Heartlands Spring 2022

HEARTLANDS news is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

Table of Contents

    Diary Dates

    Check the details on these events by scrolling down.
    Have you subscribed to Heartlands to find out about events in your region?

    • Pro-Tip: DOWNLOAD invitations to invite your friends by email, or print some for your church, or another group.

    DAY OF PRAYER, northwest

    DOP NW event 2022

    Ulverstone Baptist
    10am, Saturday 22nd October
    RSVP Mon 17th Oct gabefife@gmail.com


    DAY OF PRAYER, south

    DOP South event 2022

    Claremont Baptist
    2pm, Saturday 22nd October
    RSVP Sat 15th Oct jenny@tasbaptists.org.au


    MORNING TEA, northwest

    Morning tea in Latrobe

    Monclair of Latrobe
    10am,Saturday 12th November


    World Women’s Day of Prayer

    Late October/Early November 2022

    World Day of Prayer 2022, Heartlands Spring 2022
    Heartlands Spring 2022, Day of Prayer 2022

    President of Baptist Women of the Pacific Elissa Macpherson explains what the Day of Prayer event is all about.

    This event was launched by the Baptist World Alliance Women over sixty years ago, after World War II had shattered unity between the nations.

    Read More >

    Heartlands Spring 2022


    Action for You

    FOMO or JOMO?

    Do you suffer from FOMO? It is so easy to have a Fear Of Missing Out!

    The Joy of Missing Out, Heartlands Spring 2022
    You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and
    clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11 (NIV)

    We don’t want to miss out what’s on social media. So we scroll, and keep on scrollinig.

    We don’t want to miss out on that delicious cake or muffin. So we stack the kilos on.

    We don’t want to miss out on that special moment, or this event, or the other big gathering. And in the process wear ourselves out.

    But check this: THERE IS ANOTHER WAY!

    Have you heard of JOMO?

    The “Joy Of Missing Out” is easy too.

    Stop scrolling, and ease your anxious heart.

    Say NO to that cake – and enjoy a slimmer you.

    Take a break from endless commitments, to make some space to rest your body, soul and spirit.

    Instead of being fearful of missing out, choose JOY and relief in taking time out. Today.


    Women Making a Difference

    From one Generation to the Next

    Love Beyond our Backyard

    Heartlands Spring 2022

    Three generations of northwest Baptist women leave a wonderful legacy across the world.

    Sophia Russell recently chatted with three women from the same family from Wynyard: Shirley Wilson, daughter Cindy and granddaughter Kelsea Clingeleffer. Kelsea is the International Programs Coordinator at Baptist World Aid.

    Read More >


    To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS!

    EmpowHer

    Heartlands Spring 2022

    Love Beyond our Backyard

    Cindy, Shirley Wilson and Kelsea
    Heartlands News

    From Local to Global

    How three generations of Baptist World Aid supporters built a legacy of generosity

    Sophia Russell recently chatted with three women from the same family from Wynyard: Shirley Wilson, daughter Cindy and granddaughter Kelsea Clingeleffer. Kelsea is the International Programs Coordinator at Baptist World Aid.

    Giving has shaped our lives to bring a perspective way beyond our backyard

    Shirley Wilson remembers the day she first decided to become a Child Sponsor with Baptist World Aid Australia.

    It was 1977, and she was raising four children, working part time as a nurse, and helping her husband, Graeme, run a small poultry farm in the northwest of Tasmania.

    A guest speaker from Baptist World Aid Australia visited Wynyard Baptist, and spoke about a Child Sponsorship program. He explained that Australians could provide a monthly gift to support the work of Christian Partners working in places like Bangladesh and India. The funding would support children in those countries, helping them build a future free from poverty.

    ‘I decided it would be a good thing,’ Shirley said. ‘I’ve always loved Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40, “as much as you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did to me,” and I wanted to put it into practice’.

    A Thrilling Discovery

    After that Sunday, Shirley decided to support Anika*, a Child Partner living in India. Anika was nine years old, which made it easy for Shirley’s similarly aged daughter, Cindy, to connect with her. Cindy was thrilled to discover Anika enjoyed the same things she did—skipping rope, running games, playing outside with friends. But Cindy also learnt that their lives were vastly different.

    ‘It was an interesting education to have insight into somebody else’s world,’ Cindy said. ‘That’s when I started to think outside my own community.’

    ‘It was an interesting education to have insight into somebody else’s world,’ Cindy said.

    Cindy loved exchanging letters with Anika so much, that when she got her first job as a teenager, she used her pocket money to become a Sponsor.

