A Special Invitation

Dear Chets Women,

“The invitation came unexpectedly,” writes Jan Sutterfield, from Moms In Prayer Southwest. “What an unbelievable opportunity! I was out for my morning walk when the invitation arrived–out of the blue. God Himself, the God of all that exists, invited me to His throne room!!! He would grant me one hour of His time. During that time with Him, I could ask for whatever I wanted in His Name and it would be granted! One whole hour of time to present any request to the LORD upon the throne–the King of kings! My mind began to race with excitement. What would I ask? I must be very careful–very intentional and specific. This was my chance to ask Him for whatever was on my heart and according to His will, and it would be granted! It was a sobering responsibility, but a thrilling one!

Sisters, as you know, this invitation to the throne room is for all of us. Although there are no limits to the time we can spend with Him, how often do we take our access to His throne of grace for granted? This privilege of prayer we have been given is more amazing than we know.”

Here at Chets Women, I am extending the Lord’s invitation to you to join me in the throne room for two special opportunities to gather and pray.

  • Moms In Prayer – As we begin our 2014-15 school year, the prayer ministry will launch our first Moms In Prayer group starting on Tuesday, September 2 from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Together, we will enter the throne room and ask of Him the carefully sought out, intentional, specific prayers the Holy Spirit has put on our hearts for our children, schools and Moms in Prayer sisters.
  • If:Pray – A Worldwide Call to Pray – Later in the month on Tuesday, September 23 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Chets Women will join together with sisters all over the world for a time of corporate prayer and small group prayer focusing on 4 Calls:  1) to offer our gratitude, 2) to pray for God’s Church and His people, 3) to pray for the world, and 4) to pray for unity and love.

The times we live in are urgent. Don’t miss these incredible invitations to unite as one in the Holy Spirit and the Mighty Name of Jesus for extraordinary time of prayer. Let’s interrupt Heaven together!

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion….How gracious He will be when you call for help! As soon as He hears He will answer you. Isaiah 30:18a-19b (NIV)

For His Glory,

Jill Darkatsh

Chets Women: Prayer Team Ministry Leader

ejdark@comcast.net

 *More details coming soon!  In the meantime, please contact Jill (email above) if you would like to know more about these opportunities.

Bible Studies Start Next Week!

Women's Bible StudiesNo matter what God is doing in this season of your life, our Women’s Bible Studies provide an opportunity for you to connect with other women and dive into the study of God’s Word. Our hope is to meet you where you are and encourage you to take your next step as a follower of Christ. Check out this fall’s studies, think and pray about which is right for you, and get involved!

We look forward to getting to know you as we grow in our faith together.

Countdown to “One”

ONE logo

10 Days left until we worship, learn, laugh and connect at “One – a gathering of Chets Women” on August 24. This event has been on our hearts for months, but on God’s kingdom calendar for all time. Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but I don’t think so. This is no ordinary gathering. This is a vision-casting event that – we hope and pray – will be a turning point in our ministry.

Oh, do not think that this will be a stale, boring presentation of some strategy. Do not think this will be light and fluffy either. There will be substance mixed with style. 

Here’s how the gathering will unfold…

The atrium will be a time to connect with friends while enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres. There will be an Exhale Zone with chair massages and aromatherapy for only the first 30 minutes.

The worship center will be transformed into a beautiful dining room where you will be served a great meal. Musical worship will be followed by a few short “Chets Talks”, hosted by Laura Wilson. We’ll learn from Jackie Hatcher, Debbi Hoeft and Kelly Miller, who will each share rich life lessons. I will share a message from a passage in the gospel of John (yes, you may just want to bring your Bibles or read John 17 before you arrive). Then, something illuminating will take place before a sweet surprise at the end of the night.

We need every women from every generation at One.

We are hoping and praying for a revolution in women’s ministry. Maybe God has chosen Chets to start? I can tell you after nearly a year of prayer for God to give us direction…and now 8 months of carrying out the plan, the vision He has given us is bold and different. We need women from every generation to arise. We look to the older generations for wisdom.  We look to younger generations for fresh perspectives.  We extend hands to one another to help and serve. Every woman has a role. Women’s ministry is changing.

We are calling all to a gospel-centric, prayer-saturated, Spirit-led women’s ministry for God’s glory.

Will you get involved?

