Potomac Ministry Network
WIM Connection Spring 2013
In This Issue
Interview with Susanne Cox
Believing God's Promises, Despite the Plot
Every Promise
My Hair Hurts
Dog Promises
God Fulfills His Promise to Provide
Connecting to the Family
Connecting with Yourself
Spiritual Formation
Think About It
Connecting with Your Funny Bone
Looking Forward


Johnese Burtram 

I promise.  Trusting soul that I am, I believe. 


The more intimate the relationship, the more we trust promises made. Yes, I've known broken promises; even failed to keep them. As grievous as it is, sometimes we just can't keep those well intended promises. We didn't understand the ramifications of the promise. Circumstances prevented us from keeping our word.  Maybe we even promised because it was expected, knowing full well the words were empty. We have all know the pain of broken promises as well as the delight of a promise realized.
Promises. The theme struck a cord with you. Thank you for your overwhelming response. This issue of WIM Connection is part 1 of Promises. Watch for Part 2 coming soon. These stories are sure to encourage and challenge you.

Coming Events

Interview with Susanne Cox
Debbie Shank interviews radiant speaker,
Susanne Cox.
DS: What is God speaking to your heart for the upcoming Retreat?
Susanne: From the beginning of 2013, during our 21 Day Fast, the Lord has been speaking about preparing the way for the Glory of God.
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Isaiah 60:1-3.

DS: The theme is RADIANT. How can we as women in ministry apply these words to our life?
We are living in the last days. It is our responsibility to keep the fire burning in our hearts so that we can be light to those who are walking in darkness. There is a fresh baptism of fire being poured out on those who have their hearts turned toward the Lord. (Mat. 3:11-12) God desires that we allow the Holy Spirit to burn the chaff out of our life and set us on the lamp stand to be a light to the nations. Revival is not on the way ....Revival is here!

DS: How do you think God wants to use women in ministry in 2013?
I believe Acts 2:17 is coming to pass ...your daughters shall prophesy. Women of God are standing up and taking our place to prophesy (to proclaim or declare a thing) over our families, children, schools, cities and nation. As the days grow darker with evil, I believe we will minister in the same supernatural power the disciples did as Jesus gave them power and authority over demons and sickness. (Luke 9:1, Luke10:19). The anointing comes on us to do the work of the ministry. We can walk boldly, confidently and compassionately in our calling, reaping a harvest of souls as we go.

DS: What will Women in Ministry of the Potomac District gain from attending?
There's nothing like times of refreshing in the Presence of the Lord. Women in ministry can be surrounded by people, yet feel like no one understands or even cares about our hard work. We understand one another. This is a time to come away, to feel free to laugh, cry, pray, drink coffee, be silly, be vulnerable, eat too much chocolate, dance in the Spirit and be filled up, fired up, ready to arise and shine.


I'm so excited about being with you and the Potomac Ministry Network Women. I cannot wait to be with all you amazing ladies.

Love and Blessings,



Join us for the Women in Ministry luncheon on Monday, May 6,

during this year's District Council.


Connecting with the Sistah's

 Believing God's Promises, Despite the Plot
 by Stephanie Smith 

Stephanie Smith 

What has God promised you? Are you experiencing a setback or delay in that promise? Does it appear as though you've been written out of the story? Or do you find yourself wishing you could be a part of a different storyline? .... Continue reading  



Stephanie Smith is a vocal director, freelance writer, wife, and mom of four children. She and her husband, Dwayne, serve on staff at Manassas Assembly of God (soon to be Chapel Springs Assembly) in Worship and Creative Arts. Stephanie has served on several church staffs and numerous leadership teams in roles of strategic development, media, and marketing. As a visionary, she loves to mentor others, speak with women in leadership, and help others break through barriers in their personal lives and organizations. Stephanie graduated from Evangel University with a B.A. in Communication and from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary with an M.A.R. in Biblical Studies. She has a lifetime call to spiritual transformation - in herself and in those around her.  

by Lydia Sink

Lydia Sink  

It was a weathered grey late winter's day in Chicagoland. I hung up the phone and stared blankly out the window of my upstairs home office to the farm pond across the street. The landscape this time of year was barren and seemed to reflect the endless season of winter we were experiencing in our quest for a family. But this call, this news of yet another promised hope dashed to pieces, seemed unreal and unbelievable. Stunned by the news I had just received I silently asked God, "Why would You allow this to happen AGAIN? Aren't You supposed to be our protection and covering? We have served you sacrificially and obediently why is this happening....AGAIN? We have only and always sought Your will and this opportunity came to us...where are You in this God?" .... Continue reading

