Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Gift of Hospitality - Part 8

All the gifts must be bathed in prayer. Often while in prayer I will receive clearer understanding as to the Lord’s specific purposes at work through the gifts. The first time I was aware of the gift of knowledge I had been simply enjoying the quiet of the presence of the Lord. http://ping.fm/DzYfL

Sunday, October 24, 2010

?Sunday Prayer?

Fill our home, Lord, with Yourself. Let us give to those who come, You. He comes, this Guest, externally in the rooms and internally in our souls. Here He is in His immanence and in His transcendence.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Immanent Guest - Part 7

We need to point one another to the Lord with the confidence that He indeed can teach each of us what it is we need. We must come to cherish our own experience, but not to the point of insisting that others duplicate it. We must delight in the unique way God calls each of us to holiness, and realize that His works among the children of men are as different from one another as the stars are from the sands of the seas. http://ping.fm/O9xRf

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Immanent Guest - Part 3

“All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.” This is the basic premise: The Holy Spirit dwells within each Christian. http://ping.fm/xHU6B

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Role Of The Holy Spirit In Our Lives

When we have yielded ourselves in obedience to our Lord, opened our lives to the indwelling of His Spirit, and pleaded to be purified by the fire of His Presence, we discover with delight that He has endowed us with marvelous tools to aid us in our missions. http://ping.fm/KRypH

Sunday, October 10, 2010

High School Reunion

We remember those, friends and companions, who have been in our midst, but who are now gone. We thank you for the part of their lives that we have shared, however brief or however joyful. Let us remind ourselves, because of them, that each day is a gift, not a promise, to be lived as beautifully as possible within our abilities and our means. http://ping.fm/2P4vl

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Prayer for Today

O God, help us to hear, to hear those cries without fear for ourselves, and with compassion for those who mourn. Help us to listen to those in need, without thought for our own material treasures. Help us to seek to be like Christ, upon whom was the Spirit of the Lord.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Christian's Home

Christ’s ministry to this impoverished, captive, blinded and oppressed world must, in one way or another, also be ours. Many of us have been given a most remarkable tool through which to minister — the miracle of a Christian home. http://ping.fm/anZpV

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Company?s Comin? - Part 4

I’m sharing my own life experiences, hoping to give you some insight into the importance of Christian hospitality. By talking about the development of an open heart in my own life, I’m trusting God to use what I’ve experienced to stir up some consideration of how your past has shaped your openness to being used by God in a similar way. http://ping.fm/uZV33

Monday, September 20, 2010

Scavenger Genes

‎"I cannot tell you how much I believe in the power of the godly scavenger hunt. Seeking the outcast, sharing the message of the Gospel with those who feel they are unfit. Telling them of a God who became outcast in order to reclaim and recycle those who were outrageously deformed, discarded and lost. This seems to me to be the essence of the Scripture. It is a reclamation and recycling story." http://ping.fm/IUM4y

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fitting in Fitness

“God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” Living daily in that place seems to me to be the epitome of spiritual health. http://bit.ly/diH04y

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life Story Mapping Workshop/Retreat Sept 19-20 & Nov. 6-7, 2010

Experience all the visual maps in the Listen to My Life workbook with the authors, Sibyl Towner, Sharon Swing, and Rebecca Madden in a two-part workshop/retreat in Rockford, IL September 19-20 and November 6-7. Come to part one to get started, or part one and part two to complete the process. Visit http://ping.fm/COl7q EO_regFall2010workshop.html for details.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Read and Intercede" Book Group

If you are eager to be part of the lively intellectual and spiritual exchange of "Read and Intercede" group book (and you live in the nearby western Chicago suburbs) please contact Judy Duncan at bjesha@aol.com. She will be happy to give you details and directions. http://ping.fm/MpcDM

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I would like to invite you to be part of our book group. For those of you who are not local or can’t fit this kind of commitment into your schedule, I would encourage you at least to begin reading books that open the world up to you. Read with at least another friend (or two), discuss what you have read and take time to pray for the world you have just discovered. http://bit.ly/cncXB7

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Listening Group Leaders Teleconference Training On August 24, 2010

Listening Group Leaders teleconference training will be on August 24, 2010 at 7:00 P.M. Central Standard Time. If you would like to join us and didn’t sign up, just phone (712) 432-0180. When prompted, enter this participant access code: 841894#. If you would like to receive the training, but are unable to attend, we will be taping this one-hour
session. You can obtain those access codes by contacting Karen at karen@hungrysoul.org.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Listening Group Teleconference Training

Some 24 people signed up for the Listening Group Leaders teleconference training. Our next evening for a repeat training call will be August 24th at 7:00 P.M. Central Standard Time. If you would like to join us and didn’t sign up, just phone (712) 432-0180. When prompted, enter this participant access code: 841894#. If you would like to receive the training, but are unable to attend, we will be taping this one-hour session. You can obtain those access codes by contacting Karen at karen@hungrysoul.org. Karen will be in the North Carolina mountains from August 24 to August 31 and will get back to you when she returns to Chicago.

