Potomac District Council
WIM Header Fall 2011
In This Issue
A Teaching Treasure in My Clutter by Raylene Cochrane
Out to Dry by Mary Frasnelli
Twizzler-ology by Ariel Rainey
Listen to His Voice by Rowena Hall
Kitchen Wisdom by Brenda Burns
Man Looks on the Outward Appearance by Laura Qualls
This is Knot the Problem by Sandy Anderson
Turn Away Wrath by Denise Ouellette
The Lasting Laugh by Sue Duffield
Connecting with Your Family
Connecting with Your Health
Connecting with Your Funny Bone
Looking Forward
Upcoming Women's Events

2012 Women in Ministry Retreat April 13 - 15, 2011
Potomac Park Camp

Next issue
The theme for the next issue of the Potomac Connection for Women in Ministry is Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child   [submissions due December 9, 2011]


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by Johnese Burtram
johnese burtram   

Thanks to you who shared your lessons learned in this issue of the Potomac WIM Connection. We have enjoyed your stories and smiled at your unique learning situations. More importantly, you have increased our awareness of the Holy Spirit at work in unexpected ways to mature us.


Learning or Lessons Learned

Be a lifelong learner - a mantra of our times. We are schooled, educated, trained and re-trained. We amass information, learn techniques and acquire skill sets. We place high value on knowledge and education.


Abraham Lincoln said "I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."  


 As women of faith, we believe the scriptures struct us to pursue wisdom and the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:2 & 6 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding ... For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. We realize one can be learned without possessing wisdom and understanding. However, in our righteous pursuit of increased knowledge and education, do merely learn of are we learning wisdom, principles to build a life on?   



I wish I could tell you I have always been attuned to this principles of life stuff. But, I cannot. In fact, it was not until 1990 I even thought about principles for life. I did a lot of livin' before I realized it might be valuable to articulate principles for my own life.    continue reading 



Connecting with the Sistah's
A Teaching Treasure in My Clutter
by Raylene Cochrane


I lived through my first hurricane season in Virginia Beach, VA. Realizing hurricanes are just as destructive as the tornados I despise - they scatter possessions all over and beyond retrieval - , I decided to get my stuff better organized and pared down for easier rescue from nature. I moved all my paper certificates from bulky presentation folders into sheet protectors.


The first certificate I pulled out, a Navy Letter of Appreciation from the base Captain, took me back 25 years.    

continue reading

Out to Dry

 by Mary Frasnelli 


It had been one of those weeks; everything seemed to go wrong. Rushed and tired, I stood in our small laundry room, trying to get one step ahead of the small mountain of clothes. One load completed, I thought with triumph as I threw the last wet sock into the dryer. I leaned over and pressed the start button on the dryer - nothing continue reading 



 by Ariel Rainey


I never thought of candy as being particularly spiritual or holy, but God once used licorice to change my attitude.


I started ministry as a wide-eyed, impressionable young missionary and by the end of my first year, I had seen way too much misery in the lives of my co-laborers. I inadvertently got in the middle of a power struggle between two superiors, and watching their bitter feud disabused me of the allure I felt for ministry.  

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Listen to His Voice

by Rowena Hall 

 My mother Elizabeth was a woman of God who prayed often and listened to the voice of God. She taught her children to love and serve God AND listen to His voice. 


 When my sisters and brother and I were little kids, we were in my grandmother's yard playing "house" with some old bricks.  Mother was in the house washing dishes and watching us through the window.  She smiled at us because we were playing so nicely together.  As she washed the dishes, she sensed God tell her, "Bring your children in the house."  She looked out the window and said to herself, "The kids are playing so quietly and not fighting, why would I bring them in the house?  It is such a peaceful moment."  God spoke to her again: "Bring the children in the house."  She stopped washing the dishes, went to the door and called us in the house.     continue reading 

Kitchen Wisdom

By Brenda Burns   

1.  If you are going to double the recipe, use a larger pan.

We were hosting an after-school/slumber party for my daughter's 11th birthday.  The crowd would be arriving mid-afternoon, and the party would be on from then through the night until parents picked the girls up on Saturday morning.  So I was in high gear that morning, working to ensure that everything was ready by the time school was out.  I realized that one box of cake mix was probably not going to be enough for the group, so I decided to double it.  However, I didn't have a bigger pan for the sheet cake.  I figured it would just be a taller cake.  I was wrong. 
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Man Looks on the Outward Appearance
 By Laura Qualls


