What Ministry is God Leading You To?

God knitted us in our mother’s womb giving us unique personalities, gifts, and purposes in life. He also gave us free will to chose to follow Him or to take our own path and either lean on Him to help guide us in the direction He sees a need for, or, we can decide what our gifts and purposes are and take it from there.  The church has many opportunities and areas in which to serve. Many often have a card for people to fill out regarding volunteering with a list of ministries they need help with. If there is a particular ministry you are interested in, first ask yourself, “Is this where God is leading me or is this where I want to be? For whom am I serving?  Do I want to glorify God, or myself?  This was a tough lesson that I learned the hard way and feel compelled to open up and be honest about.  As a special education teacher, my gift has always been working with people with disabilities. I have been working with the disabled population for over 30 years.  As a teacher, you learn a lot of different skills that can benefit you in other areas of life.  Our church has a ministry for children with disabilities.  Seemed like an obvious fit for me. However, I honestly must admit, I didn’t give it much of a chance. I walked in thinking to myself, “Ok, I’m the professional here. Let me show you some ideas I have for this ministry.”  Of course, I never said that, but I’m sure my interaction with the others sounded boastful and proud. I wasn’t impressed with how they were running the program, so after only three visits, I decided I’d find something else to do.  I have little fear of public speaking and I love to be on stage. Since I was a young child, I was an entertainer of sorts. School plays, choirs, and later,  public professional presentations and training.  I wanted to serve on the Women’s ministry so I could teach/lead a bible study for women. I wanted to be a part of the Worship Team and sing for the Lord. However, I never got asked to serve on these ministries. For over a year I would make the requests and would wait for a response. The response never came. I finally gave up asking and became angry with the church.  How dare they not utilize my abilities and gifts.  I have great ideas, and I’m not afraid to stand up in front of people and sing or teach.  As time marched on, I became more belligerent about the church and their way of doing things.  I began spewing my discontentment to other members of the church, hoping that someone would get in touch with the “powers that be” and say, “Hey, we have a great member of our church that has some great talents and abilities. You should really give her an opportunity to serve where she feels best suited.”  However, that never happened.  Instead, I heard God speak to me one evening in the quiet of my room.  He simply asked me, “Are you wanting to glorify me, or yourself?”  OUCH!! Suddenly I felt shame and guilt. I knew just exactly what He was saying. He was right of course. I instantly recalled my attitude I displayed to other members of the church.  I wasn’t being called because that is not where God wanted me. I was reminded of what I enjoyed most when I was volunteering at the church our first year of retirement.  The Job Club and Benevolence were what I shocking loved the most. I was helping other people, adults that struggle with getting a job, writing a resume, paying their bills, dealing with life and everyday struggles.  I say “shockingly” because never in my wildest dreams could I see myself having any compassion in other people’s problems.  I was far too judgemental and believed that people created their own issues. However, I discovered that I did feel compassion when it came to people that were truly lost and struggling. It softened my heart and turned my thinking around. God needs me to serve those less fortunate. I have been blessed with much, and now it’s time to serve the Lord where He needs me. Maybe I can help others find the drive, self-esteem, and talents they haven’t recognized in themselves and inspire them to become an over-comer.  I thanked the Lord that evening for calling me out. The next small group meeting we had, I apologized to my brothers and sisters for my verbal disapproval of the church and shared with them what the Lord had said to me.  Redemption truly does feel good.  Amen. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Naked Truth

It comes as no surprise that our children are being indoctrinated these days.  I was a teacher for 30+ years.  Times have changed and so have our families, our children, our country, our world.  Is there an absolute moral truth anymore?  God made male and female. He created everything perfectly. If you take things out of God’s original intent there will be consequences. We need to get back to the original design and quit doing things our way.

So, what is truth? Whatever God says it is. PERIOD!  Males and females are different. They were to come together to bring about procreation.  Parents are to represent God to their children. Man and woman create a clearer picture of God. Marriage is a part of every culture, man and woman and a sense of permanance.

