Monday, September 30, 2013

Beware of Wife???

I was in Hobby Lobby the other day getting a few items for a class that I'm teaching at our homeschool group when this sign caught my eye.

At first I chuckled at the sentiment, but then I caught myself.  When I thought about it, I realized how really not funny this is.  I don't want my husband to "beware" of me.  I want him to feel like he can tell me anything without fearing my reaction. 

Several verses started flooding my mind of what kind of wife God's word calls me to be and what I should/should not do as a wife.

Proverbs 31: 10-12
A wife of noble character who can find?

    She is worth far more than rubies.
 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.

Proverbs 19:13 A quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.

Proverbs 21:9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 21:19 Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

Proverbs 27:15 A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm . . .

Those are just a few.  The Bible warns against being a wife whose husband would need this Beware of Wife sign.  The sign may be cute, but it won't be hanging in  my house.  I want to have a relationship with my husband so that he would want a sign that says "Blessed By My Wife."
by Lisa Powell

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Eyeglasses for Liberia

The UMW is collecting "over-the-counter" eyeglasses (readers/cheaters) for older adults in Liberia.  They may be placed in the marked collection boxes in both lobbies.  If you have any questions, please contact Sue Busler (346-5815) or Gerry Lentz (346-0714).

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Girlfriends in God: Patience Pays Off

Patience Pays Off

Submitted by Deb Ellis, "Another timely devotion.  Dennis is preaching on Job and Jessica just wrote her article about patience.  I just love God’s timing!"

Friday, September 27, 2013

Proof of Heaven Book Club

Dr. Eben Alexander's Proof of Heaven is a must-read for the scientific-minded person who may struggle with theology because of his/her left-brained dominance.  In fact, Alexander himself was one who fell into this category of thinking until he found himself in a life-threatening coma for seven days.  During this time, Alexander's brain was, in essence, not functioning.  Alexander, an academic neurosurgeon, is able to explain the intricacies of his illness in layman's terms for the scientifically challenged like myself and still maintain reader interest.  

Alexander describes in vivid detail his life-changing experiences in those seven days while in the presence of God or "Om" (as he refers to Him), the Realm of the Earthworm's-Eye View, the Core, and the Gateway.  According to statistics,  this man should have perished from his sickness let alone have some lingering brain damage if not complete incapacitation.  Instead, Alexander fully recovers, a medical miracle.

For the purposes of book club, a spread composed of eggs would definitely prompt discussion for as Alexander writes:

While in the Core, even when I became one with the Orb of light and the entire higher-dimensional universe throughout all eternity, and was intimately one with God, I sensed strongly that the creative, primordial. . . aspect of God was the shell around the egg's contents . . . (160). 

by Courtney Winkler

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Waiting Game

Last Sunday in church I was introduced to the story of Elkanah, his barren wife Hannah, and the taunting that she had endured from Elkanah’s second wife, Peninnah. 

This story personally struck me in many ways. I have two children so it was not in a childbearing way, but in the fact that Hannah waited out her storm. My personal storms of weight loss struggles, relationship issues, and harboring ill feelings towards those who do “wrong” have really taken a toll on me in recent years. Often at times one storm rolls right smack dab into another storm, snowballing, and creating even further havoc.

It is daunting. I often feel alone. I feel defeated and that is why Hannah’s story is so comforting. She waited out her storm. She was perseverant. She never gave up on God, and in the end He blessed her with Samuel. She was NEVER alone even when her husband was away with his other wife and children, because she had God. She never lost faith.

We all want something. Sometimes we want many things, but far too often we become impatient while we wait. We lose faith.

So today, I am stepping back from the worries and into my own personal waiting zone. I am stepping back from the bitterness towards those who find comfort in taunting others, and I will even say a prayer for them. I am taking comfort in the many positive relationships I have established and not focusing on the negative ones. I am going to obediently wait for God to select the proper time to reap my harvest. Until then…. 

PS. I suppose I will have to continue reading, but I wonder? Did Hannah say “Neener, neener, neener” to Peninnah when Samuel ended up being the only child of Elkanah’s whose name appears in The Bible?? I am going to guess not, and I will chalk that up to another life lesson learned from The Bible.

by Jessica Dudley

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Prayer on the Prayer Wall

A comment by John and Yvonne Wagner on the group "Prayer Wall" on Navy For Moms . . . 
This afternoon Yvonne and I went to Norfolk Naval Station, and walked up and down the pier in front of the aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines, praying for the crews on board the ships. We prayed that God would keep them safe and help them to do their jobs well.

