Merry Christmas from Jen!

Jen CudmoreHolidayLeave a Comment

Merry Christmas from Jen! Ladies, the holidays are upon us and I hope you’re all having a merry time of it this year! We’re all busy baking, shopping, attending parties and prepping Christmas cards, so here is a short vlog. Do you sometimes struggle to hold onto the Spirit of Christmas? Here are my thoughts on HOPE. It’s all about Jesus.  

What If?

Carol DunfeeBible Study, HolidayLeave a Comment

Personal knowledge of Jesus is EVERYTHING we need for real life. Within His five works, we have the answers to every life problem, every temptation, and every blessing. Incarnate Jesus shows us that our Savior really understands the struggles of life on this earth and models how to resist temptation. Crucified Jesus paid the ultimate price to remove the sin-barrier between us and our Creator. Ascended Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live in us and empower us. Jesus, who is seated at God’s right hand, is the Name above all names, the Power above all powers. But what about the risen Jesus? How does this part of Jesus’ work affect us? Strangely, I struggled with this one. But then, I realized that I was looking too closely. I was examining a leaf when I should have been looking at the whole mountain vista. When I backed up, the whole picture became clear. The resurrection of Jesus gives power to EVERYTHING! And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life … Read More

Be Bold

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

In the big scheme of things—it was a day in the life of a child of the King; a day filled with joy and ending with a peaceful reflection that was filled with gratitude.   Many days I fail to live in the fullness of my birthright. Instead of living day by day and moment by moment remembering who I am and whose I am—I fall into the trappings of my own flesh and focus on the shortcomings and failures that put me in the center of my thinking…making it impossible for me to keep my mind and heart on the workings of my Father, God.   As God made me more aware of this theme, it became a source of uneasiness and shame for me because I was keenly aware that in this area I was constantly getting in my own way. Not really knowing what to do to change this—I started seeking out those people who in my eyes had always been spiritual giants. Not really having an expectation of what the journey or goal looked like—just seeking to look more like Jesus by placing those people around me that looked like Him in my own life.   … Read More

Don’t hide Him

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

As I crumpled to the bathroom floor, my first thought was “don’t let them see you cry.” I wanted to protect their hearts at all costs, even if that meant hiding my own. The tears quickly turned into sobs I could not control and I knew I needed to tell them the truth somehow. I was losing the baby our family dreamed of, and I was utterly shattered. As a parent, one of my greatest desires is to protect my children. I want to shield them from every heartache I can, both theirs and mine, because sometimes the ugliness in life is hard to explain. How do you tell them the devastating things you can’t fathom yourself? How do you pick up the pieces of their hearts when you don’t even know where to look for the pieces of yours? What do you say when there truly are no words? I know that I’m doing the greatest disservice to my children, and those around me when I hide heartache from them, because when I hide what hurts, I’m hiding the Healer. I don’t remember what I said, or how I said it. I don’t fully remember how they reacted right … Read More

21-Day Fast 2018: Will You Join Us?

Jen CudmorePrayer & FastingLeave a Comment

In January of this year, we challenged the women of Alaska to join together in a coorporate fast to seek the Lord on behalf of their family struggles, their difficult circumstances, and the state of Alaska. And now, we want to issue another invitation! I mentioned to the original team of ladies that we would consider gathering again next year. I left the Facebook group open in anticipation, and I’m excited to announce that we’re going to seek the Lord again for another 21 days. I was humbled by all the stories of how God moved in each woman’s life. We came together, many of us strangers, yet united in our goal and encouraging each other not to give up. He answered in amazing ways! Who is ready to see God do even more?!?!? While asking the Lord for direction in initiating a group fast in 2018, I came across this quote in my study time, and it broke my heart. “The modern church is poorer and weaker for neglecting the practice of fasting. So many believers suffer from spiritual anemia, or loss of strength and stamina, because they have never learned to fast, and so many of their prayers … Read More

