Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

       1 Thessalonians 5:11

Vol. 2, No. 2: April 7, 2011        Editors: Nancy & Bronwyn        Design & Production: Harriet

Blessed Easter, Sistas

Cross and Lillies

Contents

Click links below to access specific articles.
Rappin’ With Nancy The Tradition of Easter Eggs
Upcoming Events My Story
Sonbeams by Bronwyn If You Were a Jelly Bean…
Sista Picture Corner Jelly Bean Facts
Sista Pets Strike A Pose Where’s Emerald (aka Joyce)?
Who Owns These Fuming Flamingos? Favorite Books
Devotion by Gail Our Easter Sunday Traditions
Beth Moore Review Holy Spirit + Gut = Go!
Deviled Egg Contest Got Dirt?

 


 

1 cross 3 nails 4 given


 Rappin’ With Nancy

A lesson learned every time I OBEY and follow God’s lead.

Nancy
Nancy

 

I want to show you that anyone can witness to others, serve God and increase His Kingdom by e-mail or by phone, without ever meeting them. I met with my financial planner recently and she is doing an amazing job with my retirement income. I feel so relieved to have her on my team so I can relax and not worry about day to day finances. I wanted to say thank you but in a way that would SPEAK TO HER HEART.

I have learned over the years that saying thank you in a meaningful way or baking cookies can be a powerful way to witness and show God’s love to others.  I always include spiritual words in my note or on the phone to show them that God is very important in my life and that I take Him very seriously.

I made three attempts to order flowers for my financial planner. The order always fell though for odd reasons. This was a clue that the Holy Spirit had someone special in mind for me to find. It became my job to LISTEN to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to LEAD me to THE florist HE had picked out for me. You can giggle at me or laugh it off as nonsense. BUT I’m here to tell you that since I have learned to trust the Holy Spirit will always lead me to THE BEST scenario, I NOW just invite Him in and let God go.

When I went online, I kept being drawn to Grassi’s web site. I went to another floral site and was again drawn to Grassi’s site. I knew this was THE one the Holy Spirit was leading me to call. Grassi’s was impressive and professional from the first hello. I included my Spirit led e-mail to thank them, compliment them and TO WITNESS to them. I also included the way she listened and made notes as to my needs for my gift. She did an amazing job for me and my financial advisor had also done an amazing job for me. Both were Spirit led and both were exceptional.

For me personally, I try to go to the Holy Spirit first. When I forget He will remind me and lead me to the right person. It’s my job to listen and to witness to God every opportunity I get. I use this as an everyday example to help you see how EASY it really is to do. I invite you to try this yourself. If nothing else, it will MAKE YOU feel more positive and make the other person have a good day.

Grassi’s Flowers & Gifts
3602 Center St.
Tacoma, (253) 627-7196

Beautiful, artistic arrangement..suitable for a business thank you with a feeling of warm friendship as well.. Stylish, clean, understated elegance., classy. Vase is important to the finished look, but not the main component.

To Grassi’s

I just read the description that I gave the person I spoke to about the office and person it was to be delivered to. I was very impressed at how she captured my requests and needs so perfectly. It is extremely difficult to order flowers over the phone because communicating to a person that needs to interpret your intentions is also very difficult. Without ever seeing the arrangement, I KNOW in my heart that the money I invested will be well spent in the finished product. I’m on a fixed income, retired, 70 years old, on oxygen, and limited. I have to spend my money wisely. Although I usually wouldn’t have spent that much on an arrangement…I know deep in my heart it will be perfect and received by Jan the way I had hoped and prayed it would be made.

I feel God led me to your internet advertisement and then led me to call YOUR floral shop and that HE knew what an excellent job your company offers your customers. I know God always looks out for me and am so glad I LISTENED TO HIM and chose Grassi’s.

Thanks you for such wonderful service and for making my week a good one.

Blessings, Nancy

Living in Color for God, Nancy

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Upcoming Events

Newsboys

The Grammy award nominated Christian Pop Rock band from Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia will hold a concert at:

 Overlake Christian, 7 p.m. May 14, 2011

For tickets or more info, go to OCC Events or call 855-564-8499

Duncan Rocks!

