“B” All You Can Be! Is growing in faith an inside-out process or an outside-in one? Or both? Think about the flower gardens being planted this spring. How do they grow to be their very best? It’s the outside environment—the sun, soil, and water—that has the greatest influence on flowers becoming their brightest and most beautiful. Can your outside environment affect the growth of your faith too? Yes! In fact, how we live on the outside has a great deal of influence on our inside growth. And one thing is sure, God did not intend for us to grow alone. He desires for us to live in close fellowship with other Christians, like flowers in a garden, because it’s there where we befriend others who believe in Jesus, find a place to belong, share what we believe, and together become all God designed us to be—at our brightest and most beautiful. The outside life we live is where we are part of the garden—and part of God’s planting for the display of his glory. So how do we grow more from the outside in? There are four basic principles, the “4 B’s,” of outside-in living, that will help you to be all you can be:
Befriend. There are different types of flowers planted all around you. Be intentional about being part of God’s garden—make friends, be a friend, share faith and fun with friends.
Belong. Well-designed flower gardens have borders and are planted with flowers that have similar needs for sun, soil, and water. Find, join, or create groups where you feel a sense of belonging and share common interests. Don’t try to bloom on your own; stay in close connection with your friends in faith.
Believe. Food, water, and light are necessary for flowers to grow. Study, worship, share, and pray regularly together with other Christians.
Become. Show off your brightness and beauty! Be your part of God’s garden as you put love on display and become all God created you to be!
A ministry of: FUMC Berkeley Springs 49 South Green St. Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 304.258.2766 | gofirst.org Pastor Andrew Cooney
THE WORD “In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” — Isaiah 61:3
Think About It Who are the people—the “flowers”—in your life that God has planted in the garden around you? ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________
April 2013 | Page 2 Life Lessons From a Quilt
Miss Carrie’s Quilt By Bonnie Weber The widow’s offering: “…but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Mark 13:44
For some of you who don’t know me, I had a beauty salon in my home for about 33 years. One day this sweet little lady with the most beautiful hair and an even more beautiful spirit came into my salon. We started talking about quilting and my desire to learn. She mentioned she had been quilting all of her life and still enjoyed the art, having won many awards for her craft. One day she said she would make me a quilt if I furnished the material. This lady was 89 years old with poor eyesight, shaky hands, really quite frail. I was so touched by her gesture and offered to pay her. She said absolutely not, it would be a gift or not at all. I promptly lined up a bundle from my large stash of fabrics, coordinating the colors, anticipating this beautiful piece of art coming my way. Every time I saw Carrie she would tell of the progress she was making on my quilt. One day many months later she came with a big bag and an even bigger smile. She had finished my quilt! I could hardly wait to see it. I opened the bag and oh no, this wasn’t my quilt. It wasn’t anything like I thought. The fabric wasn’t even mine, (did I say she was a little forgetful), even some of the pieces were coming apart at the seams and it looked old and worn. She stood there with this big radiant smile and pure love showing through. What could I say to not disappoint? How could I not appreciate the time and effort she had put into this gift? Carrie taught me a valuable lesson that day. A gift isn’t always what we expect, but when it is given with such a love as she had, it’s always perfect. Her skills weren’t the best, but her heart was. She has since passed away, but her quilt is still our family’s favorite. It has comforted us when we were sick, wrapped us up for a nap. It was given out of a great love and it still gives us love today. Her gift reminded me of “The widow’s offering.” God taught me to know the richness of a gift, by the heart of the giver. To receive love freely and place no quality standards on it. What of ourselves have we given just because of love? Christ gave us the perfect gift out of pure unselfish love. The best He could give, He gave His life for us. What joy it must be for Him when we open His gift and accept that love. To be COMFORTED in His love.
New Every Morning “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:23 Just like the mercies of God, morning glories bloom anew each day, making it a favorite faith-inspiring flower that is easily grown in gardens or containers. Follow these simple steps this spring, and you will be rewarded with vibrant blooms every morning through the first frost of fall. 1. Lightly file the morning glory seeds, and soak them in water for 24 hours before planting. 2. Sow seeds indoors in pots six weeks before the last frost in cold climates or outdoors in the garden when the temperature is above 60 degrees. 3. Cover seeds with ¼ inch of soil; as seedlings grow, thin to 6 inches apart. 4. Grow morning glories in full sun, and provide a trellis, fence, or other support for climbing vines. 5. Water when dry, and do not over fertilize. 6. Enjoy! Butterflies and hummingbirds will love the big blooms and fragrance of your morning glories, too!
