Building Relationships Around a TABLE

How did I end up saying “Yes” to hosting a Chets Women: TABLE? I’d love to share with you!

My name is Rachael and I am a wife and mother of three. I love spending time with my family, getting away for a weekend, and I “worry work” myself whenever I have a free moment.

In the past couple of years my life has really changed. Throughout my adult life, I was a caregiver for my dad and grandmother until they both recently passed away. With this loss, I felt a huge responsibility to fill the time I would normally be taking care of them with something positive and productive. I needed help finding my place. I needed to find my place to serve, to give, and to love. That was when I signed up for a study called Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. The words of the introduction to the book resonated in my heart:

“Our hope is that through our story you might identify where God is leading you. We hope you read something that helps you overcome what is holding you back. And we give you permission to chase after it.”

Around the same time, I started reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. This book taught me that baby steps are OK! I felt such a release from the pressure to have everything perfect! I learned to make choices that fit into the goals for my life and family, something the author called direction.

“Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.”

When Kelley Hastings rolled out Chets Women: TABLE at our church, I was looking forward to attending. It involves gathering 6 women to discuss 4 questions for 2 hours around a table. In fact, I felt very comfortable attending. But when Kelley gave me that kind, gentle look silently suggesting that I should host a TABLE, I was scared. I was flooded with insecurities. I am very unqualified to be any sort of spiritual leader. I have a huge fear of rejection (I get nervous that my own family won’t show up for Christmas). I make excuses for other people to not hang out with me even before I invite them. In the midst of these fears, God did that stirring in my heart that I had been praying for and chasing after. I used the decision checklist that I learned from Lysa in The Best Yes and I remembered Jen Hatmaker’s quote “Until we are obedient in word and deed we’re just here pretending to be there.” Honestly, there was no excuse holding me back from hosting a TABLE: I had a house, I had the date open, small environments are my favorite, and I felt it in my heart. I pressed through and said yes!

I ended up inviting the girls from my neighborhood. Some went to Chets Creek and others didn’t. A few were good friends and others I barely knew. I invited them on a Thursday night to my house for cheese and dessert. I prepared the TABLE, grabbed the four questions and welcomed these wonderful women into my home. We had a great time. We talked through things, we shared, we got way off subject, we cried, and we encouraged each other. We all loved the camaraderie and being able to talk through things with Godly women. We didn’t want it to be a one-time thing. So, we gathered around a table again, and then we did it again and again.

tables-2

This TABLE of women has been such a blessing to me. They accepted my invitation with a “Yes.” We show up in yoga pants and messy hair. But we show up for the same reason, to say Yes. To say Yes to Godly friendship, to say Yes to stopping our busy lives to focus on Him, and to say Yes to baby steps that lead us to serve and be closer to an amazing God.

As with most things, it wasn’t the event itself that changed me the most. It was the confidence that came from overcoming excuses and insecurities in order to serve Him. My TABLE wasn’t perfect. Everyone I invited did not come. I felt the sting of rejection. But, I knew God was working in me. I knew if I only had one person, it would be worth it. I knew that God was doing something bigger than just calling me out of my comfort zone. He was leading me into something and I desperately wanted to chase after it. God had a plan and it involved transforming me. So, when I received that kind gentle request from Kelley to serve with her on the Chets Women Connect Team I easily said yes. I knew it would be a challenge worth chasing after and I am excited to see how God can use me.

tables

As we approach another Chets Women: TABLE event, I encourage you to ask yourself, “Is this a baby step I should take?” If you feel that desire or stirring, just say Yes. Reach out to those around that you wouldn’t normally “church” with. Invite them over for 2 hours, 4 questions, and 6 women. God will not let you down!

How do you plan on setting your TABLE?


Women will gather around a TABLE all over Jacksonville during the weekend of October 7 at various times and locations. You can sign up to host or attend a TABLE in the atrium on Sunday 9/18 and 9/25. Questions? Contact Rachael Calzada at RachaelO@msn.com. 

 

 

Into the Light

Sometimes being in the dark can be good, sometimes not. As a teacher, I find sitting in my classroom with the lights dimmed after a busy day so calming. In the mornings when I get ready I like to keep the lights dimmed for a different reason. When it’s darker, I don’t have to see all of my flaws in the mirror. As women, we tend to want to stay in the “darkness” or at least keep the lights dimmed in our lives to avoid seeing all of our imperfections. However, God wants us to turn on His light to show us where He wants us to grow and change.

