Connecting Hearts Spring 2017
6 Contributors: Bethany DeHamer Misty Fantauzzo Laura Grotenhuis Gail Hoffman Jen Lawrence, MS, MFTC Lori Nunnally Andrea Powell Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz
Publisher: Melissa Rhoads Editor: Gail Hoffman Photo Credits: Misty Fantauzzo (Cover) Talon Gagnon (Interior Covers) http://ttgagnon203.wixsite.c om/perfect-pics
6 BIG IMPACT FROM A LITTLE IDEA By Gail Hoffman 8 GLIMPSES OF RWANDA By Misty Fantauzzo 12 WHAT ARE YOU INTENDING By Laura Grotenhuis, LPC 16 ASSURANCE By Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz 19 MY AWAKENING By Lori Nunnally 20 COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES By Jen Lawrence, MS, MFTC 24 DOMODA RECIPE By Bethany DeHamer 26 FINDING TREASURE By Andrea Powell
Women of Foundations
Connecting Hearts Magazine
ne c t
ing Hear ts
Dear Readers, Spring is all about growth, and growth doesn’t come without some work and even a little discomfort. Growth often requires stepping out of our comfort zone. Sometimes we must push through fears, change our way of thinking or even just say “yes” to a small nudge in a certain direction. This issue of Connecting Hearts is all about going beyond our comfort zone and experiencing growth! Personally, we think it’s the best issue to date! We welcome your feedback, suggestions, and submissions. In Jesus, Melissa and Gail Article submissions to: Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org Subject line: Connecting Hearts article submission Photo Submissions to: Melissa.email@example.com Subject line: Connecting Hearts photo submission
Sprin g 20 17
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
BIG Impact From A Little Idea By Gail Hoffman
Whenever Foundations Women’s Ministry publishes information about an upcoming Dress a Girl day, we always say that sewing skills are not required – we need people doing ironing and sewing on buttons. Sheree Hart is one of the people who takes on those tasks, and the ladies doing the sewing love having her there! Sheree and her husband, Chuck, have a heart for children – evidenced by the fact that they volunteer in the first grade at Range View Elementary in Severance. So when they were making plans for a scuba vacation in St. Lucia, it wouldn’t surprise people who know her to learn that she had an idea about how her involvement with Dress a Girl could help children there. As it happened, the Lord was clearly
involved. To make the trip more budget friendly, Sheree went looking for accommodations on Airbnb. She came across a place managed by Star Publishing, run by a woman named Mae Wayne. Star puts out several publications, including SHE Caribbean Magazine. In the course of communicating with Christian Wayne, Mae’s son, Sheree had an idea. She asked Wayne if there might be a place or organization that would benefit from receiving a supply of dresses. Christian not only had a place in mind, but had been nurturing a desire to do something positive in his community and thought the donation of dresses could be the impetus for something bigger. The planning began! Sheree got in touch with Stacy Jones (Foundations Church Women’s Ministry Leader) and Rachel Eggum Cinader, Founder of Hope 4 Women, the
organization that started Dress A Girl Around the World. Christian began working within his area and ultimately the plans for the first annual SHE Dress A Girl Glam Party came together. When Sheree and Chuck arrived in St. Lucia, and were going through Customs, with 65 dresses in their carry-on luggage, they were asked if they had any gifts to declare for anyone hosting them during the visit. Upon hearing about the 65 dresses, the customs officials said, “you should have done the paperwork to declare these items.” But then, as they learned where the dresses were going, they said, “Nevermind – just go on through.” The event was held on January 7, 2017. Special guests included Miss St. Lucia World, Aiasha Gustave, the Prime Minister’s wife, Raquel DuBoulayChastanet, and Former St. Lucia Carnival Queen and Miss St. Lucia Universe, Roxanne Didier Nicholas. Most special of all, the girls from the New Beginning Transit Home – a home for girls who are victims of severe child abuse and neglect. They were presented with their dresses and happily danced and modeled for the
attendees. Other dresses went to girls from the Gros Islet Primary School – they were unable to attend because school was not in session at the time. The theme and focus of the event was to bring the community together to help these girls feel valued and empowered, and was summed up in a speech by Dr. Tanya Beaubrun, “Today I want you to remember that you have that spark of diamond inside of you; that you are truly unique and truly special with a unique talent that must be shared with the world to make the world a better place.” Sheree and Chuck hope to return in November, but more than anything, want people to recognize what the Lord can do with a simple idea, “What if we took some dresses with us on our vacation?”♥
Glimpses of Rwanda By Misty Fantauzzo
I often describe myself as a homebody who loves to travel.
