February 2022 Inspire Newsletter

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, a day we focus on love. Let’s spend the whole month of February focusing on God’s love for us, and our love for others. This month’s symbol of hope is the dove. Find out why doves are often pictured on Valentine’s and how they symbolize hope.

Also included in this month’s newsletter are some cute dove/bird craft ideas you can incorporate into your Valentine’s Day celebrations as well as a fun Valentines in the Bible trivia.

Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

Need previous issues of the INSPIRE Newsletter?  They can be found at the following links: January 2022, December 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

February Bonus Resource: Let’s Love Like He Loves

By Major Julie Feist
Kalispell, MT Corps – Northwest Division

For those who have women who are homebound or are unable to attend, here is a simple program that can be duplicated and mailed or delivered to women. A small Valentine goody could also be included. This program can also be adapted to be a devotional or a Bible study.

Note: When printing, this download is designed to be printed front and back and folded in half as a booklet.

Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5:2 (The Message)

I don’t know about you – but not only do I want “to be like Jesus,” I want to love like Jesus loves.

Why? Because I know it’s the best way to live. When we love like Jesus, we’re lifted outside ourselves. We shed self-interest — with our spouse, our kids, friends, everyone. His brand of love sees beyond the normal range of human vision — over walls of resentment and barriers of betrayal. When we love like Jesus, we rise above petty demands and snobbish entitlement. We loosen our tightfisted anxiety and relax in a surplus of benevolence.

Most of all, the Jesus model of love inspires us in following the best way to live, “the most excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31b, NIV). I want to love like that!

But can anyone really love like Jesus? After all, He raised the bar of love to extraordinary heights. Love your enemies? Walk the extra mile? Turn the other cheek? Seriously? This is love beyond reason, isn’t it?
Of course. And that’s the point.

To love like Jesus, we need to think and feel. We need reason and emotion. Both head and heart, working together. It’s the only way to bring perfect love into our imperfect lives.

Here’s the truth: When you open your heart, love changes your mind. Let that sentence soak in. Your mind can do an about-face and be transformed when it receives a divine impulse from your heart. You’ll experience a revolution in your thinking when you allow your heart to enter the conversation. It’s what Paul was getting at when he said, “You’ll be changed from the inside out” (Romans 12:1b, MSG).

Jesus’ teaching and the example he set reveal at least five distinct and practical qualities of His love:

  • become more mindful — less detached.
  • become more approachable — less exclusive.
  • become more graceful — less judgmental.
  • become more bold — less fearful.
  • become more self-giving — less self-absorbed.

Is this an exhaustive list of how Jesus loved? Of course not. But it’s a way to get an earthly handle on this heavenly ideal of love. Time and again, Jesus demonstrated these five qualities and spoke about them, not as unreachable ideals. These are doable.

Today’s key verse reminds us: “Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that” (Ephesians 5:2).


  • The month of February is American Heart Health Month
  • February is Black History Month
  • Valentine’s Day is February 14th
  • February is the only month to have a length fewer than 30 days.
  • February is one of the most frequently misspelled words in the English language


  • God loves you
  • God’s love is unconditional
  • God’s love is revealed to us in Jesus
  • God calls us to love our enemies
  • God’s love inspires us to love our neighbors with compassion!

Let these verses remind you that God’s love is everlasting and unchangeable:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 

She Leads… With Inspiration to Serve

By Captain Felicia Grant
Seattle, WA Social Services Director – Northwest Division

From its humble beginnings, the Founder of Home League (1907), now Women’s Ministries, coined it a “help one another society.” Women in social work is one of the continuous strands of ministry for The Salvation Army. We see Women’s Ministries impact and significance throughout our history, beginning in 1890 when Captain Emma Brown organized the first Slum Sisters brigade. Serving families living in deplorable conditions, such as no heat or running water in cramped spaces, often shared with other families and shared bathrooms. On-call day or night, they bathed the sick, fed children, washed clothing, cleaned houses, and cooked a lot of hot meals. During World War I in 1917, women Officers of The Salvation Army, trusting ingenuity, equipped with very few supplies: gas masks, helmets, and .45-caliber revolvers; served up thousands of donuts to WWI soldiers. 

