She Leads… With Humility

By Captain Deborah Breazeale
Albuquerque, NM Corps – Southwest Division

In Matthew 20: 25-27 Christ admonished his followers, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.”

This is hard for natural born leaders. We know how we want things done and sometimes it is just easier to do it ourselves or micro-manage those who work with us. This comes with unrealistic expectations of perfection, which no one can obtain. The result, feelings of frustration, failure and often a breakdown of relationships.

This is not leading with humility; this is not even good leadership. My interpretation of effective leadership is leading by example; to get right down there with your people, get your hands dirty, work alongside them, ask for their ideas, (they might just be better than your own!), and finish as a team.

Effective parents are those who understand the value of teamwork. Parents often assign their children chores to teach them responsibility. Cleaning their rooms, taking out the trash, feeding the dog. This can lead to anger, frustration, and tears when the children fail to follow through. However, if the parents come along side and say, “Lets get this done together!” and offer to pitch by helping to pick up books, toys, or to bag the trash and go with them to the dumpster, the kids join in the work and it becomes an opportunity to have a good time together. Showing the children that work can be fun.

The same goes for people we work with at the Corps. When we willingly pitch in to help, show that we are not asking them to do anything we ourselves are not willing to do, the project or work gets done quickly and we have a great time together.

The Albuquerque Corps has a Prayer Breakfast once a month and I used to fix the meal myself early on a Saturday morning, sometimes not with a happy heart. A couple of people started coming early asking if they could help and I would try to find things for them to do, (LOL!). One of the ladies asked if she could provide part of the breakfast one month. I hesitated, after all, that was my job! But I said okay.

Over the months she has picked up more and more of the task, providing and preparing the food and she has blossomed! She loves helping and doing and I have a new friend. Now, she askes me to scramble the eggs! I love it! We have such a great time together, serving the people of our Corps.

Here are three tips for cultivating humility:

  1. Embrace your humanness-accept your limitations; it’s okay to not be perfect all the time.
  2. Practice mindfulness and compassion.
  3. Express gratitude-gratitude can make us less self-focused and more focused on those around us-a hallmark of humble people.

“The key to humility might just be seeing life as a journey towards cultivating those qualities that bring out the best in others and we and make this world a better place.” Vicki Zakrzewski

Mick Ukleja, PhD, founder and president of LeadershipTraQ gives six attributes of healthy humility: (https://www.success.com/6-attributes-of-healthy-humility/)

  • They acknowledge they don’t have it al together.
  • They know the difference between self-confidence and pride.
  • They seek to add value to others.
  • They take responsibility for their actions.
  • They understand the shadow side of success.
  • They are filled with gratitude for what they have.

One additional attribute is LOVE -spend time listening to others.

A scripture I will leave you with is one I really love to read when I’m feeling indispensable, (not humble): Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. (Romans 12:3)

She Leads… by Seeing & Seizing the Day

By Commissioner Debi Bell
Southwest Division

See and Seize the Day!
(We need leaders, who seek, see, and lead using valuable insights gained in the search.)

We can discover countless gems buried in the myriad lists found 1 Chronicles. This gem is one of my favorites because it gave a tip of the hat to leaders who had vision.

“From Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command.” 1 Chronicles 12:32 (NIV)

General John Gowans addressed a group of leaders and asked us to rethink the word “seer” to try to erase the negative connotations that equate it with the dark arts of sorcery. Then apply a more true understanding that seers are people who have a clear vision for the future. Seers and prophets are similar types of people. We also tend to mystify the terms prophet and prophesy. In the Bible, many prophets and seers spoke of future events that seemed obscure and clouded in mystery. Even today we look at prophesy and realize the same vision has many applications.

Prophesy is listed as one of the gifts of the Spirit. It is defined as both foretelling and telling forth God’s message. A prophet, seer, will also have the gifts of discernment, wisdom, and knowledge. Prophets and seers who use their gifts for personal power, gain, or amusement are in grave danger. People who misuse their prophetic gift are false prophets, who mislead people, and will answer to God for this misuse of their gifts.

Seize The Day!
(Looking for women of passion and potential)

Are you a woman who has a passion for The Lord and for extending His Kingdom? Then you are most likely a seer… a person who clearly sees what is most valuable in life and you pursue it. This verse from Proverbs will speak to your gifting.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

As a true seer, you will see the importance of keeping your purpose and priorities in line with God’s priorities as found here in the words of Jesus.

