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

       1 Thessalonians 5:11

Vol. 2, No.1: February 3, 2011        Editors: Nancy & Bronwyn        Design & Production: Harriet

Adversity gives us the opportunity to experience, learn, grow and prosper. It allows us to focus on our short comings and struggles and to teach ourselves to use them to our advantage… It teaches us not to just give in…resent our daily lives and then just roll over and allow ourselves to be terminally angry, discouraged and depressed. Poor little Nancy just has it SO bad ? Boo Hoo! A martyr in the making and we miss all the clues, red flags and symptoms as we “fall into the pit” as Beth Moore would say. ☺

Adversity? The opportunity of a lifetime!!! Or do we perceive it as a curse, resent it and whine because we don’t want to take the time to unravel the problem, understand the process and to take responsibility when it IS OUR problem. When we view it as a curse, we make poor decisions and then start on the roller coaster path to self destruction all over again and run ourselves down so Satan can come a callin’!!!!

IS THIS the way you want to be remembered? Will this be your legacy to pass down to your children and your grandchildren?

Having a life threatening disease “can be” very liberating and very freeing. My perspective on adversity, life, and death has changed from fear and depression to absolute joy and inspiration. I now try to live every day fully with anticipation, delight, wonder and excitement! It is our attitude and choice of “how” we perceive life that makes our day positive or negative. We control our head space, attitude and posture. We write our future and our legacy. We choose to give up, be a martyr or Put Our Trust In God As Our Savior, and Win the War on how we perceive our daily hiccups and adversity.

Since I surrendered and gave it to God, I find my strength and faith is over the moon. Since I no longer need to have someone be at fault…I now can choose to forgive myself, others and to allow it just not to be “that important anymore.” I try to thank God for all the tiny things that he gives me every minute of my life to make me smile and realize life is short and to just “GET OVER MYSELF.” The more I seek to serve God, listen to His prodding and let HIS timing become MY heart’s desire…the sooner I can stop feeling angry and depressed; The sooner I can get over the curse of adversity and resentment and focus on all the little things that we CAN control and Choose to live, love and desire the small things that God HAS blessed us with. We can choose to extend and spread that gift to EVERYONE we see and in everything we do…and ALL IN GOD’S NAME AND FOR HIS GLORY. Amen.

PRAISE THE LORD FOR ALLTHE TREASURES HE HAS GIVEN US THAT WE HAVE IGNORED OR JUST FORGOTTEN. Let’s show God that we finally “GET IT” and then pass it on to others the way God has passed it on to us and blessed us.

Living in Color for God, Nancy

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Upcoming Events

Big Ol’ Sweet Iced Tea Tour

anita renfroe
Anita Renfroe

with comedian Anita Renfroe

 Saturday, February 26, 2011 – 7 PM Overlake Christian Church

For tickets, go to “events” at Overlake Christian Church

 

Living Proof

 

Beth Moore
Beth Moore

 

Live with Beth Moore
Tacoma Dome

Friday, March 11, 7 PM to 9:30 PM
Saturday, March 12, 8:30 AM to 12 PM

For tickets call 1-800-254-2022

 

Passover Seder

seder star

Join us April 19th, 2011 when our Bible Study will again attend a Passover Seder dinner and instructional program. Full dinner and program is $25.00 per person. RSVP to Nancy or Gail at:

email address

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Sonbeams by Bronwyn

My Marvelous Discovery

Bronwyn
Bronwyn

 

“What izzzzz your name again?” people always ask once I’m introduced.

“My name is Bronwyn,” I repeat.

People believe they heard me perfectly after hearing me repeat. They comment, “Oh! Barbara!” Or, “It’s good to meet you, Rhonda.” One young man actually began calling me Brunhilda.

“No, my name is Bronwyn. It’s a Welsh name,” I explain.

“Is that your FIRST name?” they almost always ask. When I say yes, they often appear aghast and respond, “What kind of a name is that?”

“It’s Welsh. It’s a very common name in Wales.”

Most people under the age of 12 and over the age of 50 seem to get my name at this point. The teens through forties crowd prefers to call me “Blown Wind” or “Barnwell.”

One lady once enthusiastically announced, “I can say your name! It’s brown like the color and wing like the bird. You’re Brownwing.”