    ‘Mum’s example had a big impact on me,’ she said. ‘We can’t all go overseas, but this is how we can contribute’.

    One Generation, to the Next

    Cindy didn’t stop contributing—even when she married her husband David and they had children of their own. And even when it wasn’t easy. ‘David lost his job about 20 years ago,’ Cindy said. ‘We clung on to our Child Partner for as long as we could, so it was heartbreaking when we couldn’t support him anymore’.

    When David started working again, the first thing they did was ask if their Child Partner was still available to support. ‘I was so happy that he was,’ Cindy said. ‘That made me realise what a big impact our Child Partners had on us.

    Sponsorship also had a big impact on Cindy’s kids. Her eldest children, Kelsea and Braden, took over a newspaper delivery business as teenagers, and used their earnings to support a Child Partner themselves.

    ‘My mother’s heart sang!’ Cindy recalls. But for Kelsea, raised by big-hearted parents and grandparents who travelled with overseas mission organisations, generosity wasn’t something extraordinary. It was just part of the Christian life.

    Generosity wasn’t something extraordinary. It was just part of the Christian life

    A BIG Perspective

    Kelsea

    ‘I always knew that there were communities that were in different circumstances to mine,’ Kelsea said. ‘In my family, it was normal to see the world as a bigger place, not just to focus on us.’

    This perspective eventually led Kelsea to pursue a career in international community development, spending 22 months in Cambodia with the United Nations Development Program. At the beginning of 2022, she started serving as an International Programs Coordinator at Baptist World Aid. Her role, which focuses on building community resilience and responding to disasters, is a far cry from her paper delivery days. But her heart is the same.

    ‘While it’s easy just to focus on ourselves, God calls us to love our neighbour,’ Kelsea said. ‘That might be the person next door, or it might be someone overseas.’

    Having a Heart that Rubs Off

    Today, Shirley, Cindy and Kelsea still call the northwest coast of Tasmania home. And they continue their legacy of generosity. Shirley’s home is full of gifts she’s crafted for children in need overseas—girl’s skirts, doll clothes, toy hedgehogs made from old scarves. She’s still supporting children, now with friends from Wynyard Baptist Church. And she couldn’t be prouder of her granddaughter Kelsea.

    ‘You always hope that having a heart for others rubs off on your kids, and their kids,’ Shirley said. ‘It’s pleasing to know that we can make a difference to someone else’s life.”

    Cindy, who is still part of Baptist World Aid’s Child sponsorship program, agrees. ‘We’re not meant to live as islands,’ she said. ‘As Christians, we’re called to live in community and support each other, even across the globe’.

    *not her real name


    Sophia Russell is the wife of a minister, mum of two children and the communication specialist at Baptist World Aid.


    Read Heartlands, Spring 2022

    Read ReCharge

    August/September 2022

    Disaster Strikes Floods in Pakistan – Baptist World Aid
    Around the Churches News and events statewide
    Ministry Profile Ben Cochrane, Somerset
    Deep Thought 21st Century Mission by Laurie Rowston
    From Andrew Turner of Crossover Census Overview
    Stand Sunday 2022 Make a stand for foster carers ~ During September
    Church Profile Claremont Baptist
    From the MLT Achieving Lasting Social Change


    August 2022 NEWS
    July 2022 NEWS


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    Love Beyond our Backyard

    HEARTLANDS News Winter 2022

    HEARTLANDS is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

    Table of Contents

      Diary Dates

      Check the details on these events by scrolling down.
      Have you subscribed to Heartlands to find out about events in your region?

      • Fri/Sat 24/25 June SOUTH Shelter Retreat – read the overview!
      • Sunday 31st July NORTH Cosy Cuppa, Chat & Craft at Westbury Baptist
      • Saturday 17th September NORTHWEST Coffee and Walk, Latrobe
      • Late Oct/Early Nov World Women’s Day Of Prayer – events across the state

      OVERVIEW: SHELTER Retreat

      Southern Event

      FRI/SAT 24-25 June 2022, Blackmans Bay

      How the Shelter retreat weekend unfolded

      OUR THEME: SHELTER

      Shelter Retreat, Heartlands Autumn 2022

      Everyone needs it. God provides it. We sleep, eat and live in it.

      But how do you live in the SHELTER of the Most High God?