Daily Inspirations

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13

Sunday, August 15, 2010

There is a mansion in our souls for which we need to take intimate responsibility. http://ping.fm/kVQAe

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Daily Inspirations

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,
because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,
because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gettin' Thru the Day

The first thing I know—I positively know—and have taught to my children, all of whom are adults now and married with children of their own, is that we all have a choice. We can make this a good day or a bad day. We can make it a good life or a bad life. http://bit.ly/dkdJoP

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Getting Back My Rhythm

It is one thing to say that prayer is a conversation with God. It is another thing to say that God begins the conversation. But it is yet something else to say that God is a conversation. Our prayer is not making conversation with God. It is joining the conversation that is already going on in God. http://ping.fm/Bw5Uf

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nourish your soul with good reads. http://ping.fm/ANQc9

Thursday, July 22, 2010

With Faith, anything is possible. Hold on to God's love and He will will do the rest. http://ping.fm/R8lVc

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

With Faith,anything is impossible. Hold on to God's love and He will will do the rest. http://ping.fm/cY6xF

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Making Sunday Special by Karen Mains -> a must read this weekend♥ http://ping.fm/ScvGV

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weathering Financial Blowouts Rule #2

by Karen Burton Mains

Financial blowouts can create the kind of community we have forgotten and yet long for in the deepest part of our beings.

I suspect we Christians need to lead the way in breaking up our government dependency. We need to increase our God-given Body of Christ interdependency. We need to explode the myth that unless we have money we can't solve problems. What a deception that is! (My personal mantra learned during these years in God's School of Finance is: We don't need money. we don't need money. We only need Him, the Provider and Sustainer.)

Creativity and ingenuity are our best currencies. So, let’s brainstorm together all the ways we can solve our personal, citywide, regional and national problems We need to develop neighborhood architectures for helping one another; we need to joyfully explore the alternate barter, recycle and trade economies. I do most of my clothes-shopping at Goodwill. I bought a pair of Ralph Lauren pants ($400 online) for $4. I got a great black leather jacket with a furred hood for $30. “You look terrific!” said some younger women I’ve mentored but hadn’t seen for a year. Well, losing 22 of the 30 pounds I gained during our season of financial discontent helped, but letting my hair go white (consequently, $22 for a haircut at the JCPenney Salon—no styling, walking out with my hair wet—instead of $160 for cut, color, styling, blow-dry and tip) not only saves money, it honors the fact that I have achieved these older years. A Daisy Fuentes tunic and Tommy Hilfiger black jeans, $4 apiece from Goodwill, finished the look.

Too bad the concept of community organizer came under such disapprobation in the last election, because God is the original Community Organizer. His platform always includes pulling together a group of unlikely folk who are willing to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to make amazing differences in the world. What a wonderful thing—to create neighborhoods where we actually feel free to borrow sugar, not to mention a car, where we can chat over fences, reinstitute the coffee klatch, tend to those who are feeble, and even know one another’s names and what we each do in the world. Together, we can change the environment around us. Together, we can learn that the meaning of the word “stranger” is not “the neighbor I don’t know who lives next door.” Six Rules for Weathering Financial Blowouts

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Perfect for any bible study group or for everyday reading. http://ping.fm/H3sjJ

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Daily Inspirations

I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I
may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Acts 20:24

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spiritual Teachings - Not All Breads Are Created Equal

In order to be healthy, we need to (among other things) learn to eat whole-wheat bread and buy cereals that are made from the whole grain. Experts recommend six to 11 servings of grain a day. One slice of whole-grain bread counts as one grain serving. Christ said to His followers, “I am the bread of life. No one who comes... after me will ever be hungry again” (John 6:35). This often is the spiritual “whole-wheat” bread that our famished souls lack. Nothing satisfies like the bread from heaven. http://bit.ly/aRFUdE

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is there such a wonder drug? There certainly is. It is called thanksgiving. Being grateful. Giving thanks. http://bit.ly/cvzsnA

