The Weekly Wrap-Up, Week 1


Hey, Keep It Shut OBSers!  It’s Melissa here to wrap up Week 1 of our awesome Keep It Shut OBS!

Someone asked me today, “Can you sum up the first week of the Keep It Shut OBS in one word?”

I answered, “Of course I can …WOW!”

Why “WOW,” you might ask?

Because of YOU!  This is one of the most interactive, talkative and biggest studies we’ve ever had here at Proverbs 31. Do you know there are over 44,000 people in our Bible study group?  Do you know the people in this group are from all over the world? Just think what a pleasant world this is going to be with 44,000 people knowing “what to say, how to say it, and when to say nothing at all!”

This week, we’ve learned the power of the tongue and how we can communicate better with family, friends and others. We’ve also learned how being intentional to be in God’s Word can truly change the course of our day & help us with all we are beginning to apply from Keep It Shut. Dare I say, Keeping It Shut would be nearly impossible without the Word of God! I know I do much better AFTER I’ve spent time with God … Amen?

I want to close this week with a reminder from Chapter 2 and Proverbs 16:24:


This verse helps me when I’d like to lash out or speak in a not-so-nice way. To think the words I speak have the power to hurt or heal is crazy to me. But God’s Word tells us they do. So how about it, y’all?  Let go with the gracious words: sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Gracious words, even when we don’t feel like it. Gracious words to our family, friends and others we interact with.

Oh yeah, one more thing!  I’d LOVE for you to join me this coming Monday night for our very first conference call in our Keep It Shut Conference Call Series! We’ve changed the live calls to Mondays at 8 p.m. ET and reduced the price significantly.  I’m super excited about this series, because it is really going to help us go the extra step in changing the way we communicate. Check out:

Make Your Words Matter: The Keep It Shut Conference Call Series


Have you ever said something and thought, “Why on earth did I just say that?!” or “Did I really just hit the send button? Can I please start over?!”

Our words (and texting fingers) have the power to build others up or tear them down, which is exactly why we need to be experts in communicating with others.

Sign up today for this fun, practical and interactive Conference Call series as we learn what to say, how to say it and when to say nothing at all. This six-session series will help equip you to:

  • Strengthen your relationships through the words you choose to say aloud and the words you leave unspoken
  • Learn the language of who you are communicating with so that they hear and understand you better
  • Speak the truth with love and grace, even when it’s difficult
  • Learn what, when and how to speak straight from God’s Word

Our incredible speaker line-up includes six amazing guests you can relate to, love and learn from. Join us on this journey and discover how to make your words matter!


1. Liz Curtis Higgs (Monday, February 2, 8 p.m. ET), author of both fiction & non-fiction Christian books. Liz’s messages are biblical, encouraging, down-to-earth and profoundly funny, helping both sisters and seekers embrace the truth of God’s amazing, unchanging grace.

2. Annie Downs (Monday, February 9, 8 p.m. ET), author and speaker based in Nashville, Tenn. Flawed, but funny, Annie uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of a real and present God through Scripture, personal stories and humor.

3. Candace Cameron Bure (Monday, February 16, 8 p.m. ET), actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author and inspirational speaker, Candace is both outspoken and passionate about her family and faith. Known to millions worldwide from her role as “D.J. Tanner” on “Full House,” and her stunning performances and impressive finish on “Dancing with the Stars,” Candace continues to flourish in the entertainment industry as role model to women of all ages.

4. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (Monday, February 23, 8 p.m. ET), an internationally-known public speaker on the topic of male/female relationship, Dr. Eggerichs is the President and Founder of Love and Respect Ministries. He and his wife, Sarah, created the Love and Respect Conference, which is based on over three decades of counseling, as well as scientific and biblical research. Dr. Eggerichs has also authored several books, including the national bestseller Love & Respect.

5. Darlene Schacht (Monday, March 2, 8 p.m. ET), award-winning and New York Times best-selling author. Darlene is also known as The Time Warp Wife.

6. Karen Ehman (Monday, March 9, 8 p.m. ET), author of Keep It Shut. Karen is a Proverbs 31 Ministries author and speaker, as well as the ministry’s Professional Development Specialist and a teaching staff member on their writer’s training site, COMPEL.

Best of all, if you can’t be on the LIVE call on Monday nights, each call is recorded and available for later listening and/or download. Plus, we have a private Conference Call Facebook group led by a Proverbs 31 leader for all participants who are on Facebook who sign up and choose this option.

Get Signed Up for the Conference Calls Here and, if you aren’t 100% satisfied, we will give you a full refund! What have you got to lose?

