From Restless to “Uncomfortable”… in the best way possible!

I remember vividly an afternoon in my early teens at the park with my best friend. She turned to me and said, “What do you want for the future?” The answer rolled off my tongue without hesitation, “I want a husband that loves me, a picket fence with a dog or two, and an income where I can stay home and raise my kids.” God has provided me with all of those things. But now what? How do I show God I am thankful?

I spent most of my life in Christian school, so I knew the Bible (the regurgitated kind, not the applicable kind); I knew to pray (when things were terrible); I knew to go to church on Sunday; and I knew I should volunteer once in a while to help those in need.  Despite all of this – my blessed life, background, and knowledge of doing the right thing, I still felt like something was missing  –  that I was not wholeheartedly fulfilling the purpose God had for me.

My husband and I finally found Chets Creek Church, a friendly place where I just showed up and was loved and where the Bible is taught in a way that I understood and that related to my life. I learned to pray – pray anytime, anywhere and for anything.

I attended a few Bible studies where I bonded with wonderful people. These people became my friends. They are people who have stories, blessings, and wounds. They get me and I get them. Although these experiences and new friends were helping me grow I still found myself “thirsty” for my calling.

The summer women’s bible study – Restless, caught my attention with that one word and I signed up. I started the study insecure, fearful and shameful of some of my past. Yet through the study I gained the confidence I needed to step outside my “comfort zone”; I learned to take every opportunity to speak openly about Jesus, my faith and the Bible. And I learned to serve…for God’s glory and my good.

Christ Church Food Pantry Registration Table

My first service experience landed me in all sorts of “uncomfortable.” I drove to Christ Church Food Pantry with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I will admit that I was scared of the kind of people I would encounter.  Once there I decided I would dive in, stay as busy as possible, and hopefully the day would fly by.  A friend from church who regularly served there grabbed me and threw me right into helping with registration. For the next several hours I came face to face with people in need. I smiled and they smiled back. Each and every person was gracious and thankful; many told me that I was a blessing. I loved it and quickly realized I was the one who was blessed to serve them.

Part of the registration process is asking recipients if they would like to pray with someone. A prayer team is ready, just steps away from the registration table. One woman spent several minutes sharing some family history and concerns for those she loved. I listened and asked her if she would like to pray with someone. She responded with “Yes, you! I would like to pray with you!” (If the start of my day wasn’t “uncomfortable” enough, it certainly was now.) In my head I was thinking, “What, me? Now? Okay…I can do this!” I grabbed her hands and we prayed. I prayed for her loved ones and her future. When I was finished we both had tears in our eyes.

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Kristen’s first day serving at the pantry.

I left that Saturday smiling from ear to ear. I couldn’t wait to get home and share my day with my family. Since then I have returned to the pantry every Saturday they are open and I leave just as fulfilled as my first time there.

I am so very thankful for my church, Chets Women, and the Restless Bible study, which taught me how to open my heart, use my gifts to embrace new ways to serve God, and to seek out the “uncomfortable!


{This post was written by Kristen Santinga. Kristen grew up, attended college and met her husband Dan of nine years in South Florida. She worked in residential/commercial property management and real estate until God blessed her with a son named Griffin. She enjoys traveling, the outdoors and keeping fit. Kristen and her husband serve the third grade life group on Sunday – the day which happens to be perfect for an afternoon nap!}

Fall 2015 Women’s Bible Studies

You’re invited to pursue God’s Word with other Chets Women. We need to know God, His character, His commands, His heart, in order to know what we are called to be and do. We have a two-fold emphasis by meeting you where you are and encouraging you to the “what next.” Did you just accept Jesus as your Lord, and you wonder what to do now? Are you a Christian who has been stagnant for a while and would like to move on? Are you stuck in a season? Are you in a new season? Are you experiencing a new thirst for God? We have a Bible Study for you! Please check out these studies. Think and pray, and then jump right in!

Register for classes & free childcare ($15 each – unless otherwise specified) and free childcare online at chetscreek.com or visit the Chets Women table in the atrium.

Monday Night Studies – beginning August 31, 7:00-9:00pm

The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob  (by Beth Moore)

10 weeks, workbook/DVD study                                                         Leader: Ali Long

Come along for a study through Genesis – the Book of Beginnings. Discover God’s pursuit of a relationship with man, and marvel as His plan to bless all people unfolds. Full of twists and turns, ruin and redemption, revelation and mystery this Bible study keeps participants captivated by the God who stars in it! Explore concepts such as blessing, covenant, and promise, and the bearing each has on a New Testament believer’s life today. Group members will also study the Hebrew names of God introduced on the early pages of Scripture.

Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything  (by Jennifer Rothschild)

7 weeks, workbook/DVD study                                                             Leader: Kristen Black

The book of Hosea—it’s a deeply personal and passionate love story, yet it’s a difficult story. As an account full of harsh judgment unfolds, we find in its midst a rare and pure gem: the truest and purest of loves. The book will challenge us with judgment so harsh it will singe our hair—an unheeded sermon warning of devastating doom shortly to come. But it will show us the kind of love we dream about. Be amazed by the love of Hosea for his wayward spouse—and more amazed by the unfailing love of God for His wayward people, and for all people. Hosea showers us with hope—hints and portents pointing to the coming of the promised Messiah.

