s blessings help you and guide you during this study of Matthew!

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  10. We Praise God Hollie Roberts for you. Thank you for sharing your testimony which is a great encouragement to us. May God use you mightily for the expansion of His kingdom.

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  11. I am looking for a BSF study for women. I am not available Wednesday mornings or evenings. I was given a Wednesday morning study which I am not available. Thank you.

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  12. Thank you for your commitment to BSF. Your storing up treasures in heaven. God bless you for the work you do.

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  13. Welcome Hollie, thanks for your love of Gods word and wanting to spread it to others like me. To God be the Glory!

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  14. Welcome Hollie! May God’s Blessings be abundant for you!

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  15. I thank God for you in the new position and pray God will hold your hand as you lead us. Looking forward to hear what God has for me and all BSF group in the book of Mathew. God bless you richly.

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  16. Dear Holly,
    I was thrilled to know that you answered to God’s call as a new executive director of BSF. My heart is full of joy and gratitude to our Creator. May He guide you and grant you wisdom and power as you seek to honor His name. I pray that you will be blessed through this holy service for His glory

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  17. Thank you Hollie for your comforting sharing. As it is my 2nd time to study Matthew, I can say that God allows me always to discover the richness of His Word. There is always new discovery each time we meet Him throw His Word. The 1st time I studied Matthew, the great impact in my life was:
    1)to know Jesus AT THE SAME TIME with my little students in school program L1 that Jesus is fully man and fully God. That was great! This truth comforted me too much and emphasized in my mind that my Jesus knew all the suffering I passed through.
    2)The great commission of Jesus in chapter 28 of Matthew: In 2008 I had a surgery for my breastcancer. Only to God is the glory and for Him is the glory for ever. It was succesful and amazing. I didn’t do any chemotherapy even the wound was enough long ( more than 10cm). Though I was a teacher of Sunday school and GL in BSF ( 2002-2007)(in July 2007 I had to move in another region of Madagascar because of my job), it was only 5 years after my surgery of my breastcancer that I begun to visit sick persons of cancer in hospital. And that I did right after a sermon that I heard one sunday at the church about the great commission in Matthew 28. I struggled to catch all the sermon because the one who did it was an African man but what I caught from it was” move from your comfortable place, go to make disciples of all nations.” That made a big click in my mind! Many times in my mind there was a little voice that told me: “go and visit sick persons of cancer at the hospital. I have healed you (in amazing way ) and you have promised me to share the Gospel if I allow you to live (that was my prayer before I entered into the surgery room). But many times even though God showed me many circumstances that pointed me to go to the hospital, I never did it telling in my mind: “oh I have many things to do, I have not enough time, and so and so…. But after that sermon, I knew that it was time that I obeyed God. In 2013 I came back and attended again BSF. Only to God is the glory for ever.
    After reading your message I am very excited to know my members and to ask God to equip me and help me to see them as God sees the person in Matthew of Jesus’genealogy. Thank you so much Hollie. May God help you and give you always wisdom and insight to lead us in your holy duties as new Executive Director of BSF. God bless you with your family and all the staff of Head Quarter of BSF and their families too.

    .

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  18. Dear Hollie, The Lord continues to use you to draw others to Himself by your inspirational witness and JOY in serving Him! We are most grateful for your open heart to His calling and eyes fixed on Him as you lead BSF into and through the next era. May God Almighty grant you all wisdom and energy for the season ahead!

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  19. Welcome Hollie!
    Thank you Kevin & Hollie for your obedience to answer the calling God placed on your lives. Praying for you both.

    Hollie, I was encouraged by what you shared at Summit. The reminder of the impact I have as a GL to reach each woman God placed in my group.

    I am excited to serve and see Jesus move in unexpected ways in all of our lives. To God be the glory forever and ever.🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

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  20. What a blessing.Your words of encouragement..

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  21. Welcome Hollie! Praying God’s hand will guide, direct and protect you as you lead BSF forward for His glory and our good. I’m excited to begin the new year in the study of Matthew. May we have eyes to see and ears to hear something new, perhaps even unexpected, though this study. Come Holy Spirit!

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  22. Welcome aboard my all your endeavors bear fruit.

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  23. Blessings upon your life dear Hollie…
    May our Heavenly Father outpour His Spirit upon you, filling you with divine wisdom and grace as you serve Him among His people.
    Love in Christ,

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  24. Congrats on your new position. Praying you will be spirit led and that revival and redemption will come for America and the world soon!

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  25. Welcome dear Hollie!
    Thankful for the grace of God upon your life.
    I pray that God’s mercy and innumerable blessings will continually be evident in your life in Jesus name.

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  26. What a joy to work in the Lord’s vineyard may the Almighty God hold yr hand give you divine wisdom and bless all BSFers

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    • May God bless you as you lead the BSF. May God give you wisdom and strength a you leaf us

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  27. May God bless you and BSF under the new administration. I believe it will be productive and prosperous for us all. I am excited to begin the study of Matthew. Be blessed everyone.

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  28. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony which is such an encouragement. May God bless ,be with and reward you abundantly for the great work you are doing for His kingdom as you serve Him and His people. May God use you for His glory

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  29. Praying for you and for BSF Headquarter.
    God Support you in this wonderful ministry.
    Thank you for accepting to be a part of His amazing work in BSF.

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  30. Thank you for the willingness to serve in BSF, may the LORD continue to gather the harvest and make disciples through this ministry. I am blessed to be part of it too. Shalom.

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  31. A warm welcome Hollie, we praise the Lord for His wisdom choosing you to lead BSF for the next era! I won’t forget that the Lord used you to open the door for the Arabic speakers around the globe to be part of BSF in Arabic! You are in my prayers ♥️🙏

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  32. Der Hollie,
    May the Lord give you the wisdom and strength as you guide all of us to “find” that for which we are hungering. God bless you and your family.

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  33. Welcome Hollie Roberts,
    It is a privilege to obey our Lord’s commission to share God’s love to all who come into contact with us!
    May God humble us to love and honor Him please Him in all we do.

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  34. Welcome and congratulations Hollie in your new position as Executive Director! I will be praying for The LORD to equip you and give you all you need as you have been obedient and faithful to answer His call. May God richly bless you as you serve Him in your new position as our Executive Director❣️🙏

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  35. With much joy and excitement, I wish you God’s blessing as we begin a new era for BSF as you take the helm. Looking forward to how God will expand the study of His Word through BSF and your leading to all nations as we move forward into Matthew and beyond.

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