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Sometimes I just can’t stand being human. I’m very aware today of the struggle between my humanness and the call to be holy like God is holy.

So I wrote a few days ago about the conviction I felt about not going to a children’s ministry meeting, so in the middle of listening to a sermon I picked up my lap top brought it into my bathroom so I could keep listening while I showered and got ready at lightning speed to make it to the meeting. And I’m glad I went, even though my presence resulted in my designation as the teacher of the toddlers for the weekly Tuesday night prayer meeting (the meeting is weekly but I’m on a monthly serving rotation). I am not a teacher nor am I very good with toddlers. Babies, yes, I love babies. Toddlers, I’m no good with toddlers. Coupled with the fact that I’m not a teacher, I knew those poor kids would be in for something that night―something good? Don’t think so, but definitely something.

But alas, the snow storm the weather men were calling for has hit and the prayer meeting has been canceled. So what does this have to do with being human? I’m kinda, sorta really glad it was canceled… I’m glad it was canceled so I have an extra evening to work on my paper that’s due Thursday morning. I’m glad it was canceled because I knew I’d be distracted while I was trying to teach the kids thinking about the paper due Thursday. And this is why I just can’t stand being human sometimes.

You see, there are many, many people, especially the moms of those toddlers that could really use a prayer meeting tonight. And while I know I have nothing to do with the weather, hence why in legal terms massive weather events are called acts of God, I can’t help but feel convicted of my attitude. It was/is all about me too often.

But what I started to see in the past few days, even though teaching these toddlers is WAY out of my comfort zone and not a natural gifting of mine, I was really starting to get excited about it. You see, the Lord really spoke to me about the moms of these little guys, and the fact that there are plenty out there who don’t know Jesus. If I can serve their children, help them to know that their babies are in good hands, teach the little guys about God and His word, while mom gets to sit in a prayer meeting, what kind of Kingdom impact could that be? But here I am, more concerned about my paper and getting it done even though I’m the one that planned poorly and got myself in this place.

I plan to remind myself of the conviction I feel today for the next time I’m supposed to teach the toddlers. I plan to remind myself how much more important Kingdom impact is than getting a paper in on time (although I do plan to schedule my time better so I don’t find myself in this predicament again).

** I read through this post before posting it and felt like I still needed to publish it, but I also need to add a little something. You see, there’s another element at work here. I did go to the meeting on Saturday believing God to make time for me to do my paper… perhaps this was God’s answer to my belief? I won’t ever know for sure this side of heaven and I certainly won’t begin to think that my need to get a paper in on time is even remotely close to the needs the people would bring before the Lord tonight in prayer had we still had prayer meeting, but what I do know is I can take it as just that [an answer to my belief] but ALSO ask the Lord to grow my heart to be like His, a lover of all His people; and, to make me more like Him, a selfless servant of all. **

Take your post. Those are the wise words delivered to me by a wonderful woman of God. I learned a lot in my conversation with her. I was honest, brutally honest with her about how I was feeling: the inadequacy, the jealousy, the uncertainty, the fogginess, the lack of trust, lack of belief. And she just looked at me with eyes that said, “I know, its okay. I’ve been there too. You’re not a bad person―you’re human.”

She reminded me of the truth I had lost sight of, the truth I tried to put in front of my face and hoped would drop from my head to my heart. But alas, I needed to hear it from a loving, caring and encouraging woman of faith. I’ve said it 100+ times before and I will say it 100+ times again, He knows what we need and how we need it so we’ll receive it.

So, the truth she reminded me of, the post (aka where I find myself serving in the Kingdom) where God has called me, is just that, the post where HE has called me. No one else has placed me there. He has. He has gifted me for certain things and somehow in some way they help the Kingdom move forward. He’s opened my eyes to how each post in Kingdom work is significant because God made it that way, not because of the people He assigned to it.

I’ve taken my post with pride―a pride in the Lord that He would allow me to serve Him even at all. No matter what it looks like. It’s not about me, it’s about Jesus.

I left lunch that day knowing the knowledge had made the journey from head to heart. Now it’s my job to cultivate it in the heart.

Psalm 84:10 – Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

this is what i wrote for my final ‘ah-haa’ moment for class this semester. when i presented it to the class i had all my gear with me as well.

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From the beginning of this project I felt the Lord pressing on my heart that somehow my attempt to summit Mt. Rainier last summer was to be a part of this presentation. Initially I thought it was because of the verse: The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. And I thought this because I had to make a decision on the side of that mountain to continue or turn around. It was a VERY hard decision to make but I knew for my safety and the safety of the team I had to turn around. It was an agonizing decision.

However, after we studied this Scripture it became clear to me that was not His intent as that’s most likely not what the Scripture means―He wanted me to see the connection between attempting to summit a mountain and what it takes to work in a team.

You see, when you attempt to climb a mountain like Mt. Rainier, you must make sure you have the proper gear.

