She Leads… From Behind

By Major Noelle Nelson
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary – Golden State Division

When I think of a leader, I picture a confident and commanding presence. A bold individual who rallies a team toward unity and victory. Someone who instills a sense of strength and calm amongst the troops. A highly organized ‘someone’ who is not afraid to be up in the front. What I do not envision is someone who works behind the scenes, say, struggling to pull off a stage play while simultaneously stapling ripped costumes back together (because who has time to stitch??), tossing random snacks to the kids, and frantically attempting to find an electrician who can repair the stage lights RIGHT NOW! I envision that person and think, “Nope, that is NOT a leader. That is a chicken with her head cut off.” That last example may be a bit extreme, but you get the idea. I think we probably all have pretty much the same general thoughts on what we believe makes a good leader, and what does not.

My fondest childhood memories are of summers spent camping and hiking through Yosemite National Park and Tuolumne Meadows. Each year my sister and I couldn’t wait to get back to trail-hiking at our favorite spots with Ranger Laura Lemons. Who was Ranger Laura Lemons? I dare say she was the best hiking guide this side of the country! At least my sister and I were convinced of this. At the appointed time each afternoon my parents dropped us off and handed us over into the capable hands of Ranger Laura Lemons. Ranger Laura would gather all the children together and have us sit on the ground. After a brief introduction she would quiz us on what she taught us the previous day: What birds live here during the summer? What plant life is alive and well? What are the sparkly rocks called? (My sister and I always scored 100%.) Then we would all follow in a straight line behind Ranger Laura as she led us on the most glorious trail hikes. Up the side of the mountain, down through the meadow, and across the tiny brook we would go, soaking up the beauty of nature and all the amazing details Ranger Laura shared with us. And, no matter how complicated the trail, we never, ever got lost. Ranger Laura Lemons was a superb leader. We would return to our parents with tales to tell of our fabulous day, and singing the praises of Ranger Laura Lemons.

About 30 years later, on a family camping trip with our parents to the same location, my sister and I had high hopes of reminiscing and showing our own children the very spot where those magical hikes took place. As we approached a ragged little clearing under a scraggy tree my mom announced, “Well girls, this is it!” My dad added, “And it hasn’t changed a bit!” WHAT!?!? Where were the rolling, golden meadows of mountain grass? The long, carved-out trails?? The bubbling brook??? This did not match my memory! I told my parents they must be wrong. They laughed, declaring my young mind must have just ‘saw’ it that way.

Fortunately, my memories of Ranger Laura Lemons held true. Mom and Dad both agreed that Ranger Laura was incredible. The masterful way she held the attention of the kids was a beauty to behold. She truly loved nature and loved to share her knowledge with children. I asked, “So what did she do after taking all of us on those long hikes?” I imagined she probably worked in the main Rangers’ Station and lead strenuous hikes through the mountains. Nope. As it turns out, our fearless ‘leader’ was nothing more than a part-time Junior-Ranger-in-training. Every day she would take little kids (five or six of us, not 25) on short 15-minute (not all day) ‘walks’ (not long hikes) within a cordoned off (not wild and free) area. And that’s all she did, for a few hours each day, for her job. She wasn’t even a ‘full’ Ranger! Wow. This was not the amazing ‘leader’ I remembered. I shared my shock and disappointment with my folks. My mom wisely replied, “That didn’t make Ranger Laura any less of a leader. You girls had wonderful adventures with her! And kids can be very difficult to lead.” I couldn’t argue that.

It gave me something to really think about. Perhaps a leader doesn’t need to be on the front-lines to make a difference. The truth is that there are some great leaders who are behind the scenes. Being up front where we can be seen may feel more glorious, but it’s not the end-all in leadership. Think of the people who have influenced or impacted your life in positive ways. Fair to say many of them were just everyday people who influenced you and impacted your life because they loved you, believed in you, and inspired you to be your best. They saw you how Jesus sees you. These regular folks sound less like ‘leaders’ and more like servants, right? Jesus showed throughout his own life that leaders come in all shapes and sizes, with varying abilities and levels of importance. But the ones who made the biggest difference weren’t constantly focused on being in the ‘big chair.’ The true, life-changing leaders were passionate about others seeing their value and worth in God’s Kingdom. Even if it meant doing it from behind the scenes in a less-than-impressive venue.

