Tag Archives: fellowship

Reclaimed, Redeemed, Reworked… In the Potter’s Hands

23 Mar

 

playdough

“And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” Jeremiah 18:4

Our one day Women’s retreat was an informative day of fun and fellowship centered around God’s great grace. As He did over and over with the nation of Judah, so He does with us—extending undeserved grace after we continuously fall short; repeating patterns of disobedience and sinful behavior. He offers us…

Please click here to continue reading Taft Avenue Community Church: Orange, CA > Reclaimed, Redeemed, Reworked… In the Potter’s Hands.

Chocolate, God’s Grace and the Drama of Scripture

29 Mar

iphone 037_opt“So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.” Ephesians 1:6 (NLT)

Recently 24 women from Taft headed up to Big Bear in the San Bernardino mountains for a women’s retreat weekend of worship, connection, and fellowship. Using meaningful activites and devotions designed to celebrate the richness of God’s blessing and His extravagant grace, those present were afforded the opportunity to unpack God’s grace while resting at the feet of Jesus.

Sessions focused on the following:

  1. The first miracle of Jesus (John 2:1-11) where the glory of Christ is revealed and a fullness of grace is shown.
  2. The lowering of a paralyzed man through the roof to Jesus (Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26, and Matthew 9:2-8) where undeserved grace is experienced through healing.
  3. Extending grace to others in need in the form of a gift from the heart.
  4. The strength of offering grace in tough circumstances (Luke 22:47-51 and John 18:10-11) and receiving the ultimate outpouring of grace (Romans 5:6-8).
  5. Quiet prayer and contemplation in the presence of the Lord.
  6. Grace poured out on the cross; Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.

This was a wonderful experience for the women involved to get to know each other on a deeper more personal level while spending time with the Lord exploring our place in God’s story.

For those of you who attended and loved Michaele’s cooking or those who want to try something new, click here for a delicious lasagna soup recipe.

Additional photos and info here: Taft avenue Community Church | Women’s Ministries

Caroline Swithinbank’s Surprising Twist | Changing Seasons…Unchanging God

12 Jul

ice creamAre you single, single again, or spiritually single? Come and join other “somehow single” women for fellowship, encouragement, and ice cream Saturday, July 20, @ 2:35 PM–Click for more information or visit the Women’s Ministry cart for more information.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” –1 Peter 5:7

If, “…thoughts of becoming the reclusive “cat lady” plague your mind, or anxieties about the future economic demands of caring for yourself on one income begin to clutch at your throat…stir up your mind and heart to recognize the ways in which you, as a redeemed woman (who happens to be unmarried),…respond, speaks volumes on behalf of the church” (CBMW.org)

The following article shows God’s plans and glory are revealed in His time…

Caroline Swithinbank’s Surprising Twist3-21-13Wedding

In my mid-sixties, the Lord increasingly impressed Jeremiah 29:11 on my heart. As a lifelong single woman, my joy was in my professions—laboring in the Mustard Seed Christian bookstores and helping families raise their children. I felt God’s blessing in both occupations. I had the benefit of sitting under great preaching, Sunday school classes, mission conferences, and small-group Bible studies. I was happy . . . but still, in the recesses of my mind, I wondered: Didn’t God have someone—just one man—for me?

But life goes on. In 1999, I returned to England to care for my mother who had cancer. In spite of a one-year prognosis, she lived many more wonderful years during which we enjoyed a tranquil life together. While in England I participated in a local struggling Baptist church teaching Sunday School, ferrying “the oldies” to services and doctor’s appointments, etc. Very fulfilling, but still . . .

Then things became more challenging. After thirteen years, my mother quickly declined and in 2011 went to be with her Savior. My one surviving brother was hours away in Wales dealing with his wife’s diagnosis of breast cancer, so I had to tie up everything myself: executing the will, preparing the house to sell, and actually selling it. I had decided years ago that after my mother’s passing I would return to Pennsylvania, so I had to determine what treasures to jettison and which to pack.

While packing one day, Bruce—with whom I had been frequently corresponding—called from America. This was a man I’d known for thirty-eight years. We’d shared many experiences in the past, and I felt a unique spiritual and interpersonal kinship with him. He loved the Lord—and apparently me, too—because during this call he proposed marriage! I did what any sixty-seven-year-old-never-been-married-woman would do. I said, “Yes, yes. I accept, but I’m much too busy right now to think about it. We’ll talk later.” Little did I know how much busier I would get.

My mother died in August. I moved from England to Pennsylvania the following March. I broke my back in April. And in May, I got only a seven-hour reprieve from the rehab unit to get married, processing down the aisle of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in a wheelchair. (Don’t even ask about the honeymoon!)

Yes, the Lord knew His plans for me, and He does indeed want us to prosper—but in His timing and for His glory, with or without a spouse. My fundamental joy, contentment, and satisfaction in life reside in doing God’s will. I thank God for my husband, but he cannot bring me the ultimate sense of transcendent wellbeing that submitting to God does. I want to say with Paul that I am content in all circumstances and trust that He always has plans to prosper us—and not to harm us—to give us a hope and a future.

No matter your particular circumstances, be prepared for God to surprise you, too!

via True Woman | Caroline Swithinbank’s Surprising Twist.

%d bloggers like this: