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Maple Avenue Bible Church

"Glorifying God by proclaiming and living the truth in Jesus' name"

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Women's Ministry 
 
Welcome to the Women's Ministry Page of our website!
Here you will find delicious seasonal recipes and a monthly devotional message that we trust will be a blessing to you.  We have also listed several website links below that you may find helpful.  Please visit this page every month, and let us know anytime if we can minister to you!

 


 

Helpful links for women: 

        http://www.lproof.org

        http://www.reviveourhearts.com

        http://www.proverbs31.org

        http://www.churchgrowth.org/analysis/intro.php

        http://cpclenawee.com (Care Pregnancy Center of Lenawee)

 

 
 
  
This Month's Devotion
from Margie Coleman
 
 

"ONE THING"

Chuck Swindoll once asked a thought provoking question:  “What is your favorite emotion?”

Don’t read quickly past that question without giving it some serious thought. What is your favorite emotion?

He went on to report that his sister, Lucy, had given the best answer that he could think of. Her favorite emotion is relief.

Certainly relief is a wonderful emotion.

I think of it as what I felt after suffering a long debilitating migraine headache. Mine used to last twenty-four hours with another twenty-four hours spent in recovering. That was twenty-four hours of excruciating pain with nausea that prevented me from swallowing a sip of water without throwing up. (Please forgive the crudity. There is just no other way to say it.) The relief I felt when it was over can only be understood by one who has shared the experience.

I am sure you could share your own stories of the wonder of the emotion of relief.

They might include the relief of hearing that the results of that test.  The news was not as bad as was expected, or was even good—

 Or the relief of a dreaded event finally over—

Or the relief of hearing that your loved one was not dying after all—

Or did not have to go to a war zone after all—

Or had returned from a war zone unhurt. 

Everything I can think of that brings relief involves some awful circumstance avoided or ended.

But there is, I think, an emotion far better and more profound than relief.

Before you judge me too harshly for presuming that I could out-think Chuck Swindoll, let me just say this:  I have not heard or read everything he has to say on the subject.  It is quite possible that he has written or said something I have not heard about the emotion I think is better.

Satisfaction is my favorite emotion.

Maybe it is so good because it is so elusive, fragile and fleeting.

The world has many answers to our quest for satisfaction. Many voices demand our time and attention, so people look for satisfaction in many different ways.

***************

The rich young ruler, whose story is told in Matthew 19:16-22, Mark 10: 17-22 and Luke 18:18-23, had looked for it in success, possessions, prestige, power and wealth.  In addition to all that, according to what he told Jesus, he had also kept all the commandments from his youth up. He was not only powerful and rich but also good—an unusual combination. But he was not satisfied.

He came to Jesus with a question, and his question revealed his dissatisfaction.

“What must I do that I may inherit eternal life?”   

Mark interrupts the account of this conversation to make this observation:  “Jesus, looking at him, loved him.”  

Jesus listened to the young man’s declaration that he had kept all the commandments from his youth up, loved him, and then said, “ONE THING you lack.”

“Only one thing?” the young man may have thought. “I don’t care what it costs. I’ll buy it.”

He was astounded and devastated when Jesus went on to say, “Go your way and sell all you have and give it to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. Come, take up the cross and follow Me.”

He only lacked ONE THING, but this young man went away sorrowful because he had great possessions.

Satisfaction eluded him.

**************

Martha liked nothing better than planning a good dinner party. She had probably worked on this one for weeks.  They were expecting Jesus and some of His friends. She was planning a party that would be talked about for weeks. Surely her reputation as an excellent hostess would be spread all over the area.  She smiled just thinking of it.

But so much to do and so little time.

The house needed to be sparkling clean.

The silver needed polishing.

She would try that new recipe. How many would it serve?  She might need to increase it. Did she have all the ingredients?

A shopping trip would be needed.

As the day neared, she could hardly sleep. Had she taken care of all the details? Had she remembered everything?

And when the day came, she was not feeling the satisfaction she expected.

She had only room for anger and frustration because she was not getting the help she needed.

Her sister was just sitting there enjoying the guests, especially Jesus, while she did all the work. She fumed and gritted her teeth until finally her anger boiled over. She could tolerate it no longer.

She went to stand between Jesus and her sister, Mary, and confronted the situation directly.

“Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Would You just tell her to help me?”

Surely Jesus would understand that such a magnificent party required a lot of work and would instruct Mary to help her as she had requested.  But Jesus surprised her.

“Martha, Martha,” He said, “you are worried and troubled about many things.

But ONE THING is neededand Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Mary had chosen the ONE THING that would give her lasting satisfaction while Martha had not.

This brief account is given to us in Luke 10: 38-41.

