Monday, September 27, 2010

What would others say?

From a reading in one of my quiet times ...

"If someone unfamiliar with God were to describe-from observation alone-your relationship with God, what words might he or she select?" (Intimate Conservations: Devotions to nurture a woman's soul" by Alicia Britt Chole).

Whoa...think about it. What do others see when you are walking down the market isles, driving into work on those busy highways, or sitting in that pew at your place of worship? What does your family observe at home?
Would they say God is your Master? Father? Business Partner? Coach? Santa Clause? Other?

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. ~Proverbs 18:10

You may have all types of christian objects surrounding you (crosses on the wall, scripture verse plaques, fish decals on a car, even Bibles lying out on a table) but do others see the difference in your life that Christ has made?

I have been looking more closely at my life as a wife, a mother, a servant of God and I do not like what I am seeing. The longer I look the more SELFISHNESS I see. I am afraid I have been an ordinary wife, an ordinary mother and an ordinary servant of God. It is easy to be defines ordinary as being

"common: of a common everyday kind; unremarkable: not remarkable or special in any way, and therefore uninteresting and unimpressive; usual or customary".

Yelp...that's me...just getting by as a mother and wife. My energy is sucked out of me at the end of my work day and I am literally on empty and not able to meet their needs. My tolerance is worn thin with such little things it seems. I feel so selfish when I think back to a nothing kind of evening and what I should have been doing with the ones I love the most.

Spiritually I feel unremarkable. Daily I spend time with God in the early morning hours and I call on Him throughout my day...but nothing above and beyond is happening. I mean seriously, all these long drives to meet my parents at their home to go to the Dr's office with them and not a word from God in those times of silence. He has had the perfect opportunity to speak to me-literally-but all I seem to get these days is silence. I feel selfish when my mind can not focus on Him but instead jumps to everything else surrounding my life. I miss ministry, I miss belonging to a church family, I miss being involved.

So whats a selfish mid-life women to do? I guess I need to turn this ordinary around and become extraordinary by God's grace by a purifying of my heart and mind. I have to believe it can happen! My husband says I'm my worst critic but selfishness is a pretty ugly thing and not a characteristic found in the extraordinary woman. I pray that as I enter into this new day, into this new week, that I know in myself I will only be ordinary, and in Christ I can become extraordinary!! To be extraordinary Encarta defines us as:

"unusually excellent and deserving attention and comment because of being wonderful, strange, or shocking; additional and having a special purpose; employed for a special purpose or to do additional work; additional to and going beyond the ordinary or established scope of something."

I want to be all these things..wonderful, excellent, having a special purpose, greater, going beyond, even shocking...for God and for my family. I want others to see Christ in me, to see Him for all the things He has become...but primarily to see Him as my Master.

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. ~Rom 12:1-2 (The Message)

What would others say about you and your relationship with God?????

His Maidservant~Pamela

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Salt of the Earth....

Matthew 5:13-16 (NKLJV)
Believers Are Salt and Light

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Four times this past week this passage has come to my my daily devotion a sermon...on-line...even on facebook!! As my husband and I have have struggled through a difficult period in our ministry life and service to God, we have have been inquiring of God what we did wrong, where we made a wrong decision, vs if others were wrong. I have asked Him to be bold with His answer. I guess you can not get any bolder than having the same scripture coming to you that many times.

We are trying to embrace this period of respite but it is hard. We are doers-servers and teachers according to our spiritual gifts. I asked my husband as we read these verses in a Bible study we are doing together last night if maybe we had lost our saltiness. Have we become like the Israelites in the old testament wondering in a desert because we have not followed God fully. He agreed and stated "I feel so worthless..." and so do I.

Though our ministries appeared to be growing and seemed to be very active...had we allowed "something" into our lives to take away the salty savor that God needed in us so we could be affective for Him and not just for the ministries? This is so difficult to face even as I write these words...

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. ~ Psalm 119:133

Is it possible to loose ones saltiness while being so active in ministry? I'm afraid we have had to face that reality and humbly acknowledge the tolerance of things in this world we have allowed into our personal lives. This tolerance, big or small as it might appear from outsiders, now requires this time of respite... to re-group, to recommit and to more importantly remove any hindrance that have dulled our ability to serve God. Like the Israelites in Deuteronomy 30,we have allowed other "things" to really take priority of our lives and it seems it has become a road block for God's purposes.

Have you ever been in my shoes? Can you related? We are on a pilgrimage and we are holding on to the promises God gave to the Israelites in Deut. 30:2-3....

"...and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you.."

Our fortune was serving in ministry and we miss it terribly. We know that when we return to Him with a full heart and soul commitment He promises restoration and compassion. We became to busy to see our feet slipping and now these two things are what we need the most right now.

One of the worst things we could have done is to not give God our all. We have never been more grieved over this along with our past failures and sins than we are today and we have never been more committed to get it right so that we can once again be salt and light in this world for His eternal proposes...not ours, not the ministries...HIS.

Holy God, restoring and compassionate Father, full of mercy and grace, embrace your servants. Allow us to rest on your shoulders during this time of respite. Allow us to grieve our mistakes and to grow from them becoming more capable of being a vessel you can use. We want to be a a man and a women after your own heart but we are weak, we lose focus, even when we think we are spiritually strong. we are nothing without You, we are everything in You. Help me to be the supportive mate my husband needs right now, to complement and build him up as he too is beat down by this. I have seen you use him and work through him and it humbled me. Do it again Lord. Do it again...for Your eternal purposes and Your glory alone.~Amen