      “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
      will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

      Psalm 91:1

      Overview of the SHELTER Retreat

      Denise Stephenson and Jenny Baxter
      Denise and Jenny
      • The retreat was led by Denise Stephenson (LifeWay) and Jenny Baxter (Hobart)
      • A rejuvenating literal Sabbath, from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday
      • Delicious home-cooked meals, in an intimate setting
      • Great connection with old and new friends
      • Amazing harp music – live and in-person!
      • Times of input, plus silence and reflection
      • Creative activities to keep minds focussed, and hands busy
      • A trip to the beach to explore and reflect
      • Private counselling and prayer opportunities
      • A real sense of God’s SHELTER in this busy world

      Denise and Jenny are available to run similar women’s retreats in other parts of Tasmania.

      To express interest please contact Jenny at empowher@tasbaptists.org.au

      What’s Coming Up?

      Pig Island Walk, Latrobe

      Northwestern Event

      10:30am Saturday 17th September
      Pig Island Walk with EmpowHer, Sept 2022

      Invite Others! Download Brochure

      Join a friendly leisurely walk at Pig Island Latrobe on the Mersey River.

      Continue with coffee at at Monclair of Latrobe and Madame M Cafe.

      All women welcome!

      RSVP or MORE INFO:

      Gabrielle – 0421 434 138

      International Women’s Day of Prayer

      Late October/Early November 2022

      This year there will be Day of Prayer events held in the north, northwest and south of Tasmnia as we pray toether and raise funds for Baptist women working on some amazing projects in developing countries.

      Subscribe to HEARTLANDS to find out details of these events as they come to hand!


      Cosy Cuppa, Chat & Craft

      Northern Event – NOW OVER!

      2:30PM, SUNday 31st JULY 2022

      Invite Others! Download brochure

      Come along for a cuppa and craft at Westbury Baptist for a relaxed afternoon together.

      We will be joined by special guests Maria Hutchison (Newstead) and Lacey Holloway (Westbury).

      RSVP or MORE INFO:

      Jenna – 0488 330 390; Belinda – 0408 267 188 | Or via our Facebook group: EmpowHer (North)


      Action for You

      Invite someone along

      Have you noticed that not everyone is back yet?

      Winter walk at the beach
      We all need each other!

      Post-Covid hesitancy is a thing. Maybe it’s because people are reluctant to move out of their houses and safe spaces. Or maybe we got used to managing on our own.

      Whatever the reason, it’s true to say we all need each other. Being part of a community is critical to good mental and emotional health.

      Whether or not you are wary about getting back into circulation, why not ask a friend to come with you? That could be as simple as going for a walk together on the beach, grabbing a coffee at a local café, or heading off to the gym or church together.

      Or maybe you could invite someone to one of the EmpowHer events lined up in your region.

      It’s a good time to be the blessing!


      God’s Whisper

      It’s so easy to think up your own answer to a problem. Instead, remember to listen for God’s still, quiet voice.

      By Jenny Baxter

      Too many people and not enough food!
      How many times have you been caught in that situation? I have to admit, I’ve been there a few times. Tiny servings of apple crumble, and thinned-down pumpkin soup have featured on my table, much to my horror.

      Read More >


      To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS!

      EmpowHer

      God’s Whisper

      God's Whisper

      Waiting for that still, quiet voice

      God’s Whisper

      Heartlands News

      It’s so easy to think up your own answer to a problem.

      By Jenny Baxter

      Too many people and not enough food! How many times have you been in that situation? I have to admit, I’ve been caught with that a few times. Very small servings of apple crumble, and thinned-down pumpkin soup have featured on my table, much to my horror.

      Have you noticed how we usually try to solve problems using our own nicely thought up solutions? That’s what the disciples did in this story when Jesus gave them an out-of-the-box response . . .

      By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” Mark 6:35-36 (NIV)

      When faced with catering for 5,000, they suggested the crowds go find their own food. They were providing the obvious, most expedient and rational solution to quite a large problem. It was an immediate response – they didn’t stop to consider Jesus may have a far more creative solution sitting in the background. I have to admit, small servings of apple crumble was my best solution one wintry evening.

      Just like the disciples, when I faced a problem, I automatically turned my mind to solving it. However, sometimes there is a way ahead which I did not expect nor plan. It is at those points of dire need, when things seem to have fallen apart, that miracles happen.

      The BEST Plan?

      It’s so easy to think up your own answer to a problem, and to look at it from a human perspective. To gather information and to analyse the best course of action – the most sensible path. Yep. Small serves!

      To the disciples, they suggested what seemed to be the best plan. But did they come to the Master with the problem? No. It took Andrew, another of the disciples, to offer a different course of action.

      … Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6:7-9 (NIV)

      The unexpected extra in this scenario was one young boy with some dinner!

