Monday, September 2, 2013


It's finally here ladies -  Lovely Branches Ministries' Fall Bible study!  The Rooted & Grounded team is very excited about this next study starting soon.  If you live in or near Stafford County we invite you to jump on board as ladies gather at the local Taste & See Coffee House in Stafford, Kansas, to learn how to walk more closely with their Lord and build relationships with one another.  Check out info below and let us know if you are interested. 
choose Wednesdays, starting September 11th at 1:00 p.m. 
or Thursdays, September 12th at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

  by  Donna Gaines
Join us as we dig into the New
Testament book of Ephesians. 
This book, written by the Apostle Paul,
is an instruction manual for
living life as God intended —
seated with Christ.
Throughout the next few weeks 
you will discover who you are in Christ and the blessings you
have inherited through His death and resurrection. The truths
in this study, if applied, will radically alter how you think, live,
and relate.
You will:
• Discover who you are in Christ
• Learn how to take charge of your thoughts and
control your emotions
• Grasp God’s design for Spirit-filled relationships
• Be equipped to stand against the schemes Satan uses
 to defeat you
 We have a new identity as joint heirs with Christ. So often
substandard Christianity prevents us from experiencing all that
is available to believers. It is time to take our seat in Christ Jesus!
God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which
He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been
saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in
the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  — Ephesians 2:4-6
 Three ways you can register:
§  call 620-234-6856 (leave message if no one answers)
§  stop by Taste & See Coffee House
111 W. Broadway in Stafford
Suggested donation:  $10


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God

Time for Lovely Branches' next women's study. 
Starting Wednesday, January 23 and Thursday, January 24th 
we will embark on a journey to find out
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God,
a 7 week study by Lysa Terkeurst.

Total obedience to Christ can transform an ordinary life into a remarkable journey. This is the hope found in the liberating message of What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. Lysa shares inspiring stories from her own life, along with compelling biblical insights, as she describes what it means to partner with God in all decisions and actions. This book reveals how honoring God produces a life of deep joy and great purpose. It is an invitation to seek God and boldly ask for and expect more from the Christian life.
(This is an updated release of Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed.)
In this study you will learn how to:
  • Build personal, two-way conversations with God.
  • Enjoy blessing others by seeing inconveniences as opportunities.
  • Get involved in the unique adventure that God has created for you.
  • Develop a hunger for getting into God’s word everyday and applying it’s truths.
We are excited to start this adventure and want you to join us.  If you are in the Stafford County, Kansas area, we invite you to join us either for a
Wednesday afternoon class at 1:00 hosted and taught by Carrie Hildebrand
(specifically for twenty and thirty somethings) or a
Thursday morning  class at 9:00, hosted and taught by Edna Ziegler or a
Thursday evening class at 7:00, taught by Edna Ziegler and Melanie Johnson.
(Thursday class open to all ages.)

We will meet at the
Taste & See Coffee House
at 111 Broadway in Stafford. 
Suggested donation for book/books will be $10-15.
To order your book(s) and sign up, email
or call 620-234-5874.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Would You Do Anything for God?

So, I have just finished an incredibly good book.  It's right up there with A.W. Tozer's Pursuit of God, David Platt's Radical and Francis Chan's Crazy Love.  The book is Anything by Jennie Allen.  I'm getting ready to read it again and no doubt again and again and again.  Yes, it is that good. 

I wanted to share my favorite quotes but there are just too many so I will share just a couple in hopes you will not only get the book for yourself (Go to Lovely Branches  Book Recommendation page to find out how to get your copy) but that you will also get so pumped you will want to do the Jennie Allen Stuck study we are getting ready to start at the end of August at the Taste & See Coffee House. 

Here you go:

From this point on things are changing.  I am living for the moment when I will face You.  I want to get to heaven out of breath, having willingly done anything that you - the God of the universe asks... anything.

In one act God did what no amount of effort on our part could do.

It is too easy in this country for blessings to become rights, for stuff and money to become what calls the shots in our lives. And before we know it, God's gifts have replaced God Himself.

Why had I loved people more than Him? Why had I sat on every gift he had given me to make Him known? Because I cared more about being judged by everyone else but Him?

I knew if God wanted me to do something more, I would need to wait on Him to pull it off. I did not want to create something and then wonder if it had been me or God. I would obey as He revealed the next step, and, in the meantime, live as faithfully as I could through the typical stuff.

God was writing a story for my life that I never would have written.

God was in all of this... all of the chaos He was initiating in beautiful ways.

Yeah, yeah... I know that was more than just a couple quotes.  You say you want more? Okay here's just a few more:

Those of us who know Christ, we live for a different reality.  We live for things we can't see and make decisions based on that different reality.  Our reality is a cross, a heaven and a God who sees us and gives us His Spirit so we can do something while we are here. And that's not building a cute easy life for ourselves where the pros outweigh the cons.  We build for Him.

Now that I have tasted being all in, I don't want medium. We weren't made for medium.

Abandonment only makes sense if there is a God worthy of abandoning everything for.

