Women’s Update 04/02/2015

Competence is Found in Christ
By Sharon Leaman

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. – 2 Corinthians 3:1-6

I can almost taste the restful days of summer up ahead! But for now, these late-winter days seem to stretch and even suspend time. This time of year, more than any other, I can slip into a crisis of confidence in my homeschooling. Have we done enough this year? What can we do better next year? Did I make the right choices for my students? Over the year, as I have gained experience in this ministry to my family, I have learned to appreciate these times even though they at first seem unwelcome. They force me to examine and renew my calling to homeschooling. I ask myself: am I really doing this right?

The apostle Paul faced similar questions in his ministry. Throughout his missionary journeys, the people he ministered to asked him to defend his ministry or give a reason why the churches should listen to him instead of other teachers. The new believers, it seemed, wanted to be sure they were making the right choice in following after Paul’s teaching. They wanted to be confident they were “doing this right” because they were most definitely experiencing the cost of discipleship and persecution. The Corinthian church was no exception. They were struggling with a choice. Who should they follow? Paul? Peter? Apollos? Christ? They later asked Paul for a letter of recommendation, one that would, presumably, list Paul’s credentials and the fruit of his ministry to be sure they had made a right choice.

They wanted to be confident that they had made the right choice and were on the right path. They wanted to be sure that the persecution and the pain of following after Jesus and renouncing old ways was worth it.

How Paul responded to their need for assurance is instructive to any of us who may be going through a crisis of confidence in their ministry or for someone, like Paul, who is asked to give an account of their ministry. Paul writes: “Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:1-6

Paul rejected the request to assign a grade to his ministry. He understood that the target of his ministry was people’s hearts, which cannot be measured by an earthly standard. The only measure of his ministry was that Christ was in their hearts, not whether he could list the successful ways his followers measured up to an objective standard (“tablets of stone”). Rejecting this request was very bold. It was bold because people who want assurances want cold, hard facts. They want measurable goals. Instead, Paul gives them assurances they cannot see and cannot measure. Not typically the kind of data to make a well, informed decision.

Paul’s boldness comes from his confidence in the Spirit’s work through Christ before God. His confidence in his ministry is not in his own competence, but in the competence that is granted from God, to him, as a minister of His Spirit. His confidence is in the One who gives the ministry, not from any claim he can make as a minister. Also, Paul’s ministry was powered by the Spirit of the Living God. The methods and results belong to the

Spirit and cannot be quantified by human “ink” on paper (or in any school notebook or transcript!) Paul worked hard and trusted hard because he knew that God’s own Spirit was signing His name to the top of the page as the author of their faith, not Paul or any other teacher.

What a tender, yet passionate reminder to my tired, easily discouraged heart! Paul’s courage to keep going is because his confidence is from God. He does not take his eyes off his purpose – to proclaim “Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Cor. 4:5). He did not succumb to the tyranny of touting worldly measurements in his ministry. He was after men’s hearts, serving wholeheartedly for Christ sake.

In response to this reminder, what can I learn from Paul’s message to the Corinthians?
– I can renew my commitment to ministering to my children’s hearts as a priority.
-I can reject the call to grade my ministry efforts by something other than the God’s Spirit.
– I can repent of my reliance upon my own competence and not on the One who called me to this ministry to my family.
– I can ask God to open my eyes to see what He IS doing and give thanks. God’s work is clear and can be plainly read: “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.” (2 Cor. 3:2)
– I can pray for others who may be feeling discouraged and for opportunity to share God’s encouragement through His word.

About Sharon: Sharon Leaman is wife to Bruce and mother to four precious children.  She loves her family, time to think and ponder, sing, and she enjoys a new found hobby in watercolor painting. She is grateful to serve at Christ Covenant School, a homeschooling co-op at New Life, and Pioneer Girls, a discipleship ministry to young girls.  She can be contacted at leamans@yahoo.com — she would love to hear from you!

Scroll down for current announcements.

Current Announcements:

Help Needed for Easter Breakfast  | Sunday, April 5 at 8 am
NLICC’s Youth Group will be serving Easter breakfast at 8 am this Sunday.  We are asking that ladies provide the devilled eggs. Usually we go through 8 dozen (16 dozen halves). Let Heather O’Hara know how many you can bring. Thank you! Contact: Heather O’Hara

NO Women’s Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, April 11, 2015
We will not be holding our monthly Women’s Prayer Breakfast on April 11 in lieu of the Talents to Treasure Mini-Conference later in April.

