Today, Melissa speaks to us about studying Scripture, a book she is reading on repeat and the importance of prayer.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in Florida as the daughter of a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. I have one younger brother. Overall, I had a great childhood, although I was definitely a sheltered kid. I attended only Adventist schools and churches my entire life.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: I really appreciate the entire chapter of 1 John 4. It so perfectly outlines God’s love for us and I think that is vital for our faith.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I am learning how to let go of my pride. I realize that will likely be a lifelong endeavor! Yet I noticed how much pride hurts us and the people we love. Selfishness is, in my opinion, the root of all evil and I don’t want to feed into it by allowing my own ego to get out of hand.
Profession: I work as a Freelance Content Creator full time. This basically just means I make videos and posts about Jesus/Bible study every day haha. When I am not creating, I am researching. I also have a book in the works.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? I am, in a sense, working on a memoir right now actually! The title of my book is Sustainable Faith, and it outlines my own faith journey/experience.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I suppose it depends on what you mean by “encounter”. I was raised knowing about God, but I don’t think he became something real and personal for me until I was in my early twenties. I encountered Him through pain. I went through a lot of terrible experiences in college, yet somehow through those things I found God.
How would you describe Jesus? Jesus is fully God and fully human. He is our big brother and our best friend. He is loving but also knows when to defend the truth. Most importantly, he is our advocate. When you get yourself stuck in life, Jesus will help you. Even if you aren’t stuck he will help you!
How has your relationship with Him changed you? My relationship with Jesus is why I am filling out this questionnaire haha. If I didn’t know Christ I would be a very selfish, mean, manipulative person. Jesus helped me find my identity in Him instead of the pleasures of the world.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? The darkest time in my life was when I contemplated committing suicide in college. I didn’t see God through that experience, but that experience triggered my desire to find God. If God was real, I wanted to KNOW it. I had to hit rock bottom before I could start reading the Bible and learning about God for myself.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Reading the Bible for myself. Prayer. Learning how to set boundaries. Learning how to set boundaries is a big one. It is possible to be kind to people and still know when to walk away from toxic environments or situations. I think sometimes we assume that because we love Jesus we should not stick up for ourselves. I disagree. If your church is toxic, address the issue or find a new church. If your relationship is abusive, get out of it. God gave us a brain to use for a reason. Abuse is never okay even if someone tries to call it by another name.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am currently reading The Great Controversy by Ellen White. I read it on repeat, honestly. It helps me stay alert and remember that Jesus is coming soon. It is easy to grow tired of waiting for Jesus to come, but even the early apostles lived like Jesus may come tomorrow. I think there is a certain level of urgency that we as believers should maintain. That urgency motivates us to share the gospel.
“I think there is a certain level of urgency that we as believers should maintain. That urgency motivates us to share the gospel.”
Top three essentials: A hydroflask water bottle, a hair tie, and my iPhone haha. I can do anything with those three tools.
How did God speak to you recently? God continually reminds me that I have a calling to share truth in love. For me that looks like writing and speaking about various Bible topics that mainstream Christianity has become confused about. It isn’t always easy, but God promises to help me stay strong.
Hobby: I am an adult competitive figure skater!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: I really just have one tip and that is prayer. Prayer is the secret sauce that so many of us overlook. When I pray I give God permission to do things in my life and the lives of those around me that he otherwise could not do.
“Prayer is the secret sauce that so many of us overlook.”
Favorite person in scripture? Joseph is my personal favorite. I love how loyal he remained to doing the right thing.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I hope that when people look at me they see Jesus. I hope they feel loved and seen.
How do you engage with your community? I primarily engage with people in the digital space. I feel that God has given me a unique audience online. I speak with the types of people who would never enter an actual church building, but they feel safe engaging with God online.
Favorite holiday? My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It is just a really great opportunity to express gratitude for all the little things.
A goal you have? Right now, my top goal is to finish my book and get it published.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: On Friday nights, my husband and I have our own personal agape feast to welcome in the Sabbath.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Too many to narrow down haha.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: The falsehoods that are in churches today. A lot of people think that if a pastor says it, it must be true. This is sadly not accurate at all. Even pastors can be misinformed. We must go straight to the source- the Bible itself- to develop what we believe about God.
What does your morning routine consist of? I wake up, have a hot drink, eat some fruit and write. Sometimes, I also go live on Instagram if I am doing a Bible study challenge.
What is on your nightstand? A diffuser, my water bottle, and my Bible.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Messengers of God loving the world and revealing His true character.
For more Melissa:
Facebook: Melissa Schiffbauer
Youtube: A Bible & A Girl
She also supports and is an advocate for Light Bearers Ministry:
Until next time, keep witnessing!