But more importantly we prayed that God would open their minds and their hearts to spiritual things. We prayed that the young men and women stationed on those ships would receive a hunger for God, and His Word. The bottom line for us, is that they would come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

While we prayed and walked, I thought about the passage of Scripture in 1 Corinthians that says the enemy of their souls has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. And in Isaiah it says there are those who sit in dungeons, their throats parched with thirst. They search for water, the prophet says, but there is none.

We walked by pier after pier, with young men and women standing as sentries at the gates. We prayed for each one as we walked by them, asking God to open their eyes that they might see Him! That He would connect us with some of them so we might share God's love with them.

The thought was overwhelming of there being four to six thousand men and women on the carriers. And while there are only a few hundred sailors on the destroyers and cruisers, there were many of them in port! Young men and women being tempted by the world, the flesh, and the devil.

But I was encouraged by the thought of what Jesus said in the Gospels. He told Peter that He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. In other words, while the devil may have taken them captive to do his will, the iron bars and gates of bronze that he has them surrounded with, will not stand. Because greater is His that is in us (Jesus Christ) than he that is in the world (the devil). God has given us a love for these young men and women that just will not end.

In Isaiah God said that the captives will be set free, and those who are in dungeons will not die there. Please pray with us...
Submitted by Carol Pigg, "This just made my heart open." 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

God Bought Me Breakfast

I’m a what you would call a realist. Which is really just a nice way of saying, “I’m cynical.” Not just about God, but everything. If it's not logical then it is just not logical, and that is that. By knowing this small detail about me, you can probably understand why it's been so tough for me to secure a solid relationship with God. It is all so terribly confusing to me. So many things just don’t make sense.

Well on August 29th, 2013, God "bought" me breakfast, and my life has been changing ever since. I was in the McDonald's drive-thru line feeling guilty for just ordering the ENTIRE burrito meal. While waiting in line, I was reading on my iPhone a RUBY Magazine blog post titled "Run for God" by Beth Miramonti. She was blogging about a recent trip her and Masja LaRue had spontaneously taken to Tennessee. A trip where Beth ran her personal best 5K, they enjoyed white water rafting…blah, blah, blah. I hope Beth and Masja both know that I mean “blah, blah, blah” in the most pleasant way possible. I’m fairly certain I’m not alone when I admit that sometimes hearing about others accomplishments is motivating, but then sometimes we find ourselves being selfish and turning their joys into our sorrows because we haven’t been able to accomplish those same things. So while I’m truly very proud of Beth’s accomplishments, the truth was that on that particular morning I was reading about them while sitting in a drive-thru line waiting for a 1000 calorie breakfast to be handed to me through a window in a paper bag. You can imagine the guilt consuming me.

Just then, I looked up from my phone to creep up a bit further in line. My eyes zeroed in on a SUV with a proudly displayed Joy 99.1 sticker. The thought of God himself didn't really enter my mind, but I did feel what one may call a "nudge" suggesting that I should pay for the woman's bill that was behind me driving a minivan. I instantly started contemplating with myself on what I should do with the only $5 in cash I had on me. Should I use my debit card instead? Should I cancel my order and just pay for hers? What if she has five kids in the backseat of that minivan and her order ends up being really expensive? Hmmm??? So I did the "logical" thing and moved forward in line preparing to pay for my own bill at the same time promising to “pay it forward” some other time really, really soon. Logical, right?

Well, when I got to the turns out that the SUV with the Joy 99.1 sticker had paid for MY meal. Wow! For this lifelong skeptic, THAT small gesture was huge!!! I told a few friends who are full of faith, and they, of course, confirmed their love for Him, but I still didn't quite "get it." Why can't I just GET IT?!?!

It wasn't until after finishing the book Waking Up In Heaven by Crystal McVea and after talking with a friend at church last Sunday that I realized. . . GOD bought me breakfast!!! Me!!! He bought someone breakfast who doubts Him on a daily basis.