Sunday, June 27, 2010

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Open Heart, Open Home

The interludes in the dance that is our life—when the music changes, or the silence intrudes—can be life-altering. They can be inconvenient, embarrassing, annoying or painful, but after we’ve lived awhile, we begin to understand that they are never outside of God’s intents. Sometimes, we need to stop dancing. http://ping.fm/DtOZZ

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Daily Inspiration

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in
spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1 3:6

Monday, June 21, 2010

Laughing Again

After a long season of sorrow, the major kind, I decided to fill my life with the kind of people I liked, people who knew how to play. And I was happy again, and we laughed together doing unimportant but life-giving things—cooking meals, canning peaches, going to movies. http://ping.fm/hoPpc

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Great News! The Global Bag Project Has a Sustainable Model in Kenya.

This last fiscal quarter, through Home Parties, Bag Parties in a Box (which arrive in the mail), and through the generous invitation of Heartland Church in Rockford, IL who invited us to be their “Cause of the Month” for all of May, Global Bag Project raised $17,000 in donations. We humbly praise God for this generosity.

Right now, 8 bag-producers and one Kenyan project manager, Mary Ogolo, are involved in our growing adventure. Whenever we sell a bag, we can truthfully say, “This helps to feed a child in Kenya.” Whenever Carla wires a check to our Global Bag Project bank account, we are well aware that carrying these reusable grocery bags in the States is not only good ecological practice, it is helping our African co-workers pay school fees ($300 per child per year), pay rent ($200 a month in the Kibera slums—truly a place you do not want to live), and pay for a sewing space for the sewing cooperatives that are forming ($50 per month). A small bag of sugar and corn meal and a small bottle of cooking oil costs about $8. These items are used to make ugali, the East African ‘bread” that is a staple at most every meal.

On average, an experienced sewer can earn $18-30 a day sewing GBP bags. That’s $600 a month or $7,200 per year. That is a FAIR (more than fair) wage!

This is thrilling to us! Here are some ways you can help, ways that have been tested by other GBP supporters:

l. Hold a bag party. We will ship a bag party in a box with host instructions. We have had sales from $400 to $1,500. These parties take about 1an ½ hours and are a delightful event.

2. Purchase an industrial strength sewing machine. Some of the African-made sewing machines are breaking under constant use, so we are changing to sturdier models, which cost $350-$400 each. We will give you the name of the bag-maker along with her photo when she receives the sewing machine.

3. Hold an office party. Sell the bags at lunch, breaks or after work. If you can play our “Every Bag Has a Story” DVD, great! But the bags often walk off the coat racks or the tables on which they are displayed.

4. Make one of our first renewable micro-credit loans. Some donations have been given for our first capital investment toward establishing a sewing cooperative, but we are getting ready to set up small loans for those women who demonstrate entrepreneurial initiatives.

5. See if your church will take the Global Bag Project on as a Cause of the Month.

To participate in any of these events, contact Carla Boelkens, Global Bag Project Director at carla@globalbagproject.org or visit http://HungrySouls.org or http://KarenMains.com.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Global Bag Project

Karen Mains is also part of an international team of men and women heading the Global Bag Project, a micro finance enterprise for women who live in developing areas of the world. The idea is to sell reusable shopping bags, made by Third World bag-makers, to provide sustainable income for them. Visit www.GlobalBagProject.com if you are interested in learning more.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Writer Mentoring

Karen Mains is currently involved in writer mentoring. She and 11 other people are teleconferencing for one hour, twice a month, in order to become better memoir writers. A waiting list is now forming for the new Cycle. If you are interested, please contact Karen at the Hungry Souls office, info@hungrysouls.org.

Monday, May 31, 2010

For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed,a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,just as it is written. Romans1:17

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Karen Mains is currently involved in writer mentoring. She and 11 other people are teleconferencing for one hour, twice a month, in order to become better memoir writers. A waiting list is now forming for the new Cycle. If you are interested, please contact Karen at the Hungry Souls office, info@hungrysouls.org.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Isolation Room

Do not let pain isolate you completely. Do not let it swallow you into itself. Find one friend. Search out an old companion. Join a group. Volunteer where people are present. Put yourself into a happy (and healthy) social environment. Become a member of an accountability group or a recovery program. Just don’t face this terrible season of life by yourself. You can open the door in the isolation room. Don’t stay there so long that you begin to think it’s normal, or you begin to love it. http://bit.ly/9V9bTI

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Remember, if you seek for Him in the everyday, you may become breathless with how frequently He twirls you around http://bit.ly/LLtfK

Monday, May 10, 2010

Karen is currently involved in writer mentoring. A waiting list is now forming for the new Cycle. You can reach her at info@hungrysouls.org

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Beautiful Bible Verse For All The Super Moms Out There

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
---------> Proverbs 31:10-31

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Blog title...

