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Winter 2009

Gateway Women’s Magazine

Lynda Grove

A Life of Faith

Discovering Friendship at

94

POLITICS

Being Faithful to God's Call

learn from an insider how you can make a difference

studiogmag.com


solutions for the soul

OPERATION ALPHA

OPERATION BRAVO

CONFERENCE A Monday–Wednesday April 12–14

CONFERENCE B Thursday–Saturday April 15–17

Childcare Available

SENIOR SPECIAL AGENTS SPEAKERS

PRISCILLA SHIRER

CHRISTINE CAINE

DR. CAROLINE LEAF

JAN GREENWOOD

WORSHIP LEADERS

KARI JOBE

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MIRIAM WEBSTER

GATEWAY CHURCH SOUTHLAKE CAMPUS | PINKIMPACT.COM


CONTENTS

Winter ’09

IN EVERY ISSUE 6 CONTRIBUTORS 8 FYI Navigating the Information Superhighway 11 SOLUTIONS FOR THE SOUL Dear Debbie 12 SPICE Without Reservations 27 FITNESS Jumpstart Your Metabolism 34 PULSE Recommended Reading

SPOTLIGHT 20 A Beautiful Mosaic

20

Lynda Grove talks about her intimate relationship with God and how He can put the fragmented pieces of your life together. by Stacy Burnett

FEATURES 9 Passionate about Knowing God Being persistent in your pursuit of God. by Rachel Grove

13 Positioned to Love Chance encounter or divine appointment? by Kathy Henigan Jimerson

15 Purposeful about Our Destiny Learning how to surrender from the life of Mary. by Debbie Morris

18 Good Grief Learning to trust when it’s not easy. by Carol Wilks

24 Powerful in Influence Finding your voice. by Kristin Dulin

28 His Identity = Our Identity The true source of our identity. by Katy Byrne

30 Old Friends, New Friends An inspiring and insightful look at finding friendship in your 90s. by Stacy Burnett

32 Poised for the Moment Being faithful to God's call on your life. by Jan Greenwood

Winter 2009 3


check out

studiogmag.com

Gateway Women’s Magazine

Winter 2009 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 KEVIN SCHREIBER 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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SOUTHLAKE CAMPUS 2121 E Southlake Blvd Southlake, Texas 76092

NRH CAMPUS 7501 Davis Blvd North Richland Hills, Texas 76182


a note from the editor

Hello My Beautiful Friends!

Several years ago, I read Love Has A Price Tag by Elizabeth Elliot, and in the book she told of an exercise she had her college students do. The assignment was to, in as few words as possible, define what femininity was, and she said that both her male and female students struggled with this task. It caused me to think and think and think about what I would say. (I would agree; I am slow.) Now, several years later, I have come up with my answer.

Women are fashioned, or made, by God. Only He could have made us so wonderful. (Right now I wish you could somehow hear the drum roll as I unveil my answer.) Femininity is living in all of the splendor of who God created us to be. Only God could create a being capable of such supernatural feats. OK, I could be exaggerating just a touch, but you have to agree that we are amazing. We’re able to console a screaming baby, cook a meal, fold laundry and answer the phone all at the same time. We’re able to work nine hours a day, manage a household, juggle family schedules and find time to exercise. We are incredibly able. Beyond our abilities is beauty. There is a beauty in godly women even when we’re having a bad hair day or feel bloated.

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

In all my thinking, I wondered why there’s been such an assault against our femininity. After all, we are a gift from God and a crown to men (Proverbs 12:4). Without preaching from my soapbox, may I say we make the world a better place. But only if we live in the splendor of God can we be a gift to anyone. This past year we branded Gateway’s women’s ministry with a new name— Pink. But that doesn’t mean we’re asking you to wear pink or paint a wall pink. Pink is a celebration of who we are as women. Pink is about women spurring women on to excellence. Pink is support for when we have lost the glamour of who we are created to be. Pink is not only fun but also life-giving. Pink encompasses every emphasis for women at Gateway Church. You are at the heart of Pink. Explore our Gateway Groups ministry, mentoring ministry, special events, generational-focused activities, professional women’s events (Pink Incorporated), Equip classes and global ministry trips to find more about what Pink has to offer you. In this issue, we’ll explore more about what makes us so incredible. I hope you feel celebrated and challenged to live in the splendor for which you were created.

fashion us into “women of palace style.” In His studio, we discover who we are created to be and we come

Love,

to realize our true worth.

Winter 2009 5


 contributors

 

 Jan Greenwood

 Jan believes it’s the simple things that really matter—faith, family and friends. No matter where she is, her heart to bless and her creative communication style bring life and laughter to every situation. On top of being a wife to Mark and mom to four amazing kids, she’s a fan of Facebook and Twitter, loves to Google just about everything and is totally addicted to her laptop and Blackberry.

Katy Byrne

 Katy Byrne is a bubbly, fun, organized individual who brings joy

Carol Wilks

 Carol is a retired elementary school teacher and has had several articles published in teacher magazines and Boys’ Life. She and her husband, Wayne, have two children and five grandchildren and love to travel the world. On their first cruise, Carol was so seasick that she vowed to never look at another boat. Undaunted, Wayne continued to gently coax her, and now, thirty cruises and many happy memories later, she is thankful he did.

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wherever she goes! She works with Gateway Women part-time and loves serving women and connecting them to areas they’re passionate about. She enjoys shopping, reading magazines and playing with her two dogs, but her favorite thing to do is spend time with Chris, her husband of 7 years, and their hilarious two-year-old-daughter Abby.

Kristin Dulin

 Kristin Dulin is the Director of Finance and Events for Mike Huckabee, and can now tell you where Starbucks is located in most major airports around the country. Kristin is 26 years old and lives in Coppell, where she enjoys discipling young women, singing on the Gateway Worship Team and shopping. You can reach her at kristintaryn@gmail.com.

Rachel Grove

(not pictured)

Rachel Grove loves traveling, music, dancing, cooking and hanging out with the girls. Her passion is to see the lives of young women all over the world changed through God’s love and truth. Some of the things Rachel wants to do in life are skydive, write a book, see the Cowboys win another Super Bowl and raise a houseful of happy kids who contribute something amazing to this world.

Kathy Henigan Jimerson

 Kathy is the author and creator of an abstinence-based program, Children No More, used in classrooms throughout the country. This awardwinning program was featured on Good Morning America and The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Kathy was honored with a Resolution by the Texas Legislature for her work against teenage pregnancy. She always says God has a real sense of humor, because even though she has an incredible East Texas southern drawl, she taught public speaking! When people ask Kathy if she speaks a second language, she answers, “Yes … East Texan!”


pink represents more than a color or a cause ‌

it’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.

pink.gatewaypeople.com

Summer 2009 7


studio fyi

NAVIGATING THE

INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY by ELISA MICHIELI

Ever been at a restaurant with friends and suddenly decided to go to the movies but needed to know showtimes? Google it! Want to know how to make the perfect prime rib dinner? Google it! Ever wonder who the hottest movie star of the Roaring Twenties was? Google it! Finding out information has never been easier. We can even search the web while in restaurants from our cell phones. The World Wide Web is always just a click away. The information superhighway not only delivers information, it provides twenty-four-seven shopping.

There are over eight billion pages listed on Google’s index. With such a huge variety of sites to visit, we decided to let you know about a few that you might not know about—the out-of-the-way sites that offer useful, practical information for everyday life. Hope you enjoy! •

weight loss journal, calorie counter and more! •

FUN FACTS

users, but it only took five years for the Internet.

ARPA to advance computer networking and communication.

the Internet, Sweden has the highest national percentage of net users in the world. • There are currently over a billion Internet users, and

REPAIRPAL.COM This site provides you with

cost estimates for any repairs you may need based on the make and model of your car.

web browser, Mosaic. • With 75% of their population actively using

BIRTHDAYALARM.COM You might already

know about this one, but it’s a great website for keeping track of birthdays. It sends you email updates so you never forget those important dates again!

launched Sputnik, President Eisenhower formed

into the mainstream arena with the first popular

TRUEJEANS.COM An awesome website for

jeans that helps you find the perfect fit, wash, cut, brand and everything else you’re looking for in jeans.

