Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wait For Me

I watched the two women make their way to the entrance of the store, one taking small halting steps, the other taking more deliberately slow steps.  Ever so painfully they inched toward the automatic doors and I could feel myself wishing they'd go a little faster, move a bit more quickly.  I watched the younger of the two...maybe the daughter...firmly hold her mother's arm and very patiently wait for her.  Step...step....step...until finally they were by the carts.  I took a breath for them and remembered my own times walking by my mother.  I had not been so patient with her.  There were times my hurried steps had gone ahead and her little voice had to remind me to wait for her.  "Please slow down" she would say, "I can't keep up with you",  and I would hold myself back while my mind whirled ahead to all of the things I needed to accomplish.  Please slow down.

In our Christian walk, God  has placed us alongside individuals who may be taking faltering steps toward Him.  He has given us the role of supporter and encourager and we are holding the arm of someone who might be a bit more fragile than we are, a bit more hesitant in their steps.  We might be walking by them thinking in our minds, "I wish they would hurry up already and mature in this area or the other."  "I wish they would quit fooling around and get a bit further down the Way than they are!"  "Why do they keep on doing that THING that is so destructive in their lives or that THING that slows us down?"  "We seem to have to revisit that same old spot again and again and again.  I am then convicted of how often I have to revisit that same old spot again and again.  Of how often I stumble on my Way and how the Lord picks me up and holds me fast.

I was reminded today, as I watched the patient younger woman walking with the frail older lady, to take time.  Be patient.  Lend an ear...a shoulder...and thank God that we are in a position of strength that we may help others.  Listen to the little voice when it very quietly asks, "Please slow down....wait for me."

The Lord says....

Isaiah 41:10  Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Fresh Start

One of my fondest memories of starting school was buying a new notebook.  I loved the kind that had 5 subjects and had pockets on the dividers....suited my inner organized girl.  I would get that notebook and sit with it for a bit.  Call me strange, but I would almost talk to that notebook. This year I promise I will write neatly in you.  This year I promise I won't have big scribbles and big mess-ups.  This year I won't have to tear out one page due to my lack of effort and self control.  I will NOT doodle while the teacher is talking, honest!

Reality hit hard and it hit fast.  The first day of school would arrive and I took out that notebook. I opened it with fine intentions and took a breath and wrote my name.  ARRRGHH!  I hated the way I wrote my name. I messed up on it and it was the only thing written in it.  What a failure to mess up before I had even had an assignment.  Rip....out goes the page and a fresh one was there for the using.  Get it right, girl!

Think I'm extreme?  Maybe...but I've talked to other women who had the same ambitions on the first day of school with the new notebook.  I think there are a bunch of us out there, desiring perfection....even in a notebook....and having to rip out and start fresh over and over.  Or....I'm crazy and I'm the only one who talks to their notebooks on the first day of school.  Help!

All of this makes me think of God's mercy and forgiveness.  Every day is a brand new page in our notebooks.  We get up early and say, "Today, I'm not going to mess you up."  "Today, I'm going to live right and be kind to others."  "Today, I"m not going to yell at my kids or argue with my husband."  The alarm rings....our feet hit the floor....and before we know it, RIPPPP, there goes our mouth or our mind or our wayward flesh.  Today's page has a big scribble on it and we've messed up.

I'm so thankful we serve a God who is all about mercy and grace.  We don't have to live with our heads hanging down in shame or beat ourselves up.  God has forgiven us our transgressions and every day is a new beginning a new page with all the lines clean and waiting for what we will write on it.  Take heart!

Lamentations 3:22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ladies Game Night Part 2

We had such a fun time at our most recent game night.  God blessed us with some new faces and some "old" friends, too.  It was awesome to see how the Lord mixed us unto seating arrangements that were just perfect for getting to know others.  Carol and Sue learned they both had lived in Germany for a while!  Imagine that.  

 We had some young ones join us this time and in the above photo, we see Kelly Wayland wearing a big smile.  She's blogged for us occasionally here at Grace-Lifeline, so it's neat for me to be writing about her!

 Sarah, in the above photo, is saving money to travel with her husband as a missionary in the group Cadence  The mission is to be support for chaplains in understaffed US military posts.  I so enjoyed getting to know Sarah and look forward to great news of how God is providing for them!
Jessica Kolbe was our official youngest at 16.  We're thrilled that our younger ladies are getting to know our older ladies.  We are sisters in Christ and there are many more things we have in common than not!  We can learn so much from an inter-generational gathering like this.  