Since then it has occurred to me that I guess I’m now a believer. I still have so many other questions to be answered, but my new found faith is comforting. Maybe next time He will buy me a healthy salad instead. Until then . . .

by Jessica Dudley

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Garage Sale-ing for Jesus

Today, our small town hosted a community-wide garage sale. You could see folks preparing all week, laboring into the night in sweltering garages, pricing ugly clothes and neglected toys. The meteorologist promised and delivered a magnificent day with a hint of Fall in the air and Betty Davis blue eye skies.
At the crack of dawn, or so it seemed, the long-awaited sale kicked off with only slightly less excitement and anticipation than an Olympics opening ceremony. I was out walking the dog when a vehicle resembling that of Jed Clampett barreled around the corner, discharging three overly caffeinated women in front of a neighbor’s home. They jogged up the driveway and immediately began elbowing their way through the crowded garage, hoping to find a long lost Picasso and a slightly battered Coach purse, both for a quarter. In the next two minutes, three other vehicles screamed to a stop in front of the same house. The drivers hurriedly threw down their GPSs and garage sale battle plans and entered the fray. I looked up and down the street where I could see the madness repeating itself at other homes, as tires squealed, toddlers peddled watered-down Kool-Aid, and ordinarily timid homemakers arm-wrestled for gotta-have bargains.
It may sound like I don’t like garage sales. On the contrary, I think they are a terrific way to unload all that stuff we no longer want, while making a little cash so we can go out and buy more stuff we won’t want next September. They are also a great place to find cool bargains so we have more disposable income to buy more things of which we will soon want to dispose (this is what happens to a sentence when you don’t end it in a preposition).
I had two share-worthy revelations as I was pondering the whole idea of garage sales. First, wouldn’t it be great if we had that much enthusiasm for not only buying Jesus but also selling Him?! If we got up early on Sundays so excited about spending time with Jesus and hearing the Message that we jogged to the church doors?! If we worked into the night, praying and prepping new ways to sell, that is share, Christ with others who are seeking a “great find”?! He is, after all, the ultimate “find.” Christ’s promise of grace and salvation is absolutely free, and once you have Him in your life, you won’t want to dispose of Him next September. The second garage sale lesson revealed to me is that once you know Christ, He will encourage you to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter in your life on a regular basis – the worry, the stress, the regrets, the anger, the jealousy, the self-loathing, the guilt. That is, all of us need to clean out the closets of our hearts and minds and regularly unload the “junk” which negatively affects our relationships with others and with Christ.
Who knew there was so much to be gleaned from a neighborhood garage sale? Happy shopping for and selling both jeans and Jesus, and giving Him all the junk in your life!
by Sue Busler

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

We Said YES

Reading woman blessing Beth Miramonti's RUBY Magazine post, Say YES  motivated me to say, "Yes!" to FREE Yoga under the St. Louis Arch today with women blessings Beth P. and Christin F.

"Presented by Big Bend Yoga Center, Great Rivers Greenway, and the National Park Service, the goal of the event was to build a sense of community while recognizing the importance of our rivers to the vitality of the region"  (Deer, 

The soothing voice of yoga teacher Saul David Raye guided the event and was accompanied by acclaimed New Orleans musicians Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band.

Women, men, and children of all shapes, sizes, and ages stretched, swayed, and shimmied on the grass on the grounds of the Arch.

From our Happy Baby poses, we then assisted the person adjacent to us in his/her stretch by pulling on his/her ankle (or big toe as Christin pulled on mine).

While in Shavasana or Corpse Pose, the view -clouds floating beyond the silver curve amidst a sapphire blue background- was breathtaking.  All of my troubles floated away in the white tufts of sky smoke.  Thoroughly relaxed, we walked back to our car and contemplated with much anticipation our next Faithful Fitness Fellowship outing.

Courtney Winkler

Friday, September 13, 2013

STARS with Dogs, Daisies, and Brownies

A dear friend and Brownie mother, Sarah K., told me about a program offered at The Glen Carbon Centennial Library where children are given the opportunity to read aloud to therapy dogs, Socrates and Shoto.  Taking this idea and running with it, my co-leader Sarah B. and I offered it as a field trip option for both our Daisy and Brownie troops, 48 and 611 respectively. 

Although occurring at 6 p.m. on a school night (my squirts who have a love of sleep like their momma are snoozing by 7:30 p.m. most nights), the response in numbers from both troops was ideal.

