May 31, 12
So here’s the deal ... the study guides look a little different from the current ones, and they don’t have the really nice letter from Ken Sande at the beginning, but truly, ALL of the substantive content is the same.
If you have a ministry idea for ten Peacemaking Church: Living the Gospel in Relationships study guides, please drop me an email or leave a comment here and I’ll have the joy of sending the guides to one of you.
Hope this is a blessing to you! And hope you have a wonderful day—
May 05, 12
And since so many of you noted it on your feedback cards, here is C.S. Lewis quote that I paraphrased when we talked about how risky it is to love:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”Love is risky, to be sure. But to never love? To never risk? That is a darkness and pain too great to bear.
I’ll leave the final word with the very Word of God:
"Perfect love drives out fear." 1 John 4:18Amen and Amen. And now, I will try to “lie down and sleep in peace, for God alone causes me to dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8 ). 5:45AM wakeup call for a 6:20AM departure. East Coast time! My Montana bod says, “Ouch!” But my Momma heart is eager to get home to care for my sick hubby and kiddos.
G'nite, all. God bless and sweet dreams—
May 02, 12
How thoughtful! Thanks so much, Cedar (my event host). Can’t wait to be with you all!
Apr 29, 12
The women of San Gabriel Union Church are flooding my real-snail-mail-mailbox with sweet FROGGY get well notes and thank you’s for the world’s CROAKIEST speaker:
They are SO gracious and SO fun too! Thanks, ladies.
I’m also chuckling at my super adorable girls who like to make up funny movements to kids songs. This morning it was, “Allelu Allelu Allelu Alleluia! Praise Ye the Lord!”
Hope your week is off to a great start too!
Love and blessings,
Apr 24, 12
It has been over a week now since I had any voice whatsoever and I have only one more day before I leave to serve at two events in Dallas, Texas, and teach a Sunday school class the day after the retreat ends. People have been working hard for over a year for these events and we all want to bless the attendees ... but it is extremely hard to teach and tell stories when you have absolutely no vocal inflection. Try it sometime. Talk for three hours, four hours, five hours—but only with gravel-y, scratchy, no-pitch croaking. It is SO not how I usually teach!
I just can’t believe how long this is lasting. I’m doing everything everyone tells me to do—and believe you me, in the last few days, I have received great counsel on every homeopathic and medical “cure” known to man. But I’m still sick as a dog. I haven’t even unpacked from California yet! (And that’s really saying something because I like to unpack the MOMENT I hit the door after any trip. I’m really not into letting things sit around. Well. Unless it’s dust or Golden Retriever hair—then I let it sit around a little too much.)
So please do pray for my health. I would appreciate it so much! And please also pray for my event hosts. I just emailed them with the news and I’m just cringing at how they must be feeling right now. Talk about letting people down! I keep trying to remind myself that God works together ALL THINGS for His glory and our good. So even though I can’t see ANYTHING good coming from this situation right now, I am praying that the eyes of my HEART (of faith!) will be wide open to see clearly.
Thanks, friends. I hope your week is going well! Sophia took her first standardized test today—we decided to have her participate in the Iowa Basics, mostly just to give her experience taking standardized tests so that they are no big deal to her in the coming years. The instructor gave them all some advice that Fred and I REALLY disagree with, however, and I’m curious what YOU think about it ...
She told the students to LEAVE AN ANSWER BLANK if they didn’t know the answer and just move on to the next question. Now. I’ve taken a LOT of standardized tests in my life and filled in plenty o' ovals with my #2 pencil and I have NEVER left an answer blank. In fact, as we talked through a few basic test taking skills, we specifically told Sophie to NEVER leave an answer blank because a blank answer is 100% guaranteed to be wrong (AND it increases the likelihood that you’ll get off in your numbering and accidentally put, say, the answer to question #8 in the #7 answer blank). We taught her that even if you have NO IDEA what the right answer is, there is usually ONE potential answer that can easily be thrown out just by a little bit of logic and good guessing ... so then you have a 33% chance of guessing right, so just guess. Fill it in. Don’t worry about it. And move on.
But what about you? Were you taught to leave BLANK answers? I found that very strange. (Oh, and Sophie said that she listened politely to the teacher’s instructions and then ignored them and followed mine. Hooray!)
Blessings and g'nite,
Apr 16, 12
In twelve years of speaking regularly at women’s events, I have only lost my voice once. It was a conference up in Alaska and I remember I
Feb 25, 12
But I have to say ... two aspects of this particular event are going to stick out in my mind as statistical outliers in the realm of Lori J./Joe A. creating Living the Gospel in Relationships at Southside Fellowship; Jo M. surrounding me with her Secret Service “Go To Black! Let’s Move People Move!” event team at Village Seven; the thank you gift of, literally, “take as many books as you want from our bookstore”; the anonymous (gorgeous!) necklace someone tucked into my purse when I wasn’t looking; the paid-for hair cut & color & full body massage ...
Oh, my! I have been blessed by so many people at so many events. And can I tell you now just two reasons why THIS event is so precious to me? (There are many MANY others, too):
1. The women’s ministry director offered to pay my registration fee for the Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference (!!). Can you believe it? What a mind-numbingly-generous gift! It still feels like a big ol' impossibility to actually GET to go (airfare from Montana is just too high) ... but what an offer! To quote Fred, “Who would do such a thing?!” A sweet and generous person, that’s who. And that’s how the women of Rio Rancho OPC and Desert Springs Church really are.See why I love getting to serve in this way so much? I just never know what I am going to learn and what glimpse of God’s glory and blessedness (happiness) I am going to get to see when I’m wheels-down at an event. New Jersey, Virginia, Ontario, Texas, New York & Nevada, I can’t wait to see you in the coming weeks!
2. I received what could possibly be the FUNNIEST feedback I have ever received from any event. In addition to some other very kind and encouraging comments, the woman wrote this:"I had a friend whose DOG noticed on the RARE occasions she actually cooked. Whenever he heard the electronic ignition on her gas stove click, he would BARK! And she was a high school home ec. teacher! So you are not alone."Crack me up!! Can you imagine if Lilikoi gave a Pavolovian “whoof!” on the (RARE!) occasions I actually prepped ingredients and applied heat to food? H.Y.S.T.E.R.I.C.A.L.
Much love and g'nite,
Feb 24, 12
Can you say gracious, servant-oriented, people? I just LOVED watching them happily stuffing registration packets, creating nametags, setting up snack areas, the booktable, the meals area, and sanctuary, etc. etc. I tried to help! But they were so organized and focused and in the zone, that mostly, I just got to sit back, do my prep, and enjoy.
I’m still very nervous (hate to use the word fearful. hah.) about my part of serving—the actual content of the "Fear Not! retreat". I’m not curled in the fetal position, a ball on the hotel room floor or anything. (Growth!) But please do pray for me as this material is still relatively new to me and I really have to concentrate. Hard.
With that, I’ll sign off with the photo art that Dave and I received from Baker for ol, “Redeeming Church Conflicts”. Makes it all feel very real! May 1 will be here before we know it.
Have a great weekend!
Jan 29, 12
If you sort by “preacher” Tara Barthel, "Sermons" 531, 532, 533, and 534 are my standard women’s retreat on biblical peacemaking and Sermons 630, 631, 632 and 633 are my (relatively) new “Fear Not” retreat.Fred and I are gearing up for my eight spring events. (Zweep! Things are about to get very busy.)
Hope you had a blessed and restful Sabbath!
Nov 29, 11
Fear Not “Mini-Retreat” (Featuring Tara Barthel)
Saturday, December 10th 9am-12noon
at Glasgow Church in Bear, DE
RSVP to HeritagePresWIC@live.com by December 3rd
Nov 12, 11
And, oh! for my blog readers who weren’t hanging with us in San Diego, don’t you think the (wooden! painted! with glitter! and tiny jewel for the eye!) nametags were just lovely?
(My cell phone pic just doesn’t do it justice.)
Can’t wait for Heaven when we can all be together in perfect unity enjoying the Lord and one another forever. Maranatha!
Love and blessings,
Nov 04, 11
Praying often for you!
With much love,
Nov 02, 11
My silly mileage run has turned into a (not silly!) actual event:
Fear Not “Mini-Retreat” featuring Tara Barthel
Saturday, December 10, 2011 from 9AM - 12 noon
Location: Glasgow Church in Bear, DE
Please RSVP to HeritagePresWIC@live.com by December 5th
(And visit Tara’s Speaking Page to learn more about her “Fear Not” retreat.)
Oct 31, 11
I need to actually fly UPDATED
With just a quick glance, I saw some tickets to Atlanta that would work, but I bet other cities would work too. 2,821 is the magic number we have to hit. (You can check the mileage to your city from Billings by putting in BIL to SLC to your airport or BIL to MSP to your airport on this website.)
Anyone interested in a free one-night women’s retreat? Or Christmas dinner keynote? Or just a fun get-together? Please contact me ASAP. Otherwise, I’m just going to go ahead and book myself a ticket on some random date.
Delta has a bunch of fares in the $359 range and that’s about how much I can spend (because I have a credit voucher to help me).
Fred just asked me how I was going to choose a location. (First come, first served. Whoever hits 2,821 miles for a TOTAL of $350 (taxes, etc. included) or less—or who can make up the difference financially—wins!) Oh, and he was REALLY psyched that I’m getting a steady stream of emails, comments, FB notes, etc. because (to quote him), “It’d be pretty bad if you offered a free women’s event and all you heard back in response was CRICKETS.” True. True. Funny, but true.
Oct 22, 11
Hope your night is a restful one!
G'nite and God bless,
Oct 16, 11
And so I lie. On one level, too tired to even care. An another (occasional) level BORED OUT OF MY MIND because I can’t really READ or respond to CORRESPONDENCE or well, do pretty much anything to tackle the growing chaos.
Oh well! To every day, a season. And our days and seasons are currently filled up with Sophie’s audition song for our children’s theater; making sure her MUSCLES are up to the LONG night for fiddlin' for the (soon to be here!) RMCC Fall Ball. (Fred and I are the designated drop off point for a few friends who WILL be dancing and who need childcare.) And oh, yeah, little by little we are walking our way through Math, Latin, Literature, Science, French, etc. etc. Oh! How my incompetencies as a homeschooling mother are compensated for so beautifully in the apple-of-me-eye, Sophia Grace.
Off to sleep now, Lord willing. Praying for all of my friends (A! R! M! E!) who struggle with insomnia as I sometimes do. May we lie down and rest in peace, for the Lord is our Shelter.
- Doesn’t always LOOK like peace
- Doesn’t always FEEL like peace
But Jesus is our Prince of Peace! So I’m banking on Him.
G'nite and God bless,
A friend tagged me in a photo from the PCA AmazingGrace360 Conference that I thought you might enjoy. Hope so! Blessings and g'nite! — tkb
Oct 10, 11
Then Sam chose the winner:
Congratulations Lisa W. from Virgnia!As soon as the boxes are returned to Peacemakers they will be reboxed up and sent on their way to you.
I also wanted to share with you a photo of a very special friend ...
Does anyone remember the old “PeaceGals”? Here is one of the founders, our dear friend Ruth Moran:
She and her family are driving cross-country to visit family and friends and we were super blessed that they included us on their itinerary!
Now I’m just staring at an unpacked suitcase, a pile of booktable orders, and receipts in need of entering into Quicken. But I just keep sitting here. Staring. I wonder if I can will myself to actually DO something today ...
Anyway! Happy Monday and hope your weekend was a blessed one.
