A Life Worth Living by Nancy Buxton

Posts tagged ‘women’

Women’s Ministries Idea

Good Morning!  Here is a fun little story about Women’s Ministries!  I love Mona’s idea and hope it give you some ideas too.

Last year we did Pancake Prayer Breakfast where the men cooked for us.  We had about 40 women there and since it was the 1st event that we had ever really done as a women’s ministry thing, we felt it was very successful.  The down side was, I spent  too much money.  lol 

After Mary and I attended the training conference at Glacier View, Mary wanted to have a “Tea.”  I knew a lady from England who had a little restaurant for “Tea’s” here in Black Hawk, CO (until she lost her visa) and so I had that experience but that was it.  I’m not sure where I got the idea for an “Irish Tea” but I decided that was what we would do, without any knowledge what so ever.   I got on the Internet and started my research and found so many cute little things and recipes that the idea came to me about making a little book with the recipes and information about “Teas” in it to give away at the Tea for a gift.  So, that was how that came about.  Then I decided we had to make the food items out of the book so people could taste different things.  So I thumbed through it and picked out some recipes (should have looked at them more closely though) to hand out for people to make.  2 weeks before the Tea we had a meeting and I handed out the recipes.  I found out only 2 people in our group could make yeast bread –  myself and a lady from Germany- ot oh. 

My Dad, who is a story in himself, donated all the beautiful glassware we used for the tables to decorate.  We had women bring cloth tablecloths and Mary set the tables up each one separately since none of the table cloths would match.  Friday before the Tea we went and bought fresh flowers and Mary wanted another small gift for each lady.  We looked and looked and couldn’t find anything that was affordable and would work, finally we settled on a Christmas ornament in the shape of a present. 

Several days before the Tea the devil attacked several of our women with illness, one had Bronchitis, another had pneumonia, another had Shingles.  Another had a family emergency which took 2 of our women out.  One of our women’s ministry leaders had a trip planned that was canceled twice before the Tea so she ended up having to travel away over the Tea and couldn’t be there.  Several ladies who were going to make dishes couldn’t, so we had to scramble and find someone to make them or I had to make them.  …. Sabbath, Mary and I had to go in a back room and pray since I was feeling oppressed by the enemy, yet, in my heart I knew the Tea would be wonderful.

Mary stained some wood boxes and lined them with felt and we put tea inside and gave them away as door prizes and we gave 1 2010 Devotional away.  I would have liked to have given more of them but at $20 we couldn’t afford more than 1. 

DeeAnn had a message about an Irish Washer Woman that fit in perfectly with the Irish Tea theme.  We had 55 women there and I haven’t really counted the list yet, but I’m guessing probably 25 were not from our church.  One lady came up to me afterwards and said, “Do I have to be a member of your church to be a part of your women’s ministries?”  Of course I told her she didn’t.

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A Birthday to Remember

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What a Party!

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The Hostesses

Last evening we celebrated.  It was a birthday celebration for my friend, she is turning 80.  She doesn’t seem to mind the fact that we all know her age and why should she?  She has aged well.

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Three Handsome Waiters!Do you love surprises? I do. I am rarely surprised but this was a surprise. Our waiters were inexperienced but they were fun and willing to do whatever the hostess asked of them.The food was lovely! We started the meal with three little soups in small cups. With lovely garnishes. We had potato, cream of asparagus and cantaloupe soup. All yummy. You cangetting ready to serve the first coursesee how lovely the presentation was.There were 14 of us and we had fun telling stories about our guest of honor. We laughed and enjoyed being together. That's how women are, we love a reason for a party. We thrive on each other's company. We need to get together for the sake of our well-being.The salads came next. We had lentil salad, green salad in wonton wrappers and tomato salad. Great Salads

I know what you are thinking!  You are thinking about my diet aren’t you?  Well, your right, this was not on my plan.  Here’s what I decided. I am eating everything!  That was simple, don’t you think?
There were 14 of us and we had fun telling stories about our friendship with our guest of honor.
 
Each person received a lovely box of sweets as our gift.  It  has had two different kinds of cookies, a piece of fudge and a caramel.  I ate it all that night.  Well, I thought if I am going to eat this I better do it all in one day and get back “on the wagon” the very next day.  I ate dessert and all.  There you have it.
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Great Salads

 
Okay, next came the entrée!  The best Butternut Squash I have ever eaten drizzled with a reduced balsamic vinegar  with baked tofu in the center,  fingerling potatoes with caramelized onions.
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don't let looks deceive you

My man has no clue as to what drizzle means, so you can see his thoughts were– more is better.  This food was soooooooooo good.
 
Isn’t it always fun to have someone cook a meal and invite you over?  I love eating someone else’s cooking.  It always seems so much better than mine.
 
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Happy Birthday My Friend!

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Dessert was a lovely cake, including ice cream and sorbet.
 
