Bethel Women's Ministry

Monday, January 29, 2007

After You!

Jesus, here I am your favorite one.
What are You thinking? What are You feeling?
I have to know.

For I am after Your heart, I'm after Your heart, I'm after You.

So goes "Favorite One", a song by Misty Edwards (IHOP). I challenge you this week...are you so intent on Jesus that you have to know what He's thinking and feeling. Are you after His heart? And if you aren't, what would it take to make that your heart's deepest desire?

Chasing after Christ with every fiber of my being!


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Y'all are awesome

I love the heart I see God developing in the women of Bethel as a group. And that only reveals itself as we, individuall, dive deeper into Him, and refuse to settle for the same relationship with Him today that we had with Him yesterday, 5 years ago or fourty years ago. I don't know about you, but I always want to be learning more about Him and how to trust Him more completely.

So whether you're participating in Sunday School, a Bible Study, reading through the Bible in 90 days or whatever speed on your own. Keeping looking for Him. Searching hard after Him and believing His promises. It's like a treasure hunt. A grand, fun adventure.

And sign up for the retreat coming up on March 9 and 10th at Camp Tecumseh. God is putting some awesome words on women's hearts to share with you. Words about what our inheritance in Him is, How to step away from fear and to all He has for you, Dreaming with God, etc. It's going to be awesome.

Love y'all!

Monday, January 22, 2007


Did that title get your attention?

I'm finally getting to a point that I can see areas I can break out and let people help me with various parts of women's ministry. I know. You're thinking, "It's about time, Cara."

Well, since that's what you're thinking, I'm sure you'll be ready to jump in and help with one of these areas....or fill in your own. Just leave a comment or let Heather or me know that you're ready to step up and serve.

1) Lead a Bible study or small group for women. (don't worry, I can help take the mystery out of this. Seriously, if I can do this -- many of you can, too.)

2) Lead Sunday School for a quarter -- or a month -- or a week.

3) Coordinate the Chick Nights. I have a list of women who have said they would host one. I just need someone with a bit of time to call and get them on the calendar.

4) Host a Chick Night. The sky's the limit on what you can do. Let me know you're interested and I'll help you come up with a theme, etc.

5) I'm sure there are a host of fabulous ideas that you have. Let us know what they are. You never know when we'll tell you to run with it!


Ladies, we need you

Ladies.. You just don't know what you don't know. We have so many ladies at Bethel that are going through some difficult things right now!

Please, Please lift each other up in prayer! We do not have to know all the details, the Lord knows. In time some may share with you what is happening in their lives-- remember it is a treasure of the heart when someone opens up to share with you. Treat what you know in that manner(as a treasure). Most importantly..pray! We need each other and we need your prayers.

Think of ladies you know and begin today to lift each other up. It is the best thing we can do for each other.

Blessings! DJ

Cara again: To see what's on my heart this week, click here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

God, Where are You?

Do you ever feel the need to scream that at the heavens? I'm there. Right Now. As I type.

This fall I was visiting a church back in Nebraska and heard a sermon/word about standing in the middle of a crowded fair. Instead, of having fun, we're standing there frantically spinning and looking for our Daddy.

I know God would not bring me here to leave me. But at the moment I'm having a very hard time seeing Him. It doens't mean He's not here. It just means I can't feel Him.

Anyone relate?

I know the promises. He will never leave me or forsake me. He prepares the way for me. He is my shelter. He hides me in the shadow of His wings. It doesn't mean there isn't pain and questions. By the time many of you read this, hopefully my current challenge will be resolved. But it has sent me back to my knees to see just how quickly I can go from calm and assured to desperately looking for my Daddy. For assurance. To know that I'm not alone. To know that He sees me and cares. And to know I have not been abandoned.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Retreat Update

We had a retreat planning meeting last night. I am so excited about what God is putting on our hearts to share.

The retreat will start Friday March 9th with registration at 5 p.m. We'll wrap up around 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The theme will be coming into our inheritance as daughters of the King. As we grow in faith and in knowledge of who He is and who we are, then we can begin to walk in the things He has for us now. There is so much He has for us. Are you ready to dive into Him? I know I am! I want more than I've ever experienced of Him! I want to dream big dreams with Him. Live a life that impacts eternity for His glory.

Plan now to join us at the retreat as we seek the heart of God!

Prayers and Praise

Let's share the burden, ladies! Post your praises and prayer requests here.

Trust and Obey

Have you ever gone through circumstances in your life where you have had to truly learn to trust in all that the Lord has for you? Not only trust but then be obedient to what he wants from you?

That is where I am.

There are different situations for each of us, and I do not know what your current situation is; God has asked us to Trust in Him, (Prov. 3:5- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding). as the scripture in Proverbs tells us, we are to trust in Him, and not depend on what we can understand.

We think we know and have all the facts about situations, but then as times goes on we often learn 'what we did not know'(our understanding).

We are to wait on God.(Psalm 14:27 Wait! on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He will strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord).

Think about this, while we are waiting on God, he is making our hearts stronger, and this my friend takes courage!

