Hi, I’m Ellen Hopkins
sinner, redeemed by Christ -- ever-growing student of His Word -- sent with a mission to bring YOU Scripture Confidence
I am a wife and mother of two daughters. We live in Rockledge, FL and attend Grace Fellowship Church, where my husband is on staff as the Youth & Young Adult Pastor.
I have a Bachelor Degree in Communications from Moody Bible Institute and a Masters Degree in Counseling Ministries from Wheaton College Graduate School. Here is the truth: I didn't have much Bible knowledge when entering College, so I mostly learned how to study Scripture in my Bible classes. However, you can learn to study the Bible all the same; I can teach you!
I enjoy writing and teaching. Obviously, I have a passion for God's Word. I love relational ministry. I tear up at stories of God's work in people's life; yes, I cry at every baptism. This year, God has been teaching me 1. to take responsibility for my actions and reactions (no more, no less), 2. to rest in Him fully and always, and 3. to understand how those two can co-exist. Yes, I am God's work in progress, just like you.
My Scripture Confidence Journey
It was during a homework assignment at Moody Bible Institute that I had my "Scripture confidence" moment. I first studied through a passage of the book of Hebrews, then turned to the assigned commentary chapter. My heart rejoiced to find that my observations and interpretations lined up exactly with the author's. My mind was saying, "Yay! I am getting the hang of this."
All believers have the same Holy Spirit as their guide and with a few study methods, anyone can be on their way to understanding the Bible with increasing confidence.
Around the same time, I wrote the first version of "Scripture Confident through the Old Testament" for a high school girls small group. I am thankful for how this study has evolved to help women of all ages gain confidence in their ability to study Scripture and do so in community and as a lifestyle.
To say the least, God has been laying the vision of this ministry on my heart for many years. I am thankful it is now time to share it with you!
What is Scripture Confident Living?
The mission: empowering women to study the Bible with growing confidence
GAINING SCRIPTURE CONFIDENCE
It is my desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God through studying His Word confidently. My study material and most blog posts include a component of learning how to study the Bible well so that with time, you can approach a passage or topic of the Bible and read, interpret, and apply it with confidence. Devotionals, heavily guided Bible studies, and listening to sermons are all great resources (!) but you should also learn to approach the Bible on your own without these aids.
Studying Scripture is so much richer when done in community. We are imperfect people looking at the perfect Word of God, so multiple eyes on a text is bound to help us handle each passage carefully. Some of these aids may come in the form of scholarly works (such as commentaries and Bible dictionaries) but those do not replace the importance of personal relationships. Studying the Bible with a group of believers adds all the more observations, clearer interpretations, and definitely richer applications with build-in accountability and the sharing of excitement over the powerful Word of God.
AS A LIFESTYLE
Our knowledge of God and understanding of His ways will grow as we study His Word. Gain an overview of the redemption story told in the Bible and you will be more likely to read each passage in the proper context. The more you learn, the more you understand, the more your knowledge informs your decisions and lifestyle. This stands in contrast to approaching the Bible only when facing a problem without prior study skills or understanding of the overall message. Make studying Scripture to know God a way of life!
how can i serve you today?
We all have different people in our lives that God uses to refine us. I hope to be one of those people in your life. I can never replace an in-person mentor - if you don't have one, start praying for God to bring one into your life - but I'd like to be these:
The Word of God is full of truth that replenishes our soul and has us clinging to God. I want to bring Scripture to you in a way that encourages and uplifts your Spirit, convicts and captures your attention, and lead you closer to the Lord. It's that effect of His powerful Word that will have you hungry for more of it.
Many times on this site, you'll mentally image me putting on my nerdy professor glasses and going into teaching mode. I love sharing what I know specifically about HOW to study the Bible. No worries, I won't scare you off with Greek words. To tell you the truth, I wish I could but I actually can't...
Okay, don't expect any sports analogies here; I do my workout on a yoga mat. Here is what I mean by "coach": I'll give you the tools and fuel your motivation; then it's onto you. Get studying, get learning, take charge. Flex your Bible study muscle. (Okay, that's really it on the analogies...)
Don't let this be a one-way communication only. Please, contact me and let me know how I can serve you with the above.
And I know you're gonna ask...
What i believe
Above all, I want you to know that I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. That means, I believe that the Bible in its original language is inspired by God and true to the core.
I believe that all believers have the same Holy Spirit as their guide in understanding God's Word and can do so with increasing confidence with just a few study methods. I believe that God desires for us to become students of the Scriptures to know Him, discern truth from lies, and transform our lives to look more like Christ.
Because I am sure some of you will ask: I believe in the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), the creator of all the world, author and perfecter of our faith. I believe that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that salvation is through Christ alone.
I will purposely not comment on many other facets of my theological views. I would rather teach you to carefully search Scripture and, to the best of your ability and with help of your faith community, figure out where you land on many of the finer points. Don't be scared; it can be a fun journey!
Ready for more?
Browse the blog section for study resources, how-to guides, study group tips, and other inspiration.
Want to start studying with a group of friends? Here are some Study Groups 101 tips.
Don't forget to claim your FREE copy of "10 Steps to Approaching God's Word with Confidence."
Ready to dive in? Practice your Bible study skills on hand-picked passages that will provide you an overview of the Old Testament with our "Scripture Confident through the Old Testament" series. (A New Testament series is in the works. If you and/or your study group have completed the current Old Testament series and would like to apply to be one of my beta test groups, contact me.)