Downward Dog - Windsor Chapel

February 2015
A Newsletter from Windsor Chapel
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Downward Dog
By Janice Straubel
Since the birth of our great niece Avery a year
and a half ago, our holiday celebrations have
taken on new delights. This past New Year’s
Day after enjoying our family pork and
sauerkraut dinner, Avery hopped off her high
chair and giggled as she did what her daddy
dictated. “Avery, hop. Avery, run. Avery,
dance.” The best one though was, “Avery,
downward dog!” Quick as a wink, she bent at
the waist and was in the classic yoga position.
Of course, we all laughed and
clapped as she continued to
entertain us with the antics of
an eighteen month old. It’s no
wonder Jesus loved children.
spontaneous, uninhibited and
FLEXIBLE! Children like to
play, learn and explore.
They delight in
repetitive songs and books and say, “Again,
again!” I want to have the childlike quality of
flexibility as I continue into this new year.
Jesus Himself is a perfect example of being
flexible or adaptable in everyday life. He was
interrupted constantly and still calmly dealt with
the new situation at hand. He responded in
love to those who approached Him with
questions and heartaches. He also rebuked
the Pharisees for being the opposite of
childlike. The Pharisees were rule-keepers,
schedule followers, rigid believers in the law.
They didn’t understand such things as, “The
Sabbath was made for man, not man for the
Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Jesus challenged their
ritualistic and self-righteous teachings. Jesus
wanted us to enjoy a relationship with God and
others rather than constraining followers to
inflexible, judgmental living.
I am learning the benefits of staying flexible as
I grow older—not just physically, but spiritually.
My husband and I were blessed to have the
Pastor Andy and Janice went to Ixtapaluca,
Mexico, in December to prepare for the summer
mission trip. While there they saw pre-Aztec
ruins and were put to work helping to paint a
community center. The bottom picture is of a
mural depicting the return of Jesus, painted on
the side of a water tower near the center.
opportunity to visit missionaries near Mexico
City in December. Now Andy loves new
adventures, but I am a definite home bug. I
like my routines, my own kitchen, bathroom,
schedule, thermostat, etc., etc. Even my day
job of being an elementary school librarian is
comforting to me in its routines. Getting out of
my warm little comfort zone is not my idea of
fun! Anyway, I knew traveling to a third world
Continued on page 2…
February 2015
A Newsletter from Windsor Chapel
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“Downward Dog,” continued…
country would be life-changing, and my daily
life could stand some shaking up!
We left VERY early on a Wednesday morning
in December and arrived in Mexico City in less
than five hours. From the moment we stepped
off the plane, everything seemed different and
therefore uncomfortable to me. I was hungry,
tired and off my normal schedule! Fortunately,
our new missionary friends quickly swooped in
and directed us to their car from the baggage
area and the adventure began.
As we
SLOWLY drove through Mexico City, I was
aware of the multitudes of people, sounds and
smells. Everything was so DIFFERENT than
home. Everything was in a different language
and a different setting. Over the next five days
there, we met many sweet people, learned a
lot of Mexican history and culture, and had time
to listen to what God was saying. Sometimes
change causes us to gain a new fresh
perspective and strips away all the weights that
so easily beset us. I personally learned to let
go of my need to be in control and to embrace
the vibrancy of a new setting in which to learn
from God. If I would have refused to venture
out due to anxiety or fear of the unknown, I
would have mixed the life-changing five days of
seeing the body of Christ alive and well in
another culture.
This new year I want to say “YES” to more
opportunities (like writing this article!) and
move out of my comfort zone. I want to stay
young in my heart, my mind and my spirit and
be flexible and pliable in the hands of my
loving, heavenly Father.
I want to see
interruptions as God moments and take time
with people. I want to do downward dog every
day and see life from a new perspective!
What about you? Is it time for you to try
something new for the Lord? Time to do
something out of your comfort zone? May God
give us each the grace to let go of our own
need to control and jump off the ledge into the
adventure of His purposes.
