Last Edition

This is the final edition of Element Connection, “Seasons.” I love Ruth and Denise’s perspectives on their seasons. I think you will enjoy sharing what they have to say.

My season has changed, and this is my last edition as editor of Element Connection. It has been a delightful ten-year journey of sharing your stories with your ministry sisters in Potomac Ministry Network. I have loved hearing your stories and sharing them.

Blessing - an Introduction

As I considered the concept of blessing, the theme for Fall 2017 Connection, I have discovered its immense scope. The whole of scripture gives compelling attention to God’s interface with people and nations in regards to blessing, and in juxtaposition to that, curses.

Blessing finds its definition in God’s perfect plan for his creation: first to demonstrate His glory, second to accomplish the good of those who love God. We sometimes struggle with exactly what those purposes entail. From the moment sin separated God’s perfect creation from the perfection of the creator, we have been conflicted about clarifying the nature of God’s blessings in our lives.

Promises

EDITORIAL - Johnese Burtram

Somehow a promise holds extra weight. A promise, only as good as the one who gives it, can bring crushing disappointment when broken. The wounds of broken promises rank high on the scale of pain.

However, knowing the unshakable promises of our Savior soothes our souls bruised by fallible guarantees. So we hold onto the promises.

I hope you are blessed by the articles your Element sisters share in this first issue of Winter 2017 Element Connection.

Read more

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, the great American hol-i-day. We do our best food preparation, observe our most cherished traditions. Of course, we will serve turkey, and stuffing, and mashed potatoes, and gravy, and cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

Finding God in Surprising Places

As always happens with your articles for Element Connection, I am again inspired and encouraged by your submissions for Finding God in Surprising Places. This fall we welcome new contributors. I hope you will connect with these ministry sisters as they share their lives with you. My prayer is that the articles in this 2016 Fall edition will sharpen our awareness to God at work in our lives in surprising places.

Element Connection welcomes a new format with our 2016 Fall Edition. With the new formatting, we will be posting articles over a period of weeks, rather than everything at one time. This opens the opportunity to submit your articles over time as well. If you wanted to submit an article for our theme Finding God in Surprising Places*, there is still time to do so. The final deadline for articles for 2016 Fall Element Connection is Wednesday, October 19. Share your story with us.

*Have you ever encountered God is unexpected places? In your kids, nature, your pets, your work. Our next theme is Finding God in Surprising Places. Share your story about seeing God at work in your life in surprising ways.

Holy Habits

With summer upon us, I cherished the mistaken notion that life was supposed to slow a bit. The coming summer does, however, offer a change from the regiment of the rest of the year. This may be a time for you to consider the rhythms of your life, some time to care for your soul. This issue of the Element Connection deals with Holy Habits, those spiritual disciplines that keep us grounded. We welcome new contributors, as well as some whose names you will recognize as frequent writers.

The mention of spiritual disciplines immediately brings to mind those holy habits all good Christians embrace. Bible reading, prayer, and church attendance are essential fundamentals in our spiritual life; however, these performance based disciplines only get us started. How about the soul habits of forgiveness, endurance, and love? The articles in this issue of Element Connection will challenge your thinking and expand your heart. These holy habits will enrich your souls.

Take some time this season to tend your soul.

Immanuel

As the Father has sent me into the world, so am I sending you. - Jesus

In past issues of The Connection we have followed the theme of God moments and windprints (the evidence of the Spirit's activity in our lives.) We pray with sincere petition that God would use us to bless others, that he would cause our lives to make a difference, that he would allow us to speak life and hope into this dark world, that his love would shine through our lives. However, I think we notice God's hand in our personal situations more often than we recognize his hand moving through us to affect those around us. I find it remarkable when someone says to me, "I remember when you said ..." "I remember when you did ... for me." "If it hadn't been for you ..." And, I rather imagine you share my sense of surprise when this happens to you.

I am praying that in this season, as you meditate on Immanuel, the Spirit of God will awaken in you, not only a sense of his activity in your life, but a recognition of your good (God) deeds in the lives of those you encounter daily. After all, Jesus has sent you into the world - his voice, his touch, purveyors of his love.

For God so loved the world that he gave ... his one and only son ... and a host of Christ followers who represent Jesus with skin on.

Thank you to the contributors to this Christmas edition of The Connection. We are blessed by your Immanuel stories and by your Christmas reflections.

Rich Christmas blessings to all of you.

We're Gonna Make It

Editing the Element Connection brings so much joy to me. The press to complete the e-zine can create stress, blurred vision, and cramped shoulders from laboring in front of a computer screen. However, your stories make it worthwhile. The Fall 2015 theme, "We're gonna' make it," stirred up some remarkable stories. We had such a strong response that we will produce two editions of Fall 2015 Element Connections. Thank you to those of you who shared your stories. You are brave, resilient, godly ladies. Your shared stories give hope and encouragement to your ministry sisters. I hope this edition of Connections blesses you and strengthens your faith as you consider God's faithfulness as reflected in your sisters' stories.
 
A special shout out to Sandy McElfresh who helped with research for this edition.