We read in Matthew 20:26 & 28, “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant… For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

There’s no shame in leading from the front. But if that’s not where you’re at, think on this: Christ did a lot of life-changing things from humble places. What an honor it is to realize that you, too, can influence and impact lives, even ‘from behind.’ And from that viewpoint, leading ‘from behind’ can hold some pretty fantastic possibilities.

May 2022 Devotional: My ‘More’ List

By Major Noelle Nelson
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary – Golden State Division

Sometimes ‘more’ just feels right! I know we’re instructed from our earliest years that wanting more of something is a bit selfish. I suppose that could be true. More cool shoes, more fun toys, more food on our plate, more delicious pie… But seriously, what’s the problem with wanting more cool socks to go with the cool shoes? Is it wrong to want more new books to read when I’ve already got a bookshelf stuffed with ‘still to be read’ books? And is it a crime to want more flowers delivered directly to my office desk? at lunchtime? when everyone passing by can ‘oooo’ and ‘aaahhh’ at their beauty?

I guess one could get a bit carried away with wanting ‘more.’ Because wanting more always leads to wanting… more. Where does it stop? When do we reach the resting place of, “Ahhh! I am at peace because I now have enough!” The answer is pretty obvious, or at least it should be: It will never, ever happen. And yet we sometimes get to thinking it will. We are given a terse reminder in Matthew 6:19, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”

I can relate. I once had the opportunity to buy a beautiful, soft, woolly sweater in Scotland. It came with a card explaining the care and keeping of such a fine garment. In addition to being hand-washed in cold water with a special fiber-preserving cleanser (sold separately), the sweater was to be stored with mothballs as it was a particular variety of wool that moths were prone to eat quickly. Have you smelled mothballs?? And my sweater would smell like THAT!? That was way too much hassle (and bad smell) to keep the moths at bay.

I can also relate to thieves breaking in and stealing. One Sunday we came home from the Corps to find our house broken into and ransacked. It was such a mess, it was difficult to figure out what was actually missing. The few things we did have of any value had all been taken. And things of sentimental value, like the beautiful little cedar chest on my dresser, had been smashed. “…where thieves break in and steal” became a hard truth for me. I still don’t like to have valuable things in my home, just in case.

More, more, more. Is this ‘more’ inherently destructive? Is it ever okay to want ‘more’? To have ‘more’? To be ‘more’? Believe it or not, where Christ is concerned, it is absolutely okay! “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less” (John 3:30). When we want MORE of Jesus and continue to put Him first, our priorities and desires shift. As we seek MORE of Him, He fills our lives with more good things than we could ever imagine or hope for! It is exciting to me that God wants us to HAVE MORE! But it’s not the same ‘more’ that the world says we need. When we allow God to shift our desires from ‘stuff’ to the ‘treasures’ that earth cannot take away, we will be filled to the top with wonder, amazement and gratitude! What we get is MORE love, power, peace, joy, and forgiveness than we can comprehend. And that is something we definitely could use MORE of. God wants us to enjoy the fullness of life while we’re here on earth. Instead of filling it with more ‘stuff,’ what God-honoring activities and things could you incorporate more of into your day? Create a list (you can call it your ‘More List’) of what you really need more of. Let’s change the focus of what our ‘more’ is, to what brings glory to Him!

Here’s a little list of ‘good things’ you can aim to get more of:

  • Get MORE sleep (can I get an amen?)
  • Drink MORE water
  • Get MORE exercise
  • Read MORE
  • Get MORE organized
  • Explore MORE
  • Relax MORE
  • Have MORE patience
  • MORE of Jesus, less of ME!

May 2022 Bible Study: Tame That Spark! (It only takes a little one!)

