|Women Learn How to "Breathe The Atmosphere of Heaven"||Email | Print|
by Heidi Baumgartner; Source: Washington Conference, email@example.com
Women’s Spring Day on April 26 helped 260 western Washington women to find common ground on the subject of prayer.
"I have a problem with 'quick prayers' and too many glib sayings about prayer," admits Kathy Beagles, a professor in the Discipleship and Religious Education department at Andrews University Seminary, as she opened her presentation. “We think stories from God are going to have a specific timetable much like sitcoms, novels or movies where the story is unfolded in 30 minutes or a couple hours. It just isn’t realistic or true.”
Beagles unpacked how God helped her to understand the concept of prayer: “Prayer is an opening of the heart to God as to a friend.”
One of the lessons Beagles learned is that “’No’ can be the best type of ‘Yes’ God can give you in response to prayer.” She continues: "Prayer isn't manipulating God. God knows my storyline better than I do. God wants to take us to a place where He can trust our hearts."
The afternoon session focused on practical ways to be “All In” with Jesus. Beagles invited audience participation to discuss how to “breathe the atmosphere of heaven” (a phrase frequently used by Adventist church co-founder and prolific writer Ellen G. White).
Audience suggestions included: speaking God’s word aloud, spending time in nature, singing, absorbing and processing what you read in the Bible, writing out prayers, memorizing scripture and learning how to read, reflect and respond.
Beagles outlined six steps on how to “Love the Lord…with all your heart, soul and strength” in reference to Deuteronomy 6:5.
- Spend time absorbing the fact that God is love, not just loving, and how very much He loves you, specifically.
- Choose to trust that Love and turn it ALL over to Him.
- Make the time to start each day from that place, opening your heart “as to a friend.”
- Watch for His unfolding providence in your life, and choose to trust and praise Him even when you don’t fully understand what is happening.
- Learn to take “reality checks” throughout the day so that you can stay breathing the “pure, clear atmosphere of heaven.”
- Read and reread His messages to you, asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand.
$65,000 of Making a Difference since 2007
Women's Spring Day incorporates two ways for women to make a difference locally and abroad. Since 2007, western Washington women have donated nearly $65,000 to Murwira Children's Orphanage in Zimbabwe! In addition, they bring in-kind donations (non-perishable food and warm clothing) for Search & Rescue Mission in Seattle that ministers to homeless individuals.
This orphanage is operated by Paula Leen, an 80-year-old Adventist missionary. Leen first went to Zimbabwe when she was 49 years old and continues to champion the cause of orphaned and disadvantaged children.
"I haven't retired yet because I haven't found someone to replace me," Leen says. "If you come, you'll lose a piece of your heart."
In years' past, Spring Day contributions helped to cover shipping costs to send already-filled food containers to Zimbabwe. This year, contributions will be applied to help with the everyday operations of the orphanage.
"I've been praying for big miracles — millions of miracles," Leen says. "God has provided so many miracles, and I am just in awe. I don't deserve it."
"Part of Women's Ministries is finding ways to make a difference at home and abroad," says Wilma Bing, Washington Conference interim women's ministries director. "Women of Washington have supported Search & Rescue Mission in Seattle and Mirwira Orphanage in Zimbabwe for many years."