Monthly Archives: October 2010

“Becoming a Godly Wife” Group Begins Sunday, November 14th at the 9:30 Hour

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Marriage, like any relationship, takes work for it to succeed. However, not all work is equal or intuitive. But when a wife works on meeting the seven specific needs[1] of a man, it can help him to feel deeply loved. “The power of a woman to complete her husband is immense and often controls whether he becomes all God intended him to be” (Becoming a Godly Wife, p 11). The book candidly discusses these needs and offers marriage exercises for the wife to complete. Implementing information gleaned from the exercises will draw the husband closer to the wife and visa-versa. This would obviously increase the level of commitment, intimacy and joy in their relationship.

During the 20 years of my marriage I read a lot of books on marriage and doubted that this book could show me anything new. However, I was wrong. While I’ve long known that a man values/needs respect and companionship, the chapters on these topics have explained the why and how in a way that makes me truly understand this need. I wish I had known about domestic leadership and attractive soul and body when I was married. Looking back I see how I let pride, insecurity and stubbornness interfere with meeting the needs of my husband, which is something that I truly wanted to do.

I’ve been practicing detached listening. It appears that women as well as men like/value this kind of listening. Since I am not married anymore I can’t practice most of my newly gained insights on a husband. But I have shared them with my mentee. As we discussed each chapter, my friend shared what she did with the information learned. And I’ve seen its good impact on her marriage.

In this class we’ll wrestle with these 7 areas and we’ll pray for each other.

Please sign up and pay for the book ($16) by October 31, 2010. We will meet at CNC in Room 8. If you have a question, contact Sandra Cowell or Susan Wright at 635-5992.

NOTE: I wrote this review 2 years ago. That is when my friend and I went through this book. She is still following some of the book’s suggestions with good results. BTW – There is a Becoming a Godly Husband book that also has great advise.


[1] These seven needs are respect, adapt, domestic leadership, intimacy, companionship, attractive soul & body & listening.

It’s Time! Support Women’s Ministry Because We Need Your Help.

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On Sunday, October 31st, Women’s Ministry is sponsoring a Breakfast Food Bake Sale.

You can help in 4 ways.

  1. Bring a breakfast food to the bake sale.
  2. Buy a breakfast food from the bake sale.
  3. Buy a CNC cookbook from the bake sale.
  4. Volunteer to help sell at one of the time slots (between the services and after the 2nd service).

Ladies, while you are there, pick up your bottle cap clock magnet with calendar of events which lists some of our upcoming activities (first-come first serve). We thank you in advance for your generous service and support. If you have any questions, contact Susan Wright at 635-5992.

3 Conditions to Finding God’s Will

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God’s guidance is conditional. Romans 12: 1-2 shows that the good and acceptable and perfect will of God can only be proved after three tough conditions:

  1. Presenting Your Bodies a Living Sacrifice. All must be yielded to God. How can He guide you if you have a bias in your thinking, a sin in your life or an unwillingness to do anything He desires?
  2. By Not Being Conformed to This World. How can you know God’s will if you want to please others or yourself, or if you are more concerned about what others think or say?
  3. By Being Continually Transformed By The Renewal of Your Mind. Your mind must be bathed continually in the Word of God; your mind set on the godly, the good, the wholesome.

Then you can hear the still small voice of God in your spirit.”

The above quote is from The Church is Bigger Than You Think (p 288) By Patrick Johnstone

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10 Acts of Kindness Ideas

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This past week I have been feeling a little blah, a little complacent, a little ungrateful. In an effort to ward off these negative feelings, I decided to see if I could do seven acts of kindness this week. Whenever I do something kind for someone else, it always makes me feel better. It’s think it’s because it makes me remember my blessings. Sister Anne Bryan Smollin says it’s because . . .

  • When we do a kind act for someone, it boosts our immune system.
  • Even when we witness a kind act, it boosts our immune system.

It is now the end of the week and my emotional self while not 100% is much better. I’ll be 100% when my shoulder and wrist pain are not so constant.

Anyway, below are 10 (!) acts of kindness I performed on purpose this week. Which ones can you identify with? What would you add to this list?

  1. Filled up a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child. I do this every year. This year I bought items for a 5-9 year old boy. I appreciate the opportunity to give to a child who has very little.
  2. Took a get well gift and card to a child in the hospital.
  3. Took lunch (Chipotle) to the mother of the child in the hospital.
  4. Rescued a cat with the help of a friend. Thanks, Friend!
  5. Helped 2 co-workers with their job. Sometimes life gets over-whelming even in the workplace. Coming alongside a person at such a time can make a difference to the work load and morale.
  6. Sent a card to someone who has had an emotionally difficult week. I view cards as mini presents. The artwork and inspiring words can minister to a person’s weary or hurting spirit.
  7. Picked up medicine for an ill friend.
  8. I helped a friend get another Bible. It was stolen from her car. Can you believe that?
  9. Sponsored my 9-year-old niece in a walk-a-thon to raise funds for school field trips. Even though I only gave $10 she made me feel fabulous. “Oh Aunty” she said. “That is just a perfect amount. Thank you so much.”
  10. Sent out an email to my list of friends to see if any of them could help another friend with a sewing need for her son. Came up with two offers of help.

Your Turn

  • Describe a time when you’ve been on the receiving end of an act of kindness? How did you feel?
  • Is there an act of kindness you’ve been meaning to do? Can you do it this week?
  • When was the last time you performed an act of kindness? What was it?