      What a thoughtful and aware mother he had. There’s no mention of her in the story, but I bet she never even dreamt that the food she sent with her son was to be used for a miracle. Just as well she let her son go off to listen to Jesus that day – with food.

      I wonder what my unexpected extra might have been if I had thought to come to Jesus with my apple crumble problem?

      Learnings for us

      • Sometimes our nicely thought-out solutions leave little room for God to work.
      • Creative answers will mostly come from unexpected sources. Perhaps it is wise to listen for God’s whisper before acting.
      • Miracles always arrive when there is hardly any hope left. While we often ask for miracles, actually, requiring a miracle is a terrible position to be in!
      • God’s capacity far, far exceeds our capacity.
      • Mothers (and women in general) are often good at thinking ahead. Maybe I could have thought ahead a bit more with those apples.
      • HOPE is always an option when Jesus is in the equation.

      So, if you are facing a difficult problem – from scheduling issues and lack of resources; to financial hang-ups and not enough dessert – the best idea is to pray and wait for God’s still, small voice (see 1 Kings 19:12).

      Rushing around and stressing about the outcome is usually a waste of time.

      I wonder what would happen if you listened first, and then acted, whenever there was a difficulty? What would it mean for your family, your workplace and your friendships? Not to mention your meals?

      If you listen to God’s whisper, perhaps you will find an unexpected solution, outside-the-box.


      Jenny Baxter

      Jenny Baxter is the State Director for EmpowHer*, and the Communications Manager for Tasmanian Baptists. She is married to Stephen, and they have five children and four grandkids, spread from Hobart to Melbourne to Madrid!   

      * EmpowHer is an activity of Tasmanian Baptist Women

      Read more about EMPOWHER – Tasmanian Baptist Women’s Ministry


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      HEARTLANDS News Autumn 2022

      HEARTLANDS is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

      Table of Contents

        Diary Dates

        Watch out for more info coming from your region, directly to you.

        • Saturday 21st May NORTH Basin Café and Gorge Walk.
        • Saturday 24-25th June SOUTH Day-Retreat: “Shelter”
        • Late Oct/Early Nov World Women’s Day Of Prayer – events across the state

        What’s Happening?

        Basin Café and Gorge Walk

        9:30am, Saturday 21st May 2022
        EmpowHer Walk May 2022, Heartlands Autumn 2022

        Invite Others! Download brochure

        Join us for a cuppa at Basin Cafe (RSVP required)

        A walk through the Gorge to Duck Reach will follow (weather permitting)

        RSVP ESSENTIAL


        SHELTER Retreat

        5pm to 5pm, FRI/SAT 24-25 June 2022, Blackmans Bay

        SHELTER

        Everyone needs it. God provides it. We sleep, eat and live in it.

        But how do you live in the SHELTER of the Most High God?

        Shelter Retreat, Heartlands Autumn 2022

        “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
        will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

        Psalm 91:1
        • Led by Denise Stephenson (LifeWay) and Jenny Baxter (Hobart)
        • $45/person Covers food and materials. (This is a non-residential retreat.) Contact us if you have hesitations about cost. There are other ways you can contribute. Contact us if you have any hesitations about cost. There are other ways you can contribute.
        • Get your Rego Form Call or SMS Jenny 0401 652 566
        • Invite Others! Download brochure

        Action for You

        Praying with intention

        Do you often pray like this?

        Praying with Intention; Heartlands Autumn 2022
        • God bless Mary
        • Lord, please look after my son
        • Jesus, can you please stop all wars
        • Father, give me a good life

        These are all good prayers, and quite legitimate, but they are so general! They are all “motherhood prayers” – prayers so broad it is impossible to know if God truly answers them.

        Instead, pray with intention. Fill those prayers with meaning and talk to God about what worries you. And, when prompted, follow up your prayer with action. Relationship is critical to answered prayer.

        How different are these prayers to those above?

        • God, how can I bless Mary today?
        • Lord, give me wisdom as I call my son, so I can encourage him.
        • Jesus, I pray about the war in Ukraine. Is there something I can do to assist?
        • Father, help me to love and care for others around me, even if my life is not so good.

        It’s a time to be the blessing!


        Undervalued or Super Loved?

        Undervalued or super loved, Heartlands Autumn 2022

        Women’s ministry at Beauty Point

        By Rachelle Hawkins

        Since the The Point* Baptist’s inception in 2006, we have endeavoured to hold many outreach events to reach our town of Beauty Point.

