Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring Retreat

Plans for the Spring Retreat are coming right along. The Lodge of Granbury is expecting our group, Marilyn Stinson is preparing her presentations on "Listening to God", and others are working to plan our meals and activities. Due to previous requests, we are trying something new for this retreat - two nights - scheduled for Friday, April 23rd through Sunday, April 25th. The two-night format will give us more time to worship together, study together, and have lots of fun. Sign-ups will begin soon, but for now be clearing your schedule, saving your money, and getting ready for a great weekend!

Ladies' Night Lesson

The first of our guest contributors is Staci Knowlton. I was going to post some thoughts about our recent Ladies Day/Ladies Night, but could not have expressed my thoughts any better than she did. Thanks for sharing, Staci.

Last night I went to Ladies Night at our church. I expected to have a few hours to hang out with some of my girlfriends, eat, hear a "nice" speech, and then come home to my family (kids already in bed). I think that my motivation for going shows that my heart wasn't in the right place when I left my house last night. What about my heart when I came home? That's a different story!

When I walked in the door of the church building I was greeted by a bulletin board on which people had taped their prayer requests. Upon seeing some of the burdens that my sisters are struggling with, my mindset of the evening changed.

When I sat down to eat, I had the opportunity to talk with old friends and even made a few new friends! Just as I finished eating my dessert, Karla Taylor (the wife of our former preacher) stepped up to begin speaking. The topic of her speech was easy enough to comprehend. She spoke to us on prayer.

She reminded us that prayer with our Lord is not just a time for us to list our grievances or give God a list of "I want this". Instead, prayer should be a conversation with our precious savior. Karla related our conversations with God to the conversations we have with our husbands. Sometimes Mike and I have long, intense, drawn out conversations about something very deep. Other times we have a short conversations (like "How was your day today?" or "What do you want to do for fun this Saturday?"). Mike and I even have 1 sentence conversations at times (ex. "Barrett's stinky." or "They car lights were left on and the battery's dead.") All kinds of conversations are needed to give depth to the relationship that I have with Mike. If we only had intense conversations, we might start to avoid each other (since those types of conversations can really wear you out!). On the other hand, if we only spoke to each other in 1 sentence conversations, how could our relationship grow? Because we have a balance of both, even the 1 sentence "I love you." has immense meaning to both of us.

The same is true for our relationship with God. We need all types of conversations to build a deep, lasting relationship! Here are the practical prayer ideas that Karla talked to us about:
1) One way to have an intense conversation with God is through journaling your prayers. This can come in the form of a list that you pray over or it can mean that you actually write out your prayers in diary form. Not only will it help you stay focused on your conversation, but it will also give you encouragement as you look back at your journal weeks, months, or years from now and see how God answered your prayers.
2) ACTS - This is an acronym that gives you an outline for praying. Structure your prayer in this order: Adoration -praise God Confession - confess your faults and shortcomings Thanksgiving - thank God for all things He has given you Supplication - this is where you ask for things
3) Scripture prayers - Have you ever been reading a verse in the Bible and thought, "Wow. This writer really knew how to express his feelings to God." Did you realize that you can pray those same scriptures to God? A few examples of scriptures to pray that Karla gave are Psalm 86:11-13; Lamentations 3:22-26; I Corinthians 15:58; Colossians 3:13-14; Galations 5:22-26; and Ephesians 4:29-30
4) Do you ever feel overwhelmed in your prayer life? I know I do! There are so many people that I want to pray for from my family to the leaders of our church to the leaders of our nation! Karla suggested doing daily assignment prayers. This is where you make a list of everything you're wanting to pray for and then assign it a day of the week.
5) Sometimes life gets hectic and you need to stop and catch your breath. What a great time for refocus prayers. Take 1 to 2 minutes to refocus mentally on what's really important.
6) One sentence prayers can be some of the most important words you ever speak. When you're about to give advice to someone and you stop to ask for God's wisdom before you speak, you'll be amazed at how God will work through you!

These are the ideas that Karla challenged us with to go home and renew our relationship with God through prayer. Instead of walking out the door thinking about going home and relaxing (because my boys would be in bed), I walked out the door excited to go talk with God! What a great night!


Life is full of transitions, and sadly - Vickie Thompson needs to step back from the responsibility of maintaining this blog. She has done a wonderful job of getting it designed and launched, but just has not had the time to devote to it like she wants. I love the articles she has written, and hope she can continue to contribute on occasion. Thanks to Vickie for all that she has done! The Women's Ministry committee is working on a new plan, but until it is finalized I will make a somewhat feeble attempt to keep this going. If any of our readers out there would be willing to post on a rotating, but regular basis, please let me know.
Sue Jones

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nanoprisms - Part 2!

