Gateway Women’s Magazine | Spring 2010
Making Your “Crazy, Full-to-Overflowing” Life Work
Priscilla Shirer Why this dynamic author, speaker, wife and mom says she’ll NEVER settle for less
YOU’LL NEVER BE ENOUGH
solutions for the soul
pink represents more than a color or a cause â€Ś
itâ€™s a movement!
we are passionate about knowing God. we are positioned to love extravagantly. we are purposeful about our destiny. we are powerful in our influence. we are poised for this moment.
we are pink.
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IN EVERY ISSUE 6 CONTRIBUTORS 7 FYI Party Planning 22 SPICE Spring Chicken 27 BEAUTY Play It Up 34 PULSE Recommended Reading
SPOTLIGHT 16 One In A Million “I was ruined … mundane Christianity would never do again.” by Priscilla Shirer
FEATURES 8 A $20 Bill Two women hear God … in a grocery store. by Kathy Henigan Jimerson
10 Can I Have and Do It All, Please? My concept of “doing it all” was all wrong. by Christine Caine
13 What’s Next? Making the most of your mountaintop experiences. by Jan Greenwood
20 Finding Balance: The Power of “No” Putting your priorities in order. by Sarah Wronko
25 Become Yourself Reclaiming your true identity. by Bob Hamp
28 Love in Any Spelling Loving your family extravagantly even when it’s tough. by Joshua Colson
30 Moving Beyond … Getting past your hindrances. by Arnita Taylor
32 Enough Already How God defines “enough.” by Cheri Cochran
23 Permission to Go Easy steps to make a difference in your community. by Katy Davis
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Gateway Women’s Magazine
Spring 2010 Editor-in-Chief
DEBBIE MORRIS Managing Editor
DEBORAH MASH Editorial Director
STACY BURNETT Senior Editor
S. GEORGE THOMAS Editors
ALLISON ROBERTS JOYCE FREEMAN Creative Director
PAUL SIRMON Art Director
KATRINA SIRMON Designer
MELISSA RUNYON Photographers
ROLAND TURNER Find new and exclusive articles, fun and exciting videos and, best of all, easier ways for you to stay up-to-date on the latest Studio G news. What’s more, you can check out all of our past issues of Studio G.
It’s a whole new way to enjoy Studio G … visit studiogmag.com today!
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a note from the editor
Hello My Beautiful Pink Friends!
As I have been thinking about this issue, the same little girl keeps coming to mind. She bears a striking resemblance to me … and maybe to you too. Ava lived in her father’s mansion. The massive manor sat on a hill with the town flanked around it. Her father designed it to be a beautiful place for his children and great care was given to the tiniest of details. Ava had carte blanche access to every room, but sadly, most of the time she stayed in her room. Hiding from potential hurts, unknown surprises and frightening prospects, she entertained herself within the boundaries of her room and dreamed of living large. Her room was so much better than the one she had before. Ava’s adoption was no secret. Her birthparents had exploited and abused her. Papa, as she called him, couldn’t stand to see Ava mistreated, so he purchased her escape.
Why Studio G? The title, Studio G, was inspired by Psalm 144:12 which is a prayer asking God “that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style.” The name reminds us that we, as Christian women, are in God’s studio as unfinished works of art. Studio G is committed to reminding us of the ways of the Master Sculptor as He continues to fashion us into “women of palace style.” In His studio, we discover who we are
On occasion, when she ventured out of her space, Belshazzar would mock Ava. Belshazzar was a bird Ava had brought from her original home. Belshazzar was a cruel and shrewd fowl with ample vocabulary. He taunted Ava with reminders of her past. He toyed with her tender insecurities. He exposed her fears of the unknown. All through the corridors of the mansion, Ava could hear him mocking and heckling her. Although she was free, Ava lived bound. All that Papa had meant to bless her with futilely wasted away. Papa longed to see Ava live to the full potential of all he had dreamed for her, but it was Ava’s choice. To be honest, I’ve lived just like Ava for too much of my life. Our Father has given us carte blanche access to Him. He didn’t purchase us to live in the confines of our past or be bound by the restraints of insecurity, fetters of fear or chains of sin. He has granted us permission for more, much more. The choice is ours. Permission has been granted, so let’s live like it. I hope this issue of Studio G inspires you to live the abundant life God has called you to enjoy. Blessings,
created to be and we come to realize our true worth.
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As Executive Pastor of Pastoral Care at Gateway Church, Bob has a passion to help people experience and live in freedom.
Katy Davis Christine Caine
Christine is a dynamic and passionate visionary with a deep desire to help people overcome the challenges of life and maximize their God-given potential and purpose.
Floral designer, chemist and small business owner— who would have known this unique package would be such an amazing minister to women? Arnita is known for her personal flair, outspoken nature and powerful capacity to raise up women as leaders.
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Katy is a tiny fireball who loves to rally people to action with her bubbly personality. She works at Gateway keeping the Pink Groups running smoothly, always wearing a pair of stilettos.
Kathy Henigan Jimerson
Kathy loves to tell stories that inspire, encourage and motivate
Cheri is known for her
world working with various ministry and relief organizations.
lively, interactive training style and for conducting workshops on speaker training, business presentation skills and meeting facilitation skills for corporations across the country.
A stay-at-home mother of two girls, Sarah loves to connect
Jan is an integral part
people to find their purpose and live it!
Joshua is a gifted video photographer who has traveled the
with women through her writing.
Elizabeth has been professionally planning events for over nine years. But long before it became her profession, it was her passion.
of the Pink team and is passionate about seeing people fall in love with Jesus and become empowered to pursue their destinies.
by ELIZABETH TOOLEY
Walking into Pink Impact is always so exciting! Everyone has a heightened sense of anticipation about what’s about to take place. Everywhere you turn you see pink food, fabric and flowers … and even ladies dressed in pink. But how does all this come about? As an event coordinator at Gateway Church, there are three basic principles I adhere to when planning events.
• Identify Your Purpose The most important question to ask before you begin planning is, “What is the purpose of this event?” While that may seem obvious, it’s easy to get caught up in the extras (décor, games, themes, etc.) and forget about the purpose. Having a clear definition of your purpose helps you add in extras that contribute to the purpose rather than take away or distract. A clear purpose is vital, because it communicates value—it gives guests the feeling they were thought about, considered and planned for.
• Choose a Theme Having a clear theme simplifies your planning process. For example, while the purpose of Pink Impact remains the same from year to year, the theme changes as we capture the essence of the vision in tangible ways. The theme can be carried out through colors, décor, food items, games and activities. The colors change each year as do the logos, the marketing, the food and the atmosphere. On a smaller scale, if you’re throwing a football party in your home, use colors synonymous with football (brown, green, black and white) and have each guest wear a name tag that lists their name and favorite football team. For the kids, you could find football coloring pages online or a football bingo game that lists items for them to look for while watching the football game.
• Make a Plan Taking the time to make a plan allows you to fully enjoy the party or event you’re hosting. First, write down your entire menu (including drinks, desserts and serving dishes) and then make your grocery list. For events like wedding showers, baby showers or birthday parties, creating a simple timeline helps to keep things moving and make sure that games get played, pictures get taken and there’s never a lull in the fun. While the ability to plan may come more naturally to some than others, it’s something that can be easily learned with a little practice. I encourage you to take these simple tips and try something new in your home with your family and friends. Turn a boring pizza dinner into a fun Italianthemed evening by turning on Italian music and finding some interesting facts about Italy to read and discuss at dinner. Have a girls’ night, and use a color like pink for a theme. Wear pink clothes, make pink punch, bake pink cookies and eat chips with pink dip. Above all, remember to have fun! Let all that careful planning you’ve done help you create lasting memories with your family and friends.
