Friday, May 29, 2009

YoungLives Ministry

On Tuesday, May 26 Rochelle Lushbaugh from YoungLives Ministry spoke to Mom's Connection. YoungLives is a Young Life Ministry to teen moms. It's about loving teen moms in the midst of the circumstances they're in- no matter what they are. They help teen moms find hope through mentors in this ministry.

Rochelle shared with us the great need for teen moms to be accepted, supported, and to still be a teen. We heard a teen moms testimony of how YoungLives helped her as a mom and find a relationship with Jesus Christ.

This is a new ministry forming in Berkeley County. They are in need of support through many different ways. Some ways to get involved are the following:

-Mentors who would love a teen mom right where they are in their life. To become a trusted friend who models Christ's unconditional love and shows her what life is like when you are walking with Christ.

-Committee members to support the ministry in many different ways from raising financial support, to collect diapers, and support staff and mentors.

-Donors who provide for the needs of teen moms.

-Childcare is needed for club events so that teen moms are able to develop relationships and have some time away.

-Special projects where you can use your gifts by providing food, crafts, leading meetngs, providing transportation, teaching childbirth, or parenting classes.

If you are interested in getting involved in YoungLives, please contact Rochelle Lushbaugh at or call 304-274-1065

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Letting Go of Your Little Ones

I was driving down the road on my way home from an appointment Tuesday morning when I heard Ron Hutchcraft talking on the radio about "Letting Go of Your Little Ones". I was so convicted by what he had to say, I wanted to share it with all of you...

"It's common to most every religious tradition, some ceremony or service where you dedicate or commit your new child to God. In some Christian traditions, it takes the form of baptism. Others have a brief baby dedication. The last baby we dedicated was our youngest child and that was more than a few years ago. I held the little guy in my hands. I don't do that anymore. See, times have changed. Oh, I don't pick him up anymore, I would hurt myself badly. He picks me up literally. He'll greet me at the airport and pick me up off the ground and spin me around. That's my baby. A lot of things have changed. One thing never has.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about 'Letting Go of Your Little Ones.'

Well, all three of our children grew up. But the transaction that took place that day we dedicated each of them to God is one thing that is still being repeated today. No, we can't hold them physically in our hands anymore. But we can, and we must, keep giving them over to the One who gave them to us. The problem is that all too often, we actually try to keep them in our hands, don't we?

There is no more beautiful 'release your child' model in all the Bible than Hannah, the woman who prayed fervently for years that God would bless her infertility with a child. God answered that prayer by giving her a boy named Samuel, who was destined to become one of the great leaders of Israel. In obedience to God, Hannah brought her young son to the temple to be trained for spiritual leadership. In part of her prayer in 1 Samuel 1:27-28 we find our word for today from the Word of God. She says of this child for whom she had waited so long, 'So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life, he will be given over to the Lord.'

Do you know how often we moms and dads need to tell God that? Every day for the rest of your life, no matter how old or young our children are. No matter how close to God or far from God they are. But be careful, we're talking here about releasing our son or daughter to God, which means helping them become the person God created them to be, not trying to shape them into the person we want them to be. It means talking to God far more about your child than talking to your child about God, as important as that is.

For some of us who tend to be like control freaks, we have to make sure we're not trying to 'play God' ourselves in our child's life. Parents who truly place their son or daughter in God's hands can lay off the nagging, the manipulating, the meddling, and the criticizing. What we try to control we often end up crushing. Our job is to say to God each new day, 'You gave me this child, Lord. Again, for this new day, I'm giving her, I'm giving him, back to You. I'm available for anything You want me to do to join you in what you're doing in their life, whether You ask me to speak up, or remain silent, to apologize, to forgive, to sacrifice, or even change.'

A surrendered parent is a parent at peace - a parent who knows that this treasure God has entrusted to them has this day been placed again in God's all-powerful hands. A God who knows the plans He has for that boy, for that girl, plans for good and not for evil, to give them a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 ). No matter how big your little ones get, remember whose they really are."

