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

       1 Thessalonians 5:11

Vol. 1, No. 2: December 3, 2010        Editors: Nancy & Bronwyn        Design & Production: Harriet

Merry Christmas Sistas & a Blessed New Year

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Sistas at their retreat
The self-proclaimed Shack Sistas, the summer reading group who met at Taco Time to discuss Wm. Paul Young’s book “The Shack”, ended the summer with a retreat in La Conner. They met at Linda G.’s vacation home set in an idyllic postcard waterfront setting.

 

Contents

Click links below to access specific articles.
Rappin’ With Nancy God’s Visual Message
Upcoming Events Two Things That Make Me Smile
Sonbeams by Bronwyn Angela’s Purse Blessing
Sista Picture Corner Favorite Books
My Story Ideas for Keeping Christ in Christmas
Women of Faith Sistas

Rappin’ With Nancy

Simple Pleasures in Life

Nancy
Nancy

 

As I age, I enjoy such tiny little things and my heart beats for pleasure in a new and wonderful way. I challenge you to slow down long enough (even for a minute) to chew the Taco Time ICE that so magically crunches in your mouth. To hear the birds warble and serenade us as we enjoy their latest hit tune. We all tend to notice flowers in bloom but there is SO much more that GOD has created just for us to enjoy and to relieve us from some of our many stresses and daily burdens.

I have found enjoying a young family in a restaurant, how cute the kids are and how their family chooses to interact to be so delightful. I step out in faith and give them encouragement and tell them what a good job they are doing. This is simple to me but can be powerful to a new family. I enjoy talking to my precious 18-month-old granddaughter Naomi on the phone and cherish her toddler language even though I have NO idea what she has said. I ask her questions that she probably doesn’t understand. I allow myself to get into HER moment and enjoy our chat together. I choose to not think of what I had to finish or accomplish before I go to bed. Bonding with a wee one who is just starting out in this big world can give them the confidence, security and connection that helps them build their confidence in such a way that we have looo-nnng forgotten.

As usual, I challenge you to find some NEW ways to relax, de-stress and enjoy the SIMPLE PLEASURES in life that God so graciously gave us and we so busily forget to notice or appreciate.

Living in Color for God, Nancy

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Upcoming Events

Jesus! (date of His arrival still not known!)

Until then, join us in Tacoma, we’ll have lunch together afterward.

Living Proof

 

Beth Moore

Live with Beth Moore
Tacoma Dome, March 11-12, 2011

To register, call 1-800-254-2022

PS. Sistas, we have a group staying overnight at the Best Western Tacoma Dome. We’d love you to join us. Book your room at 253-272-7737.

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Sonbeams by Bronwyn

Bronwyn at age 10
Bronwyn, age 10, thinking happy hamster thoughts.

Some things strike me as funny. Here are a few.

• Poppy seeds in muffins. If we’re going to put something annoying in muffins, why not add nuts and bolts? Maybe a few broken teeth but no black-toothed grins.

• Classmates.com. People not interested in knowing you in junior high and high school want to reconnect 40 years later. These long lost classmates email messages stating something like “Hey Gal, what’cha been up to? I got married, now I’m divorced. How about you?” How do you reply? Yeah, you and I never spoke to each other in junior high, but now that you want to catch up here’s my life story…

• Cialis commercials. Ahh, the joys of E.D.! One pill provides googly-eyed looks from his and hers bathtub. I wonder, do the bathtubs come with the prescription?

Thoughts that amuse me help keep me positive. But many of my daily events, and probably yours too, fall into a gray zone where funny thoughts don’t come to mind.

My years of anxiety, which included panic attacks, phobias and depression, grew out of a lifelong habit of thinking unfunny thoughts. Rather than laugh about life, I worried about it.

My worries ran through my mind like one of those continuous news crawls on a TV broadcast….how will we pay the doctor bills? …is my teenage son safe out there on the road? shouldn’t he be home by now? I constantly envisioned the worst case scenario thinking this somehow gave me control.

I didn’t heal from a life of anxiety until I gave God permission to be who He is–God. I finally allowed Him to be in control and recognize this amazing fact: His Word works. In Philippians 4: 6 (New International Version) Paul writes: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Paul continued in Phil. 4-8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of Peace will be with you.”

I realized I couldn’t control bad things from happening. I certainly couldn’t control my husband or the neighbors or the crazy driver on the road. But I could control my thoughts. Now it’s so clear to me.

The prescription for peace is right there in the Bible. And I don’t need to hop in a bathtub out in the backyard to make it happen.

