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

    Praying for Alice

    Alice's Wedding Welcome Table

    A Lifetime of Praying

    Heartlands News
    Jenny Baxter

    By Jenny Baxter, Tasmanian Director, EmpowHer

    What do you do when the answers don’t seem to be coming?

    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.

    FLASH: Her traumatic assisted delivery, after an almost-C-section.

    FLASH: The trip to Canada before she could even crawl.

    FLASH: Sitting in piano lessons, piano lessons, piano lessons.

    FLASH: Tears over a nasty gravel graze, her first week on a bike.

    FLASH: Her first grown-up hairdo, Grade Six graduation night.

    FLASH: Torn, watching her lag at the back of a pack of high-schoolgirls, convinced she was born to lead.

    FLASH: Goodbyes on the bus, leaving home for Victoria, little knowing she was really on her way to France, via Sydney and Japan!

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

    And the prayers. Especially, I remembered the prayers. So many for this very moment. This day, when she would promise: To have and to hold from this day forward.

    Praying for Alice – and the switch

    Prayer is a commitment I made to my children as each was born. I pray for them all, regularly.

    As well, I committed to pray for each one’s life-partner as both halves were forming and founding, maturing and mellowing, living and learning. What better time to sow into their lives until the two became one? Granted, I didn’t know who those partners would be. But God did.

    For well over three decades, I prayed for Alice, and her as-yet unknown husband. Where was he? What had happened to him? My hope wore out.

    Only a year ago, Alice had given up. But during one Zoom call, from somewhere deep down, I found the words to encourage her to keep believing he would materialise. Tearily, she’d agreed. But only when remembering the letter her close-to-death grandfather had written 13 years ago, for opening on this very day.

    It’s hard to believe it was only 10 months since I’d switched up my praying. Inspired by the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24,  I stopped asking for a husband. Instead, I audaciously asked for Alice to be the answer to someone else’s prayer.

    The most unexpected answer

    And here he was. My soon to be son-in-law, AJ. Arthur Jnr. Standing with the minister, patiently waiting for Alice. He was everything I had hoped for, and nothing like I expected.

    I didn’t know he would be Nigerian-American. Or that he would live in Spain. Or that Alice would move to France, and now Spain, to join him for their new future. How little I knew!

    But those qualities. They were everything I had prayed for. Faithful. Caring. Believing. Strong. Determined. Loving. Kind.  

    Her moment had come. That prayer from her birth, now answered before my very eyes. God’s magnificent answer.

    And then came Alice on her Dad’s arm! Jessica’s Theme melodically bringing an undeniably Aussie flavour, and tears to my eyes. She was ready. In love. Looking gorgeous and dewy-eyed. Having waited all those years.

    Alice and her dad, walking the aisle to "Jessica's Theme" from Man from Snowy River. Photo Credit: Jonas Mantay

    Here was the culmination of a lifetime of prayer. Pinching myself this was all real, I was so aware it was a moment I will savour forever, that morning in the wintry Spanish sunshine. It was an ending and a beginning. The old and the new. The faded and the fresh.

    My prayers for Alice and her future husband, are now complete. Thank you God!

    But, you know, there is more to come. From here on, I pray for Alice and her newfound family.


    Alice and AJ

    Alice’s life in pictures

    • Alice at 2
    • Alice at 4
    • Alice at 10
    • Alice at 12
    • Alice at 14
    • Alice at 17
    • Alice at 24
    • Alice at 29
    • Alice at 32
    • Nigerian betrothal. Photo credit Jonas Mantay
    • Mr and Mrs - celebrate.  Photos Credit: Jonas Mantay

    Heartlands News

    This story was first published in HEARTLANDS Summer 21-22.
    This is the quarterly e-mail news for EmpowHer, an activity of Tasmanian Baptist Women.

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

    EmpowHer

    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

      FAITH WALK: Through the Puddles

      Finding a Way Through COVID-19

      By Jenny Baxter

      This year, 2020, has held surprises for all of us.

      I was a little ahead of the curve, slowing down to a stop back in January, when I suddenly burnt out. Even now in October, I am recovering from decades of overwork, and “pushing through” habits. It’s caused me to stop and reflect on so many memories growing up. I’ve begun to understand what makes me tick, and be grateful for the many coping strategies I am now either putting to rest, or affirming.

      Just this week, I’ve remembered something my Dad taught my sisters and me.

      On our occasional weekends away, we’d sometimes hike along wet and muddy bush tracks, and Dad would explain how to navigate the puddles we came across every so often.

      “Usually, the best way to tackle a puddle is right through the middle,” he’d say. “People generally don’t tread there, and the bottom is not as soft as the mud around the edges.”

      “Usually, the best way to tackle a puddle is right through the middle”

      I remember trying it, disbelieving him. And to my surprise, more often than not, the ground was firm. Rocky even.

      As I reflected on his practical wisdom this week, I’ve realised Dad’s words are such an allegory for the Christian life. Because so often we choose to avoid the “muddy puddles” of life, and instead, walk gingerly in the treacherous mud alongside them.

      And likewise, it is so easy to choose the path that everyone else takes during this unusual year, instead of the one Jesus wants you to take – through the water. I remembered I can confidently take a step of faith into the murky water, and discover there is rock there, just beneath the surface. Jesus’ strength supports me in the middle of the mess. He is used to mess. He knows I need his loving embrace.

      All he does is ask me to come to him. To take a step into the great unknown. It’s very different to what others do!

      And now I live, trusting he has me safely in his care, even during this pandemic year.

      Faith and Confidence

      It’s like the writer to the Hebrews noted that faith is about being confident in what we DON’T see.

      So, my encouragement to you today is to follow me and take the leap of faith! Step into your muddy puddle! It’s still messy. But as you step, Jesus will hold you up. And it’s so much better than falling in a heap in your own slippery wisdom and failings.

      Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

      Hebrews 11:1

      Jenny Baxter

      Jenny Baxter is the State Director for Tasmanian Baptist Women. She has five grown up kids (three of them in Melbourne!) and attends Hobart Baptist Church with her husband, Stephen. She walks on the beach most days, and is learning to take it slowly. At last.