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by KATHY HENIGAN JIMERSON
Toilet paper, hair spray and bread … Those were the only items on my grocery list. I was grateful it was short, because buying groceries has never been my favorite thing to do. I usually procrastinate till the list is overwhelming. But today, my youngest daughter, Gay Lynn, had planned to stop by the store to buy groceries, and I was just tagging along. We were pushing the grocery cart up the aisle, more engrossed in conversation than groceries, when an old man and small boy passed us. Unshaven, disheveled and dirty, the old man’s stench lingered in the air. The frail-looking child, equally unkempt, was pushing the cart. Having grandchildren of my own, my heart was drawn to them. They moved up and down the aisles at a snail’s pace. The old man appeared to be talking to the child. The child occasionally smiled as if to humor the old man, but it was evident the food on the shelves held his complete attention. By the third time they passed us, I glanced into their cart. It was empty. As we rounded another aisle and out of their hearing, I nudged my daughter. “Have you noticed the old man and little boy?” She nodded yes. “Their cart is empty,” I continued. Her eyes grew wide. “Oh, Mom,” she whispered, “What can we do?” For minutes, we stood huddled in a grocery store aisle, contemplating the issue before us. Our cart was filled with all the items we needed as well as some things we didn’t need, but now we were aware of someone whose needs had possibly been far from met for a long time. “I don’t have any cash on me,” Gay Lynn said. “Neither do I.” We both felt helpless. As we passed them again on the way to the
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checkout counter, packages of ramen noodles slid around on the bottom of their otherwise empty cart. I was first introduced to ramen noodles when our kids were in college. They were cheap and filling, and college kids survived on them in order to have money for the “important things” like new clothes and partying. I suspected that in this instance the ramen noodles were for survival. As we got in line to check out, Gay Lynn began to frantically look around for an atm. I desperately prayed under my breath, “Lord, these people need help and that little boy is hungry. Help us help them!” Suddenly, I remembered that my husband, Phil, had handed me a $20 bill that morning. I did have cash! I turned to my daughter. “I have a $20 bill in my purse; I forgot about it. We’ll give that to them. But we have to think of a discreet way.” I wrote my check, and scooped up my bag of groceries as Gay Lynn was paying for hers. We moved over to the side near the door, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. The old man walked towards where we were standing while the little boy stood in line clutching a dollar bill to pay for the noodles. Gay Lynn carefully approached them as they walked past. “Sir, we wouldn’t offend you for the world, but we’d like to help you buy some groceries. Will you allow us to give you this $20? We really want to help.” The little boy was intently watching the face of the older man as he looked at us. He appeared startled while an awkward silence stood between my daughter’s outstretched hand and a small boy’s pleading eyes.
“Yes ma’am, we’ll be glad to take your help,” he spoke softly. The boy’s eyes sparkled as a grin spread across his face. “This is my grandson,” the old man said, looking down and patting the boy’s head. “His two baby sisters are at the house; we’re raising them since their parents died.” He sighed and continued. “It’s really a struggle, but we manage.” I had been standing off to the side watching as Gay Lynn interacted with them. “You’re doing a great job,” she patted the old
“And the Father will answer and say, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25:40
man on the arm. “You’ve got a fine looking grandson. Why don’t you go back and buy a few more groceries?” “Yes ma’am, we will. Thank you.” They slowly retreated down an aisle. Heading out the door, both our faces stained with tears, we climbed into our car and neither said a word. “Let’s sit here and see when they come out,” Gay Lynn suggested. Shortly they appeared. The little boy was almost skipping, and the old man carried a large sack of groceries. We watched them cross the parking lot and climb into a van rusted from one end to the other. We pulled out of the parking lot, the silence broken only by an occasional sniffle. I wish I could say I felt good, but I kept thinking about the $20 bill. That was given out of my own abundance. I had given what I had available, but it didn’t seem like enough. Their faces continued to haunt me. Ever since that day, I go to the grocery store armed and ready. While it’s important to help people discreetly, it’s more important to feed the hungry when God places a face within our reach. Jesus fed more than five thousand with a few loaves and fish, and we call it a miracle. That day, He fed a family with a $20 bill; and by the look in that little boy’s face, that was a miracle too. It was just a $20 bill. But the fact that the Father of the universe allowed us to be part of such a demonstration of His love was absolutely priceless.
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Can I Have and Do It All, Please? by CHRISTINE CAINE
woke up excited. Today was a new day, and yesterday’s crazy attempt to accomplish my to-do list was long behind me. I knew things were looking up as I woke before my alarm went off, and I was actually able to take a shower before the girls got out of bed (which is more than I could say about the day before). I could just sense today was the day I would cross off all the tasks on my to-do list, and really, it had to be because there was so much I needed to do before I hit the road again. Granted, I couldn’t remember the last time I was able to check every single item off my list—at least not since my girls were born—but being the eternal optimist, today was going to be “that” day! I had every detail flawlessly mapped out. My workout clothes were already in the car so I could stop by the gym on the way home from driving Catie and Sophia to school and preschool (check). Catie’s lunch was made and bagged, along with a special birthday gift for her teacher. Catie had told me how her teacher loved caramel apples, so I had bought some from the best place in town (check, check). We had a staff meeting scheduled over lunch to strategize the next few months for the ministry, and then my plan was to squeeze in a little writing just before picking up the girls and driving home to cook dinner for the family. I had already gotten the groceries I needed to make supper (check), and while out, I had also happened to find a fun little nightgown to surprise my hubby at the end of the evening. That was going to be worth at least 15 checks! Finally, my dream day was going to happen, and I was going to have it all. I had already succeeded in waking up on time and showering … nothing could stop me now! Today, I’d be Martha Stewart in the home, Arnold Schwarzenegger at the gym, Richard Branson at the office, Billy Graham in the ministry, Jane Austen at the computer, and lover extraordinaire in the bedroom. All that was left to do was to step out of my bedroom and begin my day.
And then Murphy’s Law began … 10 Studio G
First, the zipper on Catie’s school pants broke and all her other pairs were in the laundry. Do I have a sewing kit? Wait a minute, who am I kidding … do I even know how to work a needle and thread? She would simply have to wear a skirt. Then, on the way to school, I was informed we were supposed to bring plates and napkins for the teacher’s birthday party. We were already running late, thanks to the zipper incident, but I managed to speed across three lanes of traffic to an exit close to a grocery store, run in to buy the party necessities, and still get everyone to school in one piece. The gym was packed, but I got in a pretty intense and sweaty workout before the electricity freakishly went out. Of course, this prevented me from washing and freshening up before my staff meeting. Oh well, they’ve seen me without makeup before … no big deal. On my way to the office, traffic was at a standstill because of the random power outage, which caused me to be extremely late to the lunch meeting, so I skipped eating. The schedule was now way behind, so I didn’t have time to write, which was probably a good thing because after a hard workout and no food, my brain was a bit fuzzy. The rest of my afternoon was a whirlwind of activity: Firstly, I navigated massive amounts of traffic to pick the girls up from their respective schools. Catie expressed her teacher’s extreme surprise at my gift—had the teacher forgotten she told me about her caramel apple fetish? Next, helped the girls with their homework while simultaneously burning dinner. Tried to substitute the charred mess with leftovers—on closer inspection discovered they should have been thrown out days ago. Consequently, phoned Nick to pick up some take-out food. Lastly, I slipped into the bathtub whilst trying to give the girls their baths. Thank God Nick offered to put them to bed so I could have a moment of quiet before bedtime. I eagerly accepted and then collapsed into bed. What in the world had gone wrong? I thought. I had such high hopes that this day would be one where I would finally be able to do it all without having a partial mental breakdown!! I couldn’t decide whether to laugh, cry, or throw something at the wall, and then I remembered … I still had that fun little nightgown to surprise Nick! Today didn’t have to be a complete loss; maybe I could still be lover extraordinaire! I ran to the kitchen to grab the little bag holding my special purchase, whisked back to the bedroom, opened up the bag and pulled out ... a pair of neatly wrapped caramel apples! No wonder Catie’s teacher was so surprised!