        The message is always about who Jesus is, and why it’s important. These events include men’s dinners, women’s dessert nights, concerts, kids’ clubs, and an annual visit by Texan missionaries who do all the above, and more.

        We, as a church, long to share the hope Jesus offers.

        Read More >


        The Science of Seeing God

        ANNETTE SPURR, Heartlands Autumn 2022

        Gratitude and thankfulness for the World, the Universe, and Everything!

        By A.J. Spurr

        Recently, I interviewed a young man who had been struggling with addiction since the age of 12. He had completed a program at a Christian rehab centre, and while he was there, he encountered Jesus.

        “The first thing I noticed,” he said, “was that I could feel the breeze on my skin. I’d never experienced it before, even though it had been happening the whole time. I was finally able to feel it.”

        So, what had changed?

        Read More >


        To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS!

        EmpowHer

        Undervalued or Super Loved?

        Supervalued or underloved

        Heartlands – Autumn 2022

        Women’s Ministry at The Point

        By Rachelle Hawkins

        Heartlands News

        Since the The Point* Baptist’s inception in 2006, we have endeavoured to hold many outreach events to reach our town of Beauty Point. The message is always about who Jesus is, and why it’s important. These events include men’s dinners, women’s dessert nights, concerts, kids’ clubs, and an annual visit by Texan missionaries who do all the above, and more.

        We, as a church, long to share the hope Jesus offers.

        At the beginning of last year, we were feeling disappointed that international borders were still closed due to Covid-19. It meant our Texan friends could not come out to hold their mission outreach. As well, watching social media, it was clear our town had a number of people experiencing varying levels of anxiety, grief, depression, loneliness, confusion and hopelessness. We, as a church, long to share the hope Jesus offers.

        Cormorant Café - Undervalued or Super loved
        The Point Baptist Church meets here:
        The Cormorant Café, Seahorse World

        A timely visit

        Wendy Marston
        Wendy Marston

        When I was visiting Newstead Baptist Church, I was taken with the personable and articulate way Wendy Marston led the service. Her voice conveyed a particular sense of love and care. And her words conveyed her love for the Lord and the people and activities of the church.

        After the service I asked her if she’s ever shared her story. At first she said no. Then remembered she had shared it once before. I asked if she would be willing to share her story again to a group of ladies in Beauty Point, and without hesitation she said yes, she would.

        So we planned another women’s event.

        And the response? Outstanding!

        The vent was soaked in prayer - Super loved

        We decided to host a 3-course meal in The Cormorant Cafe, cooked by our chef. Wendy would be our speaker, and I invited a musician – guitarist and singer/songwriter Briar Marshall to bring some music. Wendy titled her talk “Undervalued or Super Loved?” and this went out on all the invitations.

        The event was soaked in prayer, and was run by a team of women helping the logistics.

        The responses came flooding in. We were all floored when 54 people RSVP’d to come, with 26 of these not currently attending church. On the night, we announced we were about to start a new Bible study, designed to introduce people to the life and love of Jesus.

        From this initial night, seven ladies became part of the Bible study. A follow-up Bible study is currently underway, with most of the same ladies plus some new ones.

        The debrief – Reflecting on what happened

        We consider this outreach meal particularly successful. What made it so, compared with many events we’ve held which were all equally prayed over?

        1. Timing – it was June 2021 and people (especially mums) were keen to get out of the house
        2. Offering a free meal in a café, which was neutral territory
        3. The title of the talk “Undervalued …. Or Super-loved?” resonated with a lot of the attendees. This can not be stated enough, as a number of women commented that it sounded like something they “really needed to hear”.
        4. Having the follow-up bible study planned, with flyers to hand out, which allowed the ladies to respond on the spot, by expressing interest in a bible study.

        Beauty Point still has a whole lot of people who need to hear of the hope and forgiveness that Jesus offers, and the lengths he went to, to purchase it. We hope 2022 brings more opportunities to share His love.

        Jesus died because sin is killing us

        Undervalued and super loved

        Invest in people's lives and get to know them. Super valued!

        The important thing, in my view, is to recognise that without the forgiveness of Jesus, people all around us are heading for eternity without him. We, at the Point Baptist, feel the burden of telling that message clearly.

        So whether that’s through personal/friendship evangelism or inviting friends to events such as the Tasmania Celebration with Will Graham. Perhaps by investing in people’s lives, getting to know them and showing a genuine interest in them. Or events like the one described above.

        All these create opportunities to explain Jesus died because sin is killing us. His life and death was God’s plan to deal with our problem of sin and death. What an exchange!

