Friday, November 4, 2011

Mark your calendar for this wonderful women’s outreach event on December 5th. General ticket sales begin November 13.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It was the day after a dear friend's funeral. I walked into a local Starbuck's, ordered and paid for my specialty coffee and walked out to my car. After my next stop, I suddenly realized that I didn't have that yummy "tall, extra hot, non-fat, decaf, no-whip mocha" in my possession. In fact, I had simply walked out after paying for it, instead of waiting for it to be made. For a moment, I contemplated my sillyness and whether or not I wanted to head back there and pick up my now lukewarm coffee, if it was still sitting on the counter there at all. Thankfully, I've learned to laugh at myself over the years, so back I went. The barista and I had a good chuckle about it and he generously offered to remake my coffee drink so it would be piping hot again. I let him. And I told him a bit about my week. Actually more like my summer - a season marked by some difficult times - losses of dear people, other friends who are hurting and some illness of my own.

The truth is, there are those seasons where difficulty seems to come in waves that pummel us and can leave us in a bit of a fog. Grief, pain, illness, injustice, hunger, fear, loneliness, anger - these are some of the emotions that can shape our view of life in this world. We need something to hold onto when circumstances leave us reeling. We need a light to guide us through our fog. That light is Jesus. He is the truth that guides our way. Paul's invitation to set our hearts and minds on things above, not on earthly things reminds us that it's our view of things that can make a difference in the midst of life's circumstances.

This fall, our large group Women's Bible Studies on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings will be doing a study together aimed at guiding our way through the fog of this world and its daily, sometimes soul numbing grind to the Kingdom Life available to each of us as we follow Christ. This practical, in-depth study of Colossians 3 will serve as a roadmap to transformed living, which is why we're calling it "Living it Out." There will be a large group teaching time, followed by discussion in small groups - an opportunity to share authentically and crawl into each others hearts as fellow companions on this pilgrim journey. If you're serious about living your life as God intends, you won't want to miss it.

Register after services August 28, September 11 or 18.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Women's Retreat

There's a large picture of a bunch of women from our church hanging on my office wall. It was taken last year at our women's retreat and I absolutely love it. that's why you'll see it here and on our Women's Ministries Facebook page. The beauty of the trees flanked by the pristine blue of the lake and snow capped mountains in the background beckons me and I find myself wanting to be there again to breathe in the crisp air and drink in the wonder of God's creation. But I'm struck by another beauty in that photograph that stands out to me even more. It's the faces of the women gathered as one. These are my people. My peeps. The ones I get to do church with - do life with. We are friends. We are co-laborers and journey companions. We are shaping one another through our conversations and actions with each other. We have Christ in common and that bonds us in a sacred, mysterious way. And I feel great love and gratitude to God for these amazing women. And can't wait to go away for a weekend with them again. Soon!

Our next women's retreat is April 29-May 1. If you joined us last year, you know how wonderful it is to carve out time and space to get away with each other and with God. And if you've never come, or perhaps haven't come in awhile.....maybe this is the weekend for you to do so. We'll be talking about the heart change that God desires for us and works in us, and what happens as a result. You'll surely be inspired by the women who share their heart with you as they speak in the sessions and by the beauty of our gorgeous location on the banks of Lake Tahoe. We'll play, relax, eat, nap, learn, laugh, create, discover, eat, converse; did I say "eat"? The food is yummy, as are the incredible snacks. And gifts - who doesn't like gifts?

I hope you'll consider joining us, and being in the group picture we take this year - a snapshot of our "family" of women. Spaces are filling up fast - register soon after one of our services or in the office during the workweek. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome, 2011!

It's a brand new year, and we've got all kinds of things happening for women at Oak Hills. Check it out:

1. New communication vehicles - we have a variety of ways to keep you in the loop of the latest happenings in Women's Ministries:

This blog, of course. As well as other postings on our church website.

Our email, instant update list. If we don't have your email address, let us know by emailing

Our various Facebook Pages - Oak Hills Church and Oak Hills Church Women's Ministries. There is also a Facebook Event page for our Oak Hills Church Women's Retreat. Look for us on Facebook and "Like Us", and become a Friend.

