Women's Center for Ministry Newsletter 
November 2019
In this issue:
-Watch Me 
  an article by Kara Betzer
-The Gift
  a poem by Leanne Stanton
-Between a Limo and a Hard Place
  an article by Heidi Sellick
-THANK YOU for joining us at ABIDE: Revive the Passion!
  Check out some pictures and comments from Vancouver and Portland Revive!
Watch Me
an article by Kara Betzer

I spent the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years of college in Fairbanks, Alaska. A family friend invited to work for her. Emily, who had been a volunteer in our church youth group when I was in middle school, was the director of an elementary program at a Lutheran daycare. During the summer, the program offered a full-day 'camp' for children kindergarten through sixth grade and I was tasked with being the lead teacher for the first through fifth grade students.

That summer, I learned more than I did any other summer of college. One of the lessons that has stuck with me a decade later is how delighted God is to watch us.

Each week the daycare had a theme. One weeks' theme was “wheels.” The kids could bring their bikes and scooters to school and during the day we would go outside to the parking lot to ride them.

One day when I was outside with a group of kindergarten students and one of the little girls, while going around and around in a large circle on her bike, kept saying, "Ms. Kara, watch me, watch me! Watch me Ms. Kara!" And I did. I watched her go around and around and cheered her on.

And that is when I realized, that whole summer, I had been saying to God, "Watch me, God, watch me!"

And just as I watched that little girl and cheered her on, God been watching me and cheering me on.

1 John 3:1 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!"

I am a child of God. I am loved and cherished by my maker.

That summer, there were many times I had to discipline students and correct their behavior. But there were also many times I got to play and laugh with them, and celebrate their successes. And this is how God taught me.

God disciplines us and corrects our behavior. He also plays and laughs with us and celebrates our successes. God watches and cheers us on.

I went to Alaska for an adventure to experience new things. It got me out of my comfort zone. But I was scared out of my mind. Each time I did something new, I looked over my shoulder and shouted, "God, watch me! Are you watching me, God? See what I can do?" And each time, God smiled, and said to me, "I see you, I am watching you."

God is watching you. He sees what you are doing, both the good and the bad, an will respond accordingly. But at the end of the day, even if what He saw He had to discipline and correct, He still loves you. He still wants to play and laugh and celebrate with you because you are a child of God.

Kara Betzer is passionate about teaching God's Word and helping others discover Jesus. She is in her last year at Western Seminary and will complete her Masters of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies in April. As a Pacific Northwest Native, she loves all things coffee, waffles, and rain. To read more of Kara's work, visit her blog at 


The Gift
a poem by Leanne Stanton

You search, but you find no benefit.

You work, but you make no gain.

Under every rock you find it desolate,

All your efforts are in vain.


Of all the hats you’ve worn,

the role has never fit.

Of all the roads you’ve traveled,

nothing ever seems to stick.


But I know there is a life that awaits,

one the Lord bespoke for you.

He wrote it in his book,

you can trust his word is true.


So take the gift he gave you,

of freedom, life and peace.

In return he asks you,

My child, just believe.

Leanne Stanton is a preschool teacher at a Christian center and does ABA therapy for children with autism. She is incredibly passionate about helping families find new ways to communicate with and understand their children. She wholeheartedly pours into her work teaching children about God's love for them, and finds it both deeply rewarding and challenging. 


Between the Limo and a Hard Place
an article by Heidi Sellick
Last month, hip hop blaring as the disco lights glittered on the limo’s ceiling, I caught myself living a rom-com reality. It was Kaitlin’s bachelorette party. I clambered out of the roof yelling, “Kaitlin’s getting married!” Pedestrians, caught off guard, clapped and hollered. I reentered the limo to bridesmaids whooping and twirling glowsticks. Laughing to myself, I observed the scene: a bunch of 30-year old women in a Hummer limo with glittering lights dancing our way to some elaborate hotel happy hour? I checked my phone. Two new messages:

“Heidi, please pray for me. I’m on my way to Idaho right now. My grandpa died. It’s his funeral this weekend and I’m terrified to see my father there.”

“Heidi, I know you’re at a ridiculously silly and fun Bachelorette party this weekend, but I know you’d be upset if I didn’t tell you. My nephew hung himself last night. He was just discovered. I’ll be in Washington this weekend for his funeral. Please pray.”

How do you recover from life like that? One moment you’re dancing out of cartops, and the next you’re faced with tragedies. Staring at the phone screen I remembered the command to “weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice” (1 Pet.3:8). Should I weep for my suffering friends in a dance limo? Or should I dance harder and ignore the pain?

Deep love never fakes emotion, but it may emphasize or postpone some emotions for appropriate times. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh.” To rejoice with Kaitlin, I had to defer my sorrow. Though not calling my hurting friends felt that I was not “bearing their burdens,” I had to hand the burdens to Jesus and commit myself to celebrating Kaitlin’s engagement.

 While the ladies partied on, I sent quick notes of condolence, prayer, and promise to follow up with my suffering friends. Then, I forced myself mentally back into the limo and danced with Kaitlin to the Jonas Brothers. I didn’t need to darken Kaitlin’s moment of joy, nor did I need to dismiss my friends’ sorrow. I chose to “bear their burdens” at an appropriate time.

As difficult as it is to live in a moment with someone, we have a perfect example. Jesus Christ can identify with our humanity (Heb. 4:15). In our moment of distress, He comforts us, like He did for the bleeding woman on the way to resurrect Jairus’ daughter (Lk.8). And in our moment of celebration He rejoices with us. Remember, Jesus’ first miracle was replenishing wine for joyous newlyweds and their guests (Jn.2:1-11)

Jesus demonstrates how to meet each person’s needs in the moment. Through His Spirit of wisdom, we too can jump with jubilation or cuddle each other close and pray over the pain as needed. So, next time you find yourself living luxurious highs and horrific lows in tandem, remember there is a time for everything. Love the best you can as the moment requires.
Heidi Sellick is a lover of Jesus, a walking contradiction, and a beautiful mess. But, God uses the shattered despite our brokenness. By God’s grace, I have remained His tottering child, clasping tightly to His hand. Though flawed, God has allowed me to interim as a Youth Pastor, emcee conferences, and serve on Greater Portland Bible Church’s youth leadership team. I currently attend Western Seminary, teach adult classes at my church (Abraham: A Founding Father’s Faith & Folly and Redefining Singleness in the Church), and pursue writing and speaking. Will you join me in seeking God’s captivating work of restoration amid life’s devastation?
Thank you for joining us at
ABIDE: Revive the Passion
Check out some pictures and comments from Vancouver and Portland Revive!

"Loved the all women-led worship! Amazing keynote – Kari, God speaks to me through you EVERY TIME!"

"Speaker was real, transparent and encouraging. The breakout was very informative and thought provoking!"

"This time of fellowship touched my heart deeply."

"This event was a refreshing touch from the Lord."


"Kari’s message was spot on! Apart from Him, I can do nothing!"

"Worshipping and praising God as a community!"

"It is encouraging to hear what God is doing in other churches in the area!"

"I’m walking out feeling encouraged and hopeful! Thank you. The worship team was awesome and the speaker on point!"

"Anointed worship that filled my soul & spirit!"

"Everything! :) Our table conversation was wonderful!"

"I didn’t realize my heart would be filled today! Normally, I wouldn’t like that we chose our own breakout session on the spot, but the encouragement to ‘go where God leads’ moved me to go where I needed shepherding the most. Thank you!"

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!
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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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