God’s design also has a purpose and rules. Jesus was given to us as a model and purpose. Our culture now identifies themselves as homosexuals, bi-sexuals, transgender, the list goes on.

As Christians, we need to remind ourselves that God is in control.  It can be frustrating but we must stand up for truth. It may not be popular, but that is what the Lord wants us to do.

When The Lord “Snitches” On You.

I now have proof that the Lord has a way of snitching on me. It’s true. He tries and tries to get my attention. If I don’t pay attention, He reverts to using my best friend to confront me.  I will explain, and you can decide if the Lord is snitching me out.

Sheryl and I have been friends for over 50 years. Nobody knows me as well as she does; not my family or my husband. We grew up together and have remained close friends even though we live six hours away. We see each other twice a year and text or email often. She has been a Christian all her life, me? Not so much.  We were about as opposite as two people can be, and yet we were best friends. When I accepted the Lord into my life and began living as a Christian, she was so excited, and our friendship has deepened through Christ.

Last spring, she came to visit me for the weekend. All seemed to be going well, but I honestly felt a bit uncomfortable. I couldn’t quite figure out why. She seemed to have changed. I shrugged it off and didn’t overthink it until I got an email from her a few days after she returned home.  She will never sugar coat things with me. She is very blunt and to the point.  She wrote, “After spending the weekend with you, I have to say I feel as though you have fallen from Christ. Your behavior was not as a Christian. You seemed to have reverted to your old self. God has put this on my heart to tell you that he misses you and wants you to talk to Him.”  I felt the anger weld up inside. How dare she. Who does she think she is anyway? Where on earth did she get the impression I had pulled away from Christ.  I knew something didn’t feel right while we were together, but it was her, not me.  I decided that maybe we just aren’t as good of friends as we once were. Perhaps, after 50+ years, we’ve grown too far apart, and the differences are too broad. I was angry at her, but I heard the Lord say, “You know she’s right. Talk to me.”

Instead of talking to the Lord, I decided to call Sheryl and ask her directly.  She pointed out that I was extremely negative and judgemental toward people. I was impatient and acting rude when we were waiting in line for a soda.  She then shared the fact that she didn’t see the Christian Karen I once was and wanted to know if there was something she could do to help. Still feeling defensive, I quickly excused myself making up some lame excuse.

I had to admit, she was right. I had pulled away from the Lord. Not intentionally, just got busy and hadn’t taken the time to focus on Him. I hadn’t been eating very well, and my diabetes was out of control. I was stressed out over money, my job and irritated with my husband too.  I went to my prayer closet and sobbed. I begged for the Lord’s forgiveness.  I openly told Him what was in my heart and asked Him to please lead me in the right direction. Satan had come between us, and it was time for him to go.

It’s now a year later, almost to the day and once again, the Lord snitched me out.  I called Sheryl one evening explaining how mad I was at God. No at God, more like angry that the world has gone crazy and I feel like He doesn’t care anymore. What is He waiting for?  I ranted for a while.  The next morning I woke to an email from her, “God wanted me to ask you this. Are you just talking AT him and not listening? You seem to be distancing yourself again. Satan is in your head.”   Dang, it!  She was right again. I wasted no time. I got down on my knees and told God how much I loved Him.  I asked for forgiveness and guidance.

The Lord will use anyone or anything that will get our attention. I’m grateful that I have a friend that knows me so well and can be the Lord’s mouthpiece when she needs to be.

I am determined to keep my eyes on the Lord and to remember He’s in control. No matter how bad things seem to be, He does care, and it breaks His heart too. Nobody knows what He’s waiting for, but it isn’t something we need to question. It’s all in His timing, not what we think.  I will continue to study scripture and be aware that Satan is lurking around. I will continue to fight to keep the devil from taking up residence in my head.

Amen.

 

 

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