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November 2013

Go Girls!

Tasting God’s Goodness Pie Holiday season is upon us, a time to give thanks and celebrate God’s goodness with family and friends. And eat…maybe too much! Family recipes passed down through the generations help us create all those delicious foods we enjoy at this time of year, but they also tempt us to lose our self-control. And, unfortunately, the guilt we may experience from our over-indulgences won’t taste as sweet as Aunt Mary’s homemade apple pie. But the good news is there are sweet things we can taste any time of year, and even over-indulge in, without guilt or tight-fitting jeans! God has given us a recipe for guilt-free, joy-filled living, but it’s not a recipe for the food we should put in our stomachs—it’s for the thoughts we can put in our minds. Found in Philippians 4, “God’s Goodness Pie” recipe might read like this:

A ministry of: FUMC Berkeley Springs 49 South Green St. Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 304.258.2766 | Pastor Andrew Cooney

THE WORD “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” — Philippians 4:8

Ingredients: Beauty, truth, goodness, purity, honor, praise, virtue Directions:  As you experience your everyday life, gather your ingredients—things that are beautiful, pure, praise-worthy, honorable, good, virtuous, and true.  Allow each one to fill your mind with the beauty and truth of God’s goodness and love.  Taste and see that the Lord is good as you savor the sweet taste of the praise that forms on your lips in gratitude to God for all the beauty, love, and goodness he brings into your life! God knows we struggle with self-control and guilt— with food and in many other areas of our lives. All too often we make the issue the focus instead of God. So this year, instead of focusing on the food we eat (or over-eat) during the holidays, let’s focus on tasting his goodness. Because his greatest desire is that we experience his love, rest in his peace, and be filled with his joy. And there’s no pie recipe sweeter tasting than that!

Prayer for Today Which ingredients have you gathered today to make “God’s Goodness Pie”? Be sure to take a pie break daily to savor the sweetness of his goodness!

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Goodness, It’s Good! Apple Pie This recipe is sure to make your favorites list! Filling: 2 tablespoons flour 1 /4 teaspoon salt 3 /4 cup sugar 1 /4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 egg 1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 cups apples, peeled and chopped 1 9-inch pie crust Topping: 1 /3 cup sugar 1 /3 cup flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons butter

Directions: Combine the first four ingredients for the filling in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients; then stir in the apples. Spoon the apple mixture into the prepared pie crust. Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes more. Remove from oven and increase temperature to 400 degrees again. While the pie is cooking, combine the topping ingredients, using a pastry blender. After removing the pie and increasing the oven temperature, sprinkle the topping over the pie and return to the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Serve warm or chilled. Refrigerate any leftovers.

The Best Prayer

An Attitude of Gratitude by Isabella Yosuico

“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say.” — Alice Walker

In 1000 Gifts—the subject of our recent Women’s Retreat—author Ann Voskamp urges readers to practice gratitude, in part by journaling 1000 gifts, great and small.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” — Melody Beattie “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” — Psalm 136:1

I can testify to the value of this practice and hope my own habit blesses you. For the past four years, I’ve shared a gratitude list, addressed to Jesus, with two girlfriends via daily email. (Sharing it with friends is not about an audience, but for accountability, though it does help us stay connected.) My own list has grown to 15 items per day, generally related to the day before. I always begin with something about my husband and my kids, followed by a variety of things for which I’m grateful, tiny and titanic. On my better days, I also list “bad” things, honoring 1 Thessalonians 5:18 . There have also been times when I’ve been unhappy about something, in which case I’ll devote an entire gratitude list—and sometimes several—to that very thing (admittedly, sometimes reluctantly and with a lousy attitude). This practice transformed my perspective and my reality. Feel free to ask me how sometime. I hope you’ll consider starting a daily gratitude list or embarking on Ann’s journey. It could change your life!

Happy Thanks-Giving!

