Friday, December 31, 2010

Creative Serving

(Previously published in Jill Briscoe's Just Between Us magazine - Spring 2010)

Terms like equipping, missions, and spiritual gifts can be intimidating to a new believer. Why not, instead, encourage her to find her place in ministry by asking this fun question: "Which room in your home best represents your primary passions and talents?" Once she answers, suggest creative ways she can serve her family, church, community, and world. For example:

The Craft Room: Help a single mom redecorate a room in her home. Or grab a group of girlfriends, create a craft together, sell them, and then donate the proceeds to the needy.

The Dressing Room: Put on a fashion show for the girls in your church's youth group or organize a spa day for the women in a local shelter.

The Home Gym: Start an aerobics class at church and invite women in the neighborhood. Try raising funds for missionaries with a church-wide free-throw contest.

The Kitchen: Start a cooking co-op for the new brides in your church or cook for a downtown soup kitchen.

The Library: Read to the elderly in nursing homes or volunteer in your church library. Start a book club.

Other rooms can include The Front Porch (hospitality), and even The Garage, as one woman pointed out a a recent event where I was speaking. This ministry idea generates lots of laughter and excitement at retreats or mom's meetings.

Monday, December 27, 2010

All Together Now - Lift!

In Matthew 9:1-8 (and also Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-25), there's a story of four men who bring their lame friend to Jesus for healing. The place is crowded, so they haul him to the roof, remove some tiles and lower him down to Jesus. First, Jesus forgives the man's sins, then he heals his legs.

I love this story. Not because it shows who Jesus is, though it does. And not because it shows who the Pharisees are, though it does. And not even because a lame man is given a new heart and new legs, though he is.

I love it because four strong men work together to carry one weak friend to the Healer. And when Jesus sees their faith, He responds. "It wasn't the paralyzed man's faith that impressed Jesus, but the faith of his friends"

--> (Personal reflection) So who do you know that is weak? And what is your response? Do you carry him (or her) to Jesus, or criticize?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Every Little Thing

"What makes God so dear to us is not so much His big blessings to us, but the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with us. He knows every detail of each of our individual lives." ~ Oswald Chambers.