Bling 4 Believers
WHO I AM: Melanie
WHAT JESUS MEANS TO ME: Jesus is the “lover of my soul” and my faithful best friend. Over the course of a difficult 45-year life journey, including sexual, verbal, and physical abuse; two near-fatal car accidents; a battle with drug addiction and alcoholism; the eating disorder anorexia nervosa; and most recently stage four liver and pelvic cancer; Christ never left me. I have turned my will and my life over to Jesus Christ and surrendered everything, and He has delivered me from the chains and bondages of my past. My life belongs to Him! I humbly accepted the call to help other abused women—women who, like me, have lost hope along the way. My ministry encourages abused women to give their lives to Christ.
MY BUSINESS: Bling 4 Believers, PO Box 21, Lynnville, IA 50153
MY PRODUCT: Bling 4 Believers features handmade jewelry and accessories of all sorts. I also create essential oil aromatherapy sprays using doTERRA oils.
Bling 4 Believers EDIFIES OTHERS in the Body of Christ: Stats show that a large majority of domestic violence (D.V.) and sexual abuse (S.A.) victims suffer not only from low self-esteem and self image, but also from trauma-induced mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and panic attacks. Many become alcoholics or addicts due to unhealthy coping strategies in response to the traumas they have suffered. Some are even physically maimed to the degree that their appearances are drastically distorted, leaving them with no self-esteem due to facial or bodily scarring. Bling 4 Believers provides something “pretty” for gals to wear/apply. The products serve as distractions for women who bear horrific scars internally and externally. The sprays provide numerous holistic and natural remedies that common “medicines” provide, yet they are not habit-forming.
Bling 4 Believers GLORIFIES GOD: Bling 4 Believers offers morale-boosting products for women who have lost hope. Making someone feel pretty is of course superficial. We know, however, that this is sometimes the first step in healing deep-seated internal wounds, an “inside job" done by the Holy Spirit. By providing a bit of “Bling” on the outside, we go to work uncovering the true beauty within . . . revealing God’s true love for each woman and empowering the healing of His precious human creations.
WHO I AM: Julie Zurcher
WHAT JESUS MEANS TO ME:
I was raised in a Bible-believing church and accepted Christ as my Savior as a child. It’s taken years for me to realize that Christ has accepted me (Romans 15:7) so I can accept myself, and I can walk in God’s grace that’s “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23). It’s so nice to know that I can trust His plan instead of forcing my plan. Even if circumstances are chaotic, God is working things out for my good (Romans 8:28). Example: Recently, I was pulled over. Not in my plan for the day! Thankfully, I was able to keep my cool and the officer was merciful. And tickets happen. A few years back, it would have caused tears and days of condemnation ‘cause I’m not “perfect.” I’m so thankful that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). I’ve gone from living as a beggar at the dump--trying in vain to work my way out--to living as a chosen, favored daughter of the King, fully loved and desiring to please the one who loves me more than I can imagine (Colossians 3:12). I’m very thankful for God’s presence and protection through a difficult marriage, years as a single mom of four (with three teens, at one point), and trying to make ends meet in unfulfilling jobs. Jesus is the Lover of My Soul, as the song says, and He also sent a wonderful Prince Charming into my life. Now I’ve experienced unity and sacrificial love in marriage, and I give Him all the glory.
MY BUSINESS: Extravagant Praise, 641-521-0448
MY PRODUCT: Extravagant Praise features hand-painted 100% China silk worship flags and scarves.
Extravagant Praise EDIFIES OTHERS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST: I watched mesmerized as worshipers waved colorful flags to songs of praise and soon, I was using flags to glorify God. In the Bible, God’s people often used banners and their whole bodies in worship. “We will shout for joy when You are victorious, and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.” (Psalm 20:5). “For in Him, we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28). “Let all that I am praise the Lord; and with my whole heart, I will praise His Holy Name.” (Psalm 103:1). Today, I hand-paint 100% China silk flags and scarves that bring dimensions of movement and color to worship and declare spiritual truth through color and design. Each piece is painted in a prayerful, worshipful setting. A scripture or worship song is often the inspiration for a design, and colors are chosen by their spiritual meanings. My silk scarves can be worn for any occasion, and the colors remind us who we are in Christ and the promises God has made to us. My desire is for women of God to walk confidently in the knowledge of who they are in Christ: Beloved, Beautiful, Chosen, Free, and Called to great Kingdom purposes.
Extravagant Praise GLORIFIES GOD: Since I was a little girl, I’ve been creating things. At ten, my grandma taught me to knit and crochet. In high school, I chose a sewing machine over a class ring, and I’m still using that wonderful old machine. Extravagant Praise glorifies God by giving believers a means to use movement, color, and beauty in expressive worship. My products are prayerfully dedicated to God from inspiration to completion. I pray that He is blessed by the work of my hands and that others are drawn closer to Him through it.
Stepping Stones Christian Bookstores
WHO I AM: Mindy Van Dyke
WHAT JESUS MEANS TO ME: I was born into a family of faith on both sides of the family (Uitermarkts & Gosselinks). I grew up in the Central Reformed Church in Oskaloosa. Every summer I went to church camp, and one summer I accepted Christ as my savior. Following that I made profession of faith at my church.
Jesus is such a big part of my daily life. I talk to him throughout the day. I try to listen to His voice and follow His direction. My choices are determined by “What would Jesus have me do?” I try to watch for situations where I feel God is putting someone in my path either to listen to them, talk to them, and/or pray with them. I try to stay humble and remember that all I have is from the Lord; my purpose is to bring Him glory and to do His will. I try to remember that it is all about Him and not about me.
