Thursday, April 23, 2009

Women's Conference

I went to a conference yesterday with a friend of mine.  It was the "Gifted to Lead" conference and the two speakers, Nancy Beach and Nancy Ortberg, are women I highly respect and love listening to.  When I saw that they were the speakers, I signed up right away!

One great surprise was seeing our retreat speaker, Kathi Lipp, there.  We had a great little visit, and I thought I'd share with you her thoughts about the conference (since it makes this blog easier for me!  :-)

Quoted from her one of Kathi's emails:

The 8 Best Things I Heard at the Women in Leadership Conference

Posted: 22 Apr 2009 11:17 PM PDT

Today I spent a very long, but good day listening to Nancy Beach and Nancy Ortberg discussing the topic of women in leadership in the church. (And I know that many of you were there as well, as we had deep, deep discussions re: Steam Punk.)

I loved the day – not just because the two Nancys are so right on, but I got to spend some quality time with Jane Liddle (the Worship leader for one of Menlo Park Prez’s campus churches, and the leader of Tapestry – the rockin’ chick band) and Debbie McDonald, a cool chick pastor from Westgate church in San Jose.

Oh, women in leadership… I so wish that you all could have been there not only to listen to these two ladies who have been-there-done-that in the church, but to be in a room with maybe 300 women who love God and love to lead.

For those of you who were not able to be there – here is a list of the eight best things I heard at the conference.

  1. Help! I am a leader trapped in a woman’s body.
  2. Nobody ever calls little boys bossy.
  3. We need to learn to wait well.  (Note from Gena: Nancy O. quoted from one of my all time favorite authors, Sue Monk Kidd, and her book, When the Heart Waits.  See, I knew I loved Nancy Ortberg!)
  4. John Ortberg Re: Women serving in the church: “It is not an option for 50% of God’s kingdom to be sitting on the sidelines.”
  5. Leaders need to be the most self-aware people in the room.
  6. We want to keep making mistakes, just different ones.
  7. Almost every issue is a team issue.
  8. You don’t get the right answers unless you ask the right questions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

24 Years & Mish Mash Monday on Tuesday

Well, 24 years ago today, I found myself in the middle of a beautiful meadow in Yosemite with Dave kneeling before me asking me to marry him!  I'm sure you can figure out that I said, "Yes!"  (I don't regret it, either!)

So, today Dave brought me flowers and a card.  (Aaaawwwww.......)  So sweet.  I also did something for him today in the way of thanking him for taking such a big risk in asking me to be his wife 24 years ago!  The poor man had no idea what he was getting into!   :-)  They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so I baked a berry pie and bought vanilla ice cream to go with it.   Notice I said, "baked," not "made!"  The pie was actually made by the fabulous women of Mitchell Community Church who sell them to raise money for their missionaries.  I buy the pies by the dozen when they sell them; I kid you not!  They've got some great cooks out there at Mitchell, and a friend of mine who attends there always lets me know when the pie sale is coming up so that I can place my order.  Is that cheating?  Don't answer that; I don't want to know.  Our little system is working for me, and I don't want to mess that up!

I didn't get a chance to write Mish Mash Monday's post because I was too busy hanging out at Me N' Ed's Pizza last night for the big Servolution fund raiser they were doing for us.  I can't believe how busy it was!  You New Lifers really like your pizza!  Actually, you New Lifers really love to step in and help, and I had no doubt that we would pack the place out and we did.   In light of all Me N' Ed's is doing to help with Servolution, please make sure to stop by and support them and let them know how much we appreciate their help and generosity.  

We weren't at church on Sunday because we headed over to The Red House.  We were able to relax for a couple of days, but on Sunday, Dave would keep us updated on what was happening at New Life.  At 8:45, he told us, "They're in the middle of worship right now."  At 10:00 AM, he said, "Second service is just starting."  At 12:45, he reminded us that, "They should be wrapping up right about now."  Even when we're away to catch our breath and relax a little bit, his heart is right there with you all.  We always miss being at church, and it will be good to get back next week.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mish Mash Mondays

Let's see:
  • All four Easter services I attended were great!  Love, love, LOVE the song, "Oh, Happy Day," and by attending the four services in the sanctuary, I got to sing it eight times - at the beginning and end of each service!
  • Do you know how absolutely amazing our Children's Ministries Director (Miss Kourtney) and our Nursery Coordinator (Miss Janelle) are?  You cannot believe the number of kids they provided loving care for, not to mention the great Bible lesson and sweet take-away crafts. Kourtney and Janelle, you guys (gals!) are the BEST!
  • I read an article for pastors today asking if we had "Easter hangover," meaning the crash that comes after such a big Sunday.  I think any pastor would have to say a big, "YES!" to that one.
  • Yesterday, at my sister's house, we had to hide 250 eggs!  After a while, there were absolutely no more hiding places, so we just tossed the eggs around on the lawn and placed them on the sidewalks.  Quite a challenge for the kids!  :-)  Each of the ten kids were able to pick up 25 eggs filled with all assortment of candy and coins.  And then, the bartering began!  "I'll trade you one Sour Patch Kids for a Skittles."   "I'll give you a KitKat for a gummy LifeSavor."  I could definitely tell the kids are getting older; this is the first year I witnessed so much trading and bargaining over the candy.
  • I was able to have coffee with one group of friends and then brunch with another friend today.  I am blessed.
  • Dave and I went to Costco together to purchase the supplies for our Staff Appreciation BBQ tomorrow.  Each year, on the Tuesday after Easter, we plan something to let the staff and their families know how much we appreciate the extra hours and work that they put in for Easter services.   We'll have a great time together!
  • Met an old college friend this evening for a walk at the university campus.  We were able to catch up on quite a bit; I don't even want to tell you how many years ago it was that I was in college!  Ouch.
Well, that's it for this Monday evening.  I hope your Easter weekend was as wonderful as mine was. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection Day!