Priscilla Shirer writes in The Armor of God study,

“Our deceiver operates in the darkness. And he hopes we will, too. As long as we’re stumbling around shrouded in darkness – not really sure what’s true and what’s not – we’ll never be able to see him for who he really is and detect the underlying intentions of his plans. What we need is a spotlight that pierces the darkness and lays bare all his evil schemes, systems, and illusions. The truth of God’s Word is that light.”

Priscilla’s words left a deep impression on me this summer. She shared how absolutely critical it is to know all of God’s Word. Not just a basic surface knowledge, but a deep intimate knowledge. It is easy to be deceived by Satan’s lies in our culture and in our own hearts and minds, but as women of God we can choose to not be deceived any longer. We can choose to be immersed in God’s Word each day and allow His light to shine into every part of our lives.

In the past, I’ve tried to read through the entire Bible on my own, but became easily sidetracked or confused. I started thinking that other Chets women might have had the same struggles. This gave me the idea for the upcoming study, Chets Women: READ THE BIBLE. Over the next nine months we will be using resources created by The Bible Project as we read God’s Word together. With the help of a daily reading plan, once a month meetings, and videos that explain each book of the Bible, we will learn HOW to read the Bible for ourselves and keep each other ENCOURAGED every step of the way. What a powerful gift for each of us.

The goal of this study is to read God’s Word, His spotlight of truth, and know it so deeply that it changes our hearts for our good and ultimately for God’s glory. Even as Joshua was about to enter the Promised Land, the Lord expressed how important His Word is. God tells Joshua in Joshua 1:8, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Please join me as we read the Bible together. It won’t be easy, but it will be so worth it!!

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16

Chets-Women-Read-the-Bible-fb

(( Register here for Chets Women: READ THE BIBLE ))


FullSizeRender (1){This post was written by Kelly Miller. Kelly is a wife to Ben, mommy to a sweet daughter, and a 2nd grade teacher at Providence. She is an active member of the Stevens Lifegroup. She enjoys studying God’s Word and loves to encourage others in their relationship with the Lord. Some of her favorite things include playdates with friends, massages, and iced coffees.}

Pull the Plug and Get Real!

Women, especially in our current culture, crave connection. We find a myriad of ways to keep in touch with our families, friends, other moms, co-workers, women we met at Target or at Bible study. And society doesn’t hinder our efforts either, with the push to keep up with everyone you’ve ever even heard of through Facebook. Or, if you’re a little younger, Instagram. Or, even a little younger, SnapChat. Just yesterday, Ciara Parker excitedly gave me the beginnings of what, I’m sure, will shape up to be a very informative SnapChat tutorial. Or these cell phones now, the size of a small iPad. The iPhone 6+ won’t even fit in the Chick-Fil-A phone coop! (FYI—we crammed ours in because, let’s face it, we all wanted free ice cream!) Everyone and everything is at our disposal; or we could consider that WE are at everyone’s disposal. And many times, we make SURE we are at everyone’s disposal…because how will they manage without us?

In addition to the constant connection to people and the world around us, we are imprisoned in our own personal struggles, like anxiety, depression, family issues, broken relationships, fear, the comparison trap. I mean, I constantly compare myself to Sally who is over here making apple-shaped and scented homemade soaps for all her kids’ teachers on the first day of school. And I’m just over hoping I can use the bathroom by myself for five minutes. Seriously. I struggle with anxiety, and have since I was a child. Some days my unfounded anxiety controls my entire day, and I find myself engaged in a battle that, seemingly, has no light at the end of the tunnel. And who wants to share with everyone all the baggage they deal with constantly? Because if Sally who makes apple-scented soaps knows my issues, then she will NEVER invite me to come over and make soap with her and her perfect Pinterest friends, and I’ll be a loser mom. And wife. And woman.

So, what do I do? I was taught from an early age to “fake it til ya make it.” And I have mastered the art of faking it…to my detriment. Why do we, as early as we understand how to, hide our weaknesses and struggles and pretend to be someone we’re not? While I know that transparency requires some discretion, especially on social media and in large groups, we often put up a façade even to those who love us and know us best.

