These books are Fantastic! These studies came about as Sharon has run a Bible study now since 2004, and could never find the type of study she wanted, so she began to write her own. They show how Sharon climbed out of the pit of her life,and gained Hope, Joy, Peace, and Purpose through a relationship with Jesus Christ. I have also run a Men's small group Bible study for over 6 years and have used many different styles of Bible study formats. It is ALWAYS so hard to find a study that incites deep thought, and good round-table discussions.
Be Transformed is an excellent one! It takes 14 real-life topics, such as "Attitude", “Anxiety”, and “Guilt” and really digs into how these issues affect our lives, and others, and how we may change for the better. The studies are backed up by using many key-point, thought-provoking Bible verses that you look up while going through the book. Our Men's group often reads beyond the key verse, and ends up straying into so many other thoughts and topics. It is all so good, as this study induces thought and discussion, which is where we can all learn and share so much from!
What makes this book so good is that it is not a "dry" study. And it can be done as an individual, or even better, in a small group setting. It is full of God's Spirit, as the Author has had so much life experience... See, I AM biased, as I am Sharon Dutra's husband, now for 30 years! Sharon is a Miracle of God in that she lived for 29 years "her way" before landing in prison, and having a life- changing experience through meeting Christ! She spent her childhood going from broken homes, to foster care, to Juvenile Hall, to a Convent in Central Los Angeles, to a girl's home in East LA. She spent 17 years of her life battling addiction and 2 years of homelessness. Sharon went through MANY failed attempts to get on the right track in her life through rehab programs only to fail and go back to her old ways. She ended up in jail, where she had her life CHANGED! Sharon's writing comes with all those life experiences, and she shares from her heart what WORKS! Her hardship is our gain, through reading these life-changing topical studies! If you are bored with life, facing trials or even addictions, try this book, and you too, may Be Transformed!!
The Bible studies that were created by Sharon have wholeheartedly made me the woman I am today. They gave me the ability to be transformed from a crystal meth addict to a ‘Jesus girl’. In order to have the Spirit of God truly live in you, you need the proper instruction on how to change. The studies that Sharon created, through the Holy Spirit, do just that. She gives you tools that show you how to change your attitude and self esteem. And, I think, even more importantly, they show you how to break down your strongholds. My wish for all who participate in her Bible studies and read her book, is to realize that we are undoubtedly loved by the Most High God, and that we are truly worthy of all His blessings. From one of “Sharon's Girls”.
Thank You, Lord, for Sharon Dutra. Through her faith, and her Bible studies, our men’s group has become like the early church. We are not just learning about the Bible, we are opening our hearts and learning about life, through the faith, trust, and love we have for each other, as brothers in Christ.
Sharon has lived through the kind of pain that many of us could not bear. That heartache has been transformed into love for all of those that she can touch with the Spirit of Christ. Through the inspiration of God, she has put together a guide for our daily lives, in the book Be Transformed. As we have read and researched these studies with open hearts, our lives have been changed. Her words draw you into the life that Jesus has shared with each of us. The studies also help us to become more like Him daily. We have learned through this book that as Christians, we share each others’ pain and sorrow - love and joy; for this life is only a temporary process to help us prepare for an eternity with God.
I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized in the Christian faith in 2007. I was attending services on Sunday and had tried different Bible studies. I had even tried the Children's ministries, because I wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere. I wanted to feel the way that I saw other happy Christians feeling. But instead, I was feeling hopeless and lost. The Bible didn't make sense to me until I started attending Sharon's group.
Not only have the lessons taught me how to be a Christian, but they have also helped me get closer to God. Before, I was a lukewarm Christian, wanting to have the 'fast track' ticket to happiness and wanting to be Gods' "favorite". But really, I was spinning out of control with anxiety issues. I could never really "let go and let God". I am now on a beautiful path!
The lessons in the book Be Transformed and Sharon's Bible study group have helped me to know that being a Christian takes effort. And with the support of this group and the impact of Sharon's book, the last 2 years have completely transformed me. I don't have to "spin my wheels" anymore, or try to keep busy because of fear or anxiety---that is Gone!! I now pray all day and have a genuine calmness and Joy in my heart that I cannot explain.
I have had the privilege of being in Sharon’s Bible study group for two years, during which time we used the studies that she had written for us. These studies were eventually published in her book, Be Transformed.
I remember thinking when I first joined her Bible study that my walk with the Lord was already strong and that I didn’t expect any major revelations about my spiritual well being. Wrong! Because of the way her studies are written, they seem to uncover issues that you’ve not yet dealt with. In my case, I had not been able to forgive myself for several transgressions I had from my past, even though the Lord and my family had long since forgiven me. It was a major breakthrough for me to be free from guilt for the first time in 30 years! What a blessing! Sharon’s book is full of such blessings, surprises and enlightenment. Whether you are just beginning to study the Bible, or if you’ve been studying it for years, there’s something within it for everyone!