Why am I telling you this?  First of all I don’t know a woman who doesn’t like to hear about a successful party.  We love pretty things, good food and good company.  But that’s not the reason. 
 
I am thinking about the start and finishing of a live.  Not that at 80 my friend is finished.  It’s just that life is winding down for her.  Well, isn’t it for all of us?
 
I ask you and I ask my self how are you finishing, are you finishing well?  Have you become less critical, more accepting?  Have you tamed the gossip tiger who  lives within you?  Do you enjoy giving more than you enjoy receiving?  Do you complement your family, your spouse, your daughter in law, your children, your son in law,  your friend?  Have you put the jealous lion out of your life?  Can you celebrate others success, new car, new dress or new house?
 
Mark 12:30-31 reads: “Love the Lord your God with all your  heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
 
It’s a lot to think about but I want to finish well, don’t you?
PS–For me computers have a mind of their own and I know this post is a mess.  I can’t fix anything that is in the box under the picture so just go with it and know I continue to do this right.  I’m just not always successful.
 
 

Just Think What a Difference We Can Make!

I asked my friend Celeste Lee to write an article for the White Picket Fence.  Celeste is in Africa and I doubt there are any picket fences where she is but she is making a difference to the Maasai women and we can make a difference too.

 

An African proverb states, “When you educate a boy, you educate an individual. When you educate a girl, you educate a community.” I see this play out so often in my work with Maasai Development Project, even though it still amazes me that I’m here in Africa on this crazy journey. As the children, with their glowing brown faces, eyes dancing with merriment and lips smiling brightly, greet us upon our arrival at the Kajiado Rescue Centre in Maasailand, I wonder, how did I get here? How did I get to Africa? It is so far from Nebraska. God’s leading still amazes me.

My journey actually begins with a curious dentist’s wife in Nairobi. Jan Meharry, was fascinated by the Maasai people and wanted to learn more about them. She began visiting a small group of Maasai in their huts near Maxwell Adventist Academy. The language barrier did not stop her from sitting with the women and holding their children—a bond exists between women even when language is not shared. Eventually she found a translator and the silent bond grew into lasting friendship. When Maasailand was struck with a drought and Jan’s new friends had no water, she loaded her vehicle with containers of water and shared with them. When their children needed a ride to the doctor, she took them. When she learned of the ladies desire to read, she taught adult literacy classes with the help of a translator. Six of the ladies were baptized after Jan shared her love for Jesus. But, as her own children grew and began to attend school in the US, Jan and her husband returned also. Yet her heart remained in Maasailand.

One weekend my husband, Ron, and I went to the Black Hills Health and Education Center. We were disappointed to discover no other couples our age in attendance. On Sabbath morning, Ron said, “Look, there is a couple our age.” I did not want to say hi or engage with them. Meanwhile, Marlin told Jan, “Look there is a couple our age.” She did not want to interact either. Thankfully both husbands ignored us and the adventure began! Jan told me in the course of our first conversation that she would like to return to Kenya. She was interested in seeing two lay pastors at a church built in Maasailand that she and Marlin were sponsoring. I had been corresponding with someone who wanted me to come to Kenya. You can guess the “rest of the story.” I was traveling halfway around the world, not with Jan but by myself. My flight had been canceled due to fog, so she had to go on without me. (That is whole other story for another time!)

Once in Kenya, I realized the vision Jan shared with me would only be possible through a non-profit organization. In 1998, Maasai Development Project (MDP) was born. I’ve often thought it would be nice to know the future, but if I’d known then the paths God would lead us on, I am not sure I would have begun the journey. It still amazes me that while Jan lives in North Dakota and I live in Nebraska, we operate an organization which covers large areas of Maasailand in Kenya, Africa!

God has opened doors so that MDP now has 40 lay workers, some pastors and some adult literacy teachers, changing lives. MDP sponsors over 70 children, mostly “at- risk” girls in school at both the primary and secondary levels. Their stories are incredible. One young girl was married at nine years old and now, through MDP sponsorship, is able to attend school. Some are orphans, others have extended male family members who want to receive dowry for them, and most have experienced things inconceivable to me. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined the things God has done through our willingness.

I understand that ADRA and the General Conference Women’s Ministry Department are partnering for a campaign, “End It Now”, which will address abuse, female genital mutilation, poverty and lack of education for women and girls. As that old African proverb says, we can change the course of history by educating girls and empowering women. Maasai Development Project has been doing this for over 10 years. We’ve seen so many lives changed firsthand and know that the ripple effect continues to spread positive change to even more people.

If you would like to read stories, see pictures and perhaps sponsor a child or lay worker, please visit our website at http://www.4mdp.org. I am leaving October 14 for Maasailand and will be posting on MDP’s blog on the website. Please pray for us as we continue to follow God’s calling in Maasailand.

A Woman Called. . . .