roll up our sleeves in true “Rosie the Riveter” style (to reveal our femininely chiseled arms, of course) and belt out the lyrics to “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar” in our best Helen Reddy voice. We get up an hour early to exercise, another hour earlier to pray, and a third hour is needed to get the kids ready and packed for school. We are consummate organizers, jugglers and problem solvers as we manage husbands, children, church commitments, friendships, finances, groceries, mealtimes, child taxi service, quiet time with God and whatever else is on the agenda. Then, at the end of the day we stay up an hour longer to ensure the house is tidy, an additional hour to read a chapter of the latest bestseller, and one more hour to ensure we spend “quality time” with our husband. It almost gets to the point that we should forego sleep altogether because the moment our head touches the pillow, it’s time to rise and shine. We’ve set out on this mission to do it “all” only to quickly discover that in order to achieve it, we conservatively need an extra 24 hours in every day. The fact is that the pursuit of having and doing it all has left many women disappointed, discouraged, exhausted, defeated, anxious and stressed. Despite our sometimes superhuman exploits, we begin to question the pace and fullness of this “having and doing it all” life and whether or not we have all been sold a big lie. In our disillusionment, we can even begin to think there is no possible way we can manage a strong Christian
The “ALL” we should want to have and do is tied in to God Himself and His purpose for our lives. walk, an amazing marriage, great kids, a fulfilling sex life, fantastic friends and pursuing our God-given purpose.
It occurred to me in that one instant: perhaps my concept of “doing it all” was all wrong.
The truth is, you can have it all, and you can do it all … but often it’s an incorrect perception of what the “all” is that can leave us feeling like we fall short. If we want to do this adventure called life well, and fulfill the purpose God has for our lives, we need to discover what His definition of the “all” is, and go after that.
Okay, so this story is a little dramatic (only a bit), but most of us can in some way relate to this scenario. For years, we have been told we can have it all, be it all and do it all. So inevitably, we have aggressively set out on a pursuit to achieve this utopian “all.” We
When I was a teenager, I really wanted to be a basketball player. Then reality hit: the statistical probability of a petite 5’2” girl making headlines because of her ability to slam-dunk a basketball was next to nothing. If I had chosen to ignore this fact and
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equated my “all” with being the next wnba superstar, I would have wasted a lot of years with a relatively futile pursuit. The point is that each one of us has a specific “all” created especially for us, and if we pursue only this, God in turn enables us to achieve it. Having it all does not mean we can have anything we want, or that we can have everything simultaneously. Nor should the media, politicians, the feminist movement, culture, history, the latest talk show host, lifestyle magazines, tradition, the latest celebrity, or our flesh dictate our pursuits, dreams and goals to us. It should be the result of seeking first the kingdom of God. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When it’s God who adds the “all” rather than us trying to strive for it on our own, we don’t have to be stressed, overworked or anxious about trying to keep something we cannot obtain on our own anyway. If we simply continue to put God first, He adds it to our life according to His perfect will and His perfect timing.
we try to walk in paths God has not prepared for us, doing works He has not set out for us, we will inevitably end up living stressed, unfulfilled, frustrated and disappointed. The “all” we should want to have and do is tied in to God Himself and His purpose for our lives. If we seek Him first always and align our lives with the good works He has prepared for us, it is truly amazing how our crazy, full-to-overflowing lives seem to work. God’s “all” for your life is right before you, ready to be seized, enjoyed, bring you tremendous fulfilment, and stretch you to your limits! You absolutely can have and do it all, and live the life you’ve dreamed of … if you understand that your “all” will be a journey of a lifetime, and that sometimes your “all” can shift and morph when you least expect it.
Similarly, the Bible teaches that there are certain things God has created for each one of us to do. The book of Ephesians says, “For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God pre-destined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].” If we spend our lives doing the good works God predestined for us, we will always find enough time, energy and resources to do it all. On the other hand, if
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by JAN GREENWOOD
Every year, Pink Impact is such a mountaintop experience for me. Long before the first song is sung, I’ve already spent hours preparing. I dream about it. I think about it. I talk about it. I pray about it. By the time the conference actually arrives, I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! Let’s just say that I come with some pretty high expectations of God. I pray He will show up and show off. What would be the point if He didn’t? I’m not interested in just a good time or a fun party. I come to encounter God, and I’ve never walked away disappointed. Indeed, every time I meet with Him face to face, I’m transformed.
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Jesus also experienced a mountaintop moment. Matthew 17 tells about the time when Jesus invited Peter, James and John to trek with Him to the top of a mountain. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.
Maybe you feel a little like the disciples—scared to death. Or maybe you’re more like me—dreading the fact that Monday morning has arrived. Regardless of how you feel, Jesus understands. He’s ready to help you overcome your fear and set your feet on the path if you keep your eyes on Him. Here are a few suggestions to help you answer the question, “Where do I go from here?”
Matthew 17:1–3 (msg)
Jesus was so close to heaven that He was transfigured—literally changed from the inside out. What a “council meeting” this must have been—Jesus, Moses and Elijah! We don’t know what they talked about, but we could guess that maybe Jesus received the instruction, strength, support and grace to go on. Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?” Matthew 17:4 (msg)
This wasn’t only a transforming moment for Jesus, but also for His friends. Peter was so blessed that he wanted to stay in that place—praising God and offering sacrifices. He even asked if they could just camp out at the top of the mountain! You may make fun of him for that, but I have to admit I can completely identify with Peter. I, too, want to stay in the transforming moment. It’s so sweet, so satisfying, so clarifying. Why would we want to move on? While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.” Matthew 17:5 (msg)
That is such a great description of what happens to us during a mountaintop moment. We, like Jesus, are marked by God’s love. We become the focus of His delight. We are called His daughters. When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus. Matthew 17:6–8 (msg, emphasis added) 14 Studio G
Write It Down
Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time. Habakkuk 2:2–3 (msg)
A “mountaintop experience” is called exactly that for a reason. You are impacted, marked, changed by this encounter. When you go through a mountain experience, make sure you take some time to acknowledge and write down what God has done in your life. Put a date on it. Capture the first fruits of the experience by recording your personal thoughts about what God has said or done. If He gives you some specific instruction, note it and let it be a guide and an encouragement to you in the days and months to come. So take a minute and write it down.
Share It With Others
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (nkjv)
When you share your “God-encounter” with another person, it seals the deal. God likes it when you believe and testify. If you only believe
but don’t testify, then your mountaintop experience is like fruit that’s never eaten. It’s wasted. Ineffective. In addition, you not only have the ability to impart faith to another, but also to yourself. As you hear yourself tell it to others often, your own faith will rise and eventually stir you to action.
Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works. James 2:26 (nlt)
When you begin to share your testimony and your faith rises, you won’t be able to be still for long. Your spirit will long to obey, to “get on the road.” Don’t know what to do? No worries! Begin with a random act of kindness. Make a phone call. Write a note. Give a donation to someone who really needs it. Just begin. You can’t miss God if you begin to move in the fruits of the Spirit.
In John 15:5 (ncv), Jesus said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If any remain in me and I remain in them, they produce much fruit. But without me they can do nothing.” As we seek after God and spend time with Him, He begins to produce fruit in us. And by the time we’re commissioned and sent forth from the conference, we’ve become branches that bear an incredible amount of fruit. But do you know what happens when fruit is left on the vine? It quickly begins to rot. What was meant to produce sweet juice and seed for the next season, instead becomes bitter, shriveled and useless. It is wasted, and its potential is lost. Don’t allow this to happen to you. Gather your courage and allow Jesus to move you from the mountaintop to the winepress of everyday life. Because it’s in the winepress that real fruit begins to flow. And as you are “pressed” into service, rejoice … you are on your way to great victories!
