Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Beauty of No….

Korista Lewis is a bi-vocational Lead Pastor of Connection Church in Aberdeen WA.  She has been an ordained minister with the AG since 2007 and LOVES the Northwest Ministry Network that she calls home.  She is 33 years old, single, has embraced the runner that lived dormant inside her for so many years and is a HUGE Doctor Who fan!

It’s one of the first words we learn.

It’s one of the first directions God gives to Adam and Eve.

Moses heard it, Joshua lived with it, Jesus said it to Pharisees and Disciples alike.

Maybe you are like me.  Maybe you have found in our world of excess, our world of yes, our world of more, you are constantly trying to keep up with the woman next door or the Pastor down the street.  We so rarely use or hear the word but it is a beautiful word: No.

As women following after our Savior we desire to be people led by the Spirit.  Our hope is that God will daily grow the Fruit of the Spirit in us.  But there is one fruit we don’t like to talk about.  Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”  Did you catch that last one?  For many years of my life I did not.  Patience: check!  Love: Most of the time! Joy: YAY! Peace: Thank the Lord he provides it! Kindness…Goodness…Faithfulness….check, check, and check!  Yet, SELF-control; wait God, you want me to exercise some sort of control over myself?  I skimmed right over it while I fed myself a steady diet of quick foods, processed snacks, over spending my money, my time, and my physical body.

Last year God started to wake me up to the excess in my life.  Physically I was extremely overweight. My schedule was jam packed with meetings, assignments, programs that my sluggish body was having trouble keeping up with.  My finances were tight, spent before my paycheck ever arrived.  This is not easy to confess and I do not say it lightly or from a place of having it all figured out.  Yet God started to say one word to me: No.  He started teaching me to say “no” to myself which was much harder than saying no to others.  In ministry I had been taught to create boundaries.  However NO to myself?  REALLY God?  Really?  You want me to deny myself the foods I love, the new pair of shoes, and the 15 meetings a week?

Really?

And He said, “Korista, really!  I want you to live a life that is available to me and you have so overfilled and overstuffed there is not room for me to direct you, to lead you and to surprise you.”

So last February I started saying “no” to myself.  And my life is fuller than ever but in the best, most healthy ways.  I love the way The Message translation expounds on “self control” it says “able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”  All my overspending of time, money and physical health was not marshaling or directing my energy wisely.

My beautiful, courageous sisters, my question is this:

Do you need to say no to yourself today?  Is there a physical issue that would be cared for with a wise “no”?  Is there a relationship that would be healthier if you said “no” to the time you’re spending on it? Do you need to stop comforting yourself by spending constantly on stuff?

My sister, may God give you the motivation and the courage to say no to yourself today, and may His treasure of self control be evident in all areas of your life in the coming days, months, and years!

Cheering for you,

Korista

Image


Laundry Days…

Bri Blakney is a licensed minister in the Assemblies of God. She lived in Louisiana her whole life until recently when she and her husband moved from being Chi Alpha missionaries at the University of Louisiana Lafayette to Highlands Ranch, Colorado to help plant a church. She enjoys staying at home with their 3 children (ages 4 and under) and is loving being a part of Connection Church! You can check out her personal blogsite at briblakney.blogspot.com

Tide coupon

I don’t know about you, but laundry can seem to be overwhelming to me. I can clean my house and leave…and then when I come back I have a clean house…but laundry piles up so quickly!!

And it doesn’t matter if it is just you or five in your family…laundry can be a daunting task!! And it can be expensive too!!

So, here are a few things I’ve learned about laundry…and a good bit of this info came from my ebay book Absolutely Organized: A Mom’s Guide to a No-Stress Schedule and Clutter-Free Home by Debbie Lillard. (And I got this book in hopes of being clutter-free, which I’m working on still! J)

Here is the key…Pick a routine that works for you.

Here are the options:

1. Wash all of your clothes one day of the week and fold that night while you watch TV…or listen to a podcast…or music…whatever…just some of that multi-tasking.

2. Wash one family members clothes per day of the week… kids on Monday, mine on Tuesday, towels on Wednesday…

3. Wash one load and put it away before taking the next load out of the dryer.

I’m sure that there are more options…but the 3rd one was the charm for me!!!

Like I said, I bought the book because I deal with clutter…and I want to get rid of it! So to have a pile of laundry to fold was daunting to me! And I often got interrupted during my folding time – either by a kid or my desire not to fold clothes. And then there would be a mound of clothes to put away…

It really was too much for me.

So, I started doing the one load at a time and putting it away method.

I feel so accomplished!! And if a load sits in the dryer for a couple of days, at least it’s not on my floor haunting me!!

I did have to experiment with the different methods until I found the one that would work for me.

And now laundry detergent is a whole different thing…I love love love the smell of Tide. I just love it!! It makes me happy happy happy! So I budget it in…use coupons and stock up when it’s on sale. That’s how much I love it.