2015 Women’s Ministry Training | Saturday, April 11, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm {Room 217}
We are grateful and thankful for the willingness of the women who will begin the WM Training in April. Eileen Roberts will be leading the first session on Chapters 1-3 from Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt’s Women’s Leadership in the Local Church. Contact: Eileen Roberts

Ministry Project Opportunity | Tuesday, April 14, 9:30 am {Meet in Fireside Room}
Never be lacking in zeal but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. -Romans 12:14
A few women have been assisting with service projects at the church on Tuesday mornings. Two tasks that we will be tackling on April 14 could use the assistance of other willing, helping hands: (1) repairing/re-upholstering the orange chairs and (2) repairing/dusting the hymnals. You need NO background knowledge/experience regarding either task – just a cheerful heart & helping hands! Karen Melnick will guide us with repairing the chairs & Amy Auker will guide us with repairing the hymnals. If you are able to assist, please meet us in the Fireside Room at 9:30 am and leave as you need to. We would love for you to join us. Contact: Annie Page

Baby Shower for Nassim Alborzi | Wednesday, April 15 at 4 pm
Please join us in a celebration of the expected arrival of Nassim & Amir’s baby boy. Erica Kasraie will be hosting the shower in her home. Cake and tea will be served. There are some needs before their baby boy arrives in May: diapers, wipes, baby clothing, car seat, and stroller. Contact: Erica Kasraie

Modular Apartment Needs for Spring 2015
The Lord has certainly been faithful with how He has provided for our modular apartments. As one of the apartments is currently vacant, the deacons and members of the WM committee have assessed the needs for the apartment. If you are willing to donate gently used (or new) furnishings and new cleaning supplies by April 12, please click here. Thank you for your support of this ministry. Contact: Kathryne Marple

Final Opportunity for NLIC Directory Photos with the Kittredges | April 16, 17, and 24 {Room 100}
Drew & Sarah Kittredge are graciously providing three additional dates for photos at the church in Room 100. The photo sitting is free and takes about 15 minutes. You will also receive a complimentary 5×7 of the photo you choose for the directory. Additional purchasing options are also available. Sign up for your 15 minute session at https://kittcreative.youcanbook.me/. If you are unable to have your family’s photo completed during the offered session times, please submit a photo of your family to drewkittredge@gmail.com by April 24Contact: Sarah Kittredge

Final Photo Sign Up (1)

“Moses and the Burning Within” Auditions | April 17 & 18
Parts are available for all ages for a musical based on the biblical account of Moses. Auditions will be held April 17 & April 18. Auditions can be scheduled at other times, as well. Come ready to read and sing. It would be helpful to prepare a prepared piece. Our prayer is to present a Biblical account of Moses to our covenant community and the community at large using the musical, dramatic, and culinary gifts of the congregation. You can assist with set-up, tear-down, stage crew, sound, lightboard & followspot operation, hostess, food preparation, kitchen clean-up, waiters/waitresses, costumes, and orchestra. Contact: Esther Servais

Bridal Shower for Josh Storms’ Fiancee, Anacari Jankowski | Saturday, April 18, 2 pm – 4 pm {Lorei Home}
A bridal shower will be held in honor of Anacari at the Lorei Home on Saturday, April 18. Josh and Anacari are registered at Bed, Bath, & Beyond and Amazon. Please RSVP: Lucinda Lorei or Roselyn Dale

2015 Talents to Treasure Mini-Conference | Saturday, April 25, 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
For those that have preregistered, please join us starting at 8:30 am for registration, mingling, and a light breakfast provided by the Women’s Ministry Committee. Enjoy the three sessions you are attending (your schedule will be emailed to you by April 11) and, then, please, join us for a potluck-style soup & salad bar. If you are able to bring something for lunch, please click here. Contact: Sarah Schroeder

RSVP for 40th Anniversary Banquet | Saturday, July 11, 2015
Our 40th Anniversary Banquet will be held at 6 pm on Saturday, July 11, 2015. It will be a time of fellowship, a delicious meal, and reflection of God’s goodness. Please RSVP by Friday, June 26. An Evite was sent out on February 24. If you did not receive this invitation, please let us know. Childcare is available for a limited number of children aged 0-3. Please let us know via the Evite invitation if you will be needing childcare. If you are willing and able to serve by assisting with childcare, it would be greatly appreciated. Contact: Amy Auker

NLIC Cookbook Final Update
Thank you for celebrating 40 years of Christ’s faithfulness by collaborating to create a church-wide cookbook! Thank you for the 250+ tasty recipes that were submitted by members of our covenant family. For members that have purchased cookbooks, cookbooks will be distributed at our NLIC 40th Anniversary Banquet. Contact: Amy Auker

Bulletin Folding
Do you have a couple hours on a Friday afternoon you can spare? Sign up HERE to fold bulletins after 1 pm some Friday. Takes about 2 hours (faster if you bring a friend!) Contact: Dayra Rumbaugh | 540-786-4848 | dayra@nlicc.org

Women’s Committee News
We are so grateful for this weekly update as a means to communicate with you regarding opportunities for us to minister to our covenant family and to the surrounding community. Our prayer is that these weekly updates would (1) encourage you with reflections from women regarding how God is at work in their lives, (2) enable you with opportunities to serve, and (3) reflect God’s faithfulness to our congregation. We also pray that these updates would not be a source of discouragement as there can be many needsshared – God’s work is never done. We pray that you would read over these needs with a discerning heart. May we continuously give cheerfully and generously as we are able and willing.

All for His glory,
The Women’s Ministry Committee


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