11th Hour Classes
Our 11th Hour adult classes resume Sunday,
February 1. Please join us as we seek to
discover and apply biblical truths to our lives.
The women will investigate the genealogy of
Christ. They will meet in the Chapel House.
Teachers will be Janet Berrill and Cindy Bills.
The men will meet downstairs and do a study
by Tim Keller called, Gospel in Life: Grace
Changes Everything. It will be taught by the
Giving Envelopes for
Cash Donations
If you forget your giving envelope or
don’t have any assigned to you, blank
giving envelopes are now available in
the lobby for cash donations. They will be on
the table in a clear plastic holder.
remember to write your name on the
New Directories
Our new Chapel Directories containing
updated information and the listings of our
newest chapel members are available in the
chapel foyer. Thank you for helping us keep
our database up-to-date.
Our women's growth group has begun its
winter series on the foundations of
relationship. Meetings are Thursday evenings,
7:00 - 8:30, in the Chapel House. All women
are welcome. No commitment or preparation
is necessary. Please come when you can and
as you are able. For more information, please
contact Cindy Bills ([email protected]; 609275-8557).
February 2015
A Newsletter from Windsor Chapel
Youth Ministry
By Jean LaRosa
During January, the Youth Group had the
opportunity to view and discuss pictures from
Pastor Andy’s trip to Ixtapaluca, Mexico, in
December. This trip was in preparation for the
church mission trip to Ixtapaluca planned for
this summer. We also continued in our study of
the book of Ephesians. We’re looking forward
to Winter Blast weekend at Camp Orchard Hill
in Dallas, PA, February 6 – 8. Please keep our
group in prayer: that we will have safe travels
and grow in friendship and in our walk with
Harris Ministry Clothing
Set aside clean and gently used clothing for
men, women, children and infants
for the Harris Ministry
President’s Day Clothing
shoes, and children’s
books are also needed. Please
place your donations in the chapel back hall by
Sunday, February 8. The Harris Ministry
greatly appreciates your contributions to this
important outreach.
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Creating Wearable Art
Fiber artist and yarn
Chapel member Lise
Hill, was recently
able to demonstrate
her yarn artistry at
the Trenton Farmers
Market. Lise creates
original wearable art,
combining her fine art
skills with her love for
fiber. She hand spins mostly llama or alpaca, a
talent she learned from her mother.
Lise dyes some of her yarn and is currently
studying natural dying. Many of the yarns she
She loves to
yarn,” which
is a mixture of
a variety of
yarns, colors
and textures.
She knits and
crochets one of a kind smaller items, scarves
and shawls, to show textures, softness and
color. Lise also creates special orders of knit
items and yarn.
February 2015
A Newsletter from Windsor Chapel
Further Up and Further In
Inviting dialogue to encourage growth in
and among us
By Cindy Bills
A Month of Mixed Blessings
One of the perks of pet ownership is that there
is always something new to learn. In the
course of the last 25 years my husband and I
have learned a few principles about training
dogs. With our last dog, our vet recommended
we try a head collar (sometimes called a
Gentle Leader) to help Daisy remain calm
when we took her to new places. We dutifully
headed to the pet store, and as we opened the
package, I was struck by a bit of information
that was included with the instructions: “The
more a dog resists wearing a head collar, the
more he needs it.” We were not surprised that
Daisy absolutely hated the head collar. She far
preferred to direct her own activity rather than
be directed.
I am afraid to say that the same is true with me
and the month of February. I am sure that I am
in good company when I say that I really don’t
like endless gray, cold, and damp days. But I
think my dislike of February goes deeper than
From a creation standpoint, February (in New
Jersey) is a time of rest and waiting. After the
harvest in the fall, the earth rests from its work
and waits for spring and the beginning of
another growing season. The sun rises late
and sets early. Many animals head to warmer
climates or hibernate. There is a sense of
stillness and recovery in the outdoor world
before the anticipation of spring begins with
more abundant sunlight, blooming plants, and
chirping birds looking for mates.