Transforming Discipleship

6 weeks, workbook study                                                                     Leader: Leslie Layton

Jesus made disciples by pouring His life into a few men and women. Today, disciple-making is done when we intentionally walk alongside others in order to grow toward maturity in Christ. By gathering together in twos or threes to study the Bible and encourage one another, we follow Jesus’ example with his own disciples. This course helps you establish authentic relationships that are based upon the truth of God’s word and mutual accountability. The result is transformed lives.

Magnificent Obsession: Embracing the God-Filled Life (by Anne Graham Lotz)

7 weeks, Book/DVD study                                                                   Leader: Susan Johnston

In The Magnificent Obsession, gifted Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, shares her journey from a restless spirit searching for something more, to finding her answer in the amazing story of Abraham. Through personal anecdotes and unforgettable stories, you’ll draw closer to God, who longs to call you ‘friend.’

Tuesday Morning Studies – beginning September 1, 9:30-11:30am

Transforming Discipleship

6 weeks, workbook study                                                                     Leader: Leslie Layton

Jesus made disciples by pouring His life into a few men and women. Today, disciple-making is done when we intentionally walk alongside others in order to grow toward maturity in Christ. By gathering together in twos or threes to study the Bible and encourage one another, we follow Jesus’ example with his own disciples. This course helps you establish authentic relationships that are based upon the truth of God’s word and mutual accountability. The result is transformed lives.

Faith Lessons: In the Dust of the Rabbi (by Ray Vander Laan)

7 weeks, DVD study (no cost)                                                               Leader: Diane Coelho

This study will help you experience Jesus’ life up close and personal. Filmed on location in Israel, Faith Lessons is a unique video series that brings God’s Word to life with astounding relevance. By weaving together the Bible’s fascinating historical, cultural, religious, and geographical contexts, teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan reveals unique insights into the Scriptures’ significance for modern believers.The DVD was filmed on location in Galilee, Priene, and Didyma. These illuminating “faith lessons” afford a new understanding of the Bible that will ground your convictions and transform your life.

Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman (by Beth Moore)

9 weeks, workbook/DVD study                                                            Leader: Gina Cruz

If you’ve ever felt inadequate, threatened, or pushed into situations that seemed overpowering, this is the Bible study for you. Just as it was tough being a woman in Esther’s day, it’s tough today. This portion of God’s Word contains treasures to aid us in our hurried, harried, and pressured lives.

Testing of Your Faith (by Dr Bruce Wilkinson)

12 weeks, workbook/DVD study                                                          Leader: Paddy Creveling

Join us as we study what happens when God sends a test of faith into your life, and how to stand firm and allow God to bless you through these tests.

Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have (by Natalie Chambers Snapp)

8 weeks, workbook study                                                                   Leader: Elsa Garcia

Friendships with other women are as important to our mental, physical, and spiritual health as rest, exercise, and prayer. We don’t just want friends—we need friends. Yet sometimes they can be as difficult as singing a song without the lyrics. If you’ve ever been hurt by a friend, struggled to balance friendship with everyday life, or seen a friendship end too early, Heart Sisters will help you be the friend you want to have.

Wednesday Night Studies – beginning August 26, 6:30-7:30pm

Keep it Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All (by Karen Ehman)

6 weeks, workbook/DVD study (cost $20)                                          Leader: Cathy Kaplan

If you want to learn how to tackle the hard subjects of gossip and speaking the truth in love and the power of your own words, all from Biblical standpoints, then this class is for you. Humorous look at how to handle what comes out of the mouth.

Purposeful Hospitality

6 weeks (cost $10)                                                                               Leader: Donna Hastings

In our rapidly changing culture, the most strategic turf on which to engage those who don’t know Christ with the good news of Jesus may be the turf of our own homes. Invite them to dinner! Join us as we study what the Bible says about practicing hospitality, discuss the difference between hospitality and entertaining, and learn easy and effective ways to develop relationships with the people you come in contact with everyday.

Living Like You Belong to God    (by Kay Authur, David and BJ Lawson)

6 weeks, workbook study/no homework                                               Leader: Robin Bedwell

God calls us to a life of joy, obedience, and trust. He calls us to be different from those around us. He calls us to be holy. In this rich study, you will discover that holiness is not an arbitrary standard within today’s church or an unreachable goal of sinless perfection. Holiness is about pleasing God—living in such a way that it’s clear you belong to Him. Holiness is what makes you unique as a believer in Jesus Christ. Come explore the beauty of holy living and see why true holiness and true happiness always go together.

Thursday Morning Studies – beginning October 8, 9:30-11:30am

Keep it Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All (by Karen Ehman)

6 weeks, workbook/DVD study (cost $20 – no childcare)                       Leader: Glenda Harris

If you want to learn how to tackle the hard subjects of gossip and speaking the truth in love and the power of your own words, all from Biblical standpoints, then this class is for you. Humorous look at how to handle what comes out of the mouth.