Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Join us next year 2010

Our next topic meeting is Tuesday, January 12, 2010 Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in the Mace building, rm 109 (large center room on first floor) from 9:45-11:45 AM. Our meetings consist of brunch, discussion groups, and prayer. Childcare is provided.

Mom's Connection is a ministry for moms. Our goal is for every mom to participate in a care circle, where they will find meaningful connection to others and consistent spiritual growth in their life. Our care circles consist of small group discussions. There are several to choose from: Marriage, Thought life, or Parenting.

*The event calender for the spring semester (Jan.-May) will be planned soon. If you have an idea or a place for us to visit, please share it with a member of our leadership team. We are always interested in your thoughts looking for new ideas and places to go.

If you would like more information, please contact Lisa Fraley at

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Invitation

What I have forgiven...has been for your keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11

Suppose we receive a package from an overnight carrier. After we open it, we stare at a beautiful, over sized envelope, with our name written on it in exquisite calligraphy. Inside, the invitation starts with these words. You are invited to enjoy a life with misery, worry, and confusion. Which one of us would say yes to such an outrageous invitation? Don't we seek the kind of life that keeps us free from such pain and distractions? Yet many of us choose such a life. Not that we blatantly make that choice, but we sometimes surrender-even temporarily-to Satan's invitation. His attack is ongoing and relentless-the devil is persistent!

Our enemy bombards our minds with every weapon at his disposal every day of our lives. We are engaged in a warfare-a warfare that rages and never stops. We can put on the whole armor of God, halt the evil one's advances, and stand fast on the Word of God, but we won't put a complete end to the war. As long as we are alive, our minds remain Satan's battlefield. Most of our problems are rooted in thinking patterns that produce the problems we experience. This is where Satan triumphs-he offers wrong thinking to all of us. This isn't a new trick devised for our generation; he began his deceptive ways in the Garden of Eden. The serpent asked the woman, "Can it really be that God said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1a) That was the first attack on the human mind. Eve could have rebuked the tempter; instead, she told him God would let them eat from the trees, but not from one particular tree. They couldn't even touch that tree, because if they did, they would die. "But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity" (vs. 4-5).

This was the first attack, and it resulted in Satan's first victory. What we often miss about temptation and the battle our enemy levels against us is that it comes to us deceptively. Suppose he had said to the woman, "Eat of the fruit. You'll bring misery, anger, hatred, bloodshed, poverty, and injustice into the world." Eve would have recoiled and run away. He tricked her because he lied and told her what would appeal to her. Satan promised, "You will be like God. You'll know good and evil." What a marvelous appeal to the woman. He wasn't tempting Eve to do something bad-or at least he phrased it in such a way that what she heard sounded good. That's always the appeal of sin or satanic enticement. The temptation is not to do evil or to cause harm or bring injustice. The lure is that we will gain something. Satan's temptation worked on Eve. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate"(3:6). Eve lost the first battle for the mind, and we have continued to fight for it since that time. But because we have the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can win-and we can keep on winning.

Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, December 23 Christmas Candlelight Service at Bethel Assembly of God from
7-8pm. There will be no regular service, Mpact, Royal Rangers, or nursery so families may enjoy this service together.

Sunday, December 27 Bethel Assembly of God's Christmas Dinner- A catered event at Heritage Hall in Inwood, WV at 6pm for the whole family. **Only if signed up in advance.**

Events for January

Tuesday, January 12 Mom's Connection Topic Meeting- Join us at 9:45 am at Bethel Assembly of God in the Mace building, rm 109 (large center room on first floor) for brunch, discussion, and encouragement. Childcare is provided.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Treasures In Our Heart

