Not-So-Buried Treasure What images come to mind when you think of treasure? Precious sparkling gemstones? Jewelry and gold coins tucked away in a hidden treasure chest? What would spiritual treasure look like? The Bible tells us it looks like thēsauros. Translated “treasure” in the Bible, it means “the place in which good and precious things are collected.” The place. Not the riches themselves. It’s the location of the collected things that is the actual treasure. And just like the X that marks the spot on many a buried-treasure map, God has given us a map in Scripture to discover the place of our hidden treasure—it’s where our heart is. The thoughts, desires, affections, and purposes of our hearts mark the place where we’re collecting things that we deem precious. And, let’s be honest, sometimes our heart’s desires need to be relocated. Bigger houses, new i-gadgets, and more possessions aren’t meant to occupy the storehouses of our hearts. God created our hearts to store up heavenly things. We don’t need a map to find a hidden treasure chest. We can open our own hearts and follow a few women who had the courage to go to the place where devotion and faith are found: the cross. Even the disciples didn’t follow Jesus to the cross, but a small band of women did, and watched from a distance. Imagine the depth of love Mary Magdalene and the other women must have had for Jesus to endure witnessing his suffering on the cross. While people cried “crucify him!” these women remained faithful. They were rewarded for their devotion three days later with the first knowledge of his resurrection to new life. These women discovered the places of their heavenly treasure. The cross and the empty tomb—where they collected the precious gifts of salvation, hope, and love. And there, in those sacred places, is where we’ll find the treasures of the true desires of our hearts.
A ministry of: FUMC Berkeley Springs 49 South Green St. Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 304.258.2766 | gofirst.org Pastor Andrew Cooney
THE WORD “Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” — Matthew 6:19-21
Think About It This Easter season, what are your heart’s desires? ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________
March 2013 | Page 2
Trash to Treasure By Bonnie Weber “Gather the pieces left over. Let nothing be wasted.” John 6:12 When I first started to quilt, my husband asked me why I take a perfectly good piece of fabric, cut it up into many pieces and then put them back together. This didn’t seem fun or sensible to him. My mother and I shared a love for sewing, but she never tried her hand at quilting. She was also somewhat of a hoarder of fabric, I guess an after-effect of growing up during The Great Depression. When she passed away, I inherited her rather LARGE stash of fabric. When the numerous boxes arrived at my house, I was curious as to why there was so much since she hadn’t been able to sew for many years. I opened the boxes and found a VERY large collection of fabric scraps, creating a dilemma of what to do with them. I starting sorting and soon a theme become apparent: She had saved left over pieces from items she had made her children and grandchildren: baby clothes, doll clothes, crazy hats, broom covers, dress up clothes—you get the picture. Some things she made us were quite humorous, like hats made out of soda cans. I sorted and still had 4 very large boxes. Throwing them out just didn’t seem right since Mom had kept them all of these years. Two years later, I read a story about passing on family love in the form of a quilt. I started stitching these pieces together into strips, not concerned about what the outcome would be. When I was finished, there were enough for 5 large quilts, just enough for my sisters and sister-in-law. It took me another two years and countless hours to finish, but when I sent them at Christmastime four years after she had passed away, the joy was worth every hour spent. The memory those scraps evoked was a gift beyond all measure. They and their children were searching for the pieces special to them, reliving memories of Mom and Grandma. Our mother was with us that year in her stash of scraps. The love she showed to us started as a large piece of fabric, cut up and sewn into special gifts, and then the scraps were sewn back together into wonderful memories to complete the circle of love. When I am wrapped in that quilt, I sense Mom’s arms around me in one big hug. What was once a box of trash became a treasure to share for many generations. My husband now understands there is more to it than just a big piece of fabric with no life in it, cut up and stitched back together. It becomes a gift of love, a memory to be shared.
Reflection What are the torn pieces and leftover scraps you can give to the Lord for His magnificent quilt? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“Let nothing be wasted.”
