Women's Center for Ministry Newsletter 
December 2019
In this issue:
-Step Into the Advent Story 
  an article by Marie Dezellem
  a poem by Candace Crandall & Tracy Laidlaw
-Christmas Differences? Check your Childhood!
  an article by Poppy Smith
-Registration for ARISE Ignite Compassion is now OPEN!
  Follow link below for more details on how to register!
-Spring 2020 Women's Transformational Leadership Classes!
  Learn how you can audit WL505 and WL506, or take it for credit!
-Merry Christmas from the WCM!
  A special message from Phyllis and Amanda!
Step Into The Advent Story
an article by Marie Dezellem

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

Do you ever read a story and try to figure out which character you most relate to or who you would want to be? Within the advent story, the characters respond to Jesus’ arrival with anything from fear to faith and many things in between. Who would you want to be? Let’s consider the players:
In an extraordinary interaction in Luke one, Gabriel tells Mary that she will bear God’s son. Mary asks a simple question regarding how this would work since she is a virgin. Gabriel explains how the Holy Spirit will make her pregnant with God’s son to which Mary responds, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Mary responds with humility and faith when told the leading role she will play. Can you imagine being in her shoes?
Joseph was a righteous man who did not want to disgrace Mary in her pregnancy, so he planned to divorce her quietly, though he could have had her stoned. Joseph too was visited by an angel who explained Mary’s pregnancy and we see that, despite room for doubt, Joseph responded with faithful obedience by doing all he was commanded to do. It makes me wonder, what are the places in my own life where I don’t fully understand what God is doing, but need to respond with obedience?
The shepherds response ran the gamut of fear to faith and worship. Initially they responded in fear but changed to faith after the angels told them not to fear. Finally, they glorified and praised God after meeting the Messiah. Do you ever feel like you’re all over the place in your response to Jesus? There’s room for you in the advent story too.
Wise Men
The wise men went to great lengths to travel from the East to meet Jesus and worship Him. I wonder what financial sacrifices they made or physical safety they risked in travelling to reach Jesus. We often remember them for the treasures they brought, tokens of generosity and worship. What might we need to sacrificially give for Jesus?
You and Me
As we step into the advent story this season, stop and consider who you most identify with in the story and who you’d like to be. Don’t forget to savor the wonder that we too are a part of this beautiful drama that leads to redemption and the advent story is our own. May we find ways to respond in faith, obedience, humility, sacrifice, generosity, and worship to the truth that our Savior has come!   

Marie Dezellem finds deep joy in teaching and studying God’s Word and helping others do the same. She holds a Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies from Western Seminary where she serves as an adjunct instructor for Women in Pain II.  Marie works as an ER nurse and teaches women’s Bible studies at Yamhill Christian Church.  In the past, she has been a program director at a Christian camp and a youth pastor.  She enjoys speaking, reading, gardening, snuggling with her cat, sipping chai tea, and traveling with her husband James. Marie is also a new mother to Junia Marie, born this past September. 

a poem by Candace Crandall & Tracy Laidlaw

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.’” (which means “God with us”) Matthew 1:22-23
The cry of a baby pierced through the night,
Above a stable, a star shone bright.
His mother a virgin, His Father a King,
Our redemption He would bring!
Who is this babe that awakens the dead?
Heaven opens; angels sing a message blessed;
Announcing the birth of the King of kings
Oh Glory! Glory! Glory!
He is the Word made as flesh
And is to walk among humanness.
His name is Yeshua, Jesus, and King!
Our Savior, Redeemer, let the whole Earth sing!
Immanuel! Immanuel!! God with us!
He has come to set captives free!
 Immanuel! Immanuel! God with us!
The Perfect Lamb for our sins’ stains,
Heaven mourned as The Father turned His gaze,
From the cross to the grave,
On the third day would raise.
The babe who’s cry had pierced the night,
Heaven’s kiss, our hope, our peace, our light,
Oh Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Immanuel! Immanuel! Hallelujah!

Candace Crandall and her husband of 24 years live in the beautiful state of Washington. Beautifully blended, they have four kids and four grandkids and consider themselves abundantly blessed. She a certified personal coach, professional coach, and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in life coaching. Her deepest desire and greatest passion is encouraging others, especially women, to walk in their genuine and authentic selves taking ownership of the good, bad, and the ugly. Candace believes that living joyfully consists of purposeful intention, honest evaluation, and a strong desire to let Jesus strip all facades.


Christmas Differences? Check your Childhood!
an article by Poppy Smith
My husband, Jim, and I never talked about Christmas—until six months after we married when I asked about getting our tree. I was in for a shock. I discovered that families from his Christian background didn’t “do” Christmas.

How about you and your husband (or male friend)? Do you share the same traditions and expectations about the holiday season?  

If you’re married, you’ve probably already worked through these issues. BUT:

If you’re not married yet, you might never have thought about the surprises you could face as you celebrate Christmas. What is normal to you, might be quite abnormal for him.

Depending on your personalities, your differences can cause strife, be smoothed over, or give opportunities for compromise.

