Saturday, September 18, 2010

Monthly Challenge- Sept 2010

Challenge 56

“But blessed is the man who trusts Me,...the woman who sticks with God.
They're like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.”
Jeremiah 17:8 (The Message)

Let Go: What has this season in life brought you? Change? Uncertainty? Loneliness?
Start Over: You may feel that your roots in a new community or a new phase in your life are too new and too shallow, but your roots in God can go deeper than they’ve ever been. Dig deeply in the rich “soil” that is God’s word and His promises and you will find refreshment for your soul and a miraculous serenity in the midst of “drought.”
Move Ahead: Start memorizing scripture that will remind you of the truth that God is with you in this transition. When you find yourself doubting, be strengthened by these verses.
John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled,nor let it be fearful.
Isaiah 40:28-31
...Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 37:3-5
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him and He will do it.
Joshua 1:9
....Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Harrison United Methodist Church
Charlotte, NC
Class Leader – Anita King

Class “Day Away”
Our Moving On After Moving In class took a day trip up to the North Carolina mountains and visited the Biltmore Estate while we were there. Spouses and children joined in the adventure and it was a great time of fellowship and fun!
Harrison Church started offering Moving On groups over two years ago now and each time we offer the class the participants have loved it– they learn about our local community and find and share resources together. They have developed friendships that continue on after the class is over, as well as connections to the different ministries available at our church. This is a non-threatening way to connect with others who are new to the community and who share a common goal:to get connected.
Our next class will start on September 15, 2010 and will run on Wednesday mornings from 10 to noon. We’d love to have you join us!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Moving Tips- Sept 2010

Tips for a Winning Move
OR Lessons from the gridiron

What is it that signals Fall for you? Is it the leaves as they take on rich tones of red and gold or their musty aroma after they’ve fallen to the earth? Is it the start of a new school year and the laughter of children on the school playground? Muggy, hot air giving way to cooler temperatures? Sure, it may be all of the above, but for many households it’s the whistles, grunts, and familiar voices of Monday night football emanating from the TV. You may or may not be the one sitting down to enjoy a game, but you have more in common with those brawny players than you know.
Like an ‘away’ game, you may be running on the unfamiliar turf of a new home, and Just Moved Ministry is cheering you from the sidelines as you kickoff the fall and “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
A quarterback never steps on the field without checking in with the coach or listening and watching for his signals. You, too, are the “ball carrier” for your move and your team (family members) moving with you. God cares deeply about every part of your move and is going to coach you to a victorious transition. Don’t try to win this game on your own! Take some time to put together a game plan.
1. Go deep
Spend some time every day in God’s Word. This indispensable Playbook will encourage, instruct, and inspire. After the move, find a Bible Study that you can be a part of. A Moving On After Moving In class or any other Bible study will help you to feel part of a team and keep you running in the right direction.
2. Huddle up
During a move everyone in the family needs to “huddle up” together to stay connected, be informed, and receive instruction. Even a teenager who mayact as if he or she wants to pull away really wants to be included. This is your opportunity to fill everyone in on the progress of the move and to check on each other’s emotional, spiritual, and physical status.
3. Time out
Grab every chance that you can to have some down time. Whether you’re waiting for your son’s piano lesson to end, the little ones have gone down for a nap, or you find yourself home alone, fix a cool drink and put your feet up or go for an energizing walk. While you will be tempted to make every moment “productive”, sometimes quiet rest or alone time is the most productive thing you can do.
4. Lateral pass
A quarterback would never make it through an entire game if he never passed the ball off to a teammate. Ask for help from family members and friends. Be willing to delegate tasks and to enlist the aid of friends. Jonny could pack his own toys, daughter Sara could fill out change of address forms, and packing (or unpacking) could become a social event with a few friends.
5. Don’t sweat a fumble
Even the best players may fumble the ball. Interference, interceptions, and incompletion may cause you to fumble the ball, but it doesn’t have to mean that you’ll lose the “moving game.” Just because you snapped at your kids, packed the overdue library books, or feel waves of anxiety over this move, doesn’t mean that you can’t recover the ball and continue on toward the goal. Expect setbacks. Expect a loss of yardage. But keep your eyes on the goal and don’t lose hope. Check in with The Coach for the next play.
6. Double team
A particularly formidable opponent often calls for “doubling teaming”. According to James Alder’s Guide to Football, this is “playing two defensive players against one offensive player in order to prevent him from making a play.” Satan wants to tackle you, rob you of your joy, and fill you with all kinds of worries. But Scripture assures us of this: "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matthew 18:20) and “...greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) Commit to pray with your husband, with a friend (on the phone or skype if you need to), or with a pastor or mentor against Satan’s attacks during a time when you may be exhausted and vulnerable.
7. Play offense
Write out the steps for reaching your goal of a smooth move (see our Moving Countdown). Don’t try to keep it all in your head. When you’ve created a list of the myriad tasks to accomplish, you’ll get more done, use your time more efficiently, forget fewer things, enjoy the satisfaction of ticking them off, get a little less crazy, and do less last-minute scrambling.
8. Be patient with personal fouls
A personal foul may be called in football for (among other things) late hits and unnecessary roughness. You may experience “late hits” by your teenager who is dreading the move. Moving is especially challenging for teens and you may find yourself the target of your teen’s frustration over having to leave friends and familiarity. Assure him or her of your love and Christ’s promise to provide strength for each day and bright hope for the future (see Jeremiah 29:11). Unnecessary roughness could come from the moving van that failed to show up, the new teacher that seems to have no empathy for the unique needs of your child, or the loneliness you feel. People will disappoint, mistakes will happen, and expectations will be violated, but don’t lose heart. Jesus never disappoints, Jesus never makes a mistake, Jesus will help you with your expectations, and he’ll give you the ability to be patient and trust Him with the outcome.
9. Celebrate in the end zone
No penalty for celebrating in this end zone. Throw a little party for yourself and your family (even if the dog is the only family that moved with you!) after the move is complete. Any move is a tremendous feat and should be acknowledged and congratulated. Bring in pizza, put on some party hats, and have a victory party in your new home: the end zone.
- Ann Kelley