Television took 13 years to hit the mark of 50 million

• In 1993, the information superhighway exploded

E-MEALZ.COM For only $5 a month, this site

helps you plan out meals every day, gives you shopping lists and helps you budget. You can even make modifications.

• It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users.

• How did it get started? In 1957, when the Russians

FITDAY.COM This site offers a free diet and

DICTIONARY.COM This practical website

lets you have a dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia right at your fingertips; I use this all the time!

the number is growing rapidly. ELISA MICHIELI is a Coordinator for Pink at Gateway Church. She is passionate about seeing her generation embrace true Christianity and be mobilized to make a difference where they live and work. Elisa has an incredible capacity for leadership, and her youthful energy is contagious.

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by RACHEL GROVE

So you’ve got a wedding or a hot date this weekend (maybe both!) … what’s the first thing that runs through your mind? You know exactly what I’m talking about. That nagging little exclamation which sets in motion a series of unavoidable trips to the mall and strikes dread in the hearts of men the world over.

“WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?!” Thus the search begins! From lipstick—pink or red—to the ever-important shoes—heels or wedges—we begin fervently and passionately hunting for just the right combination of clothing and accessories that will not only cause jaws to drop but also add that confident little swing to our hips. The search may take one afternoon, but more often than not, it’s a frustrating and seemingly endless hop from one store to the next, lasting until just hours before the event. We persist until just

the right outfit hangs from that pink silk-padded hanger and then swear never to shop again … until the next event, that is. Our approach to this pursuit can only be described in two words: passionate and persistent. No matter how frustrating it gets or how inconvenienced we are by the process, we persevere. Against all logic and fatigue, we persist until the feat is finished. Do we think twice about spending so much time and energy pursuing that outfit? Do we let our everyday responsibilities get in the way? Do we make plans with our girlfriends instead of hitting up just one more store in search of the perfect purse? Of course not! What do we do instead? We get up at six to do the laundry and limit our chitchat with the chicks to one hour instead of three. In other words, we make time because we are passionate about finding that desired look. Because we intend to be stunning, we direct our focus and energy towards that goal.

Winter 2009 9


Do you ever get frustrated when week after week the level of closeness and communication you have with God just doesn’t get where you want it to? Are you constantly kicking yourself or pulling out your perfectly coifed hair trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong? Do you wonder why the passion always seems to fade after the initial pick-me-up of worship and fellowship at church or your Bible study? What if the passion hasn’t faded so much as your pursuit has slowed or grown wearisome?

D o yo u s p e each morn nd time pursuit of Ging in seem to co od and empty-han me away ded?

B E P E R S I ST

ENT!

When you first set out on that hunt for the perfect outfit, it’s all excitement and giggles. The day before the desired event you may have a headache and sore feet, yet you persist. Why? Because you know the outcome is all the more worthwhile. That is a passionate pursuit. Each week you set out towards a new goal, looking for something money cannot buy. You may start by pouring out your heart in prayer and worship and pressing in to the glorious presence of our Lord. At first, it’s all goosebumps and wondrous revelations. But, as time goes by, you hit the snooze button just one more time because you were out late with friends or decided to catch the latest movie instead of spending time in the Word. Maybe it starts out just once a week. Then slowly, as responsibilities and endless tasks take over your world, your focus shifts and you unconsciously begin to put obstacles in your own way. Or perhaps, even though you spend time each morning in pursuit of God, you just seem to come away empty-handed. The solution for both is persistence. Just like you wouldn’t think of 10 Studio G

relying on last year’s dress to wow others and bring confidence to your step, why would you rely on last Sunday’s worship service to get you through Wednesday’s doldrums? No matter how many times you walk out of a store empty-handed, you remain determined to hit every store until you find that perfect outfit. Yet when your relationship with God seems frustratingly unexciting, you often stop pursuing Him. In both scenarios, you may start out at a dead run, passionate about your pursuit, and the end result is an overwhelmingly satisfying experience which only reinvigorates your passion so that it’s stronger and deeper than before. But would that perfect outfit work if you wore the heels and pearls without the dress? No! Your relationship with God is just the same. The accessories are your passion, the bling, the WOW! The dress is the necessary persistence which makes sense of your passion. Without the dress, the ensemble is incomplete. Standing in my knockout ensemble, hips swinging, I look back on the wake of dressing rooms piled high with “that’s all wrong” pieces of clothing and realize that I owe my dazzling attire to that messy trail. Likewise, looking back at each goosebump-raising encounter with my God, I see a journey of persistence which brought me to my passion. For me, being Pink means that my passion often takes the less dazzling form of persistence. It also means persisting until that passion once again transforms into that head-over-heels, butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling of closeness with God.


studio solutions for the soul

Dear Debbie Q

Q

I am in love! I mean really in love! I’ve found the perfect man for me! We’ve been dating for a year and are moving towards marriage. We’ve even been ring shopping, and I think we’ll be engaged before the holidays are over. Our latest conversations have been focused on when we should set a wedding date. We’d love to get married in late spring, but some of our family members have suggested that we should wait a year before getting married. We aren’t sure what advantage that offers us. Would you encourage us to wait? ~ALMOST A MRS.

A

Congratulations! This is such a sweet time in your life. I couldn’t be happier for you. To answer your question, I’m going to first make a few assumptions. One assumption is that you’re both believers and another is that you have your parents’ blessings. If both of those are in place, then my advice is to get married as soon as possible. God put a natural attraction in us for our future spouse, and long engagements can be the breeding ground for temptation. Simplify your wedding plans if necessary, and purpose to enter marriage pure. In twenty years, you’ll have forgotten many details about your wedding, but you can always cherish the commitment you made to each other to stay pure. In the meantime, I encourage you to enjoy this season of waiting, hoping and dreaming.

My husband recently confessed that he has a problem with lust and pornography, and I don’t know if I responded in the right way. My insecurity about our relationship has soared, and I find myself suspicious when I’m not sure where he is or why he’s late. He has assured me of his love, but I can’t shake how I feel.

A

~INSECURE AND SUSPICIOUS

It is totally understandable why you would feel the way you do. However, I want to offer you a new way to look at this. This is a really good thing. Your husband didn’t tell you this to hurt you, but rather to improve your relationship. No man confesses about an area of bondage unless God is working on his heart. I believe your husband told you for several reasons. One reason could be that he realizes he has a problem that’s adversely affecting his relationship with you and God. Another reason is that he knows he needs some help to change years of bad habits. Something you should understand is that this isn’t as much about you as the Enemy would love to make you think. The Enemy is cruel, and he may be telling you that you lack something and are unable to capture all of your husband’s thoughts. With that said, you might want to ask God to show you if there are some things you should change such as weight, or energy in the bedroom. Now here’s the good news: you could be looking at the greatest opportunity to radically improve your intimacy level. This is a time to build transparency, which in essence is intimacy. Your husband might want to seek ministry but needs your support. So, thank him for being so honest with you. In the most loving and kindhearted way, ask what you can do to help. Years ago, Robert gave me permission to ask how he was doing in this area. Just giving me that freedom restored confidence in our relationship. Finally, choose to believe the best about your husband and yourself, and allow God to restore your marriage to a greater level of trust and intimacy than you have ever known.

Winter 2009 11


studio spice

Without Reservatíons by MICAH JOINER

G

od calls us to a life of relationship. Each of us is hardwired to pursue Him wholeheartedly and to love one another without reservation. What better place to start than around the dinner table? It was over a meal that I connected with my Gateway family for the first time nearly two years ago.

When I first came to Gateway Church, I desperately needed a radical change in my life. A staunch Christian upbringing had taught me that God was my only answer. Now, if only I could get to Him. I found a seat close to the front, and all the seats around me were quickly occupied. After the service, the Maddox family, who sat next to me that morning, did something unusual. Karen Maddox invited me to her home for Sunday dinner with her family. That day, a relationship began that has continued to impact my life ever since. I eventually relinquished control of my life to God, became a member of Gateway and joined a Gateway Group hosted in the Maddox home. After witnessing Karen’s example of kindness and hospitality, I have since opened my own home to host a group for young single ladies. And I know the best is yet to come! Just look what God did over Sunday dinner—one meal, a heart overflowing with Christ’s love, and no reservations. Before becoming a Texan, I was a bonafide citizen of Creole Country, born and bred in “Looziana.” I’d like nothing more than to share two of my very favorite Cajun-influenced, cool-weather dishes: Crawfish Corn Bisque and Sauce Piquant. MICAH JOINER loves to worship God creatively through singing, acting, writing, painting and cooking. She grew up in central Louisiana and loves to share her spicy, Cajun cuisine with anyone who can take the heat!

CRAWFISH CORN BISQUE ½ cup finely chopped onion

2 14 oz cans cream corn

Tabasco or red pepper flakes

1 quart half & half

½ cup chopped green bell pepper

salt

1 small bulb garlic, finely chopped or minced

pepper

2 14 oz cans whole kernel corn (drained)

Tony’s Cacheres

2 12 oz cans cream of potato soup

½ cup chopped celery

2 packages crawfish tails (can be found in the frozen food section by the seafood)

Sauté onion, celery and bell pepper until onion is transparent. Add 2 packages of crawfish tails and cook until it makes a gravy. Add garlic, half & half, cream of potato soup, cream corn, whole kernel corn, salt, pepper and Tabasco or red pepper flakes. Bring it to a boil, stirring frequently, and then allow to simmer for an hour or so. Add Tony’s Cacheres to taste. Serve with fresh cornbread.

SAUCE PIQUANT 1-2 lbs beef stew meat

1 quart beef broth

Cajun (or mild) sausage, sliced

1 tsp oregano

2 14 oz cans tomato sauce

fresh basil

1-2 14 oz cans of stewed/crushed tomatoes

rice

Braise the beef. Then, simmer in the broth until it loses its redness and starts to become tender. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, sausage, oregano and basil. Simmer until beef and sausage are fully cooked. This is great for a Crockpot, because it gets better the longer it cooks. Serve over rice.


POSITIONED TO

LOVE by KATHY HENIGAN JIMERSON

The windshield wipers swished frantically in the blinding rain as we headed for Austin, Texas. Phil had a conference, and I was going along to enjoy a relaxing weekend. Getting a later start than we planned and being slowed down by the rain had us reaching the outskirts of the city just as the darkness was closing in. Tired and hungry, I began searching for the seafood place where we wanted to eat. I took the side road where I remembered it being, but nothing was recognizable. I circled the mixmaster again trying to trace the location, assuming it possibly was no longer there. Frustrated after circling several times, we decided to head towards the hotel and find a place to eat along the way. Just as we passed through to the other side of the mixmaster, we spotted our restaurant; we hadn’t gone far enough. I turned into the crowded parking lot and heaved a sigh of relief as we finally exited the car. Inside the small restaurant, people lined the chairs and walls waiting. Phil made his way to the restroom while I inched my way through to the one available chair. Looking around, I noticed an older man sitting several chairs down. “You are going to eat dinner with him,” I softly heard. Wondering where that came from, I heard it again: “I want you to eat dinner with him.” By now my heart was racing and palms were sweating as I wondered what I was going to tell Phil. Just as Phil appeared, the manager called the older gentleman to be seated. He walked in front of us, and as the manager took him to his table, the older man was whispering in his ear. After the man was seated, the manager came towards us and bent down and said, “That older gentleman

Winter 2009 13


would like for you to join him for dinner.” Looking puzzled, Phil glanced at me just as I heard the word “Sure!” roll off my tongue. As we walked to the back of the small, crowded room, the older man was smiling. “So glad you joined me,” he gestured to our seats. Since this wasn’t our first time to have this type of experience, I knew God was orchestrating the whole thing.

Tears filled his eyes as he selectively gave us just enough information to connect the dots of what he viewed as wasted years and a failed life. He knew all too well the pitfalls of religion and religious people, but knew very little about having a relationship with a loving, unchanging God. Carefully, we shared about personal experiences that were equally painful in our lives yet God had brought us through to a time of forgiveness and healing. He listened, hungry for truth and hope.

We made the usual small talk, asked the typical questions, smiled appropriately and paid attention when he spoke. He was older, probably near 80 years old, and wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. The conversation was easy and almost seemed to steer itself; he was soft-spoken, kind and enjoyable to be around. Phil and I openly prayed over our meal and invited him to join us. Being an accountant, he talked about how things had changed with computers and his problems with creating a website. That’s when I had my opening—my ice breaker: “You know, these young kids today all know so much about computers; I bet there’s someone in your church who can get this thing up and running for you. That’s where I’d start.”

We sat, drinking our coffee and talking for hours. He shared; we listened. And when it was right, we interjected. Looking around, I realized where we were sitting was perfect. We were out of the mainstream traffic flow of the room and cornered off in a way that allowed freedom to talk privately. No other table in the room offered that. Even the music that was playing loudly when we arrived had been lowered to create a calm, quieter atmosphere. Just as the conversation was winding down, I asked him if I could pray for him. He nodded and grasped my hand. Phil reached for his other hand, and together we extended God’s love. Then I made a suggestion.

Tenderly, he replied. “I don’t go to church. I’m an agnostic or at least I think that’s what I am. I’m not sure God exists.” The door was now fully opened. The hurt in his eyes intensified as he unveiled a life of hurt, broken dreams and hopelessness. He told of being a church member, becoming the head of a church board of directors and working hard to live a good life but being met with tragedy at every turn. Death of children, divorce and loss of hope sent him far from God into a world of doubt and unbelief. Life failed him; the church failed him; and he failed himself. Mistakenly, he thought God had also failed him.

“Get a new Bible, one that’s easy to read like The Message, and read the Book of John. Take your time; ask the Lord to open your eyes and your heart to hear His voice. You’ve heard all the voices of this life trying to derail you; let God show you who He really is in your life.” He nodded. “I’ll do that.” The manager brought the ticket and Phil took it. “It’s a privilege to pay for your meal,” he said. We rose to leave, and the manager of the restaurant tapped me on the shoulder. As I turned around, he said, “That was an honor to watch.” Surprised, I looked around and realized others were also looking. Even though we were discreet, many seemed to know and sense what was happening. “That was a divine appointment,” I whispered to the manager. “I agree,” he smiled. “You come back anytime!” The manager followed the older gentleman to the door, patted him on the shoulder and invited him back. We walked him out to his car, gave him one of Phil’s cards with our phone numbers and took one of his. We committed to pray for him daily and asked him to call or email. He laughed; after all, it was his problem with computers that opened the door to a very intimate conversation.

I can never escape from Your Spirit. I can never get away from Your presence. Psalm 139:7

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As we reflected over the night’s events, including how many times we had circled the mixmaster, we knew with certainty it was a divine appointment; perfectly timed. God lined up all of the events from the time we reached Austin and started searching for the restaurant to the time we were waiting for our table. He positioned us to share His extravagant love. We got to share our own faith journey with someone who had struggled with his. We were all at the right place at the right time to be reminded that God is always pursuing His children. He doesn’t want to lose even one.


purposeful about our

destıny by DEBBIE MORRIS

Ask any shoe salesman. They would agree that we, as women, don’t really know what we want and we don’t always say what we really mean. We say we want those Donald J Pliner three-inch heels, but we want them to feel like Pumas, and we want to pay Payless prices for Nordstrom quality. We say we want to do God’s will but not if it pushes us beyond our comfort zones. An observation from years of working with women is that women generally fall into two different groups when it comes to obeying God: The first group thinks God is “calling us to greatness,” and we try with all of our might to achieve greatness. Those of us in the second group diminish our abilities and nullify God’s power in our lives by unbelief. The example of Mary, the mother of Jesus, offers us tremendous insight into hearing and obeying God. She demonstrated extraordinary faith through her absolute surrender to God’s marvelous plan.

Receive God’s Word

When an angel told Mary about God’s incredible plan for her life, she responded with these words: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). What Mary was saying was, “I belong to the Lord—body, soul and spirit—let it be as you say.” Her statement, as simple as it was, may be the greatest declaration of faith any woman has ever spoken.