A little chatting....

....... some story telling and some game playing and I do believe some new friends were made.  We're all looking out for each other on Sunday!  Game night has great benefit in allowing us to meet new friends and find them again at Sunday services.


Next Ladies night is September 28th.  It may be something completely'll have to come and find out.  Stay tuned for more announcements, and for emails from the Women's Ministry gals.   

Proverbs 17:22  A cheerful heart is good medicine!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tori Spelling and God's Word.....Yes....I Said Tori Spelling

Saw an article this morning that is so in line with what I'm studying right now that I had to share this bit.  Tori Spelling, actress and daughter of one of the most wealthy men in Hollywood before his death, told of how her boyfriend would tell her 10 times a day how ugly she was.  She confesses in the article that the verbal abuse shattered her confidence and hurt her for years.  She wrote a letter to her younger self, saying what she wished someone had told her then.  Her words,  'I would tell 21-year-old Tori that she's strong, beautiful, smart, and can do anything that she sets her mind to. At 21, my biggest obstacle (well, aside from a bad boyfriend) was myself.' 

Words can build up or they can tear down.  Have you even had someone in your life use hurtful words against you?  I know I have, and like Tori Spelling (funny to think I have anything in common with her) it has taken me years and God's help to overcome them.

This Sunday, our connect group will be starting a study series entitled Soul Detox.  The first installment has to do with life giving words, or life destroying words.  The pastor speaks of a man who came to the church office and he was down and depressed and had nowhere to go but up.  One on one, they sat and talked and the pastor asked him to list 100 things about himself that were positive and the man immediately said he couldn't do it.  The pastor got a piece of paper, numbered from 1-100 and looked the guy in the eye and said, "Let's get started."  At first it was a struggle, but after a few minutes, the ideas started rolling and before long, they had added to the list...eventually making it to 100 positive things.  He left that office a man who had turned some lies into truth and had begun taking the steps toward freedom from hurtful words.

Years later, the man showed up in the pastor's church with his wife and young child.  He came up after the service and said, "Do you remember me?  I'm the guy you sat down with so many years ago and made that list.  Here it is."  He pulled a much folded and unfolded piece of paper out of his pocket and he gave it to the pastor.  "I don't need it anymore.  You can have it.  I know all of these things now and they are written on my heart."

What words are written on your heart?  Are they mean words someone spoke to you telling you how stupid and ugly you are?  Are they words that are crippling you....words that are tearing you down?  If so, know this.  The Bible is God's true word and it says this:

Psalm 139:14  You are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Zephaniah 3:17  He takes great delight in you!
1 John 4:16  God loves can rely on Him!
John 3:16  God loves you so much....He gave His son for you!

So, maybe you have something in common with Tori Spelling and it isn't her money.  Maybe you have been beaten up with words too often and you are feeling pretty low.  Don't believe the lies.  Listen to God's truth and know He loves you and you are dear in His sight.  Get out a piece of paper and number 1-100 and get started.....maybe you'll be able to give the list to me someday and tell me you don't need it anymore.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Comfort Food....It's Not What You Think.

A few July 4ths ago, we were out enjoying the day and the fireworks later on that night.  We laughingly poured into our house through the front door to be met by our sheepish looking dog in the foyer.  She was so glad we were home and we realized the fireworks must have upset her.  We gave her some love and went our ways only to reconvene with a big question for each other.  What in the world had happened while we were gone?

All through the house, from the basement to our master bedroom on the upper level, were gift bags.  I keep them in the basement for when I need one and they were there when we left.  Somehow, someway, the gift bags were dragged through the house and left all over the place.  No wonder Daisy had looked sheepish!  The closest we could figure was that in her stressed out state, she had done some redecorating and had festooned the house with gift bags.  Weird!

Yesterday we returned from vacation.  Instead of kenneling Daisy, we hired a house sitter and Melodie was very gracious to come and spend lots of good time with our pet but she didn't stay the night.  Daisy has never been alone overnight in the 8 years we've had her.  I knew she'd be fine because she's a good dog, and she was.  One thing was strange....kind of like the gift bags from years before.

We sent our oldest to the basement to check things out (to see if she'd had any accidents) and he came back carrying a sad little bundle of paper.  In his hands were the remains of a small Bible my youngest has been using for Bible study.  The interior pages were completely fine, but the leather binding was chewed to bits.  All of this, believe it or not, has caused me to think about how I handle stress.