More info? call: 817.552.3655 email: email@example.com visit: pinkinc.gatewaypeople.com
Don’t Miss Our Upcoming
LAUGH — A PINK NIGHT Thursday, August 12 | 7:00 pm | Auditorium Gateway Church Southlake Campus
PINK NIGHT Thursday, October 7 | 7:00 pm | Auditorium Gateway Church Southlake Campus More info? call: 817.552.3756 email: firstname.lastname@example.org visit: pink.gatewaypeople.com facebook: facebook.com/gatewaypink twitter: twitter.com/gatewaypink
Spring 2009 2010 15 15 Summer
One In A Million
BY PRISCILLA SHIRER
here are thousands of fish in the 25-feet deep pond near our home, but there’s an infamously large bass that lurks untouched in its depths. People have seen him near the surface on occasion, so they know he’s there. Fisherman, eager to try their luck at catching the prey, have sat for long periods of time with just the right hook and lure in hopes that today they’ll be the one to reel him in. I took my boys fishing one weekend, and within an hour, my threeyear-old caught seven and my other son snagged four. No large bass for us; small perch and sunlight fish were sufficient to keep them happy. Yet, I found myself looking out over the still dark waters and peering down into the depths with intensity. I wondered if the legendary and elusive bass would ever be seen on someone’s hook. The Israelites left Egypt with the promise of Canaan. All they had to do was obey Yahweh and believe that He would accomplish what He said He would and they’d be allowed to walk on the Promised Land soil. Yet, looking out over the millions of Jews swimming in the grace and protection of Yahweh, you’d be hard pressed to find one whose faith was worth catching. A quick glance within the depths of the tent-lined camps would leave you disappointed. Finding the elusive members of the nation under Moses’ leadership who really believed God and fully expected the inheritance they’d been promised was a long shot. But there was one. In fact, there were two. And only two.
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Why is it so hard to find believers who actually believe? Listen to that startling ratio again: Of the approximately two million adult pilgrims who left Egypt with the promise of Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb believed that God would give them what He’d promised and would actually step foot into the Promised Land. Two in two million. That’s one in a million. Why is it so hard to find believers who actually believe? Why is it so difficult to come across Christians who are living the life of abundance offered to every believer ( John 10:10)—people who hear His voice, experience His power and are acquainted with His manifest presence. It’s easy to simply attend church and listen to Christian radio, but really taking God at His Word, anticipating His miracles, walking in faith and expecting an infiltration of His power; now that’s a different story. I’ve decided that if there are only going to be a handful of Christians who really encounter God, who actually experience the abundant “Promised Land life” He has come to give, then I want to be one of those few. You too? Our spiritual inheritance is so rich and full. It abounds in more lavishness than we can wrap our minds around. I’ve found that when I try to compile thoughts on what my inheritance from God looks like, I leave things out that I either don’t know I have been promised or that I really don’t expect to experience in my life. But on those occasions when I’ve caught a glimpse of it in the lives of others, my
spiritual taste buds were tantalized; my appetite whetted. It’s like the woman I watched for days … for weeks … for months that turned into years. This woman was filled with God’s power, overwhelmed with His joy and consumed with His peace. She heard God’s voice—on a regular basis—and was seeing evidence of His presence in the regular rhythms of her life. She would pray and then believe. Expect and then see. Ask and then receive. So, I watched her. She was a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a regular woman with problems and concerns just like mine; and yet, her life was different in so many ways. More than anything I wanted what she had, and I was determined to figure out how to get it. Our first conversation over two piping hot cups of tea began with a shower of questions. I just couldn’t help myself. I was so curious about her relationship with God and how what she’d learned on the pew had become such a startling reality on the pavement of her life. That first conversation led to deeper, more intriguing ones that kept me on the edge of my seat. Like a little schoolgirl with my chin in my hands, I soaked in her wisdom and reveled in the times she laid her hands on me and prayed. A refreshing friendship developed, and I was challenged; challenged to be one of the few who would refuse to trust God with an ordinary faith or settle for an ordinary and complacent walk with Him. I was compelled to not just hear about God on Sunday but expect to
experience what I’d learned every other day of the week. I wanted more … more of Him, more of His Spirit, more of His gifts, more of His fruit, more of His power and His manifest presence in my life. I was ruined; ruined for church as usual. Mundane Christianity would never do again. And so, I pray for you—for us—the words of the Apostle Paul: I’m asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future He has promised to those He’s called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to His people. (Ephesians 1:17–18) I’m hoping we’ll be “one in a million” and that when the Father peers out over the waters of those swimming in His grace and love, He’ll find you and me—people who are ready and willing to take Him at His Word and fully engage in every little thing He has planned for us. So, lace up your hiking boots, Promised Land pilgrim. Strap on your travel gear for the journey ahead. We’ve got nothing to lose except a lifetime of wilderness wandering and everything to gain in the land of milk and honey.
Be encouraged. Canaan’s worth every step.
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Priscilla Shirer Q & A 18 Studio G
BY DEBORAH MASH
Why do you do what you do? I believe that it’s a calling that God has given me. It’s like Jeremiah— there were occasions when he didn’t want to teach and speak, but it was just a passion that he couldn’t walk away from casually. I feel like it’s part of the mandate God has on our lives. That is just something that encourages you to continue on the journey. Natural skill and talent can accomplish things in the natural realm. But when you see supernatural happenings taking place in people’s lives, you know there has to be some type of supernatural authority or approval that God has given you to help you make a mark in the hearts of people. When they’re being transformed and changed from the inside out, you can’t take credit for that … that’s God. Knowing that God is with me encourages me to want to keep going on and see what else He may have in store.
Do you feel like this ministry is something significantly bigger than you? It better be, otherwise we’re just wasting our time. Just like Moses said in Exodus 33:15, “God, if You’re not going with us, we don’t want to go … we don’t want Your Promised Land without Your presence.” And that’s exactly how we feel. It has to be about God’s presence going with us—impacting and imparting life and truth to people.
Is there a specific message that you believe best defines what you want to share with women? Yes, it’s the message of my newest book, One In a Million, which is about hearing and experiencing God. I’ve been a preacher’s kid since I was one year old. I know nothing other than being in a great church surrounded by great people sitting under great teaching … it’s all I know. The flip side of that coin is you can get so used to just hearing about God, you end up just sitting on the pew and soaking it all in without actually experiencing all of the stuff that you know to be true. I found that there was a disconnect for me from the pew to the pavement of my life. What I was learning on the pew, I wasn’t experiencing in the everyday walk of my life. The mandate of my ministry—every resource or message that we might create—has got to do with calling the believer to an experiential relationship with God.
Why do you think so many believers experience so little of God? I feel like there are many reasons. The main reason is that the Enemy would like it to be so. If you’re saved, he can’t destroy you, but he wants to at least distract you for the rest of your life—to keep you from actually walking in the truth that you know about God. It’s a supernatural reason why so many believers are living a mundane Christian life like I did for so many years. I want Going Beyond Ministries to be a divine antagonist, to make people unsettled … appreciative, but unsettled with where they are at this particular point and expectant that God has more.