And, as always, you'll find information about women's happenings in our church bulletin.

2. Tuesday Morning Women's Bible Studies - begin on Feb 1 with three different study options:

The Seven Pillars of Health led by Debbie Luz

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream led by Sue Young

Hebrews: An Invitation to Intimacy led by Lynn Derrick

Registration begins in our lobby on January 23.

3. Women's Retreat: Mark your calendars - April 29-May 1. We're beginning the planning for our awesome time away together. Watch for registration to begin in late February/early March.

4. Dinner By the Dozen: This is something new! We piloted our first one last November, and it was a blast! Designed to help women get to know each other better, these dinners take place in homes (and yes, there are 12 women there) and include feasting and luxurious time to get to know each other over just one dinner. If you would like to host a dinner in your home, let me know - I can even help you with the guest list and co-hostess if you like. If you'd like to be invited to a dinner, let me know that as well! Hopefully, soon we'll have these going on with women all throughout the church.

5. Body and Soul: This exercise class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday continues to happen on our church campus. It's a wonderful workout led my our own Teresa Harbert. For more information, contact her at

6. Small Groups: There are a number of women's small groups meeting throughout the week. For more information or to get connected, contact me -

Happy New Year, 2011!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Capp ReCap(p)

Well, it's done. Another Cappuccino Christmas has come and gone and many of us have now been officially "launched" into the Christmas season. For lots of us, this event serves to prepare us for the festivities to come throughout the rest of December. I love every part of the evening. Seeing the hostesses setting and decorating their tables with care and creativity, the men preparing the coffee, escorting the women to their tables and serving them throughout the evening, savoring an amazing dinner prepared by our own Kitchen team and then enjoying a program filled with wonder, imagination and laughter. Mike's talk on "Do I Matter?" after the "It's a Wonderful Life" Radio Play, was both inspirational and challenging. It's a good question on which to ruminate in your journey of faith, and for some, a journey toward faith for the first time.

I also loved milling around the room before dinner and getting to meet SO MANY guests. Many women had invited their neighbors, or coworkers, or football team friends, or school friends. And I felt so blessed that we could all come together to share this special evening. There were about 540 women there, 50 men serving us, 10 in the kitchen, 10 in the play and 5 in our tech booth. You do the math - that's a lot of people!

This year was extra-special for me. My daughter, who had been schooling and working out of state over the past 5 years, was able to attend for the first time. And as I sat down to eat, I just felt so grateful to be sitting between her and my mother-in-law. Three generations, enjoying this beautiful time together. Yep, yummy food, great service, beautiful tables and an inspiring program to share with people I love: PRICELESS. We've been doing Cappuccino Christmas for 17 years now, and it has changed a lot over the years. But one thing hasn't changed; my joyful anticipation for the next one!

Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas and Advent season as we celebrate the extraordinary gift God has given us in His Son.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

And They're Off!!

Woohoo! Our Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening studies are off and running as they started up for the Fall this week. Pictured here are the leaders for the Wednesday night study of Esther - Karen Ransom and Linda Roeszler. And I'm thrilled to report that between these two groups, 93 women are registered. How wonderful! I loved being there at the kick off for both the morning and evening studies to see the devotion of the five leaders who have so lovingly and diligently prepared for this, and the enthusiasm of all the women who came to embark on a journey of study for the next few months. It was a beautiful sight. Warms the cockles of my heart! I pray that God will richly bless these students with ears to hear and hearts to receive all that His has for each person through these studies. And that new relationships will be formed and old ones strengthened.

It's not too late to join if you haven't already. Just let me know if you'd like to come, and I'll get word out to the leaders. The morning studies provide no-cost childcare, but let us know if you're coming with children so we can make sure we have plenty of helpers.

In other news, just a reminder that the Joyce Meyer conference is at Arco next weekend, Sept 30 - Oct 2. Admission is free - bring a friend!

Cappuccino Christmas is coming closer! (December 6) This is a fabulous event - if you have attended, you know what I mean. If not, trust me, I think you'll love it! Hostess tickets will go on sale the end of October and general ticket sales will run throughout November. Please be praying now about who you can invite and have some purposeful conversations with about God. Watch the bulletin for details about ticket sales.

