Renaissance Women 2012

Renaissance Ministries is gearing up to kick off registration for our 2012 Spring Women’s Conference Renaissance 2012: Rebuilding Your Foundations. (Registration begins on January 1, 2012) so I wanted to tell you about Renaissance, the 2012 conference and why we do what we do. You’ve gotten to know me and my family, now I want you to know about me and the ministry God has called me to.

The motto for Renaissance Ministries is Revive! Renew! Rejoice!  A motto is defined as a rule to live by.  We use the exclamation point at the end of each word because we take it as a joyful command to do so. All three of these words can be found in the definition of the word Renaissance. Let’s look at the meanings of these three words to get the full understanding of Revive! Renew! Rejoice!

  • Revive means to breathe life into 
  • Renew means to make good again, to rekindle and to restore
  • Rejoice means to express joy, to celebrate, to delight in

 In other words, the motto of Renaissance Ministries can be expressed as follows:

To breathe life into the women of our community, to restore that which has been destroyed in their lives and to help them to celebrate themselves, to express joy in their everyday lives and to delight in being the woman God has called them to be.

My personal life purpose and the purpose of the ministry are one and the same: to revive, renew and rejoice and to help others to do the same.

Rebuilding Your Foundations - Renaissance Women 2012

Renaissance Conferences for Women are one way we walk out the call to Revive! Renew! Rejoice!  This year the theme Rebuilding Your Foundations is taken from Isaiah 58:12 which reads in the familiar King James Version (KJV)*:

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places:
thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations;
and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach,
The restorer of paths to dwell in.

The widely used New International Version (NIV)* reads:

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
   and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
   Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

And my favorite rendering used for this conference from The Message* translation which reads:

You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, 
   rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You'll be known as those who can fix anything, 
   restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, 
   make the community livable again.

If ever there was a verse in scripture that spoke the desires of my heart in ministry, it’s this one. To help women use the rubble of their past to build anew, to help rebuild the foundations of their lives, and to restore the dignity of their souls where it has been torn down. This is my heart, the heart of Renaissance Ministries, and the basis for Renaissance 2010. We’re going to dig through the rubble of our past, use it to rebuild the places where we as women have been broken down and we even going to have fun – yes fun – doing it.

In my next couple of posts, we’ll talk more about the conference how it is set up and what we do.  I’ll also be introducing introduce you to my friends, fellow teachers, and partners in ministry who will be teaching at Renaissance 2012. You are gonna love these women. 

*Three translations and word definitions. Can you tell that my ministry gifting is teaching? :)


Christmas 2010 - Angels & Nativities

Here are a few more pictures of my Christmas decorations from last year. Thank you all for the kind comments before and I hope you enjoy these as well.

This is my 2010 Nativity. I try to find a new nativity every year. It's part of a set that has additional pieces to it of three wise men and also another piece with an angel and lamb. It stays out all year but was moved to the mantle after the holidays. Still looking for one for this year.

I call this my Hope nativity. It also sits on the mantle all year and I love how the word 'Hope' is part of the piece because more than anything Hope is what the birth of Jesus represents. Hope. I love it.

This a little Halmark Ornament set I found years ago but I don't think I've ever put it on a tree. It's so tiny and so cute that I keep it on a little tiled plant table near the clock. I like having little treasures around that you only see if you look closely.

I've had this glass nativity for years. I found it in a dollar store if you can believe it. It sits on a lamp table tucked in a corner year round. I put a red card behind it so it showed up for the picture but the only time anyone really sees it is if they turn on the lamp on that table. It really sparkles under the light.

My mother gave me this angel shortly after I cut my hair years ago. She said it reminded her of me with the tiny afro and the round face. :)

This little red angel swings from the glass lamp shade of an antique brass lamp stand. The lamp uplights a picture of me and my sons taken when they were little. The Joy ornament hangs underneath the picture year round.

I call this my Baby Jesus Angel. You might not be able to see it, but the angel is hold a little Baby Jesus in her arms. She sits at the top of the tree. After Christmas she sits in the center of my bookcase headboard in my bedroom.

I have about six differnt sets of angel ornaments for my tree. This is a male angel which you don't see many of at Christmas and he's singing. I found him quite by accident in a corner at WalMart no less. I picked up him and a few of his brother angels like the praying one below. There's also a male angel in yellow playing a harp but I don't have a picture of him.

That's a few of my collection of angels and nativities. I hope you enjoyed seeing them.


Christmas Memories - 2010

In trying to decide how I'll be decorating the house for Christmas this year, I pulled out last  year's pics for inspiration. How different this year is going to be from the last. This is my first Christmas as a single empty nester - no one in the house but me as opposed to last year when the family reunion was at my house. I do want to do something special in the house for the holidays but not sure what just yet. Here are a few of the pics from Christmas 2010.