I love seeing the different places and people God has created around the world. I also love my comfort zone at home. As a housewife and mother of four, home is my job and I love it. When I travel, I take pieces of home with me; my tattered Bible with pictures of my children tucked inside, my pillow, and my favorite mug for my morning tea. These things remind me of the goodness I have waiting for me when I return and provide a little comfort on my journey. This past February, when I traveled with a team from Foundations Church to Rwanda, I wondered if Africa would pull me into more uncomfortable situations than my previous travels. I am grateful to report the answer is yes and no. Most things in life that are important and memorable to us are complex and woven from strands of both ease and discomfort, lightness and weight, beauty and wretchedness combined. Rwanda is this for me. I experienced an amazing adventure, felt welcomed and at ease in a community incredibly different from my own, and observed joy and sorrow combined. I was comfortable in all the ways I would desire and uncomfortable in the very best ways that made me pause to consider the fallen world and the greatness of our God. As an introvert and a writer, I am comfortable in my role as observer. Noting details, capturing moments with my camera, and watching for untold stories of everyday life are passions God has tucked into my heart. Below I am sharing a glimpse into some of the uncomfortable and profound experiences I had. It is my hope that sharing these pictures and a few details of the circumstances will encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. â™Ľ
You cannot visit Rwanda and fully appreciate its beauty and its people without learning about the genocide. This is an uncomfortable topic and a very difficult event to comprehend, especially when you see the faces and hear the stories of young victims. Stories of survival show both tragedy and strength. "I was a problem but now I am a problem solver," is a quote I read at the Kigali Genocide Museum from a young man who was orphaned at age 4 and has grown up to participate in the healing and growth of his country.
Rwanda is a small country with a large population. More than 50% of its population is under age 16. The people of Rwanda know that education is life changing. We met many students from preschool age up to high school who are so grateful for the opportunities they have. I was so impressed with their thirst for knowledge and their desire to work. While visiting a rural preschool I saw the faces of so many children of various ages who were not in school but were watching from the doorway and the windows, curious about what was going on inside.
I had the opportunity to deliver 50 new dresses, from the Dress-A-Girl sewing group at church, to little girls in the rural community of Boneza. I was prepared for the poverty I would see and knew this would likely be the only new piece of clothing these girls had ever received. Before leaving the capital city we purchased a mirror and imagined the smiling faces of sweet little girls seeing themselves in their new dresses. I planned to stand behind the girls and capture their faces in the mirror. What I was not prepared for was the solemn expressions of girls who had never seen their own reflection in a mirror.
We were constantly greeted by children everywhere we went. They would shout greetings in Kinyarwanda as we passed Mwiriwe (good afternoon) Komera (stay strong) and from those eager to practice their English we would hear "gooda morning" no matter the time of day. It was easy to watch the children playing and smiling and full of joy and overlook the fact that they were dressed in rags and living in extreme poverty but every once in a while, I would capture an image that would break my heart for these children. This young man chasing the car makes me uncomfortable in a way that demands I do something.
The Rwandan people are friendly, gracious and respectful. We were often invited into small dark homes and served large amounts of sweetened hot African tea. A woven mat was placed under our feet at church so we would not rest our feet or bags on the dirt floors. After church, we had lunch in the pastor's home - a meal of rice, beans, greens, and grilled goat meat reserved for special occasions. It was humbling to know these people were truly sacrificing to provide us hospitality.
On a rainy afternoon, in a small two-room mud home, I sat on a rough wooden stool and listened to the story of two widows from opposite sides during the genocide. They have a story of reconciliation and grace that will pierce the hardest heart. The home was not comfortable, the story was not comfortable and yet these women were so beautiful and strong in my eyes.
