It’s Time to Work on Our Relationships
It’s Time to Work on Our Relationships
Amberly Neese leads women in a study of sibling rivalries to find common ground
With feelings of isolation and disconnection at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever to learn to live at peace with others, even when we disagree. In her new Bible study, Common Ground: Loving Others Despite Our Differences, speaker and humorist Amberly Neese leads women in a study of sibling rivalries in Scripture so that all members of God’s family can find a safe place to come together to navigate conflict and heal relationships.
Whether it is in politics, the professional world, a party, or a pew, every person faces some kind of conflict on a daily basis. It’s not only in-person interactions that can become heated—social media is deluged with opinion-spewing, hurt feelings, and broken friendships. What we so desperately need is hope and practical tools to navigate the tumultuous waters in order to live at peace with everyone.
Fortunately, the Scriptures hold the key to living at peace despite our differences. In each week of the four-week Bible study, Neese combines stories of sibling rivalries from the Bible with personal experience, humor, hope, and her love of God’s Word. Common Ground provides a how-to for overcoming conflict by examining sibling relationships from the Old and New Testaments including:
- Joseph and His Brothers: How to Combat Jealousy
- Moses, Miriam, and Aaron: How to Work Together Despite Differences
- Mary, Martha, and Lazarus: How to Appreciate the Contributions of Others
- Rachel and Leah: Having Compassion for the Plight of Others
These stories point readers to peace and reconciliation in all their relationships, reassuring them that it is possible to find common ground with everyone—despite their differences. “Obviously, in Christ, we are called to live at peace with our brothers and sisters in the faith, so although there are direct lessons we can glean for getting along with actual family members, the scope of the study is for ALL of us in the family of God,” Neese explains.
Each week focuses on one story and overarching theme, exploring a primary Scripture text as well as other related passages to help give clarity on how to love one another despite differences and disagreements. Each day’s lesson starts with a Scripture Focus and Today’s Key Verses, includes questions and exercises for reflection and application, and ends with a Call to Action.
Once a week, participants come together with group to discuss what they’re learning and pray together. In addition to the Common Ground study guide, which includes leader helps, four 20 to 25-minute video sessions (with closed captioning) are available. Each video message is designed to follow and complement the content that readers have studied during the week. The videos are available on DVD, via digital download from Cokesbury.com, or streaming through a subscription to Amplify Media.
Building on the topic of relationships, Neese also has a new devotional The Friendship Initiative: 31 Days of Loving and Connecting Like Jesus releasing at the same time as her Bible study.
After a long year of separation, we long for connection. Despite faster internet connections, better WiFi hotspots, and more ways to stay connected than ever before, our lives still feel less and less connected. We desire healthy friendships but feel less equipped to make and foster them.“According to a study from January 2020, before we were hoarding toilet paper or facing some of the political and social struggles that has marked the past year, 61% of Americans admitted to being lonely,” Neese shares. “Depression, divorce, anxiety, isolation, child abuse, and suicide all hit new highs this past year, and it is time for the body of Christ to reach out to help those who are struggling.”
In The Friendship Initiative, Neese dives into the friendships and connections Jesus made to reveal 31 keys for building relationships such as: exercising grace, asking/answering questions, having compassion, exercising humility, being present, reaching out to those who are different, and more.
Each devotion includes Scripture, a devotional reflection, practical application ideas, and suggestions for reflection and prayer. Readers will find encouragement and practical help for connecting with others in their everyday lives by focusing on loving others as Jesus did.
Advance Praise for Common Ground:
“Amberly writes with pinpoint precision, diagnosing the heart of our relational conflicts through powerful biblical insights, humor, and raw vulnerability.”
— Barb Roose, author of
“With her witty style and helpful calls to action, Amberly guides us toward personal growth and the unity desperately needed today within the body of Christ.”
— Melissa Spoelstra, author of and other Bible studies and books
Advance Praise for The Friendship Initiative:
“I just love Amberly’s unique blend of humor and wisdom, which comes through on every page of this meaningful devotional. Every story and insight encourages and inspires the heart and mind, providing new perspectives on the way Jesus loves others.”
— Shaunti Feldhahn, best-selling author of For Women Only, The Kindness Challenge, and Find Rest
About the Author
Amberly Neese is a speaker, humorist, and encourager with a passion for “GRINspiring” others. As a featured speaker for the Aspire Women’s Events and the main host/comedienne for Marriage Date Night, two popular Christian events that tour nationally, she enjoys touching the hearts and minds and funny bones of people all over the country. The Bible says that laughter is good medicine, and she has found it’s also like glue—helping the truths of God’s Word to “stick.” Neese loves to remind women of the power and hope found in Scripture. Through a flair for storytelling and a love for Jesus, she candidly opens up her story alongside God’s Word to encourage others in their walk with Him.
With a master’s degree from Biola University, Neese serves as an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University and the Master Connector for Inspiring Growth, an organization developed to equip and encourage growth in leaders and businesses. She is also the author of the women’s Bible studies Common Ground and The Belonging Project as well as the devotional The Friendship Initiative.
She and her husband, Scott, have two teenagers and live in Prescott, Arizona, where they enjoy the great outdoors, the Food Network, and all things Star Wars.
For more information about Amberly Neese, visit her website www.amberlyneese.com. She is also active on Facebook (@Amberly Neese – Comedian/Speaker), Twitter (@amberlyneese), and Instagram (@amberlyneese).