But I have a friend who would rather budget her money somewhere else, so she found a recipe to make her own on pinterest…and it’s working great for their family and saving them a ton of money! Because she had the rest of the ingredients and only had to buy one item, it cost her 97 cents to make a 5 gallon bucket of concentrated detergent! That’s a lot cheaper than my precious Tide!! If you want the recipe, I can find it out for you and email it to you!

What do you do to make the laundry load a little easier?

by Bri Blakney

730509_10152423689095494_1925353904_n


Inadequate? But God!

Emily Hill is a licensed minister in the Assemblies of God.  She lives in Lacey, WA, and is currently embarking on an exciting new journey into ministry.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak in all four of our weekend services with two other church leaders.  I put my heart fully into what I had prepared because I know that opportunities for me to speak are few and far between, even though this is the call that God has placed on my life.

I was nervous at our Saturday night service, but I had fun.  I told my and God’s stories and shared with the world that my faith looks a little crazy sometimes.  I was the only one of the three of us who came up with five pages of notes.  In Sunday’s three services, I did my best to share this faith story, page after organized page.  The other two speakers shared from their hearts as well, but their stories changed each service.  In one service they would mention something, and then not bring it up in the next.  I wondered…  “Am I boring?  Do I really belong up here?  Are they allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them more than I?”

I felt confident in the words that I spoke, in how I delivered them, and in the consistency of my message.  And yet… those questions nagged at the back of my mind.  Secretly, I wondered if I was inadequate.

A few days later, I got a note in the mail from my pastor.  “Thank you,” it read, “for your consistency.”  He thanked me for doing what I had allowed myself to question.  It was noticed.  It was appreciated.  I was following what God wanted me to do.

When I was a kid, I was that kid who always tweaked the teacher’s projects—instead of making a turkey out of my cut out hand, I made a dog.  I bought the book the teacher was reading to the class so I could read ahead, just to know when the sad parts were coming.  I was different.  I was the teacher’s pet.  The loud mouth.  And yet I often wondered if I was inadequate.  If, perhaps, I acted like another kid, I might get further, be more successful, not be such a nerd.

But God.  That’s my response now.  But God intervened.  I often feel inadequate, but God created me to share His light in a way that is different than everyone else.  I’ll be confronted with the feeling that I’m supposed to follow the crowd, but God says “I have created YOU for a specific purpose.”  I, in my inadequacies, shout out, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor… To proclaim freedom for the captives!”  (Isaiah 61:1)

The next time you feel different, inadequate, not enough…  Remember the strength of the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord upon you.  You have been called to proclaim His good news—HE has anointed you.  Seek hard after God, Sisters.  We may be different or separate, but God!

written by Emily Hill

Emily Hill Photo

 


Pedestals, Ditches, and Scared Little Girls

Amy Van Pay is an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God.  She and her husband are AGUSM Missionaries serving as Chaplains to Triathletes in the area of Boulder, CO.  They have 3 children: Camden-8, Cale-5, and Ainsley-2 months.

Recently, I had a conversation with my mother about my mother-in-law.  She said,  “Every time I see her, her make-up and hair look like it was professionally done.  She always dresses so nicely.  And to be honest, I feel really self-conscious around her.”  Then I began to inform her of why she looks that way; how she is so concerned about her self-image, she can’t help but spend all that time and effort on her appearance.

Isn’t that silly?  Here are two terrific women around the age of 60, longing to be acceptable to the other, oblivious to the fact that they’re not only accepted, they’re put on some kind of pedestal by the other.

Aren’t we all that way a little?  I know in my own life I’ve struggled with this.  I meet someone, make an assessment, and either place them up on a pedestal or throw them in a ditch.  Either they’re a person I feel I have to earn acceptance from, or someone that, well, they’re just a step or two down from me.  It’s not that I don’t like those I put in a ditch.  I just somehow reason that I’ve got this relationship in the bag–nothing to be earned here.  I know.  I’m a jerk.  Maybe you’re one too?

It’s times like these we need to take a few steps back and see ourselves for who we really are much of the time: scared little girls.  Beneath our big deal lives and responsibilities of womanhood, lies a bright-eyed young lady so unsure how she should behave.  By the time she’s put so many on those pedestals, it feels good to put a few in the ditch.  It’s only natural.

Here’s what I’ve observed: it isn’t humility that causes us to hoist others up.  And it isn’t arrogance that makes us put someone down.  In my estimation, there’s one just one little thing in us that’s producing both behaviors: pride.  It’s gotta be.  What else would make us so entirely concerned with ourselves?  When we’re caught up in these so-called assessments, do we ever take the time to consider what we’re doing to that other person?  I’ve been held up high, longing for someone to quit assuming I had all the friends in the world and just care about me for a minute.  I’ve also been thrown to the side, feeling like their relationship with me is some kind of obligation to them.

So, my fellow Smoking Hot (Little Girls) of the A/G, I’d like to propose we all let each other and ourselves off the hook.  Let’s level the playing field and be authentic for a change.  After all, what are we afraid of?  She’s just a scared little girl too.

written by Amy Van Pay

36111_1539525491059_4782187_n