Listen, friends, we as sisters in Christ should be unified, “encouraging one another, all the more faithfully as [we] see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). We’re all broken. Don’t be fooled by a Facebook profile picture or apple soap. We all have struggles and hard days and crazy kids and difficult relationships and—stop traffic—weaknesses. And sometimes we just need to intentionally walk away, lay it down, shut the door, UNPLUG the power that satan deceives us with. That is what UNPLUGGED is all about—coming together as sisters who love the Lord and acknowledging that we don’t have it all together…but our God does. And when we plug into His goodness and power and rest and peace and mercy, his love mends our brokenness and makes us whole. Remember that His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

So—truly—come as you are, and join us for Chets Women: UNPLUGGED ~ A Night of Songs and Stories.

13876515_10154990781649688_4171161939189442340_n

This event is free and open to all women. Let us know you’re coming and easily invite your coworkers, neighbors, friends and family by sharing the Facebook event. Childcare is provided for kids, babies to 5th grade, by online reservation.


April

{This post was written by April Tapp. April is an Arkansas girl who is enjoying her newly transplanted life in sunny Florida. She is married to Jeff, the Minister to Students at Chets Creek Church. With a heart for girls ministry, April serves alongside Jeff in student ministry, as well as serving in the women’s ministry role of leading the team for large group gatherings. Jeff and April have two boys that keep April on her toes, especially when their fun involves surfing (read: sharks), skateboards, and high speeds. She loves her Keurig, writing, teaching, and you’ll always see her in a great pair of earrings.}

Fall 2016 Bible Studies

It’s that time again! Fall bible studies are fast approaching and registration is now OPEN! We have a great line up of studies to choose from. If you have not participated before, we hope this will be the semester you decide to jump in. With a wide variety of topics, and classes offered on Monday and Wednesday nights and Tuesday mornings, there is a study just for you that will fit your schedule! We promise it will be one of the best investments of your time and the friendships you form will be such a blessing. Feel free to invite a friend or neighbor to join you. Bible studies are open to any and all women. You can register online for classes and free childcare. Or you may visit the Chets Women table in the atrium on Sunday August 21 and 28 to browse books, talk to facilitators and register. Workbooks are $15 each unless otherwise specified.


MONDAY NIGHT STUDIES ~ Start September 12  •  7:00 to 9:00pm

Chets Women: READ THE BIBLE13653223_10210020592412998_4388951582646508299_o

Leader: Kelly Miller  •  No Cost

Have you ever wanted to read the whole Bible for yourself, but easily got discouraged or confused? If so, then the Chets Women: READ THE BIBLE is for you! We will read through the whole Bible together during the upcoming school year (September to June). There is a daily reading plan, videos that explain each book of the Bible, and we will meet together on the second Monday of each month (September 12 to June 12) to encourage each other every step of the way.

 

Transformed: How God Changes Us13882513_10209980153202043_5844854641544366394_n by Rick Warren

7 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Daphne Summers •  Cost $13

The world is shouting for our attention with answers to our relationship struggles, solutions to our financial trouble, and explanations to our search for meaning. But the world’s promises leave us empty and searching for more. God’s Word is the only answer that promises to transform our lives from the inside out. Be a part of our TRANSFORMED fall spiritual growth campaign at Chets by being in a Transformed Group. We will look at how God changes us in seven key areas of our life: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, relational, financial, and vocational. This is the same study as we will be doing in LifeGroups and will align with Pastor Spike’s sermons.

 

Here and Now…There and Then: A Lecture Series on Revelation by Beth Moore

13921087_10209995316661120_3099925084269917711_n

11 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Ali Long • Cost $15

An in-depth study series on the book of Revelation presenting many points of view, allowing women to decide for themselves when the interpretation varies among scholars. She teaches that God is as specific about what He does reveal as He is about what He does not reveal.

 

 

Me, Myself & Lies: A Thought-Closet Makeover by Jennifer Rothschild

13934612_10210006299695689_6646766329079256790_n

7 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Liza Akley • Cost $15

Words are powerful. Especially the words women speak to themselves. All too often, what they say to themselves when they lie in bed at night or look in the mirror in the morning is not even close to the words God wants them to speak to their souls. What we think about often has a ripple effect on nearly every area of our lives.

