Archive for ‘Discipleship’

May 21, 2011

Gulp. Me, Really?

Have you ever been anxiously waiting for the Lord to clue you in on His plan? Have you ever been caught off guard at what it is or how abruptly your waiting ends and you have to hit the ground running? I find it humorous to think that I would expect God to always be gentle in what he asks of me or how he chooses to reveal it. But I somehow forgot his power and might – some of his most beautiful attributes.

I’ve been waiting for God to call for a long time now. I couldn’t figure out why all my attempts to leave my current situation, better my life, or make changes to lessen the overwhelming sense of being trapped failed. A month ago, I sat with a Christian mentor and bared my soul at my inability to wait much longer for Him. We prayed in earnestness that God would move. I saw my mentor two weeks later and my first words to her were, “be careful what you pray for.”

Much has changed and I have a new weight of leadership and responsibility. I keep making excuses in my head at why I am not right for this challenge but God’s word rings living and active in my ears. How can I not see that He was preparing me for such a time as this? All my attempts to change my situation only to be kept in the same place? All the lessons I’ve learned through failures and building my character? How could I not say ‘yes’ when the Lord asked? God brought Esther to mind.

Esther 4:14 “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?”

Remember Moses? Remember how even he didn’t want the challenge God laid out before him?

Exodus 3:10-12 “Now, go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt. But Moses protested to God, ‘Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?’ God answered, ‘I will be with you. And you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.’”

But God promised to go with him – personally. He would provide rest.

Exodus 33:14 “The Lord replied, ‘I will personally go with you Moses, and I will give you rest – everything will be fine for you.’”

While fear may quickly surface when God calls us, we must remember he would not call and then not go with us. God has been preparing each of us for a specific calling – for such a time as this. Be watchful and train yourself as you wait because when He calls, it may not be gentle and you may have to start running. He is good and will not let you go it alone.

January 18, 2011

Intentional Living

I’ve been writing this post in my head for months. I can’t seem to get it right but here it goes. Please bare with me (or is it bear? Either way – love me just the same).

I’m a planner. Many of these posts and musings occurred as I realized I was at the end of my plan. But I’m at the beginning of something new. Something beyond my grasp and understanding. I don’t like change. It scares me. But, God is up to something. In the turbulence, He’s given peace. I don’t like risks but He has begun to cultivate a love for adventure in my heart. Today, I can honestly tell you I’m excited about what’s to come. I have no idea what the next year will bring or even tomorrow but I’m ready to take a risk and seize the adventure just the same. The ‘Type A’ in me is softening. I want to grow less rigid and accept the fact that life is fluid.

I want to surrender my will (which has so frequently caused me anxieties, stress, and so much wasted energy) and embrace God’s will for my life.

A part of embracing God’s will for me is for me to live intentionally where I am. He has me where I am for a reason. I’ve been fighting too hard to get to a place I might not suppose to be. In the past months I’ve considered relocating, massive career changes despite just finishing my graduate degree, and taken an honest look at my faith. Praise God for allowing me to wrestle through the hard questions.

Here’s what I know. God loves me. He has a plan for my life. He knows the desires of my heart BUT that does not mean I should be sitting around twiddling my thumbs until lo and behold – the situation of my dreams arises. Nope, He said GO and make disciples. Not, wait until you have your life figured out. Go.

In light of this, I want to live my life with intention. I want to seize the opportunities presented to me today. I want to talk to strangers. I want to speak openly about my faith. I want to love those that are “unlovable.” I want to live in freedom. I want to be an example.

And as I live my life with intention – I am trying to follow His command and GO.

More on intentional living tomorrow.

January 13, 2011

Uniquely You

We all have a calling. A gift. It’s different for each of us. We all have a unique role to play. I like working with senior citizens. It’s my way to give back – to say thank you for contributing to my life, community, country, etc. I love listening to their stories – gleaning from their mistakes and treasuring their wisdom. But not all would find my job exciting – yet it fits me because of how God has placed a unique passion in my life for the widows, lonely, and aged.