 Several years ago when I was attending Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, I was coming out of class at 10:00 one night. I had to walk a few blocks in the dark until I reached the lot where my car was parked. To me it was an unusually dark night and my thoughts were bouncing around about the not-so-nice "Fan District" and the news articles depicting attacks on women. I drew in a deep breath and began silently praying and quoting scripture.   Rounding the corner of the second block my heart quickened and I stopped for a moment. I saw the few lights of the parking lot beaming over the little house where the lot attendant usually sat. Surrounding this area was a group of about eight to ten African American young men laughing and carrying on. 
continue reading 


This is Knot the Problem
By Sandy Anderson


"... that He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6 (AKJV)


Lessons learned? Yes! Papa continually uses everyday things to teach me. Today He used Bella, my Sheltie. Bella is Italian for beautiful and she's aptly named because this is the first thing everyone notices about her. A major reason Shelties are attractive is their long, silky hair, but because it is thick, it can get knotted. Today as I was grooming Bella, she kept wiggling so much I couldn't brush her. I knew she was getting frustrated with how long her "beauty treatment" was taking and honestly, so was I.    continue reading 

Turn Away Wrath

by Denise Ouellette 



I have held many jobs in my life including babysitting, store clerk, teacher, school principal, realtor, accountant, writer, and pastor. The lessons learned from each of these professions have done more than teach me how to work; each has molded my character and my God given skills.


The most impressive lesson learned came at my hardest time of life.   continue reading 

The Lasting Laugh

by Sue Duffield 
From Sue's Blog 5/23/2011


The women I meet and with whom I interact especially have incredibly gripping faith stories. Stories that aren't very neat and clean. From atheists, to crack addicts, to former prostitutes on parole, I feel like Dorothy when she said to Toto, "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."  


 continue reading 


Connecting with Your Family

Honor God With Your Family This Thanksgiving

by Gwen Ellis, Author, Simply Fun for Families


There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you  

(Deuteronomy 12:7, NIV).


You work hard. Whether you are the breadwinner and go to a job every day or the one who keeps the home fires burning, you are fully occupied in providing for your family. You contribute finances, whether by earning them or saving them. You labor physically, whether by sitting at a desk plugging away or carrying laundry up and down the stairs. You are continually improving your investments, whether you are putting money into an account that grows or improving your house and yard. All work is good, and it should bring a great deal of satisfaction as you care for your home and family. But there needs to be a time for rewards.

Family celebrations are one of the rewards of faithful services. ...

 Make the First Thanksgiving Real to Your Children

by Barbara Curtis, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer


I'd stuffed many a turkey before I really understood Thanksgiving. Oh, sure, I knew we were supposed to be thankful, and once I became a Christian I knew who we were thanking. But it wasn't until I taught my children at home that I really got the whole story.

Unfortunately, these days that story keeps getting harder to find.

For years, many public schools have left God out of Thanksgiving, teaching instead that the Pilgrims gave a party to thank the Native Americans or Mother Earth.  Even more current are claims that the first Thanksgiving was a copy of European harvest festivals or a stolen Native American custom, or just a repeat of thanksgivings by other explorers. ...



Connecting with Yourself
 Your Spiritual Formation
Think About It


Life will bring us questions without answers; To live is to encounter silent seasons of the soul, When every prayer will seem to go unanswered - As we face events beyond our understanding or control. Yet in the quiet darkness, Christ is working. His silence in the shadows doesn't mean he doesn't care; A part of faith is trusting without reason, Believing, when he can't be seen or heard, that he's still there...So when answers fail to come, don't be discouraged. Keep leaning on his steadfast love and trusting in his will, For knowing "why" won't really make a difference - But growing close and knowing Jesus will.
B. J. Hoff



I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.

Martha Washington



We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good; if bad, because it works in us patience, humility, contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.  


Gratitude... goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. 

Henri J. M. Nouwen

Nouwen Centre



Book Reviews


Praise for Fierce Beauty
by Kim Meeder
Review by -LuAnne Crane, Executive Producer & Co-Host, Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson 

"The vibrant leadership of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch Founder Kim Meeder is superseded only by her unwavering commitment to the Lord. Her buoyant spirit is contagious!  Kim is "the real deal" and I'm always a better person for being in her presence.  In this bold new venture, the same burning passion she has exhibited in ministering to wounded children and horses finds a new target: women. Fierce Beauty challenges us to abandon our shallow lives of insecurity, pain and selfishness and instead embrace a warrior's pose.  We can no longer afford to sit idly by ... let's march on!"   