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Take Christ out of Christmas, and December becomes the bleakest and most colorless month of the year. ~A.F. Wells


Sista Picture Corner

Road Trip Sista

Carol and Harry
Carol and Harry

 

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


My Story

by Leslie

Leslie
Leslie

 

I grew up in Dallas, Texas and had a very wonderful childhood. My mother was a devout Catholic and she made sure that my two older sisters, my younger brother and I all were raised as Catholics. We went to church every Sunday and our mother taught us to pray on our knees every night before we went to bed. Though our prayers were memorized prayers we all learned at an early age that there was a God and He was holy. My father was raised as a Protestant in a church called the Christian Church. He was not religious but he did go to church with us every Sunday and when I was seventeen he converted to Catholicism. During my growing up years I had several well meaning Christians share the Gospel with me but I just could not embrace a faith that was not works oriented.

Dallas was very hot during a long period of time each year and I remember going to school with no air conditioning and how happy we were to learn that when I was going into High School our schools would be air-conditioned. I was fortunate that I grew up surrounded by an extended family, that included aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. I was blessed to have had friends from first grade all the way through to graduation in high school.

My favorite thing to do when I was growing up was to tap dance. I took dance for many years and tap was my favorite. I was in a tap group (there were three of us) that competed in talent shows and we won for our grade school and got to dance in a competition at the Dallas Music Hall. This was the BIG TIME for us. We didn’t win but were very excited to dance on the stage where many stars had graced the stage when they came to town.

My favorite thing today that I do is read. I love to read about our Lord, saints, politics and of course fiction. When I do read fiction I love to read about women and their various struggles in life and how they come through them.

My favorite place in the whole world is the country of Italy. My husband and I have traveled to Italy twice and we love the natural beauty, the art, history and the beautiful countryside.

I came to know Christ when I was in a car accident when we lived in Connecticut. It was Good Friday and I needed to get out with our two sons (our third was not yet born) and pick up my husband’s laundry before he left for a business trip that following Monday. I had dropped off our oldest son, Jimmy, at a friend’s, and proceeded to run my errands. It was a sleety, rainy day. I lost control of the car and did everything wrong. I hit the brake and turned the wheel and my car started to roll. During that time my life flashed before me in slow motion and I knew I wasn’t right with the Lord. I opened up my heart and asked Him in. I also prayed He would save my son, Ryan, who was with me and myself from certain death. After that day my life changed drastically. The Lord directed my steps and I got into Bible Study with believers and I started to grow in my new faith. That was over 21 years ago and I’m so thankful for the Lord’s hand in my life.

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The Lord loveth a cheerful giver. He also accepteth from a grouch.
~Catherine Hall, British professor and historian


Women of Faith Sistas

What we took away from the Women of Faith Conference held in the Key Arena,
Oct. 29 & 30.

Nancy and Wendy Sistas at Women of Faith

Sheryl – I can think of so many highlights, but the power of Nichole Johnson’s dramas keeps coming back to me. The abortion one was POWERFUL and the Captain Hook and Labels ones made me ponder…how often do I use a hook or label a person to get my way or feel better about myself? Such a powerful message for women of Christ to confess and release. God bless, Sheryl

Nancy – I was impressed with the variety of speakers and worship music. But I learned something that did come from that directly…is that, God will provide all things! The ONLY way I could attend the conference was to have God send me a Christian army to help me maneuver in a facility that WAS NOT HANDICAPPED FRIENDLY. Thanks to you all…especially Gail and Wendy…I lasted two full days. Praise God!

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Jesus is on his way


God’s Visual Message

by Gail

Gail
Gail

 

Jesus said in John 14:26 “…the counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things… Jesus calls Him the Spirit of Truth.

God knows I understand things better when I can see them so He shows me in pictures. Not long after I became a Christian he showed me two cars:

The first one came with a temporary warranty, it would require frequent fill ups and cleanings, tires that would wear out easily and an engine that was not dependable. The other car came with a lifetime guarantee and a navigator.

He asked me which one I wanted to trust in for the rest of my life.

I am the first car, with emotions that change often – some requiring major tune-ups. I often don’t know where I’m going or how to get there. The back seat is full of road maps but they are hard to get to and so many to choose from. And my careless driving mistakes will cost me.

The second car was redesigned by Christ.Ford motoring image

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come – 2 Corinthians 5:17. I won’t need any major emotional tune-ups, I can trust Him to always take me where I need to go, and I can throw away all the crummy old maps. I don’t have to worry about my mistakes or future because He said that “all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes” – Romans 8:28. My responsibility would be to “fill it up” with His Word and follow His directions.

God showed me that it was my choice each day which car I would trust – “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” – Proverbs 3:5 & 6

 

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Two Things That Make Me Smile

Green smiley tennis balls

Wendy – Fall colors & scenes; a baby’s smile.

Mary W. – Grandma “I love you; precious moments with the family…ps. & dumb blonde jokes.