Friends

Friends

Well I can’t tell you her real name, she may not like it, let’s call her Lou.  Lou is one of my best friends.  She is witty, funny, crazy, absent minded, very bright, struggles with her weight, loves Jesus, silly, kind, not always dependable (she wants to be), as you can see the list could go on and on.

Lou lives far away from me now, and we don’t talk often.  Our talking goes in spurts depending on what’s  happening in our lives.  The interesting thing is, we seem to be able to start right in where we left off.  Even when we haven’t  seen each other for 2-3 years we have no trouble talking, there’s no awkward moments between us.

One time Lou was visiting me and we were planting tulips, her hair kept getting in her eyes and suddenly she whipped out the duct tape and slapped some on the top of her head to keep that hair in place.  I was rolling on the ground with laughter. What a sight, one grown woman with duct tape around her face and the other rolling on the ground laughing so loud the neighbors were looking. We had just moved in to our new house, the neighbors still look at me with a questioning look.

Lou can make me laugh like know one else, you know the kind of laugh I am talking about, she actually snorts when she laughs–a very becoming trait.  When we  would get one of our laughing fits our kids would say, “there they go again,” and it was true we just couldn’t stop.

Here’s the scoop:  UCLA did a study on friendship among women, I find this study very interesting.

Friendships between women are special, they shape who we are and who we are yet to be.  They soothe our inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are.  Actually they do even more.

Scientists think that hanging out with our friends can counteract the big stress most of us experience from time to time.  The UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. The chemical is called oxytocin and it is released as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the “fight or flight” response and encourages women to tend children and gather with other women instead of fighting or giving up.  When a woman engages in tending or befriending more exytocin is released which helps with the stress. This calming does not occur in men, here’s why, when men are stressed they produce testosterone in high levels and testosterone reduces the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen seems to enhance oxytocin.

This little theory may explain why women outlive men.  Many studies have shown how important friendships are, it reduces the risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol.  One study found that people who had no friends increased their risk of death over a 6 month period and those who had the most friends over a 9 year period cut their risk of death by more than 60%. I don’t know how they figure this stuff out but I like the percentage

The Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends a woman has the less likely they are to develop physical problems as they age and the happier they are.  GET THIS. . .not having friends can be as bad for your health as smoking or carrying extra weight!

Sooooooooooooooooo my friends, make friends, keep friends and treasure your friends, they are adding years to your life, and they help make you healthier and happier.

As for my friend Lou, I called her early this morning to say that she left an odd message on face book, it just said “hello” and it was posted at 6:34 a.m.  After she got out of her sleeping fog, she informed me it was a virus and she would call me right back.  That was three hours ago and no call. . .that’s the way she is and I love her.

Have You Registered Yet?

September 25, 26, 27,  you will want to be in Dallas, Texas.  You may be wondering why would you want to be in Texas–and I am fixin’ to tell you. (a little Texas talk)

The North American Division Women’s Ministries is having a convention, FREE INDEED.  This will be a Spiritual weekend, with dynamic speakers and break away sessions.  You won’t want to miss it.

An outreach is planned called, God in Shoes, if you register for this event you need to be at a training session on Thursday evening, September 24.  God in Shoes is a fun, fulfilling outreach idea and is something you may want to use in your conference or church.

Go to nadwm.org and click on Free Indeed and you may read all about it.  The early bird discount has been extended to July 1. 

Ya’all Come, Ya’hear!!  Did I say that right??

The Ministries of Women

There! Try that title on for size, The Ministries of Women.  I decided if I put Women’s Ministries you may not be interested in reading this post.  You probably don’t just love women’s ministries like I do or perhaps you do.

Do you know that women make up at least 70% of the Seventh Day Adventist Church?  Yikes, we are  becoming  a majority.  Not only that, WE control many of  “the purse strings”, so THEY say. Interesting don’t you think?

Women’s Ministries is really not about the purse strings, the majority or even about ordination.  Women’s ministries is about unselfishly ministering to others.  Ministering to the single mother, children and women in the church and in the community. 

You may be thinking how can we minister, what can we do?  Start with providing  SOMETHING for women.  It can be a small group Bible study, a party with a purpose, like Women in Touch, a book club, a mom’s support group, the list is endless.  The important thing it to do something for women.

I hope you have women’s ministries in your church, if you don’t you are missing out.  If you would like to get something started I would love to help you.  Just leave a comment on this blog and I will contact you.  If you don’t want to tackle something like Women In Touch, perhaps a new mom’s ministry or burden bears would be something you would like.  We have so many resources available to help you get a ministry started in your church.

The truth is, when you are ministering to someone else you are actually ministering to your self and to Jesus most of all.  You will enjoy doing ministry for others whether it is a party with a purpose or taking a gift to a new mom and inviting her to bring her baby to Sabbath School.  We were created for a purpose and I believe serving others is one of our purposes on this earth.

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