One evening this past fall my children and I were walking onto the soccor field heading to practice. Across the field a mom and her daughter came walking towards us. As my son excitedly approached this young girl, I looked up and took notice of them. The mom had a huge smile on her face as she watched my son talk to her daughter who has downe syndrome. Then Lee introduces me to his friend at school. We say our goodbye's and head towards the field. I found myself making a mental note of this in my mind after witnessing his kindness. I wondered what kind of man he was going to become and what lied ahead for him. This is nothing new for moms. We all do this. We look at the things our children do or say and we wonder what it means for their future.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, wondered the same things. After the shepherds came to Bethlehem to see Jesus in the manger, they shared what the angels had spoken to them about her baby. In Luke 2:19 the Bible tells us, "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Many things were spoken over Jesus by followers of God. Simeon said to Mary: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed and a sword will pierce your own soul too" (Luke 2:34). The prophetess, Anna, "spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem" (Luke 2:38). Many years later when Jesus was a boy, he was found in the temple "sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions" (Luke 2:46). When his parents asked Jesus what he was doing there, he said, "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49) Joseph and Mary did not understand what he was talking about "But his mother treasured all these things in her heart" (Luke 2:51).

Just like Mary who did not completely understand everything about her son, we do not either. Although on a much smaller scale, we wonder the purpose and outcome of our children's lives. We aren't raising the Savior of the World however each of them do have a purpose that God has ordained for them. God wants us to take notice of our children and ponder them in our hearts as Mary did. It's God's way of helping us along the way. God did not leave Mary after she gave birth but continued to guide her as she raised Jesus. One of the ways was by having her take notice of things concerning him so she could tuck them away in her heart and mind until later. When Jesus was dying on the cross she felt the "sword pierce her heart" and when he rose from the dead, she understood how he was the "redemption of Jerusalem". She recalled all the things that she pondered in her heart about her child and new God had been there all along the way. In this same way, God is faithful to us in our children's life.


Friday, December 18, 2009

What's on Your To-Do List for Christmas?

Have you been baking, shopping, or wrapping? I've been wrapping and shopping all week. Things I have been waiting for have come in the mail! Praise God! To my children's excitement, I will be making my homemade fudge today. Yum Yum! Don't be shy and share with us what has been keeping you busy!!
Lisa Fraley

Fun for the Holiday's

During the holiday season it is easy to get caught up in what we need to buy and where we need to go, but don't forget that its the small things that matter the most....take an hour and sit down and do something simple with your kids. Afterall the thing they want the most is quality time with you. This could be something simple like I did....painting. We put on old shirts, cut up an egg carton to hold the different color paints, and used cardboard that came out of packages from tablecloths for the holiday season to hold our masterpieces. We had a great time and only left a small mess behind!

Janine DiGiovanni

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who Will?

Who will rescue you when you make mistakes,
too immense for you to contemplate?
Who will lift you when you fall,
when you’ve made a catastrophe of it all?
Who will comfort you when you cry,
and tears fall down that will not dry?
Who will have compassion when you get what you deserve,
or give you courage when you’ve lost your nerve?
Who will give you guidance when you need it badly,
and won’t think it inconvenient but gives it gladly?
Who will give you hope when you are in despair,
and the answer you are looking for can’t be found anywhere?
Who will give you peace when your mind is full of worry
and your day is very busy and you’re always in a hurry?
Who can give you joy that is unspeakable,
while healing you of illness that is untreatable?
Who will be faithful when you can’t seem to get it together,
and gives you second chances that go on forever?
Who will come in a hurry when you desperately need a friend,
and no one picks up the phone and a hand they won’t lend?
Whose words have the power to battle all affliction,
and can deliver you from any addiction?
Who thinks you are valuable, more precious than gold
and has a love for you beyond what you’ve been told?
Who would die in your place and pay the price for your sin,
yet knock at your hearts door waiting for you to let them in?
Who will make a path unique just for you,
using the talents you were created to do?
Who could be so patient, so loving, so kind, so truthful,
so devoted, so worthy of rhyme, so life changing, so merciful, so truthful and real,
so wise, so available, so right here,
So worthy of being worshipped for two thousand years,
so imprinted on the hearts of those who hold him dear?