I have a friend who yearns to help Islamic women regain their freedom and independence. Another friend wants to open a home for pregnant teen moms and mentor them. A former coworker serves in an underprivileged neighborhood because he is passionate that these children should have some sort of father figure in their lives. An old classmate wanted to move to Hollywood to share the Gospel with the entertainment industry. I’m proud of my friends and excited by their passion.

All of these dreams help me see how we each have a role to play in this world. We are all uniquely gifted and have different passions. (Praise God because there is so much need in our world!) It’s amazing to think that if we were all faithful to minister in the ways we have been called (examine your passions, gifts, talents and opportunities to help you discern where God may be leading you), the entire world might know the name of Jesus Christ! That is a thought that is astounding to me. Embrace your distinct gifting and talents. We are not all the same (again, praise God because that would be boring!) and should not compare ourselves against one another. Play a part in the grand scheme. Get in the game and be YOU – the unique you.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27  Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a part of it.

 


 

December 5, 2010

Refuel, Energize, and Inspire

In a previous career life I had the opportunity to be exposed to great Christian resources. Some might benefit you in your ministry or personal spiritual journey. Here are just a few of my favorites. Visit. Explore. Refresh.

Personal Life

Boundless Webzine – A ministry of Focus on the Family for young adults. Read articles on a wide range of topics from relationships to career to theology.

Relevant Magazine – You may have heard of the magazine but explore the website for additional articles not found in print. Up for another challenge? Sign up for the “Deeper Walk” devotional emails.

Christianity Today – Browse the main website for articles and inspiration. Explore sister websites for ministry help, training and more.

Christianaudio.com – Podcasts, audio books, sermons and more to help you grow.

Ministry Life

SmallGroups.com – Find help and inspiration to create life-changing small groups.

UniqueComformity.com – Check out this new resource dedicated to make disciples and remove financial obstacles to ministry.

Kyria.com – A resource for women on topics from marriage and family to spiritual formation.

SermonSpice.com – Get loops, backgrounds, countdown, video illustrations for church services, outreach events, and general ministry use.

Know of other great resources? Let me know. I would love to feature quality Christian resources to help others grow in faith, live out the Gospel, and rejuvenate their souls (books, websites, ministry, music etc).

 

November 23, 2010

Watch My Feet

At one point in my life I felt fairly confident in being trained in evangelism and discipleship. I took classes, read books, and went on missions’ trips. But it’s been years since I’ve been enrolled in these classes and I’ve grown rusty. Sharing my faith with words has become a bit of a challenge (one that I am convicted I must change). Yet, I realized that evangelism and discipleship may not always look so formal. It might simply be how others watch how I live my life.

We often under-estimate the power of the example we set for others. I know I frequently live my life without regard to how I influence others. But when we live healthy lives and strive to follow after the Lord we make an impact. People notice. I came to this conclusion a few weeks ago when I had a few different people approach me independently and reveal that my attempts to live a healthier life have influenced them. While proud that they were taking some great steps, I was also convicted that I need to be careful to always live out my faith.

But it’s more than habits. Our lives are examined when we enter into difficult seasons of our lives too. People watch how we handle the challenges that are placed in our lives. Allow others to observe you seeking after God as you work through whatever has been grieving your heart. Transparency can be key to showing people your faith and making disciples without ever formally doing so. Be honest about your questions and struggles. Continue to glorify God in your pains and challenges. Don’t be afraid to show others the difficult side of faith. They may find this refreshing. Personally, when I need counsel I don’t want to talk to the person who always has it together. I want to talk to the person who has been through hard times and was able to come out the other side. God can use our honest cries in our lives but also in the lives of those around us. Never forget that the impact of our lives on others is astounding. Don’t under-estimate your walk. People are watching your feet.

Matthew 28: 19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

1 Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

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