July 2019 — The Warmth of His Goodness

July 2019 — The Warmth of His Goodness

Decorations

Create the feeling of a mermaid lagoon. Use green, teal, blue, purple, lavender and pearly white tablecloths and napkins. Place balloons in this color on the wall or along the tables to resemble bubbles or the movement of water. Use nautical images like anchors, boats and sand as the centerpieces. Drape nets over the tables and the backs of chairs.

Refreshment Ideas

Pearl cookies: Take small cookies, like Nilla Wafers, pipe the inside with colorful frosting and place a candy pearl on the outside edge of the frosting. Place a second cookie at top at an angle to look like a clam with a pearl inside.

Seaweed dip: Ppinach dip, with chunks of bread for dipping.

Crab sandwiches: Make sandwiches out of croissants. Add googly eyes on toothpicks to look like crabs.

Ocean punch: Combine one large bottle of blue Hawaiian Punch, a two-liter bottle of lemon lime soda, and one large can of crushed pineapple.

Fish and chips: Mix together bowls of multi–colored Goldfish crackers and potato chips.

Activities — Sea Inspired Jewelry

There are plenty of sea inspired beads and charms available at craft stores. Look for inexpensive beads that resemble sea glass or artificial pearls.

Items needed

  • Stretch cord
  • Beads
  • Sea charms
  • Super glue

Instructions

  1. Start with a piece of stretch cord about 12 inches long. This is too big for a bracelet, but a little extra cord gives you room to work with.
  2. String the first bead onto the cord and tie a loose knot around it. This will be untied once you are finished. Leave a tail of about 3 inches.
  3. String enough beads to make a complete bracelet. If you are adding a charm or two, do this somewhere before the last bead on the bracelet.
  4. Once it is long enough, carefully untie the first knot around the first bead. Tie a few knots to keep the ends together. Add one drop of Super Glue to the knots to make sure that they do not come undone. Allow to dry completely.
  5. These bracelets are quick and easy. If you can, encourage the ladies to make one for themselves, and one for a friend that they would like to invite to
  6. Women’s Ministries or to church. These make a great evangelistic tool.

God Is Good

Read Psalm 145:1–10 from The Message.

When we were young, many of us dreamed about being a mermaid. We saw the Disney movie,The Little Mermaid and longed to be Ariel. We pictured ourselves as a beautiful creature who lived in the ocean, not having to obey all the rules and obligations that were being imposed on us in the real world.

Maybe our parents were hoping we would be an international soccer player, but this didn’t interest us. We dreamed of becoming an artist instead of a doctor. Maybe we wanted to dance and sing instead of studying and writing a great novel. These thoughts led to positive introspection about who we really were and what our dreams could be.

As we got older, reality set in and few of us continued to wish we were mermaids. However, we still view the ocean and appreciate the creative wonder it is, filled not with imagined creatures like mermaids but with real, majestic creatures and plants.

The mighty ocean is beautiful, filled with brightly colored fish with interesting markings. The sight inspires awe and wonder, reminding us how powerful and magnificent our Creator is. The ocean is powerful and life giving. It continues to amaze those who study it.

There are things that the ocean does that almost seem like magic, at least to those who don’t understand the amazing ways that the Lord works. Just look at sea glass—beautiful, like buried treasure. In reality it is trash, garbage—bottles and bits of colored glass that have been discarded into the ocean. The ocean tosses these glass pebbles around; sand and grit polish them, making them into something beautiful, something worth collecting and treasuring.

Because naturally occurring pearls are extremely rare, most pearls today are manmade. Pearls form naturally when an irritant works its way into an oyster, clam, or mussel. For many years, people assumed that the irritant was a grain of sand, but we now know that the irritant that causes the pearls is most often a microscopic parasite. Not nearly as romantic as the proverbial grain of sand, but in a lot of ways, a beautiful and rare pearl coming from a parasite sends a message of hope about finding beauty in life from something usually viewed as damaging. Once the parasite is imbedded in the mollusk, then the creature starts coating it layer upon layer with a liquid called nacre. This is the same coating that makes these mollusks shiny on the outside. Years later, usually at the end of the life of the mollusk, the beautiful pearl is formed.

The ocean is full of beautiful things that reflect on the magnificence of the Creator and cause us to reflect on how we fit into God’s big plan. Some of us are like the fish, beautiful and unique, created for a specific and clear purpose. Some of us feel like sea glass. Maybe we started by feeling discarded, but through the elements and the water that symbolize the Creator, we are polished and made new. And some of us see ourselves as pearls. It may have taken us some time to get where we are, and we probably are not finished yet. But our God is mighty and with us the whole way. He is bigger than the process and willing to invest the time needed for us to become who we were meant to be.

 

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