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

See the Day!
Women of Purpose

“And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14c NIV

Leaders, who see, understand that they have a purpose, but life is not “all about them.” Esther was a leader for her day because she did not dwell on the things that happened to her but understood those things had equipped her for the role and purpose God gave her. Imagine if Esther had used any of the negative circumstances of her life define her. Esther could have been the orphan, sad and forgotten. Esther could have been the prisoner of war exiled in a foreign country living as an alien. She could have been the sex trafficked victim living in the prison of the king’s harem. Esther could have chosen to be defined as a religiously persecuted woman with no rights or power to change things. Yes, all those things happened to her, but she discovered her purpose was to trust God and use her role as queen to intercede for the Jewish people and preserve the line of David so that in the fullness of time Jesus, the Messiah, would be born. Esther means star, whether or not she could foresee the day when a star would appear to herald the birth of the Messiah, she could see her purpose in God’s plan.

The things good and bad that happened to you do not define you, but they equip you for God’s purpose if you choose to trust and see beyond them.

Hi C the Day!
Women Who Program

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

The book, Strengths Finder by Tom Rath, is a good tool to use in your quest to become a better leader. There are other similar resources to explore. With the “Strengths Finder” tools, you learn what your strengths are and how to better use them for God’s purpose for your life. I learned that I am an “Ideaist;” creativity is my superpower. Sometimes I forget that coming up with ideas for programs is not easy for everyone else. When I look at the phrase, “seize the day,” my mind automatically begins to mine it for ideas and words that sound like words in the phrase. Images that go along with the word play in my head. I jot down these ideas because I see them. Are you like that? Then you may be a seer.

However, your strength could be as an Achiever or Activator because you can see how to make it work. Then you may be a seer. On the other hand, your strength could be as a Developer who can help others see the idea and how it can work for them. Then you may be a seer. To program and make a program work takes all kinds of seers. Effective seers are people who see and do what God shows them. Like Esther, your purpose creates waves and ripples in the sea of time that makes a difference long after you have come and gone. See the day and seize it.

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; He answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:4-7 (NIV)

Seas the Day!
Women Who Pool Resources

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.” Psalm 105:1-5 (NIV)

Leaders know that they cannot do it all by themselves. Esther called upon her friends and family to pray for her before she began to execute her plan. She did not just blurt out everything at her first meeting with the king. She waited for God’s guidance and trusted Him.

What are the challenges of your appointment? What are the challenges in your family or personal life? Get others to pray with you and for you. Ask God to show you His plan. Pool your resources. It is important to build good healthy relationships that build your resources rather than tear them down. This is very difficult to do in ministry, however work at building life-long friends.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

Seize the Possibilities
Women Who See Possibilities

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

One of our biggest challenges in life is change. Change happens whether or not you are ready for it to happen. There are events in history called sea changes. Sea changes are likened to the waves of the ocean. The tide goes in and out dictated by the cycle of the moon and other atmospheric influences. People who surf learn that waves come in patterns. The best surfers learn to see the pattern so they can catch the best waves when they come. The best surfers are like leaders who see-seers. You understand the times and know what to do. You are not bogged down in circumstances, but you seize the possibilities. You lead change.

See and Seize the Day!
Women with Purpose (Lighthouse Keepers)

“For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)

Lighthouse keepers and surfers have a lot in common. They both read the waves. However, a lighthouse keeper has a better perspective and more information. The duty of lighthouse keepers is to prepare for storms that arise. They light the light that guides people around the dangerous rocks. They sound the alarm. They help rescue the ones who have wrecked. Sometimes it is hard to be a lighthouse keeper. It is hard to be a prophet/seer when people do not want to listen to your message and warning.

“But I said, ‘I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.’ Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God…This is what the LORD says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.” Isaiah 49:4, 8-10 (NIV)

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

“The light of the righteous shines brightly…” Proverbs 13:9 (NIV)

Lighthouse Keepers, enlist your praying friends and family – pool your resources. Draw strength from those who understand you. Seek them out and build the friendships. Most of all trust in The Lord because you see the purpose He has for you will eventually bear fruit. Let your light shine.

We need leaders who see and seek the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength. God bless you. Seize the day and lead the way.

November 2021 Craft: Edible Thanksgiving Turkeys

Submitted by the Southwest Division

Ingredients
1 cup of chocolate chips or premade chocolate frosting
30 candy corn candies
6 chocolate sandwich cookies
6 mini peanut butter cups
6 malt balls
1 cup of red frosting
6 chocolate sandwich cookies with top cookies removed
Red frosting in a piping bag

Directions:

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a medium stainless steel or glass bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Or to make your life easier, simply use premade chocolate frosting.
  2. For each turkey, push 5 candy corn candies, tip side down, into the cream filling of a chocolate sandwich cookie to make the feathers for the turkey. Lay the cookie on a work surface.
  3. Dip the flat, larger end of a peanut butter cup in the melted chocolate allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place malt ball above the peanut butter cup to make a head of the turkey.
  4. Dip the flat end of the white candy corn tip into the chocolate. Place on a malt ball, to make the turkey beak. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set, about 10 minutes.
  5. Place the red frosting in a piping bag. Using scissors, cut a small opening in the end of the popping bag. Pipe a small piece of frosting under the malt ball to make the turkey beard.
  6. Place a cookie (with top half removed) on a platter. Stand the turkey upright into the cream filling. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Note: Check out this month’s Bible Study, 10 Reasons to Praise the Lord, and this month’s devotional, The PERFECT Thanksgiving, which coordinate with this craft.