November 2013 | Page 3 Case Studies in Faithfulness: Joseph By Isabella Yosuico Part 5 – Free at Last Genesis 41-50 As Joseph sits in prison still, Chapter 41 begins with Pharaoh’s dream— a dream none of his court can interpret. Enter the chief cupbearer, who remembers Joseph’s knack and tells Pharaoh about him, a full two years after he’d promised Joseph to put in a good word. Pharaoh sends for Joseph, pulled “out of the pit” (v14). Joseph cleans up and comes before Pharaoh, who tells Joseph he’s heard about his gift. Joseph promptly gives all the glory to God for his gift, and listens to Pharaoh recount his dream. Joseph then interprets Pharaoh’s dream, consistently and confidently crediting “God” for the dream’s meaning and direction: a prediction of seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of drought-caused famine for which, Joseph says God indicates, Pharaoh should prepare. Joseph offers specific instructions to that end. Who is responsible for all that’s good in us and in our lives? Can we take credit for a single thing? A Life & Man Transformed. Joseph must have been mighty persuasive, and the Lord must have softened Pharaoh’s heart, because Pharaoh remarks on Joseph’s wisdom, discernment and the “Spirit within him,” and immediately appoints him right-handman, saying, “Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you,” (v 40). In mere moments, Joseph’s long ordeal has come to an end in spectacular fashion. Not only has Joseph been lifted up high (James 4:10), but he ultimately saves the lives of countless thousands, including his own…and those of God’s people. All this, while bearing witness of his God to the most powerful man in the world and many others. Pharaoh is indeed a devoted fan, and sings Joseph’s praises often, granting him loads of favor. He gives Joseph a wife, who bears him two boys, the first of which he names Manasseh (which means, ‘causing to forget’), “For…God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house,” says Joseph in verse 51, going on to say “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Joseph’s words reveal profound healing and yes, redemption of the worst of his plight. Joseph diligently executes the plan of salvation God gave him, filling the storehouses with the bounty of seven years of plenty in preparation for the want that’s to come, and then dispensing it to those in need. Recall a “suddenly,” when God delivered you from a hard place. Repentance Through Hardship Meanwhile, back at the farm, Joseph’s family is beginning to feel the effects of the drought. Jacob dispatches his sons to Egypt, where there’s word of grain. When they come before Joseph, seeking food, he recognizes them but not vice versa. The Word tells us Joseph speaks “roughly” to them. We can only imagine what he’s thinking and feeling, but his actions suggest heavy, lingering resentment, which maybe has only re-emerged at the sight of them. Joseph puts his brothers through their paces, challenging them, accusing them, framing them for theft and much more, all the while not revealing his identity. The brothers sweat bullets, uncertain of their fate at this leader’s hands. They are at his mercy and it must have been terrifying. As with many of us, it’s this fear and powerlessness that convicts them, causing them to repent, saying to one another that it’s because of what they did to Joseph many years ago that they’re now in such a pickle. Through all this, the brothers don’t suspect it’s Joseph himself who’s persecuting them. Are you being ‘unjustly’ persecuted by someone? Do you share any blame? Reconciliation & Restoration And even while Joseph seems vindictive, he’s suffering and conflicted, too. He hides his anguished tears more than once and blesses his brothers, even as he exacts his emotional revenge. His rage is so plainly comingled with love. So often, anger springs from hurt that springs from deep love. And it is this love that finally overwhelms Joseph’s anger. After stringing them along for quite some time, stressing them out to no end, something clicks. His anger exhausted, he finally reveals himself to them, lovingly. Continued…

