Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog. If you’re looking for specific resources, be sure to check out the topics in the column to the right. Otherwise, feel free to look around! ~ Kerry

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Smalley Relationship Center

I just visited the Smalley Relationship Center Web site, and I spent way too much time engrossed in all the helpful resources there. (Meanwhile, my to-do list is glaring at me...) I’m excited to share with you what I found! Here’s a quick snapshot:

Assessments—This is my favorite part! These online tests are free, quick, and very interesting. If you’ve ever wondered, “What’s my core fear?”, “What’s my personality type?”, “How healthy is my marriage?”, “Do people feel safe with me?” ...then you can take one of these tests and get instant results!

Articles—I loved how there were so many topics covered—everything from “being a perfectionist”, to “struggles with marital intimacy”, to “resolving anger with your teen.” These are quick reads, practical and insightful, written by Gary Smalley and other experts.

Seminars & Conferences—Wow, Gary Smalley is a busy guy! He speaks at numerous conferences nationwide. For example, “Love and Laughter” is an interactive and fun marriage getaway. “I Promise” shares the 5 promises every couple (married or engaged) needs to make. Check this out—there might be a seminar coming to your area soon!

Of course, I love all the books and DVD’s Gary Smalley produces—and information about them is on the site as well. If you’ve never browsed http://www.smalleyonline.com/, you are in for a treat!

Monday, April 20, 2009

MWC Women's Retreat

We just had our ninth annual women’s retreat at Maranatha Worship Center! It’s hard to believe there have been NINE! If my memory is right, about 20 women attended our first retreat. We actually met in a hotel suite, and we sat on the sofa, beds, and floor.

Now eight years later, one hundred and thirty women registered for the retreat! It was quite a change from the first one in 2001…but many things remained the same. Thirteen of us who attended the first retreat were there this past weekend.

Every woman attending received a copy of the Secrets book. It was so much fun to share the study with them. Many of these women attended the pilot class I taught last year, around sixty of them participated in the video production, several spoke on the promo DVD, and four of them shared testimonies on the video. So they are very much a part of this material. I feel so blessed to be in their lives. Take a look at the beautiful women of MWC!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Fresh Challenge

During this time of year, I’m always inspired to read the passages of Scripture that surround the death and resurrection of Jesus. I especially enjoy reading the verses in red. Recently I was drawn to John 21:15-18, where Jesus is speaking directly to Peter. Prior to this conversation, Peter denied knowing Jesus. In John 21, after His resurrection, Christ led Peter through an experience that would remove the shame of his denial, re-establish their relationship, and challenge Peter to a life of significant service. In essence, Christ’s death and resurrection does the same for each of us—removes our shame, establishes relationship, and challenges us to a life of purpose.

Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. In the context of this conversation, I see three significant things for us to learn:

#1—Jesus’ question reveals the type of relationship He wants to have with us—one based on love. When we understand and receive His great love for us, our response can be one of love. Our love for God is the most important thing in life, and we must do all we can to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

#2—When Peter claimed he loved Jesus, the challenge from Jesus was to “feed My lambs” or “take care of My sheep.” Jesus calls all of us to serve others, and this must flow from our love for Him.

#3—Our love for God is most clearly seen when we serve one another. Since Christ’s ascension, He no longer dwells among us in human form. We have become His hands and His feet. He longs for us to be dispensers of His grace, compassion, hope, and insight. He wants us to care for His people.

Recently I’ve received a fresh challenge to walk into every situation in light of this mandate—How can I care for the individuals I’m encountering as He would? Is His love and grace flowing unhindered through my actions and words? Do the individuals need his peace? Or do they need the hope He came to offer? Maybe they need His insight or truth. They might need His compassion through a hug or a simple act of kindness.

I don’t want to become distracted by routines, possessions, achievements, or accolades. I want the love of Christ to lavishly flow through my life to every person I encounter. I want to take great care of the individuals He died to rescue.