How do you constantly challenge yourself to say, “I’m not willing to settle; I want more of God”? One of the main ways is that I force myself to accept whatever challenge God is setting in front of me. Here’s how I often discern the voice of God when I have a choice to make: If the only reason I don’t want to accept one of the options before me is because it’s challenging and I’m afraid I can’t handle it or I don’t want to go through whatever it’s going to take to get it done, then I know God is probably pressing me in that direction. Because the Enemy isn’t going to push us into an area where we’re going to have to depend on God more completely, pray more or exercise more Faith … because in that season, in that place, God will demonstrate Himself to you. So if I force myself not to run from challenges but engage in them, I put myself in a position to see God's presence and power manifest in my everyday life.
What is the one thing you want to make sure Studio G readers know about you? My passion and primary calling is to be a wife to my husband and a mother to my boys. What God has allowed me to do with ministry, I’m so grateful for, but it is secondary to what I believe is my primary calling. My most critical mission is for my boys to know what it’s like for a family to sit around a table for dinner and for Mom to be involved in the things that matter to them. That’s what I feel like real ministry is. DEBORAH MASH Being Mom to three amazing boys is what Deborah considers to be her greatest life accomplishment. After an extensive career in television news, Deborah now works with the Media team at Gateway Church.
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Finding Balance: THE
by SARAH WRONKO
ervously I drum my fingers across my computer mouse. I glance at the clock. 2:59 pm. One minute remains until peace is shattered, chaos ensues, the law of entropy kicks in … naptime will be over. With a million and one things left undone and laundry still piled high on the couch, I scowl at my computer monitor, my spaceship to the black hole of time. My toddler begins a high-pitched chant, “Mommy, Mommy,” while my infant tries to kick down the sideboards of her crib. Suddenly more tired than I felt 10 minutes ago, I push away from my computer, my temporary escape to another world. The time has come. Life is calling. I ponder the day’s coming events, crisis management “opportunities” and dirty diapers, thinking all the while about the things I need to do but don’t have time to. At the end of many days, I find that there are so many priorities and desires left 20 Studio G
undone: my Bible study, the laundry, the book I wanted to finish, taking time to reach out to my neighbors, returning that phone call or simply just taking a bath. Where does my time go? Most often, not having enough time or not understanding the importance of prioritizing our time can be the main cause of stress. According to Dr. James Dobson, one of the biggest obstacles facing families right now is a hectic schedule: “There is nothing that will destroy family life more insidiously than hectic schedules and busy lives, where spouses are too exhausted to communicate, too worn out to have sex, too fatigued to talk to
the kids. If Satan can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy, and that’s just about the same thing.” With all the demands of family, work, housekeeping and relationships, there can seemingly be a lack of time and energy to devote to life’s most important tasks.
would like to accomplish in your day and arrange these based on order of importance. Now whenever you have extra time in the day and after you’ve taken care of your main priorities, you can refer to this list to help you allocate your remaining time.
When determining the causes of unwanted anxiety, unaccomplished priorities are often a key factor. Focusing on priorities and setting these priorities in order is essential to having a more peaceful and fulfilling life. But how do we shuffle through the noise and chaos of life and our daily demands?
In his book, Priorities: Take Control of Your Time, life coach Bill Mansell says, “Make your plan balanced and achievable. With your priorities and your plan in mind, frequently ask yourself: what is the best use of my time right now? Then do it. Most people never take the time to make this critical investment in themselves. As a result, they wander through life, unconsciously frittering away their valuable time on useless, meaningless activities.”
Here’s a good place to start: Pull out a piece of paper, and draw a line down the middle. In the left column, write down three to five things that need to get done each day, the non-negotiables. Number these priorities from most important to least. In the right column, write down three to five things you would enjoy accomplishing daily but aren’t necessarily non-negotiables. At the bottom of that same page, write down the things you actually do during your day (and be honest). If some of the items you listed as things that you actually do are already on your “have to” list, then great; cross them off. Then, look at your list of nonnegotiables and think about your day. Make a plan of where these will fit best in your day and stick to it! Next, look at your list of things you
When you say yes to one thing, you usually have to say no to another. And saying no can often be difficult. Many times it’s just easier to give a thoughtless “yes” than it is to thoughtfully say “no.” But ask yourself this question: “Does this activity, meeting, tv show or time spent on the Internet fit into my goals or priorities for today?” If not, be empowered to say no to those things and say yes to those things that will bring you a sense of peace and gratification at the end of the day. So back to me … here I sit at the end of my very long day. The kids are finally in bed and yes, I still do have “priorities” on my list, but Facebook is calling me. Choices, choices … suddenly I feel empowered to say that little word that will free me and allow me to take care of what I really must do. So I say it … “no.” Permission has been granted!
AVAILABLE NOW AT PASSAGES
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Spring Chicken by LYNDA GROVE
irds are chirping, and the beautiful sunlight is beckoning you outside. It’s spring—a delightful time of year for outdoor picnics and quick and easy meals. After months of warm, heavy, rib-sticking meals, isn’t it time for a refreshing change for your taste buds? These crisp recipes will fill your family and give you a break from stirring pots in the kitchen. Each recipe is great for preparing the night before you spend a fun-filled day at the park with your loved ones. Just whip up a batch of this savory chicken salad while you watch the evening news, and you’ll have the entire next day to play in the sun. Or, maybe you’re heading to an outdoor party and need a hearty yet light dish. These chicken empanadas are the perfect meal to accompany a springtime spread. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the combination of these mouthwatering meals and the fragrant aroma of blossoming flowers.
Chicken Empanadas This is an easy and yummy recipe the whole family will enjoy! 2 cups cooked chicken breast 2 cups cooked rice 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 small can green chilies or your favorite salsa 1 cup sour cream 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese ¼ cup of milk (if mixture is too dry) salt and pepper
2 cups cooked chicken breast (oven roasted chicken from the grocery deli works well), shredded
1 pkg Pillsbury Pie Crust (2 pie crusts per package)
¼ cup real mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 350º.
3 Tbsp Kosher dill pickle juice (I prefer Klaussen.)
Mix first 8 ingredients well; set aside. Lay one pie crust out flat on a large cookie sheet. On one half of the crust, pile half of the chicken mixture, then fold the other half over and seal with the tines of a fork. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and cook 30 minutes at 350º.
salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper.) ¼ cup finely chopped green onion Mix and add seasoning to taste—increase pickle juice by small increments if it tastes flat. Chill at least 6 hours for maximum flavor. For a light meal, serve with crackers and a fresh salad. LYNDA GROVE Lynda, aka “Mamma Mia,” is an Italian cooking queen, mother of four and wife of Kevin. Her personal passion is seeing women valued and encouraged, and she uses her gifts to bless everyone she meets. She plays a mean game of Farkle, loves to travel and was born to shop.
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Garnish with guacamole and/or queso.
Permission to Go by KATY DAVIS
y mother, three sisters and I were sitting at the back table at Peacocks—a tiny hole-inthe-wall restaurant that serves the most awesome pancakes. We’ve been going there for breakfast for as long as I can remember. We were all together to do some early morning Black Friday shopping in my small hometown where everyone gets up early to fight over doorbusters at Walmart. While enjoying our coffee and chatting about Christmas, my eldest sister started telling us about a book she was reading that offers simple ideas on how you can impact your community. We all jumped on board with the ideas and started dreaming about what we could do and how we could make small sacrifices to meet the needs of people where we live. With each new idea that came up, our excitement grew and our voices got louder until the entire back room had turned around to see what these five crazy women were yelling about. By the time we finished our breakfast, we had a plan in place and were ready to go out and do it. What we didn’t realize then was that we were actually granting each other permission to be creative and go! By the following week, our first project was underway. The Lord gave my sister, Melody, a great idea to put diaper packs together and hand them out to the women coming to their appointments at the local wic (Women, Infants and Children) office. Melody loaded up her one-year-old daughter and off they went to bless struggling mothers with free diapers—no strings attached. The women were
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so surprised, and they thanked her over and over. The day was a huge success, and that small victory added fuel to our growing fire. From there, my mother, sisters and I continued to seek the Lord for new ideas about how we could reach out to our local communities in need. We gave out hot chocolate on cold days, took flowers and homemade cards to a nursing home, made scarves to give to the poor, and continued going to different wic locations handing out diapers. The incredible snowball that was building was centered around one thing—the life of Jesus. Our goal through all of these simple acts of kindness was to show people that following Jesus doesn’t involve judging them; it simply means coming to their apartment doors and praying with them or just offering a smile and giving them a package of baby wipes. The most amazing outcome of all this was the way other people started joining in. With each new person going out and doing their part to serve, someone else was inspired to do more than just talk about doing something, but to actually go and make a difference! Jesus is an incredible example of how we should surrender our own lives to Him and meet people exactly where they are. With every decision we make to care for someone we don’t even know, we become more and more like Him. What my family began doing wasn’t special or difficult. It’s something anyone can do—even you! God has already given you permission to go out and love someone else just like He does. Will you answer His call?
