Beyond Belief, Living to Serve

In all honesty, this should have been my first post but I waited because I was nervous and a tad lazy. It took a lot of time choosing the scriptures and the right translation but I knew I could not procrastinate any longer because God was calling me to write this. (It is important to click the links to read the bible narrative to understand this post in its entirety, it is long but so worth it). Let begin…

Matthew 16:13-18 tells us of the conversation Jesus had with the disciples about his identity. (Did you click the link?) Here is when I ask you:

Who do you say Jesus is?

When you define Jesus in your life, it is also important to acknowledge His father as the source and creator of the universe. (Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27) This parable gives insight into doing work for Christ. Some have been blessed with many gifts and some just a few but the key is to work your gift to so it will increase. The servant with one wasted his time and his talent. There are so many things he could have done with it beside bury it. 

 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

What gift/ talent have you been given by God? How are you sharing it with others?

Luke 12:35-48 tells us to stay prepared for the Lord’s return. Identifying and sharing your gift needs to be a top priority in your life! “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

I encourage you to take time to learn about yourself. What are you naturally good at, do you receive compliments on anything you do or say? You must prepared to share your gifts because one day Jesus went seeking to be fed from a fig before it was in it’s season. Mark 11:12-14 NEWS FLASH: He can come at any time!

In John 21:15-18, Jesus visits the disciples and speaks with Peter. Here is where it is made clear that God is calling his followers to contribute to His kingdom. He gives a direct command to Peter to feed his sheep. This means we can no longer walk through life believing Jesus came, died and rose again but going to work, the store and on vacation never sharing with others who and what we know. We need to tell everyone about it, we are called to serve.

Galatians 5:13 “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”

Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

Romans 7:6 “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

John 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Remember, serving is not in vain. “For in due season you shall reap if you faint not!” Galatians 6:9

May you live a life of serving and be blessed beyond your dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Start Over…and Smile

As I was watching the movie Internship, it made me think about my experience starting over which led me to search for  For King and Country’s song “Fix My Eyes”.

Video by zmzhong7

 I love this song! It really speaks to my life after being born again and it was a song I heard not long after God called me out of the classroom to go into ministry.  The words to this song are amazing because it’s a message to self acknowledging the way I was is no longer how I can be. Going forward, I will fix my eyes on Jesus.

“See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” Isaiah 42:9

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

Reading these scriptures help me remember how far God as brought me. I can recall, a year ago as I was walking through the airport in Arizona with tears streaming down my face, I was so disappointed and sad to leave teaching internationally to return home. (Little did I know but God was getting ready to completely change my life for the better but, in order to do so it meant I had to let go of the life I was living to receive the new one He was offering.) In the final weeks of the school year, I heard God call me back home to Kansas. It was one of those moments where I was glad to hear Him speak but I did not like what He had to say (hey, just being honest). I wanted Him to speak to me and lead me but I wanted something different, more pleasant, fun or at least let me know for how long but no, I was just called home. As a sat there waiting for my flight, I began chatting with two other ladies and the tears continued to fall, partly out of sadness but they were also the result of fear. The ladies were kind and asked what was wrong, so I shared with them I was headed home after being gone for 9 years, how I felt like a failure for having to go home, I did not have a job lined up and now I would have to move back home after just spending the last year living on my own. Both ladies were super sweet, telling me things would be okay and to trust God. One lady proceeded to tell me how she had done the same thing years before and she was only home for a short time, met her now husband, has children and completely appreciates that time she spent back at home. Her words gave me hope, I then began to reason with God making a request for the life this lady had while still struggling with reality.

After the ladies and I went our separate ways and I carried their words of encouragement with me, hoping to be able to relate to them one day. As I continued on my journey, I passed by a shop with this magnet:

I thought…what? Why would a caterpillar think the world is over? Does it not know what is suppose to happen after it stays in the crysalis? But as I questioned this magnet I also prayed Lord I hope I become a buttefly and after I prayed, I purchased the magnet. **Now at first thought, it clearly states it was a proverb, this is not a scripture nor a divine visit from an angel but it spoke to me (plus, Paul’s letters were just letters until they became the New Testament).

Well, I made it home and that is when I first heard this song, then I read those scriptures for the first time and I hung this magnet up in my room. I was bound and determined things would get better on the other end of this trip home. They just had to get better! For the first six months, I thought about leaving every day and the many ways I could “escape”. It was not easy to start over especially because there were things in my old life I truly enjoyed but the more I read, prayed, worshipped and focused on the positives of being back home, the happier I became. (I shifted my thinking. See Counting My Blessings and Gratitude Journals)  Even when I could not see what was ahead, I fixed my eyes on Jesus until I could see what God was having me reach toward because Isaiah says, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching for those things which are ahead.”

Now as I prepare for my next season, I listen to  “Soar” by Meredith Andrews because after being called to start over, I entered a season of waiting.  I can truly say it has been a blessing though, I have learned so many new things, I can apply new knowledge to keep from repeating the old mistakes, I have had time back home to tell people thank you for what they had done for me (Luke 17:11-19) and I have been preparing for the new things God is about to do in my life (Isaiah 42:9; 43:18-19). I joined a financial planning course rooted in scripture with Crown Financial, I joined a new church, wandered into a singles ministry which is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and have gone back to school to prepare to go into ministry.

Whether life caused you to begin again or you feel led to make a change, starting over is a BLESSING! It is a second chance (for some it may be the seventeenth chance) but Glory to GOD for the opportunity. Starting over is a good thing because this time we will soar and that is something worth smiling about!

Thanks for reading, I hope you were encouraged. Be blessed!

 

Video by Made New Media

Spotlight: Go For It! You Will Not Fail

A thirteen year old boy made up in his mind to learn and play the Star Wars theme song at no other than the house of the famous composer John Williams. I am a little embarassed to say but when I saw this video, I cried. It may have been because Mr. Williams came outside and greeted them but it also may be the attitude of young Bryce Hayashi. I was inspired that I need to just go for things-commit and go for it! Bryce did just that and what a positive ending it was for him. In these moments where a great idea pops in your head, fear of failure can come after discouraging you but this is where changing your mindset will help you conquer your fears. Believe good things are coming your way! Go for it, you will NOT fail!

Slow Down and See His Glory

Jeremiah 2:25
“Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? But you say, ‘I can’t help it. I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.”
 In the 21st century idols no longer are hand -made sculptures of animals in place of God (well not everywhere) but mankind is still making their own Gods. The DVR list-God did not make that, you did! What about that long to-do list that is longer than your grocery list, how much on there involves worshiping, praising and serving God? Are you more eager in the morning to jump in the drive-thru and more anxious to get to work or go hang out with your friends than you are to read your bible and pray? Are you willing to fly across the country for work and drive across town for a relationship but have never visited the church you pass every day on the way to work? These things are alien gods, they give you something to do but never really grow you.

But God is so good, you can choose today to let Him come in and change you for the better. Be encouraged this morning to give God control over your time, allow Him to lead your life each and everyday. You will feel better, more productive and be transform into His likeness Satan is busy filling hearts and minds with thoughts of becoming richer, better, stronger, and faster but it is a trick. He does not want you to succeed, anytime you have the thought you want to volunteer, call a friend, donate to charity and then the immediate doubts of all the reasons why you should not go begin to stir inside of you THAT IS SATAN! He wants to cause you to doubt, fear, be lazy, get distracted so you will not help others. When you do only for yourself, you alone are impacted but when you do for others, there is a double blessing. Pray, let God lead you to where He has planned for you and trust His plan is to prosper you and not to harm you.

Now is the time to get up, smile and go BE a blessing!