Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Heart-Christ's Home

One morning, I recall rushing down the steps in a hurry to be on my way to an important appointment.

As I passed the living room, the door was open. Glancing in I saw a fire in the fireplace and Jesus sitting there. Suddenly, in dismay, it came to me, "He is my guest. I invited Him into my heart! He has come as my Savior and Friend to live with me. Yet here I am neglecting Him."

I stopped, turned and hesitantly went in. With downcast glance I said, "Master, I'm sorry! Have you been here every morning?" "Yes," He said. "I told you I would be here to meet with you." I was even more ashamed! He had been faithful in spite of my faithlessness. I asked Him to forgive me and He did, as He always does when we acknowledge our failures and want to do the right thing. He said, "The trouble is that you have been thinking of the quiet time, of Bible study and prayer, as a means for your own spiritual growth. This is true, but you have forgotten that this time means something to me also. Remember, I love you. At great cost I have redeemed you. Just to have you look up into my face warms my heart. Don't neglect this hour if only for my sake. Whether or not you want to be with me, remember I want to be with you. I really love you!"

You know, the truth that Christ wants my fellowship, that He loves me, wants me to be with Him and waits for me, has done more to transform my quiet time with God than any other single fact. Don't let Christ wait alone in the living room of your heart, but every day find a time and place when, with the Word of God and in prayer, you may be together with Him.

Excerpt from My Heart-Christ's Home, by Robert Boyd Munger
Kim Ratcliffe

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's Up for February

Remember when you were a young girl and wondered if some boy loved you? Like a detective searching for proof, you picked a daisy and began pulling the delicate white petals. He loves me...he loves me not. He loves me...he loves me not. Wondering how the daisy game would end.

It is so different with the Lord. You never have to wonder. He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. He loves you.

No matter what your story, He will always love you.

Excerpt from The Worn Out Woman, Telling Your Story

Tuesday, February 8 Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV in the Mace building, room 109 from 9:45-11:45 AM for a time of brunch, discussion, and prayer. Childcare is provided!

Care Circles are discussing the book, The Worn Out Woman, When Your Life is Full and Your Spirit is Empty by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray.

Friday, February 11 Jus' Moms coffee break- For those moms who need a break or want to connect, join us at Starbuck's in Target in Martinsburg, WV at 9:30 AM. This is primarily for those moms whose children are in school however it's open to anyone. Please no children.

Tuesday, February 22 Topic Meeting-Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV in the Mace building, room 109 from 9:45-11:45 AM for a time of brunch, discussion, and prayer.Childcare is provided!

Monday, February 28 Game Night at Bethel Assembly of God in the Mace building, rm 109 at 6:30 PM.

Monday, January 24, 2011

For Us...

While in prayer this morning, God brought me to this scripture in Ephesians 3:17-19. It is God's desire for every mom in Mom's Connection today. It is a word from Him to you and to me.

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Have a blessed day!

Friday, January 21, 2011

"The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity" by Wm. Paul Young- A book Review

There are no words to truly express how much this book has touched my heart. It has left me with a sense of wonder. Did any of what happened within the story actually occur? I hope so and with every fiber of my being...I think it did.

This story is all about a man and his process of healing and acceptance of his daughter's death, the healing of his heart, and his faith in God becoming renewed.

Mackenzine's youngest daughter, Missy is kidnapped and then brutally murdered by a serial killer that has never been caught. He is filled with rage toward not only her abductor but at God as well for "allowing" it all to happen. Three years after the tragic event he is drawn to the place where it all began with a note from God. When he arrives there he is confronted with his own emotions and with the awesome beginning of a new life. He is completely transformed and the process of this transformation will leave you astounded.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

"There are times when you choose to believe something that would normally be considered absolutely irrational. It doesn't mean that it is actually irrational, but it surely is not rational. Perhaps there is supra rationality; reason beyond the normal definitions of fact or data-based logic; something that makes sense only if you can see a bigger picture of reality. Maybe that is where faith fits in."

"The Shack" is one of those books I could read over and over again and still glean something new and wonderful from it and it is available in the Mom's Connection lending library. Join me in taking a journey to "The Shack"'ll never come back the same.

Tina Burton

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Night Event

"Late one winter night, five women lingered in the fireside room of a popular retreat center. We chose a cozy fireplace corner that was thoughtfully furnished for comfort and conversation. The soothing glow of burning embers, steaming mugs of hot chocolate, and a satisfying fatigue after a day of meetings drew us together. W curled our stockinged feet under us, snuggled deeper into the soft cushions, and began a conversation that would change the course of our lives."

An excerpt from The Worn Out Woman, When Your Life Is Full and Your Spirit Is Empty by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray, Prologue, Winter Night

This quote is the theme of our Winter Night Event coming up Monday, January 24 at Allison's Adam's house at 6:30 PM. For us who are worn out to get away, relax by a fire, and enjoy the company of friends.