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8 Tips for Finding a Prayer Partner

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When I moved back to California my brother-in-law suggested I get into a prayer group. He said I’d need prayer support to get through the coming years well.  I have been with my prayer partner for seven years now. The past years were full of divorce proceedings, completing my BA and MA, and parenting my adult children. I have benefitted from this relationship. My prayer partner has been a friend, a mentor, and a mighty prayer warrior.

I think that every Believer would benefit from having a prayer partner (or two). Below are eight tips for finding a prayer partner.

  1. Pray. Ask God for help in this process.
  2. Know what you want. Make a list of things you want in a prayer partner:  stays on topic, loves the Lord, believes in the power of prayer, keeps confidences, etc.
  3. Read. Read A Dozen Rules for Prayer Partners, Part 1 and A Dozen Rules for Prayer Partners, Part 2 for ideas on how to structure your prayer partnership.
  4. Search. Look to see if something is already set up. I.e. If you’d like to pray for your children and their school, there might be a prayer group already in place.
  5. Observe. When it’s prayer time in your small group, church service, or impromptu prayer times, observe how others pray. Is there a person or two with whom you click? Note who brings you a feeling of safety. Who encourages, motivates, and builds your faith because of their prayers?
  6. Brainstorm. Set aside some time to brainstorm a list of possible people. At this point it doesn’t have to be realistic or possible. Then look at your names to see if these folks share any common traits.
  7. Practice. Look at your list and ask a few of your choices if they’d like to get together to pray for a onetime event. Look at this as a “date.” If it works out well, ask them if they’d like to commit to a prayer partnership with you.
  8. Ask. After you’ve prayed and done all the ground work, go ahead and ask. There might be a “no” answer. Don’t take it personally. Go on to the next person. I asked four women to pray about being a prayer partner with me. For three of them it wasn’t a good time or not something in which they were interested. But one said “yes.” And it has been a growing, powerful, exciting seven years.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Do you have a prayer partner? Why or why not?
  2. If yes, how did the partnership come about?
  3. Any tips to add?

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3 Grief/Pain Poems by Emily Dickinson

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After Great Pain a Formal Feeling Comes by Emily Dickinson

After great pain a formal feeling comes–
The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
The stiff Heart questions–was it He that bore?
And yesterday–or centuries before?

The feet, mechanical, go round
A wooden way
Of ground, or air, or ought,
Regardless grown,
A quartz contentment, like a stone.

This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow–
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.

Pain Has an Element of Blank by Emily Dickinson

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there was
A time when it was not.It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

I Can Wade Grief by Emily Dickinson

I can wade Grief

Whole Pools of it—

I’m used to that—
But the least push of Joy
Breaks up my feet—
And I tip—drunken—
Let no Pebble—smile—
‘Twas the New Liquor—
That was all!

Power is only Pain—
Stranded, thro’ Discipline,
Till Weights—will hang—
Give Balm—to Giants—
And they’ll wilt, like Men—
Give Himmaleh—
They’ll Carry—Him!

A Dozen Rules for Prayer Partners, Part 2

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Learn How to Be a Good Prayer Partner

When I moved to California after my divorce, my brother-in-law advised me to ask some ladies to be my prayer partners. He said I would benefit from such support. I talked to 3-4 ladies. It didn’t work out for us to meet as a group. And I ended up praying with only one woman. She is older than me and we’ve been praying for 7 years now. We are compatible prayer partners. I recently analyzed why our prayer partnership has been successful.

Click here to read the first 6 “rules” for becoming a good prayer partner.

Keep reading to discover the last 6 “rules” we follow(ed) knowingly and unknowingly.

Practice Gratitude. If you are praying, God is answering your prayers. Accept His answers (the yeses and the no’s). Accept His timing. Accept His right to be God. Be on the lookout for His intervention and involvement. Say thanks, often.

Share Yourself. Share your heart, struggles and growth. But don’t share more deeply about yourself until you are sure of the integrity and safety of the prayer relationship. It’s okay to take your time in developing trust in this relationship.

Structure Topics. Will you be praying for your children? Is the church or your country going to be the focus of your prayer? Will recovery issues dominate your requests? Perhaps you will both share whatever is on your mind.

Take Care of Yourself. Do what you can to limit distractions. Wear comfortable clothes and pray in a comfortable room (not too hot or too cold.) Don’t enter into your prayer time hungry or fatigued. Shhhh! Don’t tell; I have fallen asleep on several occasions.

Use the Time for Prayer. Don’t go in-depth on your prayer requests. Don’t get sidetracked into conversation. Don’t share personal information about others unless you have their permission. Don’t use this time as a covert way to “gossip” about others. Don’t use this as a time to counsel or be counseled. You’ve come together to take your requests to God. Make that the priority.

What’s Prayed Here, Stays Here. Don’t share your partner’s requests with others unless she gives you permission. Don’t share the answers either, unless you have permission. Many times prayer is personal and private. For many it requires trust in the other person in order to speak those requests. Be trustworthy enough to hear all requests with the intent and practice of talking only to God about them.

Please modify these “rules” to fit your situation. Like all relationships our “rules” evolve according to our needs and comfort level with one another. Plus I’ve had to learn how to be a good prayer partner. I am thankful that my prayer partner has been patient with me.

Sometimes you can follow all the rules and the prayer partnership doesn’t work. You just don’t click. After your trial period, it’s ok to stop. Just like we can’t be close friends with just anyone, we can’t be a good prayer partner with just anyone either. But it is so worth the emotional effort and time to be part of a thriving prayer partnership. I hope and pray that you are involved in such an endeavor. You will get to know God better. You will be blessed and be a blessing.

Your Turn.

  • Tell us about your prayer partner success(es).
  • What advice would you give on how to be a good prayer partner?
  • How have you been blessed or been a blessing because of prayer?

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