Donnis Lloyd

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Activities for the Summer

Our Spring Semester has come to an end after yesterday's meeting. Thank you to everyone for being apart of this group! Thank you for bringing snack on your group's turn, for helping with childcare when needed, for engaging in discussion, and for praying with others. Most importantly thank you for your desire to be the best mom you can, for reaching out to others, and for growing or discovering a relationship with Jesus Christ.

This summer join us in some fun activities the whole family can be apart of and remember "let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).

Our activities for June are:

Monday, June 8 Kick-off to summer-Join us at Shenandoah Bowling Lanes in Charles Town, WV at 10:30 am. For adults & children $2 per game, $3 shoes.

Friday, June 26 South Mountain Creamery- Meet at Bethel Assembly of God at 9:30 am to caravan together to Middletown, MD to the creamery. For one hour tour, and an ice cream cone-$5 per person (2 & under free). Bring a packed lunch and drinks for your family.
You and your children will learn how milk gets from our cows to our homes. The tour will include a walk through the milking parlor, feed operations, loafing barns, and calf barn.

If you have any questions regarding our activities please contact Lisa Fraley through phone or email. Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Godly Perspective Can Change Our Attitude

"One day I was mopping the kitchen floor and my words were anything but cheerful. I grumbled to myself. No one appreciates all I do around here. All I ever do is clean, clean, clean. Then God began to whisper a new thought to my heart. Suppose you were blind and couldn't see the beautiful patterns on the linoleum floor, or the spilled juice by the refrigerator, or the crumbs under the baby's chair? If you were deaf, you couldn't hear the soothing sound of the soap bubbles dissolving in the scrub bucket. You couldn't hear the rhythmic sound of the mop being pushed back and forth across the floor's hard surface. Suppose you were confined to a wheelchair and not strong enough to stand upright and grasp the wooden handle to erase the muddy footprints and make the floor shiny and clean again? Suppose you didn't have a home or a family to clean up after?

These thoughts brought a new perspective to this mundane task, and my grumbling turned into a prayer of thanksgiving. I stood up straight, proudly grasped the mop, and began to pray. Thank You, Lord, for the privilege of mopping this dirty floor. Thank You for the health and strength to hold this mop, for the ability to wrap my agile fingers around its handle and feel the wood in my hands. Thank You for the sight to see the crumbs and the dirt, for the sense of smell to enjoy the clean scent of the soap in my bucket. Thank You for the precious feet that will walk through this room and dirty it again. Those feet are the reason I do this job. And, Lord, thank You for the privilege of having a floor to mop and a family to clean up after.

Oh, yes. It's marvelous how a godly perspective can change our attitude and the words that reflect them. When we begin to praise God in the middle of the mundane, He refreshes us with a new outlook on life!"

An excerpt from The Power of a Woman's Words by Sharon Jaynes

Monday, May 25, 2009

News Flash: God Answers Prayers

We just walked in the door from soccor practice, the phone is ringing, it's raining again, and low and behold I see a beautiful rainbow in my backyard. I grab my camera and run in the backyard snapping pictures. My son opens the back door and tells whoever is on the phone how mommy is in the backyard in the rain taking pictures of this rainbow. What my son doesn't know is that I prayed for that rainbow.

Does that happen to you? You see evidence of God! I know we see it when we look around this vast universe. You can't ignore the majesty of it. But do you see it in your own backyard, in your life? Is He answering your prayers?

What made me even pray for a rainbow? Well, when I wrote about Somewhere Over the Rainbow last week, I asked God for a picture to go with it. I didn't raise my hands toward heaven shouting a claim over this rainbow and I didn't even bow my head with a gentle plea. I simply said, "I would love to have a rainbow to go along with my blog entry, God." That's all it took. I prayed specifically.