Oct 02, 11
If you will be with us in Atlanta, or if you’d like to participate in real time at a distance, I’ll be LiveBlogging all of the general sessions here:
I would be ever so grateful if you might please keep everyone serving (and being served!) at AmazingGrace360 in your prayers this week. I am officially at that "I can’t believe they asked me to serve in this way! Why oh why did they ask me? There are hundreds and hundreds of people who would do a MUCH BETTER JOB than me. Oh oh oh! There is absolutely NO WAY I can do this well!" stage of prepping my new material.
Fred assures me that I go through this stage EVERY time I prepare new content and that I WILL survive it and get through it as I finish prepping and then strive to do my very best at the actual event. But right now? I am tempted to fear and despair. Oh! That I would trust in God and lean not on my own understanding. In my weakness (GREAT weakness), He is my strength. And my only hope! Thanks for your prayers, friends. Much love—tkb
Sep 17, 11
If you or anyone you know near Hudson would like to attend, please feel free to reach out directly to Grace Church or email me and I’ll do my best to serve you.
Aug 20, 11
We will be giving away OVER $600 in FREE PEACEMAKING MATERIALS, so it’ll definitely be worth your time to pop by.
I’m still hoping to get to LiveBlog the plenary sessions (like I’ve done for other PCA and CCEF events. (I LOVE to LiveBlog events!) But we’ll have to see what my teaching schedule allows.
Last thing to mention—one of the AG360 main speakers, Nancy Guthrie, is ALSO a plenary speaker for the 2011 Peacemaker Ministries Conference: Hope in Brokenness. And Peacemakers just put up a great video a brief teaching by her. I encourage you to check it out:
I’m praying daily for Mrs. Guthrie and hope you are too!
Aug 07, 11
I already have the WORLD’S BEST exhibition-hall-table-helper ... Samara! (I’m SO grateful she is willing to help me!)
And Fred and I are working on my “ad” for the conference materials. Keeping in mind that this is just a rough draft (so please be gentle with your criticisms! ), I was wondering if you would share your feedback with me re: its “look,” effectiveness (in communicating information), etc.
Thanks for any help you can provide! And hope to see you in October—
(PS—Fred said that the superdee-duperdee graphics software he uses doesn’t play nicely with the .jpg format. But that’s the only way I can post to my blog—so please bear with any “fuzziness” that is just due to the blog format. The actual file is very “crisp.”)
Jul 23, 11
My cell phone camera just doesn’t do justice the view AT ALL:
But our location was gloriously beautiful!
And times with real-life-friends (like JM!) only made our time together all-the-more-SWEET:
Thank you, Lord.
Jun 29, 11
I trust that it’s all necessary. Everyone at Peacemakers works very, very hard to keep costs as low as possible.
But still. Pretty please. Tell a friend. Ask your women’s ministry director if she’s interested in the study. And make an order within the next day so I can charge you the current cost. (And be sure to email me if it’s a large order because you can get even bigger discounts for larger quantities.)
I love ya!
– Tara B.
Jun 23, 11
And I do so wish you’d drop your friends/church leaders a note, share a tweet, or do a FaceBook update to let others know too. I’m going to feel just TERRIBLE when that first order comes in after July 1 and I have to charge them the $149 price, but that is my contractual obligation to Peaceamkers, so of course I will honor it.
THANKS for helping me to get the word out!
Jun 02, 11
The good news is that the study will now include ten study guides rather than the current five. But still, this is a big price jump and I sure would like as many people as possible to get the study for the current rate. So would you please consider sharing this information with your church, FaceBook friends, or whomever might be blessed by the lower cost? I’d appreciate it!
(And don’t forget, there are quantity discounts available for large orders. Just drop me an email and let me know what your needs are and I’ll do everything I can to get you the best price.)
Thanks, friends! Hope you have a great day—
Apr 22, 11
We are so blessed to be able to learn from so many people! Grace grace grace.
Hope your Friday is going well! We’re in museum mode around here, but at this very moment, Ella is catching some zzzzzzzz’s and giving Momma Tara a few minutes of a break. I’ll try to post some pics soon—
Blessings to you,
Nov 24, 10
I’m truly thrilled that I can go again this year because they have invited me to teach two pre-conference sessions and one main conference seminar. That’s actually why I’m writing this blog post ... I need to get my titles and descriptive paragraphs to my event host and I’d really love your counsel on them. This is what I’ve come up with so far, after already seeking advice from some close friends:
Teens & Relationships: Is Real Friendship Even Possible in a VIRTUAL World?(I’ve also asked if I could teach a pre-conference workshop on the Peacemaker Ministries core principles and they graciously said, “Yes!” But I don’t think I need you to proof that paragraph since I’ve taught on that topic a time or two already ... )
In a world of laptops and iPhones, social networking and texting, where relationships are as easy as clicking “Like” or “Hide,” is real friendship even possible? It’s so easy to un-friend someone (and be un-friended!), should we even put ourselves out there in real life and risk rejection? The Bible says a resounding, “Yes!” So let’s get together and talk about how. (Specifically directed at teens, all ages are welcome.)
“Just Don’t Ask Me To Work With Teenagers!”
When our teenagers begin to express doubts and confusion about the big questions in life (Who am I? Why am I even here? Do I believe this Christian faith that I’ve been raised in?), it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by their argumentativeness and devastated over their sinful choices. Rather than patiently and prayerfully persevering with them in love, we can be tempted to avoid teens and judge them from afar, confront them too strongly with graceless legalism, or fail to ever confront them because we fear their rejection. In response, many of our teens are duplicitous (they act one way around us and an entirely different way around their peer groups) and apostate (73% of the portion of 18 to 29 year olds who claim “no religion” come from religious homes). It doesn’t have to be this way! In this seminar, we will discuss why so many of us struggle in our relationships with teenagers, and then we will search God’s Word to see how he is calling us to enter into their lives with authentic relationship, thoughtful discussion, and covenantal love.
My goal is to send off my final versions by the end of this holiday weekend, so if you’d like to share your thoughts, I’m all ears! (You are also welcome to email me directly if you prefer to share your counsel in a non-public forum.)
Thanks, friends! And happy thanksgiving eve to you!
Nov 03, 10
In interim, just in case you’d like to hear how far, far, FAR I’ve diverged off of my ol' “standard” women’s retreat topics (am I even capable of holding a complete thought these days?), and also hear old “standby-Tara-has-used-that-example-a-hundred-million-times” too, my new dear friend Keri has sent me a link to her church’s recordings:speaking page of my website.)
Sep 29, 10
Thanks, Kim, for sending this great video from ECC for your upcoming women’s retreat:
I kept thinking, “I wish I could go!” And then I thought, “Hey! I GET to go!”
So excited to be with you and your women—
Aug 26, 10
Order by August 31 and you’ll save $20 and help us pay for Ella’s 1-year-old baby checkup too!
Aug 19, 10
So, yes, my wrists were swollen and a little numb as I typed my twelve thousandth word (no exaggeration). But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I LOVE getting to serve in this way; following up with more questions; needling in deeper on a certain point; capturing those solid gold Cap'n Dave Edling nuggets that help me to understand better Scripture and to put my trust in God more fully. It’s really true that Dave and I couldn’t care less if anyone ever publishes this book—we’ll just give it away if we have to. But I do want Dave’s experience, wisdom, and encouragement captured and organized in a usable format because I believe even our pathetic little efforts will truly bless Christians who are suffering in conflicted churches.
Still. Writing a book is hard. Very, very hard. So I was particularly blessed when Challies.com linked to this article by Adam McHugh:
His last “phase” of writing really hit home with me because Fred and I just said pretty much exactly the same thing. (Please bear with my restating and then using the “s-u-c-k” word; I know it’s crass and I am trying to get it out of my vernacular. But this author used it and it really does capture well exactly how I feel.)
According to Mr. McHugh, the five phases of writing are:
1. The “Aha” phase (researching, thinking, and interviewing). This is the fun stuff; interviewing Dave, sitting and reading thick books on the doctrine of the church, looking up Greek words to see what they “really” mean. This is a great phase.And I said, “Yes.” Then I quit freaking out and got back to work.
2. The “Pulitzer Prize” phase (conceptualizing, organizing, and outlining). The author said that in this phase, he thinks his ideas are brilliant and his writing is profound—I can’t say that I ever feel that way, but every once in awhile I think to myself, “My high school A.P. teacher, Dr. Charmian Poe, might give me a passing grade on this.” That’s pretty much my highest praise/goal re: writing.
3. The “Total Incompetence” phase (questioning why in the world I ever thought I could write a book). Yup. This is SO my phase. This is pretty much my continual phase. It’s why I’ve never read Peacemaking Women. WAY too painful to see all of the weaknesses. Definitely a C-minus from Dr. Poe.
4. The “Complete Disorientation” phase (from stream of consciousness to head spinning to avoiding writing by cleaning his home). And I thought I was the only one!
5. The “It doesn’t totally suck” phase (no explanation needed). Yes! This is the “just close your eyes and hand it over and pray that somehow God will bless even your C-minus efforts” phase. This is the phase I LIVE in with everything I’ve ever written or taught or blogged or whatever. Fred said to me yesterday (when I was crying and freaking out over how bad everything is and how I should STOP even trying) a phrase he’s said to me a hundred times: "Tara? Are you willing to suck for Jesus?" You know. To really crash and burn and FAIL big time; to be on the receiving end of criticism and judgment and rejection; to never really get it together in any way at all—but still to live for Jesus?
Oh, and apparently Mr. McHugh has already grabbed the title, “It Doesn’t Totally Suck” for HIS book. So I guess I’ll have to think of a new title to rename our book ...
Totally made me smile, though. Thanks yet again, Challies.com! You are a blessing.
Back to work now—
Aug 03, 10
The sale price is for August only—so please do consider letting your friends know. Not only would they (hopefully!) be blessed by the study, but our family could truly use a little cashflow help this month.
Thanks and love to you all!
Apr 30, 10
Sep 12, 09
I’m working hard to type up your shipping labels and will send them as soon as I possibly can.
Thanks for a wonderful weekend!
Jun 02, 09
One of my favorite churchmen, Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile, and his beloved wife are watching my video series ("Living the Gospel in Relationships") and he is blogging about their discussions related to the series:
I’m humbled and amazed.
Hope you enjoy their reflections too:
Jun 01, 09
For the entire month of June, I can sell my video series (The Peacemaking Church Women’s Study: Living the Gospel in Relationships) for a ridiculously LOW price. (The price is so low, in fact, that Peacemakers has waived most of what they’d normally receive to help keep their lights on, restock their materials, fund peacemaking ventures internationally, or even help to pay the salaries of great staff members like Steady Freddy B.)And the sale prices are really GREAT:
They are allowing every dollar of “profit” to go towards our family’s baby/medical expenses as a gift to us!
The complete group study (normally $79 + shipping + tax, so depending on your state tax rate, usually $90+) is only $55 (with FREE DOMESTIC/USA SHIPPING)!To take advantage of this great offer, be sure to place your order by June 30, 2009. (And thanks, also, for letting your church leaders, friends, and blog readers know about this deal too. We would appreciate your help in getting the word out.)
If you only need one copy of the videos and guide, the normal cost (with shipping and tax) is $70+, but for the month of June, the total cost is only $35 (also with FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING).
Even the individual study guides which usually cost $8.95 + shipping + tax ($12+) are only $6.50/each (and, you guessed it, FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING)!
In addition to the women’s study sale, I also wanted to let you know that Fred has worked very hard to digitize my audio teachings and they are now available FOR FREE DOWNLOAD. I hope that these are a blessing to you and to others who are interested in promoting gospel-infused relationships in the Body of Christ.
