Bible Study Backstory From My Beloved Friend of 34 Years

With tremendous joy, I’d love to introduce you to Johnnie Haines, one of the dearest friends I’ve ever had. She is my coworker here at Living Proof but, girlfriend, she was my coworker long before either of us dreamed there would ever be an actual ministry building. We go way, way back to the days when my tiny dining room was stacked to the sky and strewn to the winds with the complete chaos of somebody who’d just fallen in love with the Scriptures. I’ll hand this to her and let her tell you a little bit about our story together.



Hi, my name is Johnnie and I am blessed to answer your emails concerning Bible Studies here at Living Proof Ministries. This week I received an email from a young woman who wanted to know how she could get started writing and teaching Bible Studies. She wanted to know how Beth got started. The answer to that question was just too long for an email answer so I thought I might share with all of you a little bit of Living Proof history.


I met Beth in the fall of 1980. I had one little boy and I had just left the corporate world to stay home with my little guy. I applied for a part time job to teach Mother’s Day Out at my church. There just happened to be an opening in a classroom where another young mom was teaching. That young mom had one little girl and she, like me, was looking for a little income to supplement the family budget. I was introduced to Beth Moore and we became fast friends on the very first day. (This is me, Beth, with a short interjection: picture that I had a side pony-tail and my skirt was too short.) We bonded over peanut butter sandwiches and little children. (Beth again: we ate their leftovers.) As time went on, we solved most of our world’s problems either at her kitchen table or mine. We worked on our marriages, our homes and our extended families. (Beth again: what Johnnie is not telling you is that I’d sometimes decide to leave Keith after he’d head out for work but drop by her house on my way to my mother’s and she’d talk me into going back to him by afternoon. It is such a funny, warm memory to me now. Gotta have friends like that. She’d listen. She’d understand. Then after a few hours, she’d ask me if I felt better after talking it out and I always did. Then I’d go on back home without Keith knowing that I’d left him that day. Now, back to Johnnie…) We both went on to have another child, me a boy, she another girl. Our children were raised jointly between us. Life was good for these two young moms in northwest Houston.


After a few years, God opened different doors for ministry for us both. Beth taught Sunday School and had begun to speak at churches outside our area. I was the Director of Women’s Ministries at a local church. She wanted a place to teach week-day Bible Study and I had a group that needed a teacher! For the first couple of semesters, she prepared and taught faithfully. Then, the women wanted homework of all things. We prayed about it and Beth knew God was calling her to write, so she decided to see how God was going to work it all out.


By now, we both had young school age children. So, as soon as the bus picked up her girls, she sat down at her dining room table and began to work on a “word-processor.” It was long before computers and she was blessed to have a glorified typewriter that had a little bit of memory. As soon as mine got on the bus, I headed to the church to my job there. By 2:30, she was getting up from the dining room table to get ready to welcome the girls back home and get dinner ready for the family. I was doing the same thing at my house.


Bible study met on Thursday mornings at 9:30. Most weeks, she would finish the week’s homework on Wednesday afternoon. I would leave my office and run by her house to pick up the work she had placed in her mailbox. As soon as my family was fed dinner, I would leave my husband in charge and run to the church and begin copying the homework, loading it in the back of my mini-van as I finished. Each week was more than 30 pages in length. On Thursday morning, I would unload the mound of pages on to tables in the fellowship hall of my church. Ladies volunteered to come in early and put them together for the almost 300 women who would show up faithfully at 9:30. For those of you who are into details, that was over 9000 sheets of print each week!


I’m not sure either of us imagined what God was going to do with those studies. She wrote 3 studies for our little group before the first one was ever published. It was an amazing thing for me to hold that first workbook in my hand and then pass them out to my women for Bible Study. I was so blessed to share her hard work with my women. I still feel the very same way when someone calls to order a study for their women’s group or ask a question about the studies.


So, to answer that young woman’s question, “How do I get started writing Bible Studies?” I would tell you to work hard right where you are today. Use the talents, circumstances, and resources God has given you today. Study hard, surrounding yourself with good teachers. Be faithful with today’s gifts, trusting Him with the results of tomorrow. You just never know what may happen!


88 Responses to “Bible Study Backstory From My Beloved Friend of 34 Years”

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  1. 51
    DeborahMott says:

    Thank you for sharing so honestly! Touched my heart especially after today when I poured my crushed heart out to two trusted friends about my marriage and grief of my moms passing and my health. Some days it feels like I won’t make it even seeking JESUS w all am. But He gets me through despite feelings sometimes by caring friends who listen and pray! Thank you for sharing this! Partnership in purpose! Wonderful gifts you two have been to each other, other women and men and ESP JESUS, the One and Only!!!! Thank you!