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35,38-39

Friday, April 30, 2010

Blog title...

Karen Mains is currently busy in writer mentoring. She and 11 other people are teleconferencing for one hour, twice a month, in order to become better memoir writers. A waiting list is now forming for the new Cycle. If you are interested, please contact Karen at the Hungry Souls office, info@hungrysouls.org.
Karen is also involved with an international team of concerned friends who are launching the Global Bag Project, encouraging seamstresses to sew reusable shopping bags to provide themselves with sustainable incomes. Visit the new Web site, www.globalbagproject.org.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blog title...

Karen Mains other involvements these days, apart from praying in airplanes when flaps don’t work, is writer mentoring. She and 11 other people are teleconferencing for one hour, twice a month, in order to become better memoir writers. A waiting list is now forming for the new Cycle. If you are interested, please contact Karen at the Hungry Souls office, info@hungrysouls.org. Karen is also
involved with an international team of concerned friends who are launching the Global Bag Project, encouraging seamstresses to sew reusable shopping bags to provide themselves with sustainable incomes. Visit the new Web site, www.globalbagproject.org.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hungry Souls - How Was Your Flight?

None of us know about the web of prayer that surrounds our lives. We have no way of measuring how many times prayer has protected us, preserved us or assuaged our distresses. bit.ly/czg6Yy

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blog title...

The Scripture came to mind, He will give his angels charge over you lest you strike your foot against a stone. I thought of my husband, David, with love and with no regret for the 49 years we have shared life together. And I heard an inner voice (my own) repeating, My life is in Your hands … my life is in Your hands. bit.ly/czg6Yy

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blog title...

Begin to look for the gifts of prayer, see if you can detect that figurative flash of wings, the hidden sound of something beating beneath the surface of things. Concentrate, instead of what has gonewrong, on what has gone right. http://bit.ly/czg6Yy
New Post: How Was Your Flight?: Because I travel, and generally someone picks me up at my destination .. http://bit.ly/bLexUo

Thursday, April 1, 2010

3-part Easter Sermon Series, a must see this Lenten Season. Visit http://ping.fm/voJCu for details.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Linet Has Died

These are the e-mails we hate to receive from overseas: Linet Okia Sunguti died last Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 1 p.m. at Mbagathi District Hospital.

The copy from our Kenyan co-laborers, Caleb and Eunice Otieno, reads:

“We are thankful to God that she has gone to rest, she was in deep pain day and night and at the same time we are very sad because she was a very hard-working woman and very keen on her work. She was not just a member of St. Martha’s Ministry (Caleb and Eunice’s outreach in Kibera slums), but she was also a very close and dear friend of Eunice who led her to accepting Jesus Christ as her personal saviour. She was also very active on the Ministry activities. Linet, at the time of her death, was leading our group in Kibera on Global Bag Project sewing. The burial date has not been set since we are still waiting for communication from her relatives. Linet left a son aged 13 (the last of her four children) and it was her last prayer that we would take care of her orphaned son.”

I am writing this in Washington, D.C., where I have been attending a conference sponsored by World Vision for its women auxiliary chapters. The theme of this year’s conference is: “Every Woman Has a Story. Change Her Story … Change History.” Valerie Bell, my sister, who is on the speaker’s bureau for Women of Vision, recognized this theme was synergistic with the Global Bag Project tagline on the DVD’s. We slip one into the outside pockets of every kanga-cloth reusable shopping bag made by our Kenyan bag-makers: “Every bag has a story.”

At the invitation of Cindy Breihl, the World Vision Director of Women of Vision, Carla Boelkens, Director of GBP, mailed a box of kanga-cloth bags out to Washington, D.C. The conveners were expecting 500 women; the bookseller thought we might be able to sell at most 50 bags, so Carla shipped what would fit into one box: 73 bags. All but eight bags have sold so far—and this without a presentation from the platform (and with a lower attendance than expected—just 250 women). The bookseller gave us wonderful “real estate” on the display tables, the first corner the women saw as they entered Ballroom B. (And we did roll the bags in all their African glory down the halls on a hotel coat-rack into Valerie’s workshop: “Changing My Story: Becoming an Activist,” where she gave us a great plug.) For the most part, the bags appear to sell themselves.