Let’s Chat: 

  • What was your biggest take-away from Week 1 of Keep It Shut?
  • Are you watching the Super Bowl on Sunday?  Are you pulling for the Patriots or Seahawks? Are you watching just for the commercials? Or could you care less?

Join the conversation with us today!  What you have to say matters! We LOVE it when you talk to us! :)

Still waiting for your Keep It Shut book to arrive? You can download the first 3 chapters by clicking the pretty Download Now button below! :)

We have an exciting Week 2 planned for you! Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday!



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Who’s In Your Friction Circle?

Picture of ErinWelcome to Thursday!! It’s Erin joining you again today to discuss a bit of “Squabbles, Spats, And Such,” which happens to be the title of Chapter 2 of our OBS book, Keep It Shut!  Aren’t you just loving this book so far?

Do you have people in your family, neighborhood or even your Bible study who seem to have constant friction with you? Allow me to share a few of mine.

As Melissa Taylor shared with you on Monday, I am a mom of three kids. These precious children have taught me so much about myself (and usually not good characteristics).

For example, my oldest is a crier. She will cry over the littlest thing and can anyone guess where she gets that from? Yep, yours truly! Then there is my wonderful husband, Adam. He and I are both oldest children, which means that we are both always logical, always right and always justified in our opinions because we think through every possible angle and come up with the best idea possible. It’s awesome if we’re both in agreement, but if not, well let’s just say we’ve learned a lot about compromise over the years. I love these people dearly, but they are in what I lovingly call my “friction circle.”

Guess what! It’s not by accident. Take a look at this quote from Chapter 2:

 “God intentionally orchestrated the relationships in our lives. He knew who would share your last name — or your four walls. Who would occupy a seat in your carpool or dwell in the house right next door. It didn’t surprise him who would wind up as your in-law or be the one to teach your kids.” ~ Karen Ehman

Doesn’t that quote just jump out and smack you across the face? I know it did me!

So what does this mean? How do we deal with these people in our circle of influence, who just might also be in our friction circle? Thankfully God has not thrown us into “friction” situations just to sit back and watch the entertainment. No, He has given us examples and guidance on how to use our words.

In Chapter 2, Karen digs into one of the Bible’s greatest examples on how to deal with family.  The story of Joseph comes from Genesis chapters 37-50. Our amazing graphics team has created a fabulous visual sharing some practical points we can learn and apply in our own lives! Take a look:

KIS week 1

Easy peasy, right? Well, not really! At least not for me! Dealing with frustrating people doesn’t come easily and applying these points to our relationships doesn’t just happen overnight. Like we learned yesterday, we need to be intentional about spending time with God and following His guidance. We need God to intervene in our hearts and minds through spending time in His Word and in prayer. And not only do we need this, but don’t we want it? (Say yes!)

We each have a circle of influence. God has placed us all in a position to touch people’s lives with our actions and words. What we choose to speak will leave a mark on their lives. Let’s make it a sweet one.

Who’s in your friction circle?

Let’s Chat:  

  • Our memory verse this week is Proverbs 10:12-13 and it says, “Hatred stirs up conflict but love covers all wrongs. Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning.”  How can you use your lips (words) to show those around you that you care about them?
  • Which one of the points from the story of Joseph jumped out as something you need to work on in your relationships? Can you find ways to #BeIntentional about this today?

Join the conversation by leaving a comment below! We can’t wait to read what you have to say!


Still waiting for your Keep It Shut book to arrive? You can download the first 3 chapters by clicking the pretty Download Now button below! :)


Bible Study LIVE TONIGHT (Jan. 29), 8 p.m. EST on Facebook!

OBS.BSL.StephCPicHi I’m Stephanie Christensen, leader for #P31OBS Bible Study LIVE! Join Karen Ehman, Melissa Taylor, the #P31OBS Bible Study LIVE team and me TONIGHT for a fun, fast-moving hour of Bible Study LIVE on Facebook! Bring your Bible and something to write on and enjoy some girl & Bible time with #P31OBS friends, as we get to know each other and dig into God’s Word & Keep It Shut together.

We’d love to have you join us! Can’t wait to see you there! Get all the details here!  

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I Did It On Purpose

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Melissa Sherlin here!

I’m so excited to be with ya’ll today!

I want to begin by sharing something in Chapter 1:

Keep It Shut Chapter 1.2 Quote“How I use my words, whether for good or for evil, can often, although not always, be traced back to the quality time I am (or am not) spending with the Lord each day, how intentional I am about investing in my relationship with him, and whether or not I am taking steps to become more like his Son, Jesus Christ.” (pg. 18 paperback) ~ Karen Ehman, #KeepItShutBook

I recently asked several women what their biggest struggle is in studying God’s Word. Making time was at the top of the list.