Praying specifically, challenges your faith. You ask yourself, will God answer my prayer? It gives God an opportunity to show you personally who He is. After all, God is personal because He "created my inmost being; knit me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13 ). He wants more than anything than to reveal Himself to you. In Jeremiah 33:3 it reads, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know". Your prayers have significance because you are significant to God! "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24)

However, praying specifically does not mean we tell God what to do. For example, when my husband was looking for a job, I knew what would be great for our family. I prayed specifically for those things but I did not presume to know where this job was or what it should be. When my husband did get his new job, everything I prayed for was met!

Sometimes we don't pray specifically because we don't want to put God on the spot. What if He doesn't answer my prayer? Will others not believe in Him? Let me assure you that God is a big God and can handle His own reputation! When you pray a general prayer, He can't disappoint you. But when you pray specifically you allow Him to show you who He is! What has the bigger impact?


Friday, May 22, 2009

A Dollar Can Buy A Lot Of Fun

Ok so hit your local dollar store, grocery story, walmart, or perhaps your bathroom cupboard and get a can of shaving cream (not gel). This can can provide entertainment for as many as 10 kids at a time! If you have a glass, marble, or laminate table squirt it right in front of the kids and let them get creative! It is just like fingerpaints with none of the mess. The cream will wipe right off of their clothes without leaving a stain and it will clean your table and leave behind a nice fragrance! If you have a wood table then you could always pull out an old plastic table cloth and spread it over your table or take it outside and put it on the ground and let them go at it!

Janine DiGiovanni

Thursday, May 21, 2009


"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but you don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." James 4:1-3

Have you ever wondered why there are so many fights and quarrels in God's church? We all disagree sometimes, but when it comes to decisions about the operation of the church we are supposed to be in unity. That however is not always the case. James says we fight and argue because we put our desires ahead of God's. We say we are praying but many times we are praying with wrong motives. We want our way. When we are truly seeking God, He will reveal His will to us. He will bring us into unity so that we are moving in the same direction as a church. The devil wants to cause division to keep us from accomplishing anything for God. When we fight and argue we are not moving forward. We are all doing our own thing, moving in our own direction.

What should we be doing? The book of James goes on to say "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." "Submit yourselves, then, unto God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you." James 4:7-8 Let's submit to God and His will for us. Then we will be in unity and be able to move forward in the direction God is leading us.

Why would we settle for what we want when God has so much more for us. Abundant blessings that we cannot even imagine. When we humble ourselves, God will give us the desires of our heart. That doesn't mean we will get whatever we want, but that He will change our desires to be in line with His will. Knowing that God knows what is best for us, isn't that what we really want?

Love In Christ,
Kim Ratcliffe

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Upcoming Events

A special thank you to Amanda Dagostino for hosting our game night at her house last Friday. We enjoyed delicious pizza from Angelo's Pizza & Sub, brownies, and snacks. We had a great time playing Scattergories, Mad Gab, and American Idol Wii!

Our May events are as follows:

Friday, May 22 Times of Refreshing Prayer Time-Join us at Kim Ratcliffe's home for an opportunity to have your needs prayed over and brought before God Almighty! Open House Format between 9:30 am- 2:30 pm.

Tuesday, May 26 Topic Meeting-Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in the Mace building rm 109 from 10-11:45 am for our topic meeting. Rochelle Lushbaugh with YoungLives Ministry will be our guest speaker during our opening. Then we will join our care circles for discussion.

This is our last topic meeting before our summer break!! Our summer schedule will be debuted!

Tuesday, June 2 Baby Shower for Robin Coburn- Come and show your love to Robin as she will soon be bringing a baby girl into the world. The baby shower is at Bethel Assembly of God in the Mace building, rm 109 at 6:30 pm.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Question... Do you dare answer?

Have any of these things happened to you?

a. Your dress was stuck in your panty hose.
b. Your child had an all-out tantrum in public.
c. You completely wiped out on the ground in front of others.
d. None of the above?...
What's your most embarrassing moment?

Give us your answer by clicking on comments and responding. Have fun!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

On the playlist listed, you will hear a song that might seem unusual to you to be here. The song is Somewhere Over the Rainbow by IZ. This is one of my favorite songs. I specifically love this version because it leads into What a Wonderful World. Before going any further I would love for you to scroll down and click on that song. Listen to it as I share with you why this song is special to me.