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sept. Devotional

Putting down roots…
Moving is an uprooting and unsettling time in your life. You long to feel rooted and grounded, and yet you’ve just begun to break new ground in a new place. You are probably even experiencing the normal shock of adjustment from being transplanted. It’s never easy to start all over again, but with God’s help, you can do it. God wants you to “grow” in your relationship with Him, and with that growth, begin to bloom, as you put down deep roots in the soil of His love. You will need the garden tools of God’s word from the Bible, involvement in a bible study group, Christian friends, and a church home to cultivate a rich foundation. Then, plant seeds of trust and faith in your “master gardener” and begin to bloom!
Scripture to remember: May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. Ephesians 3:17 TLB
Question to consider: Am I watering my woes, or fertilizing my faith?
Prayer: Oh Lord, I want to grow deep roots in my relationship with you as I break ground in this new place. Equip me with the garden tools I need to start over and become deeply rooted and grounded in you. Amen
Thought for the day: Today, I will plant seeds of trust and faith in my “master gardener” and begin to bloom!
-Susan Miller

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Connect with Susan Miller!

Wouldn't it be great to have regular encouragement from Susan Miller as close as your phone or computer? Now you can! Follow her on Twitter and on her new Facebook page.

Heart Notes- Sept. 2010

Dear Moving Friends,

With summer behind you, and fall just around the corner, life is once again regaining a rhythm of routine and schedules that seemed lost in the casual days of summer. Vacations are over, time off from work has come and gone, and children are back in school. Some of you may have a daughter, or son, going away to college, or moving away from home for the first time. Perhaps you might have experienced great sorrow over the summer from circumstances beyond your control. Or you might still be in the midst of settling in after a move, and haven’t even come up for air yet. You might be thinking, “I didn’t even have a summer break, and I’m spiritually, emotionally, and physically drained from the stress, pain, and chaos in my life.” This brings me to my question, ”How are you doing?” I want to go beyond your smile. I know so well how a smile can cover a multitude of feelings. I want to go straight to your heart. You might need to stop right now--pour yourself a cup of coffee, or make a cup of tea—as you ponder your answer. Now, take a deep breath, and listen up my friends. Here are some ways that I have learned to restore a broken heart, calm raw emotions, and strengthen a spiritual relationship with God.
It’s okay to cry. With change, comes loss. With loss, comes grieving. With grieving, come tears. Give yourself permission to grieve the change and loss in your life.
Remember you are not alone. It’s easy to slip into a pattern of thinking you’re carrying stress, pain, and even chaos, all by yourself. Remind yourself through God’s word that He will never leave you, fail you, or forget you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Recall God’s faithfulness in your life. Oh, how easily we forget! Sometimes I can become so consumed in seeing only what’s happening right now, and how it’s not going according to the “plan of Susan” that I forget God’s faithful track record with me in the past. He has always met all my needs, although not necessarily all my wants (Philippians 4:19). It is all according to His plan, not mine!
Stay grounded in what’s important. A lot of things might be going on in your life right now, and to-do lists are getting longer. Sometimes you just need to pull back to center and get your feet back on the ground before you can move forward. Are you listening to the voice of the world, or the voice of God? God’s to-do list is short, just “Come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). He also says, “Abide in Me” (John 15:4). Then everything else will fall in place.
Stop and smell the flowers. In other words, take time to be good to yourself. Schedule some self-care by taking a break to rest your body, renew your mind, and restore your spirit.
Count your blessings. Regardless of your circumstances, put aside all the “what ifs” and the “if onlys” and start counting your blessings! “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
It was one year ago on August 9th, that my beloved husband, Bill, moved to his eternal home and is now residing in heaven with Jesus--free from the pain of cancer. With summer behind me, I begin another busy fall schedule of teaching, speaking and overseeing Just Moved Ministry. Through ministering to you, I am able to redeem the pain and grief of my own loss. Together, we CAN move forward.
From My Heart to Yours,