Women’s Missions Trip – Queretaro, Mexico

Children of Hope

The Women’s Missions Trip to Mexico is coming up from April 24 – May 4, 2015!

The trip is led by Carol Stobbe to the Pan de Vida (Bread of Life) orphanage run by Children of Hope. Pan de Vida is located in Queretaro, Mexico.

The team is looking for women of all ages to come along and help with activities such as taking the orphanage girls on outings, painting, teaching ESL, sorting clothes, sewing and participating in outreach to the Otomi indigenous peoples. They would love to have you come along!

The cost is $1800 and there will be fundraising options available.

Interested in joining in? Email us at women@northview.org!

To all Women on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are polarizing events.  They focus a spotlight on our intimate relationships;  for some women this is a joyful experience, and for others it is painful.  With this in mind, I hope to cautiously encourage all women as we approach Mother’s Day :-).

From what I have observed in my own life, and in the lives of women I serve and know, it seems that we women tend to tie our identity to relationships.  If we have a husband and children who are “successful” we bask in the glow of other’s admiration and derive our self-esteem from their achievements.  If we are married to someone who doesn’t “measure up” to our ideals or the ideals of our parents, our friends, or our church community, if our children aren’t as smart or outgoing or athletic or dedicated in their faith as we would like, we can go down the opposite path – trying to “get everyone to behave” for the sake of our own image and reputation.

The absence of relationships if we don’t have a husband or don’t have children, can also can make our quest for identity convoluted and rocky.

Regardless of where you land on this spectrum, I believe the need for caution is the same for all women.  We are always tempted to define ourselves by our relationships with other people rather than by our relationship with God.

A variety of circumstances sprinkled throughout my years of marriage and life with kids have made me personally aware of this tendency.  In His grace, God has continually reminded and convicted me that I will only walk truly in line with Him and in harmony with others when my identity is derived from Him.

When I am reminded of who God says I am and what He requires of me, I can enjoy and cheer on friends and family who are doing well, pray for and support those who are struggling, and allow room for people to grow truly in God’s image and grace in His time and through His purposes rather than falsely in response to my self-serving expectations.

Keeping my eyes on Him teaches me to ask, “What are you requiring of me, God, in this time and place?  What do you want me to learn, where do you want me to serve? How can I bring honor and glory to You today?”  This attitude enhances my ability to love and care for those around me while keeping my relationship with God at the center of my vision.

So this Mother’s Day, my encouragement is the same for all women in all circumstances: if you have a great marriage and supportive kids, or if you have a difficult marriage, aren’t married or don’t have children, thank God that your worth is defined by your relationship with Him and ask Him to teach you to love Him and serve Him better.

If you struggle in this area, and want to figure it out come talk to me or Thaleia; that’s what we’re here for.

My prayers are with you this Mother’s Day.

Kristal Toews
Pastor of Women

Christmas: A Solution for Rebellion

We all have different tactics for dealing with rebellious, angry people.  Some of us try desperately to change people’s behaviours and thoughts, and others pray desperately for God to do this.  What should be our approach?  I’ll explore both below:

Option #1 – Our efforts:

After 12 years of leading the Israelites, Nehemiah was at his wit’s end.  Witnessing their disobedience, he admitted, “I rebuked them and called curses down on them.  I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair.  I made them take an oath in God’s name…” (Nehemiah 13:25)  Ouch! He was mad!

Nehemiah had invested years attempting to reform the Israelites.  He travelled to Jerusalem to help them rebuild the city walls, and fend off attackers.  He lead them in a ceremony of confession and restoration of their vows before God and, after all this was completed, returned to his job in Susa.  When he came back for a visit, he found that all the reforms he instituted had fallen apart;  the temple was neglected, the sabbath was being desecrated, people were intermarrying with foreigners and he was beside himself with frustration. Despite his best efforts, he simply could not “make them” behave because their hearts were not inclined towards obedience.

Option #2 – God’s efforts

Throughout the entire Old Testament, we read of God’s faithfulness and human fickleness.  Time after time, people pledge their allegiance to God and then fall.  Eventually, God unveils His solution to our disobedience.  Ezekiel 36 records this promise:  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;  I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

“You can’t and won’t obey”, He says, “So I will help you.”

Which option sounds better to you? If we expend our time and energy trying to change people’s thoughts, actions and behaviours we will end up frustrated like Nehemiah.  If, however, we recognize that God needs to give people a new heart and new spirit before they can obey, our effort will be spent in prayer instead.

Why am I telling you this now?  Because its Christmas time and Jesus came to make these changes possible. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus instituted a “new covenant” between God and man;  a new relationship through which God’s law could be in our minds and written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34), and through which we could receive the Holy Spirit.

This Christmas, thank Jesus for coming to give you a new heart and a new spirit. If friends and family members are still rebelling against Him, don’t pull out their hair (!! :-)) but pray for them;  they need a new heart too and only God can provide it.

Blessings on You

Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women


Want some more input and ideas this Christmas?

The Christmas Praise Night at Northview is tonight at 7:00 pm.

Come out for the Christmas Home Tour this Sunday from 1-6 pm.

Check out Rhonda Fast’s blog – a woman from our congregation who is also thinking and reflecting on Christmas.

This week’s podcast on “Christmas Angst” was recorded yesterday and will be posted soon. Check back to this page to find it!