I have always believed in God. I was raised in the Catholic Church where I was taught about creation and the Creator. I had the satisfaction of knowing my faith would one day deliver me to Heaven to see Christ face-to-face. I read the Bible, went to church, and attended a weekly Bible study. BUT…. my life was skewed, and my relationship with the Lord was weak. I sacrificed little and was asked to sacrifice little.
One day, I was invited to Sharon’s Bible Study. Soon afterward, I attended her weekend retreat, which was unlike any I had been to before. The retreat started with questions like “How do you use your time?” And, “Is Christ your first priority?” We spent 2 hours on the subject of Repentance, and I honestly thought I had nothing to repent for. Hello, can you say PRIDE? That weekend, I was convicted of my pride, my inability to forgive, and my selfishness. I realized that no matter what changes I had tried to make in my life, no matter how ‘good’ a person I thought I was, I was not truly serving Christ. Finally, after months, no, years, of burning my candle at both ends and never feeling like it was enough, I had my “light bulb moment”! I realized that all the years I had spent struggling, wrestling with my control issues, trying to tame my tongue and trying to be the best wife, mother, and servant of the Lord I possibly could, I had fallen short. I had always felt that no matter how hard I tried, it was never good enough. But through Sharon’s book Be Transformed, I have been set free. I now know that I am covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ and Gods awesome GRACE!
Wow! Not only is this book easy to read, but it is woven with scripture. I love how it gets our Bibles open, and I watch in delight as the newcomers learn to look up verses.
Before I came to this Bible study group, I felt so alone and anxious. I was a broken Christian. I thought I was obeying God, but I wasn't. These studies from Sharon’s book Be Transformed opened my eyes, and God used them to correct my heart.
I couldn't believe that I wasn't as loving of a Christian as I thought I was! Long story short... my marriage has been permanently healed because of the change in my heart! Crazy amazing! My husband and I had been to counselors, Pastors, and Bible studies for years. But this time was different.
The author of this book seems to breathe every breath for Jesus and I am convinced that the Holy Spirit has written this book through her. She is living proof of God's healing power. That reason alone makes this book stand out from the rest.
I find the book Be Transformed to be very easy to read, while also having a solid foundation of Scripture. It’s easy to see that the author is very genuine, and draws from her own personal life experiences. All levels of thought and emotion come out into this wonderful collection of Bible studies. I would highly recommend this book for personal and spiritual growth, whether as an individual or as a group.
I am a team leader for the Single’s Ministry at my church, and the men in our group have been studying this book for almost 4 months. I humbly agree with Sharon that non-believers, as well as believers (new and seasoned), will come away from this book with a better understanding of how beautifully and wonderfully we were created. It helps you see how our Creator calls us to a deeper relationship with Him, and a better relationship with others.
All I can say is WOW! This book is in a class of its own. The depth of the material covered in Be Transformed, coupled with the life experience that Sharon has under her belt, makes for the most powerful combination in this life-changing, life-transforming book!
I have known Sharon most of my life, so I truly know how far God has brought her. I can say with certainty that she has been one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me.
I am saved because of her, and my testimony of how God used Sharon to bring me to Him STILL makes people say "NO WAY, REALLY?". You see, I was very deep into the occult and very deceived. On the day that I was ready to take my own life, God spoke to Sharon to come and see me. He was probably saying "This calls for the big guns, I'll send SHARON in!!" For years, I had sworn that I would NEVER become one of those 'Christians' but thanks to Sharon, I did find Jesus!! I must say that the best thing about Sharon is her heart, and how she truly does love and care for those she ministers to. In my opinion, that is why this book is so awesome and is helping so many people. It all stems from her relationship with the Lord.
I have never met anyone who loves and serves the Lord like she does; and that is what you get with her book - you get HER life that has been transformed already. This paves the way so that your life can also be transformed into the way God always intended it to be...that is, 'Transformed' by God's Holy Spirit!
Sharon has definitely impressed me with the book Be Transformed: By the Spirit of the Living God! I am 97, as of October 15, 2011. The more I read this book, the more I come to the simple conclusion – “WOW! Look what the Lord has done!” In clear, precise words, Sharon tells of the changes that took place in her life after she chose to accept Christ. Every subject in this book is related to real-life situations, and even better, they are backed by the Holy Bible references. As a ‘textbook’, it is real and conclusive for all situations. Again, I say, “WOW! Look what the Lord has done!”
