“As Brenda Lancaster’s pastor and friend it gives me great joy to recommend Brenda as a gifted writer, creative teacher, and captivating speaker who conveys truth, forged in the fires of everyday life in a humorous way. I’ve known Brenda for many years and found her to be a good steward of all God has given her, a faithful servant who is determined to build God’s Kingdom, and a serious soul winner, sharing her faith and leading many into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Brenda is an active, faithful member of Life Community Church. God has given her a unique and very effective Bible study that was not only offered here, but was one of the most effective, life-changing Bible studies our ladies have experienced in some time. Not only was there enthusiasm, excitement, and a record attendance, but numerous testimonies of the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Brenda has encouraged, inspired, and mentored many young ladies in our church family through small group Bible studies, seminars, and various ministries. I highly recommend Brenda and the ministry God has given her. She will honor our Lord and build His Kingdom.”
Pastor Jake J. Thornhill, Jr.
Life Community Church
“As the Senior Pastor and leader of the 24-church Agape Baptist Church Association in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ, wherever you are in the world, to open your hearts, and homes, and churches to Living in a Zoo? This book, written by Brenda Lancaster, is a scripturally sound, much needed study for women, based on Titus 2. In today’s society we all, both men and women, fall short of God’s perfect plan for our families. This study is an instrument for helping women to understand their part, and to put Biblical principles into practice in such a way that their husbands will also be won to Biblical obedience. I know personally Brenda and her husband Tom and can testify to the fact that they have adopted the principals she teaches, which has led to a fruitful and satisfying marriage and parenting experience. God bless you as you begin this adventure!”
Dr. Roberto Martins De Sa
Agape Baptista Church
Dr. Herrod invited Brenda and ZMI Family Ministries International to join him on a Nicaraguan mission for the first time in 2009, only three days after the Spanish translation of Living in a Zoo? Bible study was completed. Many women came to Christ that trip. “You need to get a bus and go on the road,” Dr. Herrod quipped. In 2010, because of the need to spend a whole week exclusively on Women’s Ministry and Conferences, ZMI also travels on mission trips independently of R.H.E.M.A. and other ministry organizations. Dr. Herrod has continued to support Brenda and ZMI with advice and encouragement to “keep on going” carrying the Titus 2 message of hope to women across the globe. “Don’t hesitate to use me as a reference…I am praying for you”, says Dr. Herrod.
Dr. Ron Herrod
President, 2010 Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists
Sevierville, TN 37864
“God began ZMI Family Ministries International by burdening Brenda Lancaster to reach out a helping hand to mothers trying to balance the demands of families. As the ministry has grown and expanded beyond the U.S. borders, a team of volunteers works beside her daily to share the gospel of Christ through caring for families. Their dedication to God’s way of living is making an impact only God could have orchestrated.”
Dr. Betty Hassler
“As a Pastor concerned with growth that is recognizable, The Living in a Zoo study produces results! In Isaiah 45:8, the prophet tells us that righteousness shall grow alongside of salvation. We should see the right choices being made consistently by those who have encountered the Living God of the Bible. The concepts put forward and the strong application in this study shows results in life change. What a joy to see fruit in the lifestyles of the women who invest the time to attend. I would encourage every pastor to get as many women to attend this study as you can.”
Dr. Dean Mattern
Life Community Church
“It has been such a joy and privilege to minister with Brenda Lancaster for the past 10 years. I have watched as God has used her to break down seemingly immovable barriers in a number of women’s lives. Brendais a lover of God and a lover of His Word and I have learned so much about carrying out our Lord’s command to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ We are living in an upside-down world where wrong is called right and right is called wrong but I have witnessed over and over the fact that Brenda Lancaster is the real deal! She has purposed herself to seek after the Lord and live out His calling in her life . . . first, living out God’s principles and then teaching them to others. There’s no doubt in my mind that Brenda will be one to whom the Lord says, “Well done My good and faithful servant.”
Women’s Ministry Director
Life Community Church
*Tami & her husband, Darin are the co-founders of Happily Ever After, a Marriage Ministry based in Greensboro, NC. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Zookeepers Ministries.
“As a pastor’s wife for the past 12 years and a Bible teacher, meeting Brenda Lancaster and ZMI Family Ministries International became a life changing experience for me. I have spent many years counseling and consoling wives and mothers on how to love their husbands and get through life raising their children in such trying times. This is the best realistic, biblically sound study I have ever been a part of for mothers and wives. Having spent time withBrendaone on one in her home and on the road I have come to love the heart she has forJesusand her deep hunger for His Word. I have seen her minister in women retreats and dinners where pregnant women come to realize how valuable they are to Christ and turn their lives over to Him and then see the change Jesus makes in them. I have known ladies that were ready to leave their husbands go away from the retreat or dinner and say “I am going to make this work with the help of the Lord. I can do this.” I have watched them go through this study and have seen their lives change.”
