Linking Women in Leadership
Empowering ministry women to fulfill their essential and unique purpose.
Together 2016
July 16
Washington, DC
Carry His Fragrance
Potomac Room

Potomac Park Retreat and Conference Center 
As a part of PMN 2016 Family Camp, lodging and meals are available, as well as child care for all the services during Family Camp. Contact Potomac Park Retreat and Conference Center for lodging and meals.

I am looking forward to sharing community with you, my ELEMENT sisters as we engage the Word and the Spirit. -

The Talk
Next To Lunch & Shopping
October 4!
(during Ministers Retreat)

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Holy Habits

Johnese Burtram, editor

With summer upon us, I cherished the mistaken notion that life was supposed to slow a bit. The coming summer does, however, offer a change from the regiment of the rest of the year. This may be a time for you to consider the rhythms of your life, some time to care for your soul. This issue of the Element Connection deals with Holy Habits, those spiritual disciplines that keep us grounded. We welcome new contributors, as well as some whose names you will recognize as frequent writers.

The mention of spiritual disciplines immediately brings to mind those holy habits all good Christians embrace. Bible reading, prayer, and church attendance are essential fundamentals in our spiritual life; however, these performance based disciplines only get us started. How about the soul habits of forgiveness, endurance, and love? The articles in this issue of Element Connection will challenge your thinking and expand your heart. These holy habits will enrich your souls.

Take some time this season to tend your soul.
Introducing Dr. Sharon Smith
At Large Executive Presbyter

Sharon Smith
Sharon Smith has a heart and passion for "whole life discipleship"; preparing, training and mentoring leaders for Kingdom work.

Sharon writes:
Greetings in the wonderful name of Jesus. I am overjoyed by the changes in the Bylaws that were ratified at the PMN Conference a few weeks ago. The new governance structure is designed to give increased support, encouragement and care to all PMN front-line ministers - that includes you!

As a result of the changes, fellow leaders, we have a voice at the Executive table of our Network.

I am deeply honored to have been tapped for this new position. I look forward to linking arms with you as we march forward together in the work of His Kingdom.
  - Sharon

Sharon has been teaching Bachelor and Master's courses at the Moscow Theological Institute and the Sofia Pentecostal Bible Institute in Sofia, Bulgaria since 2000. In 2016, she began teaching Master's Courses in Organizational Leadership at the University of Valley Forge as an Adjunct Professor. Sharon has also been ministering in Israel since 1992, and has participated in evangelistic outreach efforts in over 15 countries. She teaches bible studies locally and, since 2000, ministers weekly to the elderly at the Sunrise Assisted-Living location in Springfield, VA.

Sharon completed her Doctor of Ministry in Leadership at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO in 2013. During her doctoral studies, she was the recipient of a Kern Fellowship that enabled her to study faith, work and economics at Acton University in 2012 & 2013. The focus of her doctoral work was on "whole life discipleship", specifically concentrating on equipping and empowering workplace believers as Kingdom catalysts of transformation in their communities.

In addition to a global teaching ministry, Sharon has a 25-year proven track record in the radiology/mammography industry; specializing in assisting innovative breast imaging companies develop their commercial launch strategy for devices that will help in the early detection of breast cancer. With a strong background in big company culture, she has held executive career positions as a sales, marketing and business development leader, as well as demonstrated proven success in small growth companies. She specializes in developing high performing sales and marketing teams, creating and growing new technology markets, and commercially launching new products both in the USA and internationally.

In May, 2016, Sharon was ratified to serve on the Potomac Ministry Network's Board of Directors as an At Large Executive Presbyter giving voice to the 23% female credential holders in the Network.