By Major Noelle Nelson
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary – Golden State Division

By any chance, do you have a sibling? Multiple siblings? All boys? All girls? A mix of both? Whether it’s one or many, siblings can be wonderful! Or not…

My sister (and only sibling) and I recently revealed to our Mom just how mean we were to each other as kids. This came as a surprise to her, since she’ll tell anyone that we were “such good girls!” That’s probably because our behavior consisted of:
⦁ No hitting
⦁ No throwing things at each other
⦁ No breaking each others’ belongings
⦁ No sabotaging of dates
⦁ No nasty pranks

Little wonder my Mom thought we were just wonderful! But here’s what we DID do, and it’s a short list:

⦁ Making intense facial expressions at each other when Mom’s back was turned
⦁ Using our words to hurt each other’s feelings… the deeper the better

We would say the most hurtful things to each other, sometimes whispered, sometimes in passing, occasionally in the bathroom while the other was in the shower. (Because you’ve got a captive audience when your target is trapped in the shower!) Through our teen years we continued to use our words to hurt each other, embarrass each other, criticize, and make each other feel low and sad. Thank God we were able to make amends, albeit not until our adult years, and become the best of friends, because our words almost destroyed us.

Read James 3:2-12

“We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way. We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brother and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Can you pick olives from a fig tree or figs from a grapevine? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty pool.”

At any given time of the year certain areas of the country tend to be at risk for forest fires. Maybe you can recall the infamous wildfire of 2020 in El Dorado, CA. It became known as the ‘Gender Reveal Fire’ because it was caused by a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device that was meant to explode with either blue or pink smoke. At this point, I’m not sure anyone even remembers what color the smoke was! What we do remember, however, is that tens of thousands of acres were burned, because of a single spark. That same spark that can create warmth and light can also blaze out of control and destroy acres, homes, and even claim lives.

Question: How does the Bible describe the tongue in James 3:6a?
(The tongue is a flame of fire)

Yes, the same tongue that can bring words like a soothing balm, can also lash out with words that could destroy another person. Our words hold a lot of weight! What we choose to say says a lot about us as a person. What comes out of our mouths has the power to heal or destroy. That’s pretty heavy. It’s not all bad news, though! We have a choice, and a way to make it happen!

  1. First, Make good choices about what you fill your time with.

Read Luke 6:45

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart… for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

Question: What are your favorite hobbies? Do you have a favorite movie or book?

What we spend our time thinking about, reading, watching, the activities we participate in… that’s what we are filling our minds with. All these things that we place into our minds will eventually take root in our hearts, and then manifest either through our words or actions. So, go ahead and read the books, watch the movies, chat with your friends! But always ask, would Jesus be doing this, too? Determine that you will not fill your mind and heart with things God would not be pleased with, because this WILL affect the words that come out of your mouth.

Philippians 4:8 tells us, “I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse.” (The Message)

  1. Second, work hard at controlling what you say!

Once we have filled our minds and hearts with good things, we still need to work at controlling what we say. We are human. We will always have days of feeling grouchy, irritated, or mad. But these are never good reasons to let our words recklessly fly out.

Question: Do you find it easy or difficult to control what you say? When do you find it most difficult to ‘tame your tongue’? When do you find it easiest?

Read Proverbs 16:24

“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

My Dad is a life-long member of Rotary International. The Rotarians have something called “The Four-Way Test of Rotary International.” The test says:
Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Question: How do you feel about these four questions? What would it feel like to have a person think these through before speaking to you (especially when they’re irritated or cranky!)? How would others feel if you did the same? Would your relationships be a bit, somewhat, or a lot better if you did?

If our words don’t match up to ALL FOUR of these, then we should probably re-think the words we speak! Perhaps make it a special goal this week to speak to your family in the same way you would speak to your friends: with love and grace. (We did say that we need to work hard at controlling what we say! Yes, that means sometimes it is hard!)