************************

These first century ladies, Jesus’ friends, were so like us.

Martha’s home is pristine and her entertaining famous. Her children are perfect in every way, at least on the surface-- always beautifully groomed, straight A’s in school, champion athletes, good kids. They will have the best education money can buy. Her husband is successful. They always have everything they need, drive the nicest cars, take elaborate vacations, and provoke the envy of all their neighbors who try to keep up with them. Martha knows Jesus as her Savior, but she has little time for serving, and giving is tough because their living expenses use up most of their income. Both Martha and her husband work very hard every day to ensure that they can keep their lifestyle.

Mary’s home is adequate. The furniture is always a little dusty, the laundry accumulating, dinners long, leisurely and filled with lively conversation but not very fancy, dishes sometimes wait till the next morning while she and her husband help the children with their homework or join them in a game night and then lead them in a family devotion. Her entertaining might be a backyard barbecue on paper plates or a picnic at the park. Her children dress in clothes found at a thrift store or handed down from Martha’s children. They haven’t had a vacation in years, and they drive used cars until they won’t go any further. Her children are very bright; but if they go to college, it will be because they earn scholarships or work to earn their tuition money. They know Jesus intimately and take their service to Him seriously. She and her husband attend a Bible study every week and give a large percentage of their income to the Lord’s work. They want to honor God with everything they are and have because they consider that everything they own has been loaned to them and really belongs to Him.

Martha wonders why Mary always seems so content, and it actually makes her a little angry.

Mary stays home to be there for the children and, as far as Martha can tell, watches TV all day. She doesn’t even have a job, for goodness sake! No wonder they are always struggling, driving that old car (they only have one), shopping at the Salvation Army, always looking for a sale, just barely surviving.

Of course these are composite women, but we all know people like each of them.

I ask myself where I fit in these descriptions.

Where do you fit?

Mary chooses the ONE THING that Jesus was talking about and satisfaction, though fragile and sometimes fleeting, is hers.

How do we find that kind of satisfaction for our lives?

The Psalmist said in verse four of chapter twenty-seven, “ONE THING I have desired of the Lord. That will I seek.”

What was that ONE THING?  “That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”

As Christians we have the security of knowing that, having accepted Jesus Christ as our own personal sacrifice for our sin, we will one day dwell in the house of the Lord forever as citizens of heaven. We have sought that and found it. Ultimate satisfaction someday is ours.

Yet, day to day satisfaction as we live out our lives on this earth still evades.

There is so much in this twenty-first century that militates against us.

Loud voices call to us from every direction and bid us to go this way or that, or to do this or that, or they remind us of the failures of the past, or of the sorrows of the present,and they rob us of satisfaction.

When we do achieve satisfaction, it is a fragile and fleeting thing.

So our ultimate satisfaction will come as we dwell in the presence of the Lord forever.

But the Apostle Paul gives us the key to achieving satisfaction in our day to day lives in Philippians 3:13 and 14.

“. . . ONE THING I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

The Holy Spirit continues the thought in Hebrews 12:1-2.

 “. . . let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of God.”

So we can gain the wonderful emotion of satisfaction by giving up all that we are and have, as Jesus advised the rich young ruler to do, by listening to Jesus daily, as Mary did and then by forgetting all that is behind is, laying aside all the weights that encumber us and the sin that so easily besets us, and looking unto Jesus while we run the race that is set before us.

Satisfaction in this life, while wonderful, is always at best fragile and fleeting.

But when we come to the end of this life, we can share the testimony that Joshua shared with us in Joshua 23:14.

 “. . . not ONE THING has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All of them have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.”

Ah-h-h-h.

Now that is satisfaction!

 

 
Healthy and Fun Easter Recipe
 

 

Carrot Cake Cheese Ball

“This sweet carrot-shaped cheese ball recipe is a clever take on an Easter dessert favorite: carrot cake. Serve with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, gingersnaps or apple slices for dipping fun that both kids and adults will love.” 

Recipe by Breana Lai 

Ingredients:

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded carrot plus ¼ cup, divided

½ cup diced pineapple

¼ cup golden raisins

¼ cup chopped toasted pecans

¼ cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

Carrot greens for garnish

 

Directions:

Whisk cream cheese, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Stir in 1 cup carrot, pineapple and raisins.

Coat a large piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray. Scoop the cheese mixture onto it. Using the plastic wrap to help you, form the cheese mixture into a ball, then completely wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Just before serving, combine pecans, coconut and the remaining ¼ cup carrot in a small bowl. Turn the cheese ball out onto a serving plate and form into a carrot shape. Coat with the pecan mixture. Garnish with carrot greens, if desired.

Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

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EatingWell.com 4/5/2017