P.S. Tickets are limited and available online at chetscreek.com/women OR at the registration booth this Sunday in the atrium. The deadline to purchase is noon on August 18. We’ll save you a seat.

Longing for more

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We really never know the quiet moments people have alone: what they are thinking, their struggles, their search for worth and value. This was tragically brought into light as we learned this week about the death of actor Robin Williams. As I look at this Oscar award-winning man who seemingly had it all – he was funny, successful, and wealthy – it breaks my heart to know that beneath the facade of being rich and famous, he was broken, depressed, and searching.

To me, his death collides with the stark reality that we are all looking for hope and meaning. This life on earth isn’t enough to fill us – we want more. I believe that, most of the time, we go about filling our life by getting more of the wrong things… more clothes, more promotions, more popularity, more money, more vacations… We have the attitude of “if only I had more, then I will be fulfilled”.

We seek to be built up by things that are fleeting and ultimately do not really matter. If I could be funnier, prettier, more athletic, then I would be somebody. If my teeth were whiter, my thighs skinnier, and my skin tanner, then I would be somebody.

We are all longing for more. My heart goes to a song tonight and I am reminded: “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, His righteousness.”

It is only through Jesus that I equate to more. Only through Him am I filled with purpose and satisfaction. Days will be long, heartaches and tragedy will come, the world around may feel like it is crumbling, but though Jesus we have strength, hope, and peace.

I really do believe that Jesus is the ultimate answer to our search for more. However, depression is a very serious matter and we never know who around us is struggling with it. We see this in the death of Robin Williams – an earthly joy-bringer so surprisingly troubled.

Depression is a very real, very overwhelming disease that I have seen first-hand more times that I can count in my ER nursing career. On behalf of Chets Women, if this is a present struggle for you, we are here to help. Sometimes to find the peace and healing that there is in Jesus, you need the help of others who are trained to walk you through the grip of depression. There are many trained professionals to whom we can connect you if this is something that you are facing. Let someone know. Don’t walk alone.

And recall the old hymn:

 My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

 

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

 

When darkness veils His lovely face,

I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale,

My anchor holds within the veil.

 

His oath, His covenant, His blood,

Support me in the whelming flood;

When all around my soul gives way,

He then is all my hope and stay.


{This post was written by Lauren Bedwell. Lauren is married to Jeff, and together they minister to middle school students at Chets Creek Church. She is mommy to a sweet toddler boy who keeps her on her toes. Lauren also works part-time as an ER nurse here in Jacksonville.  Lauren loves the beach, hanging with girlfriends, and Greek food.  She’s always up for playing fun games, and you can lure her in with any kind of dip – think salsa, sour cream and onion, buffalo chicken.}

Is Anyone Else Tired?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ~Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Weary. Did someone say weary!? That word embodies how I feel. According to Webster, some synonyms include: exhausted, fatigued, spent, worn out, burned out, tuckered out, drained, and just plain ole’ tired.

Um… yep, that’s me.

A few nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night to feed my newborn and couldn’t fall back asleep. This happens to me way too often, even when I don’t have a newborn. For one reason or another I wake up out of a cold sleep. Crying child, whining dog, heavy wind, hungry and need a snack, husband leaving early to travel for work, trip to the bathroom. The reason doesn’t really matter. Once I am up, I am up. I can’t turn my brain off. It can take hours to fall back asleep, if that happens at all.

In the past, I would do a lot of fuming as I lay in bed. I was so angry that I wasn’t sleeping, so worried about what tomorrow would be like on such little rest, resentful that my husband was over there snoring while I was wide awake. At times I would just get up and start my day, take a bath, maybe even go for a run at 4 a.m. (if I had truly lost my mind). I can remember several nights just sitting there sobbing, sometimes throwing pillows at the wall. Yikes! If you have never had the pleasure of experiencing true sleep deprivation, then allow me to enlighten you… it will turn you into a crazy, irrational LUNATIC.

Recently, however, I was at a bible study and the author mentioned her struggle with the same insomnia tendencies.

I thought – Finally! Someone who understands!

Despite my excitement, I was quickly humbled and my butt swiftly kicked to the curb when she went on to explain that she enjoyed those sleepless nights.

Come again!?

She went on to explain that her best conversations with God occurred in those moments. In the silent, dark, middle of the night when no one else was awake to distract her. That’s when she would talk to God, pray, and listen to what He had to say. Instead of fuming, she embraced it. She looked at it as an opportunity to obey God when he invites us to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).

