Connection for Women in Ministry
Immanuel
God With Us
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
2015 Prayer Days
January 6 & 8
VIVID Winterfest


   ________________ 

Women in Ministry Retreat - April 16-18,
with guest speaker Judi Braddy

Judy Braddy

Johnese Burtram

Don't we love Christmas - at least we love the idea of Christmas. If you are like me, I try every year to focus on the spiritual impact of the Season. The birth of the Savior, God in flesh, is, after all, the core of our Christian faith. When God takes on flesh, anything is possible. Gabriel said, With God all things are possible. When Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, many little boys named Jesus ran the dusty paths of Palestine. And why not, the Jewish people longed for God to save them, so they named their little boys Jesus - God saves. Perhaps, one of these boys would be God's Savior. And, in fact, one of them was. The angel said to Joseph, ... you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. (Matt. 1:21)

 

As you consider Immanuel - God with us, I commend to your consideration the words of Dr. J. I Packer. The Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor, "spending and being spent" to enrich their fellow humans, giving time, trouble, care and concern, to do good to others "and not just their own friends" in whatever way there seems need.

 

We welcome several new contributors to this edition of WIM Connection. You will enjoy their stories. Thanks to all of you who have shared your hearts over 2014. We look forward to see your stories in 2015.

Come Immanuel
Johnese Burtram

Though the journey went well, Mary's strength flagged. Young and strong, the unexpected weariness surprised her. True, she didn't often travel into the hill country of Judea. But after the angelic visit, she felt compelled to visit her cousin Elizabeth. The Lord is with you, the angel said. That must surely be true; otherwise her father would never have consented to the four day trip away from home. At first he said no, but when her uncles caravanned from Nazareth on their way to Jericho, her father agreed to let her go. Continue Reading 


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Connecting with the Sistahs
Where you share your stories
God With Us - More Presence than Presents
Krista Culler

On a recent visit to the store to purchase small items and treats to fill the compartments of our Advent calendar, I found myself nostalgic for the days when our children were younger-the days when half of their Christmas presents could be classified as "cheap thrills." A three-dollar cap gun, a one-dollar pack of sticky hands-each of those counted as a gift in bygone days. And then the purchases of a miniature Slinky and Silly Putty at Dollar Tree-gifts #3 and #4. Those were simpler times, happy times. Our children are now 20, 18, 16, 13, and 10; our lives happy, yet different, more complex. Keep Reading

Krista Culler

Krista Culler is a pastor's wife and mother of five. She is also a middle school language arts teacher. She lives in Midlothian, Maryland.
What Is Its Name?
Ann Sallie

Snow had just started to fall softly on the small Kentucky town. A quiet stillness lay over the main street which was actually the only bona fide street in town. As I walked with the Episcopal minister and his family toward the rectory, I felt serene. They had engaged me to help them carry the Christmas packages given to them by their parishioners. Intrigued by the gifts themselves, I agreed to the mission with curiosity. As we arrived on the steps of the rectory, Janet, the minister's wife invited me in to unload my bundles under the tree and have a cup of hot chocolate. As a nine year old, I had no name for what transpired around the tree in the warmth of that home. It would be many years later before I realized it had a name.
Continue Reading

Ann Sallie
Ann Sallie is the wife of Dr. Jack Sallie, ordained minister in the Potomac Ministry Network. Dr. Sallie is a retired minister. He and Ann pastored several churches in the district including Trinity Assembly of God (Midlothian, MD), Warwick Assembly of God (Hampton, VA), and Rockville Assembly of God (Rockville, MD). Ann is a Professor of English as a Second Language at Montgomery College (a college that has students from over 170 countries) in Rockville, MD. Jack and Ann have two children and seven grandchildren. 
Christmas Through New Eyes
Eva

My sweet mom sent a beautiful package of Christmas decorations to my desert home in the Middle East. Surrounded by dust and mosques and donkeys, my world wasn't feeling very Christmas-y. But then a box containing a stocking, tinsel, and a star for my tree made all the difference in the world.  I ceremoniously placed my new Christmas items around my tiny apartment while singing along with an Amy Grant Christmas album at the top of my lungs.  As I got to the bottom of the box I realized all that was left was to hang my pretty new stocking.  I didn't have a fire place so I decided to hang it on the door to my house.   Continue Reading

Camel

Eva lives in the Middle East with her husband where they eat a lot of shawarma and drink a lot of tea while sharing Jesus at every opportunity with Muslims.  She also coaches new missionaries in evangelism and Arabic learning and writes for www.desertmeanderings.com.  

 
For the Lonely, Immanuel, God with Us
Cynthia Shepherd

Immanuel, my Savior and Lord, changes my life daily, sometimes minute to minute.  Immanuel, is always with me.  Immanuel guides my life minute to minute through the Holy Spirit.  I cannot breathe or live another minute without my Immanuel.  Immanuel is everything to me.  These Christmas Holy Days can be a lonely time for a lot of people.  Believers and unbelievers are affected by this loneliness.  This season reach out and touch someone who has no family.  My cousin and I decided to host a Merry Christmas Dinner for people we know that do not have any family in the Phoenix area and will be spending Christmas Day alone.  Immanuel means God is with us.  Be Yeshua to someone you know this holiday season that is struggling with loneliness. God's Blessings   

Cynthia Shepherd
Cynthia Shepherd, a Reverend/missionary credentialed with the Potomac Ministry Network.  I am working for the mission of the Kingdom of God here in Phoenix, AZ at this time. 
Reflection on the Gift of Immanuel
Rebecca Burtram

Immanuel, God with us - a name and a promise.

 

When the day is wearisome and the night does not rest,  

 

When the past hangs at the hem of your dress

 

And the future glares into blank eyes,  

 

When the present stings and the heart sighs,  

 

God is with us.

 

He is Immanuel when the light shines in golden beams,

 

Immanuel when the heart sings like rippling streams,

 

 And Immanuel when beauty and life are the same.

 

Oh what a promise; oh what a name!

 

Continue Reading


Rebecca Burtram family
Rebecca Burtram is a budding freelance author and presenter. She supports her husband, Jonathan, in his ministry as the Family Life Pastor at The Bridge Community Church, Warrenton, VA. Rebecca is an English teacher in the public school system, holding a B.A. from Evangel University and an M.A. from SUNY Cortland. 
God With Us
Maria Donnelly

Jesus, fully God and fully man, came to the earth as God with us. Immanuel, God with us, walked the earth, giving hope and healing. God with us took the punishment for sin, giving His life as the payment for the sins of all humanity.

Jesus' short sighted disciples were distraught thinking Jesus was no longer with them. But was He gone? No, though He died, he arose three days later, returning to them in a glorified body. He was still Immanuel. Keep Reading

Maria Donnely
With a Masters in Instruction, Maria is an educator with over twenty years' experience teaching both Science and Bible. She is a Licensed Minister and has served as Bible Teacher, Christian Education Superintendent, Women's Ministries Leader and Children's Pastor. Raised in the inner city of Philadelphia, Maria understands the unique struggles the impoverished face and believes that the Spirit-filled teaching of God's Word will transform communities, towns and eventually the country. Maria enjoys life to the fullest with her husband, Tom, and their three active teenaged sons. They serve together at Five Rivers Assembly of God in Elkton, Maryland
The Christmas Miracle
Addessa Holden

One of the biggest lies causing people stress and disappointment this time of year is the idea that "Christmas fixes everything."

It's in every advertisement, Christmas movie, or holiday song-the concept that everything will work out at Christmas time.
     Every broken relationship will be fixed.
     Every childhood memory that causes issues in our lives will be resolved.
     Financial struggles will magically go away.
     Broken hearts always find love and healing.

Unfortunately, these things aren't always true. Sometimes Christmas is hard...
Keep Reading 
Adessa Holden

Adessa Holden is the founder and editor of A Wellrounded Woman Ministries and a
co-founder of For A Single Purpose Ministries.

Born again at the age 5, she and her brother were raised by a godly Mom who taught them life had no greater purpose than following Jesus. A graduate of The University of Valley Forge, she is a licensed Assemblies of God minister.   "I'm a single gal, a woman's minister, a sister and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with friends.   I'll eat anything chocolate. I love music, and I'm a bit of a cleaning freak. It my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus Christ and women through this ministry."   Her passion in ministry is teaching women how to apply Biblical principles to every area of their lives. 

 


  Lion  

Susan Tedeschi

 

Susan Tedeschi
is a Pastor's wife serving at Crellin Assembly of God in Oakland Maryland with her husband, James. They have four children Jude 9, Jacob 7, Moriah 5, and Hannah 16mo. She enjoys homeschooling her children and in her spare time painting, reading and writing.

Connecting with Advent


What is Advent?
 
Justin Holcomb

 

... Some people may know that the Advent season focuses on expectation and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ's birth in the season leading up to Christmas. This is part of the story, but there's more to Advent...  
More from Justin Holcomb for each Sunday of Advent.  http://www.christianity.com/christian-life/christmas/ 

 

 

Slower than Christmas 

Waiting for promises to become realities

Patty Kirk

 

Advent starts early at my house...
For me, the waiting is complicated by anxiety and doubt. Will joy ever come? I wonder...
 
 http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2008/november/8.40.html 

 

 

 

Acceptance with Joy

Kimberly Waldie

 

"Greetings, you who are highly favored!" (Luke 1:28).

 

One of my favorite characters in the Christmas story is Mary. Though I feel a connection to her, I must confess she sometimes seemed out of reach to me spiritually.  This is only reinforced when I look around at the chaos of ... 
 http://hergreenroom.com/acceptance-joy/ 

 

Advent Stewardship

Christmas Presents For Little or No Money

from Adessa Holden, A Wellrounded Woman Ministries 

 

 

We asked our readers how they celebrated Christmas on a budget.  Let me just say---our readers had some great ideas!   Many of their suggestions cost very little or even no money at all.   If you really want to give someone a gift, but you can't fit it into your budget, here are some ideas for gifts from the heart not the pocketbook.  
 http://www.awellroundedwoman.com/#!From-Our-Readers-Christmas-Presents-For-Little-or-No-Money/c24iz/60CF27D9-227D-41B8-B7FB-53ED788D68C0 

 

 

Anne Peterson, Poet and Author

 

I brought in the plastic bags. Putting them down on the table, I unload them, thankful I got to go to the food pantry today. Thankful I have something different to offer my family.

 

Opening the Duncan Hines box, I'm looking forward to making a cake. Cake is a luxury item.

 

 

Reaching for my large bowl, I feel like singing. Maybe things will be okay. Dumping the mix into the bowl, I smell a hint of vanilla. Breaking an egg, I see it. A small speck of darkness invading the white powdery mix. Looking closer I see another and another. Bugs! This box is full of tiny bugs. 
 http://www.crosswalk.com/family/finances/planning/don-t-make-these-3-mistakes-when-giving.html  

 

BOOK REVIEW

Review by: Matt Bell 

If you're looking to celebrate Christmas with more joy and less debt,
Hundred Dollar Holiday
is a classic book that's well worth reading or rereading....

 http://www.crosswalk.com/family/finances/a-great-guide-to-a-more-joyful-less-debtful-christmas.html
Think About It

 

winter-gift-holding.jpg Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry making. It is more than that. It is a time for the contemplation of eternal things. The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving. 
J. C. Penney ("Christmas Thoughts")

 

Christmas, my child, is love in action. ... Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.

Dale Evans Rogers

 

The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart. 
Helen Keller

 

Above quotes: http://www.catholic.org/clife/advent/advent.php?id=43  

 

Christmas is the day that holds all time together. 

Alexander Smith 

 

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. 

Roy L. Smith 

 

The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.Charles Dudley Warner 

  

Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles. 

Edwin Louis Cole 

 

Above quotes at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_christmas.html#8hGGuovjS3PvgDwe.99  

 

   

Jesus is Better Than Santa 

 

Santa lives at the North Pole.
      JESUS is everywhere.
      
Santa rides in a sleigh
      JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
      
Santa comes but once a year
      JESUS is an ever present help.
      
Santa fills your stockings with goodies
      JESUS supplies all your needs.
      
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited
      JESUS stands at your door and knocks... and then enters your heart.
      
You have to stand in line to see Santa
      JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
      
Santa lets you sit on his lap
      JESUS lets you rest in His arms.  

 

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"   

JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only 

does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly
      JESUS has a heart full of love.
      
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO
      JESUS offers health, help and hope.
      
Santa says "You better not cry"
      JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.
      
Santa's little helpers make toys
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds
mansions.

 

Santa may make you chuckle but
      JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.  

 

While Santa puts gifts under your tree
      JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.  

 

It's obvious there is really no comparison.
      We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
      We need to put Christ back in Christmas.
      Jesus is still the reason for the season.
      Yes, Jesus is better, he is even better than Santa Claus!

Christmas Humor

Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas. 

Johnny Carson 

 

Santa Claus has the right idea - visit people only once a year. 

Victor Borge 

 

Quotes above from  http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_christmas2.html#YIMagrd7oCPSFIaE.99  

 

 

Dumb, da, dumb, dumb 
Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present.

 

What did the reindeer say before launching into his comedy routine?
This will sleigh you.

 

Semi-Annual after-Christmas Sale. 
Handmade gifts for that hard-to-find person.

 

http://www.guy-sports.com/jokes/christmas_jokes.htm
Father John and His Young Parishioner

 

It was the Sunday after Christmas at St Peter and Saint Paul's Church in Borden, Kent, England.  Father John was looking at the nativity scene prior to packing away the figures when he noticed the baby Jesus was missing from the scene.

 

Immediately, Father John turned towards the vicarage in order to call the police. But as he was about to do so, he saw little Harry with a red wagon, and in the wagon was the figure of the little infant, Jesus.  

 

Father John walked up to Harry and said, 'Well, Harry, where did you get the little infant?'  

  

Harry replied honestly, 'I took him from the church, Father John.'  

 

'And why did you take him?'  

 

With a sheepish smile, Harry said, 'Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to little Lord Jesus. I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for Christmas, I would give him a ride around the block in it.

 

Looking Forward

Johnese Burtram

Because God is with us, our participation in the work of God accomplishes God purposes.

 

As we face 2015, God is revealing His plans for us. These God plans will demand we stay close to Jesus and depend on the Holy Spirit for His help. The most important thing you will do in 2015 is pray. Pastor James says, The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.(James 5:16) Tell us about the powerful and effective working of prayer in your life, your family, your marriage, your ministry, your spiritual formation.


Please submit your 300-500 word articles by February 20, 2015.  We are also always looking for art, humor, poetry, book reviews, etc.

 

You are loved, 

Johnese 
Shine the light; defeat the dark
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