Linda – My new kitty Abby makes me smile with her playful, happy ways; Enjoying good comedy programs like The Cosby Show.

Leslie B. – My grandson James; my husband’s jokes.

Sumol – I’m the Lord’s and I can go to Him with confidence 24/7, knowing He’ll never leave me or forsake me; I’m surrounded by a loving and praying family who loves the Lord and a pup that points me to the Lord constantly.

Gail – Experiencing God’s answer to prayers and seeing Him working in someone’s life; babies’ smiles and puppies playing.

Heidi – Spending quality time with my friends; dusk–watching the sunset at Lake Ponderay in Idaho (with the beautiful colors dancing off the water.)

Carol – Toby Mac songs; hugs from my husband…ps. & kittens.

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Angela’s Purse Blessing

by Linda

Finances had been a struggle for some time. Things had begun to get a bit better, and my trusty Toyota just had its 90,000 mile service. About a week later, the engine light started coming off and on.

I returned to the service department and was told that it was the oxygen sensor, if the light came on and stayed on, that it would need replacement. Another unplanned expense. Each time the engine light would come on again I’d be working on giving that back to the Lord and struggling with it. Finally that light came on and stayed on.

I was on my way to Bible study and I told God that morning that the car was His, He was in control and He knew that I didn’t have the money to fix it then, but I would trust Him, and I finally surrendered and had peace. I was in the church parking lot on the way to study at that point.

I then went in to the study and it was announced that God had impressed Marty to give me an amount from Angela’s purse that was just what I needed to do the repair on the car! The moment I let go of the problem, God provided through you wonderful Sistas!

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Text Message 4 U

God so XXOX the WIRLD & gave his only BGOT10 son, whoever BLVS in Him, will not perish but have 4EVER lasting life. To all you PP (people), that means, God LUMPT (Loves you more than pie), even during PTH (prime tanning hours), He LY4E (loves you forever) and thinks you’re GR8. Enjoy DITR (Dancing in the rain) BC (because) GLYASDI (God loves you and so do I).


 

Favorite Books

Once upon a time plaqueHarriet:

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller

This book addresses common doubts that both believers and skeptics can have about the existence of God. It is a good book for believers to read to both strengthen faith and to help us answer questions from non-believers, or to give to a non-believer who is looking for answers. The author does an excellent job of answering the most common doubts that skeptics have about God in the first part of the book, and then goes on in the second part of the book to examine reasons why people should believe in the claims of the Christian faith.

Bronwyn:

Doing Life Differently by Luci Swindoll

I purchased this book at the Seattle 2010 Women of Faith conference, mainly because I liked the title. The book’s cover picture of a hot air balloon sailing over the Serengeti played into my desire for a thrill-seeking safari. I didn’t know if I’d like the book’s contents or not. But soon after I started reading, I was caught up in it.

Swindoll writes of her adventures in Kenya and Greece among other faraway places. She also writes of her struggles, her joys and the key to living a rich and joyful life. Swindoll states (on page 42), “The journey we’re on is planned and watched over by a loving God who wants us to treasure the gift of being alive and who sets us free to participate in our own destiny. Embracing that journey–whatever it is for each of us, wherever it takes us–is imperative to capturing the spirit of adventure.”

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Two jokes for Mary 🙂

Geometry test joke

The assistant asked the blonde if she would like her pizza cut into six pieces or twelve. “Six please” she said, “I could never eat twelve!”

Ideas for Keeping Christ in Christmas

•Save some sparklers from the Fourth of July. Light them on Christmas morning and sparkler-write “Christ” in the air as the family gathers ’round the tree.Jesus is the Reason for the Season

•When shoppers slam their grocery cart into yours during the busy holiday season, shout loudly, “I forgive you because it’s CHRISTMAS.”

•When a shopper grabs the last pair of pajamas off the shelf, (the ones in reindeer print and in your size), yank the p.j’s from her and run wildly to the checkout stand. This gives you the opportunity to turn around, find the still fuming shopper, and say to her, “Jesus is the reason for the season and He told me to give these back to you.” Then slap them in her cart and tell her you’re not all too happy with Jesus for making you return them to her.

•Ahem! If the above ideas don’t seem right for you or your way of sharing Christ with others–perhaps you’ll like some of the following suggestions.

•Read the Christmas story with your family Luke 1:5-56 through 2:1-20.

•Carry out a project of goodwill. Help make Christmas a special time for someone in need.

•Get a group together and go Christmas caroling at a nursing home or children’s hospital.

•Set up a nativity scene in your home.

•Give a surprise gift of service (by you) to a family member or friend.

•Write a Christmas letter to a missionary. (Call OCC, they will hook you up.)

•Give a Christmas gift to God, something personal to God from you that no one else needs to know about.

•Attend a Christmas church service with your family.

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