Winter 2009 15


Mary chose to receive what God was saying to her. Receiving is taking delivery or ownership of; it is embracing something. When you receive a gift, it becomes yours. For many of us, receiving good things, such as compliments, isn’t as easy as one might think. We tend to deflect compliments. Someone can say, “I like your shirt,” and we respond, “What, this old thing?” Mary did not deflect; rather, she accepted God’s plan and surrendered to His will. To receive requires faith. We have to believe in the giver to receive. If a man in shabby clothes and worn-out shoes offered to give you a million dollars, you would probably doubt the giver’s ability and possibly offend the giver. God is giving out great gifts to women, but we’re looking at Him as though He were a homeless man wandering the streets of Dallas. I admit I am the greatest offender. When God spoke to Robert and said: “Go start a church,” I was all in. I don’t have any doubt God wants to use other people, especially my husband. But when it comes to believing God wants to use me, I wrestle with that whole concept. I didn’t wake up one day thinking, “I want to lead a women’s ministry.” Instead, I was drafted. Robert was serving as a pastor at Shady Grove Church in Grand Prairie, Texas, when a decision was made that all the pastors’ wives would lead a small group. To my surprise, my group grew and kept multiplying, and before long, I was on staff as a pastor over small groups. Years later, when Gateway launched our small groups, Robert came home and said, “I volunteered you to start our women’s small group ministry because you have experience.” I not only felt drafted; I was drafted! Maybe you feel drafted to a marketplace ministry because you have to work for financial reasons. Or perhaps you feel drafted to motherhood because of the unexpected results of a pregnancy test. Whatever the case, by leaning into God’s plan, you will find your greatest joy. When you receive God’s word, there is favor. Elizabeth said to Mary, “You are blessed, because you believed that the Lord would do what He said” (Luke 1:45). Many times along the way, I have had to say, “Lord, I am Yours—body, soul and spirit—let it be as You say.” For you, this may actually be a daily surrender.

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Protect God’s Word

When Mary received the word from the angel, she went to the hill country with haste. Going to the hill country, and more specifically to Elizabeth’s home, was a strategic move. Elizabeth’s home provided a refuge from the windstorm of words that would have most assuredly pelted Mary. We all know you can’t hide a pregnancy. At some point, the town of Nazareth would have been buzzing with Mary’s news. Mary’s visit provided more than just a refuge in that it gave her a mentor and encourager in Elizabeth. Although she didn’t have all the answers, Elizabeth took Mary in. When God begins stirring a new word in our hearts, we must protect it by surrounding ourselves with women of faith. We must also steward it. A mentor provides a wise resource and counsel to steward God’s precious gift to us. It’s so interesting that Mary sought out a woman who had also received a word from God. Elizabeth was a perfect mentor for Mary. Not only did she have godly character, but there was a spark in her walk because she was living her own impossible dream story. Everything had changed in her life as a result of God’s word to her and her husband, Zacharias. After years of barrenness, she too was miraculously pregnant. And because God’s word always gives fresh meaning to life, Elizabeth became a life-giving woman. Pink (Gateway Women) needs more Elizabeths—women who fill up and give out in ways that nourish themselves and give life to others. They know God, believe Him and live a faith-filled life. We need women who have experienced God’s divine touch to support and encourage other women that may be just a few steps behind in their walk. It’s a biblical mandate for older women to teach younger women.

Believe God’s Word

Mary also expected the impossible to be possible. Mary was not without a wavering moment. She asked, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” What Mary saw as a limitation was really a qualification. The angel encouraged her by reminding her who the giver was. He said, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). A cartoon I saw recently depicts a fourth-grade boy standing toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose with his teacher. Behind them looms a blackboard covered with unfinished math problems. With rare perception, the boy says, “I’m not an underachiever;


you’re an over-expecter.” We won’t be underachievers if we believe “with God, nothing is impossible.” God isn’t an overexpecter, because He knows the power we really have. If we’re going to believe for the impossible, we have to stop assuming God can’t or won’t. Joshua didn’t assume the sun couldn’t stand still. Elisha didn’t assume that an iron ax head couldn’t f loat. Peter didn’t assume he couldn’t walk on water. Jesus didn’t assume that dead people couldn’t be raised to life again. Faith believes the impossible will happen even before it happens. God calls us to believe that the impossible will take place even though we don’t see any current evidence. “I can’t” are the two most destructive words in Christianity. It unveils the heart and mind that lacks the faith to believe, “with God, nothing is impossible.” An invalid once said she would never escape from her prison of pain and weakness. “Oh, well,” she replied quickly, “there’s a lot of living to be found within your limitations if you don’t wear yourself out fighting them.” The doctor replied, “Young lady, I wish I could have you preach to about a hundred of my patients a year.” It reminds me of something Helen Keller also said along those same lines: “Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them, but do not let them master you.”

More info? call: 817.552.3655 email: pinkinc@gatewaypeople.com visit: pinkinc.gatewaypeople.com

God is a God of the impossible. He uses our natural abilities for His supernatural glory. He parted the Red Sea, but He had a man hold up his arm. He allowed Peter to walk on water, but Peter had to first step out of the boat and walk. He favored Mary with the conception of His beloved son, but Mary had to believe.

Devote Yourself to God’s Word

Don’t Miss Our Next

Mary devoted herself—heart and soul—to God’s vision. To be all that God has called us to be, we too have to become invested with our heart and soul. The only way to be devoted to the vision God has placed in our hearts is to love the source of the vision. Our ultimate goal is not the vision but rather the relationship with the Vision Giver. Out of love, Mary could say, “I belong to the Lord—body, soul and spirit—let it be unto me as You say.” When we say, “I am Pink,” we are saying, “I belong to the Lord—body, soul and spirit—let it be unto me as You say.” Pink is a company of women devoted to pursuing a relationship with God and passionate about surrendering to His plan. We want to be women full of faith who make a difference.

Thursday, January 21 | 7:00 pm | Auditorium Gateway Church Southlake Campus Pink Nights take place throughout the year, and you never know exactly what we’re planning for you! It’s always our desire to create opportunities for you to experience God’s love and power through worship and inspirational speakers, not to mention lots and lots of fun! More info? call: 817.552.3756 email: pink@gatewaypeople.com visit: pink.gatewaypeople.com

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solutions for the soul

by CAROL WILKS

“Father, transplant me so that I become ‘like a tree planted by the waters.’ Open my eyes to ‘see when good comes.’ Jumpstart the healing process in my bruised heart.” 18 Studio G


solutions for the soul

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y husband, Wayne, and I were getting ready for my Gateway Group leader’s dress-up Christmas party. We had both been looking forward to it for some time. As we were leaving, he turned to me and said, “You are still the most beautiful woman.” It reminded me of when we first met on the dance floor at a college get-acquainted party I went to during my junior year. After telling the fellow with him, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry,” he smoothly cut in on a dance with me. Little did I know at that moment how his sweet words to me that evening would be a gift that kept on giving long after this night had passed. Driving to the party, Wayne took an unfamiliar shortcut, and we merrily laughed at how many turns it took to find our way back on course. On arriving, we were enveloped into the gracious welcoming warmth of Christian fellowship. The lively icebreaker and the aromas wafting from the kitchen heightened our anticipation. But first we gathered to sing some familiar Christmas carols. My awareness soon drifted, as it always did, into the sound of Wayne’s rich baritone voice … beautifully pitchperfect … despite his total deafness in one ear. After the last of the evening’s pleasantries, we stepped out into the cold drizzling rain and headed home. Lighthearted and aglow with mutual compliments, we basked in the joy of the evening. I even urged him, as I often did, to take a quick turn through my favorite community close by our home. Usually he’d decline, but tonight Wayne willingly maneuvered the detour. We always admired the charm of the community, quaintly nestled around a stream in a grove of trees. Our journey home was a fitting end to a perfect evening. It did not disappoint … but it would be our last together.

The following morning, Wayne was felled by a catastrophic stroke. Never regaining consciousness, he breathed his last sweet breath five days later—two weeks before his 75th birthday … nine days before Christmas … four days before our 52nd anniversary. A year has passed. My children, family and friends could not have been more supportive as I’ve trudged through drastic changes and tried to learn how to operate in my new role as the sole provider and financial decision-maker for my home and life. In these most difficult times, God has provided for my every need. I know He has always been with me, refining my character, and frankly, making me grow up. Yet, there were times when I felt like I was on an emotional tilta-whirl, drowning in a half-century sea of memories. Good and bad memories alike produced a sharp surge of pain that made my heart feel like it was being tortured by waterboarding hundreds of times a day. Our familiar route to church. A loving couple cuddled in the pew. A restaurant we frequented. A cruise ship in a TV ad.