Even before becoming an Officer, I remember serving, supporting, and sharing with people who just needed a little help rebounding from an unexpected situation or experiencing a series of unfortunate events, those who in the past had been the ‘giver’ and now need to ‘receive,’ most often in a state disbelief and shame. Scripture shares our victory because of Christ in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9: We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” We find ourselves in a unique place throughout history as Ambassadors of the Gospel, Proclaimers of Peace, lavishing love as was lavished on us, equipped and prepared to meet both the spiritual and practical needs, to aid and to inspire those who enter our doors. What a fantastic opportunity to have this eternal impact at pivotal times in the lives of so many! 
Women in Social Services are inspired by the love of God and knowing His love is for all, and they want to share that Good News. The Salvation Army operating and ministering through the arm of Women’s Ministries in Worship, Service, Fellowship, and Education in 132 countries, in every zip code in the US, is and will continue reaching the world for Christ! 
Inspire, in Latin inspirare means to ‘breathe or blow into’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone. This definition takes my mind to the song “Great Are You Lord” by Casting Crowns. The chorus says, “It’s Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise Your only.” Inspired by the love of God, His Word, and the Power of His Holy Spirit, through our praise we also inspire others.

What does that look like in day-to-day Social Work? Through Relational Social Services, a simple yet genuine conversation, as shared in the Gospel of John Chapter 4, shows how a conversation can transform lives. When we can and want to inspire others, we establish a beautiful bond through the experience of speaking, teaching, and lovingly restoring women (and men) from all walks of life who are in a place to be inspired. As we follow the model of Apostle Paul, unapologetic in who he was in Christ (Galatians 2:20), we plant seeds of hope and reflect on God’s grace and provision in the lives of those we serve. I believe we see this hope in the story of The Good Samaritan told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke 10:25-37. [Note: Check out this month’s craft & devotional, Love Your Neighbor, that also talks about the Good Samaritan]

Women’s Ministries, inspired through Educating, Fellowship, Service, and Worship, and now we encourage others as we serve our communities, wrapping our arms around them in acceptance, love, understanding, and grace. Personally, I have experienced the bonds that tie through Women’s Ministries, gained life-long friendships and have been blessed and (hopefully) have been a blessing to many. Our time in serving others, lives on in each family, and organically spreads hope beyond our service to an individual or their family but often it spreads through family, social circles, either sharing their experience with The Salvation Army or modeling and serving others in their own capacities. As they carry on the love and concern shown to them, I believe through the realization of what Christ has accomplished in their life, they can begin to personally consider inviting Christ in their life.

Relational Social Services allows The Salvation Army to partner with clients and journey with them helping them move past barriers and obstacles to the betterment of their lives. During this time, we have the opportunity to inspire them during conversation; with our faith and experience in who Christ is and how God sees each one of us and knows our every need, inspire! Women’s Ministries is the perfect partnership that leads to the opportunities for families to become introduced into Corps programs.

(Major Jason Swain, n.d.)
(https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/donut-girls-wwi-helped-fill-soldiers-bellies-and-get-women-vote-180962864/, 2017)
(Centralusa.salvationarmy.org, 2019)

January 2022 Inspire Newsletter

Happy and Hopeful New Year! A new year is 365 days of new opportunities and freshness. Check out this month’s newsletter for an inspiring devotional reminding us that we have new opportunity for forgiveness of sin each and every day of the year.

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

A new year is the opportunity to forge a new direction in life. Check out this month’s trivia on people who were redirected in life.

Also included are some inspiring quotes to start 2022 off right!

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

She Leads… With Purpose and Grace

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

When we think of the call the Lord has put on us, we cannot discount those that spoke into our lives. There are many leaders, friends, and loved ones that speak into our lives daily. Sometimes we realize it, and sometimes we do not.

There are many aspects to consider when looking at the leadership perspective of growing the kingdom of God. As the early church women did, we women of today need to lead with our strengths and come together to complete the whole. If the development of our women in our corps is done with intentionality, we can grow beyond our expectations.

As a leader, we sometimes need many other hands to complete the mission of God. We are not Jesus, and even though He could spread the gospel message all alone, He did not. He chose twelve others to help Him spread the word of God to the nations. When we need others to help us lead, we need to be patient and select our people carefully. Spend time in prayer for the right person to come along to help you lead. It’s a process that takes time, and sometimes we are overworked, overwhelmed, and all the above, but this is an important step. Jesus took time in prayer before selecting His disciples, as it says in Luke 6:12-16. Remember to choose your leaders with wisdom, care, and prayer.