Magi Henderson, the Youth Services Director extraordinaire, had books set out from which the readers could choose or readers were allowed to roam the shelves and select a book (or books) of their own choosing.

Due to the large number of participants, Shoto and Socrates were placed in two separate areas so that the children could gravitate between the two.

At 6:30, Fun Patches were distributed and our circle hug was completed.  This allowed some Daisies and Brownies to stay until the departure of the dogs at 7 p.m. while others could peruse the library or be on their way.

If your squirt or your troop is interested in reading to Shoto and Socrates, check the calendar and register (cost is FREE)- next visit is October 14, 2013.

Courtney Winkler

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Looking for Volunteer Builders and Cooks!

Airplane Park Playground Build | September 18th – 22nd

The time has arrived for the build of the playground being spearheaded by the Edwardsville Rotary. The build will be Wednesday, September 18 through Sunday, September 22 from sunrise to sunset each day. Hopefully, with the exception being Sunday the 22nd which, if everything goes according to plans, we will be having a Completion Celebration in the afternoon.
We need volunteers. The actual building of the playground is done completely by community volunteers. We need volunteers who can swing hammers, hold the other end while the hammer is being swung, fetch supplies, pass out water, assist in the serving of the meals and snacks.
If you have a day, a few hours or even just one hour – your help will be greatly appreciated. Come be a part of this fabulous community project. Thousands and thousands of children will come to play for the next 50 years on the playground you helped build. (Trust me – you will tell the story. My husband, Scott, was still telling the story about how he helped build the old playground right up till the day it had to be torn down!) To volunteer email Dan Abegg at or Brian Mulhall at
Calling all cooks!
We are looking for help to feed the masses. Most of the spaces are filled except for the Wednesday evening and the Friday evening meals. Both are served at 5:00 p.m. So I was thinking, “How about a community pot luck”. I have had a few of our customers ask what they could do to help – so this is what we need. We need for you to bring your favorite pot-luck dish. Doesn’t matter what it is – that way there will be something for everyone. Send me an email or give us a call at the Chef’s Shoppe and let us know which meal you can help us.

Wednesday, September 18, dish to arrive by 4:30 p.m.
or Friday, September 20, dish to arrive by 4:30 p.m.
Email Nancy at
or call Chef’s Shoppe @ 618-659-9840

Be sure to include your mailing address with the email and after the build I will be sending coupons for a free bag of popcorn for your support.
This is a great community with people who help one another. Let’s all pitch in and help get this playground build so we too can tell our kids, grandkids and anyone else who will listen that we helped build the Airplane Park Playground!

Submitted by Beth Miramonti

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Praise the Lord!  I truly learn from some amazing women blessings.  Sue Busler, in an e-mail, wrote "PTL."  The context of her e-mail did not call for Parent Teacher League (with which I grew up with before it was changed to Parent Teacher Organization, which still baffles me).  Since my 13-year-old neighbor was at school, I was techless.  So, I Googled. . .

Come to find out, PTL represents Praise the Lord!  Reaching further back into my background knowledge, I now realized at 42 that "The PTL Club" stood for "The Praise the Lord Club."  It's all coming together now . . .  Nothing slides past me.  Heehee!  This television program was on periodically in my youth.  I remembered the main woman crying a lot, and I do recall them saying "Praise the Lord" quite often, but I never made the connection.

So, with this being said, throw around a little, or rather a lot "PTL" today.  Use this hashtag in your Tweets.  With wild abandon, place it in your update status on Facebook.  Use it as a signature in your e-mails today and every day . . .  PTL!  

Courtney Winkler

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Welcome September with Faithful Fitness Fellowship

The new year brings many new routines, classes, schedules, teachers, sports and church activities ramping up after the summer break.  So what about you? What does your calendar look like? What does your diet look like? Your fitness plan? Your spiritual life?
Friends, I invite you to join me this month as we take a realistic look at where we are, think about where we want to be and set some goals to get there. I know, I know, it’s a Holiday weekend! So go, enjoy your family and friends for an extra day, but first commit to coming back on Tuesday and joining this fellowship as we spend the month of September in self-discovery. Assessing where we stand: Spiritually, Physically, Nutritionally and Emotionally.
Our home base will be a public Facebook page called Faithful Fitness Fellowship. Come on by and “like” the page for updates in your news feed. If you are not on Facebook, drop me an email at
Beth Miramonti
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13