His favorite cologne. And of course, the “what-ifs” and “if-onlys” were relentless. Most challenging were the unavoidable hours spent alone at home … empty bed … empty chair … inanimate pictures smiling back in deathly silence as the evening shadows closed in around me. I had never been so totally on my own. I braced myself as a dreaded string of significant dates rolled around, threatening my fragile peace. But it was the call on Wayne’s birthday from his sister in Tennessee that was both my biggest embarrassment and a much-needed wakeup call. It was her birthday too. Shouldn’t I have been thinking of her? We had always acknowledged both of their birthdays … until now. And I had forgotten about her. She, however, was too gracious of a person to be offended by my lapse. Before that day ended, I received calls from Wayne’s brother as well as his other sister. Greatly humbled, I confessed to each one that I had been so selffocused that it had hindered me from being sensitive to the grief other members of the family might also be feeling. While mired in this introspection, I came across Jeremiah 17:5–8: Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” The beginning of that passage described me perfectly. I was inhabiting “the parched places in the wilderness,” dehydrating in a one-dimensional “salt land which is not inhabited.” My tears and sorrow had blurred my vision to the point I could no longer see all the good that surrounded me. As I reflected, the Holy Spirit—my comforter, teacher and best friend—revealed where I really was in contrast to where I should be. I began to see the powerful difference between those who trust in themselves and those whose trust is in God. It all depended on where I placed my trust. Did I want to “be like a shrub in the desert” who could “not see when good comes”? Or did I want to be a woman “who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord”? I realized the singular truth that would set me free was to trust wholly in the Lord. I prayed: “Father, transplant me so that I become ‘like a tree planted by the waters.’ Open my eyes to ‘see when good comes.’ Jumpstart the healing process in my bruised heart.” Through this experience, I have learned that

God Really Is Eternally Faithful!

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Mosaic

studio spotlight

A Beautiful

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f you want to start a conversation with Lynda Grove, just bring up her family. She absolutely loves talking about her family.

Born and raised in a very large Italian/American family, she grew up in Dallas with three brothers and one sister and more than 45 close relatives. Her family would get together for every occasion, even if it was simply because an aunt decided to bake a cake.

In fact, Lynda’s whole life has been about hospitality and cooking. Her father loved to cook and her mother loved to bake and throw parties—it was a perfect match! Her father was such a great cook that everybody would come over to eat—family, neighbors and friends—and once you came to dinner at their house, you were family. Every Sunday her dad would make a huge pot of spaghetti with what Lynda describes as “the most incredible sauce.” Then, once or twice during the week, he would use more of the sauce on something else. Her family was always together and most always gathered in the kitchen cooking and eating. I spent some time with Lynda talking about her childhood, her family, her faith and the next big step in her life.

by Stacy Burnett

Growing up, who was the most influential person in your life? I love people, and I get that from my father. He just loves people. If a neighbor needed something built or fixed, he was always over there helping them. He was the type of person who would just give you the shirt off his back. Italians like to cook way too much food and then send it home with everybody. And he was always that way, just a real giver. If you came to our house for dinner, you were family, and that’s how he really felt deep in his heart. Watching him treat people with kindness and warmth really influenced me. How has your family shaped your faith? I grew up in a very traditional Catholic family, and they had such a love for God. I never thought it was possible to not love God. From the time I was a small child, it was ingrained in me to love God. It was just as natural as breathing. Can you tell me about your salvation experience? God began working in me from the earliest age. I was sitting in mass one day during my fifth grade year, and through His Word, God revealed to me that I didn’t have to go to the

priests anymore … that I could go straight to Him.

Then, when I was 17, a close friend who went to a Baptist church invited me to a tent revival. When the pastor closed the service, I was shaking. I knew that I was convicted and that I should pray the sinner’s prayer and receive Christ, but back then you had to come down to the front and join the church. I was scared to death. I couldn’t go down there; I couldn’t join this church because I was a Catholic girl. But I knew I had to make this decision. So I prayed, “Lord God, You know that I can’t go down to the front, so I just pray right now and I receive you here and now.” That’s when I got saved. After high school, what did you do? I didn’t have the grades for college, I didn’t take the SAT, and I applied really late, but I got into Texas A&M. It was totally God. No one in my family had ever gone away to college. I had just gotten saved, and then I moved away to college. That whole first year God really discipled me, and established an intimate relationship with me. I was steeped in religion and traditions, and I felt like God taught me His ways. I also got involved in a Bible study at the student union on campus.

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Immediate Family We have four children: two girls and two boys. Three are college-age and one is in high school. We have the best time with our kids. We just love hanging out with them.

What is something people might be surprised to know about you? I think people would be surprised to know that I cut up a lot more than they think. People usually see my quiet side. And that I love to dance, everything from square dancing to ballroom dancing to salsa!

When do you feel the most beautiful? When I’m all dressed up. I love to dress up; it doesn’t matter if it’s formal or all dressed up for a wedding. It goes all the way to when I was a little girl. I have such neat memories of going shopping with my Mom. We loved shopping together every Saturday at Niemen’s. But we never bought anything. We would try on the most expensive dresses, and then my mother, who was an incredible seamstress, would go home and make them. I’ve always loved dressing up.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a wedding coordinator. I grew up going to fabulous Italian weddings. So everything in my life was about weddings. Around six years old, I began looking at wedding magazines and just dreaming about weddings. Later, I became a caterer and that was a big reason why. I have catered a lot of weddings.

Visit studiogmag.com for a few of Lynda's fabulous Italian recipes.

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It was while you were away at college that your mom passed away. How did your life change at that point? My mom had Lupus and had been sick for a long time. Her kidneys were failing, so she went in for a kidney transplant. She was really believing the Lord would heal her. In fact, the doctors said it was miraculous how close the tissues matched. But a few months after the kidney transplant, she came down with hepatitis. Her body was too weak from the surgery and being sick for all of those years to recover. She passed away when I was 21. She and I were very, very close. I was a brand-new Christian, so my faith was really shaken up. I didn’t understand. I had to go back to school immediately. I grieved longer than normal because I was so busy in school, and the grief just hit in spurts. It took me a long time to realize I was avoiding God. I finally realized that either God is faithful and true or He’s not. I had to make a conscious decision to believe that He was still faithful even though things didn’t turn out the way I thought they were supposed to. At that moment, the spirit of grieving and oppression were broken off of me. From that point on, everything changed. Then during my junior year, I spent time with a small group of friends, and they began hungering for the Holy Spirit. I was very intrigued by that. I just wanted more of God. It was also about that time I met Kevin [one of Gateway’s Elders and an Associate Senior Pastor]. So you met your husband, Kevin, at Texas A&M? The people I was hanging out with were really sold out for God and seeking Him, but when I met Kevin, I saw this maturity and solid faith in him that was incredible. It just

tipped me over to the other side. I said to God, “I want what he has.” That really opened me up to the Holy Spirit. It was during this time that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Tell me about your first date. Our first date was the Aggie Bonfire. It was really funny, because it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and two of my brothers surprised me by coming to visit, and they came with me on our first date. They are big brothers … like Mafia Italian big brothers. They would pull me up to the front to see the bonfire, and I would ease back to be with Kevin, and they would pull me up again. But you got a second date, so that was good. Yes. Without brothers? Without my brothers. This time it was with his brother. We were all at A&M together, and our second date was with his older brother and sister-in-law. Tell me a little bit about Kevin’s background. He has a phenomenal heritage. He comes from a long line of missionaries and pastors. His parents were missionaries in Japan, and he and his three brothers grew up in a tiny three-room house with paper thin walls (literally, Japanese paper walls and doors) separating the rooms. He grew up in a quiet home environment where he had to be very sensitive to others in the house. When I went to dinner at his house for the first time, I had to watch his mother’s lips to know what she was saying because I couldn’t hear her. They all talked very quietly. Then, Kevin decided to come to Dallas to meet my family! We got to my house, and he expected to meet my dad, my


