Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cora: Monthly Calendar

Hi ladies.

We will be taking a break from our study in December so that you can enjoy your families this month and get ready for Christmas.

However, we will be having the Christmas Tea on December 4, at the church office at 6:30. Please see my previous post for details regarding the Christmas Tea.

The next time we get together, we will begin our Fruit of the Spirit study. This will begin on January 8. Please watch the bulletin and listen for announcements on Sunday morning for when the first study will be available to you.

Have a blessed Christmas season.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:10-11

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shannon: A Simple Advent

Renee just wrote and asked about the hand-out we made available a few Christmases ago on the topic of Advent. I did a little browsing and found that I still had the original form in my files. So in case anyone else is interested in celebrating advent this year, here you go:

A Simple Advent Celebration
Calvary Chapel Marysville

Many good books exist on the hows and whys of a formal Advent celebration. We found that approach too complicated for our family. Here are the basic elements of a simple Advent, one you can begin immediately:

1) Choose a night. Traditionally, Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas, but we’ve chosen different nights over the years.

2) Collect a simple wreath, five candlesticks, five candles (one of which is a different color). Traditionally, pink and purple are used. We often use white and red.

3) Choose a passage of scripture and a Christmas carol or two for each night of Advent. Here are some passages and corresponding songs to get you started:
      4th week: Isaiah 9:6-7, “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
      3rd week: Luke 2:1-7, “O Little Town of Bethlehem"
      2nd week: Luke 2:8-14, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”
      1st week: Luke 2:15-20, “While Shepherds Watched”
      Christmas Eve: Galatians 4:4-7, “Joy to the World”

Here’s what you do:
      1. Dim the lights
      2. Light the first candle (each week, you will light one more candle: the fourth week before Christmas, light one; the third week before Christmas, light that one and one additional, etc.)
      3. Pray
      4. Read the passage of scripture you’ve chosen for that week
      5. Ask questions relating to the passage. Prepare your own, or choose from the following:
            How much darkness does it take to overcome light?
            How much light does it take to overcome darkness?
            What Christmas tradition means the most to you? Why?
            What can we do to make sure the true meaning of Christmas isn’t lost?
            What gives you hope?
            How did the birth of Jesus change the course of history?
            How did the birth of Jesus change your life?
            Is Jesus the authority of your life?
            Are you anxious for His return?
            What can you do to make the most of your time while you wait for Him?

      6. Sing one or two Christmas carols. Be spontaneous; let your children choose songs.
      7. Pray, asking God to keep your mind focused on Him during the coming week.

* * *

If you've never celebrated Advent together as a family, I urge you to try this year. It's always the most restful, reflective part of Christmas for us.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cora: Lights of Christmas Reminder

Hello ladies!

Just wanted to tell you that it is not too late to sign up for the Lights of Christmas. This is always such a wonderful time of fellowship. Please don't miss it.

The cost is $25.00. Please pay as soon as you can.

Please see me for your parking pass. It is important that you get a parking pass, as this will get you parked in the right area, near our cabin.

There will be a testimony Friday evening at 9:30 in our cabin. Breakfast is served Saturday morning from 7:30 to 9:30 and there will be a devotional Saturday morning at 10:00.

We will be meeting at the church office at 4:00 for anyone that wants to carpool. We will be getting some dinner, make an essential run to Starbucks and then head out to Warm Beach for an evening of fun!!

Hope to see you there!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pam: Are You Ready?

During the week I am very blessed to be able to care for my
sweel little Granddaughter, Makenna. Day after day we'll read books, play games, or do fun farm chores. However, occasionally we'll do our own things. But no matter what we are doing one thing is for sure, you can count on Makenna's mouth being in a
perpetual state of chatter. She is a talker!

Recently, I was in my kitchen baking a batch of cookies for the week when I noticed it had gotten way too quiet. I called out, "Makenna, what are you doing?" No answer! That's not good I thought as I heard her rustling around in the guest bedroom. Again I called out, "Makenna, what are you doing?" then through the door she stepped, beaming with such a wonderful look of self satisfaction and she said "Oh getting ready." I chuckled (to myself of course), as I looked at this precious Angel dressed in a lavender sleevless dance costume dotted with pink roses and white fringed skirt, a velvet cape to kind of match, knitted lavender winter gloves, a turquoise crushed hat, socks, and slippers I had knit covered her feet. A basket drapped with a pink wash cloth hung over one arm while a lime green fleece bag draped over the other, both filled with her very best treasures. She was indeed ready!

Later, with Kenna in mind, I reflected on all the time we spend year after year getting ready for one thing or another. Each morning we wake and get ready to face the day. We pick out our clothes, comb our hair, eat breakfast while deciding what task will consume our thoughts and energy. In the summer we get ready for the winter, in the winter we make ready for summer, but how much time do we spend getting ready for heaven, our eternal home?

It is essential that we daily read our Bibles, hide God's word in our hearts, do the work of the Lord and pray, pray without ceasing. Jesus could come back at any moment. We're told in Matthew 25:13 Keep watch because you do not know the day or the hour.

