Red Hot Faith Interview with Cindy Bultema

Cindy Bultema

Cindy Bultema, Author & Speaker

Last week I hosted a Red Hot Faith giveaway in my post, “Be Hot! Be Cold! Be Something!” The winners of the drawing are Theresa and Stephanie. Congrats, ladies! Your copy of Cindy Bultema’s Red Hot Faith Bible study will be on its way soon.

In celebration of Cindy’s recent RHF release I asked Cindy a few questions about her own RHF journey. Her answers are full of wisdom and encouragement. I hope you enjoy this Q&A as much as I did and, seeing how this is just a taste, I hope you’ll check out Red Hot Faith Lessons from a Lukewarm Church to learn about what it means to “Be Hot! Be Cold! Be Something!”

1) Cindy, tell us a little bit about Red Hot Faith:

Red Hot Faith is an exciting journey to the lukewarm church of Laodicea found in Revelation 3:14-22. Through eight power-packed sessions, including video teachings, discussion questions, memory verses, and more, we’ll unpack God’s Word together to discover how to turn up the heat, fuel the fire of our faith, and strengthen our relationship with God.

If you are tired of being pulled into a lackluster, lukewarm routine of life that keeps you from experiencing God’s best – this Bible study is for you!

2) Where did your ideas for RHF come from? What inspired you to create this study?

One warm summer day I was on a prayer walk with my mentor Mary. During our time together Mary prayed, “Oh Lord, raise up a generation of women who are red-hot for You!” I thought, “Yes, God, sign me up!” I desperately want a life that has purpose, passion, spark, and meaning! I want red-hot faith!

But unfortunately, my reality: most days I feel caught up in the whirlpool of life.

After a week filled with trips to the store, waiting at Walgreen’s, and drop-offs to the dry cleaners, I barely have energy to change my kids’ sheets, much less change the world.

But Mary’s prayer really stuck with me, and I spent the next year digging into God’s Word, trying to learn everything I could about letting go of lukewarm living, and instead experiencing Red Hot Faith!

3) What are a few specific ways you seek to live with RHF?

One of the greatest ways to ignite a sizzling faith life is time spent with God through His Word. I am very intentional about devoting time to read the Bible, pray, and invite God into every area of my life. Now I need to be honest, as a busy mom with four kids, sometimes this is easier said than done. Some days my “quiet time” might be in the carpool lane or shower, but I really do believe it’s in His presence that our faith becomes red hot!

I also look for ways in the midst of my every day, ordinary life to put my faith in action. Even if it as simple as sending a quick encouraging text, greeting the store clerk by name, or walking next door to spend time chatting with my neighbor – I don’t want my life to be caught up in the “kingdom of me.” Instead, I want my faith life to impact those around me.

4) Tell us what you hope your readers/viewers will take away from RHF:

I hope this study will change the reader’s perception of Jesus’ words in Revelation 3:15 when He says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!”

You see, the city of Laodicea had two sister cities, Hierapolis and Colossae. Hierapolis was known for its therapeutic, healing hot springs. Colossae was known for its cold refreshing streams. Laodicea’s water supply was lukewarm and useless. I used to think “hot” was “for Jesus,” and “cold” was “against Jesus.” In other words, “be hot” or “for Jesus,” or “be cold” or “against Jesus,” just don’t sit on the fence and be lukewarm.

Now that I’ve traveled to the ancient ruins and studied this passage in great detail, I don’t think that’s what this passage is communicating. Instead, I believe Christ is saying, I wish you were therapeutic and healing (like the hot water of Hierapolis) or refreshing and invigorating (like the cold water of Colossae.)

Be hot, be cold, but be something! Church members, be of some use!

5) Why is RHF important? How do you see it impacting your life and the lives of others?

Red Hot Faith is significant because our lives are meant to be fruitful and effective, not self- absorbed and useless. When we understand Christ’s firm words to the lukewarm church, hopefully His rebuke will motivate us to “be of some use” in the midst of our every day, ordinary lives. When our focus moves from saying, “God, what about me?” to “God, use me!” – the adventure really begins!

6) What’s the #1 thing God has taught you through your RHF journey?

While we were filming the Bible study, we visited a gold refinery at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. It was incredible to watch gold refiner Ayhan Usta in action. I was awed by the extreme heat and intensity of the refiner’s fire. However, I also noted how Ayhan’s eye was always on the fire, monitoring not only the high temperature, but the fire’s strength and the timing. And no matter the circumstances, the refiner never leaves the scene.