If you are at all like me, I am an active person and waiting is the last thing I want to do for any situation! So what do you do while you wait? In a waiting room I might be reading a book or talking with someone.

Think about this, while we are waiting on the Lord, we can read His word(the Bible) and talk to Him!(pray). This helps to give us more insight into what is is the Lord wants for us. It helps to strengthen us. Wow, I am all for that!

What is it that the Lord is sharing with you? What are your action plans for trusting and obeying? How do you spend your time in waiting? Share your thoughts.

DJ Hartman

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cutting Words

When I'm in the middle of writing a manuscript, I watch the word count like a hawk. I have excel spreadsheets that I plug updated numbers into constantly. I like the forward sense of progress. The movement toward the end goal.

This last week or so, I've been doing the reverse. An editor requested a complete manuscript that to fit her house's guidelines needed to lose 22,000 excess words. 22,000! At first, that number seemed overwhelming. But I like the book, and want to give it a chance, so if that meant cutting then I would cut.

This afternoon, after spending three hours at Panera, I finished the first run through. Of the 22,000, 18,000 have been cut. A mere three thousand to go. Oh and I need to add a short scene or two.

You know that whole two steps forward, one step back approach to writing.

I've learned I can tighten my writing. Even the parts I really like can be triaged and read better as a result.

I also know that while, I'd rather write a book to target than cut it, I can cut. And that's a good thing to know.

Now, I'll let it sit a day or two, then read it and cut one last time. Then time to send that baby out into the big world. But more on that tomorrow.

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

Hello Ladies!

I want to encourage each of you to come to the Tuesday Morning Bible Study at Shirley's House.

It begins at 9:30am, but come a few minutes early to chat and have coffee etc.(9:15am).

We have been having an awsome time getting into God's word and finding out how He wants us to live. For people like me, that means finding out where I need to give more control over to God, and let Him do a work in me. It is truly an awsome time.

PS--- How is your Bible Reading and Prayer time going?



Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Commentary on Fruit of the Spirit

DJ found this on and forwarded it since it relates to the study we are starting tonight.


A Time to Reflect on God's Fruit in Your Life--
Insight for Living

Just before His death and resurrection, Jesus revealed that the secret of growing God's fruit is in being at home with Him. That's the true definition of the familiar word abide. This is how Jesus describes what that means in John 15:5: "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."

Spiritual fruit is not the result of self-effort. You grow more of God's fruit not when you try harder, but when you stay connected to the Source. When you abide in Christ, you invite Him to live with you each day and reproduce His character in you. God's character at work in you looks like:

LOVE: This is God's agape, love that selflessly seeks the highest good of the other person. God's love begins in the mind, not the emotions, as His Spirit within us prompts His agape to grow stronger each day.

JOY: Joy as a fruit of the Spirit is a settled confidence that because God controls the details of your life, you can trust Him in any circumstance and experience His life in abundant excess! Joy gives you a reason to smile.

PEACE: The unshakable, inner calm you experience when your mind and heart are at rest because you are trusting fully in Christ. Peace comes only when you decide to take God at His Word.

PATIENCE: A fruit of the Spirit that means to be "long-tempered," the opposite of short-fused irritability. Patience is the ability to wait on God because you know He is working all things for your good and His glory.

KINDNESS: The Spirit's fruit that braids mercy and grace, humility and gentleness all together. Kindness leads you to give grace, be humble, and think of others before yourself.
We don't grow the fruit of His Spirit---His love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness---is the result of His work. We can however ready our hearts like a farmer does his field. Prepared, weeded, watered, we wait for His growth. And slowly, almost imperceptibly, as we invite Him to grow His fruit, we'll see the new growth.

Insights Newsletter July 2001.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Prayer Requests and Praise Reports for Week of January 8th

Post yours here.

Week of January 8th

A few things this week:

1) Shirley's Bible study on the Fruits of the Spirit starts Wednesday night at 7 p.m. I cannot wait to learn from her!

2) Beth Nagel will lead Sunday School this week on Hannah and loving children (Beth, I'll email the notes to you tomorrow!)

3) Please pray for the retreat team as we prepare to meet in the next week. I am excited to see what God is putting on each of our hearts to share with the women. Pray also that He will clear your schedule so you can attend, and that the women He wants to minister will be there. He is so good.

4) Our small group is reading through the Bible in 90 Days. I know DJ is doing this as well. How are you starting the New Year with a fresh commitment to Him? He may not call you to do something crazy like we are, but He is calling you to more of Him. Are you willing to follow?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

WEEK of January 1

Wow! It's already the third. Yikes!

A few quick notes:
  1. Sunday School this week will be chapter three in Women Like Us. It is a look at Abigial and her marriage.
  2. This week is the week of prayer, so even if you can't attend at church make some time to dedicate to prayer about the coming year.
  3. The Women's Retreat is coming up March 9 & 10th. We'll start distributing materials soon, but reserve the dates and look for more informaton shortly.

It's the beginning of a New Year. What are some of your resolutions for growing in your relationship with God? Our small group (even if it's only Eric and me) is going to read through the Bible in 90/180 days. I can't think of a better way to start than diving into His word. What about you?