Duncan Phillips
Duncan Phillips

(This is for our sistas who are Duncan fans-and there are several of you, for sure.)

  • birthday: March 3, 1964
  • birthplace: Nambour, Queensland, Australia
  • now living in: Franklin, TN, USA
  • known as: Duncan, Squiz
  • position: drummer; percussionist
  • Newsboy since: 1993
  • song credits: co-wrote “Love Liberty Disco”
  • married to: Breeon
  • known for: being one of the friendliest guys to ever live
  • unusual job: picking strawberries
  • hobbies: surfing, listening to music, camping, motorcycle riding, snow skiing

 

Passover Seder

 seder star

Tuesday – April 19 – 6:30 PM

Celebrate Passover like never before! During this unforgettable evening, you will clearly see how Yeshua (Jesus) has fulfilled the greater meaning of Passover.

  • Hear how the story of the Exodus, Israel’s redemption from bondage in Egypt, illustrates our redemption in Yeshua.
  • Enjoy a delicious Mediterranean dinner and wonderful Messianic worship as you join with other believers in the timeless rituals and observances of Passover.
  • Children ten and older are welcome.
  • Reserved seats are $25 per person on a first come-first served basis, so call early for best selection.
  • Premium tables seating eight may be reserved for $225.
  • Reservations MUST be made by April 13.
  • For reservations and directions, contact us at 425-793-3000 or office@beittikvah.us

 

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal

“Living Your Story” with Keynote Speaker:
Biblical Adventurer Robert Cornuke

Writing workshops and meetings with editors and agents for aspiring writers as well as published. Make new writing friends.

May 20-21 at Overlake Christian Church

For info go to Northwest Christian Writers Association or e-mail renewal@nwchristianwriters.org

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Daffodil

For Easter is more than a beautiful story, it’s the promise of life and eternal glory.

~Helen Steiner Rice


Sonbeams by Bronwyn

We Love you asparagus. Oh, yes we do!

Bronwyn at Easter
Bronwyn dressed up for Easter

 

While on our RV road trip last spring, we stopped at a grocery store in California to stock up. There were three of us on our trip, my husband, our 30-year-old son, and me. Our son’s wife stayed home to take charge of a remodel job at their condo.

In the grocery store’s produce section, I discovered asparagus for 79-cents a pound. In Washington, as you know, this price is unheard of.

Fresh asparagus! And cheap! I bought two bundles. That night I steamed the asparagus in our two-foot square RV kitchen and served it with salmon burgers.

“Mmmmm,” I said as I took my first bite of the fresh cooked asparagus. “This is so good.”

Our son took a luscious bite of asparagus. Hubbiola did too. We were one happy family squeezed around our RV table enjoying fresh-from-the-farm produce.

“By the way,” I said to Son in between bites, “Tell me your least favorite vegetable.”
I wanted to make certain I didn’t buy something during our trip he didn’t like.

Son took another bite of asparagus as he gave my question some thought. As he chewed, he wistfully looked up toward the ceiling. He then answered quietly, “Asparagus.”

It seems there’s no in between with asparagus. People either love it or hate it.

A member of the lily family, asparagus has been around a long time, going back as far as the first century. The Egyptians obviously loved it as they cultivated asparagus for medicinal reasons over 2,000 years ago.

Asparagus has numerous health benefits including anti-aging and cancer protection functions. Its main claim to fame is its high folic acid content, the second best source after oranges. Folic acid is necessary for blood cell formation, and is known to lower the risk of heart disease.

That said, you may not care how many benefits asparagus has if it doesn’t taste good to you. Although Hubbiola likes asparagus, he detests beets. Just the mention of beets causes my husband to go into contorted convulsions. Some things just don’t taste good to us.

The Psalmist reminds us of something good we can all taste and enjoy. “O taste and see that the Lord is good. How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! (Psalm 34:8)

Blue skies, fluffy white clouds, sparkling stars, intricately designed snowflakes, giraffes, bumble bees, hummingbirds, trees in infinite shades of green and gold, brilliant multi-colored flowers, intoxicating flower fragrances, warmth of sunlight, joy, love, prayer, hope, Biblical promises and prophecies fulfilled, eternal salvation through Christ–God’s goodness is endless.