 

 

The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirerplanning-center---armor-of-god

7 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Shawna Mills  •  Cost $15

All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you — unseen, unheard, yet felt throughout every aspect of your life. A devoted, devilish enemy seeks to wreak havoc on everything that matters to you: your heart, your mind, your marriage, your children, your relationships, your resilience, your dreams, your destiny. But his battle plan depends on catching you unaware and unarmed. If you’re tired of being pushed around and caught with your guard down, this study is for you.

 


TUESDAY MORNING STUDIES ~ Start August 30 • 9:30 to 11:30am

Discerning the Voice of God13920972_10209995237019129_8885857502484056966_n by Pricilla Shirer

8 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Dee McCollum  •  Cost $15

Have you been in the presence of passionate believers who shared stirring encounters with God’s voice while your own soul overflowed with confusion? How did the saints know God was speaking? No blessing surpasses a relationship with God in which you know when He is specifically calling to you. The more intimate your relationship with Him, the clearer God’s voice becomes. This study provides participants with practical help in knowing whether what you’re hearing is from God. You will become more familiar with God’s Spirit, His character, language, and tone of voice.

Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman13891854_10209995459704696_9114289459881345030_n by Beth Moore

11 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Sherrill Boone  •  Cost $15

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.

 

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst

13891928_10210006363857293_2557356925281509838_n

6 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Yvonne Yarbrough  •  Cost $15

This Bible study helps women explore the roots of rejection; the lies we believe as a result; and the truth about who God is, who we are, and what it looks like to live loved.

 

 

Transformed: How God Changes Us by Rick Warren

13882513_10209980153202043_5844854641544366394_n

7 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Gina Cruz  • Cost: $13

The world is shouting for our attention with answers to our relationship struggles, solutions to our financial trouble, and explanations to our search for meaning. But the world’s promises leave us empty and searching for more. God’s Word is the only answer that promises to transform our lives from the inside out. Be a part of our TRANSFORMED fall spiritual growth campaign at Chets by being in a Transformed Group. We will look at how God changes us in seven key areas of our life: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, relational, financial, and vocational. This is the same study as we will be doing in LifeGroups and will align with Pastor Spike’s sermons.

 

Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg13920635_10210006425938845_8493492854224218201_n

6 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leader: Kristen Veniard  •  Cost $15

Anxiety. Depression. Fear. Loneliness. These are all symptoms of a soul that has lost touch with its source of life. Like a flower snipped from the vine, the soul that is not turned toward God can only wither away. In this study we will discover what the soul is, why it is important, how to assess it’s health, and how to care for it so that it contributes to the depth and beauty of our relationship with God and others.

**This study begins on Tuesday, September 13.**

 


WEDNESDAY EVENING LIFE UNIVERSITY COURSES ~ Start August 24 • 6:30 to 7:30pm

Made to Crave with Whole30 Methods by Lysa Terkeurst13886918_10209980104680830_3888514050579450702_n

6 Weeks, DVD/Book Study

Leaders: Marie Meltzer and Diana Bartolec

Cost: $10

Journey with us as we learn to satisfy our deepest desires with God – not food. The course will combine Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave study with an effective nutritional approach using Whole30 methods.

 

 

Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves by Trillia Newbell

13872675_10209980022038764_7993938862912052067_n

6 Weeks, DVD/Book Study

Leader: Cathy Kaplan

Cost: $10

Failure, rejection, sickness, losing a loved one, being alone – the fears we carry are many and heavy. Fear can be a tyrant, a bully we can’t hide from. It can paralyze our spirit, damage our relationships, and hinder our faith. When we’re struck with fear, where do we turn? Can God really be trusted? In this course we will explore our fears and how those fears impact their relationships, self-esteem, peace of mind, and walk with God. We will walk through Scriptures that show God’s love and strength when we are afraid and His faithfulness in times of trouble.

 

Mom to Mom: Heart Talk on What Really Matters by Linda Schultz Anderson

12 Weeks, DVD/Workbook Study1797383_10210006481100224_7360943609068483819_n

Leaders: Emily Ramsey and Jessica Brothers

Cost: $15

Mom to Mom is a Biblically-based parenting program designed around the Titus 2:4 concept of older women teaching and encouraging younger women in their relationship with their husbands and children. Through small group interaction, growth occurs not only in our parenting skills but also in our wholeness as women – intellectually, relationally, and spiritually.

 

Transformed: How God Changes Us (Spanish-speaking Women) by Rick Warren

13901468_10210021051224468_5106251363377690351_n

6 weeks, DVD/Workbook Study

Leaders: Gladys Franco and Adriana Brinkman

Cost: $13

Transformados es una campaña de siete sesiones, que guiará y hará crecer su iglesia mediante la exploración de lo que la Biblia tiene que decir sobre cada área esencial de nuestra vida: Espiritual, Física, Mental, Emocional, Relacional, Financiera y Vocacional. El mundo está gritando para captar nuestra atención con las respuestas a nuestras luchas con las relaciones personales, con soluciones a nuestros problemas financieros y con las explicaciones a nuestra búsqueda del significado. Pero las promesas del mundo nos dejan vacíos y en la búsqueda de más. La voluntad de Dios es la única respuesta que promete TRANSFORMAR nuestras vidas desde dentro hacia fuera.


Register online today or in the church atrium on Sunday, August 21 & 28.

Using the Sword of the Spirit

When Jesus was in the desert being tempted He relied on the Word of God by quoting it and using it as an offensive weapon against spiritual attacks from the enemy. Our Lord was teaching us how important knowing and quoting Scripture is. David said that he hid God’s Word in his heart so that he might not sin (Psalm 119:11). We know that the Word of God is powerful and eternal. We know that it is given to us, to help us, but do we utilize it like we should?13709688_10209480565428220_2088099286_o (1)

When I first started discipleship triads and was presented with memorizing Scripture, I’m sure I was like most people I know thinking, “This is hard; it’s been awhile since I had to memorize (not since college) and how am I going to remember where all the verses are from.” I thought I was in for a challenge, but once I found a method that worked for me, memorizing Scripture became a passion. All that “I can’t do this” talk disappeared and the Holy Spirit opened my mind to how important Scripture is to my walk with God.

As Christians we are taught the importance of putting God’s word in our hearts.

  • Jesus illustrated the importance of Scripture– Scripture was so important to Jesus that He quoted from 24 books roughly 180 times. God calls us to memorize Scripture and in His Word we are constantly told to dwell on it, meditate on it, study it, place it in our heart, teach it, obey it, and talk about it all the time, lest we forget.
  • Scripture renews your mind and it transforms you to be able to discern what is good and pleasing to God. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2. This renewing of the mind is achieved only through the reading and retaining of His powerful Word.
  • It helps us resist temptation, discern the lies of the enemy, live righteously, and be obedient. As Jesus illustrated in the desert, memorizing Scripture gives us a better understanding of God, what He desires from us and for us, how He wants us to live, and what He says about us. God has given us His Word as a weapon to use in spiritual warfare; in fact it is the only offensive weapon on the list.
  • It helps us encourage other believers. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:18, “Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.”
  • It allows us to more effectively share the gospel with unbelievers. We don’t always have our Bible handy when witnessing and presenting the message of salvation. God’s Word, unlike ours, has authority and power. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. And in 1 Peter 3:15 we are told to always be prepared to give an answer for our hope in Christ.

There are many methods to memorizing Scripture, but the most important thing to do when you start is not to be self-defeating by saying, “I can’t do this, I ……”  YES YOU CAN DO THIS!! God would not tell us to do something we were not capable of doing. Here are some suggestions and the internet has multiple sites dedicated to helping people learn the best ways to memorize Scripture.

FullSizeRender (2)

  • Choose a verse to memorize that speaks to you about something going on in your life right now.
  • Make the verse smaller by breaking it down into 5 words at a time and when you have memorized those five words, add more until you have memorized the entire verse.
  • There is plenty of science behind the fact that we retain information better when we write it down and say it out loud. Always start with the location of the verse and continue to repeat what you have read as many times as it takes to put it to memory.
  • Use different techniques such as drawing pictures, putting the verse to music, writing it on flashcards, stick it on your mirrors or carry it with you.
  • Don’t give up!  Like any new good habit it takes time to develop a system that works for you and with practice anything will become easier.

FullSizeRender (3)I find for me the flashcards work best. Now when I wake up in the morning, I grab my flashcards of God’s Word and promises and I go through them, adding new Scriptures to the old ones I have memorized. All day long, as I go through the day, I can apply the verses I know to help me with temptation, obedience, trusting God, to give me hope, and to discern lies from the enemy. Just as important, I can recall Scripture to help others in their time of need. I find peace in my struggles and hope in the midst of it.  Start small – one verse – anyway that works best for you. You will never regret it and I know it will change your life.


This post IMG_3250was written by Chelly Brown, a disciple of Jesus and leader of the Chets Women Transform Ministry. Chelly is also a mom of four young men and grandmother to three adorable preschoolers – all boys!  She stays active by taking care of the little ones and attending her teenage sons’ band performances and baseball games. Her superhero power is tap dancing and she will never turn down a fishing trip.

 

Triads, Triads, Read all about it!

 

Women gathered after church today to learn about Chets Women Discipleship Triads – a group of three women who grow in spiritual maturity by centering on the essentials of God’s Word. With the direction of the Holy Spirit, women form intimate, encouraging and accountable relationships with each other.

Chelly Brown shared how this approach to discipleship has dramatically changed her life. For example, a few years ago she didn’t know any scripture, and memorization has never been something easy for her, but now she can. not. stop. sharing Scripture! And the ladies attending from her Lifegroup gave an “Amen!” in agreement to that fact. Scripture memorization is only one component of this disciple-making approach, which re-wired Chelly’s thoughts and transformed her actions. Aside from the personal growth in her relationship with Christ, Chelly has peace knowing that she IS fulfilling the great commission to make disciples and forming strong friendships along the way. The triad approach and the workbook entitled, “Discipleship Essentials” teaches you everything you need to know about multiplication. Chelly now leads the Chets Women Transform Ministry and we had the privilege of hearing from several of her team members and those who have participated in a life-changing triad.

IMG_3375

Chets Women Transform Ministry Team

Triads involve a high level of commitment to the study and the members of the group. Members work individually through a daily curriculum workbook of 25 lessons and meet weekly for an hour or two to discuss the homework. Due to the demands of life, it may take a year to complete the study. As Daphne Summers said, “It doesn’t matter how busy you are, God will make a way for you to get the work done.” The awesome thing about getting into God’s word is that the more you dig in, the more He gives you the desire to do so. Becky Nott said she couldn’t believe how much she looked forward to this special time of the day for her…“I couldn’t wait to get home to read and see what came next in the book.”

Liza Akley has done many Bible studies through the church and on her own, but she pointed out one major difference in being involved in a triad – ACCOUNTABILITY. Occasionally she’d like to skip over the reciting Scripture part during their meeting, but her Triad sisters love her too much to let her miss out on this powerful aspect of a Triad. Of all the books and tools that Liza has used to study God’s Word, she says none has impacted her life the way the Holy Spirit has through this book.

Marie Meltzer said through this experience she has “developed a sincere, heartfelt love for her sisters in Christ.” And this was confirmed one Sunday when her Lifegroup went around the room and described each person in one word. They described Marie as ‘loving.’ Women are transformed through this experience and others take note.

IMG_3381

Marie Meltzer, Diana Bartolec, Chelly Brown, & Martha Pellino

Many of the women who came are ready to get started. They bought their book and now they are headed home to pray. They are praying for God to place other spiritually hungry women on their heart. Then they will extend the invitation to two other women. And after they all take time to pray, when the Holy Spirit confirms, a Triad is born.  The transformation journey begins and deep, genuine, life-long friendships are made.

If you’re ready to take your relationship with Jesus to the next level, while fulfilling your purpose to glorify God by making disciples, then it is time to consider a Discipleship Triad. Ready to find out more? Let us know by checking off “Women interested in discipling others” on the Chets Women website or contact Chelly Brown at Chellbro6@gmail.com.

 

Grandma found at Chets

When I was asked to share this particular story, my knee-jerk reaction was to wave it away, not because the story is anything less than truly amazing, but because this is not the type of thing I usually do. In the past, I’ve tended to be very personal with my faith and only recently am I truly beginning to grasp how important it is to share this aspect of life. After some thought (and much-needed encouragement by the ladies in my bible study), I felt this was something I was being led to share.

My husband and I are relatively new to Jacksonville and Chets Creek – we moved here last July for my husband’s job, away from, quite literally, everyone we knew. Up until November, I worked outside of the home as well, but we then made the decision for me to stay home with our two children (3 and 1) hoping it would help with some of the challenges of being in a new area. We weren’t truly “connected” at Chets until January when we joined a Life Group and I decided to sign up for a Women’s Bible Study. I decided I was going to sign up for one long before I decided *which* one (admittedly, one of my primary reasons was to get more connected with women outside of my Life Group). Despite always wanting to do a Beth Moore study, I was inexplicably led to select Fingerprints of God by Jennifer Rothschild, along with 7 other ladies.