She Leads…With Courage

By Major Tracie Hartt
Santa Rosa, CA Corps – Del Oro Division

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

When I think of powerful women leaders in the Bible, I cannot help but think of Esther. Esther was used by God to save a nation. In a time when women were not leaders and when her ethnicity was frowned upon, she stepped up. She was an orphan that became Queen of Persia and then in obedient courage she was used to save her people. I can imagine how scary this situation must have been for her but despite that she did not waver.

In my own life I have seen courageous leadership in my mom, Vicki Roberts. My parents are retired Majors for The Salvation Army. My mom has suffered from kidney cancer, heart issues and she had a stroke. She has had years of being in and out of the hospitals and has faced some extremely tough times physically. This is enough to turn anyone anxious and fearful. She has amazed me with her strength and spirit to do all she can until the Lord takes her home. Even in the hospital when things were uncertain, she was witnessing for the Lord and praying for the nurses. As she was house bound for the past few years, she has made it a point to not stop her ministry. She joins as many Salvation Army Livestream Worship Services possible from home. She began a Zoom Bible Study and daily uses her cell phone to lift others up and point them to Christ. Her leadership never stopped! Her ministry didn’t retire! Her zeal for the Lord has only increased! What an incredible example.

This past year and a half have been difficult for many of us. In the face of the unknown with the pandemic I personally faced a time of anxiety. This surprised me as I have generally been confident and strong. I had times of struggle. I honestly wanted to stay home and felt like shutting down. I knew this was not possible nor was it Gods will. I needed to lead and there were so many that needed help. I knew that in my ministry, and in my life, that I had the only, true, hope that could transcend the fear and anxiety that I (and millions of others around the world) was feeling. Like Esther, I had to walk into a situation, daily, that was full of unknowns (which was, and is, totally against my nature). I had to trust God and push through the anxiety because our employees, our congregation, and our community needed the hope that only Christ can bring. It took me being intentional in my personal walk with the Lord and I really learned to walk by faith in God and not by sight.

Through the years I witnessed that the courage that comes from the Lord is powerful. When I have had to walk through a door in the hospital to pray with someone who was dying, when I have taken the step to stand in the gap for the person who could not stand for themselves, when I have had to love someone that is angry and broken, when I had to walk through the doors of our corps despite the fear…God’s presence was evident and His strength sustaining. As I embrace a new appointment and walk into unknown areas, I have a choice to make as a leader. Being a leader can be hard but the beauty of relying on the Lords strength in the storms is empowering and beautiful.

I am so encouraged every time I think of Esther. She was a young Hebrew girl who was taken captive (along with her people) and trust into a situation where she had to abandon herself, entirely, into the hands of God…not knowing what would happen to her. All she knew about God was the testimonies of His work in the lives of those men and women of Israel who came before her time, and their declarations of His faithfulness to them.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

We are on this amazing journey as leaders and how incredible is it that we get to do this! He will sustain us and fill us with power and strength as we minister for Him and lead in courage.

October 2021 Inspire Newsletter

It is a new program year in The Salvation Army and this year’s theme is “Hope for the World.” How fitting of a theme for such a time as this.

Each issue of the Inspire Newsletter is going to focus on one symbol of hope. Did you know that red, orange and yellow are considered hopeful colors? This edition is all about the beautiful fall leaves that a lot of places get to enjoy. Included are some fall leaf craft ideas and a new feature of our newsletter, Bible trivia, and this month it is all about leaves.

The focus verse for this month is Romans 15:13 which says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Need previous issues of the INSPIRE Newsletter?  They can be found at the following links: September 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

October 2021 Craft: Sand Jar Craft

By Lt. Mony Oregel
Stockton, CA Corps – Del Oro Division

Supplies Needed: (You can find everything from your local dollar store)

  • A container – glass or plastic with a wide mouth
  • 3-4 different colored sands (1 should be a neutral, natural color of sand)
  • A spoon
  • A funnel
  • An artificial succulent or any flower of your choice
  • Seashells and/or craft rocks

Check out the following videos for detailed instructions on how to make this craft.

Sand Craft part 1:

Sand Craft part 2:

Note: Check out this month’s Bible study, Seeds of Potential, and this month’s devotional, I See You. God Sees You. You Matter, that coordinates with this craft.

September Craft: Rolled Paper Roses

By Major Ronda Gilger
Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center, ID – Northwest Division

Pure inspiration!

Learn a simple technique with so many applications.