Fresh asparagus at 79-cents a pound tastes good to me. But there’s nothing quite as satisfying to the soul as tasting the goodness of God.

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Calvary Crosses

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Romans 4:25 NIV


Sista Picture Corner

Sistas at Suzanne's deli
Sistas at Suzanne’s deli

Come join us for fun fellowship every Tuesday at Suzanne’s Deli (unless specified otherwise) right after enjoying our study of the Word in “Faithful, Abundant, True” at OCC, 10 a.m.

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Sista Pets (awwwww!) Strike A Pose

Animals are such agreeable friends-they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms ~George Eliot, English Victorian novelist

Leslie’s Boomer

Boomer
Boomer

This is our dog Boomer. Boomer is a male Pug and 10 years old. He loves to eat (actually would eat himself to death if was unsupervised and not on a constant diet), and he loves to play and sleep. He’s our constant companion and the best pet we’ve ever had. He loves all people, including all ages, young and old, and loves all animals including cats.

Boomer uses a litter box at home. He was a puppy in January of 2001 when we got him and we lived in Connecticut. At the time he was about 5 lbs. and he had a very bad cold and there was a significant amount of snow on the ground. The vet suggested we
litter box train him. So I got the training video and litter box and supplies at the pet store and trained him. It makes it very convenient to leave him as he uses his box when we are away. He squats like a little girl in his box to urinate, while outside he lifts his leg like a man. Sounds kind of funny but that’s his special trick. Above all, Boomer is very affectionate. He loves me and doesn’t talk back to me. He’s been a wonderful pet and is a two time cancer survivor at that.

 

Carol’s Joey and Chloe

Joey and Chloe
Joey and Chloe

 

Joey and Chloe at their first photo class. “Which button do I push?”

Chloe likes to wake up my husband at 5:30 a.m. by a little pat or kiss on his face. I get to sleep in!! Joey is the “talker” and at bed time he likes to meow a lot, through the house to get everyone into bed—his sister needs to be in our room with him to start the night.

We have great chasing games during the day and they are lots of fun. They both enjoy the fireplace in the evening. They are sweet and very different. Chloe is restless and Joey is mellow. Hard to believe they are from the same mother cat.

 

 

Heather’s Buddy and Shelby

Buddy
Buddy wants to sit on your lap.
shelby
You’ll never win a race with Shelby.

Buddy is our 1 ½ year old 105 lb. Puppy. He is very loveable but mistakes “lab” for “lap” dog and occasionally tries to sit on your lap. He loves us, his toys and snacks!

Shelby is our 5 year old cat. She is named after the Shelby Mustang because she is so fast. She loves climbing trees to impress people and then sitting on a branch and watching for rodents or birds to “play” with.

Linda G.’s Lucy

Lucy
Lucy

Lucy and Max
Lucy and Max

Lucy likes warm laps, Max the cat, and dinner time. She doesn’t much like riding in the car, but she’s getting better. She really has an uncanny way of knowing what her people are thinking and feeling.

 

Heidi’s Hunter

 

hunter
Hunter

Our dog’s name is J.D. Hunter (Jacob’s Dog Hunter)
Hunter is a pure bred English Lab. He is a bit shorter and stockier than many labs that you see.

Hunter LOVES to swim! (Almost as much as he loves treats!) He is 7 years old and weighs about 80 lbs. He is a great “watchdog” ~ he would welcome any burglar with lots of excitement!

He is the most sweet loving dog we have ever owned and stole our hearts almost immediately. We are thankful God blessed us with him…☺

Mary’s Granddog Jack

jack
Jack

Here is the picture of my Granddog Jack. He was named Jack because he jumps like a rabbit, so he is jumping Jack.

 

Bronwyn’s Aliwicious

aliwicious
Aliwicious, age 2, has no doubt she’s Queen. P.S. Don’t mess with her Q-tip.

Aliwicious enjoys strolling around the house with a Q-tip hanging out of her mouth. She looks like she’s smoking a cigarette. When not pretending to be a smoker, she wants to play fetch with her Q-tip. If someone throws it, she’ll race for it and bring it back. She never tires of this game. When she feels like doing something nice for me or for Jerry, she’ll place her treasured Q-tip on our pillow in the same way a cruise line provides foil-wrapped chocolates on cabin bed pillows. If Aliwicious is in a sharing mood, she’ll drop the Q-tip in her food or water bowl so that all who come to the bowl to dine may thrill at the delight of her Q-tip.