Case Studies in Faithfulness: Joseph… Continued

God’s Timing. God’s Ways. In revealing himself, Joseph acknowledges in a wonderful passage (45:4-15) that God had a plan all along and indeed, it was God who’d ordered all the events of Joseph’s life, foreshadowing the familiar culminating verse in Chapter 50, when Joseph says, 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Joseph—from spoiled rancher’s son, to dutiful slave, to humble prisoner, to capable viceroy of Egypt, strong, submitted and grateful to God—Only God can pull that off. Having said that…. It’s been about 22 years from when Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery to when they bow before him, fulfilling Joseph’s dream. 22 years. I don’t even want to wait a week for God to alleviate my pain, solve my problems, and fulfill his promise to me. Joseph waited 22 years…of hard labor, of isolation, of rejection, of injustice, of punishment. In the end, Joseph could clearly see God’s greater purpose all along and boldly proclaims it. In the end. We don’t know if during those many years of trial Joseph understood and rested in God’s unfolding purpose day by day. If he understood that he was on the master potter’s wheel, that he was being transformed even as complex circumstances around him were being orchestrated for his good and the good of many, many people (Romans 8:28). Even so, through it all, we’ve seen a pattern of faithfulness in Joseph that seems to suggest he trusted God notwithstanding his suffering. I want that. I want to be steadfast, even when my challenges seem unjust, difficult and never-ending. Can you imagine God’s work in you or your circumstance through some hardship? More than Forgiveness…Grace! Chapters 45 to 50 recount the reconciliation of the family and Joseph’s generous provision and thoughtful care for them. Jacob is finally reunited with his beloved Joseph, and the relationships between all parties has been restored. Joseph, through Pharaoh, has blessed all his family richly, beyond mere forgiveness, to an outpouring of love and grace, surely undeserved. Does this sound familiar to you as it does to me! There is so much that can be mined from Joseph’s story that can speak to each one of us wherever we are. I hope you’ll read it and prayerfully reflect on what it reveals about God and how it relates to your life today. Prayer: Dear Jesus, I am so grateful for the countless reminders of your limitless power, mercy, grace and love. Lord, please, help us to trust who you continually reveal yourself to be. That we might just rest and rejoice in that no matter the trials we face today, trusting you are working for the good of your people. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Attention Crafters! CRAFTernoon! Join us on Sunday, November 17 from 2 - 4 PM to make beaded ornaments for a Christmas tree that celebrates Jesus! Supplies and instructions will be waiting for you! Ornaments vary greatly in level of difficulty--from easy ones for the "craft challenged" to more intricate designs for friends of Martha Stewart! Coffee and tea will be hot; bring a treat to share if you like. Holiday Gift Market FUMC Women's Ministry is sponsoring a holiday gift market on Saturday, December 7 from 9 AM - 2 PM. Tables can be rented for $20, which will go toward a women's ministry assistance fund for retreats and special events. The market will feature direct sales (Mary Kay, Mary & Martha, etc), handmade items, vintage fashions & home goods, and delicious baked goods. To reserve a table, please email Sarah at Vendors need not attend FUMC, so tell your friends!

More Christmas Fun… Mark your calendars for a church family dinner on Sunday, December 8 at 6PM when our children will be invited to help decorate the tree as they learn more about the gift of Jesus and the Jingle Jam Saturday, December 21 at 7PM.

Design and base content © 2013 Group Publishing, Inc., Loveland, CO, Permission to photocopy granted for local church use only.

November A Taste of What’s Happening for Women








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Looking Ahead… Holiday Gift Market - Saturday, December 7 from 9 AM - 2 PM Church Tree Trimming Supper - Sunday, December 8 at 6PM Jingle Jam - Saturday, December 21 at 7PM. 3


5 9:30a Women’s Bible Study FUMC




6pm Stitches ‘n’ Hooks Social Hall Please bring crochet hooks to share.











9:30a Women’s Bible Study FUMC

17 Christmas Crafternoon 2-4pm FUMC 24






28 Thanksgiving!

Women’s Ministry Leadership Team Sarah Fisher, Women’s Ministry Coordinator: | 304.258.2766 Cindi Close: Gretchen Close: Linda Romano: Bonnie Weber: Isabella Yosuico:

Design and base content © 2013 Group Publishing, Inc., Loveland, CO, Permission to photocopy granted for local church use only.

FUMC November Spice newsletter  
FUMC November Spice newsletter