Pursuit

Sarah OlsonFaithLeave a Comment

Pursuit: (noun) The act of following with a view to overtake. [source: Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary] As I sit and ponder this word, I think about God’s pursuit of his most prized creation – mankind – set apart, blessed, appointed, given a promise upon creation. From the beginning of time, God has pursued His children’s hearts. After the fall, in Genesis 3 verse 8, God is wandering amidst the garden “in the cool of the day” and Adam and Eve “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD.” The beauty of this story is in verse 9, “Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” Does that not give you hope, friend? You can be in the deepest pit of shame and disbelief and fear and God is still there and He is still pursuing you and He still loves you! Can you not hear the deep passion, fatherly care, and concern in that moment? Adam and Eve are in a dark place, and God is calling out, “Where are you?” When I was 18, I ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I put myself in a vulnerable position and … Read More

A Place of Belonging

Carol DunfeeBible Study, HolidayLeave a Comment

There is something about Christmas that gives us a glimpse of how things are supposed to be. We picture loving families opening gifts by the fireside as the falling snow outside insulates them from the cares of life. We dream of a peaceful Christmas at a large family table covered with delicious ham, prime rib, mashed potatoes, and homemade desserts. The pain of Christmas is that these ideals are ridiculously unattainable for so many. Maybe a loved one is absent because of death or estrangement. Perhaps tragedy has left hearts raw and bleeding. But still that desire remains for a peaceful sense of belonging. A place where all are loving and loved. The Creator put that desire in our hearts in the garden of Eden. He created mankind to thrive in a close friendship with Him. Into each heart, He formed a void that longs for oneness with the Father. Sin may have given Adam and Eve the knowledge they desired, but it also ripped them away from their place of happiness and peace. No, that place was not the garden…their place of happiness was the Father Himself. That is why Christmas is such a nostalgic time. Our collective souls … Read More

Seeing A Bigger Picture

Jewel ZymurgyMotherhood, TrialsLeave a Comment

I feel like I need to bring you through a snapshot of the last few days in order to get the bigger picture of my insights and ponderings. Friday was an early day for me. I go into work super early so every other week I can attend a women’s missional community that the pastor’s wife leads at the church I go to (and love with all my heart). When the time came to go to the women’s group, I was eager to head to worship and learn and be around other women who love Jesus immensely…a beautiful interruption during my work day! It was all that I hoped for and more as we had fellowship over breakfast (though for me it was lunch! Lol!), sang songs to a loving God and got to look at one way that the woman who leads the group moves through scripture. It was wonderful as it drew me to God’s Word and moved me to a place of looking forward with excitement and anticipation to the next time I got to spend with Him in it. It makes me laugh as I write those words because the love and hope-filled expectation of what … Read More

What My Husband Has Taught Me About A Father’s Love

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, TrialsLeave a Comment

I love you, far more than I have ever loved anyone in all my life, and even after all these years, there are times that still terrifies me.  You know me better than I know myself.  You care for me more passionately than anyone ever has.  You put me first in every part of your existence, but there’s still that little place inside of me; way deep down in the ugliest and most insecure parts of my heart, that’s afraid someday I won’t be enough for you. I’m afraid that I’m just one mistake away from ruining everything. I’m afraid that someday you’ll leave me too, because at some point along the way everyone else has.   If I was a better daughter, maybe my dad would have stayed. Maybe if my grades were better, he would follow though with his promises. Maybe if I was more gifted he would have reasons to show up for the things that were important to me. Maybe if I was more obedient he would have been proud of the way I turned out, and decided that he did want to be a part of my life after all. But I wasn’t, and he left, … Read More