Harriet’s Maggie

Maggie
Maggie

Maggie is 5 years old and she has been our dog for 3 years.

She loves to eat, sleep, and bark at the UPS truck. It is her job to inform us every time the truck goes by our house.

Her favorite food is cheese and she will be best friends for life with anyone who will share a piece of cheese with her.

 

 

Sistas, send us your travel pics, pet pics, kid pics, favorite pics. We want to print your pics in our new Sista to Sista magazine. E-mail pictures to:

email address

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Who Owns These Fuming Flamingos?

Pink plastic flamingos

Plastic Pink Flamingos staged an angry protest over Sista to Sista’s decision to exclude pink flamingos from Sista Pet Pics.

They claim discrimination and demand an apology.

 

Dear Pink Flamingos,

The Sista to Sista staff regrets the decision to exclude you from our newest “Pets Strike A Pose” feature. However, it has come to our attention that Pink Flamingos, pardon us saying so, do not make good household pets. Flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruper) do not have domesticated personalities and are not generally suited to training.

As an example, a Flamingo does not have the desire to bring the newspaper to its owner, nor does it want to rollover upon command. Even more, a flamingo refuses to fetch slippers, do the Moonwalk, or howl along with a Spice Girls’ CD. Flamingos prefer to preen, call to their mates (rather annoyingly), and travel in flocks along shore lands. Plus, the grocery stores do not sell Flamingo food in cans or bags. There are no flamingo hotels for boarding at our local Pet Smart stores.

Even so, omitting you from our pet pic feature was an outright error on our part. Please accept our apology.

Your Friends,
Sista to Sista Staff

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Devotion

by Gail

Gail
Gail

 

Several years ago I tried to write a devotion but I couldn’t get it to come together until I made it into a prayer. I recently found it – I’m sure by God’s design and timing because He knew I needed it now.

 

God,

You allow trials, difficult situations, and difficult people to come into my life for a reason. I can take my trials to you and ask for help. But how I choose to react or respond to those trials is up to me.

The world says I have the right to be bitter, angry, hurt, afraid, to walk away, take revenge, say something in response, or put myself first. But this is not what You want me to do.

You have taught me to give You my bitterness, anger, hurt feelings, fears, selfish desires and attitudes. Holding them inside is like filling a backpack with rocks and carrying it around all the time. I’m a slave to it and no good to You.

The lines of the song tell me to “cast all my cares upon You, to lay all of my burdens down at Your feet”. If I lay my bag of hurts and attitudes at Your feet then I’m free to “take Your yoke upon me because Your burden is light”, Matthew 11:28-30. This verse also says by doing this I can learn from You. I have learned how doing this can bring peace, joy and rest. Also how You can better use me to accomplish Your will.

Thank you Lord. Amen.

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image of Jesus rising

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart
that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”     Rom. 10:9 (NIV)


Beth Moore at Tacoma Dome Review

by Linda I.

Really enjoyed Beth Moore (at Tacoma Dome, March 11-12), as I knew I would. Beth wanted us to “take-home-a,” or “Tacoma,” word. And I did. The event was timely and helpful for my personal situation. Worship was awesome and beautiful and all of Beth’s teachings were in the Word. She has such a way of connecting with me, she was in a huge venue with thousands of women and yet I felt like it was still personal and she was talking right to me.

The hotel room was great. A comfortable room, very close to the Tacoma Dome. Good fellowship with wonderful Sistas!

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Deviled Egg Contest

Nancy’s EGG-Ceedingly EGG-Ceptional EGG-OFF Challenge,

Colored Easter EggsFor leftover colored Easter eggs.

Deviled eggs come from my Kansas roots and it was made the SAME way in every household in Girard, Kansas.☺ After becoming an adult and moving to the west coast, I got really inspired and tried I to improve Grandma Hazel’s and Aunt Edna’s recipe. It’s amazing how creative one can be making a simple deviled egg. I always have to challenge you in some way….SO why not re-invent the deviled egg recipe IN YOUR KITCHEN this year. Get the grandkids to help! In Girard we added a dash of mustard and vinegar, salt and pepper, and enough Mayo to make it smooth in the egg shells. I like it but they all tasted the same to me.