The book Be Transformed started changing my life even before God spiritually fed Sharon Dutra the words to write it. How Sharon glorifies God with this book is ‘who Sharon is’. To me, Sharon is a reflection of the scriptures James 1:22 and Romans 2:13 - a “doer”.
I have personally experienced Sharon as a “doer” ever since she moved next door. From the beginning, Sharon was cards, gifts, hugs, prayers (in our driveways!), nursing and caring for my family, taking my stepsons for walks and talking to them about Jesus, and her just absolutely loving on us. To my amazement (thinking we were special lol!), I found out later on that she and her husband reached out to others in the same loving manner.
She never tires of serving and I have yet to hear her complain in the nine years I have known her. God put Sharon “doer” Dutra in my life to show ME the way to ‘Be Transformed”. Because of this book, I was given the tools to get out of my own way and start on the path of Christ, as a “doer”. I pray that GOD’s spiritual healing and restoration is experienced by everyone who studies this book – HIS book, amen!
I am one of the original “Sharon’s girls”. I have been a Christian for 60 years. Sharon has a gift for making plain the Truths of God’s Word. I was hooked from the first class. Her book says what needs to be said, backed up by the Word of God. She has great knowledge and understanding of Scripture, and her experiences in life give wisdom to her teaching. We can all “Be Transformed” by heeding the Truths in this book. Thank you, Sharon, for showing me a more personal Jesus. I’m looking forward to your next book, while studying and sharing this one.
I started Sharon Dutra's Bible Study four years ago. I was a very broken shadow of a person. But as I write this testimony today, I am now a faithful and strong woman. It still amazes me how the Spirit of the living God can, and does, transform us.
We live in a fallen world that can pull us into its way of thinking if we allow it to. Sharon's Bible studies allow us to take a closer, deeper look into these real-life issues. Her book shows us how to break them up in a way that we can see them for what they really are, and be more aware of where they are coming from. By doing this, we can then go to the Scriptures that Sharon has added throughout her studies, and see not only what our Lord has to say about these issues, but also learn how much He cares and knows of such issues.
With the transformation God has done in Sharon's life, and the love she has for Him, she is able to reach out to others who are struggling with theses same life issues. She allows the Lord to work though her to bring them into a closer relationship with Him, so that He is then able to transform their lives, too.
Thank you Sharon, for not only hearing God’s voice, but listening to the Lord's whispers in your heart. I would not have come this far without your teachings (Philippians 4:8). You are the living proof of the transformation our Lord can and wants to do in our lives, once we submit to Him.
I love you Sharon Dutra. I have seen not only my life, but many others lives, transformed through your teachings.
WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS US! PHILIPPIANS 4:13
I love the book, Be Transformed: By the Spirit of the Living God! While I was off work with foot surgery, Sharon gave me her newly published book to “review”; and it was perfect timing, because I had been looking for a study to help me grow closer to the Lord. I was so excited! The subjects were exactly the ones I was struggling with. I found I could spend hours going through each chapter.
My fiancé and I lead a small group Single’s Ministry, and I excitedly shared the book with them. Before we started the book, Sharon came and gave her testimony; the group was very drawn to her, and it was a wonderful way to start the book! People in the group are actually being ‘transformed'! We have been studying it for 4 months now, and we are still enjoying it very much.
Be Transformed, written by Sharon Dutra, opens your eyes to the majesty of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Savior uses her life and her gift of teaching to reveal the power of the Cross, as well as God’s eternal love that can change one’s life forever.
This book will teach you how to open your heart and receive a life that truly reaps eternal love, joy, and peace. No doubt, Be Transformed is a valuable resource for anyone genuinely seeking God’s best for their lives. It prepares their heart, mind, and soul to ‘be transformed’ from the inside out. This is a transformation that is only possible through the power of God’s love for us.
God uses Dutra’s life in a remarkable way to demonstrate that He will richly bless ALL who diligently and genuinely seek Him. As Dutra writes, our God is always faithful in keeping His promise; He does not discriminate; He meets us where we are in life, and He loves us too much to leave us there. Be aware that reading this book will provide an opportunity for God to victoriously transform your heart and change your life.
Dear Sharon, The Lord has blessed you greatly. And through your life and your book, He has blessed me, also. The more I read Be Transformed, the more I wish I had had this material to read while I was learning about the Bible many years ago. God continue to bless you, Sharon, and thank you for all you have done.