Lastly, to hopefully further entice you to take advantage of this great deal, the first 25 orders will also receive a free copy of Trudy Poirier’s worship CD “Songs of Living the Gospel in Relationships.”
Any questions? Anything I can do to serve you? Please just let me know!
If you’ve already gone through the study and are thinking, “What’s next for my church?” I encourage you to consider two other products from Peacemaker Ministries. First, their Peacemaking Church Resource Set is a great way to take the entire church through the principles of biblical peacemaking, and to help your church establish an ongoing ministry of peacemaking. And also, late this summer, Peacemaker Ministries will be releasing a new study just for church leaders—a resource meant to help them live out the gospel as they navigate the common situations where conflict and leadership intersect in the life of the church. I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it is released!
I would love to be able to ship to Canada and other countries for free—but it’s simply beyond our family’s means at this time. If you place an order to another country it WILL temporarily go through and look like it has free shipping (due to the limitations of our little website/ordering process) ... but then I’ll have to email you and cancel your order OR ask you to pay the shipping.
So PRETTY PLEASE email me first if you would like to place an INTERNATIONAL ORDER:
May 17, 09
(I suppose you could also do the same if you just HATED it ... but I have to assume that if so, you’re probably not a regular blog reader, eh? )
In preparation for the third printing and for a little summer “push” on the series, Peacemaker Ministries and I are working hard to gather some endorsements from well-known Christian leaders (what an HONOR that they would even consider endorsing it!), and I would really like to include your feedback too.
Thanks in advance for even considering this request. I know that most of you are happy to remain LURKERS (i.e., people who read blogs but NEVER comment) and that’s just fine with me. But if you’d like to drop me a personal note (even via snail-mail), I’d be grateful.
Hope your Sunday was a blessed one. Soph and I had to miss church because she has a bad cold–but otherwise it was a quiet, lovely day for us. Fred planted some more flowers (which I loved), Sophia sang to Ella and repeatedly said, “I can’t wait for JULY!” (which I also loved), and I was encouraged by Psalm 56:3:
"When I am afraid, I will trust in you."Blessings on your week!
Mar 16, 09
I was clicking through to check in on my favorite bloggers and look what I found!
(But also a little nervous–I hope that his wife and he LIKE the series! )
Soph’s cold is getting worse, so we’re staying tucked under blankets all day long. What a grace to be home AND to have a Golden who likes to cuddle too.
– Tara B.
Mar 10, 09
She has reviewed my video series (The Peacemaking Church Women’s Study–Living the Gospel in Relationships) and endorsed it! What a grace.
Here is what Elyse wrote:
"It’s with overwhelming joy that I can highly recommend “Living the Gospel in Relationships” from Tara Barthel and Peacemaker Ministries. I am recommending these teaching sessions not only because they beautifully avoid the moralistic strategies so common in our me-centered churches but because she connects our struggle for peace to the only source of peace, the one who is called the Prince of Peace. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not only for new believers. It’s for every one of us who longs to love our neighbor and yet falls so short everyday. Only when my love for others is motivated and impelled by responsive love for Christ can I say that I’m loving as he loves. And only the gospel makes me do that. Thanks, Tara, for reminding me again. We love because he first loved us."(Just when I was tempted to think, “What am I DOING even TRYING to serve/encourage women with my tiny little efforts at speaking events, through my writing, or on this blog?! Maybe it’s time to get OUT of the biz entirely ...” And then such an encouraging note arrives. Maybe I’ll keep trying for a little while longer, eh? )
–Elyse Fitzpatrick, Author of “Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time”
Hope you’re all having a lovely week–
Nov 09, 08
But assuming that all goes well, I am going to do my very best to LIVE BLOG the CCEF Annual Conference (Thursday 11/13 - Sunday 11/16).
Please be sure to check back and participate! (You can post questions to me AS I live blog and Fred is going to try to snap a few photos so that you can get a “feel” for the venue.) CCEF has graciously given me permission to do everything except stream the actual audio or video–and since I can type at the rate of speech, I think we can have some serious fun.
Hope to “see you” in Philly this weekend!
Oct 06, 08
So I just went online and found the books for you on Amazon. You’ll probably receive them FASTER than the rest of your orders from me (which were sent via Media Mail today) ... so I hope this is not too much of a hassle for you. I didn’t want you to have to wait for the books.
Blessings to you!
Oct 05, 08
I was so honored to be with you all! And I typed in all 50+ of your orders on my two flights home Saturday night ... so if I can get the resources from Peacemakers, I hope to have them all in the mail for you before I leave for my Canada event on Wednesday morning.
THANKS for sharing your lives with me!
Sending you love–
Sep 17, 08
(I actually enjoyed more our little “school table” that was in the background when I went to take that picture ...)
We love Math-U-See!
I need to run and put dinner in the oven. (Yes, yes, I actually DO have a plan for dinner. It’s a miracle.)
We’re just home from a very fun princess birthday party:
Hope your day went well! I’m SPENT, but grateful.
Do you know what I think I’m the most grateful for today? FORGIVENESS.
God’s forgiveness. My daughter’s forgiveness. My husband’s forgiveness.
My friend graciously bearing with me. AGAIN.
God’s grace helping ME to forgive ... Sophie, Fred, a family member, a friend.
Where would I be without forgiveness? Hopeless and helpless and lost. Actually? Damned.
Thanking God for forgiveness–
Aug 25, 08
So I wanted to be sure to let you know that the original version of my DVD series is still available – but not for long.
I’d have to do a quick count this morning to be sure, but I think I’m down to around 20 copies of the complete series and an additional 20 or 30 copies of just the study guide.
So if you want the “more personal Tara” version with our family photos, the behind-the-scenes clip, the extra Q&A session, “Peacemaker Junkie,” all of the Trudy Poirier music, and (I think most importantly), the data disc with the 104 page study guide and a copyright that allows you to print off as many copies of the guide as you want in perpetuity ... please don’t wait much longer.
I am truly excited that I’ll get to be involved with The Peacemaking Church in the future ...
But if you’ve been hanging out with ol' Tara even pre-Sophie and way back when I had to take personal vacation days from my job at Peacemakers to do only occasional women’s retreats ...... please don’t wait any longer–please put your order in right away.
If you have any of my old teaching recordings (made with–literally!–a Walkman audiotape recorder tucked in my POCKET!) ...
If you’ve been lurking on this blog for awhile or for whatever reason you’d just like to have the “older/original/more personal Tara” version
Thanks thanks thanks!
And happy Monday to you–
Aug 01, 08
Of course, if you already own the original version or if you buy a copy before my remaining stock is exhausted, you’re set for life. The unlimited copyright of the original version will hold even after the Peacemakers version is released.
Just wanting to keep you informed on the transition to the new version. When I learn something, you learn something.
Jul 30, 08
If you’ve already put in your order for one of the 400 study guides I’ll be shipping out (!! Can you believe it? I thought I would have (seriously!) TEN orders or something.) ... I hope to have them in hand within the next ten days or so and I will immediately ship them to you.
But then that’s it for this version of the study. I’ll sell what I have in stock until its gone or Peacemakers rolls out their version, but I can’t get you these “original version” DVDs or study guides after that time. Only the official Peacemaker Ministries version will be available.
Oh–and please be sure to email me directly if you’d like to buy more than a couple study guides or if you’d like any sort of screamin' deal for your missionaries / kids in seminary / whatever ministry reason. We’re all about trying to keep the costs as LOW as possible and we’re happy to extend the “2 for $75” offer to just cover our costs and SERVE as many people as possible while we can still get the series for a low price.
Let me know if you have questions!
Soph and I are looking forward to a quiet day at home today.
Well, except for my responding to your emails and cranking out your orders.
Blessings to you and yours!
Jul 28, 08
"Thank You, God, for Momma. And thank You, God, that you are with her."So how can I be anything but OK?
(And I am.)
Anyway ... one of the (good!) stressors has been a flood of emails and orders for the original version of my DVD series before the July 30, 2008 deadline. I’m thrilled, of course, and working hard to keep all of the details straight.
But I thought that with all of the interest, I’d better mention it just one more time on my blog and remind you to please get your orders in by the July 30 deadline.
On Thursday, July 31 I am going to place my final order for DVD sets and workbooks and once they are gone, they are gone. For good. That’s it. I’ll fill these orders and sell the stock I have on hand until it’s gone, but once that happens, my contract with Peacemakers requires that I not sell the original version any more. Ever. To anyone–even you ladies that I love so much!
So if you want Trudy’s music, photos of Fred & me (and my mom & me too–Peacemakers took out almost all of the personal photos), “Peacemaker Junkie,” etc. etc. ... and if you don’t want to pay $99, July 30 is your deadline.
Oh! I did so want to post about how Fred and I are doing better–
About churchmen that have impacted me over the years by their brilliance and humility–
And about how God really IS our refuge and strength.
But I must dash and the ongoing orders compel me to make one more DVD post.
No infomercials! Just not wanting to let any of you down.
Sophie and Lili and I send our love–
Jul 16, 08
Thanks for your patience! Things are just HOPPING around here, but I’m hoping to catch up on emails tomorrow when I’m happily ensconced in two flights to the Midwest.
Yes, yes ... on top of the other adventures of daily living, we are gathering in Illinois this weekend to celebrate Fred’s mother’s 70th birthday. Fred’s second oldest brother is coming from Zurich (THE Zurich, as in Switzerland). The Berkeley, California and Waukesha, Wisconsin aunts, uncles, and cousins will all be there. And the Montana crew of course! So I need to start getting us packed any minute now.
Before I do so, however, I need to scoot on over to Peacemakers to meet Ken Sande and film an introductory segment and a closing segment for the video series. It really is becoming an “official” Peacemaker resource:
I’m just marveling at it all ... and also hoping that you might pray for me, especially for this filming later on today.
I am so tired–physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
So many people around me are suffering horribly–and I think I’m taking on their sorrow and pain, but really I need to lay it all on the Lord Who promises that His burden is light.
I’m in that “need to pack tampons and pregnancy tests” week again–blergh.
And of all the things I feel up to doing today, packing our entire family and filming two videoclips would NOT make the list.
(Lying around all day and reading or watching mindless videos? Sounds about right.)
But alas, real life calls.
So thanks for praying if I flit through your heart today. And thanks to everyone who has ordered the original DVD Video Series before all of the stuff is deleted and the price goes up. I was incredibly blessed to hear from you all–especially the notes of encouragement. I just don’t know that I could express how much they have all meant to me.
OK. Back to work!
Rejoicing in God my Savior–
(He lives! He really lives!)
Jul 07, 08
I am honored and thrilled, of course, and as promised, I am posting this blog to give you one more chance to purchase the series in its original format at its current price.
If you order by July 30, 2008, you can get my eight-part video series for $50 (or two complete sets for $75).In addition to the price nearly doubling:
But once Peacemakers takes over distribution, the cost for all of us will jump to $99/set.
- The Peacemaker version will not include any of the eight Trudy Poirier original compositions;Other than those changes, the series will be pretty much the same and you will be able to purchase it from both Peacemakers and me at the $99 cost.
- The data disc (with an electronic version of the 104-page study guide) will not be included and the current copyright (allowing you to print or xerox unlimited copies of the study guide) is going away too. (So in the future, you will have to buy the guides from Peacemakers and Fred is estimating that the cost will be around $8 or $9/ea.);
- My favorite videoclip parable (“Peacemaker Junkie”) will be removed;
- You will no longer get to see the behind-the-scenes/blooper reel or Q&A session; but …
- Peacemakers will include five copies of the study guide.
Fred and I truly hope that we have made a wise decision by allowing Peacemakers to carry the series as their own. How we pray that God will be glorified and His women will be encouraged to trust more readily and completely in Jesus Christ, our beloved Savior and King!
One last administrative note: If you do order from me between now and July 30, I won’t be able to ship until early August. I hope that this isn’t too much of an inconvenience to you.
Please let me know if you have any questions!
Jul 02, 08
Should the original music (by Trudy Poirier) be included in Tara’s video series? If so, why? And if not, why?Please note that we already know that it’s confusing as to HOW it should be used and (if we include it), we plan to remedy that with instructions in the “instructor’s guide” / "quick-start guide" and more clear instructions in the study guide.
But one person at Peacemakers feel very strongly that the music should NOT be included (but I don’t know why); and others think that the music is very edifying and worshipful and SHOULD be included (especially for the more “auditory” learners).
We’re getting down to the wire on finalizing all of this stuff, and I thought that your comments might prove helpful to the decision-makers. So thanks for sharing your $.02.
– Tara B.
Please don’t be afraid to say, “TAKE THE MUSIC OUT, TARA!” I promise, I won’t be hurt. It’s nothing personal. We’re all just trying to make the best decision we can to serve and encourage the most number of people. I’m really asking for your constructive criticism/feedback. (Oh, but also please don’t be afraid to say, “KEEP THE MUSIC IN, TARA! IT’S GREAT.”
The process isn’t that hard–but in order to type out exact instructions for her, I took all of the steps to find my OWN outlook file. And BOY was it HUGE. Giguntous-a-mungo HUGE. Way too big, in fact, for the small size of my old laptop.
So I decided to do a little purging of my old email files. I stay on top of my sent messages and deleted messages, but it had been a LONG time since I had gone into my old EVENT directories and really slashed and burned.
It was INCREDIBLY humbling to look back on all of your events! Mississippi, Indiana, Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Alabama, Tennessee, Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota, Virginia, South Carolina, Hawaii, Wyoming, Illinois, North Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, and more! I am amazed that God would allow our paths to cross and grant me the privilege of serving you.
Event hosts?! Oh my! I could tell stories. Some of my event folders had 200+ emails (those event hosts, LIKE ME, were VERY detail-oriented). My smallest number of emails was 12. (I don’t think I really had a CLUE what that event was going to be like until I was wheels-down and onsite.)
Speaker thank you gifts?! I STILL treasure them. A baby quilt for Sophia; a blingy & un-lawyer-Tara-like super cool pen; a fancy-shmancy serving tray that I use for holidays and parties ... and always think of you all with SO much love and appreciation, I just can’t describe it.
I’ve been blessed by you all! Booktable helpers I wish I could tuck in my pocket and take home with me. Hurting women who I wanted so badly to protect and comfort and help. Drivers who had NO IDEA where we were and where the event was–but it all worked out.
I saw photos of me at my absolutely HIGHEST weight. Eek! Oh my! There was a LOT of Tara going on.
And I saw thank you notes post-event (and a few confrontations I should note too!). I even received a “real mail” card today from dear Martha10–an event host turned email/blog buddy turned real-life friend.
You know, I never assume that I will ever receive another invitation to serve at an event. I am always amazed when an “event inquiry form” pops into my Inbox.
And I guess I just wanted to say thank you. Thanks to each one of you. Those of you who have stayed on my little “stay-in-touch-with-the-Barthels” mailing list, please know that I pray for you often by name. And to every single one of you I have had the privilege of serving ... thank you. You bless my socks off. I am sockless.
Oh! AND I’m making a REAL dinner tonight (drum roll please!), so I’d better run.
(I used one of those oven bag thingies for a roast from Costco and I’m thinking it might turn out fine BUT I accidentally touched the top of the bag to the OVER BURNER when I was putting it in. And oven safe or not, that bag MELTED!! So things didn’t smell that good initially but now things are smelling nice and yummy/homey. I just WISH I knew how to make mashed potatoes!! That would be SO domestic and is exactly what I’d LIKE to make with it. Maybe one of these days ...)
God bless & gnite!
Jun 24, 08
So anyway ... I need to rework my “women’s track” workshops and I was wondering if ANY of these workshops would sound interesting to you if you were at the conference:
1. The Peacemaker Women’s Study—Living the Gospel in Relationships: Do you ever wonder why relationships among Christian women can sometimes be shallow, competitive, or even non-existent? Would you like encouragement and practical help for growing authentic and grace-filled relationships? In this workshop, we will introduce the brand-new Peacemaker Women’s Study and provide everything you need to evaluate how it might fit into your church, women’s ministry, or personal devotions. Come and be encouraged as we drink deeply of God’s grace and learn to minister that grace to others.So what do you think?
2. Grace for Women with Strong Gifts and the Men Who Lead Them (co-taught with David Edling): It may seem counterintuitive and downright ironic, but gifted women who are passionate about peacemaking often get into profound conflicts with their leaders. These conflicts may be personality-driven (especially when the woman has a “powerful personality”) or tied to differing priorities (so issues regarding authority and submission emerge). But whatever the source of the conflicts, there is grace for the relationship. In this workshop, Dave Edling and Tara Barthel will share candidly about the conflicts they had with one another while on staff at Peacemaker Ministries, and give practical advice as to how the gospel of grace helped them to accept, serve, and grow to delight in one another.
3. Living as a Peacemaking Woman in a Difficult Marriage: Sadly, many women suffer greatly in their marriages. They may be married to an unbeliever, or their husbands may have severe areas of immaturity and sin that cause great heartache and pain for the entire family. This workshop will explain what it looks like for a woman to be so rooted in the grace and glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ that she can respond to even a difficult spouse with patience, kindness, and “wisdom from Heaven” (James 3). Specific examples of how the church can help in these difficult marriages will be discussed.
4. Living the Gospel with Addicts and Other Difficult Loved Ones: People often ask me how I have developed a loving and grace-filled relationship with my mother, given the fact that for most of my life, she has struggled with bipolar (manic/depressive/suicidal) tendencies, drank alcohol to excess, made foolish decisions concerning money, and directed a large amount of disdain and hatred toward me (especially when I was a child). This workshop will explain what “wisdom from Heaven” (James 3) looks like when we are striving to live the gospel in these difficult relationships. (Please note: I have my mother’s permission and blessing to share our story.)
Helpful? Potentially helpful?
Is there a different topic you think I REALLY should do?
I try to think back on the questions I am most asked at events AND the areas of suffering (with God, others, and within) that I hear about over and over again on my “Friday Night Fred & Tara Will Pray for You” cards at overnight women’s retreats.
Thanks in advance for sharing your counsel with me!
And I hope you’re having a great day–
I ALMOST have us unpacked ... I’ve paid bills, dealt with two weeks of mail, cuddled with my daughter and dog, read, blogged, dealt with email, made meals, finished a teleconference ALL IN MY PJ’s. Ahhhhh. I am a blessed woman.
Joy to you!
Don’t let the first workshop description fool you ... I still have not received any “FINAL FINAL” word that Peacemakers is going to carry my DVD series as their women’s study. But they seem pretty interested and they asked me to draft wording for a workshop on it “just in case.”
Jun 09, 08
If so ... the price is almost guaranteed to DOUBLE (from $50 to $99) and it is doubtful that the DATA DISC with the “you can print off AS MANY copies of the study guide as you’d like” copyright will remain.
SO ... if you would like the series at the “Barthel Family” price and FOR SURE with the (permanent) “you can print/copy as many guides as you’d like FOREVER” copyright, now is your chance.
I JUST received a box of 25 DVD sets and if you order by this Thursday, I can ship to you before our family trip to the Midwest. Otherwise, it’ll be almost JULY before we can send them out.
Just wanted to let you know!
Hope your Monday is going well–
May 18, 08
Just a quick note to say THANK YOU for the wonderful weekend! It was my JOY to be with you all.
Hope you made it home safe & sound–
May 03, 08
It was a great joy to be with you all–
Hope you enjoy a restful and blessed Sabbath!
Apr 25, 08
What a wonderful group of women! In addition to blessing and serving one another during the event–they have totally blessed me too ...
Tonight Fred and Sophie got home and found a GOODY BOX waiting for them. Inside, there were “thank you for sharing your mom/wife with us” cards from the ladies AND cookies, popcorn, and Sophia Grace’s favorite: chocolate in the shape of stars.
Thanks, ladies! I have never had an event remember Fred and Sophie like this and we are all extremely grateful.
Time to get cleaned up and head to bed–
Hope you enjoy a lovely Saturday!
Apr 21, 08
It has to do with my DVD series:
Shannon wondered if the original copyright (that allows you to print off or copy as many copies of the 104-page study guide as you like) will apply once ("IF" – it’s not a done-deal yet!) Peacemaker Ministries officially picks up the series and makes it “their own.”
Here’s the deal: Yes. If you have already purchased the DVD series or if you purchase it in this interim season before ("IF") Peacemakers publishes their version, you may print off or copy as many copies of the study guide as you’d like.
This was one of my conditions during our negotiations. I just could not go back on my word to you all–and I won’t.
So if you have the series or you get it soon, you’re set! You can train all of the women in your church if you’d like–all for $50! But if you wait much longer, you’ll have to pay the $99 Peacemaker Price and buy a new guide for each participant.
Thanks for the good question, Shannon!
Much love to all,
Apr 17, 08
What that exactly means is complicated (of course–you’ve got a bunch of lawyers involved; Christians–yes; peacemakers–sure; but details details details to discuss and finalize in order to minimize confusion and be as clear as possible) ...
But I am fairly certain this is going to happen in the next few weeks and when it does, the price is going to rise (probably to $99/set) AND the copyright will NOT allow you to just print off the 104-page study guide.
I won’t even be able to get the series for the low cost I currently pay and thus, I won’t be able to sell it at our family’s little “just trying to cover costs” prices.
So all that to say ... no pressure! But if you were on the fence and thinking about getting the series, I really encourage you to go ahead and order it soon.
Fred and Pastor Jason and I believe that the value of getting to encourage and serve so many more women (and thus, marriages & children & workplaces & churches & missionary agencies, etc. etc.) makes this a wise decision.
But I wanted to be sure that I was doing everything I could to first bless my tiny little “market” of you dear blog readers & friends ... hence, the heads-up on this (pretty likely to be) forthcoming change.
If I can answer any questions about all of this, please don’t hesitate to email me.
We had a nice Thursday. Spent HOURS at the park drinking in the gorgeous blue sky & fluffy white clouds & fresh air because SNOW IS COMING. Again. Just when our tulips are blooming, we get that inevitable late April snowstorm. Blergh.
Hope you had a lovely day!
Mar 11, 08
Brilliant, gifted, FUNNY, godly, wise (SINGLE by the way as a little shout out to my single pals on this blog!) ...
This man sacrificed HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of his personal time to make this project and it simply would’ve DIED ON A SHELF in a heap of unedited tara-BLERGH had Joe not persevered ALL YEAR.
I just can’t say enough about this guy.
THANK YOU, Joe. Nothing without you, bud.
Mar 06, 08
But if you’re planning on taking advantage of our little “initial sale” price on my DVD series by the March 15 deadline
... would you consider dropping me a note or leaving me a comment and letting me know?
We’re down to like SIX SETS and I’ve put in a small re-order ... but if there’s going to be a “rush” (of, you know, 20 or something ), I should probably increase the order.
Thanks thanks thanks!
I’m going to webcam night-night with Soph and Fred now and try to get some shut-eye.
With love from Virginia!
– Tara B.
Feb 28, 08
But look at what I accomplished:
Now I’m just hoping that I packed, you know, actual clothing and event materials for Florida too.