  1. Finally, allow God to transform you into a new person.

James 3:12 says, “Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Can you pick olives from a fig tree or figs from a grapevine? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty pool.” In other words, you can’t live one way but expect the results to be different. Wouldn’t it be great if people always flocked to you for your words of kindness and encouragement, rather than being one whose words are too frequently salty or bitter? It’s a huge task to transform our way of thinking and speaking! (Again, we did say that we need to work hard at controlling what we say!) But, with God’s help, it can be done.

Read Romans 12:2

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Question: What customs and behaviors of the world do you need to walk away from? How will the people around you know that you have been transformed?

Let God take control and do the hard work! He is there to help you to make good choices about what you fill your time with, help you be successful in controlling what you say, and give you the courage to let Him transform you! Let’s not let our tongues spew hot sparks that can cause disastrous emotional wildfires. Let’s use our tongues to produce words that bring warmth and light, bringing others closer to the Lord.

Prayer time: God, open my eyes to the specific ways I need to change the way I think and speak. I want to be a flame of warmth and hope, not a dangerous spark that can cause harm. Teach me to fix my thoughts on what is true and honorable and right; things that are pure and lovely and admirable; things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Make me more like You. Amen.

Suggested prayer choruses:
⦁ Change My Heart, Oh God
⦁ Spirit of the Living God

Download a printable version of this Bible Study:

May 2022 Craft: Scavenger Hunt Masterpieces

By Major Noelle Nelson
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary – Golden State Division

Note: This is a group activity with craft and Biblical application.

This activity works well for one group, several smaller groups (like at a retreat), or even for a Zoom event! In this case, at a regional Women’s Ministries Mini-Retreat held on Zoom, each Corps group created their own ‘masterpiece’ and shared the final project for everyone to see. The ‘crafting’ element can be especially appreciated by ladies who may not be into traditional crafts.

Basic idea:
First, the ladies scurry to find the items on a list. Then they work together to create a ‘Masterpiece’ sculpture with the found items! (but they don’t know that part yet…)

⦁ String and/or tape (to hold things together if needed)
⦁ A list of random items
⦁ Camera to photograph the ‘Masterpieces’ (phone camera is perfect)

Scavenger Hunt:
The ladies will work in teams. Create a list of random, but not hard to find, items for the ladies to find. Ten to fifteen items is good, but you can do more depending on the energy/motivation level of your ladies. You will be reading this list to them, one item at a time.

Sample list:

  1. A pen
  2. Something brown
  3. A mint or piece of gum
  4. A bobby pin
  5. Something green
  6. A book
  7. Something from nature
  8. Lipstick or lip balm
  9. A food item
  10. A napkin or tissue
  11. A stamp
  12. Something made of fabric
  13. Something red
  14. A rubber band
  15. Nail clippers

Note: Each group only needs to find ONE item from each category (example: a group of 5 ladies only needs to find one nail clipper, not 5 individual nail clippers)

Read one item at a time, giving the ladies time to scurry about looking for the item. Once each group has the item, move on to the next item. The same item cannot be used more than once. For example, a tree branch (something from nature) cannot also be the ‘thing’ that is green. They must find something else that is green.

Once all items have been found, announce to the ladies that they will now use these items, and ONLY these items (plus the string or tape if needed), to create a one-of-a-kind Masterpiece! Three to five minutes should be enough time for the ladies to work together to create a fabulous, or fabulously silly!, work of art. An extra ‘touch’ would be to challenge the ladies to name their masterpiece creations, like in a museum. If working with only one group, the ladies can make suggestions for a title and vote on it!
Make sure each group photographs their Masterpieces. Perhaps you can print them for a ‘Museum of Masterpieces’ display to hang on the wall in inexpensive frames. Tack on a little sign with the chosen name(s) of said Masterpiece(s), and you’ve got a winner for all to admire and enjoy!