I collect Angels, Choirs and Nativities to use as my Christmas Decorations although many of them remain on display throughout the year. A number of them adorn the living room fireplace which is the first thing you notice as you enter through the front door.

In front of the fireplace is my Grandmother's Mirrored Coffee Table with various Angels and Nativities. In addition to the house I also inherited all of her furniture. I can remember this mirrored coffee table sitting in her living room when I was a little, little girl. The top shelf is glass, second is a mirror with brass legs and fittings. I always loved looking at myself in the mirror. The fireplace is on the southern side of the room and is draped in silk floral garlands of sparkly poinsettias.

 This is Angel Bell and you can just make her out in the center of the mantle. I call her 'Bell' because she is a brass bell underneath her feathered wings. I love her serene face. 

Grandfather Clock sits in the SE Corner of Living Room next to the set of double cut glass French doors which lead to the east side of the wrap around porch. My father gave my grandmother this clock as a Christmas present many years ago. I've made a small seating area in that little corner with two basket of books between the wooden chair and my mauve leather love seat which resides in front of the French Doors in the winter.

This is the west end of my Living Room with last year's tree. You can see the sparkly poinsettias garlands over the windows and the mirror.  You can also catch a glimpse of our hard wood floors which are desperately in need of refinishing but look pretty good in this shot. We rearranged the furniture for the reunion for ease of traffic flow. On the left hand side of the couch there is the second set of double cut glass French Doors which open to the formal dining room. (You can see them in the fireplace picture above on the right.) And yes, that is the original  1920's crown molding around the edge of the 10ft ceilings.

This is a better shot of the tree in the northeast corner of the room. As you can see there are a lot of windows in my living room as there are in the whole of the house.  It's a bright and cheery room especially in the mornings. One of the very first things I do after waking is to raise all of the shades so the room is filled with light.  One of the main reasons I love this house is because of all of the windows in it.  I have to admit, I love it a little less in the spring come window washing time, but that only lasts a week and the rest of the year I have all the wonderful light they let in.

As I said before, I collect Nativities and keep quite a few of them out during the year. This beautiful tree ornament hangs from the key of the Grandfather Clock all year. It's so beautiful and so delicate. I love being able to look at it every day. It's one of seven Nativities I keep in the living room year round. I'll show some more of them tomorrow along with the angels.

I'm a little behind this year. Usually I start decorating according to the family tradition of putting up the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Still not sure how much I'm going to do but I am starting to feel a bit energized by digging out these photos.  I would also like to hear about your holiday decorating. Is your tree up yet? Are you doing anything different this year or carrying on with traditions from before? Tell me about it. Maybe I can pick up a few ideas from you. (*wink)


T.G.I. Company Girls!

On Fridays I link up with the Company Girls at Home Sanctuary. We drop in and say hi to each other kinda like they used to do in the days when ladies would make 'calls'. Please join us. It's nice to have company.


Ten Minutes to Seven

At ten minutes to seven I walked into the kitchen early this morning just as the sun was coming up. It was those few moments between night and morning – dawn is what we call clumsily call it and I was looking for coffee. My kitchen window looks out across my neighbor’s massive back yard and as I opened  the kitchen curtains over the sink, I gasped. There was a brilliant shaft of light filtering through the tall crepe myrtle trees that have now gone scarlet and it flooded my neighbor’s garden.  It was indescribably beautiful and I was compelled to just stand there, in the presence that beauty, to look on a moment, a point and place in time that would never ever happen again. I was holding my breath, afraid to blink or it would be lost. God made this one perfect moment for me alone. No one else would see it just like I was seeing it, no one else would experience it like I was experiencing, no one else would marvel at the depth and richness of those colors. It only last a moment but it felt like an eternity and I can still feel the warmth of it. I can close my eyes and see it. I wish I could describe it, but I don’t have the words. All I can say is in that unsuspecting moment, I was touched by God and I have to give witness to it.

Honestly, I had planned something else for this first post of December but that will be posted another day. You cannot be touched in a moment like that and not do something to recognize it, to commemorate it.  One of the places I visit online encourages giving voice to, giving witness to the gifts that God has given us on a daily basis. It’s called One Thousand Gifts.

I hadn’t planned to take up the One Thousand Gifts  devotional practice of writing down and numbering my blessings.  But this morning standing at my kitchen sink, in that one unexpected moment of pure beauty, grace and joy I knew it was something I needed to take up as I looked forward to the coming New Year as a devotional discipline for myself. Taking up this as a spiritual discipline is my commemoration of that one unexpected indescribable moment. To thank God for the gift he gave me at ten minutes to seven this morning.

You can find out more about One Thousand Gifts and Ann Voskamp  by clicking on the A Holy Experience button on my sidebar. You'll be richer for it.