In the midst of this Bible study journey, I experienced many faith tests and often felt like I was in the “refiner’s fire.” What I discovered was without the testing, refining, and purifying, we would    never know our full endurance level, nor would we grow in our Christ-like character. It’s seasons of struggles and sufferings that strengthen our faith, so we will be useful to God and others.

The #1 thing God taught me: sometimes it’s in the fire that our faith becomes red-hot.

 7) What’s the #1 thing you hope to teach others through RHF?

My hope is every person going through the Red Hot Faith Bible study would remember “Lukewarm is not our norm!” Jesus came so we could experience a full, abundant, purposeful faith life (John 10:10). Today. Not someday— when we get to heaven, when we lose weight, when the kids get older, or when we know more Bible verses—but today. Christ is warmly inviting us to open the door and invite Him into every area of our life. (Yes, every part!)

Bultema Red Hot Faith Cover Image8) When will RHF be available to purchase? Where/how can we get it?

Red Hot Faith was nationally released in early July of this year. The easiest way to purchase it is from Discovery House Publishers at www.dhp.org, although you’ll also find it at Amazon and Christianbook.com.

9) Will there be any opportunities this year to hear you share the RHF message in person?

Yes! One of the highlights of the Red Hot Faith release is visiting women’s gatherings and sharing Red Hot Faith Lesson 1: “Live.” I also often share Red Hot Faith as a weekend retreat or one day conference. You can find a complete list of upcoming events at www.cindybultema.com. I would love to meet some of your blog readers at a Red Hot Faith event!

10)  What’s next for your ministry and for RHF? Any sneak peeks you’re willing to share with us?

I am enjoying this season of encouraging, equipping and praying for others as they journey through Red Hot Faith. Of course, I’m also praying about what God might have next. I’m thankful to have a few invitations out there, but I want to make sure it’s what God wants. I’ll keep you posted!

“Be Hot! Be Cold! Be Something” (Plus Giveaway)

Bultema Red Hot Faith Cover ImageMy love for college basketball started when I was twelve years old. While all my friends were losing their heads and their hearts to the latest boy-band, (was it New Kids on the Block?), I lost my head and heart to the North Carolina Tarheels.

To prove my love for my team I wore a UNC t-shirt every day for an entire year. I sent homemade birthday cards to every player on the team. And I never, I mean NEVER, missed a game. Just to be safe I recorded most of them, and I saved every magazine or newspaper article I could find.

In time, I mellowed out (a little.) But it was this same crazed enthusiasm that sparked a thread of text messages between my dad and me.

Me: It seems like everything these days in college basketball is driven by networks, and programs, and money. It’s going to ruin everything good about the game…I should blog about this.

Dad: You should.

Me: It’s a little outside my realm but still full of passion!

Dad: Passion is your realm.

Passion is your realm. These words, coming from my dad, warmed my heart and got me thinking.

It seems to me that when it comes to things like college basketball, NFL football, and Sherlock Holmes (my personal TV obsession) we, as a culture, have no problem feeling and expressing our passion. We jump from our couches and cheer when our team scores the winning goal. We light up Facebook and Twitter when drama strikes the characters of our favorite TV shows, movies, or novels. Did you see what happened to ???

But when it comes to our faith or our walk with God, what of passion then?

Cindy Bultema

Author & Speaker, Cindy Bultema

Last summer I had the joy of hearing speaker and author, Cindy Bultema give a fascinating presentation on her latest Bible study series titled, Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Lukewarm Church. Based on God’s message to the church of Laodicea found in Revelation 3:14-22, Cindy’s teaching encourages readers and listeners to, “Be hot, be cold, be something!”

According to Cindy, and her studies of Revelation, the ancient city of Laodicea was surrounded by two other cities, Hierapolis and Colosse. Because of their unique water sources each of these cities had a different type of water supply.

While the city of Hierapolis was known for its warm, therapeutic waters, the city of Colosse was known for its refreshing, cold water. The city of Laodicea had no natural water source and was therefore dependent on the water flow of its neighboring cities. Unlike the waters of Hierapolis and Colosse, Laodicea’s water supply was lukewarm and virtually useless.

Think about it. Consider what it feels like to take a steaming hot shower when you’re sick or a drink of ice-cold water when you’re incredibly thirsty. Now consider how it would feel to do either of these things with tepid, lukewarm water…yuck! The level of usefulness and satisfaction is just not the same.

