Tag Archives: blessing

It’s Ministry

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2 Corinthians 3:5- It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.

Webster’s definition of ministry-

  • Ministry (noun)

    the act of ministering;

After an incredible summer full of camps we are faced with some big decisions on how to keep the ranch and this ministry afloat during off season. We discussed birthday parties, although we always said we didn’t think we would do birthday parties because we didn’t want to get distracted from ministry.

I have a friend, Sharon, who owns a farm and they have an incredible barn and do weddings almost every weekend. She is a speaker and travels often but says this is part of her ministry (and the Lord is able to provide through it). You will often find her praying for the bride and groom before each wedding. It’s not just an event- it’s ministry. People come to that property that might never step foot in a church. And she’s been given an open door into their hearts to share God’s love.

Last week on facebook she posted something and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. She said, “God, I’m so busy working our wedding venue, I don’t even have time to do what you called me to do.” He spoke directly to her and said, “Remember who you are.” Then the phone rang. The couple had to cancel their wedding as they had just received devastating news. They were sobbing. Immediately prayer arose from her spirit. At the end of the prayer the man said through his tears that her prayer was exactly what they both needed… Jesus. Wow. Guess what? That right there- that’s ministry.

When you go to work everyday and ask the Lord to give you a ministry, look around. I have a feeling He’s placed some people around you that just might need to know God’s love for them. That’s ministry. When you speak with love and compassion to a child who might have a dysfunctional home environment- that’s ministry. When you are complaining because you don’t feel like cleaning or cooking (which may or may not have happened here) the Lord quickly reminds us, “Hey, that’s ministry.” Many times ministry is not what everyone sees. As a matter of a fact, ministry is often found in those thankless things we do day after day. When my kids come home from school and it feels clean and smells good, they probably won’t say a thing, but I know it feels good. I’ve partaken in this holy offering of bringing a sacrifice for my family. Being there for a friend- my goodness, that’s ministry. When your spouse is struggling and you have to carry more of the load at home- instead of complaining ask the Lord to give you compassion for your spouse. Ask Him to make you faithful in this ministry He has given to you.

I have been reminded this week how much my family still needs me. Yes, my kids are older, but they need me differently now than they did when they were young. There will be a time for even more speaking and writing opportunities, but I really do need to focus on this ministry right here under my roof. My kids will only live under this roof for a designated time and I want to be all here. I want them to know that I’m a safe place and that when the time comes where they need to share something really big or really private that they would feel like I’m a safe place. Your time here on earth as a parent- That’s ministry. (No, I’m not stepping down from anything in particular; I’m just also not in such a hurry to get there either.) It’s that struggle between calling and home; that tension, because both are in fact ministry. I need to keep first things first. You see, ministry flows so much more when I have my priorities in order. God honors that. I’ve seen it time and time again.

Every camp, every birthday party, every field trip, every moms group, every retreat, and/or event that has ever and will ever take place here at Big Red’s Ranch- that’s ministry. I’m reminded that we have been given a great responsibility for anyone who steps on to this property- not just to have fun, although I assure you, that will happen, but also that no matter what the particular event is, it’s ministry. We are called to be a light and to share God’s love wherever we go and whatever we do.

Oh, that we would stop worrying about who does what and who gets the credit. I promise you that some of the people that are most used by God are not those who you will ever read about or those who stand on a stage- It’s those who decided a long time ago to make their life’s work about kingdom living- not worried about what everyone else is (or isn’t) doing, not worried about a title, but it’s those who go about their lives with a kingdom living mindset. They live their lives to bring a smile to someone’s face or to encourage those who are hurting. These are the people who realize that everyday they are given ministry assignments. They’re not caught up in who sees. It’s all ministry.

Do you want to do ministry? Many of you already are and don’t even realize it. Your interaction with others, your classroom, your Bible study, those you work with, those who work in places you frequent, how you treat others, cleaning that house, cooking those meals, mowing that lawn, watching a friend’s kid, making a meal for a new mom, sending someone a card, texting someone an encouraging word, taking someone out to coffee, working with kids, doing homework with your child, picking up your kids day after day (after day), praying over your kids…

Congratulations. That’s ministry.

2 Chronicles 15:7- But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

Galatians 6:9- Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!

 

 

The Calling- The Blessing and The Burden

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How do you know you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing?

I said yes to a speaking engagement with only a week’s notice (on top of our already busy schedule that week). I was lying in bed somewhat stressed about all that needed to get done and stressed because my message wasn’t coming together as quickly as I would have liked it to. My husband said to me, “Do you regret saying yes?” Me, without even a pause or a moments hesitation, “No, not at all.” I could tell he was somewhat surprised at my quick response.

I would do it all again next week because as I’m preparing my message I think of those women. And I count it a privilege and an honor that the Lord would choose me to bring encouragement through His Word to those ladies.

Is there a cost to doing what I do? Absolutely. Every time. You should see my house during speaking weeks…or not. It is emotional, mental, spiritual, and when I’m in my message-prep zone, it consumes me (just ask my husband and kids). And the enemy almost always tries to attack me.

But I would do it all again next week (and actually as I type this I will be doing it all again next week). Why do I do this to myself? Because no matter how nervous or stressed I get, it’s what I know I was created to do.

The Lord continues to open the doors, and I continue to walk through them. It’s the one thing in my life where I know that it has absolutely nothing to do with me and that it’s ALL Him. I have to be completely dependent on Him. If He doesn’t show up, then it’s merely just a talk. But as I depend on Him and trust Him for His peace and for all the words, He takes over. And it’s His presence and His Holy Spirit that changes and encourages hearts, not me. I just have to be obedient.