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This is why I don’t like—but very much need—
the month of February. In many ways it is a
time of rest and waiting for me as well. The
push of the holiday season is over, and I have
an opportunity to recover from the rush. And
although ministries re-start, there is also the
sense of waiting for spring and the resurgence
of outside activities. I don’t like to rest and
wait. I far prefer to “do.” But when I persist in
my busy-ness, I miss out on the Lord’s
refreshment, and I am less prepared to bear
fruit at His appointed time.
I would do well to welcome February as my
“head collar,” to see it as a tool to help me give
up my own ambitions and desires and let God
refresh and direct me. I may not like it, but
perhaps I can begin to appreciate February as
a blessing, as a gift from my Lord who would
have me abide in Him and bear fruit for His
Please feel free to contact Cindy (609-275-8557 or
[email protected]) to continue the dialogue....
Tax Receipts for Non-Cash
Windsor Chapel now provides receipts for the
donation of goods and property (not stating the
value) if requested at the time the donation is
made. Paul Maselli will be your main point of
contact ([email protected]), but
FINCOM will assist as needed.
FINCOM will put reminders in the bulletin
around coordinated giving events (e.g.
Thanksgiving grocery drive).
Note: Please talk to your tax advisor, but as
per IRS guidelines, donations of goods and
property of $250 or more need to be properly
receipted IF you want to claim the deduction.
February 2015
A Newsletter from Windsor Chapel
Elders’ Corner
By Ken Bills
One of the things I enjoy as worship leader at Windsor
Chapel is having input in what new songs we sing.
“Here’s My Heart, Lord,” by David Crowder, is a song
that I wanted us to sing the first time I heard it, and I
have come to appreciate it even more as we have used
it occasionally during communion. I thought it might be
helpful to share why this song attracted me, and what I
think it is saying to us.
The song starts with the chorus:
Here's my heart, Lord,
Here's my heart, Lord
Here's my heart, Lord,
Speak what is true
These words are very simple, but combine two of the
most powerful parts of worship. One of the fundamental
elements of worship is offering ourselves to God. In
Romans 12:1, Paul writes: “Therefore, I urge you,
brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer
your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to
God—this is your true and proper worship.” In the Bible,
the heart is the center of a person’s spiritual and rational
life. That’s why God commands in Deuteronomy 6:5:
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.” When we
lay our hearts before God, we are putting before Him the
deepest center of our very selves.
But we are not just offering our hearts to God, we are
asking Him to speak the truth to us. And I need that,
because I know, “The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked; who can understand it?”
(Jeremiah 17:9). This is a rhetorical question, because
the answer is clear: only the Lord searches the heart and
knows its secrets (Jeremiah 17:10). So, in a sense,
when I lay my heart before God, I am expecting bad
news, the truth about the depth of my sin. Of course,
God already knows it. And I need to hear it – just as
when I am about to leave the house having forgotten
(again) to comb my hair, I need my wife to speak truth to
me. Apart from the Lord, my heart is constantly in full
cover-up mode, working to hide my sinfulness from me.
Even if the news is hard to hear, I need it.
So, that was what initially drew me to the song – it led
me to offer myself to God and to be open to hearing His
voice. But lately I have come to appreciate the rest of
the lyrics. Here is verse 1:
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I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I'm made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free
What does this have to do with laying our hearts before
God and Him speaking truth to us? The answer, I think,
is that the deceitfulness of our hearts goes beyond
hiding our sin from us. Our hearts can also refuse to
accept the truth of God’s redemption. That’s why we lay
our hearts before Him. As the apostle John reminds us,
“By this we shall know that we are of the truth and
reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart
condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he
knows everything.” (1 John 3:20). Or, as Paul says, “It is
God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns?”
