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Thursday, November 29, 2012




CHRISTMAS GATHERING 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
WILDER MANSION


211 s. Prospect

Elmhurst IL 60126

TIME:  6:30 pm – 9:00 PM
SHOWTIME:  7:30 PM

Tickets: $10.00 Free will offering*

 REFLECT

ON THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS!

SHOPPING – H'ORDEUVRES - DESSERT - DRAMA

the Mooncats, (YORK JAZZ Combo)



RSVP AT: http://www.christmasgathering.eventbrite.com

*Proceeds will be donated to the Elmhurst Walk-in Ministry www.elmhurstwalkinministry.org



What is a Christmas Gathering and how did it get started?
                Song, Drama, Laughter, Friendship…..It’s Christmas 
It all began over 15 years ago, when I was invited to tell an inspiring story about the true meaning of Christmas in someone’s  home in the town where I was residing. The host sent out invites to her neighbors inviting them to take time out from the busy Christmas hustle and bustle to come enjoy an evening of reflection on the true meaning of Christmas.  The house was adorned with Christmas decorations, a buffet table complete with sugary delights, tea and coffee.  Guests mingled and met new friends as we all enjoyed the treats.  She topped off our time together with singing and my inspiring message. History was made that year! The party was so well received that we did it in homes the next five years. i was inspired  to express the story of the greatest gift ever given to the world, Jesus.  It grew as a passion for me and my friends. The creative part of me started to come out to include skits with characters to express the Christmas message with fun and laughter. To me and my friends complete delight, it has been annually received by thousands since then. It is my steadfast love to express a message each year that is relevant to our culture that allows us to open our hearts in Song, Drama, Laughter, Friendship…..It’s Christmas after all! 
Fast forwarding to today, the event has evolved into more fun than you can imagine. We have included trendy locations to host the event, SHOPPING by local vendors and all proceeds of the ticket are given to a local non-for-profit. This year after all the mansion costs are paid, our proceeds from the evening are going to an in town ministry called “The Walk In Ministry.” http://elmhurstwalkinministry.org/
Where is the event held at?  Wilder Mansion – Prospect Ave., Elmhurst IL . http://www.epd.org/facilities/wilder-mansion.asp

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I THANK GOD FOR YOU



Dear Friend:
I thank God for you. I greet you in the Lord Jesus Christ. Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving. Let’s reflect on what Jesus did  with His disciples at the last supper.
“The Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them…” (Luke 22:19).
In Ann Voscamp’s book “A Dare To LIVE FULLY Right Where You Are. One Thousand Gifts” she states (page 32) “he gave thanks” reads “eucharisteo.”
“The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. The greek word chara means “joy.” Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo-the table of thanksgiving.
Charis- Grace.
Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving.
Chara. Joy.

A threefold cord that might hold a life? Offer a way up into the fullest life?  Grace, thanksgiving, joy. Eucharisteo. A Greek word…that might make meaning of everything?”

Jesus was telling us that remembering to give thanks and break bread in His memory is life giving. Recently I have been meditating on last chapters in the book of John. This spoke to me. Whenever I am down, I can read this passage and I am once again filled with hope. It helps me to shift my eyes off of me and back on the miraculous plan Jesus gave me upon His death and resurrection.  

Let us break bread with gratitude in memory of Christ with our families and or friends tomorrow. Furthermore, daily as Christ gives us our bread may we find the tri-fold message of grace, thanksgiving, joy and live fully.

Prayer:  Most Holy Father bring us deeper into the reality of this truth. In Your precious name.

 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012



CHRISTMAS GATHERING 2012


Tuesday, December 11, 2012
WILDER MANSION


211 s. Prospect

Elmhurst IL 60126


TIME:  6:30 pm – 9:00 PM
SHOWTIME:  7:30 PM

Tickets: $10.00 Free will offering*

 REFLECT

ON THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS!