During my 10th grade year I had to endure the name “Bro Nin” from my geometry teacher. She called on me in class, “Bro Nin, do you have the answer to theory number 2?”

I’d politely remind her, “My name is Bronwyn.” No matter. She had declared me “Bro Nin” and that was that. No wonder I hate geometry.

For most of us our personal names are little more than labels. Our names distinguish us from others. You’re Paula. You’re Peggy. You’re Penelope. And you’re Brunhilda.

Nicknames can sometimes reflect a characteristic of a person, such as “Red” for the red-head or “Sissy” for sister, but it’s usually a poor reflection of the person’s character.

When our Tuesday Bible study began studying the names of God, I had no idea it would affect my life in a marvelous way. Before our study, I had the pre-conceived idea I would get smarter from learning God’s names beyond the often-used “Lord” and “God.” I looked forward to learning what El Shaddai means, after all the years of listening to Amy Grant sing about it.

Here’s how I felt the study would benefit me. After completing the study, I’d say in a smarty-pants manner, “Did you know that El Elyon is one of God’s names and means ‘The God Most High’?” I’m sure whoever I said this to would be very impressed. Or so I hoped.

But I discovered that knowing the names of God is not to show off knowledge or to simply increase knowledge. I discovered that learning the names of God teaches me His character, His ways, and what He means to me and to each of us.

I now realize the names of God show us miniature portraits and promises. El Shaddai means The All-Sufficient One. It’s a promise I can put into action. Hang my hat on. As many of you know, my son dealt with difficult circumstances. I told him about our study of God’s names and that one of God’s names is Jehovah–jireh meaning The Lord Will Provide. How cool is that? My daughter-in-law recently struggled with a miserable cold. I told her about another of God’s names. Jehovah-rapha means The Lord Will Heal. I said to her, “You can take heart in that.” His names remind us that He’s in control, He’s the one to look to in all circumstances.

In Scripture, a person’s name identified them and stood for something specific. This is especially true of God. He revealed His names to His people rather than allowing them to choose names for Him.

I no longer care if I have the “knowledge” of God’s many names. I desire to know all His names because I love the sound of them, I love what they mean and because they minister to me, comfort me, guide me and help me to minister to others.

My own personal name can’t do that and could never do that. Can you imagine how awkward it would be if I said to my daughter-in-law, “I’m sorry to hear you have a cold. Did you know that my name Bronwyn means ‘fair, blessed breast’? Take heart in that with your next sip of Nyquil.”

Doesn’t work. But the name Jehovah-rapha does. It has a healing power all its own. And it’s one of God’s many names. And yes, it’s one of his many FIRST names.

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Cheesecake

Old inspiring thought: “Seize the moment.” New and improved inspiring thought:

 Seize the cheesecake, Baby!

Psalm 119:103-104  How sweet are your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey (or perhaps cheesecake!*) to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.

* editor’s embellishment


Sista Picture Corner

Christmas Party Photos

Carol and Emily
Carol and Emily

Vikki and Marty
Vikki and Marty

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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My Story

by Michell

Michell
Michell

 

I was born in Burien, Washington. Been raised here all my life. The irony of being raised in a state that has shifting weather patterns is that it mirrors my life. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought I was born abroad, in a little boat in the middle of a raging sea with the horizon nowhere in sight. I’d love to share some warm and funny stories, but they are hard to remember. I was raised in a tumultuous, chaotic life style. From the time I was born, my mother struggled through life, through abusive relationships and working full time. Her hardships became my reality. She was born into a dysfunctional family of fourteen brothers and sisters. Within this family there was physical, mental, sexual and drug abuse. She was a target especially for the sexual abuse by her own older brother. I tell you this to explain some of the same instances that became part of my own true reality.

I was only two years of age when it was first discovered that I had been fully sexually assaulted. The madness of this never ceased until I was in my late teens, when I personally put an end to it. You see, everything is fine in our home if we don’t talk about it or face it head on. When I was three years of age my presumed father hit me with a brush in my leg because he and my mother were arguing. Needless to say, she left him. Thus began most of my journey living with various people. My mother re-married. She married a King County Officer. She brought me back home at age five, and thought she had the perfect picture. Unfortunately, it was a perfect nightmare. She was physically/mentally abused. She began to fear for her life. Back then, if you were a fellow officer−people minded their own business, including the police dept.. Being that she had no one to turn to, she would run frantically into my room at night while I was sleeping and throw my body in front of hers. You see my mother could no longer withstand the blows that many of times resulted in broken bones. She, in her mind, felt there would be a delay between the beatings, by using me as a safe place. However, I became a lifeless body bag to him and I withstood the blows. You see, I began to learn how to escape my body for a spell so that I might be of a blessing to my mother and help her in the only way I knew how. Needless to say, I continued living my life that way. Standing in front of a victim and taking the blows of an estranged lover or family member. I’ve always felt that it was my duty and have been proud of it. As I got older, my mother moved me out again at age seven. I would live with various people over the next seven years. My best friend lived down the street and was a Christian. Her family agreed to take me on. This was a turning point in my life. This was the first time I had ever heard the story of Jesus. She mentioned He was born from a virgin. Except when you’re young like I was, I interpreted it as He was born in Virginia. This man sounded so wonderful, I marveled at the idea of going to visit Him and playing at His house. My understanding of God/Jesus would be later distorted by this family. I was informed by her parents that I personally could not make it into Heaven, due to the fact I was a sinner. I thought that I shot any hopes of having a perfect, good life. God however works in miraculous ways and has his own agenda.

One day I was told I could not partake in a baptism and I sulked to myself in the front pews. I remember so clearly the Pastor looking down upon me with a warming smile. As he finished baptizing this family I was with, he walked off the stage, reached out his hand, and pulled me on stage and baptized me. What I did not know then, but know now, is that was God’s way of showing me He sees my heart. Now as I got older and still living with various people and suffering various abuses, my heart began to harden. I no longer was the shy, curious little girl. I began to relate to abusers and users. I promised myself that I would no longer be a victim to sexual abuse and no longer witness anymore physical abuse. I, in turn, became the physical abuser. I was physically abusive to whomever I was dating. I started my downward spiral into drugs. I tried suicide at the age of sixteen, realizing that life was all too complex and love was never a tangible thing. Shortly thereafter I moved out on my own, living with my boyfriend and my ex-boyfriend. I continued going to school and worked. I got pregnant on my seventeenth birthday. I got kicked out of high school, but refused to give up. I enrolled myself into an alternative school that took on outcasts. I’m proud to say that I graduated on time with my son in my arms. However, going to an alternative school doesn’t always have its perks. It hosts a lot of unwanted and delinquent kids. Those were my friends, the outcasts. Just where I felt I fit in. This led to my continued influence in drugs and my introduction to jail life. Thus my journey into hell.

Many failed relationships and my feelings of failure as a mother followed. I did not have a strong mentor in my life and did not know how to parent, so I raised my three children Kyle, Rehanna, and Emily separately, being that they are all five years apart. I raised them till they were between the age of three and five before I turned them over to their fathers. Not because I did not love them, but because I felt I was not good enough for them and they deserved so much more than I had to give.

To sum it up, I lived a hard life creating more struggles than any human should endure. So far, by the glory of God, I’m sober. As I look back upon my life I realize that God was there every step of the way, even in my darkest moments. The difference now is that He came to me in my finest hour. He showed me how to have a relationship with him, not a religion. He continues to bless me every second of my life. The difference is I’m more aware of it. I’ve been running all my life and now I know I don’t have to. I can give it over to God. He led me to a wonderful man, Bryan, who I will be married to for our first time in May of 2011. The Lord also promised to redeem all that has been lost, and boy have I lost a lot. That’s quite a promise. But He knows what He’s doing. All I need to do is relax for the first time in my life and have faith. My children are a big part of my life right now, and that’s a blessing all its own. Christmas took on a whole new meaning this year. I never even realized the true purpose of its meaning. It’s so nice, that at age thirty-seven, it all makes sense now. Thank-you too, Ladies, for being a part of the journey God has planned for me.

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Weeping Pine

 

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”
~George Washington Carver


 

God’s Visual Message

by Gail

Gail
Gail

 

Matthew 5:16 says “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

God gave me a picture of how this might be difficult in our lives. He showed me an old-fashioned light bulb – the kind where the light bulb screws into the ceiling. This one was upside down with the bulb pointing up. He helped me see that Jesus is the light that shines through us, the bulb (John 8:12). When I confess my sins, Jesus dusts it off so His light can shine through us clearly (1 John 1:9). When I don’t confess my sins, the dust remains and builds up and blocks His light from shining through us to the world.

If Jesus is to shine through us and receive glory, I must be clean.

 

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Dried fruit plate

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Galatians 5:23, 24


Ten Bestselling Books of All Time

Rank Author Book First Publication Date Approximate Sales
1 Various The Holy Bible c. 1451-55 More than 6 Billion
2 Mao Tse-Tung Quotations from Chairman Mao 1966 900,000,000
3 Noah Webster The American Spelling Book 1783 Up to 100,000,000
4 Mark C. Young Guinness Book of World Records 1955 More than 90,000,000
5 World Almanac Editors World Almanac 1868 73,500,000
6 William Holmes McGuffey The McGuffey Readers 1836 60,000,000
7 Benjamin Spock The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care 1946 More than 50,000,000
8 Elbert Hubbard A Message to Garcia 1899 More than 40,000,000
9 Charles Monroe Sheldon In His Steps, What Would Jesus Do? 1896 More than 30,000,000
10 Jacqueline Susann Valley of the Dolls 1966 More than 30,000,000

Valentine from Jesus

Cross and Heart

Greater Love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  

 John 15:13


Sumol’s Quoteworthy Quotes

“Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill, British prime minister

Sumol: It is hard to put failure and enthusiasm in one sentence, I think. No one willingly walks into any situation that would fail them. In case that becomes a failure, take the next step with enthusiasm and move on and on…success will come eventually. Sometimes it takes many trials before one succeeds.

“Courage is what is takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” -Winston Churchill

Blessings, Sumol

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Ministry Opportunity

VFW volunteers
VFW volunteers

 

Every other Thursday evening you will find an enthusiastic group of volunteers at VFW Post 2995 in Bellevue gathering to support the troops.

Long tables are organized with comfort items that will be sent to front-line troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Box packing night is great fun! Many items that we send are not available to the troops where they are located. They can’t pull up the Hummer to the local Walgreens in Afghanistan! Some items included in comfort boxes are: books and magazines, packaged cookies and candies, powdered soft drinks, canned foods, beef jerky, tooth brushes, eye drops, lip balm, nail clippers, tissue, and surprise hit item, Beanie Babies! Some soldiers keep the Beanie Babies for themselves, and some Beanie Babies make new friends and decide to stay overseas. Local school children write letters and make drawings for the troops. Boxes are packed assembly-line style and 100+ boxes are usually finished in about an hour.

Donations of supplies and cash are taken at local Fred Meyer and QFC stores throughout the year. Shoppers are greeted by our friendly crew and asked if they would like to help support the troops. A shopping list is provided for those who wish to contribute while doing their own shopping, or cash is accepted for postage which is needed to mail the boxes. Seattle Mariners Troop Support Night invites us to come for fund raising, a great night of baseball fun and so supportive of our troops!

VFW Post 2995 has gotten feedback from individuals who have received comfort boxes and they are greatly appreciated. Troop support has been a great ministry for us. We cover our troops in prayer as we pack our boxes. It’s a great group of folks to serve with and tremendous fun. Newcomers are always welcome, come join us! Every other Thursday, 7:00pm, Bellevue VFW, we’d love to see you!

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Two Things That Make Me Smile

Sedona Arizona rock formation
Sedona Arizona rock formation

 

Marty – When I think of God’s forgiveness, acceptance, and love for me and all people. I’m a child of God. When I think of my grand nieces and nephews. There are eight of them, ranging in ages 1 – 20 years.

Wendy – Babies & toddlers;  Beautiful natural scenes.

Michell – Random acts of kindness and/or Gods humbling humor; My son Kyle, who no matter what the negative situation there is, he makes a funny pun about it. I not only smile, I usually crack up.