        Once someone accepts Jesus’ free gift of forgiveness, they have a restored relationship with the God of the Universe. Even more than that, He comes and lives inside them to guide, shape, convict and counsel them, and to transform them into the likeness of Jesus for the rest of their life!

        That’s one heck of a deal that people living all around us don’t even know is offered.


        About Rachelle

        Rachelle Hawkins grew up in rural NSW and studied science at Newcastle University.  Immediately after marrying Craig, they moved to Tasmania where Craig took up a job as a forester.  Here she studied aquaculture and was employed as Senior Biologist at the newly starting seahorse farm in Beauty Point.  Six children and many thousands of seahorses later, Rachelle loves nothing more than coffee with friends, time with family, her involvement with the Point Baptist Church, local soccer, and driving the taxi for her kids. 


        * The Point Baptist Church in Beauty Point is a small congregation in a small town. We meet at 5pm every Sunday in The Cormorant – Café on the Pier, which is upstairs in Seahorse World.

        Read More in the Autumn 2022 Heartlands >

        The Science of Seeing God

        The science of seeing God

        Heartlands – Autumn 2022

        In Awe of God’s Creation

        Gratitude and thankfulness for the World, the Universe, and Everything!

        Heartlands News
        "I could feel the breeze on my skin. I’d never experienced it before"
Seeing God
        “I could feel the breeze on my skin. I’d never experienced it before.”

        Recently, I interviewed a young man who had been struggling with addiction since the age of 12. He had completed a program at a Christian rehab centre, and while he was there, he encountered Jesus.

        “The first thing I noticed,” he said, “was that I could feel the breeze on my skin. I’d never experienced it before, even though it had been happening the whole time. I was finally able to feel it.”

        So, what had changed?

        Romans 12:2 explains that you’re transformed as you renew your mind. But how does one go about doing that?

        ‘You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

        Matthew 5:8 (MSG)

        Awe and Wonder

        Have you ever watched a newborn discover their hand for the first time? It’s mesmerising. They slowly turn their wrist, then watch in wonder as each finger, one by one, moves by the power of their mind, their eyes as wide as dinner plates at the sheer wonder of it. Then they discover their feet and toes and the slow, awe filled dance continues.

        But then one day, their hands and feet are just ‘there.’ No longer mesmerising, just existing without fanfare.

        A while ago, a friend severed the top of his finger and it had to be surgically reattached. His whole finger was wrapped up tight for weeks while it healed. When it was finally unwrapped, his fingertip was so sensitive to touch, like electricity running through his hand, he had to get used to it all over again. I imagine that’s what it feels like for newborns; every touch like electricity, until their brain and senses adapt.

        Auto-pilot vs High alert

        The fact is, if we spent our days staring at the wonder of our hands, and feeling electricity at every touch, we wouldn’t get very much done. So our brains have a ‘block out’ system, ensuring we only notice what’s ‘necessary’ at the time. It’s why you can drive home from work and have no recollection of the journey.

        Your brain is on ‘auto-pilot’ in familiar surroundings. But it’s on high alert, taking in every street name and landmark when you’re driving in unfamiliar territory. Put simply; if we took in every piece of information thrown at us each day, our brains would not cope.

        It means that noticing things which have become familiar doesn’t come easily. We have to consciously make an effort to notice, and strive not to lose the wonder in the familiar. Being transformed, as it were, by the daily renewing our minds (Romans 12:2).

        Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

        Romans 12:2

        Seeing God

        So, what does a breeze have to do with seeing God? Well, what if I told you that God is speaking to you every day through His creation?

        ‘See the marvels of God! He plants flowers and trees all over the earth… “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”’

        Psalm 46:8-10 (MSG)

        Your whole outlook on the world changes when you literally stop to smell the roses. Stand under a canopy of trees and recognise the creativity that went into designing each leaf, and the delight God must have felt as he crafted each of the colourful birds chattering amongst the branches, and taught them to weave elaborate nests, miraculously engineered to survive summer storms.

        smelling roses, seeing God
        “Your whole outlook on the world changes when you literally stop to smell the roses.”

        I explain more about the science behind ‘God encounters’ in my book, ‘The Simple Joy of Seeing God.’ But when the Bible says, ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ here’s what it really means…

        A while ago, I was struggling with anxiety as I walked through a particularly stressful season in my life. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, literally causing pain in my back and neck. My heart racing, tears flowing, I stepped outside and lay on the thick carpet of grass in our backyard.