So let's get ready and stay ready for the day we can shout "Welcome back Lord Jesus!"

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1Corinthians 15:58

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pam: I Love My Church

I have been asked several times lately when am I going to blog. What wisdom do I have to share? Well, I don’t know about wisdom but what I do know is I love my church! I cannot say it strongly enough, I LOVE MY CHURCH!

Our Pastor and his wife are the absolute best. They are not only extraordinary teachers but both have such an incredible love for the Lord. It’s totally infectious, and keeps you longing for more. But if that weren't enough we have an amazing worship team that blesses us Sundays and Wednesdays with heavenly music. We have the finest group of ladies around; these women are great friends whose energy and talents know no bounds. Plus we have a myriad of people who give selflessly each and every day of the year serving our church, serving our Lord.

But what I love most about our church is that it is family. Everyone genuinely cares about each other; all you need to do is attend one pot luck or fellowship after church to know what I am talking about. There is a camaraderie like no other. With this family comes unlimited care. If your car is broken down, they’ll get it fixed. If your fence needs mending, that’s not a problem. Laid up in the hospital? They’ll make sure you have meals. Whatever your need, they are there. Of course it goes without saying there is plenty of prayer to go along with that. It’s a safe and comfortable place to be.

I never had a lot of family around me growing up but I did watch that sizeable TV family, The Walton’s, and what I observed was that, like my church, no matter how busy their lives got or how many different directions they were thrown in, at the end of the day they all came together to sup and to share what was going on in their lives, lavishing their love on one another. I can't imagine life any other way. If you've not been there you should come see what I mean.

Now, in the Walton’s tradition ... Good night Deb, Good night Shannon, Good night Sylvia, Good night Cora, Good night Fran, Good night Kimmy, Good night Laurie, Good night Tarri, and the rest of my church family.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. ~Colossians 3:15-16a

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fran: Who are you?

Have you ever noticed that people tend to live up to your expectations of them? I have a family member who has a reputation for being late. We talked about it one time and she told me that no matter how many times she wasn’t late, she still couldn’t change the reputation so she figured why fight it? If she was going to be harassed for being late anyway, she might as well be!

Unfortunately, I’ve known several people who were told all their lives that they were stupid, worthless and good for nothing. Guess how they turned out? Believing those lies and living up to them.

It works the other way too though. You’ve probably heard stories of how someone kept pressing toward a goal simply because someone else believed in them. They were told they were smart, funny, gifted, etc. and they believed it. They lived their lives believing it and accomplishing great things.

We hear a lot of voices in our world today telling us who we are. Unfortunately, most of what we hear isn’t true.

What is the truth? That can be answered by asking the question; “Who does God say that I am?”

God’s word says:

I am made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27)

I am a child of God (John 1:12)

I am a temple–a dwelling place–of God. His Spirit and His life live in me (1 Corinthians 3:16)

I am a saint (Ephesians 1:18)

I am righteous and holy (4:24)

I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit (John 5:16)

I am God’s workmanship–His handiwork–born anew in Christ to do good works (Ephesians 2:10)

I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)

I will resemble Christ when He returns (1 John 3:1-2)

I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)

I am God’s treasured possession (Deuteronomy 14:2)

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will–to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One he loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:3-8)

The things written above are the truth; about me, about you and about everyone who belongs to Christ. We have value in Him; far more than the world knows, far more than we comprehend.

Lord, I pray that you would help us know just how great Your love for us truly is. Please help us to remember who we are in You and live like we believe it. Please help us to also remember the value of our fellow believers and to treat them accordingly. Thank You, Lord, for all You have done for us. We wait anxiously for Your return. We love You.


Shannon: Kari's Post

Kari wrote an interesting post on her blog Thursday. It reminded me of the story of the missionary who was driving down a remote, pot-holed road (no, not my driveway ... but close) when he came upon an elderly man carrying a large bag over his shoulder. It was clear by the way the man walked that the bag was very heavy. Stopping his truck, the missionary asked the traveler if he'd like a ride. The elderly man nodded and climbed up on the truck's tailgate--but though he had accepted a ride, he continued to hold that large burden on his shoulder. He could have so easily let it slip from his back, and let the very thing that carried him carry his burden also.

Jesus came to die for our sins--yes. And He came to release us of the fear of the grave. But He also came to relieve us of our burdens. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-29).

I'm sure many of us can relate to Kari's post. Check out Burdens Not Meant to Carry.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Shannon: Let's Talk

This morning in church, Pastor Dave posed the question: what would you do if you knew how long you had left to live? Let's say you knew you had two weeks. What would you do with those two weeks?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Shannon: Welcome, Pam!

Pam Severns, who has been serving the women of Joyful Life through the recording ministry (a much-appreciated blessing!) will be joining the Joyful Life blog as our newest contributor. For those of you who missed out on Pam's blog when she had it way back when, I know that you'll enjoy her writing. Pam's a real thinker, a big reader, a devoted follower ... and she has an awesome sense of humor.

Watch for her first post, which I hope is coming soon!