Ladies Ministry Director
Good Shepherd Church
& Founder of Designing Women for Christ
“Have You Ever Felt as if You Were Living in a Zoo? The name catches our attention and the content captures our hearts! Even now, I could, if space permitted, share dozens of testimonies of lives and marriages that have been impacted, and are undergoing the process of transformation as a direct result of this study. As Brenda herself would agree, there is nothing “new” about it. It’s the same solid, trustworthy, regenerating, powerful, indisputably liberating Word of God that we have had at our fingertips for centuries. No new Truth exists that will set us free. The difference is that God has chosen to speak through Brenda’s life, has chosen to inspire her to speak in such a way that we “get” it, that challenges us to really question ourselves as to whether or not we are walking in obedience to that Truth. Thus God speaks, we hear, and He is glorified!
Speaking on a more personal level, just for myself, as a so-called somewhat more experienced Christian, I was forced to face issues that were not particularly pleasing to me. I was challenged to stop skirting these issues, to stop pretending to myself that they were within the permissible bounds of normalcy, and deal with them once and for all. With God’s help, I am on my way to overcoming. I know that I’ll succeed for two reasons: 1) because God is faithful, and 2) because I’ll never accept mediocrity again. Praise the Lord!”
Pat Martins De Sa
Ministry Director & Pastor’s Wife
Agape Baptista Church
“I have known Brenda and her family for almost 40 years. We met while living in Florence, South Carolina. They invited us to visit the church they attended, and we ended up joining that church and serving with them there. Brenda and I were two very busy and somewhat frustrated young mothers, and yes, very ignorant in some ways. Even though we were in church and learning the Word, something was missing. The missing links in our lives were mentors and someone to minister to “young busy women”. It’s not that God’s Word didn’t have what we needed; it’s just that part was not taught along with the rest. Those experiences and the lack of encouragement in the lives of young women is what prompted Brenda to write “Living in a Zoo.” You that have young children can relate to the experiences of the many tasks of a mother, especially when Dad is so busy or just not involved.
The “Zoo” Bible study is just the kind of study that meets you where you are and becomes the ministry and encouragement you need. As someone who has been there, Brenda’s ministry through the “Zoo”, is reaching hearts and encouraging others with teachings from God’s Word. Brenda has spoken at our church in Gaffney, SC and we have her scheduled to speak again at a two-day women’s retreat in March 09. I highly recommend this Bible Study. It is great for ladies of all ages and you will leave being encouraged and fulfilled by this dynamic lady who has been there!!”
Women’s Ministry Leader
Goucher Baptist Church
“Recently we had Brenda Lancaster as a speaker for our Ladies Brunch at Asheboro Friends Meeting in Asheboro North Carolina. Our ladies enjoyed the wonderful stories that she shared about how God has worked in her life. Living in a Zoo is a wonderful Bible study book and is easy to understand and relate to. We are planning to begin using the book and DVD for our younger moms during our Wednesday night service soon. I highly recommend her for any ladies group as a speaker and found her to be a warm and caring person.
Asheboro Friends Meeting
“Through your love and obedience to God’s call to come here, lives have been touched for Christ and souls added to His Kingdom. You have blessed, encouraged, and refreshed me so that my cup truly ‘runneth over’. Thank you!”
First Baptist Church
“We are thrilled at what the Lord has done through Living in a Zoo? and Brenda. We had a great retreat and what a response! We had over 30 involved in the Bible Study and so many are not church goers. Oh what God can do!”
“Brenda was a delight as she shared at our women’s conference in 2008. After meeting her personally, I immediately bonded with her spirit, recognizing her love for the Lord. She has an awesome ministry truly guided by the Lord. Women attending Brenda’s Living in a Zoo seminar were inspired and challenged, and they really enjoyed her presentation. With humar, truth and love, Brenda related to real-life issues women face today.”
Coordinator for Renewed – A Conference for Women
“Thank you for sharing God’s message with us….our ladies just love you! Christ truly shines when you are delivering His message and your love for Christ is so evident. It was a wonderful evening.”
Donna and Gwen
“We are almost at the end of Part I, and we have had so much fun. BUT the Lord has shown us so much and grown us so much. Thank you for being used of HIM, We are excited about starting Part Two.”
First Baptist Church
“We recently had Brenda Lancaster as a speaker for our Ladies Brunch at Asheboro Friends Meeting. Our ladies enjoyed the wonderful stories that she shared about how God has worked in her life. . Living in a Zoo is a wonderful Bible study book and is easy to understand and relate to. We are planning to begin a using the book and DVD’s for our younger Moms during our Wednesday night service soon. I highly recommend her for any ladies group as a speaker and found her to be a warm and caring person.”