Recommended Resource The Outward-Focused Life: Becoming a Servant in a Serve-Me World (by Dave Workman)
Ways To Get Started Rally! Get a small group of your friends and family together who desire to meet simple needs in your community. Brainstorm! Discuss what you’re passionate about. What needs do you see as you drive to work or the grocery store? Think about what would bless you if you were in someone else’s shoes. Launch! Start simple and dream big. Make a plan that isn’t complicated and try it out. Improve! Learn from your first project and make adjustments. Consider how you could do things differently to make your project more effective. Recruit! Ask a friend to join your group and help to change the world one selfless deed at a time. Inspire! Take pictures and show them to people when you tell them about what you do. You never know how many people around you just need a little push to go for it.
JULY 16–17, 2010 Gateway Church Southlake and NRH Campuses featuring Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott $70 per Couple | $35 per Individual Childcare will be provided free of charge by registration only; however, space is limited.
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Become Yourself by BOB HAMP
Every day the world asks you who you are. Many days you’re told who you are (or at least who you should be) by your job, your family and sometimes, worst of all, your church. They all demand that you become some manufactured version of their expectations. Living with these kinds of demands, it’s easy to lose track of the person you were made to be. From the beginning, there’s been a war raging to destroy the image of God that He’s deposited within you. Because of the Fall, humanity has lost more than just the way to heaven, we’ve lost our true identities as sons and daughters of the Living God. In fact, one of the reasons why men and women run from God is they fear He’ll ask them to be someone other than themselves. But God’s assignment to “be fruitful and multiply” isn’t a demand for you to be someone else; it’s actually the empowerment to be who He made you to be wherever you are. In fact, that’s the very reason why Jesus came—to seek and save that which was lost. He came to give you back your identity as a child of God. How then do you get to being the man or woman God created you to be? The journey back is a process. Sometimes even a difficult process. But it is far more stressful to remain where you are than it will ever be to walk down the path to freedom.
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There are three main steps along the pathway to freedom, and they all have a single common denominator—surrender.
1. You must surrender your perspective. Our relationships
and experiences are how we come to know the world and truth. We view all of life through lenses formed from years of those relationships and encounters. Like living in a house of mirrors, we have a limited view of ourselves and of reality because it’s been informed by our humanity. And just like it’s impossible for young children to know the truth apart from their parents, it’s also impossible for you to know the truth separate of God and His perspective. God is omniscient (all-knowing), and you are not. So surrender to the fact that He knows and sees things that you do not.
2. You must surrender your will. The Bible calls this
confessing Jesus as Lord. Without the surrender of your will, you will forever be the person you’ve made yourself to be. The new birth, salvation, is the necessary first step to becoming who you are made to be. Without the new birth, the best you can do is talk about Him. As you surrender your will and make Him your Lord and source of all life, God’s Spirit is restored to the center of your being. You literally become a new creation, containing the very Spirit of God. Now you can begin your journey. Surrender your will to His, and He will both begin and finish something miraculous in you. He will help you become who He made you to be.
3. You must surrender your soul. Buried within your soul (your mind, will and emotions) are the experiences and beliefs of a lifetime of programming. Even though your spirit has been made completely new, your soul is just beginning the process of being made new. This is the part of the journey where many of us can become confused and fall right back into the trap of trying to live by others’ expectations. But the real trap here isn’t just the expectations of others; it’s the ways we respond to them.
Living by the expectations of others produces one of two responses; both responses can lead us away from the truth instead of into it. One response is to react against those expectations and act
contrary to them. The other is to comply with those expectations and try to accomplish all that’s expected of us through our own abilities. This process—the ongoing surrender of your soul and your journey to freedom—relies on a simple but unexpected principle: Jesus doesn’t ask you to do good based on your own strength; He asks you to tell the truth. When you’re willing to acknowledge the truth about your condition, it opens the door for God to do a work in you that you can’t do yourself. Listen to what Jesus tells the crowd in the book of John:
“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19–21) This is the process of freedom. God shines light on something, we acknowledge it, He changes it. God shows us, we agree, He changes it. All we have to do is be honest. The process is simple, but it can often be difficult for us because we’re so used to living up to expectations. The idea of just admitting that we aren’t (or that we can’t) makes us feel like a failure. Most of us would much rather demonstrate our competence than admit our incompetence. Most of us would rather do good, than tell the truth about our failures. We don’t want to acknowledge our weaknesses because we think God wants us to present our strengths. But this is where the power of grace comes in. Through grace, Jesus grants you permission to enter His presence in your weakness. Grace is Jesus granting you permission to be yourself so that God can recreate and make you a new self. It is the truth that sets you free. It is your willingness to tell the truth about who you are not, so that God can make you who you really are. Real freedom is the ability to live life as the person God created and redeemed you to be. It is simply permission granted … to become yourself.
Play It Up
by ALICHA THORNTON-RAY
MAKEUP TIPS TO HELP YOU LOOK YOUR BEST ❖❖ Line your lips with a pencil that is close to your natural lip line color. A line that is too dark draws the eye to the liner and not your beautiful lips. ❖❖ Curl your lashes before applying mascara. (This way your lashes won’t break!) Curling your lashes opens your eyes and creates a stunning look. ❖❖ Apply blush or bronzer on your cheekbones, and blend with a clean brush to soften hard edges. ❖❖ Have radiant skin all day long! Simply spritz your face with a mixture of distilled water and peppermint oil. Just a few drops of peppermint oil added to water will reawaken luminous skin.
QUICK FIXES FOR DARK CIRCLES AND PUFFY EYES ❖❖ Always use eye cream. Lightly massage eye cream in a back-and-forth motion to increase the circulation and assist in draining out any congestion that could cause puffiness. ❖❖ Put chilled tea bags on your eyes. Tired eyes respond well to cold. After you steep your tea, keep the bags in the refrigerator and pop them on your eyes for a five-minute pick-me-up.
ALICHA has been a licensed Aesthetician, Makeup Artist and Massage Therapist for more than 10 years. She has worked in various aspects of the Beauty, Fashion and Wellness Industry from highfashion photo shoots and runway shows to one-on-one consultations with women from coast to coast. Her passion is working with everyday women, loving them for who they are and showing them the endless possibilities of their natural beauty.
❖❖ Concealer is your best friend, but it can accentuate fine lines, so just stick to the dark areas and be sure to blend well. Choose a concealer that’s close to your natural skin shade.
BREAKOUTS CAUSING YOU PROBLEMS? Did you know that acne breakouts in women could be an indication of what is going on internally? Hormonal deficiencies and stress are the main contributors to breakouts in adult women. If you have chronic breakouts, have your doctor check your hormone levels before making an appointment with a dermatologist.
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Love in Any Spelling
by JOSHUA COLSON
“No!” Yoako exclaimed, crossing her arms and pouting like a toddler.