Try adding sweet, sour, green tomato or onion relish, finely chopped or grated celery, carrots, mushrooms or bacon (cooked and minced). Sundried tomatoes or pesto could work too. My favorite is chopping up wine-flavored Salami in the packaged section and stirring it into Grandma Hazel’s Kansas recipe. ☺

Anyone want to challenge me to an EGG-OFF???

Why Deviled Eggs? Why not Angelic Eggs?

Here’s the history. An Englishman by the name of William Underwood set up a small condiment business on Boston’s Russia Wharf in 1822. It did pretty well both developing and selling new condiment products. Around 1868, Underwood’s sons began experimenting with a new product created from ground ham blended with a mix of special seasonings. They introduced a product line of seasoned meat products including ham, turkey, chicken, lobster, and tongue. They called the seasoning process “deviling,” and the Underwood “red devil” was born.

Today many other foods, including eggs and crab, are served “deviled.” To be considered deviled, a food has to have a kick from something like Dijon mustard, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or chopped hot peppers.

Read more:  How did deviled eggs get their name?

 

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The Tradition of Easter Eggs

Easter EggIn Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. Eggs laid during that time were often boiled or otherwise preserved. Eggs were thus a mainstay of Easter meals and a prized Easter gift for children and servants.

Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and in Greece painted eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Armenians hollowed out the eggs (by piercing the shell with a needle and blowing the contents out) and decorated the eggs with pictures of Jesus and Mary. Germans gave green eggs as gifts on Holy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter, celebrated in Cathedral Churches), and hung hollow eggs on trees.

In Eastern Europe, eggs were painted silver and gold.

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My Story

by Heather

Heather and Ethan
Heather and Ethan

My name is Heather.

I was born in Bremerton, Washington and have lived in Washington for most of my life.

One of the few memories I have of my childhood is of the house we lived in between my Kindergarten and 4th grade years. It was a big, old two-story in the Mt Baker district of Seattle. We had a huge maple tree outside our bedroom window and I would climb out the window, down the roof and down the tree. It was a really fun exit.

I have been married to Steve for 34 years, although we have been separated since January as we work on some issues including addiction. We would very much appreciate your prayers for us as we work through this time.

We have two children, Josh who is married to Holly, and Angela who is married to Andrew. I’m very close to all four and we enjoy getting together often. Josh and Holly have four children, Hailey (9), Tristan (8), Ethan (3) and Daniel (9 months). They are true blessings from God and I spend a lot of time with them all.

We also have a cat, named Shelby and a dog named Buddy.

I enjoy family, reading, cooking, and God’s creation, but my overwhelming love is for God. I love God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit so very much.

I’m extremely passionate about discipleship and even more so about missions and outreach. I can’t think of anything I would rather do than tell someone about our God and share His love with others.

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If you were a jelly bean,
what color would you be and why?

jelly beans

Mary – My favorite jelly bean color is black, but who wants to limit themselves to one color when there are so many beautiful colors?

Nancy – Pina Colada, whitish-color. Reminds me of the old days traveling to the Caribbean, when I was able to fit into a blue polka dot bikini.

Wendy – Coconut (white) because it’s sweet. Or Green Apple (green) because it has a punch to it.

Heather – I would be a yellow jelly bean because yellow represents light or “Son”shine to me and I want to reflect His light.

Carol – I love pink and black because they are tasty!

Vikki – If I were a jelly bean I would be purple because that is my favorite color. My flavor would be a sweet purple grape. Hopefully, I could be a very refreshing flavor.

Harriet – A white coconut jelly bean. It reminds me of summer and warm weather.

Leslie – My jelly bean would be purple just because it’s my favorite color.

Heidi – #1 Pink Bubblegum flavor because it reminds me of chewing bubble gum as a kid (when life was simple and carefree). #2 Red Cherry because I like the flavor.

Gail – Yellow, Pina Colada flavor of pineapple and coconut because it’s tropical.

