Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Slipping Through the Cracks

       I was very busy.  I spent countless hours volunteering and trying to reach out to as many groups of women as I could.  I loved doing what I felt was furthering the kingdom of God.  Please don't misinterpret what I am about to say.  It is important to reach out to all people.  A great way to do this is by volunteering or offering groups that appeal to different situations in life.  This post is just about how God recently opened my eyes to a common problem with the church today.  Unfortunately, it was a painful lesson for me.
      I love volunteering.  Prior to my marriage, I stayed busy volunteering with the church youth group, working at the church, and keeping up with my women's Bible study (it met every other week and sometimes  we volunteered at the women's shelter in between meetings).  Between work, school, and these activities, I left little time for much else.  It is a miracle that my husband did not give up on me while we were dating! I was a worker! I thought one day I would be able to look back and see the many lives I had touched. Instead, I see visions of the lives I let slip away.  

     Through all my efforts to reach so many, I ignored those who came to me with personal needs of discipleship.  I would let them know I had little time but the church was offering a great class on whatever their need may be. . .they should look into it.  But I never took just a few extra moments to hear them. . . I never really saw them. 
     Recently, out of curiosity, I looked at some of their social media accounts.  I wanted to cry! When did they take that wrong turn?  Why did no one intervene? Why didn't I just take the time? 

    I think it is great that so many faith based organizations do the outreach that they do....We reach out to the community to bring them in; but, what happens to them once they get here?  Please understand I am pointing the finger at myself when I say this = What good are we doing if we are planting seeds in shallow soil where they have no chance to take root (Matthew 13:3-8)?  Why are we not letting the lost know just how important they are by giving them just a few precious moments of time? When will we learn that our busy work is actually costing the Kingdom? If we are not disciplining them, then who is?

    I look at my daughter today (she will be three months in just two more days) and I think about the word written in the book of Titus:

Titus 2:3-5 =  "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.Then they can urge 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..."

We are to be counseled by those who came before us; and to make the time to instruct those who come after us.  It takes only a few minutes of my time to answer the questions of those asking. It is an honor to pray for those in need.  It is a privilege to live by example.  If we are not doing these three things, then God knows who we are letting slip through the cracks. 

Dear Holy Spirit, thank you for those that you have put in my life to teach me Your ways.  Help me to help others so that they do not slip away into the darkness.  Help me to show Your love always.  Thank you for reminding me that it is the heart, not the deed, that matters.  



Monday, August 12, 2013

We Choose to Love

    In our family, we do not watch television or keep up with the days and lives of Holly Woods most famous (or notorious) celebrities.  Instead we spend our time talking with each other and reading together.  My husband is my best friend. We share everything! And, just like any friendship, we can "share" quite a few disagreements. In other words; yes, we do fight.
    We fight about the dogs and where we are going to eat; we fight about clothes and our hobbies. Sometimes, agreeing on a time to go to bed is a task. We are different. We make mistakes. Sure we could spend our time pointing out each other's flaws; or we could choose to love each other despite our differences.

Our marriage works because we choose love. What do you choose?

"What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?" 1 Corinthians 4:21

Today's prayer: Holy Spirit, help me to choose love in all of my dealings with others.  I know those "others" can include family, friends, or complete strangers.  Help me to bestow Your mercy to all I come into contact with. In Jesus name I pray this... AMEN