Women’s Online Bible Cafe

Okay, ladies! It is officially one month before the beginning of the next Bible study with Women’s Online Cafe. I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon Women’s Bible Cafe, but I have completed two studies with them so far and it has been awesome! We are just finishing up Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God and the next two studies in line are a choice between Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg and Breaking Free by Beth Moore.

Women’s Bible Cafe is a bible study group that you can particpate in entirely online. You complete the reading and homework throughout the week on your own and then come together once a week with a small group of women and have a discussion about what you have read. Which means there is complete flexibility for you in the time and location. Each study offers multiple opportunities throughout the week to connect with a group- including an international group, for those of us outside the U.S.

Starting in April, I will be participating in the Wonderstruck Bible Study and I have already signed up. And just as a little extra perk, if you buy the Wonderstruck book by April 15th, you can email Margaret Feinberg and receive and free download of the Pursuing God 14 day devotional. Find out more information here.

I know there are a lot of us women who need more connection with other Christian women and also the encouragement to stick to a Bible study plan. Women’s Bible Cafe makes that possible in a powerful way and I really hope you will join me in the next study!

And to make it even easier, just click below to buy your copy of Wonderstruck:

 

 

 

 

Prayer of Confession

My God,

I fall before you now and confess my sins to you. I feel like I have committed the worst sin and that is actually saying No to you when you have called me to this place. But, I don’t need the belly of a whale to come to my senses. I immediately feel your peace and your forgiveness wash over me. I don’t know why I would ever say No to you because I know that you always know what is best for me, my Lord, my Friend, my Father. And yet for so long I have let this fear rule my heart. And what is this fear? Why, only the fear of failure, the fear of seeing my flaws, the fear of not being good enough. Isn’t that the fear that drives us all? And yet, you have promised to give us your Power and your Strength, your wisdom, your mind, and your Spirit. We have your Spirit. I have YOUR SPIRIT.

And yet, I run.

I run away thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can out run my insecurities. That I can find a place to hide where they won’t find me and I can live in peace without them. Yet, I know the only place I can live without insecurity is not alone in a hiding place, but with you, in the comfort of your unconditionally loving arms. Only there can I ever truly know who I am. And isn’t that what I want, what I have always wanted- to know and be known?

So, why do I run?

Why do I run from the one person, the one place that can truly show me who I am, who I am meant to be?

It’s simple, really.

Because the person you are going to show me is not the person I am now. Yes, it may be my true self, but I am not her yet. I have a long way to go and a lot of work, discipline, and growing pains in order to get there.

And, I am stricken with fear.

Who am I that I think I can be this beautiful, strong, self-assured, holy woman that you are showing me, who is the woman you have planned for me to be?

And so I doubt. And then, I run.

But let’s be honest. My running legs are out of practice and I don’t get very far. Or maybe I see that whale and well, you’ve taught me well. I don’t care to sit in the belly of a whale to reconnect with you. So, instead, I take a train through the German countryside and listen to music that reminds me how to feel. And I let myself. Feel.

And what I feel is your gentle hand reminding me that you are watching over me and its time for me to stop running and take up my place again in your arms. Because your plan for me in greater than the sum of all my fears and insecurities. And even bigger is that your plan for Germany is bigger than my selfishness and that my insufficiencies don’t matter anymore.

They aren’t part of the plan. And will be promptly discarded, as long as I stop holding on to them. And so I do. I let go. Not willingly. Almost begrudgingly. Because I am comfortable to live in my insufficiencies, to dwell in insecurity. But I look on you, my Maker, and know, if I will just let go, there is truly something better. So I do. In this moment. I am sure, at some point, I will try and grab hold again, but for now I release and grab hold of your hand.

I am not good enough. I am not good. I am not enough. But you are.

And I know you will show me the way. And I trust. My heart is fully yours. I recommit to you and know this may not be the last time, although I wish it were. And I am ready for whatever call you have for me. I lay facedown before your throne. So unworthy, but oh, so ready.

Date of the Month Club

Don’t you just love “Of the Month” Clubs? I do. And I wish that I could join every single one. Even the little kid ones where you get a craft box each month or children’s toys. However, they do require quite the monetary commitment and really aren’t a thing here in Germany. So, based on various ideas gleaned from Pinterest, this year for Valentine’s Day (a few days late!), I gave Chris an exclusive membership to the Date of the Month Club! One of the best parts of what we do is that we are able to work together. One of the hardest parts of working together is that it feels like we are constantly working or talking about work and we so often forget just to have fun together! So, hopefully, having a fun, already planned date night each month will help in that area! And I will post each month what our date night is, how I pulled it off, and how it went! So, how does Date of the Month Club work exactly?

I got the inspiration for all of this from here

Love Actually: Date of the Month Club

I presented Chris with an introduction card and then these two cards:

DateoftheMonthChoices

DateoftheMonthCalendar

With the list of dates in hand, he had to choose which months he wants the dates and the rest is up to me! I also created a bunch of coupon cards for him, as well, like the ones you see on the Love, Actually website!  I searched through a bunch of different blogs, trying to come up with some unique and inexpensive date ideas. When naming them,  I tried to make the dates fairly obscure, so that he would maybe have an idea, but still be surprised! So, first up is “Art is in the Eye of the Beholder” for March! We will let you know how it goes!