“Come on, Babe, you’re being ridiculous! How bad can they be?” asked Peter. “How bad? How bad?! OK, let’s start with … oh, I don’t know … my name!” yelled Yoako. Peter tried not to bust out laughing, “Babe, what’s wrong with Yoako? I think it’s … unique.” “I’m Austrian!” Yoako declared. “Well, technically your parents are Austrian; you were born in Queens ….” Yoako cut Peter off. “I’m not joking! You don’t know what it’s like to have blonde hair and blue eyes and be named after the Asian woman who ruined the Beatles!” “But Yoako, everyone loves the Beatles,” said Peter consolingly.
Yoako threw another outfit out of the closet, hitting Peter in the face. “Yeah, she did ruin the greatest band of all time,” Peter chuckled under his breath. “Peter!” Yoako barked, disapproving of his chuckle. Trying to be serious in order to avoid any major injuries, Peter replied, “Babe, I know your parents were hippies ….” “Are!” she snapped, cutting him off again. “Sorry … I know your parents are hippies. But they couldn’t have named you after her. Your names are spelled differently.” “I know! It’s because they’re terrible spellers. Yoko Ono was their favorite artist. She stood for peace and Tibet and poor hygiene—all of their mantras. I mean, did you know I still hate eggs to this day because of all the jokes!” Peter exploded with laughter as Yoako stuck her head out of the closet like a cobra poised for attack.
“Exactly! And everyone hates the six people in the world who like Yoko, much less “Peter!” someone named after her!” Frustrated, 28 Studio G
Still laughing, Peter replied, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but egg yolk is spelled with an ‘l’ not an ‘a’. ” Yoako struck back, “Oh trust me, Bible classes were no breeze either. ‘His yoke is easy and His burden is light’ … ‘The anointing breaks the yoke of bondage’ … ‘Do not be unequally yoked together!’ ” Now Peter was laughing so hard he was rolling back and forth across the bed. “Peter!” Yoako yelled once again. Almost unintelligibly, because he was laughing so hard, Peter responded, “None of those are spelled like your name either! Ha, ha, ha!” Yoako’s anger suddenly shifted as she fought back the voluminous tears that began to well up. “I’m serious Peter. My parents only cared about themselves. It was always ‘world peace this’ and ‘save the whales that.’ I mean, I’m all for that stuff, but when you get sent home in the third grade for poor hygiene ’cause your whole family has to share the same armpit crystal
instead of using deodorant and you reek so bad that the class gerbil dies … you know there is something wrong!” Peter’s mouth dropped open. Trying to muster a response, he replies “I’m sorry, Babe. I didn’t know they bothered you this much.” Futilely rubbing snot on the single Kleenex that had lost its effectiveness an hour ago, Yoako replied, “It’s not just my name or the stupid fake deodorant rock thing. They were just never there for me. They couldn’t be! They always put their agenda and lifestyle before me. They could never show up to any of my basketball games, I was constantly getting written up because they missed my parent-teacher conferences, and they couldn’t even come to my graduation. And the day I told them I wanted to be in the fbi? … They called me a narc!” “A narc? Why’d they call you that?” Peter asked. “You know how people like that are … all natural, free love … ‘don’t let the man get you down.’ From that day on, it was like they were always trying to hide things from me. Like I was going to ‘bust them’ for possession or whatever!” Yoako threw her arms in the air with exasperation. “Possession? Did your parents … ?” Yoako cut him off. “Not possession! ahh! I’m so frazzled I can’t even think of the right word! Today, I’m graduating from the Academy. We just got engaged, and my family doesn’t know. They want me to bring you to a graduation party they’re throwing for me, and I just know the second you meet them you’ll be out the door! Geez! All of these outfits are too revealing!” Once again, Yoako collapsed in a graveyard of unwanted clothing. Realizing the severity of the situation and genuinely caring about her plight, Peter lay down next to her and held up a tube sock. “I could sew this onto one of your blouses and make it into a turtleneck,” he said helpfully. Yoako blankly stared at him. Immediately dropping the sock, Peter replied, “Yoako, I know I don’t understand
what it was like growing up with them or how smelly you were in third grade, but I know that they did something right to raise the beautiful, talented, fbi agent, woman of my dreams.” Yoako cracked a small smile as if to say, “Go on.” Peter continued, “And even if I meet them, and they’re the craziest hippies ever and try to smear their armpit crystal all over me, I will still love you with all of my heart.” Yoako grabbed Peter and kissed him firmly on the lips. “I love you, Petey.” Caught off guard by the name, Peter got defensive for a moment but caught himself as he realized Yoako had called him that on purpose. “We are going to your graduation; I’m going to make a fool of myself as I cheer wildly; and then, we’re going to your parents’ home. You need to tell them how you feel and let go of all this bitterness, Babe. It’s the only way you can be free of it.”
doing the truffle shuffle and yelled Yoako’s name as she walked across the stage. After the ceremony, Yoako drove Peter to a trailer park at the edge of town. Nervously, Yoako raised her hand to knock on the door. But then she paused, swallowed and mentally braced herself for what was to come. As her parents opened the door, Peter’s face was almost seared off with shock.
“I thought you said they were hippies!”
He turned to Yoako. Peter exclaimed.
Yoako shrugged her shoulders and sheepishly responded, “Hippies … nudists … they’re both pretty similar.”
“I know. It’s just hard.” Yoako admits. “I agree,” Peter replied. “But God gave you your specific family for a reason, and He calls everyone to love their family extravagantly, like Christ loves us.” Yoako nodded her head and stood up. “You’re right, Petey! I’ve been angry for a long time, and I know it can’t all be fixed in one day. Trust takes time, but I’m going to make the effort starting today.” “That’s my girl! Now hurry up … you need to be there in half an hour!” said Peter lovingly as he exited the room. The graduation ceremony was as stale as a two-day-old doughnut, with the exception of a minor disruption when Peter blew an air horn while
Spring Spring 2010 2010 29 29
by ARNITA TAYLOR
When I ponder the concept of “permission granted,” there are so many facets to consider. Understanding this concept involves understanding and believing that you’ve been authorized by God to carry out something for God! The key word is “believing.” To believe means to “accept as true, genuine, real.” It’s imperative for you to believe that God’s granted you permission, because until you do, you probably won’t begin to pursue your potential. You have to deal with the hindrances that hold you back from moving forward—the mental obstacles that bind you and prohibit you from fulfilling God’s destiny for your life. One of the shackles that constrains us is our tendency to make excuses. We have to make a conscious decision to stop making excuses. There isn’t an excuse in the world good enough for you to stop pursuing your God-given potential. Excuses are all too easy to give, so be intentional about ending that cycle. Constantly seek God for direction and clarity. Another hindrance that often stops us from moving forward is selling ourselves short. Our perspective is limited; we are finite beings, but we serve an infinite God. It’s easy to stop pursuing your true potential when you think your situation can’t change, but your current or past situation doesn’t dictate your future. Your experiences uniquely prepare you to minister and serve. God has a specific plan for you that only you can fulfill, and He has fully equipped you with the gifts, talents, strengths, interests, experiences, personality and abilities to do it. He desires for you to not only believe the truth, but to also live out the
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truth. Make sure you factor God into all of your decision-making. Another obstacle you may face is low self-esteem. But this is only a mindset, and you have the power to end this. The only way to overcome this obstacle is to dig into the absolute truth of the Word of God. Focus on God’s promises and principles. You are His prized creation. You are so valuable; He sent His Son to die for you! Possibly the biggest obstacle to walking forward in permission and authority is fear, specifically the fear of failure. But failure isn’t our enemy, and it’s not evil. Failure makes us teachable; it opens our eyes to the need for direction, clarity and guidance. It makes us seek wisdom and God’s ways. Behind every success, there is failure. Always remember that in the eyes of the world Jesus was considered a failure. Perhaps you’re fearful of change or being uncomfortable. Don’t forget that because God is unchangeable, your walk with Him will cause you to change.
