Monday, July 28, 2014

Finding Your Fit in Ministry

Hello friends,
I hope today finds you enjoying a new week! I just finished up 8 weeks of working as a summer camp counselor for a local Christian day camp! Today is my first day off in a while! I loved my summer job, but oh the kids can definitely be crazy at times! I love working with children.  It's my calling, it's my love, and God brings me great joy from being able to invest in young lives.  Almost every ministry I serve in at church is a children's ministry.  That's just where God has called me and it's where I love to be!  I want to encourage you to find the ministry God has called you to be a part of and get involved! Serving God is one of the greatest blessings you will experience and it can be so fun! If you are involved in a ministry right now that you do not enjoy, that is probably not the ministry you were meant to serve in.  I'm a firm believer that God gave every person a unique personality and unique gifts that He wants to use for His Kingdom! I Corinthians 12:4 says, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." The entire chapter of I Corinthians 12 is talking about the different gifts and unique purpose each believer has to the body of Christ. Maybe you love to teach, maybe you love to sing, or cook, or play sports, or maybe even technology is your thing! God can use every single one of those gifts for His church! Serving can be so enjoyable and fulfilling!  I can't tell you the times that I have been so blessed by one of my young students.  They can be so encouraging and you can learn from their childlike faith! Find your fit in ministry.  I promise God definitely has a fit for you, and if you have not been able to find it yet, pray! Ask God to show you what unique personality traits He wants to use for His ministry.  Let me also encourage you that your ministry does not have to end on Sunday, it can be used all throughout the week.  No matter what job field you are in, God wants to use you as a ministry to others.  Here's an example, I'm going to be a teacher and I consider often whether I want to work in a Christian school or a public school. I do not have clear direction yet on which place God would want me, but I do know that even if He wants me in a public school, I can still minister to those children.  I may not be able to verbally share Jesus, but I can show Jesus and love the children like Jesus does.  Ministry opportunities await us each and every day, how are we embracing them?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

From The Eyes of a Child

Hello everyone,
I have to share a story with you today about one of my little Kindergarten students in the Sunday School class that I teach.  It is such a joy to teach these little children and to share in their joy as they grow in Christ! I can't begin to explain the joy it brings to my heart when a 6 year old comes up and tells me that they have surrendered their life to Christ and that they want to do or be whatever God wants them to be!  Wow. God works in young hearts! He works in anyone willing to listen! It's an amazing thing. A few weeks ago, we were discussing a topic in Sunday School. One of my Kindergarteners answered a question with something along the lines of, "You just trust Him." She was referring to just trusting God.  You just trust Him. If only we as adults could have the faith of a child.  The wonder of a child. The excitement of a child. You would be amazed how excited children get when they have witnessed to someone or when a friend they invited comes to church with them.  It's real.  It's a beautiful picture of God's love.  God tells us that we must have the faith of a child in Matthew 18:3, "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." And you do have to have the faith of a child to get saved.  That verse does not mean you have to be a child to get saved. Not at all. It's talking about, as an adult, you must relinquish you adult mindset of complicated thinking and just trust that Jesus died to save your soul from hell, and that He is alive, risen from the dead in Heaven today! It also means that as adults, we must resist the temptation to think that we are good enough to get to Heaven.  We can't be good enough. Everyone does wrong things.  We must be humble and ask God to enter our life and save us because we know that we need Him! Children have a way of showing us up sometimes.  There are many instances when I think to myself during a class, "Wow, these kids really understand God!" Kids understand God's sacrifice.  God made it simple! We complicate things as adults. So next time you're doubting, just trust God! Just trust Him.  He's got it! There's no need to obsess or worry or be afraid! He's got it.
On a side note, just to show how much He's got everything under control and how much He cares about us, I'd like to share a story with you! In my neighborhood,  there is a field and the grass was high in the field. I really wanted to be able to use the field over the weekend to play a sport in, but the guy in my neighborhood hadn't cut the grass yet in that field.  Sometimes it goes for a while before it gets cut.  Well I prayed that God would have the guy cut the grass on Friday.  As I drove home from work on Friday, I was amazed to see that the field had been cut while I was at work.  Woah people, talk about a God moment! I was just in amazement that God really cared that much about something so small in my life! I ended up not even being able to play the sport on Saturday, but God had a plan in that and that's okay too. However, I am still so thankful and just so encouraged by a God who does have it all under control!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

His Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness

Hello friends,

I hope that you have enjoyed God's Word in worship on this Sunday! Today, I sang at my church.  I love to sing but it can be so nerve-wracking to get up in front of 600-800 fellow worshippers and sing! It seems that on top of the already rising number of nerves the day I sing, something always seems to go wrong that day.  My health condition still flares occasionally, and the past few times I've sung, I've had symptoms during the day from my health condition, or I've had a low blood sugar episode.  Anyway, today as I sing, my allergies are bad.  I've been battling them for over a month now and I still sound a little hoarse, clearing my throat, etc.  Well as I worry about the affects this could cause on my singing, I am constantly reminding myself of one of my favorite scriptures.  I like to use this scripture every time I sing because it reminds me Who is singing for me and through me...God! The verse is 2 Cor. 12:9, -"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Grant it, I realize when Paul wrote this verse he was suffering in much, much, greater ways than I have ever thought of; however, hear me out, this verse encourages me so much! No matter what circumstances I am dealing with, in this case, no matter how awful I feel, no matter how much could go wrong with the song I am singing, God's grace is enough for me.  He tells me His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  I'm considering my voice being hoarse, my health condition flaring up, etc. to my weakness on these days.  God goes on to tell me that I can glory in my weakness, so that His power can shine through! Woah, this is incredible.  God may allow certain circumstances to come upon my day just so He can show that it is Him getting me through the solo, singing, or anything else that may be happening that day! His power is greater than my weakness! He will help me through.  Every time I sing, I'm reminded of this verse.  I can be joyful in what I consider to be a weakness, because that just gives Jesus more glory! When I'm done singing, I definitely know Who got me through without having symptoms, allergy voice, etc. and it's not me, it's God! I know this situation is minimal and pales in comparison to many other instances; however, I wanted to use it as an example and to remind you that God cares about even the smallest details of everyday life! No matter what you may consider your weaknesses to be, God wants to use them for His glory.  Allow Him to use you today!