For directions, contact Lisa Fraley at

Monday, January 17, 2011

Favorite quote of the week

"You will trust God only as much as you love Him. And you will love Him not because you have studied Him; you will love Him because you have touched Him-in response to His touch.....Only if you love will you make that final leap into darkness. Father into your hands I commend my spirit."

Brennan Manning, Lion and Lamb From my book He Loves Me! By Wayne Jacobsen

Kim Ratcliffe

Friday, January 14, 2011

Clothing Give-away

On two Saturday's in February the 19th and 26th from 10 AM - 2 PM, Valley View Chapel will be having a clothing give-away for all sizes, newborn through adult. They will be serving free coffee, juice, and donuts. Please come get some clothes for yourself and tell all the people you know who could benefit from this event.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January Events

"She is my first, great love. She was a wonderful, rare woman-you do not know; as strong, and steadfast, and generous as the sun. She could be as swift as a white whiplash, and as kind and gentle as warm rain, and as steadfast as the irreducible earth beneath us."
D. H. Lawrence

"My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her." George Washington

What will be said of you?

Friday, January 14 Jus' Moms coffee break- For those moms who need a break or want to connect, join us at Chick-fil-A in Martinsburg, WV at 9:30 AM. This is primarily for those moms whose children are in school however it's open to anyone. Please no children.

Saturday, January 22 Mom's and Dad's Bowling Night Out at Pikeside Bowling Alley in Martinsburg, WV at 7 PM.

Monday, January 24 Winter Night Event at Allison Adam's house at 6:30 PM
Join us by a cozy fireplace where one can curl up with stockinged feet and snuggle deep into soft cushions all put together thoughtfully for comfort and conversation for the worn out woman.
For directions, please contact Lisa Fraley at

Tuesday, January 25 Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV in the Mace building, room 109 from 9:45-11:45 AM for a time of brunch, discussion, and prayer.

Childcare is provided! Care Circles are discussing the book, The Worn Out Woman, When Your Life is Full and Your Spirit is Empty by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Yellow Umbrella

Will you take a moment with me and think of this scenario? You are outside on a dark, rainy gloomy day. You are standing there while the rain is hitting you in the face, your hair, and your clothes. You’re cold and there’s nowhere to go for shelter. But then something yellow catches your eye. Then all of a sudden a beautiful bright yellow umbrella appears over your head.

Many of you are going through a tough season and you feel like you’re standing in that rain today. Maybe you’ve been in it for months, or weeks, or just today. It is my prayer that this group and the woman here will be like a yellow umbrella to you today by giving you what is says in The Worn Out Woman: a little praise, a little encouragement, and doing a little act of thoughtfulness.

Annie Engstrom said, “Kindness is a yellow umbrella covering the rainy days of life.”

But I want to take this a step further and tell you that God offers that umbrella to you the moment you chose to follow Him and it is there for you everyday. In Psalms 91:1,2,4 it reads, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

Being under His wings is an umbrella that will never leave you. Ask yourself this question: do you have that umbrella? If not, you can have it today. All you have to do is ask.

Opening Remarks for today's topic meeting

Monday, January 10, 2011

In case of bad weather, our group will follow the local school cancellations in Berkeley County, WV. In case of a two hour delay, the meeting will be cancelled.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What's your birth story?

Having a baby is the most wonderful thing a woman can do. There is nothing like the feeling of a new life growing inside of you, sensing its development as the weeks go by, marveling at its strength when it kicks in the middle of the night.

And then there is the pure pleasure of preparation. What is more satisfying than creating your new baby’s room, choosing sheets and blankets, and picking out darling little outfits? It is the one time we can indulge all our pure nesting instincts.

That’s the fun side of pregnancy. Then there’s the other side.

Sit around with a bunch of mothers, and you will hear it all. Mothers love to recite their pregnancy and birthing stories. I guess it has something to do with the fact that mothers have been to a place where only they can go. In spite of all the obvious similarities in the stories, each one still seems unique. Like veterans of an armed conflict, we are a band of sisters with one common theme. These are our battle stories.

We listen to each other in amazement, we compare notes, and we shake our heads in wonder. There is the tale of the thirty-six hour labor, the classic story of the birth in the back of the cab. Even when you feel you have heard them all, you still listen with respect. These stories are important. They need to be told.

Because I have four children of my own, have taught Lamaze classes, and have been a birth coach. I know many stories, all very different. I would love to tell them here. All of them, but of course I can’t-maybe that will be another book.

What I can tell you is that everything you have heard is true. Some women do crave pickles and ice cream; some crave tomatoes and sauerkraut. Others would kill for a steak. Some cry ten times a day; others eat twelve times. Occasionally, there is even a woman who never had a single problem, who loved every minute of the whole nine months. We know she is lying.

Most of us can say with certainty that no one has ever had bigger stretch marks. And when is comes time for delivery, in spite of all our best intentions, many rational women do want drugs. In the transitional phase of labor, we do blame our husbands for everything and say bad words we have never said before. And we even, quite rationally; refuse to have the baby, just about the time the baby is coming out.