12716371_1962906193933643_8044600547145676308_o

Throughout the first month of study, we discussed God’s individual touch on our lives as well as how He uses extraordinary and individualized means to make Himself known (Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc). So here we came, to our fourth meeting as a group. We were discussing feeling God’s touch with gratitude and exploring the barriers that we have to thankfulness/gratitude. One thing that I have struggled with very much since our relocation has been social media. I see pictures of our nieces with my parents-in-law and instead of thinking, “Wow, this is so cool that we live in a day and age where we have a privilege to be a part of that remotely,” I find myself thinking, “Awww, I miss all of that. I wish our kids could see family more often…” (Cue the pity party.)  

I shared this with the ladies in my group. I shared how my biggest hurt in my heart is for my kids. I shared about my sorrow in taking them away from family who loves them dearly. I tearfully shared my feelings about how they are missing out on those treasured grandparent relationships. Just thinking about it always makes me an emotional mess so sharing it with the group was a big deal for me.  

Thankfully, there was a tissue box nearby. The ladies with me were tearful, too, and sought to comfort me. Then, Jennifer, the woman sitting next to me, said, “I can be a surrogate Grandma.” There were head nods all around in agreement. For me, this was indeed touching, but I had no idea what to say. So, knowing myself, I would have been likely to think, “Aww, how sweet! Ok, well, I’ll see you next Tuesday!” and not end up following through on anything. When it comes to social situations, I tend to be all talk and no game. Just as I was about to retreat, Jennifer said something that stopped me in my tracks, “By the way, my grandma name is Nonni.”

All guise of holding it together went out the window as I tearfully explained that my mom is Nonny.  

Neither of us have ever known another Nonni/y and were shocked at this revelation. We hugged for who knows how long as the tissues made their way around the table, and she kept whispering in my ear, “This is God,” and “God is good.” It’s as if God had used her revelation of being Nonni to snap me out of whatever funk I was trying to dive into. God used her to say, “Pay attention! This is Me! You need to follow through on this!”

I am very happy to report that the first time we got together, my children immediately took to Jennifer. It has been a blessing for my children and I to get to know Jennifer. I am so thankful that God brought us together and for this beautiful example of His personal touch on my life.  

IMG_3132IMG_3143IMG_3172IMG_3139

 

1932468_10203387929205867_356310544_n

I feel so thankful that God allowed me to be a witness to His work in this circumstance. God really showed His compassion to Sydney through Jennifer and how kind He is to allow the rest of us to witness His work so individually and specifically just as we were all studying how God touches our lives. It was as if He lovingly and gently said, “Yes ladies, what you are studying is true and I will demonstrate it to you right now!” That special moment in class, while Sydney and Jennifer were hugging, I looked down at my study guide where we left off and I read what I had written earlier in the week to ask the ladies – “Who does God send to touch us?” ~ Eve Huntly

IMG_3179I am so thankful to our Lord for bringing Sydney and I together. My mother, Velma, passed away at the age of 58. She was beautiful, loving, friendly and generous. She loved the Lord, served others and she impacted my life abundantly! My daughters were very young at her passing and I was heartbroken they wouldn’t get to grow up knowing their Grandma. I needed to honor the precious wisdom and love my mother shared. God is so GOOD and has given me multiple ways to honor my mother and serve Him by serving others. I am so blessed by this opportunity to visit with Sydney’s precious children…what joy fills my heart!  ~ Jennifer Hackenberry

 


IMG_3154


IMG_3099{This post was written by Sydney Frank. Sydney is a wife and mommy of two, Aria (3 years) and Brand (18 months).  She and high-school-sweetheart-now-husband, Ryan (married almost 6 years) are new transplants to Jacksonville, originally from Minnesota.  She is slowly adjusting to becoming a stay-at-home mom and spends most of her time trying to keep up with her kiddos, fueled mainly by coffee and the all-so-rare nap.}


If you’re ready to get connected with other Chets women, join us for our Summer Bible Study on Monday nights from 7:00 – 9:00pm beginning on May 16th. Register here and invite your friends. Pass on the details using the Facebook Event.