April 2013 | Page 3
God In the Everyday By Linda Romano
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17 One day while sorting winter things to clean and pack away for another year, I found a lone glove whose mate was left behind in an unknown place. As I looked at the perfectly good glove and considered it's worthlessness to me, God snapped my focus to His vision for that glove. My thought immediately went to 'what I can do with that glove when it's made available to be used by Him'? He helped me see that I can comfort someone, offer a helping hand to someone in need, pat a back with encouragement, hold a hand of someone who needs to feel someone is present and cares, dial a phone number to someone who needs to hear a word of kindness or joy, reach out in Christ love to befriend someone. Wow, quite a list of valuable deeds, when a willing hand is put inside that glove. And several lessons for me as well. I was placing value by looking at the outside of the glove, only considering its usefulness to ME! God's vision was SO MUCH MORE and NOT at all about me. It's so easy to 'set about my work vigorously' as the Proverbs 31 woman and 'not eat the bread of idleness'; but am I working to meet my own compulsions and needs, or to let God work through my hand to meet other's needs through Him? I have a whole new perspective about that lone glove and will NOT be discarding it anytime soon. It reminds me of the lessons learned and the amazing delight when I'm open to God showing up in the everyday! As you prepare for the change of season, listen carefully, there may be an unexpected 'lesson' for you in the process. God IS in the everyday!
The Original Morning Glory Muffin These cinnamon-scented muffins, filled with delicious fruit, nuts, carrots, and coconut, are an irresistible morning treat! Created by chef Pam McKinstry in 1978 for her Morning Glory Café on the island of Nantucket, this recipe has been chosen by Gourmet magazine as one of its top 25 from the past 50 years. Yum! Morning Glory Muffins (makes 16 muffins) 1¼ cups sugar 1 large apple (peeled and grated) 2¼ cups flour 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained) 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 2 cups grated carrots 2 teaspoons baking soda ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts ½ teaspoon salt 3 large eggs ½ cup shredded, 1 cup vegetable oil sweetened coconut 1 teaspoon vanilla ¾ cup raisins Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrots, and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, and mix well. Fill greased muffin tins, and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing muffins and placing on rack to complete cooling. These muffins taste even better the day after baking— but you may have trouble waiting that long!
4 Friends and 4 Flowers Try this fun way to apply the 4 B’s of growing in faith with your friends this month: Pick a different flower to represent each of the 4 B’s: Befriend, Belong, Believe, Become, and make a bouquet with one or more of each kind. Use the bouquet to remind you to plan 4 faith-growing activities with 4 friends this month that fit each “B” category. And don’t forget to share the flowers with the friends in your garden!
April 2013 | Page 4
Plant and Garden Swap Bring to share with other garden lovers. Saturday, April 27 | 1-3pm. Blue Building, Fearnow Road
What to bring: Perennial plants or vegetable starter plants, house plants; NO ANNUALS at this time. Any garden items you would like to swap, such as pots, tools, lawn ornaments, bird feeders, hoses, cages, etc. Please have your plants in a container of sorts and/or wrapped in a plastic bag and wet paper towel to keep the roots moist. Label with the plant name, sun or shade and any facts you have. Your name would be helpful for questions. Bring whatever you want, but you MUST take any un-swapped items. You may take whatever you want, there’s no limit, but please be considerate of others. Invite family and friends to come and participate! We could use some help around 12:00 PM that day with set up. If you can help, please let us know. Contacts: Sarah Fisher, Shannon Payne, and Brenda Bailey.
April Book Club
Book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society By:
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
April Book Club Hostess: Isabella Yosuico 1236 pious ridge road | Berkeley Springs 304-676-3843 | email@example.com
April 22, 2013 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Stitches ‘n’ Hooks News Time & Date Change Stitches & Hooks session times have changed. Please check the calendar on page 6 for details. Food Carrier Project Bonnie will be teaching how to make a food carrier, but bring whatever you want to work on—and a friend, too! Please contact Bonnie at 304-258-5989 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
A Chance to Serve So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10 ESV
Here are just a few opportunities to serve our church family and the broader community.
