Monthly Archives: October 2015

Why Ministry is the Best Gig in the World . . . Answered Prayers!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog sharing one of the reasons why I love ministry, but on Sunday me and Jesus had a moment and it is one I want to share with you.

This past weekend was full of activity – adorable house guests,

Tj and baby

 

an epic EWU football game with a win in OT,

EWU game

 

introducing an assistant pastor to our Cheney Faith Center family,

new pastor

 

Our small group discipleship time with our interns, (I don’t have a picture, but will share more about this another time),

 

and then no school on Monday, so we had a pumpkin party with different friends coming over for pumpkin carving, carmel apples, pizza and fun.

pumpkin carving

Aj and pumpkin

Tj and friends

 

Full weekends like this one are exciting and enjoyable for most of the members of my family who like to be around people. For those of us who need some solitude, weekends like this can be a challenge, but we just make sure said person/s get some alone time in the midst of the chaos!

I like how God brings people into your life. Some people he brings for a lifetime, some for a season, and some for the briefest of moments. The people God brings into my life inevitably work their way into my tender heart, especially the longer they stick around. Once they have worked their way into my heart, I can’t help but love them, and as I’ve said before, the best way to love someone is to pray for them . . . which leads me to my Jesus moment on Sunday.

I was standing in our Auditorium during the second service. It was Worship time and as we were singing I realized that I was both holding a little miracle and standing next to a miracle as well.  The miracle I was holding was a dear friend’s five month old baby. For about 7 years, I prayed with and for this friend to find a husband. But, it couldn’t be just any man, he had to be Godly, and he had to be at least six feet. Talk about a tall order (pun intended *smile*). Well after many years of faithful prayer, God moved this friend away from our town, much to my heart’s sadness, and sure enough, she met her husband. They got married last July and had a baby nine months and two weeks later. This was the precious baby I was holding in my arms. Looking down into her sweet little face, I was overcome with emotion as I thanked God for His goodness and faithfulness to send my friend a husband and then bless her with a little baby girl. All babies are miracles, but this one especially so, since I had been so invested through praying for her mama.

Then, I realized that not only was I holding a miracle, I was standing next to one as well. Another dear friend is just now able to attend church after her leukemia diagnosis in November, 2013. What a loooong two years it has been as she underwent chemotherapy, was put on the wait list for a bone marrow donor, went through the bone marrow transplant and now is still recovering from the toll all of that took on her body. As soon as she was diagnosed, I knew she would need intense and regular prayer, so we assembled a seven woman prayer team and each lady chose a day of the week to pray over our sister, so that she got daily prayer covering. We prayed and encouraged our sister through this most difficult time of her life. To be able to stand next to this friend and hear her singing God’s praises in her beautiful singing voice brought me to tears as I recognized God’s goodness and faithfulness in keeping her alive.

When your life is full of people, whether you serve in full-time ministry or not, your life becomes intertwined with theirs. Their joys fill your heart with joy and your heart becomes connected with their hurt. As you pray and support them through their hurt, you get to witness miracles, both big and small. These miracles allow your faith to grow as you continue to pray for the miracles you’ve yet to see, such as healing for a friend, or another child for a couple you love, or hope in a troubled marriage.

Let’s be people who embrace those God puts in our life. Let’s love them well and allow our hearts to become connected to theirs. Let’s pray big and bold prayers for them. As we do, we get the blessing of being a part of the miracles God works in their lives!

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3

 

Be Still and Know that I am God

flowers Be Still

This past weekend was our annual ladies retreat. Our theme was “Be Still”, taken from Psalm 46:10. I got to share the opening message on Friday night and I enjoyed studying Psalm 46 in its entirety as I prepared. As I studied, I was struck by the many ways that the Israelites knew their God.

If you have a Bible (or Bible app) handy, why not turn to Psalm 46 and give it a quick read. As you do, note any ways that Israelites knew God. What did they know Him to be?

Here’s the list I made after reading Psalm 46 out of the NET Bible:

Vs 1 – Strong Refuge

Vs 1 – Helper in times of trouble

Vs 4 – Their Joy

Vs 4 – Their Dwelling Place

Vs 5 – Firm Foundation, not allowing them to be moved

Vs 5 – Rescuer

Vs 6 – The One who overthrows kingdoms

Vs 7 – The Commander of armies

Vs 7 – On their side

Vs 7 – Their Protector

Vs 8 – One who does exploits on their behalf

Vs 9 – One who brings an end to wars

Vs 9 – One who breaks the weapons that are against them

Vs 10 – He speaks to them

Vs 10 – He is God

Vs 10 – Exalted above all and over all

Wow! That’s a lot of ways that they knew God.

But did you ever stop to wonder how did they get to the place of knowing God in all those ways?

Vs 1 – How would they know He was their strong Refuge, if they never needed shelter or security?

Vs 1 – How would they know He was their Helper, if they never had times of trouble?

Vs 4 – How would they know He was their Joy unless life had caused them sorrow and pain?

Vs 4 – How would they know He was their Dwelling Place unless they had never been without a home or place to live?

Vs 5 – How would they know that He was their Firm Foundation, if their world had never been rocked?

Vs 5 – How would they know Him as their Rescuer, if everyone left them alone and never came against them?

Vs 6 – How would they know Him as the One who overthrows kingdoms unless they had never had anyone attack them?

Vs 7 – How would they know Him as the Commander of Armies unless they were weak and needed someone to fight on their behalf?

Vs 7 – How would they know He was on their side, if no one ever tried to oppose them?

Vs 7 – How would they know He was their Protector, unless they had been in a situation that threatened their very existence?

Vs 8 – How would they know Him as the One who does exploits on their behalf, if life was always smooth sailing?

Vs 9 – How would they know him as the One who brings an end to wars, had they never been in battle?

Vs 9 – How would they know him as the One who breaks the weapons that are against them if their life was always peaceful?

Vs 10 – How would they know Him as the One who speaks to them, if they had never been desperate to hear His voice?

Vs 10 – How would know that He is the One True God, unless they had served lesser gods?

Vs 10 – How would they know that He is exalted above all and over all, unless they had seen Him be exalted above all and over all that life or their enemy had thrown their way?

You see, we want to be like the Israelites, or someone whose faith we admire, so that we can say we know God in all these ways. But . . . do we really want to go through what the Israelites went through in order to know Him like they did?

Do we want to have times of trouble, or to be in a place so desperate that we need to hear His voice, or have people be against us, or have our world shaken up a bit?

How often do we admire people who know God well, yet fail to recognize all the stuff they had to walk through to get there?

We want their faith but we don’t want their trials that got them their faith.

Yet, the only way to know God better and develop a deep relationship with Him is by turning to Him, rather than away from Him, when hard times come. You surrender everything to Him and invite Him into every part of your life. There is no part of your life that is off limits to Him. As you invite Him in, you release what He asks you to release and you hold tight to Him and Him alone. You let Him call the shots. You let Him comfort you when life hurts. You follow His leading and

direction. You don’t run from growth opportunities, you embrace them, no matter how difficult. You stop striving and start trusting.

Hear Him say to you today, “Be still and know that I am God. Just like I will be exalted over all the earth, I will be exalted in your world. I’ve got this. Trust Me!”

mountain Be Still

Your Friend in Ministry,

Name3