  2. 52
    LINDA BAKER says:

    Hey Johnnie,

    So great to hear your story and you know how much I loved reading all about the beginning, which I remember so well. Give my hello to Beth please and let her know and you too how profoundly these Bible Studies changed my life. Beth was my gift from The Lord to expose me to who and how Amazing The Lord is! I fell in love with His Word and never have left that amazement and study. I am taking Children of the Day now and Thessalonians has really touched a nerve in me. I am a bit jealous you get to work again with Beth. 🙂 I so miss those beloved days. Love to you both Johnnie! Linda Baker

  3. 53
    Joni says:

    Loved reading this! Thank you both for sharing. Feels like I know you both personally through your Bible studies, Beth, and through a few emails you’ve answered, Johnnie, over the years. God continue to richly bless you both as you serve Him. 🙂

  4. 54
    Bethany says:

    Good friends are a blessing. And that blessing is doubled when that friend writes a Bible study and becomes your teacher. That is the story of my life right now. My mentor and sweet friend Colleen has written a Bible study called Repurposed. It is our study for this fall. It focuses on how God has repurposed the lives of different biblical women and how he repurposes our lives.
    I love your story of friendship and partnership Beth and Johnnie!

    • 54.1
      Sherry McClure says:

      Dear Bethany,
      Thank you so much for your comment! I love hearing about your friend Colleen and the Bible study that you are doing! I am praying that it bears much fruit to the Father’s glory!
      Much love,

  5. 55
    Sandy D. says:

    Can you post a picture of y’all back in the day.

  6. 56
    Sue says:

    Thank you! I love reading these stories. I am sort of new to Beth Moore-I’ve only been listening for the past 6 or 7 years. But she has helped me more than once to survive this life.

  7. 57
    Dawn says:

    Oh, there is nothing like a true bond with some real girlfriends. I have two of the very best firends ever. We have raised our kids together and now have the priviledge to enjoy grandchildren. Those “back in the day” days are behind us and most of our raising. (We didn’t have a clue!!) God has brought us a long way and so blessed He left us together, finding our way together. Through marriages, hurt feelings, death of parents and in-laws, rehab, teenagers, and health issues. Oh, yes we need our real girlfriends.
    Love to you both!!!

  8. 58
    Valerie says:

    I love this story & love that you two have stayed such good friends all these years! I’ve always loved to hear Beth tell stories about her & Johnnie. Precious memories & so many more to come! Thanks for sharing.

  9. 59
    Andrea Porter says:

    Thank you for your honesty. I guess I look at the finished product of all your hard work and it seems to me it happened quickly and easily 🙂 Thanks for the reminder that my time might be down the road or not at all. I get so excited about diving into the Word and all that I have learned and continue to learn is just precious to me, and I want the world to know. I teach a small women’s group and would love to teach I wrote years ago and it is BEYOND rough. However, the first group I shared it with loved it, so maybe I will polish it up and try again. Sometimes I feel like I am too old and don’t have the time to get something started, hmmm. I also do not want this coming from my flesh, but from God. That usually stops me in my tracks, the fear that, “I” am doing this for “ME” not for God. Just thinking about that breaks my heart. Did you feel like God gave you a clear message, or did you just push on and know that He had your back. I think I need to go spend some time with my Father. Prayers requested for guidance, thanks you. I am so happy you two met, because this ministry is what got me back on track, in regard to my faith and relationship with Jesus. A BIG THANK YOU IS IN ORDER TO BOTH OF YOU, FOR YOUR FAITHFUL SERVICE. 🙂 Andrea

  10. 60
    Missy S says:

    Johnnie!! What a treat to hear from you! Thank you for sharing, for the critical role you have played in Living Proof Ministries, and for the love and support you have shown our Siesta Mama. I am eternally grateful to each and everyone of you who have put your heart and soul into serving Christ through this ministry!

  11. 61
    ULCARDSFAN says:

    This is why I LOVE the LPM blog and Siesta Community. Even if we have never met face to face we feel like we KNOW each other . Thanks for sharing. What a wonderful day brightner. Linda

  12. 62
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Oh! So fun! I loved reading this! Especially the part about the pony tail on the side of Beth’s head – like the girl in Napoleon Dynamite. (Why didn’t someone stage an intervention on all of us in the mid-80’s?) I was out shopping recently, with my hair pulled back in a quick ponytail AT THE BACK OF MY HEAD WHERE IT BELONGS when I rounded a corner in the store and came face to face with a mirror, whereupon I realized my pony had migrated over to the far left side of my head. It looked like 1982 and I positively frightened myself.

    Johnnie – thanks for all you do at Living Proof these days. And thank you for faithfully stopping by Beth’s mailbox all those years ago and picking up the week’s materials and making copies. Think of how many women have been blessed by your faithfulness to what God asked you to do? As one of those women, “thank you!”

    (And! Thanks for your part in keeping Beth and Keith’s marriage intact! Grin!)