One day I will walk in a place somewhere over the rainbow. I will see skies of blue and clouds of white. But most of all I will see a light so bright, a love so big, and a world so perfect. One day troubles will melt like lemon drops. This world and all its troubles will be long gone. If you have allowed Jesus Christ to be Lord of your life, you have this place to look forward to as well. Heaven is not a fantasy or dream we hope to come true. It is a reality!

"A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne [in heaven]. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal." (Revelations 4:3-6)

While on this earth we see the trees of green and the roses bloom. But one day we will see a more beautiful sight! We will be reunited with family and friends that have went on ahead to heaven before us. Let yourself dream of that wonderful day. Can you imagine gazing into their eyes once more? My father was a man of God and I know he's in heaven. I look forward to seeing him again. Hallelujah!

"Now the dwelling of God is with men , and he will live with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev. 21:3-4)

This song also reminds me that this world God made is wonderful. I need to be reminded of it because if I listen to the nightly news even once I forget. After all Jesus died for it. We see this wonderful temporary world in all its created splendor but it still falls so short of perfection. I look forward to the perfect place made for us not so far away. We are a breath away from it. The most wonderful world I have to look forward to is yet to come. One day I will be somewhere over the rainbow in heaven with my Savior! I hope you will be there with me!!

"The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp." (Rev. 21:23)


Friday, May 15, 2009

Mother's Day Breakfast

On Tuesday, May 12 Mom's Connection met at Shoney's Restuarant for our Annual Mother's Day Breakfast. We had a great time together being child-free for a few hours. After breakfast roses were handed out to all the moms. Lisa Fraley spoke on being the best mommies we can and leaving the rest to God! You may read below her word of encouragement.
Our Harvest is on the Way
My mother asked me when I was five years old, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" And I said, "a mommy". Just like many of you, I wanted to be a mommy more than anything. Many of my choices in life have revolved around making that happen. However I didn't know that being a "mommy" was going to be the hardest thing I ever did. I didn't know that having a child is like your heart walking around outside your body. I'm sure you didn't either. You can't control everything that happens to them. You can't protect them from everything and everyone. It challenges us daily.
As moms who put aside their own personal aspirations to be at home with their children, I know you want to be the best mommies. We all want to be the best mommy we can. For me, it's the one thing I really want to do perfect because I can't think of the alternative. What if I mess up? My children could live with the consequences the rest of their lives. What if I don't correct a behavioral issue, or miss the diagnosis of an illness? What if I turn my eyes for a second and something terrible happens to them? What if I don't see a relationship with God evident in their lives?
So many things are out of our hands. However, we can release our children into God's hands. In The Power of a Praying Parent, Stormie Omartian writes, "We can't be everywhere. But God can. We can't see everything. But God can. We can't know everything. But God can. What we can do is live according to God's Word and pray about everything. We can trust God to take care of our children even better that we can. When we release our children into the Father's hands and acknowledge that He is in control of their lives and ours, both we and our children will have greater peace." I know in my own life God has never left me. I felt the Holy Spirit with me at home, at school and everywhere I went. I know my children will too! Let your faith in God be bigger than your fear of the unknown.
As imperfect human beings, it is impossbile for us to be perfect parents. But we can point the way to the One who is perfect. In Being A Great Mom, Raising Great Kids Sharon Jaynes writes, "The mother whose children rise up and call her blessed is a Seed Sower. She gathers good seeds from God's Word and presses them into the fertile soil of her children's heart. She fertilizes the seeds with encouraging words, spurring them to grow to their fullest potential. And she waters the seeds daily with prayer. Then one day the tender shoots burst forth, resulting in a bounty of fruit, and the seed sower celebrates the rewards of her labor." How glorious is that? When all our efforts in teaching our children God's Word and His Ways reaps a harvest!
"Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Galations 6:9) That's what this group is for to encourage one another in not giving up at being the best mommies we can. And on the occasion when we aren't the best or simply can't be everywhere we allow God to pick up where we leave off.
Lisa Fraley

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Attitude of the Heart

"…even victims have choices. No matter how much we’ve been sinned against, we still have the power to choose the attitude of our heart. If we cast ourselves on God’s mercy, asking him to help us, he cannot refuse. Even in difficulty, he will dwell in us, shaping our own wayward hearts into the likeness of his own".