Biblical Application:

There are days when we feel completely put together. We look good, we feel good, and we have confidence enough to conquer the world! But then there are the days when we feel like a hot mess. Your hair is not cooperating. It’s 10 pm and your child has informed you that the popsicle-stick-art project is due… at 8 am tomorrow morning. Somehow a red towel made it into the laundry, and your husband’s white undershirts are now a vibrant pink. Not much is going right, life is hectic, and, frankly, you feel like you’re made up from bunch of random stuff just thrown together. But, just as we took random stuff and created a fun masterpiece, God takes the seeming randomness of our lives and turns it into something of great value. On the days when we feel the most worthless, like the contents of the ‘junk drawer,’ God does not throw us out! He redeems every part of our lives to create a beautiful masterpiece.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10

Right now, the Holy Spirit is at work in your life. He is forming you, molding you, and shaping you as you bring the love of Jesus into the world. Take heart, ladies. For you, my friend, are a MASTERPIECE.

Chorus suggestions:
⦁ Change My Heart, Oh God
⦁ Spirit of the Living God

Attached are some samples of completed Scavenger Hunt Masterpieces.

Download printable instructions for this craft activity:

May 2022 Inspire Newsletter

“April Showers brings May Flowers,” so the saying goes. In this edition of the newsletter, we celebrate the hope that spring brings. Our monthly Bible trivia questions focus on flowers in the Bible, and the devotional and craft ideas are focused on the butterfly, a beautiful symbol of the hope of transformation we have in Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Need previous issues of the INSPIRE Newsletter?  They can be found at the following links: April 2022, March 2022, February 2022, January 2022December 2021, November 2021October 2021September 2021August 2021July 2021June 2021May 2021, April 2021March 2021February 2021, January 2021 December 2020November 2020October 2020September 2020August 2020July 2020June 2020May 2020April 2020March 2020February 2020January 2020December 2019November 2019October 2019October 2018-September 2019

April 2022 Devotional: Strength and Hope

By Major Cathy Quinn
Angoon, AK Corps – Alaska Division

The Sovereign LORD is my strength. HE makes me as sure footed as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:19

In February of 2020, I was out hiking with my dogs on a trail near our house. When I came to an especially narrow part of the trail my foot slipped and I reached out to catch a branch that turned out to not be attached to anything. Needless to say; I went tumbling halfway down a steep embankment. I heard a “pop” in my left ankle as I began my descent. When I finally came to a stop and gathered myself, I knew that my ankle was broken.

I was half of a mile from my vehicle, with no cell reception. Even if I had had cell reception to describe where I was and to get help getting out didn’t seem to me as being feasible. So, I said a prayer for strength, limped the rest of the way down the embankment to the beach and back to my vehicle.

Several months later, after surgery and a very frustrating time of recovery, I decided to face that trail again. By this time, my husband had cleared a trail through the woods that bypassed the narrow part where I had taken my trip. Honestly though, I was a little nervous the first time I walked that trail after my recovery.

Spiritually, we often trip walking on the narrow way and sometimes we reach out for support to things or people that are not able to support us. During these times, we need GOD’s strength and support to get us where we need to go.

We also need to allow GOD to make our paths straight and renew the hope within us. Just because we took a tumble doesn’t mean that we must stay by the wayside. With GOD we can and will walk the narrow way again and enjoy the journey.

She Leads… With Strength and Hope

By Captain Jan Pemberton
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary – Cascade Division

When thinking about leadership, many thoughts come to mind. When we are working for others, we want our leaders to be compassionate, understanding, and helpful. When we are the leaders, we want our people to see us as competent, strong and have all the answers. However, the reality of leadership lands in the middle, especially when it comes to Christian leadership.

When I was at The College For Officer Training (CFOT), one of our officers said the phrase “Love God and Love Others” often. They would then follow it up saying, “if you do these two simple things, then the rest fall into place.” I find this to be true in leadership. If we honestly love God with all our hearts and genuinely love others, as Christ loved, then the rest does fall into place. Caring about our fellow man does not show weakness; it shows the opposite – strength from God and not from ourselves.

I look back on my life when I was picked on and made fun of due to my family life and economic circumstances throughout my childhood and into my teen years. Because of this, I hardened my heart and held onto my hurt and anger in quite a silence; I saw this as a strength and prided myself on not showing my emotions and acting like things did not bother me. When in actuality, I was in great distress and hidden pain. As an adult, especially after rededicating my life to Christ, I found this was not a strength but a significant weakness.