Go ahead. Try it!
Nursery workers (especially for 11am service) Sewing VBS banners GO Friends leaders and substitutes GO Friends craft prep VBS help (June 24-28) Women’s Retreat Planning Team
Contact: SFisher@gofirst.org | 304.258.2766
March 2013 | Page 5 Repenting of Pasta Seeking comfort in the only lasting Source. by Isabella Yosuico March roared in like a lion—and I don’t mean the weather. Mamma was in the hospital with pneumonia for eight days, five in intensive care and one at death’s door. No sooner was she discharged, did my son Isaac land in the emergency room, close to pneumonia himself, and needing several days of round-the- clock nebulizer treatments. And so it went. But Jehovah Jireh (God the Provider) showed up over and over, providing comfort, power and grace to do everything that needed doing. Even so, by the end of that second week, after the boys were safely in bed, I made myself a large amount of pasta and ate it all, sighing into a carbohydrate coma. The next day, I grazed on a steady stream of Easter treats and assorted leftovers. Then, “the still small voice” spoke to me, “come to me,” the endless stream of living water. Never be thirsty (or hungry, or lonely…) again. But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 Lovingly confronting the woman at the well, Jesus spoke to her deepest need, the one she’d tried hard to satisfy with a string of men. Like the Samaritan, I’ve sought relationships, food, alcohol, success, money, shopping, busy-ness, even religiosity to ease my discomfort, slake my thirst, and fulfill my deepest longing. God wants us to have something deeper: true rest in him.
Freedom! If these reflections cause a reaction in you—anger, shame, justification— run, don’t walk, to the cross (Jer 2:25-27 ERV). If he’s brought something to the surface, He’s also prepared to grow you through it. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…” Luke 4:18
Find true rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:29 Even while God had provided all I needed for two weeks, left alone with my feelings in the quiet aftermath of the storm, I’d felt compelled to self-medicate with carbs rather than seek him further for the rest I so needed. After the mighty brief spell of false comfort from a surge of endorphins, all I had to show for it was five more pounds on the scale and remorse added to my emotional hangover. The short-lived source of comfort had become a burden in itself. This trajectory is all too familiar. The bill always comes due. That’s because we’re designed to find our comfort and fulfillment in Christ alone (Rev 21:6, 2 Cor 1:3). From his bottomless wellspring does our own stream of living water flow (John 7:38) to live this life, with all its joys and challenges.
Lose to win. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 I’ve shed the five pounds, but not the tendency to seek comfort from something or someone, other than God. I know that if I can sit with the discomfort long enough, God will show up, revealing himself and myself, thereby freeing us from the slavery to fleeting comforts that cannot satisfy like living water. The gateway to this freedom is the frank confession that I’m hopeless without him and need his power to overcome, trusting that his grace is truly enough. (Please note all the words in red! Jesus himself, the man-God, spoke as flesh and blood (Hebrews 2:18) knowing first-hand what we face.)
Prayer: God, help me rest in you. Forgive me for seeking solace and satisfaction in countless others places. Grant me the wisdom to pause long enough to allow you to satisfy me with streams of living water. You ARE enough!
March 2013 | Page 6
April A Taste of What’s Happening for Women Sun
11 12 9-12pm 6-8:30pm Stitches ‘n’ Hooks Stitches ‘n’ Hooks Social Hall Social Hall Please bring crochet hooks to share.
22 6:30pm Book Club Isabella’s House
Please bring crochet hooks to share.
See page 4 for details.
27 1-3:00pm Plant & Garden Swap Blue Building
UPCOMING: Fall Women’s Retreat:
October 25 to 27
Women’s Ministry Leadership Team
Sarah Fisher, Women’s Ministry Coordinator: email@example.com | 304.258.2766 Denise Bergen Gretchen Close Linda Romano Bonnie Weber Isabella Yosuico Newsletter questions or comments? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Design and base content © 2013 Group Publishing, Inc., Loveland, CO, group.com/women. Permission to photocopy granted for local church use only.