Here in this conference, I am made aware again of the statistics:

• More than 12 million children are orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Africa. This is a staggering statistic! Nearly 9 out of 10 children who are HIV-positive today are from African countries.
• Every 15 seconds five children die—most from preventable disease or malnutrition.
• Since it was discovered, AIDS or complications from this disease has killed 28.2 million people—more than three times the population of Sweden.

These realities and Linet’s death press with urgency on our desire to help. The need is extreme. Tragically, it takes so little to assist those who can barely afford to live.

In March of 2009, David and I, Carla Boelkens and our son-in-law, Doug Timberlake, a video and TV producer, traveled to Kenya, where we began to film the stories of those who were becoming our first bag-producers in this pilot phase of the Global Bag Project. After a morning of slipping over the unpaved footpaths in Kibera slums (there had been a recent rain) in order to film one of the HIV/AIDS widows sewing in her small room (and believe me, every single footstep was dangerous), David and I decided it was the better part of wisdom to sit out the scheduled walk to Linet’s place. Consequently, I can’t really focus my mind on a memory of her face. But Doug, with Caleb Otieno as his guide, did make the second Kibera jaunt along the back paths, and returned again in September to get more footage with better sound and videotaping equipment. He asked with authentic sadness in his voice, “Did you get the e-mail that Linet had died?”

When numbers turn to faces, when statistics become flesh and blood, we feel differently about the overwhelming information world-monitoring organizations compile for us. Linet’s 13-year-old son is a child now without a mother or a father, and Caleb and Eunice Otieno have promised that he will be raised in accordance to the prayers and last wishes of his dying mother.

My husband’s response was more practical: “Check and see if they have money for a coffin.” In September 2009, Margaret, a member of this same group, also died. There was no money to give her a proper burial. Obviously, if there is barely enough for the bare necessities of living, there will not be enough for the elemental proprieties of dying. So the GBP team (David again back in Africa) scrapped together the monies that would provide a coffin for this sister who had suffered so. We have done the same for Linet, wiring the funds to Nairobi.

Scripture says that God is “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Psalm 68:7). In Isaiah 1:17, the prophet speaks this for God, “Uphold the rights of the orphan; defend the cause of the widow.”

So with thoughts of Linet and of Margaret and of all those suffering and dying from AIDS, I announce that the Global Bag Project, www.globalbagproject.org, is designed and online. The e-economy is functioning (with a few glitches). PayPal is working and we should have merchant accounts soon so that people can use credit cards to make purchases. I believe we have a viable model forming in Nairobi. My prayer is that we will be able to soon place orders for bags with the many sewing groups that already exist who desperately need work.

Here’s what you can do to help.

• Visit the Web site. Place an order for a reusable kanga-cloth shopping bag made by artisan bag-producers in Kenya. Think about giving bags when you need to purchase gifts. Remember that Earth Day is April 22. Mother’s Day is May 2. When you buy a reusable bag, you feed a family and help preserve the planet.

• Host a “Bag Party in a Box.” We can ship a party in a box anywhere in the country. Instructions are included, and the DVD introduces your guests to the Global Bag Project concept. Each DVD includes the story of one of our bag-producers. We are in the trial phase and will welcome your ideas and feedback.

• Give a one-time financial gift to help defray the startup costs our Mainstay office has incurred. With the high fees for overseas shipping in addition to U.S. Customs charges, our margins can be threatened if we don’t raise operational costs from other giving sources. Ideally, we want all the monies from bag sales to go into fair wages for the bag-producers and into development projects on the field. For any gift over $35, we will gladly provide the latest DVD in the “Every Bag Has a Story” series. It is Caleb and Eunice Otieno’s story. I guarantee there will be few dry eyes among viewers.

The morning I left for Washington, D. C., this e-mail came from our colleague, Linda Renner.

“Just wanted you to know what happened yesterday with regards to our GBP sewing women here on the NEGST (Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology) campus. I have been sewing with them for the past week. We are making curtains for the guest house here, just to give the women work while waiting for further bag orders. Salome, one of the young women sewing with us, gave birth on Saturday to a baby girl. She was at the sewing room yesterday (Monday), after walking from Dagoretti. I did not even know she was pregnant. I asked her where the baby was. She had left her at home in the care of a “young girl.” Not sure how old that young girl was, I listened as Salome told me the baby would be given water to eat until Salome returned home from work. Mary Ogalo (our GBP Project Manager in Nairobi) told Salome she had to go home for two weeks so she could recover from the birth and to be available to feed the baby. Salome has four other children and no husband living at home. Salome really needs the income to buy food for her children and herself. She is a very hard worker and seems very nice. I have only known her for this one week. Please pray with us as we try to figure out how to help Salome.”