  13. 63
    Lee Ann says:

    Johnnie and Beth!!!

    Wow, do you have any openings at LPM? I can’t imagine how much fun you all have and how much Jesus radiates thru the building!! 🙂

    Love these stories of long-lasting friendships. Beautiful!

    -Lee Ann

  14. 64
    ceffie says:

    What a great story. Mom’s need other mom’s and women need women to listen. As Beth stated in her simulcast presentation share your heart with friends and celebrate together. or cry together. Time flies by and those little girls and guys are all grown up and blessed to have such great God loving moms.

  15. 65
    Donna Timmons says:

    Hello precious Beth,
    I loved your update and the timely word you brought in your video….thank you for loving me and for caring enough to share and pray for me. …you are so beautiful inside and out!! I love you!! ♡♡♡♡

  16. 66
    Amanda Goff says:

    What a wonderful story of how God uses us right where we are. I started writing a devotional blog last summer and although it is not wildly popular, I believe that God is using it. Isaiah 55:11 says that God’s word does not return empty, but accomplishes His purpose. With that in mind, I continue to write the blog, and trust that God is so big and omnipotent, that He knows and uses my insignificant writing for His great and good purpose. Another suggestion I have is to trust God for a Bible study venture. God’s will for our lives is something that He wants to encourage, and He will guide us as we start pursuing Him.

  17. 67
    Mary G. says:

    Dear Beth,
    I just wanted to say Thank you. The reason being that I have a co-woker that was talking to me about a good friend who has a history of PTSD and now has just been diagnosed with conversion disorder. She is seeing a therapist and I have been praying for her. This poor girl has said she feels like she is in a pit and in a battle of spiritual warfare. I’m giving her my copies of Get Out of That Pit and Breaking Free. I just wanted to say Thank you for these so that I can not only pray for her, but I can give these to her in hopes that God is able to use them on her road to freedom. I’m so thankful that God has used you in such a powerful way to reach out to those in a pit and that while prayer is such a great thing to offer as someone struggles, it means everything to be able to offer someone who is hurting so bad a ray of hope in such a dark place. Once again Jesus using you to shine in such a beuatiful way. Thank you Beth. If you wouldn’t mind saying a prayer for her, her name is Lisa. Love, Mary

  18. 68
    Glenda says:

    Thank you for sharing. So encouraging today!


  19. 69
    Anita says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I’m in almost the same spot. I feel that God is calling me to start a womens ministry in my area and I’m not really sure on how to get started. Maybe just a Bible study just might be the way to start. Thanks again

  20. 70
    sl says:

    Love reading about the beginning. You girls are lucky to have each other to talk with about everything. I am in a rough spot right now and need a friend like that to talk with. I enjoy Beth;s bible studies.

  21. 71
    Erin Q says:

    I thank you so much for this story this week. I am currently 6 weeks into writing and teaching my first in depth Bible Study on 1and 2nd Timothy. I feel like I am in a whirlwind of revelation and lessons from God. And like Paul’s encouragement to a timid Timothy, this is a huge encouragement to me. After finishing “Children of the day” this summer with siesta sisters, I was encouraged to ask the women in my class who have years of experience on me to give feedback and questions on my content. Thank you Beth so much for your studies over the years! (I started with A Women’s Heart years ago). Blessings, Erin

  22. 72
    Domoina says:

    Dear Beth !
    Glory to the Lord !
    Thank you Beth to speak the sound doctrine. By His grace, we are there. Thank you Beth’s friend for 34th years. I am blessed through “Children of the day”Bible study “over side that screen”, I am still on it. Not only the study impressed me but your life, your path and your model. Continue to be blessed.I have been praying for you !

    I am blessed to bless women in my community mainly those who cannot understand English. (French speaking countries).
    Johnnie, I just want to help you for your question. Teaching God’s word is among spiritual gifts. It is a calling. God calls all of us to reach the unreaches so that Jesus is coming soon. Courage my dear, work in your uniqueness. We do not need to be perfect to teaching. Hear and learn God’s voices, obey them, and just share what you have so that others (one woman, and 2 and a group and your community). So that they can avoid your wrong way and others can see Jesus through your life and your teaching. We teach what we live. Now, I teach women student’s wives and women in the Bible study. I don’t teach only but I learn also. So, it is sharing the goodness of God. It is not about you, it is about me, it is about Jesus, died for our sins, and have risen and He will be back soon. I had this question before but I discovered the answer in digging God’s Word.I am still in process to understand my uniqueness. Please pray for me. Courage !

  23. 73
    Betty. cooke says:

    The Holy Spirit speaks and we KNOW it is Him. I have had many experiences where the Spirit spoke and guided, after all didn’t He promise us the Spirit to guide? Thankful that He is always with me, and praying that I never miss His voice

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