Throughout various stages of my life, I have had many great women in leadership positions that spoke volumes into my personal life and spiritual life. Throughout my life, pre-dedication and post-dedication to Christ, I have had leaders in my life that spoke to me with their actions or words. One such lady was my Jr. High English Literature teacher, Brenda Eubank. She was a wonderful woman who taught a young, shy, and timid girl with low self-esteem and low confidence that she was worth something. Over the time I was in her class, she showed me that I could become a person of strength and could become more confident. She taught me so much not only with her words but in her actions. Mrs. Eubank asked me to be her Teachers’ Assistant during my study hall period during my Sophomore through Senior years of High School. These were moments she took not only to help her with recording grades or other errands for her, but she took these times to show me that I was worth more than I ever knew. The years she took me under her wing helped me grow and gave me strength and hope for the future.

When it came to my spiritual strength, I had a wonderful “Grandmother” figure in Mrs. Betty McCracken. She was my cousin’s grandmother but adopted my mother and me after the loss of my father. She showed me that there was strength and hope in Christ Jesus during the early years of my life. She shared Bible stories and guided and scolded me like all of her other grandchildren. For this, I am forever grateful. It was this foundation that she helps develop that stuck with me growing up and even to this very day.

Looking upon the past, I had leaders that spoke into my life in the secular world, my spiritual walk, and my ministry career. As I grow in my ministry career, when we humble ourselves and honestly give God our undivided attention and serve Him with humility, we will be strengthened and filled with the hope that can only come from God. My past helped shape me into the person I am today, but my future in Christ will guide me to be the leader He wants me to be.

When looking at leadership, we see those who lead with humility, with a servant’s heart, and give clear, heartfelt direction has more buy-in from the team than those who only direct. Neither is right or wrong, but we must look at our team to see how they respond to a particular leadership style. Being prepared to change our leadership styles for those around us shows that we are willing to adapt and lead.

Scriptures on Strength
“But I will sing of your strength; in the morning, I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 59:16
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Scriptures on Hope
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

April 2022 Bible Study: Hope & Strength

By Major Sabrina Tumey
Sitka, AK Corps – Alaska Division

Read 1 Kings 17:7-16

Have you ever felt that your hope was gone, and there was no strength left within you? This is an all too real experience for many folks day after day. God told the prophet Elijah to go to Zarephath. During a drought, he was to be provided for by a widow. Elijah knew it, and God did, too, but the widow Zarephath didn’t know it!

So…Elijah got to the city gate of Zarephath and saw a widow gathering sticks. He asked her for some water; she went to get him some, and he called out, “And please bring a piece of bread.”

This stopped her forward progress, and her words revealed her empty bucket of hope and lack of strength. She told him, “I don’t have any bread…just a bit of flour and a little oil…I was gathering sticks to make a small fire and prepare a last meal for me and my son…and then die.” She had almost nothing left. (She acknowledged that Elijah had a belief in the Lord his God, but she was defeated and done.) Ever been there?

[This might be a good place to discuss how the ladies may relate to the Widow of Zarephath.]

Yet, Elijah asks her to not give up…not to be afraid. He said, “Go, do what you said, but please make me a small cake of bread first—then for you and your boy.” He told her this is why, “The God of Israel says the jar of flour will NOT be used up and the jug of oil will NOT run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.”

She was crazy brave, and she did what Elijah asked. AND there was food every day for Elijah, the Widow of Zarephath, and her son. Psalm 42:5 states, “Why are you so downcast, o my soul? Why do disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 105:4 exclaims, “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.”

God wants to help us. He wants us to not give up and quit. We need to anchor to Him and His hope provided in His promises. We also need to draw strength from Him to keep going…to do one more meal, load of laundry, another meeting. He wants to bring us through…He will never fail us.