Nancy – The fact that what was SO important when I was younger is no longer even worth noticing.☺ Instead of worrying how my clothes fit or if my hair is stylish…I’m just glad I didn’t forget to pull my jeans on over my LONG JOHNS which keep me warm. Instead of having coordinated and cutting edge trendy shoes…I’m delighted to have on Crocs that don’t touch my sore feet or bunions!! Life changes and it makes me smile cause I wouldn’t have been caught dead in what I wear now!!!

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My Perfect Day Is…

La Conner Washington
La Conner Washington

Mary – A white sandy beach, blue water and 80 degrees. My daughter and grandkids are playing with me. A great water slide would make it (even more) perfect. Grandma in a swimsuit is a problem. But I don’t know anyone on the beach, so I’ll never see them again. The day ends with a beautiful sunset as the sun melts into the horizon.

Leslie B. – Outdoors on a sunshiny day-skiing with my husband and three sons. At the end of the day, we enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace.

Gail – Standing on a hill in Ireland looking down at a beautiful green valley and up the hills on the other side. I felt like I was in heaven.

Sumol – Sunday. On this day I look forward to being with brothers and sisters in Christ to worship the Lord. I love to do this with my family, then lunch and a much needed nap in the afternoon. hanging out with my hubby doing whatever, usually walks or drives around the area.

Carol – I see myself at a tropical beach resort, all inclusive. We begin with a fresh fruit plate and tea served to me in my room on the balcony. We have an amazing ocean view and soft trade winds.. Next I’m in the pool in an aerobics class having fun. Later, we take a sailing trip and enjoy the sea life. We might even snorkel or scuba and enjoy the undersea tropical fish. At night we head for some native entertainment—-dancing and singing and story-telling. Back to our 5 star resort for a great sleep.

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Once upon a time plaque

 

Favorite Books

Sitting at The Feet of Rabbi Jesus

by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg

This book offers a rare chance to know Jesus the way His disciples knew Him. I pray that you will also find it opens up the Bible in such a way you may not have expected. It is full of unexplored information that trying to do a book review seemed impossible. I decided to just give you a hint of information and hope you will be inspired to read the book.

The authors of this amazing book take us back to the 1st century on a fascinating tour of the Jewish world of Jesus. Ann Spangler and Lois Tvergerg offer inspirational insights that will transform your faith. Example: In ancient times the garments people wore indicated their status in society. The hem was of great importance as it symbolized the owner’s identity and authority. Legal contracts written on clay tablets were “signed” by pressing the corner of one’s hem into the clay. When David cut the corner off King Saul’s robe, David was symbolically insulting the Kings authority to reign. Wow…I had no idea how important it is for us to understand even the tiniest part of scripture and how much the meaning helps us to appreciate and understand every story in the Bible in more depth. I learned SO much about the tassels on their garments, what adding a blue woolen cord to it symbolized, and what a TZITZIT is. YOU will have to read the book to get “all the answers” though.☺

I encourage YOU to read Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus…and then JOIN US IN THIS SUMMER when we discuss this fascinating book every Tuesday (10:30 AM) AT Taco Time in Redmond. We share the book and enjoy Taco Times magical ice and fresh food. We sometimes talk for hours and really learn a lot about our spiritual walk and how each book gives us the opportunity to grow and improve our walk with JESUS.

Living in Color With God, Nancy

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Men, Valentine’s Day is upon us. Wisely heed my words. ~ from Bronwyn

spaghetti with sauce with a heart

  7 Valentine’s Day Don’ts (to husbands)

  1. It’s not a good idea, perhaps, to present your wife with a plastic red rose and say, “This is better than a real rose because it will never die. And it was cheap too.”
  2. Maybe think about signing the Valentine card rather than say to her ever-so-sweetly, “I didn’t sign the card, that way we can re-use it.”
  3. It’s better if you don’t say, “What! You mean this is Valentine’s Day! Man oh man, I never get a break!” (Doghouse!)
  4. Steer clear of saying, “Hey! I changed the oil in your car last week, isn’t that good enough?”
  5. Big don’t: “I would have bought you one of those five-pound heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, but you don’t need it.” (Doghouse forever!)
  6. Avoid saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Hon. Uh, would you mind moving your head slightly to the right so I can see the game on the television?”
  7. Finally, skip the speech that goes something like: “I’m not controlled by Hallmark. I don’t give into crass commercialism. You are my sweetheart every day.” (Oh! dear husband, you’ll be making your bed on the couch) 🙂