(Romans 8:33–34). When God speaks truth to my heart,
it is not only about my sin, but also about His forgiveness
– and in this verse we are echoing back to God the truth
that He speaks to us about who we are in Christ and
what He has done for us.
In the next two verses, the focus turns back to God and
He is:
Verse 2
You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through
Verse 3
You are more than enough
You are here, You are love
You are hope, You are grace
You're all I have, You're everything
In these verses, I think God is again answering our
doubting hearts with His truth, and as we sing, we are
echoing the truth He wants to speak to our hearts. Our
hearts doubt God’s power, but His truth is that He is
strong. Our hearts fear that He is wrathful, but God tells
us He is love and grace. Our hearts whisper that God is
not sufficient for our problems, but God declares that He
is more than enough. Our hearts tell us that we can find
life and meaning elsewhere, but God reminds us that He
is life; He is all we have; He is everything.
In this song, as in life, we go to God and lay our sinful
and unbelieving hearts before Him, and God, knowing
the worst about us, speaks to us truth. And the surprise
is that the truth, because of what Christ has done for us,
is not condemnation and rejection, but words of hope
and life.
February 2015
A Newsletter from Windsor Chapel
By Janet Berrill
Almost twenty years ago we bought a used
dining room set from an estate sale. Although
the kitchen is the primary room where we eat
as a family, over the years the dining room set
has gotten a lot of use. And with use comes
wear. The chairs eventually got to the point
where some of the material had worn thin,
some of it was torn in parts, and some had
stains. It was time to reupholster. At the
urging of some of my friends, I decided to do
the project myself with the help of my friend,
When we were figuring out how much material
and foam padding we
would need, LuAnn
pointed to an extra chair
in the dining room and
asked if I wanted to
reupholster that one as
Looking at the
chair, I saw that the
vinyl on top had split
exposing the foam underneath. Actually, the
chair had been that way for quite a long time. I
never really paid attention to it, since it wasn’t a
chair I used much, if at all. It was just an extra
chair in the corner. I decided to add that chair
to our reupholstering project.
When LuAnn pointed out the chair, I felt
embarrassed by how bad it looked. How could
I put that chair in the dining room looking like
that? But what surprised me most was how I
didn’t really notice it. Yes, I knew the top was
split, but that happened a long time ago and, in
a way, I stopped seeing it because I saw it all
the time. I had become so used to it that I
failed to comprehend how bad it looked.
Unfortunately, I think the same can be said of
sins in our lives. Sometimes a sin has been
around for so long that we fail to see just how
bad it really is. We rationalize it by saying
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things like, “That’s just the way I am.” Or, “I’ve
always been like that.” Instead of seeing the
sin for how ugly it really is, we gloss over it and
don’t even take notice of it.
One sin that has been in my life for a very long
time is impatience. I tend to get impatient with
things, or processes, rather than people. For
example, if I am trying to do a simple task and I
fail at it twice, I’m already at the point of saying
to myself in frustration, “Come on! What is the
problem?!” rather than calmly trying to do it
again. Impatience has been with me for a long
time in one form or another, and it is not
something I have actively worked on
addressing—until now.
When LuAnn pointed out
the chair and brought its
bad condition to my
attention, I realized God
has been showing me how
ugly impatience is to Him.
And just like the chair
appears transformed now
reupholstered, I am feeling
like a new person as God helps me to be more
My challenge to you is to ask God what sin you
have in your life that you’ve become
complacent about, because it’s been there so
long. Ask God to open your eyes so that you
see how ugly it is to Him, and then ask Him to
help set you free. The results will be
If you have any items or information you would
like to share in the newsletter please e-mail:
Susan Seiboth at
[email protected]
Dorothy Soi at
[email protected]
Chapel Office (609) 799-2559
Contributing Photographer: Janet Berrill,
Jean LaRosa, Pastor Andy Straubel,
Janice Straubel