Monday, October 27, 2008

Bloggy Carnival

Hi, Friends. This week we are participating in “Bloggy Carnival” and are giving away three prizes:

1. A $25 gift certificate to Applebee’s restaurant.

2. Six prayer counseling sessions by e-mail on any of the following: Anger resolution, Wordtherapy, Panic attacks, Growing in Humility

3. Autographed copies of award winning author Virginia Smith’s “Just As I Am” and the sequel “Sincerely Mayla.”

Enter by clicking on ‘older posts’ at the bottom of this page and going to the post “Normal”. Respond with a description of how you are, or are not, normal – in 80 words or less. Be sure and put your e-mail address and your prize preference in your post (not counted in word count). The three most original entries will be the winners. Deadline is Friday October 31. Check back on Monday November 3 to see if you are a winner.

Judges are : Amy Barkman, Pastoral Counselor, Director of Voice of Joy Ministries; Beth Marlowe, Theatrical Director and Acting/Forensic/Music Coach; Tracy Ruckman, Editor, Photographer, Writer.

In case of a prize preference tie, the winning entries will be drawn from a hat - or bowl.

God bless you and may each of you who enter be blessed by considering how much God loves you as you look at the uniqueness of who you are. And remember – you are a good idea God had!

In His Love,

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Become As Little Children

Voice of Joy Ministries held our annual women’s retreat on September 27. The theme this year was “Become as Little Children” based on Jesus instruction in Matthew 19: 1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child, whom he placed among them. And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes a humble place—becoming like this child—is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

It was one of my favorite retreats because we all relaxed in the presence of our heavenly Abba Father. We even played for a while in the morning and again in the afternoon: jacks, mini-pool, Velcro darts, Crazy Eights, hoola hoop, and some made crafts.

You may say “But playing silly games wasn’t what Jesus was talking about!” And you are right. But humbling ourselves can be very difficult. Even playing can feel silly when we are all ‘grown up’. But that very playing put us in an attitude of humility so that when ministry time arrived, we were ready to humble ourselves enough to minister and be ministered to as we stood in a circle and trusted Him to help us be His voice to one another through prayer, scripture, and words of wisdom.
During the day, we looked at the humble life of Heidi who trusted the Lord through many changes of location and guardians. We looked at the submission of Pollyanna who played “The Glad Game” and always found something to rejoice about during difficult times. We looked at the humility of Winnie the Pooh, a bear of very little brain but very large heart.

Could it be that we think too much with unrenewed minds instead of trusting the Lord with all our hearts? One of my prayers for the Body of Christ is that we will truly become as little children looking not to people or governments – whether they be national, state, or church – but trusting our heavenly Father for all things: peace, joy, love, faith, health, provision, and success.
In the words of another wise child, Tiny Tim, “God bless us every one!”