Throughout my ministry (starting in Robert Lee, when Paul and I got married, to now, being here, in Giddings), I have had to learn some hard lessons. I have had to learn, through all the UPS and DOWNS, and blessings and heartaches, that the Lord remains faithful to those who trust in Him. He remains faithful, even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13).
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 RSV)
I have learned that I am important and my ministry is important, regardless of what other people say. I don’t work for people, I work for the Lord.
- Our work, gifts, talents, and callings are given by God and should be done in service to Him; no matter how small or great the task.
- God promises to recognize and reward our efforts whether others do or not. (Matthew 6:19-21; Hebrews 6:10).
- Further, Jesus taught that if believers do something solely for the recognition of others, they completely miss God’s reward.
- A Christian’s work should be characterized by enthusiasm, confidence, and diligence in work.
Ministry is a lot of work—hard work. Often, it involves hearing “no,” being underpaid (or just volunteering, which is what I do), having little experience and undertaking tasks that may be a little stinky. But, I find comfort (during challenging times) in 1 Corinthians 15:58. It says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Also, in the Old Testament the writer of 2 Chronicles says, “My sons, do not neglect your duties any longer! The Lord has chosen you to stand in His presence, to minister to him, and to lead the people in worship and present offerings to Him.” (2 Chronicles 29:11 NIV).
Simply put, it’s making your life a ministry. Ministry is NOT about what you do only when you are in the church office (or sitting on the floor, in a closet, which is where my “office” is) or in the church building. Ministry isn’t reserved for Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights. Ministry happens doing whatever it is you’re doing, wherever you may be, and with whoever you might be with.
I can do nothing on my own. Yes, I can do more with friends. Yes, I can do more with Paul helping me. But, ultimately, it all comes back to Jesus. It all comes back to loving Him, serving Him, and being faithful to Him.
Anybody remember Wayne Watson (he is a Christian singer and was pretty famous back in the 80’s and 90’s)….He wrote a beautiful song called It’s Because (of Whose I am)….
Here’s the chorus:
It’s not because of what I am, not because of what I’ve done,
But its because He first loved me. His grace has set me free.
His blood is flowing through my veins. I’m adopted by The King.
It’s because of Whose I am. -Wayne Watson
It’s because of Whose I am…..
Another great song (that’s a little more contemporary) is Who Am I by Casting Crowns. Here’s part of the chorus:
not because of who I am
but because of what You done
not because of what I done
but because of who You are
As you can see, music speaks to me. I spent some time on You Tube last night, looking up songs (some I had heard before, some I had not) about WHO we are, as Christians/as believers and WHOSE we are…..
Here’s another one from Kenny Lattimore. He is a gospel/R&B singer…..
Here’s part of the chorus:
‘Cause I’m Yours forever, Lord, a living sacrifice
And on my journey, Lord, I want You to use me Then I know everything will be alright
Lord, I won’t ever forget whose I am Lord, I won’t forget.
I don’t know this song, but I really enjoyed listening to it last night on You Tube; you should look it up!
In situations of heartache, frustration, and the literal moment where I think I want to pull my hair out, I continue singing…..
“I need thee, oh I need thee, every hour I need thee!” I take a deep breath, take a break, grab a drink from Sonic (b/c really doesn’t everything feel better after you’ve had a Rt. 44 DDP)….and continue.
Paul looks at me and says, “Just stop.” Stop trying to do this. Stop trying to be a part of a ministry where you feel frustration. Stop being a part of a ministry where you get so much flak back.
Well, I don’t feel like I have the choice. I love Him, I gave Him my life. He commanded we not turn our eyes and look the other direction from those in need.
I have been commanded to love the little ones…..Matthew 19:14.
I stand behind and stand firm on what I have been called to do. I love the kids of our church and our community and want what is best for them and their parents. I am beginning to understand and grasp the concept of what it means to “meet someone where they are.” We need to meet them where they are and meet the current needs they have and know and understand what is relevant to their lives today. The fact is…..our lives/our children’s lives are much busier NOW than they were THEN…..Children/parents/families are busy and tired. Our curriculum/teachings/programs have to change and adapt with our culture and adapt to that. We are doing the Church (big “C” church, not just the local church) a disservice if we plan things that are not beneficial to those families and where they are now in their lives. The Church (big “C”) cannot (and should not) create programs and curriculum just for the sake of creating them, if they are not what our kids/parents/parishioners/congregation needs. What our kids/parents need is something that is adapted to their schedule and not so “regimented” like just another thing on the calendar!
I want to live with and love those who are around me. And I do that by:
- going to T-ball games, baseball games, softball games
- going to Field Day at the elementary school
- going to Powder Puff games at the H.S.
- working at the Food Pantry
- taking the youth to the park to play
- cleaning out the water-filled basement on my day off
- taking 4 kids (that are not ours) to eat at McDonald’s
- lovin’ someone through heartache with a Dr. Pepper and a chocolate bar
- not substituting one day because I agreed to have lunch with a friend
- being the last person out of the church, waiting to make sure everyone has a ride home and no one is left behind
- having a bible study at my house every Wednesday night
- having a husband who loves and believes in me
And I do it because it is what I have been called to do.
I am Who I Am
and I know
Whose I Am