Grind Time: What a wonderful summer it has been! For the last 5 months, I've been at It's a Grind on Friday mornings for whoever wanted to come and visit over a cup of coffee. I got to visit with so many of you, along with some women from other churches and even strangers. I've really enjoyed this experience - thank you! And if you came, I hope you did, too. With the Fall having arrived and ministries back in full swing, I've wrapped up Grind Time for now. But, I'm always game for a cup of coffee or a lunch, so let me know if you want to meet sometime and we'll make it happen!

Devotional: A friend of mine shared this from the study she's doing on Tuesday mornings:

"When a potter bakes a pot, he checks its solidity by pulling it out of the oven and thumping it. If it "sings" it's ready. If it "thuds" it's placed back in the oven. The character of a person is also checked by thumping.

Been thumped lately?

Late night phone calls. Grouchy teacher. Grumpy moms. Burnt meals. Flat tires. "You've got to be kidding" deadlines. Those are thumps. Thumps are those irritating inconveniences that trigger the worst in us. They catch us off guard. Flat footed. They aren't big enough to be crises, but if you get enough of them, watch out! Traffic jams. Long lines. Empty mailboxes. Dirty clothes on the floor..... Thump. Thump. Thump. How do I respond? Do I sing? Or do I thud? Jesus said that out of the nature of the heart a man speaks (Luke 6:45). There's nothing like a good thump to reveal the nature of a heart. The true character of a person is seen not in momentary heroics, but in the thump-packed humdrum of day to day living." (From Shaped by God by Max Lucado)

I don't know about you, but I want to be changed into more of a person who "sings"!

Be blessed,


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fall Women's Bible Studies

The kick-off of the Fall season at Oak Hills is an exciting time, especially because it means new large group women's Bible studies will be starting. These larger group studies meet on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings at the church, beginning September 21st and 22nd. The study options include:

Tuesday Mornings (9:30 - 11:30am):

Option 1: "The Book of James" (Max Lucado's Life Lessons) led by Betsy Huskey. In this study, we will embark on a fascinating study, examining our hearts in the light of God's word and discussing such topics as enduring temptation, taming the tongue, trusting God, preparing for difficulties and learning to come to Him for guidance. This will be a life lesson for anyone wanting to grow in their faith.

Option 2: "Psalms" led by Sue Young. This book of the Bible is a devotional guide, prayer book and hymnal for God's people. In this study, we'll meet a variety of people just like us that are seeing a closer relationship with Him: praising and worshipping, crying out in despair, confessing sins, seeking help and seeking guidance. This will be an interactive study with questions provided for you each week. If you desire to learn how to worship and seek God with your whole heart, this study is for you.

Option 3: "Love Revolution" (a Joyce Meyer DVD based study) led by Cheryl Benedict. As yourself this question - "What am I doing for others?" This study addresses the need for us to "overthrow selfish, self-centered living and practice aggressive acts of kindness". It is time for us to stop thinking about what we can't do and being to practice what God commands - LOVE ONE ANOTHER. In this video study, Joyce uses somewhat alarming statistics and situation to impress upon us the severity of the problems that plague our world and our society. The good news is that the solution can begin right here; in our homes, our church and our community. This study will give you the tools, desire and accountability. You will be challenged to perform simple acts of God's love and we will hear from people who are doing just that. If each of us will reach out to just one person, we can being a Love Revolution!

**No Cost Child-care is available for morning studies

Wednesday Evenings (7:00 - 8:30pm):

"It's Tough Being a Woman" (a Beth Moore DVD based study on Esther) led by Karen Ransom and Linda Roeszler. Join us for this study what will lead us through a journey of tragedy and triumph, teaching us how to trust in God's providence for the tough times and showing us the nature of His activity in human history. We will alternate each week between large group DVD sessions and small group discussion along with the workbook lesson.

Information and registration for all of these studies will be available at the Spotlight Booth in the church lobby after services on Sunday, September 12th and 19th. Stop by to find out more and/or to sign up. We hope to see you there!