Karen Mains

Preach The Victorious King Easter Series

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The Victorious King is a celebration of Jesus’ journey from prophet, to sacrificial lamb, to savior of the world. Your congregation will experience both sorrow and joy as you unfold the story of his amazing kingship.

This 3-part series includes:
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2) A wealth of Powerpoint presentation materials that powerfully illustrate Jesus life, death and resurrection.
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This DVD-ROM is also loaded with diverse teaching elements to dramatically enhance your congregation’s ability to retain and apply this important life-changing message. Create an atmosphere of honor and celebration this Easter season as you explore the life of The Victorious King.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March Mania at Mainstay! Save 25% or make your best offer! Call 1-800-224-2735 or visit http://sundaysolutions.com/ for details.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reserve three to five minutes, preferably three times each day,to think about something you appreciate. It’s important to spread this exercise through the day, perhaps morning, noon and night. --> http://ping.fm/pxXdX

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Karen Mains is developing a two-day training event for those interested in becoming Silent Retreat leaders, and the Global Bag Project is developing a template for Bag Parties in a Box.
is developing a two-day training event for those interested in becoming Silent Retreat leaders, and the Global Bag Project is developing a template for Bag Parties in a Box. http://ping.fm/rTG7f

Friday, March 19, 2010

There is something even more powerful when a handful of other people give us their undivided attention, when they receive what we say, don't lecture or try to fix us, and when the silence of listening is activated by the Holy Spirit and prayer.
There is something even more powerful when a handful of other people give us their undivided attention, when they receive what we say, don't lecture or try to fix us, and when the silence of listening is activated by the Holy Spirit and prayer.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tragically, it takes so little to help those who are can barely afford to live. http://ping.fm/F2QhD

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The husband and wife share a consensus of important values. If parents aren’t committed, neither will children be apt to be committed. http://ping.fm/v49sG

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Noticing is one of the better ways of getting through the days. If we do not turn to see, we all too often plod, the soul heavy, not knowing that the pillar of lights are shining skyward. http://ping.fm/oqcDJ

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

From time to time, I plan to post some of the things I have learned on this Web site, what still puzzles me, and how I seem to be eternally captured by the divine romance of it all--love for God, consideration for what is is still making me to be, tenderness for all of us who struggle with the meaning of our human condition, and enchantment toward this exquisitly created world. http://ping.fm/W5RJJ

Friday, March 5, 2010

Karen Mains is building distance-learning opportunities, teaching wannabe writers how to be better at their craft. If you are interested in future cycles of training, the Web site www.KarenBurtonMains.com is being built to facilitate this effort. We invite you to check it out for announcements of future classes.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Children learn to solve problems by living in a family that solves problems. Parents give children the hope and conviction that “when things get tough we’ll be able to cope.” http://ping.fm/0vk6h

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Post: Raising Juvenile Delinquents: I remember a friend, a young mother, with three children under.. http://bit.ly/b8hGIs
After all many things in life renew themselves, day always comes after night, the seasons are on a yearly rotation, the earth goes again and again around the sun. Old friends come back into our lives. We celebrate the holidays every year. Some things always come around again. Death and resurrection are renewable. It is all “círculo.”

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Post: Everything I Do the Baby Thinks Is Funny: This baby, our eighth grandchild, is round. His mo.. http://bit.ly/bdNQoa

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One of the great gifts of life is meeting enchanting people, people who carry on a kind of romance with life. People who enliven rooms just by being in them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Post: Making Marmalade: For some reason I made a beeline to the church kitchen. My husband was the.. http://bit.ly/aZJO8E
What are the regular rhythms you have in place or need to put in place so that you can pay attention to God? It is an amazing thing to not only see Him with the eyes of the soul, but to discover that you are, indeed, being seen by Him

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

From time to time, I plan to post some of the things I have learned on this Web site, what still puzzles me, and how I seem to be eternally captured by the divine romance of it all--love for God, consideration for what is is still making me to be, tenderness for all of us who struggle with the meaning of our human condition, and enchantment toward this exquisitly created world.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Registration is open for the upcoming (Advent) Silent Retreats. One of the Advent Retreats is for Christian women; the other is designed for both Christian women and men. See the Hungry Souls Web site (http://ping.fm/9XMH3) for details.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Recovering Your Inner Child http://ping.fm/5P8Kr

?Listen to My Life Mapping? Listening Group

This is the only Listening Group Hungry Souls will offer in 2010 since the plan is to finish gathering data, organize our findings, do a better job of training Listening Group Leaders, and begin publishing articles and books about the Listening Group experience.

