iConnect with God

We are super excited for the kick off of iConnect, our HillsideWomen’s fall retreat, Oct. 10-12. The cost is $120. (Registration is still open through Sept. 30th. Late registration after 9/30 will cost you an extra $15) We are thrilled at the variety of ages and backgrounds already registered to attend this year!! There are three tracks to choose from:

iConnect with God

iConnect with Family

iConnect with Community.

Each track will present teaching that challenges us to draw near to God and to those around us. We believe that women who are more connected with God are more engaged as women with their family, friends and the world.

Here are some of the classes offered in the iConnect with God track.

iDentity: Who is God to Me… Who am I to God?
iExplore: What are My Spiritual Gifts?
iExam: Taking a Spiritual Check-up
i2i : The Power of Connecting Through Solitude
iTime: An Hour of Solitude with God

… as well as classes on how to begin journaling without being overwhelmed, on how we hear God speak, the spiritual disciplines and a panel discussion about how God speaks to women today.

There will also be open time to spend with God in the peaceful mountains of northern New Mexico. It’s going to be amazing!

This track’s class leaders are Dianna Melson, Kris Collins, Margaret Willis, Cara Hunt, De-Vonna Clark, Judy Lynch and Gayle Mustoe. They are terrific ladies who really, really love the Lord and really, really, love people.

Tommy Politz will be speaking to us during our large group times. Rob & Becca Attaway will be leading worship. Are you getting as excited as we are now??


Sponges: Amazing creatures... if they live in the ocean.

This past Sunday, the Pest Control series put the squeeze on "The Sponge."  (This kind of person might complain about a hangnail in the middle of an MD Anderson waiting room)

There is no shortage in this world of people who are IN NEED.  But what about people who are just plain NEEDY.  How do you help them walk into a healthy perspective of life, without having them suck the life out of you?  Have any of you ever encountered someone with a terminal case of "sponginess"?

Do you ever fear you are becoming a sponge?  How do you keep the fear in check with reality?  

Just a note!  Thanks for letting us know that our system wasn't allowing comments this past week!!  We had some server issues that prevented emails from entering our system.  We think it is all fixed and really look forward to hearing from you this week.  You guys have had great wisdom to share!  Keep it up!  Thanks for your patience.  :)


What's for dinner?

Were you at Hillside today? Tommy (our senior pastor) unveiled The Critic in his series, "Pest Control: Dealing with Difficult People." Perhaps you saw the video where Tommy was “silenced” by an amazing heroine with a taser gun, after she grew weary of his critical tirade. He laid there on the floor, like a neuro-blasted bug, after having his longhorn rant about Texas A&M shut down. (Gig ‘em.)

Of course, the video was total comedy fiction. (Or an OU fan's fantasy) But have you ever felt like taking a critic down, too? Maybe not with a stun gun. But have you hoped the person rattling your cage would somehow be “silenced?” We’re not talking death or physical torture, but could they at least feel the fiery sting of remorse, for crying out loud? Or does their pesky buzzing not really bother you?

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold on settings of silver.” (Prov. 25:11) Oh, to serve that kind of dish to the people we love! (Better than the poison apple the wicked queen served Snow White.) Is it always this black and white? Can a golden apple ever be a word of correction? Angela Thomas asks this keen question. “Is it possible to give a word of discipline without condemning someone?”

So one last question, dear friends… how do you know whether your apple is golden or arsenic when you serve it?


taking great care

(Today's post is by a friend of ours, Carolyn Nuthman. Carolyn is involved in ministry at Hillside Christian Church, where her husband, Mike, is on staff and in charge of congregational care. She's a great mom and grandmom... and a really sweet gal. Enjoy her perspective!)

Before I was married with children, Bob Stacy (founder of CIY), made an inspirational, yet sobering statement. He said, “What your children think about you is what they will ultimately think of God.”

As we began to bring children into this world, I tried very hard to put that into practice. This is difficult because, as Mary Engelbreit says, “Life is just so daily!” But, I believed it to be true and called on God often to rear our children as though He were raising them Himself.

I was able to put this into practice by looking both forward and backward in my own life… which explained my own view of God. “Was He really my friend? Did He listen? Did He care? Did He really love me, or was He just there to punish me?”

Looking forward from the birth of our children, this clarifying thought gave added dimension in their lives. As God adds length of days, my life as “Nana” has great import in this area, as well. Grandparents are often able to give great time and attention to grandchildren.

Take time to ask yourself some incisive and valuable questions: Am I emotionally available to my children? Am I approachable? Can they feel comfortable talking with me about anything at all? Do they know I will listen to their requests and help find answers? Do they know I’m the “boss” because God has given me the responsibility for them?

These and other questions can help answer the ultimate questions: “How does your relationship with each of your children help them interpret life? And how is your life interpreting God to them?”