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NOVEMBER 2004
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From the Editor -
Diane Exner
A Woman's World
Featured Article
Practically Speaking
By Diane Exner

Over the years I’ve discovered God can relate to me in these very practical ways. When He wants to teach me something about Himself or His character, He very often uses things in my every day life. Things like movies, sports, people, and even food. Actually, many times when He is teaching me about a deeper relationship with Him, he often uses my stepsons or my husband to bring His point home.

I think it is safe to say, that most women are practical thinkers. Give us a problem or a challenge, and we will generally think of a practical solution that we can use time and again. I’m very much a person like that, who wants to solve a problem once by the most efficient and relevant way possible, so that I don’t have to re-invent the wheel each time I do a similar project. I believe this is the way God designed many women, and in turn teaches us many things in practical ways through every day living.

One favorite thing my husband, Jay, and I do to relax some evenings, is watch a movie together with a big bowl of popcorn. Once the popcorn is gone we snuggle on the couch for the remainder of the movie. I enjoy feeling his safe, loving arms around me and he gets to enjoy watching TV.

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What? Moving Again?
By Donna Haug

Oh, the chaos of moving day! Having faced at least 12 major moves in the past 15 years, I can tell you that there is no other day quite so overwhelming physically and emotionally, particularly if the move is to another city or country. It can feel like you’re being pulled up ruthlessly by your roots, which is not necessarily always a pleasant experience. You would think that after moving as often as I have, I would be quite the professional at it by now. I wish I were!

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Lord, I’m in a Frump!
By Darlene Hight

Are you feeling a little frumpy today? When your husband looks at you will he see the woman that sets his heart racing or ‘Hagar the Horrible’?

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INSPIRATIONAL INSIGHTS

Today I’d like to encourage and inspire you to search for new ways to see God in your life. The title of this new section, Inspirational Insights, has come from my many long-distance conversations with my sister-in-law, Melissa. Generally within the first five minutes of our conversation we’ve cut through the ‘fluff stuff’ (the idle chit-chat) and get into the meat of what God is doing in and through our lives. Each week we discover a new illustration God has used to teach us some Biblical Truth or Godly Characteristic.

This month I’m sharing with you how God used popcorn to remind me to encourage others. My challenge to you is to look for God in everyday ways. Is He in your kitchen, moving van, conversation with a child? Reflect on these things and ask God to show you where He was in that instance. Does He want to teach you something about His character or just be allowed to hang out with you?

If you have been given a new insight or illustration of God’s character today, why not let us know about it through the Letters page? I’d love to hear from you.

MomsPopcorn Encouragement
By Diane Exner

"But encourage one another daily as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

While thinking about Hebrews 3:13 and letting it inhabit my mind and heart, I prayed that God would make it real to me in a way that I could understand and remember it. As He so often does, He spoke to my Spirit in a very practical way – this time using the visual illustration of popcorn.

Many kernels are called into service at the same time and only the predestined ones rise to the top of the crop to become transformed. The kernels are heated to the point of explosion and emerge with a new, white wardrobe from the pressures that surround them. The heat from the (popcorn) maker can cause the kernel to blossom and serve its purpose, or the kernel can become hardened, totally useless and not serve it predestined purpose.

People's hearts can become like that kernel. They can choose to be alone and self-centered. Instead of allowing the heat and pressures of this world to build their character and rise to the top to serve their purpose, they become crusty and hardened or grumpy. They dry and shrivel up on a shelf or corner somewhere, and eventually get thrown outside into the darkness.

Each one of us can be considered a kernel of popcorn. God has predestined us to be washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, refined by his fire and clothed in white robes of righteousness. Daily we have a choice to walk with Him, to encourage fellow Christians and to become what God has created us to be. Our other choice is to let sin's deceitfulness, or lies, harden our hearts and become unusable by God in His service and other's lives.

Ponder ... How is God calling you into service today, this week, this year?

Pray … Ask God to help you serve Him and others as you have been designed to do.

Praise … Praise the Lord for gifting you for a special task, unique to you.

Participation … Pray and meditate on Hebrews 3:13 and see who you can encourage today.

Plan … Plan to make encouraging, helping and serving others, a part of each day.

According to Hebrews 3:13, a hardened heart is sin. To guard ourselves from this type of sin, we should encourage one another daily to become uniquely designed pieces of "popcorn" in the big bowl of life. Then the day will come when the Maker will drizzle His rewards upon us, like sweet, savory butter and say, "Hmmmm, hmmmm! Well done my good and faithful servant." Are you hungry for what God has in store for your life?