Two pairs of socks: check

Under layer: check

Mid layer: check

Protective pants: check

Protective jacket: check

Down jacket: check

Mountaineering boots: check

Gaiters: check

Hat: check

Two layers of gloves: check

Helmet: check

Head lamp: check

Harness: check

Crampons: check

Ice axe: check

The list is rather long and this isn’t even quite as thorough as it could be. All these things are meant to protect me from harm in some way shape or form. The proper layers and clothing keep me warm, the boots are waterproof to keep me dry, the down jacket is specifically for when we stop at each island of safety so my core body temp doesn’t drop―I think we all know what the hat is for, the gloves, helmet, headlamp, etc. The crampons keep me grounded, without them I can’t climb the steep side of the mountain without falling. And if I do fall, I can use them to dig into the side of the mountain. Just like the ice axe. Lord willing it will be used mostly to help keep my balance, but if I fall, I can use it to dig into the side of the mountain and prevent myself from falling too far.

But you see, there are two things wrong with this perspective. One: I am viewing all this gear and equipment as items to protect me and keep me safe on the mountain. Two: I am missing two very important pieces of equipment.

One important piece of equipment I did not address yet is the harness. This piece is all about me but it’s also all about my team. And the piece of equipment that is missing is the rope.

You might be asking, what’s wrong with viewing the equipment as items that protect you and keep you safe? In and of itself, this perspective is not wrong. However, when you bring the harness and the rope into the equation (the broader text if you will), you see that those items serve an even greater purpose than just protecting me.

I cannot climb this mountain alone. Sure I can try, but I will tell you right now, my chances of survival are slim to none. I need a team. And the team needs me. When I was attempting to summit, they required a minimum of three people on a rope. Interesting huh? Each person is tied into the same rope. One leads, one is in the middle and one is in the rear. Their harnesses are tied into my harness. As you climb, with one hand holding the rope and one hand holding your axe, you feel the tension on the rope in front of you and/or behind you. As you move as a team the tension on the rope tells you if you need to move faster or slower. We each pay attention to the speed of the person in front and/or behind, being careful not to step on the rope; after all we have these fiercely sharp crampons on our boots and we cut the rope, how will we go one to the top and then get back down?

The team began the day with what we call an alpine start, meaning it’s still very dark, about 1 a.m. when you begin the trek. The farthest ahead you can see is the person in front of you; your head lamp doesn’t go much farther. Suddenly, you hear a team member scream, “falling!” You and the other team member do exactly what you have been trained to do, you dive into the side of the mountain, on top of your ice axe and kick and firmly plant your boots with the crampons into the side of the mountain. You can feel it; the sudden jerk on the rope from the team member who has now stopped falling through the crevasse.

You see, while I may think my equipment is to protect me, keep me warm and help me make it to the top of the mountain. It is also for my team. My gear, my equipment could be the very thing that saves my team member from falling, falling even to death.

And this is my ah-haa moment.

However the Lord has equipped me, it is not for me in the end. It is for others. It is to help keep my team, my brothers and my sisters in Christ from falling; to be roped in and ready to feel the tension; to know when to loosen up and when to tighten up; to listen for the yell and brace for impact. It’s the only way we’ll all make it to the top of the mountain, being roped in together, willing to recognize our equipment is not for just ourselves.

Our group determined “Proverbs 27:2-22 looks at issues involved in wisely engaging community, duties, and interpersonal relationships, according to the principles of integrity, prudence and humility.” I’m challenged to continually look at this life from a community perspective, beyond my immediate influence and walls. It’s not all about me.

i struggled with writing this post for many reasons – i’ll let the reader assume what they are… but i had a wonderful valentine’s evening with one of my favorite little ladies :-) thought i’d share a few pics.

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I’m finding myself in a season where I’m serving in capacities I never dreamed of. And the reason I never dreamed of them is because they were never on my radar. I just never considered them as areas in which I wanted to serve and never considered them as they require traits that I do not possess.

Like most people, I like to strive for excellence in each job or task I am given, but especially if it is in ministry. Well, in my current areas of service I’ve never felt so inadequate or incapable of reaching excellence. These ministries require someone with a softer heart than mine, a patience level much greater than the one I possess and a humbleness that I although I thought I possessed it, I’ve realized I don’t! Talk about a Holy TKO (total knock out for those of you that don’t know, and might I admit that I had no idea what that meant until a dear friend informed me).

And yet, today I heard the most wonderful quote, “God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.”

AMEN!

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i heart stage crew! these are the awesome team members i spent the past two weekends serving with. they all deserve some serious blessings for living with my voice in their ears for two weekends in a row!

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after this weekend, pia is thinking, “seriously, i’m going to summit what with this girl?”

this is where i will be this weekend, at my church serving in the backstage crew. i’ll try to get a pic of the crew in all black with our headsets and all. we might be a small church but man, God doesn’t care. He always seems to move in mighty ways and i am so blessed to be a part of it! there really is no better way to honor Easter weekend then to serve our Savior’s kingdom

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hoping to get a climb in before i have to be at church – haha!

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