It’s Jesus!

I really enjoy gardening. This summer we did some new and replacement planting in our outside garden area; a line of boxwoods, a spirea and a yew died over the winter. We also added a few new plants. So, watering was essential. Last week, I was dutiful in watering. Every morning I pulled out the hose and gave each plant a thorough watering. On the fifth day, some of the groundcover started to yellow. With no rain and summer temperatures, I knew I would have to keep up. Couldn’t be! Too much water?! Being an avid gardener, I realized that all I had to do was to skip a day or two and the plants would return to normal. Too much of a good thing can be harmful. Same concept applies to whatever we might enjoy in life. Proverbs 25:16 states: “If you find honey, eat just enough– too much of it, and you will vomit.” So, too, is it with anything we value in life, be that food, wisdom, or friendship. Moderation in all things is the best course to follow. Take time today to remember that God can fill the deepest needs in your life. It’s not the food, the books, or even the friends with whom you are meant to be in relationship. It’s Jesus. He, alone, can satisfy the deepest longings of your heart.

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What’s Your Faith Quotient?

With the events of yesterday, July 17th, finally behind us, it’s time to take a minute and ask:  “Where’s my faith?”  Flight 17 out of Malaysia—shot down!  The world community was appalled at the news.  The scene was so grizzly.  Families were thrown into crisis.  Rumors abounded as to the perpetrators.  Was your faith shaken  just a little?  When world events like this happen, I take a deep breath and find it most comforting to open up to God’s Word.  Psalm 91 has always been a favorite of mine.  I read it today, and it gave me courage.  God makes it clear that He is with us in trouble; He doesn’t keep us from trouble but instead walks us through it.  He is our deliverer.  No matter where we are or who we are with—God is there.  World rulers are in His hands.  There is nothing to fear.  He cares about us.

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How My Lookin’?

Just bought some replacement dishes for a set I initially purchased 15 years ago. My husband and I are very practical and hated to throw away the good ones that were still useable from the first set. So, after unpacking them, washing them and putting them in their place in my cabinet, while not entirely satisfied (really would have liked a new set—but—the practical side of me won out), we just began using them. This morning I was replacing one of the old ones and one of the new ones after washing them. While not fully apparent to the naked eye, upon touch there was a difference in the two sets. The new one has a lovely sheen to it. The older one— even though gently worn—is slightly less attractive.
These dishes remind me of the way I can appeal to others. Am I just so-so. Ho Hum. OK. Good enough. Not too bad. Suitable for everyday use. Or, am I really at my best? Authentic. Bright and shiny new from the inside out. Strong. Ready to go. Able to withstand daily use. With Christ living on the inside of us, we can be the woman we’ve always wanted to be. Beautiful. Elegant. New from the inside out.

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4th Annual Community Recognition Awards Press Release

August 1, 2014
Join us on September 11, 2014, for our 4th Annual Community Recognition Awards Dinner. The theme for this year’s event is Patriot: Take a Stand for Freedom! We are preparing to honor women who display patriotism. This evening event, scheduled for 9-11-14, will be held at The Holiday Inn, 495 Airport Road, Elgin.

Meet & Greet begins at 6:00; dinner will start at 6:30. Tickets are $38.00 per person or $35/table of 8; they can be purchased online at through Event Brite. Tickets may also be purchased through the mail by sending in your order (Ticket Order Form 2014) and the names of attendees to Women Serving, PO Box 5395, Elgin, Il 60121; only checks will be accepted. Ticket sales end September 8. All tickets must be prepaid.

This dinner will feature special awards celebrating women from our local community who display patriotism. Information for nominations is detailed on the website www.womenservingwithdignityandgrace. Nominations for the awards can be sent to Women Serving with Dignity & Grace, PO Box 5395, Elgin, Il 60123. All nominations must be received by August 25. You won’t want to miss it!

Art Contest (Art Contest Guidelines)

Do you have a child in grades 6-12? They can enter our art contest. Details are available online at www.womenservingwithdignityandgrace. We offer a $100 prize for the first place entry. Students simply create a painting or drawing, 8 1/2 X 11″ that is a pencil sketch, chalk rendering, or water color; several students may work together to create a mural that is no larger than 36 X 64. Artwork is displayed at our dinner. Winning student is our guest and is recognized at the dinner.

9-11 left an indelible mark on the conscience of our nation. Since the catastrophe of 9-11, our nation has rallied and prayer has increased. The call for our nation today is to do more than just remember. Nominate a patriot, bring her to the dinner to be honored by Women Serving with Dignity & Grace. Check http://www.womenservingwithdignityandgrace for details.

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My Weakness

weaknessLet’s face it. Everyone has one. Yes, you, me, your parents, your best friend. You came into this world with one and, more than likely, will leave with one. With what? A weakness. What me? Weak? No. You mean I have to admit that even though I have a great job, a fabulous family, and everything else I can dream of, there are times when I have to admit that I need help. Wait a minute. Help is what somebody else always needs. So, in that moment of decision, when you try to make things work and you keep on trying to no avail, what are your options?

You and I have both seen this dynamic in operation. We’ve seen it on TV, read about it in newspapers and books, and viewed it in numerous movies. Why is it that some people seem to be able to rise above their limitations and others never do? What hope is there for people like you and me who will most likely never be Olympic contenders to just get a leg up and be successful in an area of weakness? Where do you start when the odds seem so much against you?

What I’ve seen work in the past can be culled down to a few simple steps. First, instead of being overwhelmed with all the areas you want to change, stop and decide to change. That sounds like a relatively easy matter; maybe, for you, it is not. I’m a list maker. Lists aren’t the end all and be all in my life, but they do help me get organized. So, sit down with a cup of coffee and a piece of paper. Take note of where you are today. This is the time to get off your husband’s case and stop pointing the finger of blame at him; take a serious look at who you are and where you today. What are those habits, patterns of thinking, those aspects of your way of living that don’t reflect your best efforts? List them all. Then take Step #3: Pray. Yes, even though you may not be a frequenter of the kneeler in your local church, stop, take a quick minute and pray. This doesn’t have to be an exquisitely lengthy prayer but rather a simple one, like, “God, help. I know I want to change, but I don’t know how or even where to start. Please help me.”

Ultimately, I have found, that as I have asked God to help me, He always comes through. It may not be just the way I want Him to, but, He’s God. I’m not. Tenacity is the key. Once you make the decision, don’t look back. And, don’t hesitate to continue to be on the lookout for ways that God wants to help you. You might come across a book, watch a TV show, hear something in conversation, or hear something on the radio. God is God! He will do things His way. Bottom line: He loves you. He cares more about you changing than you do. And, His wisdom, His advice, His ways are really something.

Philippians 4:13 states: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Sometimes our resolve can carry us and get us going on the road of change.

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