Monday, April 1, 2013
April Fool's Day, 1990. It was a typical Sunday morning in a small four year old, central Texas church. This fairly young church was meeting in a tiny insurance company lobby. I am sure the committed arrived super early, coffee in hand, to prepare for the day. Some straightened chairs, some set out the nursery toys and others arrived to pray. A few minutes before the first worship song was to be sang, in we walked. My family had never been to a church service together before, much less to a church who lifted their hands in worship and prayed in tongues. I was ten years old, going on thirty. My mind was super confused at to why in the world we were there yet, on the inside... I knew something special was about to happen. The people were kind enough, however I am sure I looked bug-eyed when they began to lift their hands, dance and some even busted out with the tambourine. There was even a moment where the music softened and a lady with white hair began to speak loudly in a language I didn't know. It was so unfamiliar, yet, peaceful. Honestly, I don't remember at all what the preacher preached. I do remember knowing it was time to walk down that 15 foot aisle, which seemed like a thousand feet. Unaware of the eternal shift that was about to be made, I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life that morning. April 1, 1990, in that little insurance building across from the post office in Luling, Texas. At the age of ten, I sensed a cleansing, and closeness to God. I remember feeling... purpose. Yes, at age ten, I felt great purpose. Some people in the congregation that day may have clapped cordially while the last amen of the sinner's prayer was spoken. Some may have tuned out during the altar call thinking of what they should eat for lunch. Other's however, knew that this was eternal destiny in the balance that had been settled once and for all. Twenty-three years later, I am so grateful for those who just loved God and kept ministry simple. They loved people and loved God. Had everyone who was a part of church that day seen their contribution as insignificant, where would I be? Had nobody prayed... where would I be? Had the Carters not offered their insurance building for the church service... where would I be? Had the ladies not vacuumed so the preacher could prepare... where would I be? Had they not taken care of the babies so others could hear the Word... where would I be? Had someone not set out chairs for people to sit to hear the gospel... where would I be? Had the Davis' not been diligent to practice and lead worship to prepare hearts... where would I be? You see, they could have looked at it like the world looks at it. This is a small church, in a small town and anything I do really doesn't make a difference. Instead, they looked at it as eternal seed. Twenty-three years of loving God, 12 years of ministry, 8 years of being a wife, and 4 years of being a mom... I am grateful. There are more who are grateful than me. Every person I have prayed with, discipled, imparted truth... or led in times of worship. They are thankful. Every tear that I have wiped, missionary I have sent, marriage I have helped restore... they are thankful. To this day, I am preaching, praying, equipping, coaching, giving... all the while raising my children to love and obey God... because someone sowed their time, their gifts... what they had. There was purpose in the seed and it is still giving. Matthew 10:42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward. I Cor 12:27 Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body and [individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function].
Monday, February 11, 2013
I have been there. I felt like I had a lot to offer and I was glad to do it. I was a part of a particular organization and for whatever reason the leader just didn't ever want to "give me a break"... didn't want to give me an opportunity to use what God had put inside me. I did anything I knew that would show him that I was ready. I wore myself out serving, working... and even praying. Honestly, my heart was to serve. My heart was to honor God. All around me people with less talent, less people skills and less character seemed to be used, showcased or even put in authority over me. I was frustrated, and I began to let it diminish my dreams and confidence that God wanted to use me slowly and surely. I began to put more trust in the leader's ability than God's ability to put me in the place I needed to be to do what He wanted me to do. Rick Godwin, a pastor in San Antonio, tweeted: No man is powerful enough 2 close a door that GOD wants 2 walk you thru. Show honor where it's due. But be clear: GOD opens doors! I love this. Sometimes people want to throw in the towel when they don't seem to have favor with certain people or organizations. They will do back flips to try to find favor with people. If we are not careful, we will let our self worth come from how others see us. Just keep living to be pleasing to Him, not man. He will make sure you are in the right place at the right time and presented with the right doors. Typical Jamie style, I forced everyone to play a silly little game at our small group get together this last weekend. Everyone there was 40 and under, and married. In the game, each couple basically came up with questions to get to know the other couples. One of our questions for the other couples was "If money, favor and opportunity were no object, what would you do for a living?" I was taken back by the majority of people, whose answer was... "I don't know." It was at that point, I realized the majority may not need to be taught how to make their dreams come true, but simply to dream again. Dream like you did when you first came to Jesus and your insides were alive. Dream like you did when God dropped something in your heart in that intense, intimate worship service. Dream like you did before you got married and had kids and had to pay bills! Dream like you did before that one person didn't believe in you. Realize you DO have purpose, you DO have potential, you CAN live out exactly what He has made you to be and do. How can we pray for the impossible when it comes to healing and finances, but not for the favor of God to get us where we need to be? It is like we rely too much on other's people power to control our destiny. Although I love and appreciate people who are in authority over me in different arenas, they don't control my destiny. He prepared these things before hand that we SHOULD walk in them. Walk in them my friend. Don't rely on other people to make your destiny happen. For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Ephesians 2:10 AMP)