Asheboro Friends Meeting
“Brenda, you brought lots of sunshine to Asheboro in the midst of a storm. Thank you. I really enjoyed meeting and love your concept of Living in a Zoo. Now, looking at dates for 2009, could you consider coming to our church……”
First Baptist Church
Here are just a few testimonies from previous attendees of the Living In A Zoo? Bible Study
Lately, I have been struggling with my role as a wife and mother. The first day of the Bible study I knew God had a plan for me and He was going to show me how important being a wife and mom is.
Kelly, High Point, NC
This class has truly been a blessing! Just being around other women with the common interest of wanting to be perfected as a Christian woman, wife, and mother. It is not easy, being all three at the same time. And this class has made me more conscious of the areas that I need to work on.
Donna, Greensboro, NC
God has really shown me through this study the areas of my life that need my strict attention and I must say that as I have been putting these things into practice daily [my husband] and I both seem happier and our home is a peaceful one.
Leigh, Jamestown, NC
Beloved Brenda, what God is doing in my life is tremendous. God brought you from the Other America to confirm what He has planned for me. He has shown me He loves me through you. I am very grateful to God for your existence and for your willingness to bless others lives in speaking God s Word.
Katia, Campinas Brazil
Our group has really grown! One has found Christ and all of us are seeing changes in our homes. I really needed the mothering part. Thanks for going national!
Candi, Vandalia, Ohio
Prior to this Bible study, I was feeling pretty bad and was seriously considering that my marriage was doomed. But thanks to God for directing me to the place I needed to be so that we could work on reviving my marriage and my attitude. Great strides have been made – this doesn t mean that everything is perfect but it does mean that I have dedicated to my marriage for the long haul.
Beth, Summerfield, NC
I hadn t realized just how much in our hurried, angry world that something like a simple title could make one stop, step back and think for a second, Hey, that s me! I never knew you could find so much in the Bible just for women and that we are all important to God.
Faye, North Carolina
Since I graduated from high school I have dreamed of becoming a competent career woman. In order to make my dream come true, I thought marriage and children, cooking; cleaning would be an obstacle in doing my career. In my country and family custom, man is head of family and all family members are to obey family head. However, I could not accept that kind of authority because I thought we are humans which are to be equally treated in any positions. Finally I became a registered nurse and stood firm economically independent. However, I was always feeling empty in my heart like missing something even if working as a nurse made my life meaningful. Now I am thinking that my Lord was waiting for his time for me to fill up my emptiness. I studied Bible in my country but did not understand. After coming to this country I started going to Korean church. My heart was slowly moved to the Lord. Since being in US I become unable to control my temper, making loud voice. Communication was often unsuccessful due to language barrier and difference in morals between my country and US and made me confused and upset. Then I attended this Bible study and started prayer and reading the Bible. For the first time I look forward to marriage and relationship is missing. It opened my eyes. What a blessing it is! When I feel like losing my emotion, I ask the Lord for help. He help me follow His way.
Kim, Korea, Now living in the U.S.
I learned my attitude could make or break my home.
Dottie, High Point, NC
In the first place, I want to thank God for your life and then, for you have heard to His voice and obeyed His will in writing such a precious study!
We have finished the ZMI Family Ministries International’s study “Living in a Zoo” today (Sep 20th, 10) and it was really amazing for all of us. We were an 8 women group and during the last months we shared the importance of being a woman according to Titus 2:3-5 and regardless the season we live in our lives, we’ll always be our Great King’s princesses!!!!
All the concepts you described during the lessons I consider terrific. They really cease any doubts about the approached subjects! And how good were the reflections realized through the daily tasks! God’s light illuminated our dark ways!
Lovely sister that the presence of the Lord, the almighty, the wonderful, Prince’s Peace, comforter, strong God be with you and all of your loved ones every single day of your lives!
P.S.: We’ll begin the study with other women groups soon!
A big kiss
Andrea, São Paulo, Brazil
Psalm 18:30 – As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
Dear sister in Christ Brenda,
I’m very glad in having your study done because I could learn lots of important things a woman need to know.
God has talked to me many times during the study.
Although I’m not married, I could get more mature about marriage and I believe there’s a purpose on it.
I praise to God because I had this great opportunity while I think there are many who would like to have it too and they have no chance. I pray to God so that I can teach other women and learn more from God.
Thank you and God bless you.
Anabel, São Paulo, Brazil
With great happiness that I write this letter for you in order to, first of all, thank God then you, because you have laid yourself out in sharing your experiences with us through this book.
I’ve already been a Christian for 16 years and I considered everything was doing well and some things wouldn’t happen to me. At the same time I was getting involved emotionally to another person, I was running to the abysm. I love my husband and children a lot but I almost was deceived for the evil that comes subtly and involves us without noticing; but God is faithful and He brought this book at the right time what have rescued me and didn’t allow His lovely daughter to fall and He has involved me with His arms, love and forgiveness.