I stood convicted. And I was feeling pretty bad about all that fuming I had done. I committed to choosing that same attitude. I would not say I am truly there yet… but I am trying.

The other night when I found myself awake again, Matthew 28:11 came to mind. I said it to myself over and over. I tried to grasp what it truly meant.

In Ecclesiastes, the bible talks about experiencing life in seasons. My current season is this: I am a full time wife and mom of a 3 ½ year old boy, a 2 year old girl and a now 8 week old little boy. I work part-time as a physical therapist in a hospital. My husband is a hard worker who travels often for his job. I love my church and my church family. I am a sister, a daughter and a friend. I try to do these things to the best of my ability and with a happy, joyful, grateful heart on a daily basis, but I am here to tell you that some days… most days… I am weary. So very weary.

 Weary of temper tantrums, especially those occurring before 6am.

Tired of cleaning my house only for it to be wrecked 10 minutes later.

Physically drained from chasing these children around.

So fed up with runny noses.

Potty training.

Sibling rivalry.

Laundry… oh the laundry.

Tired of social media, to be quiet honest.

Spent from comparing myself to others.

Weary from trying to fix things on my own.

Drained from worrying about what I eat, wear and weigh.

Literally exhausted from waking up at all hours of the night.

Bogged-down by negative thinking.

Sick of cooking wholesome meals for children who would rather eat frozen cheese pizza every night.

For many of you, this is not your season.  Your weariness may come in a different form than mine but, there is most likely something you are struggling with and tired of.

Maybe you’re stuck in a job that you hate.

Insanely busy at work.

Been unemployed for months… years.

It could be that your marriage is falling apart or has already fallen apart.

Tired of being single, watching all of your friends get married and have babies.

Grieving the loss of someone you loved… love… will always love.

Your spouse has been deployed for what seems like forever.

You are learning how to adjust after bringing an adopted or foster child into your home.

Dealing with the heartbreak of infertility.

Battling a chronic or even terminal illness.

Caring for elderly parents who are more than you can handle.

Struggling with some form of addiction.

In an abusive relationship.

Tired of family feuds and old grudges.

Buried in the shame of your past.

Single parent working multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Dealing with disobedient teenagers.

A special needs child.

Drowning in debt.

 Whatever it might be, you are tired too.

I lay in bed that night praying and thinking about how exhausted I was, how tired we all are. I asked Jesus to give me his perspective on the situation. I waited. I listened. Then, in the quiet darkness I could hear him gently and lovingly say…

 “Me too… I am really tired too.”

 Tired of a generation that doesn’t seek me or read my word.

Fed up with blatant disobedience.

Discouraged by lukewarm religion.

Tired of being ignored.

Burned out on people who mock me.

Fed up with people who won’t roll out of bed on Sunday mornings to worship me.

Weary of people twisting my words and taking them out of context.

Heartbroken by world hunger.

Tired of senseless violence.

Devastated by those who are persecuted for my sake.

 “I am tired too”, He said, “so very tired.”

I love that. Jesus can relate. He’s been there. He is a living God who can relate to today’s crazy and hectic society just as well as he could relate to society as it was over 2000 years ago.

 Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.

Jesus did not say, “come to me and I will fix all of your problems. Come to me and I will make your life easy.”  I can’t think of one bible story where God asked someone to do something easy.  In fact, Jesus promises that we will have struggle and hardship in this life.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33

Jesus is asking us to come.

Come how you are.

Come where you are.

Come one, come all.

Come any way that you can but just come… and He will give you the rest that you need. Lay your burdens at His feet. Love Him. Seek Him. Spend time in His word. Talk to Him through prayer. Tell Him when you have screwed up and He will forgive you. He will love you anyway. Leave behind your worry, your guilt, and your shame. Trust that He will provide for you and that He is in control of your life no matter what happens. Believe in what He did for you on the cross and have faith that it was and will always be enough. Come, and He will fill you with an amazing, unbelievable peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7


{This article was written by Katie Roseborough. Katie has been married for 9 years to her wonderful husband Will and is a full time mom to three amazing, crazy and hilarious children that keep her busy and laughing every second of every day. She is a part-time Physical Therapist who has a special love for her elderly patients. She loves Jesus and recently began serving in the Middle School Ministry at Chets Creek Church. Her most favorite activities include eating, watching movies and swimming in a pool!}