By Laura Grotenhuis, LPC
T hey say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I’m not sure that I agree. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the sentiment, carrying out a good deed is much more important than just thinking about it. However, I believe that if we really understood the importance of our intentions, we wouldn’t give them so little credit. I was first introduced to the importance of intention at a training about 10 years ago. Our instructor asked for a couple of volunteers who were willing to be part of a small experiment. While our volunteers were out of the room our group was given the following instructions: • When the volunteer entered the room our instructor would give us a secret signal • Depending on the signal we were to think positive or negative thoughts toward our volunteer and observe his/her response • We practiced both types of intention and were able to notice the different responses The results were fascinating. While our group was intending negatively, our volunteer looked
visibly suspicious and reported feeling a general lack of confidence. The volunteer who experienced positive intentions spontaneously started to giggle and could not stop smiling. Bewildered at her own reaction, our volunteer wanted to know what was going on. We were all amazed at the influence of our own intention. Soon after this experience, I learned about a scientist who was finding a quantifiable way to measure the importance of intention. Dr. Masaru Emoto lives in Japan and has been studying water for a number of years. He visually documents structural changes in water by means of his photographic techniques. After freezing water droplets he examines them under a dark field microscope and captures the results on film. Although the actual molecules that make up water have not changed, it is clear that something has changed once it is exposed to people’s intention. He took water from the extremely polluted Fujiwara Dam and studied the crystalline structure under the microscope. Below is a picture of the results. The water doesn’t freeze in the snowflake like pattern that you see in clean water. He then had a Buddhist monk come and offered a prayer for the Fujiwara Dam. Dr. Emoto took that second sample of water to examine the difference. Here are the results. Picture on the left is frozen water from the Fujiwara Dam, to the right is Fujiwara Dam after a prayer.
Dr. Emoto has written a book called, The Hidden Messages in Water which documents a variety of frozen water samples from around the world. The portion that most interests me are the experiments where Emoto takes distilled water and exposes it to a variety of peoples’ intentions. Here are just a couple of my favorites.
Left, “love and appreciation” was intended, right is when people intended “you make me sick.”
So what is the point of all of this talk about intention? It boils down to practicality for me. How can this impact my daily life and the lives of those around me? I am the single mother of two children, a 16-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. Despite being a counselor for a living, the relationship with my son has been pretty rocky as he has become a teenager. I know distinctly when things took a turn for the worse. In sixth grade, after changing schools, his grades started to plummet. Anxious to solve this problem, I met with teachers, arranged for tutoring and devised a homework plan. I was determined to “make” him succeed. After several months of hypervigilance in communicating with teachers and working on homework, his grades were only marginally different. I became frustrated and angry. I assumed that my son must not care about school and interpreted his silence during my interrogations as apathy. I can now see that he almost always responds to emotional intensity by shutting down. Looking back at this time, I know that the majority of my intention toward him was anger. Even when I would try to be kind or helpful, behind that facade was a low level of frustration that I was trying to avoid. At a certain point in the process I had to admit that my efforts were not only not working, but were taking an awful toll on our relationship. My son would give me feedback like, “I feel like you are always mad at me,” or, “all we talk about is school.” So, I decided I would need to do something different. I forfeited my efforts to influence school and allowed his dad to be in charge of those interactions. After that, I had to make a conscious choice to not ask about school, but to create a new pattern of interactions between us. Things did improve, but a lot of damage was already done. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I am at yet another training where the instructor reminds us of the importance of intention. On my hour long drive home, I am a captive audience to God and He causes me to consider my current intentions toward my son. My boy is a full blown
teenager at this point. You know, the time when they make choices that are hard to understand. I often think to myself, “I love my son, but there are times that I don’t like him.” However, on that car ride, God cuts through the semantics and I must deeply consider what I think and feel. If I am honest my beliefs about him sound like this, “you were so much easier when you were little,” “if you would only do ______ things would be better between us,” and, “I wish you were nicer to your sister.” In this moment, God’s wisdom is real. He reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love never fails.” Even though I claim to love my son, these are not loving thoughts, these are critical thoughts and I have them constantly! God gently turns my mind and I realize that loving my son involves believing the best about him. Instead of focusing on the things that he does that I don’t agree with, I can choose to think about and set my heart on all of his wonderful qualities. This is love. So I made a new choice. Each time I’m tempted to dwell on my son’s negative choices, I decided to look for a positive instead. When Satan tries to tell me how doomed my son’s future is, I chose to believe that my son is fearfully and wonderfully made, that God has for him both a hope and a future. So what happened? Of course I noticed a difference in me. I became generally less frustrated, controlling and irritated, but even more amazing were the changes I saw in him. Before I even had a chance to act and speak differently, I saw a difference when my intention changed. My son, who often responds to “how was your day?” with “OK,” was talking with me in the kitchen, sharing about interactions with friends and ideas for getting a job this summer. He was noticeably more kind to his sister and even emptied the dishwasher without being asked! While the Bible does not specifically use the word “intention” let’s look at what God’s Word says about this idea... Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2 I encourage you to do your own experiment. Instead of trying to say or do something nice, try just changing your intention. While I can’t guarantee an emptied dishwasher, I can’t think of a better way to influence the people we encounter on a daily basis. Just imagine what would happen if we intended good things toward ourselves, but that topic is for another day… ♥
Assurance Take up your cross, unsheath your sword, and let there none get in your way, for God alone has called you forth to walk in light, forget the past and rest in Him. When day is done, whate’er the storm, remember this: He’s won. When wind and rain assail your space, and you face doubt that He is near, He’ll see you through. With ev’ry step you take, He soothes the sting and heals the wounds that life inflicts anew that you may know and crown Him Savior, King. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz
Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz is an award-winning author and poet with work published in Sunrise Summits: A Poetry Anthology (2016) and in Measuring Twine: Poetry With Strings Attached (2012). She provides editing, proofreading, and data entry services to a small clientele. Eleanore works with gratitude out of her local Starbucks coffee shop.