Lost and broken, God led me to Sharon’s group. A couple of years later, I thought I was serving God the right way, and that I was firm in my faith. But as soon as my marriage and home life fell to pieces, I ran to drugs instead of running to Jesus. My choices soon led me to prison. Shortly after I was incarcerated, I received Sharon’s book and began using Be Transformed to share Jesus with the other women there. While using the book, I was blessed to witness these women giving their lives to Jesus. And other women were growing in a deeper relationship with Jesus, too.
After returning home, I used Sharon’s chapter on Forgiveness to begin repairing the broken relationships I had with my children, due to my choices that had led me to prison. I continue to study Sharon’s book with my children and with friends.
Whether you are a believer or not, Sharon’s book focuses on real life stuff that a wide variety of people can identify with. Her book also challenges the reader to dig deeper, and to examine their hearts. I came to realize that before, I was serving God with lip service. But now, for the first time in my life, I have a genuine relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Be Transformed Ministries,
I am currently incarcerated because of drug abuse. They gave me a 4 year sentence. I received your study book at the perfect timing from the jail Chaplain. A book called Be Transformed.
It so happens to be this book is for me. As I read the first pages of your book, the forward part, I broke into tears. The last few months I have been very depressed and have had anxiety attacks. I have been suffering spiritually. And the whole time, I have been studying everything from different religions. But I feel I've been missing something. I isolate myself. It feels like I'm being spiritually attacked. This jail sentence has gotten to my head. I pray and pray and pray, and for some reason, I don't feel God's presence. Now that I received the Be Transformed book, I am reading the Anxiety Chapter. I set another non-spiritual book aside so that I can make time to read your book. I feel there is something in this book that I need. I have mentally been locked down because of this jail sentence. I wanted to tell you thank you for publishing this book for people like me to read and study. And I will make sure to read it and give it a chance to bring me out of this mess I'm in. And if you wish for me to read other stuff, feel free to send me stuff to read. I would purchase it, but I have no funding.
I know this book was a Godsend book and this book is like gold that hit my cell! May God bless you and your family always. All I ask is for you to keep me in your prayers. Please pray that God will work in my life and let me feel His presence.
Thank you, Sister Dutra, for reading this letter and I know you understand the things I'm suffering just by reading your book. Please keep me in your prayers.
C. R. Tehama County Jail at Red Bluff, California
My name is Alicia and I'm in prison at this time. I'm writing to you in hopes to get your book Be Transformed. I've heard good things about it, and how it has helped others. I gave my life to God and don't want to go back to my old ways when I get out. Can you please send me a book? May God bless you and your work and what you do for those in need. Thank you.
California Institution for Women, Corona, California
I am a 49 year old man serving time at Wasco State Prison. I am in the middle of studying your book Be Transformed and I must confess that I am in love! I don't know you but your deep spiritual wisdom and insight equates to beauty! I've been studying the Word for years and I am just now learning to put it into practice. I gotta tell you that your breakdown of the Scriptures, along with your guide to practical application hits right on the head! A good student of the Bible is also a student of the "world". And I can see you have been there. I pray that the Lord of the Harvest keeps bringing up godly women like yourself to shine in these ever darkening times. STAY STRONG and keep doing what you're doing. You're helping a lot of people! May you be blessed in this New Year!
Respectfully, L. P.
Wasco State Prison, California
I received your book recently and I must say that it is an amazing work! I have been in prison for 26 years, and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior 12 years ago. I have read many, many books and Bible studies, but your book really stands out. I call your gift (book) "A New Beginning". It has helped me understand some things in the Bible that were difficult to grasp. It points to Scripture throughout, and helps me to dig deep into the Word. It's amazing how your gift plants seeds of hope and provides me with the tools to help myself grow.
Thank you again. I will be sharing this book with others.
D.S. Elmira State Prison, New York
I'm enjoying my journey through the Be Transformed Workbook, and unlike other workbooks I've abandoned over the years, yours truly motivates me to take the time to "write through" my thinking. Most of all, I thank you and pray for the Lord to bless you especially, for sowing into my son's life. I prayed for him for 35 years to know the Lord and serve Him with all of his heart. When he broke the news to me that he had invited Jesus into his heart, things had gotten so bad that I found it difficult to believe! Well, now I am convinced that it's true, and I'm so glad you and your team were there for him in his earliest days of walking with Christ.
Thank you, again.
Susan (inmates' mother who also received one of our books at his request).