I received the wrinkle cream filled with nanoprisms that I told you about (see post below if you don’t know about nanoprisms). The cream finally arrived that promised I would look 15-20 years younger, because the nanoprisms fill in the shadows of my wrinkles, making them vanish from human eyesight! Girl, when I got home from work and saw that brown package on the table, I knew exactly what was inside. I could hardly tear into the package because I was so excited. I finally got it open, grabbed up the TINY little jar and headed to the bathroom mirror. Of course the instructions were include so I snatched them up and read, “Do not rub or pat product on your skin, let it glide over your skin.” I got a dab of cream and I let my finger glide over my wrinkle shadows just like an Olympic skater glides over the ice. This was going to be so awesome! I put those nanoprisms in just the right places. I got everything set and finished my cream gliding. I looked in the mirror expectantly, but I saw nothing. Grabbing the instructions again, I read that in 10-15 minutes I would see a DRAMATIC difference. Bummer – I had to wait 5 minutes so I went to the den where I paced for a few minutes until I ran back to the mirror where I saw NO change! Well, it did say 10-15 minutes so I still had 5 more minutes to wait. I waited 15 more minutes and returned to the mirror. NOTHING – I saw the same me and not a younger looking version even though I had carefully glided nanoprisms in all the shadows I could find on my face. I grabbed up the instructions one last time and read these final words: “ After 10-15 minutes pass and you still notice fine lines or wrinkles, you are standing too close to the mirror!” It said that – I couldn’t make that up – it really said that! Well, DUH! If I stand far enough from the mirror I can’t see my eyeballs, much less wrinkles! I paid good money for that product and I expected NO Wrinkles, whether I was standing close to a mirror or not. It seems the key to looking younger is to just stand far enough away from the mirror and you will not have wrinkles or at least you won’t be able to see them. By the way, did I mention the name of the product? It’s called DECEPTION and no, I’m not kidding. I fell for Deception because I had such a need and desire to appear younger. What was I thinking? I really would appreciate it if the next time you saw me you would say, “Wow, you look so young! Have you had some “work” done?” I’m pretty sure it would make me feel a little better!

Isn’t that just like the world and how we view things? We tend to think if we just had the right sweater to go with the right pants, we would look so darling. If we had just the right man we would be so fulfilled. If we just had a baby we’d be so happy. If we could only lose 25 pounds we would be able to be somebody. If we just had the right job our troubles would be over and if we had a beautiful new house we would use it for the Lord! It’s called DECEPTION, ladies! It’s a lie that Satan tries to sell you. When you pin your hopes, dreams, trust and faith on someone or something other than God, The Father, you will always be deceived. Let God be the one who is your wrinkle remover. He will never deceive you. He will never let you down and He will always think you are young and beautiful just the way you are. -Vickie T

Friday, February 5, 2010

Send Me Some Nanoprisms!

I’ve just ordered a product that is guaranteed to make me look years younger! In 7-10 business days, when I receive this miraculous product, I will look at least 15 years younger than I do today. I can’t wait! When I read about it, I just couldn’t resist. I whipped out my credit card, to order online, faster than you can say - “Wrinkles, what wrinkles?” Girls, it has nanoprisms – “billions of microscopic three-dimensional nanoprisms!” Can you believe it? I’m not sure what a nanoprism is but it sure sounds cool and so sparkly. Here’s the way they explain it: “the human eye cannot see a wrinkle. What the eye sees is actually the shadow made by the wrinkle. And, since all those billions of microscopic nanoprisms refract and scatter light onto the “walls” of the wrinkles, when you use this product...” . There is so much more, but that’s the part that sold me. Imagine – I’ll still have wrinkles, but no one will see them because of the nanoprisms!! I’m lovin’ this!

As I was thinking about those nanoprisms that refract/scatter light and eliminate the appearance of my wrinkles, the thought struck me that I have a savior who does the same thing for my sins. Think about it. There is and will continue to be sin in my life, but Praise God – Jesus is the ultimate nanoprism that hides that sin. NO! He doesn’t hide it. He takes it away and there I stand – unblemished and wrinkle-free because of the sacrifice He made for me. Forget about wrinkles, forget about shadows – I will slather myself with Jesus and look like a brand new creation. There isn’t a product in this world that can promise those results. Thank you, God, for your unmatchable love and sin covering Son!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Year, New Energy, New Ideas

There is something about the beginning of a new year that renews my spirit. A fresh start – days, weeks and months stretched out before me like a new road leading to new adventures. When I was a young girl, I loved the beginning of school. More specifically, I loved getting new school supplies and especially a new spiral notebook. The empty pages called my name – inviting me to fill each page with something wonderful. By the end of the year I had filled the notebook with lots of assignments. Some of the pages were terrific and some not so good, but it was always enlightening to see the progression of my year.

I have that same feeling of expectation today about our blog. After launching the Ribbons of Faith Blog, I have to admit that I sort of stalled out. I let myself be distracted and fooled into busyness. Someone once told me that if Satan can’t cause you to sin, he causes you to be to be busy. I'm going to work on my busyness because I beleive this blog has huge potential to be a tool in our ministering to each other. And let me just say, "STAY AWAY SATAN - I'm not going to be too busy to blog!"

I have a vision that our blog can not only be a useful tool for communication, but an innovative way to teach, encourage and reach out to women. I have a dream that some day many will check this site regularly to get a much needed boost of positive energy. Won't it be fun to have a great place to stop in for something refreshing - a bonus for our action packed, fast paced life! A little something for you to grab on the run!!

I have a strong desire to create a place where you can find encouragement, life lessons, and maybe a bit of laughter. It will be a place available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You won’t even have to get out of your pajamas to visit – what more can you ask for? I ask for your prayers, your ideas, and subjects that you would like to see discussed here. Please either leave a comment or send a message to me at -Vickie Thompson

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sister, You Rock

If there is a special woman at Pleasant Ridge that has done something wonderful and you would like to acknowledge that person, please add a comment so we can build each other up and brag about accomplishments that our sisters may have! Of course, we think each of you is very special, this is just a way to highlight some of the awesome things the women at Pleasant Ridge do.