Guest Contributor: Peggy Musgrove

Peggy Musgrove
Peggy Musgrove is no stranger to Assemblies of God Women in Ministry. She has been a speaker and free-lance writer since 1998, having served as a Pastor's wife, District Bible teacher and Women's Ministry Director for the Assemblies of God Kansas Ministries Network. She has served as the National Director of Women's Ministries and ministered in 42 states as well as abroad. She has served on numerous Boards and Committees including, Auxiliary Chaplain for Evangel University and Central Bible College, Evangel University of Directors, National Commission of Higher Education, Women in Ministry Task Force, Teen Challenge of the Ozarks Board of Directors.
Peggy's writing has appeared in Reflections (National Women's Department newsletter), Pentecostal Evangel, Enrichment Journal, and Her Green Room. She served as editor of a women's magazine and is the author of six books: Women's Unlimited Bible study series, Musings of a Maraschino Cherry, Women's Ministries Leader, Praying Always, Pleasing God, and Who's Who Among Bible Women.
Widowed in 2012 after 61 years of marriage, Peggy continues to write for an ever expanding audience. Her writing appears in Her Green Room, Uniquely His, Prime Line, AND PMN Element Connection.
Called to a Holy Life
Peggy Musgrove

Paul told Timothy: "You are called to a holy life" (2 Timothy 1:9), and that's what I was told when I committed my life to Jesus at age 19. I knew it was the right thing to do because of my teaching. I had no idea the meaning of living a holy life, though I've learned a lot in the last 65 years.  Keep Reading
Water in the Tank
Dana Cavallaro

Defining moments often lead to great change. Such a moment in my life resulted in a conversation I had with God at a gas station. On a cold winter day, I huddled close to the car as I carefully pumped the gas. The car, a gift from my parents, had taken me through high school; traversed the roads from Chesapeake, VA to Springfield, MO many times as I traveled to college; and now, endured the harsh New England winters while I attended seminary. I loved this car and did my best to take care of it. ... Keep Reading
Dana Cavallaro
Dana Cavallaro grew up in a military family living on both the east and west coasts. Early in life, she developed a heart for people and a love for God. Dana graduated from Evangel University with a degree in Biblical Studies and the dream of continuing her education to become a college professor. After a year on the mission field, however, God redirected Dana into full time church ministry. She received a Masters of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry from Regent University. While in seminary, she also received a Mrs. Degree. She and Dan have been married since 1983 and have 2 sons. Dana has worked as a Youth Pastor, Minister of Counseling, an Associate Pastor, and conference speaker. She has also taught Bible College and with Leadership Training International. Most of all, Dana enjoys helping people become all that God has destined them to be.
Keep a Forgiving Heart
Ruth Pabon
Walking down the hall in my college dorm, I heard a student yelled from her room, "Taco Girl, come here." I knew she impugned my race, but I stopped and she continued with more insults. I walked away, knowing my Christian faith would be tested. Hearing the voice of my mother and my pastor saying, "choose to forgive," on my knees, I decided to forgive. Keep Reading  

Ruth Pabon, an ordained minister, works full time as a chaplain with the elderly in Newport News, Virginia. One of her responsibilities is to help families in end of life issues. She writes monthly devotionals and is on the pastoral care committee with the health system she works with. She is also an instructor with the Potomac School of Ministry and an adjunct professor with Bethel College. She loves to share on missions, relationships, love, and life.   Her husband of 28 years is an associate pastor to the Spanish-speaking congregation at Williamsburg Assembly of God. They have one adult son who resides in New York City. Favorite saying, "I see miracles every day".
The Father's Love
Kelly Jo Barr
He knows your name. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. He hears your cries.