March 2013 | Page 3
Easter Storytelling Cookies Start a new tradition with this creative way to share the Easter story with family or friends while making yummy treats. Ingredients: 1 cup pecans 1 tsp. white vinegar 3 egg whites
1 pinch salt 1 tsp. vanilla 1 cup white sugar
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the pecans in a resealable plastic bag. Read Matthew 27:11-26. Crush the pecans into small pieces with a mallet or rolling pin. Read Matthew 27:27-31. Pour vinegar into a medium size mixing bowl. Read Matthew 27:32-38. Add the egg whites to the vinegar. Read Matthew 27:39-44. Sprinkle the pinch of salt on the egg whites. Read Matthew 27:45-56. Add vanilla and sugar, and beat with electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form. Read Matthew 27:57-61. Gently stir in pecans, and drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto the parchment paper. Read Matthew 27:62-66. Place the cookies in the oven, and turn the oven off. Go to bed and read John 16:20. Open the oven in the morning, and take the cookies out. Read Matthew 28:1-9. Enjoy a cookie, and savor the sweetness of God’s love!
Sarah’s Quote & Comment by Sarah Fisher
Mother Theresa said "The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved." This quote really gets my attention, because Mother Theresa spent decades working with people who were poorer, in terms of material possessions, than we could ever imagine. Yet even as she devoted her life's work to caring for them, she recognized a deeper poverty.
Have a spiritual question to ask— about a life situation or The Bible?
Sometimes I can be overwhelmed by the poverty in our county, in our country, and especially in our world. I feel powerless to do much more than contribute food for the backpack program, give an offering for mosquito nets, or raise money for clean water. It seems like I can't do much to erase poverty. But when I think of Mother Theresa's words, I realize just how often I have an opportunity to help erase the "most terrible poverty" by caring about the people around me enough to tell them that they are not alone; they are loved so much that God gave his son for them!
Don’t be shy…
So even though my bank account is not big enough to feed all the school kids in Morgan County who are hungry, my faith account is big enough that I should be sharing the truth of God's love with everyone I meet, pointing them to "the incomparable riches" of God's grace (Eph 2:7).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or stick a note on her door.
Just ask Sarah! She’ll answer your question in the next issue and your name will be kept anonymous.
March 2013 | Page 4
Share the Treasure “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched—they must be felt with the heart.” (Helen Keller) Share the beautiful treasures of your heart this month by giving them away! Share peace. Let the frazzled mother go ahead of you in the checkout line. Deliver dinner to a sick friend. Invite someone to take a quiet walk in the park. Lose an argument. Share hope. Pray. Pay for a stranger’s coffee or lunch. Donate to a local food bank. Send an encouraging verse and note. Smile…even when nobody smiles back. Share love. Play together. Hug more often. Laugh. Let someone else be first. Forgive…and forgive some more.
March Book Club
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
This best-selling, critically-acclaimed selection tells the stories behind eight cooking school students and their restaurateur teacher, Lillian, linking cooking to life lessons.
March 25, 2013 6:30 – 8:30 pm
March Book Club Hostess: Gretchen Close 181 Phyllis Place | Berkeley Springs 304-283-7748 | Gclose2@gmail.com
Stitches ‘n’ Hooks News
A Chance to Serve
What Day and What Time? Ladies have expressed an interest in different or more Stitches & Hooks sessions. Bonnie needs feedback on these options: 2nd & 4th Fridays @ 6:00 1 Friday a month 1 Thursday morning 9:00-12:00 (I have to check church calendar for dates) 1 Thursday morning & 2nd Friday Other? Please contact Bonnie at 304-258-5989 or email@example.com with your preferences by March 23. Changes will take effect for April. Crochet Hooks Needed! Please bring extra crochet hooks to share at Stitches & Hooks.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 1 Peter 4:10
Here are just a few opportunities to serve our church family and the broader community.
Go ahead. Try it!