My Awakening A love poem to myself
I walked into her backyard property And saw mud, sewer, broken limbs, a drowned child in the rocks by the river, Everywhere I looked, Death and destruction from the floods. I came to help get rid of debris But something shifted in me that day.
I think it was the whisper of love, My love, God’s love for me, An inner voice offering hope, a distant victory, gradually renewing my strength bringing me out of the quicksand and mud, lifting me, helping me look up, To see the eagle floating circles in the blue sky.
I felt pain and anger, energy drained from me. Lori Nunnally I turned and saw my mother and father Dressed in thin robes in hospital beds, pale, helpless at the mercy of doctors charged with their recovery from heart surgery. I had no feeling, I had no energy to face it, Guilt poured into my veins. I turned once more, and this time, saw a child, tearing out his hair, banging his head violently on the cement floor, My heart broke, for nothing I did seemed to matter. I couldn’t stop pain. I felt fear, and began to worry about what would come next… This fear and worry so strong, quite unfamiliar to all my previous life. Anxiety took over and coursed through my body and soul. Loss of connection, loss of friends, loss of job and income, loss of control… Divorce and separation, rejection, loneliness, stigma of mental illness, failure, Confusion, doubt in myself and others… All this began their assault on my mind. I couldn’t stop the negative thinking no matter what I did, My knees buckled at the weight of it. I could not eat or sleep. I paced, staggered and fell to the floor Ringing my restless hands. Grooving a path in the house with my pacing. But something inside me kept fighting, Never would give up hope and vision and belief In God my Creator, or in myself. Somehow I filled my lungs with yet another shallow breath and told myself to get out of bed. I could feel my heart weakly pumping… Force my foot out the door to take a walk, Go to the store, seek someone to talk to… Try another suggestion, Accepted the efforts of a sister or friend. Somehow, I kept my spirit alive. I kept trying to hear the small, still, peaceful voice.
Coloring Outside the Lines By Jen Lawrence, MS, MFTC
When I first started thinking about this article, I thought I would call it “Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone.” But, the more I thought about the concept of a comfort zone and our behavior, the more I thought that was too safe and boring. The very point of this article is to challenge you to tackle something you want to change/add to your life but are resisting. And, one way to do that is to make doing something challenging more enticing. Who doesn’t love the picture of the gleeful child, unrestrained and unworried a b o u t consequences, coloring his/ h e r masterpiece well outside the lines?! So, I thought, let’s see if I can help readers find their inner child.
