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July 2013

Open Windows These are the days of summer sunshine, when windows are opened wide to the fresh air and light streams into homes from early morning to long after dinner at night. Somehow, it seems easier in the summer months to get up early…and stay up late. In the days before electricity powered our homes (and we started staying up way too late), our bodies more naturally rose and slept to the rhythm of natural light. And before air-conditioning, we used the four-sixty method to stay cool—open 4 car windows and drive 60 miles an hour! After months trapped inside, closing out the cold of winter (or the heat of summer), it’s so refreshing to open a window and let the outside in. We feel the air, breeze, and sun, hear the sounds of birds and laughter, smell the freshly cut grass and blooming flowers, and see the beauty—the beauty of life in the light. When we open the windows of our heart to God’s light, there’s more beauty and life to be discovered, too. Life is dark when the blinds are pulled over our faith, when we squint to see joy or goodness, only look for the wrongs and not the rights, or think of the what’s-init-for-me instead of the what-can-I-do-for-you. God desires for our eyes to be open windows to our hearts. Open windows so His life and light can fill us each day. The light of faith, hope, and love pushes back the darkness and transforms the winds of storms into cool summer breezes. Let’s wonder at His words and His love in the sunshine of our faith today. Let’s throw open the windows of our hearts, breathe the air of grace, and be filled with the beauty of His Son-light that never sets.

College Heights Christian Church

WOMEN IN MINISTRY THE WORD “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!” —Matthew 6:22-23 (The Message)

Think About It What three things would help you open the windows of your eyes to see God’s grace and love?

1. _________________________ 2. _________________________ 3. _________________________ Keep reading - page 2 ... Donna Still encourages us to be in His Word


July 2013 | Page 2 How do we “Open the Windows of our Heart to God’s Love”? “You are mine for all time; nothing can separate you from My Love.” Sounds like something you might read Edward saying to Bella in one of the Twilight books, doesn’t it? What possesses millions of females to read the Twilight books? I can’t speak for anyone else but, I read them because I was captivated by the Eternal Love in the story. I was caught up by the idea of a “love from a man that never dies”. You see God has placed a longing in our hearts to be loved and we search everywhere looking for it. He made us to crave His Love and we fill it with other things. But only one thing can fill that gaping hole in your heart…God. You can read fiction love stories or you can read the greatest love story written just for you! You are one of the main characters, you are His Bride. Everything written in His Word leads up to the day that you meet your Groom, Jesus, face-to-face. I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait! I anticipate the moment I hear Him say, “Donna, you are mine for all time; nothing can separate you from My Love.” “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 8:38-39 NLT If you have accepted Christ, you have a wedding to get ready for…a Groom you will meet; but until that day, you have a relationship to build with the Lover of your Soul. Building a relationship with Jesus is just like building any other relationship. You make the time for Him. You spend time with Him. You get to know Him. You let Him get to know you. It’s a process but, if you persevere, the end result is very sweet. The relationship and deep level of love you have for God will only by obtained by how much effort you put into it and how you respond to His love. It is your choice and your desire. When I realized how deeply He loved me, my life changed. My heart changed. He is my love now, not my husband and not my children. Yes I love them, but I love my Lord deeper and stronger. I rely on God for all my needs and desires, not Matt. God is always there when I need to talk to Him. He fills me with a love no man is able to give. God is the lover of my soul, He understands me perfectly, and He loves me eternally. Every day when I begin my Bible study, it is exactly what I needed to hear, it is exactly what I am dealing with, it is exactly what I needed to get through the day. God speaks through His Word. And He is very personal! He knows every detail of your life as well. He cares for you and He loves you deeply. He wants to spend time with you, so open up your Bible! Learn the desires He has for you and gain wisdom. Persevere! Push on, keep reading, keep listening, learn His voice, and don’t give up. O He loves to talk to you and to spend time with you. He is crazy about you and whispering your name, can you hear Him? He speaks to you all the time, are you quiet enough to hear it? Do you slow down long enough? He reaches out to you every day. Do you stop long enough to allow Him to lavish His love on you? I know you are busy. But we all have pockets of time, somewhere. We all find time to do something we enjoy: read a book or magazine, do a craft or some other hobby, check email, check Facebook or Pinterest. I’m not saying these are bad, but when those activities replace time that you could be sitting with Jesus, then Satan has accomplished his mission to distract you from the One who desires to spend time with you. Persevere, it’s a process. Building a relationship with God will not happen overnight but if you continue daily, your reward will be sweet. You will be transformed! You will begin to look, act, speak, and love like Jesus. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. -2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV He loves you. He wants to spend time with you. Do you hear His voice? If you want the ultimate love story, open your Bibles and just sit and listen to Him. Girls, Jesus is whispering, “Come, and sit with me. Tell me about your day. How can I help you? Pour out your heart to Me, I am listening. Let the tears fall, I will wipe them away. Here, read My Word and I will speak to you. It is my heart on paper. It will help you. This is the most important thing you will do today. Let Me give you energy, let Me give you rest. Let Me give you some peace in your chaotic, busy world. Here, sit beside Me for a while; rest your head on My shoulder. Open up your Bible and listen. I have so many things I want to tell you. I hold you close to My heart and want to lavish My love on you. You are mine for all time; nothing can separate you from My Love. Please, come, sit with Me.” Donna Still is wife to Matt, mom to twins (Zoe & Zane), Bible Study liaison and WIM planning team member, and above all, a passionate lover of Jesus.


