”Make it, Bake it, Sew it or Grow it," was the motivational theme for the attendees of the Harrison Women's Connection as they contributed to the annual silent auction fundraiser for October.

Chairman Judy Hall opened the meeting with the announcement of her up coming wedding, Saturday, Nov. 3.

After a tasty meal door prizes were awarded to Vickie Mays, Sheila Healey and Helen McAllister.

Martha Quinn, vice chairman, announced October is a good time to remind members that with the harvest season, HWC women are women with a purpose. In fact whatever season of life one is in, there is important work to be done.

Some may be in a new season of life or life may have taken an unexpected turn. If this has left anyone feeling "stuck" and questioning their significance, HWC is introducing its newest Bible study called, "Every Season"- embracing a forever kind of purpose. This study is for women in any season of life when they are questioning their existence and it can guide readers through a thoughtful and creative retelling of biblical stories and real life examples, with a space for one’s own personal reflection and notes. "Every Season" is ideal for a small group gathering of women. So invite a few friends and come prepared to learn, discover and obtain encouragement.

HWC's local project is the Sanctuary, which provides a safe, temporary shelter and extended assistance, support and education to victim of domestic violence. Their present needs are paper towels, twin crib sheets, laundry soap, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, diapers and pain relievers. They also have a request for volunteers. The project for November will be Tetelestai House, which is a house for women coming out of the local jail system, who want to make a change in their lives. Their present needs are nonperishable food items such as coffee, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, clothes hangers, trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water and paperback Bibles. Printer paper and notebooks are also appreciated.

Pastor Jim Bryant, accompanied by his guitar, favored the attendees by singing "Amazing Grace" and "Giddi-up Mule."

Hilda Robinson, a representative of United Health Care, presented "Discover the Benefits of Medicare Advantage." Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next. For more information, call a local representative or United Health Care at 1-855-262-3326.

 Mike Thomas, state patrolman and auctioneer led a fundraiser silent auction by calling out the bids after everyone had handed in their bid slips. Attendees were the participants for in the fundraiser.

Featured speaker, Barbara Holst, piqued the attendees interest with her message entitled, “A Life That is Simply Wonderful,” and asked the question, “What do you mean when you say you want to simplify your life?” Holst proclaimed for most this probably means having a chance to catch one’s breath, slow down, or take time off. Unfortunately, she admitted, it is usually seen as a temporary situation and often pursued with intensity that is anything but simple.

Holst used illustrations of her life’s experiences in how she attempted to make her life “simply wonderful” in spite of dire circumstances.

She recalled when she and her husband were in college living in a small apartment with no basement. If they heard a siren they were to take cover because this was the warning of a tornado. One day when hearing the sirens, she began to pull everything out of the closets so they could squeeze into the tiny space and be protected. Her husband quickly gathered some food items and they both scrunched into the closet and shut the door. Fearing the house might collapse on them she took her flashlight, pen and pad and decided to write a note telling rescuers, “We are in a closet….” Her husband didn’t see this as logic, so with his response  she tore up the note. As a young bride, she was amazed at her husband’s brilliance in the face of a storm. She was was also thankful the apartment was not damaged even though a roof was damaged a block away.

Holst related other stories but illustrated the simplicity of having a single goal. She added that one’s challenge in life is to ensure that a single purpose is a worthy one. For her, she said, the smile of God was the goal of her life. She said whenever she had a choice to make, she needed to ask God to guide her to whatever would be the most pleasing to Him.

Holst admitted when growing up, she had always considered herself a Christian because she attended Sunday School weekly and as a teenager participated in church activities, but added she didn’t have an understanding of the true biblical basis for being a Christian, that of having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

A friend, after sharing what it meant to be a Christian, gave Holst a booklet called, “The Four Spiritual Laws.”

Law one read, “God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.”  Reference: John 10:10, “I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.”

Law two, “Man is sinful and separated from God, therefore he cannot experience God’s love.” Reference: Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and come short of God’s perfection.”

Law three, provided hope. “Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him, you can know and experience God’s love and His plan for your life.” Reference: John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”

Law four provided a call to action. “We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and His plan for our lives.” Reference: Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dwell with him.”

Holst realized then what a relationship with Jesus was. She confessed her sins and accepted Christ as her Savior.

Holst concluded her presentation by stating that just because she had made Jesus Lord of her life didn’t mean life would be without problems. She indicated that she had an assortment of health problems and surgeries which forced her to live simplify and eliminate everything but the basic necessities. Her life simplified because of necessity, has given her the opportunity to spend hours in prayer and Bible study.

Holst and husband, Ron, live in the Lake of the Ozarks near Laurie, Mo. They have two married sons and five grandchildren. Her past careers have been a Navy wife, teacher, writer, an innkeeper at a bed and breakfast and children’s librarian. She is the author of a children’s book, “The Little Girl and the Lonely Teddy.”

The Harrison Women’s Connection Thanksgiving luncheon will be from noon-2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at Woodland Baptist Church, 1001 Gipson Rd., Harrison. Speaker and special feature will be Sylvana Airan. Music will be Julie Jasper and Lorraine Dix.

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