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Drawing of heart made by Tyler
Drawing of heart made by Tyler

 

This is my command: Love each other.  John 15:17

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Christmas Luncheon for The Boys 🙂

Dec.14th,  2010

 

Georgia, Maria and Aaron
Georgia, Maria and Aaron

Nancy, Aaron and Miles
Nancy, Aaron and Miles

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”   Luke 14:12-14

Aaron didn’t disappoint….and was the FIRST guest to come through the door at El Toreador Restaurant In Redmond Washington.He was SO pumped and ready for His Party and was in great spirits.(luckily not filled with spirits though 🙂 Oscar was in jail, Jeff was too afraid of crowds….but Miles must have been curious, of us Christians, and he decided he could endure a party in honor of “the homeless in Redmond.” I made invitations for Aaron to pass out to any homeless person he knew and after inviting the Redmond Police, the pastor at the Methodist church and any person or business who had helped the homeless this ye:-)ar, we shared a wonderful Christ-Filled Lunch together. My Bible Study of Awesome Sistas wrapped and donated 6 huge bags of individually wrapped Christmas gifts. The party planner (ME) is “nothing” without a huge Bible Study of faithful supporting Sistas (YOU) to wind me up and keep me going till the gifts were all opened and everyone was full. 🙂

The El Toreador staff was SO Gracious and really into helping us honor the homeless. They rolled out the red carpet for us and gave our large group excellent service and filled our tummies with great tasting food. I kept waiting for the Redmond Police to come in and tease Aaron or tell us we were having too much fun. Aaron stood up when the aroma of his favorite dish Chili Rellenos was put on the table. HE told us to “NOT” eat until he prayed over the meal. Aaron asked us to hold hands and we held them up high to salute and honor our God who had made this feast a reality. Imagine this loudly being done in FRONT of a FULL HOUSE. Aaron said a magnificent prayer thanking God for bringing people of all walks of life together at this party. He outdid himself with the most heartfelt and meaningfully appropriate prayer I have heard!!! It was a tear jerker but the BEST part of it all was that he made our waiter stand, hold hands and pray with us the entire prayer!!! It doesn’t get better than THAT Sistas. I had to keep my eyes open to see if the waiter ran, but he respectfully stayed.

Miles was a great addition to our party. He was polite, sincere, excited, intelligent and communicated easily. Aaron was shocked Miles came and said he was the one least likely to attend….but God had his own plan for Miles. He fit in well and we all enjoyed getting to know him. Miles graciously said he wouldn’t order any food until he saw Aaron’s huge platter of Chili Rellenos. Not only did he wipe his plate clean he finished up the appetizers and half of Linda’s meal☺ I have honestly never seen anyone “truly enjoy” a meal like Miles did Tuesday.

I was afraid the table atmosphere and conversation could be strained and was surprisingly impressed at the broad topics that were discussed. It was a party like none other and I truly feel everyone had a great time. The food was excellent and the service very efficient and thoughtful. I encourage all who read about Aaron and Miles Christmas party to go check out the El Toreador Restaurant in Redmond, Washington. The address is 7845 Leary Way Northeast, in old town between Cleveland Street and Redmond Way. Tell them you heard about their impressive restaurant and Aaron’s homeless party and wanted to thank them for going the extra mile to help us give them a very Merry Christmas.

When gift time came…Aaron wanted it all and Miles kept saying the party was enough so don’t worry about gifts for me. We had plenty of gifts for Aaron, Miles, Oscar and Jeff. I have learned to roll with the punches and just kept shifting gifts. I also made a bag for Oscar and Jeff, so we gifted four. I was sitting by Miles and kept taking off the Oscar or Jeff tags as I handed them to him.He kept touching each gift like it was a “priceless jewel” and kept saying this is beautiful or amazing.He LOVED the brown hat with the ear flaps…tool kit, batteries and flashlight lantern. The hat stayed on the rest of the party. Aaron loved everything….the more the merrier. I was led to buy him colored pencils, watercolors and drawing paper as he loves to draw. Immediately he wouldn’t open anymore gifts and started drawing pictures. You had to be there I guess…but opening presents took on a whole new meaning for me personally. Miles just had to finger each present, and look at each part in detail and memorize it like he may never see another gift again. ? I felt sadness for what the homeless don’t get and such pleasure at how much love and joy Aaron and Miles were genuinely feeling.