Lydia Sink,both a pastor's wife and licensed minister, is new to the Potomac Ministry Network. Her husband, Barry, is a staff pastor at Charlottesville First Assembly. She is a full time mom preparing to return to work outside the home in the coming year. She is a licensed professional counselor and life coach. She loves to see people experience God and live the abundant life of Jesus. Her greatest joy is raising their four year old son, Sam. 
Every Promise
by Nena O'Brien


Nena O'Brien is wife of Pastor Larry E. O'Brien. They have been married for 38 years. Founding pastors of Churchland Assembly of God in Portsmouth, Virginia, they have been at Churchland A/G since 1982.   Nena, a graduate of Northeast Bible College (1973), holds credentials with Potomac Ministry Network.   They have one daughter (Heidi Ferrell) and one granddaughter (Kristabel) who is the joy of their life. 



A little song my heart often sings,

Has often given my spirit wings....


Every Promise in the Book is mine

Every Chapter, every verse, every line.

I'm trusting in His love divine

Every promise in the Book is mine.


If I come into agreement with the Book.

And if I take a daily look,

I'll find reasons for success and rest,

And in my walk I'll certainly be blessed.


If I live by faith and dwell on the Word

My life and actions, He'll undergird.

Relief from stress, hope and a guarantee

All's been covered in His manual and warranty.


An eternal covenant between God and me

Being in partnership will surely be

A lifetime of blessing and each step guided

I have His pledge, in Him confided.


So I know with assurity that He'll be the same

It's all been settled in His wonderful Name,

I can trust every Word written for me

Learned from His promises on bended knee.


Promises kept bring renewed hope and faith  

And help us go onward to finish the race.

I'll cherish each promise and make them mine.

Every chapter, every verse and every line.
My Hair Hurts
by Denise Ouellette

"Will I lose my hair?" The first questioned I asked of the nurse at the cancer center where I am receiving chemotherapy treatments. I was hoping for some statistics that would be encouraging, maybe not everyone loses their hair, but no they simply said, "Yes, you will lose your hair." Then when I asked how soon this will occur they said within one week of the first treatment. .... Continue reading

WIMwtr2011-Ouellette Denise Ouellette - Licensed minister of the Assembly of God. She and her husband have been married for over 26 years with 5 daughters and 8 grandchildren. She is the Missions director at our church, Lighthouse Worship Center in Gloucester, Virginia. She has a degree in Accounting and also writes plays and skits most of which are produced at her church. She serves on the Board of Directors of two non-profit mission organizations: 'Africa Harvest Mission' whose main emphasis is to evangelize Africa, and 'Friends of TOUCH' which provides funds to care for African children

Dog Promises
by Deborah Galyen

When I was ten years old, during my missionary family's furlough in Virginia, we bought a dog. Bagel, our beloved mutt from the pound, died when I was 24 and pregnant with my first child. For me, the ideal picture of family life included an animal or two, and my husband was neutral on the subject. Therefore, when our three children were small and began begging for a pet of their own (a better pet than the fish which kept dying, had to be buried or flushed, and couldn't be taken for walks), I said "someday."   By the time the children were 5, 3, and 1, "someday" changed to "when Claire is fully potty-trained." And then, "when you all can help with dog care."

.... Continue reading

deb galyen


Deborah Galyen grew up in Brussels, Belgium, as an AG missionary kid, and graduated from North Central University in Minnesota.  She and her husband Shawn were Chi Alpha campus pastors at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. for 9 years, until they moved to Spain in 2008. They minister to university students in Granada, Spain.  The have three children - Luke, Ruth and Claire.



God Fulfills His Promise To Provide
by Debbie Gillispie

I must share the story of how my Heavenly Father demonstrated His supernatural power, faithfulness, love, and compassion to me in fulfilling His promise to provide.

This particular story is about specific, recent provision, however, it begins in 2003 when, later in life, the Lord called me to full time ministry. .... continue reading 

Debbie Gillispie

Debbie Gillispie, Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God, serves as the administrative assistant in the Women's & Girls Ministries departments of Potomac Ministry Network and as Children's Pastor at Warrenton Assembly of God. Her heart is for women and children, desiring to see them grasp the truth of the gospel message of Christ. She and John, her husband of thirty-two years, have worked as lay-ministers in many areas of church ministry. Debbie and John have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Connecting to the Family
Addicted to Video Games
Mark Gregston, Heartlight Ministries

More than 2.5 billion video games have been sold worldwide and the industry is growing exponentially. In fact, video game sales now surpass sales of both music and movies. For millions of kids and young adults, playing video games has become an obsession. 

ANGER: the "bad" emotion 
By Parenting By Design 

One emotion we just can't avoid in parenting is anger. But while many of us think of anger as a "bad" emotion, that's not always so. Sometimes anger motivates us to take needed action. The Bible says, "Be angry, and yet do not sin" (Eph 4:26). The emphasis isn't on eliminating anger but on expressing it in a godly way. We help our kids when we teach them how to express their anger in constructive and healthy ways. ... http://www.parentingbydesign.com/help/anger-the-bad-emotion/1576

Why 'Jack the Giant Slayer' Misses the Mark  

Movie Review by Russell Moore

Jack the Giant-Killer has been with me as long as I can remember. As a very young child, I had a storybook of the old English legends of the Cornish youth's adventures. And I've read the same book to my own children. Jack now has his turn at the silver screen, with the film "Jack the Giant-Slayer," in theaters now. I saw it, and was disappointed. Here's why. ... 

God's Purpose for Your Marriage
April Motl


So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them .... Genesis 1:27 NIV

Before the drain of daily duties entered your marriage, did you have a vision of purpose in your relationship? What was it? Is there a sense of purpose in your relationship today? When we focus on God's calling on our marriage we reap a number of benefits. ....  


Marriage Maintenance

Dr. David

Glancing up at the sticker in the left side of my windshield recently, I was reminded that it was nearly time for a routine oil change on my car. I remembered, for the moment, that this "routine maintenance" was designed to make my car run smoothly and effectively. The sticker was easy to ignore, and yet I also knew the value and wisdom of regular oil changes.

Sadly, many couples forget about "routine maintenance" for their marriage. .... 

Redeemed: Crissy Moran on the Influence of Music and Christian Marriage

 By Vincent Funaro, Christian Post Reporter

Chrissy MoranPornography tops the list of controversial topics among Christians. Churchgoing fathers, pastors and young adults frequent websites filled with explicit sexual content to see the beautiful women involved in these acts. One of these women, Crissy Moran, made a more than comfortable living as adult actress- her website earned over $15,000 a month. However, Moran left the industry in 2006 to rededicate her life to Jesus Christ and never looked back. ....


Connecting with Yourself

10 Healthy Desserts
Go ahead, enjoy something sweet. These healthy desserts are less than 150 calories per serving. 


4 Ways to Make Your Cell Phone Safer
A city in South Florida is warning its residents that cell phone radiation might cause cancer. Here, how to lower your risk.

Though the thought of it might give you separation anxiety, it's time for you to put down your cell phone. At least, that's what one South Florida city urges. Last week, the city of Pembroke Pines passed a resolution warning citizens that radiation from cell phones might cause cancer.

The resolution came after a Pembroke Pines resident, Jimmy Gonzalez, used his own survival story to encourage his city's commission to take action. Gonzalez had a cancerous tumor removed from above his left ear, and another tumor removed from his left hand, according to SunSentinel.com. He believes both may have been caused by his cell phone. The resolution encourages everyone to practice safer cell phone usage and to keep an eye out for news on cell phone radiation. .... 

Can Facebook Make You Gain Weight?

The social network might be screwing with your will power. Here, six strategies to boost it back up. If you're finding it hard to resist stuffing your face with holiday cookies, your Facebook profile may be to blame.  Spending time on social networks can lower your self-control, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.  Read more: http://blog.womenshealthmag.com/scoop/can-facebook-make-you-gain-weight/


Hurting . . . Alone?

God's silence doesn't mean God is absent.

Cindy Pocapalia


Constant numbness took over the left side of my face. Intense shooting pain traveled up the back of my neck and head. Overwhelming worry and fear trapped me. Was it a brain tumor? I shot up prayers for health, healing, and understanding, but God seemed strangely silent.


I made an appointment to see my doctor, but in the meantime, I desperately wanted an instant fix. I wanted the numbness to go away and life to return to normal.


Friends and family who tried to offer support or comfort seemed only to make things worse with such comments as, "Everything will be fine. God is in control!" and by tossing random Scripture verses at me. I knew they meant well, but their words hurt. What if everything didn't turn out fine? ....

Spiritual Formation

Cynicism is Not a Spiritual Gift

 David Burchett


.... Recently I spotted a T-Shirt that conveys a sad truth. I'm not cynical. I'm just experienced. I receive a pretty steady stream of correspondence from "experienced" Christians who are fighting cynicism. This recent email is typical. ... 


Defeating Our Worst Enemy: Pride 
Felicia Alvarez, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer

I sat there staring at my phone, secretly wishing I could call my friend. We hadn't spoken to each other for a week, but it honestly felt more like a year. As much as I wanted to bridge the angry silence between us, something inside of me kept me from dialing her number.  


.... Pride, I realized suddenly. Yep, the whole situation reeked with pride. Pride kept me from reaching out. Pride made me value being right more than having a Christ-like attitude. I was caught in pride's ugly trap.

Think About It

From the tiny birds of the air and from the fragile lilies of the field, we learn the same truth...God takes care of His own.... At just the right moment, He steps in and proves Himself as our faithful heavenly Father. 

Charles (Chuck) Swindoll 
Insight for Living

Christianity is not a voice in the wilderness, but a life in the world. It is not an idea in the air but feet on the ground going God's way. It is not an exotic to be kept under glass, but a hardy plant to bear twelve months of fruits in all kinds of weather. Fidelity to duty is its root and branch. Nothing we can say to the Lord, no calling Him by great or dear names, can take the place of the plain doing of His will. We may cry out about the beauty of eating bread with Him in His kingdom, but it is wasted breath and a rootless hope unless we plow and plant in His kingdom here and now. To remember Him at His table and to forget Him at ours, is to have invested in bad securities. There is no substitute for plain, every-day goodness.
Maltbie Davenport (Mattie D) Babcock


I choose faithfulness...Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that they father will not come home.
Max Lucado


Quotes from Daily Christian Quotes 



The Harbinger

The Harbinger
    by Jonathan Cahn

Book Review  by Joan Rhoden   

This is a book I didn't intend to read. Friends would rave about it and I would ask, "is it fiction?" They would say "no..., I mean yes". Then someone else would shudder and add "it is prophetic... but not really". Finally I caved in and read it, and could not put it down.

"An ancient mystery that holds the secret of America's future"...so starts the book. It unfolds in a tense conversation between Ana, a busy Manhattan media executive and, Nouriel, a freelance journalist with a hard-to-believe story.

Israel's history, it seems, bares a jolting resemblance to current American and World news. This has been revealed to Nouriel by a man whose name and address he doesn't know; he calls him The Prophet. The plot unfolds with him giving Nouriel 9 seals symbolizing 9 harbingers (warnings) of judgment on America. Nouriel must unravel the mysteries as he receives each engraved seal separately.

The well-researched Middle Eastern history of this book, juxtaposed with American events is too parallel to ignore. Nouriel has his work cut out for him convincing Ana that his story is real, but he certainly earns her undivided attention. (He captures mine too.)

What does Isaiah 9:11 have to do with the date, 9/11 and events following as well as the future beyond? Well, read The Harbinger for yourself. Is it just fiction, or is it a real warning? You decide!
Connecting with Your Funny Bone

Dumb Blond (or whatever color hair your favorite ditz has at the moment) Jokes

These two blondes walk into a building.  You'd think one of them would have seen it. 
Two blondes were in a parking lot trying to unlock the door of their Mercedes with a coat hanger.  They tried and tried to get the door open, but they couldn't.  The blonde with the coat hanger stopped for a moment to catch her breath, and her friend said anxiously, "Hurry up!  It's starting to rain and the top is down."

Hear about when the blonde got an AM radio?  It took her a month to realize she could play it at night.

Church Signs

Free Trip to Heaven.  Details Inside!

An ad for St. Joseph's Episcopal Church has a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed and a headline that reads, "For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets."

Dusty Bibles Lead to Dirty Lives

What if God had Voice Mail?

We have all learned to live with voice mail as a necessary part of modern life.  But you may have wondered, "What if God decided to install voice mail?"  Imagine praying and hearing this:

Thank you for calling My Father's House.  Please select one of the following options:
Press 1 for request
Press 2 for thanksgiving
Press 3 for complaints
Press 4 for all other inquiries

For reservations at My Father's House, press the letters J-O-H-N and then 3-1-6.

For answers on nagging questions about the age of earth and where Noah's Ark is, please wait until you arrive here.
Looking Forward
Coming soon WIM Spring 2013 Connection: Promises: Part 2.  You will absolutely enjoy the second edition of our Promises newsletter.

It's the little foxes  that spoil the vine.  The devil is in the details.  Little things matter.  Our theme for the Summer 2013 WIM Connection is Little Things.  Tell us your story about the little things that matter.

Please submit your 300-500 word articles by June 7, 2013.  We are also always looking for humor, poetry, book reviews, etc.

Blessings on you all as you enter this busy Spring season.
Johnese Burtram

You are loved, 

Shine the light; defeat the dark