Why do we go through these things gladly, even thankfully? For the reward at the end, of course. For the sheer bliss that comes when our baby is at last wrapped and delivered into our arms. For the moment when we can lean down and kiss that downy forehead and smell the sweetness of our newborn child.

If you are a newly expectant mother, don’t worry. Everything that is happening to you is normal. Crazy as it sounds, it all makes perfect sense. Just go with the flow. That baby is running the show. It knows what it needs and it is trusting you to get it there.

And if you are an old pro at the business of childbirth, lend an ear. Listen and sympathize; reassure your young friend. Share your own story, if you think it will help.

After all, we are all in this together.

Excerpt from The Quotable Mom edited by Kate Rowinski

What's your birth story?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's new in January!

"Yes, Mother, I see that you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me." Alice Walker, Possessing The Secret of Joy

Tuesday, January 11 Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV in the Mace building, room 109 from 9:45-11:45 AM for a time of brunch, discussion, and prayer. Childcare is provided!

Care Circles are discussing the book, The Worn Out Woman, When Your Life is Full and Your Spirit is Empty by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray.

Tuesday, January 25 Topic Meeting- Join us for a time of brunch, discussion, and prayer from 9:45-11:45 AM at Bethel Assembly of God, Mace building, rm 109.

Many great activities are being planned for this Spring Semester coming up. Be sure to pick up your schedule at our next meeting. Thank you for all who come and participate in this group. You make it a great place to find friendship, support, and encouragement!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Getting to Know...Tanya Clemons

This year, I have the pleasure of being in Tanya Clemon's care circle in Mom's Connection. She is a very sweet lady. She is a very busy woman and she amazes me with everything that she is able to accomplish in just one day out of any given week. No matter how busy she is though she never fails to make time for her family and friends. She is a great listener and has a sympathetic ear. I feel blessed to have such a great friend in my life and I feel honored to be able to feature her this month.

Tanya and her husband Darrion have been married for ten years. She has known him her entire life. She said, "He was the pesky guy whom my dad loved to talk to at the fair each year. It wasn’t until he approached me about buying my show cattle at the Berkeley County Fair in 1999 that I even considered dating him. A week later my Dad and I delivered the cattle to his farm and he ask me out…the rest is history!!"

They have four children; Chloe (6), Cole (4), Camrie(2), and Calah(8 months).

Her hobbies and interests include working on the farm and gardening. She said, "Everyday is a new adventure!" She loves watching her kids enjoy farm life and watching them grow up in this setting. Her favorite music is Christian and Southern Gospel. Casting Crowns and Chris Tomlin are her favorites.

Tanya's favorite thing about Mom's Connection is ,"Being with other moms who love the Lord. They are so uplifting and have the same problems I have….CHILDREN!! Just kidding!!! I really enjoy learning from other moms and it really helps me be a better mom when I get a break to focus on myself."

I asked Tanya what a relationship with the Lord means to her and she responded," EVERYTHING!! Jesus is my rock. He is the one who gives me rest when I’m weary. The one I tell everything to, my joys, my hopes, my concerns and my burdens. He is faithful and trustworthy. He is never bothered at how many times I call him a day, or too busy to talk. He is not offended that I raise my voice, brag to much about my kids or complain often. He loves me just as I am with all the blemishes that I am trying to get rid of!! Jesus is my daily bread, he is my constant. He is more than enough for me!!

Her favorite chapter of the Bible is Romans 12. She said, "It starts off by telling how to live and then goes on to talk about love. Love is where it is, without love we are nothing except miserable ladies."

Tina Burton

Monday, January 3, 2011

Looking back briefly, then moving on...

I’ll be completely honest. I’m glad to see 2010 gone. It wasn’t a great year. It was tough. However, as I look back over it, I’m thankful to see that I was not alone.

In every hard-pressed situation, I recall the hand of God. He intervened in a strained friendship and renewed it. He gave me the strength to do the things I had to even when I wanted to run away. He touched every bill that somehow I was able to pay it. He blessed me over and over again which enabled me to bless others. I would not have gotten through the year without His Presence!

During the last week of the year, I was reading in Exodus about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and into the promise land. Israel was a stiff-necked people who after seeing all the miracles in Egypt, the Red Sea parted, and manna from heaven, they still turned from God and worshipped a golden calf. God had every right to be angry and said, “go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way” (Ex. 33:3). But Moses said to the LORD, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us?” (Ex. 33:15).

Before moving on into the New Year, I repeated the words of Moses and said, “Lord, if your Presence does not go with me, do not send me up from here!” I don’t want to go anywhere without the Lord’s Presence. I couldn’t do it without Him in 2010 and I know I can’t in 2011!

May the Lord’s Presence go with you as well!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Let's look forward to 2011!

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14