The Listen to My Life Mapping Listening Group will run for 8 months, from February to October 2010. We will begin with an introductory and get-acquainted session, work on one map per month on our own, then debrief that journey by using the Listening Group architecture (listening in silence to one another, responding only through asking questions). The groups will be 3-4 people in size, will take 2.5 hours once a month, and will meet in safe and comfortable homes. We predict that this self-reflective tool, which has been tested nationally and is beginning to be used internationally, will give you a unique opportunity to see how your life story intersects with God’s story. The fee for the Listen to My Life workbook is $35. If you want to register interest or have other questions, contact Sharon Swing at sharon@onelifemap.com . More information can be obtained by visiting the Web site, *www.oneLifemap.com.
Wannabe (Better) Writers: Registration Deadline is Jan 31st! Email us at info@hungrysouls.org to register. More info at http://bit.ly/6LB7wE
Read "What's Behind Your Kitchen Stove?" by Karen Mains and sign-up for Soulish Food, eNewsletter for the Hungry Souls http://bit.ly/5QZkbo

Friday, January 22, 2010

Three-Day Retreats of Silence


Hungry Souls spent last spring working with a group of retreat leaders to develop the schedule for 3-Day Retreats of Silence. We are planning to offer two 3-Day Retreats of Silence in 2010.

Retreat of Silence One.
The first, held at the lovely St. Mary’s Monastery in Rock Island, Illinois (about a 2.5-hour drive from Chicago’s western suburbs) will be April 18-21. This is for women only. The cost is $225 for a single room (with bath). Karen Franzen and Brenna Jones will be leading this women’s retreat.

Karen Franzen is the Executive Pastor for Willow Creek McHenry County Church. She is responsible for training and development of the staff team as well as overseeing the day-to-day running of the church. Prior to her joining the Willow Creek staff 10 years ago, Karen taught at Northern Illinois University and counseled individuals, couples and families at Kairos Family Center in Elgin. Brenna Jones is a spiritual director, retreat leader and teacher trained through the Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. She has graduate training in biblical and theological studies and leads an active ministry of discipleship and support for women. She and her husband Stan are coauthors of God’s Design for Sex, a resource series for family sex education published by NavPress.
Registration deadline is February 28.

Retreat of Silence Two.
A weekend retreat of silence will be offered for men and women and will be led by Gay and Tom Patten. The dates for this are September 10-12. This is also being held at St. Mary’s Monastery in Rock, Island. More details to follow.

We have room for ten retreatants at each retreat. If you want to make sure to reserve a space, contact Susan Hands at info@hungrysouls.org . Be warned: We have a waiting list, so you will want to get your name in early.


Play for the Play-Deprived

Some of us, sorry to say, just don’t play very well. We either never learned to play or we’ve forgotten how! And yet, scientists are discovering that play is an essential part of well-being, reaping huge benefits spiritually, physically and relationally when we practice it.

Sue Higgins, spiritual director, and Karen Mains will be experimenting with play (some of it outrageous) in the days ahead. We will be using the book Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown, M.D. As soon as you are interested, let Karen know. When we have four to five at a minimum ready to read the book, mark passages for discussion, take the “play history” provided, and determine your play type, then we will gather. Let Karen Mains know at karen@hungrysouls.org or Sue Higgins at vette73@msn.com .

Our initial thinking is to design a once-a-month Play Date out of these discussions. We are embarking on a journey of discovery with one another and with God, for the sake of improving our own play capacities certainly, but also of coming closer to the Almighty, who it seems, has genetically designed humans, more than any other of His creatures, for play!

What is at hand out of this list for you to do? Are you going to DO IT?

Karen Mains is beginning an eight-month, twice-a-month writer’s mentoring program in Personal Memoir Writing. We will be using teleconferencing as our distance learning tool. The program begins Thursday, February 18 at 7:00 Central Standard Time. For details, curriculum and cost go to http://ping.fm/zY6RD Find the writer’s mentoring announcement and click on the link provided. The sign-up deadline is January 31. To register contact info@hungrysouls.org.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Post: Falling Up: The tangle of computer cords under my desk kept grabbing at my foot when I left .. http://bit.ly/4oEPuV

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Post: Red Bird on Snow: We have been snowbound here in the Chicago area for the last three months,.. http://bit.ly/5O2rLT

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Last day of registration for the Wannabe Better Writers is on Jan 15, join now! http://ping.fm/TtP2x

Wanna Be a Wannabe?

