Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My need for today!

Okay, I admit it - I am a people observer.  Stephen Smith posted this to his Facebook page and I was immediately drawn to the sign the man is holding.  It is a piece of cardboard with the following written in Magic Marker - "Need 13¢”.

I began going through a gauntlet of questions in my mind and kept asking why just 13¢?  The photo was taken in Alaska and that amount of money will not go very far in today’s economy.  Driving around town on any given day I will see men holding signs asking for gas money, money for food and the occasional “I’ll work for money” signs.  But I have never seen one asking for 13¢, have you?

If this man was standing on a busy corner a number of people would be willing to give him the 13¢ and he could make a fair amount of money in one day.  But, then my mercy side (and I don’t have very much mercy) kicked in and surmised that he may have needed the money to finish paying for a utility bill or buying milk for his children.

There have been days when we all need just 13 more cents worth of grace from those we come in contact with everyday.  We may have been hurting and could not talk to anyone ‘with skin on’.  But, dear one our Heavenly Father is only a whisper away and He is willing and able to supply you with abundantly more than 13¢.  If you can’t talk to someone ‘with skin on’, just lift your eyes toward heaven and talk to the one who created you. He is waiting to hear from you.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”  2 Corinthians 9:8

Thanking my Heavenly Father for my 13¢ today.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Do Something, please

How many times have you heard someone say “It’s not my job” not jokingly but totally serious?  Over the years at work I heard this countless times.  Being the ‘take charge of the situation and I’ll do it myself then I will know it is done correctly’ person that I am – I would do whatever needed to be done and we won’t talk about what I was thinking.

I have also heard “It’s not my job, we have people paid to do that” or “It’s someone else’s turn I have done my time” at church.  This is disturbing to me because the Bible tells us in Romans 12:3-5 that a church is all the members working together as one.  “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly that you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

Each of has a job to do in the church.  We all have spiritual gifts that were manifested in us when we received Jesus Christ as our personal savior.  These are found in Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts according to the grace given us.  If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let me do it cheerfully.”

It is easy to ignore things that we need to be doing and we can come up with all kinds of excuses.  My personal favorite happened several years ago.  I called a young lady and asked her if she would pray about teaching a two year old Sunday School class.  She immediately said – “No, I might get pregnant”.  I was completely taken aback by this quick response.  I wanted to say that I had never known of anyone getting pregnant teaching two years olds.  This job was usually more of a visual aid for birth control.  But all I said was “okay and thank you for your honesty”.  How often do we give an ‘off the cuff’ answer instead of giving someone the time in prayer they requested?  In hind sight, I am glad she said no to teaching pre-school because it was not her spiritual gift.

Do you know what your spiritual gifts are?  God gives us spiritual gifts so we can build up His church.  Notice I said us and we and them and they.  We don’t all have the same gifts but we must all dedicate our gifts to God’s service and not our own personal agenda, success or ego.  We must be willing to utilize our gifts and not hold anything back from God’s service.  If you are stepping out in faith to use your gift for the first time, rest assured that our gracious God will give you the faith and power you need to complete the assignment.

These are some of the things you can do in your church to best use your spiritual gifts:
1.  Gift of prophesying – this doesn’t mean predicting the future but more interpreting the past by preaching God’s message to all people.  If God called you to preach – don’t miss your call by arguing with Him.
      2.  Gift of service – there are countless areas within the church where you can serve; hold a baby in extended session, Wednesday night kitchen duty, sing in the choir or play in the orchestra, be a greeter, work with local missions and the list is endless.

      3.  Gift of teaching – teachers with a heart for God are always needed whether it is in bed babies to senior adults, discipleship training or children’s church, you are needed.

      4.  Gift of encouragement – people blessed with the gift of encouragement often prefer to work in the background, they place value on others and want to be used but not out on the front lines.  Our church has a small group of ladies who meet every week and send cards to people who are ill, having birthdays, are homebound and some who just need a touch and to know that someone cares.

      5.  Gift of contributing – the first thing we think of with this gift is ‘money’.  Some are blessed financially and give freely to help others in need.  Others pray diligently for God to bless the 90% left after writing the tithe check. God needs your time.  The time you can devote to caring for others by preparing a meal for someone who is ill, or using your talents to help a family whose home is need of repair.  The list is endless of how you can give of your time.  We don’t all have the same amount of money but we do have the same amount of time and we need to share it with others.
      6.  Gift of leadership – churches need good leaders for committee work, for their organizational skills and most of all for their ability to lead a team in the right direction.  A true leader knows God is in control and He places people under the leaders who will benefit and learn from the leaders skills.  A good team leader plus a good leadership team equals a successful ministry.
      7.  Gift of mercy – people with the gift of mercy are very special.  Everyone wants mercy to be shown toward them but many of us do not have this precious gift.  On the spiritual gifts test I score the lowest on mercy.  But, I am learning with the help of the Lord to extend myself into this uncharted territory.  People with the gift of mercy are always smiling, ready with a hug and an open heart.  I personally believe they will have extra jewels in their heavenly crowns.

We all have something to do in our churches and in our communities.  Matthew West has a new song entitled “Do Something”.  Please read the words and then ask God what He wants you to do for Him.

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how'd we ever get so far down
How's it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, "God, why don't You do something?"
Well, I just couldn't bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, "God, why don't You do something?"
He said, "I did, I created you"
I’m so tired of talking
About how we are God's hands and feet
But it's easier to say than to be
Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
It's alright, "somebody else will do something"
Well, I don't know about you
But I'm sick and tired of life with no desire
I don't want a flame, I want a fire
I wanna be the one who stands up and says,
"I'm gonna do something"
If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it's time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It's not enough to do nothing
It's time for us to do something

Until next time, I am living for Him,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

God is a gentleman

Our God is such a gentleman He opens doors for us all the time and He will even close the doors when the time comes to an end. Sometimes He cautions me before I open the door for myself instead of waiting on Him. Even then He will love me through my journey. There is a special door He wants to open everyday and that is the door to my time with Him. One of my favorite hymns is "In the Garden".

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known
I'd stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Have a blessed day my friends.