I also stopped and thought about my own life and the times I try so hard to color inside the lines. So, first, what do I mean when I’m talking about coloring inside the lines? For me this means following the rules and not taking risks. My default is to make sure I know the rules (like the speed limit) so that I know where my lines are. Then, I determine if I’m going to follow those rules (how much over the speed limit am I going to go?!). I tend to do this with physical safety issues also. I look at a physical situation (rock climbing, mountain biking, getting over a
fence) and evaluate my imagined abilities carefully. Smart, right? Of course. Yet, how often are my assumptions way too conservative because of my fear and/or lack of confidence? Frequently. So, is there anything wrong with my rulefollowing default? Not at all. It’s all about the messages I am using toward myself when I’m deciding that I need to stay inside the lines. If I am blaming and judging that part of myself that feels the need to follow rules, be conservative physically (no b u n g e e jumping for me!), or anxious when my children color outside the lines, then I need to have a little talk with myself. I thought for a long time that I was boring and unadventurous. What I have come to learn about myself is that I’m happy with the way I am. I calmly address the parts of myself that point out how other people may be doing crazy, color-outsidethe-line stuff and look how happy they are doing it. I acknowledge that it looks like fun but I get to choose whether I want to do that or not and it is ok if I choose not to jack my adrenaline sky high. What I have discovered, however, is that having someone in my life that is a bit more
adventurous has been a blessing. My best female friend lives her life coloring outside the lines. I was a good match for her because I was cautious but willing to try things like climbing through sandstone canyons in Utah, mountain biking anything with a trail, and doing the Muddy Buddy “just because it looks like fun.” Yet, without her, I never would have thought to do these things . . . too scary! If you feel like you want to tackle some adventures that you wouldn’t do on your own, try to find a friend to do them with. The key is mutual respect for each other’s boundaries. If either of you guilt the other (“come on, everyone is doing it”) or shame the other (“don’t be a baby”), then the relationship won’t work. I’m still more willing to call something crazy than my friend is and am much more careful about diving in to an adventure. As a result, I feel like I have not denied my true self and she respects that position. Adrenaline hits different people in different ways. Some interpret its effects as the need for caution. Others interpret it as a rush to be chased after and intensified. Neither way is specifically bad. If you want a little bit more of a rush in your life, go slowly. As with most changes in life, trying to move the needle substantially on the adventure level in your life isn’t going to happen overnight. Take it slowly and find little things you can do as small steps towards a larger goal. Maybe instead of climbing Mt. Everest next week, you train to climb a 14-er in Colorado first.
Also, as with finding a friend to be adventurous with, there should be no internal guilt or shame involved in the motivation to look for ways to color outside the lines. Self-judgment never helped anyone in a healthy way so talk to that part of yourself and ask it to step back so you can make a more clear-headed decision in a purposeful way. Also, instincts are a good thing! If your brain is screaming at you that you may die if you jump off that rock and into the lake below, maybe it has a point. Stop and consider those things, don’t feel the need to ignore an important warning system. Coloring outside the lines can be exciting and rejuvenating as long as you are remaining true to your authentic self. Pushing the lines simply to push the lines or to prove that you are “tough” is not a good reason to do something that your brain is telling you might not be a good idea. However, it is never a waste of time to slow down a bit to listen to that part of yourself that is anxious about what you are considering. Treat that part like you would a young child. Take a breath, turn toward it, and acknowledge it. Ask it what it is afraid is going to happen. If the fears are truly justified then that part of yourself is doing its job protecting you. If, however, its fears are not that reasonable then gently ask that part of yourself to step aside and assure it that you can handle the situation. Then, enjoy the adventure!♥
Jen Lawrence is a couple and family therapist in Loveland and is an ambassador for Foundations Church. She works with several other professional therapists in the Hope for the Journey Counseling Center in Loveland. This counseling center is a community of professional therapists who are committed to serving Jesus Christ and providing quality, clinical counseling through authentic, caring relationships with clients. The center provides individual, couple, and family therapy for all ages of clients. Location: 1401 S. Taft Ave, Ste. 206 Loveland, CO 80537. Phone: 970 541-9066. http://www.hope4thejourneyloveland.com/
Recipe: Domoda for the indoor kitchen By Bethany DeHamer
Bethany DeHamer spent nearly 2 ½ years in The Gambia (West Africa) with the Peace Corps. This recipe is a family favorite (and even came to be a favorite of one of the two foster girls she wrote about in “Admiring the Harlot” in the previous edition of Connecting Hearts.)