Ouch! I pulled out my daily devotional and that was what I was presented with. Why does it seem that when things are going wrong and our attitude isn’t a Godly one, but it is an attitude we feel justified in having because of circumstances, that God always, not so gently, points out just how wrong it is?

This week in my devotional Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda I was studying Michal, the wife of David. Her story as told in 1 Samuel 18:20-29; 19: 11-17; and 2 Samuel 6:16-23 is quite extraordinary. Here is a woman who marries the man she loves, and then has to choose between him and her father because he wants to kill him. When she helps him escape her father has her married off to someone else while David is in hiding. Then when Saul is killed David removes her from that home and brings her back to his. By this time she is so bitter and angry, and most would say rightfully so since she was just a pawn to the men in her life, that when there is a time of worship as the Ark of the Covenant is brought back into the city she cannot even take part.

Then it happens again, the Lord hits me right where I sit with "Michal’s contempt for her husband David reveals her own lack of true dedication. She was content to be a critical spectator rather than a true worshiper of God. Whenever anyone puts appearances or tradition or form above a true desire to worship our God and Saviour we’d best step carefully…". She couldn’t let go of her hurt or her anger towards her husband and father and so she missed connecting with the Lord.

How many times have I let circumstances or people occupy my thoughts and time as I go back and forth over hurtful events or past mistakes. During this time I could be drawing closer to God through Bible reading, prayer, and worship. How many times have I sat in church and let things that have gone on distract me from what should be my number one purpose. I bet that Satan really rejoices when our focus is off of the Lord and what he has done for us and on other people and happenstances.

My challenge is to learn from Michal’s example and turn my eyes upon Jesus. I know it won’t be easy but with God’s help all things are possible!

Janine DiGiovanni

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mark Your Calenders!!

Our upcoming events for May are as follows:

Friday, May 15 Mom's Game Night- Meet at Amanda Dagostino's house at 6 pm. Bring a favorite game to play and $5 towards pizza. Contact Amanda or Lisa Fraley for directions.
*If you are planning to attend this event, please RSVP with Lisa or Amanda by this Friday.*

Friday, May 22 Times of Refreshing Prayer Time-Join us at Kim Ratcliffe's home for an opportunity to have your needs prayed over and brought before God Almighty! Open House Format between 9:30 am- 2:30 pm.

Tuesday, May 26 Topic Meeting-Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in the Mace building rm 109 from 10-11:45 am for our topic meeting. Rochelle Lushbaugh with YoungLives Ministry will be our guest speaker during our opening. Then we will join our care circles for discussion.

This is our last topic meeting before our summer break!! Our summer schedule will be debuted!

Tuesday, June 2 Baby Shower for Robin Coburn- Come and show your love to Robin as she will soon be bringing a baby girl into the world. The baby shower is at Bethel Assembly of God in the Mace building, rm 109 at 6:30 pm.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting to Know.....Marci Carlisle-Faro

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to sit in on the "Great Mom's Raising Great Kids" care circle group. Marci is a member of that group and I got the opportunity to learn a little more about her--so I just knew that she had to be featured this month. I really enjoy her genuine kindness and beautiful personality and thought that you might like to learn more about her.

When Marci has some free time she enjoys reading books by Karen Kingsbury or John Hagee. She enjoys Christian and country music, in particular , Nicole C. Mullen and Reba McKentire. Her favorite movie is ,"Flicka" She likes Julia Roberts and really loves most of her movies. Her favorite food is her mother's macaroni salad.

