Friday, August 1, 2008

Work & Pray

Happy Friday! Before I start my regular posting, I wanted to share a couple of things with you guys.

1. My husband thought yesterday's post was not "so fabulous" but so vain sounding. I tried to explain it was tongue-in-cheek, and can only hope that he didn't get it because he is a man and that you gals all got it. I'm not saying that I am "so fabulous" - just that I'd like Jesus to shine fabulously through me!

2. My daughter was called to carry flags at the new church on Sunday (she volunteered; my introverted, don't do anything in public nearly 9 yr old). So she will be in the 9:30 and 11 services. And I was called to lead prayer in Sunday school. I think God is letting us know we are at the church were we belong. And I just love how he answers our prayers. So this is a praise.

Okay - on to our regularly scheduled post:

"Time spent working for God is not the same as time spent with God." said T. Suzanne Eller at the She Speaks Conference. This quote was something I took and committed to memory. It's true. I can be blogging for God and running around completing my ministry projects (so fabulous -LOL), and be so busy doing stuff "for God" that I'm not spending time with him.

Do you ever fall into this trap? One of the reasons I love leading a bible study is that it keeps me in the word. I haven't made a secret of the fact that I've been living on Easy Street over the summer. I got out of the bible habit. And I truly felt myself drift away from God.

Did I still believe in God? You bet your bippy! I love that guy! But I wasn't spending any time with him. And like any of our other relationships (spouse, kids, friends) when you don't spend time together you can drift apart.

The first thing I started to do is quote "Draw nearer to God and he'll draw nearer to you" to myself about 1 million times. Then I drew nearer. I started reading the bible again, and praying, and making time.

If you are so busy working for God, I urge you to pause - and spend some time with him. He's waiting. And it probably wouldn't hurt to spend some more time with your husband, kids and friends too. And, you know, I feel neglected if you don't leave me comments, so could you spare some free time for that?

But seriously, all work and no PRAY makes you a dull girl. Get prayin'. And then you'll shine for Jesus!

James 4:8 -- Come near to God and he will come near to you.

Psalm 119:10 - - I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.

Proverbs 9:10 -- Respect and obey the LORD! This is the beginning of wisdom. To have understanding, you must know the Holy God. (Contemporary English Version)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ministry So Fabulous

"We ask ourselves, who I am to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God...your playing small does not serve the world." I love this quote, which is found on the home page of Ministry So Fabulous.

I've been thinking a lot about my ministry this summer. At my old church I've led a bible study for stay home moms for nearly 9 years. I have coordinated the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. I sit on the Christian School Board. I also sit on the Parents Advisory Committee at my daughters' school. To borrow from the blog above, I have a ministry - so fabulous.

But my tenure as MOPS coordinator is over. I've left my old church as well. I am in the process of figuring out where God wants me to minister. Do I continue to lead my study for stay home moms? Do I start a new ministry with all that entails, at my new church? Is God calling me to a time away from leadership to a servants role, and a time to be led instead of lead?

What about my writing? Where does that fit in? If I am to find time to write articles for publication, a new ministry on my heart, how does that fit in with all my "old" ministries? And of course my blog, that is a new ministry in itself. (So fabulous, is it not?)

I guess part of the answer is to raise up new leaders to fill my old roles. I've already done that in MOPS. Is it time to do that with bible study too? Where shall I lead? Where shall I follow?

I'm praying to God for the answers. All I know for certain is that I want to have a ministry so fabulous. Because really, who am I not to be fabulous, gorgeous, talented and brilliant?

Acts 6:1-4 -- ...their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

2 Timothy 4:5 -- But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

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 him do it cheerfully.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Clean House is a Sign of...

I saw this cutie graphic on another blog, and I had to share it with you all. I think it sums up my home life. I can spend too much time on the computer, but since I don't enjoy house work any excuse would do! I've seen other versions of this motto "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life" or "A clean house is a sign of a dull woman."