Nursery workers (especially for 11:00am service) Stuffing bags for egg hunt Egg Hunt help (March 23; rain date 3/30) Sewing VBS banners GO Friends leaders and substitutes GO Friends craft prep VBS help (June 24-28) Garden Swap (April 27: 9am-Noon) Women’s Retreat Planning Team
Contact: SFisher@gofirst.org | 304.258.2766
March 2013 | Page 5 Everyday Forgiveness, Forgiveness Every Day By Isabella Yosuico Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 (ESV) Some of us have forgiven major grievances: broken childhoods, shattering abuses, shocking betrayals, grave injustices. We know we must forgive grievous offenses, but what about the everyday annoyances, the human imperfections, the small slights that seem to pepper our days, seventy times seven times? (That’s 490, by the way.) God’s request remains and some days, seems even harder than forgiving the really big stuff. Don’t sweat the small stuff (and yes, it’s mostly small stuff). Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 (ESV) I have some pet peeves. I really hate shoes kicked off near the front door. They stack up like cordwood, and before long, the foyer looks like a shoe store clearance frenzy. Ray knows this, and yet he seems to have an incontrollable urge to have one or more pairs of shoes at every door…and we have four. I hate to admit that Ray’s shoes used to fill me with rage. Didn’t he care about me enough to take care of this one small thing? Sometimes, Ray’s shoes would cast a shadow on my day and even overshadow my affection for him. It wasn’t unusual for shoes to cause actual fights: visualize, please, Isabella, hands on hips, head bobbing. Then, God spoke to my heart. Did it really matter? Was my neat streak more godly than my man’s comfort? Was my petty resentment more just than Ray’s forgetfulness? What would love do? The Everyday Forgiveness Challenge Take nothing personally. This month, when you catch yourself feeling hurt, Love… does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful… angered or otherwise slighted by anyone, pause to 1 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) prayerfully ask God and yourself these questions: The Bible suggests that being overly sensitive or preoccupied with our own needs isn’t love, the most important thing. Maybe God knows Have I ever done this or that to someone else? that more often than not, people are genuinely oblivious that we feel Could it have it nothing to do with me? offended, and as often, their conduct has nothing to with us at all. Ray Is my reaction really about something in me? certainly wasn’t scheming to cause a ranting Italian wife. How would I like to be treated? What would love do? The chronically late friend, the rude store clerk, the demanding boss, the forgetful husband we deal with daily, are normally bungling along just as we are, living their defects, distractions and struggles as we live ours. Our personalizing other folks’ human foibles steals our peace and also defeats our ability to minister to and love others. Treat others… Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31 (NIV) th Ray’s pet peeve is closet doors left slightly ajar. After the 127 time he pointed out my slightly ajar closet door, he stopped mentioning it. I must walk by that closet twenty times a day, and often forget to close it, even though it bugs him. More often than not, the things people do in the course of daily living that offend or hurt my feelings are things I myself do or have done, consciously or unconsciously. I know I hope for a gracious response to my carelessness and imperfections. Seek God and find grace. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV) I’m a long way from living in a perpetual state of forgiveness for myself and others, and am comforted by Christ’s completed work on the cross and the grace he extends to me each day. Like everything else in God’s Word, the invitation to forgive, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is for others’ benefit as well as my own, to free me from the bondage of harboring resentments, big and small. Today, I mostly either ignore the shoes or put them away silently and go about my day. Freedom. Peace. Everyday love in action. Prayer: Father, give me the grace to forget myself and to forgive others promptly, viewing them with the same mercy and compassion with which you see me and that I hope they will, too.
March A Taste of What’s Happening for Women At FUMC Berkeley Springs 49 South Green St.| Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 | 304.258.2766 | gofirst.org
8 6pm Stitches ‘n’ Hooks Social Hall
UPCOMING: Spring Fever Garden Swap!: Saturday, April 27 - 9am to Noon Fall Women’s Retreat: October 25 to 27 3
25 6:30pm Book Club Gretchen Close’s House
5 9:30am Women’s Bible Study Social Hall
12 9:30am Women’s Bible Study Social Hall
19 9:30am Women’s Bible Study Social Hall
26 9:30am Women’s Bible Study Social Hall
Please bring crochet hooks to share.
15 16 3/15 - 6:30 pm Movie Club - Bonnie Weber’s Steel Magnolias A story of the intertwining of women's lives through life's battles and joys shared. Come for fellowship, even if you’ve seen it!
22 6pm Stitches ‘n’ Hooks Social Hall Please bring crochet hooks to share.
See page 4 for details.
Women’s Ministry Leadership Team
Sarah Fisher, Women’s Ministry Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org | 304.258.2766 Denise Bergen Gretchen Close Linda Romano Bonnie Weber Isabella Yosuico Newsletter questions or comments? Contact email@example.com. Design and base content © 2013 Group Publishing, Inc., Loveland, CO, group.com/women. Permission to photocopy granted for local church use only.