No matter what season of life you may be in right now, there is always going to be something else fighting for your time.  Being intentional means that you have determined to make something a priority. Easy enough right? Yeah, not so much … here is where it can get tricky.

You see, I am intentional to make sure my alarm is set for 5 a.m., when I have to be at work the next day. Although I really love my job, I really dread that alarm. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  I would much rather go to work when I feel like it and it fits into MY schedule. Some days I would much rather be meeting my friend for lunch.

Sadly, I sometimes approach my time with God this way.  I treat it as a duty, something on my list to check off. I’ll do it when it fits into MY schedule …  just have so much to do, and when I get still and quiet enough, I just want to sleep! I don’t want to approach God or His Word that way! Just being totally honest with you today! Can anyone else relate?

Speaking of meeting a friend for lunch, I recently had the opportunity to meet my dear friend and P31OBS sister Sarah Travis for lunch.  I blocked off half my day, then drove an hour and a half to meet her.  I was so excited to meet up with her, share what was on my heart, and listen to what was on hers.  I got up early, picked out my clothes, and then spent some time reading my Bible before I had to leave.  This time was interrupted by my crazy dog that loves to break free and “visit” with the neighbors.  I ended up chasing this dog around the neighborhood in my pajamas!  I didn’t get much reading done; in fact, this is all that I read that morning:

God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud …” ~ Genesis 9:12-14

That’s it. Just two little verses!  I had intentionally set apart some time to read my Bible, but it was interrupted by the craziness of life.  I went on with my plans to meet my friend. During the drive to meet her, I prayed for God to meet us there and bless our time together.  Here is a pic of us meeting that day:


As I was driving Sarah back to her car, I suddenly spotted a rainbow! I shouted, “Take a picture!”  I thought of those verses that I had read that morning.  That still small voice suddenly became alive and active to me.  I knew God had put it there just for me just like he did for so many other generations before. What if I hadn’t read those words that day?  Would I have even noticed the rainbow peeking out of the clouds?  If I had, would I have known that God was speaking to me?  

I want to approach God and His Word with excitement!  I want to show up and share with Him what’s on my heart, and listen to what He has to say.  How will I recognize that still small voice if I don’t show up to meet Him?

I have to be intentional to spend time with Him.  Here are some ways that I’m working on being more intentional:

  • Be intentional to show up.
  • Be intentional to pray before reading and ask God to speak to me through his Word.
  • Be intentional when the pastor/teacher/speaker says something I don’t understand to jot it down for further review.
  • Be intentional to seek God in all aspects of my life. (The good, bad & the ugly!)
  • Be intentional to identify any barriers to my time in God’s Word.  Time management, understanding, boredom, etc.
  • Be intentional to use whatever resources I have available to me. (My Bible, Bible app or the Bible online)
  • Be intentional to let the Word of God transform me.

I believe when we intentionally seek him with our heart we will find him! Let’s seek God this week and spend some time reading our Bibles. Here’s how we can get started:

  • Set a goal for yourself (Specific days, hours, times or verses to read — whatever works for you! )
  • Don’t know where to start? ~ (Look up any of the verses in chapters 1 or 2 and read the whole chapter where they are found. Or look up some of the over 3,500 verses Karen mentions on this topic.)
  • Let’s pray before we start each day ~ (Read Jeremiah 33:3)
  • Let’s see if spending time in HIS Word affects our words.

Social Media (optional)

Let’s encourage one another on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter!  Use the hashtags #P31OBS  #KeepItShutbook #BeIntentional and post a pic of you and your Bible, Bible app or just your Bible.  (Make sure to make the post public so the whole OBS community can encourage one another! )

****Two of you who comment below will win a Keep It Shut book and Keep It Shut Conference Call Series!  Winners will be emailed Thursday afternoon.

Let’s Chat:

  • Do you struggle with being intentional with your Bible study?  If so, what is your greatest obstacle?
  • Do you have a scheduled time that you read your Bible?  If not share your goal with us. Let’s be accountable to each other.
  • Do you find that it helps to pray before reading your Bible?

See you tomorrow when Erin will be with us to discuss Chapter 2, “Squabbles, Spats, & Such How to Communicate with Family, Friends, and Other Necessary People.” (That sounds like fun!)

Have an INTENTIONAL day!

Melissa Sherlin :)

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