three brothers and my sister … and we walked in and there were at least 40 relatives there. My aunts and cousins were all over him and were talking loudly, saying, “Oh, he’s gorgeous! Where’d you meet him?” And they were all hugging and kissing him. It was a HUGE shock to him. It was just like the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Kevin was in the high tech industry for 22 years, but ultimately followed in his parent’s footsteps by going into ministry. At the same time, you were running a successful catering business. When did God call you to take the big step of faith and go into ministry? Actually, it began building when we started going to Gateway. Pastor Debbie asked me to be a section leader and help with our women’s conference. That birthed in me a heart for women. Then two years ago, God began stirring up the desire to pour into and shepherd women. I was thinking, “Okay, God, I’ll just have a

small group and minister to women.” But God had other plans. I’m passionate about seeing women in an intimate relationship with the Lord because nothing can compare to it. I’m passionate about seeing women discover their calling and live in their destiny. My heart’s desire is to see God move in the lives of women right where they are. Where do you think that passion was birthed? Even though I was the fifth child and grew up in a huge family, I felt so lonely for most of my life. All of my cousins and brothers and sisters were matched age-wise, but there was no one my age. They all hung out together, and I was by myself. So, I spent a lot of time in my room alone and the only thing I really had was my love for God that was instilled in me by my family. It was in those times that I would tell God how lonely I was, and He was always there for me. Even in those tiny moments, He was meeting with me right where I was. That’s where my intimate relationship with Him began. God literally taught me the basics of Christianity—just God and me—as I read my Bible in my room.

What would you like to say to the women of Gateway? We often look at our lives and see fragmented pieces, but I desire for women to really see their lives the way God does. I believe that all the fragmented and broken pieces … every strength, every weakness, every personality trait, everything He has created us to be … are made perfect when we allow Him to put the pieces together. It’s like a beautiful mosaic filled with His light, and it shines so beautifully. He has intricately woven us together in such a way that only we can reveal His glory in that particular way. Even Paul said, “I glory in my weakness because He is revealed through me.” He sees from the beginning to the end … all of our imperfections … and He looks at us and says, “It is very good.”

STACY BURNETT is a Creative Director at Gateway Church. She enjoys photography, writing, blogging, traveling and spending time with her husband, Travis.

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by KRISTIN DULIN

As a lifelong Dallas girl, I never expected to move to tiny Norwalk, Iowa. And if I had planned to relocate there, it definitely would not have been in November at the start of one of the coldest winters in Iowa’s history. And even then, it never would have been for something like politics. But that is exactly where I found myself in November 2007 when I walked into the Des Moines office of Governor Mike Huckabee as the newest member of his presidential campaign. Little did I know how much my life was about to change. I met Governor Huckabee in July 2007, and I immediately knew he had my vote. A few months later, I received a call asking if my sister Kassie and I would move to Iowa to volunteer with his campaign. After praying about it, we


packed up every cold weather item in our closets and drove through the snow to the Des Moines office of Huckabee for President. We started out answering phones and greeting visitors at the office but quickly moved on to writing press releases, working on Governor Huckabee’s schedule and traveling to events around the country. It was the experience of a lifetime, but it wasn’t always glamorous. One stormy day in January, I ran an event at an old airplane hangar in the middle of a muddy field where three large dogs were running wild. At another event, all of the major national affiliate and cable news networks were setting up their cameras, but their massive television lights kept going out because the volunteers were repeatedly plugging in their commercial coffee pot to the wrong outlet. Every day was an adventure. After Governor Huckabee shocked the political world by winning the Iowa caucus, Kassie and I were asked to continue on as staff, coordinating the press and campaign staff’s schedules. We moved to South Carolina, then to Florida, then to Arkansas and, finally, back to Texas. Serving on a presidential campaign forever changed my perspective about political involvement. Growing up in a strong Christian family, I cared deeply about family issues and conservative causes, and I faithfully voted for and supported candidates who espoused biblical values. However, I had no desire to run for office, and I always believed that voting would be the extent of my involvement in politics. After the campaign, I realized that government isn’t just an arena for candidates and legal minds; it’s an area where I can make a difference. My involvement gave me the opportunity to effect change in the country I love so much, in the areas I care about so deeply.

Since I’ve become involved in the political world, I’ve met many people who feel the same way I did—they love America and want to help, but have limited time and aren’t sure how to get involved. While you may not end up staffing a presidential campaign, there are many ways you can get involved and impact the world around you.

PRAY FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Throughout history, God has used good and bad rulers to accomplish His purposes. Whether or not you voted for the currently elected officials, pray that they will use their authority Let every soul wisely and that God will be subject to the surround them with governing authorities. wise counselors who will help them to make good For there is no authority decisions. Pray that their except from God, and the marriages and families will authorities that exist are be strengthened and they appointed by God. will serve faithfully in the office entrusted to them. Romans 13:1

BECOME EDUCATED ON THE ISSUES You don’t have to watch the congressional proceedings on C-SPAN every day to stay informed. There are many great organizations that send short, daily emails to keep you informed about what’s going on in your state and around the country. Groups such as WallBuilders (wallbuilders.com), The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org) and Family Research Council (frc.org) provide updates on upcoming legislation in your state and around the nation and let you know how that legislation affects you and your family. Regardless of your stance on political parties, it’s crucial to make sure your beliefs are consistent with the Word of God, which is full of wisdom relating to all of the hot topics of the day including the economy, immigration, abortion and the definition of marriage.

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CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS If you learn a bill is coming up for a vote that will greatly impact your life and the lives of those around you, the best thing you can do is contact your elected officials. It’s amazing how much a gracious, informed phone call to your congressman or senator can accomplish. I have heard legislators say that only ten calls to their office indicate a hot button issue to them. One key is to call their local office, rather than the

dc office; you’re much more likely to talk to a staff member at the local office. Your call doesn’t need to be long or involved. Simply state your name and city, tell them which bill you’re calling about, and let them know how you hope they would vote (depending on whether you want them to support or oppose the bill). Also, be sure to follow up with a thank-you note or phone call if they vote the way you hoped they would.

WORK YOUR NETWORK After you contact your elected officials about the upcoming legislation, let your friends know how they can get involved too! You can always send an email or make a phone call, but social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter are an easy way to get the word out without flooding your friends’ inboxes. Briefly state the issue and let them know they can make a difference just by contacting their elected officials and encouraging their friends to do the same.

VOTE! It is the responsibility and privilege of every citizen to exercise their right to vote. Many people tell me that they don’t want to vote, because they feel like they’re simply choosing between the lesser of two evils. One great way to do your part to ensure that good candidates are on the ballot for the general election is to vote in primaries, which are coming up in Texas on March 2, 2010. Primaries are the perfect opportunity to vote for a candidate who most closely aligns with a biblical value system. If you live in Texas One vote and haven’t yet registered to really does make a vote or have recently moved, difference: In 1845, one vote you can receive a new voter registration card made Texas a state. This vote at votexas.org. Educate was cast by U.S. Senator Edward yourself on where the Hannigan, who was elected by the candidates who are running stand on issues one vote of Indiana State Senator by looking through the David Kelso, who was elected surveys that are available in your local paper. You by the one vote of citizen can also use votesmart.org, Freeman Clark. a nonpartisan, user-friendly website, to check the actual voting record of elected officials.

TRUST GOD The world of government is fraught with challenges, and there will be times when even the best leaders will disappoint us. The key is for us to place our hope in God, not in government. Daniel, who served as an advisor to several kings, said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” (Daniel 2:20–21). Ultimately, our responsibility is to ask God what part He has for us to play, to obey His leading, and then to trust the outcome to Him. After all, you never know when God might call you to a position of influence.


studio fitness

Jumpstart Your Metabolism

An Introduction to Circuit Strength Training

by EMILY GILSTRAP

When we feel spiritually stale, weak and weary, we often seek out spiritual revival to strengthen our inner man. But what do you do when you feel physically weak, tired and sluggish? Do you grab a cup of coffee, snack on sugary sweets or maybe take a nap? It might be that a quick mini-workout is exactly what you need to rev up your engines and energize yourself. Just as David strengthened and encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6), we, too, must take the initiative to strengthen our physical selves. You may know that strength training offers numerous benefits to your overall health, but did you ever think of it as a way to instantly energize your body and pump up your spirits as well as your muscles? The long-term benefits of strength training include: • Increased tone and firmness of muscles • Increased metabolism (more lean body mass and longer after-burn) • Increased bone density (offsets osteoporosis) • Increased insulin sensitivity (beneficial to diabetics) • Improved posture, balance, flexibility and coordination What’s even more exciting is the measurable effects within moments of starting to exercise. Studies show that even just a few minutes of exercise can have an immediate positive impact on your immune system and mood, and it can also increase blood flow to your muscles and brain. Whenever I read research about how prolonged and unbroken times of sitting can be harmful to your health, it’s always instant motivation for me to get up and do something, even if it’s for just a couple of minutes. Why? It’s simple: doing something is better than doing nothing. You can break up those long periods of time with a little bit of movement—stand up, walk around or try a quick 4-minute circuit workout.