Everyone should be receiving their DVDs soon EXCEPT that:
1. Fred MAY be getting sick. If he pops a high fever and goes down for the flu count, things may not ship out until I get home on Monday anyway.OK. I’m going to TRY to get a TEENY bit of sleep yet tonight.
2. If you ordered Trudy’s audio CD ("Songs of Living the Gospel in Relationships"), your order will be a bit delayed because I haven’t received those yet. (Sorry about that! I just emailed the duplication company so hopefully I’ll have an e.t.a. for you before too long.)
I hope that my heart can slow down and REST.
It was a rough night ... Fred wasn’t feeling well; Sophie was EXTREMELY grouchy because she is missing a “pajamas and popcorn” party at her little preschool/playgroup tomorrow (because our homeschooling co-op has been moved to Thursdays for four weeks). She was a textbook case of being caught in a “Monster Want.”
Oh! This life has many disappointments, eh? I pray that God will help her to turn away from these desires that have been elevated to DEMANDS and be CONTENT. It’s so hard!
Goodnight (good morning?) and God bless!
Feb 27, 08
Big ol' boxes were just delivered to my back door ... my DVD series is actually HERE!
I’m a little freaked out. Feeling very vulnerable.
(I think I feel like, “Why in the WORLD do I even TRY to do stuff like this!?! There are like a ZILLION people who teach this material better than me. I can’t believe I let myself be VIDEOTAPED. Eek!” etc. etc. But then I just say, “Oh well! All we can do is our best. Let it go, Tara. And just do the next thing.”)
ANYWAY ... if I can get packed for Florida (Hi Florida!) and print out the labels and box everything up ... AND if Fred is willing to do a big ol' post office trip without me (because I leave at 5AM tomorrow morning), all of those pre-sales sales might ship out this week! Otherwise, I’ll have them in the mail Monday if I make it home from Florida OK.
If you haven’t yet taken advantage of our family’s “we can’t believe this project is actually DONE” deals, please do so before the March 15 deadline:
Hope you’re having a nice Wednesday!
(Oh—and BTW … I received a very gracious email from my “confrontational blog commenter” this morning, so that was great to hear from her, learn from her, and know that our little internet/blog relationship is OK.)
Hang in there–
If you’d like to sample some of the videos, Fred put a few clips online. Can you believe I’m wearing colors other than BLACK?? Cool/together/shirt-tucking ladies helped (i.e., “made”) me wear COLOR.
Feb 12, 08
Oh, oh, oh! How I pray that women will be ENCOURAGED through this project.
How I pray that Christ will be lifted UP!
Happily and hopefully,
It might be hard to believe, but truly! My DVD series is available for pre-sale orders!!
I’m hoping to put out a “please buy me” email in the next couple of days. (As soon as my fever drops below 101.6!)
But if YOU would like to take advantage of a screamin' deal ... we’re offering two
And please oh-pretty-PLEASE let me know if the “deals” don’t make sense!
And/or if you have any suggestions for improving the resources page of my website. (Our family is REALLY stretching to come up with the $$$ to reproduce the discs and study guide, so we’d really appreciate any advice you might give us to help us be the best stewards of this project.)
Happy, happy Tuesday to you!
Jan 24, 08
But first I wanted to say a HELLO to any women from Indiana who might be reading this! Also ... I’m wondering if any of you Hoosiers would like to clue me in as to why you’re visiting??? (I know there’s SOME sort of Indiana connection because I’ve had like FIVE orders from my website today–all from Indiana–and honestly? That’s WAY more orders than I usually have in a MONTH. So I’m curious. )
Also ... re: the previous post on the J.I. Packer book ... I really can’t articulate his arguments or answer the questions in the comments because I haven’t read it! I just found the review provocative and interesting and thought you might too. Made me go, “Hmmmmmmmmmm .........”
(Isn’t that a thoughtful, intellectual response? Double “Hmmmmmmmmm ...” I should probably bop on over to WTS or Amazon and order it before I go blithely posting blogs that refers to books, eh?)
Hope you’re all doing well and staying WARM! It was MINUS 25 DEGREES when we touched down in MSP this morning!! Eek!
Jan 18, 08
I hope to put together a little email “announcement/letter” in a few weeks (once the dvd project REALLY wraps) ... but just in case any of these topics might interest you, I wanted to tell you right away that they are available:
- Peacemaking for Preschoolers (and Their Mothers!)Hope they are a blessing to you!
- “But How Can I Submit When I Know He’s Wrong”—Biblical Conflict Resolution Involving Authority Relationships
- Biblical Hope (and Help!) for Women with Powerful Personalities
- Mediating the “Miserable Christian Marriage” (co-taught with my pastor, Jason Barrie)
By the way ... if cost is ever an issue for you or someone you know, I hope that you will please drop me a note and let me know what resource would help and what the situation is. I never want $$$ to stop someone from being encouraged or helped! And if our family has peanut butter for the week, then your family does too.
Oh–and even if you’re not an auditory learner (so the CDs are uninteresting to you), the outlines are also available for downloading at no cost.
I had some super-cute pics of Soph that I wanted to upload for you today but my blog is wigging out again. Bummer! I’ll try again another day. In about an hour I’m being picked up from my hotel and taken to the camp/retreat center for this weekend. I think I might be completely cell-phone / internet / even land-line phone free until Sunday evening! Man, but that’ll be weird. Hope I don’t go into some sort of techno-withdrawal process.
Jan 17, 08
Final proofreaders are catching any stray typos in the study guide!
I really think we’re going to be a “go” with the DVD series in the next couple of weeks. Wow.
Thanks for praying and encouraging me so faithfully! I’m so happy to see the whites of the eyes of this project.
First women’s retreat of the year starts tonight ... I hope I serve them well! I feel VERY out of practice. I even FORGOT THINGS re: packing! (And I never do that. TOO weird.)
Wish I had something pithy or wise or insightful to share ... but I’m going to sign off and head to bed.
Bunches of joy to you from Tennessee!
Jan 02, 08
We REALLY need someone with gifts in marketing/writing to help us with the “copy” (content/text) for the:
1. Back page of the study guide and dvd box;Fred and I are TRYING to do this ourselves–but I think we sound pretty lame.
2) Bulletin insert;
3) Promotional sign;
4) Magazine advertisement; and
5) Content for the voiceover for a two-minute (and one minute and 30 second) video “ad” (that would also include some of the quote the women in the audience gave during our feedback/Q&A time).
We TRIED to hire two people–but one wasn’t interested and we couldn’t afford the other.
So–if any of YOU are interested (or know someone who has gifts in these areas), would you please drop me an email and let me know?
It feels so frustrating to get THIS CLOSE to the finish line and have no creativity/energy left for such an important aspect of the project.
Dec 28, 07
BUT ... Fred worked SO HARD on this and I’m SO grateful to him and SO proud of his work that I just wanted to show it off:
The more I automate and make things convenient for event hosts, the less back-and-forth time I take away from tackling my fears of cooking, right?
'Course, you KNOW that after Fred put in all of those (many!) hours making such a cool page, now I’ll probably NEVER receive another invitation to speak/teach anywhere again, right? Oh well, we’re SO not in charge of those details.
I’m just incredibly grateful to Fred for everything he does to serve me and these precious women (and thus, their marriages & children & churches too)!
Servant headship. That’s Fred.
I could never deserve such a man.
Love to all!
– Tara B.
Dec 18, 07
The music is the very beginning of Trudy Poirier’s original version of "Beneath the Cross of Jesus". (I’m SO grateful she is allowing me to include her music on the project! One song is included at the end of each of the eight sessions.)
Hope you like the intro. I think Joe is just one of the most remarkable young men I’ve ever met. I LOVE working with him on this project.
Oh–and the music will fade out as my voice comes in for the beginning of each session.
OK–back to domestic diva duties! We have MAJOR birthday chaos around here and I think it’s time to try to reign it in a bit. (I’ll try to post some pics when I get a minute.)
Blessings to you!
Dec 07, 07
I don’t want to have too MANY books ... because too many choices just overwhelms people.
BUT ... I’ve been thinking for some time now that I could “beef up” my offerings and add in a few new ones.
I’m praying about adding some or all of these books.
- A Quest for More (Paul Tripp)
- Running Scared (Ed Welch)
- When Sinners Say I Do (Dave Harvey)
- Age of Opportunity (Paul Tripp)
- Blame in On the Brain (Ed Welch)
- Caught Off Guard (William P. Smith)
- Depression: A Stubborn Darkness (Ed Welch)
- How People Change (Lane & Tripp)
- The Cross-Centered Life (Mahaney)
- The Enemy Within (Lundgaard)
- Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be (Plantinga)
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Tripp)
- Women Helping Women (Fitzpatrick/Cornish)
- In Christ Alone (Ferguson)
- Uprooting Anger (Jones)
- First Catechism
- Don’t Make Me Count to Three (Plowman)
What do you think?
It’s TOO MANY to be sure–so do you have any ABSOLUTE FAVORITES?!?
Any other suggestions?
The quote in my blog title comes from Paul Tripp’s new book, A Quest for More–Living for something bigger than you. It’s a keeper to be sure!
The exact quote is this:
"We are all capable of fighting for what has little value while forgetting things of transcendent value.Eeeek! Conviction! And a call to keep reading. My kind of book.
In a flash of irritation, a mom will treat the conditionof her son’s bedroom as being more valuable than the community she is to have with her son, which is so essential to what God wants to do for this boy through her ..."
Nov 27, 07
Quick question: Would any of you like to see the STUDY GUIDE before it goes to the graphic design artist to be professionally “laid-out”?
Maybe glance through it; help catch any typos; clear up confusing writing; recommend a resource to be included, etc.??
I know that most of the readers of this blog have heard me teach and/or read Peacemaking Women so you’d be familiar with the concepts ...
Drop me an email if you’re interested and I’ll start a list to email a draft to when it’s done. (I’m HOPING that will be around December 15, Lord willing.)
Hope you enjoy a lovely Tuesday.
We have co-op and ballet and small group today, so once I get going I really don’t come up for air until, oh, say, 9:30PM. Eek.
But it’s a good day.
Love and blessings,
Nov 26, 07
What do you guys think of this for one of the disk labels????
Sep 29, 07
Thank you, especially, for the beautiful cards!! Your words were a true encouragement to me ... AND I just have to say: Where can I buy those “byDDeSimone05/07” cards?? (Apparently they were all made by hand by one of you amazing ladies??? Astounding!! I will never cease to be amazed by the creative and artistic gifts God gives His children.)
I’m going to get some dinner now and try to crash for at least a few hours before my 4:30AM cab tomorrow. (Eek! But at least I’ll get home before midnight, Lord willing.)
Again–THANK YOU! It truly was my joy to serve you all.
In one of the cards, one of you asked me to email you regarding a question you have ... and just to restate as I explained during the event, I know it is not an ideal situation ... but it just REALLY hard for me to email/dialogue with all of the people who contact me. There is just so much time in the day! Therefore, I would truly encourage you to seek counsel from your local church and/or post your comment to our PeaceGals Discussion Board. And if you really feel compelled to email me personally, please just know that I might not be able to respond in a timely fashion. I appreciate your kind words! I am just limited as to what I can get to schedule-wise. I hope you understand! Blessings and joy–tkb
May 25, 07
Be warned and feel free to skip ...
But after I CANCELED all of my October events and DECLINED all of my November events because of the baby ...
And then once we lost the baby ...
I have like NO events for October and November. And it feels weird.
So wouldn’t you like to have a fabulous retreat speaker from Montana for your church this fall?
- I don’t have any sort of set fee;So think about it!