Picture Perfect Christian Expectations

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

The Pastor certainly wasn’t friendly or cheerful. Didn’t look me in the eye, or even notice me when I walked by – though I was the only person in the entire open lobby! It wasn’t what I expected from someone in leadership. It was a Southern Baptist Church, but they turned the lights low, didn’t sing any hymns, and baptized people in Tshirts rather than robes. It wasn’t what I expected from that denomination. Her spiked heels, brightly dyed hair and perfect makeup seemed over the top, and yet, she skillfully delivered Biblical truth with such love and passion that the room full of teen girls was captivated the entire hour. It wasn’t what I expected from someone so put-together as her. The small church nestled in the heart of town seemed so conservative with their hymns, choir, and organ. Yet their old fashioned ways were set aside to allow a woman to teach Sunday School. It wasn’t what I expected to encounter there. The teacher wore jeans and a Tshirt on the stage, knowing the program would be televised, and he even used questionable language that could be considered cursing, and yet the glory of God filled that church … Read More

Christmas for the Lowly

Madison RosserFaith, HolidayLeave a Comment

Christmas. Much like Buddy the Elf, I have very positive feelings about the holiday. I love the glitz and glitter of this season— magic fills the air and our hearts. The fireplace roars while Bing Crosby serenades us with hopes of a white Christmas. Snow piles high on fences, matched by the whipped cream atop mugs of hot cocoa. As the old carol expresses, “Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. All is bright.” Except, judging from my own very small world of past experience, I know that it is neither calm nor bright for many people during the holiday season. The truth is, some homes will wake up Christmas morning to family members wracked by addictions. Refugees will wake up in camps with little hope in their hearts of ever returning to their own hearth-side chairs. Some people will wake up and wish for the day to pass as quickly as possible, aching for loved ones lost. In many countries people will go to work as usual without the slightest notion that much of the world has pressed pause. No western, romanticized notion of Christmas morning will bring any real hope for these circumstances. In fact, for much of … Read More

When Knowledge is Divine Power

Carol DunfeeBible Study, Faith, HolidayLeave a Comment

In a room filled with 1700 women, Bible teacher Beth Moore gave an assignment. As a college student, I might have groaned at the thought of a research assignment, but my current self was filled with excitement. First, Beth explained that we have everything we need for life and godliness through Jesus, according to 2 Peter 1:3. His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Anything we could possibly need to live a fruitful life is found in Jesus. Every tool to keep us from falling into sin is found in God’s Son. What an amazing concept!! It seems too good to be true. But how do we actually access this “everything”? We access it by gaining knowledge of Jesus. Read the verse again. Through knowledge of Jesus, God can give us this “everything”. The more we learn about Jesus, the more we have access to this divine power that provides all the things we need for life and godliness. We cannot claim this power until we actively search the Bible to learn all we can about Jesus. Next, Beth explained that … Read More

A Glimpse of the 27th Psalm

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Trials3 Comments

Ask-God I know that you are already here. I just ask you to help me be sensitive to your presence. Help me to slow down and focus on what you have for me…and God…help me to be open and accept it with your loving perspective as I unpack Your truth. Read-I was beautifully surprised to see that the scripture verses included one verse that I had years ago tattooed on my back. With eagerness I opened up to the verses that my friend had sent me. Psalm 27:9-10 “9-Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. 10-Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Reflect-Initially what grabs my attention is that the psalmists words in verse 9 feels like a pleading—when I have felt desperate and lonely the angst in those words have felt tangible. I can’t help but recall vividly the pain of someone whom I dearly wanted to be close to…turning away from me in their own disappointment and frustration. The empty isolation that enveloped me was greater than I was ready … Read More

Women Worth Looking Up To

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood, WomanhoodLeave a Comment

The phone in my office rang, and there was a voice on the other end I didn’t recognize.  She stated she had my daughter in her office, and in that instant, my heart skipped a beat.   My daughter’s voice trembled as she explained the details to me, and when I asked her if she was ok, she broke down in tears.   My momma heart ached, and I felt so helpless. I’M HER MOM! I SHOULD BE THERE FOR HER…but I was all the way across town at work. I had already missed a lot of time recently because I was in Nashville for the women’s leadership forum, so in that moment my heart was torn. My baby girl needed me NOW, but even if I left work immediately, I couldn’t get to her soon enough.   I’ve been in her shoes before, and I could totally understand why she was crying.  I’ve cried for the same reason once upon a time, and I wanted nothing more than to drop everything to help dry her tears, but I was at work, and I needed to be there too.   Thoughts ran through my mind a million miles a minute, as … Read More

