Monday, September 29, 2014

3 Reasons Nursery Workers Rock

After being out of town for 2 Sundays in a row, I was looking forward to being back home in “my” church with my church family again. Then I noticed the nursery schedule.  It was my turn.  After I had just taught Sunday school. I fought the whine welling up inside.

I had missed the fellowship and theological discussions in our adult class and now I would miss the message again... for the 3rd week in a row.

Grabbing my things, I headed back to the bright nursery room to do the job required of me. As I began to talk with the toddlers and preschoolers, I was reminded in my heart that nursery work is important work.

These are little souls who need cared for while their parents are fed from the Word. Nursery time isn’t just about keeping kids corralled; it is the first phase of ministry.  The time spent with those little ones builds relationships that bring godly influence into their lives.

Once I changed my attitude, I actually enjoyed my time with those little smiling faces. We talked, snacked on animal crackers and read lots of books. I was reminded that I don’t go to church just for me, I go to serve as well.

3 Reasons Why Nursery Workers Rock:

  • They give up sitting in the service so you can sit and listen- in peace.
  • They care for your little ones even when they may be tired and want a day off.
  • They spend their energy engaging with your little ones, providing godly influence in their lives.

Be sure you thank your nursery workers. And be sure you sign up to work in there, too. The blessings go both ways!

 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Move Your Faith From Private To Public




Have you ever wondered about the Bleeding Woman in Mark chapter 5? While we are on the subject, I seriously think we should consider giving her a name, that’s not something anyone wants to be known as. Maybe we should call her the Woman of Faith... But back to the subject. Or maybe it is part of the subject now that I think about it. I’ll get to that in a bit.

Instead of receiving healing and going on her merry way as I often do, she moved to a position of worship in front of Jesus. Her faith compelled her to go to Jesus for healing and her faith also compelled her to worship Him publically.

I don’t mind God knowing about all my junk, but I don’t necessarily like anyone else to know. Are you with me? I tend to want to only show the good and keep the bad and ugly hidden away. Keep it just between God and I.

To move in front of Jesus and publically worship for healing meant others would know her problems and that she needed healing. She opened herself up to the eye of the public. She had received the healing. She could have just slipped away. There was a large crowd. She could have just blended in. Mailed Him a thank you note or text message.

But Jesus called her out. He gave her the opportunity to come forward. The opportunity to worship. The opportunity to move from private faith to public faith. The opportunity to grow in humility.  The opportunity to be a living example. The opportunity to be forever labeled by her sickness but with her faith shining a different perspective on it.

We all have struggles, defects and problems in our lives. Just as she did. We don’t want others to know about these issues we have, we want respect and acceptance and privacy. We don’t want our reputation marred by sin, failures or shortcomings. But we need healing.  And a faith that is real is a faith that  brings us to Christ where we find healing.

So back to her name. Or lack of, rather. She is still centuries later known as “The Bleeding Woman”.  I’m just guessing here, but I bet that is not what she would have chosen to be known as, if it was up to her.

But maybe it is actually a good thing. God takes us as we are. We don’t have to hide our identity. We don’t have to become someone we are not. All He requires is faith. And He changes and perfects us from there.

Maybe she didn’t mind that identity, after all. It described who she used to be, but because of His grace, she was changed. Just maybe she liked the contrast between her past and present, showing the power of the One who healed her.

 

 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Are You Listening to God?

Grab a cup of coffee; I have a story for you...you will think it's funny, however, it took me some time before I laughed.  I do believe this is my best "blonder than she pays to be" moment yet to date, to put it in Beth Moore terms. 
 
I was scheduled for a class in Sioux Falls and my husband gave up precious hunting time to accompany me. We drove the 5 ½ hour trek; we left home around 3pm and arrived about 8:30pm.  That always seems like such a long ride, and we were glad when we finally reached our destination. 
 
There was a bit of confusion on the face of the hotel clerk as he searched for our reservation.  His reply stopped my heart, “Your reservations are for NEXT SUNDAY”..... I dug in my purse...to my horror, the conference registration confirmed his words.  
 
My husband tried to comprehend our predicament “So, we just drove 300 miles for nothing?"  My reply was a disbelieving nod; how could I have mixed up the dates?  I felt sick to my stomach. 


“You mean I could have gone hunting?” the ramifications were setting into Jeff’s mind.  Again, all I could do was nod. 
 
So..... we got back in the car and drove 5.5 hours once again and arrived home around 2 am.  Jeff never said another word about it.  (He's a good man, I tell you!)


Needless to say, I am not laughing yet and neither is Jeff but he does says there’s never a dull moment with me around.  It's ok, you can laugh, I know I will in time...

Two of my friends told me “There must be a reason, or the Holy Spirit wouldn’t have let you do it”… I would love to believe this, to believe that I am merely a pharmaceutical outlet helping God with His laughter-is-good-medicine ministry by supplying the world with chuckles. 


But, my mind can’t help but wonder if the Holy Spirit didn’t try to tell me.  Warn me.  Even just get me to look at my calendar….. If He did, why did I not listen? Why did I not hear?  What else was my mind so focused on? What was drowning out His voice?

I know driving 600 miles round trip for nothing is not a tragedy, but there is a deeper question lurking in my heart: have I missed God’s leading on truly important things just because I wasn’t listening?  Its definitely something to think on as I tune in to Him.