When we as women leaders are looking for others to help us with our ministries, we have to keep in mind that we need mission-minded people, and as we lead and develop, others set them up for success by leading with a purpose a clear vision. This requires time, tough to hear, but it is true. Time is a precious commodity we sometimes do not have, but it is vital to leading successfully. People don’t develop leadership skills just by sitting in a boardroom, reading a book, or attending a class; we need practical hands-on experiences to develop leadership skills. When we lead by example, others buy into the mission, ministry, and helping others in their communities. We do this by leading with unconditional love. Will we get aggravated, upset, hurt, and such? Yes! But we as leaders need to show grace even when it is the last thing we want to do. Even when the twelve hid or denied Jesus, He still showed love. Sometimes it’s tough to show those that hurt you love them, but it is necessary for their growth and ours, too. Remember, Jesus did not only love using words, but He used actions too by redeeming and restored others.

When we look at Jesus’ teachings, we see that He taught practically. From healing the sick to casting out demons, He taught, showed, and expected results. Long story short, allow your leaders to lead. When our people take the leadership role, we must confront them when needed. Each person is different. This is when knowing your people is critical. Some people are good with the direct approach, but others may need a little sugar to swallow correction and redirection. Like Mary Poppins said, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way.” Directive and discipline help others when grace is shown.

After we have worked developing our corps’ leaders, we need to empower them, trust them with responsibility, and let them have ownership of the program but with guidance. Once our leaders are developed, taught, prayed for, send them out into our community to reach the lost for the kingdom. We must move outside our buildings and get into our neighborhoods. We need to connect with those that don’t know Christ and His unfailing love and forgiveness. Remember, the best return is measured in lives that are changed and led to Christ.

When we look for a model leader, there is none better than Christ Jesus. He is the Son of the living God who came down from heaven to become a humble servant. He showed more grace, humility, understanding, and unconditional love more than anyone before or after him. We will fall short, but with Jesus as our cornerstone, we will be solid leaders. Remember, friends: when we love God and others, everything else falls into place.

January 2022 Craft: Pom-Pom Wreath

By Captain Allison Struck
Nampa, ID Corps – Cascade Division

Theme: Awakening to God’s Call

This wreath is a fun, inexpensive craft that can freshen up a room, with soft, neutral colors.

Talking Points:

“ See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

  • The New Year can be a refreshing new start or can feel a little bit discouraging if we choose to focus too much on the past.
  • We can choose to look at the New Year as a chance to “awaken” to God’s individual calling for each of us. That His call can motivate us to devote ourselves to a new thing- serving others, deeper family relationships, better self-care.
  • Let this be the year that we awaken fully to God’s call and devote ourselves to letting Him do a new thing within us and through us.

Alternate/Addition: A new decoration in our home in the New Year can be just what we need to let the old things go and allow God to do something new in us as we awaken to His call for each of us. A new decoration that we create ourselves, from simple items, is a great way to get the creativity flowing for a great new thing!

As you make the pom-poms, maybe they can form your prayer list for the New Year. Use each one as an opportunity to pray for your children, your co-workers, church leaders and more. Or, let them represent some of your plans for the New Year- the small ones can represent your goals and hopes. As you look at them throughout the next few months, let them be an encouragement to you that God wants to keep making us new as we respond to His call.

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 (364 yard) skeins of yarn ***The saver (economy) yarns tend to work better for this project than some of the fancier yarns because they are stiffer. $3/skein is about the price you can expect to pay. This is also a great project for using up yarn.
  • Clover Pom-Pom maker (pictured below) **There are cheaper versions of the pom-pom maker on Amazon. They are not recommended, as they are not as sturdy as the Clover brand.
  • Wire wreath form, pictured below (8 inch recommended)
  • Sharp scissors with a fine point
  • Ribbon for bow, if desired

**This most likely cannot be made in one session. If doing as a group class, use the time for demonstrating how to use the pom-pom maker and how to tie them onto the wreath.

(1) Using directions from Clover, wrap the yarn around the plastic maker. You will want at least two sizes of pom-poms for your wreath.
a. An 8 inch wreath will need about 25 pom-poms to look full
b. Two or three colors is fun, but an all-white wreath is a really pretty, neutral decoration

(2) Before tying the pom-poms down onto the wreath, set them on top of the wreath form to make sure you have enough of each size to go all the way around the wreath and cover any gaps.