I have a hard time comprehending the sacrifice Jesus made for my sin, and there are no words to describe my gratefulness for it.  To think that the power that raised him from the dead is available to me today is amazing.  Happy, glorious Easter to all of us who long to follow after the risen Christ with our whole hearts.  

We will be spending Easter at my sister's house after the three morning services.  Dave will be wiped out, but the kids will have so much fun with all of their cousins.  I thought I had been given the easiest of items to bring to her house for our meal, but the dessert that I was to make really threw me for a loop.  This dessert has an initial layer that needs to be baked for exactly (as the recipe stipulates) 8 minutes at 400 degrees.  Easy, right?  Well, I put the dish in the oven, and then proceeded to set the timer for 20 minutes.  Why?  I guess it's because the one recipe that I make all the time, my grandma's Texas cake, needs to bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, so when I saw that recipe said 400 degrees, I went on auto-pilot and set the timer for 20 minutes, and as a result, the crust was charred!

No biggie, though; I would just make another one.  That would have worked well, but I was being so efficient, that after I put the second batch in the oven (and setting the timer for eight minutes), I looked at the next recipe I needed to start on and realized that I needed something from the store so I thought I'd just run to get the last few items I needed.  I didn't even think about the dessert crust I had just put in the oven!  So, I ran off to the store, picked up my few items, and then came back home to the smell of another burnt crust!  I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT!  That's what I get for trying to do a couple of things at the same time and not paying attention!

My kids  got their Easter baskets on Saturday morning.  It's a tradition we started long ago for our family.  "Why on earth would you give your kids their Easter baskets the day before Easter?" you might wonder.  Well, on Easter mornings, Dave is up and out of the house even earlier than usual (Easter being a big day in his line of work and all), so we aren't able to be together when the kids get up.  Long ago, we decided that the Easter bunny (oh, lighten up!) would come to our house on the Saturday before Easter so that we could have a fun morning together as a family.   It works great for us!

I appreciate all the extra work everyone (and I mean everyone!) put in to help make our Easter services flow so well and our campus look so great!  The fact that so many people love Jesus and are willing to do whatever it takes to point others to Him is a HUGE blessing!   I LOVE MY NEW LIFE FAMILY!   You guys are the best!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Mish Mash Mondays

The weeks just fly by, don't they? 

I love Monday mornings because I always get together with some friends for coffee after we drop our kids off at school and talk about all sorts of things.  It's a great way to start the week, and it's great to have those few minutes to connect, because, Lord knows, our week will only get crazier from there!  Our youngest children were all off-track last month so we didn't meet, but I was blessed enough to meet with four other gals at my house.  Good times.

Tonight was our staff wives' get-together; always a good time!  We met at Mundo's and enjoyed a lovely dinner out on the patio; the weather was gorgeous! We then came back to my house to continue our visit and shared some great laughs.  I love those women!

Yesterday, Dave spoke about two processions of people ("Walking Towards Life" from Luke, chapter 7) - one group was a funeral procession with a dead body, grief, and hopelessness, and another group heading towards them with eager anticipation of what would happen next because Jesus was leading the way.  Jesus brought the boy back to life!  Dave then said something I had never considered before; Jesus never conducted a funeral (that we have record of in scripture); he just eliminated the need for one.  Good insight for me to consider.  Point being, Jesus is calling us to come to life!    He is walking towards us, ready to bring us to life if we will get close to him, listen to him, and believe in him.  You can listen to Dave's message HERE.

The band played the "Dirty" Servolution theme song; great job! Servolution is just 32 days away!  Have you signed up yet?   Also, if you know of a project to recommend, you can fill out a "Job Request Form" to let us know.  Remember, we want to do projects that actually meet a real need for someone in our community.  Get your neighbors, friends, and family involved.  This event is being organized by New Life, but everyone, everywhere is encouraged to sign up whether they attend here or not.  Many people are just looking for an opportunity to make a difference, and we are providing an easy avenue for them to step out to serve.  There are so many great needs in Turlock and the surrounding communities that all are needed and welcome to participate.

Okay, I think that's it for this Mish Mash Monday.  It's just a little sampling of some of the things rumbling about in this head of mine!  :-)  Have a great week!