        As I lay still, gazing upwards, slowly, the thoughts in my head quietened, and for the first time in a long time, I started to hear birds happily chirping as they flittered to-and-fro, and the wistful hum of bees as they gathered around a tree bloom. A sense of peace and lightness came over me.

        “Now,” His familiar voice gently whispers, “now I have your attention.”


        ‘Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence.
        Remember the world of wonders he has made.’

        Psalm 105:4-5 (MSG)

        A.J. Spurr
        Author, The Simple Joy of Seeing God (2021)

        A.J. Spurr is a speaker, freelance writer and regular radio guest who has worked in media for over 20 years. A.J. is a praying mama of two boys and happy wife of a footy-loving, barbecue aficionado. 

        READ MORE in the Autumn 2022 Heartlands

        HEARTLANDS News Summer 2022

        HEARTLANDS is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

        Table of Contents

          Diary Dates

          There’s a few things coming up in the EmpowHer Calendar!
          Watch out for more info coming from your region.

          • Sunday 27th February Northern Walk at Tamar Island. SEE BROCHURE for details >
          • Monday 4th April Release week for HEARTLANDS Autumn
          • Saturday 9th April Proposed Southern Day-Retreat: “Shelter”
          • Saturday 21st May Northern event. Stay posted for details!

          Recent EmpowHer Events

          Ladies Event at Ulverstone Baptist

          Tuesday 30th November 2021

          Ladies evening with Amanda Cox 30Nov21, heartlands-news-summer-2022

          The evening went off! Attending on the night were 93 women to hear speaker, Amanda Cox, talk about belief systems.

          Many of the women at Ulverstone Baptist invited their friends and family members. The talk was both inspiring and challenging, and the delicious supper afterwards was a great time to share some treats and good conversation with friends.

          Congratulations to Gabe Fife and her team for pulling off a wonderful pre-Christmas event.


          Action for You

          Thinking outside your box

          heartlands-news-summer-2022

          It’s both an interesting and challenging time in Tasmania. COVID has caught up with us! No matter where you are in the pandemic journey, it’s always good to connect with others to encourage, and intentionally create a safe space to engage.

          So . . . who can you catch up with, one-on-one? Who do you know who might need someone to talk to? You could go out for coffee. Meet at the park. Call someone up. Or, make an effort to connect more deeply after church.

          These can become moments of connection, support and encouragement for both you and your friend or family member. Maybe you could even offer to pray for them, or ask them to pray for you?

          There are many ways you can interact to make sure others are cared for during this time.

          It’s a time to be the blessing!


          Praying for Alice

          Jenny Baxter

          By Jenny Baxter, Tasmanian Director, EmpowHer

          Praying for Alice became my lifetime passion

          While my life flashed before my eyes, I sat in the Spanish winter sunshine, nervously waiting for the bride, our Alice, to be given away.

          Well, it wasn’t my life exactly. It was pieces of Alice’s life I’d kept close in my heart. Moments I had participated in, helped with, and cried over. 

          The memories flickered through my mind like precious flowers, once fresh but now pressed, faded and time-worn.

          Read More >


          To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS!

          EmpowHer

          WALK | PRAY | LOVE

          Walk Pray Love, Heartlands Events, Spring 2021

          Heartlands SPRING 2021

          Walk | Pray | Love Events during November 2021 (scroll down)
          Being an Imperfect Ministry by Jenna Blackwell
          Baptist World Day of Prayer for Women by Elissa Macpherson

          NOVEMBER 2021 EVENTS

          EmpowHer

          Join with others state-wide to walk, pray, love and enjoy the company of other women.

          REGIONDATETIMEWHEREWHAT
          NorthMonday 1st Nov7:30-8:30pmHomes and GroupsGlobal Day of Prayer
           Saturday 20th Nov11:30amHollybankHollybank Picnic Adventure
          NorthwestMonday 1st Nov7:30-8:30pmHomes and GroupsGlobal Day of Prayer
           Tues 30th Nov7:00-8:30pmUlverstone Baptist ChurchLadies Evening with Amanda Cox
          SouthFriday 5th November7:30-8:30pmHobart Baptist ChurchGlobal Day of Prayer
           Saturday 13th Nov10am-1pmClaremontWindermere Bay-Claremont Loop
          SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE INFO

          NORTH – walk | pray | love

          Monday 1st November

          7:30-8:30pm Global Day of Prayer Informal Gatherings
          INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

          Global Day of Prayer, North
          Saturday 20th November

          11:30am Hollybank Picnic Adventure
          INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

