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Women's Ministry
Women's Ministry Newsletter ~ May
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GOOD AFTERNOON
 
and
 
WELCOME TO A MOTHER'S DAY THEME WITH US....

A bright sunny afternoon greeted us with faint hopes of having a Garden Party after a warm rainy morning.  We enjoyed coming out for a few minutes afterward for pictures as you can see surrounding the events recounted here in this newsletter. 
 
As you review the stories listen to the call of your experience compared to Sarah in the Bible and gain hope that Jesus is with you also.  COME!

Offering up a prayer that God would bless our meeting and touch the ones who would come I had not the faith I should and had little hopes that more than a handful would show up, but by the time the evening ended twelve ladies were present.  Surely God gives a blessing when we want Him to be present.
 
Diana Hadzi opened the devotion time with prayer. 
 

       Genesis 12:1-5,10-20; 27:1-19

    The world of the Old Testament was generally a man’s world – a world run by males for the benefit of males.  Women, as in most ancient cultures and many cultures today, played a subservient role.  But nevertheless the Old Testament writers preserve for us several stories of faith by some rather remarkable women.  This fall we will be looking at some of these women and their unique contribution to the faith history of Israel, their unique role in God’s unfolding plan of salvation. 

               We know her as the wife of Abraham, the father of three of the world's most enduring religions. But who was Sarah?

Before she was Sarah, she was Sarai. Born into a world of towering opulence and great privilege in the Sumerian city-state of Ur, Sarai, a great beauty, would grow up to be the most revered woman of her civilization. Sarai gave up her exalted life to join the tribe of a poor nomad called Abram, and to follow the one true God, an invisible deity who spoke only to Abram. It is then that her journey truly began.

From the great ziggurat of Ishtar and the fertile valleys of Canaan to the palace of the mighty Pharaoh himself, Sarah is the story of an ancient world full of beauty, intrigue, and miracles—and a love that was powerful enough to change the shape of history.

Youth knows nothing of time, old age knows nothing but time. When you're young, you play hide-and-seek with the shade. When you're old, you seek out the warmth of the sun. But the shade is always there, while the sun is fleeting. It rises, crosses the sky, and disappears, and we wait impatiently for its return. These days, I love time as much as I love Isaac, the son I waited so long to see.

For a long time, the cycle of seasons left no trace on me. One day followed another, and my body showed no sign of them. That lasted many years. My name wasn't yet Sarah, but Sarai. They said I was the most beautful of women. My beauty was a beauty that inspired as much fear as desire. A beauty that seduced Abram as soon as he set eyes on me. A beauty that never faded, troubling and doomed, like a flower that would never bear fruit. Not a day went by that I didn't curse this beauty that wouldn't leave me.

 

                When we turn to the book of Genesis and read the story of Sarah, the wife of Abraham we see Sarah, who was wealthy and beautiful, Sarah,  lived within the acceptable bounds of the world into which she was born – this patriarchal world, man-centered and man-dominated.  Sarah’s role was to love and serve her husband, to be obedient and submissive, to run the household affairs so that Abraham was freed to conduct his business. Sarah’s fulfillment in life came through pleasing her husband.

                When Abraham announced to Sarah that they would leave their home and journey to a new land that God would show them, Sarah didn’t ask about the size of house they could afford or the type of work that Abraham would do or how good the school system might be.  Sarah obeyed and went.  And when drought hit the land and they had to journey to Egypt for food where Abraham passes off Sarah as his sister to save his skin, Sarah obeys and lives with the Pharoah in his palace.  And as year after year go by and there is no place to call home, Sarah stands by her man.  Sarah is the epitome of the devoted wife, wanting no more than to please her man.  And Abraham appears to be the loving husband.

                But Sarah has a very specific role.  Her role was to give birth to an heir, a male heir.  But year after year goes by and she doesn’t conceive.  The promised heir does not arrive.  Sarah is a failure, a failure in the one thing that the culture expected of her more than anything else. God had made promises to Abraham, promises that he would be the father of many nations.  And Sarah was not able to produce even one heir.