God did a MAGNIFICANT job of planning this party for the homeless. He knew who needed to attend and who would give from their heart and deep within their souls. I have never been prouder of anything I have planned as I was at this Homeless Christmas Party. Tears flow as I remember the way these men glowed during this feast with “Their Christian Family.” They enjoyed the meal…unwrapped their gifts and were overwhelmed with love, joy, gratitude and peace. Personally I didn’t want it to end. Spiritually, I will retrieve those memories of God’s Homeless Party and just how much THIS PARTY affected everyone in that restaurant that day….not just us alone. I even bet the people who attended this special party had a glow that would be hard to not notice if you just happened to be there sitting at another table that day. I wish I could have heard what each person thought of our Homeless Party…..I bet my eyes weren’t the only teary eyes at the El Toreador Restaurant that day.

Thanks for ALL your support, generosity, love and patience. It took twenty Christian Sistas, one restaurant, an entire wait staff, cooks and a lot of surprised clients who just happened to make this The Best Party of 2010!!!!

Love and Blessings, Living in Color With God, Nancy


Eye-witness accounts of our Christmas Party for the Homeless

Mary – It was so great to see the little stuff we gave meant so much. I had fun talking to Aaron about horses. So many things I don’t understand about them. Aaron said he didn’t give up hope, he would find a woman someday and marry. I told him with God all things are possible. Thanks for putting it all together, Nancy. We really had a good time and you know just what they need. That is a wonderful gift from God.

Gail – I haven’t smiled so consistently for a long time. Having Aaron volunteer to pray, the waiter/owner/manager/? joining us, and all holding hands was very special. It was a great success.

Michell – Thank-you so much for letting me be a part of your family and kindness. I really felt comfortable with the boys. I’ve lived on the street for only a short time, but it was an adventure and I learned a lot. I felt right at home and was comfortable talking with them about anything. Aaron is very deep and Miles is pretty intelligent. They’re both amazing. I was very surprised with how open Aaron expressed his life and past regrets. I was not shocked by any of it and felt only adoration for him. You’re a true blessing from the Lord, Nancy, to happen upon these lost sheep and herd them back toward there Master. As the Lord worked through you it was said: “My sheep hear My voice,” and “I know them and they follow Me: My sheep follow me because they know my voice.” I forgot to mention to you, and most of all to my 10 yr old daughter Emily, that when Aaron read her story- he began crying and told me that he didn’t care about all the other gifts because this was the most special one he has ever gotten. I forgot that words alone, coming from our heart and deep in our soul, can mean more than wrapped gifts. I feel grateful to be reminded by him that it’s the little things that mean the most. Especially when it comes from a child.

Georgia – Although we must all suffer the consequences of our “choices,” I hate to think of anyone without a place to call home. I thought the luncheon was a supreme success, with even the staff duly impressed by the proceedings. I think Aaron and Miles really enjoyed it and so did I. At the other end of the table, meeting Michell’s daughter’s grandmother was awesome as well. She was still crying about accepting Jesus on Sunday. I like the idea of giving people some positive impressions of Christian people in action in the real world. Thanks for making that possible.

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Bronwyn’s Dad Remembers the Alamo

Robert Burns, age 85, is Bronwyn’s Dad who authors a blog, The Christian Evangelist, from his home in south Texas. With March, 2011, marking the 175th Anniversary of the battle at the Alamo, Burns asks readers to consider the life-changing decision the men at the Alamo faced and the one facing humankind.

GOD IS NIGH

by Robert Burns

alamo

It was a crisp winter morning of March 6, 1836 in San Antonio, Texas. The dawn was breaking and taking the chill from the early morning air. The only sounds were the cracking of leather and wood slapped together. There was the creaking and crunching of heavy equipment moving. A Mexican bugler called assembly and 600 Mexican dragoons and 1,800 assault troops began to form lines for an attack on three sides of an old adobe mission known as the Alamo.