Sometimes we think life would be easier if we just stopped doing this or that- but last time I checked, God didn’t call me to living the easier life. He called me to be obedient. I know we all have something that the Lord calls us to do, and it might feel uncomfortable or awkward or hard. But then when we step out in faith and do that thing, even through the struggles to get there, we just know…. this.is.it.

The calling, His calling- it is a blessing and a burden, but it is also a great honor. And we carry on, doing what we know He’s called us to do. Not by my might or by my strength but by His Spirit (Zech. 4:6).

 

 

The Power Of Words Spoken Over You

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit”

(Proverbs 18:21)

As a young girl, I experienced many difficulties growing up.  Always searching for something. I needed to feel loved and accepted.  I often wonder how my life might have been different had I had the chance to experience other extra curricular activities. I do remember being in the choir in elementary school. I liked to sing, but never felt the encouragement from home to further that endeavor. In High School I discovered running. Looking back, it was probably the only healthy way I was able to relieve my stress from the things going on at home. I just remember running whenever my parents would be fighting or when I would get in an argument with my mom.

I would have never thought about joining a team, my self-esteem was much too low for something like that. There is a day in particular that is forever sketched in my brain and on my heart that I will always be thankful for. For gym class, we were all told to do laps. So I ran. There was also the track team warming up for their practice on the field. A coach noticed me and as I was running past. I overheard him telling one of the other runners to run with me. He came up along side me and starting running. And as he sped up, so did I. And he pushed me because he saw something in me that I myself had not even realized. Potential.  After the run, the coach came up to me and asked if I had ever thought about joining the track team. “No”, I replied. He asked me if I would join and gave me the practice schedule for the team. He put me on long distance and I started running.  I kept up with the others, and actually did pretty well in practice. My shoes were not very good for running so I came home one day and asked my mom for a pair of new running shoes. I told her I was very excited to be on the running team and really needed some good running shoes. What happened next changed my coarse and has been a battle in my mind ever since. She replied, “Why would I buy you new running shoes, you’re not going to finish”. I walked away saying to myself, “Who are you fooling?  She’s right. You don’t fit in. You probably won’t keep this up. You never finish anything”. And track picture day came and coach sent for me. I told one of the guys my mom said I couldn’t be in track because of my grades. And practices came and went- without me. And I began to believe in that lie that I would never finish anything. “How forcible are right words!” Job 6:25 or in my case wrong words. It’s crazy how that one sentence my mom spoke over me had so much power. I still find myself thinking that and actually allowing that to be my excuse not to do something.  I hear myself saying, “Oh well, you’ll never finish”. And then I have a mental battle in my head. I’m like, hey, who said that? Where did that come from?! And I have to go back to the most powerful Words ever written- the Bible.

And now I have this to ask you. I want you to think back. Who was it that told you that you couldn’t do something? Who was it that spoke words over you to discourage you from doing something you really wanted to do?  Whose negative voice is in your head? Now, you need to ask God to help you to forgive them. I know some people think that if they forgive that person, it’s like you’re letting them get away with it. But forgiving them will actually allow you to be free. That person will no longer control you anymore.  You’ve released them to God. (In Mark 11:25 Jesus says to forgive if we have anything against anyone.) I believe there are many of you reading this that God is calling you to step out. He sees potential. You have to stop thinking that dreams are for other people and start to believe that He who is in you is greater than he who is in this world! Replace the voices in your head for His voice, His Words over you.

The Power Of Your Words ~ Blessing or Cursing?

For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart.  The good person brings good things out of his good treasury, and the evil person brings evil things out of his evil treasury. I tell you that on the day of judgment, people will give an account for every worthless word they speak. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:34-37)

Having experienced first hand the power that negative words can have, I wanted to share some insight on what God has been teaching me.

  • With your kids- We have the power to encourage our kids to move forward or to discourage them to never try. It is an honor to raise my children. I know I am far (really far) from perfect, but the one area I try to stay very guarded is in my words. I am constantly reminding myself that God has called me to be their cheerleader. The world will tear them down with their words. I want them to know and be reminded of how wonderful they are, and that with God, they can do anything. My words could bring them down in a heartbeat. You say something that you didn’t mean and their little countenance just drops. Moms- your words will bring life or death in your home! One example is with my daughter. Her room is always a mess. I try to get her to take pride in her room and to want to pick it up, but it’s been a struggle. Yesterday, while I was out shopping she completely (on her own) cleaned up her entire room! Now I could have screamed, “It’s a miracle”, or “It’s about time that filthy pig sty was cleaned!” But no, instead I chose words to edify and encourage. Baby, I’m so proud of you. Your room looks amazing! And again this morning I reinforced the encouragement and said I was so proud of her for doing that without me asking. She was glowing and proud.
  • With your spouse- We have the power to build up our partner so that they know they can do anything. Or we can tear them down by constantly reminding them of all the areas where they fall short.  I have noticed many successful men have a woman behind them who has figured out the power they have in their words.
  • With yourself- We have the power in our own minds! The words we have in our heads that speak over us. You will never finish, you will always be lazy, you are never enough, you don’t fit in with that group, etc etc.  Ask God to reveal to you in prayer and through His word how He thinks about you. And let His Words begin to change what flows out of your heart and your mouth. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Ps 19:14)

And a final note on this: Everywhere you go, every thing you do, there is someone out there that could use some encouragement. Think of your everyday life. Running errands, church, work, etc. Someone needs to hear, “You can do this”, “I believe in you, “You’re going to make it through”. Or how about just “Have a blessed day!” I am amazed at the places I go where people are having a bad day and I try to speak words of encouragement and blessing over them- something changes in them. Think of yourself as Gods special agent! Word! :)

The power of life and death is in your tongue! What will you be giving out today?

Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

~Don Miguel Ruiz