MY BUSINESS: Stepping Stones Christian Bookstores located in downtown Grinnell and Marshalltown, Iowa.
Cell phone: 641-990-1381
Grinnell location: 929 Broad Street, Grinnell, IA 50112 – Phone 641-236-9235
Marshalltown location: 14 W. Main Street, Marshalltown, IA 50158 – Phone 641-753-1430
Facebook: Stepping Stones Christian Bookstores
M – F – 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday – 9 am – 5 pm
Sundays – Closed
MY PRODUCT: We are a Christian retail business providing Christian and inspirational products such as Bibles, books, gifts, greeting cards, wall décor, jewelry, and toys.
Stepping Stones Christian Bookstores EDIFY OTHERS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST:
Our mission is to further God’s Kingdom in the communities we serve and to help others along their faith journey.
We try to live this mission every day, whether by helping others find products to help them, their families or those they are witnessing to or by listening to them if they need to talk--talking with them as God speaks through us and praying with them when the Spirit leads.
Stepping Stones Christian Bookstores GLORIFY GOD:
The products we carry are meant to point others to the Lord and glorify Him. It is our hope that His glory shines through us each day as we interact with our customers.
WHO I AM: Mark Doll, Head of Gatekeepers; Destiny Dudes! (CTI) devotions leader
Mark Doll began blogging on Caring Bridge in 2011, “The Year of the Knife.” Writing helped him process the emotional pain of Melissa’s brain tumor removal and recovery. During the rocky road back to health, Mark and Melissa created a his ‘n hers blog site called, “Honeybees and Harleys," which originally celebrated the couple’s gratitude to God for His healing power and paid homage to the joy found riding the roads of America on their Harley-Davidson Road King. The blog evolved into a cyber sermon format for Melissa, ministering to Honeycombers (Believers).
Mark will soon resurrect his writing skills in a blog entitled, “Talk to Me,” found at www.honeybeesandharleys.tumblr.com
In addition, Mark’s son-in-law gifted him with a cool website called “Ride All In.” Mark will chronicle his many motorcycle journeys—especially those taken with the “All In” riders of Central Iowa--as well as communicate with men interested in pursuing God’s call to leadership. Find out more at www.rideallin.com (website content under construction).
CTEN--Commission to Every Nation missionaries
WHO I AM: Meggan Ann (De Jong) Vasileiadou
I grew up with a faithful church body invested in teaching me the story of Jesus. Faith was also discussed at our family dinner table during devotions. These stepping stones led me to slowly get to know the truth of Jesus Christ over time, which made me ripe and ready to meet with Him in a very personal way at a Christian camp I attended just as I became a teenager. Amidst other powerful stories of His grace and love for me that week of camp, I also felt Him affirming in my heart that He would be my closest friend, always there for me even if (or rather when) others would let me down--a very important message for a young girl. From then on, He became my closest friend, and the one I leaned on most through good times and bad, mostly as I "communicated" with Him by way of prayer journaling (think uncensored thought outpouring!) and a variety of Bible study methods. Over time, I began to learn what it meant to be Jesus' disciple, to trust and obey God the Father, and to be keenly aware of the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit's direction--which is most often not to nudge me to do something but to wake up an awareness in me to my sinful tendencies, continually calling me back to repent and receive the amazing love and grace offered to me through Christ's atoning death on the cross, letting the joy that comes from this reality to pass on this Good News that changed my life fill me with true hope, joy, peace, and more. I'm thankful.
WHAT JESUS MEANS TO ME:
Jesus is the reason I've been restored in relationship to a Holy God, and I'm thankful to know Him--the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus not only paid the price for my sin, He conquered the grave. He conquered the biggest question of this life--the inevitable reality that one day our earthly bodies will pass away in this fallen, broken world context. But His resurrection promises us new, eternal life, which gives a completely new focus to this life. We are simply pilgrims in this world, traveling a relatively short journey home. And Jesus is with me on this journey. He confined himself to the trappings of this life to journey with me (all of us!), for me (and everyone throughout all of history!), living the selfless, obedient life that I am unable to live. He did that for me to transform me into new life. It's such an awesome story.
We are CTEN--Commission to Every Nation--missionaries working full-time in Athens, Greece. firstname.lastname@example.org
DESCRIPTION OF OUR MINISTRY:
We are support staff at the Greek Bible College, the only Evangelical institution in the country, and we are members of the core team of a new downtown Athens church plant.
CTEN EDIFIES OTHERS in the Body of Christ:
Our family mission statement is to always be "Growing in the knowledge of God's Word (JESUS!), while helping others do the same." As full-time volunteer ministry workers, we are blessed with the opportunity to pour out all of our time to encouraging Bible students and young believers to know God's truth more and discover how He has uniquely gifted them for service in His Kingdom. Since our job description requires us to rely on other members of the Body of Christ for our financial stability, we are also privileged to have a unique voice of encouragement back into those supporting us to be doing what we're doing. It's awesome sharing stories of how God is connecting them to be a part of His work around the world. We have also invited our friends and supporters to join us in a Bible Reading plan, yet another way to live out our mission statement and EDIFY the Body through mutual encouragement to better know God's Word.
CTEN GLORIFIES GOD:
A definition of "glorify" that has stuck with me is "making known," so I would say that the way we live our life is a huge testimony to making known who God is--therefore, glorifying Him. We can live with an abiding peace and joy no matter what life circumstances come our way. This hope that we have is a blessing to share with those who are lost in a dark place without any hope or purpose in this life. Making God known to them when they ask us to give a reason for the blessed assurance we have is one of the most humbling, joy-filled experiences we can have.
Bling 4 Believers
flags & scarves