Here are some issues that can crop up. See if you recognize any:
  • When do you get your Christmas tree? Or do you?
  • What Christmas Eve traditions did you have growing up? What were his? Where do you compromise?
  • When do you open presents? How many do you give? Do you focus on quality, or quantity?
  • Do you read the Christmas story as a family, talking about the wonder of Jesus coming to earth?
  • Do you always attend a Christmas Eve service? A holiday concert? Drive around and see the lights?
  • Do you always eat turkey—or some other family traditional dish?
  • Do you host relatives, friends, or those without a family nearby? Or do you prefer a small, “us-only” celebration?
I’m sure you can think of many more differences that arise from your backgrounds. The fact is, whatever Christmas celebrations you grew up with, became your concept of normal. 

In my book, Why Can’t He Be More Like Me? (See the chapter, We Weren’t Raised in the Same Home,)  I write,

Every one of us steps into marriage with assumptions, expectations, attitudes, and behavior patterns from our upbringing.

As you’re caught up in the holiday buzz and bustle, try tackling any differences over Christmas activities with a few simple questions:

How did your family do things? How did his?
What is important to you? What is important to him?
How can you best celebrate the true meaning of Christmas?

I love the words that Matthew records about the first Christmas:
“When the (Magi) saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.  They then opened their treasures and presented him with gifts….” 2:10-11.
In the crazy pressures of this holiday season, take time to stir up joy in your heart. Sing, play music, light candles, sit by your Christmas tree (if you have one). Come close like the Magi, calm your heart, slow down, bow down, and worship.
Rejoice and remind yourself every day: God sent His Son. Celebrate all that means, and don’t let your different preferences rob you of that joy!
Poppy Smith is a former Bible Study Fellowship Teacher, has a Masters in Spiritual Formation and Direction, and loves to teach the Word. Her passion is helping women thrive spiritually, emotionally, and personally through her ministry of speaking wherever God leads, writing spiritually motivating books, and spending time supporting women as a spiritual director. She currently writes a twice-monthly blog, THRIVE, that is regularly read by 1,000 women across the globe. Her website can be found at:
Registration for ARISE Ignite Compassion is OPEN!
Join us for our Spring women's conference on Saturday, March 7th, 2020
For more information or to register for ARISE Ignite Compassion, click the button below!
ARISE Ignite Compassion
Women's Transformational Leadership (WL) Fall 2020 Classes!
Learn more about WL505 and WL506
WL 505 // Develop Ministries for Women
Students learn how to build and advance -from vision to reality- relational ministries featuring four components: cast the vision, build the team, discern the needs, and mold the ministry. The focus is on relational components, such as building and strengthening a leadership team, accurately discerning the needs of women and molding ministry from that profile, while developing spiritual friendships and mentoring relationships. Students will learn how to enhance ministry effectiveness through promotion, evaluation, and celebration. 1 Credit.
  • Graduate Credit Application Deadline: November 1st (final deadline)
  • Cost for Graduate Credit: $600
  • Application: If you have not yet applied to Western Seminary, you can do so on our website, or by clicking this link here 
  • Prerequisite: High school diploma or GED
  • Applications due: One week prior to the first class meeting date.
  • Cost to Audit: $130
  • To Enroll: Click Here! (This option allows you to take classes to earn a certificate).
Instructor:  Trish Bussey-Jeter
Location:  Western Seminary Portland Campus
                   5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd
                   Portland, OR 97215
Dates:   April 3 & 4, 2020
              9:00am - 4:30pm
WL 506// Develop Life-Changing Bible Messages
This course equips participants to prepare and deliver biblically accurate and culturally relevant messages that are compatible to diverse learning styles while remaining applicable for today’s audiences. Students will acquire exegetical and expository preaching skills needed for creating gospel-centered messages with a definable purpose. Participants will embrace their own unique style cultivated by their spiritual gifts and personality profile. Speakers will learn how to breathe life into their communication using captivating introductions, emotional word pictures, and heart warming illustrations with a clear and passion filled delivery. 2 Credits.
  • Graduate Credit Application Deadline: November 1st (final deadline)
  • Cost for Graduate Credit: $600
  • Application: If you have not yet applied to Western Seminary, you can do so on our website, or by clicking this link here 
  • Prerequisite: High school diploma or GED
  • Applications due: One week prior to the first class meeting date.
  • Cost to Audit: $130
  • To Enroll: Click Here! (This option allows you to take classes to earn a certificate).
Instructor:  Phyllis Bennett
Location:  Western Seminary Portland Campus
                   5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd
                   Portland, OR 97215
Dates:   Jan. 31-Feb. 1 & March 20-21, 2020
              9:00am - 4:30pm
Merry Christmas from the Women's Center to your house!

Phyllis and Amanda pray you will experience a blessed Christmas and a joy-filled New Year as you draw near to our Savior, the Christ-child. 

Praying you will enjoy every minute of this season of celebration!  We are so grateful for each one of you and how much you enrich our lives!  

Contact us! We'd love to hear from you!

Women's Center for Ministry at Western Seminary

Phyllis Bennett, Director
Amanda Zentz, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 503.517.1931
Fax: 503.517.1889

5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97215

The opinions expressed by the various authors in this newsletter do not necessarily represent those of Western Seminary. We provide information on an as-is basis. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog, nor will we be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
Copyright © 2017 Western Seminary All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list