This old mission building was encompassed by a high adobe wall. Inside these walls were 189 American immigrants and Tejanos (Texas Mexicans) that had vowed to protect it all costs. They were standing on a hastily built ramp just below the top of the wall. The men were located evenly a few feet apart. They were observing intently and soberly as the Mexican soldiers formed their lines of attack. None of the defenders moved or spoke as they gripped their rifles and adjusted their long knives. American immigrants and Tejanos were ready to fight to the death side by side and become battle baptized as Texans.

Most of the American immigrants had come to Texas from an adversity of their own making due to ignorance or greed. Texas was large and open and here they could start a complete new life and profit by the mistakes of their past. In fact, in Texas at that time very few claimed to even have a past. They had only the future that gave them a second chance in life. That is why they came to Texas. Adversities and tribulations build character and strength when they are used to mold the future. Character is built no other way. The history of most of these men of misfortune showed they had more than their share of the negativities of life.

Colonel Travis drew the famous line in the sand with his sword. “If you want to stand and fight with us cross over,” he requested. I am sure he told them that surrender was not an option. This was his way of giving the fearful and those with weak characters a chance to leave. They would certainly be in the way in a fight to the death. Only one man did not move, and crept away that night under the cover of darkness. His name was Rose and he did make a name for himself in Texas history. How that poor man must have suffered a thousand deaths in remorse and humiliation the rest of his life. This had to be true, even if no one knew he was the only one that escaped the slaughter of the Alamo.

Suddenly a spine chilling call of death pierced the air. It was the bugler sounding the deadly fearful Deguello (de-gway-o), the name of the battle charge.

The Mexican soldiers began to charge toward the mission. Most were carrying hastily made ladders. The bugler was the communications center of an army of that time. The Deguello instructed each Mexican soldier charging the wall, “No quarter given, no prisoners taken, no excuses, and put the sword to every living male.” This particular bugle call was a direct order from General Santa Anna. He had suffered contempt from Colonel Travis. Due to his overwhelming forces he had given the defenders a chance to surrender. The Texas commander was insulted. Only a coward would surrender at a time like that. In reply, Travis sent him a cannon shot for his answer. Insult for insult and revenge, the battle had begun. The battle that will never be forgotten as long as history is recorded.

There were 13 days of death and carnage. When the smoke finely lifted there were the 189 slaughtered Texans and 600 Mexican soldiers who lay dead within the walls of the Alamo. One Mexican soldier found his dead brother that had been a part of the defenders of the mission.

Ironically 600 dead Mexican soldiers are the same number of Dragoons that had been sent early by General Santa Anna to control the town of Bexar, which was later named San Antonio.

The Mexican Army must sound Taps at twilight, or version there of:

“Gone the sun, Day is done,

All is well, God is nigh.”

Christ drew a line in the hearts of humankind. He said, “You must (necessity) cross over the line and be “Born-Again.” There are no exceptions, no excuses. He also said, “Follow me and offer your body as a living sacrifice and surrender is not an option. You will be persecuted and rejected by the world for my sake. The world will hate you as it hated me.” There is no way to slink away after dark. Every one that follows Christ and crosses over the line has had a regretful and sinful past life. However, from that instant they crossed the line, the metamorphose was completed. They became a new creation. They accepted Jesus as the Son of the living God, and became Born-Again. They would never again have a past. Christians have a win-win life and nothing but a perfect, glorious, eternal future.

The Prince of Darkness, the Commander and Chief of Hell, has ordered the Deguello to alert his troops that are already charging for the frontal assault on Christendom. No quarter given, no prisoners taken. The sound of Satan’s Deguello will become louder and closer every day that passes. In Canada and in Sweden Christians are imprisoned for reading the first two chapters of Romans in public. In the Sudan, he has ordered Christians to be annihilated. They are beheaded in Indonesia. and Afghanistan. Their numbers have decreased to a single digit in all of Europe. This is only the beginning. However, one day at twilight, Taps will sound for all Christians, those living and those resurrected from the dead. They will go to meet the Lord in the air.

–All is well, God is nigh


How then can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
 Romans 10:14

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