          Walk Pray Love: Hollybank Picnic Adventure

          NORTHWEST – walk | pray | love

          Monday 1st November

          7:30-8:30pm Global Day of Prayer Informal Gatherings
          INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

          Global Day of Prayer, Northwest
          Tuesday 30th November

          7:00-8:30pm Ladies evening
          INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite
          RSVP to Yvette: admin@ub.church by 25th November | $10 pp on the night

          SOUTH – walk | pray | love

          Friday 5th November

          7:30-8:30pm Global Day of Prayer Coffee and Dessert Night
          INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

          Global Day of Prayer, South
          Saturday 13th November

          10:am-1:00pm Claremont-Windermere Bay Loop Walk
          INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

          Walk Pray Love South Windermere Nay walk

          EmpowHer is an activity of Tasmanian Baptist Women
          Tasmanian Baptist Women

          OUR VISION is to see a network of women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

          Baptist World Day of Prayer for Women

          Say of Prayer, Heartlands Spring 2021

          Heartlands Spring 2021

          Baptist World Day of Prayer for Women by Elissa Macpherson (scroll down)
          Being an Imperfect Ministry by Jenna Blackwell
          Walk | Pray | Love Events during November 2021

          prayer:

          Participate in a Global Event

          Every November, Baptists from all over the planet come together to pray for women, and support them financially.

          From cities far and wide across the world, women and men join the World Day of Prayer. They pray from Cameroon, to Cambodia, to Croatia, and Canberra. They unite in one cry for women: “Lord, help the women of the world, sisters facing persecution, civil war, natural disaster, and poverty.”

          Reunite women . . .

          . . . Who live in desperate times

           Colombian Women at a Day of Prayer event
          Colombian Women at a Day of Prayer event

          The World Day of Prayer began in 1948, in response to the devastation and division created by WWII. To facilitate healing, the Baptist women of Europe organised the first Day of Prayer, aiming to reunite Baptists alienated by war.

          The movement gathered momentum, and now Baptists globally gather in groups of five, 20 and 100s. They represent over 200 Baptist women organizations, and pray in more than 80 languages. They unite in prayer under the banner of Baptist World Alliance Women (BWAW). This is a global collective representing Baptist women from 145 countries. They have networks and projects across the world, but this is the one day they focus on the most important activity of all: PRAYER!

          Just like the devastation of WWII, our world is once again in a global crisis with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, there are Baptist women bravely giving free medical care amid the coup in Myanmar; leaders dealing with devastation caused by earthquake in Haiti; Baptist sisters volunteering as midwives in remote villages in PNG; and yet others providing a 24-hour helpline for women feeling distressed by unplanned pregnancy in Argentina.

          Inspire HOPE

          Leading prayer in Nigeria
          Leading prayer in Nigeria

          Being a light to the world is integral to the call of BWAW. Consequently, as part of the Day of Prayer, an offering finances the ministry and support global projects. This year’s financial gifts will support a frog farm in Thailand, sewing clubs in Vanuatu, a library in Cameroon and a resource kit addressing mental health issues in the Philippines.

          These projects will inspire hope and enable women to flourish.

          You are invited to be part of this day. Why not gather a group to pray, and let the voices of Tasmania join the global movement?

          Elissa Macpherson President, Baptist Women of the Pacific

          Elissa Macpherson
          President, Baptist Women of the Pacific
          Contact Elissa for more information and support.
          (president@bwpacific.org)

          Complete guide to running your own World Day of Prayer: BWA World Day of Prayer >>>

          What to do next

          The World Day of Prayer can be held on any day in November.
          HERE ARE SOME PRE-ORGANISED TASMANIAN EVENTS!

          PARTICIPATE WITH WOMEN IN TASMANIA

          NORTHWEST
          7:30-8:30pm Monday 1st November
          Gather in homes and groups to pray.
          DOWNLOAD FLYER >>> |
          Contact Gabe Fife (gabfife@gmail.com)

          NORTH
          7:30-8:30pm Monday 1st November
          Gather in homes and groups to pray.
          DOWNLOAD FLYER >>> | Contact Wendy Marston (wendy.marston@iinet.net.au)

          SOUTH
          7:30-8:30pm Friday 5th November 2021
          Coffee and Dessert evening at Hobart Baptist Church.
          DOWNLOAD FLYER >>> | Jenny Baxter (jenny@tasbaptists.org.au)

          READ THE 2021 WORLD DAY OF PRAYER PROGRAM >>>

          Baptist women in Cambodia
          Baptist women in Papua, Indonesia at a Day of Prayer gathering, 2021