Women’s Ministry FUMC Berkeley Springs, WV
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Love Is Like Fine China A china cabinet full of beautifully ornate, 24-carat gilt-edged dishes sits in the corner of my dining room. I’ve never eaten a speck of food off them. Why? I think they are just too “too.” Too pretty, too fragile, too valuable, and too sentimental to use. And too clean—if I take the dishes out I’ll have to wash them! Admiring their blue and gold pattern from across the room at lunch one day, I looked down at the cheap paper plate under my sandwich and realized there was a deeper “too” reason. They were just too good. Too good for me that is. My china is beautiful, perfect, and pristine. I’m not. I might break a plate, chip a cup, or scratch a golden edge. I’m not worthy to be trusted with something of such value. It’s often the same way I feel about God’s love—that I’m not worthy of it. I’m afraid to allow the beauty of God’s love to be used, really used, in my everyday life, because I’m the chipped, cracked, and broken one. Dare I believe in the fullness of God’s love he desires to pour into me? Agape, that is what God’s love is—a love without expectation of anything in return. It’s a beautiful love we inherit through the shed blood of Jesus that remains perfect even as we remain imperfect. It’s a rare and precious gilt-edged love like my fine china, yet it’s meant to be taken off the shelf and lived. And each day I allow God to fill my cup with agape I become a little less chipped and a little more gilt around the edges. Tomorrow I’ll eat my sandwich on a china plate. Next week I’ll serve tea to some friends in my china cups. From now on I’ll try to allow the fine china of God’s love to live in me and through me…in a real life display. Because…Agape is just too good, too pretty, and too indestructible not to share.
THE WORD “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” —1 John 4:16 “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.” —1 John 4:7
Think About It What fine china or precious item lives only on display in your house? How can you use it in real life to share God’s agape love this month?
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What is Love? Jesus said we were to come to him as little children. So to get a younger perspective on the subject, we asked some kids: What is love? ♥ That means you love your brother and your sister. Love is nice to say. It's well...I'm gonna tell you a story. One time ago I had a dream of princesses and that's a nice one. I love Strawberry Cake (Strawberry Shortcake). —Davie (age 4) ♥ I love God. It means liking others and helping them learn about God and when you're going somewhere and you feel better and you meet a friend, it's like that. —Judah (age 5) ♥ When someone is good to you, they are loving you and keep you safe. —Ethan (age 8) ♥ It's hard to explain. Maybe if you love someone you do what they ask you to do. If you love someone you care about them more than yourself. —Caleb (age 10) Ask your kids, grandkids, students, or friend’s kids “What is love?” Then share their witty and wise words with the world on the Group for Women Facebook page! (facebook.com/GroupWomensMinistry)
What is Love? Like chocolate and peanut butter—super sweet together and a special treat—just like our friendships! Celebrate more than just Valentine’s Day this month; celebrate God’s love as you share these yummy treats with new and old friends.
No-Bake PB & C Bars 2 cups peanut butter ¾ cup butter, softened 2 cups powdered sugar 3 cups graham cracker crumbs 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips Beat 1¼ cups of the peanut butter and all of the butter in a bowl until creamy. Beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar, then use your hands to work in the other cup of powdered sugar, the graham cracker crumbs, and ½ cup of the chocolate chips. Press the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan. Melt the remaining ¾ cup of peanut butter with the remaining chocolate chips over low heat, stirring until smooth. Spread over the graham cracker mixture. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Cut into bars and share! (Recipe from the devotional book God So Loved the World…That He Created Chocolate)
The Most Valuable China Considered precious, priceless, and prestigious, Flora Danica porcelain china was first created in the late 1700s for the crown prince of Denmark to give to Catherine the Great of Russia. Still used by kings and queens today, it’s regarded as one of the most unique and beautiful patterns from the golden age of porcelain. Want to sip tea like a queen? Flora Danica is still in production today...at the royal price of close to $2,000 for one teacup.