It is this Anything book which is the foundation for Jennie Allen's Stuck Bible Study.  We are beyond excited to get started on this incredible journey. Hope you join us at Taste & See Coffee House for what might be our most breath taking study to date: Stuck by Jennie Allen

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rooted & Grounded Summer Activities

Summer Psalms

A time to gather and bask in the Psalms
Hosted by Melanie Johnson and Keva Farney
Thursday Mornings June 28th – July 12th at 9:00 a.m.
Taste & See Coffee House
111 Broadway in Stafford, KS

Walk By Faith Park Gathering

This event specifically geared for young moms with kids.
A time set aside for moms to visit and even get some exercise in walking the perimeter of the park
while their children play. Bring a stroller if needed.
Hosted by Carrie Hildebrand
Wednesday evenings at 7:00 from June 27th to July 25
Pool Park in Stafford

Six Week Summer Video Series

A video series answering some serious questions on prayer.
Hosted by Edna Ziegler
Thursday Evenings June 28th -August 2nd at 7:00 p.m.

Taste & See Coffee House

“Sacred Echo” by Margaret Feinberg

When we pray, does God answer?
Was that God’s voice, or my own?
When God really wants to get your attention, He doesn’t just say something once, He echoes. He speaks through a Sunday sermon, a chance conversation with a friend the next day, and even a random email. The same theme, idea, impression, or lesson will repeat itself in surprising and unexpected ways until you realize that maybe, just maybe, God is at work. As God’s voice echoes to us, we are invited to echo back to Him in prayer.
In each of the six Sacred Echo sessions, Margaret Feinberg provides Biblical and practical teaching that will offer a fresh perspective on our interactions with God through prayer. Each session also includes interviews with people who share their personal times when God was silent and times when God was at work.
Sacred Echo book ($17.00) and workbook ($8.00) are optional. Workbook recommended but not necessary to attend.
Call 620-234-6856 or email to register.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

As we enter into the summer months, the Rooted & Grounded Team hopes to put together some activities to keep us reconnected. Please check back here in a couple weeks or at the Rooted & Grounded page at Lovely Branches Ministries.

In the meantime check out June's Devotion as well as our Vine Press bloggers:

Moments in Focus by Adrienne

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Session Six - Dreams and Visions

We opened our last session of this study on Daniel, chapter 7 on predictions and why we think people spend so much time trying to predict the future? Some of our answers were to "feel in control" or the "fear of the unknown".
The first six chapters of Daniel are narrative stories that we can read and understand without interpretation, but in chapter 7 things change dramatically as we enter into a kind of literature called apocalyptic. Apocalyptic is forecasting the ultimate destiny of the world as "revealed" by God. Thus the book of Revelation derived from the Greek word "apokolupsis" or what we know as "apocalypse". We have to remember when reading these portions of the Bible that such images made much more sense to people in the ancient world than they do to us today.

Predicting the future can cause many problems such as false profits predicting the end of the world which can make all Christians look like lunatics. It also makes it much more difficult to witness to people. We need to always keep our eyes on Jesus. That is what is important. And to hang onto what we know is not debatable - that Christ said He would return even if we don't have all the times and details.
Be Ready for Serious Problems. Daniel 7:2-3
Daniel said in his dream that he saw four great winds from heaven churning up the Great Sea, which could easily be a picture of the Mediterranean Sea. Stirring up has the idea of chaos. The four great beasts come up from the sea. Each one distinct from the other. The first was like a lion which most scholars agree represented the Babylonian Empire. The second beast, a bear, represented the Medo Persian Empire. The next beast was like a leopard known for its sudden unexpected attacks, represented the Greek Empire. The fourth beast was dreadful and terrible which represented the Roman Empire which has not fully diminished but just transformed into Europe, most likely. The images of these beasts remind us that there are spiritual forces in this world that are hostile to God. Forces that we humans can not imagine. These forces work against us in our every day lives as well as what we see in the news every day - evil world leaders, political corruption, abortion issues, religion, breakdown of the family, etc. There are so many things that are going on in our world where powerful forces of evil are still at work.

Question 5 on page 62 asks: How can awareness of these points (above) help followers of Christ stand strong against evil powers. Answers from the gals: We can be ready; get involved; be certain of where God wants us to be; be in Gods Word so that we can overcome; never give up; wear the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20); be prepared, watch, obey and trust the Lord.

God is on the ThroneDaniel watched all of this until the Ancient of Days (God the Father) was seated. 'Ten thousand times ten thousand times' represents humanity standing before God in Judgment. When the Ancient of Days sits on the thrown we can be sure that he will make all things right. When we are captured by the glory of the Ancient of Days and the wonder of the Son of Man (Jesus Christ), hope fills our hearts, no matter what we might face because God is just, pure, and powerful. When we feel powerless, we are assured that He offers a reservoir of resources that has no end. God is on the throne. His justice will prevail, His purity will refine us and His power is made available to all who follow Him.