July 2013 | Page 3

WHY study the Bible? For many years, more than I can remember, I have led a Ladies’ Bible Study. We became good friends and enjoyed our time together. For the last two years God has given me a sense of restlessness and a desire to move from a group where I felt very comfortable, to try my hand at mentoring younger women. Thanks to the encouragement of Donna Still, who has been in a similar group, I decided to try an early morning study with young women. I invited four young ladies to join me at the coffee shop at 5:30am to begin a year-long study. We later moved it to my house where they could come in their PJs if they wanted. We met at that early hour so working ladies could be at their job on time, and stay-at-homes need not worry about childcare…Daddy was still home with them. This seemed to work well for everyone. We finished our study by 6:45, so everyone was on their way having started their day off with the Lord. The time I had each week with these young women was so refreshing and stimulating. I don’t know what I did for them, but they gave me back my enthusiasm for Bible study leadership. This obviously won’t work for everyone but I would challenge more women to try this approach. I am so glad the Lord gave me the shove I needed to partner with young women. They are such a blessing. ~ Lynn Conover At first, the thought of being in a 5:30am Bible study scared me. I only really knew one person going in, and was kinda nervous. Our study centered around being still before the Lord and concentrating on spending the appropriate time in study with Him. As the study went on, I came to know the hearts of each woman in the study and we really looked forward to our time together- even if it was early! It gave me an opportunity to make friends with women I didn't know before and to pray for each other. We are taking a break for the summer, and I can't wait to start up again in the fall! ~ Ashley Negron Knowing that I was getting into the Word with fellow sisters was priceless. Getting up early was difficult but God always showed me that fellowship with believers is what He wants for us. Starting my day diving into what God wants me to hear with women who will help show me how to live it out, pushed me to grow closer to His desires for me. I would not give up my ladies and their friendship for anything. ~ Yvette Bowden About a year ago, I was asked to lead the Wednesday evening Ladies’ Bible Study here at College Heights. When I agreed to this, I had no idea of the challenge before me. Previously, I would attend studies, but not always keep up with the work in the workbooks that accompanied many of the studies. Now that I was leading, I felt I had to stay on top of the weekly study at home. I had no idea of the blessings I would receive by doing this. I found that the more I studied, the more I wanted to learn. I found myself challenged on what I knew and believed. I gained new insight into God and His plan for my life. I met amazing women of all ages in our church body, and had the privilege of studying alongside them. I have found a renewed love for the Word of God. He loves us beyond our wildest imaginations. He longs to teach us through His Word and the gift of the Holy Spirit. I am looking forward to Wednesday evening programs this fall. I encourage you to join a WIM study and grow. I hope to see you there. ~ Kris Johnson

Summer Salad Supper Wednesday, July 31 6:30 PM ~ Atrium ~ CHCC Ladies, join us for an evening of Food, Fun & Fellowship

Please bring a salad (& recipe) to share Bring any type of salad: meat salad, jello salad, veggie salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, dessert salad – be creative…or not

Living Simply… 4 Breakout Sessions after Supper …Best-Kept Secrets of the 4-States Free or inexpensive outings for girlfriends or family

…Preserving Fruits & Veggies (yes, you can) by Heidi Oakes From the garden or store to your pantry shelves

…Cooking – Easy as 1-2-3 by Leslie Ballew Simple & quick meal ideas

…Healthy Baby, Naturally by Jennifer Rhodes Recipes for homemade salves, baby food, cloth diapering & MORE

Paper goods and drinks will be provided.


July A Taste of What’s Happening for Women

Sun

Mon 1

Tue 2

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Sat

3

4

5

6

Ladies Bible Study 7PM Rollins Creek

MOPS Chick-fil-A Play Date 9:30 AM

9

10

11

12

13

16

17

18

19

20

Ladies Bible Study 7PM Rollins Creek

MOPS Chick-fil-A Play Date 9:30 AM

Ladies Let’s Do Lunch 11:30-1:00 Northpark Mall Food Court

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24

25

26

27

(all ladies invited) Leader: Julie Gariss

7

8

Ladies Bible Study 7PM Rollins Creek

(all ladies invited) Leader: Julie Gariss

14

15

(all ladies invited) Leader: Julie Gariss

21

22

Ladies Bible Study 7PM Rollins Creek

(all ladies invited) Leader: Julie Gariss

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29

30

31 Summer Salad Supper Atrium

6:30 PM

SAVE THE DATES WIM (Women In Ministry) Annual Kickoff ~ August 17th 9AM

MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers) Coffee Kickoff ~ August 24th

9-10:30 AM

Contact for more information: cbowland@chcchurch.org 417-624-6915 x301 YOUR WIM PLANNING TEAM:    

Cheri Adcock adcockcircus@gmail.com Carol Bowland cbowland@chcchurch.org Dalenna Giles dgiles@chcchurch.org Tiffany Fink o2bad@hotmail.com

   

Sandi McReynolds sanandmac@gmail.com Lesli Neuenschwander leslijn@gmail.com Donna Still donnastill@gmail.com Melissa Tomko melissa.tomko@gmail.com

Design and base content © 2012 Group Publishing, Inc., Loveland, CO, group.com/women. Permission to photocopy granted for local church use only.

Spice July 2013  

A publication of the Women In Ministry department of College Heights Christian Church in Joplin, MO

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