House work seems like a dreaded job. But does the bible tell us anything about that? Well, there is the dreaded Proverbs 31 woman...(I mean the lady in the bible, not Lysa TerKeurst.) We learn that she "works with eager hands." (v.13) That is exactly how I do the laundry, with eager hands...ummm, right. "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family" (v.15). It is dark when I get the winter months. And of course I provide food for my family...McDonald's is food, right?

Okay, clearly I'm exaggerating. My family rarely eats McDonalds. We are more the Chinese take-out type. But to continue with the lesson, verse 27 says "she watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."

Mainly I think I am eating 100% whole wheat...but perhaps I can occasionally have a slice of that bread of idleness. So today I pray to be more purposeful in my daily life at home. To get my "jobs" done quickly & efficiently so that I can be a good example to my daughters.

And to teach them that a clean house is a sign of a Proverbs 31 woman. You don't have to bake your own bread, just don't eat the bread of idleness.

Titus 2:4-5 -- Then they {the older women} can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of God.

Proverbs 10:4 - - Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Proverbs 15:17 - - Better a meal of vegetables where this is love than a fattened calf with hatred."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Knock Knock. Who's there?
Boo. Boo Who?
Sorry I made you cry!

That's the joke going around my house lately, by my nearly 9 yr old daughter. She's at the age where riddles and knock-knock jokes are fun times, and she follows me around with her joke book telling me joke after joke.

Knock-knock. Who's there?
Apple tree. Apple tree who?
Sorry I made you cry!

What?? That joke is the version my 4 yr old tells. She hears all the knock knock jokes, and she wants to get involved too. She sees the fun, and wants to be a part, but she doesn't understand what makes the joke funny. So she makes the joke her own, without really getting the point.

Some Christians have this problem too! They hear the message of Christ, and believe it. They want to be involved too. So they start to share the stories of the bible, but they are just repeating things they've heard and can get the story mixed up along the way. And suddenly there are lots of confused Christians (and non-Christians) out there.

Don't think it could happen to you? Quick, answer these questions.

1. How long was Noah on the ark?
2. How many of each animal were on the ark?
3. How many wise men were there visiting Jesus?
4. Where did the wise men visit Jesus?
5. After Jesus rose from the dead, how long was he on the earth?


1. Well, if you read my blog you already know that Noah was not on the ark for 40 days. While it rained for 40 days, he was on the ark for 7 months! I just realized this myself last week when reading the bible account of the story, and not a child's story book.

2. Um, 2 of each animal right? Genesis 7:2 says "Take with you SEVEN of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird...." Okay, so that is way more than 2 of each. The first sentence actually refers to seven pairs - so that is 14 of each kind of clean animal. Why did we think two? Well, there were two of each for the purpose of being fruitful and multiplying...but there was also some eating going on I think.

3. Three wise men, everyone knows that right!? The bible does not say three. In Matthew 2 it says "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came." (Magi or wise men). It never references how many. Only that they brought gold and incense and myrrh.

4. Well, of course anyone who owns a nativity scene knows that the Wise Men came to the stable...right after the shepherds, right? Actually, Matt 2:11 says "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him." House? Biblical scholars point to the fact Jesus was under 2 since Herod sent down the order to kill all children under 2, but was probably around 1 yr old and at his home, not the stable by this point.

5. If you attend a church where the creed is spoken, you know "He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven." I always thought that meant immediately, or at least soon. He spoke to Mary at the grave, visited the disciples and off he ascended. He was actually on earth for 40 days before he went to heaven. Acts 1:3 says "He appeared to them over a period of forty days."

Like my 4 yr old, we can hear the stories and get confused, adding our own take on them. We need to make sure we are reading the bible to get the true story. It is great to be a witness for God, but make sure you're spreading the truth. If you're not sure, pray to God for wisdom (knock and the door will be opened!). And if all else fails, seek godly counsel from a bible study leader or pastor. But remember, test what you hear with the bible.

Knock knock. Who's there?
Lettuce. Lettuce who?
Lettuce pray! (Let us pray).

Matthew 7:7,8 - - "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Revelation 3:20 - - Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.