SHOPPING – H'ORDEUVRES - DESSERT - DRAMA

the Mooncats, (YORK JAZZ Combo)



RSVP AT: http://www.christmasgathering.eventbrite.com

*Proceeds will be donated to the Elmhurst Walk-in Ministry www.elmhurstwalkinministry.org



What is a Christmas Gathering and how did it get started?
                Song, Drama, Laughter, Friendship…..It’s Christmas 
It all began over 15 years ago, when I was invited to tell an inspiring story about the true meaning of Christmas in someone’s  home in the town where I was residing. The host sent out invites to her neighbors inviting them to take time out from the busy Christmas hustle and bustle to come enjoy an evening of reflection on the true meaning of Christmas.  The house was adorned with Christmas decorations, a buffet table complete with sugary delights, tea and coffee.  Guests mingled and met new friends as we all enjoyed the treats.  She topped off our time together with singing and my inspiring message. History was made that year! The party was so well received that we did it in homes the next five years. i was inspired  to express the story of the greatest gift ever given to the world, Jesus.  It grew as a passion for me and my friends. The creative part of me started to come out to include skits with characters to express the Christmas message with fun and laughter. To me and my friends complete delight, it has been annually received by thousands since then. It is my steadfast love to express a message each year that is relevant to our culture that allows us to open our hearts in Song, Drama, Laughter, Friendship…..It’s Christmas after all! 
Fast forwarding to today, the event has evolved into more fun than you can imagine. We have included trendy locations to host the event, SHOPPING by local vendors and all proceeds of the ticket are given to a local non-for-profit. This year after all the mansion costs are paid, our proceeds from the evening are going to an in town ministry called “The Walk In Ministry.” http://elmhurstwalkinministry.org/
Where is the event held at?  Wilder Mansion – Prospect Ave., Elmhurst IL . http://www.epd.org/facilities/wilder-mansion.asp


Monday, October 22, 2012

Quick on My Toes

“Where did you get those cute shoes?” I inquired.
She responded, “Bed, Bath and Beyond.”
Shocked, I repeated “Bed, Bath and Beyond?”
She flippantly replied, “Yeah, that must be the beyond part of the store.”
We laughed. “Wow! You’re quick on your toes. Did you just make that up?”
Most confidently, she chuckled “Yeah”. I had to laugh with her. I never thought of the ‘Beyond’ stuff in that title.
Suddenly as I focused on the beyond of Bed, Bath and Beyond title, I began to put it in spiritual terms; Here, Now and Beyond. The here and now are staples of everyday life, but the beyond is the part I forget to focus on.
First, how many times in my life do I hear a prayer, title or a Bible verse and not focus on each word? After all, a prayer like Our Father, which Jesus taught to his disciples, when simply recited is just babbling to God if I don’t really know who I am praying to and what it is about. The beginning line of that prayer, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,” taught me to adore and praise God.
Second, beyond is eternity or my time after death. Where will I go and why? How could I be living my life daily with the understanding of “eternal security with Jesus in heaven” or “Beyond”? The Our Father prayer goes on to say “Your Kingdom come,” which begs for the eternal security I experience when I focus on the cross and Jesus second coming.
Third, the beyond is not more things I want or have. It is the need God grows in me to be in relationship with Him. The Lord’s Prayer that asks “give me today my daily bread” which is the essential fruits of the Spirit that I need daily.
If I trust in the Lord with all my heart daily I can experience the “beyond” that the Lord freely wants to give me. I was “quick on my toes”; a pun intended by God as I went from shoes, to toes and “Beyond.”
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9b-13 NIV).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Most Unexpected


On a beach in California, a father and his 13-year-old son were joyfully diving into the cold water excited to spend time together. As soon as they had recovered from the shock of the cold water they had so much fun in the waves that before they knew it, the tide pulled them out further than expected. Out of the sight of family members. Panic set in the father’s heart. He was in over his head and out of control.
As thoughts of death raced through his head, he saw his wife and other children on the beach and sensed the panic growing on his son’s face. The father lacked energy, and was equally scared and struggling. But he had to get to his son.
Once the father reached him, the boy tried to climb on him, which pulled them both under. Then the father tried to throw his son toward the beach, which really only moved him a few feet. He just kept pushing him forward, but the boy had to depend on his own energy or they would both die.
The boy’s reflection afterward recounted it this way: “I was underwater and had given up, and then suddenly from below, my dad threw me out of the water. It was only after that, I got hope and began to swim.” The boy became engaged and swam with all his might. The Father’s determination brought hope, overwhelming love and God’s goodness. The last push thrust the boy to safety.
The father sighed with relief that his son was saved, but had no energy left to save himself.
“After being rescued, I stood on the beach watching my father struggle to make it. A peace came over me. I knew how much my father loved me, and seeing me safe brought him peace.”
The beach scene was most unexpected, but now the father and son see God using the story all over the world to express His love for us.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to discover Your love for me so I can walk continually in Your truth.
“For your love i