- You don’t have to have a lot of people (I’ve flown all day on three connections to teach 18 women!);
- And hey! It would be fun to meet you in person instead of only interacting via an online blog.
And let me know if there’s even a chance that I can serve you.
Alright–shameless self-promotion is over.
5:30AM. Time to take Lili for a walk.
May 16, 07
(Do you like the cover for my DVD/group study guide? Now if only I can get the INSIDES done ...)
May 07, 07
April ended up being a much more expensive month than we had anticipated–and when I told Fred from the airport last night of your generous gift, he marveled too.
Thanks for blessing our family!
Apr 28, 07
MANY of you shared that you have experienced a similar loss–what a comfort it is to know that we are not alone in our grief and sadness. Not only is the Son of God–the Suffering Servant–able to relate to our sorrow (The Man of Sorrows!)–but we also have sweet fellowship within the Body, even as we weep.
Thanks, especially, to my friends at Wintersburg! (Can you believe that a past event would gather women to sign a card and write notes to me? Wow! It was like a tender hug.)
AND to my dear friends at the Women in the Church (WIC) ministry of my denomination (the PCA). I missed seeing you all at leadership training! But I was praying for you and I’m SURE it was a great time for all.
Today has already been a slow day of cuddles and books and playtime ... and soon yummy cinnamon rolls (if I don’t burn them!). We have some tasks to accomplish and a lot of rest to enjoy (hopefully).
(I’ve slept the last two nights! What a grace.)
Hope your Saturday is a good combination of work and rest–and preparation for corporate worship tomorrow.
Love to all,
Look whose curiosity (and water-dog-retriver-tendencies) got the best of her during Sophia’s bath time this week? She surprised us all by taking a nose-dive off of Fred’s lap. SO FUNNY!
Apr 15, 07
Fred and I have been up for a while because our bodies are still on Montana time ... and we’re just out here enjoying the beautiful ocean view as we prepare for worship in a couple of hours.
(I’m back now ... Fred just “interrupted” me to read me Psalm 29:
"Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty."Quite an interruption, eh?)
I hope that all of my new friends at this Hawaii women’s retreat will join our discussion board in the next week–and then be sure to drop me an email and let me know so that I can enter you in the drawing for a $99 Peacemaker Ministries Group Study! It’ll be fun to package it up and send it back here to the island when I pick a name next Sunday.
I’ll close out with a few pics from our “suffering for Jesus” trip thus far. (Yeah, right. Are you kidding? “The island way” / "the aloha way" has blessed our SOCKS off! We’re sockless with all of this luxurious, restful, amazingly beautiful and generous kindness!)
First, Fred’s view as he works / relaxes on our deck (he laughs and says, “Really, Tara? My BED-HEAD and all?”) Yup. You bet:
And here I am, TRYING to learn how to NOT repeat the dog-training mistakes I made with Choza:
(Our puppy should come as soon as we get home at the end of this week! What do you guys think of “Lili” for a female Golden Retriever’s name? I was “inspired” by the “lilikoi” name of my JAR OF PRESERVES this morning as I went to make toast. Hah hah. Poor pup–what a reason to get a name. But I think Lili ("Lilly") is a nice name. Any thoughts?)
Last picture (saving the best for last!) and my favorite ... DRUM ROLL PLEASE ... ladies and gentlemen, it’s PALM-TREE-PUNDIT-HERSELF!
I was so excited to get to meet her in person! She is wonderful–as is her Navy pilot hubby ("PalmPilot" of course!)–and it’s super-fun to get to meet her in “real life.”
(Fred reminded me that since I’ve now met TULIPGIRL and PALM-TREE-PUNDIT, if I ever get to meet SOLO FEMININITY, I’ll have hit the TRIFECTA of Reformed Women bloggers! Super fun!)
OK–better start getting ready for church now.
Thanks again, Hawaii, for this wonderful opportunity to serve! (And to rest too.)
With love (aloha!),
It’s so funny, but Fred and I KEEP having a tendency to say things like, “Want me to check and see if Sophie is up?” or, “Do you have the kid?” It really is strange to not have her with us ... good and restful and a blessing of course. But strange too ... I’m glad we miss her even as we’re enjoying some time together. And HOW GLAD I am that Fred and I still have things to talk about! I think I was a little nervous ... like ... “Are we still best friends?” "Do we have a relationship that goes beyond parenting any more?" “Are we capable of spending time together without the kid? What will we talk about?”
BUT ... of course ... Fred is still Fred and I find him fascinating and kind and fun. So it’s a real blessing. Might even motivate us to try to spend time together ("date night"??) without the Sophia when we get home too. !!
Mar 16, 07
Please keep us all in your prayers as we work on post-production. So much review and editing! And graphic work for the study guide and supporting materials too. We could all use your prayers.
Love you bunches,
Mar 06, 07
Day one of filming (yesterday) was LONG and HARD ... but the feedback was that I did OK on four of the five sessions.
Guess which one I did NOT teach very well?!?! The introduction to the Peacemaker Ministries material! (I.e., the material I know BEST.)
Isn’t that just strange????
Maybe I was presuming it would go OK and didn’t try as hard? (I don’t think so–but maybe????)
Maybe it was a combination of the last session of the day, we were all exhausted, the commuters airplanes started crisscrossing overhead (and we have to STOP and START) every time that happens ... maybe ... maybe ... maybe ...
But who knows?
I do know I tried my best. And MAN! Did every single person involved POUR THEMSELVES OUT to honor God and have the best product we could create! (I’m not sure you can even IMAGINE how hard these wonderful, godly, generous, AMAZING people are working. Wardrobe, makeup, lights, cameras, sound, the AUDIENCE (having to laugh and look attentive even when they’ve heard it all like, you know, FIVE TIMES now!!!).
I’m humbled and amazed.
And I truly hope that the – let’s see – TEN people who ever see this study (?? ??) will be blessed.
We have three more sessions to get through today and then a Q&A/discussion segment.
So here’s hoping things go well!
I am grateful for you all! Thanks again for praying–
Just found out this morning ... no baby this month! So in addition to being a little sad (but trusting in God’s sovereignty), you know what THAT means as far as a pretty UNCOMFORTABLE day of filming on “day 1 of mr. monthy visitor.” Blech. Hope the day goes OK.
Here are some pictures so you can envision what we’re doing.
Mar 04, 07
Also: I truly hope that you will consider joining our discussion board in the next WEEK (and dropping me a quick email to let me know!) so that I can enter your name in our drawing for a $99 Peacemaker Group Study.
(Remember! I will never give your contact information to anyone.)
Also, if ANYONE is willing to review my book on Amazon, I’d love to send you a THANK YOU. Please just let me know if you’d like a set of CD’s, a copy of Ken Sande’s book (The Peacemaker), or my book–or whatever resource I usually stock that might bless you.
I’m leaving in less than 30 minutes to meet the Southside Fellowship DVD Study team. (I’m so excited! But nervous too ... hope I do OK.)
BTW ... did you know your pastor took photos of me for the DVD project? WHAT an example of servant leadership, eh?
Do you guys like any of these???
I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful Sabbath!
Sending you my love,
Mar 02, 07
Love you and–really now!–G'nite!
Living the Gospel in Real Life
A Reminder, Help, and Encouragement
for Christian Women
by Tara Klena Barthel
1. What does it mean to “live the gospel?” Isn’t it enough to just be a Christian? I always thought “the gospel” was something we shared with unbelievers so that they could be saved. What does it really mean for a Christian to “live the gospel?” And why is this so important?
a. Introduction / women’s study skeptic / gospel not law / grace to others
b. Begin my testimony (past) / sticky brain / warped view of God and self
c. Preach truth to sticky brain unbelief / God chose us (Eph 1)
d. Biblical theology / not for but from / because we are His
e. End: HW focus = Warped view of God? Self? / Arise My Soul
2. What happens when I have a warped view about God? About myself? I know how to say all the right things about God … but how do my thoughts, words, and actions reveal what I really believe about Him? And what about how I view myself? I know who I claim to be. But sometimes, I feel like such a fraud. It’s almost like I’m two different people! Who is God really? And Who does He say that I am?
a. The Cross Chart / temptation to legalism and libertinism
b. God is holy AND compassionate / justice & mercy satisfied at the Cross
c. Functional identity / My Testimony after salvation
d. Who am I? Justification and Sanctification
e. End: HW focus = What is at the root of my struggle to be defined by the gospel? / Jesus Lover of My Soul
3. What is really my problem? I’m a Christian! But sometimes there is a huge disconnect between what I claim to believe and how I actually live. Sometimes it just seems like I will never get over a habitual sin or be able to obey God in a certain area of my life. Truth be told—I’m not even sure exactly what I need to repent of! What is going on? And how is God calling me to repent?
a. Video (Repentance) / Luke 6 (our hearts) / The Three Trees
b. Idolatry / James 4 / Fear of Man
c. Identify idols / Intelligent Repentance
d. Ongoing battle / difference between conviction and condemnation / remembering as first step of change
e. End: HW focus = identify idols; worship God rightly / Taste & See
4. * Why are redemptive, gospel-infused relationships so important? Sometimes I just can’t believe that unity, grace, and love could actually be reflected in my relationships. It’s hard to be around other people! One part of me longs for friendship and another part dreads it. How is God calling me to value relationships within the Body of Christ and persevere in the hard work of repentance, confession, and forgiveness?
a. Introduce PMM / Relationships Matter / John 17
b. Slippery Slope / Video (Slippery Slope Denial)
c. Briefly introduce 4 G’s / Glorify God / Three Opportunities
d. End: HW focus = tendency on slope/hardest “G”?
5. *With my heart fixed on glorifying God, what are the next steps I need to take when I’m in a conflict? What does it look like for me to own up to my contribution to the conflict and “get the log out of my own eye”? Could God really be calling me to go to the other person and talk about what happened?
a. Get the Log Out / 7 A’s / Video (But I’m Really Sorry)
b. Gently Restore / Matthew 18 / Effective Confrontation
c. End: HW = confessions; prep for confrontations & forgiveness
6. *Is it really possible to work through conflicts, forgive, and be reconciled? What if the other person never repents—but instead continues to treat me badly? It is a fact of life that sometimes we are called to be in relationships that are very, very painful. The person might be a brother or sister in Christ who has an area of blindness, immaturity, or sin. We may have family members or coworkers who are not believers and who treat us horribly. What does it mean to forgive? How are we called to persevere in these difficult relationships? And why are reconciliation and unity so important to God?
a. Ephesians 4 / Go and Be Reconciled / Four Promises
b. Always a shock to be attacked / Romans 12 / God’s love (taxicab)
c. More like them than unlike them / their struggle in context of ours
d. Sovereignty of God (God’s hands) / 1 Peter & Psalm 57 (wing)
e. Conflict with Judy Dabler writing Peacemaking Women
f. End: HW = prep for relationships/friendships / Video (Why not rather be wronged?) OR Jesus I My Cross Have Taken
7. But I don’t like her very much! I have lots of relationships where I’m not in any conflicts with the other people—I just don’t like them very much. What does it mean for me to accept and even love people that I don’t instinctively enjoy? How does this glorify God and what practical steps can I take to “love my neighbor as myself”?
a. Hard Work & Messy / Sin Corrupts
b. Faith Produces Love / Love People & Trust God
c. Accept One Another (Romans 15) / Mountain Climber-Guide
d. Grace-Colored Glasses / Growth Over the Long Term
e. Develop Redemptive Friendships / Confront (confess/complain)
f. End: Video (Peacemaker Junkie)
8. How can I move beyond temporary, surface-level changes and actually live out the gospel every day of my life? Even though I might have a long history of wrong thinking, habitual sin patterns, or broken relationships, God’s grace is greater still! And the truth is this: The gospel of Jesus Christ is at work changing me—and in this, I rejoice.
a. Reminded of the Gospel / Hope is in Christ
b. Culpable & Forgiven / Reject the Myth of Chronic Uniqueness / Renewed vision for the Role of the Church
c. Eternal Perspective / Change WILL Happen / Grace-Truth-Time
d. End: Come You Sinners
Mar 01, 07
Not just getting to serve and teach, etc.