Marci has been with us for a few months now and I recently asked her in a questionnaire her favorite thing about Mom's Connection and she replied, " I like to get around other Christian mothers and discuss our lives and getting information that I may have not thought of. There is a comfortable atmosphere with all the ladies. They all make me feel like family."

She chose the care circle group, "Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids" because she likes to get information from other mothers that might help her with her two children.

Marci has been married to her husband, Frank, for one year but they have been together for 12 years as of February 12. They went to the same school in Berkeley Springs, WV, and had some classes together. She didn't want to talk to him so she wrote him a note and had a good friend give it to him. The next morning Frank came right over to her and told her that he would date her. They chose not to get married before or after their first child because they weren't sure if it was the right road for them. Their relationship was very rocky after their first child but a year before they married they knew that the timing was right. They knew that it was time to save the money for the wedding. Everything went perfect for them and it was like God was saying that this was the right thing to do. Now they have two daughters, Kaitlyn 5 and Morgan 2. Family life and time together is very important for her and her husband. They make sure that their children know that they are very important in their lives.

I asked her what a relationship with the Lord means to her and she replied, "My relationship with the Lord is important to me because as a child I was in church, but I didn't get any of it. As an adult, I can focus on the words of the Bible and apply it to my life and my family. And I can ask for help if I am lost or need help walking through it. My faith in the Lord helps me in my everyday life. Involving my family, helps my husband and children learn to follow and listen to the Lord. " She also told me that she knows that in her walk with Jesus Christ that she might not always be perfect and might need a little help through prayer and friends at church. With love and prayers she knows that she can succeed in having a close relationship with the Lord.

Tina Burton

Monday, May 11, 2009

Our Identity in Christ

Over the last six weeks we have discovered our identity in Christ. How we are "a new creation in Christ; the old has gone, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17) The "new" is our spiritual position changes and we become daughters of God, saints, soldiers, ambassadors, friends, and managers.

For some of us this new position is felt immediately. We feel the freedom from sin, the bondage of Satan lifted, and our spirits joyful. We know something amazing has happened to us. Every day we walk in the fullness of Christ and cultivate our new found relationship. I love to be a witness to this kind of transformation. When you see a life transformed right before your eyes, you are a witness to the power of God!

For some of us we move a little slower. We don't "feel" like we are all that different. We are still learning and growing in our new identity. I remember feeling this way. I had so many misconceptions of what it meant to be a follower of Christ. I knew my sins were forgiven and my eternal destiny was secure in heaven but I didn't grasp the fullness of it. It's really only the last few years that I have really grabbed a hold of my true identity. If you feel like you are in this place, keep seeking God with all your heart. Whether you "feel" like you are different or not, know in your heart and mind that you are a new creation.

I really want to take a moment and speak to the ones who have read about this identity in Christ but haven't taken that step yet to receive it. You believe God is the creator of all things and that Jesus died for your sins but you haven't accepted him as the Lord of your life. I hope a deep desire has risen up in you to discover this life changing relationship. Let me assure you that God does want you, yes you, to become His child. God's Word says, "The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Also God's Word says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). If God sent His only son to die for you than you are very important to Him!

When you accept Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, all the identities described above become yours! You become a child of God and a friend! Your spiritual position changes to that of a saint! You are given the honor to represent God to this world and for Him to use your life to bless others! You have a purpose like no other! Wow!! For many of us who have tried everything this world has to offer, it pales in comparison to serving Christ!

Why put off what God has for you today! Ask for God's forgiveness. Ask for God's leadership. Then give thanks to God for what He has already done and will do for you! Praise God! Now tell someone you trust whom has a relationship with Christ about your decision today!