Laurie: His Royal Bounty

O Father, my heart is yearning for more time with you after Pastor Jon's message last night, at Home Fellowship.

He spoke about Amos 8:11, "That in the last days there will be a famine of hearing the words of the LORD." (Plural) Not preaching and teaching the Word, because we can hear the Word Sundays and Wednesdays, on the internet, on ipods, on TV, at seminars and conferences--we have as much of the Word as we want. But it's Your words we're not hearing, Lord.

You show me that we come to church desiring to worship and give offerings and to hear Your heart, but our lives are still a mess. Nothing we try seems to work; we are restless and weary and we wonder, why? Our marriages are the same as the worlds'. We can't understand each other. Our kids are struggling with life.

Are we in captivity?

In Amos 5:21-27, God says, "I hate, I despise your feast days and I do not savor your sacred assemblies....though you offer offerings to Me, I will not accept them...Take away the noise of your songs....did you not offer Me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness?....You also carried.....your gods and idols, which you made for yourselves. Therefore I will send you into captivity, says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts."

Psalm 106:13-15 They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel. But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.

Do we think we are any different?

We can't hear His words to us. We have so many gods (distractions) to keep us from Him. Do we think gods and idols are only statues put on a shelf? They are whatever keeps us from coming to His throne. The stores are full, the TV is full, magazines, books and novels, music, lusts for other things, cares for this world. Where can we go next, what can we buy next, what can we make next, hours of TV, (who's on Larry King tonight), on and on. Constant noise.

Then reading in 1 Kings 10:1-13 and 2 Chr. 9:1-12 today You added even more, LORD.

The queen of Sheba came to Solomon because she had heard of his fame and his relation to the name of the LORD. She came with hard questions and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all of her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had made, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed. She said to the king, "'Your achievements and wisdom are true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed not even half was told me of your wisdom and wealth...how happy your men and officials must be who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom. Praise be to the LORD your God!' King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left & returned to her own country."

In Matthew 12:42 Jesus said, "The queen of the south,(Sheba), will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here." Commentaries say she may have come from southern Arabia--a 1200-mile camel ride across hot deserts.

Yet we can't even get up an hour or two early to come and lay before Your feet, to seek Your words. To talk with You about all that is on our minds, to ask You the hard questions and to bring You gifts of praise and adoration for all You've done. We can't see that only half was told us of Your wisdom and wealth, until we come and see with our own eyes.

Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Have you come and laid in His presence lately? Maybe you don't feel worthy enough to see yourself laying before His throne. Try picturing yourself laying under the cross first, with His blood dripping down upon you, cleansing and forgiving you. Then come and bring your gifts of praise and see what He has from His royal bounty for you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Shannon: Links

If you'll look on the sidebar, below our archives, I've added a list of links to bloggers/sites from church. Will you scan the list and tell me who I'm missing? I don't want to leave anyone out, so if you have a link and want to share, post a comment and I'll add the URL.


Shannon: Melissa's Amazing Turkey-Vegetable Chowder

At Gina Detlor's baby shower a few months back, Melissa Allestad made this chowder ... and I have to tell you, it's delicious. We usually just about live on Cabbage Patch Soup in the winter, but I think this year we'll be living on CPS and Melissa's chowder.

Thanks for sharing, Melissa! (BTW--Melissa just created a blog. Visit her at: Sunny Acres.

Turkey-Vegetable Chowder

This is my family's very favorite fall soup. I usually double the recipe for our family of 6, and we usually don't have leftovers. Very good with a loaf of nice crusty bread!

1/4 c butter
2 onions
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp curry powder
3 c chicken broth
1 potato, chopped
1 c carrots, thinly sliced
1 c celery, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/2 tsp dried sage or poultry seasoning
3 c chopped turkey-ham
1 1/2 c half & half
10 oz pkg frozen, chopped spinach

Melt butter in a small Dutch oven, or heavy bottomed saucepot. Add onions and saute for 10 minutes. Stir in flour and curry powder. Cook for 2 minutes. Add broth, potato, carrots, celery, parsley and sage. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 t0 15 minutes. Add turkey-ham, half & half and frozen spinach. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until heated through, about 15 minutes. Makes 8 cups.

Cora: Christmas Tea

Come join us for our annual Christmas Tea on December 4, 2007.

This is always a great time of fellowship together so don't miss it!

For this year's Tea, we need some wonderful ladies to help host a table. This will include decorating your table with beautiful Christmas decorations, providing the table setting (plates, bowls, silverware, napkins) and helping to make it a wonderful atmosphere.

We will also be having an ornament exchange. Find the perfect ornament for under $5.00 and share it with the women.

Don't forget your tea cups because what kind of tea would it be if we didn't serve tea! Bring the fanciest one you can find.

There will also be a devotional by Shannon Woodward. You don't want to miss that.

If you have any questions or want to help, please let me know and I will tell you how to get in touch with Nancy Henry (or check the bulletin for her contact information).

Watch the bulletin and listen to the announcements given on Sunday for more information.

This is always a wonderful time together. Hope to see you there!