August 2009

Bath bombs and bubbles!

A couple of years ago I went along to an Activate day conference at St Mark’s Church in Haydock. One of the activities which were demonstrated was “bath bomb” making, and the ladies who led the workshop explained how this could be used as an evangelical outreach tool. I thought this was a great idea, and planned to introduce our ladies group to “bath bombs” as soon as possible!
However, as is sadly so often the case, the weeks went by and I didn’t get around to it. On the odd occasions that I remembered the idea, I checked out the price of the materials we would need and it seemed like a large outlay of money would be involved. We prefer not to charge for any of our outreach events so this would have been costly. And so, our bath bombs “fizzled out”.

Earlier this year, our weekly ladies group was looking for an idea for an outreach event. We try to organise something once a term and last Easter we held a chocolate night called “Ready, Steady, Taste!” which involved lots of chocolate eating, sharing recipes and a chocolate-themed gospel message at the end. It was great fun, but none of us could look at a bar of Dairy Milk for quite some time afterwards! We wanted to do something similar, but without the calories and I started to think about the bath bombs again…some well-known shops sell chocolate-flavoured bath bombs, why couldn’t we make some? Again, though, the expense involved seemed prohibitive.

I logged on to the Activate website for some inspiration and was amazed when I saw a forum post entitled “Win a bath bomb kit”! Turned out that another member had used the same idea with her women’s group and had now moved on to other things, leaving a large box of supplies unused. I quickly got in touch with Mandy, and she very kindly agreed to let us have the materials. I bought a few extra chocolate-flavoured oils and away we went!

We called our night “Bath Bombs and Bubbles”, and handed out sophisticated fizzy drinks to all the ladies on the way in. We set up two tables, one for making bath bombs and another for making bath salts (which are actually much cheaper and easier to make) and everyone got stuck in, with guidance from myself and another lady from our group who has a gift for crafts. There was only one lady from outside the fellowship who came along, but some ladies who don’t usually attend our women’s group were there too so we had a great mixture of people.

It was difficult to stop the ladies concocting their bath delights at the end of the night, but I managed to pull it together with a short message about Esther, who was pampered beyond anything we can imagine to get her ready for the king. But her real beauty came from within, and was God-given.

Now that we are all skilled in making bath bombs we are hoping to repeat the evening sometime in the future on a slightly larger scale and invite more non-Christians.
We had a lot of fun, none of which would have been possible without God’s guidance and provision. I pray that the women who came will remember the message as well as the fun.

(If anyone would like basic information on making bath bombs, or copies of the flyers and “recipe booklets” I used, you can contact me and I’ll email them to you.)

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Rock Chicks and Wimbledon

Okay, so what’s Wimbledon, a jug of pimms and Great Britain got to do with Christianity and evangelism? A good question!

If you remember from last time, I shared the Rock Chicks concept with you. In a nutshell it’s where a mix of your Christian friends and non Christian friends get together for a themed meal and have a real giggle.

The theme this time was Great Britain. As I have a passion for all things Wimbledon, and the party fell during Wimbleodn fortnight, I coud not resist the temptation to mix the two.

We had a ball, literally, sharing stories, getting to know each other and living the gospel as we built bridges with those in our community who don’t how much fun being a Christian can be.

Why not have your own Rock Chicks party, pick a theme and then invite as many friends as you can? It really is a great way to introduce women to a God who loves us with a passion and wants to be part of our lives. My menu is below just to give you some ideas.

Welcome to a quintessentially English afternoon tea on a Wimbledon whim!

A selection of dainty sandwiches on white and oatmeal bread:

Choose from:

Ham and tomato
Tuna, light mayonnaise and cucumber
Grated red Leicester cheese and onion
Hand made kettle crisps

Followed by:

Strawberries and cream
An assiette of home made fruit scones, fondant fancies and chocolate coated flapjacks
Home made fresh cream victoria sponge cake

And to drink…

Pimms no.1 with limes, strawberries, raspberries and lemonade
A pot of afternoon tea
A cafietere of coffee

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Ask Alison- August

Whilst on holiday in Cumbria I had an unexpectedly profound moment. My husband, Paul had decided to take me to the summit of Hellvelyn. For those of you who enjoy climbing mountains you’ll know this one is 950 metres high and the third highest in England.

I’m all for the outdoors and love running, walking and cycling but hadn’t been so far from sea level in a very long time. We set off and took in every breathtaking aspect of the scenery. Idyllic lakes, wooded glades and endless blue skies (yes even in the lakes!). We spotted occasional farm buildings, winding rivers and cars and people along a road which weaved its way between the mountain peaks.

So what was the profound moment you might be asking? What struck me was the different perspective we had of our surroundings as the path took us nearer and nearer the peak. At first, the farm buildings seemed quite large as did the cars and the river. The further we climbed, the smaller they appeared. The buildings, cars and river hadn’t changed- our perspective had.

It made me think about our perceptions in relationships and how often we see others, even those we love, from a very rigid perspective. And yet if we are able to climb higher, change the way we look upon others, we get an entirely different aspect. As Paul and I puffed and panted our way to the top we saw the same view with a vast array of outlooks. We were amazed at the limited viewpoint from the ground and the difference that the changing aspects made.

Today, try climbing higher in your relationships. This will cost you in terms of personal development. It’s easy to want others to change their behaviour rather than for us to alter our perspective. Just like Paul and I stretched ourselves in order to reach the summit, after three and a half hours of grueling effort, the views and the sheer sense of achievement were well worth it. In the same way, you too can have an amazing marriage as you work on your own character and learn to be flexible in your perspective.

If you value your relationship, and I have every confidence that you do, change your view point, see situations and problems from all aspects. Climb higher than where you are at the moment and aim for the best possible marriage.

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