Surprised by Hope
by N.T. Wright
Reviewer: Deborah Galyen - Potomac District Missionary

"We could cope - the world could cope - with a Jesus who ultimately remains a wonderful idea inside his disciples' minds and hearts. The world cannot cope with a Jesus who comes out of the tomb, who inaugurates God's new creation right in the middle of the old one" (pg 68).

This wonderful book by famous Anglican biblical scholar, N.T. Wright, tackles the explosive truth at the heart of the gospel. Jesus is alive, and everything is different! In very clear language, the author looks at what the concept of "resurrection" meant in the New Testament world, and what Jesus' resurrection means for us today.


Along the way, he refutes various wrong ideas that Christians hold about the end times and our own destiny. We are not just redeemed spirits bound for heaven. Our bodies matter, the material world matters, and God has a wonderful, redemptive future (the new creation) in store for the entire cosmos He lovingly created in the first place.


One of my favorite parts of the book is where Bishop Wright makes sense of our work here on earth (and not just our work as evangelists or pastors). If everything will one day be destroyed before the new creation, do our efforts here really matter? Does great art or buildings or history or science have any lasting significance? He makes the case that just as our present bodies will die but one day be resurrected, so will what we do "in the Lord" (I Cor 15:58). Whatever we do in Him is "not in vain", as Paul said.


"Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of His creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or to walk; every act of care and nurture ...and of course every prayer, all Spirit led-teaching, every deed that ... makes the name of Jesus honored in the world - all this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make" (v208).


This a book that will renew your faith in the power of the resurrected Jesus.



Your Health

Holiday Fitness Program


The holiday season can be enough to derail even the most dedicated exerciser. Here are some tips to help you stay fit through New Year's.


You're busy, you're stressed, it's chilly out ... so why not just take a break from your fitness program until the New Year? ...



 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes, Menus and Cooking Tips

 Tasty Thanksgiving recipes for a healthier holiday feast.

Thanksgiving is all about abundance or, often, overabundance. But it doesn't have to be that way. With healthy updates to classic dishes, the Thanksgiving recipes showcased here use high-impact flavors like fresh herbs, spices and seasonal fruits and vegetables to minimize the need for gobs of butter, cream and salt. Some dishes are healthy updates on classic dishes, while others are twists on traditional fare.


For the host, we've got menus and planners and budget-friendly wines, as well as new ways to use up all those turkey leftovers. If you've always felt daunted by the turkey carving process, our step-by-step photos illustrate simple instructions for success, plus other tips for a terrific stress-free holiday. If you're not hosting this year, choose from our selection of healthy sides and scrumptious desserts. You'll find nearly everything here to enjoy a delicious, healthy Thanksgiving. ... 



Connecting with Your Funny Bone

Did You Know:
  • A molecule is so small that it can't be seen by the naked observer.
  • Our new teacher told us all about fossils. Before she came to our class, I didn't know what a fossil looked like.
  • When people run around and around in circles we say they are crazy. When planets do it we say they are orbiting. 

A Letter From College

Dear Mom,

$chool is really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very hard. With all my $tuff, I $imply can't think of anything I need, $o if you would like, you can just $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you.
P.$. Thank$ for $ending the $weater.

Dear Susan,

I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics, and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep even an hoNOr student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge is a NOble task, and you can never study eNOugh.

P.S. Thanks for your NOte!!


Computer Passwords

Ever wonder how blondes (or insert the hair color of any ditzy female you know) remember their Passwords?

During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was using the following password:

When asked why such a big password, she said, "It had to be at least 8 characters long.
Looking Forward
Lessons taught by the Holy Spirit stay with us. I trust these personal lessons have inspired and challenged you. Let us know what you think. How can we make this e-newsletter better. Fruitful reading as you share lessons learned.

Welcome to the crazy, busy time of year. The Holidays. How do children perceive all this craziness? 

Share with us your memories of Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child. You, your child, your grandchild. Tell us in 300 - 500 words. We are also always looking for photos, artwork, humor, book reviews, etc. Articles are due December 9, 2011.

I look forward to hearing from you.

You are loved,


Johnese Burtram