                In her failure Sarah gives to Abraham her handmaiden Hagar.  The promised heir will have to come from her, Sarah mistakenly assumes.  Ishmael is born.  But matters only become worse, and Sarah feels her failure more deeply.  Later, her jealousy will drive her to ask Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away into the desert.  Years go by, Sarah becomes older and still no child.  Her child-bearing time has long since ended.  She cannot help but laugh when visitors from the Lord announce that she would have a son within a year.

                But God had promised an heir and God would provide an heir.  And so at last a son is born to Sarah.  He is named Isaac, which means ‘he laughs.’  “God has brought me laughter,” Sarah said, “and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”  But she still looks after her child in rearing him up for service to God.

                As we read the life of Sarah in Genesis, we read of a woman who conformed very much to the expectations of her time.  She was an obedient wife who wanted nothing more than to please her husband.  Her identity, her fulfillment in life, was closely tied to her husband Abraham.  She accepted the role that was given to her by her culture even though she was not able to fulfill those expectations until late in her life when God blessed her with Isaac.

                But Sarah was far from perfect.  Her sense of inadequacy, her jealous hold on her husband, led her to do things that she should not have done.  Keeping faith in God’s promises for those many years was difficult.  She had her lapses.  Yet, despite all of these failings that the Scripture point out very plainly, Sarah is remembered today as a person of faith, a person who persevered and passed the test of believing God and believing God’s promises.  People of faith in the Bible are never perfect people. What part of you life seems to be 'on hold" right now? Do you understand that this may be part of God's plan for you? The Bible has more than enough clear direction to keep us busy while we are waiting for some particular part of life to move ahead.

Strengths & Accomplishments

Was intensely loyal to her own child.
Became the mother of a nation & ancestor of Jesus.
Was a woman of faith.
She is the first woman listed in the "Hall of Faith" in Heb. 11.

Weaknesses & Mistakes

Had trouble believing God's promises to her.
Attempted to work problems out on her own, without consulting God.
Tried to cover her own faults by blaming others.

Lessons to learn

God responds to faith even in the midst of failure.
God is not bound by what usually happens.
He can stretch the limits and cause unheard of events occur.

Vitial Statistics

Where: Married Abram in UR of the Chaldeans, then moved with him to Canaan.
Occupation: Wife, Mother, household manager.
Relatives: Father: Terah, Husband: Abraham, Brothers: Nahor & Haron, Nephew: Lot, & Son: Isaac.

Key Verse

"Sarah through faith, also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promise." (Hebrew 11....)

As I was reading the Bible, Romans 4: 13 to 18 , especially verse 16, brought me a vision of why this story was important.  God had a specific purpose for waiting to give Sarah what she wanted and that was so He could bring the Promise of a Savior to all the world thru her seed.  That is why He waits, and sometimes we may not get what we want, but His purpose is still the outcome of our patience--that we may know Jesus and be used of Him.

PRAYER TIME:
 
We know that prayers were answered for Bonnie--she was walking thru the bush and fell down.  A muscle or something was pulled but her neck was healed.  God had a strange but funny way of answering that prayer!! 
 
Jordan--we are glad that you are a little happier about being in our part of the country.
 
The Garbathon was a success and everyone survived the day with a good workout, good food.
 
Continue to pray for---
  1. Ruth T
  2. Linda H and health
  3. Marvin regarding serious health problems
  4. Jo for strength for her back and Camporee
  5. Pathfinder trip - safe travels and a good experience for all
  6. Denise and her dad -- health
  7. Brian P -  strength and rest
  8. Geraldine Marshall - health
  9. Pray for those who are mouring the loss of loved ones  --Shari, Gloria, Jackie,

The Dedication prayer was offered by Betty Hagen.  She also read a story/prayer for the ladies present--Click on the Prayer which you will find at the end.  It is very nice.  Thanks for being the record keeper Heather!!!

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One visitor came and sat beside her - yellow jacket -but he got quickly chased out

FLORENCE'S STORY:
 
Florence has quite a story to tell at this meeting!  We are so sorry we did not know you were allergic to lilacs.  The whole table was decorated in a rose colored satin tablecloth with our usual dishes, but  the centerpieces were glass jars, a strip of white lace around it, and in them were lilacs.  She was persuaded to stay as she sat by the open door to keep by the fresh air.  I hope you did not suffer after, we are glad you stayed though.
 
