Women's Center for Ministry Newsletter
October 2018
In this issue:
-How Can I Stand in Life's Storms?
  an article by Poppy Smith
-Three Points to Ponder Today
  an article by Marie Dezellem
-Weary Traveler 
  a poem by Bethany Feil
-Women's Transformational Leadership Spring 2019 Classes!
  WL 501// Pastoral Understanding of Women
  WL 507// Develop Life-Changing Bible Study Curriculum
-REVIVE 2018 Registration is Open!
  See links below to register!
-Save the Date for IGNITE 2019!
  March 2nd, 2019 with keynote Karen Howells!
How Can I Stand in Life's Storms?
by Poppy Smith

What flashes through your mind when you find yourself in the middle of personal or ministry storms, trials, tears, and confusion?
These haunting words from Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, often come to mind,   “Can he have followed far who has no wound nor scar?” I also think of Jesus’ words, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16: 33 NIV).
Much as we want to float through life without encountering hard times, the fact is most of us will face them. So is there a pathway that will help us grow in our dark times? Can we find a perspective that strengthens our faith and stabilizes our emotions?
Several years ago during a painful time in my life, I came across four questions that helped me stop asking “Why?” Instead, I learned to ask “What? What is it God wants to bring out of this for my good and the good of others?”
Proverbs 3:13 states, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.” Wisdom is what we need whenever we wonder what is happening to us, and why. Rather than wasting your tough experiences, prayerfully probe for God’s purpose and how He wants you to grow. These questions will help you discover this:

1.      What does God want to do in this situation?

  • To change my direction?
  • To deepen my faith?
  • To mold me for something you are planning at a future time?
  • Have you allowed this situation to come crashing into my life because You have a design greater than I can see right now?

2.      What does God want to produce in me through this?

  • Yieldedness to Your will?
  • Sensitivity to others?
  • Increased trust in You?
  • Courage to say YES and not shrink back?

3.      What does God want to reveal about Himself to me and through me?

  • That He is faithful and will supply the strength you need?
  • That He is wise and all-knowing—the One you can rely on?
  • That He is your Healer—from hurt, pain, abuse, or a loss in your life?
  • That He is inviting you to turn to Him and deal with an area that needs attention?

4.      How does God want to use my trial to benefit others?

  • In the right place, at the right time, and in an appropriate way, sharing your painful experiences can be a powerful encouragement to a hurting person.
  • Ask God, “How do you want to use my trial to benefit others?” Then be ready for His prompting.

Wringing good out of evil and growth out of pain is God’s specialty. 

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:
Three Points to Ponder Today
by Marie Dezellem

Have you gotten tired of turning on the nightly news or reading through the online newspaper?  It seems that everyday there are reports of sexual misconduct, warring political parties, and dishonest leaders.  I can’t presume to know the whole story, but I find my heart broken and distraught when I hear of these things.  The temptation may be to flee from the news and not engage in current events, but we also need followers of Jesus to thoughtfully engage the issues in a redemptive way.  We can each examine our hearts and ask God to what extent He would have us engage these conversations.  As we approach these difficult topics may I humbly suggest a couple points to ponder from God’s word.

1. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. 

James gives us these word of instruction in his letter, providing us wisdom for how to live a Godly life.  There is much to listen to, and we must be thoughtful in how we respond, avoiding undue anger.  We also want to listen carefully, being discerning of what sources we put our trust in.  This leads us to be slow to speak, allowing us to craft a careful, sensitive response.  As I read through the hash tag WhyIDidntReport this week I heard the tragic stories of many women who weren’t listened to or were subject to words of judgment when they finally had the courage to share their stories of sexual assault.  In being quick to listen we can help bring healing balm to raw wounds, providing the presence and compassion of Jesus.   

2. Don’t neglect the plight of the vulnerable

James also reminds us to look after the orphan and widow in their distress, paying attention to the marginalized members of society.  He echoes the sentiments of the prophets who reprimanded Israel for mistreating the vulnerable or standing by while they were taken advantage of.  Immigration is a divisive and complex issue, and we must seriously weigh God’s heart for the disadvantaged seriously in our approach to it.  We are also surrounded by vulnerable parties who don’t make the news and we can bring about God’s kingdom when we care for them in their distress.

3. Remember where our hope comes from. 

Our hope is not in the outcome of the events that happen: who is elected to what position, what law is passed, or even whether or not we are struck by disaster.  Our unshakable hope is in Jesus and the great love and grace He has lavished on us, offering forgiveness to any who ask.  He has paid the penalty for all our sins, restored us to right relationship with God, conquered death, and has promised to return.  This is the Good News.