Barbara Henry leaned across the coffee and scones at the breakfast table of Legacy House, the B&B where we were lodging at Stratford for this past summer's Shakespeare Festival. Hearing remarkable stories has been one of the great gifts David and I have received in nearly five decades of ministry. Barb's certainly was one of them.

At age 41, Barb decided she would like to take up the clarinet lessons she had abandoned as a child. She remembered that in the fifth grade one of her music teachers encouraged what he felt was a natural talent. But was she too old to start music lessons again? Was this a silly whim?

Just as she was wrestling with this decision, Barb told how she happened to be listening to a call-in program on a local Christian radio station. Two well-known counselors took the call of another woman with a similar dilemma. This woman's son had said, "Mom, you're too old to get a master's degree."

"How old are you?" asked one of the men.

"Oh, I'm 56."

"Well, there's only one thing I can think of to tell you. You're going to turn 60 no matter what. Do you want to turn 60 with a degree or without one?"

Barbara said that question just stuck with her. She was going to turn 50 one way or the other. Did she want to become 50 having gained nine years of instrumental proficiency or none?

Barb phoned the local public school's music director, and he recommended a clarinet instructor. But on contacting him, she learned that he was retiring and not available to give lessons. Calling the music director back, she informed him of this roadblock. "I guess my second choice of instrument would be the bassoon." He gave her the name of a bassoon teacher and told her that she could rent a school instrument for the rest of the summer for $5.00.

This teacher said to her, "You know, Barb, the only way to really play a band instrument is to be part a band." Upon the start of that school year, Barb's daughter was in the sixth grade, playing clarinet in a local Christian school. So Mrs. Henry, age 41, joined the sixth grade band and played with that class through junior high until they graduated to go into high school. At this point, she felt ready to join an adult band.

This is the story of how Barbara Henry learned to play the bassoon. She turned 50, as she knew she would, with nine years of developed proficiency behind her. Today, Barb is 55, and she plays professionally with the Midland Concert Band, in Midland, Michigan, in addition to other musical venues. "I even get paid for what I do!" she laughed. And now Barb has students of her own.

I've found myself asking this question of myself. You know, in six years you will turn 70. Nothing but death can prevent that from happening. Do you want to turn 70 with a novel written or do you want to turn 70 without a novel written? Do you want to turn 70 still 15 pounds heavier than your weight goal and weakening from lack of physical exercise, or do you want to turn 70 a svelte 145 pounds and as healthy as possible?

The Hungry Souls Advent Retreat committee is building this year's Retreat of Silence around the Scripture from Ephesians 1:11, "Moreover, because of what Christ has done we have become gifts to God that he delights in." Do you know that joyful feeling you receive when a child or student develops some proficiency? "Hey, look at me!" they shout, riding that two-wheeler alone for the first time. "Hey! I got an A in math!" You feel joy in their joy-filled accomplishments. God takes that same delight in you when you, "through Christ's help," as Barb emphasizes, also begin to shout, "Hey, look at me! I got that master's degree." Or,"I learned to play the bassoon!"

This is pretty terrific stuff. Don't just wanna be a wannabe. Name a goal--a wannabe dream that with persistence, determination and the help of God you can achieve. (Yes, you can.) Put your information in the following blanks. I will be _____ on my next decade birthday. This is going to happen, barring some life-ending disaster. Do I want to turn _____ having _______________, or do I want to turn _____ without having _______________?

"What would you have missed if you hadn't paid attention to this inner desire?" I asked Barb. "Oh," she sighed. "So much. So much." She went on to tell me about the little girl at a camp for severely abused and deprived children. "Some of these little girls had never even worn dresses, and we gave them a fancy dress-up 'princess' banquet. A friend and I played Bach's Third Cello Suite, A Movement from Bourrée (bassoons can play cello parts). This one little girl came up to me and with dreamy eyes said, 'No one has ever done anything like this for me.'"

"You know," Barb continued, "Christ always asks you to do things that are bigger than what you can do. I've not only learned to play the bassoon, but now, before performing, I've gone from terror-nervous to nervous-nervous! That is progress—and it's all with His help!"

Take a little time to think: What remarkable nativity, some accomplishment that is bigger than what you can do, is pressing against your inner soul? Will God be delighted if you develop this proficiency?

Karen Mains