Her story was of her mother who was raised in an orphanage.   The book is called George Mueller ~ young rebel in bristol by faith coxe bailey

GIFT:
 
Herb DesJarlais meetings were a great inspiration to all who came.  There was a special family who also came and sang often.  To encourage this family in their life we would like to offer them our way of saying "May the Lord bless and keep You as you walk in this way with us". Sam Aksidan and his family.

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PARTNERS:
 
Last month must have been a very busy one for everybody because we decided to keep the same partners so we could have a chance to do something with them...well Linda and I were old partners already, we phoned lots.  She gave me a beautiful yellow and nice smelling candle.  How did you know that yellow is my favorite color!!! Thank you.  Last month Alice gave me a lovely bookmark.  Thank you Alice.  It is nice to have you back again.
 
THE WONDERFUL WOMEN IN MY CIRCLE!!
 
When I was little, I used to believe in the concept of one best friend, and then I started to become a woman.  And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up, God will show you the best in many friends.  One friend's best is needed when you're going through things with your man.  Another friend's best is needed when you're going through things with you momma.  Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.
 
One friend will say let's pray together, another let's cry together, another let's fight together, another let's walk away together...One friend will meet your spiritual need, another your shoe fetish, another your love for movies, another will be with you in your season of confusion, another will be you clarifier, another the wind beneath your wings....But whatever their assignment in your life, on whatever the occasion, on whatever the day, or where ever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back or to hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself....those are your best friends.
 
It may all be wrapped up in one woman, but for many it's wrapped up in one woman, but for many it's wrapped up in several....one from 7th grade, one from high school, several from the college years, a couple from old jobs, several from chuch, on same days your mother, on others your sister, and on some days it's the one who you needed just for that day or week that you needed someone with a fresh perspective, or the one who didn't know all your baggage, or the one who would just listen without judging....those are good girlfriends/best friends.
 
Men are wonderful, husbands are excellent, boyfriends are awesome, male friends are priceless...but if you've ever had a real good girlfriend, then you know there's nothing like her!
 
Thank God for girlfriends, those who honor intimacy, those who hold trust, and those who just got you back when you feel like life is just too heavy!  I thank God for you.  The special bond we share, that's unique to us.  The words we've shared.  The prayers we've sent up.  The laughs, the tears, the phone calls, the emails, the shopping, the movies, the lunches, the dinners, the late night talks, afternoon talks, the weekend talks, all the talking, talking, talking and the listening, listening, listeningllll So whether you've been there 20 minutes or 20 years, thank you!
 
  1. Bev A   &    Linda H  
  2. Alma B   &   Bonnie Mc 
  3. Rose J   &   Diana H  
  4. Charlotte S  &  Alice B
  5. Laura R   &   Heather H  
  6. Ruth T   &    Betty H 

Florence Mc and Denise O  will be our un-Partners because they needed a reprieve.  So will Valerie and Jo because they are busy with work etc  We will be thinking of you anyway!! and glad you are back in Hazelton Valerie.   

Here we are out by the trees
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in the sunshine

Mother's day roses for each one
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all suave!!

BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS
 
Closing with the song in our voices we stood in the traditional circle. praying that God would bless us all and the food which we were about to eat...thank you so much for coming out...lets eat!!! we are hungry.
 
Betty Hagen has made some delicious Beet Borstch and Lentil Soup.  There are sandwiches, cheese and crackers.  Special for Mothers Day is a Chocolate Sunday Pudding cake with ice cream and strawberry on top. 

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LATIN AMBIANCE
 
The name of the rose spells romance and beauty for each of you!! as was the beauty and faithfulness of Sarah. 

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NEXT MEETING:
 
Ruth townsend  will make the soup
 
Denise Olson will give the worship talk on Ruth and Naomi
 
Demonstration:  a big  question mark at the moment ,will let you know later
 
June 19 is the next meeting-let you know where later
 
we live on a last minute basis time schedule as you can see!! almost like the weather eh!