Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meet Stephanie Shott!

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One of the lovely ladies with whom I have become acquainted on Facebook is Stephanie Shott. She has recently released a Bible study entitled 'Ecclesiastes: Understanding What Matters (Following God Through the Bible Series).

Here is her rather unconventional autobiography from her website:


I know this is where you generally find the typical bio, but I thought it would be fun to share the 4-1-1 on the “personal” me...

Me - Often goofy, never perfect, love to laugh (especially at myself). Passionate about Jesus, passionate about being passionate. Not a girly girl, but secretly want to be. Just learning to accessorize, don’t know my colors, hate to shop, have a love/hate relationship with menopause, love missions, hate to fly, trying to find someone to nominate me for “What Not to Wear.”

Family - I’m married to my best friend who thinks he’s funnier than I am. More talented, yes...funnier, no way. He’s a drummer, a surfer and a man of God who is absolutely passionate about reaching this generation for Christ. I’m blessed to be “mom” to two young men who are as different as night and day. Karl (my oldest) is Mr. Sports. He loves every kind of sport on planet earth. He is married to a sweet and godly young woman and they are parents to my first grandgirl. Oh my, life as an abuela (grandma) is so sweet! DJ (my youngest) is Mr. Talent. Singer, songwriter, musician, graphic designer, etc… He’s my go-to guy for all things computer. 

Tidbits - Here’s a little-known tidbit of information about yours truly. I was adopted. My birth mom was raped - I was the result. I met her when I was 27 and was elated to find out she was a believer. God has blessed me beyond measure with two wonderful moms. One that loved me past the pain of rape and chose life for me instead and one who would love me and raise me as her own.

Here she is telling us a little more about herself (perhaps in a more conventional manner!):

Tell us about your new Bible study and what you hope readers will get out of doing this study.

We all want to know our lives count. And in our Christian conversations we talk a lot about living for eternity and having an eternal perspective, yet if we are honest, we often live as if this life is all there is.

Eternity is real and it awaits each one of us. There are no escape clauses.

Understanding What Matters Most is a six week study through the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s a journey that gives the reader an opportunity to personally sift the gamut of real life experiences and define their lives by what matters most. There are questions designed to examine the heart and inspire application.

Although many avoid Ecclesiastes, it is chock-full of wisdom - not only for Solomon, but for each of us. However, there are three overriding lessons I pray that each reader will walk away with. 

1. We all long to define our existence with significance, yet the only way to truly do that is to make our eternity intentional. It’s a minute by minute choice of the will to filter the way we respond to life through the lens of eternity. I pray that Understanding What Matters Most will equip each reader with the necessary tools to do just that. We're all looking for answers, and Ecclesiastes really helps us understand how to make decisions and deal with our circumstances based on what is and what is not important in light of eternity. 

2. The study of Ecclesiastes is certainly not for sissies! It deals with real issues and real life circumstances. I hope that readers will grasp the concept of eternity and the reality of our ultimate day of reckoning; I pray the truth of that reality will help them live each day in light of THAT day. 

3. A more subtle but profound lesson we can learn from this study is to see the grace of God at work in Solomon's life and understand that same grace is available to us. Solomon was the wisest man to walk the planet, yet he blew it big time! Solomon’s life is proof that wisdom doesn’t always equal perfection! The beautiful truth is that God still used Solomon, even after he failed. I hope readers never forget that God is so much bigger than our failure - that His love for us transcends our ability to mess things up - that as long as we have breath, He still has a plan for our lives and the days we are given under the sun.

How did God lay this book on your heart to write?

When I began writing Understanding What MattersMost, I didn't begin in hopes of publishing a book. Understanding What Matters Most was birthed from my own place of need. It was during a time when God had called us to the mission field and my 19 year old son didn't feel led to go. My maternal heart began to wrestle with the details of the call. I didn’t have a problem with the going...it was the leaving that gripped my heart and clouded my view. Who was going to take care of him if something went wrong? What if he got hurt? What about our parents? I was trying desperately to make sense of that which didn't make sense at all. 

That's when the Lord gently led me to Ecclesiastes and gave me a bird's-eye view of Solomon's own attempts to make sense of the details of his life. After he ran the gamut of life experiences, he understood what matters most. I knew I needed that kind of clarity. Not only for the circumstances surrounding our call to the mission field, but to help me walk through life with the imprint of eternity on my heart. My study of Ecclesiastes gave me the tools I needed to filter the essential from the non-essential in light of eternity. When God put it on my heart to send it to a publisher and they said yes, that’s when I knew He wanted to use it for more than just notes for a conference.

Who would you say would benefit from your book?

It’s primarily a Bible study for women. However, since I’m a veteran home school mom who remembers how hard it was to find a good Bible study for my children, I would also like to encourage home school moms to use it as a study for their high school students. What a great opportunity to walk through Ecclesiastes as they sit at Solomon’s feet and get a clear picture of how empty the pursuits of this life can be and how important it to live each day with eternity in view!

Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you or how they can book you to speak at their next event? 

Thanks, Stephanie, for letting us get to know you and your book a little better! It sounds like a wonderful study, and I look forward to working through it soon!

You can order this book here.

Stephanie has generously offered to provide a personally autographed copy of this wonderful study to one blessed person!

There are several ways to gain entry:

1) Leave a comment here on the blog, telling me one thing you know about the book of Ecclesiates, and why studying it appeals to you. Please make sure to leave your email address in this format – sample[at]gmail[dot]com.

2) Follow Stephanie on Twitter. Please leave a separate comment stating that you are now following her, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

3) Follow me on Twitter.  If you are already a Twitter follower, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

4) Visit Stephanie’s website and leave a comment here telling me one thing you learned about her; please make sure to include your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

5) Follow me as a Google Friend on this blog; if you are already a Friend, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

So there are LOTS of chances to enter!  Please limit one entry per option except for the Twitter tweet option (which can be done once per day), along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.

This give away is for U.S. residents only. The deadline for entry is Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 and will be contacted via email. The best to all of you!


Stephanie Shott said...

Andrea ~ You have such a beautiful heart of ministry it's amazing! Thank you SO much for featuring my new Bible study on your site! You truly are precious!

tgalligher said...

Now following Stephanie on Twitter. I have been reading her blog for a while and LOVE her teachings. She is down to earth and I love that.

Anne Payne said...

I love the beautiful verses about "time" in Ecclesiastes. I am a home school mom of two high school boys and would love the opportunity to study the book of Ecclesiastes with them using this devotional.


Anne Payne said...

I'm a GFC follower :)


Anne Payne said...

I learned that Stephanie thought jury duty was "uber" cool:) I sat on a grand jury for 6 months...that was an "uber" cool experience, too!


Meredith said...

I love the book of Ecclesiastes, and the timeless reminders that all is meaningless, and that there is nothing new under the sun . . .. something this generation desperately needs to learn and believe.


Meredith said...

I already follow Stephanie on twitter! :)


Meredith said...

I follow you on Twitter!


Stephanie Shott said...

A big CONGRATS to Meredith and thank all of you sweet ladies for commenting for a chance to win! I hope you all will journey through Ecclesiastes! It truly is a book that will change your life because it changes your perspective!

And THANK YOU Andrea for allowing me to be your guest! What a beautiful woman you are...inside and out!

Y'all be sure to make your eternities intentional. You'll have forever to be thankful you did! :-)

Wendy said...

I do not know much about Ecclesiastes. We always tend to skip over it. I would love to dive into it deeper.

Justina Page said...

I absolutely love the book of Ecclesiastes! Experience is a good teacher!

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