Jelly Bean Poem and Prayer

by Charlene Dickensen, 1997

Red is for the blood He gave

Green is for the grass He made.

Yellow is for the sun so bright.

Orange is for the edge of night.

Black is for the sins we made

White is for the grace He gave.

Purple is for His hour of sorrow.

Pink is for our new tomorrow.

An egg full of jelly beans,

colorful and sweet as a prayer,

a promise,

A loved one’s treat.

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Interesting Jelly Bean Facts

  • Americans consume 16 billion jelly beans at Easter. Candy is a relatively recent Easter tradition.
  • Chocolate eggs, the most popular Easter candy, were first made in Europe in the early 1800s.
  • Hot Cross Buns are among the earliest Easter sweet treat traditions. In 1361, a monk named Father Thomas Rockcliffe began a tradition of giving Hot Cross Buns to the poor of St. Albans on Good Friday.
  • Pretzels were also an early Easter treat, created by a monk in the 7th century. A pretzel’s twists represent arms crossed in prayer.
  • Jelly Beans did not become an Easter tradition until the 1930’s. They were probably first made in America by Boston candy maker William Schrafft, who ran advertisements urging people to send jelly beans to soldiers fighting the Civil War.
  • Jelly Belly beans came on the scene in 1976. They were the first jelly beans to be sold in single flavors and come with a menu of flavors.

Jelly Belly Fun Facts

  • Very Cherry remained the most popular flavor of Jelly Belly beans for two decades until 1998, when Buttered Popcorn moved into first place. In 2003 Very Cherry moved back into top position by a mere 8 million beans.
  • Blueberry flavor was created for Ronald Reagan’s presidential inauguration in 1981 when over three tons of Jelly Belly beans were consumed during the festivities.
  • A portrait of President Ronald Reagan made from 10,000 Jelly Belly beans hangs in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
  • During the presidency of Ronald Reagan, Jelly Belly beans were served in the Oval Office and on Air Force One. A holder was designed for the plane so the jar of Jelly Belly beans would not spill during turbulence.

 

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Where’s Emerald (aka Joyce)?

Where's WaldoFor the past five months, Emerald “Em” Townsend, aka Joyce, has attended Everest College in Everett studying to become a Pharmacy Technician.

Emerald chose her new career due to her longtime interest in medicine. She’ll graduate June 17, 2011 and plans to celebrate with a party (be on the lookout for your invitation).

When asked about her studies, she said, “Every month we study something different, such as one month we’ll study the reproductive system and the next month we’ll study something else. Every week we have to memorize twenty drugs, the brand name and the generic name. I also have to know what category they’re in, like whether they’re an antidepressant, heart or pain medicine, sleep aid, all kinds. Basically, you name it and I’ve got to learn it.”

Of all her studies, Em isn’t too keen on the math. “I’m an artist, a right-brain thinker,” she explained.

When asked if she studies how to read a doctor’s handwriting, she said, “Good question. I have to study that too. I have to learn all the abbreviations doctors use. Of course we also have the option of asking others, ‘what’s this look like to you?’ Or we can call the doctor’s office.”

One of Em’s favorite studies is the lab. “The lab is fun. I like playing with the I.V. bags. We practice with pretend drugs. Needles are fun too.”

Many of you remember Emerald as Joyce until she officially changed her name this year. “I never liked my name and I thought, if I don’t change it now, then when? I chose Emerald because my best friend in high school wrote a song for me and titled it, ‘Emerald Eyes.’ Also my birthstone is an emerald and my little sister has a friend named Emerald.”

Emerald will take her Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam at the end of April, the test she needs to pass in order to get her license. “Most people wait until the end of the program to take the test, but I’m going to take it early since I’ve been studying hard. If I don’t pass, I’ll wait sixty days and then I’ll take it again. I’d like to ask everyone for prayer that I pass the test and that I have peace and the confidence I can do it.”

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Once upon a time plaque

Favorite Books

Books by Malcolm Gladwell reviewed by Leslie

Fiction books are usually my favorite books to read, or Christian books that encourage me to grow as a Christian. So when I came across these books by Malcolm Gladwell, I wasn’t too sure I would enjoy them. First they are not fiction books, nor are they Christian. They’re various stories about life and how we think. They encourage us to think out of the box.