Circuit Training Circuit training is nothing more than a variety of exercises—either strength training, cardio or a mixture of both—done at set time intervals where you move rapidly from one station to the next. The following workout is simply a template for how you might go about doing a circuit workout. You can change the time intervals as well as the exercises depending on your own goals and fitness level.

There are a total of 10 exercises in this sample circuit and each one is done for 30 seconds or 10 slow repetitions. One time through should take around 4–5 minutes—roughly the time length of one praise and worship song, a commercial break during your favorite TV show or the time it takes to consume a high-calorie snack. Choose a light and safe weight that is appropriate for your fitness level. This isn’t intended to be a “banish all belly fat in 4 minutes a day” workout, but rather, more of an impetus to get your metabolism fired up and help you overcome some temporary sluggishness. Just as David encouraged himself in the Lord, be encouraged as you move through your day.

Circuit Strength Training Workout 1. Dumbbell squats 2. Bicep curls 3. Standing side leg lifts 4. Side lateral raises 5. Knee lifts 6. Bent over dumbbell rows 7. Straight leg heel raises 8. Stationary lunges on the right leg 9. Triceps extensions 10. Stationary lunges on the left leg EMILY GILSTRAP, a former AllAmerican gymnast, has a Masters degree in Adult Fitness Management and over 25 years experience in the Health and Fitness industry. She is a Wellness Consultant and is married to Matthew.

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His Identity = Our Identity by KATY BYRNE

What does identity mean to you? Is it your job or position in life? Is it the information on your driver’s license? Does the word identity make you feel insecure and unsure, or does it bring you confidence and security? We each have a choice in deciding our identity. It often changes throughout our lives as age, life experiences and God’s Word all lead us into new areas. Ultimately, though, our true identity should rest in only one place—Christ. What does that look like for the young lady in the trenches of college, buried in research papers and exams? For the single mother who wakes up before the sun rises and spends endless hours working to provide for her children while balancing the duties of raising them? What about the working woman who’s making her way through the business world? Or the stay-athome mother and housewife who has dreams of doing great things for the kingdom of God but spends her days surrounded by laundry and diapers? For the young college student, her identity in Christ may be displayed through her diligence and perseverance as she studies and writes her papers as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:17). For the single mom, her identity in Christ might be exemplified by the strength and grace she receives from Him each day and the peace she has in knowing He is her provider and husband (Philippians 4:6–8, Ephesians 4:7, Psalm 18:32, Isaiah 54:5). For the working woman, her identity in Christ could be

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shown in her integrity and godly character she displays as a light in the darkness (Philippians 2:15, Matthew 5:13–14). For the stay-at-home mom and housewife, her identity in Christ may be revealed through her contentment during this season in her life, her focus on loving her husband and raising her children with the Word of God, and her patience as she waits for the Lord to carry out the plans He has placed in her heart in His timing (Ephesians 5:21–23, Proverbs 22:6, Psalm 37:4, Ecclesiastes 3:11). The dictionary defines identity as “the sameness of essential or generic character; the distinguishing character or personality of an individual; or the condition of being the same with something described.” According to this definition, identity isn’t necessarily a unique trait that separates us as individuals, but rather a way to identify us with something or someone. A woman’s identity often changes throughout her life. Living in a lost world, many of us tend to grasp onto any identity that seems right at the time. As women, we must guard our hearts throughout the many stages of life from what the world wants to tell us is our identity. We must always keep our sights set on the Word of God, not the words of the world. Sadly, the world has a skewed view of identity. Those not in a relationship with Christ see identity as something they choose based on their own preferences. Their identity is primarily influenced by society, changing cultural trends or whatever feels good at the time.


As believers in Christ, this is where we have great influence. People are hungry to know their identity, and every time we do our part to display Christ’s identity, unbelievers come that much closer to finding their true selves in Him. We should be so full of His identity that when people interact with us, they are in essence interacting with Christ. We must continually ask ourselves: What is our identity? Where do our attitudes, habits, beliefs and ideas come from? Are they embedded in the latest trends on television and the current wave of self-help enthusiasm, or are they rooted deep within the promises of God’s infallible Word? Instead of searching for our own identities, we simply need to search out His identity. Our identity in Christ is about so much more than knowing that we are His and that we have been made a new creation. It’s about displaying His identity to others as we walk through life. To be His hands and feet. To respond in situations as He would. To love others with His love … His identity should be our identity, and our identity should be His identity. We each have a unique God-given role—daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, student, co-worker … the list is endless. And while each of these roles define us in certain ways, our true identity in the Lord should always be evident. It’s the main thread that weaves the seasons of our lives together. However, it’s also important to understand that His identity

looks different for each stage of life. As a daughter, He challenges us to be obedient. As a wife, He refines our heart for unity and submission. As a sister, mother and friend, He requires that we display His love in these relationships. The world is watching us, and what we show them can significantly impact their encounter with Christ. It’s so important to constantly seek the Lord and stay at His feet so we know how to display His identity each day in our lives. We were created in His image; so when we aren’t sure what our identity is, we need to just look to Him. What are His character traits and qualities? He is justice. He is mercy. He is patience. He is faithfulness. And He is love. Meditating daily on His Word allows His identity to take over every part of who we are and transform us from the inside out.

As women, we must guard our hearts throughout the many stages of life from what the world wants to tell us is our identity.

Winter 2009 29


solutions for the soul

Where do you like to go out to eat? DOROTHY: We go to McAlister's and ihop. RUTH: I don’t think we have a favorite place.

Old Friends, New Friends by STACY BURNETT

DOROTHY: With our life group, we like to go out to eat as a group to Cotton Patch and sometimes we go to Market Street

There have been a lot of changes over the past 90 years. What is your favorite invention? DOROTHY: Radio and television. RUTH: Air conditioning. We didn’t have air conditioning. I remember going up in the attic at my house. You could go from one end all the way around the house. And the kids used to play up there. My grandma would get so angry because it was so dirty and dusty, and when we’d come down from there, we were a mess. I guess we must have been, but we enjoyed it.

There’s an old Jewish proverb that says “he who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure.” For Ruth Dassie, 95, and Dorothy Maertins, 93, this saying rings true. Never expecting to meet someone their own age, they first met at Cathy Thayer’s Gateway Group a little over a year ago. Now, the two friends, along with Ruth’s daughter, Ceil Shorr, attend church together every Saturday night.

Do you ever use the Internet?

It’s surprising these two ladies ever met. Growing up, they had very different lifestyles. Ruth was born in Chicago and raised by an Aunt and her paternal grandparents in a strict Catholic environment. Dorothy was born in Iowa and raised by Baptist parents. Yet, they both taught school for many years, got married and had families, and became strong women of faith. And after all these years, God brought these two ladies from different places and backgrounds together for a purpose.

RUTH: Visiting my Uncle in Peoria, Illinois, and going to Saks with my Aunt.

Ruth met Dorothy right after she moved to Bedford to live with her daughter. Not having any other friends in the area, meeting Dorothy at this time in her life was a tremendous blessing. And Ceil couldn’t be happier for her mother: “It was great for both of them to meet someone who is close to their own age.” Now they enjoy spending time together playing Rummikub, going out to dinner after church and visiting about what’s going on in their lives. And they are still actively involved in their Gateway Group. Dorothy, a prayer warrior and intercessor, often leads prayer time. “I’m always ready to do anything I can to help our group,” says Dorothy. Some people may think it would be difficult to meet someone your own age when you’re in your 90s, but these two have proven that it’s never too late to meet new people and make new friends. 30 Studio G

RUTH AND DOROTHY: No, we don’t.

