Nearly 150 women gathered with anticipation to hear local expert Denise Lopez share about opening your heart and home to others during the Christmas season. She gave great ideas for overcoming the usual excuses for not hosting: I’m not the type, I don’t have time, I don’t cook, my house doesn’t measure up. Wrapped into her message on hospitality, she offered creative tips for decorating (placing fresh greenery, adding cranberries and cut limes to your water dispenser or pitcher, layering items for added interest and depth) and cooking (making take-out look homemade, easy Mexican that everyone loves, great cookbooks). She made us all want to rush out and buy a cake stand to make that Walmart Bundt cake look amazingly homemade—especially when freshly drizzled with icing we can make with powdered sugar and milk (or water). To top off her segment, Denise selected several giveaways that each woman received in a hand-painted Christmas bag … a Magnolia-style apron, an instructional book to learn fancy lettering, prayer cards for each room in your home, Advent scripture cards, and a leather Dignity bracelet that helps support women in Southeast Asia.
It’s finally December and many of us are anxious for 2020 to wrap up and be gone. It has been a year of the unexpected—from being told to stay home, forced to watch church online, kids home from school, job loss, delayed weddings, vacations cancelled, relationship issues magnified—the list is endless.
Have you ever been really excited to meet someone? I mean, really excited, like nervous stomach, sweaty palms, happy dance excited? When I was a kid and heard we were on our way to meet Santa Claus, I was thrilled! I was about to see the big, jolly fella with the long white beard with my very own eyes. Of course, the best part would be telling him everything my little heart desired for Christmas—guaranteeing him that I had been a very good girl.
Have you noticed we have various women who write our monthly devotional? Devotions lead us to the heart of God and help us live as a disciple. They can stir us and direct us to the scripture in a way we can apply to our everyday life. Our newsletter needs devotionals that are story based, share a struggle, and show what God taught you based on a specific scripture. Want to give it a try?
Thursday night, September 17, found the church sanctuary filled with nearly 200 women having a good time together. The creative songs of Camille & Haley had us smiling and then standing to join in singing I’m proud to be an American…God Bless the USA! Then came the comedy of Amy Barnes. I’m not sure which joke or funny story I liked the best—wearing Yoga pants to go to Target, the hamster that died twice, or the thigh-gap giving way to the pie-gap! Amy was not just talented in writing witty lines, but also songs that she sang, accompanying herself on keyboard. Definitely a multi-talented woman!
If you saw my front porch today, you might think somethings wrong with this picture. In the tiered plant stand are three very tired looking begonias. The leaves are brown on the edges and beginning to curl as they slowly die (so sad). The color of the flowers are fading as they, too, have peaked and are making a slow decline. But then sitting on the cement at the base of the plant stand are three very bright, very happy looking yellow mums. Hmmm.
This quarter we are doing something a little different with book club. We are offering one book that we will all read, then get together (in person or ZOOM TBD) to chat about it. The Fall Book Club selection is Praying Women: How to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Say by Sheila Walsh. From simple talking between you and God to a powerful weapon against the enemy, this new book by trusted Bible teacher, Sheila, will encourage, motivate, and train you to pray. Praying Women is available at Mardel or Christianbook.com, both for 40% off.
“Hey, your dog just took my garlic bread!” Daisy, my sister’s Shih Tzu, was sitting on the floor sweetly staring at me, but I never expected her to jump up on the couch, snatch my bread, then stand there ever so proud of herself. With the initial disbelief quickly subsiding, I grabbed my camera to take a picture. I’ve been doing more of that lately—stopping to take a picture of something that strikes me funny. Capturing these moments is a way I’m working to train my brain to pay attention to the good stuff, the light-hearted stuff, even the weird, unusual stuff that just needs to be frozen in digital-land. This way I can look back at it and smile.
I hope you have enjoyed our current sermon series BUT… We have looked at circumstances that several Old Testament people were in and then how God came in and made a difference. I especially like the story of Esther. Thank you to Sarah Johnson and Melissa Ivey for helping to make the life of Esther come alive for us. (I love seeing how God is working in the lives of our young adult staff here at Asbury).