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Stay on the Rails, No Matter What. Fulfill God’s plan for your life. By Isabella Yosuico In a classic Little Golden Book, the young train Tootle is repeatedly told the most important thing is “staying on the rails no matter what.” (You know you have little ones in the house when you quote children’s books to illustrate Biblical truth.) That’s how Tootle can fulfill his highest purpose. Good advice for us Christians, too. Stay on God’s path no matter what so we can fulfill our divine purpose. Don’t stray. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV Tootle was lured off track by butterflies in the meadow. I’ve often been derailed by worldly pleasures, convinced they’ll provide me with the fulfillment I long for. If I don’t stay connected to God…through prayer, Bible reading, fellowship, service…I can so easily go astray. In order to discern and fulfill God’s best for us, we need to be willing to forfeit the world and our own limited notions of what God has in mind for us. I’m finding, like so many things in life, that the results are directly proportionate to how much of myself I invest him and where my focus lies. Stay focused. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Aimless? Proverbs 4:25-26 NIV
Though worldly aims often catch my eye, I’m just as easily diverted by the many good opportunities to be of service. But I’ve learned that if it’s not God’s will for me, if I’m not anointed for that very thing, then it’s no different really than the butterflies in the meadow —a distraction from my highest purpose. Even Jesus and the disciples routinely made choices about when and where to minister. But how do I know? Please God. Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 NIV An uneasy side-effect of making choices according to God’s call on our individual lives is that others may question our choices, even brothers or sister in Christ. For a people-pleaser like me, this used to be downright agonizing. Again, focusing on God is the antidote. In doing so, real or perceived reproaches or just our own misguided sense of false guilt become powerless to derail us. In the same vein, my own distracting inclination to self-righteously judge what others are or are not doing is most easily solved by minding my own business, trusting that God is working in others’ lives as he is in mine. Be alert that when we’re filled with a sense of purpose, the enemy may try to divert you with a variety of tactics, but don’t be afraid.
Meditate on these verses and ask God to reveal his will to you and grant you the willingness to do it. Then, pay attention and respond! Luke 10:2 Luke 12:40-48 John 15:16 John 4:34-38 Romans 9:20-21 1 Corinthians 12:1231 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
See what God can do in you and through you!
February 2013 | Page 4 Be alert that when we’re filled with a sense of purpose, the enemy may try to divert you with a variety of tactics, but don’t be afraid. Be brave. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV Fear may be the greatest limiting factor I personally face in fulfilling God’s will. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of what God will ask of me, fear of inadequacy. Witness just about any Bible figure, Moses, Job, Esther, even Jesus himself, and a hallmark of their purpose-filled life was a profound sense of inadequacy and even outright reluctance. God likes to take us way out of our comfort zone, which increases the likelihood we’ll rely heavily on him, guarding us from pride. I’ve come to realize that I truly can do nothing apart from him (Jo 15:5), but that indeed I can do all things in Him (Ph 4:12-14). Can God be trusted? Decide. Fix your eyes. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1b-2 NIV What if we do fall prey to one of these deadly detours? Nothing in God’s economy is wasted. Our omniscient God loves us and will continually guide us back to himself, marshaling our cumulative experience to advance the Kingdom if we allow him. It’s never too late to seek him and surrender anew. Prayer:
Lord, I know there’s more, but I admit I’m afraid to step out in faith. Please, Father, give me a greater sense of your purpose for me and grant me the courage to carry it out in you.
Stitches ‘n Hooks will now be gathering twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Friday evenings @6:00 PM in the Social Hall. If you have an interest in thread or yarn, plus needles and machines, come check us out! You don't need to know how to sew, knit or crochet, but if you would like to learn, this is the group for you. You may bring a project of your own to teach others or help with the group project. Right now we are making quilts for children's shelters and hospitals, along with knitted and crochet items. If you have any questions, please call Bonnie Weber @304-258-5989 or e-mail bwweber@frontier.
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Book Review by Angie Hott (our resident Hott Mama)
TROPHY CHILD: Saving Parents from Performance, Preparing Children for Something Greater Than Themselves Author: TED CUNNINGHAM Publisher: David C Cook Right in the heat of the holidays, I received a message from the social marketing folks for the publisher, David C. Cook. Apparently, they wanted to know if I would be interested in previewing a new book by Ted Cunningham called TROPHY CHILD. "Hummmmm... that could be interesting," was my thought, "I'm a bit of a book nerd anyway. Plus, I just finished The Hobbit." All I need to do is post a blog about the book later in January then I could give away a free copy. I needed something extra to do just about as much as I needed a hole in my head. So.... I said, "OK!" What? Am I crazy? (Don't answer that, Dan! (My "hotthubby"!). I barely have a moment to read books for my own pleasure; so now I had just agreed to add another task to my busy plate during the holidays. In what seemed like merely a millisecond, the pdf file of the book arrived on my laptop. Wow! How does that happen? So, I began reading. Shortly after, a package arrived in the mail of Trophy Child. Cool. Now I can throw this new book in my bag on my way to basketball and get to