God and I had a special night and I recognized I’m weak and I need Him and His love. Everything has restored and because of your teachings I’m a better wife, mother and daughter nowadays.
I’ve figured out how my family is important to me and to God and how other things such as carrier, friends and other distractions may wait or be in a second place.
That God blesses your life. I’ve been putting Titus 2 into practice and teaching the real responsibility of marriage to the youngest women.
Thank you for everything,
Solange, São Paulo, Brazil
The following are excerpts taken from essays written by graduates of Zoo classes from all over. Graduates are asked to write from their heart and are instructed NOT to sign their essays for privacy reasons.
The very first lesson spoke to my heart. It seemed to hit just where I needed it. At this time of my life I am a wife, mom to a 15 month old and a 3 year old, and I also work outside the home. This lesson helped me see that if my devotions are just a minute here and a minute there at this stage of my life, just being in God s Word some during the day and meditating on it is more important than how long I spend. God knows where I am in my life because He put me here, so He will honor my time in His Word, not matter how it comes to be. But it did convict me to spend some time with Him. ”
This class has simply been a blessing of great joy and growth to me. I was placed upon the earth to serve the Lord, be a wife and mother. (And that is an honorable thing). I don t have to have a career outside the home to be valuable to society. I have enjoyed this study in so many different ways, practical advice about being a mother, biblical references and funny antidotes. ”
I was living in a zoo and close to being consumed. I have been blessed with tools that I know were available but I was not using. Through this class I have been revived every single class gave me a new insight to God s plan for me as a woman.
This class has helped me to be a more rounded person spiritually, physically, & mentally. Overall the class has helped me to think about myself and what is going on in my life. This class has taught me to stop and think about what God wants in my life and to do with my life and also how to lead my life.
Well, to begin with, this study was not what I thought it would be. After about 3 weeks I thought it was nothing in it for me! I was wrong! Although I do not have any small children anymore, I began to realize there was a lot in this study for me. I have 2 grandchildren. We live close and I have a close relationship with them. What I have learned here will help me bridge the gap when teenage hood kicks in.
Being a new mother, I never realized how much time and energy it takes to be a good mother. The lessons on being a protective (Exodus 2:1), disciplined (Titus 2:4) and loving mother (Titus 2:4) spoke to my heart the most, I am trying to be more disciplined with my time. I can relate to the Garden Bridge mother in the lesson Crusty Kids and Crumbling Moms. I have tried to be more organized with my time. ”
The most important information that was helpful to me at this time of my life was about motherhood being a very precious assignment, a position of monumental importance. The Titus 2 scripture really helped me to change my attitude and behavior when dealing with my son. Before understanding this, I was very upset, angry and rude to my child because of his illness. I would often ask Why is my child different than other kids?
Because of coming to this class, I have realized to accept my child as an individual and to love him as he is. God has created him and I will love him dearly &.I am not getting upset or angry with him anymore. I am more relaxed and at peace with my child now.
The most important thing I had to learn came from Me Jane, You Tarzan. On the second day of that week we were to do the Pie for Papa Bear . Boy was I surprised! It was a total shock for me to see how much time I had allowed myself to dwell on his faults instead of his attributes. I could go week by week and tell you how God has used this study to teach me and grow me.
I had never thought about what line upon line, precept upon precept meant. I guess I thought that after you tell your child something they would know it. What I learned from this study is that you keep teaching the same thing to them over and over. Looking at Jesus response to Nicodemus was a revelation. I saw how he questioned Jesus again and again but our Savior never got tired or frustrated at answering and teaching him. He is our best guide and teacher on parenting. “The Pie for Papa Bear literally changed my life and my husbands.
In reviewing all the lessons, the one topic that shined a spotlight on an area I need to revisit was achieving emotional balance. I didn t realize why I was so frustrated, irritated and ultimately angry until I saw myself on the emotional roller coaster. This lesson and a subsequent conversation with Brenda helped me to see where and why I had lost my focus. I have enjoyed this study immensely. The changes I am making in my attitude, and my attitude toward my duties as a wife is making my husband and I happier people, and much happier and easier to live with.
Where do I start? I have learned so much through this study. God has used this study to change my heart in so many ways &.I have also noticed how much I set the tone in the house. A couple of times I even tested it. Boy was I surprised! When I was down, they were down. Up and they were up and so on..thanks for showing me God s truths for me as a wife and mother. I know now that all I do is not in vain.
This class has helped me be a more well rounded person spiritually, physically and mentally. Sometimes after marriage and a child you forget your self-worth. These weeks just made me think about why I keep doing what I do and it is a reminder of why I enjoy what I do. I have learned to turn my thoughts and feelings into positives. This is making me and my household a lot happier. I am getting a lot more done and I am a lot happier doing it.
For more endorsements, contact Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org