BUT ... I’ve had a makeover too!
These pictures don’t do the color justice at all ...
But here I am with short hair:
Hope you enjoy–
(& hope Soph doesn’t miss playing with my long hair too much )
Love & g'nite,
Feb 15, 07
SO ... if I get it done and if I can figure out how to post it ... watch this space and let me know your thoughts.
I’d really like to have the (very rough) draft wrapped up by tomorrow night if at all possible.
Love and blessings,
Feb 12, 07
Hey–I wanted to let you know the name of the book on the doctrine of sin that I couldn’t remember in one of my teachings for you guys ... it is: The Enemy Within, by Kris Lundgaard. (Sorry I completely spaced in during our session! My brain froze.)
Also: I want to encourage you to sign up for our discussion board and drop me an email to let me know. Everyone from our Virginia event who does so by midnight next Sunday will be entered in a drawing for a $99 Peacemaker Group Study Kit! Very fun.
(Oh–and congratulations to Chris S. W. from Colorado! You won the group study from my Colorado event TWO weekends ago. I hope to have it in the mail to you today or tomorrow at the latest.)
Fred and I had a whopper of a “miscommunication” (i.e., FIGHT) already since I’ve been home. (Ahhh–exhaustion! It just brings out the sin in me.)
Lots of opportunities to practice the stuff we’re all learning, right?
Thanks for sharing your lives with me!
I will continue to pray for you and I send you my love–
Your sister in Christ,
Nov 11, 06
Or should I say, “Hi, y'all!”
Yes, I’m in Texas one session into the “new” women’s retreat that I’m hoping will serve as a foundation for the CONTENT of the dvd series we’re taping in March.
It is always such a privilege to be with God’s people!
And so humbling too–
Last night I was overwhelmed with the thought of my own inadequacy when it comes to sharing this message of how the gospel transforms our lives (not just forgives our past sins and secures our future eternity–but actually brings real and present benefits to our lives TODAY!).
I just see so many (many!) areas in my own life that are so desperately in need of change and growth in grace (sanctification).
And yet–I just do my best and beg God’s mercy. What else can I do?
And what else need I do but run to Him?
I think they are audio taping this event–so maybe I’ll be able to share it with you guys.
And I KNOW that they are videotaping it onto DVDs with DEAF INTERPRETERS!
(How cool is that? Man! Their fingers and hands were FLYING!)
I guess the video will have me speaking and then the interpreters in a little “box” off in the corner/side. (Didn’t they have that on Sesame Street when we were little? Any children of the 70’s out there?)
Anyway–the interpreters were incredibly sweet and obviously gifted and SO gracious about my rate of speech. How I pray that their ministry will be blessed!
OK–off to teach three more sessions today. Please pray for all of these precious ladies–and for my efforts too–if we flit through your hearts today.
Nov 06, 06
I’m running out the door now (time for Sophie’s violin lesson!) ... but I just wanted to post a quick note to remind you to join our online discussion board.
Everyone from your event who joins by next Monday (11/13) and emails me to let me know, will be entered in a drawing for a $99 Peacemaker Group Study.
Hope you’ll participate!
With love from Montana,
Sep 17, 06
I took six pages of notes on Ligon & Paige ALONE!
But then (oh no!) I LOST MY NOTES.
SO .... I bought the CDs and I’m going to re-listen to them and share notes with you – well, one of these days anyway. (Have to pack again in three days once I get home tonight at midnight. The Peacemaker Conference is this week. Hoooooray! But off we go to teach in Minneapolis in just a few days.)
Please just know this: God was SO glorified and I was SO encouraged by the wonderful teachings at this event!
If you are looking for an INCREDIBLE teaching–for yourself or invite your friends and watch it together!!–I TRULY encourage you to buy Paige’s DVD and show it to every person you can. She is absolutely one of the most gifted teachers in the world. You will be blessed.
OK–off to the airport.
Love to all!
I met TULIPGIRL at the conference! It was SOOOOOOOOOOOO fun! She is an absolute delight and if the person who took our picture emails it to me, I’ll post it so you can see her. She’s SO lovely!
Tulipgirl just sent me a photo of us together at the conference! Hope you enjoy even though it’s a tad fuzzy ...
Sep 15, 06
(Including my dear friends Samara & Judy T!)
Safely settled into our hotel & conference center in Atlanta ...
Booktable set up ...
LOTS of fun conversations (already!) with wonderful women ...
The actual pre-conference and conference events start tomorrow.
(Hope you enjoy the pics ...)
Sep 06, 06
(Will any of you be there? If so, I hope that you will stop by and say hello!)
One of my freebie giveaways is an article I wrote based on the surveys I’ve been taking this year on the relationships among women in the Church.
If you’re interested, you can read it here.
Joy to you all!
Aug 11, 06
I just found out that one of my 2007 events MIGHT be able to videotape my teaching ...
And they are interested in possibly producing (or helping me to prepare a proposal for the production of) DVDs of me teaching the “Peacemaking Women” material.
What do you think?
Might this be a helpful resource?
If so – would you please join me in praying the Lord’s will to be done?
(Oh–and THANKS AGAIN to this amazing 2007 event. You know who you are! And whether or not this video-thing turns out, you have already blessed my socks off. I always LOVE it when I get emails from you.)
Jun 25, 06
Today I emailed her some (very rough) brainstorming / off the top of my head thoughts in response to some of her questions ... and I’d be curious to hear what YOU think about what I said. (I’ll copy a small portion of our email exchange below.)
Thanks for letting me know if YOU would want to go to a women’s retreat like this.
"Question: Tara, have you found the Friday night, Saturday day schedule pretty successful? One church that has hosted events for their church and the community commented that competition is stiff these days and their Saturday only event recently was more well attended than Friday night Saturday day ones. Do you have any insight into this?"OK. Those are my thoughts at this time. They have changed SO MUCH as I’ve gone to bunches of bunches of retreats in the last five years. In general, I’d probably be the kind of retreat attendee who would be THRILLED to just sit on a chair for six hours while Dr. Welch teaches/exegetes Scripture. BUT ... I’ve also learned that people are DIFFERENT and it’s good to try to bless all of the attendees–not just the ones who are like me.
"I think that weekend-long events (Fri & Sat or Fri-Sun) work GREAT when they are positioned as “get away from it all” and “come and let US take care of YOU” real retreats. (Retreat from your normal responsibilities; retreat TO the LORD!) In those situations, especially after years (decades) of blessing the socks off of women, the husbands in the church are ready every year to take over all of the home/child responsibilities (it becomes a part of the culture of the church); the church is ready with funding to bless the single women and single moms and widows who could not otherwise attend; and those events are almost always HUGE. They involve deep theological training; true/beautiful/God-centered worship; fun activities like hiking or scrapbooking or shopping or movies; sometimes they have silent auctions (to benefit a ministry and get lots of GROOVY super fun cool stuff to the ladies really cheap); healthful (and splurgy) yummy food; LOTS of fun giveaways & retreat materials (bag/t-shirt/notebook, etc.); truly relaxing things like massages, manicures, pedicures; and trained women available to do peer/lay counseling, pray with people. (Much more, I’m sure, but that’s all that’s coming to me off the top of my head.)
In those situations, getting people to want to attend is not a problem. But even then, I think those kind of retreats are much more attractive to the stay-at-home mom and the random-thinking, creative, fun relational, artistic types. Lawyers and doctors and consultants who fly out of state very week Mon-Thur might still think, “not for me, thanks.”
So, I can completely see the “draw” of a one-day event and I’m doing more and more of those lately. Schedules are tight and it’s hard to get away. Plus, a lot of women are simply retreat skeptics these days. They don’t like women’s events. They don’t particularly like women. They find the “fluff” of women’s stuff to be a stupid waste of time and they’d rather be out there doing “real ministry.” A lot of women are lonely, but they have no interest in working to develop real relationships (because they don’t see the value) and even if they’d like some friends, they often have NO idea how to grow a genuine relationship. Most of the books and speakers marketed to women are either garbage (bad theology / Man-centered / felt-needs psychobabble) OR (in my humble opinion) a tad bit dry, boring, NOT fun, and often focused only on the “biblical manhood and womanhood” aspects of “womanliness” (like submit, be a good wife, raise your kids, keep a hospitable home … ALL important goals! Our joyful duties, in fact! And churches should be training us up in them. But do you ever get the feeling like a) those duties are presented in limiting, “you can’t do THIS you have to do THAT” kind of ways”; and b) for those of us who are already convicted from Scripture of our duties, we’re not THAT highly motivated to listen to another weekend-long teaching on even as important a teaching as it is?)
You know, I only started attending women’s events because I was convicted from Scripture that my doing so was a part of Body Life. That one way I was a good neighbor to my sisters in Christ was to slow down and get to know them. Spend some time with them. RELAX. Tie a fuzzy quilt or do some stamping (still bizarre, strange and kind of scary things to me—but I’m trying).
Over the years, I have found that most women’s events skew toward “good teaching but not a lot of fun” or “blah teaching but super fun.”
If I were ever running a retreat (which I HIGHLY doubt I will ever do), I would hit for these goals and emphases:
1. Biblical, God-centered teaching that makes the gospel PRACTICAL TO REAL LIFE (speaks to the women WHERE THEY ARE);So in your event’s situation, it seems to me that you could advertise for a RETREAT but structure it so that if people just want to come on Saturday, they will still be blessed. I.e., put the “meat” of the teaching in your original times but “add on” a Friday night teaching with FUN stuff for those would like that. Just brainstorming …
2. God-centered corporate worship and prayer;
3. Private time for the women to REST and REFLECT (sleep if they want to!); pray, get into Scripture (either alone if that’s their preference or with a friend if they are social bugs who do better talking this stuff out);
4. Corporate SMALL-GROUP times that build relationships within the CHURCH (and also help the leadership team to know what ministry needs are out there and need attention);
5. In addition to plenary sessions, have interesting and applicable to real-life workshops for both “drivers” and “artists” the like.(For instance, I’d have a “Tara-type” teach a little session on organizing with Microsoft Outlook / lists / hanging file folders / Quicken, whatever; AND an artist-type teaching knitting, painting, stamping, whatever groovy thing they’d like. I’d have an athletic-type do a fun session on stretching or pilates or nutrition (like a teaching on what to do in a health food store where “grew up on white bread & bologna” types like me often WANT to shop but have NO idea where to start); and a spiritually mature woman available for teaching//DISCUSSION on biblical womanhood or quiet times or FAMILY WORSHIP or whatever. OOOOH – another one I’m thinkin’ would be a HIT is the whole idea of ELECTRONIC SCRAPBOOKING. This year will be my first “double-stick-tape-FREE scrapbook because I found the BEST way to “publish” my family’s scrapbook/photo album and it’s SO easy and economical and FUN. I bet that would resonate with some women and that you already have women doing that in your church/presbytery.)My theory is that if you put a godly, wise, passionate woman in a room talking and discussing something that lights her up? Well – it’s going to be a great time.
