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Women's Center for Ministry Newsletter 
January 2020
In this issue:
-Attitude Is a Choice 
  an excerpt from Rachel Bell's new book, The 24 Nights Before Christmas
-Mercy...A New Start
  a poem by Becky James
-A Love Like No Other
  an article by Candace Crandall
-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
Attitude Is a Choice
an excerpt taken directly from Rachel Bell's new book, The 24 Nights Before Christmas

My dad would always say this, his knee bent before me, grasping my shoulders as he lifted my eyes to meet his. There was never anger in his eyes, sometimes admonishment, but mostly I found truth residing in their green depths.

He knew something that I had yet to learn in life, the hard lesson that we cannot always change out circumstances, but we can always change out dispositions.

I would usually cry, wishing instead that my dad would just fix the problem for me, commiserate with me, or tell me that I was justified in my anger at the world, and the people within it. However, just as he never slapped a Band-Aid over a sliver, he refused to cover my pain, instead encouraging me to face it, to confront it, and finally, to dig it out from myself.

No one heals by burying or ignoring their pain, leaving it to fester until it consumes them from the inside out. Changing your attitude is not about faking a happy face; hoping that all of the depression, anxiety, and despair will magically disappear if you pretend it never existed.

No. Attitude is not an act, but a choice.

To change your attitude, you have to shift your thinking, to intentionally decide to believe differently. The mind is a powerful thing. It shapes your life, determines your actions, all based on how your mind chooses to view your circumstance, your thoughts directing your path.

However strong our minds are, our emotions are often stronger.

We often let our emotions define our thoughts, our beliefs, and our very selves. This is dangerous ground, and one that we fall into constantly.

We must master our minds, choosing how we will view something, despite what we feel. It is waking up daily, choosing to master every thought. It is intentional, it is continuous, and it requires perseverance. Sometimes we can’t do it alone, we may need a counselor, possibly even medication to help us in this. Do not be ashamed, instead, be proud that you are doing what you need to do to grow and heal.

As Paul wrote to the people of Philippi, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, thing about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” –Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

We need to focus our minds on things that are good, instead of the black hold of discouragement, whose pull is so strong, that we find ourselves unable to escape its swirling depths, often trapping others with us.

Your attitude does not just affect you.

I am not minimizing your pain. Many circumstances are very real, very painful, and very unjust, understandable paralyzing in their magnitude. I am only saying, that when we are caught up in the black hold, spinning around and around, drowning in the emotions of our painful circumstances; we have a tendency to look only inward, growing selfish in our overwhelming despair.

Don’t let the pain of your circumstances keep you from your right to choose your attitude, to seek help, and to let God renew your mind, transforming how you view yourself.  Instead, look outward, helping and caring for the circumstances of others. You will be surprised how much this will help you overcome your own.

Rachel Bell is a reluctant writer. Called out of her comfortable field of physical therapy, God redirected her to become an author, to reveal His truths and miraculous hope to the world through the written word. Through the Lords leading, Rachel recently published a book, an advent devotional called the 24 Nights Before Christmas. She lives in BZ Corners where she is currently working on her debut fantasy novel, and is passionate about encouraging others through her blog at rachelsbellauthor.com 

Mercy...A New Start
a poem by Becky James

Mercy ... A New Start

 

He created the oceans 

gave light to the stars

stretched out heaven

hung the moon in the dark

 

He divided the Red Sea 

made rainbows for storms

His love is a compass

He is my true north

 

He is the wings of morning

His love guides my flight

He is always with me

every day every night

 

everything He does

still I stumble and fall

He hears me when I call

I cry out

 

Mercy Mercy

create in me a clean heart

Mercy Mercy

help me make a new start 

 

Lamentations 3:22-23

Becky James has a heart for God and loves helping people connect to purpose. During a sabbatical from her corporate career in legal technology, she discovered a calling to serve through writing and music. Becky writes faith inspired pieces to encourage hope, tell truth in love, and remember the gone. She also collaborates on studio recording projects.

A Love Like No Other
an article by Candace Crandall

“What then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is FOR us, who can be against us?" (Romans: 8:31).

 

       The morning started off like any other morning in our home. I awoke, took our youngest to school, and began working on my chores for the day. However, I was preoccupied by the wave of oppressive, stifling, and consuming emotions and memories that are triggered by holidays and special occasions. Compounding these emotions were nightmares that come when I am about to visit my hometown, which we were doing on December 26th. Needless to say, my ability to celebrate the Christmas season or our trip felt impossible. The words to my favorite Christmas Carol, O Holy Night, drifted through my reverie pulling me back into the present moment. As I listened to the words I found myself asking God to forgive me because I couldn’t seem to muster excitement for Him and the victory His birth would bring.

       As tears began to trickle down my cheeks, I felt the Spirit nudge my heart and whisper, “I am for you.” My mind saw that babe lying in a manger and all the promise and hope He held for humanity’s future. He would be humiliated, tortured, go to the cross on my behalf, die, rise, and become an advocate for me. I would be given the Spirit to dwell in me, to guide and to direct my footsteps, to make my crooked path straight (Isaiah 45:2). Before my name was uttered, He cared for my eternal destiny. Woven throughout the love story of reconciliation are significant offerings He has given adding to how He is for us. At creation He conceived man “in His image" (Genesis 1:27). All man is created in the image of God and by this fact alone is significant, valuable, and redeemable to the Father. God was for me when He “knit me together in my mother’s womb" (Psalm 139:13). He “sings songs of deliverance over me" (Psalm 32:7). I have been adopted and received as a co-heir with Christ (Psalm 27:10 & Romans 8:17). And, several other scriptures enveloped themselves around my heart and my mind. I found myself taking a long, slow, deep breath and as I exhaled, I realized my emotions and thoughts had been eclipsed by the promise that God is for me and the many different ways this fact has been confirmed.

       As we enter this New Year, I pray that we would firmly root in our hearts that God is for us. This truth has nothing to do with the circumstances of life or whether there are positive or negative consequences. God being for us is not manifested in the parking space we get or the raise at the job, etc. God is for us whether we are in peace or trial; joy or pain; health or illness; happy or sad circumstances. Father, I pray that your Spirit would remind us that you are for us and that knowledge would be worn as a second skin. May we hold steadfast that you are for us regardless of what this year brings to those you love.

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 is 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.

 

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.
TO TAKE WL505 FOR GRADUATE 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 
TO TAKE WL505 FOR AUDIT/ENRICHMENT (NON-CREDIT):
  • 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.
TO TAKE WL506 FOR GRADUATE CREDIT:
  • Graduate Credit Application Deadline: November 1st (final deadline)
  • Cost for Graduate Credit: $1200
  • Application: If you have not yet applied to Western Seminary, you can do so on our website, or by clicking this link here 
TO TAKE WL506 FOR AUDIT/ENRICHMENT (NON-CREDIT):
  • Prerequisite: High school diploma or GED
  • Applications due: One week prior to the first class meeting date.
  • Cost to Audit: $260
  • 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
Contact us! We'd love to hear from you!

Women's Center for Ministry at Western Seminary

Phyllis Bennett, Director
Amanda Zentz, Administrative Assistant
Email: wcm@westernseminary.edu
Phone: 503.517.1931
Fax: 503.517.1889

5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97215

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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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