God WinsWhen we read Daniel 7 we see the tension mounting; powerful and evil beasts; the battle is on; the war is raging Then we read:
I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) Daniel 7:11-12

Then, my friend, it becomes very clear. The Ancient of Days and the Son of Man have ALL AUTHORITY and SOVEREIGN POWER. God's dominion and kingdom WILL NEVER pass away. GOD WINS. We Know how the story ends and we are a part of the story, a part of this eternal kingdom.

That's right, God will win and overcome evil. Through Jesus we have hope for He has already won the final battle with sin, death, and the devil. Question 10 asks how these truths might impact certain times in our lives like:

How we face temptation - Come boldly against the enemy
How we deal with persecution - Joy for the privilege to suffer for Christ

Our desire to share God's love with others - Embrace all opportunities

The way we serve and care for others - Abandon yourself and love generously

The way we pray - fervently with impact, without ceasing
Remember the God you belong to. For those who have given their hearts and lives to Christ you carry the true treasure of His Holy Spirit within you. So stand with confidence in your position as a victorious child of God and look for opportunities to share your treasure with others. Always be ready to speak the truth in Love and Grace to those God has placed in your life.

Written by Shari

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Session Five - The Cost of Character

We started Session 5 (The Cost of Character) with a summary of Daniel Chapter 5:1-31 before proceeding to Daniel 6:
The Writing on the Wall
Belshazzar replaces Nebuchadnezzar as King of Babylon in the storyline. Once again a disturbing vision- this time a hand mysteriously appears leaving letters on a wall which can only be interpreted by Daniel. They signal the end of the Babylonian era and point to Belshazzar's imminent death, resulting in a takeover by the Medo Persian Empire.
Daniel 5 addresses a pride that not only ignores the proper use of power but also challenges its divine source. Belshazzar threw himself a self centered party that grew with many guests. As they started drinking wine from the temple vessels taken from Jerusalem many years before they began worshipping other gods of gold, silver, wood, iron - objects of creation but not the God of creation.
Here we meet a king that was too proud to have learned from his forefather so it is not surprising that Belshazzar did not acknowledge God. When the king called for Daniel, it was clear that he knew his gods were of no use. Daniel the servant once again interprets the vision and is once again honored because of his God given gift.

SESSION 5 -  The Cost of Character

A Life of Exemplary Character (Pages 52-53, questions 2-4)

Daniel chapter 6 begins with Daniel being in his older years, maybe 70ish or so.  He was one of the top three administrators to King Darius the Mede. Daniel continued to work diligently and responsibly and lived with a high level of integrity and character. No one was able to find any corruption in his many years in the king’s court or find fault in him for anything.  Daniel was one of the few men in the Bible of whom nothing bad was spoken. Daniel held his convictions and honored God. He stayed true to what he believed no matter the consequences.

We discussed how our character, lifestyle and faith will stand the test of time. What are we showing to people in our lives - people we see each day in the work force, in our daily chores such as going to the store or post office? How are we greeting people or treating people? Are we holding convictions that honor God and letting our beliefs shape what we say and do.... even when no one is watching?

In Babylon the King’s rule was law in the Medo Persian Empire and when a law was made it could not be changed. The satraps and other government officials got together and talked the king into passing a decree stating that during a 30 day period anyone who prayed to another God or man besides the king would be thrown into the lion’s den. Even though Daniel knew of the decree he continued to pray three times a day because he had a disciplined prayer life and a love for God. The conspirators knew exactly when Daniel prayed and walked in on him while praying. Then quickly went to tell the king so Daniel would be convicted.

King Darius, who loved Daniel, tried to save him but the decree could not be changed. That night Daniel was placed in the lion’s den. In verse 16 the king tells Daniel, “May your God, who you worship continually, protect you."  That evening the king could not eat or sleep. At dawn he went to the lion’s den and yelled down into the den, asking Daniel if his God had protected him.  Isn't that odd!  The King asked Daniel?  If he had not believed in Daniel’s God he would have thought him dead.

Daniel answers the king, "My God was faithful and sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in His sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O King." ( Daniel 6:22)

Unyielding Devotion to God  (pages 54-55)

In accordance with questions 7 and 8 we moved on to discuss some spiritual disciplines or habits of faith that help us express our love and devotion to Jesus. Some that were mentioned were:



Reading the Bible…

Bible studies....

What are some of the spiritual disciplines in your own life?

Maybe you have some spiritual discipline you have wanted to develop but it seems difficult to get it going or keep it going. I would have to confess that mine would be memorizing verses. I have never been great at this but we discussed that our small groups could keep us accountable for the spiritual disciplines that we need to work on.

The king was overjoyed that Daniel was unharmed because he had trusted his God. Then King Darius issued a new decree which stated that people would fear and reverence the God of Daniel. Darius was acknowledging the dominion of the one true God.

The Power of a Witness (page 55)

Daniel’s willingness to die for what he believed became a witness to King Darius and the world.  The word "martyr" literally means "a person who shows Christ's passion in life and death”. What are we showing the world?  Like Daniel, are we willing - in life and death, to honor our God? A good question to ponder.

Written by Shari