The first book by Gladwell that I read is Outliers. Gladwell talks about men and women who are outliers. These are the people who are so accomplished, and so out of the ordinary experience, that they are confusing to us. He explores the notion that so many of us have about successful people. “They are really smart” or “they are really ambitious.” The best example is Bill Gates, but not all Outliers are worth 60 billion dollars as Gates is. Gladwell says it struck him that our understanding of success is crude. This book digs down and comes up with a better set of explanations. He tells many success stories that will surprise you. It won’t be what you think he’ll tell you. I took away from this book that it’s never too late to become a professional in whatever field that interests me. It encouraged me to still reach for my dreams even in my later years.

The second book I read by Gladwell was the The Tipping Point. This book is an intellectual adventure story about change. It shows us why change can be so rapid and happen so unexpectedly. The author covers such drastic changes as the crime rate in New York City in the mid-1990’s; why teens smoke in greater numbers today when everyone knows cigarettes kill; and why the word of mouth can be so powerful in promoting certain fads or products. After I read this book I realized I could see patterns in our world that I had never seen before and I began to understand them.

The last book by Gladwell that I read is Blink, which is about rapid cognition. It’s those two split seconds when you make a decision in the blink of an eye, such as when you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking about buying, or when you are under extreme stress during a life threatening situation. These are decisions you make in the blink of an eye. Gladwell examines what goes on inside our heads in that instant. Blink makes you take those seconds seriously. It gets us to pay closer attention to those fleeting moments in our lives.

Probably my favorite book out of the three is Outliers because it made me feel I could accomplish anything if I put my mind to it. I’m forever trying new hobbies or interests, wondering if I will ever master anything at my age. This book encouraged me not to give up.

Each book was a quick read. They all had well-written and interesting stories and were hard to put down. If you like to be surprised and delight in learning something new – these books are for you.

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Our Easter Sunday Traditions

Mary – Our family goes to church and meets at my house for brunch afterward. Now that the grandkids are bigger, we put money in the Easter eggs and they really get into it.

Wendy – Church followed by brunch with the family.

Carol – Our tradition has changed over the years. Church used to be sunrise service with family, then a nice breakfast or brunch at a restaurant. I loved coloring Easter eggs and making fun baskets when the kids were home. Now I have an Easter tree and one bunny basket as the centerpiece on the dining room table. Still have a little candy and send Easter cards out with God’s message to family.

Leslie – Church and Easter dinner with ham, corn casserole, crescent rolls.

Heidi – Potluck dinner with family.

Gail – Attend Friday Cross Service and Sunday service.

 

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Holy Spirit + Gut = Go!

by Nancy

Practice your Holy Spirit strategy every day
Cause if you try to hide from God, you’ll fail in every way.
Life will be better without all the guilt
When you team up with God, you are soundly built.

Put your Holy-Spirit strategy into practice every day!

When you allow Satan to give you self-doubt
You’ll squirm, you’ll wiggle, and try to get out.
You’ve now got the strategy on how to change it
So put it into practice and don’t try to fake it.

Put your Holy-Spirit strategy into practice every day!
Put your Holy-Spirit strategy into practice every day!

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Got Dirt?

Aquilegia

Columbine, An Easy to Grow Perennial

Columbine is an airy and graceful flower with spurred petals. Native to Asia, Europe and North America, this plant makes a great addition to your spring garden. If you are a hummingbird lover, then you’ll love growing columbine. Not only does it attract hummingbirds but bees love it too because it contains a lot of nectar.

The plant has a fairytale quality about it, you can imagine this plant growing in Cinderella’s garden (if she had one). Columbine blooms from late spring to early summer and usually lasts about a month. It sports an array of colors from yellow, white, and pink to blue, purple, and purplish-black. It grows well in partial shade and well drained soil. Once out of the pot, loosen roots if tightly matted. Plant with a generous heaping of compost (at least two inches all around the root ball). The plant will grow to 15-20.” You’ll find columbine in gallon pots at local nurseries, such as Molbak’s. Both Molbak’s and Home Depot also carry large bags of compost.

You can plant columbine now, as long as the ground isn’t frozen.


garden by water

The Lord will guide you always: He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.        Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

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