So it was with the church of Laodicea. When God looked at this church he found its people had become lukewarm in their faith. They had allowed themselves to be neither therapeutic nor refreshing. They were stale, tepid and good for nothing.

Yikes! I don’t know about you, but this is not what I want God to find when He looks at me. I want Him to find me useful for His kingdom. I want to be a therapeutic or refreshing glimpse of God and His love. I want to be passionate with my faith and the hope I have in Him.

When Cindy urges her readers and listeners to “be hot, be cold, be something,” this is exactly what she means. And this is exactly what God was saying to the church of Laodicea, “Be passionate! Be of use!”

Be like hot water. Be comforting, therapeutic and healing to hearts that are hurting and broken.

Be like cold water. Be refreshing, invigorating and thirst quenching to souls that are parched and dry.

But don’t be lukewarm. Don’t be tepid, stale or useless to a world that needs you.

Live in the realm of passion and let that passion be for your faith. Let that passion be for the hurting world around you and the glimpse of God only you can give.

Enjoy the thrill of your favorite sports team. Get lost in Sherlock Holmes. But don’t let your passion end there. Don’t be Red Hot for these things, yet lukewarm for the things of God.

Be hot! Be cold! Be something!

Be passionate for the One who went to the cross to express His passion for you.

The Red Hot excitement doesn’t end here! Cindy and her publishing team have graciously provided me with two copies of her Bible study, Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Luke Warm Church to GIVEAWAY to two lucky readers. Each Bible study includes an 8 Session DVD, Leader’s guide and Participant guide. To enter for your chance to win simply leave a comment below or post a comment to my Facebook link. Drawing will be held next Sunday and winners will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 3rd.

Cindy’s Bible study is on sale now at Discovery House Publishers, Amazon and your local bookstore. Also be sure to check out www.cindybultema.com for Cindy’s blog, links, and updates.

Today Was A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a figure skater…

I know I’m not alone in saying that Ladies Figure Skating is above and beyond my most favorite Olympic event. It’s the one part of the Olympics I never miss. It has held me spellbound since I was a girl.

Last night I watched as the Ladies Freestyle Program unfolded before my eyes. Every performance was magnificent, but there was one in particular that stirred my heart.

Mao Asada of Japan skated first in the television line up. After a terrible performance in the short program, Asada was in sixteenth place. A silver medalist in the 2010 Olympic games, Asada’s hopes of winning a medal in Sochi were all but lost.

Four minutes on ice stood between Asada and her final chance for Olympic glory.

After making several major mistakes in her short program I watched as Asada fought back tears of defeat while listening to the judges’ scores. Tonight I watched her fight for the performance of a lifetime and when she cried joyful, proud, victorious tears at the end of her program I cried too.

I knew I had just witnessed something amazing, something magical. A glimpse of God and His work in me, His work in all of us.

I am hardly an expert on figure skating, but it seems to me that Asada had a choice to make as she stood in place, poised and ready to skate. She could offer the judges, the audience, the world her skill, her beauty, her passion, or she could crumple beneath the weight of fear, failure, and the pressure cooked voice of her critics.

As the world watched her skate it was clear that despite her fear and failures of the past, despite what the critics might do or say this girl was rising to the occasion, offering her heart and everything within her.

In the end, despite her flawless performance, Asada’s scores were not enough for her to win a medal but I’d like to believe the personal victory she gained from her skate was worth more than gold.

I may not know the glory of a perfectly landed triple axel or a performance that becomes legend but I do know I am faced with a similar choice each and every day.

I can choose to live from the heart, offer my skill, my beauty, my passion or I can choose to run, hide, build walls, shut down, hold tight to fear and failure, fall prey to the critic inside my head.

It’s only when I choose to offer my heart that my own brand of magic is made. It’s when I pick up my pen, cradle my babes, call a friend, or kiss my beloved that my world becomes my rink and glory abounds.

When I choose to offer, He takes my offering and spins His glory every time.

I may not win gold.

I still fall, and trip, and fail.

The critic continues to scoff.

But the real victory is never in the final outcome. The real victory is in all the little coming-outs where I choose to offer my heart and everything within me. Where I choose to rise. Where I choose to turn my back on the fear, the failure, and the critic.

Brave prince, lovely princess, may you wake up this day to the fairy tale found in a figure skater and the performance of a lifetime. May you take this day, this life and offer the world your own skill, and beauty, and passion. May you watch as He takes your offering and makes it shine.

As He makes the heart of you shine like silver ice and golden glory.