The following comes from my journal after Bible study, self-examination, and reading my evening devotional:

But He knows where I am going. And when He has tested me like gold in a fire, He will pronounce me innocent.
Job 23:10

I want to be pronounced innocent. Perhaps, if I were, I could be married. But then, why do I feel that I am not? Why do I continue to allow my past to creep in and consume my thoughts about the present? ... Keep Reading

Kelly Jo Barr Kelly Jo Barr is an adventure loving Jesus Freak.  She has been doing Youth Ministry for the past 15 years and has a passion to see teens come in contact with the saving grace of Jesus and to guide them into a closer relationship with our Father.  Kelly graduated in 2005 from Fairmont State University with a BS in Psychology and became a Certified Minister in 2011 and has been working as the Youth Pastor at Jakes Run Assembly of God for the past four years.  She is looking forward to working with youth for many more years and will be completing her Licensure in the fall of 2016.
Holy Habits
Cynthia Shepherd
I have heard it said that it takes 28 days to form a habit and stick to it. I believe it. Whatever you attempt to accomplish in life requires diligence and practice. As a child, I remember my parents telling me over and over, "Practice makes perfect." I would practice ballet, piano, tap dancing...and I never got it right, much less reached perfection. The problem lay in that I did not form a habit. As the oldest, I was the guinea pig and experienced a variety of learning opportunities. With so much diversity in my life, I found myself distracted and did not apply myself or form habits. ... Keep Reading 
Cynthia Shepherd

Cynthia Shepherd
ministers to the homeless of Phoenix, AZ, mentoring women and serving on healing room and prayer intercession teams. She is a student in Global University and a writer. In addition to her ministries, she teaches high school science in the Phoenix school system. She is preparing to go to Uganda and Israel this summer.
Holy Habits
Ann Sallie
Have you heard parents prompt a child, "Say, you're sorry?" After a little or maybe a lot of coaxing, the child may finally frown and say, in a barely audible voice, "SORRY" As adults, we are disappointed, since we are pretty sure the "SORRY" was not genuine. However, how many times, maybe not so blatantly, do we do the same thing? ... Keep Reading 

Ann Sallie
Ann Sallie is the wife of Dr. Jack Sallie, ordained Potomac Network minister. The Sallies 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). As a college professor, Ann taught English as a Second Language. She now speaks for Women's Events. Jack and Ann have two children and seven grandchildren.
Holy Habits - Choose Love
Tracy Fulford

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."   I Corinthians 13:13

We easily reduce the idea of holy habits to consistent prayer, Bible reading, and weekly church attendance. Vital to our spiritual growth and crucial if we are to abide in Jesus, but we sometimes forget that these internal things are meant to be poured out as a living sacrifice for the sake of Christ and His Church. Our purest form of service to our families, the Church and to the lost world comes when we choose to demonstrate love at the very moments our flesh cries out for the satisfaction of being "right".
.. Keep Reading 

Tracy Fulford
Tracy Fulford, a graduate of The University of Valley Forge, recently served as the missions pastor at River of Life Worship Center in Spotsylvania, Virginia. Tracy and her husband, Jeff, feel called to serve the refugee community in their area. They have recently brought home two beautiful sisters from China named Anna and Fei-Fei, after an eleven year adoption journey. 
Spiritual Formation
(From Her Green Room)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3).

To endure is a phrase that quickly conjures up many memories for most people. Some memories bring a quirky smile, others bring recollection of an uneventful season of travel, or other life events. We learn to endure grandma's fruitcake; we are enduring the process of potty training a child; we endure an unwanted move, we endure the situation of friendship that goes sour; we endure a church business meeting; we endure cold weather that makes our joints ache; we endure a tragic loss. ... 
Our Holy Sins
Daring to Face What We Tend to Ignore
Carolyn Arends
It was a sun-dappled afternoon at the ballpark, and I was strolling hand-in-hand with my then-three-year-old daughter. Adorably, she began singing "Jesus Loves Me," melting my heart. But when I joined her on the chorus, the mood changed.

"I sing it myself!" she stormed, batting away my hand. And then she resumed the song, shouting it in defiance. "YES, JESUS LOVES ME. THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO!" ... 
Why Fast
What we gain when we deny ourselves.
Richard Foster
The central idea in fasting is to voluntarily deny otherwise normal functions for the sake of intense spiritual activity. The life of the spirit impregnates, infiltrates, and dominates everything we do. But the problem with fasting is that we're tempted to turn it into another soul-killinglaw. 