"There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
(Luke 15:10


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Beautiful Quotes for Mothers

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren,

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't. ~Barbara Kingsolver

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~Abraham Lincoln

Friday, May 8, 2009

Just for fun....make cards

I mentioned earlier this week that I was involved in a Card Club. We meet the first Saturday morning every other month. The cards we made for this month are pictured. Vicki Mucher is the Stamp It Up! consultant that brings us these great ideas. The card club includes myself, Kim Ratcliffe, Julia Bivens, and Amanda Dagostino. We take turns hosting at one another's home and provide lunch for the group. We have a great time and make beautiful cards!
You can check out Vicki's blog at where you can look at other card ideas or order from Stamp It Up!.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Don't Become Callous

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup dish, and then the outside also will be clean." Matthew 23:25-26

When our children are born we notice their wonderfully smooth skin. There little feet and hands are so soft and smooth. I often think about how I would love to have skin like that. However as we become adults, our skin can become rough and dry. Without proper care we begin to notice callouses on our feet and dry patches on our hands. Our skin becomes unhealthy looking and aged. The drier our skin is and the thicker the callouses the less feeling we have in those areas. It isn't until we file away the roughness and slather our skin with lotion that we begin to see an improvement. We begin to have feeling and notice a healthy glow returning as our skin is being restored to good health. If we would only follow these simple steps daily our skin would stay healthy and soft. But often we become lazy and neglect caring for our skin properly. In our busyness we say "I don't have time, I will do that later."

In the same way, If we neglect our spiritual lives our hearts become dry and callous. As the dryness increases and the callouses grow, we begin to lose feeling. Our hearts become hard and our love for others grows cold. We need to allow God to file away the rough dry places from our hearts and pour His anointing oil on us. He renews our hearts as we seek His will. In this way we can stay softened to the move of the Holy Spirit and live healthy Christian lives.

As women we each have a daily skin care routine and we notice immediately when we have neglected it. But are you caring for your spiritual health as well as you care for your skin and your physical health? Do you have a daily spirit care routine? If not, think about your priorities. Isn't caring for yourself spiritually much more important than the physical? Which one do you think will matter more for eternity?

Love In Christ,
Kim Ratcliffe

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What's Up, Wednesday!

Our upcoming events for May are as follows:

Tuesday, May 12 Mother's Day Breakfast- Join us at Shoney's Restaurant in Martinsburg, WV at 10 am for the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet starting at $6.99 each, drinks not included. Childcare available at Bethel A/G from 9:45-11:45 am. If you are planning to attend and will be using our childcare, please contact Lisa Fraley.
*Look for the Shoney's coupon in your mail*

Friday, May 15 Mom's Game Night- Meet at Amanda Dagostino's house at 6 pm. Bring a favorite game to play and $5 towards pizza. Contact Amanda or Lisa Fraley for directions.

Friday, May 22 Times of Refreshing Prayer Time-Join us at Kim Ratcliffe's home for an opportunity to have your needs prayed over and brought before God Almighty! Open House Format between 9:30 am- 2:30 pm.

Tuesday, May 26 Topic Meeting-Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in the Mace building rm 109 from 10-11:45 am for our topic meeting. Rochelle Lushbaugh with YoungLives Ministry will be our guest speaker during our opening. Then we will join our care circles for discussion.
This is our last topic meeting before our summer break!! Our summer schedule will be debuted!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


"This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

This past Saturday morning I woke up praying that God would bless my day. That He would allow me to get everything done I needed to, that the rain would go away, and it would remain cool! That was quite the order especially when my day was crammed full and I was told by too many people that it was supposed to rain all day.

It was my son's 9th birthday. On the agenda was my bi-monthly card club in the morning, soccor game, haircut appointment, balloons picked up, and home. But peace was not waiting for me at home. My son's party was at 6:30pm when 10 invited children, parents, and family were arriving soon.

But guess what? God was at it again! Blessing me. Why do I get such favor? I won't lie and tell you my day felt like a breeze, it didn't. But my prayers were answered. When I layed in bed that night, I just thanked God for keeping the rain away, for giving me a cool breeze to blow through my house, for everyone coming to the party I expected, for winning the soccor game, and most importantly for that big thank you from my son at the end of the day. God is good!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Managing Faithfully

It was more than five years ago, when I felt the leading of God to start Mom's Connection. God birthed the desire in my heart and it grew steadily. I had many discussions with the Lord about whether He was sure He had the right person. One day God spoke to me so clearly. He said to me "Either you start this group or I will find someone else who will. But you will know that it was you whom I first called." I immediately stopped in my tracks of disobedience against God and began saying, "Yes Lord, send me!" Nearly everyday I thank God for giving me this opportunity to lead this group and I pray He will find me faithful.