Questions to consider:

  1. What is one thing God is asking you to hope in?
  2. How is He giving you strength?
  3. How can we, as women, help provide hope and strength to others?
  4. Whom in your life do you need to do this for? [_________________________ write down their name]

Spring Forecast…. Let Good Things Grow!

By Colonel Donna Igleheart

One of the things I have learned living in the West is that anything is possible in the spring. This past week we experienced 90 degree plus temps in Southern California and a few days later I woke up to snow in Oregon! Both were a surprise to those who forecast the weather and made for extra cautious news alerts, heat warnings, delays and cancellations in the Northwest.

Spring typically means that warmer temperatures warm the ground which may have frozen over the winter months, as it grows softer and more yielding to plants. Spring is often marked by increased rainfall, which helps to water the infant seeds taking root in the ground. Spring is often referred to as the season of new beginnings, even referred to as the favorite season of the year with its transition into life and beauty before the heat of summer sets in. It’s said after a dreary winter, spring brings forth mood improvement, even causing people to be happier! So many good reasons to embrace the spring forecast and watch and see good things grow.

Whether it’s the bud of a tulip planted the previous fall or one of the earliest crops breaking through the soil, that first sign of new life in the garden shifts our attention to the season that is upon us. No matter how long or cold the winter has been, a new chapter is here.

So as women of God, how can we too harness the goodness of this fresh start and season? We can start with the smallest change to plowing deeply! Be still! Set aside time to spend in the word of God. Listen to music and immerse yourself in the melody and lyrics. Look around at God’s beautiful creation. Be more intentional about showing gratitude. Ask others about their story and share yours!

If you desire to have fellowship and Bible study and are waiting for someone to ask you for a seat at the table and it hasn’t happened, invite yourself! Perhaps God is calling you to be the very one to break forth new ground for someone else or many!

It’s been a dry and weary season for most. What if we forecast for ourselves with God’s help, to grow good seeds of hope, nurturing relationships, patience in the waiting, forgiveness in the hurting, healing through bitterness, or peace over anxiety? Just as the gardener or farmer sets her eyes on the prize and hope of a fruitful crop, so can we harness its hope and strength to then nourish the parts of our life that might be craving a fresh new start. Each of us has an opportunity to plant, fruit to bear, and in return Jesus will bless! There’s never been a greater time for a forecast of strong, brave, and flourishing women needed to burst forth in confidence and step into spring so that others might be revived and flourish too.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, Encourage one another and build each other up. These words alone would make for a beautiful spring forecast and in return good seeds will grow.

Keep shining, beautiful women of the Western Territory and keep your eyes on Jesus! Blessings of grace and peace.

April 2022 Craft: Resurrection Garden

By Lt. Faith Hartt
Klawock, AK Corps – Alaska Division

As Easter approaches my thoughts wander to the garden that early Sunday morning when Mary Magdalene was overjoyed to see her risen Savior. What better way to draw emphasis to Christ’s redemption for believers than a mini model garden scene of the resurrection?

⦁ Large bowl or pot
⦁ Moss
⦁ Flowers and plants (real or artificial)
⦁ Potting soil (if using real plants)
⦁ Small pot or cup
⦁ Small decorative rocks
⦁ Large stone
⦁ Cross


  1. Begin preparing your Resurrection Garden by placing rocks and soil in the bottom of the bowl or container that will hold your garden.

2. Take the small pot and place sideways in the bowl in the location you want for the “tomb.” You can glue rocks on the rim of the cup if you like.

3. Place rocks on either side of the “tomb” so the pot doesn’t roll back and forth while you decorate. With your leftover decorative rocks you can make a tiny stone path.

4. Arrange the plants and lay out the moss over the top and sides of the tomb.

5. Lastly, place the cross on your mini version of Mt. Calvary behind the tomb. Then take the large stone and put it next to the entrance.

Enjoy your Resurrection Garden! I hope that every time you look at it that you would be filled with the strength and hope that comes from knowing that our Lord Jesus conquered death. He is alive forever and ever, Amen!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

Download printable instructions of this craft: