Monday, May 7, 2018

Women of the Word - Kristie Anyabwile

Kristie is a force to be reckoned with. Instead of falling prey to labels and being pigeonholed, she’s rooted her identity in her calling as a Christian, wife, mother, and servant of the local church—specifically, she notes, in that order. She supports her husband as he pastors Washington, D.C.’s Anacostia River Church, discipling other women as she writes and speaks about her own experiences as a wife, mother, and follower of Jesus ( all need someone like Kristie in our lives, someone who knows the Word and with God's help lives out the word. She is as resourceful as she is serious but possesses a zest for life. Meet this month's Woman of the Word - Kristie Anyabwile.

Kristie Anyabwile

1. As someone who studies the Bible, what are your favorite tools and resources?
KA: My list is extensive. My favorite Bible study tools are:
  • My ESV Reference Bible. I love this Bible because I recognize that I need a Bible with larger print (smile)! More importantly, this Bible does not contain any study notes, so I’m not tempted to rely on commentary before I’ve completed my own exegetical work in the text.
  • A paper copy of the text I’m studying, double-spaced with no headers or paragraph marks (and sometimes no verse numbers as well). I love to mark up the text with pens and highlighters because I’m a visual and kinesthetic learner. Marking repetitions, keywords, connecting words, parallelisms, logic, sequencing, and so on helps me to gain a better understanding of what the author is saying to their original audience, the logical flow of a text and/or the imagery presented so that I can work towards a clear statement of the main point of the particular passage I’m studying.
  • Pens, markers, highlighters (I like mechanical pencils, black Sharpie writing pens, and Staedtler fine line pens).
  • The Olive Tree Bible App. This is where I keep electronic copies of some of my favorite resources for study, such as:
o    Multiple versions of the Bible (my electronic library currently contains ESV, CSB, HCSB, KJV, NKJV, ASV, NIV, NASB), ESV Bible with Strong’s references)
o    Commentaries and sermons (Matthew Henry, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon’s sermons, NIV Application commentaries)
o    Baker Illustrated Dictionary
o    As well as maps, charts, outlines, etc. that are provided with my ESV electronic study Bible
  • The Kindle app on my iPad or computer where I keep lots of commentaries. They vary, but I usually choose from the recommendations at one of these sites:
  • The Charles Simeon Trust workshops on Biblical Exposition. These workshops are designed for the Bible teacher to learn principles and tools to help them become better Bible expositors. Each workshop centers on a particular genre of Scripture with the intent of teaching skills for handling that genre with more competence and confidence. Participants are given assignments to prepare in advance, that you present and discuss in small groups. It has been one of the best tools the Lord has used in my life to help me improve my handling of God’s Word as I teach, write, and speak in various contexts.

2. Old Testament, New Testament or both?

KA: I want to say both, but I really love the Old Testament. The Old Testament is often referred to as God’s promises made to His people in anticipation of Christ, and the New Testament is God’s promises kept through Christ’s fulfillment of all that the Law, Prophets, and Writings foretold. For me studying the Old Testament is like a treasure hunt to find those promises made and how they point to the person and work of Christ. As I examine books like Leviticus, I see Christ as the sacrificial Lamb, the great High Priest, and Prophet, the longed-for King. In Exodus, I see Christ as the One who would finally deliver God’s people and bring them to an eternal promised land. In the prophets, I see Christ as sovereign over kings and more significant than the false gods of pagan nations. I could go on! It is exciting and beautiful to see that God has always had only one agenda, to point His people to His Son.

3. Why do you study the Bible? What was your initial motivation?
KA:  Personally, I study the Bible to grow in my love for Christ and in my knowledge of who He is, what He is like, and what He requires of me to follow Him more faithfully. I also study the Bible to disciple my children and the women He places in my life through my local church. Finally, I study to teach others so that they might grow in their love and knowledge of the Lord, in their personal discipleship relationships, and in the teaching opportunities the Lord gives to them.

4. How does inspiration work for you? How do you know that what you're writing/teaching or understanding is as if God is moving the pen and you're just the vehicle?
KA: Inspiration starts with prayer, confessing my love for the Lord, my desire to walk in a manner that is worthy of Him, my inability to grasp His word apart from His Spirit at work in me, my sinful control and self-righteous tendencies that want to take over rather than allowing the Lord to work in me what is pleasing to Him. With these kinds of confessions, I place myself in dependence on the Lord and His Spirit enabling me to see the shape and flow of the text I’m studying, how the original audience would have understood the text, and what the author’s main point was in communicating that text to his audience. From there, I can use his argument for his audience to make a similar case to my audience and draw meaningful applications for myself or for those I’m writing or speaking to.

5. How do you handle complex topics that may not align with popular views? Can you give an example?
I have to remember that the goal is not to be popular, but to be faithful to God’s Word and let the Word do the work. Sometimes I think we expect hard truths to be accepted at the speed of speech. However, we have to learn Christ by putting off the old self, putting on the new self and having our minds renewed (Ephesians 4:17-24). This takes time and patience.

For example, I can say to a young sister in Christ that her outfit is immodest, and she should change and wear something different. I can even convince her to comply. But outward conformity is not a valid measure of a renewed mind. I have to start at the beginning, with a healthy view of who God has made her to be, her dignity and worth. I have to disciple her on issues of holiness and the fruit of the Spirit and fearing God more than man. I may have to hold my tongue a few times and refrain from saying anything about the too tight jeans or too short top (unless it’s egregious of course). Let me be clear, that I’m not advocating not speaking up if the situation warrants. I’m merely illustrating that if I start with rules without laying these foundational planks for her spiritual life, then next week when I’m not around, she’ll put on the same immodest outfit. However, when her mind is renewed after the image of God in true righteousness and holiness, she’ll call me up before going out and ask what I think of that outfit. She’ll want to be sure that what she communicates on the outside is a reflection of her new self. Often the deepest work of sanctification that aligns us more directly with God’s word against popular culture is a long, slow process.

6. When confronted by the truth of scripture, even for difficult topics, how does it re-orient you?
KA:  When I’m confronted by the truth of Scripture, it orients me away from tradition, worldly wisdom, popularity, and self-righteousness. It shifts me toward God’s character because He knows all things because He created all things, yet He draws near to His children, even me (!!), to reveal to me hard truths in a way that motivates me to listen and obey as an act of love and worship and joy.

7. Who is your target audience and what is your overriding message?
My target audience is women who love God’s word and desire to grow in the grace and knowledge and love of Christ and as they develop to bring others along with them. My message is “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (2 Peter 3:18).”

8. Tell us a little bit about yourself, current projects you are working on and where you can be found.
I am a pastor's wife, mom, Bible teacher and writer. I recently joined the staff of Charles Simeon Trust as the Associate Director of Women's Workshops, helping to equip women Bible teachers. I’ve been married to my best friend, Thabiti, for 26 years, and joyfully support him as pastor of Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC. We have 2 daughters in college and 1 middle school soccer boy.

9. How do you deal with discouragement and doubt? (Bonus question)
 I follow the advice of Pastor D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones who said we should stop listening to ourselves (spiritual depression, discouragement, doubt, etc.) and start speaking truth to ourselves. See the full quote below.
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problem of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself, ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been repressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you’. Do you know what I mean? If you do not, you have but little experience.” – Pastor D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Please take a moment to comment and encourage this month's Woman of the Word.


Thanks for reading. Please take a moment to share using the buttons below and also please like my Facebook Page. Don't forget to subscribe. Stay Encouraged!


  1. I love this series! It's so great to learn from other women and peer into their times with God for inspiration and guidance.

    Blessings to you,

  2. What a wonderful post! I love your questions and getting to know Kristie. She is very inspiring as she seeks God to share Him with others!

  3. What a wonderful series! I love getting to know people this way. Thank you for linking up over at GraceFull Tuesday!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thanks for mentioning our app! Glad it's helping you in your study of God's Word, Kristie!

  6. I enjoyed this post as it is wonderful to get to know how other women study and share God's Word. Thank you for introducing us to Kristie.

  7. Nylse - I really enjoy getting know to people this way, especially people people I may not have the opportunity to meet face to face. What a fabulous series you are doing. I really appreciate the things Kristie had to say, especially her comments on how to handle topics that are complex and not align with popular views. Such good stuff throughout. Thanks Kristie and Nylse. I am your neighbor today over at #BeTheInspired

  8. A great interview - she is a thorough studier and a great model to the people in her life - thanks for bringing her to life to us, your fond readers, Nylse ! And I love that Jones quote at the end - pertaining to all self-discouragement and self-focus! (:

  9. I have the Olive Tree App on my Nook, and I love it! What a great series. Praying you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

  10. How nice to see my old friend, Kristie, here. She certainly has a heart for the Lord and is such an inspiration to us all.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


I love reading your comments; but please be kind. Unkind comments will be removed.