(3) Using leftover yarn, slide a piece of yarn under the pom-pom and then tie it tightly to the wreath form. After tying a few, it may be necessary to tie them together in the back to hold them up. This just takes a couple of tries to get the pom-poms tied tightly enough to stay upright.

(4) After all pom-poms are on the wreath, make sure there are no remaining gaps and then attach a bow to the top, if desired.

Clover Pom-Pom Makers

Wire Wreath Forms

Download the printable version of the directions for this craft.

December 2021 Inspire Newsletter

Merry December! It’s that time where we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Can there be a more hopeful month? Jesus is the Savior of the world! Jesus is the hope of the world! Jesus is the light of the world! This month’s symbols of hope are the beautiful Christmas lights and candles that decorate so many of our homes.

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:4-5

In this month’s newsletter is a great Christmas devotional, candle craft ideas to make to decorate your home or make as gifts for someone else, and Christmas trivia questions.

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

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


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.

She Leads…By Getting Out of Your Head and Leading from the Heart of God

By Lt. Felecia Pederson
Billings, MT Corps – Intermountain Division

After the Wise Men had listened to the king, they went on their way. The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them. It finally stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh. But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road.” Matthew 2:9-12 (NIV)

“I can’t do this!” has been said under my breath more times than I can count. On some occasions it has been accompanied with tears of frustration, some anxiety and even a little resistance. One of these times, while in a women’s ministries meeting, I excused myself and went for a quick walk around the church to calm my anxiety. I was feeling helpless, frustrated, and unable to do all that I felt was required of me. Has anyone else experienced feeling trapped in their own anxiousness or feel consumed with that overwhelming feeling of inadequacy?

Now, let me just clarify, the women did not do anything to cause this reaction. So then, why did I feel the need for a quick escape? Well, as a perfectionist, a planner, an introvert, and a doer, I feel I need to have things in a certain order for a good program. I also want to admit that I am a service addict. My happy place is when I am able to make everyone feel loved and cared for by meeting their needs. This takes a lot of energy. When I let the program itself or what I feel the expectations of what is needed for the program lead me, or when things don’t go as planned, I can easily feel like a failure. This leads to spending so much time listening to the expectations of myself or others that I miss out on what God is urging me to do.

God and I have had many conversations about this and He has shown me that when leading people to Him, my biggest stumbling block is in my own head. In my little trip outside the church, when I was caught up in my fears and worries, I was letting my feeling of insecurity cripple me from doing what God has called me to do. When we allow the expectations of ourselves or others to dictate how things should be, we can stop the Spirit of God from moving freely.

The story of the Wise Men being led to Jesus is a great analogy of getting out of our head and being led by the heart of God. These men knew many things but they were humble enough to listen to God’s voice and be led in little ways that made a big impact. They knew the stars and prophecies that helped them navigate their way to Jesus, but they were sensitive to the voice of God through a dream. King Herod had different plans for Jesus and the wise men. Take a moment and think about what would have happened if the wise men had rushed back to share with King Herod the location of baby Jesus. I think we all understand that if the wise men were more interested in pleasing King Herod than listening to the voice of God, this story may have had a very different ending. Thankfully, they listened to God and obeyed His leading.

God does not use us because of our ability. He uses us in our humility. When we humbly seek His heart by prayer and reading His Word, He gives us the peace and clarity that we need. He has already given each of us talents and abilities and these can be “treasures” that we give back to Jesus. For the wise men, these “treasures” were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. For us, it may be hospitality, the ability to sew, paint, crochet, or cook. Some of us are teachers. Some of us are great listeners. Whatever your ability, gift, or treasure, all of us have been called by God to lead others to Him. This begins when we humbly ask Him to help us be the leaders that He wants us to be. As we recognize the need for Him to be the center of all we do, and as we lay our treasures and gifts at His feet, He will strengthen us for every good work.

I have a different approach as I plan for our weekly women’s meeting. I have more freedom to delegate programs to other women because God has released me from the need to have everything done to my standard of perfection. I listen to the needs of the women and instead of rushing to please them, we go to God together and pray for one another. I take time to plan but ask the Lord to use the time of our meeting to do His plan and His work. Getting out of my head has allowed me to be able to enjoy these women’s meetings as we create things together, serve others together, study the Bible together, and share our hearts and pray together.

Today, there is freedom from anxiety in the heart of Jesus. Join me in asking Him to help us get out of our heads and lead with His heart.

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)