For years, Rancho Santa Fe resident Lindsey Clifford has believed in “putting feet to her faith,” using her faith to help make a difference and to help others find strength.
The founder of The Jesus Lifestyle and editor of “Just Jesus,” a book of only the words of Jesus from the Bible, will be taking her Bible study outside of her home for the first time with a new study group running Thursday mornings at 10 a.m. from Jan. 21 through April 28 at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club.
The group is a real life study addressing real-life problems. “Just Jesus” discusses what Jesus has to say all about the problems people have in their lives, including topics such as anxiety, eating disorders, marriage, greatness, control, healing, children, letting go and intimacy.
“I believe God’s word has practical real life application to the problems we have in our lives,” Clifford said. “If we understand what the Bible says about problems, it can offer solutions that last and work.”
Clifford is strict about the rules of her group: no gossip, no talk about other religions as it is meant to be non-denominational, and whatever is said in the group stays in the group. She said as a result of her rules, she seen some great relationships and friendships form among the women as they can feel comfortable to talk and share and “have each other’s backs.”
“For two hours they get to come to a place in which they are loved, nurtured and fed spiritually,” Clifford said. “It’s like Bible therapy.”
“We find peace in each other by being courageous and loving enough to share what’s going on in our lives without condemnation or judgment,” Clifford said. “We are here to love each other, to listen with our hearts and pick each other up.”
Clifford has lived in Rancho Santa Fe for six years and in Southern California for 16 years—she is originally from New York.
As Clifford likes to say, she “put feet to her faith” and became a writer, speaker and Bible study leader, editing “Just Jesus” and writing the accompanying Bible studies. Clifford said all of the subjects in her studies are well-researched and she pulls in various expertise to add depth to the topics.
Clifford has written Bible studies for 10 years but started hosting Bible studies in her home in 2012. She started with just a small group of friends and it grew and grew through word of mouth.
For the studies, she would clear out her living room and create three circles of chairs. Dedicated leaders helped lead the study groups, which include women from Solana Beach, La Costa, Cardiff, Carmel Valley, Encinitas and Carlsbad.
“I believe I have a gift for teaching. I take the Bible’s principles and give them practical life applications. And I’m not afraid to share my own life, I do a lot of self-disclosures because stories are the best way to show biblical principles,” Clifford said.
Clifford said it has been “wonderful” to see women pour themselves into the study, and to donate their time and resources to make it an open, welcoming experience for everyone. Over the years she has watched marriages restored, lives put back together and seen people who are depressed regain their peace of mind.
“It’s just outgrown the house,” Clifford said, describing times her living room was full of over 100 women and law enforcement spoke to her about the number of cars parked on her street.
She is excited about starting the next chapter at the RSF Garden Club and is continually touched by how the Jesus Lifestyle has been embraced — Her Just Jesus Facebook page has climbed to 167,000 likes and groups are forming and strong all over the country.
Following Clifford’s faithful footsteps, the group gives back to the community as well with various outreach and service opportunities—on Feb. 14 they will head up to the Dream Center in Los Angeles to serve at an event helping victims of human trafficking.
“We live in a world where bad news travels fast. This is good news,” Clifford said. “We want to know that there is hope. It’s a God-given sense in our heart to want to see a silver lining.”
For those who cannot make Thursday’s groups, videos and all of the studies are posted online, as well as leader training and discussion and answer guides. For more information, visit jesuslifestyle.com.