Thursday, October 23, 2008

God Works in Big Ways

My last post was about having to close our elementary class last Saturday. This week we had it open again, and our volunteer count quadrupled! We actually had to turn away a helper because otherwise we'd have too many volunteers and not enough kids! God blew me away with His provision. I'll have to remember this time of blessing as an encouragement next time we feel like there's no hope.

Another exciting thing is that the modular units for our adult classes are being installed as I write this, and our Bridge 45 unit will be delivered tomorrow! It'll still be a few weeks before it's usable, but it's encouraging to finally see some progress on our church grounds. If you'd like to know more about Bridge 45 (our new preteen ministry and the curriculum we're creating for it), or would like to see pictures of the install-process, check out my other blog here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Worshipping Family

This past Saturday we had to close our elementary class because of a lack of leaders. We've been leading up to it for a while, and finally I knew we couldn't sacrifice safety and quality any longer. We've asked for help many times, in a variety of ways. But for some reason, serving kindergarten-fifth graders must be very daunting. We posted a sign saying what was going on, and eagerly handed out boxes of crayons and paper to families as they passed through our lobby into the main sanctuary. (On a side note--I was very surprised that I didn't receive very many complaints, and even more surprised to see that no one turned around and left!)

I was able to sit in the service for the message, and loved looking around, seeing my 20-some elementary kiddos, busy coloring, leaning on their parents, entering and exiting for the restroom, but all in all, being very well behaved. But the most precious moment came when I entered the sanctuary for one of the last worship songs at the end, and could see my elementary kids standing throughout the room, with parents seated next to them. One second grader girl was in the back row, hands stretched to the ceiling with her head leaned back to look toward heaven. I know there must have been a smile on her face. Tears came to my eyes as I observed such innocent, passionate worship in our kids. They didn't care that they didn't know the songs. They didn't care that the majority of the people in the room were still seated. All they cared about was showing their Heavenly Father that they love Him.

What began as an evening of frustration over a lack of volunteers became a blessed night. And the next day, we had four people sign up to help during our Saturday services! And while that was encouraging, what I'll remember is that there is nothing more precious or beautiful than seeing a child worship.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another thought from my Husband

Nolan, my husband, has been feeling the push to reach out to the students at Willamette University. Here's a note he posted on Facebook that I felt could apply to what we so often feel in ministry:

So last night I was struggling with a few things. I decided this morning that I would share a little of what God is showing me right now through one of those things.

I won’t go into great detail because all that needs to be known is that God is calling me to do some stuff. With all my heart, lately, I have been trying to listen to whatever He has to tell me and then do it. Well the latest task he has asked me to do is where the struggle comes.

What I am struggling with is if I am the right person to be doing the task that God has called me to do. Am I cool enough to be liked? Am I smart enough to be listened to? Am I relatable enough to be their friend? Is my love for God strong enough to point to my Savior?

So my thoughts this morning turned to the simple story of David and Goliath. I thought about his calling and his action. He was just going about his business delivering lunch to his brothers when he was called. So what did David do when he was charged with the task of killing the giant? Did he call into question that he was not the popular choice to fight this battle? Did he question God because of how much confidence other (better) soldiers had in him? Did he go and research the best method of the day for killing giants? Did he come armed with the latest and greatest tools for battle? Did he consult great warriors just because he had never killed a man before? The answer to all of these is an obvious no. He went into the battle with nothing but a sling and some rocks. Although the rest of the people of the day were using swords and spears to kill people, he took his calling and moved forward with a handful of rocks.

So what am I learning from this? I don't need the best method. I don't need the approval of greater warriors than me.When God has called me to do something specific, I don't need to research the latest strategy and most effective methods. Sometimes God calls the armies of warriors and other times He calls someone who doesn't even own a sword. Sometimes God will ignore the best way to kill a man and rely on a sling and some rocks.

My prayer right now is that I am actually hearing the calling of God and that I have the trust and confidence that David had that day. I have many shortcomings and many faults but I am going to carry the sling that God has given me into the place I am being called. God has not called me to use the sword of the day, but sometimes God just wants the sling and a willing heart. It is my desire to start flinging some rocks all for His glory…

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