Yes, I do need more Be Transformed books. I am now almost out. The requests come daily for the study. You are having a great impact. Our single cell folks really are comforted by your words as well. They have more time alone to consider what is being taught. The inmates are really getting involved doing them and are growing. I am truly grateful for your labor of love in writing it, and in being so willing to give them to our ministry to give to precious people whom God has placed in "time out". Roselina (a Spanish-speaking inmate who was waiting for our book to come out in Spanish after she saw all the other women with the English version) was thrilled to receive the Spanish version of Be Transformed and loves the study. The next week, another inmate wrote me asking if he could please have Be Transformed in Spanish. He did not know that we even had the study in Spanish, but heard how the other men are growing through it. I just received his note of gratefulness for the book. Thank YOU so very much for sending them to us. Your ministry truly is a blessing.
Chaplain Eileen, Northern California Prison
Thanks for your concern. We are having a good response to the books. One man in a lock down pod who came to the Lord and used your book, literally cried as he showed me how much the material meant to him. He said everything he needed to know was in your book. When you return in July, we will be ready for another box of books.
Blessings, Chaplain Mort, Northern California Jail
My name is Larry and I'm serving time at Tehachapi State Prison. I've been a believer in Christ since I was in diapers, but have backslid several times. A fellow inmate has a Bible study with your book Be Transformed, but he is being shipped out so I need another book so our group can continue our studies. Your book has opened my eyes to a greater relationship with my heavenly Father and I would love to continue this book.
Thank you so much.
My name is Benjamin and I'm incarcerated at Soledad Prison near Salinas. I attend a prayer group and one of the men brought the Be Transformed book and it really grabbed my attention. I am trying to build my personal relationship with the Good Lord and I hear that the Be Transformed book is a very helpful asset to reconnect with God. Can you please send me a copy so I can continue to strive towards a better life and relationship with God? I would be so grateful.
Thank you and God bless you and your family.
This is a village called Madundube, in a small city called Stanger an hour from Durban South Africa. This is third world at its best. People live very basic lives and have very little access to clean water and electricity. But the church of Jesus Christ is alive in these hills and valleys! We are at stage 3 of the lockdown gatherings of more than 50 people are still prohibited. We spent a week with a small group of local pastors there just before the lockdown, things were hectic so I never got a chance to share this with you.
Emmanuel has recently planted a church in this village and a couple Buyani and his lovely wife are pastoring. We were there to formally introduce the church to the local Chief and the traditional leadership of the community; a few pastors came for the dedication of the new church and we got an opportunity to tell them about your book and each got a copy (we had brought a few). Then there was a lockdown. A week ago, we got letters from the pastors in the village appreciating the New Beginnings book and I thought I should share with you!!
Pastor Nzimande “I have Pastored in these valleys for many years and it’s hard to uproot the Zulu tribes from their cultural beliefs. To try and explain a subject of “Faith” is close to impossible sometimes or “Praying to God alone”. The New beginning book has simplified some basic Christian truths that I now teach with ease and confidence because I too now understand better. I appreciate the book and will teach and teach till the Lord is glorified in my village”.
Back row left (tall guy): Pastor Buyani Dladla
“Going to Bible school does not prepare you enough for what we face as village pastors. Some days you feel like God did not even call you, maybe you misunderstood because it gets so tough and you need to relay on scripture and sound Christian material which a rare resource in these valleys. The New Beginnings book is an answer to prayer. I love the topics and I love that I can follow with the verse given and use my Zulu Bible to help others to understand. I thank the people whom the Lord has used to write this book.
Front row far right (lady in green skirt, South Africa): Mama Elizabeth
“The book has helped me a lot personally to grow my faith in the Lord and I share what I have learned with my ladies church group. They too are growing and love the explanations of topics in the New Beginnings book. My copy now has all kinds of highlighting colours, I needed this so much and I am grateful for my copy of the book.”
Pastor in South Africa writes: “The books have been a great blessing to the Pastors that Emmanuel shared them with.
Now the problem is demand, as there are many requests from different churches to have the books.
The power of these books is the discipleship element they have, which is the greatest need in Africa. Africa is very much evangelized, but very little discipleship has happened, which has hurt the church in here, as strange doctrines have creeped in.
We have encouraged the Pastors to please share their stories as they use these two books. We will keep sharing with you as the Lord does His work in His people's lives and ministries.
Pastor Emmanuel says "Sister Sharon, you have no idea how it feels to pick up a big box filled with Kingdom resources like these 2 books you have freely given us. To get to this province, it’s a 3 hour drive from Johannesburg. May you and your husband continue serving Christ this way. The Fishers of Men is a great hit in this side of the world. Covid has changed everything we knew about ministry. A lot of Pastors are tired and feel drained. Such material revives them, it brings hope to many and challenges them again to do what God has called them to do. We appreciate your hard work posting these all the way from the States to South Africa. The need for these books is huge. We pray that the Lord will refresh you and your family and that He will provide all that you need to fulfill your calling.
Thandy and Emmanuel."