6. FUN: hiking, movies, MASSAGES (they can pay for them or the retreat can hire/underwrite the cost of a masseuse for the day and interested women can put their names in for a drawing or just sign up or whatever); facials / hair / nails / time to SHAVE (!!); movies, book club type discussion, crafts galore, whatever.
So what do you guys think of my ideas for a new women’s retreat? Would YOU go to this retreat?
Thanks for sharing your counsel!
Blessed Sabbath to you & yours!
– Tara B.
May 21, 06
I hope we can visit again this side of Heaven!
May 07, 06
I just enjoyed a tremendously wonderful weekend with the Wintersburg, California PC-USA church.
Seriously–the ABSOLUTELY FUNNIEST event skits I have ever seen. EVER.
So MANY careful thinking, biblical women.
Committed friendships. Wonderful worship.
Yes, some unhappy Christian marriages and (like of all of us), lots of conflicts too ... and YET SUCH GRACE!!
So many, many evidences of God’s grace (E.G.G.’s).
It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO evident that the Lord is active in your midst.
It is SOOOOOOOOOOOO amazing to ponder God’s love and kindness and justice and mercy.
Fred and I thank God for YOU!
And Sophia does too!
We love you!!!!!!!!!!
Fred & Tara & Sophia & Choza
We are all enjoying the “get the log out of your eye” glasses! Thanks thanks thanks again!
Apr 26, 06
I’ve officially booked one of my fall events to be a brand-new women’s retreat.
Of course, it’s the same gospel.
And our hearts? Well, is there anything new under the sun?
But a lot of these women have already been to my “standard” retreat and heard me speak at other events. So I’m working on developing new material and new examples in a new format.
Oh, and my editor at Baker even indicated a potential interest in a (SHORTER!) book for women on peacemaking. So who knows???
I think the restlessness in my own heart might be an OK (albeit uncomfortable) place to start this process, don’t you?
Sending you love from Montana –
(We’re home now! Praise the Lord!)
Mar 29, 06
It was wonderful to spend time with you all – and I do hope that we will stay in touch via this blog and our (hopefully improving!) discussion boards too.
For those of you who placed “orders” (when we ran out at the booktable), please know that they have ALL been shipped out – some on Monday and the rest on Tuesday. I hope the (biblical! practical!) resources are a blessing to you and your families.
You guys blessed my socks off!
Thanks again for everything –
In case you’re curious, I ended up completely losing my voice by Saturday night and it’s just now starting to come back. Ouch! Sore throat. But I’m glad I could make it through our time together on Saturday. You were all simply wonderful. – t
Mar 20, 06
Would you please share your wisdom with me?
I’ve received a few requests for a FOLLOW-UP (or second) RETREAT ... That is, churches or ministries have had me out for my “standard” women’s retreat (see Speaking Events for more details) and THEN they are interested in inviting me back.
(Super fun! What an honor!)
Here’s the scoop ... I’m trying to figure out what a “follow-up” or “second” or “advanced” retreat might look like. I have some ideas, but I’m thinking that it will take some serious prayer and thinking and brainstorming with friends like YOU to figure out the details ...
What do you think? What would YOU include on a “second” Tara Retreat?
My initial thoughts are:
1. The “first” (or “basic”) teachings on suffering and God’s sovereignty, biblical peaceamking, and the idols of the heart are SO foundational, that MAYBE I should have some sort of “dual track” system where women who haven’t been to the first retreat can hear the first teaching (and those who have can have a “refresher” too).
2. Women have lots of idols! Every event now I’m talking with women (just like me) who struggle with food as an idol ... but ALSO issues of alcohol, credit card debt, sexual fantasy, etc. etc. I’m wondering about some sort of “practical application” of the idols teaching.
3. Miserable Christian Marriages! They’re everywhere. At every event. My teaching last week on, “How Can I Submit When I Know He is Wrong” only confirmed it.) What do you think? A special track for this topic?
4. Bitterness. Anger. Rage. These three seem common in our hearts. A special focus at a “second” retreat?
5. REAL relationships. Friendship. Covenantal relationship. Instead of judgmentalism; gossip & slander; critical and condemning attidues. Another track? Teaching?
6??? & & 7???? & 8???????? – What do you think???? What would be MOST helpful to women????
THANKS in advance for letting me know your counsel!
Sending you my love –
Mar 05, 06
Having just completed my sixth speaking event in seven weeks (no—this is not my norm! it’s just been a strangely busy season for our family), I sit in this airport amazed. Truly amazed.
Yes, my noise cancellation earphones continue to delight me and I’m loving listening to “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken” while the people around me fight to ignore really, really based Muzac and News-ac (you know, that perpetual stream of “news” that screams at us from 24/7 “news” stations on every television in airports and hotels).
But even with Trudy’s astoundingly beautiful arrangement and Kerry’s artful, soulful, inspiring interpretation (you have to hear it to believe it! Check it out at www.PearTreeMusic.com!) … I’m NOT marveling at noise cancellation earphones. Nope.
I’m marveling that, yet again, that the God of all creation would grant me—“recovering retreat skeptic me!—the amazing PRIVILEGE of spending time with hundreds and hundreds of His “chosen, holy, and dearly loved” (Col. 3!) women.
You know, I used to HATE being in groups of Christian women! (Never quite fitting into the “petite, demure, long-straight-brown-hair, denim-jumper-wearing, glue-gun wielding” image I had concocted (from extra-biblical and inaccurate texts) of “the REAL Christian woman”, I really struggled with self-hatred and self-disgust at the big ol’ oafy lawyer that was ME. I felt like there was NO PLACE in the world that I could really ever belong. ESPECIALLY at Christian women’s events. ICK!)
So of course, my PRIDE (which is truly the FLIPSIDE of what the world calls “low self-esteem” or “codependency”—but the Bible calls FEAR OF MAN and LACK OF LOVE) … my selfishness, pride, self-focus, and graceless thinking kept me either a) completely AWAY from women’s events (retreats / conferences); or b) present physically, but either with a critical and judgmental spirit OR with a thick ol’ wall around me (“Warning! Warning! Don’t get too close, Tara! If these “together” women ever get to know the REAL you, they’re not going to like you very much. In fact, they’ll probably hate and reject you. So “play the part” and “act nice”, but don’t open your heart to them!! Hide! Hide!”)
What a lie!
For yet again—from Indiana to Georgia to Texas to Florida to Georgia and back to Florida again (AND back to Georgia again this coming Wednesday!)—I have seen the TRUTH.
What is the TRUTH?
Friends, for those of us who are in Christ, there IS a place for us in the world.
We are wanted. We belong. Granted the full rights of adopted sons because of the righteousness, death, and resurrection of Christ … we are FOREVER ADOPTED.
Though father and mother reject us, God will never reject us.
Though we’re awkward and clumsy
Weak and helpless
Struggling against our Old Man
Swimming “up stream” in this fallen world
Saying the wrong thing
Trapped in our sin …
Since God has granted us the gift of repentance and faith
And we NO LONGER trust in OURSELVES to save ourselves
But instead we are looking to Christ
Laying hold of Christ
Believing Christ …
THEN GOD’s resurrection power IS at work in us
We are saved, redeemed, justified.
And we are BEING saved, redeemed, SANCTIFIED every day of our lives.
God does this work in us.
And He’s doing the same work in that beautiful “together” woman at your women’s event
And He’s doing the same work in that “needy,” “high-maintenance,” “messed-up” woman too.
That’s me! That’s me! Every time you are called to minister to those unlovely and unlovable women think of me! Tara, unlovely and unlovable—but loved loved loved by people in the Church who didn’t wait for me to get my act together before they lavished their grace and love on me. THANK GOD FOR THE CHURCH!)
You know, 1 John says that perfect love casts out all fear. So where there is fear, there is not love.
And as a former retreat skeptic, I can tell you that I’ve sat through many a women’s event BOUND BY FEAR.
(I.e., LACKING IN LOVE.)
But now? Today? This very Sabbath day?
I’m lovin’ it.
No, I don’t have all the answers.
I make lots and lots of mistakes.
I try hard, but often fail to encourage, love, build up.
I’m attacked. A lot.
(Yup. You bet. You want to be viciously attacked by hurting women? Get involved in the field of biblical peacemaking and go around teaching on the topics of suffering, God’s sovereignty, idolatry, bitterness, and forgiveness. Way to rip those scabs off, God! Now there’s an angry, raging woman in my face for hour after hour. Oh, how grateful I am that YOU LOVE HER! And that You give me Your love for her too.
Because I AM HER. I know what it’s like. I really do. To be the puppy kicked into the corner day after day, year after year … viciously snapping at the gentle hand that is trying to bring me healing balms for my cuts, fresh water for my scorching thirst, and a safe, warm bed to sleep in. To WANT to be different, but to feel so trapped. To feel so hopeless and helpless. IT’S SO SCARY! And it’s nearly impossible to trust anyone. And hey! I can yell at this speaker-lady-Tara-chick and I bet she won’t scream back.)
No. No, I won’t scream.
But I may cry with you.
And yeah, you can be fairly certain that I’ll probably remind you that in that VERY MOMENT—when you are at your WORST—God’s grace and love for you does NOT waver.
We are faithless and he is ever faithful.
The gospel. The gospel. The gospel.
Christianity 101 and we never get past it. Ever.
For truly—we are LOVED because of God’s mercy—not because of anything we do or don’t do.
Oh, and yes, we are NOT called to be loved. But TO love.
Thank you for loving me, ladies!
And for reminding me of the gospel.
You guys are so
Loud and fast-talkin’
Quiet and demure
Extroverted and chatty / impulsive
Introverted and thoughtful / pedantic
I’m honored to spend time with you and I hope we can visit again this side of eternity.
But I’ll see you for sure in Heaven if not before!!
Sending you love from your laptop totin’, airport typin’ pal—
Isn’t God funny? I’m sitting there, writing all that, worship music cranking. And my flight is announced as “so delayed I’ll miss my connect to Montana.” Again. Looks like another toothbrush-free night in an airport hotel and one more night without kissing Sophia and Fred g'night. UGH!!!! Will I submit? Trust Him? Praise Him still????
(Oh–if any of you are reading this in real time–please pray for a) a miracle that gets me home since I only get to be home for 48 hours anyway; and b) MUCH more importantly–my heart. And my testimony.
What a fickle gal I am.
Good to know I’m still loved.
Grace grace grace.
Feb 14, 06
I’m putting away the lawyer black
and learning to bling!
Check out Sophia on Valentine’s day ...
All thanks to YOU!
I love you all –
Thanks again for the wonderful weekend serving at your retreat! I hope I get to see you all again this side of Heaven!!
Oct 04, 05
And ... I thought you might get a kick out of the weather that Fred, Sophia and I returned to in Montana. (From 101 degrees in sunny Texas to ....)
Susan Kalen encouraged me to tell you the “story behind the story” of my teaching at the PresWIC fall retreat, so here goes ... I had another invitation to teach in Dallas that same weekend, but the ministry could not afford to pay my travel/meals/lodging expenses or offer any honorarium to offset my expenses. Since Fred and I are still at a budget shortfall each month, I literally prayed, “Please, Lord, grant me another invitation in Dallas that same weekend that is only one day (Saturday!) so that I can also serve this other ministry that I love so very, very much.” And the next thing I knew, my dear sister in Christ Susan was calling to invite me to serve you. In Dallas. For one day only–Saturday. Grace grace grace! Oh why am I such a woman of little faith??? Love to you all – t
Feb 26, 05
She’s sitting in the Atlanta airport on her way home, and asked me to start a discussion in case any of you had any thoughts, questions or comments about the weekend or about anything else. You can add a comment below.
Thanks for all you do for the church and for the Lord.
Fred (& Sophie & Choza)