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Better Than a Sprinkle Cupcake

With great anticipation, I held up the milk chocolate cupcake and bit into it. I have died and gone to heaven, I thought. My mouth was bursting with the rich taste of chocolate and the cake was unbelievably moist! Now I know why their ad reads “Sprinkles gourmet cupcakes are a deliciously sophisticated update on an American classic, handcrafted from the finest ingredients.” The Los Angeles Times even touted Sprinkles as “The progenitor of the haute cupcake craze.” How did I end up at Sprinkles Cupcakes? I live in a suburb of Chicago and was having a mother daughter outing with both of my daughters to the city. After lunch at the famous Walnut Room, my daughters blurted out, “Let’s go to Sprinkles Cupcakes for dessert!” Of course, I had to be the coolest mom ever and make this the perfect day. Right? I pulled up to the curb and my daughters jumped out with me yelling, “Get me milk chocolate!” as they disappeared into the bakery. I chose well, and after finishing the cupcake, I began to process what just occurred. We chose a famous over-priced cupcake bakery and ate the most wonderful sugary delight. But just like that, voila, done! I soon began to wonder “when can we do this again? Is this how addictions start?” Guilt set in as I reflected on the starving people in Africa. I prayed and thanked God for being able to do such a crazy thing. I thought of the rich man who Jesus asked to sell everything and follow Him. Could I give up cupcakes if God asked me to? Would I ever love cupcakes or anything else for that matter more than Him? I remembered the day I was teaching from Psalm 63:5 “I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (NIV). Those in the class shared of their mouth watering food experiences; then agreed that our undeserved love from God is mightier. We will literally die and go to heaven because of it. Can you think of the richest food you ever ate? And how does that compare with the way Jesus longs to satisfy you daily? Talk to Him about it He can help you put things into perspective. In the car that day I heard a strong and present voice. “Elaine, I gave you the cupcake that you loved, I like doing that for you. I know you know that the delight in the cupcake is temporary, but My love for you is for eternity.” PRAYER: Thank You for sugary delights. I never want to love anything more than You. I need Your help daily. “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live” (Psalm 63:3 NIV).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stand Down

The Range Officer yelled out the command “Stand Down!” Upon hearing the command, the men in the target range lowered their weapons. He explained during their training that when he gives the “stand down” order, it does not mean to lay your weapon down. Quite the contrary. When one is in the “stand down” position, he must stay alert. There must be a Range Officer present at all times when the target range is open. It is his responsibility to secure the area and give complete instructions before allowing anyone to practice shooting, so everyone will be safe.


This was described by my friend who had her first target range experience.
This description stimulated my writer’s mind to formulate this analogy comparing God to the range officer. God, our range officer, commanded very similar requests to us in Ephesians six, the section which is entitled, The Protection for Believers, The Armor of God. In this section of the Bible, which is only seven verses long, Paul gives this instruction:
1. Stand against the devil’s schemes.
2. Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground.
3. After you have done everything stand.
4. Stand firm!


We go through life feeling fearful, anxious, worried or overwhelmed, asking “why is this happening to me?” That question could be answered with a question like “where is your armor of God?” Is it in a pile on the floor? The word of God is the sword of the Spirit; it is either in your hand or lying around collecting dust. It is the only offensive weapon in our armor.


“With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).
Praying daily and putting on the full armor of God can be likened to going to the target range, having the range officer present and realizing we must never put our weapons down, but “Stand Down” instead.


PRAYER: Dear God, I confess that at times I lay my armor down. Please forgive me. Help me to be reminded that I need to put on the full armor of God daily.
“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him-the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord-and he will delight in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2-3 NIV).