Here are three important truths for you to believe in order to move beyond any hindrances:
1 God is for you.
2 God will not forsake you.
3 God will honor your sincere desire to pursue His will for you.
Be intentional about moving beyond hindrances in your life by:
2 Taking small steps towards wherever God is calling you.
3 Being courageous to take some risks and just try.
The “status quo” isn’t your friend, and I strongly encourage you to continually change and move towards the likeness of Christ. There’s a female singing group named En Vogue who had many hits several years ago. In one of their songs, they sang the line “Free your mind and the rest will follow.” Wow, how true! Your behavior will reflect what your mind believes. In my own personal walk, this has proven true many times. It’s so freeing to stop focusing on “doing better” and to simply live out God’s truths. Paul had this in mind when he told the believers in Rome: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2, nkjv). Renewing your mind means choosing to align your thoughts with God’s Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to dictate what’s planted in your mind and what must be rejected. Discipline your mind to dwell on your identity and calling, and intentionally agree with God. The work of God in your life is a process. Let it unfold!
Come on, let’s go… permission has been granted!
Walk through the seasons of life with a friend!
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call: 817.552.3705 email: email@example.com visit: pink.gatewaypeople.com Spring 2010 31
by CHERI COCHRAN
hat does “enough” look like? That depends on who you talk to. When I tell my kids to clean their rooms before they’re allowed to go play, it’s not long before they’re asking, “Mom, is this clean enough?” They think it is, and they’re hoping I’ll agree. (I usually don’t.) My children know that my definition of a clean room is different than theirs. So they anxiously await my inspection and response, wondering if they’ve cleaned “enough” to be free and go play.
“Enough” is subjective. You can’t really measure “enough,” can you? But many of us are tormented by this word as we constantly try to measure ourselves with it. Am I thin enough? Loving enough? Friendly enough? Have I given enough? When we constantly try to measure ourselves by a standard that is immeasurable, we create in ourselves a cycle of torment and insecurity. And the Enemy loves it. The word “enough” is crippling. It keeps us from proactively pursuing the ideas and calling that God has placed in our hearts for fear that we’re not enough yet. Have you ever had an idea to step out and do something new for God only to be plagued by doubts about your qualifications or preparedness? Am I spiritual enough to lead people? Have I prepared enough for God to use me? I’m not “deep” enough to teach anyone. I haven’t been saved long enough to …. How many of us have hesitated to step out into the good things God has called us to do, waiting instead to become enough? And so we wait … and wait … and wait. Because “enough” always changes. When we lose weight, it is rarely enough weight. We study the Word of God, but not enough to feel confident. The Enemy always brings to our attention the ways in which we are not yet enough. He shows you around the cleaned up room of your heart and tells you there’s still dust on the baseboards or a sock hidden under the bed, nit-picking all along the way. We see that it’s true—that there’s still work to be done—and just like that … we realize that we’re still not enough. Here’s the good news: You and I will never become enough. You and I will never become enough because we’re already enough. God looks at you and me, clothed in the righteousness of Jesus, and declares: “You’re already more than enough.” When we embrace the fact that we in our humanness will never be graded enough before God, and we accept Jesus’ righteousness and wear it as our own, God inspects us and finds us, like Jesus, to be more than enough. This is grace—that we, who can never be enough, become more than enough through Christ and Christ alone.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (ncv) says, “My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.” This isn’t referring to the moments when we feel inadequate or recognize that we’re lacking in some way (although those moments are covered by grace too). Let’s get real—can you imagine any circumstance in which we’d measure up next to Jesus? By God’s standards, our rooms will never be clean because His standard is absolute and constant perfection. Measured against the strength of God, we are always weak. We are always in need of His grace to be enough for us. Jesus said, “Without Me, you can do nothing” ( John 15:5, nkjv) And by “nothing,” He means nothing! His grace is enough for every assignment, every calling, every moment—from our lowest lows to our highest heights. We desperately need His grace, and He provided it for us. For free. Only by grace and grace alone are we qualified to pursue the dreams God has given us. It’s not our spirituality, depth, prayer life or preparation. It is by His grace that we are enough for the task. There are no more qualifications to wait for … nothing to stop you from pursuing His dream for your life. God says you’re more than enough to do what He’s called you to do, so do it.
You may go out and play now.
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Recommended Reading by ERIC HARRISON
Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn Life is unbelievably cruel for many women in the developing world. And while we’re aware of their plight, for most Americans, the problems seem too large and intractable to do much about. Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn want to change your mind. In their pivotal new book, Half the Sky, the Pulitzer Prize-winning husband-andwife reporting team put a face—actually many faces—on the abstract litany of cruelties that beset women worldwide. These tales of brutality, subjugation and sexual slavery could easily overwhelm a reader and leave one dispirited. But they don’t. As Kristof and WuDunn write in their introduction, the story they tell is “not a drama of victimization but of empowerment.” Sunitra Krishman is one example. As a middleclass child in India, she felt moved to help poor children by daily teaching them what she had learned in school. This impulse stayed with her into adulthood. A tiny woman with a club foot, she studied social work in college and as a young adult sought to teach literacy to poor people in Indian villages. Until one day, a group of men who opposed her efforts raped her. Sunitra realized it would be futile to go to the police. In many parts of the Third World, women who report rape are ignored, blamed for allowing the rape to happen or even victimized again by the police. And in some cases, it’s a virtual death sentence— women who’ve been raped are expected to commit suicide. “Nobody questioned why these guys did it,” Sunitra says. “They questioned why I was there, why my parents gave me freedom.
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And I realized that while what happened to me was a one-time thing, for many people it is a daily thing.” Sunitra switched her focus from literacy to sex trafficking and started a school in a former brothel to teach the children of women who had been forced into prostitution. Then she established shelters for children and for women who had been rescued from sexual slavery. She suffered beatings for her efforts, and one man working with her was stabbed to death by retaliating brothel owners. But Sunitra persevered. Working with aid groups and eventually the government, she taught former prostitutes to make crafts, bind books and even work in welding and carpentry fields. Her group has trained 1,500 women and helped them start new careers. Eighty-five percent of the women she has helped have been able to break free of prostitution and not return to that life. Some of the book’s vignettes are truly heartbreaking. I can easily imagine a compelling movie made from the story of a Cambodian woman who was freed from sexual bondage but who was forced to leave her children behind at the brothel where she had been enslaved. Because she’d been kept separate from them, the children didn’t know her. Time and again, she would leave the safety of her new home and marriage to return to the brothel to call out for her children, only to suffer beatings and threats by the brothel’s thugs. Kristof and WuDunn tell this story without melodrama or embellishment. It doesn’t need it. The book, in fact, is packed with stories that are no less powerful, simply told tales that become etched in our minds not because of fancy writing or narrative tricks but because what happens in the stories—both the tragedy and the inspiration—simply is unforgettable. ERIC HARRISON Eric’s career as a journalist has taken him all over the world covering stories for the LA Times, Houston Chronicle and a number of other national newspaper publications. He currently lives and writes from his home in Houston, Texas.
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ission Perm ted n Gr a up Study
PERMISSION GRANTED Small Group Study Guide
Download your copy of Permission Granted, a small group study guide, for use in group settings or personal devotions. You can download the Study Guide and view the videos online at pinkimpact.com. For more information, visit pinkimpact.com.
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Published on Mar 27, 2012
Studio G is a bi-annual, nonprofit magazine published by Gateway Church as a ministry of Pink, Gateway Women. The purpose of Studio G magazi...