The Hidden Power of Bible Study

Carol DunfeeBible StudyLeave a Comment

We once attended a church where the pastor encouraged us to read our Bibles through each year. For two to three years, I went through the Chronological One-Year Bible each year. I enjoyed how this Bible broke up the loooong genealogies, but I felt ashamed as I became bored. While this marathon Bible-reading was incredibly valuable for giving me an overview of the Bible, it fell short in depth and “meat”. Even I switched to reading smaller devotions on a phone app, I still felt uninspired. The bland quiet time reminded me of our kids as babies and toddlers. They were completely fed up with boring baby food, but they still didn’t have teeth for the exciting food on our plates. Like my babies, I was bored with the Bible. Even though I knew there was more to it, I just didn’t know how to access it. Why does Bible study seem hard? It sometimes seems that true in-depth Bible study is reserved for heroes like Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Lisa TerKeurst. We believe the lie that we are incapable of mining the depths of God’s riches in His Word unless we attend a Bible study written by someone else. In between … Read More

Happy Thanksgiving

Guest BloggerHolidayLeave a Comment

Every third Thursday in November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. What is Thanksgiving? It has a history – the first immigrants of America escaping religious persecutions were thankful for the fact that they survived the harsh conditions of those first few years.    They were thankful their God brought them through this difficult trial and blessed them. If you look Thanksgiving up in Webster’s 1828 dictionary, it means this: “The act of rendering thanks or expressing gratitude for favors or mercies.”  It continues: “A public celebration of divine goodness; also, a day set apart for religious services, especially to acknowledge the goodness of God, either in any remarkable deliverance from calamities or danger or in the ordinary dispensation of his bounties.”    Let us give thanks today for the many blessings God has bestowed upon us and most importantly, let’s be thankful for Him. HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM ALL OF US AT ALASKA CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S MINISTRY!  

I see your pain

Rosalynn LasleyRedemption, TrialsLeave a Comment

I was only 6 years old at the time but the memory is just as fresh, as if it happened yesterday. I was a little girl in your class with big glasses and wiggly teeth, when I saw you for the last time.  I never even got to say goodbye.  I remember you running out of the school building, as I stood there waiting for my bus. A fellow teacher was trying their best to comfort you. They had their arms wrapped tightly around your shoulder, as they ushered you to the parking lot. Your face was buried in your hands as you sobbed uncontrollably. You never looked up. You never returned to school, and I don’t mean just that year, I mean ever. You never came back.  But how could you?  Your baby died.  My mom told me what happened, as gently as you tell a 6 year old girl, and we went to the store to pick out a small glass figurine of a little boy. My mom thought it might remind you of him. I don’t remember his name.  I wish I did. I spent all night last night trying to remember, but all I could remember is that … Read More

When God Defines Leadership

Jen CudmoreFaith, Womanhood1 Comment

She said we had ‘ridiculous potential’. Looking down at us from where she stood on the church stage, Beth shook her head in that delightful, spunky way. Her eyes were wide with determination that we accept how much God believes in us – every woman who attended the Lifeway conference. How He has a great plan for each of us. How He intends to use us to accomplish great things in His name. Her message about being effective and productive in our calling was inspiring, and I came away determined to be steadfast in the tasks that God has assigned me. Even if it means I have to work a full time job at the office. Sometimes our idea of what our calling should look like isn’t the same as God’s plan. Sometimes normal daily routine feels less important than ministry service such as leading a Bible study, going on a mission trip, playing piano in church, or being a pastor’s wife. But we need to be careful not to underestimate our impact, no matter our circumstances. God’s been showing me over the past year or so that He has a heart for nations. He doesn’t just reside (or move!) … Read More