reading. Let's see. This is somewhat of a busy week. It's the beginning of Levi's biddy buddy basketball; Violet's JV Girls Team has two games this week; Isaac has a piano lesson after school today; Social Studies project titles are due Wednesday at Warm Springs Intermediate School; Violet needs her deposit to go to The Rock in January; Levi has a spelling test; Isaac lost his book for Mr. Jones, again; someone else has canceled for Jingle Jam (the church's community Christmas Program) and costumes need to be arranged; plus, Christmas is less than two weeks away. Does this chaos sound familiar? Arriving at the gym to watch Levi and seven other second graders, I was thinking how much "fun" it is to sit in the gym for yet another basketball adventure while looking ahead to my week, we were scheduled for activities every.single.night. With a moment to spare, I dug in my purse and cracked open my new copy of Trophy Child. A little distracted thinking about how long- legged (and super long haired) "blondie" Violet's practice was going and if she was able to run with that stinking cold she has that won't go away, I settled in for 90 minutes at the gym and turned over my fresh new book for the first time. "The Anti-Tiger Mom Book" is written across the back. Wonder what that means. Hummmmm.... look at that. There is a graphic of a child, girl with long hair down to her butt, shooting a.... yes, you guessed it! Basketball! "Excuse me, can I tell you something?" Alright God. What is it this time? Isn't it funny how, when you least expect it, God manages to literally (yes, "literally" in this case), place something in your hands when you most need it. If you ever feel like sometimes you are sinking in a sea of scheduling while drowning in parenting perplexities, Trophy Child reaches out like a hand to rescue you with insight on how to manage these moments to "help you create a home where our children find success in following their heavenly Father." First of all, I came to realize that I am the epitome of the "Tiger Mom." Yes, this is hard to admit; but I will just come right out and say it to you all, "Hello, my name is Angie Hott and I am a Tiger Mom-o-holic!" Aaaaaaah. There, that feels so much better. Not only that, after reading Trophy Child, this parent is also the product of being an adult "trophy child". Are you? Like other "tiger moms," I often become concerned about the success of my children's academics. Gauging their performances, I guess, is a direct reflection of my intellect, right? Wrong! So then, why do I obsess and fret over each spelling test, algebra assignment, report card.
February 2013 | Page 6 Being vertically challenged (I barely make it to five feet), the fact that Violet has expressed interest in athletics is entirely new territory for me. Of the hundreds of sporting events I have attended over the years, I never paid attention to a basketball game in my life. Now, I watch every second eagerly, biting my nails, hoping for Violet to get that shot so she too can be a basketball star. Levi too. The same goes for any race or gymnastics event. And don't even get me started about music! Sometimes, I feel like Amy Duncan on "Good Luck Charlie" Please don't tell anyone this, but if any of my four kids end up Broadway Stars, well, this 48-year-old-greyhaired-mama-of-four will split a seam for sure! I guess this is why I get so disappointed when our Isaac refuses to play piano. When I get all uptight about whether Levi knows his spelling words or if Isaac is ready for the Social Studies Fair, I try to remember what Aunt Tammy said years ago when her first baby was getting ready to graduate from high school, "I can't wait to see what God is going to do with her!" And now, I understand. Reading Trophy Child revealed that, yes, I really am doing some things right. In fact, I was able to pat myself on the back a few times and, to my suggestion, hotthubby Dan also read it. The author, Ted Cunningham, also shed light on what makes us a trophy child as well as how to work at "seeing your children embrace their full potential as children of God." After all, isn't that a parent's ultimate goal! I guess sometimes we all need to be reminded. Trophy Child does this in a gentle way with Mr. Cunningham's parenting stories, guidance, easy family devotionals, and suggestions to prepare our kids for something greater than themselves: a reflection of God's love! To conclude, I pray that you give Trophy Child your consideration. I have included the clip from the marketers as well as their press release below. Finally, if you are interested in reading Trophy Child, please let me know either with a private message, comment, or simply a quick "like" or "share" of this post here or on Facebook. David C. Cook will select a single reader to forward a free copy. And, just so you know, I do not receive any monetary compensation by participating; however, I do feel that it is important, as a parent, to remember that God has given these children to us to steward them to be all that God has created them to be. Not us. "Grrrrrrrrrrrrowl!" Now go and stop being Tiger Parents. There are enough of them in the stands already! [Rhonda Donadieuâ€™s favorite kind of candy is Pink Wintergreen Canada Mints (lozengers)!]
Movie Review The Odd Life of Timothy Green Release Date: 2012 Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy Rating: PG for mild thematic elements and brief language Length: 105 minutes This movie features a childless couple, Cindy and Jim Green, who have hoped for a child. After learning that they will not be able to have a baby, they symbolically write their dreams on paper, put them in a box, and bury the box in the garden. Suddenly, after a strange nighttime storm, their lives are turned upside down when they find a 10-year-old boy named Timothy in their kitchen, calling them Mom and Dad. This film is cute, sweet, and appropriate for children. Itâ€™s also an interesting illustration of the desire for children and the hopes and dreams we place on them. As youâ€™re watching, consider what the Greens and others learn from Timothy and the opportunities we all have to affect the people around us during the time we have on earth.
