Monthly Archives: October 2014

Bringing Joy to Others

When I was a little girl, I remember seeing a small plaque on the receptionist’s counter of an office. It said this . . .

Joy to Office

This is a funny saying, but how many know it is true? Either our coming or our going can bring joy to others.

This is a Biblical principle which can also found in 2nd Corinthians. In chapter seven, we find Paul and his companions traveling around preaching the gospel. This was no easy task, as they experienced conflicts and fears, oppression and affliction. That is until Titus arrived. This co-laborer brought them much joy! 2nd Corinthians 7:6 says

“But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us by the arrival of Titus.” –Amplified Bible

God is the One who brings comfort. In fact, another name for the Holy Spirit is the Comforter. Yet, he also encourages us, refreshes us when we are weary and flat out cheers us up when we are down. Make no mistake, He can do this all on His own. That’s the kind of living God we serve. However, you have probably experienced, just like I have, when He uses someone else to be “Jesus with skin on”. A flesh and blood person right before you to give you a hug, tell you a joke, let you know they believe in you and that everything is going to be OK. A “Titus” if you will.

A couple of weeks ago, I was completely overwhelmed by life and ministry. Nothing was going right and I was in a complete funk. I was seeking and trusting God, but day after day went by and I couldn’t seem to break free. Does that ever happen to you?

I finally broke down and called a dear friend who lives out of town and also serves in ministry. I caught her driving in the car and she asked if she could call me after she arrived at her destination. I said, “No problem” and waited for her call. I went about my business and after about 30 minutes I realized she never called me back. I was tempted to get my feelings hurt, (and thought I had every right to since I was in such a fund *smile*) but decided not to get offended and sent her a text instead that said, “Did you forget about me? :)” Within minutes she called back, apologizing for forgetting me. We then proceeded to have a great talk where she listened as I poured out my heart. She encouraged me by giving me words of comfort and encouragement and ended our conversation with prayer. God used her to be a “Titus” to me in that moment. The next morning when I awoke, the fog had lifted and I was ready to move forward in the life and ministry God has called me to.

What about you? Do you have a Titus or two you can call upon when you need encouragement to move forward in the ministry God has called you to? Who are those people? Why not send them a text right now and thank them for their ministry to you. . .

Who can you be a Titus to? Look around you. Who are the women God has called to serve Him in ministry? How can you comfort, encourage, refresh and cheer them on? Why not send them a text right now and let them know you are there for them and believe in them. . .

Let’s be women who bring joy to others by our arrival in their lives!

Your Friend in Ministry,

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Whose Voice are You Listening to?

In the story of Eve, in Genesis chapter three, we learn an important lesson, the voice you listen to today results in consequences, either positive or negative for many tomorrows.

In this narrative, there were three voices that Eve was hearing, God’s, the Serpent’s and her own. Unfortunately, she listened to the Serpent’s (Gen 3:1-5) and her own (Gen 3:6a), as she rationalized the step of disobedience she was about to make.

Gen 3

But she didn’t stop there. Eve used her influence and her voice to lead Adam astray. And, as a result, she most likely lost her “voice” of influence over him. Why would he want to listen to her about other things when she couldn’t get right the one thing that mattered?

I know each of us, to some extent, can relate to Eve. At some point in our lives, we have listened to and obeyed the wrong voice and have suffered the consequences for it. That is a painful thing, especially when our choices negatively affect others as well.

So what do you do when you listen to the wrong voice and/or influence others to do the same? You can choose to hide or you can come out of hiding and let God cover your shame. Come out of hiding by:

  1. Using your voice to say, “Here I am and this is what I’ve done” (Gen 3:10). God know anyways, but there is something supernatural that happens when you confess what you’ve done. It is the first step to healing.
  2. Letting God cover your nakedness, which is a metaphor for shame. In Gen 3:21, God provided clothing to cover Adam & Eve’s sin. Thankfully, God always has an answer for sin, shame & nakedness. 2,000 years ago, he allowed His Own Son to be killed, a sinless creature, so that your nakedness (and mine) would be covered. God’s provided the covering, will you put it on?
  3. Picturing yourself not naked and covered by shame, but rather covered by His grace.

Eve’s story is one of poor choices, which led to painful consequences, for her and for you and me as well. Yet it is also one of redemption and hope. Because when God is involved in your story, there is always hope.

Always . . .

I am Eve, which means life spring.

Adam named me that because I am the mother of all the living.

Yet because of me, my children for future generations are destined to die not live.

When the serpent began to ask me questions, how could I know what his true intentions were?

He was so subtle, that before I knew it, I played right into his sneaky little hand.

I was deceived and in the middle of my deception, I influenced my husband to be deceived as well.

Now I am banished from my beautiful home.

I can never go back, it is only a memory.

My husband works long hours, day after day, just for us to survive.

He doesn’t come right out and say it, but I can see from the way he looks at me, that he blames me for the struggles we are experiencing.

But he blames me no more than I blame myself.

How could I be so easily deceived?

The serpent was right about one thing, my eyes are open now.

I see good and evil and I don’t like what I see.

Oh for the days of beauty and perfection . . . when the only look I saw in my husband’s eyes was complete adoration.

I made a choice to listen to the wrong voice.

Because of that choice, God has said I will experience suffering and craving for what I cannot have.

What’s worse, God also said that the serpent would attack my offspring’s heel.

Why can’t that serpent just leave us alone?

Hasn’t he done enough damage?

Yet, what was it that God said to the serpent . . . He said my offspring will tread his head underfoot.

What does that mean?

To crush the serpent’s head would mean death.

Who would have the power to do that?

Could it be that God would still use me to bring good to this world, after I have messed up so badly?

Dare I believe that in generations to come, one of my children’s children’s children will be strong enough to defeat the enemy of all mankind?

How this fills me with hope.

I am Eve which means life spring, the mother of all the living.

God, I may never see the One who crushes my enemy’s head, but let there be Life that springs forth.

Just as sin & death entered the world through my husband and me, let there be Life that enters the world through One of our offspring.

I am Eve, mother of all the Living, not mother of all the dying, but of all the Living.

 

Your Friend in Ministry,

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