We’ve added everything you need to make sure that your group has a wonderful experience as they work together around the tables. Truly, some of the best ministry moments are experienced as women share their stories as they create these simple paper roses. And you will be so inspired as you look through the presentation and see how many applications there are for this lovely paper rose.

Will you create a masterpiece for your walls, or scatter them around a table? Perhaps just a few set inside and around the saucer of your teacup.  Imagine events with these inspired decorations, wreaths, or something as practical as cards, tags or package décor. 

This is a craft that can be taught across genders and generations, with relatively low cost which makes this internationally attractive as well.  Share-far and wide!

What you’ll need:

  1. paper (scrapbook paper is good, cardstock has a nice weight-or use a page from a novel, a songbook or ??? so many options!),
  2. scissors,
  3. and a hot glue gun.

In the Video Tutorial you will hear a variety of ideas for Women’s Ministries, as well as tips for leading this craft. 

For any of your women who may be home bound- this might also be a perfect way to share a link with them which they can follow along doing the same craft project as your other women.

Download the 2 page (2 sided) Tutorial handbook which can be printed for each woman in your group.

September 2021 Inspire Newsletter

It is easy to look around at the world and all that is happening, and become discouraged and hopeless. But as believers we have hope not in circumstances, but in God. “Just Be…Hopeful” is the theme for this month’s Inspire Newsletter. Included is a devotional about hope, a Bible reading plan, as well as some sunrise craft ideas to remind you of the hope we have in the Lord.

Because of the Lords’ great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23

Need previous issues of the INSPIRE Newsletter?  They can be found at the following links:  August 2021, July 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

September Bonus Craft: Tin Can Birdseed Feeder

By Major Ronda Gilger
Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center, ID – Northwest Division

Our women need to hear about how God is working in our lives. It encourages them to look at how God is working in theirs! 
IDEA: Why not try to make a Mod Podge Tin Can Birdseed feeder?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:26-27 NIV

Worry. We’re consumed by it… distracted, depressed, and we’ve lost focus. Take a few moments to create this simple Birdseed feeder, reminding yourselves that God, who clothes the most beautiful flowers; and who feeds the birds, who sees the smallest sparrow when it falls… This same God has your life in his hands. He is faithful and loving and is right there with you in your times of joy and greatest heartache.

DIY “Tin Can Birdseed Feeder Instructions:
Materials:
Scissors, paintbrushes, misc scrapbook papers, twine, and 3 opened-cleaned-cans with labels removed.

Have each woman bring in a few cans- or collect them just for this special program together.

Using ModPodge (there is a variety that holds up better outside), a paintbrush, and fun papers add to your masterpiece-one paper at time to decorate your Birdseed hanging feeders. Wrap twine around several times and create a hanger as shown.  You can see that they look even better in groupings! 

I believe that this can be a fun project to bring women, families or children together…. or even for you to invite neighbors in for.  Remind everyone of these verses in Matthew, and HAVE EACH PERSON tell of a time when God worked in their lives- you will be surprised by how encouraged you will all be! 

Pray just before you leave. Perhaps you can even have your women hold hands in a circle – to visually show the unity you feel for one another. What fun!

December 2021 Craft: Wise Men Seashell Ornament

Submitted by the Intermountain Division

This craft is incredibly versatile in that it can be adapted for any age and as simple or complex as you would like it to be and adapted to fit any budget.

Some variations include Cardstock with sticker shapes for the Wise Men, Felt and felt pieces, instead of shell for older groups use a piece of stained wood.

Supplies Needed:

  • Half of a large, scalloped seashell (purchase on Amazon or from a local hobby store)
  • Decorative small seashells (purchase on Amazon or from a local hobby story)
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • 2-inch-think Twine to hang ornament; cut into 5-inch lengths.
  • Strips of fabric or ribbon
  • Materials for floor such as sand, twine, branches, etc.
  • Foam or bead star

Directions:

Step 1: Wipe out large seashell with water and dry thoroughly.

Step 2: Select and sort into groups for Wise Men which small shells you would like to use.

Step 3: Glue down flooring. This can be glitter glue, sand, yarn, etc. I dried corn husks.

Step 4: Glue down Wise Men. Make sure to loop ribbon, fabric etc. around the body before gluing the head and crown. This can be any color or type that you want.

Step 5: Glue down presents. These can be small boxes like I used, square pieces of other material, etc.

Step 6: Glue star to the top of the shell.

Step 7: Wrap twine three times around to create a stronger loop. Put a dab of glue on the side that is being glued to the- shell to hold the pieces together.

Step 8: Glue twine to the back of the shell. To hide the glue on the back of the ornament, choose another shell to place over the area where the twin is affixed.

Allow craft to dry flat for at least 24 hours.

Download printable directions of this craft.

Note: Check out this month’s devotional, A Gift of Significance and the Wise Men Seashell Ornament craft that coordinates with this Bible study.