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook
Practices that Transform Us
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook
by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
Book Review: Lisa Potter

Why the practice of spiritual disciplines? Why a spiritual disciplines book? As the author, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun points out in
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Practices that Transform Us, "Spiritual disciplines give the Holy Spirit space to brood over our souls." Calhoun states, "...transformation happens as you keep company with Jesus."

The author introduces the book in a compelling explanation of the need for creating space in our lives for the Holy Spirit to move in us. Using the Matthew 11:28-30 passage, she reiterates, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (The Message) She continues, "I believe the desire for a different sort of life doesn't appear out of thin air. The longing for something more, no matter how weak or crackling the heat is evidence that God is already at work in your life. You wouldn't want more of God if the Holy Spirit wasn't first seeking you."

Calhoun's cataloged toolbox approach to the spiritual disciplines uses the acronym WORSHIP: Worship God; Open myself to God; Relinquish the false self and idols of my heart; Share my faith with others; Hear the word of God; Incarnate Christ's love for the world; Pray to God. Each letter section contains five to ten spiritual discipline concentrations for the category you have chosen to practice. The sections include a detailed explanation of each discipline, a short devotional, reflection questions, spiritual exercises, and additional resources. The author encourages the reader to ask " do I want to or need to be with God? Circle the letter in WORSHIP that most catches your attention." The book is not meant to be read cover to cover, but to use as a tool of devotion for how and when God desires to transform your life. She encourages awareness of where you and God need to hone in and spend time thinking through the application of specific disciplines in your life.

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook is now a staple in my daily devotional life, a weekly go to for my spiritual practices. Introduced to me a year ago as required reading for a class project, I quickly realized this book to be a remarkable tool for spiritual growth and stability. As I opened the book, the realization that God desired to transform me and take me deeper flooded my spirit. I finished the book for the class project, but then placed it on the top stack of my devotional tools.

This book, published by InterVarsity Press, challenges you to create space in your life to 'keep company with Jesus.' It is an excellent resource for new and old disciples of Christ who desire to draw nearer to God along the journey. I highly recommend this book. 

Spiritual Classics
Selected Readings on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines
Spiritual ClassicsEdited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin
Book Review: Deborah Galyen
This collection of readings is perfect for people wanting to grow in specific devotional practices, such as prayer, as well as being a good introduction to the whole subject of "spiritual disciplines." Each chapter covers a topic of spiritual formation, such as Solitude, Confession, Fasting, Study, Worship, etc.
What is unique about this book is that each chapter features a short writing from a classic Christian author from previous centuries: Augustine, Martin Luther, Christina Rossetti, Amy Carmichael, and many others (including a mini biography about their lives). Then follows a portion of scripture with questions for individual thought or group discussion.
These old, famous writers come alive through the beauty and insight of their words. Martin Luther writes: "So forget your anxieties, as you cannot accomplish anything by them. It does not depend upon your anxiety, but upon His knowledge and concern. If nothing grew in the field unless we were anxious about it, we would all have died in our cradles; and during the night, while we are lying asleep, nothing could grow. Indeed, even by worrying ourselves to death we could not make a single blade of grass grow in the field. We really ought to see and understand that God gives everything without any anxiety on our part ..." (pg 124).
These voices from the past are refreshing reminders that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and we are not the first to pursue a life of devotion to Him.
Think About It
Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter. 
Francis Chan

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him 
John Piper

Radical obedience to Christ is not easy... It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us. 
David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
Your Spiritual Crisis Has 214 Likes
When our spiritual journeys are traveled in public, is there any room for the still, small voice of God?
S. D. Kelly

The intimate accommodations of grace demand silence and solitude.
And one of these cases might just be the one most central to working out one's own salvation with fear and trembling: the cultivation of the soul. The process of finding God, or, in more current parlance, finding your identity as a believer in God-the ongoing work of cultivating the soul-benefits from time and silence. Both of which are anathema to a life lived primarily online. The Internet is a noisy and crowded place: the tweets and retweets, posts, likes, and shares taking place at merciless levels of sociability, all running counter to acts of contemplation. 
Thursday Thinkers
3 New Spiritual Disciplines for a New Technological Reality
It's not hard to feel that the disciplines have become just one more spinning plate that we must keep in motion as we pursue Christ. Not only that, but other complications-modern, life-altering, and omnipresent-are leading us to increasingly fractured and shallow lives.
Andrew Sullivan _ Flickr
Patience is an Offline Virtue
Lessons from Lent 2016 without 24/7 connectivity. 
. . . I'm neither a technophile nor a technophobe, but as a Lenten practice this year, I decided to restrict my Internet access. My husband changed our home WiFi password, and I turned off the cellular data on my iPhone. Though I'd still check email and social media most mornings off-site, for 40 days, I would fast from fast. 
The Four Most Important Prayers for your Kids
Learning to trust God for your child's faith and future
Corrie Cutrer

family prayer
I'm told that in the moments following my birth, my parents laid me in a little bundle on my mother's chest, placed their hands on my tiny body, and prayed for me. They prayed over my life's direction and purpose and for the formation of my faith. They prayed for God's provision and protection. It's a wonderful, comforting piece of my history I've carried with me all these years. At times, though, it can also make me feel uneasy.
Growing a Praying Family
How to tend to your child's budding faith
Susan Sorensen

Prayer is one of the most precious and sacred of all Christian disciplines. It is our way of sharing our hearts with our Creator. But there are many evenings at my house when our prayers are anything but sacred. Take our dinner prayers: Our 7-year-old tests his grip strength on my hand, our 4-year-old sneaks food. Inevitably, we end up with a case of the giggles. 
10 Ways to Grow Spiritually with Your Spouse
It takes more than going to church together.
Ann Swindell

When it comes to strengthening our marriages and growing together, some types of growth are more clear-cut than others. When we wanted to grow in our dancing skills, Michael and I took a dance class. When we wanted to grow in our parenting skills, we read books and talked with veteran parents. When we wanted to grow in our communication skills, we went to marriage counseling together. But how we grow together spiritually is a little less obvious.
Life, both real and contrived, can be so funny....enjoy a good laugh.
Kids and Spirituality
After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys."

I had been teaching my three-year-old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord's Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat after me the lines from the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: "Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some E-mail. Amen."

And one particular four-year-old prayed, "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am."
The Hikers

three-graphic-hikers.jpg One day, Joe, Bob and Dave were hiking in a wilderness area when they came upon a large, raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to do so.
Joe prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength to cross this river."       

Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim across the river in about two hours, although he almost drowned a couple of times.       
Seeing this, Dave prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength and the tools to cross this river."       

Poof! God gave him a rowboat and he was able to row across the river in about an hour, after almost capsizing the boat a couple of times.       

Bob had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength and the tools, and the intelligence, to cross this river."       

Poof! God turned him into a woman. She looked at the map, hiked upstream a couple of hundred yards, then walked across the bridge.
Looking Forward

Johnese Burtram
I hope this issue of Element Connection has encouraged your spiritual formation journey and that you have expanded your holy habits. Happy Summer to you all.

Have you ever encountered God is unexpected places? In your kids, nature, your pets, your work. Our next theme is Finding God in Surprising Places. Share your story about seeing God at work in your life in surprising ways.

Submissions are due August 31, 2016. Articles should be 300-500 words. We are always looking for humor, poetry, book reviews, etc.  

Also looking for suggestions of supporting articles and other materials you find to enrich our e-zine. Please forward your suggestions
You are loved,

Shine the light; defeat the dark
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