A Poem written by Sherry Shirley

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Upcoming Events!!

*Location Change*
Sunday, December 20 Bethel Assembly of God's Christmas Dinner- A catered event at Heritage Hall in Inwood, WV at 6pm for the whole family. **Only if signed up in advance.**

Wednesday, December 23 Christmas Candlelight Service at Bethel Assembly of God from
7-8pm. There will be no regular service, Mpact, Royal Rangers, or nursery so families may enjoy this service together.

Events for January

Tuesday, January 12 Mom's Connection Topic Meeting- Join us at 9:45 am at Bethel Assembly of God in the Mace building, rm 109 (large center room on first floor) for brunch, discussion, and encouragement. Childcare is provided.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Testimony by Amanda Dagostino

Angelo and Dominic got a stuffed Rudolf that sings for Christmas. They have been playing with it and it has not been working right. We thought it was the batteries, so we proceeded to change those......still did not work. Angelo was upset and said "Mommy, can you make this work?" So I prayed for the stuffed animal (as silly as that may seem). I prayed " God, my boys really like this reindeer and are disappointed that it is not working. Can you please help this reindeer work? In Jesus name I ask, Amen" I opened my eyes and hit the button and immediately it started playing!!! Angelo was in shock! It was a great moment in teaching that God cares about ALL things! No matter how "silly" it may seem to us!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

Our church has recently been doing a message series for Christmas based around The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. There was a question at the top of the card I received announcing this series: What if there were no Christmas? In the book it said that in Narnia it was "always winter but never Christmas". I began thinking how sad it would be if there were no Christmas. But in the book this statement is made to a child, and I thought how much more sad would a child feel if there were no Christmas? To children everything is larger than life. Christmas is especially magical to a child, filled with awe and wonder. Children look forward to Christmas with great anticipation.

To see things through the eyes of a child is so interesting and wonderful. For example, last Saturday morning I was up early and it was snowing. Our Christmas decorations were up and the snow added to that Christmas feeling. When my daughter got up she announced excitedly that it was snowing and went right away to the window to watch. Then my son got up and said "WOW! Why is it snowing?!" Then he too ran to the window and pressed his face against it to watch the snow. Then he says to me, "Mommy, no one is looking out their window. I guess they are still sleeping." I said, "yes they probably are." When I thought about what he said I realized that it was his assumption that as soon as people got up they would run to their windows to look out at the falling snow as he had done.

Sadly, most adults would not share in my children's excitement about the snow. They would naturally be concerned about having to drive in it or the irritation of shoveling it. The magic and wonder of a December snowfall fades away once we move into adulthood. In the same way adults tend to lose their wonder and excitement about Christmas. The many awe inspiring events surrounding the birth of Jesus, a virgin being with child, the announcement by angels that a savior had been born in Bethlehem, Magi traveling from a distant land following a star to find this baby, and countless others all become just a story we are used to hearing every year instead of real events in history that changed our lives forever. We become so stressed with shopping, wrapping, baking, parties, and events that we forget why we are celebrating. I have even heard many people say they couldn't wait for Christmas to be over. I have been guilty of this myself in the past, but I have never heard a child say that. Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 "I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven".

When I asked my children why we celebrate Christmas my son said "because it is Jesus' birthday, we should get Him a present mommy." Then my daughter says to him "do you know the present Jesus wants most of all, you. This year let's try to view Christmas through the eyes of a child remembering that first and foremost it is Jesus birthday and everything we do should be to honer Him. Let's not lose our awe, wonder and anticipation as we celebrate God's most precious gift to us.

Have a blessed Christmas,
Kim Ratcliffe

Friday, December 11, 2009

Candy Cane Brownie Lollipops

This treat was made for us at our Christmas party by Jule Burton! Thank you, Jule, for giving them to us and for sharing this recipe!