Do you have a favorite childhood memory? DOROTHY: I had a riding horse that I really loved, and I rode her to the school where I taught for several years.

Did you play any sports when you were younger? RUTH: I decided to play tennis because I had a boyfriend who liked to play. I enjoyed it and so did he. I was also a swimmer and swam in the Chicago Fair in the 1930s. I did water ballet.

Favorite Bible Verse DOROTHY: I have two: Philippians 4:13 and Psalm 37:5.

After years of following Christ, what is one thing you’ve learned? DOROTHY: You can talk to people about the Lord, but you can’t make them listen. You can’t make choices for other people. We all have our own choices to make.

Would you change anything about the time you’ve spent over the years? DOROTHY: I’d spend more time in the Word. That’s what I would do.


< Ruth 3 children; 4 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild.

Dorothy > 3 children; 6 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren

â&#x20AC;&#x153;he who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure.â&#x20AC;?

Winter 2009 31


Poised for the Moment by JAN GREENWOOD

When I consider the timing of my birth, I am amazed. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not so taken aback by the month or day, but more by the sheer blessing of having been born during this time. Have you ever thought about how amazing it is that you and I are living during this moment in history? I would have never made it in the Dark Ages; the thought of pioneering across the US makes me tired; and I love indoor plumbing, air conditioning and takeout food. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m custom-made for the 21st century! All kidding aside, I am so grateful for the privileges of being a woman and a believer at this very moment in time. After all, we are the women who witnessed the millennium change, the launch of the Internet and the most massive spread of the gospel ever known. Today, we are free to run not only our own homes but also large businesses and even governments. We live in the wealthiest and most influential nation in the world. We have opportunities, responsibilities and choices that our mothers and grandmothers never dreamed of.

And we know Jesus!

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Despite all the privileges and opportunities afforded to us, not every woman around the world is in this privileged position. Many women and children live in desperate and difficult times. Some are trapped in poverty, some in cultural discrimination and some in slavery. Oppression has lots of addresses and lots of forms: abuse, addiction, depression, hopelessness, hunger and injustice ... to name a few. And certainly not just in faraway lands and unseen places. Many of our sisters live in oppressive situations right in our own backyard. And many do not know Jesus. What’s a girl to do? How can I make a difference? Surely with such great privilege comes great responsibility. Maybe it’s a responsibility to share the source of my hope or a responsibility to love, a responsibility to give, maybe even a responsibility to go.

Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!

Luke 12:48 (MSG)

Whenever and wherever women gather—whether 2 or 20 or 2,000—there’s always potential for change. What you can do alone is so much less than what we can do together. We are a company of women. A large troop. A movement! I feel a shift in my spirit, a swelling up of something bigger, larger and more important. There is momentum among us. Together, we are poised for this moment … poised to make a difference. When someone or something is poised, there’s a sense of suspended tension. It’s that split second before a lion pounces, before a trigger is pulled or before an opening curtain is swept back. Everything is prepared, ready, on the brink. This is what I feel. We are standing on the brink of great impact, waiting for a door of opportunity to open.

At Pink Impact 2008, Christine Caine gave a word to the women of Gateway that there is inherent greatness within them. Not greatness as the world would define it, but the kind of greatness that comes to us when we know the Great One! When Jesus puts His mark on our hearts, we receive a deposit of faith and humility that spurns us into action on behalf of those who are vulnerable, weak and in need. You are called to greatness. Not to small things, but to incredibly great things. You know you weren’t created for something ordinary. You know there’s something on the inside of you. God put you on the planet for something extraordinary. There are many things that are going to rise up out of this house that will impact the world, because it’s a great house. God attaches you to that greatness for a purpose. All of us can do a whole lot more connected to a bigger thing than trying to run off and do our own thing. Connect yourself to what God is doing here, and you will find your place.

Christine Caine (Pink Impact 2008)

You’ve already been faithful to walk in this greatness. It happens when you gather at Pink Impact. It happens when you share in a Pink Night. It happens when you gather in Pink Groups. It happens a thousand times a day when one by one you choose to encourage the sister across the table from you, the neighbor down the street or the coworker in the seat next to you. Day in and day out, you are being faithful to do what God has called you to do. Now imagine with me for a moment: what might happen if God were to burn the needs of a person, a cause or a nation into our collective hearts. Are we prepared to take advantage of our favor, position and responsibility and leverage it for the benefit of another? We are poised for this moment. I don’t know what my next assignment will be or what the next assignment will be for the women of Gateway, but it thrills me to think about what will happen when a company of women—Pink women—focus their greatness towards a purpose that brings salvation, hope and healing to our sisters around the world. It’s time to answer God’s call; then stay tuned to watch and see what He does!


studio pulse

Recommended Reading by CHERI COCHRAN

Purpose-Filled Presentations: How Any Christian Can Communicate More Effectively to Anybody, Anytime, Anywhere by Tony Jeary

For many years, Tony Jeary (AKA “Mr. Presentation”) has been a recognized leader in the field of communication. Through his engaging workshops, presentations and books, he has trained countless people and companies worldwide how to present effectively. In his new book, Purpose-Filled Presentations, Tony directs his rich expertise towards an often overlooked field of communications—the church. Whether you lead people as a volunteer in a church or share your testimony in your workplace, you’ll discover this book contains helpful tips to increase your effectiveness as a communicator. Most Christians do not consider themselves “presenters.” Yet whenever you have the opportunity to guide or influence others through a sermon, teaching, lesson or small group, you are, in essence, “presenting” information and ideas for others to consider and apply. Therefore, the author encourages church leaders and volunteers of all kinds to develop better communication skills, and he offers practical advice to help you do so. In the first section of the book, Jeary outlines his “Seven Steps of Effective Presentations,” including clarifying objectives, opening well and keeping your audience engaged. These steps are given in a straightforward format and are certainly helpful. The author also shows the reader how to develop a “3-D Outline.” This type of outline (created by Tony) is helpful for planning your message, lesson or discussions, because it helps you focus not only on what will be shared but also on why and how—helping you make every minute of your presentation count. The second section, which makes up about half the book, is “Applying the Basics.” Here the author dedicates a chapter apiece to each of the following nine ministry scenarios: sharing your testimony, hosting a worship service, leading small groups,

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teaching opportunities (for children, youth and adults), training others, leading meetings, interacting with the media, reaching out to others, and creating great first impressions. In each chapter, he details how the “Seven Steps of Effective Presentations” applies, offers a sample “3-D Outline” and gives some specific communication tips applicable to the scenario. I thought the chapters devoted to teaching opportunities, training others and leading meetings are noteworthy standouts. The third and final section of the book, “Resources,” includes a fairly lengthy list of books, curricula, websites and other tools the reader might find useful. However, while the list does include many great resources, it is not as well-rounded as I had hoped. The layout of the book is very reader-friendly and you don’t have to read every page to find the information you’re looking for. After you’ve read the first section, you can easily pick and choose whatever ministry scenarios that particularly apply to you. If you’re regularly in a position to speak (whether leading, training, sharing or teaching) in a ministry setting or would just like to increase your effectiveness as a communicator, PurposeFilled Presentations is a great place to start. You’re sure to find practical tips that you can immediately apply to begin refining your communication skills. To dive even further into the topic of sharpening your presentation skills, Tony Jeary’s book, Inspire Any Audience, is highly recommended.

CHERI COCHRAN is known for her lively, interactive training style and for conducting workshops on speaker training, business presentation skills and meeting facilitation skills for corporations across the country. She and her husband, Randy Cochran, have two children and have been in full-time ministry for more than 15 years.


I believe in manicures.

I believe in overdressing. I believing in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in

kissing, kissing a lot.

I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and

I Believe in Miracles. Audrey Hepburn

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2121 E Southlake Blvd Southlake, TX 76092

What are you interested in? Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bible study, prayer, freedom, professional women or leadership development, we have a group just for you! Topics, leaders and locations change each semester, so check back often to find a group thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right for you.

PINK More info? call: 817.552.3705 email: pinkgroups@gatewaypeople.com visit: groups.gatewaypeople.com

More info? call: 817.552.3655 email: pink@gatewaypeople.com visit: equip.gatewaypeople.com


Studio G Magazine Winter 2009