Domoda (A Gambian peanut stew recipe, modified for those with indoor kitchens) Prep and Cook Time: About 3 hours Ingredients: - 1 pound cubed chicken or stew beef - 1 cup vegetable oil (substituting olive oil will not work) - 1 tablespoon tomato paste - water - 3-4 tomatoes (a real Gambian removes the seeds first, but Americans will probably find this unnecessary work) - 2 large onions - 2 cubes Maggi bouillon, if you can find it (Olive Tree Market in Fort Collins sells it); otherwise, substitute 1-2 tablespoons of salt - 1 cup natural peanut butter (make sure it has no sugar in the ingredient list) - 2 fresh hot peppers (the more you chop them, the spicier the food will be) or 1 teaspoon ground red pepper - Some or all of the following vegetables: 1 lb. baby carrots cut in half lengthwise, 4 potatoes (cut into 8 pieces each -- no smaller), 1 quartered head of cabbage, 1 small pie pumpkin (peeled and cut into 8 pieces) - 1 whole habanero pepper (optional) - Rice Peel and quarter onions and then pound them in your pounding bowl. If you don't have a Gambian pounding bowl, or if your host brother is currently occupying the family pounding bowl (as mine is in this picture), just dice the onions instead. Heat 1 cup of oil in extra large pot (deep pots help prevent hot oil spray). You will need a spoon with a long handle to stir and keep food from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Lightly brown chicken or beef with onions and all veggies EXCEPT pumpkin and tomatoes. Add 2 cups water and Maggi cubes or salt, and cook on medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes. Stir frequently, as liquid will not cover all ingredients yet. Add tomatoes, hot peppers (or ground red pepper), and just enough water to cover all ingredients in the pot. Toss in whole habanero pepper (DO NOT CUT OPEN). Add peanut butter and tomato paste and cook covered on medium-low heat (as warm as possible without boiling over) for 1 Â˝ -2 hours, stirring occasionally. When you notice that the oil has separated (it will easily float to the top and have a reddish color), add the pumpkin. Cook plain rice separately. The domoda is finished when the pumpkin is tender. Stir to find the intact habanero pepper and plate it separately. Fill a large bowl with plain rice and pour the domoda on top of it. Sit on the ground around the bowl and eat with your bare hand (but only your right hand -- never the left!). Imagine a pie-shaped section directly in front of you -- that is your portion of the bowl. Or, you can Americanize it by each having your own plate and using silverware. The cooked habanero pepper is passed around so that anyone desiring a spicier dish can squeeze some habanero juice onto their food.â™Ľ
It’s easy for children to find adventure in everything. A six-year-old pretending to be a pirate hunting for buried treasure can find invisible chests of gold anywhere – in a hollow log, behind the garage or even under the bed! As adults, it can be little harder to find hidden treasures. Sometimes difficult circumstances overshadow beauty. Hard times or poor decisions can seem so much bigger than the good things God has placed in our lives. “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.” (James 1:17-18) Our Heavenly Father does indeed give us only what is good and perfect. But perhaps finding the treasures around us is challenging because we haven’t first found the treasures buried in ourselves. “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.” (Ephesians 2:10) Not a single one of us was put on the earth without a purpose. If everyone understood his or her calling, the world would be a different place. Ministries would grow, people would be reached and so many more hearts would be touched. We are each called to change the world! The beautiful desires you have for your future are God-given. The dreams that are so big they scare you, the ones that keep you awake at night or that you find yourself praying over during the day - God placed them in your heart and he has equipped you with gifts and talents to empower you in those callings. “For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.” (Romans 11:29) Let’s go treasure hunting! You can start looking for your gifts in your personality traits, your love languages, your favorite hobbies, what kind of work comes naturally to you and what spiritual gifts you have. Do you love to invite people to your home, give gifts, pray for people and situations or teach others? Perhaps you’re drawn to a certain group of people, a movement or a ministry. What are you
passionate about? What do you dream of doing? These things are all indicative of the gifts and callings God has given you. A great way to learn your spiritual gifts is to take a Spiritual Gifts Tests – www.spiritualgiftstest.com. Stepping into your calling can be uncomfortable and risky – but it’s worth it! You are instrumental in God’s great plan. You are called. You are equipped. So find your treasure! Begin exploring the beautiful abilities God has placed inside you and discover how you’ve been created to use them. If you feel a pull on your heart to serve in Northern Colorado, would you consider volunteering at Birthline of Loveland, a pregnancy resource center? We offer many different opportunities, whether it’s here at our office or from your home. Visit us on our website at www.friendsofbirthline.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Birthline of Loveland is dedicated to saving the lives of unborn babies by providing compassionate care and support to moms and dads. Birthline is a Christian-based 501(c)(3) organization and has served the community since 1981.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
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