1 pkg (18-21 oz) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)
24 candy canes
10 oz chocolate-flavored almond bark
Additional decorations such as red jimmies (optional)

1. Line Medium Sheet Pan (or 9-in. by 13-in. metal pan) with a 13-in. piece of Parchment Paper; lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions; pour batter into pan.
Bake 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool 20 minutes or until still slightly warm.
2. Meanwhile, cut straight ends of candy canes off to form 4½-in. sticks using Utility Knife. Place candy cane tops into resealable plastic bag and crush using flat side of Meat Tenderizer; set aside.
3. Using Medium Scoop, scoop brownie into 24 rounded scoops, packing brownie into scoop using hands. (Entire brownie will be used.) Roll brownie scoops into smooth balls. Insert candy cane sticks into centers of balls, mounding brownie around each stick to secure. Pinch each brownie ball where candy cane and top of ball meet.
4. Place almond bark into Small Batter Bowl; microwave according to package directions until smooth. Spoon melted bark evenly over each brownie ball, turning to coat completely. Be sure to coat where candy cane stick meets brownie ball. Allow excess bark to drip off. Dip into reserved crushed candy canes or jimmies and stand upright on a piece of Parchment Paper. Repeat with remaining almond bark, lollipops and crushed candy. Let stand until set. Place into miniature cupcake liners.

Yield: 24 servings
Cook’s Tips: Although the edges of the brownies are crusty, they don’t need to be discarded. Simply scoop the edges along with the center, and they’ll soften as they stand.

If desired, lollipop sticks or stick candies can be substituted for the candy canes.
Wrap lollipops in cellophane, tie with ribbon and use as table d├ęcor, place cards or take-home goodies for a special holiday touch.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meet...Jennifer Kirsch

I have really enjoyed getting to know Jennifer Kirsch over the past year. She has an absolutely joyful personality and she is a pleasure to be around. It is a treat to be able to feature her this month.

Jennifer has been happily married to her husband, Shannon for seven years and they have two children, Trevor (4) and Brianah (2). She also has one sister, two brothers, and four nephews. Her family is the most important thing to her after God.

Her hobbies and interests include spending time with her family, laughing, and shopping. She loves listening to Christian rock and some of her favorite singers and musical groups include Bebo Norman, Nathalie Grant, Jeremy Camp and the Newsboys. She also occasionally likes to listen to music of the 80's and 90's.

Jennifer's favorite thing about Mom's Connection is being able to fellowship with other moms who share the same interests and become closer to God's word.

Her favorite Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 13:4, which says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." It reminds her that she needs to think of others in this way; no matter what is on the outside, it is what is on the inside that really counts.

Jennifer's relationship with the Lord is very important to her. She feels so blessed that He is always there when she needs Him and He never lets her down. She says, "It is always exciting to see what the Lord has in store for me next."

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Jennifer, I know I have.
Tina Burton

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December Events

Monday, December 14 Women's Ministry Christmas Dinner- Enjoy great fellowship and delicious food at Dubbie's Deli at 6:30 pm. Tickets on sale for $15. For more information, contact Heidi Shank.

Sunday, December 20 Bethel Assembly of God's Christmas Dinner- A catered event in the church gym at 6pm for the whole family. **Only if signed up in advance.**

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Greatest Gift

What was read at Mom's Connection Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 8:

I'm placing before you this beautiful gift. If I would give this beautifully wrapped gift to one of you, what would you do with it? What if you never took the time to open it? I would feel disappointed, hurt, and angry at your callous rejection of my friendship and my love for you. And for you, this gift would be worthless if you left it wrapped on this table. It would be of no benefit to you.

Yet this is exactly what so many people do every Christmas. They have celebrated Christmas every year of their lives without ever having opened their greatest and most expensive Christmas gift- Jesus Christ. Jesus is God's Christmas gift to you. He came wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. He went unrecognized by many in that time and still in ours as the priceless and personalized gift He is.