We cannot change most of the events on the news, but we can control how we respond to those in our sphere of influence, proclaiming and living out the Gospel life, offering hope, love, and redemption to a broken world.

Marie Dezellem finds deep joy in teaching God’s Word, especially to women and youth. She recently completed a Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies from Western Seminary and also holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries from George Fox University.  Marie works as an ER nurse and serves the youth at Yamhill Christian Church.  In the past, she has been a program director at a Christian camp and a youth pastor.  She enjoys reading, gardening, snuggling with her cat, sipping chai tea, and travelling with her husband James.
Weary Traveler
by Bethany Feil
Weary Traveler

Return, oh my soul, to your couch of rest.
Sigh no more, heavy heart and distant mind.
Though the sun blazes you find no consolation in its warmth.
Though the rain falls you care not for its refreshment.
Your keen eyes observe much yet blur in an act of self-protection.
What you have seen cannot be unseen.
Perhaps if you do not see more you can learn to bear the past; 
For it is still present and demands attention. 

Rise, eat, and carry on, weary traveler;
There is more path to tread.
Rally, tender heart and dulled senses;
This is not the end.

Weary soul, there is one whom you seek.
One who is ever present on this harrowed lane.
He knows every ache and gnarl of this road.
His sorrow was full.

Fall on his pillows of grace and goodness.
Smear every tear on his broad chest.
Sleep on his promises and wake in new mercy.
He is your rest.  
Bethany Feil was born in Portland, OR, but her family moved soon after to California where she was raised and received her B.A. in Dance from California State University, Long Beach. She enjoyed a career as a professional dancer with Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston, TX. Her national and international dance experience has given her a passion for sharing the hope of the gospel through the arts. Pursuing this goal, Bethany returned to her Portland roots in 2016 to study at Western Seminary.  You can find Bethany traveling, watching British dramas, or satisfying her sweet tooth.
Women's Transformational Leadership Spring 2019 Classes:
Joining us this Spring for our Women’s Transformational Leadership classes!
WL 501 // Pastoral Understanding of Women
This course offers a comprehensive look at what it means to effectively shepherd and care for women. Students will learn how cultural and spiritual aspects of womanhood not only shape pastoral care, but also contribute to a woman’s role in the Kingdom of God. We will discuss gender and cultural stereotypes as well as a woman’s evolving place in society. In understanding a woman’s season of life as well as her emotional and spiritual needs, students will grow in mentoring, developing friendships, offering group support, and caring for women pastorally.  2 credits
Instructor:  Bethany Allen
Location:  Western Seminary Portland Campus
                      5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
                      Portland, OR 97215
Dates:   Jan. 11-12 and Mar. 15-16, 2019
              9:00am - 4:30pm
WL 507 // Develop Life-Changing Bible Study Curriculum
Learn how to write, select and adapt Bible study curriculum that is biblically sound, relevant, and applicable to all arenas of life. Grow in confidence in training discussion leaders to shepherd biblically stimulating and relationally healthy small groups.  Glean an overview for training curriculum-writing teams that can create materials appropriate for neighborhood and/or church-based Bible studies. 1 credit
Instructor:  Phyllis Bennett
Location:  Western Seminary Portland Campus
                      5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
                      Portland, OR 97215
Dates:   Feb. 1-2, 2019
             9:00am - 4:30pm
REVIVE Registration is Open: 
Revive the Wonder of the Gospel
Registration for REVIVE the Wonder of the Gospel is OPEN! 

Vancouver Revive:
Keynote: Bethany Allen
November 2nd, 2018 /// 8:50am-12:30pm
Laurelwood Baptist Church, 17015 NE 6th Street, Vancouver, WA 98684
Click to Register for Vancouver REVIVE
Portland Revive:
Keynote: Bethany Allen
November 16th, 2018 /// 8:50a,-12:30pm
River West Church, 2000 Country Club Road, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Click to Register for Portland REVIVE
Visit our website,, for more details! 
Save the Date: IGNITE the Wonder!
Ladies! Save the Date for our Spring 2019 Ignite event! 

Keynote: Karen Howells
March 2nd, 2019 /// 8:15am-4:15pm
Greater Portland Bible Church, 2374 SW Vermont Street, Portland, OR 97219
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.
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