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As for God, His Way is Perfect: The inestimable value of peace that passes understanding I found in surrendering to God’s Will by Susan Kemenyas During the sixteen week decline that lead to my husband’s suicide, The Lord ministered this powerful little snippet of Scripture to me “As for God, His way is perfect.” At the time, I’m not even sure if I knew that it was part of Psalm 18:30, but I knew it was a lifeline to cling to and a rock on which to stand while the rivers raged and the winds howled. Only The Lord knew what was really going on during those strange days of looking all around for help, for answers, for relief for my husband and for myself that would eventually come in the most disguised way while bits and pieces of my husband’s mind and memory disintegrated and slipped away like dust in the wind. Looking back nearly six years now, I can’t say with certainty if it would’ve helped me to deal with what was going on if I had known that early on-set dementia probably set off by the combination of medications prescribed by doctors for the mental condition they believed he was suffering was the most likely cause for the decline and the subsequent suicide at just 41. What I can say with all certainty is that “As for God, His way is perfect” was not just a sweet little sentiment – it was literally my life. Apart from being sure that while He wasn’t telling me about what was going on, how it would turn out or what would happen after that, I never had a moment’s doubt or wavering that God knew what He was doing and had things under control-- no matter how it appeared. I was hidden there in the cleft of the rock, under the shadow of His Wing - abiding in peace that the world didn’t give and no one can take away. To some degree, I sensed the devastation happening to my husband’s inner world and tried to offer him encouragement and comfort from God’s Word, but I’ll never know how much of my words made it past the noise of the storm. “As for God, His way is perfect” are the words that came to my mind and settled about me like a hug when I found that my husband had taken his life. I had that oh-so-human second of “Oh no!” that comes out of us reflexively because no matter how bad things have become, we treasure life and want those near and dear to us to stay with us until we are ready to let them go. “As for God, His way is perfect” which immediately followed the “oh no” was God telling me that I was ready even if I didn’t realize that I was. So many testimonies given at my husband’s memorial service have given me the certainty of the inestimable value of the peace that passes understanding that only comes from surrendering to God’s Will. “As for God, His Way is perfect” remains my comfort and my assurance while storms blow in my life as a widow. In surrender is security, serenity and safety. How ironic it is that now, years later, I’d learn that surrender is just another word for going over to the winning side.
Psalm 18:30 NIV As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in him.
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ATTENTION BOOKWORMS! The FUMC Women’s Ministry is happy to announce a new Book Club open to ladies within and outside our church family. Please take time to review the Purpose & Guidelines that Sarah thoughtfully prepared, then read on for this month’s book selection.
Purpose and Guidelines The purpose of the FUMC Women's Ministry Book Club is to interact with our present culture by reading and discussing current books (most often secular) in the context of a small group of women. These interactions will accomplish two goals: 1. APPLYING OUR FAITH TO OUR CULTURE We will choose books which present opportunities for discussion about moral issues, current social issues, and relational issues from a Christian perspective. Books may contain viewpoints or events which are not consistent with a Biblical faith; we will not necessarily exclude books because of controversial or troubling content. Choosing books is not an endorsement of what is contained in them. Rather, books will be chosen on the basis of how they may lend themselves to sincere discussion about the content. In the event that any pages may offend, we will include a warning when we publicize the book. All selections will be approved by Sarah Fisher (FUMC staff person overseeing women's ministry). 2. ENGAGING NON-BELIEVERS IN DIALOGUE (NOT DEBATE) ABOUT HOW OUR BELIEFS INFORM OUR VIEWPOINTS AND DECISIONS. We will invite non-believers who are interested in discussing current books. Our desire is that through our discussions, we will have an opportunity to share our faith, and demonstrate the applicability of our faith to our culture. (In other words, we will demonstrate that our faith is a part of who we are and how we process the world around us; our faith is not a Sunday-only set of beliefs that have no relevance to real life.)
Book: While I Was Gone by Sue Miller When: Monday, February 25, 6:30 pm Where: Isabella Yosuico’s House at 1236 Pious Ridge Road Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 304.676.3843 WARNING: This Oprah pick is worldly and does contain sexual (beware page 146) and moral situations that some readers may find offensive. Yet it clearly depicts the wages of sin and doesn’t glamorize the mess, offering loads of fodder for fruitful discussion for believers and non-believers alike.
Invite a Friend!
February A Taste of What’s Happening for Women
FUMC BS 49 S. Green St.
Send info for The Spice to rhondadonadieu @live.com
Coordinator Sarah Fisher
Berkeley Springs, WV
5 9:30am Women’s Bible Study Social Hall
8 6pm Stitches ‘n Hooks Social Hall
12 9:30am Women’s Bible Study Social Hall
14 Valentine’s Day
19 9:30am Women’s Bible Study Social Hall
22 6pm Stitches ‘n Hooks Social Hall
25 6:30pm Book Club Isabella Yosuico’s House
26 9:30am Women’s Bible Study Social Hall
Mark your calendars NOW for these dates! Movie Club- begins March 15th 6pm –first month at Bonnie Weber’s Fall Women’s Retreat- October 25th - 27th
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