It doesn't matter whether you are Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Mormon, or have no religious background at all. God didn't send Jesus to bring us religion! He came to make a relationship with God possible. In Romans 5:11 it reads, "Now we rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God- all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in dying for our sins- making us friends of God."

For some of us who have opened this precious gift we have found that in Jesus our past is forgiven, we have a purpose for living, and a home in heaven to look forward to. (Moms stood up and shared what Jesus has done for them.)For me, Jesus replaced my self-centeredness with love and compassion for others. And Jesus says to you today, "I can do the same things in you. But I'm not going to break down the door of your heart. You have to invite me in." Is it time for you to accept His gift today? If you want to take that step today, you can recite the following prayer:

Dear God in Heaven,
I know that I have sinned against you and that my sins separate me from you. Please forgive me. I want to accept your free gift of salvation given to me through Jesus Christ because He died on the cross for my sins, rose again three days later, and hears my prayer today. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey you, and to do Your will for the rest of my life.
In Jesus' name I pray,

The Bible tells us that when one person makes a decision to follow Christ that all of Heaven rejoices! Praise God!! 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Walking in Winter Wonderland

Don your stocking caps and wrap those scarves tight as you take a magical stroll around through this winter wonderland! You're sure to be delighted by this light show that let's you see it from the inside out. Clearbrook Park will host this enchanted walking tour that encourages you to take your time enjoying the sights and sounds of the season. Warm up in the cabin-where you might run into santa- or with hot chocolate and cookies!

Walking in Winter Wonderland Spectacular Holiday Light Show at Clearbrook Park in Clearbrook, VA. The grand illumination began December 5 and continues through Dec. 30 (closed on Dec. 24 & 25) from 5:30-9:30 pm. Lights are out at 10 pm so plan your trip accordingly.

Fee: 12 and over: $4; 2-11 years: $3; and 1 and under free

For more information or directions, check out

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Events

If your looking for a way to give to children in need this Christmas, please consider putting together a stocking for the Urban Outreach in DC. This ministry focuses on spreading the love of Jesus Christ to the children of the inner city. Mom's Connection will be giving towards this ministry at our Christmas Party. We will already be able to donate 20+ stockings as shown above! When filling each stocking, label it for boy or girl and age group.

Below are some items to consider putting in a stocking:

 Toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, plastic kazoos, jump rope, coin purse or wallet, action figure toys, story books, harmonicas, yo-yos, puzzles, stickers, small Etch A Sketch®, travel games, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky, Video (ie:Bibleman,Veggie Tales), CD’s, etc.
 School supplies: pens, pencils and sharpener, ruler, crayons or markers, coloring/activity books, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, etc.
 Hygiene items: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, soap, mirror, body lotion, shower gel, shampoo, comb, washcloth, etc.
 Other: hard candy, lollipops, mints, gum, sunglasses, flashlights with extra batteries, ball caps, toy jewelry sets, hair clips, watches, small picture books, tracts, etc.
 Clothing items: mittens/gloves, hat, scarf, character underwear, decorative shoelaces, socks, T-shirts, sweatshirt, etc.
 Do not include: used items, war-related items, medicines, or fine breakables!

Tuesday, December 8 Our Annual Christmas Party- In the busyness of the season treat yourself to a time of fun and fellowship with good friends and an opportunity to meet new ones. We will be having prizes, games, treats, food, and our gift exchange!!

Everyone is encouraged to bring a dish to share for lunch (ham will be provided) and a gift to give. Your gift can be something you received on a past occasion that is like-new or buy one for no more than $10.

Monday, December 14 Women's Ministry Christmas Dinner- Enjoy great fellowship and delicious food at Dubbie's Deli. Tickets on sale for $15. For more information, contact Heidi Shank.

Monday, December 20 Bethel Assembly of God's Christmas Dinner- A catered event in the church gym at 6pm for the whole family. **In order to attend, must sign up at Bethel at the Welcome Center or notify Lisa Fraley by Sunday, December 6th.**