September 2021 Heart to Heart

It’s a painting party! Sign up now so we have supplies for you!

August 2021 Heart to Heart

Have you ever struggled with WHY you are the way you are? Do you know the Source of your uniqueness? If not, have you ever wondered what is clogging the access to that Source?

A great opportunity for fellowship, worship, and ministry

A Get Away for You

Hi ladies!

We wanted to let you know that we are planning a get away for you! It’s been a long year and we feel it’s time! Plans are in the process of being made for our fall retreat. There are so many details to be filled in, but so far we have the date, location and speaker! Please join us this fall …

Forward this to a friend!

May Heart-to-Heart — a SPA DAY!

We are changing it up for our May women’s fellowship event and inviting you to an afternoon of pampering. See below for details and mark your calendars!

We are excited that you’ll be there!

An Encouraging Word to Those Under Pressure

from Tom Gaddis

Ever feel like a crushed grape between the toes of someone? That’s tribulation! And Jesus in this verse tells us the truth: You will have tribulation! He does not allow His followers to live in private fiction about the way things really are.

Tribulation is that external and outward pressure upon your soul. It is an equal opportunity employer—we all experience pressure. We all have found ourselves at the end of a day feeling treaded down! 

These pressures can come from any one of a number of sources: the devil, the consequences of our choices, or the circumstances of life. And the truth is that if pressure on the outside of us is greater than the strength on the inside of us, we will  collapse. 

But Jesus brings hope! In John 16:33, Jesus points out that his victory over this world with its pressures is shared with his followers. His victory is our victory. In Christ the weak can be made strong. Through Christ we can be stronger on the inside than the pressures, troubles, and problems are on the outside.

Today ask Christ to give you:

  • strength equal to your tasks,  
  • inner peace stronger than outer storms,
  • hope on the inside when there is only defeat on the outside.

The victory is ours to claim!  

An Encouraging Word 10

An Easter Devotional by Jeanette Morris

He Has Shown Thee

“As for you, you meant evil against me, {but} God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive” (Genesis 50:20 NASB). 

Thirty years ago, I woke up on Easter Sunday morning weeping bitter, guilt-laden tears.  My three children scurried around the house hunting colored eggs, but had no idea of the true meaning of the celebration. My husband of six years didn’t even know I was a born-again believer. That day, I promised God and myself that the Easter bunny wouldn’t be back in my house, ever again, and that my kids and I would be in church from then on. 

I kept that promise. I needed to create strict boundaries for myself in this and several other areas of weakness, so old habits could be taken into captivity and new ones established. I also stopped observing Halloween. My kids were unhappy about my hard-line stance on these holidays. They felt like they were missing something fun. I did my best to replace the cultural celebrations with something equally exciting, and they survived. 

Since that time, my perspectives and my Christian worldview have broadened and solidified, so I don’t feel threatened by cultural celebrations.

What the Lord requires of me now is to obey the call of his purpose for my life in humility of spirit and in love (Micah 6:8).  Jesus met people’s needs wherever they were…and I guess that could be at an Easter egg hunt as well as in a sunrise service. 

Christ died for sinners. I’m in that group, with or without colored eggs. 

Prayer Focus:  Believers who have fallen away.

April 2021 Heart 2 Heart INVITATION

Hello dear ladies! Please mark your calendars for our April Heart 2 Heart which will be on APRIL 11 (the Sunday following Easter) at 3 PM. Our pastor Lori Barrow will be speaking, and you won’t want to miss what the Lord has given her to share with us. SEE YOU THERE!

An Encouraging Word 8

Just Your Presence

Scripture: For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority (Colossians 2:9-10 NIV).

In 2001, I began a short-term mission ministry to Russia. At the time, excessive striving muddied my Christian worldview. I perceived my purpose in going was to bring biblical truth to new believers by teaching Bible studies. Several trips later, I realized that Russians were more interested in the why than the what of my presence among them. So my “work” there transformed into what to some might seem rather ordinary—holding a new baby of HIV positive parents, encouraging a recovering addict, laughing with a new friend, crying with another in her loss—but that is the beauty and the message of Christian mission. 

Paul tells the Colossians:  “God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentileswhich is Christ in you, the hope of  glory” (1:27).

In chapter 2:10, he further explains that in Him—in Jesus—we have been made complete. In other words, we already have everything we need to share who Christ is with others. We have it just in our presence. 

People are so hungry to see Jesus and to have the hope that we have. It isn’t likely these hungry ones will ever knock on our doors or enter our churches. Jesus told his disciples (and we are among that group) to “go.” The hope of glory is within us—and people will see it—see Him—if we simply go.

Prayer: Here am I. Send me (Isaiah 6:8 NIV).

An Encouraging Word: Taking Hold

Several years ago, I was challenged in a post by my pastor to examine what “success” looks like as a follower of Jesus. The gist of the post reminded me that my focus should not be on “doing more” to complete my God-given purposes, but to “take hold” of the Christ of the Gospels and “be more” like him in my relationships with others.  

All too aware that God sends me to the other side of the planet to shine for His glory, I’m incapable of shining when I’m striving without the right heart—his heart. I can’t “take hold” of Jesus when I’m hyper-focused on appearances, meeting expectations (mostly my own), and worrying about disappointing someone with my inadequacies. 

                                                                                                             

The Jesus of the Gospels always had time to listen to people’s needs and fears, to touch, to care, to heal, to pray, to laugh, to tell stories. He moved seamlessly through all levels of society and spoke what he heard his Father saying; he did what his Father asked him to do. Nothing more–nothing less.  

I’m longing for this kind of success. How about you? 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I do want people to see more of you and less of me.  Help me to follow your example to listen to the Father and do as he lovingly commands. Show me your ways, that I may walk in love. 

— Jeanette Morris

An Encouraging Word 6

2 Kings 6

Those Who Are With Us

Once the king of Syria sent a great army to capture the prophet Elisha. During the night, the Syrian army surrounded the city where Elisha was staying. When Elisha’s servant “arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’” (v. 15). Confidently and calmly, Elisha answered: “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (v. 16).

The servant might have said to himself, “What is he talking about? Where are they? We have no army in this small town.

Perhaps the confused look on the servant’s face encouraged Elisha to pray: “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see” (v. 17). The servant didn’t understand this prayer. What was he not seeing? His eyes WERE open. Who else was there to see other than the great enemy army? Then “the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (v. 18)

This episode helps us understand how God expresses His providence on our behalf, even though we cannot see it because we are spiritually shortsighted—and sometimes even blind. Without faith, the unseen things that are all around us will remain unseen, and we will remain insecure.

Interestingly, the only thing that happened to the Syrian army was that they became blind following another prayer of Elisha’s. The horses and chariots of fire demonstrated God’s active care of Elisha, who could see them (by faith). And because of his prayer, his servant saw them as well. But only they needed to see it. The Syrian army didn’t see it, and was there to experience the effect of God’s hand, but interestingly, also His great mercy later on. (See 2 Kings 6:19-23 for the rest of the story.)

Our human senses cannot capture anything beyond what is in our material world, yet much happens in the supernatural realm, which we “see” only with faith. What we see with our eyes is not the big picture, just as our perspective about our circumstances and the behavior of others is incomplete. As believers, “those who are with us” are always greater than we perceive.

—-Jeanette Morris

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