Friedenstag (The Day of Peace)

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Today in Chemnitz, March 5th, is called Friedenstag or The Day of Peace. Here is the translated news release that tells what this day is all about:

It’s our town – Nazis have no place here

Dear citizens,

On the 5th of March, we celebrate the Day of Peace Chemnitz. It is a day worthy of remembrance and a day of commitment to democracy and tolerance.

We know that a war, unleashed by Germany, of unimaginable destructive power, which claimed at least 50 million people and caused an entire continent to fall into ruin turned on March 5, 1945 against our city.

And more than six decades of confrontation with the humanity of Nazi crimes were apparently not enough to silence the right-wing ideology of hatred and racism.

68 years later opponents of democracy and freedom want take their dangerous distortion of history to the streets. We must defend our enlightened civil society, values, and institutions from such misuse. Peaceful but adamant. Courageous and full of commitment.

The 5th of March is in our city, a day of remembrance of the victims of a terrible war. Its teaching can only be to make such an ideology never grow strong again. It is our responsibility to show that we are not racist and will not accept propaganda unchallenged – not on the 5th of March and not in our everyday lives.

The recent findings by right terrorism has shown that ignorance is dangerous and unteachable. We must stand up, watch and show presence. Where we stand up for equality, tolerance and human rights, we take away the space for hostility and racism.
Chemnitz is a cosmopolitan, tolerant and colorful city. Therefore, we call on all Chemnitz, from all parts including the City Council, the Mayor, representatives from business, labor union, Culture, Sports, Science, churches, the Jewish community, initiatives, associations and civil society actors on the 5th of March 2013, 18 clock peaceful assemble on the Neumarkt and set a clear and visible sign: It’s our town – Nazis have no place here.

Every time I have mentioned this day to someone in America, the reaction is always, “Nazis still exist?” Much like in America the Klu Klux Klan still exists, so does racism still exist here. Which is why it is so inspiring to see our city take a bold stance each year against the Nazi party. The Nazis are allowed to march and allowed to exist, which is why it is so important for Chemnitz citizens to peacefully assemble at the time each year when the Nazis march and show their intolerance for Nazi hatred in Chemnitz.

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From the Freie Presse

Friedenstag also includes all of the students and teachers in the city and surrounding cities. Each school paints a banner that somehow supports the message of peace and they are displayed in the market square and we are teaching the next generation that hatred is not okay.

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It’s a powerful day in Chemnitz and a day on which all Germans can be proud.

Kid Sport Day!

The 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, we as a church family get together and play! As you can imagine, this is one of Chris’ favorite things and he quickly became “in charge” of organizing sport. Shortly after he took over sport, he teamed up with a good friend of ours from the church, Harald.

After spending a few months watching the dynamic of our sport days and talking to people in the church, Chris and Harald realized a need and revamped sport. So now, one Sunday in the month, adults get together and play volleyball and one Sunday in the month we have Kid Sport!! At first, the change didn’t really take, and the men weren’t sure if it would really work or if we should go back to the way things were. But, they were having so much fun with it, had so many great ideas, and so their trusty wives encouraged them to keep going and give it time. Well, it was worth it because we are proud to say that we had TWELVE kids at Kid Sport today! It was a complete blast. The men had come up with a program called “Spring Games” and the kids didn’t stop moving for nearly 2 hours!

SpringGamesKidCircle

SpringGamesChris

One of my favorite games was decorating the Easter Tree. In Germany, the tradition at Easter is to have a tree (without leaves) that is decorated with hanging eggs, outside and/or inside. The kids had to run the length of the gym pick up one egg and then hang it on their tree. Whoever had the most eggs on their tree at the end won!

SpringGamesDoreen

And at the end of the day, we always have a small devotional that has to do with something learned during the day or maybe the season, etc. Today, Chris led the devotional and told the Tale of the Three Trees.

SpringGamesAndacht

And fun was had by all! We are so happy that Kid Sport Day is becoming such a success! Our prayer is that it will bring the kids in our church closer together and give them something to which friends can be invited!

SpringGamesKrista

Top Ten Things to Do in Berlin

Berlin just became the topic of my first ever guest blog post! I am so excited! As you know, we spent a little bit of time with friends and family this summer traveling. And of course, everyone wanted to go to Berlin- so, as it is only a couple hours away and full of history and city life, we were there…at least a couple of times, and would love to go back many more. I thought it would be fun to write about our trip(s) and now its on a travel website! Check it out at:

http://www.travelspud.com/top-ten-things-to-do-in-berlin/

Learn about things like

Checkpoint Charlie

Eastside Gallery

and even, Berlin’s famous Dinner in the Dark restaurant!

Enjoy! And afterwards, let us know when you are ready to visit 😉