Do I run around in a panic when things get harried?   Sometimes.
Do I find "busy work" to occupy myself when I'm worried about bigger things?  Sometimes
Do I go to God's word when I'm feeling anxious and afraid?  Sometimes, but not enough.

So, maybe I'm stretching my crazy dog and her panic attacks into something they're not, but it has caused me to look at my "panics" a little differently.  Next time I'm feeling stressed, I'm going to skip the running around and the busy distractions, and I'm going to head straight for God's word.  I'm going to "tear it up" in a different way from Daisy, but I'm going to dig in nonetheless.

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Anniversary Gift

 This past Thursday my husband and I reached our 9th wedding anniversary and we celebrated the day at the Global Leadership Summit. My husband said it was the best gift we could have given each other and I agree wholeheartedly.    
When we began attending this church in early 2007, I would have never guessed where we would find ourselves 5 years later. God has done a work in our lives and transformed our marriage and the blessings we have seen in our family are just astounding.  So when our pastor told us about this coming Summit and his desire for all the leaders within GLCC to attend we knew we were going. Pastor Bob gave us the dates of the summit which coincided with our anniversary, Richard and I looked at each other and had no doubt that we were meant to be there and we both wanted to be there. We have so much to be thankful for and the Lord deserves our participation in response to our transformation.
There was so much valuable information from all the speakers. As I ponder the Summit today, what comes to mind in regards to GLCC is a quote from Jim Collins “productive paranoia compels us to be ready today for tomorrow.”  It is important in order to avoid becoming a complacent church we get clarity and direction today. A complacent church has a relatively satisfied congregation, but has the lowest faith in action and personal spiritual practices. This is not where we want to go.  In order for us to avoid that pitfall the congregation must have a higher level of ownership.  We must all have the mentality that we don’t go to church, WE ARE the church. We are the body of Christ!  
I agree with Bill Hybels when he says “The local church is the hope of the world.”  That’s how I came to Christ, visiting the new church built near my home.   I knew I was missing something in my life and this church was fundamental to my walk with Jesus. Everyone’s life would be better if God was at the center of it; our family is proof of that.  It is my heart’s desire that every member in our congregation prays for clarity in their individual roles so that we can all become a body of believers in action.  Please read the Morning Prayer from the conference below. Join me in this prayer?


Matthew 28:19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

God's Masterpiece

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

An Unhurried Life: Conference Opportunity

One Day Conference for Women:  An Unhurried LifeOctober 27, 2012
8:30 am - 3:30 pm


Do you feel like your life is stuck on fast-forward?  If so, the Unhurried Life conference is for you.  With biblical truth, practical advice and a good dose of laughter,  Glynnis Whitwer from Proverbs 31 Ministries will share how to have a productive, yet unhurried and peace-filled life.  She'll cover topics such as identifying priorities for this season of your life,  managing an over-loaded schedule and learning how to press "pause" or "stop."  This conference is for busy women who need some peace, especially those who feel like they don't have time to attend.   You'll be glad you made this investment in yourself!

 Click here to visit Glynnis' website and learn more about her.

Register online or pick up a conference brochure from the Welcome Desk in the foyer. With the opening of our new facility we are excited to have a seat available for anyone interested in attending, so please invite your friends from the community and area churches.  Any area church groups interested in reserving a private room during lunch for enhanced discussion and fellowship can contact Kelly in the church office.

Conference Schedule:
8:30 am     Welcome and Registration
9:00 am     Session I
11:00 am   Break
11:20 am   Session II
12:40 pm   Lunch/Group Time
1:50 pm     Session III
3:30 pm     Closing

Conference Cost:
$13 Early Registration per person through 9/30/12
$16 Pre-Registration per person through 10/26/12
$18 Walk-In Registration at the door

*OPTIONAL pre-purchased Lunch available through 10/19/12 for $9 each:*Bag lunches that do not require refrigeration or reheating can be brought from home.

Lunch boxes from the Corner Bakery come filled with a Specialty Sandwich, bakery chips, fresh seasonal fruit, and a fresh baked cookie.

Sandwich Choices:
Chicken Pesto on Ciabatta Ficelle
Mom's Turkey on Whole Grain Harvest

Corner Bakery Signature Salads come with freshly baked Foccacia Bread

Salad Choices:
Santa Fe Ranch--roasted all natural chicken, corn and tomato salsa, cheddar cheese, corn tortilla strips and ranch dressing on iceberg and romain lettuce

Harvest Salad--roasted all natural chicken, green apples, toasted walnuts, bleu cheese, currants, harvest crisps and baslamic vinagrette with mixed greens.