Women's Center for Ministry Newsletter March 2019
In this issue:
-Want Joy? Choose it!
  an article by Poppy Smith 
-Scandalous Love and Authentic Unveiling
  an article by Candace Crandall
-Highlights from IGNITE the Wonder!
  Photos by Hannah Woo
-WL 504 // Women in Leadership
  Learn more about auditing a class!
Want Joy? Choose it!
by Poppy Smith

Joy is what God wants for you.
Joy is what God offers you.
Joy strengthens you emotionally and spiritually.

Do you sometimes think of God as a killjoy?  Someone who looks down from heaven when you’re having a good time and says, “Cut it out. Don’t you know life is meant to be serious?” Or do you have a secret dread that God will zap you for some failure and take away what brings you joy?

Many Christians have these distorted ideas—DO YOU?

If you do, these lies are robbing you of the spiritually and emotionally abundant life that Jesus came to give (John 10:10).

The Bible is full of references to joy, delight, rejoicing and celebrating because:  

  • God created joy. He looked at all He created and said it was good. When I make something, even a new dish, and it tastes good and looks like it’s supposed to, I’m filled with joy (probably because I was surprised at how it turned out!), but imagine God’s joy when he saw His creation’s incredible beauty unfolding before Him.  Joy is an attribute of God, and one He blesses us with—if we choose it.
  • Jesus was full of joy. He spoke of His joy and wanted it to be in His disciples—that’s you and me (John 15:11). Even though His circumstances did not produce happiness (He was heading to Jerusalem and the crucifixion), nevertheless, He had joy.
  • The Holy Spirit gives joy.  Joy is a fruit of the Spirit’s filling. It’s an outcome of faith, whether circumstances are happy or not (Galatians 5:22). In God’s design, joy also results in “happy hormones” being released that enable us to thrive physically and emotionally.
  • Scripture commands us to rejoice, and God doesn’t give commands without giving the power to do it.  If we rejoice only when we’re happy, we’re ignoring a source of strength that God gives to overcome and persevere in tough times. The joy of the Lord IS your strength, (Nehemiah 8:10). Rejoicing in the Lord is possible when your focus is on who God is, and who you are to God—not on your circumstances.

Kay and Rick Warren’s son committed suicide after years of battling mental illness. They did all they could to help him and experienced depths of grief and loss. Perhaps you identify.

  • In her book, Choose Joy—Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, Kay Warren, wife of Pastor Rick Warren, writes about her own struggle to live with joy.  Here is her definition:

"Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the
 details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately
 everything is going to be all right, and the determined
 choice to praise God in all things."

Happiness is a wonderful part of life. God wants you to celebrate everything that makes you happy. Dance around the kitchen, clap your hands, sing, praise, share with others, have a party. Celebrations are His idea.
But remember, when happiness has gone for a time, you have a never-ending source of joy—the loving presence, strength, and comfort of God Who is for you and will take you through whatever life brings.

Annie Johnson Flint writes:
"Jesus Christ is not my security against the storms of life, but He is my perfect security in the storms. He has never promised me an easy passage, only a safe landing."

Wishing you joy that comes from God Himself.

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:

Scandalous Love and Authentic Unveiling
by Candance Crandall

She stood behind Him. It was His voice that bid her to leave the shadow of her sin and walk into the light. She was drawn to Him and in His presence her emotions spilled onto His feet. Lost in Him, her tears washed the dirt from the day away. Having no towel, she brazenly unwrapped her hair to dry His feet, not caring that Jewish protocol forbid her from wearing her hair down in public. He was not repulsed by her presence nor did He cringe at her touch. Her unclean hands would have reviled any of the Pharisees. But He had seen beyond her stains, into her heart, drawing her to Him where she found significance, love, dignity, acceptance, and forgiveness. Her purpose had changed and the wall that separated her from Perfect Love vanished. Somewhere, deep inside, she was aware that her actions were scandalous but there was no containing her gratitude. She poured the perfume from her alabaster jar and continually kissed the feet of the One who brought new found grace. She was shielded from the coldness of judgment that thickened the air. He was all that mattered. If there was any lingering doubt Jesus squelched it as He addressed Simon, the Pharisee whose home she was in, and the unspoken condemnation that hardened his heart. Then His eyes turned to her and He said, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace (Luke 7:36-50, NIV).”

Scandalous! Simply scandalous!  Commentary suggest that this woman may have been a prostitute. She would be snickered and scoffed at by women; wanted in private and shunned in public by men. A societal outcast, isolation would become her friend and loneliness her companion. She was not likely to have a confidante or someone who looked on her with compassion. Her sin was public and her station in life not likely to improve. For this woman, there was no pretense; no covering of her indiscretions; or masking vulnerability; her reputation stripped any personal fabrication she may cling to. When she went to Jesus she had no choice but to be transparent and as a result, authentic worship was unveiled. Jesus' love moved her to a genuine emotional outpouring of love in the midst of the critics who hid behind ostentatious posturing considering themselves above reproach.

The world resonates with facades that are plastic and molded by unsolicited commentators who are preoccupied with living a charade. As we walk forward to the promise of our potential, may we allow Jesus to give us the courage to love genuinely, live authentically, and worship Him unabashedly. May we be so captivated by Him that we are immune to those who censure as we confidently walk the path He has prepared before us. May we give our gifts, celebrate our passions, and lift our callings to you, Jesus, in genuine and honest worship so others may be blessed and you may be pleased.


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.

Check out a few highlights from IGNITE the Wonder!
Photos by Hannah Woo
WL 504 // Women in Leadership
Read below to learn how to audit classes and earn a certificate!
WL 504 // Women in Leadership
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
  • Prerequisite: High school diploma or GED
  • Applications due: One week prior to the first class meeting date.
  • Cost to Audit: $240
  • To Enroll: Click Here! (This option allows you to take classes to earn a certificate).
Instructor:  Mary Ann Noack
Location:  Western Seminary Portland Campus
                   5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd
                   Portland, OR 97215
Dates:   June 21-22 & Aug. 2-3, 2019
              9:00am - 4:30pm
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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Women's Center for Ministry - Western Seminary · 5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd · Portland, Oregon 97215 · USA

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