There are times I think this group is mine but it hardly is. With every year that passes I know even that much more of how it belongs to God. I am only the manager! In Luke 12: 42-44, it reads "Who then is the faithful and wise manager,...he will put him in charge of all his possessions." I want God to trust me as He placed me as a manager. But this is not just for me but for every believer! We all have a calling on our lives to be faithful managers in the same areas.

One of the those areas is to be managers of the secret things of God. In 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 the Bible reads, "So then men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." The secret things of God is the truth of God's Word. We grow as believers in these things by the study and reading of the Bible. When we do this we are "speaking God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began" (1 Cor. 2:7). We must prove faithful in sharing God's plan of reconciliation to sinners and for growing up believers.

Another area we all have in common as managers is our spiritual gifts. We all have them and must use them for God's glory! This spiritual gift is endowed to you when you enter the family of God to be of great service to the Kingdom. Some of these gifts are teaching, preaching, hospitality, counseling, pastoring, leadership, giving, administrative, and all kinds of other gifts. They are God's investment in you. In 1 Peter 4:10, it reads "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms".

God has also given us households to manage for the kingdom. We, as moms, understand this completely because we are the engineers of the home. We make sure our family has something to eat, our kids get to their activities, homework is done, household supplies are stocked up, and many other things to keep our homes running smoothly. But we have to take good care of everything God gives us materially even the furniture, vehicles, carpet, etc. In 1 Timothy 3:5, it reads "If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?" Managing our households goes far beyond material as well. It's taking good care of the people in our homes. Our husbands and children have been entrusted to us by God to take great care.

For many of us this next one is the hardest. We have no problem taking good care of everything and everyone God has given us except ourselves. We pour our lives out for others but ignore our own needs. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we are instructed to take care of our bodies as well. It reads, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with you body." We can honor God by eating healthy, getting exercise, and resting.

Let me challenge you today to think about what kind of manager are you? Think about what your spiritual gift is and how you are using it for God right now. Consider how you care for your husband and children. Does God find you faithful in what He has already given you?


Friday, May 1, 2009

Stay In The Water

One of my favorite things to do with my children is to read to them. I love to see their expressions as the story comes alive to them. Last week, Chloe and I went to her Kindergarten Registration, the highlight of her experience came at the end where Chloe got to choose a new book. She quickly chose Fish is Fish and we were on our way. After many calls to family about registration, we settled in to read our new prized possession, Fish is Fish.
In this very colorful book, there are two inseparable friends, the fish and the tadpole. The tadpole grows legs and becomes a frog. The frog decides he is going to jump out of the water, that he has always known as home to explore the new world. The minnow is left all alone wondering where and what his friend is doing. The frog returns to the water and tells the minnow all about the world, then leaves again. The minnow starts dreaming of this world his friend has told him about. The minnow decides he has to see the world with his own eyes, so with a mighty swish of the tail, he lands on the ground. Then he lays there gasping for air.
I thought how much are we like this little fish. God wants us to stay in the water and we want to jump out and do our own thing. How often we jump out of his will because we think we can do it ourselves, in our own power, or maybe quicker then waiting on God’s timing. How foolish we are. We should be in the cool water with tails propped up letting God handle all of our problems and concerns. He will you know!!
So be blessed today and read to your children and look for those teachable moments in every book. "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 11:18-19
By the way, the fish doesn’t die, his friend is nearby and hears his distress and pushes him back into the water. Just like God!!! Teach your children about our Lord because if you don’t, someone else will teach them something you may not want them too!! Our children are like sponges, let them suck up the cool water of Jesus.

Tanya Clemons